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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving-April 18

Condolences to the Bush family.  Barbara Bush set standards for all to live by. One Stop voting begins tomorrow, April 19.  Check with Bladen County Board of Elections for more info. Bladen We Care annual Gala/Dance is set for Friday, 7-11 PM at The Venue, White Lake featuring Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band.  A limited number of tickets still available, $50 per person. How about the stock market?  Two very good days as companies announce quarterly earnings. I love calling North Carolina home and happy to be back in Bladen County. Good visits Tuesday in DC at a couple of congressional offices, Rep. Rouzer and Jones.  Planned to visit a couple of more but confirmations came late …..

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The Sign on the Door Says it All

By Jefferson Weaver “We will be closed Saturday, Oct. 8, due to the storm. We pray everyone will be safe.” There’s mold on the sign now, just as there is on much of the merchandise still visible in the store window. A handful of unfortunate insects became trapped between the paper and the window at some point, leaving behind a dried-out husks. I was early for an appointment in Fair Bluff the day I saw the sign, and went for a walk through downtown. My buddy George was the only business I knew was open, but since I’d already had lunch, I just went wandering. I grew up in towns …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF BARBARA BUSH

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement on the passing of former First Lady Barbara Bush:   “Barbara Bush was truly one of a kind.  Her life will be remembered as one of grace, dedicated service to her country, and commitment to her family.  She was an inspiration and a role model to millions in the United States and around the world.  Suzanne and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to the entire Bush family.” Share:

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Rep. Brenden Jones Responds to Recovery Aid Money not Being Released

Raleigh, NC – On Monday, April 16th, Rep. Brenden Jones (R-Columbus, Bladen, Robeson) attended the House Select Committee on Disaster Relief.  A representative from the Department of Emergency Management presented information and answered questions pertaining to Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts. “After yesterday’s committee meeting, I am incredibly frustrated and concerned that Governor Cooper and officials responsible for administering these funds refuse to explain why they are not providing assistance in a reasonable amount of time,” stated Rep. Jones.  “Recent reports indicate that a $236 million grant intended to assist recovery efforts from Hurricane Matthew has yet to be spent by the Governor.  South Carolina is moving quickly on their recovery …..

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A NEW GENERATION OF LEADERS: APPROXIMATELY 250 ATTEND ANNUAL SERVICE ACADEMY DAY EVENTS

WASHINGTON – This Saturday, Congressman Robert Pittenger held “Service Academy Day” events in Fayetteville and Charlotte for local students interested in attending West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, or the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Approximately 250 students, parents and teachers attended the events.   “Just as the Greatest Generation rose to the challenge to defeat the forces of evil and tyranny, a new generation faces new threats from rouge states and Radical Islamic terrorism,” said Congressman Pittenger. “How humbling and inspiring to see so many young people interested in answering the call to serve their country.” Local students who missed the event but are interested in attending a U.S. Service Academy …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving- April 17

Spent yesterday, listening to folks sharing thoughts on Mapping, Spectrum, Infrastructure, Cyber Security and Universal Service funding.  Interesting topics by mostly staffers representing elected officials and some who staff various committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and listen to a FCC Commissioner, plus comments from Kenneth Johnson, Administrator, of Rural Utilities Service (RUS).  It was his first day on the job. No conversation related to politics, understandably so from staffers, and very little from the attendees at the workshop.  Attendees come from virtually every state in the nation from Alaska to Florida. I did not drive, 4 shared a ride for convenience.  Good decision, there is one option …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for Monday, April 16

Greetings from Washington, DC, the heartbeat of America. In DC for an annual workshop on Telco issues.  Today in the classroom for updates, tomorrow, visits with  Congressmen and Senators before heading home Wednesday. But, today my thoughts are on a project we began over 10 years ago, BladenOnline, Bladen’s Best Source for local news, weather, sports, obits and so much more. Last week, BladenOnline  had we had our best week ever in several categories.  Unfortunately, there was too much bad news to report, but we covered it, and our readers read out accounts, in record numbers. We recorded 244,623 page views for the week of April 8-14, bettering the previous mark by …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for Sunday, April 15

Photos from the East Bladen prom are plentiful, mostly on Facebook and very good. Loretta Lynn celebrated birthday #86 recently. She was born in Butcher Hollow, Ky., on April 14, 1932. Her country hits included “‘Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man”, “Don’t Come Home A Drinking With Lovin’ on Your Mind”, and “One’s on the Way”. She was a favorite of many, including the late Willard Tatum of Elizabethtown. I was a DJ on WBLA, humpteen years ago, early in the AM, would receive a call from Mr. Willard wanting to hear a Loretta Lynn tune. Mother nature has dressed up the bare trees with …..

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Charlotte Smith

My View: Shocked from Opioid Task Force meeting

By Charlotte Smith Opioid abuse, mental health issues and sex trafficking are some of the issues we are facing in today’s communities. This past Tuesday, the fight against some of these evils were discussed and some action was taken to stop our cultural decline into decay. Bladen County’s local task force meeting took on a different form this month, which left some in attendance with more questions than answers. The problem still has many missing pieces at every level; local, state and national. Slow processes and lack of treatment, religious and educational support are discouraging. As folks gathered at the Bladen County Health Department to hear about the North Carolina …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

So many activities going on, too many to keep up with, but will attempt. Bladen County Schools Kindergarten registration is underway.  Dates and locations are on the school website.  A bus driver training class is also planned.  Lots of news on the site, always.  Just GOOGLE Bladen County Schools. Filing deadline for taxes is Tuesday, Just a reminder from Uncle Sam. Bladen We Care Gala/Dance at The Venue, White Lake is set for next Friday evening.  Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band returns to provide the music.  Tickets still available, $50 each, and the Annual BWC Golf Tournament is planned for Thursday, April 26 at The Vineyard Golf Course, White Lake.  $125 per player.  Bring your team, or individuals will …..

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OPINION: Everyone benefits by protecting Mueller — even Trump

I believe in the rule of law, regardless of who occupies the White House or which party leads the Justice Department. That is why in August I introduced a bill to create a judicial-review process to prevent the removal of a special counsel without good cause.  Over the past several months, Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) and I have been working with Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who introduced a similar bill, to reconcile the differences between the two proposals. This week, we introduced the compromise, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act.  Last May, when the Justice Department named former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Lest you forget, today is Friday the 13th.   Tax filing deadline is just days away.  Procrastinators will begin ‘pulling the tax stuff’ together this weekend.   I enjoyed all the pics and comments related to ‘siblings day’. Families are important.   As I grow older seems to be more sick folks, and platforms like Facebook make it easier to keep up with all.  Not just older friends, but folks of all ages.   Criticize if you care to, but how many would love to be in Mark Zuckerberg’s position.  He provides a great service to billions, FREE, he makes billions, provides jobs for thousands and answers to leaders of the nation who have …..

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The wisdom of donkeys

By Jefferson Weaver After a lot of long, deep thinking, I’ve come to the conclusion that my donkeys are far smarter than many people. I am not the first to propose this philosophy, by any means; I find it interesting and significant that donkeys precede horses in the written word by about half a millennia, if you can refer some of those written languages as words. Cats seem to precede dogs by a slim margin, but let’s face it, man has told stories about evil beings since the earliest days around the campfire. And before you send me ugly letters, I love cats. I just understand their basic evil nature, …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER:  CFIUS REFORM IS A NATIONAL SECURITY NECESSITY

WASHINGTON – In this afternoon’s House Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee hearing, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) emphasized the national security importance of updating the Committee on Foreign Investment in The United States (CFIUS).   Congressman Pittenger’s bipartisan legislation to revamp and modernize CFIUS has been endorsed by President Trump, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Mattis, four former Secretaries of Defense, and a host of other experts, high ranking government officials and private companies. “Mr. Chairman, CFIUS reform is an urgent national security requirement,” said Congressman Pittenger in his opening statement.   “President Trump has endorsed this bill. Secretary Mattis requested the bill and endorsed it. Secretary Mnuchin and his team have worked closely …..

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VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE TO JOIN CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER FOR TAX REFORM PANEL IN CHARLOTTE

WASHINGTON – Vice President Mike Pence will join Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), Senator Thom Tillis, Lt. Governor Dan Forest, and other community leaders in Charlotte on Friday, April 20th for a panel discussion on the benefits of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.   “The average North Carolina family will see an additional $2,000 in their paychecks this year.  Local companies including Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Bank of America, Aquesta, and SteelFab have announced employee bonuses and pay increases as a result of tax reform,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “We are honored to welcome Vice President Pence to Charlotte to share stories of how tax reform is helping hardworking families and local businesses.”   During the …..

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PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS LANDMARK ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING BILL INTO LAW

WASHINGTON – Today, President Donald Trump signed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1864) into law, which was co-sponsored by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09).   “We never should have had to address this issue.  That so-called businesses would seek to profit off of human trafficking, and exploit antiquated laws to shield themselves from legal responsibility, is incredibly disturbing,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “This landmark legislation will enable law enforcement personnel and victims to take action against websites that facilitate and enable human trafficking.”   The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1864) allows states and victims to file criminal and civil actions against websites that violate federal …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Another successful Shriner’s Fish Fry yesterday.  Good food, nice weather and proceeds benefit Shriner’s hospitals providing medical care to youngsters, at not cost. Bladen roads are more dangerous than ever.  4 traffic fatalities in the past 4 days. Good to see an all-out-war on drug-use by numerous organizations.  Far too many are dying from drug overdose, more so among our younger residents.  One is too many. Thanks for the nice comments on ‘Thoughts’.  Much appreciated. The big sign is back out on West Broad Street, Elizabethtown reminding all of the Kids Appreciation Day sponsored annually by Elizabethtown Police Department.  It is a very popular event for youngsters.  You should see the excitement of …..

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Thank You Letter from Coach Priest

My family and I are so fortunate and blessed to live in such a considerate and compassionate community. I have to start out by saying that I am truly amazed by all of the love and support I have received since being diagnosed with colon cancer. Our lives have changed immensely since that frightening, confusing, life-changing day in November. It almost feels like our lives went on “pause,” and have been on pause ever since. It all happened so fast but the kindness and generosity of our community made this life changing event bearable. I cannot express how thankful my family and I are for the support during one of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Watched Mark Zuckerberg answering questions yesterday from leaders of our nation who may or may not use Facebook or understand much about the Internet.  Of course, some do, but all pressuring Zuckerberg to explain his business and answer their questions, many who not doubt, were attempting to impress voters back home and some accusing him of favoring one party over the other.  It was obvious many, if not all of our distinguished elected officials were reading questions and making statements that their staff had prepared. That’s pretty much business as usual. Difficult to understand how a young man, in his early to mid 30s, a real U.S. entrepreneur, can have such an impact on the U.S. …..

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Tillis & Burr Announce Additional $189 Million for Hurricane Matthew Recovery

  WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr announced that North Carolina has been awarded an additional $189 million to go towards Hurricane Matthew recovery. These funds were secured by the North Carolina delegation in the Senate budget agreement passed in February. The Department of Housing and Urban Developmentannounced today that North Carolina would receive $168 million in disaster mitigation grants and the Department of Transportation announced North Carolina would receive $21 million in disaster assistance.   In total, North Carolina has been awarded over $1.4 billion in federal funds through Congressional appropriations and grants.   “Hurricane Matthew caused billions of dollars in damages and forced many families across Eastern North …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER HONORS ‘QUIET HERO’ WHO HELPED MAKE BILLY GRAHAM’S MINISTRY POSSIBLE

WASHINGTON – This afternoon, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of Stephanie Wills, whom he described as “one of the quiet heroes” who helped make possible the worldwide ministry of Dr. Billy Graham. “Mr. Speaker, over the past few weeks I have joined many of our colleagues to rise in honor of Dr. Billy Graham.  Today, I rise in honor of one of the quiet heroes who helped make his worldwide ministry possible.   “Ms. Stephanie Wills served as Billy Graham’s secretary – she always refused fancier titles – for over forty-five years, traveling the world to help Dr. Graham at each crusade and at …..

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PITTENGER TAKES NEXT STEP IN INTERSTATE 74 INITIATIVE

WASHINGTON – As part of the bipartisan effort he is leading to upgrade U.S. 74 into an interstate, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) has officially requested a comprehensive study of all interstate conversion projects completed nationwide within the past five years along with an analysis of the economic impact on surrounding counties.   On March 16th, Congressman Pittenger sent a letter to Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, and Related Agencies officially requesting funding for the study be included in appropriations legislation for Fiscal Year 2019. A copy of the letter can be viewed here: https://goo.gl/9fKA9o   “Many Southeastern North Carolina communities have been hit hard …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Think often about a gospel tune by the original Dove Brothers Qt.,  ‘Sure Could Use a Little Good News today’.  Nothing in particular, about a week without extremes highs and lows in our everyday life would be good, especially at the national level.  Seems the pace and extremes have increased. Chamber meeting at 12 noon today at E-town Farmers Market.  Come and bring a friend. The annual Bladen We Care Gala/Dance featuring Blackwater Ryhthm Band will be held Friday, April 20 fro 7-11 PM at The Venue, White Lake.  Tickets on sale, $50 each.  Call 910-876-2322, 910-876-3120 or 910-862-9004 or may be purchased from Bladen We Care board members. Tax deadline is one week from today, Tuesday, April 17. Remember when …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Congratulations to Bladen County’s singing pharmacist, Bruce Dickerson.  While a student at UNC, Mr. Dickerson  was a member of The Clefs, a popular singing group.  According to numerous sources, members of the group recently re-assembled to harmonize once more, as they celebrated their 40th anniversary. Did you see CBS 60 Minutes Sunday evening?  One segment of the news program featured Bill Whitaker, longtime CBS reporter with Steve Sandvoss, Illinois elections chief. The topic was how Russians hacked the state wide system, and others across the U.S. The Illinois elections I.T. department made the discovery a couple of months before the 2016 General Elections.  They stressed, no votes were changed, but Russians were contacted, as well as other state election officials …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for Sunday, April 8

Much needed rainfall came down, between 1.5 inches and 1.75 inches at the Curtis Brown Airport weather station. The celebration in Bladenboro was held as planned, the Wingtips did entertained, despite threatening weather, and in Elizabethtown, the Robby Priest fundraiser was a huge success, if the number of people attending was the measuring stick, again, despite the rain. To the west of Bladen, rainfall totals appeared to be higher. The forecast for today is gradual clearing with high temps in the upper 50s, north wind 7 to 13 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Increasing clouds tonight with low temps around 40 and calm winds. Had lots of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Another week has come and gone, 2018 is ‘flying by’. Reminders: Festivities at Bladenboro Farmers Market today, Spring Fling from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., including a performance by ‘Wingtips’ at 1 p.m. Friends of Robby Priest are sponsoring a fundraiser (BBQ plates) and more from 5 until 8 p.m. today at the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church PAC building, located behind the church.  Coach Priest is currently undergoing treatment for cancer. Looking ahead,  the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce meets Tuesday, April 10, at 12 noon at the   Cape Fear Farmers Market.  The guest speaker is Lisa Crawford, Senior Advisor, Special Projects with DMV-NCDOT.  Members are encouraged to attend and bring a …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Springtime is a wonderful time of the year.  April weather is a little unsettled, but better than March and not nearly as hot as coming months.  It’s a time for new beginnings.  See farmers in the field, preparing the soil, planting seeds and shortly a new crop will spring forward. I watch and listen to the news, and there is lots of it, good and bad now.  And, occasionally I will do a little research, just to satisfy my mind.  I refrain from listening to or making political statements, spend most of my adult life  involved one way or the other, including 8 years as a local elected official and …..

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Say no to Chinese access to advanced military technology

Congressman Robert Pittenger Should American companies give China access to advanced military technology? The answer should be “no,” but surprisingly it’s legal and has occurred many times.  Essentially, American companies are helping one of America’s adversaries catch up. What’s the deal?  China’s economy is booming but largely closed to foreign investment.  So China dangles a lucrative carrot in front of American companies, offering access to business opportunities in China in exchange for the transfer of sought-after technology. Officially, this is all for civilian projects.  But China does not operate by the rule of law.  As a communist country, the state controls nearly every aspect of civilian life.  As such, the …..

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SUN VALLEY MIDDLE LINEBACKER RECEIVES RARE DOUBLE APPOINTMENT TO WEST POINT AND MERCHANT MARINE

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is excited to announce Sun Valley High School senior Roy Artolozaga has received Congressional appointments to both West Point and the United States Merchant Marine Academy.   Mr. Artolozaga is the starting middle linebacker and captain of the Sun Valley varsity football team, works part-time for his family business, and is a member of the National Honor Society.   “The United States of America has given my parents the ability to build themselves up, earn a meaningful living and provide for their children.  There is no doubt in my mind that this is the greatest  country in the world and I firmly believe in its …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

April 15, ummmm April 17 is just a days away and your tax info is expected to be in the mail, with a check included, if more taxes are due.  A little bit of a break, because the 15th is on Sunday, and Monday, April 16 is Emancipation Day, a Washington, DC holiday.  So, in 2018, the deadline for filing is April 17. Over 155 million returns are expected to be filed this year and the IRS expects more than 70 percent will get tax refunds .  Last year, nearly 112 million refunds were issued, with an average refund of $2,895.  If you did not get a refund last year and do not expect to receive on this …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Many worthwhile events in the area are upcoming in the month of April, many this weekend.  We have info on many on our Events page: Spring Fling will be held at Bladenboro Farmers Market Saturday 11 AM until 5 PM.  Music by the Wingtips beginning at 1 PM.  BBQ plates and sandwiches on sale. 5 – 8 PM Saturday, a fundraiser for Robby Priest will be held at E-town Presbyterian Church PAC building.  Coach Priest is undergoing cancer treatment and friends organized the fundraiser to show their love and support.  BBQ plates will be on sale for $8 per plate. Bladen County Shriners Fish Fry is planned for April 11, 2018 at Food Lion parking lot …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

NCAA Championship Game:  Villanova 79 – Michigan 62. Master’s Golf Tournament begins Thursday in Augusta, Ga.  The field is set, interesting how participants are determined.  Former Master champs, 5 year exemptions for US Open champs, Open champs, and PGA champs, 3 year exemption for Player’s Champions plus numerous other categories for pros and amateurs.  Sergio Garcia, last years winner, will host the Champions Dinner at Augusta National this evening, the most exclusive dinner in golf. One more sports note, mentioned Mackenzie Gore in a recent “Thoughts” column.  If all goes as planned, the Whiteville native is likely to begin his first full season as a pro in Fort Wayne, San Diego’s lowest single A baseball club, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hope your Easter weekend was good!  Great weather, good church services about a risen savior, children all dressed up with smiley faces, good family meal, and some down time.  All in all, a very good day and hopefully yours was as well. Why can’t every day be like Easter? Thinking back to public school days, Easter was the last holiday before the end of school.  It was like waiting for your 16th birthday or graduation, would think late May or early June (end of school) would never arrive.  After that, clock picks up speed.  Next is retirement and hopefully, social security. NCAA men’s basketball championship will be determined tonight.  Michigan and Villanova are …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for Sunday, April 1

Happy Easter Sunday to all. NCAA Semi-Finals: Michigan 69, Loyola IL 57 Villanova 95, Kansas 79 Monday night’s NCAA Men’s Championship basketball game: Michigan vs Villanova Remember this is also April Fool’s Day. Congratulations to Bladen County native Mac Warner, retired recently after 30 years of service as a SBI agent. Can you imagine waking up and realize you have an extra $350 million you had not budgeted for. The latest Mega Million winner purchased the ticket in New Jersey. For the losers, just another day…. Rose early this AM to assist a group of men that I attend church with in preparing and serving breakfast for 40 to 50 …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The 2018 Easter season is here.  The holiest of seasons for Christians around the world.  Worship and adore him. Another annual event that is high on the list of many is the NCAA Basketball Finals.  March Madness finals will be held this weekend.  #11 Loyola-Chicago, led by 98 year old Sister Jean Delores Schmidt (Chaplain), will play #3 seeded Michigan in the first game beginning at 6:09 PM today, followed by the #1 seeded Kansas vs Villanova, another #1 seed, at 8:49 PM, both games on TBS.  The winners meet for the NCAA Championship Monday at 9:20 PM.  The tournament is being played in San Antonio, TX. Dates have been announced for the 2018 Bladen County …..

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You Decide: Can We Reduce Invisible Unemployment?

By Dr. Mike Walden We’ve seen great improvement in reducing unemployment in both the nation and North Carolina in recent years. Many economists think the most frequently cited jobless rate could fall under four percent this year. Indeed, there is already talk of the labor market being at “full employment”, and an increasing number of companies are now citing problems of finding qualified workers as their biggest problem. But there’s a type of unemployment that’s missed in the commonly used jobless rates we see released each month. I call it “invisible unemployment”. Invisible unemployment is composed of individuals of working age (25-54) who aren’t working and – this is the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Today is Good Friday, 2018.  Most governmental offices are closed, call ahead. A new major league baseball season is officially underway as of yesterday.  Remember when the season began with a single game.  First time I recall all teams scheduled to play the first day. From the “I did not realize department”!  17% of all North Carolina workers are engaged in ag relate jobs.  Farming is an $84 billion business, the #1 industry in the state. Numerous Easter related celebrations are planned for Sunday, including a cantata, ‘We Shall Behold Him’,  at 11 AM and 7:30 PM at E-town Presbyterian Church. The latest census indicates Bladen County’s populations dropped from 35,194 in July 2010 …..

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Pittenger – weekly column

Jesus told the people of Nazareth that “He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come” (Luke 4:18-19, NLT). This Easter weekend, as we celebrate the Resurrection, I am reflecting on those in our community who still need to be set free. People like Maria, who was trapped in human trafficking when she answered an ad for an “aspiring actress.”  Rosa was snatched from a gas station while waiting on a ride.  Antonia dreamed of owning a bakery before falling victim to human trafficking. These are …..

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Former Tillis Senior Advisor Wilkie Named Acting VA Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, issued the following statement after President Trump nominated Admiral Ronny L. Jackson as VA Secretary and announced that Robert Wilkie, a former senior advisor to Senator Tillis, will serve as Acting VA Secretary:   “Robert Wilkie—my friend, former senior advisor, and proud North Carolina native—is an outstanding choice by the President to lead the transition at the VA. I can’t think of anyone who is as capable, sincere, and passionate about serving and caring for the brave men and women who have worn the uniform.   “I had a positive working relationship with Dr. Shulkin, …..

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MARVIN RIDGE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE RECEIVES PRESTIGIOUS NAVAL ACADEMY APPOINTMENT

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is honored to announce Marvin Ridge High School graduate Nathan Utesch has received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.   Mr. Utesch received the 2016 North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s “Heart of a Champion” award, volunteered to serve the disabled at the Joy Prom, and was a four-year varsity letterman for the Marvin Ridge swim and dive team.   “I am an American,” said Mr. Utesch.  “I believe in the freedom for which our country stands.  As much as I believe that freedom is a necessary human right, I know that it must be fought for and defended in this world.  The United States military …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Today, one of Bladen’s finest steps down as a Captain with the Sheriff’s department and begins a new career.  Friends, family and co-workers honored Capt. Jeff Bridgers on his retirement at a ‘party in his honor’ yesterday.  His retirement is effective at the end of the day, today.  Among the tributes was the awarding of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the highest awards by the Governor of North Carolina.  Rep. William Brisson actually made the presentation.  Bridgers has spend 30 years, rising through the ranks to serve as Captain for the past many years.  He will be missed.  Understand he will begin a new career, as a Bladen County grape grower.  …..

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Charlotte Catholic Graduate Receives Prestigious West Point Appointment

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) is honored to announce Charlotte Catholic High School graduate Charlton Epperson has received a prestigious appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Mr. Epperson is currently a member of the Honors College at the University of Alabama and was Captain of the Charlotte Catholic cross country team. “It is the valor and prestige Service Academy graduates have bestowed upon these Institutions, not the brick and mortar, but the flesh and blood that the graduates of Service Academies have paid that always inspired me and given a sense of awe and a desire to serve,” said Mr. Epperson, who is the son of James …..

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Senator Tillis Visits Pastor Andrew Brunson at Turkish Prison

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that he met with imprisoned American pastor Andrew Brunson Monday at Buca Prison in Ismir, Turkey. Pastor Brunson is originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, and has been imprisoned on false charges since October 7, 2016. Senator Tillis issued the following statement on his visit with Pastor Brunson: “Pastor Brunson is strengthened by his love for his family and his faith in God, but his health has deteriorated. He has lost 50 pounds and spends 24 hours a day in a cell with limited human contact.  He is attempting to visit a doctor this week, which involves him being handcuffed and transported with several …..

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A promise of hope

By Jefferson Weaver The pictures tell part of the story, but never the whole thing. My Sister the Troll in an Easter dress and hat holding a fat toddler – me – on the porch of our home in Keener. An older version of me (not quite as fat) singing in church. My father, brother Mike and myself in aprons cleaning up after a big family dinner. A friend sitting in the center of a group of little kids telling the story of Resurrection Day. My nieces racing across my in-laws’ yard, hunting eggs we assiduously hid a half-hour before. The pictures tell some of the story of Easter, but …..

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Tillis & Coons Statement on Special Counsel Robert Mueller

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), the bipartisan co-authors of the Special Counsel Integrity Act, released the following statement: “We have heard from constituents – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike – who agree that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be able to conduct his investigation without interference.  This should not be a partisan issue.  We introduced the Special Counsel Integrity Act because we believe that the American people should have confidence in the Department of Justice’s ability to conduct independent investigations and its commitment to the rule of law. We urge President Trump to allow the Special Counsel to complete his work without impediment, which …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Deadline for filing income is about three weeks away, for those who have not taken care of the task, could be the fastest three weeks of the year. Looking forward to warmer weather, know berry growers are as well. Think back to previous Easter seasons, always in church, mom and dad made sure of that and we attempted to provide same opportunity for our family. Mom was very busy when we were really young, if we had a new shirt for Easter, she made it from feed bags. Could wear it, wash it for a while before the colorful pattern begin to fade. It was a different world we lived in. Not …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER HONORS NATIONAL CHAMPION WRESTLER FROM INDIAN TRAIL

MONROE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) recently addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of Indian Trail’s Michael Macchiavello, who on March 17th won the NCAA Division 1 national wrestling championship. CLICK HERE for full video of Congressman Pittenger’s March 22nd speech in honor of Michael Macchiavello, Indian Trail’s national champion wrestler. “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of North Carolina State University senior Michael Macchiavello, who on March 17th won the NCAA Division 1 national wrestling championship at 197 pounds.   “Mr. Macchiavello is a graduate of Sun Valley High School in Indian Trail, North Carolina, where he was a 4-A state champion wrestler in 2013, when …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

A little of this and a little of that:  Lots of sports news. Clint Boyer broke a 190 race losing streak to capture the snow-delayed race in Martinsville NASCAR race yesterday and John Hunter Nemechek eaked out a win over Kyle Benjamin in the truck series.  Timothy Peters finished 7th in the Ricky Benton Racing team’s #92 Ford truck from Cerro Gordo, NC. Windy Christy of Lumberton earned the right to apply to enter one of the most prestigious marathons ever, the Boston Marathon.  Christy, a PA at the Gibson Cancer Center in Lumberton, recently ran a 26.2 mile course in 3:45:00 to finish seventh in the 35-39 age group, the 30th …..

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Senate Resolution Would Weaken Protections in Auto Lending Discrimination 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution, S.J. Res 57, which would undo the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) 2013 indirect auto lending guidance. This important guidance is a key step to limit discriminatory impact of dealer interest rate markups in the auto lending industry. The resolution has 15 Republican cosponsors. The announcement to eliminate this important consumer protection comes off the heels of a recent investigative report released by the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) detailing the ongoing racially discriminatory practices that exist in the auto lending market. In their findings, NFHA uncovered that more than half the time white borrowers with weaker …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

It’s been a wild weekend:  Star Communications problems in the Herring Exchange (near Clinton) paralyzed Internet users in the mostly rural areas of Sampson, Bladen and portions of Columbus, Cumberland, and Pender.  It just happens despite the best efforts of all.  In the past ???? years, only the second outage that lasted more than a few hours, that I recall. The most recent outage lasted less than 20 hours but for Internet, Facebook, etc. users, seemed like a lifetime.  The Star family will double-down in its efforts to prevent future ‘such’ outages. Step back and put it in perspective, 99.99% of the time, all works well, not bad, but the goal is 100%. …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Scan numerous pages of ‘garbage news’ daily, no idea who is telling the truth and who is not, my guess, some of both. CBS 60 Minutes tonight will feature Stormy Daniel’s lawyer who has implied very strongly that there are photos or videos of his client (Ms. Stormy) and President Trump.  A picture is worth how many words?  The attorney appears to be hyping his TV appearance. Interesting how roles are reversed now. President Trump accusers are some of the same folks who defended former President Clinton, years ago, and visa versa. As my momma would say…my, my, what is this world comin’ to? Members of neither party have all the answers, despite …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Stock Market still searching for a bottom! The past week was the worst in a long time, hopefully better times are just ahead. So what do you think about tariffs? When farmers begin to have problems selling their wheat, corn, soybeans abroad, will be ‘tell-tell time.’ They tend to speak in a different tone and get lots of attention. Guess time will tell. In the meantime, just have to trust our leaders and pray they do the right thing. I see young folks ‘jacking up’ older model cars, using ‘wild’ paint schemes, listening to loud music and think, what in the world are they thinking. Then I remember as a …..

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When the light is right

By: Jefferson Weaver I have never walked through the doors of the old store. I doubt sincerely anyone has for decades, since the tangle of vines and fenced pasture have more authority than the tired “No Trespassing” signs. Wind, rain or time, or possibly all three, have long since taken their due of the twin doors, as termites, carpenter bees and rust have eaten away at the screen doors, one of which is wedged open, standing sentry over its prone partner. While the screens haven’t deterred a fly for years, a rusty advertising sign still implores a customer to buy bread. The window panes and frames are long gone, but …..

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Letter to the Editor: 355th Birthday – The Always Ready, Ready Team of the North Carolina National Guard

The North Carolina National Guard celebrates its 355th birthday on the 24th of March, 2018.  Our founding documents, the 1663 Carolina Charter, authorized the levying and mustering of men to defend the people and property of the Carolinas.  Since that day, an unbroken chain of North Carolina Guardsmen has continued to rally to the unit guidons that comprise the modern-day, North Carolina National Guard.  Today’s National Guard is grounded in our Constitution and tightly woven into our American heritage.  Initially established to thwart tyranny and internal threats to the early colonies, it is now a vital component of the Total Joint Force comprising nearly half of our Army and Air Forces’ …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

All on Facebook is not bad.  I discovered a very nice article about Tar Heel Baptist Church “Tar Heel Baptist Church: A story of hope” by Chad Austin, BSCNC Communications.  Good reading or listening.  Google www.ncbaptist.org. Another Facebook post worthy of a visit, a photo of a new baby donkey born recently at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery. NCAA Basketball Results:  (Thursday, March 22) #11 Loyola Chicago 69 – #7 Nevada 68 # 3 Michigan 99 – # 7 Texas A&M 72 #9 Kansas State 61 – # 5 Kentucky 58 # 9 Florida State 75 – #4 Gonzaga 60 Today – March 23 7:07 PM #1 Kansas vs #5 Clemson 7:27 …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Weather has become a topic of discussion, again.  Cold, cloudy day yesterday.  Today, more sunshine, more wind, and temps in the upper 50s in the afternoon. We measured about an inch of rain, since Sunday at the Hester household.  More is needed as planting times draws near. Long range forecast for Easter Sunday, about 10 days away, is high temps in the upper 60s, very little chance of rain, windy with gust in the 30 mph range.  Not sure how much confidence I have in a forecast 10 days from now. Check BladenOnline for events in the area.  One that usually draws a crowd is Politicians Appreciation Day, this Saturday, beginning at 5:30 PM at Lu Mill in Dublin.  No …..

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Rouzer Applauds Trump Administration’s Opioid Initiative

WASHINGTON, DC – This week, President Donald Trump announced the “Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand” in an effort to curb the opioid epidemic.  The initiative aims to reduce drug demand and over-prescribing, is designed to help cut off the supply of illicit drugs, and focuses resources on those struggling with addiction.  Following the announcement, Congressman David Rouzer released the statement below: “Opioid addiction is a horrific problem for North Carolina and the rest of the country.  It represents one of the most significant challenges our communities, parents, law enforcement officers, local health departments, treatment facilities, and schools — among others — have ever faced.  Unfortunately, no …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Spring came in like a lion!  Thunder, lightning, rain & cooler weather.  Hopefully no damage in the area. Recently shared thoughts about our healthcare system with a friend ’bout my age who has had to used the services.  Both agreed, most likely, much better than years ago. Fewer MDs, but more PAs.  More specialist, in the region and a good referral system, but, without some assistance, getting into the system can be frustrating.  Once all the dots have been connected, not bad, in fact, pretty good. Just a different world.  And, it is not going back to the days when ‘doc’ delivered babies at home. Thankful for Bladen County Hospital and our local healthcare providers.  Just hope I do not need …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER RECEIVES U.S. CHAMBER “SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE AWARD”

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Spirit of Enterprise” Award in recognition of his efforts to pass tax reform, regulatory reform, and legislation that supports small businesses and start-ups. It’s a good time to be doing business in America, thanks to a slate of legislative accomplishments that laid the groundwork for more economic growth and job creation,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  “These efforts to advance commonsense, growth-oriented legislation will help Main Street American businesses thrive.  We commend Congressman Pittenger for his commitment to promoting and protecting American free enterprise and economic prosperity.”   “Hardworking …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER HONORS FOREST HILLS HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP BASKETBALL TEAM

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of the Forest Hills High School state champion basketball team.     “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of the state champion Forest Hills High School Basketball Team, who on March 10th won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A championship. This is their first basketball championship in school history. “Yellow Jackets junior guard Jai Rorie made four free throws in the final 14 seconds to lead his team to a 63-59 victory. Congratulations to the team: Brandon Barrier, Dillon Wright, Cam Richardson, Jaquan Williams, Asiah Byrd, Trey Belin, Jaleel McLaughlin, Tanner Lowery, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

U.S. Congress is wrestling with approving a budget that was due October 1, 2017.  Need to UP the debt limit so we, can pay our bills, including national debt that is at an all-time high. As of early this morning, Tuesday, March 19, 2017, our national debt was $21,035,907,990,250.  Recently topped that number, first time ever over $21 trillion.  Google US National Debt Clock, add it to your favorites. According to info provided by the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. population was 327,384,999 as of 4:30 AM today.  Our debt was $64,254 per person, and $173,548 per taxpayer. Our federal spending is up 138%.  The web site has more info than you can imagine. Another stat; Interest due …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Great weekend for sports! NASCAR winner – Martin Truex, Jr. PGA winner – Rory Mcllroy.  Tiger Wood stumbled on last 3 holes after a brilliant performance in his latest attempt to return to championship caliber play. And, Fairmont native William McGirt, who was 5 over par after 3 holes on the last day of play, recovered to finish one over for the day and picked up over $59,000 to push his earnings for the year to over $580,000, not bad for a former Golden Tornado baseball catcher. His earnings have exceeded a million $’s annually for the past several years.  He earned over $3 million in a single season a few years ago when he …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

NCAA tournament has produced some interesting results…So, how many local, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia teams remain. UNC meets Texas A&M 5:15 PM today (Sunday) Clemson vs Auburn 7:10 PM today (Sunday) Duke vs winner of Michigan State-Syracuse game (next Friday) Who have I missed? Many basketball coaches have a clause in their contract that guarantees a bonus for reaching various levels of  NCAA tournament action.  Don’t know about the Virginia coach, but despite the disappointing game earlier this week…think he has earned ‘his keep’ for the year. East Bladen Eagles Booster Club held their annual fund-raiser Saturday evening.  A huge success, about 215 tickets sold and that is no …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Shocker: NCAA Basketball Tournament…No. 16 UMBC 74, No. 1 seeded Virginia 54. UMBC is University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Ryan Odom is in his 2nd year as head coach.  He is the son of Dave Odom, former head coach at East Carolina, Wake Forest and South Carolina, and a former assistant coach at Virginia. Joe Kelly, former deputy sheriff, recently passed away.  Joe was a good man, loved by all who knew him. Tickets for the Bladen We Care Gala are on sale.  Tickets are $50 each, in the past tickets were $100 per couple.  Took a long time to determine singles enjoyed the ‘fun event’ as …..

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Tillis & Shaheen Statement on Russian Cyberattacks on U.S. Nuclear, Water and Electric Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, issued the following statement after the Trump administration announced that some U.S. nuclear, water and electric systems have been subject to Russian cyberattacks and could have been sabotaged: “These attacks are a sobering reminder of the work that desperately needs to be done to bolster our nation’s cyber defenses,” said Tillis and Shaheen. “The Kremlin is launching a myriad of hybrid attacks to weaken and undermine Western nations, particularly NATO members, and the United States is no exception. Many frontline NATO nations have made great strides in improving their cyber defenses …..

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America is already in a trade war

By Congressman Robert Pittenger The pundit class and Washington lobbyists have loudly warned that President Trump’s new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum will provoke a trade war. Yet here are the facts: America’s worldwide trade deficit is $566 billion annually. Of this, our trade deficit just with China is $375 billion. News flash: America is already in a trade war, and we are losing. Those who live in Washington’s swamp simply want to perpetuate the status quo. This is not just an economic issue, but also a national security issue. Aluminum is used to manufacture the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the …..

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You Decide: How Can Affordable Housing Be Increased?

By Dr. Mike Walden Our residence really sets the stage for much of our lives. Before getting married, I lived in five different apartments in a span of five years. The year would change, and I would change apartments, always trying to move closer to work and improve the quality of my residence. The first home my wife and I bought was a drafty 1,000-square-foot house far from work and with limited nearby shopping. With our larger and more accessible home today, we’re much happier. In a limitless world, each of us would have a residence close to our work and to shopping and amenities, with modern upgraded space and …..

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Congressman Pittenger to co-host Veterans’ Affairs hearing in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) will co-host a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee field hearing on Friday, March 23rd, in Fayetteville. Members of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee will be in Fayetteville to examine Department of Veterans Affairs community care programs, including the Choice program. “On average, my staff is working on 500 separate cases for local veterans,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Problems with the VA Choice program – both access for patients and prompt payment for providers – are one of the top issues we hear about.  This hearing will be an important opportunity to discuss necessary strategies to improve service.” The field hearing will take place on Friday, March 23rd, 10 a.m., …..

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Tillis, Cornyn, Grassley Introduce the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act, commonsense legislation that provides much-needed oversight of asbestos bankruptcy trusts to ensure victims receive just compensation. “Asbestos bankruptcy trusts were created to compensate asbestos victims, not trial lawyers,” said Senator Tillis. “The PROTECT Asbestos Victims Act will reform the asbestos bankruptcy trust system by adding in layers of oversight, accountability and transparency, which in turn will help eliminate fraud and ensure that trusts are able to compensate present and future asbestos victims.” “Those affected by asbestos-related diseases deserve compensation free from mismanagement by the bankruptcy system,” said Senator Cornyn. “This legislation would criminalize the submission of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Found an interesting post on Facebook…’Just spent 15 minutes searching for my phone in my car, while using my phone as a flashlight!’   Sound familiar? Congratulations to Rev. Warren Hill.  He is the recipient of a “Carrying for Others Award” presented to him recently by Tar Heel WOW. I stopped watching Cable News sometime ago.  Last night I was interested in more news related to the ‘walkway’ that came crashing down in Miami, Florida, so I ‘flipped’ thru several channels, CNN, Fox, MSNBC.  Didn’t take long to refresh my memory why I stopped watching.  No wonder so many are so confused, aggravated, ill with all.  I soon returned to the Andy Griffith Show, Sanford and …..

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Congressman Pittenger: China is Exploiting National Security Deficiencies

WASHINGTON – This morning, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) publicly highlighted deficiencies in the current Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review process which are being exploited by our adversaries.  Potential reforms to CFIUS were the focus of today’s House Financial Services Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee hearing. Congressman Pittenger has introduced major bipartisan legislation to revamp and modernize CFIUS. “Our adversaries, the Chinese government in particular, are aware of CFIUS’s deficiencies and are actively exploiting them,” said Congressman Pittenger in his opening statement. “Specifically, the Chinese government has used weaponized foreign direct investment to evade our safeguards and review processes in order to acquire state of the art, military-applicable technologies …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Fundraisers for many groups/organizations that provide very valuable services to local residents are scheduled over the next few days and weeks, so many to keep up with. Check BladenOnline’s news, sports and events pages for those we are aware of. The latest unemployment rate for the state is 4.5%. Buncombe County (Asheville) had the lowest rate in the state (3.4 %) and Hyde County (Swan Quarter) was the highest at 10.6%. The next county by county unemployment rate update is scheduled to be released Friday, March 16, 2018 (tomorrow). Bladen County’s rate is usually slightly higher than state average. Anyone looking for a job should be able to find one …..

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Tillis Supports Passage of Economic Growth Legislation That Includes Tillis-Warren Bill Protecting Vets from Predatory Lending

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, applauded the Senate passage of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation’s financial regulatory framework and promote economic growth. Included in the legislation is theProtecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation Tillis introduced with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), which would protect veterans from targeted predatory home loan practices by requiring lenders to demonstrate a material benefit to consumers when refinancing their mortgage. “Passage of this bill is proof that Congress can come together in a bipartisan basis and pass meaningful legislation on behalf of the American people. The inclusion of bipartisan …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Growing old has its advantages, so I am told, still searching. Enjoy pictures from yesteryear.  Someone sent a photo of a Doug Henderson coached team recently, shared it on our sports page and seeing pictures of old tobacco barns with workers ‘stringin’ tobacco, or other activity that reminds me of my younger days. United Way of Bladen County is sponsoring an event Saturday at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery.  St. Patricks Day, a fun day for youth and adults.  It’s 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and all proceeds will benefit United Way activities in Bladen.  Questions or comments should be shared with Christy Sasser.  Her contact info is 910-991-6751 or email Sasser02@srm.org. Voting is over in …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Mike Pompeo: ‘An Exceptionally Bright Individual’

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement on President Trump’s choice of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State: “President Trump’s choice of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State will provide him a very clear assessment of prevailing threats and a constructive analysis of how to secure the United States.  Mike Pompeo is an exceptionally bright individual who will effectively articulate America’s positions while engaging our allies to join us.” Congressman Pittenger and Director Pompeo worked together in Congress on national security legislation to defeat radical Islamic terrorists.  More recently, Congressman Pittenger has sought Director Pompeo’s input on legislation to block the strategic Chinese acquisition of sensitive technology …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Sleet reported at various locations in Bladen County Monday.  Best kind, listed to the ‘ping’ on the window, no evidence on the ground.  Recorded 1/2 inch of rainfall over the past 48 hours at the Hester household, more is needed. Hopefully, no harm to the berry crops. Medical delivery service has changed so much, and overall, not sure it’s an improvement.  Bigger not always better. Maybe texting and driving should be charged as ‘driving while impaired’. Ricky Benton Racing (RBR) of Cerro Gordo will sponsor a truck in the March 24th NASCAR race at Martinsville, Va. Timothy Peters, of nearby Danville, Va. and a former winner at the track, will be the driver. East Bladen High …..

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Bladen County GOP County Convention announced

The Bladen County Republican 2018 Convention date is Monday, March 26, 2018,  at the Powell Melvin Agricultural building, 450 Smith Circle, NC 28337. Registration will be from 6-7 p.m., precinct meetings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the Convention will begin at 7 p.m. Share:

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Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

By Congressman Robert Pittenger Today roughly 100 Americans will lose their life to an opioid overdose. Opioid and prescription drug abuse is ravaging our country and our local community.  The Centers for Disease Control reports that opioid overdose deaths have increased over fivefold since 1999.  In fact, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Here in North Carolina, 1,567 of our friends and neighbors died of an opioid overdose in 2015.  Wilmington has the highest opioid abuse rate in the nation.  Fayetteville, Jacksonville, and Hickory are in the top 25. These aren’t just statistics.  We all know someone who has been personally impacted …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Bladen We Care information for 2018 will be released, possibly as early as today, related to dates and times of their annual fundraisers, Gala and Golf Tournament. ACC will be well represented in 2018 March Madness basketball play. Virginia seeded No. 1 and most agree, best college team this year.  Winning the NCAA tournament would be ‘icing on the cake’ for the Cavaliers. Bladen County Commissioners meet at 6:30 p.m. today, same place and same time; Bladen County Courthouse at 6:30 p.m.  Meeting open to the public, and Bladenboro Town Council meets at 7 p.m. for regular monthly meeting, numerous issues on the agenda and the public is welcomed. Wish I would …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Mark Twain Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. Mark Twain You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. Joyce Meyer Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. Albert Einstein A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. Maxwell Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with. Billy Graham Someone is sitting …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Reminder:  Set clocks/watches forward an hour before bedtime tonight.  Spring forward. #6Tar Heels vs #1 Cavaliers for ACC Tournament Championship, 8:30 PM at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, NY. There have been characters in the ACC male coaching ranks for years, Bone McKinney (Wake Forest), Lefty Driesell (Maryland), Jim Valvano (NC State), Frank McGuire (UNC & USC) and no doubt, others will be added in years to come. More names from the past, Everett Case (NC State), Dean Smith (UNC), Norm Sloan (NSCU), Cliff Ellis (Clemson), Terry Holland, former Virginia coach, and a Clinton, NC native. And current coaches who are among the all time greats, Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) since 1980 and Roy Williams …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

ACC tournament winners following Thursday’s play: Virginia, Duke, Clemson and UNC. Friday’s semi-final pairings : 7 PM No. 1 Virginia v No. 4 Clemson 9 PM No. 2 Duke v No. 6 UNC Championship game Saturday, 8:30 PM. Three vehicular deaths recorded in Bladen County Wednesday.  One on NC 20 and two on NC 87 near the Bladen-Cumberland County line.  Details on our news page.  One is too many. The BladenOnline ‘crew’ celebrated our 10th year of business Thursday, at Giorgio’s in Elizabethtown. About a dozen folks attended, several from the early days of the local online newspaper, who still contribute.  Some recent additions that contribute daily. Nice gesture by current owners, Charlotte and Daine Smith.  BladenOnline began a daily service of …..

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Tillis Statement on the President’s Tariff Announcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) released the following statement regarding today’s announcement from the President on steel and aluminum tariffs: “Recent tax cuts and continued regulatory relief are driving positive economic growth and bolstering consumer confidence. Congress and the White House should be doing everything in their power to build off of tax reform and keep this momentum going. While I’m supportive of punishing bad actors who abuse trade policy, our response needs to be methodical and surgical so we aren’t inadvertently punishing America’s allies and sparking retaliatory tariffs that could slow down our economic momentum.” Share:

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Tillis Chairs Hearing on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in the Military

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Personnel, held a hearing to receive testimony on domestic violence and child abuse in the military. “Domestic violence and child abuse are significant problems that cause immense harm to our society and within our military services,” said Senator Tillis. “We must do more work to address the many factors – relationship, community, and societal factors – that may lead to domestic violence and child abuse. We must also develop evidence-based prevention strategies and implement comprehensive support programs to help victims.” “While the data show that the military’s domestic violence and child abuse incidence rates are …..

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Congressman Pittenger on tariffs: “We Are Already In A Trade War”

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this reaction to President Donald Trump’s announcement of tariffs on foreign imports of steel and aluminum: “We are already in a trade war and we are losing, with a $566 billion global trade deficit, over $375 billion to China alone.  President Trump is smart enough to do something about it.  He is likely the best negotiator we have ever had in the White House.  The President knows how to negotiate from a position of strength.  Yes, we need free trade, but hardworking Americans also deserve fair trade.  That’s the goal.” Congressman Pittenger serves on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Monetary Policy and Trade, …..

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Tillis Bill Protecting Vets from Predatory Lending Included in Banking Reform Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that the Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation he introduced with Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), was included as a provision in the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, bipartisan legislation currently being considered by the Senate. The Protecting Veterans from Predatory Lending Act of 2018 would protect veterans from targeted predatory home loan practices by requiring lenders to demonstrate a material benefit to consumers when refinancing their mortgage. “Over the last few years, a few bad actors have taken advantage of the VA home loan program and began targeting veterans and service members to generate profit and fees at their expense, often leading …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

ACC men’s basketball winners yesterday (Wednesday): Louisville, Notre Dame, Boston College and UNC. Today’s schedule: 12 PM  No. 1 Virginia vs No. 9 Louisville 2 PM    No. 4 Clemson vs No. 12 Boston College 7 PM     No. 2 Duke vs  No. 10 Notre Dame 9 PM     No. 3 Miami vs No. 6 UNC Low temp tonight, 30 degrees with west wind around 8 mph.  Check the thermostat.  Sixty to seventy years ago, needed lots of dry wood for the heater. Stock market unpredictable, stability in DC would help. Remember when the UNC announcing team included Woody Durham and Mick Mixon? The pair came to Bladen County several times, thanks to Lee …..

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Tillis & Burr Announce $19.9 Million TIGER Grant Awarded to Raleigh

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr announced the North Carolina Department of Transportation will receive a $19.9 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant for Raleigh, NC. The project eliminates a railroad crossing by lowering the Blue Ridge Road from its current ground level to instead pass under the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR). It also reconfigures existing nearby intersections and adjacent access roadways. “I want to thank Secretary Chao and the Department of Transportation for awarding Raleigh this substantial grant through the competitive TIGER program,” said Senator Tillis.“This grant will go a long way to ensure North Carolina’s citizens are safe while ensuring the North Carolina Railroad …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER ON DEPUTY LOCKLEAR: ‘A HERO REMEMBERED NEVER DIES IN OUR HEARTS’

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in memory of Scotland County Deputy Alexis “Thunder Eagle” Locklear, who was killed in the line of duty last week while rushing to the aid of a fellow officer.   Click here for full video of Congressman Pittenger’s speech in memory of Scotland County Deputy Alexis “Thunder Eagle” Locklear.   “Deputy Locklear was just 23 years old, and had only been on the force for 10 months, yet those who knew him best say he died doing what he loved.  My friend, Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey, said that Deputy Locklear made friends everywhere he went.   “Deputy Locklear …..

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She wrote the happy news

By Jefferson Weaver When I first met Edith Batson, she was upset with a camera that didn’t want to work. “All I want to do is take a picture!” she exclaimed in that way that only she had. I half-expected her to stamp a foot, but instead she laughed at herself, the camera and the situation. Miss Edith was already a legend at that point; we worked for competing newspapers, but I knew her by sight and reputation, both of which were stellar. It was a few years later that she came into the Burgaw office one day, clear umbrella in hand, and sat down at the big table. Miss …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

East Bladen’s annual fundraiser, steak dinner and reverse raffle, is set for Saturday, March 17th, at the school.  Tickets are on sale, $100 per couple and available at usual locations.  Call the school for more information. Blueberry and strawberry growers will be watching weather forecast more closely as blooms begin to ‘spring forth’.  Last year, temps dropped below freezing on more than one occasion, doing harm to the plant and the crop, if memory is correct, ’round mid-March. A reminder, time change early Sunday morning.  Spring forward so you arrive at church on time. Very good article in NC State Wolfpacker magazine, about former East Bladen star athlete, Larrell Muchison of Elizabethtown, ‘Fighting …..

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Brisson discusses new hunting rules, teacher pay

Contributed Representative William Brisson has submitted a newsletter addressing legislative concerns for Bladen and the surrounding areas. Brisson discusses new hunting legislation adopted by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission. These new rules will take effect on August 1, 2018. The rules would affect deer hunting and bear hunting among other things. He also looks at North Carolina teacher salaries which are increasing. Read Rep. Brisson’s newsletter for the week of March 6th, 2018. Share:

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Senate Advances Bill that Weakens Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate voted to advance S. 2155, a banking deregulation bill that if enacted would constitute the largest-ever roll back of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Dodd-Frank law was enacted in the wake of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Click here for a short summary of S. 2155. Center for Responsible Lending Senior Legislative Counsel Yana Miles issued the following statement: “The financial crisis led to a Great Recession that cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, and savings. This bill would allow for the return of many of the same reckless financial practices that caused the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Local governments beginning to put budget proposals together for the coming year.  Guess other than re-evaluation, nothing is more challenging.  Every department could use more money to operate, and most politicians ‘run’ on a promise of no increase in taxes.  Been that way for as long as I can remember. One huge difference in local budgets and those at the federal level, the locals follow the letter of the law.  Deadline for approval of a new county or city budget is June 30th, unless approval is granted by the Local Government Commission, a seldom occurrence.  Federal budget was due last October, still no budget approved. I am not a blueberry or strawberry grower, but check the …..

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Tillis Congratulates Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune on its Verification as a Level III Trauma Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) congratulated Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune for receiving verification as a Level III Trauma Center. The announcement from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) comes in the wake of Senator Tillis hosting a roundtable in Jacksonville, NC in May 2017, where he brought together regional civilian trauma leaders and Camp Lejeune medical leaders with the goal of becoming a Trauma Center. At that same roundtable, Senator Tillis was pleased to announce that “Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune” was becoming “Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune,” a major step to receiving the Trauma Center designation.   Since the announcement, the medical center designation has paved …..

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Pittenger applauds new “Conscience and Religious Freedom” effort

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) led 16 Members of Congress in publicly thanking the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for new efforts to protect the freedoms of conscience and religion for American families and medical workers. “We are pleased with HHS’s new proposed rule to enforce these conscience protections, which were ignored under the previous administration,” wrote Congressman Pittenger and his colleagues in a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The Department’s decision is necessary because it ensures that individuals involved in any HHS funded or administered program will not have to compromise on their deeply held beliefs or participate in activities such as abortions or assisted suicide.  …..

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Cano Speaks at NC NORML March Meeting in Charlotte

Charlotte,– NC 9th Congressional District Democratic Nominee and 2018 Candidate for our May 08, 2018 Democratic primary election, Christian Cano, was the guest speaker at the March meeting of North Carolina National Organization For The Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) in Charlotte yesterday at the Holiday Inn Charlotte City Center. Christian spoke about cannabis reform on a federal level and why it is an issue that needs to be highlighted at the local, state, and federal level for our May 08, 2018 NC primary elections and in our November 06, 2018 Congressional midterm general elections. During his speech Christian reviewed the federal history of cannabis legislation which included the 1937 …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Say a prayer for residents of coastal northeastern USA.  Winds and waves have caused so much damage.  Seems there are so many more weather related events in recent years, or maybe the news coverage is better. UNC Pembroke men’s basketball team defeated Clayton State 70-60 yesterday to claim their second-straight Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship.  The Braves (26-5) become just the second team to win both the regular season and tournament crowns in consecutive seasons.  Number 3 UNC Pembroke will play No. 6 Francis Marion (20-9) Saturday, March 10, at Harrogate, TN in the first round of NCAA II Southeast Regional tournament  action. A reminder, move your clock forward one hour Saturday night.  Spring forward! Ever make notes so …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Wonder how many times Billy Graham will be mentioned in church services today. I follow TV sports for entertainment.  Yesterday, checking the low scores in the PGA tournament being played in Mexico, discovered Shubhankar Sharma was the leader after the first two rounds of play.  Who is Sharma and where did he come from?  Discovered he is from India, 21 years old, has 2 wins on the Asian tour, turned pro in 2013 at 16 years of age. Also a NASCAR fan, via TV, no interest in driving many miles, pay an exorbitant admission price and take a chance of rain, hot sunshine or cold, windy weather.  How about Ryan …..

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