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Columns

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    It seems the last two weeks in the North Carolina General Assembly have been all about the budget, but we also have been filing local bills and bills that were recommended by study committees.

  • Travel free from scam-related stress this summer

    By Josh Stein

    Guest Columnist

    What’s better than the beginning of summer? Longer days, warm weather, and for many, summer vacations. But nothing will cause a trip to go off the rails faster than falling victim to a travel scam. When you’re planning your travel this year, plan ahead with these tips to help ensure a headache-free trip.

  • You decide: is it time for a mileage tax?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Two decades ago, I wrote an op-ed piece discussing the idea of a mileage tax as a replacement for the gas tax. This was in the days before everyone used email, and texting hadn’t even been invented. Many people still communicated by writing letters.

  • An everyday hero’s story, a reminder for all motorists

    Travis Brown and his dad were in their pickup the afternoon of May 23 when they saw a small SUV run a stop sign and smack the back end of a golf cart at 24th Avenue North and Ye Old Kings Highway in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

    The impact spun the golf cart, flinging its female passenger into the roadway.

    An older man reached into the driver’s side window of the SUV and tried to grab the keys, but the driver kept going, nearly dragging the man and almost running over the woman as she lay in the road.

  • Consider the rewards of foster parenting

    By Duanna Harrelson

    Guest Columnist

    The Brunswick County Department of Social Services has 129 children in foster care. Sixty of these children are ages 0-5; 44 are ages 6-12; 23 are ages 13-17 and two 18 and older. Of these 129 children, 104 are Caucasian; 11 are African-American; five are Hispanic; two are American Indian/Alaskan and 12 are biracial.

    DSS has 22 licensed foster/adoptive homes and needs additional families so our children can stay within their own communities while in foster care.

  • I’ve got a bad feeling about this

    I spent my Memorial Day Weekend doing what I have done off and on when

    the opportunity arose for the past four decades: going to see a “Star Wars” movie. That started way back in 1977.

    And for the first six movies of the franchise, which took the next 25 years, each movie started with the 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare, then the ubiquitous “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away...” then — boom! — the “Star Wars” theme, followed by the crawl that caught you up with the latest exploits.

  • No getting softball out of my system anytime soon

    Friday night marked the first time in my life I wasn’t cheering for a Cleveland team.

    Unfortunately, the Cleveland softball players — wearing Carolina blue uniforms, as if to add insult to injury to this proud UNC-CH alumna — defeated our hometown West Brunswick High School team in what I believe is the lousiest way to lose: at home by just one point in a one-and-done tournament.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    The beginning of the 2018 short session of the North Carolina General Assembly was last week. We also rolled out legislation on school safety and water safety. Budget discussions were also being held at the highest levels.

    On May 16, we had 15,000 to 20,000 visitors from among our teachers across the state. We had a good discussion with a group of four Teachers of the Year from the last five years. We covered many of the topics in the education budget and in the news.

  • You decide: Is there a solution for the generational clash?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    In several states, teachers are protesting for higher salaries and more support for education, and those protests have come to North Carolina. At the same time, medical costs are an issue everywhere in the country. In this year’s session of the General Assembly, North Carolina’s lawmakers may debate greater funding for medical care, mainly through an expansion of Medicaid.

  • A lot to show for getting older

    By Lena Vaughan

    Guest Columnist

    On March 18, I celebrated another year on the planet, commonly known as a birthday. When we are kids, we love ‘em!

    I don’t remember a lot about birthdays as a young child. There were no big parties or trips to an amusement part. As we get older, wanting that driver’s license, etc., we can’t wait for them.

    I did not anxiously await them then, either. Finally, in my 20s, I came to enjoy them. Friends would take me out and we did what passed then for celebrating.