• Sunset Beach Town Council members are within their rights to restrict beach cabanas as they see fit on behalf of the citizens they are elected to serve.

    But their March 5 vote to prohibit commercial cabana vendors and rental enterprises from erecting or removing cabanas for customers on the beach leaves too many residents, vacationers and business owners scratching their heads ... again.

    Some still argue that cabanas are not only unsightly, but also take up too much real estate on Sunset Beach, the smallest of Brunswick County’s beaches.

  • Carolina Shores hosted a Sunshine Week open house Tuesday morning at town hall, just as it has for the past several years.

    Sunshine Week, observed this year March 11-17, is an annual national initiative launched by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government.

    Here in the Tar Heel State, there are two sunshine laws: its open meetings law and its public records law.

  • The filing period is over for the May 8 primary and Nov. 6 general election. Filing for county Soil & Water District candidates begins at noon Monday, June 11, and is open until noon Friday, July 6, while filing for judicial candidates begins Monday, June 18, and is open until Friday, June 29. These elections are held during the general election Nov. 6.

    But we felt it appropriate to review now how the Beacon covers news about candidates.

    The Beacon does not endorse candidates. That practice will not change this year.

  • Brunswick County’s population continues to boom, spurring economic development efforts and fueling new businesses while also prompting infrastructure improvement plans to meet growth.

    Two recent requests by the North Carolina Rate Bureau threaten to bring it all to an abrupt halt.

    The bureau, which represents all companies writing property insurance in the state, filed notice in November asking for a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates for 2018.

  • Editor’s note: This editorial is republished with permission from the (Greenwood, S.C.) Index-Journal.











  • Almost a year ago, concerned citizens including local boat captains spoke before the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners, and then the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, to voice their worries about shoaling in Lockwood Folly Inlet.

    Although dredging was performed in late August and early September, it was for maintenance of the inlet, a temporary fix.

    By the time the next scheduled dredging takes place, it is likely the inlet will be as clogged as it was before — perhaps even worse.

  • T his flu season has been one of the worst in recent history. Flu activity remains high for most of the country, with some areas still rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its Jan. 26 report.

    “This is the highest level of activity recorded since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic,” the CDC’s Dr. Dan Jernigan said. “The rapid increase in cases we have been seeing after the winter holidays … is among all ages, but is higher in children.”

  • Brunswick Family Assistance, based in Shallotte, held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Monday for its office in Leland at 324-I Village Road where services are now available five days a week.

  • In less than 30 days, Brunswick County

    commissioners will decide whether to maintain opposition to seismic testing and offshore drilling. In the meantime, they are tasked with reviewing updated information about these issues.

    Last week, they reversed a July 6, 2015, county resolution that endorsed state and federal government steps to allow for offshore oil and natural gas development along the Atlantic coast.

  • West Brunswick head wrestling coach Jimmy Caraway’s career is remarkable for its longevity alone. It seems not many people these days remain in the same profession for 21 years, as he has.

    Caraway began his career as an assistant wrestling coach at Lumberton in 1995 and moved to its head coach position three years later, remaining there until he took the job as head wrestling coach at West Brunswick before the 2005-06 season.

    His tenure at West has produced a two-time individual state champion in Harrison Campbell and several regional and state qualifiers.

  • A few days ahead of 2018’s arrival, the

    National Weather Service predicted every part of Brunswick County would receive at least an inch of snow and likely a little ice from the effects of a bomb cyclone expected to slam into the East Coast beginning the afternoon of Jan. 3.

    While Leland, Belville and surrounding areas saw as many as five inches of snow, other communities closer to the Atlantic Ocean and to South Carolina saw nary a flake.

  • A week before Christmas, a child in the

    central part of our state became the first child flu fatality for the 2017-18 flu season, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were nine pediatric flu deaths in the United States as of Dec. 16. It said almost half of all children who die from flu or complications related to it have no known medical condition that puts them at higher risk.

  • Almost every week, the Brunswick County Criminal District Court docket is chock-full of driving while impaired charges.

    Of the DWI collisions that made headlines in the Beacon in the past year, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol reported four as fatal, including a Dec. 10 crash in Supply.

  • 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.

    “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

    “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’

    “Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

  • Brunswick County’s economic development leadership has been in a state of flux for too long.

    In 2015, following an examination of discrepancies revealed during the budgeting process and subsequent resignation of every member of the Economic Development Commission’s board, county commissioners dissolved the EDC, made economic development a county department and put it under the auspices of the county planning department.

  • We do not know the cause of the blaze that destroyed a Navassa residence this past weekend, but we know the risk of household fires increases when temperatures outside drop.

    Last month, the Office of the State Fire Marshal urged all North Carolinians to check their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they function properly. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half,” N.C. Department of Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey said.

  • This Friday, Brunswick County will begin accepting applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, or LIEAP. The annual program provides a one-time annual vendor payment to help impoverished households offset winter heating expenses.

    It also serves to remind us that while we are preparing to celebrate the holidays, many of our neighbors are struggling to survive.

    Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday and Cyber Monday were followed this past week by Giving Tuesday, a day meant to encourage charitable giving across the globe in the season of goodwill.

  • Nov. 25 will make the seventh anniversary of Shop Small Saturday, which follows Black Friday and precedes Cyber Monday and was established through the efforts of the U.S. Small Business Administration and American Express.

  • The story of an embezzlement scheme that began more than 17 years ago has finally ended in a court of law.

    Harry Simmons, former Caswell Beach mayor and chairman of the Brunswick Beaches Consortium, was sentenced to serve at least six years in prison, with credit for time served, after pleading guilty Nov. 8 to embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense.

  • Union Elementary School received national attention recently, and for one of the best reasons: On Oct. 26, the school in Shallotte was named the 2017 North Carolina National Title I Distinguished School.

    Union principal Vickie Smith said a Title I school is one where more than half of the student population applies for and receives free or reduced lunch. She said Union has about 63 percent who apply for it.