• 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.

  • It’s great to have the ‘Two Fat Ladies’ back on TV again

    For cable TV fans and foodies of all stripes, The Cooking Channel debuted May 31, aiming at a younger, “hipper” demographic than Food Network—importing all sorts of flashy-looking cooking shows from other countries, creating some original shows about the history of food and even re-running some of our old favorites.

    Imagine my surprise when remote surfing recently I came upon one of my favorite old shows from when Food Network was in its infancy—“Two Fat Ladies.”

  • Protect yourself from the dangerous heat lingering in the county

    Here’s a comment from Captain Obvious, “It’s hot outside.”

    As I sit here writing this Monday afternoon, Brunswick County is under a heat advisory. The National Weather Service has Monday’s highs at about 98 degrees, with the heat index potentially pushing as high as 107.

    Tuesday, the day the newspaper is printed and readied for the public, temperatures are expected to teeter in the mid-90s, with temperatures hanging out around 90 degrees for the rest of the week.

  • Not on board with those who think ‘enough’ is ‘enuf’

    I consider myself an expert. A spelling expert, that is.

    As the two-time, consecutive champ and reigning co-winner of the Brunswick County Adult Spelling Bee sponsored by the Brunswick County Literacy Council, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about words in the English language and even more about spelling bees.