• Sibling connection means a lifetime of shared experiences

    Be careful what you give your kids for Christmas—it might affect their whole lives.
    When my sister Anne Marie and I were kids, our parents gave us a printing press. It had wooden block letters we placed in slots and ink we poured into a container. After we arranged the letters into words, we hand-cranked paper over the blocks into a printed page.

  • Here are a few tidbits about what happened in Vegas, baby

    I finally found out, I finally found out. I finally found out what happens in Vegas.

    The answer: pretty dang much anything you want to have happen in Vegas.

    I’m not sure I should share, since what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas—unless you’re Prince Harry with his ever-present trail of stalking paparazzi and leaked cell-phone photos.

  • Graduation and growing up can be hard on parents

    By Renee Sloan

    Staff Writer

    When my son was born, everyone told me to enjoy his childhood because it would pass too quickly.

    I’ll admit that I’ve thought about him growing up, but I didn’t really consider how I would feel about that until I watched him graduate from Pre-K last Friday. When I saw him in his little blue cap and gown, it really hit me; he’s growing up, and in less than 15 years, he’ll be graduating from high school.

  • Memorial Day weekend crowds kick-start summer season

    Long lines at drive-throughs, stoplights and grocery stores can mean only one thing: It’s summer at the beach.
    The weather Memorial Day weekend appeared to be custom-ordered: no rain and low humidity.
    That forecast and beautiful beaches in the South Brunswick Islands combined to lure crowds to the coast.

  • Looks can be deceiving; would sign prevent another tragic drowning?

    Since I’m not from here, last week’s drowning in the Lockwood Folly Inlet was the first of its kind I’ve covered for a newspaper.

    I have covered the unexpected, including a child who drowned during a quick and heavy rainstorm. He tried to save his basketball from floating away in a shallow ditch and was knocked off his feet by the fast-running water and pulled into a driveway culvert.

  • Inlet has breath-taking beauty, malevolent undercurrents

    It looks like a place where peaceful waters flow.
    Instead, it’s a place where deadly waters flow.
    A tourist from Ohio drowned in the Lockwood Folly Inlet last Tuesday. The 21-year-old man was trying to swim from the east end of Holden Beach across to the west end of Oak Island (Long Beach).
    The inlet—about 300 yards wide— separates those two islands and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway.

  • Figuring out the perfect gift might just be saying thanks

    By Renee Sloan

    Staff Writer

    With Mother’s Day right around the corner, many of you are rushing to the mall to find gifts for your wives, mothers, grandmothers and mothers-in-law. After we make deadline, I will probably be right there with you in search of the perfect gift for my mom. However, there’s one person in my life that never wants any gifts—my grandma, Fay Wright.

    Every year, I always ask her what she wants, and she says, “Oh, don’t buy me nuthin’. I don’t need anything.”

  • There’s enough praise and admonishment to go around

    KUDOS: To the architect of the relatively new building at Sharon United Methodist Church. Every time I come around that curve in the road, I marvel at the magnificent design. The architect certainly understood the lay of the land and how to present various structural elements in the most effective way. This was inspired work.
    DISSES: To property owners on the Holden Beach Causeway who don’t even bother to mow their yards or empty lots or kill weeds where their property joins the road. They can do better.

  • Mother's pride at Marine ceremony connects timely days in May

    Quantico is a base and place I’d never visited, a chance to venture onto restricted United States Marine Corps territory (with the proper credentials) to tend to important Marine business.

    With Mother’s Day just around the bend, Sgt. Alex, my Marine son, was about to graduate to become an embassy guard, along with a class of more than 100 fellow graduates destined to embark on assorted lifetime adventures throughout the world.

  • Heroes of our youth take us on mental and emotional journey

    It’s not often that you see a governor turn back into a 17-year-old kid.
    But that’s what happened last Thursday night when Gov. Pat McCrory spoke at the 50th North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame banquet in the Raleigh Convention Center.
    Making impromptu remarks, McCrory said the main reason he came was because the 1974 N.C. State team was being honored for producing one of the greatest moments in the state’s sports history: the ACC Tournament win over Maryland.