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Opinion

  • It has been an intense four years for some Brunswick County students.

    Since 2006, students in Brunswick County’s Early College High School program have been studying their high school curriculum while at the same time exploring life in college.

    By taking college-level courses at Brunswick Community College, students have the opportunity to finish high school while earning a college-level associate’s degree—in just four years.

  • During the May primary election season, two of the more-heated and more-interesting races were for Brunswick County Sheriff and the district attorney that serves our county.

    In the Republican race for sheriff, current sheriff John Ingram was challenged by North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Tim Daniels. Ingram defeated Daniels to be the Republican sheriff candidate in November.

    On the Democratic side, it was the race of the Lewises as Rendy Lewis challenged and ultimately defeated Louie Lewis for the Democratic spot on the November General Election ballot.

  • In light of a struggling economy, the reality is tough decisions are going to have to be made when local government officials put together budgets for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

    The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners got a taste of that recently when it had its budget workshops. Officials looked at a number of ways to generate new and increased revenue and also explored possible cuts and decreases.

  • Seriously, Carolina Shores? Is this really happening again? Have town officials really let Carolina Shores’ citizens down once again?

    Unfortunately, yes.

    We understand people make mistakes, and when they do, we believe they should be given opportunities to correct them, learn from them and hopefully not make them again.

    However, we have a hard time understanding how someone as experienced and versed as Carolina Shores Town Administrator Linda Herncane could make a mistake by deleting town e-mails from her computer.

  • The Brunswick County Board of Education had a great opportunity to start anew with the hiring of a new superintendent last week, and yet somehow the announcement got flubbed up.

    When the community should have been celebrating and welcoming the district’s new leadership with Dr. Edward Pruden, there was dissent among the board.

    In a prepared statement, board member Scott Milligan said he was voting against the hiring of Pruden, not because of Pruden’s candidacy, but because of what he believed were some shady actions of some board members.

  • Veterans Affairs officials have really missed the boat on a grand opportunity right here in Brunswick County, and unfortunately it appears it is going to come at the expense of taxpayers.

    The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners has practically thrown the current Brunswick Community Hospital location at VA officials. County officials have offered to make VA officials a deal they couldn’t refuse for a new VA facility.

  • In a close vote last week, the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) voted 8-5 to recommend to the state General Assembly that the use of terminal groins could be feasible when used in conjunction with beach renourishment.

    That’s a step in the right direction for officials who have been pushing for terminal groins, like Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith.

    Now, the decision about whether terminal groins will become a possibility goes to the General Assembly.

  • Brunswick County Schools officials have some tough decisions ahead of them.

    In light of troubled economy, the district is anticipating budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year.

    Recently, as a solution to save the district money, a proposal was presented that would remove pre-K services from the school district. It’s an effort that, if adopted, would mean some $450,000 in Title I funding could go to elementary and high schools throughout Brunswick County—each county elementary and high school could receive an additional $35,000.

  • There are problems with North Carolina’s voter registration system. In its current form, the process has too many holes, making it far too easy for those who want to take advantage of the system.

    Voter fraud is a very real problem in this country and more needs to be done—especially right here in North Carolina—to make that more difficult to happen.

  • Two rabies cases have been confirmed in Brunswick County and they’re serving as a reminder about the importance of keeping pets current on vaccinations.

    In the two cases reported by the Brunswick County Health Department, two dogs that got into fights with wild animals were not current on their rabies vaccinations. Because of that, one of the dogs was euthanized. In the other case, Brunswick County Animal Services quarantined the dog while the owner made a decision about whether it would be put down.

  • When The Brunswick Beacon updated its retirement section “Golden Sands” last year, Jim Roach was one of the first people to comment about it.

    As a matter of fact, he was so excited he showed up at the office after it published with a list of stories in hand. As a representative of the N.C. Senior Tarheel Legislature, Roach, a retiree, was enthusiastic about sharing more ideas for the section. His list was so long, he asked us if we could move from our annual production cycle and produce it more frequently, quarterly would be a good start, he encouraged.

  • It was likely a confusing and scary situation for some Shallotte Middle School parents last week when the school was placed on lockdown Feb. 18 just before the school day began.

    As buses and vehicles arrived at the school, students were turned away and sent to West Brunswick High School, where they were directed to wait in the school’s gym.

    On the morning of Feb. 18, a parent reported a student had received a threatening text message. School officials believed it was serious enough to warrant the lockdown.

  • It’s hard to call the sentence handed to North Carolina Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. “justice.”

    Last week, Soles, who has admitted to shooting Thomas Kyle Blackburn at Soles’ Tabor City home last August, entered a guilty plea to a charge on one count of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

    After failing to call the police at any time during which he felt threatened at his home, and then shooting a fleeing man in the back of the leg, Soles will get no jail time.

    He won’t be on probation.

  • It’s not about the person; it’s about the process.

    Unfortunately, it appears the Shallotte Board of Aldermen never had a clearly defined process to hire a new town administrator.

    That’s shortchanging constituents whose taxpayer dollars are used to run the town.

    The town received about 100 applications for the job. Two weeks ago, some board members were ready to hire Albert Hughes, even though aldermen Michael Pease and Larry Harrelson said then they hadn’t even looked at the applications.

  • Last week, the Shallotte Board of Aldermen made an appropriate decision to cut short their hiring process and award the position to interim town administrator, Albert Hughes.

    They recognized they had a unique opportunity in promoting Hughes to the position—an opportunity not always available to elected officials who serve in the hiring role for the town’s top paid position.

  • Brunswick County District Attorney Rex Gore has admitted a mistake was made last week when a press release was sent from his office announcing his plans to run for re-election.

    The misstep was immediately reported to officials, and it was later determined it did not violate election laws.

    However, the issue can serve as an important reminder to all those seeking political office. Now is the time to educate yourself about the state’s campaign laws.

  • Almost 200 intoxicated drivers were taken off Brunswick County roadways in 2009 thanks to the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team.

    The team, which receives funding through a Governor’s Highway Safety Program grant, targets intoxicated drivers and other driving-related offenses.

    Through their efforts, some 3,328 driving, drug and alcohol-related citations were issued in 2009, a significant increase over previous years, according to the sergeant who oversees the ACE team.

  • Through Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter, Brunswick County residents and their families are helped with the decisions and emotions related to end-of-life care.

    While many benefit from in-home services, those needing inpatient care have had to travel outside the county. But soon, important, essential inpatient hospice services will be offered right here in Brunswick County.

  • There are countless milestones young people encounter as they transition through high school. However, none of them may leave more lasting memories than prom.

    For many Brunswick County girls, the costs associated with getting a prom dress and all its related accessories can be so high, it can completely eliminate the dream of a teenager’s rite of passage.

  • It appears, finally, the towns of Oak Island and St. James are ready to come to an agreement about Midway Road property both towns had intended to annex.

    The proposed annexation sparked outcry from residents and sent lawsuits into Brunswick County courts.

    Now, it appears the towns are ready to settle the matter.

    It’s about time.