• Covering communities shouldn’t be convoluted into anything other than news

    When I settled into the editor’s desk in 2007, one of my most vocal critics was Rich Cerrato, the current mayor of Sunset Beach.

    Back then Rich wasn’t an elected official. He was Average Joe Citizen who regularly attended town meetings and frequently took everyone—including this newspaper—to task.

  • When love is in the air, sometimes laughter follows

    It’s that time of year when love is in the air. But for those who are single, it’s the time of year their singlehoodedness glares in their faces.

    Recently a group of my single female coworkers and I were discussing our dating lives. It may have been one of the most humorous conversations I have had in the office.

  • Big trial no laughing matter, except for when it was

    Being assigned to cover a days-long trial like last week’s Lewis vs. Rapp libel case at the Brunswick County Courthouse is a mixed bag, for sure.

    On one side of the courtroom, you have a rare, fascinating case involving our own Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis, who for nearly three years has been relentlessly pursuing her day(s) in court as a plaintiff seeking justice against libel.

  • I’m still going to cry; you won’t change my mind


    I just want to clarify: I do not support gun control.

    Until the day I and every other American can lay our heads on our pillows at night and close our eyes knowing we are unequivocally safe from harm, there will never be a day I agree with disarming our citizens.

    Our forefathers fought for this right. My own family members have fought for this right. (And thank God they had guns.)

    There will always be evil in this world. Unfortunately, we can’t stop it from wielding its ugly head.

  • Brief visit to sweepstakes establishment is a sure bet

    I want to be a winner. Who doesn’t?

    It’s better than the alternative.

    Maybe that’s why I made one of my rare treks to a sweepstakes facility this past Monday afternoon. I was also doing investigative reporting about the confusing status of sweepstakes businesses in Brunswick County and beyond.

    This latest visit was to Winner’s World in Calabash, which for reasons not yet made clear, seems to be one of the last surviving sweepstakes institutions in the Seafood Capital—for now.

  • The laws of Traffalysis: The four-way stop is not negotiable

    I believe I’ve mentioned I’m not from here, so I’m still learning about the place.

    Since I moved to the area one thing that is continually reaffirmed is how nice people are here—almost to a fault.

    No, I don’t think people need to get ruder. There’s plenty of places I could move if I wanted to fill that void in my life.

    But I can’t help but notice people are too nice in one particular area—at the four-way stop sign.

  • Christmas money buys free meals for hungry customers

    “It’s my Christmas present,” Betty Brown says of the free holiday meals she cooked for two days and gave out last Thursday to customers at the Minuteman convenience store in Sunset Beach.

    For the past seven years, Brown, who manages the store, has taken the money her husband Tom gives her for Christmas and uses it to buy food she cooks to serve customers.

    This year’s big day was Thursday, Dec. 20, at the store at the corner of Beach Drive and N.C. 904.

  • A nation at war with itself marks a tragic year of shooting deaths

    Twenty children. Six adults. One deranged shooter.

    I am in shock. How could something like this happen at an elementary school? This is an act of war, a crime of terror.

    Twenty kindergarten and first-grade students.

    Their biggest crimes in life couldn’t have been much worse than not making a bed or taking out the trash when their parents asked.

    Photos of the slain bring tears to my eyes. There is nothing more precious than an innocent child, and they became lambs to a slaughter.

  • Veteran recalls Pearl Harbor Day on its 71st anniversary

    CAROLINA SHORES—Art Paige clearly remembers Dec. 7, 1941.

    It was his first day on the job as a Marine recruit returning to base at Camp Lejeune. Then the announcement came over the radio.

    The Japanese had just bombed Pearl Harbor, launching World War II.

    “As soon as I got [to the base], I was given live ammunition and told to stand guard on the beach,” recalled the 90-year-old, seated in his home last week in his Marine uniform that still fits.

  • ’Tis the season to become a better person and to enjoy life more


    It’s my favorite time of year. The Christmas season has officially begun in Brunswick County.

    Once the turkey is carved and gobbled up, it’s time to light the Christmas tree and turn on the holiday music.

    I am thankful to live in a community where the Christmas season is celebrated at every turn. Last weekend I had the pleasure of spending the day getting in the spirit at Ocean Isle Beach.