• 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.

  • Does ‘the season’ mean what I think it means?

    In my conversations with people around Brunswick County these days, I’m hearing more and more references to “the Season.”

    Now I’m not from here, but I know a little bit about what that means because folks in the newspaper office have been hinting about the hectic nature of the tourist season since I got here.

  • Perils in the water are, and sometimes aren’t, as bad as they seem

    We published a story last week about a man whose boat became un-anchored on Bird Island. He swam after it, and was run over and killed by another boat.
    It reminded me of how dangerous swimming after a boat is.
    The west end of Holden Beach used to be much wider on the waterway side. The huge expanse of beach used to draw 20 or 30 boats every summer weekend. People would anchor, disembark and set out their sand chairs.

  • Manhunt makes for compelling television and uplifting ending

    I never hear the Navy Hymn without thinking about President John F. Kennedy’s funeral.
    I was thinking about that Friday night while waiting for the second Boston Marathon bomber to be captured. I was thinking about being glued to the television in 1963 and all the other major news events we’ve watched unfold “live” on television.

  • Moods change with the weather, but it gives us something to talk about

    Just when you thought it was spring, a blanket of blustery chill descends, the central heat kicks on, and you have to get back under a blanket (as I sit writing this under my faux-fur blankie, the one I’ve been carrying around with me since November).