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Opinion

  • Even before Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma wrought their devastation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season has the potential to be extremely active — maybe the most active since 2010. In the first nine weeks of the 2017 season, which runs through Nov. 30, there were six named storms — twice as many as would typically form by early August.

  • Gov. Roy Cooper on June 30 signed Senate Bill 155, called the “brunch bill” because it allows the sale of alcoholic beverages starting at 10 a.m. Sundays with local government approval, into law.

    The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association lobbied hard for passage of the bill, touted by its sponsors as an added boost to the state’s hospitality and tourism industries.

  • Tragedies have dominated the news as summer draws to a close.

    We mourn Edward Michael Mylod and his teenage son, Casey Mylod, who died in a fire at their Oak Island home Aug. 24. We share collective dismay that the Coast Guard had to call off its search for Steve Chaney and David Hambrick, cousins who went missing Aug. 27 while fishing off the coast of Oak Island.

  • Classes for the 2017-18 school year just kicked off this past Monday for most Brunswick County schools, but already students and teachers can expect to harvest the fruits of success that took root during the inaugural Teacher Academy.

    Brunswick County Board of Education member John Thompson planted the seed for the program last fall to address three issues: teacher pay, accountability for student performance and changes in the educational system.

  • For all the questions in recent weeks surrounding the Waterfront Market at Sunset Beach in Sunset Beach Town Park, certain details are clear.

    No one dislikes the market.

    No one wants it to be discontinued.

    No one believes Waterway Markets LLC, consisting of market managers Chris Wilson, Susan Bradford and Carol Corbett and market partner Emily Shea, does a poor job of operating the market.

    No one has said Wilson, Bradford, Corbett and Shea are bad people; rather, they are viewed as savvy businesswomen.

  • The first day of classes for Brunswick County Schools students is not until Aug. 28, which means it is not too late to prepare for the start of the 2017-18 school year.

    Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram provides important safety tips for motorists to follow all year round, not just when school is in session, in his Sheriff’s Corner column this week. Following is a compendium of other helpful back-to-school hints we found.

    For parents, from the U.S. Department of Education:

  • This past weekend, the North Carolina Coastal Federation recognized Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis with a Pelican Award for his work on Kerr-McGee wood treatment Superfund site cleanup “that benefits the entire coast and state of North Carolina.” The plant, which operated from the 1930s to the 1970s, shut down in 1980. Creosote and sludge left on the site entered the marshes adjacent to the Brunswick River and Sturgeon Creek, which flow into the Cape Fear River.

  • Last month, members of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to transform the South Brunswick Island Center into the new Hickmans Crossroads Library.

    The county will take possession of the SBIC (not to be confused with the South Brunswick Interchurch Council) from Brunswick Community College in January, having agreed May 1 to buy it from the college for $1.7 million. The price reflects its listed tax value for 2015, but County Manager Ann Hardy said a much more recent rough estimate for the current value is about $1.2 million.

  • When members of the Coast Guard typically make the news in Brunswick County, it is because they have come to the rescue of distressed swimmers and boaters, or because they are assisting local agencies with searches in and along our waterways.

    The members of Coast Guard Auxiliaries and Flotillas are just as active in our county, most notably for offering free vessel safety checks and reminding us about the importance of wearing life vests on personal watercraft and boats of all sizes.

  • The fundamental purpose of newspapers has been to cultivate an informed readership. Regardless of political leanings, newspapers at their core are champions of the public’s right to know about the issues and events affecting their lives.

  • This year’s Independence Day fireworks in Calabash were preceded by activities for children, including faith painting and a dunk tank, to make the annual event even more family-friendly. These additions not only helped kids blow off a little steam on a humid evening, but also encouraged them to participate in playtime.

  • As Navassa prepares to celebrate its 36th annual Homecoming this weekend, residents continue to cope with the environmental aftermath of a former creosote plant in their community since it closed just a year before the event was established.

    Creosote, which is made by distilling coal tar at extremely high heat, is used to preserve wood and commonly used on utility poles. It was produced on a 250-acre site by the Brunswick River and Sturgeon Creek for more than 40 years before the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp. shuttered it in 1980.

  • As we prepare to celebrate our nation’s independence, we expect to see red, white and blue, starred and striped decorations throughout our community.

    The sight of the U.S. flag inspires passionate feelings about the freedoms we enjoy and emotions tend to run high where its proper display is concerned.

    The U.S. Flag Code is the ultimate reference for presenting our nation’s colors with reverence.

    Among its highlights:

  • It is almost unheard of these days to remain with the same employer for more than a decade, let alone an entire career. Rodney Gause could have made headlines for that alone when he announced his retirement from Shallotte earlier this year after 35 years. But Gause spent each of those years with the police department, the last 29 as chief, making his tenure with the town remarkable.

    To hear Gause tell it, he was destined to work in law enforcement. It is all he said he ever wanted to do for a living, and to serve his hometown in that capacity made it extra special.

  • Summer safety tips often revolve around seasonal risks like rip currents, hurricanes, flooding, sharks and fireworks, and other activities like holiday travel and outdoor grilling. But lightning is often overlooked, despite its common occurrence and the devastating consequences it has.

  • As our streets become more crowded with vehicles during the summer tourist season, which is well under way, it seems parking problems throughout Brunswick County are either coming to light or being exacerbated.

    In the northern part of the county, Leland continues to grapple with parking three years after plans began in earnest to address it.

  • Local residents, as well as vacationers, braved the midday sun to stand in support of clean beaches May 21. Four of the 11 North Carolina Hands Across the Sand events were held in Brunswick County.

    Participants stood in long lines for 15 minutes starting at noon at Sunset Beach (pictured), Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Oak Island. The largest gathering was at Sunset Beach, where almost 200 people formed a chain down the beach flanked by signs reading, “Protect Our Coast” and “No Drill NC.”

  • Five local teams have given Brunswick County plenty of reasons to cheer this spring.

    First, there are the North Brunswick High School boys and girls track and field teams, who each repeated as North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A Region champions May 13.

  • Hands Across the Sand events in Oak Island (pictured), Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach took place at noon Saturday, May 21. Sponsored by Oceana, Hands Across the Sand is meant to send a clear message to protect our coast from offshore drilling and seismic airgun blasting.

  • As the General Assembly continues work to craft a 2017-18 fiscal year budget, its members are considering whether to change the way sales taxes are distributed — again.

    It seems some lawmakers have pitched various incarnations of essentially the same legislation for the past three years in a row.