• Thanks for playing

    Here, on the last day of 2015, the roulette wheel spun one last time and I was the staff writer given the chance to change your life for the better, in about 500 words, as we begin a new year. For anyone counting, we’re at about 47.

    My advice to you is to go ahead and accept that participation trophy.

  • New year holds promise of good times

    We’re not quite into 2016 yet, but I’m already excited about one big event coming up in the new year: Going to my 10th Duran Duran concert.

    Most folks, if they’ve heard of or remember them, dismiss Duran Duran as an ‘80s New Wave group made up of some British guys much too good-looking to be as talented as they actually are. Growing up, my girlfriends and I each had our favorite member of the so-called Fab Five. Mine was tall, dark and handsome bassist John Taylor, and posters of him covered almost every wall of my bedroom.

  • Business dreams are ready to be reviewed

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    Entrepreneurs in Brunswick County looking for support to start or to expand a business may have a new place to turn for assistance in the future — on the Leland campus of Brunswick Community College (BCC).

  • Can we make sense of N.C.’s jobless rate?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Economic statistics can be confusing, I know — I’ve been dealing with them as a professional economist for almost 40 years. While some say you can prove anything with statistics, I say, no, you just have to know how to interpret the statistics correctly.

  • Top tips for holiday gift returns, exchanges

    By Roy Cooper

    Guest Columnist

    While the weeks around the holidays are known as the Season of Giving, they also involve plenty of returns and exchanges. But last year, a Consumer Reports poll showed about a quarter of Americans who attempted to return an item to a retailer didn’t get their money back.

    By planning ahead and following our tips, you can make sure that gift returns and exchanges go smoothly for you and your loved ones this year.

    Read return policies carefully

  • What I want for Christmas is no secret

    One of the local events I look forward to the most each year since I’ve been here at the Beacon is Brunswick Family Assistance’s annual Christmas distribution from here at our old pressroom.

    It does my heart good to see how generous the people of our community are and how much it is appreciated by our neighbors who are struggling to get by and trying their best to improve their station in life. It’s genuinely fun to get out of the office, if only to go as far as the back of the building, and experience the holiday spirit firsthand.

  • Sound the alarm — it’s time for a safety check

    Anyone who knows me, even in passing, knows I’m not a morning person. In fact, I’m not sure I should be considered a person early in the morning because of how useless I tend to be at that time of day. When I know I have to be up and at ‘em early in the morning, like to go to an out-of-town training session, it’s almost impossible for me to get any sleep the night before because I’m afraid I’ll oversleep. It’s worse now that I have vertigo and can’t bolt out of bed the way I used to when I was running late.

  • Needy children ask Santa for little

    By The Rev. Donna Phelps

    Guest Columnist

    At this time of the year, our hearts turn to Christmas, to family and friends gathering around meals, fellowship and giving gifts around the Christmas tree. Yet for some children that is not a possibility.

    For children who do not have a stable home, getting a bed of their own or a pair of glasses so they can read is far more important than a doll, a bike or a computer game.

    Reading the Santa wish lists of children whose families were or have been homeless made me cry.

  • Tips for a safe and festive holiday season

    By Roy Cooper

    Guest Columnist

    The holiday season is a great time of year filled with fun activities and time with family. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday excitement but it’s important to take the necessary precautions to avoid crimes, scams and accidents.

  • Now that Clemsoning has been eliminated, can Clemzinning go next?

    I’m in a pretty, pretty, pretty good mood. My Clemson Tigers just won the ACC Championship game and are on the way to the playoff game for the national title.

    And since I had to live through nine years of bad football, then 10 years of just OK before the start of a seven-year climb to good, I am going to enjoy it by spilling a couple hundred words talking about my alma mater’s success.