• 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.

  • District 17 House update

    By Rep. Frank Iler

    Guest Columnist

    Last week in the North Carolina General Assembly, budget meetings continued May 9 and 10, the House Select Committee on School Safety approved its report of recommendations, and most House and Senate members survived their primary elections.

  • You decide: should we pay Amazon to come to North Carolina?

    By Dr, Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The Final Four is over; now it’s time for the “Final 20.”

    What sport is this, you say? It’s for the Amazon Cup, the 50,000 job, multi-billion dollar investment for the cyber retail giant’s second headquarters. North Carolina has a player in the competition, the Triangle region, and now Amazon analysts are making visits to the final 20 before announcing a winner sometime this year.

  • No win, place or show for Beaconeers on battlefield

    While the members of other teams in the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Brunsco Battlefield on Saturday morning arrived wearing coordinating T-shirts with catchy slogans, inspirational posters and cheering fan sections, it looked like we simply showed up.

    But Kay Milliken, Laura Lewis, Lindsay Kriz, Brian Slattery, team captain Sam Hickman and I came equipped with the spirit of friendly competition. “We’re representing the public,” I told them.

  • Influence peddling and bird watching, from the desk of Brian Slattery

    I have a couple callbacks to make in this week’s column, one involving our last episode and the other going way back to spring 2016.

    First off, my politicking last month paid off in an unexpected way.

    After putting out the word that the Beacon office has been a Girl Scout cookie-free zone — a cookie desert, some might say — for too long, a surprise delivery showed up here at the Beacon.

  • On Campus with BCC: Brunswick Community College celebrates our local businesses

    By Dr. Susanne Adams

    Guest Columnist

    Small businesses in America create one out of three new jobs each year. Since 1963, every U.S. president has issued a proclamation establishing a National Small Business Week to recognize the outstanding economic impact of entrepreneurs and small business owners. For 2018, April 30-May 4 has been designated such.