• Sometimes we don’t even recognize this country.
    This week there was plenty to make us wonder.
    •We were incensed to discover the IRS has been targeting groups and/or individuals with conservative ties.
    This is blatantly wrong, no matter what political beliefs one has.
    We don’t trust the administration to do an objective investigation, as promised.
    The sad thing is we don’t trust Congress to do the investigation, either.

  • “Iron Man 3,” filmed 45 miles up the road in Wilmington, just took in the second-highest dollar figures ever for a movie’s opening.
    The latest installment in the Iron Man series opened taking in a colossal $175.3 million, making it second only to 2012’s “The Avengers.” That movie was the predecessor in Marvel Studios’ ongoing series of superhero movies, which took in $207.4 million last year.

  • In the North Carolina General Assembly, the House passed its version of the voter ID bill last week, and now it heads to the Senate.
    This legislation was introduced a few years ago.
    One rookie legislator at the time said, “I thought we’d get to Raleigh, and all we’d talk about was jobs, jobs, jobs. Instead, we talked about everything except jobs.”
    A proposed voter ID bill was one of the things they talked about then.

  • This will probably be a good idea—once we get used to it.
    Not many people like change, not at first anyway.
    We North Carolina drivers had gotten used to getting our license tags at one time and paying our vehicle-tax bills at another.
    All that’s getting ready to change.
    The first combined tag-and-tax notices will soon arrive in North Carolina mailboxes for vehicle-registration bills that are due in July.

  • Our hearts this week are in New England, land of midnight riders and tea parties.
    Once again, we have been barraged by grief.
    Can you imagine going to a sporting event to have fun as a spectator and coming home without a leg?
    Or your life? Three people have been confirmed dead at this writing, after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

  • We had to shake our heads at a bill recently introduced by a North Carolina legislator.
    State Sen. Austin Allran, a Republican from Hickory, was the primary sponsor of the Healthy Marriage Act, legislation that would make North Carolinians have to wait two years to finalize a divorce. There would also be mandatory counseling.
    Currently, the waiting time is one year, which seems a fair amount of time.

  • We had to chuckle after reading a report about a traffic stop last week on I-85 near Lexington.
    Davidson County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a 2005 Dodge truck on I-85 South for a traffic violation.
    According to the sheriff’s office, the vehicle displayed California registration and was driven by Dennie Andy Keophimanh, 26, of Grand Prairie, Texas.

  • By Sarah Sue Ingram
    Interim Editor

  • Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed April as Organ Donation Awareness Month in North Carolina, encouraging all citizens to consider the many organ-donation needs throughout the state.
    “According to Carolina Donor Services (CDS), more than 3,546 North Carolinians are waiting for organ transplants, and an average of 18 people die each day due to the severe shortage of donated organs,” McCrory said.
    Eighteen people a day. That’s an alarming number.
    In the future, one of those 18 could be somebody you know. Or love.

  • Marty Lawing is like vanilla ice cream—not spicy but very reliable.
    Lawing, who has been county manager for Brunswick County for the past 12 years, just accepted a position as manager of Guilford County.
    Brunswick County commissioners who hired Lawing were David Sandifer, May Moore, Tom Rabon, Don Warren and Bill Sue.

  • The increase in the number of driving-while-impaired arrests in Brunswick County is alarming.
    In the first two-and-a-half months of this year, the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office has charged 123 people with driving while impaired (DWI). In the first two months of 2012, BCSO issued just 19 DWIs.
    Last year there were 27 fatal wrecks in Brunswick County. Eight of those deaths were attributed to driving while impaired.

  • This week is Sunshine Week, a week where media outlets throughout the country join together with organizations and private citizens to shine the light on fair and open government.
    Here at The Brunswick Beacon, we frequently rely upon open records and public meetings laws to keep you, our readers, informed of things happening in your community.
    In 2008, 2010 and 2011, the North Carolina Press Association named the Beacon the Henry Lee Weathers Freedom of Information award winner for all newspapers in North Carolina with a circulation of 20,000 or less.

  • Brunswick County commissioners, we don’t envy your positions right now.
    Like many government entities, you’re being pulled in several directions, and the funding requests just keep coming.
    To make those matters worse, most often the solutions that must be found meet with public ire—cutting programs or positions or raising taxes.
    Ouch. To many taxes is a dirty, dirty word.

  • Jaronn Ladale McAllister, we haven’t forgotten about you.
    We realize we didn’t know you before March 1, 2012, but there’s nary a week that has gone by since we haven’t thought of you.
    Each time we see a picture of your smiling face, it makes it that much harder to digest what happened to you.
    Our hearts are heavy as we try to understand how anyone could harm a little 3-year-old boy.

  • We understand in this economy people have had to make a lot of tough decisions when it comes to spending money.
    Unfortunately for some that has meant cutting back on going to see the doctor, especially when it’s related to preventive care.
    But there’s help this weekend.
    And it’s free.
     This weekend we are joining with health and other related businesses throughout the county for our annual health expo. This is the seventh year we have sponsored the event.

  • This week the movie “Safe Haven,” based on a novel by best-selling author Nicholas Sparks, lights up the big screen.
    Shot on location in Southport and in other nearby areas, we hope this movie means more good things are in the future for Brunswick County.
    For many years Brunswick County has been a good draw for television and moviemakers. The moderate temperatures and welcoming community have made it a good place to set up shop for the extended hours of filming that go into million dollar productions.

  • New Brunswick County commissioner Frank Williams is off to a good start.
    The Leland-area businessman had already been making a name for himself in state and local politics, long before he signed up to serve the county as a commissioner.
    The small business owner has also been a steadfast voice for businesses and growth in Brunswick County.
    The owner of Pioneer Strategies, Williams, a member of several civic organizations, often makes presentations and gives speeches about things business owners can do to survive and thrive in this tough economy.

  • The Internet does a lot of good things for a lot of people.
    It’s an amazing way to connect with people around the world without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home.
    It’s a never-ending source of information, a way to find out something about just about anything you can imagine.
    It’s a place that can inspire love, creativity, diversity, knowledge and friendship.
    But it’s also a place where things can very quickly get out of hand.

  • I’ve mentioned I’m not from here a couple times in the past. That’s because I have to start somewhere, and the first thing you learn in a new place is how much you don’t know about it.

    The things that stand out the most are the things that are most different from your past experiences.

    I have now been in Brunswick County long enough that what still feels like only a few weeks has turned into a few months. Almost. Give or take a few days.

  • It’s a difficult, but rewarding job and Brunswick County’s children need you to sign up for the call.
    Brunswick County’s Department of Social Services and the Boys and Girls Homes (B&GH) of North Carolina are planning training and information sessions about what it means to be a foster or adoptive parent in our community.
    According to DSS, right now Brunswick County only has about 16 foster parents/families licensed through its agency. They desperately need more—there are 145 children in DSS care.