Folks in Bladen County began the new year in a variety of ways. Some opted for a delicious meal at the Bladenboro Historical Society building while others opted for a hike at Jones Lake State Park. Some hearty souls chose a quick swim in White Lake on Jan. 1, 2020.
However you chose to ring in the new year — whether it’s considered the beginning of a decade (2020-2029) or the end of a decade (2011-2020), welcome to 2020.
Here’s a recap of some of the top stories from Dec. 29-Jan. 4.
A woman was stabbed and an arrest was made Thursday in Bladenboro. Kimberley Ann Beeding, 63, was reported seen lying on the sidewalk outside an apartment on West Walnut Street. She had severe lacerations to her throat and neck. William Brent Shaw, 36, of Bladenboro, was charged with assault with deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
During the investigation, officers with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and Bladenboro Police Department executed a search warrant at the location. John Marshall Guyton, 63, was charged with several drug offenses.
Several suspicious fires in the Dublin area occurred in 2019 and officials are still investigating. Arson is suspected in at least some of the fires, said Bladen County Fire Marshal Kenneth Clark. The fires have been along NC 41 West near Bladen County Community College.
The Bladen County Board of Education approved the 2020-21 school calendar which will have classes starting Aug. 17. The earlier start date will allow semester exams to be completed before the Christmas holiday break.
2020 is an election year, in case you hadn’t heard or have been living under a rock. The primary for the November election will by March 3 with early voting beginning Feb. 13 at three locations. Early voting will include Sunday afternoon voting.
The start of a new year also means property tax bills are due. Actually, payments were due Sept. 1, 2019, but a penalty is assessed beginning Jan. 7, 2020.
Did you know that BladenOnline now is located in a new office? It’s in the former Hudson’s Radiator building in Elizabethtown. A ribbon cutting was held Dec. 30 to officially open the doors, which also housing Cape Fear Heating and Air.
In sports, the East Bladen girls’ basketball team had its 37-game Three Rivers Conference winning streak snapped, losing to unbeaten St. Pauls 65-22. The last time the Eagles lost a league game was in December 2017. East Bladen is 9-3 overall this season.
As for those New Year’s celebrations, about 20 people took a dip into White Lake as about 150 looked on. The water temperature was 51, according to Stephen Holloman, compared to 38 degrees in 2018.
There were 18 people who joined Park Ranger Shane Freeman for the one-mile First Day Discovery Hike at Jones Lakes State Park. There was a fox and coyote standing side-by-side just off the trail — stuffed, of course — and an oppossum with his tail looped around a stub of wood, seemingly playing possum — what else?
A line of hungry patrons were at the Bladenboro Historical Society Building for a traditional New Year’s Day lunch of collards, blackeyed peas, chicken and rice with cornbread and tea. Proceeds went toward building maintenance.
Happy New Year!