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Columns

  • Skydive Coastal Carolinas instructors put the-one-left-behind at ease

     Walking up to the skydiving hangar at the Brunswick County Airport on Oak Island Saturday, I elbowed my boyfriend Cory when I saw a brand new convertible Corvette parked nearby.

    “Of course an adrenaline junkie would have a fast car,” I laughed as we moved closer.

    Cory beamed. He smiled at the car. He smiled at the planes on the runway. He smiled at me. That day, his 35th birthday, he was more than eager to get inside and mark a life adventure off his bucket list—going skydiving.

    While I was excited, I was more than a bit apprehensive.

  • If you’re looking for me, follow the cloud of Lysol

    I sat in the doctor’s office wrapped in a sweater. My teeth were hitting together and my body trembled--I was freezing despite the 90-degree weather. A sore throat, fever and chills had finally forced me to go to a doctor.

    As I sat in the urgent care’s waiting room, I heard the doctor ask who was next.

    “It’s a lady. She’s got fever, chills and sore throat,” a nurse told him.

    “Well, did you give her a mask?” he asked.

  • Sign up for e-mail alerts so you don’t miss the stories we're working on

    There is a lot going on in Brunswick County, and each week we do our best to bring you as much of it as fairly and accurately as we can.

    Many of you know that although our dateline is always for Thursday—which is the day the newspaper is delivered to homes through our subscription service—you can pick up a copy of the Beacon on Wednesdays.

  • Nudists don't worry about what to wear--just mosquitoes

    “I have to go up to the nudist camp,” I quipped last Saturday. “At least I don’t have to dress up.”

    Unlike Brunswick County’s record-setting skinny-dippers I interviewed, I didn’t exactly wear nothin’, either—or my birthday suit. It wasn’t my birthday.

    I was among paparazzi who showed up, fully clothed, at Whispering Pines Nudist Resort to cover a portion of the first cross-country Guinness World Records nudie dunk.

  • Schedule some family fun at Fort Fisher

    As someone who helped pull together a bowling/pizza party for my daughter’s 7th birthday after returning home from a four-day business trip, I know the need for families to spend time together.

    The whole morning before the party, my daughter was saying, “I can’t stop smiling. I’m so excited.” That made it all worthwhile. Parties, outings, just spending time together are the kinds of thing parents remember about their children as they grow up and start to spend less and less time with their families.

  • Holden Beach man wrangles up small alligator, sets it free in safer waters

    It was the crowd that first got his attention. More than 100 people gathered around the edge of the shore at Holden Beach on the busy Fourth of July weekend staring into the water.

    When Holden Beach resident Johnny Booth approached the crowd last Friday, his eyes peered toward the water to see what the fuss was about. He wondered at first if someone might have drowned or been in trouble in the water.

    Eventually, his eyes landed on a small alligator about 30 feet offshore, and a good mile away from the pier.

  • Somewhere in New York, Katie Couric is probably laughing

    On Friday, news broke that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin plans to step down as Alaska’s chief executive at the end of the month, fueling speculation Palin has her sights set on a higher political office—this one south of the Canadian border.

    Palin’s Wasilla, Alaska, backyard press conference was a far cry from her attention-grabbing speech at the Republican National Convention less than one year ago. But like her scene-stealing speech last September in Minneapolis, the small-town folksy Alaskan sure knows how to get people talking.

  • Maybe reality stars are smarter than we think

    Those of us who grew up watching singers, dancers and comedians who gave their all to entertain us on stage, television and in movies tend to complain about the lack of bona fide stars in today’s culture.

    Most of us, even though we all have a guilty pleasure or two, complain about the unfortunate rise of “reality” show celebrities who don’t seem to have much talent other than fighting with one another. It’s like watching high school with 25-year-olds or 40-year-olds, depending on which channel you prefer.

  • Family-friendly activities will light up Brunswick County this Fourth of July weekend

    The Fourth of July holiday weekend is, for many, a weekend about fun, family and friends. It’s a time when grills get fired up early in the day and bellies are stuffed with all types of food from sunup to sundown.

    For many, events are centered around a family member’s or friend’s backyard. Others use the holiday weekend as a good excuse for a getaway, a time to coordinate a much-needed vacation with good weather and an extra day off work.

  • 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.