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Elizabethtown Rotary Club has busy agenda Wednesday

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The Elizabethtown Rotary Club had a busy agenda on Wednesday as they heard an update on the new Bladen County Detention Center, learned about a grant the East Bladen High School FFA class is pursuing, and heard from Rotary District Governor John Scibal.

The first order of business was the recognition of immediate Past President Renee Horton by President Charlotte Smith. Also, Jose Rodriguez, who served as Secretary, gave his final report to the club. 

The Rotarians heard from Rotarian Roy Allen’s grandson, Josh Allen, and East Bladen teacher Earl Miller.  Josh is a student at East Bladen High School and a Future Farmers of America member. He explained that the East Bladen FFA Club is seeking a grant from NC State University. The group would need a letter of recommendation from the Rotary Club for their grant application.

He told the club that many people fo agriculture as simply farming but there is an entire host of jobs that make up the agriculture industry. Josh told the club that Forbes magazine published an article stating that many folks starting out with jobs in agriculture-related fields start out earning $45,000 per year.

He told the club the FFA chapter at East Bladen High School will use the grant funds to build a facility on the campus of East Bladen High School to house the agriculture program.

“As a teacher, I am very proud of these kids,” said Miller.

He explained that currently, the agriculture program at East Bladen does not have adequate facilities. Miller emphasized the grant will help to change that.

Next the group heard an update on the construction of the new Bladen County Detention Center from Bladen County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jeff Singletary. He told the group that the current jail can house up to 75 inmates and was constructed in about 1954. Singletary said currently there are about 20 to 25 inmates who are housed in neighboring counties.

Singletary told the group the new detention center being built at 299 Smith Circle in Elizabethtown will have 224 beds and the jail staff will have the capacity to classify inmates and keep them here in the county. Singletary said the new facility will allow jail staff to separate inmates with more serious charges from those with lesser charges.

In addition to the inmates, the new facility will house the Sheriff’s Office and the 911 call center all under one roof. Singletary said the new facility will allow for the increased use of trustees for such tasks as washing cars or other projects.

Rotary District Governor John Scibal also visited with the club on Wednesday. He began his discussion by explaining why he joined Rotary.

He talked about the fact that Rotary is evolving and there are now clubs that are called E-Clubs that meet online and there are clubs called satellite clubs that may be formed either to charter a new club, accommodate communities that small populations or large metropolitan areas, among other things.

Scibal said real change in Rotary occurs at the club level.

He discussed the upcoming Rotary International Convention as well as the upcoming Rotary District Conference.

Scibal also talked about the Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and ways that a member can achieve the Paul Harris Fellow distinction.