• The dictionary might notice when your column stinks

    When I first saw the subject line of the email I received Nov. 21, I thought it was run-of-the-mill spam. “Jackie, you were quoted in Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day!” it exclaimed.

    The reference to the dictionary caught my attention and I wanted to know what its Word of the Day was, so I clicked to open it: “We wanted to let you know that you were quoted in today’s Merriam-Webster Word of the Day. You can view today’s Word of the Day on our website here: merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/noisome-2018-11-21.”

  • Carolina Crud Crusher goes national

    When illness goes around, the Crud Man comes to town.

    That’s the persona Shallotte pharmacist Brad Carter created this year promoting Carolina Crud Crusher, the cough syrup he developed years ago to fight and fend off the symptoms of cold season.

    The debut of Crud Man coincides with the medicine going national this year, with two major wholesalers carrying it and servicing more than 4,000 pharmacies nationwide.

  • You decide: are our taxes fair and our spending effective?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    Two topics of interest to most people are taxes and public spending. So whenever I find research focusing on these two areas, especially if they’re applied to North Carolina, I think it’s worthy of mention.

    Two new studies recently came across my desk fitting this profile. One looked at the fairness of state and local taxes for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The second study examined the effectiveness of K-12 school spending, also in all states and DC.

  • Mark Haselden always ran it out, and I’m thankful he did

    On Nov. 15, liver cancer took my friend Mark Haselden away from us, the day after he entered hospice care. He’d beaten colon cancer before; he fought valiantly right up to the end this time, too. Through all his pain and suffering, he always had a positive attitude and never, ever lost his faith.

    I’m eternally thankful for the gift of his friendship.

  • Reducing infant mortality requires awareness, holistic approach

    By Anita Bachmann

    Guest Columnist

    Losing a child before their first birthday is an unthinkable tragedy for any parent and unfortunately occurs too often in North Carolina, where we far outpace the nation in infant mortality.

  • Beware of online shopping scams

    By Josh Stein

    Guest Columnist

    We’re heading into holiday season, which means lots of shopping for many of us. I enjoy buying gifts from local stores, but increasingly people shop online. Shopping online can be convenient, but it has its own risks. If you’re buying online, here are some ways to protect your money and personal information.

  • Our Hurricane Florence experience

    By Bob Milner

    Guest Columnist

    There are literally thousands of stories of what happened to people during Hurricane Florence. This is ours. We live in a subdivision (Winding Creek) off Bethel Road in Southport. There were ample warnings to leave the area before Hurricane Florence hit. As it was approaching the coast, the storm went from a category 5 to a category 2. Had it been at a category 3, we were leaving. Both of our daughters were (and are) extremely upset with our decision.

  • A week spent in the midst of my memorabilia

    I reached the six-year mark here at the Brunswick Beacon a couple weeks ago.

    I actually hit that milestone while I was away from Brunswick County, out of town and back in Florida to see the parents and attempt to pack the past 40-something years into a few storage boxes.

    Getting older gets trickier when you are a bit of a pack rat. You don’t realize until it’s time to break it all down how successful you’ve become at not letting go of anything.

  • Other voting in progress after general election

    Well, we may not all be completely satisfied with the results of the most recent general election, but I for one am glad it’s over. It means the end of awful political ads and, hopefully very soon, the removal of campaign signs from along our county roadways. I’m glad most of the ones are gone from Old Georgetown Road, but clusters of them are still cluttering the entrance to the Shallotte rest area off U.S. 17, where plenty of others can be found at random.

  • You decide: can our state’s small towns make a comeback?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    North Carolina was once known as a state of small towns. The reason was the state economy. Led by the “Big Three” of tobacco, textiles and furniture, the economy was organized around small towns. Farmers took their crops and livestock to the closest town for processing and sale. Textile mills often located near rivers and streams for power and built small villages for their workers. Small towns in the foothills close to the state’s large forests were home to the furniture makers.