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DrugChargeUndercover operation leads to 8 arrests, 4 sought on drug charges

A two-month undercover operation by the Elizabethtown Police Department and Bladen County Sheriff’s Office resulted in eight people being arrested Sunday, and authorities searching for four additional suspects.The operation targeted street level crack cocaine dealers, says Elizabethtown Police Chief Bobby Kinlaw. Officers focused on known narcotic dealers, problem areas and complaints from the community, Kinlaw said.Arrested were:
** Thomas Lemont Daniels, 36, of the 1400 block of Baldwin Branch Church Road, Elizabethtown, on charges of possession with intent to sell or distribute cocaine, sell cocaine, deliver cocaine, manufacture cocaine, and maintain a dwelling for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $76,000.** Donnie Demonte Kemp, 36, of the 100 block of Foxtrot Lane, Elizabethtown, on charges of possession with intent to sell or distribute cocaine, sell cocaine, deliver cocaine, manufacture cocaine, and maintain a vehicle for a controlled substance. Bail was set at $10,000. READ MORE

 2015-16 State Transportation Map Now Available

NC mapRALEIGH—The 2015-16 North Carolina State Transportation Map was unveiled Thursday today as part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Centennial Celebration and is now available free of charge.

The State Transportation Map is funded and produced by NCDOT. It is distributed by VisitNC, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. It can be ordered online at or by calling 1-800-847-4862 (VISIT NC). Maps will also be available at welcome centers, rest areas and NCDOT offices across the state.

First published in 1916, the state map is NCDOT’s most popular publication, with two million copies in this year’s initial printing.

North Carolina has one of the largest highway systems in the nation, and the new map details the more than 106,000 miles of public roadway that span the state. That includes 79,585 miles of state-maintained roads.

The cover of the new map features a montage of North Carolina scenery, including the Blue Ridge Mountains from the peak of Mt. Jefferson, a trail wandering through Clemmons Educational State Park in Clayton, the statue that stands outside the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Nags Head.

The map also includes information on Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for transportation in North Carolina, North Carolina’s State Parks and Forest Service—both of which also turn 100 this year—and Governor McCrory’s Art That Moves You initiative, which uses texture, landscaping, original artwork and lighting to improve infrastructure, bridges and gateways to promote tourism and economic development.

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Informing the Public about Charter Schools

Steve SmithHeadmaster Steve Smith, of Columbus Charter School, informed the Elizabethtown Rotary Club about Columbus Charter School and the differences between charter schools and traditional public schools at the club’s weekly meeting.  Smith said, “A lot of people ask, how is a charter school different from a traditional public school? I’m going to let you know, there are a couple of major differences.”

“One difference is we get to choose the method we teach your children. We use the direct instruction method at the school, which is teacher lead.  The teachers get the scripts, they get the lesson plans and then they give that information to the children. They don’t put lesson plans together, they don’t put scripts together.  I know what they are teaching in every classroom and the kids preform magnificently.“ Smith said. He also said, “This is our ninth year. We have not tested this year yet. Seven out of 8 years we have scored the highest out of Bladen and Columbus Counties. We have had the highest academics.“

Charters are free public schools open to all applicants. Smith reported, “We have about 230 children that come from Bladen County. There are four or five car pool vans that help transport the children from Bladen County.”  The school does not provide transportation or lunch options for students due to the limited funding. READ MORE

Southeastern Community & Family Services conducting Hearing for Public Housing Agency

SCFS-Notice-of-Public-HearingSoutheastern Community & Family Services (SCFS), formerly Four County Community Services, will conduct a public hearing to receive public comment on its draft Five-Year Public Housing Agency (PHA) Plan (2015-2019) and fiscal year 2015 Annual PHA Plan.
The 5-year plan describes the mission of the Agency and the Agency’s long range goals and objectives for achieving its mission over the next 5 years.  The annual plan provides details about the Agency’s immediate operations, programs and services provided by the Agency, and the strategy for addressing the needs identified in the 5 year plan for the upcoming year. READ MORE

Another winter blast appears on the way

US-NationalWeatherServiceIt felt Wednesday and into Thursday morning that spring had indeed sprung after a month of bone-chilling temperatures, sleet, snow and ice. Apparently, Old Man Winter isn’t ready to go into hibernation just yet.

Temperatures, once again, will soar in the mid-70s Thursday, but will fall quickly beginning late afternoon, according to National Weather Service models.

The temperature is expected to be about 77 degrees by 3 p.m. Thursday. Three hours later, it’s expected to be about 46 degrees, and when the kids head off to school Friday morning, it’s expected to be 29 degrees with a wind chill of 17. Windy conditions, with gusts up to 29 mph, are expected to continue through Friday.

While there’s a slight chance of sleet in the early morning hours Friday, the system bringing in the cold air also is expected to bring rain by mid-afternoon Thursday and continuing overnight.

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East Bladen Band Marched in National Inaugural Parade

(Resolution shared by Rick Hester)

Class1974On January 20, 1977, the East Bladen Band under the direction of Ray B. Haney, represented the State of North Carolina in the Inaugural Parade of President Jimmy Carter in Washington, DC.

Then Governor James B. Hunt and members of the North Carolina Legislature concurred in Resolution 13 and House Joint Resolution 17, their approval of the appearance. For Resolution Click Here

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While ShavingCongratulations to the Lady Eagles of East Bladen and the Boys Knight team at West Bladen for a very, very successful basketball season…A sudden stop is tough and that is what happened to both teams Tuesday evening.  For the Eagles, their first loss of the season….The season has ended for both teams, painfully.  Hopefully the pain will soon end and the good memories of a great season will last a life time….

Spring sports are underway…today could be difficult for any outdoor sports..
Need to be aware this day, weather-wise, will be unusual…..wet and cooler…and tomorrow morning…..cold, very cold…

I am not a good funeral attendee…but I did attend the funeral of Mr. Elliott Henry yesterday in Kelly and I thought about the life of successful folks like Mr. Henry….He lived a good life, mostly outdoors…He served on numerous committees.  I had the pleasure of serving with him on one…He was a good listener…and when he spoke…folks listened…  READ MORE

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This Day in History

This Day In History1558—Smoking tobacco introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes.

1743—1st US religious journal, The Christian History, published, Boston.
1821—Monroe 1st US president inaugurated on March 5th, because 4th was Sunday.
1842—Over 500 Mexican troops led by Rafael Vasquez invade Texas, briefly occupy San Antonio and then head back to the Rio Grande.
1849—Zachary Taylor sworn in as 12 US president.
1856—Georgia becomes 1st state to regulate railroads.
1868—US Senate organizes to decide charges against President Andrew Johnson.
1872—George Westinghouse, Jr. patents triple air brake for trains.
1894—Seattle authorizes 1st municipal employment office in US.

1900—American Hall of Fame founded.  READ MORE

Small Business Center at Bladen Community College

Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on March 5

Extremes For Bladen CountyHighest Temperature      87 degrees      1976
Lowest Temperature      20 degrees       1978
Greatest One-Day Precipitation    1.55 inches      1920
Yesterday’s High Temperature was 80 degrees.

7 Day Forecast


Bladen schools to begin extended days  on Monday

BladenCountySchoollogoBladen County Schools will add 10 minutes to each school day beginning Monday, March 9, and students will attend class June 8 in order to make up time missed in February because of ice and snow, says Valerie Newton, the school system’s public relations and information officer.

The school system had planned to start extended days today (Wednesday), but delayed the start until Monday to better align bell times, instructional time, and bus pick-up times, Newton said.

The adjustment for school days missed Feb. 17 and Feb. 24 also means that the next progress report will be issued March 9 and that report cards for the third nine-week grading period will be issued April 2.

Also, teachers now will have required work days June 9-11, and have an optional work day June 12, Newton said.

Poplar Heights Social Worker Month ad

Let’s Eat Out, But Where?

By: Cheryl Thurston

Health GradesHow clean is YOUR favorite restaurant? Wouldn’t you like to know?

We hear a lot in the news about food-borne illnesses and hand-washing (or the lack thereof), and it is something that every parent probably considers when taking the family out to have a nice meal. Sometimes we go out to eat as a celebration, and sometimes it’s just because we don’t have time, or are too tired to cook at home, (or maybe you just don’t like to do the dishes). In either case, eating out, knowing that someone unseen is preparing the food you are going to eat (or feed your children) is reason enough to question the cleanliness of the establishments you like to frequent.

Bladen Online is happy to announce that we will now be offering our readers a monthly update on the health scores given to area eating places in our county. You will be able to refer to us as your news source for restaurant cleanliness, so that you can make informed choices when considering a date night, birthday celebration, or the escape from dish-pan hands.

Your local Health Department schedules regular inspections for restaurants, school cafeterias, grocery stores, and day-care kitchens. (Child and Adult) Every month they offer the reports for the grades that are given to the kitchens they have visited that month. So without further adieu, here are the grades for this month, listed with the establishment name, grade, date of inspection, and location.  READ MORE

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Columbus County Woman Arrested for Car Insurance Fraud

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today announced the arrest of Stephanie Davis, 40, of 5410 General Howe Highway, Riegelwood , Columbus County; she is charged with one count each of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretense.

Department of Insurance criminal investigators were contacted by representatives of Progressive Insurance about a claim Davis filed in November 2014. Davis claimed that her 2008 Mazda was damaged on private property in Riegelwood on Nov. 23 and that there was no prior damage on her vehicle. Investigators allege that Davis’s car had actually been damaged in a car accident in Leland earlier in the month at a time when she did not have insurance coverage to repair the damage.

Davis was arrested on March 3 and placed under a $5,000 bond.

The Department of Insurance employs 20 sworn state law enforcement officers dedicated to investigating and prosecuting claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud. Since Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin took office in 2009, criminal investigators have made more than 1,000 arrests, resulting in more than 500 criminal convictions with more than 200 cases currently pending court. These efforts have delivered more than $61 million in restitution and recoveries for victims.

An estimated 10 cents of every dollar paid in premiums goes toward the payment of fraudulent claims. To report suspected fraud, contact the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at

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Manage strawberry fertilization with tissue testing

StrawberriesRALEIGH – The work strawberry growers put in now will set the stage for the quality of fruit and berry yields they will see at harvest time. Agronomists from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourage growers to consider tissue testing as part of their fertilization and production practices.

“The strawberry season is relatively short, so growers need to be sure their fertilization program is adequate for optimal production or it could affect the bottom line of the business,” said Aaron Pettit, NCDA&CS agronomist. “A plant tissue analysis offers the most accurate way to monitor strawberry nutrition and gives growers the information in a timely manner to modify fertilizer rates if needed.”

The department recommends that growers submit strawberry tissue samples every two weeks throughout the bloom and fruiting stages. The test costs $7 per sample for North Carolina growers and $27 for out-of-state growers. Growers can find their results online at  READ MORE

BCC Mid-Spring Registration

Rep. Rouzer Introduces the No Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act 

David RouserWashington, D.C. – Earlier this week, Congressman David Rouzer introduced his first bill of the 114th Congress. TheNo Hires for the Delinquent IRS Act (H.R. 1206) prohibits the hiring of additional IRS employees until the Secretary of the Treasury certifies that no employee of the IRS has a seriously delinquent tax debt.

 “If the IRS expects us to file our tax returns correctly and in a timely manner, then we should expect the bureaucrats running this bloated agency to do the same,” said Congressman Rouzer. “This is a commonsense bill that will encourage the IRS to clean up its act.” 

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We Are Paying Them What?

Bladen Board of Commissioner’s Chairman
Bladen CountyOnce again this year we will be comparing Bladen County public official’s salaries with those of our neighboring counties. A reminder that when you look at these figures remember that counties have different tax bases thus some officials have more duties to perform that others. We will be listing the position, the salaries, the population of the counties and any other compensation that goes with that position. This week we look at County Commissioner’s Chairman.

Bladen County—$9,026 plus $4,800 travel. Population 35,000
Brunswick County—$26,910. Population 115,301
Columbus County—$16,234 plus $1,500 travel. Population 58,068
Duplin County— $10,000. Population 60,329
Sampson County—$9,369 plus $30 a meeting plus $3,000 travel. Population 63,649

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State parks offering photo scavenger hunts

CameraDo you enjoy taking pictures? Like going on a scavenger hunt? Need some new outdoors gear?

Jones Lake State Park and Singletary Lake State Park in Bladen County are among North Carolina State Parks participating in a photo scavenger hunt challenge.

Here’s how the contest works: Visit any state park, including Jones Lake and Singletary Lake, and photograph 12 of the 15 items on the scavenger hunt list, then email your reduced-size photos to prior to the next scheduled raffle drawing on April 22. All completed entries will be submitted into the drawing. READ MORE

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 A Boy Named Sue, a Lady Named Siffy

By: Jefferson Weaver

Jefferson-WeaverAcross the pond in Great Britain, there are parents who don’t like their child.
This is obvious, since their baby’s name is 22 words long. Apparently they wanted to honor every grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling, cousin, neighbor, and postman in the neighborhood, as well as the night clerk at the local liquor store.
When my wife was a social worker, she had a client – whose name she never disclosed – who was named after every female relative on both sides of her family. A total of 25 names. Poor child had a bad back in first grade from carrying the load.
All my life, I’ve fought over my name. My name is Jefferson – not Jeffrey, or Jeffery. Nothing wrong with either variation, if one is named Jeffrey or Jeffery. Shoot, I don’t care if you’re named Geoffrey. READ MORE

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 Bladen County Headlines…35 Years Ago

Bladen County Headlines... 35 Years Ago

The White Lake Jaycees presented their Plaque of Appreciation to Past President Jeffries Hall. Ralph Ward was presented the Jaycee of the Year Award.

A Bladen County committee was formed to investigate location for a new Bladen County Airport. The committee consisted of John Q. Shaw of Elizabethtown, Jabe Frink of Bladenboro and Jimmy Taylor of Dublin.

Doug Waller of Elizabethtown was presented the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.

The Elizabethtown Board of Commissioners agreed to pursue a grant that would fluoridate the town’s water system.

1 Center Road Baptist

Bladen County Extension offers classes for homeowners

Bruce McLean, Ag Extension Horticulturist, is offering two upcoming classes for homeowners.
One is about “Making the Most of Your Vegetable Garden”.  Discussions include siting your garden, organic vs conventional, pest control, fertilization, irrigation, selecting varieties, soils, planting, growing and harvesting.

This class is schedule for Tuesday, March 10 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Center. Drinks and snacks will be provided and the classes are free.  If you plan to attend, call the extension office at 862-4591 or email by 5 p.m. March 9. READ MORE

8K Trail Run and Walk to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project

 Rep. Rouzer Welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu

David RouserWashington, D.C. – Today Congressman David Rouzer (NC-7) released the following statement ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress today:

“I look forward to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech today. The nation of Israel is our friend in the War on Terror and the Prime Minister’s perspective on the situation in the Middle East is important to our nation’s national security and the safety of our allies around the world. From the growing threat of ISIS to the Iranian nuclear agenda, our partnership and cooperation with Israel is central to defeating radical Islamists.”

Falling Prevention Workshop For Older Adults and Their Caregivers

By: Joy Warren

fallingAre you concerned about falling? The Family Caregiver Support Program at the Lumber River Area Agency on Aging and the Bladen County Division on Aging are sponsoring a workshop for older adults and their caregivers. The workshop will include information on the prevalence of falling among older adults; medications that can contribute to falling; vision problems and poor lighting; balance, mobility and strength training; fall-proofing your home; low cost home modifications to insure safety; and “Falling Monologues” videos. Lunch will be provided by the Trinity UMC Men . The workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 901 West Broad Street in Elizabethtown. Call 862-3302 to register to attend.


Taylor addresses school funds with Bladen commissioners

Dr. Taylor Bladen County SchoolsBladen County Schools Supt. Dr. Robert Taylor on Monday told the Bladen County Board of Commissioners that reduced state funding, a delayed state budget, charter school payments, and a drop in enrollment are among the reasons the school system has transferred $1.2 million from the capital outlay fund in order to meet current operating expenses.

The move drew the attention of commission chairman Charles Ray Peterson, who expressed his concerns in a letter to Taylor in February.

“The main reason (for the transfers) is that we have educational mandates that remain in place and they must be met,” Taylor told the board. “They require the district to have adequate funding.”

Calling today’s school funding issues the “new normal,” Taylor explained that fund transfers have traditionally been used to meet special needs, but that’s changed in recent years as school budgets have decreased statewide. 

“The problem is that most districts are in a position where they are not able to grow a fund balance as we’ve done in the past,” Taylor said. “When we continue to have mandates, we want to make sure that schools have the adequate resources to function. We find it necessary to transfer those funds.”

Linda Rogers, recognized who retired March 1 READ MORE

Drill Team Earned 1st Place

Drill teamOn 28 Feb 2015 The Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy’s drill team the, John L. Foye Rifles, competed at the North Brunswick High School Tri-Meet.  The Tri-Meet consisted of a Raider competition, Rifle Team Match and Drill Competition.  The drill meet was composed of fifteen schools from all over North Carolina.   This was the first time the JLF Rifles competed in a competition. The team competed in Regulation Squad Unarmed commanded by C/SSG Chasity Baxley of White Oak, Regulation Squad Armed commanded by C/SSG Iyanna McAllister of Elizabethtown, and Armed Exhibition Duet commanded by C/SSG Stanari Ballard of Elizabethtown.  The team earned a 1st place trophy in Armed Exhibition Duet.   READ MORE

App Tips – Act Fast – Time is Limited

By: Gordon Kinlaw


 OrbyOrby Widgets – free Monday for a couple of days otherwise $2.99 This app is free for a couple of days so download it asap. Orby adds functional and informative widgets to your notification center. If you are new to the iPhone, the notification menu is the pulldown at the top of your screen when you are in lock screen or home screen. Touch your screen at the very top where you see a small gray horizontal bar and swipe down. There are 2 tabs: “notifications” and “today”. Orby widgets will be in the “today” tab. Orby puts your phones performance charts (memory, cpu, data, etc) at your fingertips as well as speed dialing and twitter and facebook sharing for music.  READ MORE

Good news for fans of Arby’s Restaurant!

By: Joy Warren

ElArbysizabethtown Planning Board met Monday evening prior to the Town Council meeting and approved a recommendation for a Special Use Permit from Campbell Oil Company to build an Arby’s Restaurant and new Minuteman Food Mart at the Sunoco gas station property beside McDonalds on Poplar St.   The car wash would be demolished but the gas station would continue to stay open until the new station/restaurant construction is completed.  The recommendation will be brought to the Town Council at their April meeting.  

During the Town  Council meeting, the first of two public hearings was held for citizen comments on the CDBG Infrastructure Grant Application to NCDENR for Clear Well at Well #4.  No comments were made by the public. READ MORE 

 Bladen schools to conduct tornado drill Wednesday

US-NationalWeatherServiceBladen County schools will conduct a tornado drill Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. as part of a statewide drill being held in conjunction with Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

The National Weather Service office in Raleigh encourages schools, businesses, work places, and families to participate in the drill.

The National Weather Service also notes:

** The drill will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System via the Required Monthly Test (RMT). There will not be an actual tornado warning issued. READ MORE

Dublin Scout Hut open house scheduled Saturday


The Dublin Scout Hut has scheduled an open house Saturday, March 7 from 1-4 p.m. at the restored facility on Fifth Street.

Dublin Mayor Horace Wyatt will be on hand to help cut the ribbon to officially open the facility. A re-dedication ceremony was held in January for supporters and troop members.

Saturday’s events will include a U.S. flag retirement ceremony, a Pinewood derby, cornhole games, and a large jigsaw puzzle of the United States, says Tony Parnell of Troop 622.

The log cabin served as the main meeting site for Scout troops dating back to the 1950s. Over the past year, a group of volunteers decided to restore the facility and put it back into use. At January’s ceremony, the restoration project was named in memory of former Scout Paul Davis, who was a member of Troop 622 in the 1950s before being killed in a boating accident.

The Pet of the week for March 9th- 13 th 2015

pet of the week 3 2The Bladen County Animal Shelter’s Pet of the week is Patch. The shelter is open to the public Monday, Wednesday and Friday. For more information contact, the Bladen County Animal Shelter at 910-862-6918 or visit their Facebook Page.

Four County EMC schedules spring meetings

Four County

Four County Electric Membership Corp. has scheduled two community meetings in Bladen County in March. The first is set for March 10 at Wesley Chapel Church, 2409 Peanut Plant Road in Elizabethtown. The second is set for March 23 at Bethel Baptist Church, 707 Old N.C. 41 in Dublin. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. and meetings begin at 7.

The purpose of the meetings are for Four County EMC to pass along information about the cooperative and for members to ask questions or offer suggestions.

Other community meetings in March also are scheduled March 12 at Jordan’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Burgaw, March 16 at Royal Chapel Church in Ivanhoe, March 19 at Fountaintown Community Building in Chinquapin, and March 24 at Northeast Pentecostal FWBC in Wallace.

For more information, call Four County EMC at 1-888-368-7289.

First Responder Spotlight: Jim Knotts, White Oak Volunteer Fire Department

0301_jim_knottsJim Knotts learned early in life the importance of firefighters. It was a lesson that has stuck.

“My first experience with fire was when I was about 12 years old,” said Knotts, now 72 years old. “My daddy was burning ditch banks and a fire got away from him. That was my first experience with a woods fire. It kind of got my attention.”

So much so that Knotts has spent a lifetime battling blazes and promoting fire departments. He was among the co-founders of the White Oak Volunteer Fire Department in the early 1980s. He’s still with the department, serving as a captain. Before that, Knotts was in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, spending time with a firefighting unit, and also worked with the Fayetteville Fire Department.

“I started firefighting when I was 18 years old,” Knotts said. “I went to my first firefighting school in 1960 in the Navy and pursued that the whole time I was in the Navy. I also volunteered at a station in Virginia Beach, Virginia, for about six years.” READ MORE


House on N.C. 41 destroyed by Fire

Bladen Online photo

Bladen Online photo

Heather Bass stared Sunday afternoon at what was left of the home along N.C. 41 she shared with her two children. Less than 24 hours earlier, the family escaped after an apparent spark from the fireplace set carpet on fire, destroying the double-wide house she had rented for the past two years.

“It was unbelievable how quick it spread,” said Bass, who had a bandage on her right hand Sunday afternoon from burns suffered because of the fire. “But everyone got out safely, and that’s what’s important.” Bass has an 11 year old girl and 4 year old boy. The family is staying with relatives for the time being. READ MORE

Beatty Raising Funds For Trip To Ethiopia

LatoyaLatoya Beatty, daughter of Nathan Beatty and Beverly McDowell of Bolton, is raising funds to support her medical service trip to Ethiopia this summer. Latoya Beatty is a second year medical student at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. She graduated from East Columbus High School in 2004, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008, and Mercer University in Macon, Georgina in 2010. Before she left for medical school she was our Bladen County Young Mom’s Connect Coordinator. While attending medical school, she is very active by serving as Community Service Co-Chair of the Pediatric Interest Association and Clinical Manage Co-Chair of Howard’s student-run medical clinic. Beatty recently was awarded an Outstanding Community service award and some small scholarships. Beatty is looking forward to enhancing her clinical and cultural skills during her trip to Ethiopia.

The dates for this trip are from June 9 – June 30, 2015. The itinerary includes 2 weeks in Gondor, Ethiopia followed by 1 week in Addis Ababa. Since 2013, Howard’s medical school has provided volunteer medical services for the University of Gondar Hospital in Gondar, Ethiopia. READ MORE

USDA Provides One-Time Extension of Deadline to Update Base Acres or Yield History for ARC/PLC Programs

USDAFarmers Now Have Until March 31 to Update Yields and Reallocate Base Acres; Deadline for Choosing Between ARC and PLC also Remains March 31

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2015 — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. Producers are working to make the best decision they can. And we’re working to ensure that they’ve got the time, the information, and the opportunities to have those final conversations, review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make those decisions,” said Vilsack. READ MORE


Dublin Peanut Festival Oyster Roast Fundraiser Success

The Dublin Festival Committee sponsored their annual “All You Can Eat’ Oyster Roast & Fish Fry, today, Saturday, February 28th from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., at the General Store at Lu Mil Vineyard. Bobbie Todd, one of the event organizers, said,”It is awesome!”, with a smile on her face.

“It’s really been a good turn out today. We had a lot of tickets sales in advance and a huge crowd purchase tickets at the door today.” said Committee Member, Thelma Robeson. “A lot of the people here are really excited about the Boy Scouts being here helping too.” Robeson continued.

Alex Hursey, with Boy Scout Troop # 622 said, “We are just out here to help the Peanut Festival. It’s one of our community service projects. The festival has helped us out a lot and we are just here to help them.”

This 23rd Annual Peanut Festival will be September 19th 2015. The festival is always fun for the family, with a parade, exciting rides, fun games, creative vendors, great food and more! The festival also has a beauty pageant every year, set for the weekend before the festival. READ MORE

Nance family recipe wins Bladen County Firefighters Cookoff

The cooking began Friday night outside the Elizabethtown Farmers Market. Saturday morning, the judges rendered their decision in the Bladen County Firefighters Association barbecue cookoff.

Bladen County commission chairman Charles Ray Peterson took top honors. Ziggy’s Piggy’s — aka Tim Carroll — was second. Gilbert Long place third.

“It’s the M. Nance family recipe from the old drive-in in Bladenboro. I can’t tell you any more than that,” Peterson said, with a bit of chuckle.

After the cooking and the judging, it was time for eating. Plates of barbecue, pork and beans, slaw, roll and a drink were sold for $7. Boston butts cooked by White Lake fire department members sold for $25.

Members from several departments spent Saturday afternoon preparing plates, selling tickets, and restocking drink coolers. READ MORE

Your Final Four From Social Security

Sandra CainEat a Better Breakfast

By: Sandra R. Cain

For Better Living

March is National Nutrition Month. What better time to re-examine your eating habits and make changes to eat more healthfully! Let’s start by thinking about what we can do to improve our breakfast.

Skipping breakfast can make us feel tired, restless, or irritable. In the morning, our bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for 8 to 12 hours during sleep.

Start with some powerful protein.

The missing ingredient in many morning meals is protein. Protein keeps us going strong and helps us stay focused until lunch. Go lean with protein. Try a slice or two of Canadian bacon, an egg, a slice of deli meat or cheese, a container of yogurt, a scoop of cottage cheese, or leftover meat from the night before. Think outside of the breakfast box. You may enjoy a scrambled egg with chopped veggies and grated cheese. READ MORE


Dr. Faulk receives the Order of the Long Leaf Pine

By: Valerie Newton

BladenCountySchoollogoElizabethtown, NC – In recognition of 38 years of service to Bladen County Schools, Dr. Patricia Faulk, Personnel Administrator, was honored at her retirement ceremony. Surrounded by her family, church pastor, friends, and co-workers, Dr. Faulk was also bestowed the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor Pat McCroy.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award. The honor is most often presented when a person retires.

A state employee can be awarded The Order if the employee has contributed more than 30 years of dedicated and enthusiastic service to the state of North Carolina.

The certificate reads in part: READ MORE

10th Annual Bladen County Black History Appreciation Program

By: Cheryl Thurston

The Bladen County Black History Appreciation Committee held it’s 10th annual Black History Program on Friday, February 27th, at the Spaulding-Monroe Cultural Center in Bladenboro, NC. The event began with a welcome by the committee’s founding organizer, Thomas Carlton “Chubby” Starling, who was district Director of the Farm Service Agency in 2004, when the appreciation committee began.

Presentation of colors were performed by the Color Guard from the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy, commanded by Col. Carl T. Lloyd; followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, and recognition of notable figures in attendance, which included Billy Barker and Dwight Williams from Rep. David Rouser’s office; and Ken Waddell, from the State House of Representatives, District 6. (Bladenboro)

The opening prayer was offered by Mr. Thomas Faulk, and the “Purpose of Occasion” address was delivered by Mr. Nelson Brownlee, who stated that the focus of the annual celebrations were to report on the Educational Programs offered, have a key-note speaker, and share a traditional meal. READ MORE

APP Tips

By: Gordon Kinlawiphone

(910) 862-6292

printerPrinter Pro by Readdle - free this WEEK!!!

Go get this app right now before the week ends. I ran across it a couple of days ago and tested it more today. It works great! You don’t need it if you have an air printer but it supports printers on any WIFI, manual IP address printers, airprint, shared printers, and cloud printing. READ MORE

Bladen County Sheriff Promotes 4

Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker announced the promotion of 4 deputies Friday. The promotions were actually effective February 22, 2015.

Captain Jeff Bridgers made formal presentations to newly promoted Lt. Tony Sessoms while his wife, Tabitha, looked on.
Thomas Atkinson was promoted to Sgt and was accompanied by his wife Kim. Chad Britt was promoted to Corporal.
Captain Jeff Tyler announced the promotion of Investigator Hakeem Brown, as his wife, Trelena, looked on.
In brief comments following the promotions, Sheriff McVicker welcomed representatives from the NC Highway Patrol and Elizabethtown and White Lake Police Departments.

He told deputies, their family and friends, he was attempting to involve all law enforcement in the county as one big family that works together to make Bladen County a better, safer place to live.

Brown Admitted to PA School

PromotionsTrelena Brown, a Phlebotomist at Bladen County Hospital, has been admitted to Physician Assistant Medical School at Campbell University.
The 2005 West Bladen High School graduate holds a Bachelor of Science from UNC Greensboro.

Brown is married to Akeem Brown, an Investigator for the Bladen County Sheriff’s department, and they reside in Bladen County.


ChassityDavisRALEIGH – Cassidy Davis, a student at East Bladen High, recently served as a Page for the North Carolina House of Representatives. She is the daughter of Robert and Jessica Davis of Elizabethtown and was sponsored by Representative Tim Moore (Republican-Cleveland).

Speaker of the House Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) appoints the Pages and introduces each one to Members and citizens in the House gallery at the start of each week during Monday night’s session. READ MORE

How to Keep A Healthy Heart

By: Healthworks Fitness & Wellness

HeartHeart disease is the number one killer of Americans, but there are ways to prevent it or slow its progress — including eating a healthier diet, exercising, and reducing stress. February is American Heart Month, Healthworks Fitness and Wellness would like to raise awareness about the important issue of heart health.

Preventing heart disease means making smart choices now that will pay off the rest of your life. Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other bad habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy during each decade of life. READ MORE

You Decide: Should we borrow for roads and buildings?YouDecide

By: Dr. Mike Walden

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

“Debt” has acquired the status of a bad four-letter word. We worry about public debt, especially the $18 trillion national debt. We also worry about our private debt, realizing, for example, that large household debt was one of the factors leading to the Great Recession.

There’s now talk about North Carolina increasing its public debt to build and refurbish roads and buildings. The total amount of new borrowing could top $2 billion.

Of course, the first question to address is whether this spending is needed. In economic terms, the question is about the financial benefit from this spending.

Supporters say many of our state roads need repair and upgrading, and in some areas additional roads or road-widening projects are needed. The pay-off is smoother driving, better access and less congestion. These benefits save drivers both time and money and encourage business development. READ MORE

Bladen Law Enforcement Officers undergo training

86 Bladen County law enforcement officers are going through training to learn new techniques or reinforce previous training in making an arrest, including stopping vehicles, handcuffing and dealing with difficult circumstance in general.

NC Highway Trooper Andrew Pait is coordinating the training. He is being assisted by other troopers and Chief Deputy Larry Guyton. Troopers Phillip Collier and Atlas McVicker demonstrated stopping a vehicle, clearing the vehicle of all occupants, handcuffing and making an arrest. Each officer received ‘on the job training.’

Pait pointed out that every deputy in the Bladen County Sheriff’s office would be in one of four classes as well as part-time officers. Police officers from Elizabethtown, Bladenboro, White Lake and Clarkton were invited and are also participating. READ MORE

Earlier Stories

Class1974Double Class Reunion East Bladen High School Classes of 1974&1975

This event will be held at LuMil Vineyard, in the Barrel Room. Dublin, NC Saturday April 18, 2015 at 6p.m. We’re asking everyone to dress casual and you must pay ahead. You may mail to Robin Summerlin at 1603 Greenwood Street, Elizabethtown, NC 28337. The fee will be $20. If you have any questions call Robin Summerlin at 910-876-4433.


Manage Your Ever – Increasing Camera Roll

By: Gordon Kinlaw

iphoneIf you have an iPhone 5 or 6, you know they make some really nice photos and videos. More and more phone users have iPhones now, especially since the release of the 6 and 6+.

How did you get to the point of having 1100 photos and videos on your iPhone and getting an alert that you are running out of storage space?

We never use those little digital cameras anymore because our phones are always with us and it shoots great photos that we can quickly share. You don’t have to remove a card and load the files on your computer anymore. You just keep on shooting and sharing and shooting and sharing, and then one day you can’t even read mail because there are 0 bytes left for use on the phone. And each new phone version makes larger photos to store. READ MORE

 Big Thank You!

Shelter donationsBladen County Animal Shelter received a big donation of dog and cat food from West Bladen High school this month. The FCCLA Club did a fundraiser for the shelter and collected 968 cans of food. The shelter would like to thank this group for their heartfelt efforts on collecting this food for the shelter. Pictured are the individuals that delivered the donation: Madison Mclamb, Allie Marsh, Megan Bennett and Debra Kinlaw. READ MORE

Driver’s Ed Classes Planned

Driver’s Ed classes are scheduled for East and West Bladen students according to the Board of Education website.
Classes begin Monday, March 16 at West Bladen High school and on Monday, April 13 at East Bladen.

Interested students should sign-up in the school office. Classes begins immediately after school. Students must be 14 1/2 years old.

Bladen County Citizens, Voice Your Opinion Now!

By: Charlotte Smith

ACounty Board of Commissioners and Staff survey to gauge public opinion about the upcoming budget is now underway. Several surveys have been turned in, but many more are needed. The Bladen County Commissioners have taken the time to reach out to the citizens, and hope to receive feedback.

““This is an outreach to involve our citizens. We are encouraging people to participate and have a voice in their local government,” said Commissioner Chairman Charles Ray Peterson.

Fill out the survey now by clicking here. Complete the form, email it to or mail it to: County Manager’s Office, P.O. Box 1048, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337. You may also call 910-862-6700 to have a paper copy of the survey mailed to you. READ MORE

Farm Bill Safety-Net Deadlines Approaching for North Carolina Farmers

USDAWASHINGTON —U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Bob Etheridge today reminds producers of upcoming important deadlines for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres is Feb. 27, 2015, and the final day for farm owners and producers to choose coverage is March 31, 2015.

“These programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace, so now is the time to have those final conversations, to ask any remaining questions, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make these decisions,” said Etheridge. READ MORE

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3rd Annual Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance set for March 28, 2015

By: Stacie Kinlaw

father 2Bladen County 4-H and Bladen County Parks and Recreation are partnering together to offer their third annual Father – Daughter Sweetheart Dance on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm. Tickets and registration forms are available at either agency’s location in Elizabethtown. On this special night, Bladen County Dads (or Grandfathers) will bring their sweetheart date(s) to enjoy a night of music, dancing, pizza from Giorgio’s Restaurant, refreshments, face painting, a keepsake photo, crafts and much more! Tickets will be available through mid-March as space allows. The cost of a ticket will be $15/couple and $5 for each additional daughter. All checks will be made payable to Bladen County 4-H, as any proceeds from the event will help support our county’s 4-H youth development program in the coming year.

On March 28, the Auditorium at the Bladen County Extension office will be transformed into a dance floor, photo booth provided by Sweet Cherish Photobooth, crafting space and decorated with sweet hearts everywhere! The space is limited for this special occasion, so be sure to get your tickets early. You can either stop by the offices of Bladen County 4-H or Bladen County Parks and Recreation to pick up the registration form and pay for your tickets or you can download the form and bring by one of the offices with payment. For more information about this event contact Stacie Kinlaw – Bladen County 4-H (910) 862-4591 or Patti Miller – Parks and Rec (910) 862-6770. Bladen County 4-H is a program of Bladen County Cooperative Extension Services and is located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown in the Powell Melvin Agricultural Building. The Bladen County Parks and Recreation main office is located at the King Street Gym at 803 W King Street Elizabethtown, NC 28337. READ MORE


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Governor McCrory Declares March 1-7 Severe Weather Preparedness Week

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