• 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.


    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.


    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.


    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.

  • SHALLOTTE—Imagine a life with no phone, no money, no computer, no food and no shelter.

    For 24 hours, starting this Friday, Brunswick Family Assistance will take 15 people from the community and strip them of everything they own.

    They will be placed in a homeless village and will live as homeless people in Brunswick County.

    The Homeless Village is a way for BFA to bring attention to poverty and homelessness in the county, said Carol Phelps, executive director.

  • “Bottoms up” this time of year might cause a person to think about an October fest party and tippin’ back your favorite brew. And this time of year a person may also consider an astronomical bottom, which is just as nice as an ice-cold brew.
    The moon seems extra bright this time of year, and as a bonus, you can view the king of the planets right next to it this week.

  • VARNAMTOWN—With the 57th anniversary of Hurricane Hazel coming up this weekend, Marlene Varnam has a priceless memento to help her remember.

    Tucked in a room of her house is a pinewood chest-of-drawers that her late husband, Carson Varnam, salvaged from the Lockwood Folly River when Hazel wrought her destruction on North Carolina on Oct. 15, 1954.



    Marlissa Dillon is a 21-year cancer survivor. She is not defined by this but inspired by the strength and courage she sees in other survivors and those just learning about their illness and those going through treatments.

    Marlissa is a mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She is also a performer, business owner and entrepreneur. Many years ago, Marlissa opened a day spa called Marlissa and Company in Calabash.

  • ASH—Scott Spencer strides into the ring, releasing his hold on his latest equine student who proceeds to trot circles around him.

    The horse, a petite, dun-hued gelding named Postell, comes from a rare, historic bloodline. Postell is a Carolina Marsh Tacky, an agile breed that’s become the state horse of South Carolina, centuries after aiding Revolutionary War hero Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion.

  • The most important decision you make for your pet
    Pet owners and veterinarians are always looking for that one tip, trick or advancement that will help pets live longer, healthier lives. Me, too. And I found it.
    The most important decision you make each day for your pet is what you feed it. Same goes for us. Of all the variables in life we can control, diet and nutrition have the greatest influence on health. Want your pet to live longer? Feed it well. You want to be functional well into your eighties? Start with how you’re fueling your body.