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Columns

  • Oil avengers: McIntyre, Pantano take on oil spill response

    They both want to represent North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, and now, two House candidates want to fix, or at the very least, criticize the response to the BP oil spill.

    U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., the seven-term Lumberton incumbent, will host an oil spill preparedness meeting next week to “discuss the recent deepwater spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the need for North Carolina to be prepared for potential ramifications from that spill.”

  • Going a bit bananas and nuts over a little-known regional delight

    What do you get when you takea banana, roll it in mayo and then cover it with crushed peanuts?

    If you’re not from central Kentucky like me and you do that, or ask someone about it, they may think you’re as nuts as those you’re rolling on the banana.

    Or maybe I'm bananas?

    Maybe.

    Ahh, but so is the story of the much-disrespected banana croquette.

    I grew up on this delight. At back-home get-togethers, they go quickly.

  • When summer heats up, movie theaters stay cool

    Some of my fondest summer memories are of the times my dad would take my brother and I to a movie theater in Wilmington to see the latest kid movies.

    The ones that still stick in my mind are the original “Star Trek: The Motion Picture,” all the “Star Wars” movies, “The Great Muppet Caper” and even a flop that I happen to like—Robert Altman’s live action musical version of “Popeye” starring Robin Williams.

  • Book highlights fun things about eating your way through a Southern childhood

    Not long after relocating to Brunswick County from my native Kentucky in early 2007, I wrote a column about how proud I was to be a Southern girl.

    Raised partly by a great-grandmother who lived through the Great Depression and my single mother who single-handedly defined hard work and determination, I grew with a good mixture of stern hands, love and laughter.

    As a young adult, when I’d retell encounters with my Granny to my mom, she’d laugh endlessly.

    “You should write a book about that,” she encouraged. 

  • Underwear, Times Square bombers dodge ‘No Fly List,’ but alert high for 6-year-old

    With as many terrorists and suicide bombers who are (literally) dying to board our airplanes and cause the next American tragedy, I’d be willing to bet 6-year-old Alyssa Thomas isn’t one of them.

    The Ohio child was stopped on a recent family trip from Cleveland to Minneapolis, when the ticket agent told her parents she was listed on Homeland Security’s “No Fly List” and the airport needed to take “extra caution,” according to her father, Dr. Santhosh Thomas.

  • Sunset Beach pontoon bridge spans memories, depictions

    Got your bridge memory ready for posting yet?

    It’s countdown time as the Sunset at Sunset committee collects written stories—not to exceed 100 words, please—about the Sunset Beach pontoon bridge for a remembrance book via its website, sunsetatsunset.com.

  • Should songs that make little sense be remade for the next generation?

    Recently, I noticed a new hip-hop version of the old Mungo Jerry song “In the Summertime” was popping up on Disney Channel, “sung” and accompanied by various Disney Channel stars.

    Thankfully, the new version doesn’t include the references to having a drink and a drive or doing “what you feel” with girls who come from the wrong side of the tracks—lines that would charitably be called “questionable” in this day and age.

  • Hometown girl joins Beacon staff as summer intern

    Hello. My name is Michele Johnson, and I will be your intern for this summer.

    I’m from Sunset Beach—been there most of my life. I graduated from West Brunswick High School knowing I wanted to be a reporter. That is why I am here today, introducing myself to you.

    I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a major in journalism.

    While at Pembroke, I studied and worked with all types of media, but newspapers are still my favorite.

  • Does technology really make easy things easier or are we lazy?

    Shortly after graduating from college and getting my own home, I couldn’t wait to show my mom around.

    We toured the rooms and talked about paint selections, furniture and floor coverings. The tour ended in the kitchen where I proudly walked over to the dishwasher.

    “Look at this,” I said, doing my best Vanna White impression as my hands trailed along in front of the dishwasher.

    I beamed.

    “A dishwasher?” mom asked. “Hmm. Don’t want one,” she retorted.

  • Hayward and BP: Proving false the old adage, ‘All press is good press’

    Just when you thought the epic disaster surrounding BP, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the Obama administration’s response couldn’t get any worse, BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward was on a boat—sending ripples of frustration throughout the Gulf Coast.

    No, he wasn’t off the coast of the devastated Gulf of Mexico, or even surveying damage on the shores of Alabama.