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New NLC Connect Center Open House on Saturday

By Cara Beth Smith

New Light Church will host an open house for the new community “Connect Center” in downtown Bladenboro on March 25th at noon. According to NLC Lead Pastor Dale Hester, “The Connect Center will be a central location for various ministries to use. The vision is simple: to provide resources that help better the lives of people.” READ MORE

Today is the First Day of Spring!

By Cara Beth Smith

Is it just me, or is it always chilly on the first day of Spring?

“The spring equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (also called the March equinox or vernal equinox across the globe) occurs when the Sun crosses the celestial equator going south to north. READ MORE

Air Rifle: Garfield AJROTC defeats West Bladen AJROTC

Shooting their highest score of the season Garfield AJROTC defeated West Bladen AJROTC 1,005.6 to 971.7 in the 2023 National Air Rifle New Shooter League.

West Bladen AJROTC was led by Marissa Taylor, who shot a 269.8. West Bladen AJROTC is ranked twenty-fourth and has a 3-3 record. READ MORE

Cleanup Work to Start Early Summer in Kerr-McGee Superfund Site in Navassa

NAVASSA – The Multistate Trust expects to begin cleanup of contaminated surface soil in Operable Unit 2 (OU2) early summer at the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa Superfund Site. The Multistate Trust, together with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), will hold a virtual and in-person community meeting and an in-person information session on Thursday, March 23 to discuss the upcoming cleanup work. READ MORE

Application Period for ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program Closing April 21

RALEIGH – The application period for the ReBuild NC Homeowner Recovery Program will close at 5 p.m. Friday, April 21, with available federal funding committed to applications currently in process and those expected in the weeks ahead.

The Homeowner Recovery Program has worked to repair, rebuild and elevate homes damaged by hurricanes Matthew and Florence. READ MORE

Huge Bear Found Dead Alongside Road Outside of Bladenboro

A black bear weighing an estimated 500 pounds by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officials was found dead last week alongside N.C. 131 outside of Bladenboro.

Elizabethtown’s John Inman found the animal lying in grass near the road Wednesday, March 15 and posted a picture on Facebook. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

Woke this a.m. thinking about clothes, closets full … If those who have more clothing than needed would donate … we could solve two problems … Get it? …

Recent unemployment rate in Bladen County was less than 5% … If you want a job, there are jobs … READ MORE

Blood Drives Scheduled In Bladen County

There are four blood drives scheduled in Bladen County over the next two weeks. Two are for Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center in Fayetteville and one each for The Blood Connection and American Red Cross.

You can donate a pint of blood every 56 days and up to six times per year. READ MORE

Bladen Commissioners Have Two Public Hearings Scheduled Monday

Bladen CountyThe Bladen County Board of Commissioners have two public hearings on its agenda Monday during its regularly scheduled meeting inside the courthouse in Elizabethtown.

The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. inside the Commissioners’ Room located on the lower level of the Bladen County Courthouse in Elizabethtown. The meeting is open to the public. READ MORE

North Carolina Awarded $500,000 to Help More People Afford High-Speed Internet


RALEIGH — North Carolina will get $500,000 to help more low-income households afford monthly high-speed internet service, Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday. The Federal Communications Commission has awarded the N.C. Department of Information Technology Division of Broadband and Digital Equity an Affordable Connectivity Program Outreach Grant to help the state reach its goal of enrolling 1 million N.C. households in the Affordable Connectivity Program by the end of 2024. READ MORE

Center for Safer Schools Marks 10th Anniversary


State and local education officials from around North Carolina gathered Friday, March 17 as the Center for Safer Schools marked its 10th anniversary at the Education Building in Raleigh. The meeting recognized the accomplishments of the CFSS while also keeping the focus on the importance of safer schools. READ MORE

3 Things To Know For Monday

Three Things to Know1. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: Tuesday, 3-6 p.m., Bladen County Public Library, Elizabethtown.

2. Happy Campers Paint Class: Saturday, 2-4:30 p.m., Camp Clearwater, White Lake.

3. Bladen County Veterans & Community Stand Down: April 1, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Elizabethtown Baptist Church. READ MORE


This Day in History For March 20

This Day In History

1865 – 2nd day of Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina.

1930 – American fast food restaurant chain “KFC” {Kentucky Fried Chicken} is founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in North Corbin, Kentucky.

1991 – Michael Jackson signs $54M deal with Sony Records to produce 6 albums. READ MORE


Kinlaw and Locklear take the Conference Stage

Brett Kinlaw, GIS Supervisor, and Josh Locklear, Manager of Key Accounts, represented Lumbee River EMC (LREMC) at North Carolina’s electric cooperatives PowerXchange and TechAdvantage conferences in Nashville, TN, last week. The two collaboratively presented “Maximizing OMS/GIS Integration” during breakout sessions. Afterward, the dynamic duo traveled to Winston-Salem, NC, to present at the NC Geographic Information Systems (NCGIS) Conference.  READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

Another Sunday has arrived … CHURCH DAY…

A small lady with a long shadow was laid to rest yesterday … Jane Ross, longtime member of the staff at the local Extension Agent’s office … She touched many lives in her 89 plus years… READ MORE

Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber To Meet March 21

Greg Conner, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, will explain how Elizabethtown was a crucial battleground in the Revolutionary War during the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly meeting March 21.

The breakfast meeting will begin at 8 a.m. at Cape Fear Farmers Market. READ MORE

Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors Meeting March 22

The Bladen Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors will meet Wednesday, March 22 at 9:30 a.m. at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery Ballroom.

For additional information, call 910-247-3457. READ MORE


Freeze Warning Issued For Bladen County Early Monday Morning

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for early Monday morning as temperatures will begin to dip late Sunday in Bladen County and surrounding areas.

Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 30 are expected along portions of southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina from 1 a.m. until 9 a.m. Monday. READ MORE

White Lake Recognizes Two Employees

The Town of White Lake recognized two employees March 14 for completing certificate requirements.

Mayor Goldston Womble presented special recognition awards during the town’s commissioners’ meeting to Police Office Winfort Aaron Nichols and Tax Collector Tina Merritt-Smith. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

It’s Saturday, March 18. Springtime 2023 just ahead … begins Monday, March 20. Easter Sunday is just around the corner (April 9)…

March Madness is underway and the White Lake Water Festival is only about a month away … Plan accordingly. Spring sports underway in the area… READ MORE

Bladen’s Unemployment Rate At 4.7% For January

RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 99 of North Carolina’s counties in January and decreased in one, according to figures released Friday by the N.C. Department of Commerce. Hyde County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.1% while Greene, Buncombe, and Orange Counties each had the lowest at 3%. READ MORE


Residents’ Frustration Grows at Slow Progress to Address PFAS Pollution In Water

By Will Atwater, North Carolina Health News

Pender County resident Sharon Mathis recently had her well water tested for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, and she’s not happy with the results.

Mathis is one of thousands of local residents worried about contamination from the chemicals, which had been released by the nearby Chemours plant. READ MORE

Small Business Spotlight: Jay Michael Custom Imprints

By Haylie Robinson

A new business has opened up in Elizabethtown, Jay Micheal Custom Imprints. According to the owner John Pridgen, this business does custom prints on the spot. They do screen printing, signs, embroidery, dye, sublimation, business card, banners, and much more. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

Happy St. Patrick’s Day…

Duke, sporting a rookie coach, looked like champs based on last night’s play…

Some of my life long heroes are passing on … Latest, Mrs. Jane Ross … check Bladen Gaskins obits for more info. READ MORE

Bladen County Headlines … 50 Years Ago

Here were some of the stories making news in Bladen County in 1973:

• Dan Baker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Baker of Elizabethtown, was presented the Boy Scouts of America God and Country Award. READ MORE


Dublin Primary Wins Battle of the Books

The 2023 Elementary School Battle of the Books competition was held on Tuesday, March 14 at Bladen Community College. Forty students from Bladen Lakes Primary, Bladenboro Primary, Dublin Primary, Elizabethtown Primary and Plain View Primary participated. READ MORE

State Highway Patrol Requests Public Feedback with CALEA Portal

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol maintains national law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Law Enforcement for Accreditation (CALEA). As a part of this process, an opportunity is provided to citizens of North Carolina for public feedback via the CALEA Portal which can be accessed by clicking here. READ MORE

Thorley ‘Humbled, Blessed’ To Lead Trinity Methodist Church

By Sonny Jones

Matt Thorley felt God’s calling to join the ministry at an early age, admittedly tried to run away from it for a time, and now has “gone all in” to accept the role.

The 28-year-old western North Carolina native became the senior pastor for Elizabethtown’s Trinity Methodist Church on Feb. 1. READ MORE 

Calling All Litter Sweep Volunteers

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is looking for volunteers for the 2023 Spring Litter Sweep, which runs April 15–29.

Residents throughout the state are encouraged to participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadways. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

A 500 pound bear struck and killed just south of Bladenboro yesterday … can you imagine?

Remember when the road past your home was paved?

Love to think back over the years … among the highlights … How about Hurricane Hazel in October ’54? READ MORE

The History of St. Patrick’s Day

By Haylie Robinson

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th every year, the history of it being the day St. Patrick passed away in the fifth century. St. Patrick was born in Britain but kidnapped at 16 and brought to Ireland. There he was to be enslaved. He eventually escaped but returned to Ireland to introduce Christianity to the Irish. READ MORE

Men & Women United Work To Bridge Gap to Food Insecurity

Men & Women United for Youth & Families has planned a “Bridging the Gap to Food Insecurity” for Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Bladen Community College.

The purpose of the event, according to the organization, is to provide farmers with information on programs that purchase produce from local farmers. READ MORE


Boost the ‘Boro Update: Spring Fling, Scholarships, and an Eagle Scout Project

By Cara Beth Smith

Boost the ‘Boro held their March meeting on Tuesday evening. Members of the non-profit organization met at Bladenboro Farmers Market to discuss several topics including the upcoming Spring Fling, scholarship opportunities for the community, and more.

Boost the ‘Boro scholarship deadline is April 28. READ MORE

Homestead Christian School Is Growing


A year has come and gone since Homestead Christian School was first introduced to our community by way of an article published on Bladen Online. One year ago, Homestead Christian School existed on paper, and in the hearts of a handful of parents and teachers that had an incredibly strong will to meet the educational needs of the children in their local community; as well as a steadfast belief that they were tackling this monumental task in accordance with God’s will. READ MORE

Bladen We Care Memorial Golf Tournament Scheduled For River Landing June 21

The former Byron Gooden Bladen We Care Memorial Golf Tournament, previously played for 30 years at Vineyard Golf At White Lake, will this year be played June 21 at River Landing Golf Course in Wallace and will be known as the Bladen We Care Memorial Golf Tournament. READ MORE

Columbus County Bridge Project Requires Traffic Shift

LAKE WACCAMAW – Drivers on Friday, March 17 will be shifted to a temporary pattern where Chauncey Town Road is under reconstruction at U.S. 74/76.

The state Transportation Department is converting this intersection at Lake Waccamaw into an interchange with on/off ramps that will carry Chauncey Town Road over the highway. READ MORE

Optimize Strawberry Fertility With Plant Tissue Testing

By Kristin Hicks, NCDA&CS Agronomic Services Division

RALEIGH – In order to optimize growth, fruit quality and economic return, commercial strawberry production requires intensive and precise fertilization throughout the season.

Plant tissue testing measures nutrient levels in the leaflets and compares them to established target concentrations for healthy strawberries. READ MORE

EPA Announces Proposal To Regulate PFAS in Drinking Water

RALEIGH – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday a proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known to occur in drinking water. Specifically, EPA is proposing an enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS, at 4 parts per trillion (ppt), a level that can be reliably measured by most labs. READ MORE

Contract Applications Sought to Operate Washington County License Plate Agency

ROCKY MOUNT – The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is seeking applicants for a commissioned contractor to operate a license plate agency (LPA) in Washington County.

In North Carolina, NCDMV oversees LPAs, but the agencies are managed by private businesses or local governments. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

Passing along a special Fire Danger Statement for today, noontime through early this evening… Outdoor burning is discouraged.

On a day like today, years and years ago … many farmer friends could be found sitting around a wood fired pot-belly stove sharing wisdom at the local country store … READ MORE


Interactive Beatles Experience April 1 at Carolina Civic Center


The Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater in downtown Lumberton will host an interactive Beatles tribute with full band and audience participation on April 1. This energetic and interactive Beatles Experience is the nation’s most innovative and unique show utilizing the works of the legendary pop group.

The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. READ MORE 

Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Holds Recognition Ceremony

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office recently held an Oath of Office, Promotion, and Retirement Ceremony.

Two veteran team members retired from Office, two squad members received promotions, and three took the Oath of Office. READ MORE

Plain View Primary Students Receive New Books


Students at Plain View Primary have lots of new books to check out in their library thanks to Four County Electric Membership Corporation and the Bright Ideas Education Grant Program.

Jenna Jones, Plain View Primary’s media specialist, applied for grant funding. READ MORE

A Review: History of Pi Day

By Haylie Robinson

With today being “Pi Day” here is a review of the history of Pi Day. The March 14th celebration recognizes the number known as pi.

The history of pi originates back to 287-212 B.C., but it was recognized by the Greek letter π in the 18th century. READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Robert Hester, Founder of BladenOnline.com

Not sure where to begin … but last night … I went back to the place where I used to live … and all my siblings were there, as well as well as their spouses, minus one … 6 grown children in the small house where we spent many years together, the only place some ever knew as youngsters …

I thought about my mom and how proud she must be. READ MORE 


Bladen County Schools’ Kindergarten Registration Dates

Bladen County Schools has announced dates in April for kindergarten registration for the 2023-24 academic year.

The child must be 5-years-old on or before Aug. 31, 2023 and the adult registering the student must be the child’s legal parent or guardian. READ MORE

Bladen Republican Convention March 30

The Bladen County Republican Party has scheduled its annual precinct organization meeting and county convention for March 30.

The event will be held at the Powell-Melvin Agricultural Hall at 450 Smith Circle, Elizabethtown. Doors open at 6 p.m. READ MORE

Bladenboro’s Spring Fling Set For April 1

Downtown Bladenboro will be the place to be Saturday, April 1 and that’s no fooling. Boost the Boro’s annual Spring Fling is set from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

The Rivermist Band is scheduled to perform from 6-9 p.m. READ MORE

Spring Fling at Jones Lake State Park April 8

Friends of the Bay Lakes is sponsoring its annual Spring Fling on Saturday, April 8 at Jones Lake State Park.

The event, which is free, is scheduled to be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. READ MORE

Application Period Opens For Boost The ‘Boro Scholarship Programs

The application period has opened for a pair of $750 educational scholarships and two $1,000 scholarships for high school seniors who live in the 28320 ZIP code.

The deadline to submit an application for the scholarships is April 28. Winners will be announced in May. READ MORE

Learn About Butterflies, Park Rangers, and Snakes at Jones Lake State Park

Jones Lake State Park has released its March program itinerary. Learn about butterflies, park rangers, snakes and more with a visit to Jones Lake.

The park is located at 4117 NC 242 North, Elizabethtown. For information about the programs, call 910-588-4550. READ MORE

Four County EMC Offers Basketball Camp Scholarships

Four County Electric Membership Corporation offers all-expense-paid summer basketball camp scholarships for middle school students (rising sixth and seventh graders) to the Carolina Basketball School and Wolfpack Basketball Camp.

Rising sixth and seventh graders are eligible to apply and the final deadline is March 31. READ MORE

Concealed Carry Class Scheduled March 25

The Bladen County Law Enforcement Officers Association has scheduled a concealed carry class Saturday, March 25 at the Bladen County Emergency Services Training Center.

Cost of class is $75 with a $25 nonrefundable deposit due by Friday, March 17 at 5 p.m. READ MORE

Bladen County Opens Substance Use Treatment Telephone Referral Service

The Bladen County Health Department has opened a confidential Bladen County telephone referral service for residential substance use treatment at the Healing Place of New Hanover County.

Bladen County adults who are interested in admission to the Healing Place of New Hanover County for a substance use problem can call 910-874-6098 and request a referral for services. The line is open 24 hours per day. READ MORE

Bladen Extension Service Offers Better Bladen Series

From beekeeping, backyard chickens, healthy eating, and garden basics, NC Cooperative Extension – Bladen County Center has a variety of workshop opportunities coming up in 2023 as a part of the Better Bladen Series.

Workshops are at no cost to the participant and will be held at the Powell-Melvin Agriculture Center located at 450 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. READ MORE

Plan to Attend Job Fair and Veterans’ Stand Down in Bladen County

By Charlotte Smith

Leon Grimes, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist and Local Veterans Employment Representative with the North Carolina Department of Commerce/Division of Workforce Solutions, announced an upcoming Job Fair and Veterans’ Stand Down in Bladen County. READ MORE

Lu Mil Wine Run 5k Scheduled April 8

Like running or walking? Love wine? This race may be for you.

The Lu Mil Wine Run 5k is scheduled Saturday, April 8 at the vineyard located on the outskirts of Dublin. Proceeds will benefit the Dublin Peanut Festival. The event will start at 9 a.m. READ MORE