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Opinion

  • Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Katie McGee’s tenure has been a mix of accomplishments and contention.

    Under McGee’s leadership, dropout rates have been reduced, test scores have gone up and facilities have been constructed and improved.

    But unfortunately, many of the district’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by controversy.

  • Many residents have been wondering what will happen to the current Brunswick Community Hospital site once it relocates to its new facility next year.

    Brunswick County Commissioners have an idea—they’d like to see the site used as a Veterans Affairs facility. Recently commissioners committed to working with state and federal agencies to see if this concept can become a reality.

  • When we heard last week a Brunswick County Detention Center officer had released the wrong inmate from jail, we wanted to know how that could happen.

    Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram had an answer. It was “careless,” he said, not an “accident.”

    Detention officer Jamie Lynn Jenrette released Rosher Rodriquez-Aguilar, 27, without properly checking his photo and identifying armband, Ingram said. The mistake ultimately cost Jenrette her job, indicating what appears to be a zero-tolerance policy for such behavior by the sheriff’s office.

  • We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to say it until elected and government officials in Brunswick County clearly get the message—doing public business out of the public eye is wrong and violates the spirit of open meetings and public records laws.

    Last week, we took Carolina Shores commissioners to task about seeking a consensus on a public matter through e-mail, only to turn around and find out Brunswick County Board of Education members have done the same.

  • Gere Dale, does the town of Carolina Shores have something to hide?

    Why is it you’re expending so much energy to keep public business behind closed, locked doors?

    On multiple occasions, when approached by a Beacon reporter about issues we believe are of public record, you have spent more time questioning the reporter’s sources than answering questions.

  • Charles Warren is right, sometimes you have to take drastic actions, but his proposal to freeze school board funding is just plain wrong.

    Last week at the Brunswick County Commissioners meeting, Warren proposed county commissioners freeze school funding until the Brunswick County Board of Education “gets their act together.”

  • In a country founded on principles of freedom—including the freedom to choose—it makes sense that Brunswick County Schools administration has offered parents a choice regarding student viewing of the president’s recent educational message.

    On Tuesday, President Barack Obama delivered a message to the nation. The message was directed toward school children and many schools across the country allowed students to view it as it aired lived.

  • If even some of the claims made by Brunswick County Schools former central office employee Sherry Dove are true, Brunswick Board of Education members should be concerned.

    Among the many assertions made in the lawsuit against the district, including claims that Superintendent Katie McGee may have treated an employee improperly, is the claim the board gave Dove only one hour of a nine-hour closed session grievance hearing to present her side of the case.

  • On Tuesday, children of all ages headed back to school in Brunswick County. It was a time of tears for some parents who sent their little ones off to classes for the first time, while others celebrated the end of summer and the return to the classroom.

    Throughout the community, Brunswick County educators and their support staff have a lot of hard work to do. State and national test scores keep them busy, but they must also focus their attention on molding and mentoring each and every child they encounter.

  • Friday night will be a big night for Brunswick County, most specifically Brunswick Community College.

    Beginning at 6 p.m., activities will kick off to celebrate the second annual “Dancing with the Brunswick County Stars.”

    The event raises money for scholarships for Brunswick Community College students and will feature dancers from the community along with their talented, professional dance partners. Many have been preparing for this event for months.

  • Brunswick County government made a good step toward operating as an open and transparent government when it decided to install a computer terminal at the county complex where government e-mails can be accessed by the public.

    The public e-mail computer terminal is in the lobby of Building I at the county government complex in Bolivia. Business hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    By using the computer, citizens can have access to correspondence that takes place within the county’s e-mail system.

  • In a time when a difficult economy marks many cutbacks, declines and belt-tightening, it’s good to see some growth in an important part of our community–Brunswick Community College.

    Registration is now under way at BCC and through its early registration period, student numbers have already exceeded last year’s total fall enrollment numbers.

    BCC President Stephen Greiner said the school would not turn students away. Its first priority will be to fill all seats in its classes, then, if needed, add more classes to accommodate the community’s needs.

  • Good news came to the Ocean Isle Beach Police Department recently.

    Last week, it was announced the department would receive a grant from the Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The $145,288 grant will be used to hire a new officer and cover that officer’s salary for the next three years.

    By receiving the grant, the town will receive an additional officer and additional protection without additional taxpayer expense for the next three years.

  • Brunswick County athletes have proven they have a lot of heart.

    Recently, the Brunswick County Debs earned a chance to play in the Dixie Debs Softball World Series. They finished their World Series championship bid in the top six, ending the series 2-2.

    This is the second straight year the Debs have earned a spot in the World Series; they finished fifth. Last year, they were 0-2 in the series.

  • It appears some elected officials have forgotten or don’t care about who they work for—the people of Brunswick County.

    In Carolina Shores, the commissioners (elected officials) feel it’s their place to censure town mayor Stephen Selby (another elected official), and they think they have the right to do so without hearing what citizens think.

    On Friday, commissioners told the people of Carolina Shores they didn’t care about what they had to say by announcing the board would not take public comment during a special meeting.

  • Waterways in Brunswick County are often busy, but they can get hectic and dangerous this time of year.

    Last week, at the beginning of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, people were injured in a boat wreck near Holden Beach. How sad it is that the wreck appears to have involved alcohol and a law enforcement official who, if what he is charged with is true, should have known better.

  • This week, a Calabash town commissioner confirmed current town administrator Jeremy Cribb is being investigated by the town’s personnel committee. Tuesday night, the board of commissioners decided to extend his probationary period for 90 more days.

    Even though the town’s personnel policy requires a background check of applicants, one was not done before Cribb was hired, and now questions about his experience and criminal record have surfaced.

  • Citizens of Calabash, is this how you want your community represented?

    First, the men and women you elected for Calabash Board of Commissioners ignored town hiring policy and hired a person—for its lead administrative position—without doing any educational, work experience or criminal background checks.

  • Hats off to all the folks in and around Calabash for putting together a successful Fourth of July event on Friday, July 3.

    With music, giveaways and more, an estimated crowd of about 10,000 gathered around the docks and waterfront in Calabash for its first fireworks display. The show was a good one, with patriotic music playing while red, white and blue pyrotechnics exploded over the waterway. Launched from Devaun Park, the fireworks lit up the sky and sent the crowd into cheers.

  • The roads and beaches are bustling in Brunswick County, signifying one of the busiest weeks of the season is here. With visitors coming into the community, it’s an important time for all of us to remember to have fun but be safe this Fourth of July weekend.

    If you’re looking for some free family fun, several communities—from Bald Head Island to Southport and south down to Ocean Isle Beach and Calabash—will have parades, fireworks and more.