Rural areas would benefit from proposed sales tax changes

Freedom, 36 years late |

Bladen County Schools Website: Good things are happening in all our schools

Savannah man wrongfully convicted of murder talks about life out

Southeastern N.C. Agricultural Events Center to host horse and tack auction Feb.

Cape Fear Profile: Bladen County’s Delilah Banks has spent her life fighting for fairness

Nationwide Insurance2Tatum Columbus County Estate Sale

Southeastern HealthSykes Paving

8K Trail Run and Walk

“Together, We Can!”  St. Christopher’s & Local Businesses Team-Up for a Worthy Cause

StChristopherEtown-Middle-SchoolSt. Christopher’s Episcopal Church of Elizabethtown donated an abundance of much needed school supplies to Elizabethtown Middle School with the help of some local businesses and a very generous Maryland resident:  Thank you Bladen Carpet & Tile, Wal-Mart, Bladen Office Supply, Days Inn, Giorgio’s Pizza Restaurant, The Corner Café, No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, and Ms. Jannie White of Hyattsville, Maryland.  Each of your generous gifts are very much appreciated by St. Christopher’s and the principal, students and teachers of Elizabethtown Middle School.

“We are incredibly grateful for the efforts of St. Christopher’s and the generosity of those who contributed”, explains Mrs. Elizabeth Cole, ETMS principal.  READ MORE


7 Day Forecast for Elizabethtown, NC

Bladen County Commissioners to meet for regular meeting

Bladen CountyBladen County Commissioners will meet in regular session Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the courthouse.
The board will consider a resolution in support of displaying “In God We Trust” above the county seal in the commissioners meeting room.
Commissioners will be ask to consider adding a part-time employee to assist in duties related to Animal Control/Animal Shelter duties.  In the past the county has used prison labor from the now closed North Carolina Department of Corrections at White Lake.  READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving
Thoughts While ShavingEver have one of those nights….sleep well for a while, wake up and begin to toss and tumble..for no apparent reason?  Had one of those last night….Went back to bed after a two hour period of sitting in a recliner…then had a dream related to looking for a radio station somewhere in the country around Benson, NC…explain that…Visited with some nice folks, but they could not tell me how to get ‘there’….wherever ‘there’ was….
The new Bladenboro Community Building is very nice, hope it is used….It replaces an old, much used facility in the downtown area.
I am looking forward to the Super Bowl Sunday.  My sons and grandson pick the winners throughout the NFL season and into the playoffs…Makes for a little competition and provides braggin’ rights for the winner..I did not score well in regular season …However, two of us are tied for the top spot in the playoffs…and a bad pick would spoil my day….and the playoffs…Decisions, decisions…just like in life…  READ MORE

IGA Store Banner

Elizabethtown Commissioners Meet Monday

Town Of ElizabethtownThe Elizabethtown Town Commissioners will met at 12 noon and 7 p.m.
The noon meeting is a work session, the regular session is held at 7 p.m. Both meetings are open to the public.
At the noon session, Fire Chief West will present a Paid-On-Call program for volunteer firefighters and Commissioners will hear a presentation from W.K. Dickson and Associates of projects underway or proposed by the consultants.
At the evening meeting the board will consider:
1) Roof replacement to Tory Hole Park buildings and Morehead Street building,
2) Approve a proposal related to Browns Creek Bike Park,
3) Consider approval of a Digital sign for Cape Fear Farmer’s Market,
4) Consider signing contract for a new fire truck,
5) Consider approval of a contract for demolition of property on Dunham street,  READ MORE

You Decide: How will jobs change? – by Dr. Mike Walden

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

There’s been good news recently about jobs. Last year, 2.9 million net payroll jobs were created in the U.S. economy, the highest number since 1999. When all the numbers are in for North Carolina, the net payroll job gain for the year will be near 110,000, the largest increase since 2006.

The major reason for this good news is the recovery from the recession, which officially ended in mid-2009. This certainly doesn’t mean all is well in the economy; it means only that, since that time, the aggregate economy has been improving rather than declining.

Jobs follow a distinct pattern with the economy. Jobs are lost during recessions as households buy less and businesses sell less. But jobs return once the recession ends and the recovery begins, and both buying and selling gain. The ebbs and flows of jobs with recessions and recoveries are called “cyclical job changes.”

But over long periods of time – and unrelated to recessions and recoveries – jobs can change as the nature of work changes. Economists refer to these as “structural job changes,” and these may be the biggest source of job gains and losses in coming years.   READ MORE

The Differences in Milks  –  Sandra R. Cain

For Better Living

Sandra CainEveryone can benefit from a healthy lifestyle.  This is true for all children as well as adults.  A healthy lifestyle means eating smart and moving more. One smart choice is lower fat milk. It has the same calcium, the same vitamin D, and the same protein as whole milk. But, it is lower in fat and calories.

Background Information

Low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy products are among the best sources calcium. Milk and dairy products also have other important nutrients, such as protein, vitamins A and D, potassium and magnesium. Milk provides calcium in a way that is easy for most people’s bodies to absorb. Each eight-ounce glass of fat-free, lowfat, or even chocolate milk has about 300 mg of calcium. Making milk the standard drink with meals throughout childhood and adolescence is a great way to help get enough calcium.

Calcium is needed by the body for healthy bones, teeth, and proper function of the heart, muscles, and nerves. The body cannot produce calcium; therefore, it must come from food. Calcium is most important during the childhood and teen years when it can have the most impact on growing bones. Even though calcium is very important, studies show that most children and teens are not getting enough of it in their diets. Getting too little calcium may lead to health problems later in life, such as osteoporosis and fragile bones.   READ MORE

Bladen Hardware

This day in History – January 31

This Day In History1627—Spanish government goes bankrupt.

 1851—Gail Borden announces invention of condensed milk.
1861—State of Louisiana takes over US mint at New Orleans (U.S. Civil War)
1865—Gen. Robert E. Lee named Commander-in-Chief of Confederate Armies during US Civil War.
1874—Jesse James gang robs train at Gads Hill, Missouri.
1876—The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.
1905—1st automobile to exceed 100 mph (161 KPH), A.G. Macdonald, Daytona Beach.
1920—Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, at Howard University, incorporates.
1927—NL President John Heydler rules Rogers Hornsby can’t hold stock in the Cardinal & play for the Giants.
1928—Scotch tape 1st marketed by 3-M Company.  READ MORE

First Choice Staffing

Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on January 31
Extremes For Bladen CountyHighest Temperature       79 degrees          1975
Lowest Temperature       12 degrees           2014
Greatest One-Day Precipitation — 1.50 inches    1971
Greatest One-Day Snowfall  —  2.0 inches   1981
Yesterday’s High Temperature was 54 degrees.

Small Business Center at Bladen Community College

Bladenboro Officials Cut Ribbon on New Community Building

Bladenboro Community Building Ribbon Cutting 2Bladenboro Town officials officially opened the new Community Building Friday afternoon under nearly cloudless skies and a brisk wind.

Mayor Rufus Duckworth welcomed those in attendance and introduced Representatives William Brisson and Ken Waddell.  He also introduced Bill Lester, engineer for the facility and Dan Wilkins, the designer.
Duckworth, Brisson and Waddell were joined by beauty queens Jordan Benson and Maycee Kinlaw for the official ribbon cutting.
Bladenboro Community Building Ribbon CuttingThe spacious new building includes a meeting room, offices, a kitchen and restrooms.
The town received a $500,000 NC Catalyst Community Development Block Grant in September 2012 to demolish the nearly 70 year old community building and construct a new one on the site.
The Board recently approved usage rules, rent and deposit requirements  for the new building.  The town will charge $100 for the use of the facility, which will be due at the time the key is picked up from Town Hall.  A $50 deposit at time of booking will be required, which will be refundable when the key is returned. READ MORE

Ryan HesterElizabethtown man charged with statutory rape

An Elizabethtown man was charged with statutory rape Thursday after two victims reported the allegations to a school official, according to Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker.

Ryan Jacobs Hester, 25, of the 300 block of Governors Estate Drive, was charged with one count of statutory rape of a 13- 14- or 15-year-old and two counts of first degree statutory sex offense on a child as well as other charges, McVicker said. The investigation began Jan. 19, he said. READ MORE

Former Elizabethtown Resident Leads Real Estate Sales On Wrightsville Beach

Jim Hardee, son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hardee of Elizabethtown, is head of Hardee, Hunt and Williams Real Estate on Wrightsville Beach. The firm, which has been selling real estate on the beach for the past several years, was number one seller on Wrightsville Beach and fourth in New Hanover County.

Hardee’s firm made 44 sales worth just under $30,000,000 according to THE WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH MAGAZINE.  The average price of a sold property on Wrightsville Beach is $731,998. Hardee is married to the former Beverly Hester of Clarkton and they have two sons, Fisher 19 and Jackson 17.

Rodney's Barber Shop

Leon MartinMartin Retires from Banking

Leon Martin retired from a career in banking Friday, but he has many more roles with which he will no doubt continue his involvement.
Martin began his banking career at Bank of Elizabethtown following graduation from Tar Heel High School and UNC-Pembroke in the early 1970’s   He retired as Senior Vice President/Banking Manager of First Citizens Bank in Elizabethtown.
He is a man of many talents and while many of his years have been spent in the banking business, he has ventured outside banking into the education field and economic development businesses.
He taught health and physical education, and coached, at Tar Heel and Clarkton High Schools early in his career, and served 4 years as Executive Director of Southeastern Economic Development Commission (SEDC) before returning to the banking business.  READ MORE

BCC Mid-Spring Registration


Mason and ZaneD.J. Mason and Zane Singletary both “Rocked the House” in their own unique ways Monday night, January 26 at the Gore Arena in Buies Creek where the Campbell Camels defeated the Gardner -Webb Bulldogs 78 to 59. Both Mason and Singletary were leaders while at West Bladen High School, and are continuing the tradition at Campbell University. Mason contributed 13 points , 2 rebounds and 1 block while Singletary played tenor saxophone with the band to help rally the team with the fight song and other crowd favorites. This game was reminiscent of other games shared by these boys not so long ago in a crowded gym on Hwy 131 in Bladen County when both were still students and friends at West Bladen High School.  READ MORE

Lake Church

New Light Church Family Life Center Vandalized

New Light CenterThe New Light Church Family Life Center was vandalized overnight Tuesday, damaging several areas of the facility, Bladenboro Police Chief Chris Hunt said.

It’s not known how many people were involved, Hunt said, but a window was broken to gain entrance to the facility located on Chestnut Street in Bladenboro. A fire extinguisher in the building was used to spray inside a women’s restroom, a closet where Christmas decorations are kept, and on the floor of the gymnasium. The front of a vending machine also was broken. Hunt said church officials did not believe anything was missing.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Bladen County communications at 910-862-8141 or Chief Hunt at  910-874-2422. Your identity will remain confidential.

US Cellular

 N.C. DHHS Helping More Than 80,000 Homes Stay Warm

Funds still available for eligible households –

DHHS logoRaleigh, NC – As winter weather makes headlines nationally, N.C. DHHS wants to remind North Carolinians about the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). Applications are still being accepted through March 2015 or until funding is exhausted.

LIEAP is a federally-funded program administered in North Carolina through the Department of Health and Human Services. It provides almost $51 million toward helping eligible households pay their heating bills.

Since Dec. 1, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program has provided approximately $24 million to help more than 80,000 households pay their heating bills and stay warm this winter.

“LIEAP is truly a life-saver for many vulnerable North Carolinians,” said David Locklear, Acting Chief for Economic and Family Services for N.C. DHHS’ Division of Social Services. “Energy assistance is critical for homes with someone at risk for a life-threatening illness or death in the cold winter months.  READ MORE

Kinlaw's Beer & Wine

NC Legislative House Committee Assignments 2015-2016 Session

Rep. William Brisson (D)
Standing or Select Committee
Agriculture                                      Vice-Chairman
Appropriations                               Vice-Chairman
Appropriations, Health and
      Human Services                       Chairman
Environment                                   Member
Ethics                                                Member
Health                                               Member
Health                                               Vice-Chairman
Insurance                                         Member
Regulatory Reform                         Member
Wildlife Resources                          Member
Rep. Ken Waddell (D)
Standing or Select Committee
Agriculture                                       Member
Education-Community College   Member
Finance                                             Member
Health                                               Member
Pensions and Retirement             Member
State Personal                                 Member
Transportation                               Member

Big Blue Store

Black History Celebration
Black History Month

The Black History Appreciation Committee was formed with the purpose of observing and celebrating the rich history of Blacks in and around Bladen County. The major focus is to emphasize that Blacks have contributed quite a bit to the overall agricultural history of Bladen County.

To honor the many contributions of the Black population, the committee will sponsor the 10th Annual Black History Program at the Spaulding Monroe Cultural Center in Bladenboro on February 27, 2015.  READ MORE

Schools earn attendance banner

At the January Board of Education meeting, the superintendent and board members recognized three schools for excellent student attendance.

Elementary School Division - With an average student attendance during the month of December at 94.83%, East Arcadia School, under the leadership of Ms. Demetrice Jones is the recipient for January.

Middle School Division – With an average student attendance during the month of December at 95.16%, East Arcadia School, under the leadership of Ms. Demetrice Jones is the recipient for January.

High School Division – With an average student attendance during the month of December at 94.08%, East Bladen High School, under the leadership of Mr. John McMillan is the recipient for the month of January.


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 YouthDublin Dixie Youth will be having baseball sign-ups for Coach Pitch (ages 6-8), Minor (ages 9-10) and Major (ages 11-12) on Thursday, January 29, 2015; Monday, February 2, 2015; and Thursday, February 5, 2015 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 You can also find out more information on our Facebook page at

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

Elizabethtown Primary School 2nd  9 weeks Honor Rolls

ETP MascotSuperintendent’s  List

3rd Grade

Bryan Barnes

 “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

Bladenboro Primary School releases its Honor Roll for the second nine weeks as follows:

Third GradeBladenboro Primary

“Superintendent’s List”

Steven Batton

“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

NCDENRJones 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

Construction Management Team Approved for new Jail

County Board of Commissioners and StaffBladen County Commissioners voted 6-3 to approve the Bordeaux/WMJordan group to manage the construction of a new jail and approved adding a Law Enforcement Center and Call Center to the project.  Arthur Bullock, Dr. Delilah Blanks and G. Michael Cogdill opposed the motion.  Cogdill attempted to have the vote postponed saying he had not had enough time to study the issue and make an informed decision.
The commissioners heard presentations from 2 groups.  The second group was the Metcon/Balfour-Beatty team headquartered in Pembroke.
Both teams made very appealing presentations.  Both have many years experience and have impressive credentials, having managed projects in nearby counties.
Both have ties to Bladen County.  The Bordeaux/WMJordan included Ben Brisson of Tar Heel who was introduced as the  Project Manager if they were awarded the contract, and Joe Jackson of Dublin as coordinator with local contractors, suppliers and workers in the area to assist in building the new jail. His job also includes making sure minority and female contractors have an opportunity to participate in the construction of the facility.  READ MORE

North Carolina’s December Employment Figures Released

UnemploymentRALEIGH — 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

Foster CareWhether 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

Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarships available

Golden Leaf FoundationThe Golden LEAF Foundation offers scholarships for high school seniors entering as Freshmen into eligible 4 year college/university OR Community College transfer student programs. Students may submit an application online at by March 1, 2015.
Up to 215 scholarships are awarded, each valued at $12,000 ($3,000 per year for up to four years) for the 2016-16 academic year.
These scholarships are made possible through a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.   READ MORE

Rep. Rouzer Announces Monthly Office Hours in Every County

David RouserWashington, D.C. – Today, Congressman David Rouzer (NC-7) announced that his staff will hold monthly office hours in all twelve counties of the Seventh Congressional District.

“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

Bladen County Headlines... 35 Years AgoFred Underwood was awarded the Jaycee Distinguished Service Award by the Elizabethtown Jaycees.
The Clarkton Rotary Club was sponsoring a new club in Garland.
Five candidates filed for two available seats on the Bladen County Board of Education. They were Gladine Bryan, Mettie Moore, Buddy Yarborough, C.O. Bridger and Mac Campbell, Jr.
Eddie Knight was appointed Circulation Manager for The Bladen Journal.

Dawn McDonald of Clarkton was inducted into the Alpha Delta Honor Society at East Carolina University.

Bladenboro Board cuts McLean Park concession stand construction costs

BladenboroThe Bladenboro Board of Commissioners voted Friday to cut about $9,200 in construction costs for the concession stand to be built at Clarence McLean Park.

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

Crime ReportThe 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

NC SBIThe 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

Thank You from Us

We greatlyTHANK YOU 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 possible.  Team members from the beginning, full-timers, part-timers, our readers and the advertisers that continue to support, 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

Dr FindtBladen 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

Kent-DunnKent Dunn, a former WBLA broadcaster was recently promoted to the Tampa-St Pete, Florida market after years in the Augusta, Ga. market.

Dunn, a Roxboro native, is Vice President and Market Manager of six Beasley Broadcasting stations in the Tampa-St. Petersburg radio market. Prior to his most recent promotion, he had held a similar position in the Augusta, Georgia market since 1993.

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 Lennon

Mary Lennon

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

NCDA&CS to host fifth annual workshop for farmers market managers Feb. 20NCDARegistration deadline is Feb. 11

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

“Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More” Faithful-familiesWould you like to learn more about how you and your family can Eat Smart and Move 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

Week In ReviewA man gained his freedom, the birthday of a slain civil rights leader was celebrated, and an Elizabethtown barber is still cutting hair after 50 years.

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

3 Bladen County towns awarded water project funds

Bladen CountyThree 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

Christopher's Steakhouse and SeafoodSteaks, 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

Bridgers Barber and Beauty Shop Celebrates 50 Years with Dennis Hawes

Dennis Hawes, BarberBack 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

Coastal Crescent Trail – a new alternate hiking option

Mountains To SeaThe 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

Bo Green Bladen BuildersThe 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

Free Boating and Hunting Courses Offered 

NC Wildlife Resources CommissionThe 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

January programs at Jones Lake State Park

Jones-Lake-State-ParkJones Lake State Park has free programs planned each Saturday in January. Each event is open to the public. Participants should meet at the Visitor Center. For more information, call (910) 588-450.

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.