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Columns

  • SHIIP is not just for seniors: It’s for anyone with insurance questions

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

    Did you know that if you are younger than 65 and have a disability, you might be eligible for Medicare? If you have questions about your health insurance options, SHIIP can help. SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance that provides free, unbiased counseling about Medicare not just to seniors, but also to people on Medicare because of disability.

  • Breaking bread connects community

    When was the last time you broke bread with someone? I mean, really broke bread — pulled apart a dense baked ball of dough while dining with another person or group of people? It’s so basic, but there’s something about it that, to me, conveys a true sense of kinship.

  • ONDBEAT: Being senior has its perks and wrinkles

    In childhood, there’s a tendency to want to be older. Many a 4-year-old would rather be 6. For those who are only 9, it sounds bigger and better to say they’re double-digits 10.

    Ditto for teenage-hood — the older you are, the more sophisticated and grown-up it sounds to say you’re older than you are, old enough to get into a restricted movie, perhaps. “Under 17,” after all, still requires an accompanying parent or adult guardian

  • Robert and Jack: a tough story of two local pros

    By Whit Clark

    Guest Columnist

     

    A few years ago, I wrote a short piece about Robert Jones, my barber. It was a brief and admiring look at a man who started a local barbershop, Hair Shapers, and operated it until his passing. Robert was the consummate barber: fast, accurate and a good listener — all the ingredients that made the consumer return to the chair.

  • Lots to love about Brunswick County

    Last week was easily the busiest so far this year for me with two fantastic community events just days apart, both at the Brunswick County Association of Realtors building at 101 Stone Chimney Place in Supply.

  • Bonus tips for sharing community news

     

  • Medicare Advantage disenrollment period ends Feb. 14

    By Jennifer Prince Sherman

    Guest Columnist

    Jan. 1 to Feb. 14 marks the annual Medicare Advantage disenrollment period. During this time, a Medicare beneficiary enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan may leave his or her plan and return to Original Medicare. If you switch to Original Medicare during this period, you will have until Feb. 14 to also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to ensure you will have drug coverage in 2015. Your prescription drug coverage will begin the first day of the month after the drug plan gets your enrollment form.

  • You decide: What are the impacts of tax changes?

    By Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

     

    Get ready for some tax debates in 2015. At the national level, pundits think a proposal to lower the federal income tax rate may be one piece of common ground between President Obama and the Congress. Here in North Carolina, Round 2 of tax changes — focusing on lower tax rates and a broader tax base — may be debated in the General Assembly.

  • Moonshine takes off like greased white lightning

    It wasn’t that long ago Brunswick County at times operated like the wild — and sometimes even wilder — West.

    I can’t count the times I’ve skimmed through yellowing pages of the Beacon dating back to the 1960s and ‘70s and, on my way to looking up something else, have come across stories about moonshine still busts in Brunswick County.

    Yep, sheriff this and sheriff that — who sometimes wound up in trouble themselves later on — and his posse had just busted up another’n.

  • New year starts out rough for many

    For me, 2015 started with a cough, followed by sneezing, and later a massive headache, swollen face, nausea, fever and chills. It wasn’t the flu or strep throat, thankfully. It was just a nasty upper respiratory infection that flattened me for the better part of the following week.

    “You get sick like this every time you’re under a lot of stress,” the nurse said, patiently explaining — again — how my continued inability to cope weakens my immune system. New year, same old me.