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Features

  • For three local families the need for the new SECU Hospice House of Brunswick County is close to home.

    Beryl Hall, Pamela Brown and Amy Davis all know the comforts provided through a hospice life care facility.

    Hall’s mother suffered a severe stroke in December 2008. The family was told it was unlikely she would recover. They found comfort in the transition through the Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter in Wilmington.

    “They were wonderful and very caring of my mother, my sisters and myself,” Hall said.

  • CALABASH—It started with assorted social gatherings, accompanied by delicious hors d’oeuvres.

     

    Whenever Sunset River Marketplace gallery stages an artsy gala or artist debut, inevitably patrons will ask who provided the tasty food.

     

    “We do it here,” gallery owner Ginny Lassiter said. “So we kind of jokingly started saying, ‘The Gallery Gals.’”

     

  • CALABASH—Lydia’s is a colorful shop offering a little bit of everything.

    That’s the way business partners Lydia McMurray, Alice Rayner and Eileen Pelehaty planned it when they located to the Lowcountry Stores complex here in the Seafood Capital last August.

    They first met at Everything Under the Sun Flea Market in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    “Eileen is still in there,” McMurray said, standing inside her namesake shop last week with Rayner.

  • Author Tom Rieber loves a good mystery, especially when it involves his protagonist, Nick Thomas.

    The Brunswick County writer recently unveiled his second book and latest mystery, “Devil’s Parody,” a thriller centered around Rieber’s main character, Thomas, as he goes face-to-face with a reclusive sociopath in the remote Vermont woods, “where he is conducting a deadly experiment into the gambler’s mind,” according to promotional material about the book.

  • A Christmas sky show from east to west, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
    A learned stargazer can see a manger with two donkeys, three kings following a bright star and two shepherds. If those images were not enough, a cross is visible and with the help of a telescope a Christmas tree is visible.
    All you need is a star chart and a constellation book about the culture beliefs of star images. Remember Greek and Roman mythology are not the only narratives about the stars.

  • SHALLOTTE—Cinnamon pecans are tucked in the oven, while visions of chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies and English toffee dance in Catherine Cheatham’s head.

    At 13, the Shallotte Middle School seventh-grader already knows what she wants to be when she grows up. She wants to own her bakery—Butterbean’s Bakery, to be precise—since she already has a name for it.

    For now, she’s getting in lots of preparation and practice as she bakes for her family and teachers for the holidays.

  • Constructed of fiberboard, the foundation of the mobile home was dissolving. The children had to walk over a plank to get to their rooms.

    Maggie Williams, a Shallotte woman raising three grandchildren in her mobile home, needed help to repair the hole in the floor, so she turned to WARM, Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry Inc.

    WARM is a nonprofit that makes homes safer for low-income homeowners, many of whom are elderly or disabled.

    And WARM knew just who to ask for help in Brunswick County.

  • LITTLE RIVER, S.C.—Along N.C. 179 just south of Calabash, passersby were doing double-takes—and then stopping to double-check.

    Was that a giant tortoise they just saw moving at a steady clip near the roadside?

    Yup, it was.

    People braking for the spectacle and stopping to get a closer look on a recent Sunday soon learned it was just Sunset Beach resident Randy Gallagher taking a few of his eight tortoises out for a slow-but-sure walk.

  • CALABASH—Greenware is drying on racks as pottery artist Vivian Swanson, seated at a sketching table, etches a mermaid into a wet, flat piece of clay she plans to fire and glaze into a plaque in the near future.

    Janet Archambault, owner of this pottery-crafting place called Stay Centered Studio, shows off assorted creative-ware made by local ceramics artists, from glazed plates, bowls and vases to still-life fruit and face-masks, called “green men,” suitable for decorating trees.

  • SHALLOTTE—Heather Menzel, a U.S. History teacher at South Brunswick High School from Shallotte, was a contestant on last Wednesday’s episode of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” 

    Menzel made it all the way up to the $250,000 question.

    She successfully navigated her way through round one of the game (questions 1-10) and went on to round two (questions 11-14) with an accumulated “Millionaire” bank of $68,500. She had one lifeline left.

  • SUNSET BEACH—Barney, a 6-year-old black chow/lab mix, rested faithfully at the feet of his new owner, 91-year-old World War II veteran Joseph Modica.

    More than just a loyal pet, Barney is a service dog attuned to the health needs of Modica, who turns 92 next January.

    “He’s our baby,” Mary Modica said, running her hand across Barney’s dark fur as they sat in their living room with the helpful dog they received about four months ago from Rick Kaplan with Canine Angels of North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

  • Aesop’s Fables come to life in debut performances this weekend when the Stagestruck Players re-enact them and set them to music at Playhouse 211.

    Stagestruck Players, the youth division of Brunswick Little Theatre, will present debut performances of “Fabulous Fable Factory,” a musical rendition of the stories historically renowned in literature for the morals they convey.

    Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 11-12, and the following weekend, Nov. 18-19, with 3 p.m. matinees this Sunday, Nov. 13, and the following Sunday, Nov. 20.

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    SHALLOTTE—Former students and teachers returned to the old Sunnyside School at 221 Village Road last week to begin a new chapter for the building.

    Students and teachers were joined by past mayors, Save Old Sunnyside committee members, members of the Brunswick County Board of Education, Brunswick County Schools representatives, the mayor and aldermen for a ribbon cutting reception.

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH—There is something spooky lurking outside. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?

    Not if you live in Brunswick County.

    If you live here—or are visiting—you may want to call Will and Allison Smith of Ocean Isle Beach. They have been tracking and researching the county’s ghost sightings, legends and lore for several years.

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    SUPPLY—When Betty Lou West heard her doctor diagnose her with cancer, she closed her ears.

    She didn’t want to hear any more. She knew her course of action and told her doctor not to tell her the type of cancer or the stage.

    “When I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 1967, the doctor knew I wouldn’t take treatment,” West said.

  •  SHALLOTTE—There is nothing that can break Gloria Childress’ passion and zest for life—not even breast cancer.

    “I am a fighter,” Childress said. “You have to believe you can beat it or else it has already beaten you.”

    Childress’ spirit has not been broken by her more than eight-year fight. She is an inspiration to others and lives each day with a renewed determination.

    In August 2003 Childress was vacationing in the Bahamas when she felt a knot under her armpit.

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    There is going to be a party and the entire county is invited.

    Relay for Life of Brunswick County is kicking off events for 2012 Relay for Life with a Carnival for a Cure party at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center.

    At the helm of this year’s executive committee are Alicia Sides, Gloria Childress, Melissa Yow and Dee Carlisle. This is the group’s first year working together and they hope to spread Relay awareness.

  • SUPPLY—Paula Deen breezed into Brunswick County this past Saturday, charming locals and out-of-towners as the Georgia-born cooking star took part in a scholarship fundraiser for Brunswick Community College.

    “Hello, y’all,” the Food Network star greeted upon entering a $500-per-person VIP luncheon in the Virginia Williamson Event Center of Odell Williamson Auditorium, attended by a limited guest group of 60.

  • OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Promptly at noon Sunday, festival-goers stood in judgment as they lined up to sample eight creative concoctions at the annual oyster stew cook-off at the North Carolina Oyster Festival.

    Set up beneath a tent were eight competing restaurants and chefs stirring up their respective stews. The competition was hot—and possibly spicy, with a variety of ingredients complementing one shared, central component at the annual festival—delectable oysters.

  •  SUPPLY/SHALLOTTE—No, it wasn’t your imagination. A man dressed as Jesus was walking down N.C. 130 on Tuesday.

    Drivers on N.C. 130 from Supply to Shallotte had to slow as three men dressed as Biblical figures walked more than 5 miles to raise awareness for the upcoming Men at the Cross conference and prayer event.