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Opinion

  • Sand collapsed on a man who was trying to tunnel between two 6-foot-deep holes he dug while vacationing at Cape Hatteras National Shore in the summer of 2014. He died after 15 minutes beneath the sand despite frantic efforts to rescue him.

    Although his is an extreme case of a common beach-going activity gone fatally wrong, Ocean Isle Beach officials do not want to see it repeated on their shores.

  • We are pleased to report no mishaps involving fireworks in Brunswick County during this year’s Independence Day celebrations. We are alarmed, however, by the number of fire deaths our state has had so far this year, including one at a mobile home in Leland on May 31 that killed the wife of a Winnabow firefighter. The cause of that fire has not been determined and it is unclear whether the residence had a functional smoke alarm.

  • Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville Park remains a work in progress pending the addition of a Cape Fear Raptor Center education facility and 1,480-foot waterfront boardwalk among other amenities. But it already boasts features like a 2,400-square-foot observation deck, 125-foot-long fishing pier, concert pavilion, a handicapped accessible mile-long nature trail and farmer’s market.

    The riverwalk park is a jewel for Belville and all of Brunswick County as a regional attraction since it opened in 2015.

  • Editor’s note: This editorial is by National Newspaper Association  president Susan Rowell, publisher/regional manager of The Lancaster (S.C.) News/Carolina Gateway, which is owned by the Beacon’s parent company, Landmark Community Newspapers Inc.

    There are two things you need to know about newspapers.

  • In 1993, Seattle changed its municipal code to

    classify potbellied pigs as pets instead of livestock and set a limit of one per owner. Sue Donaldson, the city councilwoman who sponsored the change, told radio station KUOW it was silly to waste resources on going after pig owners because of “one disgruntled citizen” who sought to have their owners charged with violations.

  • Brunswick County is not just for summertime tourists. Its ranking as the state’s fastest-growing county is proof.

    Yet residents and visitors alike remain unaware ample outdoor recreation opportunities it offers and has the potential to provide year-round, expanding the area’s economy.

  • Outward appearances indicate Brunswick County boasts a fit population engaged in golfing, kayaking, surfing and other outdoor activities that have necessitated the expansion of parks and similar facilities from Carolina Shores to Leland.

    The latest State of the County Health Report offers a harsh reality check.

  • According to the National Weather

    Service office in Wilmington, Memorial Day marked another day of record-breaking daily rainfall for May, thanks in large part to Subtropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of this hurricane season, which does not officially begin until Friday, June 1.

    The NWS predicted much of the area could see two to four inches of rain Monday through Wednesday, saturating our already soggy area. Just after noon Monday, the NWS issued a flash flood warning for Brunswick County because of the rainfall brought by Alberto.

  • Memorial Day is meant to be a day

    of remembrance for those who died in the service of our nation. As the unofficial kickoff of summer, the holiday weekend also marks the beginning of what is known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period when teen traffic deaths historically rise as schools let out for the season, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

  • 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.