BladenOnline.com

Bladen County's leading website for news, sports, advertising and more!

Letter to Editor: Age of accountability for sex acts

Is there a age of accountability or cut off point for acts committed as a child like the one Judge Kavanaugh is accused of? I understand he would have been 17 at the time the act was said to have been committed. How about middle school age? How about primary school? If a little boy pulls a girl’s pigtails or pinches her on the butt in kindergarten or 1st grade, is it going to come back to haunt him in his later years? Wm Settlemeyer Riegelwood NC Share:

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Latest info from the NC DOT Travel System indicates at least 27 Bladen County roads are close due to disrepair or flooding.  And, the only way to reach Kelly is by air. Say a prayer for our Kelly friends and neighbors, many have been airlifted to other locations. Generally speaking, conditions are improving, following the recent hurricane, but slowly. Cape Fear River is very high and travel across it on US 701 in the Elizabethtown area has been altered slightly due to road repairs. Would be nice to return to a more normal lifestyle.  Seems to be upheaval from the national level, to the state and local level, in one form or another. …..

Read More

Tillis & Burr Provide Update on Florence Recovery Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr provided an update on North Carolina’s ongoing recovery from Hurricane Florence: “North Carolina is reeling from the destruction caused by Florence, and many of our communities are under the threat of more historic flooding as rivers crest. Federal assistance will be the key to North Carolina’s recovery over the coming months and years. Based on initial forecasts, we began engaging with Senate appropriators before Florence even made landfall, and over the last week we’ve had productive and encouraging conversations with President Trump, Leader McConnell, administration officials, Congressional appropriators and our House colleagues. We will continue to work diligently behind the …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Emergency folks in Bladen County have been very busy, doing good, even halting rumors.  A rumor began to spread that Lock and Dam 1 on the Cape Fear River had failed.  Local Emergency Service folks and the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, stepped in and confirmed there was no failure.  The issue was flood waters were going over the dike in Kelly and that was the reason for the mandatory evacuation issue.  Kelly, like no other community in the county, has a dike system, been in place for many years to protect the area. Will be nice when area residents can return to some degree of a normal lifestyle. NCDOT released …..

Read More

Tillis & Burr Join President Trump in North Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr joined President Trump during his visit to North Carolina to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Florence. “We are now moving towards the next step, which is getting the initial funding for recovery. We’ve made a request, and we’ll be moving forward and working with Governor Cooper with trying to get the money in place for some of the initial recovery,” said Senator Tillis. “I want to thank all the volunteers as well who have come together, this is when North Carolina and America is at its best.” “I’ve been doing disasters in North Carolina as an elected representative …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

I would love to be in the bread baking business now, well for a few days.  Nearly impossible to find a loaf of fresh or stale bread, shelves are clean.  It should not be long before we will have a choice, again… Can’t stand to not check out the landscape at least once a day.  On my most recent tour, mostly returning to normal, slowly but surely. Most of the stoplights in Elizabethtown were working, a couple of notable exceptions.  Retail outlets, including fast food and convenience stores were operating, and most appeared to be busy. For those still without electricity, patience is wearing thin, understand, but hold on, help is on the …..

Read More

Tillis on Judge Kavanaugh Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement: “Senate Judiciary Democrats deserve the criticism they are receiving from across the political spectrum for making a conscious decision to sit on this serious allegation for nearly two months without taking action. They have badly mishandled this and have done a disservice to the accuser, Judge Kavanaugh, and the American people. “Allegations of misconduct must be taken seriously. That requires a fact-based process that is fair and respectful to both the accuser and the accused. “The Senate Judiciary Committee is beginning an investigation and is inviting both individuals to appear before the committee next week to ensure the allegation is thoroughly …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

NFL Bears 24, Seawhawks 17. Quoting WNCN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Raleigh, “Hurricane Florence produced one of the ‘most significant rainfall events’ in the Carolinas, the National Weather Service said.” “The NWS released totals for cities and towns across the state after Hurricane Florence.” “As of 2 p.m. Monday, Elizabethtown topped the list after it received 35.93 inches of rain.”  Swansboro was second with 34.00 inches.  Other totals: Wilmington 26.58″ Oak Island 26.98″ Whiteville   25.91″ Wilmington ILM (Airport) 23.02″ Supply 22.92″ Lumberton 22.26″ Dunn 20.41″ Clinton 17.85″ Fayetteville 15.27″ Burgaw 11.60″ Okracoke 9.29″ Raleigh 6.98″ Elizabeth City 2.01″ Recovery is underway, but not at the pace most would like.  Lots of …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Florence disrupted so many plans, activities and caused harm to many…looking forward to some sunshine, and some semblance of normal. Many references to Hazel and for anyone less than 70 years of age probably do not remember.  Hazel was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 1954 hurricane season.  It struck near the border between North and South Carolina, actually near Calabash, as a category 4 hurricane in early October.  As a result of the high death toll and the damage caused by Hazel, its name was retired from use for North Atlantic hurricanes. It was the only time I ever spent a night in a shelter, one night in the Bladenboro National …..

Read More

Sen Thom Tillis Update on Hurricane Florence

Friends and Neighbors, Parts of North Carolina are seeing an unprecedented amount of rainfall that is causing extremely dangerous situations. Please continue to listen to emergency officials and take the necessary steps to keep you and your family safe. North Carolina has already been granted a Major Disaster Declaration and Public Health Emergency Declaration to streamline recovery and rescue efforts, and I will continue to ensure we have the resources needed to rebuild from Hurricane Florence. Important Resources Instructions on how to plan and prepare for severe weather as well as access to real-time weather, flooding, traffic and shelter information can be found at ReadyNC.org. For life-threatening emergencies, call 911. For a …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

This area has had about all it can stand of Florence and Mathew…The couple have worn out their welcome and left the area in a difficult situation…. How much rain have we had?  Too much…20 to 30 inches, my uneducated guess, with the eastern portion of Bladen receiving the most…all have received much more than needed. Today’s forecast offers little relief.  Showers, with thunderstorms also possible.  High near 84.  Breezy with a southeast wind 18 to 21 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 100%.  New rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches possible. Next chance for sunny skies is Wednesday. Roads are flooded….Good Samaritans are doing what they do best…taking care of those …..

Read More

Letter to the Editor:Flooding in Elizabethtown due to Hurricane Florence and Town of Elizabethtown

Dear Editor, I currently reside in Elizabethtown on Glenwood Drive.  Two years ago I bought a home two months before Hurricane Matthew moved through our town.  During Hurricane Matthew my family and I experienced severe flooding around our house due to the negligence of the Town of Elizabethtown to repair a storm drain.  The drain was reported in need of repair by the previous owner of the home.  Also our neighbor is in desperate need of the Town to maintain the ditches for the entire neighborhood. My husband went to the Town of Elizabethtown in June and talked to the Director over town maintenance. The director sent three contractors to …..

Read More

NC Congressional Delegation Requests Expedited Approval of Hurricane Florence Major Disaster Declaration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina’s entire Congressional delegation, led by Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, sent a letter to President Trump requesting that the administration swiftly approve Governor Cooper’s request for an expedited Major Disaster Declaration as Hurricane Florence brings historic flooding and destruction to counties across North Carolina. “The severity of damage and number of areas impacted is rapidly increasing and is forecast to worsen drastically in the coming days,” the members wrote. “Accordingly, we sincerely appreciate your timely consideration of this expedited Major Disaster Declaration request.” “Although the totality of devastation will continue to unfold, it is imperative that North Carolina has the resources now to …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Hurricane Florence is a strong willed lady.  Friday at 3 AM, the National Weather Service reports the storm was 35 miles east of Wilmington. The winds are howling, still have power, despite a blink a short time ago.   A quick check of current conditions at Curtis Brown Airport in Elizabethtown indicates wind speed, north 26 mph and gusts up to 44 mph with less than an inch of rainfall…but that should change soon. Conditions are expected to change, not for the better, and continue for the next day or so.  Flooding is expected. Downtown Elizabethtown was like a ghost town yesterday (Thursday) with many stores in the downtown area boarded up.  Fast …..

Read More

An important message about Hurricane Florence from NC Superintendent Mark Johnson

An important message about Hurricane Florence from NC Superintendent Mark Johnson Parents, caretakers, and educators, As the State Superintendent of North Carolina’s public schools, I want you to know that your child’s success in school and beyond is our top priority. We are leading improvements for our schools, and starting this school year, we will regularly engage with you to make sure we are on the right track for students, parents, and teachers. But today, storm preparation is the most important topic. No matter where you live in North Carolina, please take Hurricane Florence very seriously. The storm is so large that every North Carolinian may experience severe weather. Schools in eastern …..

Read More

Rep. David Rouzer offers tips and information for Hurricane Florence

As our state continues to prepare for Hurricane Florence, I wanted to provide you with various resources to assist you in advance and the potential aftermath of Hurricane Florence.  Please continue to monitor our website as it will be updated frequently with information as we receive it. Up-to-Date Information: Please visit ReadyNC.org for preparedness tips and the most recent updates on Hurricane Florence.  I would encourage you to download the ReadyNC mobile app for information on real-time traffic and weather conditions, river levels, evacuations and power outages. Evacuation Routes: Please heed evacuation orders as today is the last day to safely travel out of coastal areas and finish preparing for Hurricane Florence.  The following locations …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion:Thoughts While Shaving

Been thinking and comparing the arrival of Hurricane Florence to the arrival of my dad when I had not obeyed my mom as I should, and she would promise a ‘whipping’ when he came home.  So I wait and wait and wait, really not excited about his arrival, knowing the next few hours were not going to be good for me.  And, seldom was either of us wrong. Been promised bad weather for several days, and no doubt the next 48 to 72 hours conditions will get worse.  I am now ready to take the ‘whipping’ and then, get on with whatever the consequences. Florence promises to be a ‘bad’ lady….expect lots …..

Read More

Tillis Statement and Information on Hurricane Florence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on Hurricane Florence, which is expected to impact North Carolina later this week: “Hurricane Florence is expected to be unlike any storm we have seen in recent times, bringing historic flooding and destruction to communities across our state. Our first responders, as well as local, state, and federal officials are already hard at work and preparing for the worst in order to mitigate losses. I urge all North Carolinians to comply with evacuation orders and make sure they and their families have an emergency plan in place and ready to be executed. While homes and material possessions can be …..

Read More

You Decide: What’s the New Outlook for Jobs?

By Dr. Mike Walden A few years ago, a couple of economists made a big splash by predicting almost half of occupations in the country had a big chance of being replaced by automation and technology in coming decades. Unemployment rates would soar to double digits and stay there. The economists’ forecast revived fears of “technological unemployment” posing a bigger threat to jobs than any future recession. How out-of-touch those forecasts now look today. Companies are hungry for workers. Many are hiring unqualified people and then training them. Unemployment rates are reaching historic lows among many groups and in many regions. The job situation and facts have significantly improved from …..

Read More

Tillis Statement on Executive Order Protecting Election Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on the Executive Order signed by President Trump to impose sanctions against foreign individuals, entities, or governments that meddle in future U.S. elections: “I applaud the Trump Administration for taking a strong stand against election interference and sending a direct warning to foreign adversaries that are planning on interfering in the upcoming mid-terms. The Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election were hostile acts against America’s democratic system that were designed to cause division and discord within our nation, and we cannot allow such hostile acts to occur again. It is imperative that America remains united in punishing potential election meddlers …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Time to get serious about Hurricane Florence! Hurricane Watch now posted for Bladen, Columbus, & Sampson Counties, closer to the beach, Hurricane Warnings for Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Carteret and areas adjacent to the ocean. The next 72 to 90 hours will be critical for residents of the area. One of the latest warnings from the National Weather Service, quoting, “This is a life threatening situation from storm surge, to dangerous winds and extreme flooding.  Given the slow motion of the storm as it approaches the coast and moves inland will create a long period of sever impacts.” Shelters are scheduled to open in the area at noon today.  They include: East Bladen High School …..

Read More

Congressman Pittenger’s statement on 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attack

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released this statement as he reflects on the 17th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks: “We forget how complacent America had become, confident in a false sense of peace and security that was shattered at 8:46 a.m. on September 11th.  Yet 17 years later, some are once again becoming complacent, with foolish calls to abolish ICE and American companies selling critical technology to foreign adversaries. “On September 11, 2001, brave American citizens and first-responders stood up to radical Islamic terrorists and proclaimed through their actions that America stands for freedom and liberty.  Let us never forget the lives lost, or the bravery of the first-responders, or the …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Preparations for Florence should be nearly complete, according to all reports folks in this area will be greatly affected by storm. Water, bread, milk, food in general in short supply.  Our No. 2 son drives a truck for a food chain, reported last evening, water was being sold before it ever reached the usual location in the store.  A mad dash… Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber monthly meeting scheduled for today…cancelled… TV folks doing a good job of show and tell…about the arrival of the storm, or you can Google the National Weather Service for constant updates.  BladenOnline is also doing good job of providing much needed local info. Lack of utilities is …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Hurricane Florence’s most likely path as of early Monday is landfall on Thursday or Friday on the coast of North Carolina….specific location still in doubt……Stay tuned….. Rain played havoc with PGA playoffs and NASCAR yesterday. NASCAR race at Indianapolis is set for 10 AM today with a 10% chance of rain. The final round of the PGA FedEx BMW playoff at Newtown Square, PA (near Philadelphia) is set for an early morning tee off today, after a wash-out yesterday, however there is an 80% chance of rain on an already saturated course.  Top 30 PGA players advance to finals in a couple of weeks where the payoff is $10M to the winner.  My luck, I would be number 31 if …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

College Football Results ECU 41 – UNC 19 NCSU 41 – Georgia State 7 Duke 21 – Northwestern 7 Wake Forest 51 – Towson 20 Appalachian State 45 – Charlotte 49ers 9 Clemson 28 – Texas A&M 26 Alabama 57 – Arkansas 7 Hurricane Watch ongoing for North & South Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence continues to intensify….Could be interesting week, as forecaster plot future movement.  Thursday could be the day, based on current info. Dublin Peanut Festival tops upcoming events.  Begins 10 AM Saturday with a parade, activities continue all day long.  GOOGLE www.dublinpeanutfestival.com for updated details. Spent the better part of Saturday reading Sunrise Sunset, A Memoir.  The author is former Bladen County Planner William M (Bill) …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

High School football scores from Friday night play; East Bladen 31, Whiteville 28 Fairmont 28, West Bladen 6 John Clark captured all the action on BladenOnline Sports Page, as usual… Next week, East Bladen entertains another pre-season conference favorite, South Columbus.  Red Springs will be at West Bladen. The win over Whiteville by the Eagles is, not doubt, good therapy for Coach Robby Priest, still recovering from a bout with cancer. 5 former NC Governors, 3 D’s and 2 R’s, all opposing constitutional amendments written and re-written by the NC Legislature, is pretty strong.  Need to take a hard look at their reasons why…..Governing the business of the state is serious business and our forefathers set …..

Read More

Congressman Pittenger Receives “Taxpayers’ Friend Award”

Annual award recognizes Members of Congress for supporting lower taxes, limited government, and economic freedom   WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is the latest recipient of the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” in recognition of having one of the strongest pro-taxpayer voting records in Congress. Presented annually by the National Taxpayers Union, the award is based on support for lower taxes, limited government, and economic freedom.  This year, Congressman Pittenger was one of only 66 Members of Congress to receive an “A” rating from the non-partisan organization. “We must restore fiscal sanity in Washington,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “For too many years, and too many trillions, Washington has refused to live by the same financial …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Remember when I was a first grader. We were required to take a nap, or at least be quiet so others could, on an oily floor covered with a newspaper.  The longest 30 minutes or hour of the day… Now, an occasional nap after lunch sounds like a good idea, seldom happens. Our system of government is more divisive than ever, best I can tell…The party in power attempts to steamroll the minority and seldom mentions a run-away US debt.  Change parties in power and the roles reverse…. Why should I believe the polls that indicate the current minority will become the new majority in Congress after the November elections.  …..

Read More

Tillis Questions Judge Kavanaugh at Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) participated in the second round of questioning by Senate Judiciary Committee members during hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Click HERE to watch the full video. 02:46 – “I would like to thank the Capitol Police officers who are working mandatory 16-hour shifts during these hearings. It is difficult for people in the room to see the work that they are doing, but the complex operation they are undertaking to keep us, as well as those exercising their First Amendment rights, safe is extraordinary.” 04:06 – “It is obvious Republicans and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are at an impasse …..

Read More

Tillis & Merkley Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Staffing at VA Health Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced the Health Care Staffing Improvement Act, bipartisan legislation to make common-sense changes in staffing policies at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and improve veterans’ care at VA health care facilities. Joining Senators Tillis and Merkley as original co-sponsors are Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). At many VA health centers around the country, veterans face wait times of weeks or even months for an appointment. These severe roadblocks to providing timely and quality health care to veterans stem in part from policies that make the recruitment and retention of …..

Read More

US House Committee holds hearing on Rouzer bill to designate Wilmington as “American World War II City”

Washington, D.C. –  Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing examining H.R. 6118 – Congressman David Rouzer’s bill to designate and recognize the city of Wilmington as the first nationally recognized “American World War II City.”  Due to the hard work and dedication of Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., USNR (Ret.), a Wilmington native, distinguished author and veteran active in the community, the idea and introduction of this bill came to fruition.  Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., testified on behalf of the bill during the hearing. “Our region is fortunate to have Captain Wilbur D. Jones, Jr., advocating on behalf of the great city of Wilmington to be …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

The life of a retiree, especially a senior retiree, is one medical appointment after another, in an effort to keep most of the body parts working.  No complaints, thankful…. The 2018-19 NFL regular season action begins tonight, Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia for an 8:20 PM game with the Eagles.  Sunday, a full slate. Locally, John Clark has posted a full schedule of high school sports activity, Volleyball, Women’s Tennis, Men’s Soccer and JV Football.   Check our Sports Section. Discovered an interesting Bloomburg article recently, “Local News is Dying, and It’s Taking Small Town America With It.” Suggest you Google it.  Quoting, “A Duke University study published last month found that the quantity and quality of …..

Read More

Rouzer Engages in Farm Bill Conferee Meeting

WASHINGTON, DC –  Today, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate appointed to serve on the bipartisan Farm Bill Conference Committee held a public meeting as work begins to produce a final Farm Bill that can pass both chambers.  During the meeting, members delivered opening remarks highlighting the shared goal of strengthening the farm safety net during a time when net farm income is down by 52 percent from where it stood five years ago and farm bankruptcies are up 39 percent over the past two years. “Agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina – contributing more than $87 billion to our state’s economy,” said Congressman David …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Been humming the old Johnny Paycheck tune, ‘Take This Job and Shove It’, not sure why, I don’t have a job.  Out of the fast lane, just watching the crowd go by.  Not bad.  Beats the heck out of breaking corn, pickin’ cotton, stacking peanuts and grading tobacco. Have you noticed the days are getting shorter…sunrise at 6:50 this AM, sunset at 7:35 PM. Dublin Peanut Festival will be held Saturday, September 15. Another date to remember, annual gathering at Brown Marsh Presbyterian Church at 8561 Mercer Mill/Brown Marsh Road near Clarkton on October 6, from 11 AM to 2 PM.  All are welcomed. NFL football season begins tomorrow evening (Thursday) and Friday evening, high school play continues, Whiteville at East Bladen …..

Read More

Opinion: Hog grower response to Rep. Billy Richardson

By Charlotte Smith U.S. District Court Judge Earl Britt lifted the gag order preventing hog growers from speaking to the media on Friday, August 31. The order was put in place to keep the media exposure of the cases at bay in hopes it would prevent the jury pool from being persuaded by coverage according to Britt’s order. The three trials’ verdicts totaled more than $500 million dollars in damages against Smithfield Hog Production, doing business as Murphy-Brown, LLC. The defense team has called for a mistrial due to the handling of the cases and has requested appeals according to court documents. Since the gag order was lifted on Friday, …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Time to return to a normal schedule, Labor Day is over…school buses on the road….as well as youngsters along the roadway. Our visitors to White Lake will no doubt be missed by local business establishments. Tourism is a good, clean industry.  They will be returning, but with their youngsters in school, not as apt to be at the lake all week long. Fall officially arrives in about 3 weeks on September 23rd. The General Election is 9 weeks from today.  Expect a full ‘court press’, especially at the state and national level. Anyone excited about the upgrade to gmail? Bladen County Commissioners semi-monthly meeting, normally held on Monday, will be held tonight, same place, same …..

Read More

Letter to the Editor: Shame, Shame Shame

Dear Editor, Most of these Southern farm boys didn’t own slaves. Slavery was a system mostly created by the European, African Black and Northern slave traders that they were born in to. It was a system that many Southern Christians would like to have done away with immediately if it wouldn’t have bankrupted the South. It was starting to fall out of favor even in the South and could have been ended without blood shed had not the hot heads North and South ruled the day. Most of these poor dead boys fought protecting their land from the invasion by the Northern Armies. Silent Sam was erected to honor the …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Labor Day 2018…ENJOY… Brad Keselowski picked up a couple of wins in Darlington over the weekend.  Top 5 in Bojangles Southern 500: Keselowski Joey Logano Kyle Larson Kevin Harvick Chase Elliott Sidewalk sale continues in Elizabethtown, big day expected as thousands enjoy beautiful White Lake. More great news for BladenOnline.  Another great week and month…. A new record was set for page views (63,058) for a single day on Thursday, August 31.  It was also the eighth most page views for a week (172,925) and ninth most visits for a week (36,192) August 26-Sept 1 Page views: 172,925 Visits: 36,192 Year Ago Page views: 125,537 Visits: 23,154 MOST READ STORIES …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving for Sunday, Sept. 2

Labor Day tomorrow, nice long holiday, enjoy. Lots of folks on the roads. College football recap: Cal 24 – UNC 17 NCSU 24 – JMU 13 Duke 34 – Army 14 Wake Forest 23 – Tulane 17 Penn State 45 – ASU Mountaineers 38 (OT) Clemson 48 – Furman 7 Alabama 51 – Louisville 14 ECU vs NC A&T ppd ’til Sunday due to lightning Darlington NASCAR race – pole-sitter Denny Hamlin Larrel Murchison, former East Bladen Eagle, played very well for NCSU Saturday, on the line. Elizabethtown’s Sidewalk Sale continues Monday. Happiness is not how much you have but how much you enjoy. You can give without loving but …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Lots of folks moving around today.  Drive safely. Hot weather continues…. High School football scores: East Bladen 21 – North Brunswick 16 Midway 55 – West Bladen 32 Elizabethtown merchants Sidewalk Sale continues, on the street and inside. Last big weekend of the season for White Lake…been a good year according to several sources. White Lake traffic is good for many reasons, tourism is good, clean business, more is better. Bladen County Commissioners meet Tuesday, September 4 for regular monthly session, same place, 6:30 PM and same location, Bladen County Courthouse, Lower Level, Assembly room.  Open to the public. Retirement is good. Visited local grocery store recently, saw former Bladen County Planner and former Lumber River …..

Read More

OPINION: Owner of Anderson’s Drug Store releases letter to editor

August 30, 2018 Letter to the Editor: This morning, the DEA closed Anderson’s Drug Store for a few hours to conduct an audit. It was inconvenient, but let me assure you that the DEA was just doing its job. The opioid crisis is real. We see its effects every day. And Anderson’s Drug Store wants to do everything we can to support the DEA and others who seek to prevent drug abuse. The audit of our store today was part of a larger investigation into illegal prescribing of opioids right here in our community. We have all seen the ravages of addiction. We all know someone who has suffered because …..

Read More

You Decide: How is North Carolina’s Economy at Mid-Year?

By Dr. Mike Walden The actor Tom Selleck was in a TV crime show series 30 years ago that my wife and I enjoyed.  It was called Magnum PI, and the lead character – played by Selleck – would often say, “I know what you’re thinking,” as a humorous way of interacting with the audience. I want to borrow his phrase and say, “I know what you’re thinking – the fall of 2018 is almost here, so mid-year was months ago. Why are you writing about mid-year?” Good question. We now live in a time of almost instantaneous information, so we’re used to being right up-to-date. Unfortunately, this isn’t the …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Recently read an interesting quote by US Attorney Robert J. Higdon, Jr., “In 2017, an average of 3 North Carolina residents died each day from overdose of heroin and fentanyl.”  That’s scary!  I’m high on living without drugs. Panthers lost another pre-season game last night, Steelers 39, Panthers 24.  2018 regular season play begins Sunday, September 9, for the Panthers when they host the Cowboys in Charlotte. Wonder what David Tepper thinks of his $2.2 billion dollar investment? High School football this evening, both Bladen County teams on the road: West Bladen at Midway and East Bladen at North Brunswick. Annual Sidewalk Sale underway in downtown Elizabethtown.  A hot sale, but …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

In previous years, the political advertising season would begin shortly after Labor Day, and my guess is the pattern will not change greatly this year, however, some are getting an early start.  Apparently $s are not a problem for the candidates, party, or interested supporters.  It’s our system, the best in the world. We are being ‘slammed’ early, warning bout the ‘rascals’, if we can believe the ads…. When in doubt about national news presented as FACT, GOOGLE….FactCheck.org. or  Snopes.  At least a little background info that may be helpful.. Lots happening in coming weeks including an election on November 6. Locally, add another to the list…..Seafood and Sunset, October 11, 6 PM at White Lake.  …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

The big yellow school buses are rolling…..be aware, they carry precious cargo–students. Stock market has been moving up, great.  A huge boost for many, especially retirees depending on 401K’s and other such saving plans. US Debt Clock is running faster than ever….. Over 1,200 cyclists will be in Elizabethtown on Friday, October 5th.  It’s a part of Cycle NC, bike riders from around the state and nation traveling from the mountains to the sea, and organizers have chosen our area for one night.  For more information, contact Dawn Maynard at the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce. Mark your calendar for September 15th, 2018.  The 26th annual Dublin Festival will be held, begins with …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Crazy dream, dreamed I conducted a funeral, not sure who, why, where or when, last night I guess.  Figured it was time to get up, regardless of the time. At my age, not much reason to be out and about as hot as it was yesterday, but brought back memories of cropping tobacco…hot weather, & long rows.  I worked hard/fast to get to the end of the row where I was rewarded with a cool drink of water and a few minutes on a low limb of a tree so I could feel a little breeze. Hear folks complain about this TV station or that news person reporting something they …..

Read More

Tillis & Burr Welcome Nomination of Allison Rushing As Judge for the Fourth Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at the recommendation of North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Allison Rushing, a native of North Carolina, to serve as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. “North Carolina native Allison Rushing has an incredible wealth of judicial experience and is regarded as one of the best legal minds in the country,” said Senator Tillis. “She will be an outstanding addition to the Fourth Circuit, and I look forward to advancing her nomination through the Senate Judiciary Committee.” “I’m pleased to see a respected and qualified North Carolinian, Allison Rushing, nominated to serve on the …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Weekend is over, don’t know about you and yours, but at our household, mostly enjoyed, tired and ready to move on to Labor Day weekend…. Drove to Hickory, through Charlotte, and only one lane open on highway 74 (Independence Boulevard.) on Saturday. I had other options, but, about once a year I enjoy a trip through the Queen City.  No reason to return anytime soon. There is no lack of construction, primarily new bridges, by-passes and repaving by NCDOT and their contractors all across this great state. My former employer invites my bride and I to their annual meeting and I enjoy….All 100 counties in the state are members of the …..

Read More

NCGOP Officials’ Statements On The Passing Of Sen. John McCain

Raleigh, NC — The following were statements released by Republican elected officials from North Carolina: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend and colleague, John McCain. John was a true patriot, who placed his duty to his family and his country above all else. He faced this battle, which would be his last, with the courage that defined his career and the grace that comes from a life well-lived. He will be remembered as he hoped to be remembered: as a man who served his country with honor. Brooke and I are grateful for his service, and send our prayers to Cindy and the entire McCain family.” – Sen. Richard …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

2018 summer season is fast, coming to a close.  Labor Day next weekend… Congratulations to Kyra L. Gensel of Clarkton, a student at Harrell’s Christian Academy, she was recently awarded a $1,000 Cathey Scholarship.  She was one of 15 statewide winners.  The  Masonic award is named in honor of past Grand Master Charles Cathey, who initiated a drive to help deserving students to pay their college expenses. In a recent early morning walk, geese, flying in formation passed by, about 30 strong, then split, rejoined and appeared to be settling down, they regrouped, changed course, made a circle and eventually headed back in the direction they originally came from.  Kinda like some of …..

Read More

Tillis Statement On The Passing Of Senator John McCain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis issued the following statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: “America has lost John McCain – a true titan of the Senate who was one of our nation’s greatest war heroes and public servants. He will be long remembered for his principled leadership, courage, grit, and always putting country first. “It was an honor to call John McCain a friend and serve alongside him in the Senate, especially on the Armed Services Committee where he acted as a mentor to myself and the other members. “Susan and I are deeply saddened by John’s passing, and we send our condolences to Cindy and …..

Read More

Tillis Authors and Introduces Legislation To Protect Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) authored and introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, legislation that would guarantee Americans have equal health care coverage, regardless of their health status or pre-existing conditions. Joining Senator Tillis as co-sponsors are Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Roger Wicker (R-MS). Oral arguments in Texas v. United States will begin on September 5th, and if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions could be eliminated. This legislation amends the Health Insurance Portability and …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Football last night: Clinton 14 – East Bladen 0…Eagle errors helped the Dark Horses win.  A fumble at the end of the 1st quarter on their 8 yard line set the table for 1st Clinton score and an off-side penalty on fourth and five, early in second half, allowed Dark Horses to get first down and scored on next play and tacked on 2 pointer for the victory. On the positive side, Eagles played well on defense, offense needs more work.  Coach Robby Priest had last chemo treatment earlier Friday and returns for check-up in 3 months. West Bladen lost 41-12 to South Brunswick.  Two late TDs by SB made the loss …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The Summer Concert series is over for summer 2018, a huge success and thanks to all who made it happen. High school sports activities move ‘front and center’.  tonight varsity football, South Brunswick at West Bladen and the Clinton Darkhorses at East Bladen, a half century or more rivalry continues.  Game time is 7:30 PM for both….and the weather should not be an issue….high today (Friday) in the mid 80s with clear skies.  Tonight, mostly clear and lows around 64.  No excuses please. Bladen County High School students have another option, Bladen County Early College, a new joint effort by Bladen County schools and Bladen Community College.  See article on News page. Interesting article in …..

Read More

Tillis Continues Call for Pastor Brunson’s Release on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) took to the Senate floor to speak on North Carolina native Andrew Brunson, who has been wrongfully imprisoned by the Turkish Government since October 7, 2016. Tillis on Turkey’s sincerity on releasing Pastor Brunson: “When I talk to Turkish officials, they say, ‘you’ve got to respect our justice system, this just has to play out.’ But I really wonder if they’re sincere, because several months ago President Erdogan, the President of Turkey, made a public statement saying, ‘how about this — we’ll give you your pastor if you give us our pastor.’…But let me tell you what’s interesting about making that offer in …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Labor Day 2018, just a little over a week away.  Where did the summer go? 2018 High School fall sports activities are underway.  East Bladen jayvee football team lost to the Darkhorses of Clinton last night 28-6.  Today, volleyball, tennis, soccer, and more jayvee football.  Tomorrow, varsity football involving East Bladen and West Bladen High School teams.  John Clark has all the information you need on our Sports Page. A reminder, the last of the 2018 Summer Concert series will be held this evening at Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown.  Music provided by North Tower. It’s FREE, courtesy of area businesses and coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce.  A huge …..

Read More

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

I am not a huge fan of change or surprises.  Could do without the new Google updates, but, I know the rules….It’s their toy and I will adjust. The final concert of the year sponsored by numerous local merchants and promoted by Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Thursday, August 23rd (tomorrow), at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown and will feature North Tower.  It’s FREE.  Bring your chair, leave the coolers at home.  Come early and enjoy dinner at one of Elizabethtown’s fine restaurants.  This year’s concert series has been a huge success, and no doubt the show tomorrow evening will close the season on a ‘positive note’. Am I wrong or …..

Read More

Speaker Moore Responds to the Destruction of Public Property in Chapel Hill

Raleigh, N.C. – State House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) released a statement on the destruction of public property Monday night at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: “There is no place for the destruction of property on our college campuses or in any North Carolina community; the perpetrators should be arrested and prosecuted by public safety officials to make clear that mob rule and acts of violence will not be tolerated in our state,” Moore said. Share:

Read More

Local Newspapers Fear New Tariffs

By Darius Spillman American jobs are continuously a controversial topic of discussion. More jobs and products are being outsourced, instead of Made in the USA. Now, due to new tariffs on Canadian newsprint put in place by the Trump administration in January and March, the overall cost has spiked about 30 percent. Newspapers based in the Midwest or Northeast can source their paper from Canada, as they’re close to the border. However, newspapers that don’t have that luxury have to depend on imports. Declining ad revenue and readership has led to less demand for newsprint, which in turn has caused several American paper mills to shutdown operation. Top publishing companies, such as …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Had the pleasure of sharing an evening, ‘Thoughts’ and a delicious meal with members of the Bladenboro Rotary Club recently. Recalled my early years in the ‘boro…thought of so many businesses in the town in 1956, the year I graduated as a ‘forever’ Bulldog.  Not sure if there is a business in the town that was operating in ’56, still doing business today, if any, very few…but, no different than so many other locations, all around the area. The President was Dwight D. Eisenhower, VP was Richard M. Nixon…. US population 168,903,031, (most recent number 322,762,018)… Luther Hodges was NC Governor.. Life expectancy then,   69.7 years, today 80 years… Medium age for marriage in …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The PGA golf tournament in Greensboro last week was exciting, so much on the line for so many.  Yesterday’s winner was Brandt Snedeker.   Regular season is over and playoffs begin with the top 125 seeded players participating the coming weekend, followed by a tournament consisting of the top 100, then top 70 and then 30 players for the Dell Technologies Championship where the winner will take home $10M.  Fairmont native William McGirt made the playoffs, despite an injury that will require surgery after his season is over. Great article recently in the Washington Post about former President Jimmy Carter.  Still lives in Plains, Georgia, in the same house he occupied prior …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Bladen County Commissioners meet Monday, 6:30 PM usual meeting place, lower level of the Courthouse. The meeting is open to the pubic. I always enjoy checking budget info.  Total budget for the year is over $44 million, nearly $23 million paid for by property taxes, nearly $6 million from Local Option Sales Taxes and over $7 million is pretty much pass-thru dollars supporting DSS, Health Department and Public Education from state and federal sources. Tax notices are prepared after Commissioners approve the budget, usually late June, then mailed late July or early August.  With all that said, over $1 million or about 5.25% of property taxes were paid in July. Taxes paid before August 31 receive a ‘whopping’ one …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Busy day today in Bladen! Desmond Bryant’s FREE football camp at East Bladen. Several Bladen County Churches are sponsoring a back to school give-a-way, free haircuts and free hotdogs, plus more at Cape Fear Farmers Market.  Another give-a-way planned Sunday PM across from Pawn South on West Broad Street. Registration online for The Great Grape Escape cycling event, scheduled for Sunday, August 26.  Details at www.active.com/cycling.  Begins at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery and ends at Lu Mil Vineyard.  Proceeds benefit a newly established scholarship for Bladen Community College students. Check high school football scores from Friday night action on our Sports Page….Local high schools begin play next Friday evening. Wesley’s Chapel youth and adults at church camp …..

Read More

You Decide: How Does North Carolina Compare on Incentives?

By Dr. Mike Walden The use of financial incentives to attract new businesses is a controversial topic in most states, including North Carolina. The debates might get more heated with the prospects of Apple and/or Amazon coming to our state. Most states do use business incentives. In this column I won’t address the pros and cons of incentives. I’ve done this in past columns and will likely revisit the question in the future. Instead, here I want to compare North Carolina’s use of incentive to other states. I do this by making use of a newly released data set compiled by the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. Upjohn was able …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 17

It’s back to school and off to school for youngsters.  For the most part, the youngsters are excited, anxious to move to the next level of their life.  For those headed off to college, another huge step to adulthood.  For mom and dad, tough.  Mom will shed a few tears and dad may need a few minutes alone. A reminder of the Back 2 School Blast, Saturday (tomorrow) 10 AM to 3 PM at Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown.  Free haircuts, free school supplies, free health screenings, free uniform exchange and free hot dogs.  For more information, the numbers to call are 919-606-6350 or 910-862-2066. Then on Sunday, Smithfield Foods and Foundation Bible Church are sponsoring a Back2School Bash.  …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Election Day 2018, 12 weeks away on Tuesday, November 6.  Over the years, campaign rhetoric reaches a new level after Labor Day.  Expect the same, soon. Incidentally, Labor Day is little over 2 weeks away on September 3rd, followed by Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and a new year begins, all over again. Years ago, (40s, 50s & 60’s) ’bout this time of the year would begin to talk about Farmer’s Day, remember?  Moved around a little between Clarkton & Elizabethtown, not sure about Bladenboro.  For the most part, Clarkton was the ideal place, had tobacco warehouses where it could be held, mostly inside, no worry about ‘bad’ weather.  Farmer’s Day was an annual event, marked …..

Read More

Defense Secretary Mattis thanks Congressman Pittenger for Serving as Architect of National Security Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger has received a letter from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis expressing “sincere appreciation” for serving as the architect of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which President Trump recently signed into law. “I want to express my sincere appreciation for your commitment to safeguarding our Nation’s competitive advantage as the architect in the House of Representatives of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act,” writes Secretary Mattis.  “Strengthening and protecting critical national security infrastructure, technologies, and functions are vital to safeguarding our freedoms for the next generation.  The updates FIRRMA provides to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 14

The final concert of the Sunset Jams “Alive After Five” concerts for 2018 will be held Thursday at Goldston’s  Beach, White Lake.  The Fantastic Shakers will be entertaining beginning at 6 PM.  It’s free, sponsored by numerous local businesses and the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce. I rise early each morning to share my ‘Thoughts’ and the last thing I want to see is “Please do not power off or unplug your machine….Installing updates”, but it does happen. Interesting announcement related to repair work, in the future, to US 701 bridge over the Cape Fear River, has to do with the surface of the roadway.. A couple of events are planned for youngsters heading back …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

A reminder of the monthly meeting of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce meeting, 12 noon today, at Goldston’s Beach.  Guest speaker will be Alycia M. Thornton, Director of Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Advancement, NC State University.  She will provide an update on the NC FFA Center Initiative and future additions at the FFA center at White Lake. The Hester research team reported slightly over 2 inches of rainfall since ’bout noontime Friday, unofficial of course. Stumbled across the latest report on the US budget deficit.  A 21% increase has it on track for the biggest gap in six years.  $76.9 billion deficit in July, the Trump Administration has sharply revised upward estimations …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Rain, rain, go away, for a while…. Enjoyed the 2018 PGA Championship.  Brooks Koepka won his third career major, the latest in St. Louis yesterday and likely ‘sewed up’ the Player of the Year.  Tiger Woods finished 2nd, best showing in many years. And, following the sports thought, high school football begins on August 24th.  East Bladen travels to Clinton and South Brunswick will be at West Bladen for 7 PM games. Willie Gore, longtime South Columbus coach/administrator is the latest to defect to South Carolina.  Understand salaries and subsidies make it attractive.  West Bladen’s AD/baseball coach, Kim Cain headed south a few weeks ago after a long, successful career in North Carolina. Think …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving- August 12

The past week was an eventful week, some good news, some bad, some very bad…. When was the last time you shed a tear, whatever the reason?  Were you driving, maybe in the bathroom?  Most likely alone in your secret place. Am I wrong to think that the folks with least experience give the most advice?  I am reminded of a friend long, long ago who shared, ‘give advice sparingly and only when requested’.  Nothing has changed. Don’t know about you, but in moments where little is going on I think of something or someone from days gone by….Like the Hester Carter store, near Bladenboro High School when I was a …..

Read More

Money

BREAKING: Illegally Overcharging Military Servicemembers to be Easier As CFPB to Stop Supervision of Lenders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, the New York Times reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will no longer supervise financial institutions to ensure they are complying with the Military Lending Act (MLA), a law that protects active duty servicemembers from predatory financial practices. The MLA prevents servicemembers from being charged more than 36% interest on most loans and provides other rights, including protection from forced arbitration. Instead of the CFPB conducting oversight of lenders, they will move to a complaint-based system, where CFPB enforcement depends on reporting of illicit activity. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Federal Advocacy Director, Scott Astrada, issued the following statement:   “Ripping-off military servicemembers is appalling …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

We have a pretty good chance of rain over the next 3 or 4 days, 60% today according to the National Weather Service, 40% tonight, 60% Sunday, 70% Monday and just a 30% chance on Tuesday. Received 3/10 of an inch or rainfall ’round 6 PM Friday at the Hester household a couple of miles southwest of E-town, as the crow flies, same amount recorded at the nearby Curtis Brown Airport. Pretty good excuse to ‘not’ mow grass. Looking forward to late October or early November, first frost of the year about that time, and mowing season ceases. Couple of annual events upcoming you may need to add to your calendar.  Dublin Peanut Festival WILL be held Saturday, September 15and …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 10

Spoofing Telco numbers must be a new profession.  Receive a couple or more calls per week telling me they are returning my call, numbers I have not called.  Then receive a call from what appears to be a local number and further research indicates it is from someone in-state or out-of-state, someone taking a poll or selling something.  Guess it’s all related.  Frustrating! Enjoy reading papers statewide.  Recently observed articles indicating a shortage of Highway Patrol members.  Interested in becoming a Trooper?  Actually, think there has been a shortage for sometime. Was honored when my favorite granddaughter (only granddaughter) mentioned Thoughts While Shaving in a recent Facebook post.  She (Morgan …..

Read More

Tillis and Burr Support Disaster Declaration Request for Western NC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Brock Long to support Governor Roy Cooper’s request to declare a major disaster declaration for the state of North Carolina as a result of the impacts from rain and flooding that occurred in western North Carolina from May 15, 2018 to May 31, 2018. The rain event beginning on May 15 caused flash flooding and damage across several counties in western North Carolina through May 20. Additionally, the region was hit with Subtropical Storm Alberto from May 24 to May 31, causing further damage and the loss of five lives due to the combined accumulation of substantial …..

Read More

Opinion: Solutions and affects in hog industry from a farmer’s point of view

By Charlotte Smith Many have been waiting to hear from a farmer about their opinion on the hog industry lawsuits. Farm Operations Manager, Travis Brown with HD3 Farms spoke with Charlotte Smith from BladenOnline.com about the Hog Industry Lawsuits, solutions in the industry and how it is affecting farm employees. Brown discussed the stress of the uncertainty the farmers are facing, the lack of media coverage on the huge lawsuits and potential ways to reduce odors from hog farming. Brown said he is a big supporter of promoting exactly what goes into being a hog farmer. Educating the public about why the hog industry operates the way it does is …..

Read More

The anger and angst of August

By Jefferson Weaver I walked out on the front porch to other morning, and immediately began to hate August. Again. It was the first day of the month; I awoke around 4 a.m. with the early throbs of a toothache, and the stench of one of the bed-dog’s breath full in my face. There is no telling what Casey had been eating, but it did not sweeten her breath. Clearing my head of the bio-hazard fugue, I walked outside, stretched, and remarked on the lack of clouds blotting the sunrise. Then I noticed the prone fence post and recumbent electric braid mashed malevolently into the mud. A few feet away, …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

In the summer time, when the temps are in the 90s, we long for cold weather, then when temps drop below freezin’, we can’t wait for summer.  Typical, just can’t be satisfied. Remember when cut ‘n sew operations were located throughout the county?  Went the same way as new auto dealerships…closed up and left town.  Our changin’ world. We tend to look back when youngsters could get a job working on a farm. Today, huge machinery has eliminated most.  Can’t look back, focus on the future. Looking for a job or a better job?  One of a couple of options, go to work or go to Bladen Community College and learn …..

Read More

Opinion: Thank you from the Taylors

First and foremost, Joey and I would like to thank God for all our many blessings.  Each day is a gift from God and we truly know how blessed we are!  Two and ½ years ago when Joey was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer our entire world changed.  We thought they could take out the cancer and he could go through treatments and everything would be just fine.  Unfortunately with some cancer that is not the case!  With God giving us strength and the love, comfort and support from friends, family, co-workers and our church we have made it thus far.  The doctors at Duke have said that Joey is lucky because …..

Read More

Break the Majority and Local Democrats to Launch Wilmington Field Office

Raleigh – On Thursday afternoon, Break the Majority, an initiative between the North Carolina Democratic Party and Governor Cooper, will open a new field office in Wilmington with a rally featuring Democratic candidates Harper Peterson (SD-9), Leslie Cohen (HD-20), and Marcia Morgan (HD-19). Each Democratic candidate will discuss their campaigns and rally supporters. The field office is one of 20 offices that Break the Majority plans to open as part of building one of the largest legislative field campaigns in the country. The New Hanover field office will support all of Break the Majority’s efforts in the surrounding counties and is focused on electing strong Democrats up and down the ticket. WHO: Democratic candidates …..

Read More

Opinion: Farming Lawsuits Have Potential to Become Debilitating to North Carolina and US

By Erin Smith The lawsuits against hog farmers in North Carolina that have resulted in record damage awards have many economists, farmers and residents alarmed. Everyone should be alarmed with the potential for the loss of many farms. According to the Pacific Standard Magazine, hog farms in North Carolina generated $2.9 billion while hog farms in Iowa generated $6.8 million. The lawsuits don’t just stop in North Carolina. They are reaching into other states and impacting farmers all over the United States. In May 2018, Iowa residents filed a lawsuit against the State of Iowa over air emissions from industrial hog farms. The concerns with these lawsuits is the fact …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving for August 8

My appetite for meetings that last over an hour has greatly diminished, and for a long contentious meeting, an even shorter time. Hope I live long enough for federal and state redistricting to be designated to someone other than politicians.  First the Dems, years ago, and now the Republicans.  Got to be a better way to do it.  Bladen being in a congressional district that stretches to Mecklenburg County is as bad as Bladen in a district as far north as Warren County.  Makes no sense!  Using the same system, with the same type politicians, over and over again is most likely to produce the same type results, over and over again. …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

A reminder of the next edition of ‘Live after Five’  Free Concert at Cape Fear Farmer’s Market is Thursday, August 9th sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and numerous businesses.  The Legendary Motown Revue will provide the music.  All are invited.  Bring a chair and enjoy. Congratulations to East Bladen Lady Basketball Coach, Patty Evers on being named to coach the North Carolina girls team against South Carolina in the Carolinas All-Star Classic in March. Check our Sports Page, John Clark updates it daily, and no one has more experience or does a better job. Article rating Major League Baseball (MLB) farm systems recently.  #1 was San Diego Padres.  Top two prospects in the organization …..

Read More

NC Freedom Rankings for 2018 are released

The annual NC Freedom rankings for 2018 have been released by Civitas Action. These ranking allows citizens to gauge where their representatives rank on important issues. According to the rankings, NC Senator Bill Rabon, who represents Bladen County in the General Assembly is ranked 3 out of 50 with a score of 87.5. In the NC House William Brisson who represents House District 22 which includes Bladen County is ranked 12 out of 120 with a score of 90 and Brenden Jones who represents NC House District 46 is ranked 12 out of 120 with a score of 90. “We had a relatively short list of grade-worthy bills this session, …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 6

Another Day, another dollar in the hole, remember the old tune?  Tex Williams wrote the lyrics in 1966.  It peaked at No. 44 on  September 24, 1966, nearly 52 years ago. Did you know Stonewall Jackson was born in Tabor City, NC?  And no, Stonewall is not a nickname.  He was named after the Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.  Stonewall, is 86 years of age and has sung and recorded Country and Honky Tonk tunes for years.  Wikipedia information indicates he was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame on October 11, 2012.  Same source has him currently living in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife Juanita.  In 2008 …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 5

I think back to yesteryear….had a friend who over-indulged in stump hole moonshine, mostly on weekends.  Said he didn’t work on any day that touched Sunday. Over the years, bet most can recall a time when our conduct was less than stellar, at times embarrassing.  Remember, as a older teenager, playing poker all night, lost my paycheck, had loaned my car to someone who failed to return, or was tired of waiting on me…whatever the reason, I was walking home, broke and had to go by the church where I knew I should be….trying to figure out what I would say to mom if she saw me.  That my friend, …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 4

Hats off to BladenOnline’s Charlotte Smith for her coverage of the trials related to the hog industry.  That is not an easy task, sitting and sitting and listening.  Very time consuming. One final reminder of the fundraiser today for David “Punk” Johnson, all day long at Merritt Brothers business location, 8906 NC highway east, White Lake.  BBQ chicken plates on sale for $8 a plate.  “Punk” suffered a stroke while driving a log truck and is partially paralyzed.  Everyone is invited.  Donations are welcomed.  Neighbors helping a neighbor. East Bladen Booster Club meeting planned for Tuesday, August 7th at Elizabethtown Presbyterian Activity Center at 5:30 PM.  It’s a new school year, …..

Read More

Bladen County Schools

Opinion: Best Practices Are Not Always Followed

By Erin Smith The Bladen County Board of Education has taken a lot of heat lately regarding the judgement of the board for awarding a one-year pest control services contract which was more than $30,000 higher than the other three bidders. The National State Auditors Association offers suggestions for Best Practices for Contracted Services which were not followed. Normally, when an agency is accepting bids or contracting for services, the idea is to get the greatest amount of services for the smallest amount of dollars. For those who are not sure how a bid process works, think of it like a game of golf, where the low score wins. The lowest …..

Read More

Opinion: Miscarriage of Justice in hog trial

By Charlotte Smith Justice has a meaning, but after witnessing the hog farm industry trial over the past four weeks it has become obvious, that in our culture today, justice does not go by its definition at all times. According to the Dictionary the there are two meanings of the word justice. One definition of the word is just behavior or treatment; the quality of being fair and reasonable; impartiality. The second definition listed for justice is judge, magistrate, jurist; a judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the supreme court of a country or state. There has been a miscarriage of justice in reference to both its meanings …..

Read More

You Decide: Should the Fed Be Raising Interest Rates?

By Dr. Mike Walden Our nation’s capital, Washington D.C.,  is a beautiful city of wide boulevards, historic memorials and buildings and political intrigue. I was fortunate to observe each of these in person forty-five years ago when I was a summer intern. My greatest thrill was being mere feet away from President Nixon and Russian leader Brezhnev during a state visit. Suffice it to say, there’s never a dull moment in Washington. This was reinforced recently when President Trump called out the leaders of the Federal Reserve and criticized them for their policy of increasing interest rates. While this skirmish may not rise to the level of popular interest in …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 3

Never dreamed plastic straws would be a danger to the environment. Top 5 private employers in North Carolina: (source-Triad Business Journal) Walmart, Inc    57,193 Atrium Health  53,000 Duke University and Health System  38,591 Delhaize America/Food Lion, LLC.   36,000 Wells Fargo & Co.   31,780 NFL Preseason – Baltimore Ravens 17-Chicago Bears 16. Reminder of fundraiser, Saturday (tomorrow) for David ‘Punk’ Johnson at Merritt Bros headquarters, 8906, NC Hwy 41 east, White Lake.  Activities all day long and BBQ chicken plates for $8 each.  Contributions are welcomed.  ‘Punk’ suffered a stroke and is partially paralyzed.  GOOGLE David “Punk” Johnson for details. I am a country music fan, not so much today’s music, but in the 70s, …..

Read More

Senate Judiciary Members To Discuss Kavanaugh Nomination and Democrats’ Document Demands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tomorrow morning, Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and provide some unique perspective on the Senate Democrats’ document demands and stall strategy.   WHO: US Senator Thom Tillis US Senator Chuck Grassley US Senator Orrin Hatch US Senator John Cornyn US Senator Mike Lee   WHAT:     Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, and provide perspective on the Senate Democrats’ document demands and stall strategy.   WHEN:     Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 9:30am EST   *Photographers and reporters are encouraged to arrive earlier. Doors will open at 9:15am.   WHERE:   …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

This ‘n that! North Carolina is rated 6th best state in the US to retire to: #1 South Dakota 2 Utah 3 Idaho 4 New Hampshire 5 Florida 6 (tie) North Carolina and Montana. Thought the snow birds headed south when they retired. The latest unemployment stats were released yesterday.  North Carolina’s rate is 4.2%.  Buncombe (Asheville) had the lowest rate at 3.2% and Scotland the highest at 8.0. Bladen County was 5.6%. Others in the area: Robeson 6.3% Columbus 5.2% Cumberland 5.4% Sampson 4.3% and Pender 4.2%. Little reason for any healthy individual to be unemployed at this time in this area.  And, in Bladen another 200 to 300 jobs …..

Read More

Senate Passes NDAA with Multiple Tillis Provisions, Heads to Presidents Desk

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the Senate passage of the John S. McCain National Defense  Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. The bipartisan legislation includes more than a dozen provisions authored by Senator Tillis, including a bipartisan provision he authored with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit an assessment of the potential purchase by the Republic of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defense system from the Russian Federation, as well as an assessment regarding Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program as long it continues to unlawfully detain Pastor Andrew Brunson, a native North Carolinian. Other provisions authored by Senator Tillis will improve …..

Read More

Rouzer to host National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable on Nuisance Lawsuits & their threat to all of Agriculture and Farm Families Nationwide

WASHINGTON, DC – On Friday, August 3rd, 2018 at 9 a.m., U.S. Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC), U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), and North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will convene a National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable to discuss the threat that nuisance lawsuits pose to the U.S. agriculture industry, rural America, and farm families nationwide.  The roundtable will be comprised of federal officials, state officials, economists, and national agriculture industry representatives, including the President of the American Farm Bureau, Zippy Duvall. “Today’s nuisance lawsuits that are destroying livelihoods and communities in North Carolina are the tip of the iceberg for what is to come absent …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for August 1

A reminder of the Joey Taylor fundraiser from 5PM-7PM today at Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church.  Bake Ziti plates for $10 each and there will be a Silent Auction.  Joey has been battling a serious illness for over two years.  But for the grace of the good Lord, could be anyone of us.  Nothing quiet like a community coming together to show one of our own that we care. That’s what makes Bladen County special.  We see it several times a year at different locations across the county.  Today, it’s in Elizabethtown and a huge turnout would be wonderful.  Contributions are welcomed. July has been a huge month for BladenOnline.  The folks who monitor …..

Read More

Give thanks for our farms, not condemnation

One of the hardest things about watching the third hog farm trial is to also watch a litany of courtroom distortions, especially about the people ultimately in charge of the farms at issue in this trial. It’s a group led by a man named Dean Hilton. In court, the Texas lawyer has sought to portray Hilton as an absentee owner because Hilton purchased the operations (with a group of lifelong friends) but has other farm and business interests, such as real estate. In court, the Texas lawyer has done his best to portray the farms on trial as especially bad actors. His litigation team, for example, snapped photos on one …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

With fall sports practice barely underway, thoughts turn to Back-to-School.  As a youngster in Bladenboro, meant a trip to a clothing store moved to top of ‘must-do’ list. Back-To-School Sales were popular, as they are today.  Would receive $’s for working in tobacco and head to town for school clothing and supplies.  And, as time permitted, my mom would make shirts from feed sacks for me and my siblings. It was a big deal. There was the Cash Store (Fisher’s), Bullocks, Fowler Simmons, Collin’s and Bridger Corporation that I recall in Bladenboro, at one time or another.  In Elizabethtown, Fowler Simmons, Mann’s, Leinwands  Parker-Farris and Belk’s, yes, Belk’s on Broad Street next to Leinwands, and there …..

Read More

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 30

Practice is underway for high school fall sports.  John Clark has the complete schedule on our Sports Page, football, volleyball, women’s tennis, men’s soccer and his info includes a free golf clinic for ages 5-17 at Vineyard Golf, White Lake. Can you believe, August 2018 begins Wednesday.  So what’s left on your ‘bucket list’ for Summer ’18? As I age, I do all in my power to deal with less conflict, controversy. For the second consecutive week, BladenOnline is just shy of cracking Top 10 for most page views in a week.  After Saturday, July 28, BladenOnline had 621,149 page views and 128,057 visits.  Both will be among the Top 5 in history …..

Read More

U.S. HOUSE APPROVES CONGRESSMAN ROBERT PITTENGER’S NATIONAL SECURITY LEGISLATION

CHARLOTTE – A bipartisan majority in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday gave final approval to Congressman Robert Pittenger’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), which protects America’s critical national security technology and infrastructure from malicious foreign investment. The Senate is expected to give final approval next week, with President Trump signing the measure into law shortly afterwards. “For years, China and other adversarial nation-states have vacuumed up critical American security-related technology and infrastructure through targeted business investments, especially in the areas of emerging technology,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “China has also forced American companies to share military-applicable technology through strategically-designed joint ventures.  America’s Cold War-era safeguards weren’t able to combat this national security threat. “For …..

Read More