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Features

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    SHALLOTTE—A local filmmaker and West Brunswick High School alumni is giving back to her alma mater.

    Sheena Vaught graduated from UNCW in December 2011 with a major in film studies. Now in the midst of creating two documentaries to air on ATMC in March, she is lending a hand to the WBHS theater and arts department and introducing students to new skills and acting opportunities.

    Vaught and WBHS students are in production for “Midnight Cry.”

  • BOLIVIA—They have everything a weight-loss endeavor could need—personal trainers, a nutritionist, plus three months’ free membership at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness & Aquatics Center.

    The center’s latest BFIT crew launched last week with initial meetings with the center’s personal trainers and nutritionist Cheryle Jones Syracuse.

    BFIT is an acronym representing four missions—Believe in yourself. Focus on your goals. Improve your lifestyle. Train to achieve your dream.

  • Line-dancing aficionados should get in line.

    Starting this Sunday, Feb. 19, country line and partner dancing are slated to launch as part of the “Get Hooked on Dancin’” program at Silver Coast Winery.

    The Sunday-afternoon sessions start at 2:30 p.m. with beginners’ dance lessons, followed by dancing from 3-6 p.m. with an additional partner line dance lesson. The Sunday dances will continue on March 11 and March 18.

  • SHALLOTTE—It’s large enough to be competitive in large metropolitan cities, but it calls Shallotte home.

    “I had no idea how large your business was” is a phrase often heard by Coastal Printing & Graphics Inc. owners Jimmy and Melody Bellamy.

    The print shop on Village Road is deceiving from the outside. Inside the building extends to house a large-scale commercial printing business that just recently expanded its capacity.

  • SUNSET BEACH—Jim Williams shows a black-and-white photo of a small group of children standing outside a small schoolhouse.

    That’s a picture taken of him when he was in the third grade back in Pennsylvania, he said.

    The Sunset Beach resident keeps it on hand to remind him how far he’s come since his early, humble beginnings at the one-room school near Ligonier, Pa., about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

  • In his 83 years of living, Miller Pope has grown up feisty and adventurous in the South, earned a living and hobnobbed with the upper echelon in the North, and published a book to tell all about it.

    The longtime Ocean Isle Beach artist, entrepreneur and writer has commemorated his multi-faceted life in his latest book, “Confessions of a MadMan: From Madison Avenue to Island Sands,” available at local bookstores and online.

    Though most of his books are heavy-laden with his art, especially about pirates, this one is a little different.

  • SUNSET BEACH—A day of fellowship and faith dedicated to only women is in the works at Seaside United Methodist Church.

    The church’s women’s group is preparing for the 4th annual Women’s Day by the Sea, a spiritual event for women. This year for the first time organizers are not only from Seaside UMC.

  • Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. is regrouping and preparing for a productive year with a new executive director at the helm.

    In October Michael David-Wilson, executive director, left BSRI citing a difference in management philosophy.

    Board member Jim Fish volunteered to step in and serve as interim executive director for 30 days. He is still in the position while the hiring committee makes a decision as to who will fill the position on a permanent basis.

  • 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.