• By now most people know October is observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

    Here in Brunswick County, the observance kicked off with the Sea Trail Ladies Golf Association, which had its Rally for the Cure Oct. 3-5. This was the group’s 20th year of fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Rally for the Cure.

  • Few might have believed Brunswick County, with its 40 miles of beaches, would fare so much better than neighboring inland counties after Hurricane Matthew.

    Much of that can be attributed to the storm’s path, but the remainder is a credit to our people and our preparation in bracing for the worst when Matthew struck Saturday.

  • While Brunswick County sells itself on the warm-weather fun to be had on its beaches, fall festivals scheduled throughout our community keep people coming back for more.

    This past weekend, Sunset at Sunset in Sunset Beach celebrated its 10th anniversary with what organizers called its best event yet. The weekend before that, Sunset Beach Town Park played host to the second annual Paddle Fest, presented by Sunset Beach Business and Merchants Association.

  • This past Saturday, Hope Harbor Home had its fifth annual Let’s Ride Domestic Violence Out of Town Awareness Rally.

    The event is designed to raise money for Hope Harbor Home clients to pay for legal representation when seeking restraining orders and pressing criminal charges against their abusers. The process for victims seeking to reclaim their lives and personal safety does not end when they put physical distance between themselves and their abusers.

  • Along with the local, state and federal races between candidates that will appear on our ballots for the Nov. 8 general election will be a referendum about a $152 million bond for Brunswick County Schools.

  • As we conclude our observances of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, many of us feel a renewed sense of appreciation for first responders and other public safety personnel who routinely put themselves in harm’s way to spare the lives of others.

  • As students in Brunswick County adjust to the new school year that began Aug. 29, experts agree reinforcement of positive habits and a consistent routine are key elements of academic success and overall well-being.

  • Sunset Beach seems to have seen more than its fair share of turmoil in recent years.

    Yet despite being without a mayor and likely down one member of town council as of Aug. 31, the town is functioning on an even keel.

    Ron Watts resigned effective Aug. 16 as mayor after selling his house, while Lou De Vita tendered his resignation from council Aug. 8.

    Town council will vote on accepting De Vita’s resignation at the next board meeting Sept. 6 and will determine how to proceed with filling the remaining year in his term.

  • Students in Brunswick County Schools are preparing to begin the 2016-17 school year Aug. 29, perhaps with a mixture of excitement and anxiety.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests reminding students they will reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

    If they feel uneasy, assure them they are not alone. “Teachers know students are nervous and will make an extra effort to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible,” AAP says.

  • Brunswick County suffers from two distinct drug problems: prescription and heroin.

    The former is being addressed by the Brunswick Coalition, established last year and modeled after Project Lazarus to focus on prescription painkiller, or opioid, abuse, misuse and addiction. Project Lazarus is a secular public health nonprofit established in 2008 in response to extremely high drug overdose death rates in Wilkes County.

  • The most recent data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division show Brunswick County’s unemployment rate increased by .3 percent from May to June.

    Brunswick County Association of Realtors statistics show total sales for June were $91,171,000, a 13-percent decrease from the $105,530,000 in June last year; the average sale price decreased 9 percent from $259,916 to $236,190 between June 2015 and June 2016.

    Economic momentum, however, seems to be moving in our county’s favor.

  • North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division data for May show Brunswick County has 2,786 unemployed workers out of a labor force of 50,619, putting its unemployment rate at 5.5 percent.

  • Brunswick County enacted Unified Development Ordinance regulations in 2009 that put a stop to roadside stands but include exceptions that allow a property owner who grows produce on his or her property to sell the produce on site, even if it is on a roadside.

    The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners decided to revisit those regulations this year after the county’s planning board in May unanimously approved recommending text amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance designed to expand opportunities for farmers markets and farm stands.

  • After a long-term pattern of discord between members of the Brunswick County Board of Education and sitting Brunswick County Schools superintendents, it appears the rapport between current school board members and superintendent Les Tubb will result in steady progress toward improving schools in the district.

  • After more than 60 years as part of the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area, the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget in February 2013 shifted Brunswick County to the Myrtle Beach, S.C., MSA based on 2010 Census data.

    The Census Bureau defines MSAs as core areas containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities that have a high degree of economic and social integration with that core.

  • The job of an elected coroner is to determine if a person’s death was the result of natural causes, whether the person died at his own hands or someone else’s or if the person’s death cannot be determined without further investigation, if at all.

    The coroner and his deputies not only provide investigative services with law enforcement and public safety officials, but they also render comfort to those who mourn the dead.

    Our state’s General Assembly last week decided that was a luxury Brunswick County could no longer afford.

  • AAA predicts 2016 will be a record-setting year for Independence Day travel, with more than 1.8 million Carolinians people projected to take to our roads, waters and skies. AAA defines the holiday travel period as Thursday, June 30, to Monday, July 4.

  • As we begin our two-part series on scams in our community and how to fight against them, we feel it is important to call attention to one aspect of these crimes related to another type of crime: elder abuse.

    Brunswick County’s 65-and-older population in 2010 was 21.4 percent and grew to 27 percent in 2014, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

  • A firestorm has erupted over Sen. Bill Rabon’s proposed Senate Bill 875, which seeks to de-annex three parcels from the town of Sunset Beach, since he filed it last month after notifying only one town official, Mayor Ron Watts.

  • The unofficial start of summer this year had not even gotten under way Memorial Day weekend when we reported our first seasonal tragedy in Brunswick County this year.

    The deaths of 51-year-old John Wernowsky of Acworth, Ga., and his 10-year-old son, Jake, who were riding a Jet Ski together when they died in Sunset Beach, happened May 27, less than a week before 24-year-old Brian Willis, of Cleveland, Ohio, was injured in a Jet Ski accident in Ocean Isle Beach on June 2.