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Columns

  • History of Ocean Isle Beach: The Beginning Years (1946 to 1963)

    In 1947 and 1948, Odell Williamson began purchasing tracks of land that eventually comprised Ocean Isle Beach. These tracks of land were owned by various families, including the Brooks family, the Stanley family, the Gore family and the D. Stowe Crouse family.

    Williamson was originally in partnership with Mannon Gore, but Gore and Williamson soon parted ways, dissolving the partnership. Gore’s son, Ed Gore, soon focused on developing Sunset Beach while Williamson focused on Ocean Isle Beach.

  • Ghosts? Anomalies? Or things that can be explained away?

    As part-skeptic, part-believer in some things unexplainable, I was always eager to tag along each October with a friend turned certified ghost hunter while I was a reporter in Kentucky.

    Each October for several years, I’d catch up with Patti Starr, a once-restaurant manager who now leads an interesting life as a full-time ghost hunter. Patti teaches a ghost-hunting course at a Kentucky community college and takes part in a traveling lecture series with well-known psychic/medium Chip Coffey.

  • Upcoming November election gets reporter fired up about politics

    I’ve been fired up about the upcoming election since last January, when I had the opportunity to cover the Republican presidential debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C. It was an incredible experience, and one I hope to repeat. Since then, which hardly seems like nine months ago, I’ve had many more opportunities to cover debates, elections and other political functions. I can’t get enough of it—it’s the best part of my job.

  • Saving the wolves and rocking the political boat

    Last Wednesday, my family sat down to dinner. It is rare when we can all get together during the week. Grandma had cooked a roast and invited everyone to our house. We were in the middle of dinner when the phone rang.

    I jumped up to get it but wasn’t quite fast enough. Grandma can be quite spry when it comes to the phone. It’s usually for her anyway.

    “Hello,” she said.

    We had all stopped eating and we were waiting for her to finish up and come back to the table so we could eat.

  • Gossip destroys lives

    We are living in a time when many men and women are caught up in a web of lies and half-truths.

    The National Enquirer and many other gossip magazines have become major enterprises because the appetite for vicious rumors and half-truths is at fever pitch.

    Bad news has become a psychological drug for many people. Some people actually experience a feeling of euphoria when they read or share vicious gossip or rumors about others.

  • Dealing with clear and present dangers in Brunswick County

    I have observed an increasing number of dead deer along side of the rural and city roadways of Brunswick County lately.

    Deer crossing our roadways into the path of oncoming cars and the hunters lurking in the bushes waiting to shoot them pose clear and present dangers to nearby residents of Brunswick County.

  • 'Fireproof': Don't miss this life-changing film; it's showing locally

    In the latest action-based film from the creators of “Facing the Giants” and “Flywheel,” Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films focus on the relationship of firefighter “Capt. Caleb Holt,” played by Kirk Cameron, and his wife “Catherine Holt,” a public relations professional played by Erin Bethea.

  • Sudden influx of Web site comments energizes newspaper staff

    Since our updated Web site went live several months ago, we’ve only gotten a handful of comments from our online readers.

    We post every staff-written article online and update it daily with new information. While we’ve been excited about the number of people who are coming to our site, we had hoped to see more people take advantage of our interactive features.

  • Cop stop a sign of trouble just around the bend

    If I were seeking an omen about what is ahead in the future, I should have known it would appear on the first workday of the week.

    There I was moseying below the speed limit Monday morning, driving up U.S. 17 in Little River, S.C., and minding my business with a cell phone pressed to my ear (“Can you hear me now?!”).

    I thought I was doing everything not to attract the attention of law enforcement, which is what I always strive to do whenever I venture out on the highway and anywhere else in between.

  • National, international public service beckons Americans

    On Sept. 11, 2008, Barack Obama and John McCain appeared at Columbia University and talked candidly about the need for more public service despite the great personal sacrifices required to practice it.

    It is relevant in its national and international forms.

    Obama spoke about his experience as a community organizer and McCain about his experience as a military officer. Both, in their own way, had practiced public service early in their careers.