• Is a four-day school week the answer to the public schools’ financial crisis?

    Is reducing the school week to four days an answer to the financial crisis facing some school districts across the country?

    More than 100 of those districts say yes.

    According to a Wall Street Journal article, more than 100 school districts in 17 states are operating with a four-day schedule.

    A school district in Minnesota will begin four-day weeks at the beginning of next school year. A quote from the district’s superintendent said the district faces a $1.3 million deficit and considers it a last resort.

  • New RW magazine featured inside this edition of The Brunswick Beacon

    March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re proud to launch in this edition the Beacon’s newest publication RW (The Real Women of Brunswick County).

    In this special section, which you can find inside today’s paper, you’ll be treated to features about local women, their successes and triumphs and their advice on everything from succeeding in their careers to moving on in life after the death of a spouse.

  • 'World Day of Prayer' reminds us of the beauty, celebration at the heart of praise music

    Last week’s “World Day of Prayer” celebration at Seaside United Methodist Church reminded me what I like most about spiritual music: the joy and celebration.

    The participants were all women from local churches in the South Brunswick Interchurch Council who dressed in traditional African garb to celebrate and honor the women of the African nation of Cameroon.

  • Recipes needed for Beacon’s upcoming cookbook project

    She was a petite lady with silver hair sitting in one of the chairs by the counter. I was standing looking at all the lipsticks, blushes and eye shadows scattered on top of the glass counter. I had decided to spend my lunch hour at the Belk cosmetics counter and was deliberating between the blue and gray eyeliners.

    She was waiting for me to wrap up my purchase so she could be helped.

    “I’m sorry I’m taking so long,” I told her. “I just don’t have any idea what I want.”

  • The long-lost art of handwritten thank-you notes and the world's good intentions

    When friends took time out of their lives to be with me on my wedding day last fall, I couldn’t say thank you enough.

    I thanked them in person that day. I thanked them again when I saw them at work. I think I even thanked them via Facebook and/or e-mail.

    I planned to send them each a handwritten thank-you note. I was raised well. I know the value of that.

    I know I’m supposed to send thank-you cards. I want to send them. As a matter of fact, I have a collection of occasion-perfect thank-you cards in my office at home.

  • Tweet, tweet. Who’s there? Your local newspaper and your political candidates

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, or, to be more specific, a rock without Internet access, it’s no secret that social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have changed how people communicate, receive news and how political candidates campaign.

    During the 2008 election cycle, Democrats on the national scene pummeled their GOP counterparts when it came to Twitter followers, Facebook fans and, well, anything else related to technology or social networking.

  • West Brunswick grad, local hero awarded Bronze Star for combat missions in Iraq

    When I called him to talk about his recent accomplishments, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Tom Blandino couldn’t talk much about the 2007 combat mission for which he was recently awarded the Bronze Star—the mission remains classified.

    But he and I have spoken about his deployments before, so I had an understanding, even if it is a limited civilian understanding, of what his dangerous role was while serving with the U.S. Air Force 82nd Airborne Division in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

  • No need to track down the 'Antiques Roadshow' this weekend; just go to Southport

    Ever watch one of those antique appraisal shows and wonder if the stuff in your attic, trunk or cluttered spare room is actually worth something?

    The most popular of the bunch is “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, where people from all walks of life put themselves and their prized possessions in front of a national audience and a tough appraiser to find out if their “treasure” is the real thing, a forgery or a very good (even valuable) reproduction.

  • High school students to share talents this weekend

    Between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, S.C., there’s enough theater, music and dancing to fill your weekend calendar from now until the end of the year.

    But you might want to leave this weekend open, as high school students from across the county will take center stage to show their talents and prove quality entertainment can be found right here at home.

    Beginning on Thursday, the West Brunswick High School Theatre Department will perform “Color’d Television,” a compilation of episodes from familiar TV shows, each focusing on race relations.

  • New dog park in Shallotte is great for pets and their people companions, too

    They were barking, playing, rolling, jumping and sniffing around, and their owners were glad they finally had a place to do it.

    On Sunday, my husband and I took our dogs to Shallotte’s new Bark Park. The warm weather and sunshine had plenty of other residents and their dogs out there as well.

    If you haven’t been to the new park, you’ll find it at Shallotte Park at 5550 Main St., close to U.S. 17. When you drive into the park, the driveway to the left will take you to the side with the dog park.