Oklahoma courts gave Johnson and Johnson a precedent setting slap this past week. Allowing the state to file a charge that inappropriate promotion has created the Opiod epidemic, Johnson and Johnson has to pay $572 million to help reimburse the state for monies spent fighting this battle. The problem? The state claims that it could take up to 20 years to correct the epidemic. The odd twist? Apparently J&J expected to pay a fine up to $2 billion which spurred a purchasing increase. How strange. Oklahoma had already resolved claims against Purdue (Oxycontin) for $270 million and Teva for $85 million.

Too much pride? A $20 million aid package to help fight the rain forest fires seen all over social media has been turned down by the President of Brazil. Apparently he took it as an insult to the intelligence of the people of his country instead of a needed handout.

With Hurricane season in full swing, Tropical Storm Dorian is churning in the Atlantic. Now, not later, is the time to think through your storm preparations. As usual make sure you have batteries, flashlights, a plan to evacuate (if called for) and a plan for your pets but don’t forget your valuables. Paperwork, jewelry, firearms and non-replaceable items like artwork and children’s drawings need your attention too. In most cases people have a brief case or small safe to transport these items, but if not, think about getting a lockable, portable item that you can keep everything together. Write down phone numbers. If you were to lose your phone (or it got wet) would you be able to recall phone numbers? Probably not. Buy a pocket phone/address book and take an hour to write everything down. What can it hurt?

If you are new to the area or not especially tech savvy, now is the time to sign up for the “Code Red” alert program in your local town. These are essential bits of information put out by the towns and a simple way to keep in touch. Go meet your neighbors. In many areas we have lots of new homes and new neighbors, stop by and say hello and exchange contact information. Nothing brings people closer than dealing with an emergency together.

Karma has a sense of humor. A man reported his red pick-up truck stolen from a parking lot in Washington State at 6 a.m. one morning. He admitted to leaving the keys in the ignition but when the police reviewed security footage they found that this victim was in fact a criminal himself as he had been in the process of stealing from a business across the street. You can’t make this stuff up.

School buses are back on the roads. Put your darn phone down and pay attention when you are driving. There is no phone call more important that the safety and life of a child. It is that simple.

Remember knowledge is power, storms are stressful but early planning helps and Karma is always at work.


Dorothy Royal is the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, mother of two wonderful children, ringmaster of a herd of miniature ponies and an avid member of the Surf City Writers Group and Topsail Book Club.