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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Many who take to the water are planning to observe Safe Boating Week, scheduled for May 20-26 this year.

    This observance is part of the North American Safe Boating Campaign called Ready, Set, Wear It! It is a yearlong effort in the United States and Canada “focused on spreading the message of boating safety and the critical importance of always wearing a life jacket each and every time on the water,” according to a news release from the North Strand Sail and Power Squadron based in Little River, S.C.

  • Last week, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners agreed to pay half the cost — $2,857,000 — for a building to expand nursing and medical assisting program classrooms at Brunswick Community College.

  • Leland officials announced the town intends to acquire the Leland Volunteer/Fire Rescue Department by July 1.

    LVFRD has not been operating under the auspices of the town of Leland; rather, it has been its own entity, operating as a volunteer nonprofit since 1958 to provide fire protection, rescue services and emergency medical care.

  • When a team from AdvancED, a national nonprofit that accredits primary and secondary schools throughout the United States, came to Brunswick County to assess the public school district in 2012, its findings revealed communication breakdowns at almost every level.

    The results also helped establish a foundation for improvement.

    Now, five years later, it seems Brunswick County Schools have not only strengthened that foundation, but also built upon it.

  • Last month, at least a half dozen people including local boat captains attended a Holden Beach Board of Commissioners meeting to share concerns they have about the Lockwood Folly Inlet, which needs to be dredged, and soon.

  • Sunset Beach annexed property where Sunset Creek Commons was built, on the town’s mainland, nine years ago at its owners’ request.

    Now its current developer, Holly Smith, wants it back out of the town because of what she claims are exorbitant inspection fees.

    Instead of taking the matter to court, as most people would have to do, Smith has called upon Sen. Bill Rabon — again — to make it happen.

  • So many problems in our society can be traced to the same roots: a lack of resources, a lack of options, a lack of assistance, and, perhaps worst of all, a lack of hope, along with an overabundance of pain and suffering. All have to be addressed in order for these problems to be eradicated.

    But before any of that can happen, the problems must be acknowledged.

    Those who work in the health, law enforcement and social services professions have been on the front lines of fighting our community’s heroin and opiate drug epidemic since it began.

  • side from becoming eyesores and creating dangerous obstacles for currents, aquatic creatures and other watercraft, abandoned boats can pollute waterways with leftover fuel, oil, battery acid and other hazardous chemicals.

    A lack of environmental consciousness has not been the only reason so many have left their boats behind to rot in our waters. In fact, the main cause likely has been a lack of repercussions or deterrents within Brunswick County ordinances.