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Thank you for visiting was started as the result of lots of conversation and work by Michael Simmons and Robert Hester in Bladen County. Then, in September 2014 was purchased by Online News & Advertising, LLC, a locally, family owned business.

The project of began in the summer of the year 2007. Mike Simmons was recuperating from numerous physical ailments during the entire year of 2006 but was feeling better. He wanted and needed an outlet for his creative talents having retired in mid-2006 and being in the news business.

Simmons and Robert Hester decided to move forward with the news outlet idea and spent some time meeting with others in the eastern part of the state that were involved in similar efforts. Mike thought mid-October would be the time to launch the news site.

However, Mike was stricken by a fatal heart attack. The community was devastated and so was Robert Hester. He had lost a long-time friend and a former neighbor and now his soon-to-be business partner.

Robert made a hasty decision to forget the entire project and move on. However, as time passed he had a yearning to continue. It was a good project that needed to be completed. Mike was the perfect person to launch the new media outlet, but he was no longer available. So Robert, being a former business owner and Bladen County Commissioner made the decision to “charge forward.”

Robert, with the assistance of other team members grew to become Bladen County’s number one news and advertising source.

In 2014, Robert decided he wanted to slow down so he made the decision to sell the business to Charlotte Smith. Charlotte and her mother, Cheryl Thurston, a graphic designer and author, created a new design for the news website all while loyal team members like John Clark, Joy Warren, Bethany Stephens, Norgie Hester, and Robert Hester continued reporting the news, sports, history, and more.

In 2017, during‘s 10th year in existence the team expanded its services. Not only does the local online indie news outlet use its website to keep readers informed, but now it uses social medias, YouTube and published Bladen County Beautiful magazine.

The team often reflects on something Hester says often, “The best is yet to come.” In 2018 the plans grew  with new editions of the Bladen County Beautiful magazine and added their sister online indie news outlet,

Contact us:

Office Number: (910)879-1029

Fax Number: (910)647-0223

News email –

Advertising email –

Our Team Members:


(910)879-1029 Office

P.O. Box 2855

1110 S. Popar Street

Elizabethtown, NC 28337

John Clark, Sports Writer/Reporter

(910)876-7082 Mobile

Norgie Hester, Writer (Former Publisher of The Southeastern Times newspaper)

(910)879-1029 Office

Cheryl Thurston, Writer
(910)879-1029 Office

Kelly White, Graphic Designer

(910)879-1029 Office

Joy Warren, Writer
(910)879-1029 Office

Robert Hester, Founder/Writer
(910)879-1029 Office
(910)876-2322 Mobile

Nicole Smith, Editor


Charlotte Smith, Publisher/Owner

(910)879-1029 Office

(910)876-5393 Mobile

We have many other dedicated writers, photographers, and contributors not named here, but we are very grateful to everyone that helps in serving our communities.

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