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Opinion

  • Election Day 2015 is nearly upon us. This week’s edition includes questionnaires from candidates in contested races for this year’s general election within the Beacon’s coverage area. Because no candidate forums or debates were held in Calabash or Sunset Beach, we included responses to questionnaires returned by candidates in each of those municipal races.

  • It has been nearly a month since Brunswick County prosecutors detailed the indictments against Harry Simmons, the mayor of Caswell Beach: 18 felonies related to his service as chairman of the Brunswick Beaches Consortium. He stands accused of embezzling $673,304.07 from funds earmarked for the consortium’s lobbying efforts.

  • After the possibility of inclement weather led to cancellation of this year’s Brunswick County Intercultural Festival at Brunswick Community College, it seemed massive rainfall was about to wash out the chance to celebrate Sunset at Sunset in Sunset Beach this year, too.

  • By all accounts, the rainfall that soaked Brunswick County as a result of Hurricane Joaquin and the storm system following it constituted a historic event, the likes of which we have not seen in decades. While the hurricane never made landfall, it was the first part of a one-two punch of precipitation that left many residents along our coast and farther inland temporarily trapped in their homes and caused flood damage as though the hurricane had blown through the area.

  • There is no reason to think the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners will not allow the 2016 general election ballot to include a bond referendum for Brunswick County Schools. There is already no doubt the school district needs money to meet the needs of its students.

  • Brunswick Family Assistance has been providing emergency assistance to those in crisis who are willing to help themselves since 1981 when it started as the private, nonprofit Volunteer Information Center. It offers this assistance, along with complementary programs designed to help people become self-sufficient, to qualified low-income families and individuals as a result of donated money, food, clothing and countless hours from volunteers totaling more than $950,000 in 2014.

  • With news of officer-involved fatal shootings and allegations of police brutality and misconduct being reported almost daily across the United States, law enforcement may be the most reviled profession in the nation.

  • The First Tee of Brunswick County is celebrating its 10th anniversary of using golf — our community’s signature sport — to teach life skills and core values to children.

  • While the autumnal equinox falls on Sept. 23 this year, the unofficial end of summer comes this weekend with the Labor Day holiday.

  • The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution July 6 saying it supports seismic surveying in the Atlantic Ocean to promote future offshore drilling efforts off the coast. But commissioners decided to take another look at the issue after a number of residents voiced their concerns over the decision at the board’s July 20 meeting.

  • As the General Assembly continues to grapple with formulating a 2015-16 fiscal year budget, its members are considering whether to change the way sales taxes are distributed.

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  • To most of us, developing an exercise program means getting into and maintaining our best physical condition.

    To emergency preparedness and public safety officials, developing an exercise program means establishing a routine practice schedule to prepare for out-of-the-ordinary events that threaten the health of a community.

  • By the end of this week, motorists in Brunswick County will have endured another inconvenient summer road closure because of a North Carolina Department of Transportation project.

  • The case of Army Pfc. Kelli Bordeaux, a combat medic stationed at Fort Bragg who was reported missing in April 2012, attracted national attention. She was last seen alive in the company of Nicholas Holbert, who had been convicted of sex crimes against a child, helped lead police to her remains two years later and is awaiting trial on murder and other charges related to her disappearance and death. Although Holbert was a known sex offender, he was not registered because he was living in the woods behind the bar where he met Bordeaux and had no permanent address.

  • As the campaign to preserve the Battleship North Carolina as the state’s memorial to its World War II veterans continues to make significant progress, efforts to establish an all-inclusive monument for our military servicemen and –women in Brunswick County deserve our recognition and support.

  • 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.