Community Celebrates Fire Chief Byron Graham
Town Hall in Elizabethtown was packed today with emergency response professionals, elected officials, friends and family to celebrate the retirement of Fire Chief Byron Graham and honor his many years of service. Graham started his career in 1977 and on Friday, January 30th, 2015 he will retire.
For the past seven years, Graham has been the Fire Chief of Elizabethtown. Mayor Campbell said, “He has done an outstanding job. Not just representing and protecting the citizens in the town of Elizabethtown, but looking after his firefighters.” She thanked Graham for his integrity and the example he has set to others.
Graham had a sales business in the dental industry in 1977 when Mr. Elmer Tessenear recruited him to volunteer with the Elizabethtown Rescue Squad. That is when Graham found his passion and began to write his legacy. Integrity, dedication and great character was the common theme in the testimonies given about Graham. READ MORE
Dublin Dixie Youth Sign-ups
Dublin Dixie Youth will be having baseball sign-ups for Coach Pitch (ages 6-8), Minor (ages 9-10) and Major (ages 11-12) onThur 1/29/15, Mon 2/2/15 and Thur 2/5/15 from 6- 8 p.m. at Dublin Primary School Gymnasium!
For more information or if you are unable to sign up on one of the above dates, you may call or text (910) 876-1366 or (910) 876-0904 or you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find out more information on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/dublindyb.
Elizabethtown Primary School 2nd 9 weeks Honor Rolls
“A” Honor Roll
Marcellious Joseph, Celexia Miminger, Aldo Monroy, Octavio Morales, Dyiamon Robinson, Dmauriee Rodgers, Emma McDuffie
“A/B” Honor Roll
Linwood Britton, Elijah Cain, Jahlil Carter, Khalil Crumb, Gavin Dowless, Charlie Edwards, Rylee Garrison, Arianna Gill, JaQuez Graham, Amyah Jackson, DeJohn Lesane, Andrew Lin, Taylar McLaurin, Abril Mena, Summerlin Monroe, Destiny Moses, Heidi Robellor, Karly Ross, Amado Rojas, Aydan Shaver, Gracie Smith, Julio Stanley, Nate Stewart, CeeAsia Tindall, Cashmere Thomas, Aniya Thompson, Breyson Vasquez, Lacy Young. READ MORE
Help Keep Bladen County Clean
Litter is piling up all over Bladen County and we need a solution. It kills wildlife, looks disgusting, is hazardous to our health, and clean up doesn’t come cheap. Litter clean-up costs the U.S. more than an estimated $11.5 billion each year.
Folks need to realize they are causing a real problem when they litter. When you litter, you are not just affecting yourself. Indirect costs include the degree to which litter reduces the value of real estate, deters a customer from entering a business, or a new employer from locating to a community. This issue affects our whole community.
Keep Bladen Beautiful promotes recycling, solid waste handling practices, and encourages individuals to take a great responsibility for improving our community environments. However, volunteers are needed for this collaborative. Steve Melson, with Keep Bladen Beautiful said, “Losing the state inmates was a devastating effect on us here in Bladen County. Volunteers are needed, but we haven’t had a large turn out.” READ MORE
Bladenboro Primary School releases its Honor Roll for the second nine weeks as follows:
“A Honor Roll”
Malachi Bennett, Elise McKiver, Emmee Ward
“A/B” Honor Roll”
Riley Abbott, Autumn Britt, Joseph Brooks, Danielle Britt, Mallory Bryan,
Jayden Campbell, Benjamin Davis, Mary Davis, Lainey Fowler, Brennan Greene,
Dalton Hester, Jayden Hunter, Shamaria Jackson, Armonie McCray, Jenna McLean,
Kaci Nance, Kyleigh Nealey, Makensie Norris, Iyan Phillips, Nicholas Phillips, Kimberly Pinyan, Kaelan Pittman, Jasmin Santana, Landon Shaw, Brooke Singletary, John White, Summer Winebarger. READ MORE
Dental Van Stops by Elizabethtown Primary
The Friendly Dental Van stopped by Elizabethtown Primary School, Thursday, January 22nd. This service is based in Cumberland County and visits neighboring schools in Columbus and now Bladen County offering dental services to students. The van is fully equipped with everything that a regular dentist office has to offer, including x-rays, fillings, and cleanings. All the dental work is completed on the same day. Students were made to feel very comfortable. A big screen TV playing a favorite movie kept their attention while they waited.
Bladen state parks had drop in visits in 2014
Jones Lake State Park had a 4 percent decrease and Singletary Lake State Park had a 14 percent decrease in visits during 2014 compared to 2013, according to figures released Wednesday by North Carolina State Parks.
There were 119,636 visits to Jones Lake during 2014 compared to 124,633 in 2013. Included in that figure are 4,240 visits in December, which was a 3 percent increase over December 2013. Jones Lakes State Park is located off N.C. 242 near Elizabethtown.
There were 15,278 visits to Singletary Lake during 2014 compared to 17,843 in 2013. Included in that figure are 510 visits in December compared to 580 in December 2013. Singletary Lake State Park is located off N.C. 53 in Kelly.
Statewide, parks and recreation areas experienced record attendance last year with 15.6 million visits, which was a 10 percent increase over 2013 according to figures provided by the N.C. Department of Energy and Natural Resources. READ MORE
Thoughts While Shaving
I attended a special meeting of the Bladen County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a proposed new jail…actually, it was to interview firms to manage the construction of a new jail and sheriff’s department….It was an action packed meeting…
January 28, 2015: 3 Things to Know
1. Happy Data Privacy Day!
2. Diabetes Support Group meeting Thursday at Bladen County Health Department.
3. Did New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick make you late this morning? READ MORE
Construction Management Team Approved for new Jail
North Carolina’s December Employment Figures Released
RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted December unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, decreasing 0.4 of a percentage point from November’s revised rate of 5.9 percent. After the monthly revision, November’s preliminary rate of 5.8 percent increased to 5.9 percent. The national rate is at 5.6 percent.
North Carolina’s December 2014 unemployment rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than a year ago. The number of people employed increased 1,283 over the month to 4,364,022, and increased 25,339 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 15,843 over the month to 255,510, and declined 67,584 over the year. READ MORE
Bladen child protective custody cases quadrupled since 2013
Whether it’s a result of substance abuse, unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, or sexual or physical abuse, there’s been an “explosion” in the number of children in Bladen County now in protective custody, says Department of Social Services Director Vickie Smith.
Smith told the Bladen County Board of Commissioners last week that 59 children, ranging in age from 6 months to 17 years, are in foster care. That’s more than four times as many as the 13 that were in the program in 2013. There were 44 children in the program in December.
What’s happening in Bladen County to cause such a large increase? It seems to be the usual culprits, just more of it, along with Bladen County catching up with the rest of North Carolina, Smith said.
“At a recent executive meeting with the state, Wayne Black, our state DSS director, told us that for two years, the state has seen an increase of 8 to 9 percent in foster care,” Smith said in an interview Tuesday. “Here in Bladen County, the last two years, we had not seen that. READ MORE
CLARKTON IS IN THE CLEAR – Everything from SR 1003 (Twisted Hickory Road) and east is COMPLETE and OPEN
In the Bladenboro Area:
SR 1172 (Grimsley Farm Road) is closed and will remain closed
SR 1175 (Fourth Street) is closed and will remain closed
NC 131/242/410 (Main Street) is closed; however, they are starting today’s patch work at this location with the goal being to open up by 7am tomorrow morning
NOTE: Grief Street and Ash Street in Bladenboro remain open; however, they cannot handle detoured traffic due to loads and/or inadequate turning radii. Also, one end of Pine Ridge Circle is closed while the other remains open.
SR 1179 (Bryant Swamp Road) is closed and will remain closed
SR 1178 (Richardson Road) is open and will remain open as a detour for feedmill access and SR 1128 (Berry Lewis Road) detour
SR 1128 (Berry Lewis Road) will be closed down this morning
Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on January 28
Special Meeting of the White Lake Town Board
The Mayor of the Town of White Lake calls a special meeting of the White Lake Town Board of Commissioners at the White Lake Municipal Building, 1879 White Lake Dr., White Lake, NC. The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm on Thursday, Januray 29th, 2015. The purpose of this meeting is to approve the easement(s) for the multi-use path and authorize the Mayor to execute the easement(s) on the Town’s behalf. (Only those items of business specified in the notice may be transacted at a special meeting, unless all members are present or have signed a written waiver of notice).
Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarships available
Funny Quote of the Day – Jules Renard – “Laziness is not
“Constituent service is the number one priority for our office. It’s important that we are accessible to every citizen. I like to put it this way: If you have a problem, it means that we have a problem.”
The monthly schedule and location for each county is below (and attached). Constituents can get more information by calling our Bolivia district office at 910-253-6111.
First Tuesday of each month
1:00 – 3:00 PM
Elizabethtown Agricultural Center
450 Smith Circle Drive
Elizabethtown, NC 28337 READ MORE
Bladen County Headlines…35 Years Ago
Bladenboro Board cuts McLean Park concession stand construction costs
During a pre-construction meeting with Steve Britt of K&S Builders, the board opted not to use quarry tile, change the counter door to baked enamel, not install electric hand dryers, change framed wall to 8-inch masonry, not use FRP wall sheetrock and brick siding, and change shingles to three tab. READ MORE
Elizabethtown Police Crime Report: Dec. 29-Jan. 4
The following arrests were filed by the Elizabethtown Police Department from Monday, Dec. 29 through Sunday, Jan. 4. The people listed have not been convicted of the charges and are presumed innocent. Failure to appear charges are not listed. READ MORE
SBI to reopen 1976 Bladen County Murder Case
The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) announced Monday that an investigation continues of the reopened 1976 Josephine and Aileen Davis murders in Bladen County and will not close “until all viable leads have been exhausted.”
The SBI reopened the case in February, 2013 at the request of District Attorney Jon David when evidence used to convict Joseph Sledge for the homicides was unanimously determined by the North Carolina Innocence Commission to be questionable and warranted a judicial review. READ MORE
Weather Forecast starting Wednesday, January, 28th
Wednesday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 32.
Thursday Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.
Thursday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 36.
Friday Sunny, with a high near 56.
Friday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 33.
Saturday Partly sunny, with a high near 48.
Saturday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33.
Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 51. READ MORE
Thank You from Us
We greatly appreciate all our readers. We know that changes aren’t always welcome, but sometimes needed. Our goal is to continue bringing our community the latest local news, sports, and advertising in a way that keeps our community connected in the most efficient way possible. We cannot do it without you and the dedicated team that has been with us from day one.
We wanted to take a moment to thank all the people that have made BladenOnline.com possible. Team members from the beginning, full-timers, part-timers, our readers and the advertisers that continue to support BladenOnline.com, thank you, just doesn’t say it all.
The first week of our new layout was very successful due to your dedication, even with the adjustments. Last week we had 194 new subscribers, 5,908 direct organic hits, 2,149 hits from Google searches, 404 hits from Bing, 361 hits from Yahoo, and 177 hits from Facebook. We are humbled and honored to be your choice.
BCC President responds to Obama tuition plan
Bladen Community College President Dr. William Findt agrees with the idea proposed by President Barack Obama that students have two years of education beyond high school. Findt says it is now
virtually a requirement that those entering the workforce have a credential indicating they have the skills necessary for today’s workforce.
The plan proposed in Obama’s State of the Union address would enable a student to complete a degree or other educational credential at one of the nation’s community colleges without paying any tuition provided the student maintains a 2.5 grade point average and completes the program within three years. Findt points out that the proposal would have less impact on Bladen Community College than it might at many other community colleges because 78 percent of the college’s students receive Pell grant tuition assistance. In addition, tuition in North Carolina’s community colleges is among the lowest in the nation. He points out that though the proposal may initially lead to increased enrollment at many of the nation’s community colleges, it may not achieve a stated goal of increasing the overall education level of the American workforce. READ MORE
Dunn Promoted to Tampa
The Beasley Broadcast group recently entered into an asset exchange with CBS radio to enter the Tampa-St.Petersburg, Florida market (18th largest radio market). The deal closed in October, 2014. Dunn joined the Beasley Broadcast group in 1991. READ MORE
Elizabethtown Middle School DAR Winner
Mary Katelyn Lennon, a 5th grader at Elizabethtown Middle School, has been selected to compete at the district level for her DAR essay.
Her essay was chosen to represent the Battle of Elizabethtown Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution.
The students were required to write a historical fiction essay portraying the experience of a child immigrating to America and arriving at Ellis Island. Congratulations, Mary! READ MORE
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will host its fifth annual workshop for managers of local farmers markets Friday, Feb. 20, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Greensboro.
The workshop will be held at the Guilford County Cooperative Extension Office, 3309 Burlington Road in Greensboro. The event includes sessions on legal protections, liability, grant funding and event planning. Networking opportunities also will be available throughout the day. READ MORE
We are currently looking for a church in Bladen County that would be willing to host our “Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More” classes that would be available for you, your church members, and citizens of Bladen County to join! READ MORE
Week in Review: Jan. 19-25
In 1978, Joseph Sledge was convicted of murdering Josephine Davis and her daughter, Aileen, near Elizabethtown. On Friday, he was exonerated by a three-judge panel.
Earlier in the week, Bladen County celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a parade through downtown Elizabethtown.
Dennis Hawes has seen a lot of big trucks rumble down Poplar Street from his chair located next to the front window of Bridgers’ Barber Shop in Elizabethtown. READ MORE
Miss Crusader Crowned
The senior class girls of Harrells Christian Academy were honored recently and recognized as the Miss Crusader Court was presented during halftime of the varsity boys basketball game against Coastal Christian High School. Ashley Usher, daughter of Juston and Joy Usher of Watha, was crowned the 2015 Miss Crusader. Each year, Miss Crusader is voted on by the HCA upper school student body. Miss Crusader should hold the following characteristics: She is a member of the senior class who represents the values and beliefs of Harrells Christian Academy and school mascot, the Crusader; she is a loyal supporter of the green and gold and proud to call herself an HCA Crusader. The Miss Crusader Court is pictured above L-R as follows: Laken Clifton, Caitlin Pusey, Anna Russ, Anne Baker Bryant, Ashley Usher (Miss Crusader), Natalie Hardin (2014 Homecoming Queen), Christian Rhodes, MaryKate Murray, and Margaret Clark. Not pictured: Jessi-Kate Batts, Rylie Evans, and Amanda Sutton.
3 Bladen County towns awarded water project funds
Three Bladen County towns were awarded almost $2 million in loans and grants by the State Water Infrastructure Authority to help pay for drinking water and waste water projects, the N.C. Department of Energy and Natural Resources announced Thursday.
The Town of Clarkton will receive $1.097 million to help fund three projects. Clarkton was awarded a $421,000 revolving loan from the Federal Clean Water State Revolving Fund for its equalization basin project, a $480,600 State Water Infrastructure Fund Waste Water Reserve High Unit Cost grant for its collection system project, and $196,300 from the State Water Infrastructure Fund Drinking Water Reserve High Unit Cost grant for water system improvements. READ MORE
New Steakhouse and Seafood Restaurant in Elizabethtown
Steaks, ribs and seafood are only a few of the mouth-watering foods offered at Christopher’s Steakhouse & Seafood restaurant in Elizabethtown. The new restaurant opened on January 3rd this year and has been busy serving great food to happy customers every day since.
Open every day of the week at 11 am, customers can enjoy lunch or supper. Community members in our area have been bragging about the food at the new restaurant. READ MORE
Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker held a promotions and retirement ceremony Friday for members of his department.
Among those receiving promotions were:
Sgt. R.J. Bailey
Cpl. Cley Carroll
Cpl Daniel Clark
Promotions presented by Capt. Jeff Bridgers
Investigator Matt Hester II
Investigator K Rodney Hester
Promotions presented by Capt. Jeff Tyler
Cpl Matt K. Dennis
Sgt Jimmy Stanley
Three members of the Sheriff’s Department recently announced their retirement, Included were:
Cpl Matt K. Dennis 20 years & 9 months
Sgt Jimmy Stanley 9 years
Sgt Charles Weathers 19 years & 1 month READ MORE
A three-judge panel exonerated Joseph Sledge of a Bladen County double murder after he was imprisoned for 37 years.
The hearing was held Friday in Columbus County.
Delay in high school report cards
Elizabethtown, NC – Report cards are scheduled to go home with all students on Monday, January 26th, however there will be a delay in high school report cards. This is due to a delay in scoring from the NC DPI. The NC DPI must finalize all grades before report cards can be released. The delay may be as long as two weeks, which could mean mid-February before high school grades are completed.
Report cards for grades kindergarten through eighth will be sent home as scheduled on Monday, January 26th. Parents of third grade students will find an insert in their child’s report card from the NC DPI Read to Achieve legislation entitled “What Every Parent of a Third Grader Needs to Know.” This insert provides an overview of the legislation and requirements for third graders as it relates to reading proficiency. READ MORE
Back when Johnson was president, the cost of a stamp was .05 cents, and Boston defeated the LA Lakers in the NBA Championship, Mr. Dennis Hawes, a seemingly quiet man, began his career that would span the next 50 years. This month Bridgers Barber and Beauty Shop celebrates, Hawes, a talented, hard-working, and dedicated barber. Hired in January of 1965, right out of Barber School, Hawes joined Bridgers’ shop. Hawes has been at the same chair since then making the world look better one cut at a time.
Bob Cole a long time customer of Hawes says, “This is a fine man right here, a good Christian, husband, father and friend. I’m proud to say he is my friend.” Cole continues saying, “Dennis has more friends in Elizabethtown than anyone. Everyone respects him and likes him.” READ MORE
Struggling with New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are fun to make but extremely difficult to maintain. Every January, roughly one in three Americans take part in the annual tradition of making resolutions. Only a small percentage of people actually stay true to their resolutions. A study shows about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half are still on target six months later. Tiffany McGill, Healthworks Fitness and Wellness Manager, said, “We know these struggles and want to help.” This article will give you some tips on how to stick to your goals.
To lose weight is among the most popular resolutions. It is often seen as just too difficult commit to. But you can succeed if you don’t expect too much too soon. Looking for overnight results makes desperation mode kick in and then you lose the battle. Set small goals each week. Write a journal of how you are exercising and eating right. READ MORE
Coastal Crescent Trail – a new alternate hiking option
The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of the Mountains- to-Sea Trail (FMST) are pleased to jointly announce the naming of the Coastal Crescent Trail, an additional option for hikers seeking to walk across North Carolina.
The Coastal Crescent Trail, a new hiking option developed by FMST, will serve as an option in eastern North Carolina until the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST) is completed along the planned route, which connects Smithfield, Goldsboro, Kinston and New Bern, following the path of the Neuse River. The newly named trail provides a guided way for hikers to explore communities and natural and historic sites in the ecologically unique and scenic lower coastal plain in Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland, Bladen, Pender and Onslow counties. READ MORE
Bo Knows With Expert Advice
The newest expert at Bladen Builders Supply is Bo Greene. Bo is a Boykin Spaniel that loves to go to work with his human, Jackson Greene. Like the rest of the staff at Bladen Builders Supply, Bo wants to be helpful to his loyal customers. He will start a monthly article with helpful tips and advice. This month Bo shares some DIY tips he hopes everyone will find handy.
“Wooden golf tees are not just for golf,” says Bo. Enlarged screw holes may be repaired quickly by using a wooden golf tee. Fill the enlarged hole with the wooden tee, and then saw the tee so that it will be flush with the wood’s surface. All that is left to finish the repair is to sand and finish your project. READ MORE
USDA Reminds Producers of Upcoming Livestock Disaster Assistance Deadline
WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2015 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds livestock producers that the Jan. 30, 2015, deadline to request assistance for losses suffered from Oct. 1, 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014, is fast approaching.
Applications for the Livestock Indemnity Program and the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, restored by the 2014 Farm Bill resumed in April 2014, after having expired on Sept. 30, 2011. To date, more than 556,000 applications have been approved to assist farmers and ranchers in recovering from nearly three years of natural disasters. READ MORE
Bladenboro Community Building
Date: Friday, January 30, 2015
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: 109 E. Elm Street, Bladenboro, NC
Refreshments will be served. READ MORE
Free Boating and Hunting Courses Offered
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will be offering several free boating and hunting education courses this year. The classes are held each year and are free to the public. Boating education and hunting education will be 6 hour courses. We will be offering our first boating education class on February 15th from 1pm-7pm. It will be held at Jones Lake State Park. We will also be offering the same course in April, May, June, July, August and October. State law requires any person born on or after January 1, 1988 must complete a NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) approved boating education course before operating any vessel propelled by a motor of 10 HP or greater. Each Student will need to register online to attend each course. Once you have completed the course successfully you will receive your certification in the mail. Read More
Community Service Announcement
Community Recreation Assistance Fund
The Bladen County Parks and Recreation Department is accepting applications for the Community Recreation Assistance Fund (CRAF) The CRAF has been established to aid communities within Bladen County in setting up and conducting active sports programming in their communities for ages 17 and under. To apply for CRAF, we have supplied eligibility requirements, participants’ responsibilities and a form application. If you have any questions please call the Parks and Recreation Department at (910) 862-6770.
Deadline for applications is February 28, 2015.
Schedule for Community Recreation Assistance Fund
July-February… Application Received
March-April… Review Applications and Project Selection
May 1st… Announcement of Approved Projects
May-June… Reimbursement billings Accepted & Project Status Reports
January programs at Jones Lake State Park
Here’s the schedule:
Carnivorous plants: Jan. 31, 2 p.m.: Get up close and personal with the plant that bites back, the Venus Flytrap. Join a park Ranger for an informative program on the Venus Flytrap and other carnivorous plants such as the Pitcher Plant and Sundew.
Tax Values coming soon
Ellis said he wanted to allow “enough time to review values, test data and verify sales,” so he delayed mailing them slightly. New values take effect January 1st and Bladen County commissioners will use the values to set the tax rate for the next fiscal year that begins July 1, 2015.
North Carolina law requires counties to do a re-evaluation at least every 8 years, some have shortened that time, but many still operate on an 8 year cycle. READ MORE