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Columns

  • 'Luna' now the star of her own exhibit

    I recently put in a plug for the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s albino alligator naming contest, and I’m proud to report the aquarium has opened its exhibit and named its star: Luna.

    According to the aquarium, visitors got a sneak peek at the exotic creature in March during “Scales and Tails” and immediately initiated the naming contest.

    The aquarium received 1,500 submissions both onsite and online, some from as far away as Germany and Scotland. Entries include Lilly, Allie, Pearl and Opal.

  • Recycling revives good intentions

    So I’ve finally grown concerned about all the plastic grocery bags drifting around out there—getting lodged in trees, floating aimlessly along the highway like lost balloons.

    I realized if I had a dollar for each homeless bag littering our otherwise pristine environment (except for the beer cans), my 401K and I could reconsider retirement.

    Apparently, nobody is offering reimbursement for these little eyesores and wildlife hazards.

  • Ocean Isle Beach to celebrate its 50 years this weekend

    A lot can happen in 50 years. Just ask any of the original residents of Ocean Isle Beach.

    Ocean Isle Beach was a 7-mile stretch of pure beach some 50 years ago. When Odell Williamson and M.C. Gore purchased the island in 1953, they sold only a handful of lots before Hurricane Hazel hit the following year and wiped away most if the island’s initial developments.

    Over time, the town rebuilt and grew into one of the best restored beaches in the country, according to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

  • Hurricane season is here; now is the right time to start planning

    There’s something about severe weather that really intrigues me. From swirling clouds and darkening skies, to booms of thunder and flashes of lightning, reporter instincts quickly kick in when rough weather approaches.

    Now that June 1 has come and gone, all Brunswick County residents’ severe weather intrigue should be piquing as hurricane season is finally here.

  • Community newspapers thrive by telling life stories from beginning to end

    In her opinion column this week on page 5A, Beacon staff writer Caroline Curran reflects on her past three years with this newspaper and shares some of the things she’s learned along her journey.

    One of the points she makes is that every person has a story. What a joy it is for editors when their writers embrace that notion! In community newspapers like The Brunswick Beacon, we focus on telling the life stories of people who live, work and grow up in this community.

  • Life's lessons learned during reporter's third year at the Beacon

    It’s hard to believe I’ve been at the Beacon for three years. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at my first county commissioners meeting, trying to make sense of the county budget on my first day on the job.

  • Does 'zero tolerance' mean 'zero common sense?'

    While the world goes crazy all around us—drugs and killings and wars and poverty—it’s nice to know academic professionals are there to keep us safe from eyebrow tweezers and nail clippers.

    Catch the sarcasm yet?

    I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that another school district has used the “Safe School Act,” as a reason to suspend and expel a perfectly well behaved, high-achieving student.

  • Lots of new businesses opening right here in Brunswick County

    Good news, Brunswick County! We’re still growing by leaps and bounds.

    While the economy has put many in a pinch—including slowing or completely halting some construction—growth is still happening right here in our community.

    Last week, a larger, brighter, better Food Lion store opened to much fanfare in Shallotte. In June, a new Lowes Food will open its doors in Ocean Isle Beach. The Economic Development Commission indicates another Lowes Food is set to get under construction soon at N.C. 211 and Midway Road.

  • Publishers Clearing House might be looking for me

    The new Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office South Substation hadn’t even opened yet when Publishers Clearing House showed up at its door.

    It’s proof that pigs fly and something had frozen over in mid May (consider this week’s unusually low temperatures).

    But what it really demonstrates is the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol Elite Team actually does exist.

    Oh, sure, I and 200 million other Americans had been skeptical for the past 42 years, ever since the first Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes launched in 1967.

  • Seat belt safety important to remember in light of recent fatalities

    Saferoads.org, an advocate for highway and auto safety Web site, reports 55 percent of those killed in traffic crashes in 2006 were not wearing seat belts.

    As we know, the two West Brunswick students who died after a fatal car wreck earlier this month were not wearing seat belts. Two of the three passengers that survived were wearing seat belts at the time of impact.

    At times like these, it’s always a question of, “What if?”