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Opinion

  • Sunset Beach town leaders are pushing for a change to allow swimming pools on the oceanfront.

    The change is on a list of proposed Unified Development Ordinance amendments reviewed by the Sunset Beach Planning Board at its Aug. 7 meeting. The proposal is to add swimming pools as a permitted use in all town zoning districts except mainland business MB2, which could pave the way for a public swimming pool.

  • Traveling along our roads lately has become more treacherous thanks to persistent rainy weather. It creates an added risk in Brunswick County, where it seems motorists are surrounded by waterways at all times.

    Although water is often visible on the surface of the road during and after a heavy rainfall, what motorists do not or cannot see is where the real danger lies.

  • While every month seems to be designated as the official observance for a particular cause, we would like to call attention to August as American Artist Appreciation Month.

  • This time next year, Brunswick County Schools will likely have a new superintendent.

    We hope that person matches Edward Pruden’s caliber. While we have not agreed with everything he has done during his tenure as the school district’s leader for the past four years, it is obvious he genuinely cares about students and their success. It is the most important character trait a school system leader should have.

  • It might have been easier for Edward Mannon Gore to simply live in the shadow of his father, who founded the town where he spent most of his life.

    Instead, Ed Gore chose to not only build upon the legacy of Mannon C. Gore, but also leave his own mark on Sunset Beach, Brunswick County and North Carolina.

    After graduating from what is now East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, the Longwood native served our county in the Air Force where he monitored Russian radio transmissions during the Cold War before returning home.

  • Any journalist with an ounce of compassion does not delight in reporting an event like the death of former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett.

    Hewett’s story is familiar to most long-time residents. When he first became sheriff in 1994 at age 31, he was the youngest to be elected to the office in North Carolina. Hewett’s leadership heralded a new era for the sheriff’s office, which was stinging from Herman Strong’s resignation following his conviction on federal drug-smuggling and conspiracy charges.

  • According to the American Pet Care Products Association, people are expected to spend more than $58 billion on their pets this year alone. And regardless of whether they are millionaires or living on the street, most people these days treat their pets as members of the family.

    People were not as educated about spaying or neutering their pets as they are now. They did not understand that not only did it spare their four-legged friends from life-threatening illnesses and improve their quality of life, but it also reduced the number of strays who become homeless nuisances.

  • Consider how life could be without the freedom we enjoy as Americans.

    We know citizens in North Korea, for example, live under a totalitarian regime that deliberately keeps them ignorant of world affairs. Many of us have read about Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, the pregnant woman sentenced to death in Sudanese court for renouncing Islam. Fewer of us may know that Buddhist extremists are driving Rohingya Muslims out of Myanmar with threats and acts of violence.

  • While Wilmington serves as the setting for most of the movie and television productions in North Carolina, several cross the New Hanover County border and make their way into our community.

  • All seems forgiven between West Brunswick High School Principal Brock Ahrens and Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Edward Pruden.

    Ahrens rescinded his resignation at Pruden’s request in a choreographed scene during commencement exercises Saturday, June 14, that bore little resemblance to the meeting before the West Brunswick High faculty and staff less than 24 hours earlier.

  • Last month, a bill was introduced in the General Assembly to ensure public records laws that apply to the state’s public schools include charter schools.

    Last week, that proposed bill was altered in the Senate education committee to “remove the provision that the charter school and its board of directors are subject to public records and open meetings laws.”

  • We in Brunswick County pride ourselves on the tranquility of our beaches, which are the destinations of so many every summer. In fact, our tourism development authority’s marketing slogan touts our community as offering “more beach for your blanket.”

    The prospect of enjoying peace, calm and quiet along the shore is what draws most people to our area every season.

    And yet we are holding our collective breaths that this summer proves to be far less eventful than last when four people lost their lives in rip currents in less than 36 hours.

  • Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, and despite what the calendar shows, summer is under way in Brunswick County.

    That means balmy weather, lots of recreational activities and festivals for residents and vacationers — and the return of a huge increase in traffic on our roadways as visitors flock to our community.

    Careless and impaired drivers are hazards at any time of year, but odds are their numbers will increase exponentially based on the sheer number of motorists in our area at this time of year.

  • What was intended to be an adjustment to improve student performance and maintain efficiency turned into a scheduling debacle for Brunswick County Schools for a third consecutive year.

  • On Friday, May 9, Brunswick Community College Board of Trustees Chairman John Jones likened life as a college graduate to riding the waves of the ocean.

    We think the same analogy applies to high school graduates, as students from West, North and South Brunswick high schools prepare for that transition this time next month.

  • Anytime student athletes step onto a field, a court or a track, they place themselves at risk.

    With all the benefits sports provide — such as the reinforcement of the values of discipline, teamwork, leadership and responsibility, the development of confidence and serving as an outlet for their energy — the potential for injury always exists.

  • The day of the 2014 primary election, Tuesday, May 6, is almost upon us, but voting is already under way for six contested seats and an advisory referendum on a proposed quarter-cent Brunswick County sales and use tax.

    The purpose of the primary is to nominate a candidate to represent a political party in the Nov. 4 general election.

  • The relatively young Brunswick County town of Leland is experiencing a growth spurt, as reflected in the many building projects under way.

    Town staff and police are in the process of moving into a wing of the long-awaited new town hall.

    An 18,000-square-foot building that sits off U.S. 17, at 1212 Magnolia Village Way, is being transformed into a highly anticipated cultural arts center. Plans are being finalized for a much-needed new senior center. And work has begun to create the first public water access at Sturgeon Creek Park.

  • On Thursday, a jury of 53-year-old Richard Hugh Grissett’s Brunswick County peers convicted him of first-degree murder and other charges related to the Nov. 12, 2012, slaying of 86-year-old Linnie Mae Ward.

    Under state law, Judge Wayland Sermons had no choice but to order Grissett to spend the rest of his life in prison with no possibility of being released.

  • Just when you think controversies in the southwest end of Brunswick County have come to an end, or at least quieted down, another one is raised — this time, on a flagpole.

    Less than a handful of Beacon readers have called and commented — under condition of anonymity, naturally — about the Chinese flag now flying at Sea Trail in Sunset Beach. All of the calls and comments have been negative.