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Columns

  • Street talk makes for hot topics in towns

    Maybe it’s the heat, or the humidity. Or maybe it’s just that hot time of year—it is summertime, isn’t it?—when problems seem to sprout up out of nowhere.

    Jack Butcher can vouch for that—he’s got grass growing through the street in front of his house on Court 11 off Northwest Drive in Carolina Shores.

    Butcher is blaming faulty paving for the fault, but the town has indicated it’s not at fault.

    Well, somebody must be to blame, especially where it involves government.

  • Some parents go too far when it comes to giving their children what they want

    It’s great to see parents willing to do anything for their children—legal things, that is.

    Of course, every so often we hear of these oddball parents who break the law, going above and beyond, to make sure their precious angels get exactly what they want.

    Remember Texan suburbanite Wanda Holloway, who was arrested and later sentenced for hiring a hit man to kill the mother of her daughter’s biggest rival on the school’s cheerleading squad?

  • Just hiking the Appalachian Trailee if you know what I mean

    Where’s the governor of South Carolina when you need him? Not on the Appalachian Trail, that’s for sure.

    But that’s where Mark Sanford was assumed to be when he was missing in action from his office in Columbia the week of Father’s Day. When reporters asked his staff where the missing chief had gone, they said he was hiking along the Appalachian Trail for a vacation, because he mentioned he might do that.

    They had no idea he was actually in Argentina. No one did.

  • State trooper honored for his commitment to safety, community

    We’ve all done it—on the way to work, in a hurry, when we see flashing blue lights up ahead. Somebody’s been caught speeding and instinctively you hit the brake and slow down so you won’t be next.

    If you happen to have lead feet, then you may have even gotten caught a time—or four.

    For many of us, tickets are what we think of first when we think of state troopers. But the truth is they do so much more than issue speeding tickets.

  • Internet overload: With so many options, are you getting what you want locally?

    If you’ve got a blog, you can write about things all day long. If you’ve got a Twitter account, you can tell the world your business in 140 characters or less.

    If you’re on MySpace or Facebook, you can tell friends, neighbors, family—and complete strangers—what you’re doing at any time, and post lots of photos to go along with it.

    If sci-fi and fantasy genres are your thing, you can get to know like-minded people at Elftown (or one of many other special interest groups, no matter how bizarre or different they may be).

  • Happy 43rd birthday, FOIA: Let's celebrate by inviting Congress, administration

    As if we don’t already have enough to celebrate and be thankful for on July 4, there’s one more reason—it’s the 43rd birthday of the Freedom of Information Act.

    Born from the minds of lawmakers on Capitol Hill in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, commonly referred to as FOIA, is the crux of an open and transparent government—well, if it’s the executive branch of federal government—but not the president or his immediate staff.

  • So many choicesee luckily, a lot of time

    My daughter is still talking about being a bug scientist when she grows up and still wants me to go looking at bugs with her when it’s 150 degrees outside, but she’s also considering a second career.

    Thanks to games provided by Disney Channel and Nickelodeon Web sites, she now thinks she has developed the skills to be a fashion designer.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking the cutthroat world of fashion design sounds a little more dangerous than the slightly less cutthroat world of academic research.

  • High school graduates: Your life journey is just about to begin

    Last weekend, Brunswick County and other area high school students closed one chapter of their lives and began preparation to start another.

    This time of year, lots of people are going to offer you advice as you head out on your latest journey. Many of us, who’ve already been there and done that, may have good thoughts to offer, but really, what happens next is all up to you.

    Sure, the last 18 or so years of your life have been interesting, but what’s around the corner may just blow your mind.

  • Celebrate ice cream month and make memories

    The hottest season of the year is here, and July will no doubt be the worst of the hot months. Luckily, since 1984, July has been officially designated as “National Ice Cream Month.”

    As far as I’m concerned, that’s a great reason to indulge in the delicious frozen treat.

  • Professional, kind staff eases mom's worries about son's surgery

    Having surgery is never a walk in the park--worry and anxiety plague you until the day arrives. However, when it’s your child who’s having surgery, you can multiply your worry and anxiety times 100, and know you will be sitting on pins and needles until the doctor comes out to tell you he or she is ready.

    When I went to my son’s pre-op appointment at Brunswick Community Hospital, I was already terrified. He was scheduled to have his tubes replaced in both ears. The surgery was one week away, but talking about it made my eyes tear up and my voice crack.