December 30, 2022

Happy New Year 2023

2022: Remembering the GOOD

In April, 1935, in his first edition of The State Port Pilot, editor James M. Harper, Jr. promised to deliver “A good newspaper in a good community,” a goal each edition since has aspired to achieve.

Earlier this year we committed to producing a weekly email newsletter. The focus would be on the often unnoticed positive stories happening in our community. Remembering Mr. Harper’s promise, Carol Magnani, our advertising director, realized the newsletter’s title was a foregone conclusion and A Good Newsletter was born.

Since its launch six months ago, we’ve tried to bring GOOD readers a does of optimism with their morning coffee. It's been a rewarding effort – the feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve been grateful to hear your kind comments at local events and delighted by the treasure trove of images you shared in our community focus section.

As we move into the new year, we have some exciting new things planned for A Good Newsletter and we look forward to hearing your thoughts about them. We always welcome feedback and suggestions so feel free to email us at:

But now it's time to honor our name and look at some of the GOOD news covered this past year in The State Port Pilot.

From, February 16, 2022: Event honors veterans, first responders
Oak Island’s Veterans of Foreign Wars post welcomed police, firefighters, veterans and other emergency responders with a parade, breakfast, live music and accolades.The event was a benefit for Be The One-NC.

February 23, 2022: Preserving history at the John N. Smith Cemetery
Judy Gordon, the chairman of the John N. Smith Cemetery Restoration and Preservation Inc board, has dedicated her time to preserving the historic African-American cemetery since 2011. With the help of volunteers and support from the Southport Board of Aldermen, the cemetery has been restored, manicured and adorned with several plaques recognizing the people buried there.

March 9, 2022: Hundreds gather to offer prayers for Ukraine
Cheryl Fulton and Martha Johnson organized a vigil to show support for peace in Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February. The event was a huge success, with hundreds in attendance.

March 9, 2022: Oak Island Water Rescue pulls kayakers to safety
Oak Island Water Rescue pulled three kayakers stuck in the quicksand-like mud off the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The rescue was the first utilizing a hovercraft donated to the team last year.

March 23, 2022: Army honors police officer who helped paratrooper
Leaders from the 82nd Airborne Division honored Oak Island Police Sgt. Jack Huntsman for his service after helping a paratrooper in distress in September 2021. Huntsman is a veteran of the U.S. Army Airborne who served active duty in Iraq and Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm. Town officials said the situation could have gone badly, if not for Huntsman’s experience, wisdom and empathy.

April 6, 2022: Charlie the cat reunited with Charlotte family
Lost for over six months and hundreds of miles from home, a cat named Charlie was found as a stray on Ocean Isle Beach. Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Service’s
Animal care technician, Emily Beard, accessed Charlie’s microchip and reunited him with his family back in Charlotte – a happy ending and a great example of why pet owners should get their animals microchipped.

May 4, 2022: Scout project is public service effort
Overseeing the installation of ocean safety signs, life rings and rescue cans at all of Caswell Beach’s public beach access areas and at four locations along the Southport waterfront, Eagle Scout Jackson Enis, worked with other volunteers and businesses to improve water safety in Caswell Beach and Southport.
Concerned that Brunswick County Beaches have no lifeguard stands, Enis hopes the project can help swimmers in trouble and raise awareness about ocean safety.

May 25, 2022: COVID vaccine program earns national recognition
Brunswick County Health Services received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for their COVID-19 vaccination program. The program administered over 41,000 vaccinations from December 2020 to February 2021.

June 1, 2022: Program honors Gold Star families, veterans
The Town of St. James held a Memorial Day ceremony to recognize the community’s veterans. The event featured a variety of tributes and presentations honoring Gold Star families, and missing and fallen heroes.

June 8, 2022: St. James Relay for Life team in top three nationally
St. James Plantation residents earned the American Cancer Society’s Hero of Research Award in recognition of their support of Relay For Life in 2021. The team, consisting of 46 community members, raised over $210,000 for the Relay For Life of the Cape Fear Area.

July 20, 2022: Book 'em: Officer's two sons to play in separate World Series
Sgt. Kyle Pszczultkoski of Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department celebrated an extra special moment of pride this year when both his sons qualified for two separate Dixie Baseball World Series tournaments.

September 14, 2022: MAD maxes out on Spanish mackerel
During the Military Appreciation Day (MAD) event in Southport, more than 100 active duty military personnel were taken fishing on 40 volunteer boats. Many boats returned with fish boxes full of tasty Spanish mackerel.

November 9, 2022: Dosher nurse Babson honored with DAISY Award
Carol Babson, an LPN at Dosher's North Howe Street Primary Care Practice, was honored with the DAISY Award For Extraordinary Nurses, a recognition program established to thank nurses for their super-human efforts.

November 22, 2022: South baseball senior Jenkins signs with UNC Tar Heels
Walker Jenkins, a South Brunswick senior baseball player, signed a letter of intent to attend the University of North Carolina, although he is likely to be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. The multi-talented young man was named the Player of the Year for baseball in North Carolina by Gatorade.

December 28, 2022: Family receives home makeover for child in need
The Hayes family received an early Christmas gift as Welcome Home Angel, a nonprofit serving Brunswick, Pender and New Hanover counties, completed a home renovation project for them, including a state-of-the-art lift and physical therapy room, providing the family with much-needed assistance and support.

Looking back on 2022, it’s heartening to see the positive impacts that can be achieved when our community comes together. We’re excited to see what 2023 holds for our area and we look forward to continuing to share stories of hope and progress in The State Port Pilot and here, in A Good Newsletter. Happy New Year!

Do you have a “happy story” about good people doing good things in the community that you'd like to share with your fellow readers? Submit your uplifting idea or anecdote for Below the Fold to

New News

Here’s what we’re working on for next week’s

Good to Know

  • December 30 - National Bacon Day: Fry up a crispy, meaty treat for every meal of the day or try weird and wonderful creations like bacon brownies and bacon-flavored floss.

  • December 31 - Universal Hour of Peace: is celebrated in each time zone, rendering it a full 24 hour day of celebration all throughout the world.

  • January 1 - National Hangover Day: First described around 3000 years ago in an Indian book on surgery and medicine, hangovers go very far back. The hangover was described as a condition that came on after drinking with symptoms like head pain, joint pain, thirst and a heaviness in the body.

  • January 2 - National Science Fiction Day: This date was chosen in order to correspond with the official birth date of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov, who is thought to have been born January 2nd, 1920.

  • January 3 - National Fruitcake Toss Day: Reported as having originated in Manitou Springs, Colorado, this day was created to help people get rid of unwanted fruitcake after Christmas.

  • January 4 - Perihelion Day: Celebrate the day when the Earth is closest to the Sun on Perihelion Day! Learn more fun and interesting bits of information about the Earth and its proximity to the Sun on this unique and interesting day.

  • January 5 - National Bird Day: They are a valuable part of nature’s ecosystem. Many species of birds are also eaten by humans, but it does seem that it might be a little inappropriate to go quail hunting in honor of National Bird Day, no matter how delicious quail might be.

  • FOMO? Did you miss a previous edition of the GOOD NEWSLETTER?
    We’ve got you covered! Check out the archive

Community Focus

Reader Photo Showcase

This week our photo challenge theme was "something new." Unfortunately, for the first time, we received zero responses. The holidays are a busy time and since the period after New Year’s Day may actually be more appropriate, we’re going to offer the prompt again. Here’s hoping the New Year brings in many photo opportunities too irresistible to keep to yourselves!

Once again we want to thank all GOOD readers who have participated in past challenges and invite you all to visit our online photo gallery to see those submissions. Thank you for sharing your photos with us!

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View past reader photo showcases

Once again, next week's theme is: “something new”

Recipe of the week

IT’S BACON DAY Y'ALL!!! As someone once said, "Everything is better with bacon!" On December 30th each year, bacon lovers celebrate this culinary marvel, and not just at breakfast! Here is a sweet, spicy, and simple take on an old bacon classic that everyone will go crackers for at your New Year's get-together.


BBQ Bacon Crackers
Club crackers
• Bacon - Not thick cut
• Brown sugar
• BBQ seasoning
• Red pepper flakes

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and top with a baking rack. Fill the rack with as many club crackers as will fit. Cut the bacon slices into quarters. Place one cut slice of bacon on each cracker. Sprinkle with brown sugar, your favorite bbq seasoning, and red pepper flakes to taste. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until bacon is cooked through. Let cool for a couple of minutes.

Pet of the Week!

Our pet of the week is Buster!
This lovable pup is ready to bring in the new year with a bang! He’s so full of energy and high spirits, it's impossible not to smile when you look at him. We'd like to thank John Davis for sharing this delightful photo with us.

Buster submitted by John Davis.

See the complete collection in our Pet of the Week Showcase Gallery!

Good Times

It’s Friday! Presented by Up Your Arts, here’s the weekend line-up, full of music and activities for everyone.

Up Your Arts Creative and Performing Arts Logo

Friday, December 30

  • Mike McManus @ Oak Island Moose Lodge

  • Slick Mahoneys @ the Pub of Southport

  • Southern Child @ Second Wind

Saturday, December 31

  • Live Music (TBD) @ The Grape and Ale (OKI)

  • Jamie Dooley @ Chance’s Steak & Sea (Shallotte)

  • Hood’s Creek @ Oak Island Moose Lodge

  • New Year’s Eve Ball (Live Music TBD) @ LaPolena (SPT)

  • The 52nd Street Band @ Second Wind

  • R & R Music @ Oak Island Deli & Pub

Sunday, January 1

  • Oak Island New Year’s Day Beach Lantern Parade @ Oak Island Pier

On a GOOD Note

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”

― Benjamin Franklin

Have a really GOOD weekend!