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Bladen Online Week in Review: April 19-25

A sports first for Bladen County and more executive orders from the North Carolina governor highlighted the week of April 19-25. The COVID-19 pandemic remained front and center in the news.

Former East Bladen High School football standout Larrell Murchison (pictured, above) became the first player from Bladen County to be selected in the NFL draft. It happened Saturday when Murchison received a call from the Tennessee Titans. Murchison, who played the past two seasons at N.C. State, was chosen in the fifth round.

It was quite the moment for the Murchison family and some much needed good news as Bladen County and the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bladen County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Terri Duncan reported the county’s ninth confirmed case of coronavirus on Saturday. The person was hospitalized in a nearby county.

During the week, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (pictured, left) announced that students and educators will not return to school buildings for the remainder of the school year because of the potential spread of the virus. Students will continue to work remotely. State end-of-year testing has been waived.

The governor also extended the stay-at-home order through May 8 and released a three-part plan to reopen North Carolina’s economy.

Cooper also issued an executive order to expand unemployment insurance benefits and announced more funding for EBT cards to help families purchase food.

With school buildings to remain empty for the remainder of the academic year, the N.C. High School Athletic Association officially cancelled the spring sports seasons and the state basketball championship games.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles call center in Bladen County reopened Tuesday after closing a day earlier because an employee was being tested for coronavirus. The employee’s test results were negative.

And, finally, in news about coronavirus, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and other first responders took part in a “Healthcare Heroes Appreciation” parade around Bladen County Hospital on Tuesday.

In other news,

WECT-TV reported that Leslie McCrae Dowless (pictured, left), the central figure in the election fraud investigation that led to a re-do of the 2018 congressional race in North Carolina’s 9th district, has been indicted on new charges related to his political activity.

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office arrested 51-year-old David Neil Robinson Jr. on several drug-related charges after an investigation that began following complaints from people in the community.

Stay safe, practice social distancing and enjoy the week ahead.

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