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Week in Review: October 18-24

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For the second consecutive week, a murder was in the news in Bladen County.

An Elizabethtown man was beaten and stabbed to death in his home Monday, Oct. 19 and a suspect was captured about an hour later and charged with first-degree murder, said Elizabethtown interim Police Chief Kip Hester. Jonathan Parker, 44, of the 2000 block of W. Broad Street was captured in a wooded area about one-half mile from the residence, Hester said. His bond was set at $5 million. John Robert Cole, who was 78 years old, was killed after being stabbed with an Army knife that had a blade about six inches long, according to Bladen County Coroner Hubert Kinlaw.

The previous week, Marquail Allen Burney, 20, was charged with the murder of Crystal Dionne Cruz, who was the fiancee of Marquail’s father, David Burney.

In other news,

** The Smithfield Packing plant in Tar Heel was shut down Monday, Oct. 19 when a problem with a roof beam caused a potential danger for employees, the company said. The plant resumed full operation Thursday, Oct. 22.

** Is a new charter school coming to Bladen County? According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s website, an application has been submitted for a new charter school in Bladen County.

** Bladen County is among 44 counties that qualify for natural disaster assistance because of crop loss and damage caused by excessive rain and flooding that occurred Sept. 22 through Oct. 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced. Chris Tatum, the Bladen Farm Service Agency director, said that as much as 70 percent of both the peanut crop and the cotton crop in Bladen County was damaged.

** Saturday, Oct. 24, a bear cub was spotted on Rosindale Road by Daine Smith. Hunters on Rosindale speculated there are about five bears in the area of Rosindale. However, big game hunting season doesn’t open until Nov. 10.

** Participants started with a clean white shirt. They left with a shirt of multiple colors. It was the United Way 5K Color Fun Run and Walk on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Elizabethtown Industrial Park. Proceeds went to Bladen County United Way.

** Four men who served East Bladen High School for many years were honored at halftime of the East Bladen home game with Wallace-Rose Hill Friday night by the East Bladen Booster Club. The Eagle press box was officially named the Lyn Shaw, Chicky Robbins, Jimbo McLaney Press Box. The media booth next to it was named the Robert G. Hester Media Booth.

** Tough week for Bladen high school sports team. East Bladen and West Bladen were eliminated in the first round of the state volleyball playoffs by Clinton and Carrboro, respectively. The East Bladen football team lost to Wallace-Rose Hill 51-13 and West Bladen was shut out by Clinton 50-0.

** Clarkton School of Discovery won the Bladen Five Middle School Conference volleyball tournament championship on Tuesday, Oct. 20 night at Bladenboro with a 2-0 victory over regular-season runner-up Elizabethtown.

** There were super heroes, witches, princesses and many oer characters at the Bladen County Public Library annual Halloween Party on Thursday, Oct. 22.

That’s the week that was in Bladen County.

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