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Columns

  • Old news sparks new interest in wild western Brunswick County

    Brunswick County has had its share of wildness and shoot-‘em-up, drink-‘em-up, sting-‘em-up news.

    Since the beginning of time—or at least since the debut nearly 48 years ago of the old Shallotte Press—soon to be renamed The Brunswick Beacon by reader Jo Ann Simmons, who won $50 in a newspaper-naming contest—there’s been plenty of news in this county to justify the cost of applying ink to paper and charging a fee for it.

  • It’s all fun and games right until someone gets stung by wasps

    My great-grandmother made it clear. My cousin and I were to stay far away from the old pickup truck she had parked near some trees in a clearing.

    Seems the truck had been there some time, not running, and wasps had decided it was as good a place as any to call home.

    “If you don’t want to get stung, stay away from it,” she said.

    My cousin and cohort in crime smiled with his back turned toward her and nodded in my direction. We headed outside.

  • Don’t wait for November; be the change you wish to see

    What is wrong with our country?

    How and when did we get this way?

    When are we going to wake up before it’s too late?

    At 29 years old, I feel like that’s something my grandparents’ generation should be saying, but the past 18 or so months have aged me it seems.

    We want to blame Washington for out-of-touch policies, out-of-control spending and a general sense they’re all out of their minds (a point I won’t argue), but here at home I fear we aren’t much more in touch.

  • As long as we’re somewhere in the middle, we’re probably where we need to be

    I signed into Facebook recently and found a number of my friends had recently “liked” the page called “Being Conservative.”

    I clicked on the list and perused the names of those who were enthusiastic about giving a social media network a glimpse into their political opinions.

    “Hmm, what about ‘Being Liberal’?” I wondered.

    I typed it into the search bar and soon a list of “Being Liberal” Facebook pages was returned.

  • Stay calm and be prepared with a plan during hurricane season

    Hurricane season is under way.

    And in case you haven’t heard, there’s a storm brewing in the Atlantic—they call her Danielle—and she is a full-fledged tropical storm.

    The good news is they think she is staying clear of our coast.

    Locals are probably thinking, “No big deal.” But to me, a southern transplant who’s still relatively new to the whole hurricane concept, the H-word still makes me cringe just a tiny bit.

  • Summertime—and reunions bloom easy

    Seems like everywhere you turn lately, someone is planning a reunion.

    Locally, both classes of ’55 (as in 1955) from the old Union and Shallotte high schools recently reunited at Jerome’s Steak & Seafood in Shallotte for their respective 55th reunions.

    That’s noteworthy.

    I was cordially invited to both, but cordially declined because I’m not 55 yet.

    Besides, I had my own upcoming, better-late-than-never reunion to worry about and, honestly, how many of these can a body take every five to 10 years?

  • Entertaining distractions make trips a little more bearable

    I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for portable DVD players. Now the trick is to make headphones a little more comfortable.

    I say this as a parent who recently returned from a long vacation with an excitable, lively 8-year-old in the backseat.

    For my family, the player has become a big help—although certainly not the final answer to car boredom. If someone comes up with that, I’ll buy it.

  • Designer says farewell as she moves on to other opportunities

    Writing for a newspaper was all I had dreamed about doing since I was a little girl. I imagined myself sitting at a desk in my own little cubicle, with my fingers racing across a keyboard, just as I am doing now. Since February of 2007, I have lived my childhood dream here at the Beacon.

    My career in the newspaper business started when I was 19 years old. I attended UNC-Charlotte and livedwith my parents in Statesville. Like many other college kids, I worked waiting tables.

  • Taxpayer watchdog group: Burr a ‘hero,’ Hagan, McIntyre ‘hostile’

    One’s a hero and the other two are just hostile—at least, according to a taxpayer watchdog group.

    According to the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, North Carolina has a “hero” Senator and a “hostile” Senator when it comes to spending our money. Turns out we also have a “hostile” Congressman when it comes to spending.

  • It’s back-to-school time; don’t put your eye out and don’t start a fire

    It’s been a long time since I’ve prepared what I was going to wear the day before I actually wore it, but as a kid, picking out the perfect outfit was a rite of passage during the school year.

    And no day was that outfit more thought-out than for the first day of school.

    OK adults; think back. Remember how great it was to get that brand new pair of shoes? The pair that was expected to last an entire year?