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Opinion

  • 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.

  • As one of the fastest growing counties in the nation, Brunswick County experiences a lot of boom and bust from its growing population.

    While its impact on roads and other infrastructure can be negative, growth also brings a number of positive things.

    For example, many new businesses, stores and restaurants that would have previously overlooked Brunswick are stopping to set up shop here. That means more jobs for area workers. In some cases, it also means bringing more workers into the area, which in turn spurs on increased home building and sales.

  • It only takes one person to make a change in our community. When that person gets support of family, friends and others, a good idea can quickly grow into an important project.

  • The time has never been better to get out and enjoy events and places in Brunswick County. Whether you’re a full-time resident, a part-time resident, or a vacationer, you’ll quickly see there is much to do in our community.

    While a number of businesses and entertainment groups put on some outstanding productions, some of the very best things to see and do here are events put on by a broad base of community volunteers. From theater productions and musicals to art shows and weekend festivals, from May until October, Brunswick County is hopping.

  • As Americans, we’re accustomed to waiting in lines. We wait in line to eat. We wait in line to shop. We wait in line to catch the bus and to pay our bills. In most cases, waiting in line is an everyday annoyance, something we deal with because we have to.

    But on Tuesday, many Brunswick County residents found a good reason to stand in line—for a chance to vote in this year’s primary election.

  • Congratulations go out to all the Brunswick County Schools teachers honored recently at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet.

    Outstanding educators, representing each school in the county, were honored as teachers of the year for their individual schools. Friday, they joined together with other educators, administrators and education advocates to celebrate their honors and to single out the district’s top teacher for 2008.

  • In the coming weeks, representatives from the Republican and Democratic parties here in Brunswick County have some very important decisions to make.

    The Republican Party will be looking for someone to fill the shoes of David Sandifer, a longtime county commissioner and commissioners’ chair, who died after a battle with cancer.

  • While the bid for Democratic and Republican spots for the next president of the United States has dominated national media, local voters also have some important races to decide this May much closer to home.

    In addition to determining who’ll be on the November ballot for county commissioner, school board and other races, Brunswick County voters will have the chance to select nominees for North Carolina’s next governor.