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Opinion

  • After years of doing things the wrong way, former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett took a step in the right direction Monday afternoon.

    Standing before peers, friends, family, attorneys—and some naysayers—Hewett publicly addressed the charge he had criminally obstructed justice in a federal investigation into his tenure as Brunswick County Sheriff.

    Before U.S. District Judge Earl Britt, Hewett said he takes “full responsibility” for his actions.

    Finally.

  • To the editor:

    I am a Christian who believes that the Bible is not only the word of God, but also it is God’s words. I also believe public school is the wrong place for teaching creationism. Parents and church are responsible for the spiritual teaching and guidance of the child.

    I sent my children to school to learn the three R’s—readin’, ’ritin’ and ’rithmetic. The spiritual teaching came from our church and within our home and the way we lived our daily lives for God.

  • To the editor:

    The federal government’s “No Child Left Behind” program has, in the opinion of this teacher, been a failure. The title sounds good, but the program has been implemented incorrectly and has resulted in all children being kept behind.

  • Dogs can teach humans more things than we can ever teach them. Teaching your dog how to sit, lie down, roll over and shake does not even compare to the lessons they unknowingly teach us.

    One of the most important lessons dogs teach their owners—and quite possibly the most overlooked—is forgiveness. While everyone should practice forgiveness, it’s an act that does not always come easily.

  • When The Brunswick Beacon joins other sponsors this month in hosting two political forums, some key players won’t be there.

    On Tuesday, Oct. 7, The Beacon will join the Alliance of Brunswick County Property Owners Association and other media sponsors in hosting a forum that features candidates for local and state political offices.

    Among attendees for the 6 p.m. event at Odell Williamson Auditorium will be candidates for the Brunswick County Board of Education, Brunswick County Commissioners, N.C. Senate, N.C. House and U.S. House of Representatives.

  • It’s easy to understand the passion that bubbles up from people who care about children, especially when they believe something has gone wrong.

    Tracey Danka is a citizen who has garnered media attention by arguing for what she hopes is an improved, safer learning environment for children in Brunswick County. But has she done it the right way?

    Danka has been accused of a misdemeanor offense of assault after Patricia Rourk’s mother Meriam Reid accused Danka of moving her hands in a threatening manner toward her. Reid claims she thought she was going to be struck.

  • Monday night, Brunswick County Commissioners made a good decision when they decided to make changes to the county’s water availability fee.

    Previously, residents, whose homes were built before 1997, had to pay the $11 monthly fee just because the water service was available, even if a homeowner opted not to tap into the system.

    With changes made Monday night, residents who don’t have a tap into the system, or those who choose to have a tap removed from their property, will no longer have to pay the fee.

  • Looking to keep a growing community properly staffed with an efficient fire department, Shallotte Fire Chief Paul Dunwell has been soliciting grants to aid the town.

    At the urging of the Town of Shallotte, Dunwell set out looking for additional funding sources and soon landed approval for a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.

    Last year, the town’s board of aldermen signed off on an application for the funding.

  • Between Aug. 17 and Sept. 3 last year, there were more than 500 alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina roads. Twenty-seven people were killed and more than 400 were injured.

    In an effort to lower those numbers and help keep roads safe, law enforcement officers throughout the state participated in a recent Booze It & Lose It campaign. Local and state law enforcement stepped up patrols throughout the Labor Day holiday weekend to make sure drunk drivers stayed off local roads, and quickly apprehended those who decided to drink and drive.

  • Each year, the Brunswick County School Board reviews its superintendent’s performance in closed session. Because the evaluation is a personnel issue, the law does not require it to be released to the public. However, the law does not prohibit a superintendent from releasing any information from his or her evaluation once it is complete.

  • What happened to John Floyd should have never happened.

    Floyd, a former West Brunswick High School athletics director, reassumed the AD position he had years ago earlier this month. For two weeks, he dutifully fulfilled the role, replacing Marcia Heady who took another position at Shallotte Middle School.

    His signed contract needed only to be approved by the board of education at its regularly scheduled meeting Aug.12. But at that meeting, the board chose not to approve the hiring recommendation.

    Why?

  • With high gas prices, a slower-than-normal building and construction industry and other related economic slow downs, it’s no secret some Brunswick County residents are facing hard financial times.

    Luckily, local programs and agencies are ready to provide services and offer skills and training when they’re needed most.

    Through the local Employment Security Commission, unemployed workers can now turn to the Job Training Partnership Act to learn valuable skills while earning money and picking up on-the-job training.

  • Law enforcement officials are forced to make split-second life or death decisions every day.

    In the moments they have to make decisions to protect themselves and innocent bystanders, they must also figure out ways to effectively and safely subdue perpetrators. While experience gives officers valuable tools to deal with these uncertain situations, frequent, comprehensive training is a vital component in making sure good, safe decisions are made.

  • Long before gas topped $4 a gallon and the price of just about everything we need to live and entertain ourselves increased, we heard tales of struggling senior citizens and working-class families.

    Many, not making enough money to pay bills and get appropriate medical care, were left deciding which they needed more—food or healthcare and prescription medicine.

  • For many petty criminals, life on the wrong side of the law is often spurred by bad choices directly associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

    Sending those violators directly to jail, without rehabilitation plans, including a strong drug and alcohol recovery program, can do little to help many who, when out on the streets again, return to the same behaviors that put them in jail.

  • In 1999, five years after 18-year-old Amy Frink was violently murdered by John Paul Counts, her family readied to move on, grieve and heal from the horrific ordeal.

    Counts, who had been found guilty of beating, stabbing and running Frink over with her own car, had been sentenced to 30 years in prison. John Gamble was also charged for a role in her murder. He remains in prison.

  • Why not? He has been a Democrat, and then a Republican, and now he is a Libertarian.

    Mr. Gilbert’s decision to run in the general election as a libertarian is a legal, albeit sneaky, way to circumvent being tossed out of office.

  • Last week Brunswick County residents showed they care—and are motivated to do something—about quality, affordable housing in this community.

  • According to the Consumer Price Index, in the last year, the cost of living has increased more than 4 percent. A leading factor in that increase has been the cost of gas. We’re seeing the rising cost of fuel affecting most areas of our lives—from travel and energy to food prices.

  • When Calabash Mayor Anthony Clemmons ran for election last year, he said, “The citizens of Calabash are calling for a ‘better today’ as well as a ‘better tomorrow.’ They want to see leadership, integrity and confidence restored to the office of mayor, and I fully support their goals.”

    When a Beacon reporter called him on deadline for a brief pre-election interview over the telephone, Clemmons spoke off-the-cuff and apparently voiced what was in his mind and heart without a prepared script.