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Opinion

  • It was last June when Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO approached Leland Town Council about rezoning property on Chappel Loop Road so it could become the site of a reverse osmosis plant. In July, H2GO officials took Leland council members and Mayor Brenda Bozeman on a tour of such a plant in Kill Devil Hills so they could see firsthand what H2Go’s plant would be like.

    The Leland board ultimately denied the request based on public misgivings over potential chemical, noise and light pollution and other disruptions to residential areas.

  • Once upon a time, Shallotte might have been called a sleepy little Brunswick County town. Those days are over.

  • The heart became a symbol of St. Valentine’s Day, traditionally celebrated every Feb. 14, centuries ago in many countries. Fifty-one years ago, the United States took the symbol a step further by observing all of February as American Heart Month in an effort to promote better health.

  • While officials are examining the potential for retail and other economic growth in Brunswick County using up-to-date data and input from residents as well as visitors, it is important to remember the overwhelming majority of the county’s employers are small businesses.

    The development of those entrepreneurial endeavors, here and across the Tar Heel State, have been supported for the past three decades by the Small Business Center (SBC) Network of the North Carolina Community College System.

  • The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners is trying to determine how to proceed on upgrades to five of the county’s 13 parks without incurring debt or raising taxes.

    The process thus far has been pay-as-you go, with planned improvements to Town Creek, Waccamaw, Smithville District, Shallotte District and Ocean Isle Beach being ranked on the county’s yearly capital improvement plan (CIP). But not even a month into 2015, commissioners are quibbling over which of those parks should get first dibs on available funds.

  • Most of the nation — including North Carolina — is in the throes of a flu epidemic, according to the latest map by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The situation is serious enough that it prompted Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center to ask those who are not patients and younger than 18 to stay out of its facilities for now. New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington soon followed suit, enacting a similar policy prohibiting those 12 and younger from visiting its locations.

  • Brunswick County is looking at its first major cold snap of the year this week, with nighttime temperatures expected to drop to as low as 17 degrees.

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we are unlikely to experience a repeat of the early 2014 deep freeze that coated our area with a thick layer of ice. One caveat: The winter forecast favors below-average temperatures in southeastern states.

  • Too many efforts to make Brunswick County roads and bridges safer and more convenient are posing serious risks and creating major hardships as we enter a new year.

    Some discomfort is to be expected during times of change, as indicated by endless clichés like “no pain, no gain” and “you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”

    But some projects under way by the North Carolina Department of Transportation seem to have given little thought to the people who live, work and travel here.

  • Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.

  • Brunswick County Schools are working hard to establish more digital learning environments for students, although the glitches they have encountered thus far have little to do with technology.

    The inability to keep pace with statewide and national trends not only affects student learning, but also the school system’s bottom line.

  • Most of us would think twice before dropping $35,000 on a new vehicle or $350,00 on a new home. We would do some research to make sure we were getting a fair deal on a sound investment and take time to carefully consider all options before agreeing to a final price.

  • About 6 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, volunteers gathered at Shallotte Presbyterian Church to prepare holiday suppers for those in the community who receive Meals On Wheels. Offered through Brunswick Senior Resources Inc., Meals On Wheels volunteers deliver hot meals to adults 60 and older who are homebound or at BSRI senior centers and sites throughout the county. The volunteers took time out of their holiday with their own families and friends to make sure their neighbors would not go without participating in the traditional feast.

  • The revival of Shallotte’s once-bustling riverwalk, as well as the development of other properties central to the town’s vision plan, is progressing at a steady pace.

    At its regular meeting earlier this month, the Shallotte Board of Aldermen approved the acquisition, sources of funding and contracts to buy properties on Cheers and Wall streets.

    This essentially completes the property purchases necessary for the town’s riverfront project, an idea first proposed in 2008 as part of Shallotte’s vision plan.

  • The decision by the majority of the Brunswick County Board of Education to terminate Superintendent Dr. Edward Pruden’s contract is bad enough.

    But the inaccessibility of those three members — Shirley Babson, Catherine Cooke and newly re-elected Charlie Miller — in the immediate aftermath makes it much worse.

    After the decision was announced following a special-called meeting Nov. 12, Babson, Cooke and Miller bolted from the board’s meeting room at the Brunswick County Schools Administrative Offices in Bolivia.

  • United States veterans are traditionally honored at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, the latter of which is the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.

    Originally, in 1938, Congress made Nov. 11 Armistice Day, a legal holiday celebrating world peace and honoring World War I veterans. In 1954, Congress amended that act to make the holiday Veterans Day, honoring American veterans of all wars. After some confusion over what date the holiday should be observed, however, Veterans Day again was designated as Nov. 11 in 1978.

  • Election Day 2014 is over. Now the time has come to plan the next steps for local, state and federal government officials who have been elected to serve us.

    Those steps could not be possible without the people who have already taken the first, most important step in our democratic process: voters.

  • This week, schools in and around Brunswick County are observing what’s commonly called Red Ribbon Week, which is taking place this year Oct. 23-31. Cedar Grove Middle School in Supply, for one, will have a mini flag football game Thursday, Oct. 30, with staff, students and members of the Wilmington Tigers Semi-Pro Football Team as part of their celebration.

  • Halloween is a holiday meant to be equal parts fun and frightening for all who observe it, but celebrations have the potential to turn tragic. Whether participating in traditional trick-or-treating with children or costumed revelry with adults, it is important to be safe and responsible.

  • If Brunswick County were to ever to become the home of a theme park, the type Rube McMullan plans to make a reality is the ideal kind.

    McMullan is using a parcel along the Shallotte River he purchased from First Bank as the springboard for what he hopes will become Shallotte River Swamp Park, opening by May 1, 2015.