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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

The British Open Golf Tournament, the 3rd of 4 major golf tournaments played annually, concludes today.  It has been a great tournament played at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport Merseysid, England. The final of this year’s major championships, the PGA Championship, will be played August 10-13 at Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, NC. The Masters and U.S. Open were played earlier in Augusta, Ga. and Erin, Wisconsin. If you enjoy hot weather, you should be very happy.  Another Heat Advisory has been issued by the National Weather Service for today.  High today near 95, heat values as high as 107 and a 30% chance of late afternoon showers and thunderstorms, southwest winds 8 to …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

What do you do when you can’t sleep?  How many sheep are there? Today should be another hot day with 90 plus degree temps and a heat index of 100-plus. Speaking of weather, how about a ‘kewl’ thought.  Our first frost is just about 3 months away, usually arrives between the 21st and 31st of October. Can’t think of anything better than to hear from a friend you no longer see or hear from on a regular basis.  May come in the form of a surprise visit, call, text or however you communicate. Cancer is a horrible disease, pray for all, especially Sen. John McCain.  Love or dislike him, he is an American …..

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Congressman Pittenger announces $1 million FEMA grant for Robeson

LUMBERTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today announced over $1 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding to assist with repairs to public buildings in Robeson County damaged by Hurricane Matthew. “Bureaucracy can move very slowly, as applications are checked and rechecked, but my office is in regular contact with FEMA to ensure Robeson County receives assistance as quickly as possible,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Today is just one more step in a process we started last October, and will continue until the job is done.” So far, FEMA has provided North Carolina with: * $100.8 million in Small Business Administration loans * $97.5 million in Individual Assistance * $195.4 million from the National …..

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Made in USA: Supporting American Jobs

By U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger North Carolina lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs between 2001 and 2015, or nearly 50 percent.  As I travel the 9th Congressional District, I regularly pass abandoned factories and the struggling communities left behind. Manufacturing is vital to North Carolina’s economy.  Yet overseas competition, unfair trade practices, and unnecessary regulations have caused a great loss in manufacturing and our overall economy.  This cannot continue. Surprisingly, some in the mainstream media chose to mock President Trump’s “Made in America Week.”  Apparently, the liberal elite doesn’t realize the heart and soul of America’s economy lies in America’s workers, American products, and the incredible American work ethic.  We should honor …..

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You Decide: Why Can’t We Get The Economy Just Right?

By Dr. Mike Walden My wife is a great cook, and she makes fabulous varieties of soups. My favorite is her lentil soup. It’s both tasty and healthy! Sometimes my wife and I disagree over the temperature of the soup. Remember the Goldilocks saying about the soup not being too hot or too cold, but instead being just right? Well, my wife and I don’t see eye-to-eye over what is the “just right” temperature for soup since she likes it hotter than me. There’s a parallel between the Goldilocks story, my wife’s soup and the economy. It’s that we’d like to get the economy “just right” for everyone but usually …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

One more reminder, noontime today is the deadline for filing for the November municipal election.  Filing fee is $5, and if interested in adding your name to the ballot, you should visit Bladen County Board of Elections, behind the post office in Elizabethtown. The British Open Golf Tournament is always interesting, gives us an opportunity to see some of the best golfers in the world playing some of the oldest courses.  William McGirt, Fairmont native, had a tough opening day, plus 7, needs a miracle today to continue play over the weekend. Another hot day is in store for Bladen and surrounding areas, today….90+ temps expected.  Proceed with caution and …..

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Bay Tree Lakes VFD thanks golf tournament supporters

The 14th annual Bay Tree Lakes Volunteer Fire Department golf tournament was held in June at Vineyard Golf Course in White Lake. The event serves as one of the major fundraisers for the organization. “The department would like to express its appreciation to the many participants and to the people and organizations that donated, in various forms,” wrote Hank Howell, who is the department’s treasurer. “The tournament was a big success.” The tournament winners were: First Flight 58 – Lee Todd, Joey Todd, Bill Edwards and Emery White 60 – Lamarr Johnson, Don Pigffgrie, John Lovette and Tommy Culbreth 63 – Darryl Davis, Roger Davis, Kent Porter and Mark Mendell …..

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Tillis, Colleagues Move to Stop CFPB Arbitration Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, joined Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and his Republican colleagues to file a Congressional Review Act (CRA) Joint Resolution of Disapproval in the Senate against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) arbitration rule. “Setting aside the looming questions surrounding the constitutionality, this CFPB rule is a boon to trial attorneys at the expense of American consumers,” said Senator Tillis. “The American people decided this past election that they were fed-up with decisions being made by unelected Washington bureaucrats, and I hope that my colleagues will stand up to this abuse of power by supporting …..

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Tillis Joins Colleagues Calling for Greater Retirement Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined Senators Tim Scott (R-SC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tom Cotton (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Todd Young (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and David Perdue (R-GA) to urge Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta clear the path for implementation of 401(k) auto portability that would make it easier for Americans to save for their future. Over the past four decades, Americans have cumulatively lost about $2 trillion in retirement savings due to not transferring their 401(k) retirement accounts when transitioning from one job to another. On average, approximately 14 million Americans change jobs each year, …..

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Congressman Pittenger Introduces Resolution To Block CFPB’S Effort To Benefit Trial Lawyers

WASHINGTON – This morning, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and all 33 Republican colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee introduced a resolution of disapproval to nullify a controversial new rule benefitting trial lawyers at the expense of consumers. H.R. Res. 111, which Congressman Pittenger introduced in partnership with Congressman Keith Rothfus (PA-12), uses the Congressional Review Act to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new “anti-arbitration” rule. “According to CFPB’s own study, consumers recover 167 times more through arbitration than class action.  On average, consumers receive $32 in class action, while the attorney receives nearly $1 million,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Perhaps we should rename CFPB the ‘Trial Lawyers Protection Bureau,’ because this rule …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Comprehensive G.I. Bill Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, co-introduced broad, bipartisan legislation that seeks to improve veterans’ education benefits and enhance the post-9/11 G.I. Bill. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 includes the following provisions originally introduced by Senator Tillis as standalone legislation: *The Veterans Education Experience Improvement Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation Tillis introduced with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) that would improve veterans’ experience when using GI Bill education benefits and provide resources and training for the officials at educational institutions who serve student veterans, helping them achieve positive education outcomes. *The Veterans Education Relief and Reinstatement Act of 2017 , bipartisan legislation Tillis …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Changed my shaving habits, only shave on ‘special occasions’ and the number of ‘special occasions’ are shrinking as I mature. What is your favorite time of the year?  I enjoy spring and fall, April & October. Favorite time of day for this retiree?  Between 1 and 2 PM, enjoy a bowl of Breyer butter pecan ice cream.  When ice cream gets low, time for a visit to the grocery store. Very good turn-out for the annual meeting of Bladen County Committee of 100.  Excellent speaker, Chris Lloyd with McGuire Woods Consulting, Sr. VP of Infrastructure and Economic Development.  He assist companies in locating sites to expand their business, a match-maker.  What does Committee …..

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Opinion: Back To School … 2017-18 School Year

By Amy Schumacher I remember when summer vacations seemed to stretch on forever. The days were hot and long and offered multiple opportunities for fun, playing with friends, enjoying every minute of sleeping in late and staying up much later than we were ever allowed during the school year. Nearing the end of the summer my parents would begin adjusting my schedule a little at a time to prepare me for the days when I would need to wake up early, the nights when I would need to get in bed early so I could get a good night’s sleep. July is coming to a close and half the summer …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Bill to Restore Regulatory Accountability

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) co-introduced the Separation of Powers Restoration Act (SOPRA), legislation that would restore accountability to the regulatory process and ensure proper judicial review, empowering the courts—not agencies—to interpret all questions of law, including both statutes and regulations. The Senate bill was also introduced by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), James Lankford (R-OK), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kennedy (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Ben Sasse (R-NE). “One of the biggest challenges facing our nation is a large and cumbersome regulatory environment that negatively affects hardworking American families and business, and impedes our nation’s economic growth and potential,” Senator Tillis …..

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Tillis Senior Advisor Robert Wilkie Nominated as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight, the White House announced that Robert Wilkie, senior advisor to Senator Thom Tillis, has been nominated to serve as Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Wilkie has served as Senator Tillis’ senior advisor since he took office in 2015, advising him on national security and military issues. Tillis currently serves as the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, which handles all quality of life issues for servicemembers and military families. Wilkie previously served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs under Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld. He also served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush for National Security Affairs and …..

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Tillis Statement On Senator John McCain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on his friend and colleague, Senator John McCain: “John McCain is an American hero and a fighter through and through. Courage and fearlessness have always defined his distinguished career of public service. Susan and I join all North Carolinians in praying for Senator McCain’s recovery and return to the United States Senate.” Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The deadline for filing for municipal offices is fast approaching and candidates are needed in at least 3 towns. The latest filings were for Clarkton Town Commissioner.  Yesterday, Stephen W. Hester and Jerome Myers paid their $5 filing fee seeking a seat on the Board.  Incumbent Tim Tart filed earlier, incumbent Lawrence McDougald has not filed.  The deadline for adding names to the ballot is 12 noon Friday. Bladenboro, Clarkton, Elizabethtown and White Lake have a full slate of candidates for positions available.  Different story for the other 3 local municipalities. Incumbent Lillian L. Graham has filed for re-election, but 2 seats are available in East Arcadia. No one has filed …..

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“In God We Trust” is a must in Bladen County

By: Charlotte Smith Last week I met with the Bladen County Sheriff, Jim McVicker, and was vexed by a letter he shared with me. Addressed to Sheriff McVicker was a letter from Madeline Ziegler, a staff attorney, writing on behalf of the Freedom from Religion Foundation out of Madison, WI, urging Sheriff McVicker, Bladen County’s highest ranking, duly elected law enforcement official, to remove “In God We Trust” from Bladen County Sheriff’s vehicles. What caught me by surprise was Ziegler’s claim to be representing Bladen County residents and taxpayers. The letter stated, “On behalf of Bladen County residents and taxpayers, we ask that you refrain from promoting religion in your …..

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Congressman Pittenger announces $1.9 million Fayetteville airport grant

WASHINGTON – Fayetteville Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today announced a $1,925,763 grant for the Fayetteville Regional Airport terminal expansion project.  The grant will be used toward the demolition of the existing Concourse A and construction of the new Concourse A. “Fayetteville’s airport is vital to economic expansion throughout the region, as well as providing local families and the families of our soldiers at Fort Bragg with convenient travel options,” said Congressman Pittenger (NC-09).  “As Fayetteville’s Congressman, I am committed to advocating for local priorities in Washington, and listening closely to the concerns of residents and local leaders.” The U.S. Department of Transportation previously provided a $10 million grant to launch the airport upgrade …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

      No filings in the past couple of days of candidates for the November municipal elections.  A brief recap as of closing time Monday. Bladenboro: Mayor Kenneth Charles Kelly Rufus R. Duckworth, III (I) Larry Waitus Simmons Town Commissioners (3 seats) Kenneth Rodney Hester Billy Ray Benson (I) Jeffrey Duane Atkinson (I) Clarkton: Town Commissioner (2 seats) Tim Tart (I) Dublin Mayor Town Commissioner (1 seat) East Arcadia Town Commissioner (2 seats) Lillian Graham (I) Elizabethtown Town Commissioner (3 seats) Robert Leonard Kinlaw Paula Hobbs Greene (I) Rufus Dewitt Lloyd (I) Herman Leonard Lewis (I) Tar Heel Mayor Town Commissioner (3 seats) White Lake Town Commissioner (3 seats) Paul …..

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Tillis Statement on DHS’ H-2B Visa Interim Final Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced its intention to provide up to 15,000 additional H-2B visas under an interim final rule that it will submit to the Federal Register. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) has been leading bipartisan efforts in Congress to ensure American small businesses have access to temporary, seasonal workers they need to sustain their businesses and support American jobs. Tillis has been directly advocating the Department of Homeland Security to provide additional visas for FY2017. In May, Senators Tillis and Angus King (I-ME) led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to the Secretaries of Homeland Security and Labor urging them to take “swift and decisive …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Been thinking about heaven!  Just wonder how it will accommodate the political right wingers, the left wingers and Independents, the many different religious affiliations/organizations?  Not being an expert on anything, I wonder if one group will have an advantage over another?  What I really think is, if you don’t love your neighbor as your self, treat others as you would like to be treated, respect others, honor and accept God, walk in his likeness, space may be limited.  I know it’s not that simple, but if we can’t do unto others as we would have them do to us, on earth, as we are commanded, may not be room for many earthly, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

It’s Sunday, see you in church this AM, Sunday School and Worship.  In one of the old folks class at Wesley’s Chapel UMC, the lesson is about Jeremiah. Hard to believe BladenOnline.com has been providing coverage of Bladen County news for all, FREE, for nearly 9 1/2 years.  First edition was February 1, 2008.  Every day, it’s just a little better, thanks to all who work hard to make it happen. I check it several times daily, News, Sports, Regionals, Events, Obits & all the other sections, and if you missed an article, check the Archive section. Our pledge to you, The Best Is Yet To Come. A reminder of the Annual Meeting of …..

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Accident on I95s NC/SC Border

  A community member, Rick Rhoda, was traveling I95s today and is currently stopped in traffic and has been for over thirty minutes due to a terrible accident. No details have been given at this time but from the photos sent in the accident very likely involves some tragedy.   Share:

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Empty Nester… When your babies start their journey from the nest

By Amy Schumacher Every parent see’s the great potential of their children from the moment they look upon their faces for the first time. We raise them to be strong and independent, to have compassion and show empathy, all knowing that someday they will fly from the family nest and start their journey… they begin living on their own, making their own decisions, and hopefully making their mark on the world. Where does that leave the moms and dads? What do we do once our nest, our comfortable, happy and safe nest is empty? Most students leave for college in August so the parents have that last summer to get …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

In the world of politics, there is much bally-hoo about the first 100 days.  Promises are made in ‘my first 100 days’, some are kept, some are not.  Been that way for about as long as I can remember.  Well, we will soon approach the 200 day mark of the Trump administration.  By my calendar, today marks day #176.  Historians have the advantage of looking back.  Success for President Trump and Congressional leaders will depend to a great degree on repeal and replacement of Obamacare and Tax Reform, especially with Republicans in control of the House and Senate and a Republican in the White House.  Much is riding on those two issues …..

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Tillis & Burr Welcome Nomination Of Bobby Higdon As U.S. Attorney

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at the recommendation of North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Bobby Higdon to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Mr. Higdon has a long and decorated career as a federal prosecutor, handling many high profile cases. He also has significant management experience as former criminal chief in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Mr. Higdon earned his law degree from the Wake Forest School of Law. He is currently a partner at Williams Mullen and resides in Cary, North Carolina. “Bobby Higdon is an incredibly qualified choice for U.S. Attorney, holding decades of …..

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ROUZER STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF FY2018 NDAA

Washington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer released the following statement following the passage of Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, an authorization bill considered by Congress every year to set funding levels for the military to continue its operations and remain a global leader: “It is the duty of Congress to ensure our military and troops have the necessary funding and resources to defeat terrorism, combat the growing security threats we face in the world and keep our homeland safe.  During the past several years, our military has just been getting by – enduring major annual cuts to their budgets as our world becomes a much more dangerous place.  Our …..

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Senators Tillis & Coons Statement on the Passing of Liu Xiaobo

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), Co-Chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, released the following joint statement in response to the death of Chinese dissident and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo: “As chairs of the Senate Human Rights Caucus, we mourn the passing of Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo, who dedicated his life to advancing democracy in China through non-violence.  We also call on the Chinese government to end the house arrest of Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, and to ensure her freedom of movement. We are reminded that in his final statement before being sentenced to 11 years …..

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Making America Safe Again

By U.S. Congressman Robert Pittenger Did you know only 50 percent of U.S. Air Force planes are combat ready? That’s not all.  Only 50 percent of Marine Corps and Navy training equipment is functional, and only 3 of 58 Army brigades are ready for combat.  Today, our military’s readiness is at the lowest level since before World War Two. This is a security crisis. Defending America is my number one Constitutional duty.  Military budget cuts by former President Obama put our country at risk against increasing foreign threats including ISIS, North Korea, Iran, and cyberattacks.  We must appropriately increase defense spending to restore our military. That’s why this week, I …..

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Tillis Discusses FBI Director Nominee Wray, Election Meddling on Fox News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) appeared on Fox News Channel to discuss the hearing for Christopher Wray to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the importance of the FBI maintaining its independence, and the need to counter election meddling. Download video of Senator Tillis’ interview HERE. Tillis on the Judiciary Hearing for Christopher Wray on Wednesday: “I think he did an extraordinary job in the committee and will be confirmed. We have already heard Democrats have come out and said that they are going to support him and I think we will move fairly quickly. He’s held over until next week and then he will be moved …..

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U.S. HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER’S AMENDMENT TO PUNISH SUPPORTERS OF NORTH KOREAN CYBERATTACKS

WASHINGTON – This morning, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved Congressman Robert Pittenger’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2810) to crack down on international businesses that support North Korean cyberattacks. “My amendment is simple – it prohibits telecommunications companies that provide material support for North Korean cyberattacks from contracting with our Defense Department,” said Congressman Pittenger (NC-09) during floor debate.  “While my amendment is simple in nature, it strikes at the heart of what I believe to be the cornerstone of North Korea policy. “For far too long, China has enabled the North Korean government to pursue nuclear development, global provocation, and egregious human rights violations.  The Chinese government is simply …..

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Tillis on Fox Business: American Businesses and Workers Will Be Harmed If H-2B Program Isn’t Fixed

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) appeared on Fox Business Network to discuss the need to fix the temporary visa program to assist American businesses and workers. Download video of Senator Tillis’ interview HERE. Tillis on the consequences of not fixing the H-2B program: “The fact of the matter is, there are positions that aren’t going to be filled, businesses that are going to be harmed, and American workers that will be harmed if we don’t start getting these work visas right. Incidentally, when we go back to the administration, we should keep in mind now President Trump, then candidate Trump, pointed to this as being a problem. Temporary workers, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

It was hot yesterday and more of the same is expected today.   Filing continues for the November municipal elections at the Bladen County Board of Elections.  Most, maybe all of the filings have been for 4 of the 7 towns in the county, they include Bladenboro, Clarkton, Elizabethtown and White Lake.  No filings, as of mid week, for Dublin, East Arcadia and Tar Heel positions.   One more time, if you are interested in serving, you have until noontime July 21, a week from today.  Bladen County Board of Elections is located at 301 Cypress Street, Elizabethtown, behind the Post Office.  The filing fee is just $5.   Saw where former …..

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“A Great Man and a Prince has Fallen this Day”

By: Pastor Cameron McGill, Dublin First Baptist Church/Lake Church On the day that Abner died (II Samuel 3:38), a broken-hearted King David proclaimed that “a great man & a prince had fallen in Israel”… It seemed that the whole nation was going about their lives as though nothing had happened. This grieved the king immensely. Early last Sunday morning (July 2, 2017), Bladen County lost a great man and a prince when Rev. Don Coley (age 87) passed away peacefully at his home in Cape Owen Manor. While I realize that Rev. Coley’s death did not make the front page headlines, it was recognized as a day of great loss …..

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Tillis & Kaine Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Veterans’ Education Experience and Outcomes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced bipartisan legislation that would improve veterans’ experience when using GI Bill education benefits. The Veterans Education Experience Improvement Act of 2017 would provide resources and training for the officials at educational institutions who serve student veterans, helping them achieve positive education outcomes. “For too long, Congress has tasked officials with ensuring that student veterans have successful outcomes when using their VA Education Benefit, but have not committed the necessary resources required to ensure success,” said Senator Tillis. “The bipartisan legislation I have introduced with Senator Kaine ensures that those who serve our veterans are properly trained, resourced, and have a manageable workload …..

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Tillis & Burr Welcome Nomination Of Thomas Farr As District Judge For Eastern District Of North Carolina

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at the recommendation of North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, President Trump announced his intention to nominate Thomas Farr to fill the United States District Court vacancy for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Mr. Farr has extensive experience and is extremely qualified. He has tried cases in federal and state courts in North Carolina and has handled appeals at all levels of the North Carolina appellate courts, the Fourth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court. In 2006, Mr. Farr was nominated by President George W. Bush to fill the very same vacancy on the U.S. District Court, and the American …..

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Tillis Statement On Revised Version Of Better Care Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement after text of the updated version of the Senate’s Better Care Act was released: “I look forward to carefully reviewing the changes made to the Better Care Act. From what I’ve already seen, major improvements have been made, including a significantly bigger investment to combat and treat opioid addiction, and more funding to help control the rising costs of premiums for individuals and families. “I’m pleased that Senate leaders have committed to an open amendment process, which will allow all senators – Republicans and Democrats alike – to propose additional improvements to the legislation. I hope my colleagues …..

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Congressman Pittenger Honors contributions Laurinburg-Maxton Air Base and Scotland County during WWII

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in honor of Laurinburg-Maxton Army Air Base, which played a vital but little-known role in World War Two. C   “From 1942 to 1945, Scotland County helped prepare glider pilots for the invasions of North Africa, Sicily, and Italy.  Generals Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall visited the base during the war to observe glider training.   “On June 6, 1944, when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed during the invasion of Normandy, glider pilots trained in Scotland County were among the vanguard as American soldiers silently soared down the French coastline through thick fog, powered only by the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Two more filings yesterday for the November Municipal elections, both Bladenboro incumbent Town Commissioners, Billy Ray Benson and Jeff Atkinson. Still no filings for Dublin, East Arcadia and Tar Heel and only one from Clarkton (2 seats on town board will be open in November). Not uncommon for the filing season to begin with a ‘bang’, drag-on for a while and pick up again just before the deadline.  This year that date is noontime Friday, July 21 (a week from tomorrow). Thanks to the helpful folks at the Bladen County Board of Elections for the update. Browsing the Internet recently, discovered that the new $13M plus construction project at the intersection of NC 87 & US 701 …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

American League over National League in All Star baseball game last night, 2-1 in 10 innings.  Ended when Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano hit home run off Cubs closer Wade Davis for the victory.  Cano was MVP, picked a Corvette over a Chevy pickup, as his prize. 8.6 million viewers watched the Home Run Derby. What a mess we have in the USA. Been reading polls related to R’s and D’s. Most trusted person on Trump team, according to a couple of polls, is Keith Shiller.  He is a Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Operations.  Not familiar with him.  He is former NY police officer and …..

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Jefferson Weaver

Opinion: Taylor Swift is stalking me

By: Jefferson Weaver I was surprised the other morning to find that the comedic genius Ray Stevens and I have something in common. Yes, I am fairly sure Taylor Swift is stalking me, too. Now, before anyone starts breaking out the syringes full of happy-drugs, let me explain. It just seems like her music is everywhere I turn, and it’s getting a little tiresome. Everywhere I go, I hear her latest song, which I think is called “Shake It Off,” and designed to make people frenetically dance (which I do not do, unless I have fireants in my overalls). Miss Swift has, to her credit, avoided most of the pop-tart …..

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Tillis Statement On The KC-130 Crash In Mississippi

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, issued the following statement after a KC-130 from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point crashed in Mississippi, tragically killing at least 16 on board:   “Susan and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Marines who lost their lives in service to our nation. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point and the Havelock community are in our thoughts and prayers. This is a tragic reminder of the dangers our servicemembers are confronted with on a daily basis, including the training missions that are needed to help keep our nation safe at …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Filing for the November municipal elections continues through noontime July 21, 2017. Yesterday, a couple of filings for the Bladenboro political race, one for Mayor and one for Town Commissioner.  Larry W. Simmons became the 3rd candidate for Mayor and newcomer K. Rodney Hester filed for commissioner.  Simmons, a former Town Commissioner, will face incumbent Rufus P. Duckworth, III and newcomer Kenneth Charles Kelly in the fall election. Clarkton incumbent J. Tim Tart filed for re-election as Town Commissioner. Others who filed earlier: Elizabethtown incumbents for Town Commissioner include: Paula H. Greene Rufus D. Lloyd Herman L. Lewis and newcomer and former police chief, Robert (Bobby) Kinlaw. 3 White Lake incumbent commissioners …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

  Recently I Googled, ‘most trusted news sources’, did not specify newspaper, TV or other, just news sources. Discovered some interesting info from numerous sources. New York Times, Wall Street Journal were at the top or near the top in most, including one circulated by Forbes, conducted by The Berlin School of Creative Leadership.  The author was Paul Glader.  There top 5: 1) The New York Times 2) Wall Street Journal 3) The Washington Post 4) BBC 5) The Economist Do your own search, if you are interested. TV news sources tend to appeal to one or more segments of the population, primarily sources that viewers tend to agree with, liberal, conservative, whatever. Holidays are …..

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You Decide: Has North Carolina’s Economy Taken a U-Turn?

by Mike Walden When driving, U-turns can be tricky. The driver often has to turn against oncoming traffic, and, if the turn is at a light, the driver hopes the turn can be made before the light changes to red. Even if the turn is successfully made, the driver must quickly accelerate to merge into traffic. Many times illegal U-turns are made, which is dangerous because oncoming traffic doesn’t necessarily expect the turn to be attempted. So with U-turns being complicated and sometimes treacherous, they don’t have a good reputation. In fact, the term “U-turn” generally has a negative connotation regardless of the application. So when some say North Carolina’s …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

We have heard much about Fake News. What is Fake News? I decided to research the issue, went to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. “Fake news is a type of yellow journalism of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is written and published with the intent to mislead in order to gain financially or politically, often with sensationalist, exaggerated or patently false headlines that grab attention…………..Fake news often employs eye-catching headlines or entirely fabricated news stories to increase readership, online sharing and Internet click revenue…..Fake news also undermines serious media coverage and makes it more difficult for journalists to …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Bladen County Elections staff had a busy day yesterday, first day of filing for the upcoming municipal elections. 9 filed: 4 for 3 seats on Elizabethtown City Council, including the 3 incumbents and the former police chief; 3 incumbents filed for re-election to the White Lake Council, and 2 candidates for Mayor of Bladenboro, including the incumbent. Check our news page for details. In all, 7 incumbents and 2 newcomers paid their filing fee and signed on the dotted line. The filing deadline is noontime July 21. Elections will be held in all 7 towns in the county. If you think you have something to offer, and live in one …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Filing for municipal offices begins today.  If you live in one of the 7 municipalities in Bladen County and want to run for public office, go for it.  If you win, you help call the shots, if you have all the answers and do not file, shame on you.  Bet we both know some in that category.   Incumbents whose term ends in 2017 includes:   Bladenboro:  Mayor Rufus Duckworth, and Town Commissioners, Billy Ray Benson, Jeff Atkinson and Cris Harrelson. (all 4 year term)   Clarkton: Town Commissioners, Tim Tart and Jerome Myers. (4 year terms)   Dublin: Mayor Horace Wyatt (2 year term), Jeffrey Smith (4 year term)   East …..

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Money

America these days

By: Tonya Bockover The Economist reported in June 2014 that U.S. student loan debt exceeded $1.2 trillion, with over 7 million debtors in default. I have nothing against a college education, but I know, personally, many young adults that have degrees in one thing or another, but have entry level positions in a field that has nothing to do with their degrees. This is a shame. These same children could save themselves and their parents a bunch of money if they might have learned a trade instead of going to college. Has anyone looked for a plumber lately in Bladen County? How about priced an electrician out per hour? There …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

After a few days away from home, so good to wake up in my bed, did not gain any weight while away (thank goodness), did not lose any.  I am among men most richly blessed.   Received a nice note from David Clark, E-town businessman, his topic, Thoughts While Shaving, he has shared a few notes over the years, offering kind thoughts since the beginning of  BladenOnline.  Mr. Clark has recently been dealing with the death of his long-time bride.   I thought back over the years about a group, including Clark, that would gather occasionally for a meal and lots of education (male gossip), one in particular, a birthday celebration for Mr. Paul Sessoms, a truly …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Fireworks at White Lake were beautiful, thanks to Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, supporters and staff.   So, how was your 4th?  A Tuesday 4th a little strange?   I am ready to return to a normal routine.   Holidays are tough competition for news outlets.   So proud of immediate family and close friends.  Many are at the age when sickness sometimes ‘steals’ from the good times.   Grandchildren are special.   Think back to my parents and grandparents, wish I had recorded some of what they shared of their lives.  Too late now, they have ‘passed’ on.   When was the last time you shed a tear?   Many of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Today is Independence Day, a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  Congress actually declared independence two days earlier on July 2.   Today our nation will celebrate with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, baseball, family reunions.  For many, just another work day.   One of the highlights in Bladen County is the Annual Fireworks show at White Lake, shortly after 9 PM today.   Filing season for municipal elections is fast approaching, actually begins Friday, July 7 and continues through July 27.  Call or visit the Bladen County Board of Elections for all the info you need.   Terms expiring includes: Elizabethtown: Herman Lewis …..

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NC09 Christian Cano (D) On Trump Women Tweets

Charlotte, NC- “We find President 45’s remarks about women, and Mika, reprehensible. What’s more disturbing is that we must continue to respond to his comments and react to how they hurt and demean members of our society. This is not normal and not acceptable. We are doing our best to resist, and we have had some victories so far, notably in our almost historic levels of energy and mobilization. I have been proud to stand with women throughout my life. I was raised by my 9 incredible aunts and I understand the power of women. I was proud to stand with them during the women’s march earlier this year. And, …..

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Tillis & Blumenthal Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Protect Veterans’ Education Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), along with U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT), Todd Young (R-IN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide relief to veterans whose Post-9/11 GI Bill education benefits are affected by the permanent closure of certain educational institutions.   In 2016, ITT Technical Institutes filed for bankruptcy and closed all 136 campuses in 38 states – after receiving $917 million in Post-9/11 GI Bill funds – leaving student veterans stranded and unable to reallocate education benefits elsewhere. The Veterans Education Relief and Reinstatement Act (VERRA) would expand the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) …..

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CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER SPEAKS TO OVER 100,000 AT PRO-DEMOCRACY #FreeIran RALLY

  CHARLOTTE – Earlier today, Congressman Robert Pittenger spoke to over 100,000 people at the pro-democracy “Grand Gathering of Iranians for #FreeIran” rally in Villepinte, France.    Click here for full video of Congressman Pittenger’s speech to over 100,000 people at an Iranian pro-democracy rally in France.    “When our forefathers met 241 years ago, they pledged their lives, their fortune, their sacred honor, for a Declaration of Independence, for a new America.  Yes, from that, we found Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and that’s what we want for Iran today,” said Congressman Pittenger (NC-09), who serves as Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

  We live in a great nation!   More on that topic shortly,   For those who gave up and went to bed, or do not care at all, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. was the winner of the of the NASCAR race at Daytona Beach last night.  Dale Jr. finished near the back of the pack.   Get tired of Trump talk, for and against.  Supporters of Pres. Trump continue to say, give him time.  Many are the same folks who never gave the previous president ‘time’ before condemnation began.  Obama supporters never gave Bush time, and so on. Seems we fail to give ‘time or support’ to anyone we disagree with.  …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Over the next 3 or 4 days, White Lake will be a very popular destination, in fact the coming week is one the most popular weekends of the year for the resort area.  Obviously visitors  enjoy the area.  They swim, enjoy boating, skiing, play golf at the Vineyard Golf Course, shop in White Lake and Elizabethtown and enjoy local restaurants.  They bring money and pay lots of sales tax.  Welcome all.   Tourism is good, clean business.   Another reminder of Fireworks, Tuesday, July 4th about 9 PM.  It’s free, come early, parking space is limited.   While on the topic of the 4th of July, 183 days remain until the end of the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Much focus on DC to see if the Senate can produce a healthcare plan that 50 Republican Senators (plus the VP) can agree on.  D’s can’t find the meeting room. Wish our nation was not so divided, but it is.  Not just in DC, but Raleigh, NC and Bladen County, NC.  So tired of hearing the experts at every level, most who have no clue, anymore than I do, and that is near zero. Sidewalk Sale underway in E-town thru Tuesday. Today marks the midway point in 2017 and for units of government, a new fiscal year begins July 1. Average temps for July in Bladen County!  High is 90 degrees compared with …..

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Congressman Pittenger recognizes 250th anniversary of Providence Presbyterian

WASHINGTON – Wednesday, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) addressed the U.S. House of Representatives in recognition of the 250th anniversary of Charlotte’s Providence Presbyterian Church.   “Founded by Ulster Scots in 1767, the church was named ‘Providence’ to express the founders’ firm trust in the faithfulness of God to work all things for His purpose. “Members of Providence Presbyterian were part of the combative North Carolina militia, the ‘Hornet’s Nest,’ which courageously opposed Lord Cornwallis during the Revolutionary War.  For over 140 years, the church sponsored all schools in the community, and in the 1850s, established Providence Female Academy, which was one of the few schools for women in the South.  The church …..

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Hurricane Disaster Relief Funds On the Way

Raleigh, N.C. – The North Carolina House of Representatives voted to send Senate Bill 338 – Disaster Recovery Act of 2017 – to Governor Roy Cooper’s desk with a vote of 116 – 0. This legislation appropriates $100 million for disaster relief efforts across the state, primarily to address remaining Hurricane Matthew damages but also includes damages caused by western wildfires. “Since the moment Hurricane Matthew devastated much of eastern North Carolina late last year, it has been my top priority as a representative of District 10 and eastern North Carolina to work with other state and local officials to provide relief to those communities that were hit the hardest, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Steve Ballmer, of Microsoft fame, launched USAFacts earlier this year to created a way to track government spending.  I enjoy browsing through some of his findings.  Ballmer and Bill Gates became friends while attending Harvard in the 70s and eventually formed Microsoft, made a pot full of money, retired and then the two drifted apart. According to one source, Gates now spends most of his time with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and still provides advice for Microsoft leaders.  Ballmer now owns the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team and a huge chunk of Twitter.  Since severing ties with Microsoft, he has spent millions on worthy projects, USAFacts to track …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

As of April 2017, the unemployment rate in North Carolina was 4.3%, slightly higher in Bladen County at 5.5%.  The labor force in Bladen, according to this report, totals 14,721 with 807 unemployed. Been checking around with some locals and have been told jobs are available, problem is too many prospective employees offer very little in the way of skills, desire, etc.  They just want a pay check. Yet, I still hear from some of our leaders, we need more and better jobs, and I agree, but better check the available labor force. One of the answers to the situation is for unemployed and under employed to learn a skill …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Travel Ban Reinstatement

CHARLOTTE – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) had this statement following the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate key parts of President Trump’s travel ban in the name of national security: “The Supreme Court today performed a solemn duty too often ignored by lower courts.  They issued a ruling based on the law, not on political activism.  Ordinary Americans already knew what the Supreme Court today reminded the lower courts:  The federal government and the President have responsibility for national security, and a thorough vetting of refugees is part of that responsibility.” Congressman Pittenger serves as Chairman on the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and Vice Chairman of the Subcommittee …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Now that the NC State budget has been passed, vetoed by the Governor and soon to be overridden by the legislature, ‘silly season’ begins.  Strange action on the part of the leadership, been that way as long as I can remember.  Democrats were guilty years ago and Republicans ‘screamed’ foul, now the Republicans are in charge and Democrats will be screaming.  Hold on, the ride is interesting, many time worrisome.  Would be good to see both parties acting like adults.  The sooner they adjourn, the better off we will be. And in Congress, repealing and replacing Obamacare is proving to be more difficult than first thought.  Senators are opposed for …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Ever have one of those nights when you wake up early, toss and tumble, finally decide to get up and do something…just ‘slept out’?  Some need lots of sleep and for others of us, about 5 or 6 hours is all needed. New census info is available, several sources with slightly different numbers.  Google US Census Bureau QuickFacts, and look up Bladen County, NC.  Another is AccessNC, slightly different statistical info for those who enjoy comparisons. This time next week, many will be making final plans for July 4th activities. Reminder of the ceremony to dedicate the Tar Heel bridge over the Cape Fear River today at 2 PM at the Fire Department.  It will be the David B. Melvin …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Woke up this morning to hear my favorite bird chirping, singing, not sure which, but helped me to rise and give thanks for another day. Small things mean a lot. We have birds, squirrels, some deer that ‘bed down’ in a creek behind our house from time to time, see very few rabbits, but a few turtles, waterfowl and more. Happy I live where I do and have all to enjoy. A storm roared through the area late yesterday, rainfall varied greatly, I am sure. At the Hester household slightly southwest of E-town, we received about 1.4 inches, and it came in a short period of time. Can you believe …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Ever wonder what the most commonly ask questions are? Depends on who ask who I suppose, but Google compiled their most ask questions in 2011: #10 – What is Google? #9 – What is gout? #8 – What is Lupus? #7 – What is Autism? #6 – What is Dubstep? #5 – What is Skype? #4 – What is gluten? #3 – What is Twitter? #2 – What is planking? #1 – What is love? None I ask, so what were the most commonly ask questions in 2016, as compiled by Google? #10 – What is Superdelegate? #9 – What is Citizens United? #8 – What is the European Union? …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

This may not be the ideal weekend to “piddle” outside.  Hot, windy and the chance of rain increasing from 20% today to 40% tomorrow, 60% Saturday night.  Think that means cut my weeds early today, or watch them grow. Happy Birthday to Rev. David Wade, former pastor at Wesley’s Chapel UMC.  He and some members of his family have had health issues over the past weeks, months, years.  Hope this is a good day for all. Repeal and replacement of Obamacare is apparently a more difficult task than originally thought.  Especially difficult for Senators facing re-election next year. Watched a little of the NBA draft last night.  Many young men will receive huge bonuses …..

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Congressman Pittenger Votes To Increase Funding For Job Training In Rural Communities

WASHINGTON – As part of continuing efforts to increase economic opportunity in rural North Carolina communities, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today voted to increase federal funding for Career and Technical Education in rural areas. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2353): ·        Increases from 10% to 15% the amount of federal funds states can set aside to assist eligible students in rural communities. ·        Provides states more flexibility to focus training programs on in-demand jobs. ·        Focuses federal Career and Technical Education funding on local needs by incorporating input from local educators, parents, students, workforce development boards, community leaders, and local businesses in the …..

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Tillis: We Need To Tune Out Far Left and Far Right on Border Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, attended a hearing regarding the MS-13 gang and its role in illegal immigration along the southern border. Senator Tillis on need to effectively secure the border: “I think if we, up here, listen to what the Border Patrol are saying, there’s a way to secure the border. And there’s a way to do it that will make the officers operate in a safer environment. And I think that we need to dispense with the ‘we don’t need borders, we need bridges’ discussion at one end of the spectrum, and the other end of the spectrum …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

  Missed a special event Monday I should have attended. I missed the ribbon cutting at Lloyd Park in Elizabethtown, and I am sorry. The new park is named in honor of Elizabethtown Mayor Pro-tem Rufus Lloyd, a man who has given much as an Elizabethtown city councilman, a long time member of the planning board, and as an educator in the public school system in Bladen County. A great honor for a very deserving individual. The Lloyds, (Mr and Mrs). are good folks. A belated congratulations and THANKS. I missed it because I forgot. Had had a couple of meetings during the day and forgot to check my calendar. …..

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Opioid Commission meeting at White House could help Bladen County

At White House Opioid Commission Meeting, Gov. Cooper Urges Common Sense Strategies to Stem Opioid CrisisIn NC, Unintentional Opioid, Heroin, and Fentanyl Related Deaths Increased 816% from 1999-2015 At the first meeting of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, Governor Roy Cooper urged common sense strategies for the federal government to help combat the opioid crisis. In North Carolina, unintentional opioid, heroin, and fentanyl related deaths increased 816 percent from 1999 – 2015. Almost 10,000 North Carolinians have died from unintentional opioid overdoses since 1999. Cooper stressed that Congress’ current efforts to roll back health care reforms could jeopardize efforts to stem the epidemic by …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

I enjoy searching the web for any number of reasons, recently I typed in ‘Little Known Facts about Bladen County’, and one site that I discovered was produced by DATAUSA.  And, today, I am sharing some of what I discovered. DATA is from 2015: Bladen County, NC is the 67th largest county in North Carolina by population and contains 10 census places.  The largest places by population are Elizabethtown, Bladenboro and White Lake. The median household income in Bladen County, NC was $30,096 in 2015, which represents a 1.91% growth from the previous year.  Additionally, there were 13,040 residents in Bladen County with jobs in 2015, which is a 1.12% …..

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Congressman Pittenger hosts 28 nations for terrorism financing, cybersecurity forum

RIGA, Latvia – Today, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) hosted more than 100 Members of Parliament and other officials from 28 nations for the 8th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum in Riga, Latvia. “Our 8th forum brought together a diverse group of nations – including Egypt, Israel, and the Vatican – to discuss joint efforts to fight radical Islamic terrorism,” said Congressman Pittenger.   “In total, 28 countries heard from top financial crimes, cyber, Intelligence, and other experts regarding collaborative efforts to help defeat Islamic jihad.  We are grateful for our partners in government, financial institutions, and data security who participated in this important forum.” Speakers at the 8th Parliamentary Intelligence-Security Forum included Ināra Mūrniece …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Up and at it today! Congratulations to all the graduates, especially high school and college. Graduation was a great experience for me.  Little did I know that a test a day, sometimes more, was just ahead. I enjoyed Father’s Day.  Saw all of the immediate family, with one exception and he had a good reason. Well, it’s Monday! Plans? I often think back to early days, farming.  If the crops were planted, as most should be by now, my dad could find something for us to do.  Clean up around the tobacco barn before the crop was ready to harvest.  Seemed we plowed every crop more than was necessary. Then …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY. Dads and moms are special.  A visit from children and grandchildren is the gift most appreciated. For many, their parents have passed on, for the lucky ones, they are still around. Some churches, recognize the oldest and the youngest dad and the dad with the most children. Bladen County commissioners have a couple of meetings Monday (tomorrow).  A Special Meeting at 5 PM to attempt to continue work on the FY 2017-18 budget, followed by the regular meeting at 6:30 PM, both in the commissioner’s meeting room on the lower lever of the courthouse and both open to the public. Remember how we communicated prior to our many social websites; Facebook, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Bet there will be many hustlin’ around, doing their last minute shopping for father, dad, daddy, papa, pappy, whatever. Your presence is all the gift most need. Bows and wrapping paper are nice, but, your presence, if possible is the best gift of all. Remember when we read about ‘hoodlums’ in our larger towns and hoped it never comes near. They, the ‘hoodlums,’ are here, now. So sad. Little education, no job, strung out on drugs and alcohol, anything that provides a temporary high, shooting up the neighborhood. Not sure we can build enough jails and prisons to house them. Wish they could/would learn a trade, and become prosperous, good …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

I am at a business meeting being held at Myrtle Beach, tough assignment. As usual, after a couple of early morning visits to the bathroom, and naps in between, I began to focus on Thoughts While Shaving, prior to an early breakfast and opening session of the conference. Not sure why, but begin to think back to late 2007, and the early days of BladenOnline.com. My partner-to-be, and long time friend Mike Simmons suffered a heart attack and died, you no doubt remember that situation, my plans were shelved and then I began to re-think what our goal was, to begin an online newspaper that concentrated on Bladen County and …..

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Honoring the sacrifices made by law enforcement

Senator Thom Tillis Winston-Salem Journal June 15, 2017 [LINK]   Last month, many law enforcement officers and their families made their annual visit to the nation’s capital to commemorate National Police Week. The events included a somber and touching ceremony held to honor the 394 names that were inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, which included the 143 officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2016. Two of these names were North Carolina’s finest: John Thomas Isenhour, a Forsyth County deputy sheriff, and Tim Brackeen, a Shelby Police Department K-9 officer.   Deputy Isenhour and Officer Brackeen both personified the honor, integrity and bravery …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Father’s Day is Sunday. Received a nice note from organizers of the Annual Jail-A-Thon fundraiser, Bladen County Educational Foundation, Inc. They held their 9th annual in late April, raised over $7,000. Proceeds benefit our school system. East Bladen Graduation set for Friday, June 16, 6-7 p.m. at the school and West Bladen Seniors will march across the stage Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the school.  Congratulations to all. A reminder of the Sunset Jams Concert at White Lake, featuring Soul on the Beach, 6 p.m. today, it’s free and it will be a fun event, sponsored by the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce and supporting members. …..

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Congressman Pittenger on shooting of Whip Scalise, Capitol Police Officers and Congressional Aide

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09), who works closely with Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) as a Member of the Republican Whip Team, had these comments following today’s shooting: “Steve Scalise is a wonderful person, a close friend, and a great leader.  Most mornings, I am in the gym with Steve.  This is incredibly sad, but I am also so grateful for the extraordinarily brave Capitol Police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to prevent a massacre.  Without their valor, today could have been much worse. “Please join me in praying for quick healing for Steve, the police officers, and the Congressional aide who were injured.  Today’s news was …..

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Bladen County Education Foundation says ‘Thank you’

Dear Friend of Education: On behalf of the Bladen County Educational Foundation, Inc., I would like to take this opportunity to formally thank you for your participation in our Jail-A-Thon Fundraiser which was held on April 26, 2017. This was our 9th annual Jail-A-Thon and the “Best Year Ever” and we could not have done it without the help from each and every one of you. We raised just over $7,000.00 and could not have done that without your assistance and we hope and trust that we can count on each one of you for our 10th annual Jail-A-Thon next year. Thanks again for all of your help and assistance. …..

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More than 8 ways to use 1500 dollars in Bladen County

I want to applaud, commend, and give my heart felt admiration to four of the Bladen County Commissioners in standing up and doing their job in defending the Bladen County Taxpayers. They are Mr. Charles Ray Peterson, Mr. Daniel Dowless, Ms. Ashley Trivette, and Mr. David Gooden. They showed integrity, leadership, fiscal responsibility, and respect for the tax paying citizens by voting against a nearly $1500 photo shoot of themselves (and their ego). As far as the other commissioners, who should remain nameless (but if their vanity is so large… Cogdell, Bullock, Britt, Priest, and Munn-Goins) they should be ashamed of themselves for wasting tax payer’s money on such meaningless …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Today is Flag Day, adopted by the Continental Congress, June 14, 1777.  In Pennsylvania it is a state holiday.  Google Flag Day for much interesting information. The London fire this morning reminded me of the recent fire in Raleigh, but appears to be much larger, with occupants, and obviously many casualties.  If you recall, the Raleigh fire was primarily in a building under construction, with damage to nearby structures but no fatalities, if my memory is correct. Hope no involvement by terrorist, none mentioned, but early in investigation. Tim Kinlaw, White Lake resident and Bladen County native, once again has been named interim School Superintendent in Cumberland County, a position he …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

As expected, Whiteville native Mackenzie Gore was the third overall pick in the Major League baseball draft yesterday. The San Diego Padres selected Gore. The Wolfpack pitcher/hitter earlier committed to play college ball at East Carolina. That is on hold, I would assume. The #3 pick value is listed as $6,668,100. I am learning more about the pick value. Quoting from a MLB.com post by Jim Callis. “MLB has notified teams of the official allotments. Every choice in the top 10 rounds has an assigned value, and the total for each of a club’s selections equals what it can spend in those rounds, without paying a penalty. Any bonus money …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

A reminder of the Bladen Community College 50th Anniversary Celebration at Lu Mil Vineyard, beginning at 6:30 PM today.  Call 910-879-5519 for details. I remember when it all began and much credit goes to Mr. Louis Parker, Elizabethtown resident, who, along with others worked hard to make it become a reality. Not sure all residents understand what BCC means to our area of the state.  A HUGE PLUS. From the FYI department, We provide a brief look at the all-time high and low temps and all time high rainfall for the day of the year, plus the high temp for previous day.  Have not provided previous day highs for past …..

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You Decide: Are There Changes Ahead For State Pensions?

By Dr. Mike Walden North Carolina Cooperative Extension My wife has now been retired for ten years. She taught elementary school for 32 years, usually putting in 12 to 14 hour days when classroom time, after-school grading and lesson plans are included. She was a teacher for so long that many times she taught the children of former students. She took pride in the accomplishments of her pupils, and even today is thrilled to see some of them – of various ages – about town. You can tell I am proud of my wife and happy she gets to pursue her hobbies and public service activities now that she is …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hopefully, summertime returns today. TV ratings must have been very high during yesterday’s during the Senate hearing featuring former FBI Director James Comey. Constant updates of the Russian investigation into U.S. elections, are available at FactCheck.org. This morning (Friday), Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, stated on ‘CBS This Morning’, that we know about 5% of the evidence of the Russian intervention in our elections, more to come, much more. A Spring Fling will be held tomorrow (Saturday) at the Bladenboro Farmer’s Market, from 11 AM to 4 PM. Condolences to the family of baby J.T. Higgs. According to info on a Facebook page that provided updates on his sickness, the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

Weather forecast for Bladen County, according to the National Weather Service: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 74. North wind 15 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30% with new amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. A great day to be inside and on TV, many will be tuned in to happenings in DC. US population as of 326,317,644 as of this day (June 8, 2017), and increase of .73%, over a year ago. The US population is equivalent to 4.34% of the total world. Other interesting stats: In the US, we average one birth every 8 seconds …..

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Jefferson Weaver

Thankfully, some things never change

There are those who would argue that it was the coolest car I ever owned; I put it in second place, behind my 1955 Chevrolet, but the BMW was, without a doubt, a sweet little ride. Mine had the “big” engine, a four-cylinder with twin carburetors, high- compression engine, and four-speed manual transmission. It was painted that unique blue that the Germans loved so much in the early 70s, a blue that actually wasn’t far from that on my beloved ’55. As long as I stayed off the accelerator – which I admit was difficult to resist – I could expect 32 or so miles to the gallon. Sure, there …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

On the June 6 edition of “On This Day in History” I ‘goofed’. I failed to include several facts related to D-Day. Hopefully, better late than never. 1944 – 82nd Airborne division WWII D-day-landing at Ste Mere Eglise. 1944 – Baseball cancels all games honoring D-Day invasion. 1944 – Operation Neptune, D-Day: 150,000 strong Allied Expeditionary Force lands in Normandy, France in WWII. 1944 – German submarines U-955, U-970, U629 and U-373 sink in Bay of Biscay. D-Day is a very important event in our history. When you ‘mess up’ you ‘fess up’ Recent rains have done wonders for lawns, including weeds. Fields are turning green, corn crop looks good. …..

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NC09 Christian Cano (D) On Trump Terror Tweets

NC09 Christian Cano (D) On Trump Terror Tweets Charlotte, NC- “We share the outrage of our neighbors and the international community regarding President 45’s continued irresponsible remarks about our British allies via Twitter. Americans understand the need to unite when tragedies happen, which is an act of patriotism that goes back to the founding of our republic. We have led the world by example and have shown them why democracy will always trump fascism and tyranny. It would have been considered an “act of war” against the American people had another nation’s leader made the same remarks about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani after our 9/11 tragedy. As our …..

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ISIS IN THE CAROLINAS? CONGRESSMAN PITTENGER CO-SPONSORS LEGISLATION TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR TERRORISTS TO RECEIVE TRAINING AND RETURN HOME

WASHINGTON – In response to several terrorist attacks carried out by European citizens who had traveled to Syria or Libya for training, Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) has co-sponsored the Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act (H.R. 1196). “A teenager from York County has twice been arrested for attempting to join ISIS.  A teenager from Morganton was arrested after plotting to kill hundreds of innocent people in support of ISIS.  Both men could have traveled to Syria or Libya for training and then returned home to carry out a terrorist attack,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “The threat is real, and we must enhance capabilities for monitoring and intercepting terrorists attempting to travel to …..

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Tillis Names Ted Lehman His New Chief of Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) announced that Ted Lehman will serve as his next Chief of Staff. Lehman is currently the Chief Counsel for Nominations and Senior Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under Chairman Chuck Grassley. Lehman, who has been a counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee since 2009, most recently played a leading role on behalf of the Chairman in the successful effort to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and has been extensively involved in several other Supreme Court nominations and numerous senior Executive nominations, including the Attorney General and Solicitor General. In addition to his nominations related responsibilities, …..

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Tillis Statement on Integration of VA, DoD Electronic Health Record Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chairman of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel and member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, issued the following statement after U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary David Shulkin announced that the VA will adopt the same Electronic Health Record (EHR) system as the Department of Defense for veterans’ medical records: “I applaud the VA for taking action to directly address the longstanding electronic records issue that has plagued the VA to the detriment of our veterans. This decision will present an opportunity to achieve a stronger partnership between DOD & VA health information systems, moving us one step …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Local crops appear to be in good shape. Timely rainfall helps. Understand the damage to the blueberry crop varies from farm to farm, with more eastern farms, overall, appearing to have suffered less ‘freeze damage’ than those further inland. Blueberries are one of Bladen’s best cash crops, maybe #1. Remember when tobacco was king? From the ‘did you know’ department….The average American male is 5 feet, 9 1/2 inches tall and weighs 195.5 lbs. Several surveys produced similar results. As if that is important…… Average high & low June temps for Bladen County: High 87 – Low 69. Annual rainfall averages 49 to 50 inches, or about an inch per …..

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Carl Stewart McCulloch gives back with estate

The Elizabethtown Kiwanis Club lost a dear member, Carl Stewart McCulloch, this year according to it’s club members. McCulloch was a member of the local club for 60 years, Dr. Lisa Bryan, Kiwanis’ Secretary said. Last week the club Treasurer, William Thompson announced the club received a donation of $1,000 from Mr. Carl’s estate. This will help our club continue to give back to the children of our community Thompson stated. McCulloch was 92 years old when he died peacefully surrounded by his family in January 2017 according to his obituary. In lieu of flowers to honor McCulloch people were asked to donate to the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church or the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Opinion: Thoughts While Shaving

One more week of school (public) for Bladen County students and then summer break. Bladen County Commissioners meet at 6:30 PM today at their meeting room in the courthouse and again at 5 PM Tuesday for a Special Meeting with the Board of Education. The second meeting will be held at the Powell-Melvin Ag Center on Smith Circle in Elizabethtown. The 2017-18 budget is expected to be approved prior to July 1. Elizabethtown City Council meets twice today, at 12 noon for a work session and at 7 PM for their regular monthly meeting. A Public Hearing related to their proposed budget for the coming fiscal year is on the …..

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