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Opinion

  • In 2013, the General Assembly voted to

    eliminate tenure for public school teachers and moved teachers instead to a system of one-, two- or four-year contracts, to be in effect by the 2017-18 school year. At the same time, the legislature left it up to the state’s school districts to figure out how to implement the Teacher Employment Law.

    Having tenure meant teachers had the right to appeal changes in their employment status. Under the law, all teachers with tenure are to lose it as of July 1 this year.

  • Now that it seems spring is finally here to stay, state health officials advise us to “Fight the Bite” by taking measures to reduce the risk of tick and mosquito bites.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of vector-borne diseases, or those transmitted though the bites of blood-feeding ticks, mosquitoes and fleas, has more than tripled across the country.

  • October is well known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with November following as Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

    Although many cancers seem to have similar symptoms and risk factors, many may not realize that ovarian cancer (it shares its awareness month, September, with blood cancers like leukemia) is most common among women between 55 and 64, for example.

  • This Earth Day, which was observed Sunday, April 22, focused on reducing plastic pollution. Data provided by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality show North Carolinians throw away enough plastic bottles to reach the height of Cape Hatteras Lighthouse every 3.9 seconds.

  • Last week, two people were charged with murder in the death of David Stuart, who suffered horrific abuse as a toddler here in Brunswick County.

    Each was arrested almost 21 years to the day the boy was first taken to an area hospital to be treated for his massive injuries, including broken legs, puncture wounds and bruises, brain damage that robbed him of the ability to speak and left him with partial sight, and burns that disfigured his genitals.

  • Reasonable people understand children

    are not responsible for the conditions into which they are born: healthy or diseased, wealthy or poor, cherished or forgotten.

    The most recent report released March 28 by NC Child shows more than half — 55.4 percent — of Brunswick County children continue to live in “poor or near poor” homes.

    Myriad studies and ample research has shown us how important it is to nurture children, especially early in their development.

  • According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, at least five road construction projects are under way in Brunswick County, including installation of the newest roundabout at Ocean Isle Beach Road SW, Causeway Drive and Beach Drive SW in Ocean Isle Beach. Crews are working to complete it by Memorial Day, the unofficial kickoff of our tourist season.

    Just days after the official start of spring, NCDOT announced a rehabilitation project for the G.V. Barbee Bridge in Oak Island will begin in September and continue through May 2019.

  • For months, an overwhelming majority of the electorate who voiced opinions about seismic testing and offshore drilling emphatically and repeatedly stated their objections to both.

    In response, Brunswick County commissioners in January reversed a July 6, 2015, resolution that endorsed state and federal government steps to allow for these activities along the Atlantic coast.

  • Sunset Beach Town Council members are within their rights to restrict beach cabanas as they see fit on behalf of the citizens they are elected to serve.

    But their March 5 vote to prohibit commercial cabana vendors and rental enterprises from erecting or removing cabanas for customers on the beach leaves too many residents, vacationers and business owners scratching their heads ... again.

    Some still argue that cabanas are not only unsightly, but also take up too much real estate on Sunset Beach, the smallest of Brunswick County’s beaches.

  • Carolina Shores hosted a Sunshine Week open house Tuesday morning at town hall, just as it has for the past several years.

    Sunshine Week, observed this year March 11-17, is an annual national initiative launched by the American Society of News Editors to educate the public about the importance of open government.

    Here in the Tar Heel State, there are two sunshine laws: its open meetings law and its public records law.

  • The filing period is over for the May 8 primary and Nov. 6 general election. Filing for county Soil & Water District candidates begins at noon Monday, June 11, and is open until noon Friday, July 6, while filing for judicial candidates begins Monday, June 18, and is open until Friday, June 29. These elections are held during the general election Nov. 6.

    But we felt it appropriate to review now how the Beacon covers news about candidates.

    The Beacon does not endorse candidates. That practice will not change this year.

  • Brunswick County’s population continues to boom, spurring economic development efforts and fueling new businesses while also prompting infrastructure improvement plans to meet growth.

    Two recent requests by the North Carolina Rate Bureau threaten to bring it all to an abrupt halt.

    The bureau, which represents all companies writing property insurance in the state, filed notice in November asking for a statewide average increase in homeowners insurance rates for 2018.

  • Editor’s note: This editorial is republished with permission from the (Greenwood, S.C.) Index-Journal.

     

    Here

    we

    go.

     

    Yet

    again.

     

    Another

    school

  • Almost a year ago, concerned citizens including local boat captains spoke before the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners, and then the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners, to voice their worries about shoaling in Lockwood Folly Inlet.

    Although dredging was performed in late August and early September, it was for maintenance of the inlet, a temporary fix.

    By the time the next scheduled dredging takes place, it is likely the inlet will be as clogged as it was before — perhaps even worse.

  • This flu season has been one of the worst in recent history. Flu activity remains high for most of the country, with some areas still rising, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its Jan. 26 report.

    “This is the highest level of activity recorded since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic,” the CDC’s Dr. Dan Jernigan said. “The rapid increase in cases we have been seeing after the winter holidays … is among all ages, but is higher in children.”

  • Brunswick Family Assistance, based in Shallotte, held an official ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Monday for its office in Leland at 324-I Village Road where services are now available five days a week.

  • In less than 30 days, Brunswick County

    commissioners will decide whether to maintain opposition to seismic testing and offshore drilling. In the meantime, they are tasked with reviewing updated information about these issues.

    Last week, they reversed a July 6, 2015, county resolution that endorsed state and federal government steps to allow for offshore oil and natural gas development along the Atlantic coast.

  • West Brunswick head wrestling coach Jimmy Caraway’s career is remarkable for its longevity alone. It seems not many people these days remain in the same profession for 21 years, as he has.

    Caraway began his career as an assistant wrestling coach at Lumberton in 1995 and moved to its head coach position three years later, remaining there until he took the job as head wrestling coach at West Brunswick before the 2005-06 season.

    His tenure at West has produced a two-time individual state champion in Harrison Campbell and several regional and state qualifiers.

  • A few days ahead of 2018’s arrival, the

    National Weather Service predicted every part of Brunswick County would receive at least an inch of snow and likely a little ice from the effects of a bomb cyclone expected to slam into the East Coast beginning the afternoon of Jan. 3.

    While Leland, Belville and surrounding areas saw as many as five inches of snow, other communities closer to the Atlantic Ocean and to South Carolina saw nary a flake.

  • A week before Christmas, a child in the

    central part of our state became the first child flu fatality for the 2017-18 flu season, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there were nine pediatric flu deaths in the United States as of Dec. 16. It said almost half of all children who die from flu or complications related to it have no known medical condition that puts them at higher risk.