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Opinion

  • I’ve mentioned I’m not from here a couple times in the past. That’s because I have to start somewhere, and the first thing you learn in a new place is how much you don’t know about it.

    The things that stand out the most are the things that are most different from your past experiences.

    I have now been in Brunswick County long enough that what still feels like only a few weeks has turned into a few months. Almost. Give or take a few days.

  • It’s a difficult, but rewarding job and Brunswick County’s children need you to sign up for the call.
    Brunswick County’s Department of Social Services and the Boys and Girls Homes (B&GH) of North Carolina are planning training and information sessions about what it means to be a foster or adoptive parent in our community.
    According to DSS, right now Brunswick County only has about 16 foster parents/families licensed through its agency. They desperately need more—there are 145 children in DSS care.

  • It was a show of solidarity among area law enforcement and emergency services personnel.
    Saturday, with uniforms freshly pressed and lights flashing, the men and women who risk their lives daily to keep each of us safe, remembered one of their own.
    They were joined by friends and family of Brunswick County Sheriff’s Detective Kyle Jones, a career lawman who died suddenly Monday, Jan. 14.
    At 41, Jones is a hometown hero who is gone too soon.

  • As a newspaper, we’ve been firm with assertions regarding spending taxpayer dollars during the economic downturn.
    We’ve called for governments of all sizes and their related and varied agencies to reduce spending, don’t raise taxes and don’t spend money if it’s not imperative to do so.
    But a recent decision to shell out almost a quarter of a million dollars in school revenue won’t get a lashing from us.

  • Just a week into the new year, many of you are likely working on keeping your New Year’s resolutions.
    While you may be thinking about ways to eat healthier and get more exercise, we think it’s a great time to encourage you to get active in another way—make a resolution to be more involved in government issues that affect your life.
    In this week’s Beacon, on page 10A, we have a story about meeting dates and times for many town governments as well as the Brunswick County Board of Education and county commissioners.

  • At least one Brunswick County commissioner supports giving county employees a sizeable raise, but we think fellow commissioners were on the mark when they delayed voting on it for now.
    At a Dec.17 commissioners meeting, commissioner Marty Cooke proposed giving all county employees—with a few exceptions—a pay increase of 5 percent.
    It’s a move, he said, that would bring pay back in line with cost-of-living adjustments employees could have gotten if the county had not frozen raises in 2008.

  • In this economy families must watch every penny they spend.
    Government must now, and always, do the same.
    Down in Calabash spending appears to be causing a rift on the town board.
    There is a clash among board members about how tax dollars are being spent.
    A recent disagreement has some board members calling for Mayor Mary Knight to be stripped of all of her powers.
    Others are calling it a witch-hunt.

  • You’ve got to lock your doors Brunswick County.

    The car, the house, the shed; all of them—it’s time.

    I’m not from here, but I’ve lived in North Carolina long enough to know you don’t want to hear this. North Carolinians love to leave the windows open and the doors unlocked almost as much as they love setting fires in their yards.

    But wherever I’ve lived in this state I have seen truly impressive strings of unforced breaking and entering reports.

  • Since 1993, dedicated volunteers have been working hard to help develop family and education support services for young children in our community.
    Each year, Smart Start of Brunswick County, implements programs to help young people excel in the classroom and out.
    Whether its providing childcare services, supporting pre-K partnerships or helping parents better understand what’s going on in their schools, Smart Start has proven to be a valuable tool for this community.

  • While many people are busy planning their holiday shopping lists and Christmas activities, for some Christmas can be one of the hardest times of the year.
    For those who are dealing with the loss of friends and loved ones, the holidays can often compound the feelings of loss and sadness, but it’s not something you have to deal with alone.
    Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter is offering holiday bereavement services and they’re free for the community.
    Hospice is offering two sessions in our community next week. Details are on page 14A.

  • The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office is looking for two people involved in a recent robbery.
    On Thursday, Nov. 29, just before 6 a.m., two people robbed Winner’s World, a gaming sweepstakes business in Carolina Shores.
    In our community, these types of businesses are often frequented by retirees and older residents who use the facilities as gathering places and ways to access the Internet and other computer-gaming fun.
    It’s unfortunate two bullies have rattled the community.

  • Brunswick County is a vibrant community. From the north end of the county to the southern border and all points in between, there is usually an event or community activity going on year-round.
    This is especially true during the holiday season, when towns are busy planning events. Most of the county’s incorporated towns plan events this time of year.

  • Brunswick County officials have made a sound financial decision regarding accessibility of employee payroll and related information.
    Instead of firing up the photocopier and turning on printers while burning through boxes of paper, officials have moved employee payroll information to the Internet.
    Through a secure and password-protected site, county employees can now sign online—at any time at their convenience—to review pay stubs, tax forms, pay dates, vacation and sick leave amounts and more.

  • Retailers across the country are hoping as soon as you put down your fork and swallow the last bit of your Thanksgiving meal that you’ll put on your most comfortable shoes and head out for a day of shopping Thursday.
    While holiday shopping has traditionally began the day after Thanksgiving, more and more retailers are hoping to lure you in with special deals Thursday instead of waiting for Black Friday.


  • Week after week we here at the Beacon share news about things happening in our county. Far too often those stories include tales of lives lost, often on Brunswick County roadways.
    Some of those victims were not wearing seat belts. In some cases, emergency officials think seat belts may have saved lives.
    So far this year there have been 37 fatalities in crashes on Brunswick and nearby New Hanover County roads. Some of those victims were not wearing their seat belts.


  • The dateline for the first edition of The Brunswick Beacon, which was then called the Shallotte Press, was Nov. 1, 1962.
    A few issues later, after a reader won a naming competition, the newspaper changed its name to The Brunswick Beacon.
    In the 50 years since this newspaper was founded by Robert Stanley, men and women of all ages and all walks of life have come to work here, trying the best we can to continue to provide this community with accurate, high-quality journalism, photography and advertisements, while entertaining a broad spectrum of readers.

  • It’s time to stop with all the rhetoric.
    It’s time to stop all of the debates.
    It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent or other, now is the time to place all of your beliefs and convictions on the table.
    The future of our county, the great state of North Carolina and this nation may come down to one day—Tuesday, Nov. 6.
    On that day, those of you who have not already exercised your right to vote early are encouraged to make your way to the polls to vote on Election Day.

  • Between Jan. 1 and July 31 this year, 676 people had died in crashes on North Carolina roads.
    Twelve of those deaths happened right here in Brunswick County, and sadly, we’ve had several more since the last update given by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP).
    For all of 2011, 21 people died on Brunswick County roads. Unfortunately, it’s a trend that doesn’t seem to be decreasing.

  • The Rev. Donna Phelps and her husband Garry have made it their mission to help others.
    Last year they and their organization, Building Hope Ministries, played a key role in organizing other churches and organizations in tackling the issue of homelessness in Brunswick County.
    As the economy tanked several years ago and has struggled to recovered, many residents—most of whom were taxpaying, hardworking, middle class citizens—found themselves suddenly out of work. Many of them still are.

  • They have made sacrifices many of us truly cannot understand.
    They have put their lives on the line to make this nation and others safer in the name of freedom and American patriotism.
    Many have scars that cannot be seen, but for others, their sacrifices may be more visible.