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Features

  • Animals and animal groups will highlight an adopt-a-thon at a local pet store this Saturday and Sunday in Shallotte.

    The Petsense “Forever Home” National Pet Adopt-a-thon is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, both in and outside the local Petsense store in Shallotte Crossing Shopping Center.

    The event will take place rain or shine, store manager Gail Monat said.

  • Brunswick Little Theatre will hold auditions for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” on Sept. 20 at its new facility at 8068 River Road in Southport.

    The play, written by Barbara Knowles, tells the story of the challenges faced by a couple when they are forced to cast the Herdmans, the most awful kids in the community, in the annual church Christmas play. Hilarity and mayhem rule as the Herdmans and the Christmas story collide. This play has been described as an American classic and is a holiday staple in theaters across the country.

  • CALABASH — Festive fall festival season launches this weekend with the Calabash Lions Club’s first Oktoberfest.

    Slated from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on a vacant lot at Thomasboro Road and Carter Drive, the community event will include authentic Bavarian as well as American food, beer, Oktoberfest music by the Harbour Towne Fest Band of Wilmington, a dance floor, contests for best bierstein and best Bavarian costume, arm wrestling, children’s entertainment and a horse-drawn carriage.

  • Bid on a bargain for as little as 25 cents to help raise money for scholarships.

    The General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) South Brunswick Islands Woman’s Club is having its fifth annual quarter auction at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13, to do just that.

    The event at West Brunswick High School will consist of more than 200 up-for-grab items donated by local businesses and artisans, with prices starting for as little as 25 cents.

  • Elephants have long been known for their prehensile proboscis. Researchers recently discovered that tucked in that trunk is perhaps the planet’s most sensitive sniffer. Newly published genomic data concludes that elephants possess five times more smelling genes than humans and more than twice as many as dogs. This leads to the logical conclusion that you may spot an elephant snorting through your luggage the next time you check in at the airport.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    It’s a long time until Halloween, but here’s a spooky little plant.

    This is actually one of the most common wildflowers in eastern North America. It grows in all the eastern states, including Florida (maybe not the Keys), all the way out to the upper part of California and the Pacific Norwest, mostly skipping the southwestern states. (You could also find it in parts of South America and Asia.) It is fond of very shady forests.

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH — Creativity abounds at the annual North Carolina Oyster Festival.

    This year’s festival, scheduled for Oct. 18 and 19 in Ocean Isle Beach, will be no different.

    On Aug. 26, local artist Keith White and jewelry artisan Michael Abushakra once again unveiled their latest creations officially commemorating the 34th annual oyster festival.

  • Blending funk, soul, blues and Carolina beach music, The Holiday Band provides a festive audio backdrop year-round.

    The band’s been playing since 1991 when it launched in Burlington, playing 175-plus dates annually.

    The award-winning band consists of lead vocalist Doug Neese, saxophonist Bob Martin, and vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist-songwriter Mike Taylor, who penned the band’s 2003 No. 1 R&B hit, “I’m Man Enough,” which won the Song of the Year award at that year’s Carolina Beach Music Awards Show.

  • Several hundred thousands times a year, people in England and Wales file complaints about piles of public dog poop. The costs of accommodating the digestive wastes of UK dogs during trots are estimated to run about $37 million per year. That’s a lot of poop bags, signs, trash bins and telephone calls. A recent scientific study set out to find out what’s up with people and their pet’s poop. Researchers identified five major poop personalities and hope to use this information to reduce all those piles and protests.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    Did you know there are four different palm species that are native to the southeastern USA?

    Of course, there are plenty of different kinds of palms grown in cultivation that are not native. One need only go to central and south Florida, or California, to understand that. But from northern Florida up to coastal North Carolina, there are indeed four different species that occur naturally in the wild.

  • Beach hands will be getting creative as well as sandy Labor Day weekend when the Ocean Isle Beach family sand sculpture contest gets under way.

    The annual competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, behind the community center at 44 E. First St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Rules and applications are available at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach or by emailing Pam Batchelor at pbatchelor123@gmail.com.

  • At 87, he’s still entertaining the masses with his haunting tenor and accompanying banjo with no retirement in sight.

    On Sept. 9, legendary Ralph Stanley and his Clinch Mountain Boys are kicking off the new concert season at Brunswick Community College with a 7:30 p.m. concert in Odell Williamson Auditorium.

    “This was supposed to be his final tour, but he has come out with a press statement that says he’s not going to quit,” said auditorium director Mike Sapp.

  • I’m a pet foodie. I’m also a people foodie but my real passion lies with pet food. I’m constantly scouring journals and news outlets for any pet food news. Recently the Institute of Food Technologists(IFT) released a list of nine top pet food trends, particularly dog and cat foods. I thought I’d share their findings and give my opinion on each observation.

  • By John Nelson

    Plant Columnist

     

    Poison ivy isn’t “evil.” (Neither are spiders or hurricanes.)

    Some plants do cause problems, of course. Poison ivy is a “problem” plant for humans, in that it causes lots of people to break out in allergic reactions, sometimes severely. And yet poison ivy is, in fact, a widespread native species, providing wildlife food for a variety of critters. It is a common component of many natural ecosystems and has been here in our landscapes a lot longer than we humans have.

  • At least nine local men are in the lineup of contenders dragging themselves to the Womanless Beauty Pageant on Friday, Aug. 22, for a night of fun and fundraising.

    The Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s annual event, when ordinary men transform into questionable beauties for the night, will unfold from 6 to 9 p.m. at Brunswick Community College’s South Brunswick Islands Center, 9400 U.S. 17 in Carolina Shores.

  • Sand hands will be getting creative Labor Day weekend when the Ocean Isle Beach family sand sculpture contest gets under way.

    The annual competition is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, behind the community center at 44 E. First St. in Ocean Isle Beach.

    Rules and applications are available at the Museum of Coastal Carolina at Ocean Isle Beach or by emailing Pam Batchelor at pbatchelor123@gmail.com.

    Participants can also register on the beach the day of the contest. 

  • Pantastic Steel is scheduled for a makeup summer concert at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in Calabash Community Park.

    The Wilmington-area steel band was previously scheduled to perform there June 26, when the concert was canceled because of inclement weather.

  • The Imitations got their start back in the summer of 1995.

    Three friends — Mike Merritt, Mike Miller and George “Buster” Hobbs — were just having fun and showing off their musical skills.

    Within months, they added a fourth member, George Willetts.

    Tony Creech joined the group, adding expertise on soundboard.

    Many shows later, The Imitations have entertained thousands and recorded three CDs — “Back to Carolina,” “Starrin’ ” and “For Real.”

  •  Humans are very good at coming up with mental images of what various objects around them ought to look like. It is a basic way of bringing order into the chaotic world in which we live. For instance, when you think of the word “flower,” you generally have a reasonably well-defined notion of what a typical flower looks like: sepals, petals, stamens and pistils, even if you don’t know all the parts like a botanist. This week, we have a plant that offers us something that looks like a flower … or is it?

  • Cape Fear Audubon has been promoting a concept of creating a bird-friendly habitat.

    Now a continuing education course, Creating a Sustainable Natural Habitat for Landscaping, is being offered at the Leland Campus of Brunswick Community College, 2050 Enterprise Dr NE in Leland.   The course will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, starting Aug. 19 and ending Sept. 25. Some field trips will be scheduled on Saturdays.  The course covers the same basic concepts of the bird-friendly habitat.