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Columns

  • Holiday wishes are always meant for all Beacon readers

    Last week, the banner across the top of our front page read to all who saw it, “Happy Easter!” It’s something we’ve put at the top of the paper every Easter since I’ve been at the helm of the Beacon’s newsroom. It’s also something we do for other holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day last month.

    The sentiment was meant for all who read it, regardless of their beliefs. We hoped even those who don’t celebrate this Christian holiday would enjoy it anyway. Truly, no discrimination was intimated or implied.

  • We, the public, are the ultimate government watchdogs

    There was a really great story in The Washington Post last week that grabbed my attention and made my heart sing. It was about the staff of the Booster Redux, the student newspaper of Pittsburg High School in Kansas, who questioned the credentials of their new principal. She resigned as a result of their story; it turned out her story didn’t check out.

  • You decide: What determines county jobless rates in N.C.?

    The unemployment rate is one of the most closely tracked of economic statistics. There are two reasons for this. First, unemployment rates for the nation, state and local areas (counties, metropolitan regions) are released each month and with a rather short lag, so the information is reasonably up-to-date.

    Second, an unemployment rate, unlike many economic measures, is relatively easy to understand. It’s the percentage of the adult workforce actively looking for a job.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly, we hosted the UNC Tar Heels national champion men’s basketball team, we had a short week in the House of Representatives while the Senate worked on the state budget, and I was able to spend more time back in the district talking to our citizens.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we had “crossover week,” which meant double committee meetings and long floor sessions, we passed more than 150 bills, including two overrides of the governor’s veto, and we still spent time with important visitors from home.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we had more frequent and busier committee meetings, we had more urgency in longer House floor sessions, and we saw the governor veto two of our bills.

    First, prior to going to Raleigh, I had a couple of days in the district because of the long Easter weekend. On April 17, I had a meeting with a group of citizens in the Schooner Point community of Ocean Isle Beach. We had a great discussion and chance to improve communication with their state government.

  • Seniors in nursing homes are at risk of sexual assault

    By Jennifer Stuart

    Guest Columnist

    April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to shed light on a subject that, for most people, might conjure up images of college students at alcohol-infused parties or joggers on dark, lonely roads.

    Most people, when thinking of sexual assault victims, probably don’t think of seniors in nursing homes. Perhaps they should.

    A recent CNN investigation found claims of rape in nursing homes are widespread, but difficult to document and substantiate because of the victims’ circumstances.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week at the North Carolina House of Representatives, we had a record number of bills filed, we met constantly in committees with full agendas and we had two long floor sessions before adjourning for an Easter break.

  • You decide: Why did we move away from self-sufficiency?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    We are again involved in a debate about health insurance for those not covered by their employer, Medicare, Medicaid or other groups. Many want to replace the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) that addresses the uninsured, but consensus on a replacement has not been found.

  • Brunswick Christian Recovery Center needs community’s help

    By Rocky Atkinson

    Guest Columnist

    Addiction to alcohol and drugs is now front-page news. Many who pooh-poohed the whole addiction thing are now dealing with loved ones in the throes of a slow death.

    We all have someone in our family or close by who is in the battle of their lives.

    When you are on drugs, that’s all you think about.

    You certainly don’t spend time checking on the purity or quality of what you are about to snort or inject.