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Columns

  • No matter how it’s reported, truth doesn’t have to make sense

    Mark Twain famously said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.” I can’t help but guess whether he came up with this quote based on the newspaper experience had had in his storied career.

    I wonder what he would have thought of this doozy of a situation I dealt with the other week.

    I came to the office to find a message that a man came to the Beacon wanting to talk to a reporter. He’d left his phone number.

    Since all our reporters were on assignment, I took it upon myself to give him a call.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we passed tougher penalties for felony death by boating, we made changes to the selection of judges, we met with a coastal advocacy group and we continued to work on local bills.

  • You decide: What is your local economy?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    North Carolina has a lot of local governments. To be exact, there are 100 counties and 552 municipalities in the state. North Carolina is one of only seven states with triple digits in the number of counties, with Texas taking the prize at 254. We’re 18th among states in the number of municipalities, but far below the record holder of Illinois with 2,729.

  • Even when you don't have time for one, birthdays happen anyway

    Here it is, March 13, my birthday, and I’ve spent the past 14 hours of it at the office.

    I’m happy to have made it through another year of life and I’m the last person to complain about spending it at work, because my Beacon coworkers are more like family to me than most of my blood relatives. (I have a lot of them — my maternal grandmother alone was one of 11 surviving children who all had children of their own.)

    This year’s birthday started out feeling like a bother, though.

  • Showcasing, sustaining local businesses pays dividends

    Early returns show this past Saturday’s inaugural Live.Learn.Shop.LOCAL Business Expo in Ocean Isle Beach was a rousing success. The free event, presented by the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce, featured 70 vendors — with many offering souvenirs, raffles and giveaways — plus goody bags for the first 150 people and the option to register for a door prize.

    As a new chamber board member and having assisted with the chamber’s home and garden show two years ago, I played a minor role on the committee that put together this expo.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we passed bills affecting our community colleges, we received the governor’s budget, and we continued our planning for the House and Senate budgets.

  • On Campus with BCC: BCC gears up for reaffirmation of accreditation

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    Brunswick Community College has started preparing for its decennial review process by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools — Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    BCC is set to be reaffirmed in 2019, but much work is already under way to get all the needed documentation ready and roll out the red carpet for the SACSCOC onsite visitors coming in fall 2018.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina House of Representatives, we filed many more bills, now up to about 200; we passed a key education bill; we had more visitors from back home and across the state; and I chaired two different transportation committees.

  • You decide: Is farming a high-tech industry?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    My paternal grandfather was a farmer in Ohio. He raised a variety of crops, but his “bread and butter” was hogs.

    In southwestern Ohio, hogs were big business a century ago. In fact, at one time, Cincinnati (where I was born) was known as “Porkopolis.” Farmers like my grandfather drove their hogs from outlying farms to the packing houses in the city.

  • Don’t be like Chuck, Mike

    I think Michael Jordan is becoming Chuck Taylor.

    My thoughts on this topic stem directly from too much time wasted watching NBA All Star on Saturday night, when all the big names of basketball’s past, present and future are all in one place, typically.

    But I realized at some point after the 3-point contest and in the middle of an underwhelming slam dunk contest that the guy who was so competitive he took part in both challenges over his career, only winning the slam dunk trophy, wasn’t around for either of them during All Star Weekend.