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Columns

  • You don't have to wait a week for your breaking news

    When news of Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett’s suspension was breaking, I was driving back from a quick day trip to Asheville.

    It’s a bad feeling to be the editor of a newspaper and be so far away when a big story breaks. At the same time, it was a sinking feeling to know the news broke on our publication day, meaning it would be a week before the news hit our paper in print.

    We have two daily papers and another weekly paper in the market, and we know how important it is to be competitive in getting news to our readers.

  • Spring break brings family and airline troubles

    Most of my family lives northwest Indiana, just a few miles south of Chicago. Being that it’s a 14-hour car drive to Brunswick County, most of my visitors opt to fly.

    And because the cost of an airline ticket these days is not cheap, visitors are few and far between.

    But last week was my lucky week. My cousin Annie and her two little girls came out last Monday, and my parents and sister arrived Saturday.

    Since there is still snow falling back home, everyone decided to seek the warm, North Carolina sunshine during their spring breaks.

  • One news bulletin that should have been a hoax

    I had planned to write this week’s column about the greatest April Fool’s hoaxes of all time—whistling carrots, “Big Ben goes digital” and “Internet spring cleaning” among them.

    Granted, it would have been belated—just after April Fool’s Day, something I just wasn’t thinking about for last week’s paper, March 27, the Beacon’s pre-April Fool’s edition.

  • Trying to understand the impact of race relations in America

    The issue of race is front and center in the current presidential campaign. Candidates and political pundits are addressing the question of race more than at any time in recent history.

    There has never been a presidential campaign that has had a white female, a black male and a white male vying for the highest office in the land.

  • Speeches give great insight into teens' lives

    The start of spring means beautiful weather and pollen allergies. It's also the time of year when I serve as a judge at the South Brunswick High School oratorical contest, the precursor to the countywide Odell and Virginia Williamson Oratorical Contest.

    It was a difficult decision this year because all the students who participated were terrific, and they left me a little more hopeful about the future.

  • A good deed and a mystery

    Carolyn Morris spent 26 years in special operations in the U.S. Army. She’s been stationed around the country and around the world, seeing and experiencing things most of us don’t want to imagine.

    She’s been living the retired life in Brunswick County for about three years now, and with all she’s seen, Morris says she didn’t think she could be surprised by anything.

    But about a week and a half ago, she was proven wrong.

  • New arts and entertainment listings give taste of goings-on

    Two weeks ago we launched another new addition to The Brunswick Beacon.

    After soliciting feedback from our readers, we found out there was a need to provide you with more information about events and activities not only going on in Brunswick County, but also communities within a short drive.

    A team of Beacon staffers got together and spent several weeks planning out what we thought we needed to do to fill that information void. After lots of planning, we unveiled the new “Arts and Entertainment” pages in the March 20 edition.

  • Gearing up for spring, stuck in winter weather

    With spring officially sprung, I spent the weekend gearing up for my favorite season.

    No spring cleaning, planting flowers or mowing the grass for me. I braved the pollen-infused air for an afternoon at one of my favorite places in the world: the outlet mall, or as I like to call it, the eighth wonder.

    While I realize saying I needed to go “spring shopping” holds little or no merit, it seemed like a great excuse for me to indulge in only the spring necessities.

  • Tip etiquette questions arise in today's fast-moving world

    The whole world is on fast forward.

    Everything we do nowadays is hurried or rushed. The Internet makes any information imaginable available at the click of a button. TIVO and DVR makes it possible for us to not only watch our favorite shows, but also to watch them in about a third of the time if we fast forward through all the commercial breaks.

    Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’d tell you in full detail why I think these things are a few of the best inventions ever, but I don’t have time.

  • Bring back the gas wars

    So the weekend kicked off with the usual payday quest to fill up the car at the cheapest gas station, preferably one within reasonable driving distance in one of the Carolinas.

    About 10 years ago, when the price of petroleum was an issue but not as big an issue as it is now, I interviewed a local businessman who complained about “people who’ll drive 20 miles across town to save 2 cents on gas.”

    Well, anything for a bargain, I always say.