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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Weather forecast for today (Saturday).  Cloudy, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 90.  Northwest wind 5 to 8 mph. Saturday Night…Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 11 pm.  70% chance of precipitation with new rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. I am in full ‘check mode’ when it comes to news, any type news.  Snopes and FactCheck are two pretty good sources to determine the truthfulness, or lack of truth for most articles, wherever they originate. Bladen County Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting at 5pm Monday to consider a request from the Board of Education to consider including a referendum related to an additional 1/4 cent …..

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Tillis Thanks Bitty & Beau’s Owners For Their Advocacy on Behalf of Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Special Committee on Aging, attended a hearing on Supporting Economic Stability and Self-Sufficiency as Americans with Disabilities and their Families Age. During the hearing, Senator Tillis spoke on the work of Ben Wright, a business owner from North Carolina who was testifying before the committee. Mr. Wright spoke to the Committee about the importance of reducing the stigma that prevents employers from hiring Americans with disabilities.   Ben and his wife, Amy, opened Bitty & Beau’s Coffee in 2016, named after their two youngest children who have down syndrome. Today, Bitty & Beau’s employs more than 70 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities …..

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Tillis Statement on Selection of Charlotte to Host the 2020 RNC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issues the following statement following the Republican National Committee selecting Charlotte to host the 2020 Republican National Convention: “I congratulate Charlotte on being selected to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, a follow-up to the resoundingly successful 2012 Democratic National Convention. This event will bring significant economic stimulus to the region and will be another great opportunity to showcase Charlotte on the world stage. I applaud Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, the Charlotte City Council, and the city’s business and civic leaders for their leadership in pursuing this economic opportunity for our great city.” The 2012 DNC Convention in Charlotte was widely lauded, injecting an estimated …..

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Tillis & Shaheen Speak on Role of Senate NATO Observer Group at CSIS Event

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, spoke at an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies about the recent NATO Summit and discussed the role that bipartisan Congressional leadership plays in tackling transatlantic security challenges. Senator Tillis on the importance of NATO: “The U.S. Congress understands that NATO is a very important part of securing freedom across the world, including in the United States and Europe. The Senate NATO Observer Group is important because I believe we’re going to see other nations wanting to join NATO. This is not a time where you retreat from any nation of …..

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Congressman Pittenger on 2020 GOP Convention in Charlotte

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement after Charlotte was chosen to host the 2020 Republican National Convention. “Charlotte is the perfect city to host the 2020 Republican National Convention as I can think of no better place in the country for President Trump to officially accept the 2020 Republican nomination for President of the United States,” said Congressman Pittenger. “This is going to be a huge win for our community. The convention will shine the national spotlight on our great city and generate millions of dollars in revenue for local businesses.” Share:

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RNC Awards Charlotte 2020 Convention

Austin, TX — Following the breaking news that the RNC has awarded the city of Charlotte the 2020 Republican National Convention, the NCGOP released the following statements: “We could not be more excited. Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong leadership in Charlotte that has followed a long North Carolina tradition of putting the needs and opportunities of our people before politics.  We pledge to provide Republicans with the convention they expect, the state with the economic development it needs, the world with a true picture of the greatness of North Carolina, and our citizens with a robust but respectful political debate that shows the goodness of North Carolina.  We congratulate …..

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Tillis Signs Bipartisan Letter Urging President to Keep Families Together

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Michael Bennet (D-CO), James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent a letter to President Trump, signed by a bipartisan group of more than two dozen senators, stating that the default position of the United States should be to keep families together. Last month, Senator Tillis introduced the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, legislation that requires that children and their parents remain together during their legal proceedings. “When DHS detains families trying to cross our borders, it should be the policy of the United States to keep the families together while the immigration courts decide their case,” said Senator Tillis. “In the cases that …..

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You Decide: Is There a New Debate Over Capitalism Vs. Socialism?

By Dr. Mike Walden I took my first college economics course in 1969. One of the topics in the course was about alternative ways a country can organize its economy. Since my wife will tell you one of my passions is organization – for example, I have to have my books and folders all at right angles on my desk – this was likely the subject that most “hooked” me on economics. Indeed, how a country organizes its economic transactions is one of the key decisions a nation must make, and this decision may be up for debate in our country. Although the U.S. has long been considered primarily a …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Did you see the recent article making the rounds about the young man, college graduate who walked 20 miles, just about all night long to be on time for his new job?  Great article, helped along by a policeman and rewarded by his new boss, who gave him an auto after he witnessed the determination by his new employee.  GOOGLE Walter Carr. Town of Elizabethtown will celebrate the recently renovated Tory Hole Park with a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony, Monday, July 23, at 11 AM and all are invited.  A nice addition to the town. A reminder from the East Bladen Athletic Department that passes are now on sale for the upcoming school year for all …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Bipartisan Bill Demanding Turkey End Unjust Detention of US Citizens

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced bipartisan legislation with Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), James Lankford (R-OK), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) to restrict loans from international financial institutions to Turkey until the Turkish government ends the unjust detention of U.S. citizens. In 2016, Turkey imprisoned American Pastor Andrew Brunson and indicted him on unsubstantiated charges earlier this year. A Turkish court ruled yesterday that Brunson will remain in custody until the next hearing on his case in October. In April, the senators led a bipartisan group of 71 senators in a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanding Brunson’s release. Other U.S. citizens, locally employed staff of the …..

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Pittenger applauds finalized CFIUS Reform Bill

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) released the following statement applauding Congressional negotiators for agreeing upon a final version of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 4311). FIRRMA is landmark national security legislation that strengthens how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews the national security risks of potential foreign investments. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to publicly report the bipartisan, bicameral deal finalizing FIRRMA. The Wall Street Journal article can be found here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/ congress-to-step-up-curbs-on- chinese-deals-with-sweeping- changes-to-u-s-foreign- investment-reviews-1532025093 “Bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate agree that CFIUS reform is a critical national security priority. This landmark legislation will safeguard …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The Sunset Jams Concert Series continues this evening at Goldston’s Beach, White Lake, featuring the Big Time Party Band.  It’s free, thanks to many sponsors in the area, cooperating with the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce. Checked my rain gauge yesterday and discovered more rainfall at the Hester household than reported by the National Weather Service at the nearby, local airport.  Had not checked since last Saturday morning.  Since that time, recorded over 1.5 inches.  Totals vary greatly when it is the result of summer storms.  We are thankful for all.  Some nearby areas have recorded much less. Had the pleasure of attending Vacation Bible School festivities at Wesley’s Chapel UMC last evening.  …..

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Opinion: NC Senator Jeff Tarte Thanks RNC For Selecting Charlotte For The 2020 National Convention 

Cornelius, N.C. – NC State Senator Jeff Tarte today released the following statement thanking the RNC site selection committee for selecting Charlotte as the host of the 2020 National Convention. “Congratulations to Charlotte, first the DNC and now the RNC. We are excited to share our southern hospitality and showcase North Carolina to the world. North Carolina is a turnaround success story and now a global economic powerhouse. Thank you to Chair McDaniel and the RNC for the confidence you have placed in us. Our local businesses and entrepreneurs are ready to demonstrate why North Carolina is the number one state to start and operate a business. Welcome RNC! Share:

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Tillis, Shaheen, Lankford, & Graham Issue Joint Statement on Turkey’s Continued Imprisonment of Andrew Brunson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), James Lankford (R-OK), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) issued the following joint statement after a Turkish court in Izmir ordered American citizen Andrew Brunson to remain imprisoned until his trial resumes on October 12:   “Pastor Andrew Brunson has languished in a Turkish prison for the last two years, causing tremendous hardship and heartache for him and his family. He is an innocent man and has been unlawfully detained simply because he is an American pastor who assists all those in need, no matter their ethnicity or religious beliefs. Turkey and the United States are longstanding NATO allies and it is imperative to the interests of …..

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Politics: Dr. Kyle Horton Announces Pender County Town Hall

HAMPSTEAD, NC — Dr. Kyle Horton, candidate for U.S. House of Representatives (NC-07), will continue her Town Hall Series in Pender County on Thursday, August 2nd, from 6 PM until  8 PM. This is the 12th Town Hall that Dr. Kyle has hosted to her opponent’s single, in-person Town Hall this election cycle. “The citizens of Pender County deserve leaders who will put country over party — who will stand up to the big polluters and put hardworking families first,” Dr. Kyle said. “I will fight to clean our water and protect our coast because our oceans should never be for sale to the highest oil and gas bidder. We …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Been on the road for a few days, happy to be home.  Met a lot of new friends up and down I 95.  We cozied up to one another traveling about 80 MPH, most of the time.  Not one of my favorite speedways, but thankful it is there.  No stoplights, and lots of people in a hurry, and I made every effort to not slow anyone down. Major League All Star results…..American League 8-Nationals 6.  American League scored 3 in top of 8th, National League scored 2 in bottom of 9th, but not enough. Check NWS rain gauge at Curtis Brown Airport.  Not sure if 1/2 inch or 1 inch, but we …..

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Tillis Meets with Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement following his meeting with Supreme Court Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh: “I was incredibly impressed with Judge Brett Kavanagh’s extensive resume and impeccable qualifications when he was nominated to the Supreme Court, and I’m even more impressed after meeting with him. I am confident Judge Kavanaugh is a mainstream jurist who understands his job is to interpret laws based on the text of the Constitution, and not to serve as an activist and extension of the legislative branch. “It is disappointing that many Senate Democrats continue to give in to the pressure from partisan special interest groups, with many of them …..

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Senate NATO Observer Group Announces Appointment of New Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the co-chairs of the Senate North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Observer Group announced the appointment of new members. The Senate NATO Observer Group was re-established by the senators earlier this year with the support of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Senate Majority Leader McConnell appointed Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Marco Rubio (R-FL). Senate Minority Leader Schumer appointed Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). The Senate NATO Observer Group was first established …..

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A Community Comes Together to Support Family

Contributed A fire can be devastating, as one Chadbourn family learned during the wee hours of Saturday morning. Around 2 AM, a family of five lost everything due to a house fire. Chadbourn Police Officer Tavon Pierce and his wife Allison Pierce have three small children; Javie who is 3 years old, Taye who is 18 months old and Nova who is 7 months old. Kayla Brown was with the family on Sunday when they received a tremendous amount of support from the community. Ms. Brown said she wanted to show everyone just how amazing the Chadbourn Police department and the Klondyke-Chadbourn Fire and Rescue are along with many other …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 16

We are moving thru the month of July at a fast pace, or so it seems. BladenOnline stats are great for the first 14 days of the month.  BladenOnline had 289,852 page views.  That’s 94,185 more than the first 14 days of July 2017 (195,667 page views). July 8-14 Page views: 150,312 Visits: 31,996 Year Ago Page views: 113,243 Visits: 22,172 MOST READ STORIES 14,424: Bladen County Magistrate arrested by Robeson County Sheriff’s Office 5,400: Opinion: Hot trial misleading, living high on the hog isn’t for everyone 5,033: Jury to decide country smell or collateral damage in hog industry suit 3,552: Bladen County man pleads to indecent liberties with a child, sentenced to prison …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 15

Was out of my comfort zone for several hours yesterday (Saturday) headed south on I-95.  Knew it was going to be an experience, early.  Traveled NC 242 to Boardman and discovered traffic was bumper to bumper on 74 as far as the eye could see.  Soon discovered it was travel with the flow, or be ‘run over’.   I choose ‘going with the flow’. I guess I forget how hectic it is away from the friendly confines of home, back roads of Bladen County, NC. Number 2 son shares his experiences as a truck driver daily, on 95 and other major roads in eastern NC.  Too often, I tend to down-play his thoughts and wish him safe travels…but each time …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 14

Bits ‘n pieces…. Huge headline in a single publication, but little attention paid apparently.  US Budget deficit a record $74.9 billion in June, a month that according to this source, usually runs a surplus.  Deficit for year to date, $607.1 billion, 16.1 percent higher than same period a year ago.  The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting the deficit for the entire budget year will total $793 billion.  Hopefully the numbers improve as adjustments are made following the recent congressional tax overhaul, initiated by our national leaders. Update on Cade Hancock who has been participating in the IMG Academy Junior World Championship at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego.  He posted …..

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OPINION: Hog trial misleading; living high on the hog isn’t for everyone

By Charlotte Smith Some would agree country living is worth millions, maybe even priceless. Jurors in two landmark trials have awarded multi-millions of dollars to country neighbors in the recent months. Bladen County farmers are in the midst of the third lawsuit in a series of more than 20 cases over the nuisances from smells and pests. The plaintiffs claim nuisances are produced on the farms stretched across Bladen, Duplin, Harnett, Johnston, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wake counties. Rural, farm counties may see changes they don’t like in the coming months and years. My husband and I lived over 12 years as country neighbors. We had dozens of mice …..

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A committee on things that smell

By Jefferson Weaver What in tarnation has happened to our state? I realize that the above is a very general question, but I am specifically referring to the growing trend of lawsuits against farmers. The third one is soon to hit the courts, and if the previous two trials are any indication, another family-owned farming corporation will be bankrupted. The lawsuits charge that livestock production facilities stink, poison water and make life unpleasant for their non-farming neighbors. A legal firm out of Texas (of all places) began recruiting plaintiffs for these cases a few years back. The federal courts made exceptions to state law to allow the law firm to …..

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Rouzer announces Opioid Symposium

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Rouzer announced details for the 7th District Opioid Symposium which builds upon his work to raise awareness, decrease the stigma, and inform members of the community on best practices throughout the district in an effort to curb the opioid epidemic. “The 7th District of North Carolina is comprised of nine counties with a wide range of communities from urban to very rural.  Throughout the district there are unique challenges presented by the opioid epidemic with a variety of initiatives that have been taken to address them.  The objective of the 7th District Opioid Symposium is to gather the best and brightest from across Southeastern North Carolina, those who have …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 13

A wise person once told me I should listen, then speak.  Sometimes I forget, or ignore. Anyone have a good home remedy for a cramp?  A teaspoon filled with mustard is not very tasty, however, that, plus gatorade occasionally appears to do the job.  Cramps in fingers and toes are painful, in fact a cramp anywhere in the body gets your undivided attention. A storm ‘blew through’ late yesterday.  Rainfall amounts vary greatly.  At the Curtis Brown Airport, the National Weather Service indicates little over half an inch, was recorded.  Weeds probably grown several inches overnight. Superstitious?  Today is Friday 13th. Cade Hancock, the young Elizabethtown golfer is in San Diego, participating in …..

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Letter to the Editor: Concerned and frustrated parents

To whom it may concern: Bladen County is in crisis, not only from the lawyers trying to hurt our hog farms, the opioid crisis that is making drug more readily available in our small community, the lack of jobs in the area. We are also under crisis from the lack of information and willingness to help a community that mostly goes unseen from the general public. It is a community that most only see if they scroll through Facebook and see a post about a girl who is the first Zumba instructor with Downs Syndrome, the young man who is most non verbal and chose the moment of graduation to …..

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Tillis Participates in NATO Summit Panel in Brussels

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, attended the 2018 NATO Summit in Brussels and participated in a panel discussion focusing on the importance of the United States’ role in NATO. “The United States of America is only as strong as her allies, and we must reaffirm our commitment to the alliances we have built to defend freedom against adversaries,” said Senator Tillis.“There is no applause line among the American people for ‘let’s get out of NATO,’ and I am very confident NATO will be stronger and more unified ten years from now with more members and funding. Unlike authoritarian countries, the United States has …..

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Brenden Jones: The Victims of Hurricane Matthew Deserve Better

It has been over 640 days since Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on Eastern North Carolina. Yet, flood victims are still waiting for the help they were promised by Governor Roy Cooper because he has failed to distribute millions of dollars in federal disaster relief. Just last weekend, Governor Cooper visited Robeson County and had the audacity to promise folks that he would continue doing all that he can to help in the Hurricane Matthew recovery. However, just two days later, it was reported that the Cooper Administration missed yet another self-imposed deadline to distribute these federal funds to flood victims. Over $400 million that was awarded to North Carolina for …..

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Opinion: A Jury of peers?

Contributed Andy Curliss, CEO Pork Council As a jury was being selected in Raleigh for the third nuisance trial, supporters gathered on a hog farm in Duplin County, generating this N&O headline. On Tuesday, a world away from the federal courtroom in Raleigh, a great crowd gathered on the farm of Joey Carter in Duplin County. It was young and old, it was farmers and city folks, and even some media came and looked in for a bit before heading away to file their stories. The purpose of the gathering was to show appreciation and support for Carter, his family and, broadly, for hog farmers and all of those who labor daily to …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

In a reminiscing mood this day. Woke up thinking about yesteryear.  Remember when Bladenboro and Elizabethtown had baseball teams in the old Border Belt League.  Teams consisted of mostly locals and a few college players, some from the ACC, East Carolina, Pembroke College and Wilmington College.  In addition to the 2 local teams, Whiteville always had a good team, there was a team from Rockingham and one or two from South Carolina, if my memory is correct. Good baseball, good entertainment. Later, the E-town Jaycees, sponsored an adult male and female softball league.  Teams played on a field near where Merritt Logging is currently located.  Would draw a crowd of participants and onlookers. Elizabethtown Jaycees were …..

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Tillis & Shaheen to Participate in Brussels Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will travel to Brussels to participate in the 2018 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit this week in their capacity as co-chairs of the Senate NATO Observer Group, which they re-established earlier this year. Under Tillis and Shaheen’s guidance, the Senate NATO Observer Group expanded its mission to closely monitor and inform Senators outside of national security committees about defense spending commitments of Alliance members, the process of upgrading military capabilities, the Alliance’s counter-terrorism capability and the ability of NATO member states to address non-conventional warfare. The NATO Summit will convene Alliance members to engage on national security issues impacting member …..

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McCready Leads Among Likely Voters

RALEIGH, N.C. – In the latest Civitas Poll, Democrat congressional candidate Dan McCready leads Republican Mark Harris by 7 points. The poll, conducted July 5-8, 2018, surveyed 543 likely voters in North Carolina’s 9thcongressional district, a seat currently held by Republicans. The exact text of the question reads as follows: If the election for U.S. House of Representatives were today, who would you vote for? Republican Mark Harris? Democrat Dan McCready? Or Libertarian Jeff Scott? Mark Harris (R)   36% Dan McReady (D) 43% Jeff Scott (L)            3% “This race has all the indications of being a nail-biter into November, but Republicans should be concerned with a negative …..

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Tillis Applauds Committee Approval of Robert Wilkie as VA Secretary

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, applauded the bipartisan committee approval of Robert Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville, NC and Senior Advisor to Senator Tillis from 2015 until late 2017, to be Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Wilkie’s nomination now moves to the full Senate for a vote. “I applaud the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for overwhelmingly approving Robert Wilkie to be Secretary of the VA. I’ve had the honor of working with Robert for three years, and his combination of knowledge, experience, humility, and heart will serve him well in his new role leading the agency that serves our …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 11

The Thai Navy Seals deserve a star on their forehead for their effort to successfully rescue 12 boys and their coach, while the world looked on.  Lest we forget, one Seal lost his life, gave his all. Nice note to media outlets from Bladen County Sheriff’s office thanking all for their cooperation that caused two individuals to turn themselves in after being charge in several crimes in the area.  According to the note, posting their picture and the article was helpful in the two ‘turning themselves in’.  That’s the way it is supposed to work. Chamber of Commerce note, a reminder of the second in a series of Summer Sound Concerts.  The next one is this Thursday (tomorrow evening), 6 p.m. until …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 10

Hope you check all the local news on BladenOnline, daily.  You know about our News and Obit page, but there is so much more.  Our current Sports page has information about All-Region Awards in Soccer, six East Bladen girls who were selected and East Bladen’s Jay Raynor named Coach of the Year.  An article about a Mini Volleyball Camp at West Bladen, about Bladen County Dixie Youth All-Stars invited to participate in the 2018 NC Dixie Youth Small League State Tournament this weekend and golfing news from The Vineyard and much more.  Check updates daily. If we have missed an event, let us know or send the information to bladenonline.com@gmail.com. Activities are …..

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Statement from Mark Harris, Republican Nominee for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, on President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Charlotte –  Mark  Harris, Republican nominee for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s announcement of Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy: “I want to commend President Trump for making an excellent choice for Supreme Court. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, as President Trump said has “impeccable credentials” and is committed to the fundamental that everyone is equal under the law. He is an originalist in the mold of Justice Clarence Thomas and the late Justice Antonin Scalia who is known for strictly interpreting the Constitution as it is written.  He has an outstanding a record as a jurist currently serving …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for July 9

For many, after a week off, “back in the saddle again”.  Back to a normal routine. Bladen County Commissioners meet at 6:30 p.m. for regular session and Elizabethtown City Council holds a work session at 12 noon and meets in regular session at 7 p.m..  Both are a week late due to July 4th holiday.  The Bladenboro Town Council meets at 7 p.m. in regular session. All meetings are open to the public. Think I used this recently, but worth repeating——-Most of us want mercy for ourselves, but justice for others. Job market is as ‘tight’ as we have seen in a while.  Maybe the perfect time to check with Bladen Community College about more …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

July 4th holiday ends today.  For many, back to the normal routine early tomorrow morning. What a mess in Daytona.  A huge crash, early in the race, wiped out about half the field, including many of the big names.  22 year old Erik Jones picked up his first win on the biggest stage of all.  He passed Martin Truex on the final lap to win the Coke Zero Sugar 400.  A.J. Almendinger finished 3rd, Kasey Kahn 4th and Chris Buescher rounded out the top 5 finishers. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. retired at the end of last season, is now on the NBC broadcast team and getting positive  reviews after a couple of races. Sincere …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

With July 4th in the rearview mirror, time for youngsters and parents to enjoy another month or so before ‘back to school’.  And, for adults a few weeks before political rhetoric begins to fill the airways and newspapers. Former Whiteville Wolfpacker, Mackenzie Gore returned to form on July 4th after a slow start in his professional career.  He has suffered from blisters on his pitching hand. He picked up his first pro win, hurling 6 innings before 8,000 fans in Ft. Wayne, IN.  He struck out 6, and did not allow a run in his best performance as a pro.  He scattered 4 hits and gave up 2 walks.  Gore is 1-2 with …..

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You Decide: Is North Carolina Keeping Up With Other States?

Written by Dr. Mike Walden    My late father once told me the story about his first flight in an airplane during World War II. His unit of CBs — short for construction battalions — was being moved to another island in the Pacific to begin work on extending a runway. Up until that time his unit had always been transported by ship. But for some reason, this time they were to be airlifted on a cargo plane. He remembered the flight as not being enjoyable. Only a few lucky guys found places to sit; the rest — including my dad — stood. The flight was slow and rocky, and each time …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Blueberry farmers nearing the end of another season, appears to be mostly successful. Hog farmers under attack. Row crops continue to look good. Stock market up and down recently.  Today, President Trump says tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods will ‘kick in’ this morning, China says its tariffs on U.S. goods would take effect immediately after the U.S. duties ‘kick in’.  A former Australian ambassador to China told CNBC “it looks like the first shots to the trade war are about to be fired.  We’ll probably see escalation.  China has made it absolutely clear.” Hang on for what could be a painful ride, unless the two world leaders …..

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Opinion: Help support local farmers this 4th of July

Contributed by Jessica Hucks Tripp It’s very typical (and VERY appropriate) around the 4th of July for people to get excited about the celebrations and festivities going on around them, all rooting from the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, the “land of the free, land that we love”…  I want you to meet some folks. Many of you already know them. This is Chad, Casey, Clay, & Dean. Some of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet in your life. They’re Bladen Co natives, they’re home builders, hunters, sportsmen, Christians, dads, husbands… and they are hog farmers. In fact, their farm is next on the court docket in Raleigh in the Smithfield …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Hope your July 4th was good.  For many, a cookout, fireworks and time with family and friends.  But, seemed like a weekend to me, all day long, realize for many, just another day. Woke up early with music on my mind.  How many of these July top ‘pop’ tunes do you remember? 1950 – ‘Lonely Boy’ —  Paul Anka 1960 – ‘Alley-Oop’ — Hollywood Argyles 1961 – “Tossin’ and Turnin”  — Bobby Lewis 1962 – “The Stripper” — David Rose (Instrumental) 1963 – “Easier Said Than Done” –The Essex 1964 – “I Get Around” — The Beach Boys 1965 – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” — The Rolling Stones 1966 – “Strangers in …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

So, how will you celebrate the 4th of July?  Cookouts with family and friends, fireworks, parades, concerts, a week off, maybe just a day off and for others, just another work day.  Regardless of how or what you do today, say a prayer for our nation and all who serve here and abroad. July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of our nation since the 18th century, and designated as a federal holiday in the US since 1941. May have to dodge showers and thunderstorm, beginning around noon time and throughout the afternoon and evening.  Official forecast indicates high near 90, Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.  50% chance of precipitation.  Rainfall amounts between a …..

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Statement by North Carolina Pork Council on June 29 jury verdict

The verdict is heartbreaking and could have severe and unforeseen economic consequences for our farmers, the pork industry and all of North Carolina agriculture. It is heartbreaking because the jury did not hear the full story about Joey Carter’s farm – and now an honest, hardworking farmer stands to lose everything. Joey Carter has always followed and exceeded the state’s laws, which are the strictest regulations of any state and on any sector of agriculture. He invested in modern technologies. And he responded promptly to any concerns raised by his neighbors, who said his farm is not a nuisance. He should not be punished. It is heartbreaking because Joey Carter’s farm …..

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Sandspurs, fireants and all

By Jefferson Weaver I’ve never been convinced that Neil Sellers and Dave Brown killed Blanche Packer. I spent a lot of time with Blanche, Brown, Sellers, Sheriff Lyon and others a few years back, and I have never been completely sure that the men hanged on the courthouse lawn in Elizabethtown were indeed murderers. But whether or not Sellers and/or Brown were truly hardened criminals, or the victims of a lynch mob mentality in a racially-charged election year, is a moot point. For those unfamiliar with the case – Blanche Russ Packer, 21, was the wife of a  sawmill hand named George Packer. They lived near Abbottsburg. George worked for …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

The week of July 4th must be the most popular week of the year for vacations.  Many industries (plants) close the entire week.  Mountains, beach and local lakes are among the most popular vacation locations. Remember my days at Top Mode Manufacturing Co.  A week off was huge.  Now retired, every week is a vacation, sort of. A reminder of the July 4th fireworks at While Lake.  The show begins about ‘dark thirty’ Wednesday night. Kinda sad to see Kim Cain, West Bladen Coach and AD retire.  He is one of my all-time favorite ‘little leaguers’.  He reportedly is retiring after many years in the NC public school system and has accepted a teaching-coaching position with the Green Sea, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Summertime is officially here.  Hot weather, weeds grow tall overnight, neighbors report seeing snakes, occasional cook-outs and vacations, more reports of sickness of family members and friends as we all grow older.  The world just keeps on going round and round and round.  Wind and rain, beautiful crops, fresh veggies. It is a most wonderful time of the year. Youngsters busy playing sports, going to or preparing to attend vacation bible school. Beats the heck out of barnin’ tobacco. Love surprises and had a good one recently.  One of my longtime friends brought fresh tomatoes to an early Sunday morning meeting to share with me and a couple of other attendees.  Maybe the most beautiful, delicious tomatoes ever, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving- June 30

I wonder if the ‘framers’ of the constitution were as concerned about their political parties, as appears to be today, or were they anxious to do what was in the best interest of  ‘the new country’? 242 years later, appears political parties are the primary concern. Elizabethtown’s Annual Sidewalk Sale continues.  Think I would volunteer for inside duty. 90 degree weather remains in the forecast for the next week or so. Can’t imagine ‘croppin’ tobacco in this type weather, but if you grew up on a farm in the 40s, 50s and 60s, you did, that’s the was it was.  It was the cash crop of the day and ‘all in the family’ were involved in making …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 29

Another shooting, this time in Annapolis, Maryland.  Never seems to end. Elizabethtown area merchants Annual Sidewalk Sale is underway, sunshine or rain, inside and on the street. A reminder of the July 4th fireworks at White Lake, Wednesday evening. With all the changes going on, maybe we change July 4th holiday to a Friday or a Monday regardless of the day of the month.  A better idea…..leave as is. Slept through most of the thunderstorm.  A check with the National Weather Service at the local airport indicates a little over an inch of rain, about half that at the Hester household.  It began about midnight in the Elizabethtown area and ended after 3 AM. Totals will likely vary greatly. Checking the forecast for July 4th. …..

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Jefferson Weaver

The society of hatred

I wish there was an easy solution to the problems at the Mexican border. I also wish the politicians on both sides of the issue would shut up and let normal folks figure out a solution. There is no doubt that people who cross the borders of the United States without a passport or visa are breaking the law — Title 8 U.S. Code § 1325, titled “Improper entry by alien,” clearly defines that law. A few other federal laws dress 1325 up a little, and fill in some blanks.  I suggest you read it yourself, at the library or online. There’s no doubt that separating parents from children is …..

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Tillis Supports Bipartisan Farm Bill, Secures Amendment Supporting Rural Economic Development

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) supported passage of the bipartisan Farm Bill, which included an amendment co-sponsored by Senator Tillis supporting rural economic development. The bipartisan legislation passed the Senate by a vote of 86-11. “Agriculture is North Carolina’s largest industry, with more than 50,000 farmers contributing $84 billion to our state’s economy. However, farmers all across the country, including North Carolina, are facing low commodity prices and increasing volatility, and we must give them the certainty they need to keep the agricultural industry strong,” said Senator Tillis. “The bipartisan Farm Bill makes the investment in our farmers that they need, and I want to thank Chairman Roberts for his leadership. I look …..

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Tillis Introduces SNAP Work Requirements Amendment to Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill that would add work requirement for certain recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Dean Heller (R-NV) are original co-sponsors of the amendment. The amendment would: *Require non-disabled SNAP recipients ages 18-59 without dependents under age 6 to work or participate in employment training programs 20 hours per week. *Expand qualifying work programs to include apprenticeships, time-limited unpaid or volunteer work, and state approved work training programs. *Establish a revised ineligibility process allowing one month for initial compliance and requiring a 12-month ineligibility period for the first work requirement violation and …..

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Rouzer Statement on Passage of Defense Department Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman David Rouzer released the following statement after the passage of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill which designates $674.4 billion in total funding to rebuild our Armed Forces, restore military readiness, and support our troops.  The FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill boosts funding for our military by $17.1 billion, provides $245.9 billion in increased funding for military readiness programs, and authorizes a 2.6% pay raise for our troops – the largest pay raise in nine years. “The FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill is critical to replenishing the necessary funding our military so badly needs to rebuild and combat the many threats to our national interests as well as the …..

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Tillis Introduces Former Senior Advisor Robert Wilkie at VA Nomination Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, introduced Robert Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville, NC and Senior Advisor toSenator Tillis from 2015 until late 2017, at his nomination hearing to be Secretary of the VA. Senator Tillis’ Statement: Chairman Isakson, ranking member Tester and distinguished members of the committee, I am proud to introduce my friend and colleague Robert Wilkie as the nominee for Secretary of the VA.   I’ve had the honor of working with Robert for three years.  Sometimes he worked for me and other times I worked for him.  His combination of knowledge, humor, humility, and heart has endeared him …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 28

The Annual Meeting of Bladen County Committee of 100 was held last evening.  Dr. Barry O’Brien, Dean and Associate Professor, UNC Pembroke School of Business was the guest speaker.  Topic of his address was “Entrepreneurship and Small Business”.  Thought provoking…..there was room for more attendees.(see Erin Smith’s article on this page) Spoofing of telephone numbers is ‘frustrating’.  Have received several calls recently, asking if I called their number and I have not….local, in state and out of state. Been thinking about the Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘fiasco’ over the past few days.  She was apparently ask to leave a small restaurant last weekend, because of her position in the Trump White …..

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Tillis Statement on Retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement following Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire from the Supreme Court of the United States: “For the last thirty years, Justice Kennedy has served honorably on the Supreme Court of the United States and has left a lasting impact on American jurisprudence. I want to thank him and his family for his service to the American people and wish him well in his retirement. “As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to carefully examining the nominee put forth by the President to fill the …..

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Tillis & Klobuchar Bipartisan Legislation to Help Veterans Exposed to Toxic Burn Pits Passes Senate

Legislation would create a center of excellence within the VA to better understand the health effects associated with burn pits and treat veterans who become sick after exposure WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) applauded Senate passage of their bipartisan legislation that would create a center of excellence within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to better understand the health effects associated with burn pits and treat veterans who become sick after exposure. “We have an obligation to care for the brave men and women in uniform who were exposed to harmful substances from toxic burn pits …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 27

A note from Dawn Maynard, Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce, reminding members it’s time to pay dues.  And, the annual fireworks show is set for ‘dark thirty’ July 4th (a week from today) at White Lake.  Sponsors are still welcome and needed. Vacation Bible School is set for numerous churches, countywide.  Fun for parents and students.  Check with your church office, newsletter or bulletin for details. Elizabethtown Presbyterian Pastor, Rev. David Holloway, is sponsoring Summer Sports Camp, two separate camps, the first is the week of July 9-13 and the second is August 6-10, both at the church.  It is for children grades K through 6th grade. Includes Arts & Crafts, Bowling, Basketball, Hiking, Music, Skating, Soccer, …..

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House Passes Pittenger’s Landmark National Security Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Robert Pittenger’s (NC-09) landmark legislation to modernize the national security review process of potential foreign investments in the United States. Chinese investment in the United States increased more than 900 percent between 2010 and 2016.  Much of this investment was part of a strategic, coordinated Chinese government effort to target critical American infrastructure and defense applicable technologies. The Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 5841), strengthens how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) reviews the national security risks of potential foreign investments. “For over two years, we have fought for CFIUS reform and the implementation …..

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House advances opioid package to Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, with the support of Congressman Rouzer, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act which makes reforms to Medicaid, Medicare, and public health programs and policies. “Opioid addiction is a horrific problem for North Carolina and the rest of the country.  Unfortunately, no community is immune to this epidemic.  This legislation, which was approved by the House, seeks to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs, like Fentanyl, which is responsible for countless overdoses …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 26

Signs keep popping up in the area, ‘I buy old cars’, another says ‘I buy ugly houses’.  Wonder if these folks travel together.  Crazy thought, buy old cars to park at ugly houses? As a senior citizen, kinda be glad when trade wars, tariffs, etc. are all settled.  Days like yesterday play havoc with 401Ks, and other such instruments.  Anything that reduces the principle on saving accounts is cause for concern and it’s been mostly downhill for the past couple of weeks.  Just trying to make it to the finish line with no assistance from any source except the one we have saved for, or earned over the years.  Many in the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 25

One more week left in June 2018…July 4th is just around the corner. An interesting day yesterday, weather wise.  Windy, sunny, cloudy, stormy, hot, rainfall totaled over an inch at the Curtis Brown airport in Elizabethown.  Wind gust topped 40 mpg near 6 p.m. and in the low 30 mpg range shortly after 10 p.m. last evening. There were some power outages reported, hopefully all have been restored. Dixie Youth playoff action continued over the weekend.  Busy time for players, coaches, parents and friends. Former Whiteville Wolfpacker Mackenzie Gore is back in the rotation for the Fort Wayne Tincaps baseball team.  Still working on getting back to his normal game after missing most of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 24

Trouble sleeping, think a redbug may be the culprit.  So I Google bug bites.  After much in depth study at 1 AM, I give up.  Remember what my mom would tell me…It will be OK in a few days…. I then decided while I was attempting to ‘wear out’  an insect bite, would look at my Sunday School lesson, one more time. A couple of quotes worth remembering: A lot of people want mercy for themselves but justice for others! The amount of time, energy, and money we have is not as important as the way we use it. Not sure how that relates to a redbug bite that is …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 23

Local governments have adopted budgets for FY 2018-19 or will this week. When I covered local government meetings, one of the budget items I most often checked was sales tax projections and the actual income.  Tourism adds greatly to that line item in most local budgets, especially the Bladen County budget and that is good for all citizens.  Millions are collected, and the numbers grow faster in the summertime. July 4th is just days away. Think often of Sincere Smith, the recent East Bladen grad who was drafted by the Yankees in the Major League Baseball (MLB) draft.  The Yankees are sorting it all out and beginning to assign their new …..

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Congressman Pittenger Announces over $11 Million in Hurricane Matthew Grants for Robeson County

LUMBERTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) today announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide over $11 million to buy out, elevate, or replace 119 flood-ravaged homes in Robeson County. *A $4,507,487 grant will be used to purchase and demolish 47 residential structures in Lumberton which flooded during Hurricane Matthew.  The deeds will be transferred to the City of Lumberton to be used as open space. *A $1,831,867 grant will be used to elevate 20 residential structures in Lumberton to prevent damage from future floods. *A $3,307,963 grant will be used to replace and elevate 34 residential structures in Lumberton which were destroyed during Hurricane Matthew. *A $1,800,821 grant …..

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Tillis Co-Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Increase Benefits for Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, joined Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Ranking Member Jon Tester (D-MT) to introduce the Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2018, bipartisan legislation to increase veterans’ disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). “We made a promise to the men and women who served our country that they would be taken care after serving our country and protecting the freedoms we enjoy every day,” said Senator Tillis.“I am proud to stand with every member of the Senate VA Committee to fulfill that promise and introduce this important legislation to ensure our nation’s veterans receive …..

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Poyner Spruill partner McIntyre receives prestigious state public service award

Contributed RALEIGH, N.C. — Poyner Spruill partner and former North Carolina Congressman Mike McIntyre has been honored for a lifetime of public service by the North Carolina Bar Association. McIntyre received The Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr. Public Service Award at the Bar Association’s Awards Banquet at its convention on Thursday, June 21st, in Wilmington, North Carolina. The award recognizes an outstanding lawyer in North Carolina who has performed exemplary public service. The award is not given every year. Nominees are sent to the Past Presidents’ Council as the selection committee, and the committee’s selection is subject to Board of Governors/Directors approval. McIntyre was chosen by a unanimous vote. …..

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US House Passes 2018 Farm Bill

WASHINGTON, DC –  Congressman Rouzer released the statement below following the passage of H.R. 2 – the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill: “A strong farm bill is critical to our farm families and rural communities — not to mention its role in providing every American with the safest, most affordable food supply in the world.  The 7th District will especially benefit from the Farm Bill because of the steps taken to prevent potential animal disease outbreaks, the enhancements made to the farm safety net, and the investments made to help address the infrastructure needs of our rural communities.  The Farm Bill also makes …..

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Tillis & King Bipartisan Legislation Holding VA Executives Accountable Signed Into Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Angus King (I-ME) was signed into law. The VA Senior Executive Accountability (SEA) Act of 2018 will strengthen accountability of senior executives at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). There are numerous instances within the VA where Senior Executive Service (SES) employees used their leadership positions as leverage to be reassigned to another position for their own personal gain, or were reassigned, rather than disciplined, for poor performance. Following exposure of this practice, the VA halted their Appraised Value Offer (AVO) program, a program used to move senior executives that was often costly to taxpayers. Despite its past scandals, the …..

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NC House mulls Constitutional amendment for Voter ID

By Erin Smith The North Carolina House of Representatives is mulling an amendment to the North Carolina State Constitution to make showing photo identification to vote a requirement. The bill is expected to be presented on the floor of the NC House on Monday. Many groups have concerns that such a change will disenfranchise some voters. House District 22 Representative William Brisson said, “Just about everything you do, you have to have some type of identification.” Many hotels require photo identification for check-in and photo identification is required at many banks to open an account. NC House Bill 1092 will go to the floor of the NC House on Monday …..

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You Decide: What Should Be Done About Income Inequality?

By Dr. Mike Walden Income inequality is one of those terms that receives different reactions from people. Some view it as a natural result of our economic system. Others view it as the rich robbing the poor. Still, others ignore it by focusing on their own lives and whether they are making progress. But first, what is the issue with income inequality? The issue actually is not with income inequality specifically. Most people realize and expect everyone won’t earn the same income in such a large, diverse and competitive economy as ours. Instead, the issue is really with increasing income inequality – the fact that the difference in incomes of …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 22

When there is nothing else to talk about, there’s always the weather.  It has been a hot week and summer has just arrived.  The forecast calls for more of the same through Monday with chance of rain increasing from around 20% to 60% on Monday. I made another boo boo yesterday when I listed sponsors of the Sunset Jams Concert Series.  I only listed the Gold Sponsors.  Silver sponsors include B.W. Greene Properties, Wam Squam/Minuteman Food Marts, Hilton Auction & Realty, Inc and BladenOnline.com. Bronze sponsors are Bladen Builders Supply, First Bank, First Source Staffing, Lacy-West Thomas Insurance, McDuffie Pest Control, Regal Resort & The Venue, Sharonview Federal Credit Union, Sundeck Apartments, Sunset …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 21

Summertime arrived at 6:07 a.m. today according to the Old Farmers Almanac.  “The timing of the June solstice is not based on a specific calendar date or time; it all depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator. Because the sun is highest in the sky on this day, you’ll notice that your shadow (at noon) is the shortest it will be all year.”  The facts according to the Almanac. Happy the situation along the Mexican/US border has been modified. July 4th is on Wednesday this year.  We normally celebrate on a weekend, so do we celebrate on the first weekend in July or the second weekend, or just on Wednesday, July …..

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Beware the Heat

By Dora Brogdon I’m sure everyone looked forward to summer as a kid. When summer came around that meant school was out and it was time to hang out with friends or to get a job during that nice long break. While that break was full of either sunny or rainy days, the heat was and still is something not to be ignored. It can and will cause heat-related illness that can take a serious toll on the body if one isn’t careful. A heat stroke is one of a few things heat can do to a person. It raises both the body’s temperature to 103 F or higher and …..

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Senators Introduce Legislation to Keep Families Together and Ensure The Integrity of Immigration Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, a group of senators led by Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Cornyn (R-TX), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Keep Families Together and Enforce the Law Act, which keeps families together while ensuring the integrity of our nation’s immigration laws. The legislation requires that children and their parents remain together during their legal proceedings. Original co-sponsors include Chuck Grassley (R-IA), James Lankford (R-OK), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 20

Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber’s Annual Meeting drew a large crowd last night (Tuesday) at Lu Mil Vineyard.  Longtime businessman David Clark, of Elizabethtown, received the most prestigious award, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.  Check BladenOnline’s news page for more information about local residents and businesses recognized for their service to others. The Chamber is so important to the area.  The first of three ‘Alive After Five” Sunset Jams will be held Thursday, June 21st, at Goldston’s Beach from 6 PM to 9 PM.  Music by Imitations, it’s free and all are invited.  Another Chamber function. White Lake water is much improved.  Lake and state officials have learned a great deal about the cause of change …..

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Congressman Pittenger on Salisbury VA Nursing Home Report: ‘Alarming and offensive’

WASHINGTON – Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after reviewing a USA Today report uncovering very low ratings for a nursing home facility run by the Salisbury VA Medical Center: “Throughout my time in Congress, I have regularly and consistently received complaints about care and service at Salisbury VA medical facilities.  This new report by USA Today, if accurate, is alarming and offensive to all veterans, and follows other previous reviews with highly unfavorable outcomes. “My expectation is that the new Salisbury VA Director will ‘inspect for what you expect’ and take corrective action.  Last year, I helped pass VA accountability legislation to make it easier to fire and demote incompetent employees. …..

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Senate passes Pittenger national security bill, House approval expected soon

WASHINGTON – On Monday, the United States Senate gave strong bipartisan approval to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes key provisions drafted by Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) to block China from acquiring sensitive national security technology. Pittenger and Cornyn’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which was included in the Senate NDAA, modernizes and strengthens the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. “Our laws have not kept pace with the global economy.  Right now, the gate is wide open for China to steal our sensitive national security technology through loopholes and other strategic business deals,” said Congressman Pittenger.  “Senator Cornyn and I have been working for …..

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From The Hill: America will not forget about Pastor Andrew Brunson

By Sen. Thom Tillis Andrew Brunson is a loving father, husband, and Presbyterian pastor who has been sharing the word of the Gospel to the people of Turkey for the last 20 years. In October 2016, Brunson was arrested by the Turkish government, accused of being an American spy and terrorist who helped the plotters of the failed coup attempt against the Turkish government earlier that summer. This spring, days before the start of Pastor Brunson’s trial, I traveled to Izmir, Turkey to meet with Pastor Brunson at the prison where he was being held. It was immediately evident that Brunson was not in good health. Although he has been …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 19

Baby, It’s Hot Outside!  Was that the title of a song?  Not sure about the song, but summer officially arrives Thursday, June 21. (Maybe the song was, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”). Remember Holsum bread? For years, fresh bread either came from Merita or Holsum.  Both still available, I am told, depending on the location. How about Prince Albert smoking tobacco in the metal cans?  Smith Bros. cough drops?  Chocolate covered raisins?  Not sure. And neck bones, folks bought them by the peck in a brown bag, complete with rice bits.  Could feed a big family, a little meat, and very greasy.  Doubt it would be a favorite of any group promoting healthy …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 18

This promises to be a busy week for many. Bladen County Commissioners meet tonight at 6:30 PM for regular meeting and will likely schedule at least one more budget workshop prior to the end of the month.  The budget must be approved before July 1.  Tonight’s meeting will be held at the usual meeting place, in the commissioners meeting room in the basement of the courthouse.  It is open to the public. Tomorrow evening, the annual meeting of the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce will be held at Lu Mil.  Numerous awards will be presented.  The speaker will be Kenny Flowers, Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development.  Reservations are required, cut off date June 18 and the cost is …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

HAPPY FATHERS DAY to all fathers! How long have we been celebrating Father’s Day? Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society in Catholic Europe.  This celebration was brought by the Spanish and Portuguese to Latin America, where March 19 is often still used for it, though many countries in Europe and the Americas have adopted the U.S. date, which is the third Sundayof June.  It complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother’s Day, Siblings Day and Grandparents Day. As long as I can remember, Father’s Day was special, most often celebrated by all family members coming together to celebrate …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for Saturday, June 16

Had positive reaction to my most recent Thoughts, related to ‘hog killin’ and “making lye soap”. Never totally understand unless you lived it… Did receive a nice article from a reader related to the topic: “Forklife: The Last Tradition of Lye Soap and Hog Killin’ Day”. Hope Thompson was the author. Google it, good reading. A reminder of Father’s Day on Sunday and the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce annual meeting next week. Had a couple of meetings recently on topics never dreamed of when we were ‘killing hogs and making lye soap”. Typical topic in today’s environment, “Cybersecurity” and “Anti-Sexual Harrassment”. It is a wise father that knows his …..

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Southern Coalition for Social Justice Condemns Reduction in Weekend Early Voting Opportunities, Calls for Veto of Changes

Changes target voting options preferred by African-American voters RALEIGH, N.C. — With the passage of SB 325, the North Carolina General Assembly has approved changes to the state’s early voting procedures whose limitations would likely disproportionately affect African American voters and put greater strain on election resources in rural communities.  The bill mandates that early voting periods end on the Friday before an election, eliminating early voting opportunities on the Saturday before an election — a day on which hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians have cast their ballots in previous elections. It also requires voting sites in a county to have uniform hours — so all sites must be open if any are open, …..

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Letter to the Editor: Ask Commissioners to Invest in Bladen’s Students

Dear Editor: I am writing to ask readers to request that County Commissioners invest in the future of our children.  I am asking readers to request that County Commissioners make a decision that will have a lasting impact on countless students. I am asking readers to ensure the futures of our students and preserve Bladen County’s ability to deliver first rate education. As you may know, seven teachers were let go at Monday night’s Board of Education meeting due to a shortage of funds. This will be a great loss to our county schools. These teachers have brought fresh energy and inspiration to our children over the past year. After announcing …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for Friday, June 15

This ‘n that! Remember when ladies had quilting parties. Had wooden frames as big as the quilt, spread out, usually in the largest room in the house. Sewing, treats and some gossip. End product was a ‘one of a kind’ quilt using remnants of all types of fabric. There were also ‘barn raisings’ from time to time. Usually in the late fall or winter. Someone needed a new barn and they were too busy farming during spring and summer season. Invite all the neighbors, friends and family to participate during their ‘down time’. Another tradition seldom observed today were ‘hog killings’. Again, several families comin’ together to kill hogs, usually …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

My long time favorite computer is having the same problem I suffer from….slowing down, can’t remember and occasionally just goes blank. Financial news, the fed announced a rate increase, the national debt is growing at a rate of $45.486 dollars per second and Social Security is running out of money.  Crank up the press. Fayetteville Observer had a thought provoking article yesterday.  25% of the Bladen County children in foster care are result of the Opioid crisis.  The only good thing about the article was Bladen’s rate was the lowest among area counties.  Sampson’s rate was 65%, Robeson 59% and Columbus was at 43%.  Pitiful. East Bladen graduate, Sincere ‘Skippy’ Smith departs for Tampa, …..

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Bladen County GOP endorses candidates

Contributed Like many Americans across the country, Bladen County residents have witnessed a growing divide between constitutionally conservative principles of government, and the erosive corruption of a liberal progressive government. To many, this has become the defining difference between the two major political parties. Although Bladen County has long been pro-Democrat, it appears that many residents are beginning to understand that the principles of that party are no longer supportable, and that the Democrat Party now supports an agenda which is largely incompatible with individual liberty and good governance. Thus, more and more voters in Bladen County are shifting their support to the Republican Party. They are recognizing that, in …..

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ACU Foundation Releases Ratings of North Carolina General Assembly

Alexandria, VA—The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings of the 2017 meeting of the North Carolina General Assembly. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and illustrate how both chambers of the legislature and individual members prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect North Carolinians. ACUF reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member. North Carolina legislators took pen to paper on various issues during the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving for June 13

Was up early this AM, lots of thoughts, was reviewing, scribbled them down and lost them due to a glitch, they just went away.  Guess it was not meant to be, but OK.  After all, I’m retired, can do it again. My high school classmates are beginning to be old folks, our conversations are dominated by health issues, doctor appointments, grandchildren, etc. I no longer discuss politics, the whole world is polarized, it seems and I do not care to add to the situation.  Spent many years in the political arena as an elected official and later representing a non-partisan organization.  Loved it. Different today, many Republicans, Democrats and Independents think …..

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State Board Recognizes Constitution Party as Official Political Party

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously on Wednesday to recognize the Constitution Party of North Carolina as the state’s newest political party.   That means voters in North Carolina can register as unaffiliated or with any of the following parties: Constitution, Democratic, Green, Libertarian or Republican. It also means the Constitution Party may nominate candidates for the November 2018 general election.   The State Board is modifying voter registration forms to add the newly recognized party. Until then, voters may register with the Constitution Party by checking the “Other” box and writing “Constitution” on the line in the “Political Party Affiliation” section of the voter registration …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 11

Welcome to my world.  Won’t you come on in?  Miracles, I guess, still happen now and then.  Remember this old, great song from the ’60s.  First recorded by Jim Reeves, later Elvis, Eddy Arnold, Ricky Nelson and more. First day in a while with no school planned, drive carefully, youngsters all around, full of energy, looking for something to do. Had a great weekend.  A party for grandson and his bride-to-be at White Lake.  Rain stopped just in time for outside party. Up early today, received bad news.  A cousin that was for many years my favorite cousin, Wayne Davis, a relative of many in this area, (Bladenboro and Tar Heel), died in Enterprise, …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 10

Ever listened to Les Brown?  For those who do not know, he is a motivational speaker.  Discovered him scrolling through the Internet.  GOOGLE him, good speaker. Bladen County has several large industries that employ hundreds of people, good, but the small and mid-size companies provide hundreds of jobs as well.  Takes all sizes. Ever worked in a sweat-shop?  I did once, but truth be told, it was a little better pay than what I was accustomed to and I ask for the job.  Best I could tell, everyone there was working hard and their pay was based on production. As I look back, thought of the Johnny Paycheck song, “Take This …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 9

Congratulations to all students, another year behind you.  Some will move on to institutions of higher learning, some  will join the workforce and for the younger ones, time for fun in the sun. Bladen Community College is a great place to begin higher education.  Call or visit for details. Graduation ceremonies for West Bladen will be held Friday, June 15, at 6 PM.  East Bladen ceremonies set for Saturday, June 16, at 10:30 AM. Few events you never forget, 16 years of age and drivers license, graduation, first job, marriage and the birth of your children. Congratulations to the Campbell family!  They recently celebrated their 70th anniversary in business. Began as Campbell Oil …..

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You Decide: How Will the Workforce Change?

By Dr. Mike Walden I think a lot about the job market this time of year. This is because of all the graduations of high school and college seniors and the fact many of them will be looking for their first full-time job. It’s a cliché to say these young people will be entering a job market undergoing change, because change in the labor market has always been the norm. Even in the best of times, some jobs are being eliminated while others are created. But I do think a case can be made that today’s job market is changing in rapid and unpredictable ways. This is due to the …..

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Duke Energy: Growing renewables with facts to back it up

By Cari Boyce Duke Energy, Senior Vice President, Stakeholder Strategy and Sustainability What we do at Duke Energy matters far beyond providing reliable service to our customers. Our commitment to sustainability pushes us to do more – to leave a positive, long-term impact on the environment and communities we serve. Part of that sustainability story is the work Duke Energy is doing to promote and grow renewable energy in North Carolina and elsewhere around the nation. Need proof? I invite you to read our recent Sustainability Report. In the report, you’ll find facts and figures measuring the progress we are making against our sustainability goals. One fact will certainly jump …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving for June 8

Must admit I get a little excited when a local youngster is drafted in MLB, NFL, NBA, or any other sport, or as in PGA, where you arrive because you have paid your dues and earned it. Congratulations to Sincere “Skippy” Smith, East Bladen graduate, or soon will be.  He was recently drafted by the New York Yankees in the 32nd round, the 967th pick in the 2018 MLB draft.  It’s an honor, a well deserved honor.  He is one of a very few who will have that opportunity. The Hester’s enjoyed the ride many, many years ago.  The highs are offset by the lows, but think of the millions of …..

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