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Opinion

  • 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.

  • Voting is a right too many citizens continue to take for granted in our country.

    It is a right that was not granted to people of color, including former slaves, until 1870.

    It was not granted to women until 1920.

    It has been one of the rights for which our military services members fought to protect, just as much as the ideals the American flag symbolizes, just as much our right to freedom of speech and peaceful protest.

  • October is observed annually as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but this societal ill knows no season.

    Here in Brunswick County, we are fortunate to have a resource like Hope Harbor Home helping to address, treat and eradicate the problem. Since it was established in 1988, Hope Harbor has offered round-the-clock response to domestic violence victims and their children. It operates a shelter that is staffed at all times and can house as many as 15 women and children.

  • The North Carolina Department of Transportation last week issued its annual autumn warning about the increased chance for deer-vehicle collisions.

    It happened to a member of our Beacon staff Sunday; thankfully, she and her passenger were unscathed and the deer that had jumped in front of her pickup bounded away, but not before it caused about $2,000 in damage.

  • By now, most are aware of the growing opioid epidemic in Brunswick County. Opioids cover a range of highly addictive substances including prescription painkillers, synthetic opioids and black tar heroin, and are abused by no specific age group, class, gender or race.

  • We have barely begun October, which is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and hundreds of generous people throughout our community have already contributed to the cause in some way.

    Last Wednesday, Sept. 27, Sandpiper Bay Golf and Country Club finished hosting its 10th Annual Pretty in Pink Golf Tournament and Auction, which followed a fashion show the previous Sunday. We are happy to report the events raised more than $22,000 for the Pretty in Pink Foundation and Brunswick County residents diagnosed with breast cancer who have limited or no health insurance.

  • As controversy churns over professional athletes kneeling during the national anthem at sporting events and what it says about our country’s values less than a month after we marked the 16th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it is very likely far too many Americans failed to observe Sept. 15 as National POW/MIA Recognition Day.

    Members of VFW Post 8866 in Holden Beach and VFW Post 7288 in Calabash were among the local residents who made sure our prisoners of war and service members missing in action were not forgotten.

  • 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.