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Opinion

  • 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.

  • History has taught us not to let our guard down during hurricane season, which is in full swing with fall’s arrival. This year marks the anniversaries of four of the most devastating storms to strike our community in the past century.
    Many can still remember exactly what they were doing just before Hurricane Hazel made landfall 60 years ago Oct. 15 as a Category 4 storm at the Carolinas’ state line. Hazel killed 95 people in the United States and 100 more in Canada.

  • Nearly all of us have done it: A friend, a family member or a coworker mentioned he is suffering from a headache or muscle sprain or anxiety attack, and you offered him a pill from one of your personal prescriptions — not because you meant to break the law, but because you did not want to see someone suffer pain.

    If you were lucky, that is as far as it went, a one-time solution to an immediate problem. But even if you not realize it, chances are you know someone who is addicted and needs help.

  • Service as an elected official requires a certain degree of sacrifice. Apparently, Brunswick County Board of Education members forgot that when they tried to give themselves a raise Aug. 28.

    It is difficult to believe, given their combined 57 years on the board, they did not know only the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners can give them a raise.

    It is astounding that they would try this in a year when teachers across the state had to fight so hard to secure an average 7 percent salary increase from the General Assembly.

  • Most Americans can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing 13 years ago today. At the same time, for many of us, the day was a blur.

    The day we simply call 9/11, now observed as Patriot Day, was marked by four separate but coordinated attacks that established this timeline:

    Hijackers crashed the first plane into the World Trade Center’s North Tower in New York City at 8:46 a.m.

    The second hijacked plane hit the South Tower at 9:03 a.m.

    The third hijacked plane struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., at 9:37 a.m.

  • On the surface, Venus flytrap poaching may seem like a victimless crime. The valuable vegetation adapts to being held in captivity as a houseplant, after all. But the reason lawmakers pushed this year to make stealing the plants from their native land — which includes Brunswick County — a felony is because our heritage is the true victim of this crime.

  • Two news items in this edition are cause for concern.
    One is the report that the North Carolina House defeated a bill last week that could have secured economic development funding linked to Brunswick County’s effort to bring a new business into one of its industrial parks.
    The other is the report that the Brunswick County school district has lost 181 of its 840 teachers in the past school year.

  • 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.