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Columns

  • Since when does four years make something an artifact?

    Two weeks ago, I was surfing the Internet, looking for deals on Thomas the Train accessories, when my computer screen went black. There was no warning—it just quit.

    I decided to do a little troubleshooting before resorting to calling the tech support line.

    First I jiggled the cord. Nothing happened. Then I unplugged and re-plugged it several times. Nothing happened. Then I dug out the manual and even pretended read a page or two. Still, nothing happened.

  • Whodunit? Let's have tea and crumpets, first

    What is it about English murder mysteries that make them so attractive to American audiences?

    Is it the accents? The lack of actual boring police work that goes into finding who killed Lord Upper Crust during a tea party at a Mr. and Mrs. Scone’s lake house? The fact that Lord Upper Crust probably deserved what he got?

  • Things starting to go bump in spooky season of politics

    It’s that scary time of year again—pre-election dues.

    A cauldron of political stew is stirring like a wicked brew, especially in Brunswick County towns where there’s a challenger or few.

    Beware the ghosts of elections past, political barbs as sharp as witches’ nails, phantom statements being made to the news.

    Watch for creatures drifting in and out of town, digging up graveyard dirt and making the rounds.

    Will it get ugly? It already has. That’s the way the season of politics sometimes comes to pass.

  • Behind the scenes: You lied, your time is up and who bit you?

    Last week, The Brunswick Beacon, together with the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, Sunset Properties and ATMC TV, launched three of this political season’s Meet the Candidates Forums in Brunswick County.

    The event started out last Monday, Oct. 12, at the Carolina Shores Property Owners Association’s clubhouse. The next Thursday, Oct. 15, we headed over to the Jones-Byrd Clubhouse at Sea Trial for the Sunset Beach forum, and on Friday, Oct. 16, we were at the Calabash Fire Department for Calabash.

  • Media not trying to cause H1N1 panic but increase awareness, prevention

    In case you haven’t heard, my colleagues and I are responsible for the national panic regarding the H1N1 virus.

    At least that’s what a fellow reporter and I were told.

    When another reporter asked a county leader why the media had not been notified of confirmed H1N1 cases in Brunswick County, the answer was because the media blows it out of proportion and gets people worried for no reason.

  • Waiting, praying and remembering, two years later

    The morning was cool and damp as I walked into the hospital. My son was sleeping in his carrier as I lifted it out of the car and carried it across the parking lot.

    Even though we had been gone less than 36 hours, the hospital looked different--more gray than I remembered it.

    I walked up to the desk and signed my son in for his test. The doctor had ordered a blood test to check his bilirubin levels. It would be several hours before we would know if he would have to have any further treatment.

  • What topics before Congress do you want answers from 'Across the aisle?'

    We’re a community newspaper, and we plan to keep it that way.

    While we will continue to focus on local issues and how they affect the community, we also want to delve into state and national issues. Decisions made in Washington, D.C., and Raleigh affect people right here in Brunswick County, so we want to make sure we report on those, too.

    A few weeks ago, we launched a new series, “Across the aisle,” to report on issues before Congress.

  • Marginalization, misdirection and myths of the White House vs. Fox News feud

    A few months ago I was in Reno, Nev., for a legal affairs reporting conference at the National Judicial College.

    I was thrilled to be selected from reporters across the country, ready to soak up every last morsel of legal knowledge I possibly could in two short days.

    One of my favorite segments of the two-day training seminar was taught by a Harvard Law-educated reporter from the Houston Chronicle, who opened with this: “How do you know when a politician’s lying?”

  • Money is not the only consideration when sharing a police helicopter

    In view of the high priority challenges of crime and international terrorism facing the United States and our Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), there is far more than just money to consider in forming a proactive law enforcement partnership involving a helicopter or marine patrol operation.

  • Beam me up? I'd rather be skeptical (for now)

    Elliot and E.T. bicycling across the sky silhouetted against a full moon is one of the most iconic images in film history. It’s one that’s stuck with me since I saw it in the theater when I was 10.

    In high school, after hearing about it from one of my teachers, I read the “non-fiction” book “Communion” by Whitley Streiber from cover to cover with barely a break for schoolwork.