•  Look in the sky. Is it a plane, a UFO or leftover fireworks from earlier this month? 

    If the time is just after sunset and you are looking west, it is the goddess of beauty, the god of war, and the god of agriculture.

    Huh? They are normally enemies, a strange trio to be gathering in a small group. The group is three planets, which are the namesakes of these gods and goddess. From brightest to dimmest the list reads: Venus, Saturn and Mars. To view, look west and up at 9 o’clock.

  • After three years of construction, St. Brendan Catholic Church on Ocean Highway in Shallotte will officially move into its new sanctuary starting with Sunday Mass at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

    That afternoon, at 2 p.m., the congregation and staff will dedicate the new 9,000 square-foot building, with seating for 1,100 people, with a special ceremony including a speech from Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh.

  • Grady Eyler, 3, of Haymarket, Va., teed off at River Country Miniature Golf on Ocean Isle Beach on a recent summer day. It was the family’s first stay on the beach, but Grady’s mother said it wouldn’t be the last.

  • Summer fun awaits at Shallotte’s own celestial venue for convivial pursuits.

    Planet Fun, at 349 Whiteville Road, is designed for fun-seekers of all ages.

    Highlights in the 50,000-square-foot entertainment center, beside Lowe’s Home Improvement, include the 32-lane constellation bowling alley, four lanes of mini bowling, a two-story laser tag arena, nine-hole black-light miniature golf, a soft indoor playground, arcade, party rooms, concession stand, pro shop and a restaurant, the Starz Grille.

  • Two Shallotte churches have “topped” off their renovations with brand new steeples in recent days. Members have been working to expand and rebuild to serve their growing populations.

    At Unity Worship Center, a small church with a membership of about 50 on Holden Beach Road, congregant Bobby Batson made a steeple just for the church. On Monday, he and other supporters placed it atop the 100-year-old building as church members and the Rev. Tom Stephenson looked on and cheered.

  • Where is the center of the Milky Way? If you answered right in the middle that would be correct and funny, however, I was thinking about the location of the center as judged by the stars.
    What direction in the sky should you look during a humid summer night to be looking toward the center?
    To find it, all you have to do is find an archer and a scorpion, and look in between them, and you are staring at the center of the Milky Way. That sounds easy enough to accomplish.

  • Winding River resident Joe Koletar’s third book targeted to businesses, “Rethinking Risk: How Companies Sabotage Themselves and What They Must Do Differently,” will be available for purchase this week.

    During his career as a fraud investigator, Koletar wrote extensively about fraud in various professional journals, leading to another career for the now semi-retired expert.

    “I started writing an article for a professional journal. I got carried away,” he recalled.

  • Clayton Bartizal, business development manager at resortandlodges.com, said recently various teams of writers and editors write “top 10” articles once or twice each month based on social media reviews, price ranges, the size of the units and how resorts meet customers’ needs.

    “We get a lot of [website] traffic from that,” Bartizal said. “It’s a lot of great free traffic our partners get.”

    While many of the sites chosen are advertising partners with resortandlodges, many are not, he said.


  • From chasing bank robbers to poring over Swiss bank records to find fraud, Joe Koletar’s career has spanned more than 40 years, numerous countries and countless adventures.

    After graduating college, he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Special Security Group. From there, he was recruited into the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he got his start investigating bank robberies.

  • Ocean Isle Beach—Even as an unusual early-summer heat wave sets in, guests and employees at The Winds Resort Beach Club don’t mind at all—as long as they can hang out at the pool, enjoy drinks at the tiki bar and walk onto the strand whenever the mood strikes.

  • Coastal Living Magazine has picked Calabash Seafood Hut as having the best seafood on the East Coast in this month’s magazine.

    “I think the long lines out on the benches speak for itself,” Calabash Mayor Anthony Clemmons said. “It’s the hottest little spot in Calabash.”

    Calabash Seafood Hut is a small restaurant—it can only seat about 65 people in the dining area—but that has not stopped customers from waiting outside.

  • BOLIVIA—For every defendant who goes through Teen Court, one less defendant goes through Brunswick County’s criminal justice system—alleviating an over-burdened justice system.

    Teen Court is funded through state grants, not county funded, so it saves Brunswick County taxpayer money, Teen Court Director Glenda Ansley said.

    But of all the ways Teen Court benefits the court system and the taxpayers, Ansley said it benefits the participants—defendants and volunteers—the most.

  • The summer’s sky is full of many bright stars. The reason is simple: At the start of summer, the main plane of the Milky Way Galaxy is just above the horizon, and as the calendar approaches the middle of the summer season, the Milky Way’s main plane moves to the middle of the sky.

    More stars are along the main plane than below or above the plane; therefore, it is the position of the main plane that fills the sky with stars.

  • Artists from throughout the Carolinas, from the mountains to the coast, have brought their paintings and pottery to downtown Southport’s Franklin Square Gallery for its annual Summer Regional Show that opened June 21 and continues until July 17.

    This juried exhibition highlights the work of already well known artists in Brunswick and New Hanover counties and many others from throughout North and South Carolina.

  • When she worked as director of a cancer center in Akron, Ohio, Linda Herrick met a number of people who had no idea what to do after they lost their spouses and loved ones.

    “I felt so bad for the widows,” Herrick said. “Some of them didn’t even know how to write checks…I decided then that when I retired, I would give back.”

    Since moving to Brunswick County in 2000, Herrick, who now lives in Shallotte’s Brierwood community, has done just that.

  • Silver Coast Winery is once again showcasing the metal artistry of David McCune during the summer season.

    The show launches Saturday, June 19, and runs through Sept. 14.

    McCune, of Fayetteville and Brunswick County, is recognized as a prolific artist who has had successful shows from Florida to Las Vegas.

  • Since moving to Southport, the one word Larry Maisel always hears when people describe his adopted hometown is “quaint.”

    People from all over Brunswick County and around the state enjoy strolling downtown, browsing antique shops and eating at seafood restaurants in the small, charming town along the Cape Fear River.

    But the picturesque Southport of today is different than its early days as an industrial town, where canning plants, lumber mills, boat repair facilities and shrimp houses lined the now scenic, tourist-friendly waterfront.

  •  There are plenty of hot sunny days ahead as we head into summer. During spring of this year, we had a few days that gave us a taste of the hot days to come. With the summer approaching, here are a few Sun facts to think about next time you are in the sun getting a suntan and avoiding the dreaded over sun exposure, sunburn. Here’s to the power of the Sun.

  • ST. JAMES—The Cape Fear Repertory Theatre members waited a few more months than they originally planned, but at 8 p.m. Thursday, the company’s production of “The Sensuous Senator” will debut at the now-open-and-legal Playhouse 211 near Southport.

    Playhouse 211 is Brunswick County’s newest entertainment venue and was supposed to open for the repertory company and other interested groups to rent in January, but the owners encountered some unexpected zoning issues, resulting in a change of plans.

  • Lorie Burcham was already busy baking elaborate cakes in coastal Carolina with her thriving six-year-old business, Crumb de la Crumb.

    Then her cousin, Shane Stevens, a songwriter and fellow Brunswick County native, summoned Burcham to Nashville.

    He said she could make a lot more money crafting cakes in Music City.