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Columns

  • The Kindred Spirit mailbox

    I admit it. I have caught the fever—spring fever that is. I sit at my desk rolling around story ideas that will take my feet to the sand. Anything I can do to make the workday happen on the shoreline is exactly what the doctor has ordered. Last week, I had the opportunity to walk out to the Kindred Spirit mailbox on Bird Island to write a story for an upcoming “Island Living” special section of the Beacon.

  • Misguided ‘Teen Mom’s’ latest antics bring tabloid attention to Brunswick County

    I was on one of my many trips to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office when it came up—the subject I had so hoped to avoid—Jenelle, otherwise known as Brunswick County’s resident “Teen Mom.”

    A “star” on MTV’s “reality” show “Teen Mom 2,” Jenelle Evans is a 19-year-old Oak Island resident whose run-ins with the law have been well documented on the show, in the tabloids and in the court docket in Brunswick County District Court.

  • Life lesson learned: Never attempt to vacuum a blind cat (alone)

    Pardon me, Dr. Ernie Ward, while I step on your toes for a moment.

    No, I don’t have a degree in veterinary science. I haven’t published any books, and I haven’t appeared on any syndicated television shows, national news programs or been in newspapers picked up by half the country.

    I certainly haven’t cared for and treated countless numbers of dogs, cats, lizards, snakes, hamsters and other critters.

    Everything I know about caring for pets, well, at least one of them, I learned on my lunch break last week.

  • Community failed student for trying to prohibit religious song

    "Christian Songs Get OK'd at Schools' Talent Show."

    Among all the day’s global headlines—the latest from Libya, earthquake relief in Japan and the anticipated premiere of “Dancing With the Stars”—this one caught my attention.

  • Signs of the times in Calabash

    Just when you think everything is hunky-dory in the Seafood Capital is usually when a new issue crops up to keep Calabash-ians (and reporters) on their toes.

    Some people there think it’s not enough to have a cute neon restaurant arrow or big gift-shop sign memorializing the town once called Pea Landing.

    Leaders, heavy on the merchant side, are feeling the town could do better—has done better—back in the golden days when it had a few big, honkin’ “Calabash Seafood” signs and restaurants lining Beach Drive.

  • Sometimes getting public access is more difficult than it should be

    I cut my journalism teeth working in a small, rural Kentucky community where generations of my family were born, went to school, worked and died.

    I rarely went out without having to talk about my last name, what part of the county I lived in and where I grew up. 

  • Celebrate today

    Most weeks I consider my job more fun than work. But there are weeks I question my career choice.

    No one wants to write the story of a town grieving for the loss of a much loved public figure, or of a fire that destroyed two small businesses and severely injured a man, or about a bicyclist run over by three cars on U.S. 17, or about a family of four dying in a car wreck. But writing these types of stories comes with the job. Unfortunately, last week they were all in the paper—it was a sad news week.

  • Happy Sunshine Week from behind the (freedom of information) battle lines

    Is it really that time of year again? My, how times flies.

    It’s Sunshine Week. Besides being my favorite time of the year, Sunshine Week is a week each year created to celebrate freedom of information and your right to know.

    Started (suitably) by a group of news editors in Florida in 2002, Sunshine Week was taken over by the National Society of News Editors in 2003, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    This week, hundreds of news organizations and community groups celebrate the public’s right to know during the weeklong celebration.

  • We’re looking for interesting Brunswick Countians to tell their stories

    When was the last time you sat down with a friend, neighbor, classmate or fellow churchgoer and thought, “Wow, what an interesting person!”?

    When was the last time you had a chat with someone and their life story was so interesting you couldn’t wait to share it with the next person you spoke with?

    Has there been a person in the community who has shared his or her life experiences with you and you’ve thought, “Man, someone should write this down.”

    Well, that’s exactly what we want to do.

  • Bus tour of Sunset Beach brings new parking rules

    Bumping along on a bus on unpaved roads with town council isn’t anyone’s idea of a thrill ride. At least not mine.

    And if it were thrilling, it probably wouldn’t be allowed, because amusement rides aren’t part of the Sunset Beach island landscape.

    But council wanted to take a closer look at the parking sites it was about to prohibit. Hence, as part of a specially called meeting with the council-appointed beach parking committee on the morning of Feb. 18, members boarded a Sea Trail shuttle bus and headed for the island.