• Media and law enforcement should be on same side

    I’d watched from afar a clash between an area media outlet and one of the law enforcement agencies in its coverage territory. It seems there was some breaking news not too long ago and, as the station was trying to report it, no one at the law enforcement agency was available to provide any information in a timely fashion. The station, in subsequent reports of the story, took the chief of the law enforcement agency to task for it, and the chief reacted predictably.

  • From ‘best storyteller’ to writer, I have enjoyed every minute

    It was kindergarten graduation and awards day. A lanky, geeky girl stood toward the back of the group, adjusting her pink wire-rimmed glasses. She was waiting to see what award she would get. Every kid in the class got one, and she couldn’t wait to see what hers would be.
    Everyone was getting good awards: best dressed, most friendly, most helpful, most likely to succeed in first grade. When they called the little girl’s name, she skipped up to the front, hugged the teacher and grabbed her award as they announced “best storyteller.”

  • Smile — not only will people wonder what you're up to, you'll live longer

    It wasn’t that long ago — last month, I think — Americans were worried about a tight-lipped phenomenon recently referred to in (lighter) news reports as “witchy resting face.”

    Except the first word isn’t really “(w)itchy” — it just rhymes with it.

    For publication’s sake, we’ll refer to this condition as “BRF.” I don’t think it’s quite as bad as Grumpy Cat — another recent irritated-looking phenomenon in the feline world, but it doesn’t lag far behind.

  • Vacation Bible School teaches faith and respect for God’s creatures

    A little bird told me to have faith. Well, really he didn’t tell me, but a kind-hearted 5-year-old sure did.

    My son, Levi, attended the Colossal Coaster World Vacation Bible School program at Southport Baptist Church in June. Not only did he have a great time, but he also learned a lot about God and his love for all creatures great and small.

    A few nights after the program ended, I encountered a spider on the front porch, and promptly squashed its guts out with my flip-flop.

  • Trip to London a great way to kill time waiting for royal baby

    We went bearing passports and luggage that had to pass muster with the TSA (no small feat), finally crossing over the big pond just to see the queen and her new great-grandchild.

    All that effort, and still no baby.

    To kill time on my first international trip, and since I couldn’t sleep, I watched movies and the GPS tracking our route on the overnight transatlantic flight on a screen built into the seat of the plane passenger in front of me.

  • Does this Shallotte mystery deserve its own documentary?

    The other day I saw a fascinating clip online of an upcoming documentary “The Gettysburg Story,” which will play on PBS in November to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

    They filmed the battlefields using a camera mounted to a multi-rotor drone in order to rise above and sweep across the fields to show how the battles took place where the Confederate Troops attacked the Union positions over the three-day battle.

  • Journalism career starts with a grudge, leads to a job in Shallotte

    By Jackie Torok

    Managing Editor


    Hello, Brunswick County! I’m glad to meet you.

    I’m Jackie Torok, and I’m the new managing editor of your Beacon. I think it’s fair to call The Brunswick Beacon your Beacon because, as your newspaper, we’re here to inform you about the important things happening in your community. This newspaper has a reputation for reporting the news that’s important to you, and I have no plans to change it.

  • Tips for enjoying this year's Fourth of July festival

    Today, clowns will be riding tiny cars, vendors will be selling a variety of fried confections, bands will be playing and beauty queens of all ages will be waving until their arms give out. That’s right. It’s time for the annual N.C. Fourth of July Festival.

    Each year, I spend July 4 in Southport, and this year will be no different.

    Like a kid waiting on Christmas, I start looking forward to the festival weeks before it’s time. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement as people make their preparations.

  • Brunswick County offers no-fuss family fun

    “Mommy, I wanna do somethin’ fun. We never do anything fun.”

    My son utters these words every weekend. It never fails that when I am attempting to get caught up on my housework, he gets bored and accuses us of being “the most boring family ever.”

  • Trading on Calabash name just might require a trademark

    An ongoing go-round between restaurant owners about claims to use of the names “Miss Calabash” and “Mrs. Calabash” has spurred food for thought (see write-up on this week’s food page in the Tides section of the Beacon).

    When Calabash restaurateurs Shawn Bellamy and Crystal Coleman-Nixon challenged a new restaurant about use of anything even remotely resembling Miss, Mrs. or, as we say down South, Miz or Mamaw Calabash, a nosy reporter—aka me—started nosing around.