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Columns

  • Incomprehensible tragedy

    It’s Sunday night, and I’m still struggling to comprehend that in the morning I’ll be heading to Florence County, S.C., for the second time in my life to say goodbye to a friend who was killed in the line of duty.

  • Extreme weather changes tend to trigger migraine drama

    Every time there is a dramatic change in the weather, I’ll develop a sinus infection or a migraine headache — occasionally both at the same time, but always when I’m at my busiest.

  • Guarding against grandparent scams

    By Josh Stein

    Guest Columnist

    Grandparents and grandchildren often have a special relationship. Kids are used to getting away with a little more with their grandparents, and grandparents are happy to spoil their grandkids a little. Some con artists know this and are only too willing to take advantage of a grandparent’s love for their grandchild. This year alone, our office has received 124 complaints involving grandparent scams that have cost consumers a total of $147,100.

  • You decide: what’s the new outlook for jobs?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    A few years ago, a couple of economists made a big splash by predicting almost half of occupations in the country had a big chance of being replaced by automation and technology in coming decades. Unemployment rates would soar to double digits and stay there. The economists’ forecast revived fears of “technological unemployment” posing a bigger threat to jobs than any future recession.

  • There’s no place safer in a storm than with Mom and Dad

    Hurricane Florence kept my cats and me in my parents’ care for 10 days at their home in the Triad and two more days at mine here in Brunswick County.

    I wasn’t confident my roof would hold up to Category 4 winds, so I heeded mandatory evacuation orders after our Sept. 13 edition went to press Sept. 11 and fled with Pepper and Mimi for the house I grew up in. What is normally a four-hour drive took more than five.

  • You decide: how is North Carolina’s economy at mid-year?

    By Dr. Mike Walden

    Guest Columnist

    The actor Tom Selleck was in a TV crime show series 30 years ago that my wife and I enjoyed. It was called “Magnum PI,” and the lead character played by Selleck would often say, “I know what you’re thinking,” as a humorous way of interacting with the audience. I want to borrow his phrase and say, “I know what you’re thinking. The fall of 2018 is almost here so mid-year was months ago. Why are you writing about mid-year?”

  • Gavel-to-gavel coverage of H2GO meetings

    While everyone is busy drying out from a trying week, I am going to present a few highlights of the very real interactions of the audience and commissioners of the Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO when, like the old MTV “Real World” promo used to say, people stop being nice and start being real.

  • Count me among Florence’s fortunate for being part of this community

    Florence isn’t the first hurricane I’ve lived through or covered in my career.

  • Importance of candidate forums to democracy cannot be overstated

    By Carol Roberts and Barbara Burrell

    Guest Columnists

    Voting is a fundamental right and for nearly 100 years the League of Women Voters (LWV) has assisted citizens in exercising that right. LWV believes all eligible voters should have an equal opportunity to exercise their right to vote. As a nonpartisan organization, the League cannot tell people for whom to vote, nor can it endorse candidates or provide funding for campaigns. The League does advocate for policies that ensure our elections remain free, fair and accessible.

  • Prosecutors need tools to protect Americans from violent offenders

    By Robert J. Higdon Jr.

    Guest Columnist

    Nothing federal prosecutors do is more important than protecting our fellow Americans from violence. In recent years, however, we have lost one of the most important tools we use to protect our communities: the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA). Only Congress can restore the ACCA to help us keep our neighborhoods safe.