• Need help with spring de-cluttering? Call a Marine

    My Marine son thinks I should keep things simple.

    “I don’t need a lot of material possessions,” Sgt. Alex once remarked during a visit to my coastal cottage filled to the gills with too much stuff.

    This remark came from a mature young man who, as a boy, had constant visions of owning his own TV and video games, FAO Schwarz and Discovery Channel stores, etc., etc., etc. I don’t know where he got that from.

  • The secret to Lawing’s success: Scheduling before instead of after

    I knew County Manager Marty Lawing was a goner the moment I heard his new employers, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners, voted at 1 a.m. to offer him their county manager job.

    Now, I’m not from Guilford County, I’ve never covered Guilford County government, I don’t personally know anyone on the Guilford County board or anyone at all from Guilford County, so I’m going on a gut feeling here.

  • Spring invasion under way; time to get rid of cabin fever

    By Sarah Sue Ingram
    Interim Editor

    The invasion has already started and will be full-fledged by this weekend.

    No, it’s not the invasion by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Gerry and The Pacemakers.

    For those of us who welcomed that British invasion, pacemakers means something entirely different now, as in medical equipment placed in the chest that helps keep some of our friends alive. It used to mean those who set the pace.

  • News editor’s latest newspaper gig is on a familiar beat

    By Sarah Sue Ingram
    Interim News Editor

  • Pollen is a precursor; change is in the air

    This week winter is officially over. I couldn’t be more excited as spring is in the air. The signs of change are everywhere. Daffodils have been popping up all over the place decorating the landscape with their brilliant shades of yellow. Cars are coated in the murky yellowish-green haze of pollen.

    Gone are winter hats and scarves—well, almost. Restaurants and businesses around the beach towns have reopened for the season.

  • The last of ‘Stet Happens,’ from my desk to you, farewell

    Well, this is it.

    By the time this newspaper reaches your hands, I’ll have boxed up much of the stuff in my office, passed on as many instructions and how-to’s as I can, and will be counting down the hours until I walk out of the Beacon office for the last time Friday.

    It’s hard to believe this journey, a newspaper career that has spanned countless hours for almost 15 years, is going to be over.

  • Ready to race? Maybe if you're a lucky leprechaun

    For everyone planning to run in the St. Patrick’s Day weekend Lucky Leprechaun race in Ocean Isle Beach this coming Saturday morning, I would like to say—good luck.

    If my own luck as a runner had held out, perhaps I would be joining you. But for now I must sit on the sidelines, or more likely at home swigging caffeine and listening to “Car Talk,” entertaining and plotting my next fitness strategy that apparently doesn’t include a race any time in the near future.

    I tried. I really did.

  • You don’t know what you’re missing at the county complex

    Brunswick County commissioners discussed adding video streaming and recording of their meetings during last week’s budget workshop.

    It’s an idea I wholeheartedly endorse.

    I’m not from here, but I’ve been covering local governments in North Carolina for years.   

    So I was surprised to find when I got here that video coverage of meetings had not made it to the coast. But I come here to praise Brunswick County officials, not to bury them for the delay.

  • Getting ready for goodbye: Time at the Beacon winding down

    Seven years into my journalism career, I needed a change.

    The late nights and weekends and stress of deadlines had worn me down.

    I had covered so many deaths, murders, wrecks, accidents, fires and more in my hometown I could rarely drive down a road and not recall a tragedy.

  • Story about child’s death still haunts reporter one year later

    As you enter the Shallotte Police Department, a photograph in the lobby says it all.

    A framed photo of 3-year-old Jaronn Ladale McAllister greets all who enter. Inscribed near the bottom of the photograph are the words: “Why we shall never forget; the reason we do our job.”

    And it doesn’t stop there.

    In Chief Rodney Gause’s office is another photograph of Jaronn.

    Jaronn’s murder a year ago on March 1 has touched many hearts—from the family to law enforcement officers to journalists and the community.