• As the Project Lazarus initiative gains ground to combat Brunswick County’s prescription drug overdose crisis, we are obliged to cite a program already working toward that end: Drug Treatment Court.

  • It is easy to get caught up in the festivities that accompany Independence Day weekend, especially among the many events planned in Brunswick County, but safety must be considered for celebrations that require any amount of travel. AAA estimates 41.9 million people — the most in eight years — will travel during this holiday period.

  • Summer weather arrived before summer itself did this year in Brunswick County with temperatures soaring and heat indexes in the triple digits. The heat itself has not been unusual, but it seems to have been more oppressive and stifling than usual despite the frequent breezes from our coastline.

    In recent years, summer safety efforts have focused on rip currents. In recent weeks, it has targeted shark encounters. The risk of heat exhaustion and stroke at this time of year, however, exists regardless of whether anyone sets foot in the ocean or even on the beach.

  • We feel it is safe to say everyone in Brunswick County is as sorry to read about three separate shark encounters that left three children injured within four days along our beaches as we are to report them. Our community strives to be hospitable, welcomes visitors and wants all to enjoy the time they spend here.
    Perhaps the most maddening aspect of the story is the fact no one is at fault for what happened, especially to the children who were maimed at Oak Island last Sunday afternoon.

  • Regardless of whether motorists like them, roundabouts  (or traffic circles) seem to be the ways of the future for busy Brunswick County intersections.
    The small one at First Street on the island of Ocean Isle Beach took some getting used to once it opened several years ago. A larger version was successfully installed at the foot of the Mannon C. Gore Bridge to Sunset Beach island last summer and, despite initial trepidation, appears to function as intended.

  • Nearly two weeks ago, North Brunswick High School won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 2A boys’ track-and-field state championship for a second straight year. Including indoor titles, the Scorpions, coached by Garry Bishop, have won four straight track state championships.

    North sophomore Jayhlen Washington, who won the long jump and the triple jump and finished second in the 110-meter hurdles race, was the Most Valuable Athlete.

  • Memorial Day affords us a chance to pause, remember and acknowledge those who have died in military service to our country. But let us also spare a thought for the veterans and active service members, as well as their families, and the sacrifices they have made.

  • Despite lower property valuations, Brunswick County has opted to remain revenue neutral, meaning the board of commissioners will not raise taxes in the coming fiscal year. On the surface this is wonderful news for taxpayers, but the reality is they cannot expect the same level of service from the county. Maintaining services at their current levels requires money the county will not have.

  • When Shallotte native Robert Stanley founded the Beacon in 1962, he dedicated the newspaper to “the continued progress of Brunswick County.” When he died last year, friends and family said he took great pride in publicly standing on the “right side of history during civil rights struggles in the turbulent ‘60s.”

    More than 50 years later, the Beacon maintains the stand Stanley took: That the Ku Klux Klan contributes nothing to the improvement of our community.

  • After a relatively uneventful summer last year, it would have been easy to forget four people died in less than 36 hours on Brunswick County’s beaches the previous summer.

    Soon after the deaths, which were ultimately blamed on dangerous rip currents, county and municipal officials thoroughly reviewed their policies, procedures and practices to ensure the very best efforts were being made to keep residents and visitors safe on our coast.

  • With every passing day, we lose more and more World War II veterans, members of our nation’s greatest generation. Now, we are in danger of losing our state’s monument to them and others who lost their lives in that war.

  • All residents of Brunswick County — including elected officials — have the right to voice their opinions on matters that affect their way of life. When the public cannot discern whom its elected officials are representing, however, it raises legitimate questions about potential conflicts of interest. Sunset Beach Town Councilman Wilson Sherrill and Mayor Ron Watts have found themselves the subject of such questions in the past month.

  • Maybe the loss of privilege licenses will not affect the bottom line of Brunswick County’s municipalities much, but Senate Bill 369 certainly will if it should become law.

  • It appears the economic recovery in Brunswick County is gaining momentum based on construction projects in progress.

  • Congratulations to Les Tubb, who has become Brunswick County Schools’ 10th superintendent in 30 years after serving in an interim capacity twice in five years.

  • Every county in North Carolina has either a coroner or a medical examiner, though most by now employ the latter. Brunswick County is not among them, with Greg White having served as our coroner for the past 30 years.

  • To report a single fire death during the course of a winter is terrible. To report five of them in less than 48 hours is beyond horrific, especially because four victims in the five fires reported in five days last week were members of a Supply family that included a 3-year-old boy and his pregnant mother.

    Compounding that tragedy is the fact their mobile home had no smoke detectors. We will never know if having one would have saved their lives, but we know it would have increased their chances of survival.

  • Loss of income, a loved one or health — any one of them can drive anyone from his or her home at any time. More often than not, advocates say, it is a combination of these factors that contributes to the homelessness of too many people in our county.
    No one takes pride in being homeless; in fact, pride often prevents those who need help the most from seeking it. But perhaps the most important point they — the homeless and those who speak out on their behalf — would like to share is this: Do not make the mistake of thinking it could never happen to you.

  • It was last June when Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO approached Leland Town Council about rezoning property on Chappel Loop Road so it could become the site of a reverse osmosis plant. In July, H2GO officials took Leland council members and Mayor Brenda Bozeman on a tour of such a plant in Kill Devil Hills so they could see firsthand what H2Go’s plant would be like.

    The Leland board ultimately denied the request based on public misgivings over potential chemical, noise and light pollution and other disruptions to residential areas.

  • Once upon a time, Shallotte might have been called a sleepy little Brunswick County town. Those days are over.