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Opinion

  • The town of Shallotte has some good news to share—several businesses are relocating or expanding within town limits.

    In a challenging economy such as this, it’s great to see new businesses opening, especially when for far too long we have seen too many small businesses close.

    The news there will be more food and shopping choices in Brunswick County is something to be celebrated. Now, it’s time for Brunswick County citizens to help continue with this success.

  • Congratulations to Vicky Snyder, principal of Brunswick County Early College High School.

    Last week Snyder was among some of the best school administrators in Brunswick County nominated for the district’s Principal of the Year award. Snyder was named the winner.

    The award is an honor for Snyder, a longtime educator who has dedicated her life to teaching young people. The key to her success may be that she believes in an education team and sees the school where she works as an extension of her family.

  • Last week two Brunswick County Academy students were arrested for their alleged role in a bomb threat last Thursday at the school. Charges are pending against three other juveniles.

    The threat, the sixth for the school district this school year, is being taken seriously, and the associated punishment is—and should be—reflective of that.

    Bomb threats are not pranks. When a threat is received by school or law enforcement officials, a series of events swing into place to analyze the potential harm.

  • An innovative new partnership will help local students stay in Brunswick County to complete some of the college studies they previously had to pursue out of the area.

    On Monday, BCC and the University of North Carolina Wilmington announced a new partnership that will allow students to finish the final two years of their elementary education degrees in Brunswick County. 

    The program will allow students to study at BCC’s Leland Center instead of having to travel to Wilmington to UNCW.

  • The November General Election is less than a week away, but you don’t have to wait until Nov. 2 to cast your vote.

    Already some 13,000 of Brunswick County’s 77,393 registered voters have headed to the polls to cast early votes. Those voters join about 450,000 across North Carolina who have already headed to the polls.

    Voting is an important right of every American and it’s exciting to see so many people already excited about casting their votes. We hope this trend continues all the way through Election Day.

  • Last week Brunswick Countians joined together to celebrate the ground breaking of a hospice care center right here in our community.

    Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter has earned a quality reputation for proving caring, compassionate end-of-life services for families from this county. Previously, residents had to travel beyond Brunswick to go to a care center. This new facility means this type of high-level care will now be offered right here at home.

  • Bills continue to mount as the Department of Social Services Board continues to deal with whatever is related to the recent firing of longtime DSS director Jamie Orrock.

    Last week the board voted to fire Orrock. For what, we still don’t know.

    What we do know is the bills for the investigation into whatever claims against Orrock that led to his firing are adding up.

  • This weekend Brunswick County’s Oyster Festival will celebrate 30 years of honoring the community’s coastal heritage.

    From live music and dancing to oyster-related contests and all the food you can eat, there will be plenty of activities for people of all ages Saturday and Sunday.

    If you haven’t been to an Oyster Festival event, plan to go this year. You’ll meet a lot of good people and get a chance to share in a celebration of all things Brunswick County.

  • Last year, Brunswick County made a financial investment to begin a process to help preserve some of the county’s historic places.

    In the fall of 2009, local history enthusiasts joined county officials to take a comprehensive look at the historic places and buildings within Brunswick County.

    Last week, results of that survey were shared with Brunswick County commissioners.

    After a lot of hard work, knocking on doors and talking to people, it was determined the county has about 500 historic properties of note.

  • Odell Williamson and Mannon C. Gore were visionaries who could see the future for Brunswick County in ways others couldn’t even dream.

    In the 1950s, the two men made lifetime-worthy investments. The former business partners purchased land that would become Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach.

    Last week on Friday, Gore was honored for his forward thinking and planning with the naming of the new high-rise bridge in Sunset Beach in his honor. The high-rise span stretching to Ocean Isle Beach has previously been named in Williamson’s honor.

  • The Brunswick County Board of Social Services either doesn’t know the law or is consciously choosing to ignore it—both of which are unacceptable. 

    We expect any community member who serves on a public board to know the North Carolina Open Meetings Law. 

    We certainly expect the board’s attorney, Gary Shipman, who is billing the county $275 an hour, to know the open meetings law as well as advise board members of it if they do not know it. 

  • For the eighth time in seven years Calabash is looking for a new town administrator.

    What is going on at Calabash Town Hall? And more importantly, how is the town board of commissioners affecting how its town administrators do business?

    Last year, after a lot of community push, town administrator Jeremy Cribb resigned after the board blundered and hired him even though he had lied on his resume. That resulted in changes in the town’s interview and hiring policies and procedures. 

  • Why are county commissioners paid a salary?

    They get paid for attending meetings. They get paid mileage to travel to and from meetings. They get paid to talk to constituents on the phone. 

    So, why then, are they paid a salary—$13,858 for chairman Bill Sue and $11,548 for each other commissioner?

    Every commissioner we asked seemed to have a different take on what exactly they’re getting paid their salaries for, and what exactly constitutes a meeting. 

  • This one is a no-brainer. 

    On Nov. 2, voters will be faced with some tough decisions when they select their elected officials—from the county commissioners chamber in Bolivia to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.

    There will also be a constitutional amendment to the North Carolina Constitution on the ballot, and we say it will be the easiest choice you’ll have to make that Tuesday. 

  • We’re not exactly clear what’s going on with Brunswick County’s Department of Social Services, but we have some concerns about the actions taken recently by its board.

    On Aug. 6, the board had a meeting where it made a decision to place Jamie Orrock, DSS director, on paid administrative leave. We can find no record of public notice being given for this meeting.

  • Some emergency service personnel have expressed concerns about the functionality of the county’s Smart Link radio system.

    They say there have been issues with the system not working properly inside enclosed buildings.

    That’s not acceptable.

    Emergency service personnel put their lives on the line every day to keep each and every one of us safe. It is imperative their equipment—especially their communication devices—work properly.

  • All of our communities must give serious consideration to the development of green spaces in our growing county.

    Sunset Beach is no exception to this; however, we do not think investing nearly $4 million into a park property is the best use of taxpayer dollars—especially in light of this challenging economy.

    Previously, Sunset Beach commissioners agreed to move forward on the 5.22-acre waterway site only if the town could secure 50 percent of the $3.75 million price in matching grant funding before Sept. 10.

  • New Beginnings Community Church in Shallotte and CommWell Health and Dental are partnering together to provide a day of free dental care to school-aged children.

    Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, children with appointments—and walk-ins who will be seen on a time-permitted basis—will have the opportunity to visit the mobile dental clinic where they will receive an oral exam, cleaning and fluoride treatment from a dental hygienist. 

  • Some local residents are joining together to organize an old-fashioned, family-style fair for Shallotte. 

    If all goes well, the midway will light up next year on Sept. 9 and attendees will be treated to rides, food, entertainment, business displays, crafters and more through Sept. 12. There will also be a tribute in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

    This event is going to take a lot of hard work and will need significant community support, but we think it will be worth all of the effort.

  • Eight of Brunswick County’s 19 schools did not make Adequate Yearly Progress goals, according to the latest information released last week.

    Belville Elementary School, Bolivia Elementary School, Early College High School, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, North Brunswick High School, South Brunswick High School, Southport Elementary School, Town Creek Elementary School, Union Elementary School and Waccamaw School met 100 percent of their target goals.