BladenOnline.com

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You Decide: How Does North Carolina Compare on Incentives?

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

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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

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

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White Lake Recognizes Woodmen of the World Donation

By Joy Warren During their regular monthly Board of Commissioner’s meeting Tuesday evening, the White Lake Town Board recognized The Woodmen of the World organization for providing new flags for the Police Department, Town Hall and also for their latest donation of flags and poles at the entrance to White Lake on 701 across from the Wam Squam. Mayor Womble presented a copy of the adopted proclamation and thanked the organization for their continued support and contributions to the Town. Alycia Thornton, Director of Development for the NC FFA Center, gave a brief presentation on the expansion of the NC FFA Camp. The NC FFA Camp plans to start construction …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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240 Million dollars for military construction in NC

Senate Passes NDAA with Multiple Tillis Provisions, Heads to Presidents Desk Includes $240 Million for Military Construction in NC, Provisions to End Domestic Violence and Child Abuse   WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, applauded the Senate passage of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019. The bipartisan legislation includes more than a dozen provisions authored by Senator Tillis, including a bipartisan provision he authored with Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit an assessment of the potential purchase by the Republic of Turkey of the S-400 air and missile defense system from the Russian Federation, as well as an assessment regarding Turkey’s …..

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A great day for Bladen County Democrats

Contributed by Sabrina Murchison The Bladen County Democratic Party celebrated the grand opening of their headquarters on Thursday, August 9th with a ribbon cutting by Mr. David Clark. A standing room only crowd welcomed our honored guests, long time Democrats Dr. Delilah Blanks, Mrs. Berline Graham, and Mr. Edd Nye.  Our guest speaker was 7th District Congressional Candidate Dr. Kyle Horton. The office is located at 300A Poplar Street in Elizabethtown. Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving- August 12

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

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Money

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

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

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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Tillis and Burr Support Disaster Declaration Request for Western NC

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

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Opinion: Thank you from the Taylors

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

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Break the Majority and Local Democrats to Launch Wilmington Field Office

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

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

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

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Town Of Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Council Hears About Drainage Problem

By Erin Smith The Elizabethtown Town Council met on Monday and heard from Ms. Grimes, who resides on Hill Street, regarding drainage problems at 402 Hill Street. Ms. Grimes told the board she had spoken with Public Works Director Hugh Bedsole regarding the issue. She told the board she was informed the storm drain in front of her house is “…stopped up.” Bedsole was out of town and did not attend the meeting, but Assistant Town Manager, Pat DeVane, did address the board regarding the situation. He explained the drainage issue at Ms. Grimes’ home has been ongoing for several years, and the town has attempted to rectify the problem. …..

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Commissioners Learn About Sharing of Juvenile Information, Update on Litter Pick Up

By Erin Smith The Bladen County Board of Commissioners met on Monday night and heard from Bladen County Department of Social Services Director, Vickie Smith, regarding how information is shared between agencies regarding juveniles in the court system. Smith presented the board with a memorandum of understanding relating it the confidentiality of juvenile court information. She explained all counties have to sign the agreement with the State of North Carolina. Smith said the agreement explains how information shared between the District 13 Guardian Ad Litem Program, the District Court Judge’s Office, and Bladen County Department of Social Services. Smith explained the JWISE reporting system assists Child Welfare workers in tracking …..

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Tillis Visits Camp Lejeune, Meets with Military Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) visited Camp Lejeune to meet the newcommander of the Naval Medical Center, Captain Jeffrey Timby, and Colonel Scalise. Senator Tillis also participated in a roundtable with military members and spouses to discuss personnel issues affecting military families and toured military homes on Camp Lejeune.     Click HERE to download interview about the visit.   Click HERE to download B-roll of the visit. Share:

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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Town Of Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Council approves changes to ordinance governing parades, demonstrations

By Erin Smith The Elizabethtown Town Council met on Monday night and approved changes to the ordinance governing parades and demonstrations. Elizabethtown Police Chief Tony Parrish said, “This past year we had an incident where one of our parades went approximately two hours and closed down Poplar Street.” He told the board as a result of the lengthy closure of Poplar Street the town received a letter from the N.C. Department of Transportation stating that Poplar Street was a truck route. Chief Parrish said DOT informed him that any time there is a parade on a DOT owned road there is a “Special Events Request Form” required by DOT which …..

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NC Freedom Rankings for 2018 are released

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

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You Decide: Should the Fed Be Raising Interest Rates?

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

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Tillis to Attend National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable on Nuisance Lawsuits in Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – On Friday, August 3rd, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) will join Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC), U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), and North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler to convene a National Agriculture Leaders Roundtable to discuss the threat that nuisance lawsuits pose to the U.S. agriculture industry, rural America, and farm families nationwide. The roundtable will be comprised of federal officials, state officials, economists, and national agriculture industry representatives, including the President of the American Farm Bureau, Zippy Duvall. “I want to thank Congressman Rouzer for hosting this roundtable to hear directly from North Carolina’s farmers about how the nuisance …..

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

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

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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

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

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

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

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Tillis Attends Swearing-In Ceremony for VA Secretary Robert Wilkie

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, attended the swearing-in ceremony for VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville andformer Senior Advisor to Senator Tillis.   “I was honored to attend the swearing-in ceremony for VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and I want to congratulate him and his wonderful family on this well-deserved accomplishment. Robert is one of the most honorable and decent human beings I’ve ever worked with, and anyone who knows him has seen his drive to serve his country and his passion for honoring our nation’s veterans and servicemembers, qualities that will be tremendous assets at the VA,” said Senator Tillis. “Secretary …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

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

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

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

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NC Emergency Management Details Progress on Hurricane Matthew Recovery

In a letter sent yesterday, NC Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry shared detailed information on North Carolina’s progress recovering from Hurricane Matthew. Read the full text of the letter below. July 26, 2018 Representative Brenden Jones 16 W. Jones Street, Room 2217 Raleigh, NC 27601-1096 Dear Representative Jones: Sir, I am taking this opportunity to respond to your letter of July 23, 2018 to the Governor and to provide you with an update on Hurricane Matthew Recovery for the state, as well as for Bladen, Columbus, and Robeson counties. Thank you for asking how you and other legislators could assist in the state response to Hurricane Matthew recovery. As we implement HUD’s Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, …..

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Congressman Rouzer to host Opioid Symposium Monday

US Congressman David Rounder will be hosting an Opioid Symposium for the 7th Congressional District on Monday night in Wilmington at the Coastline Convention Center from 6 until 8 p.m. The symposium will be live streamed on Congressman Rouzer’s Facebook page and You Tube page. The symposium will be comprised of four different panels for discussion of best practices as it relates to stigma, treatment and resources, prevention and law enforcement. Those wishing to attend the Wilmington symposium can RSVP by clicking here. Share:

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Tillis Honors the Life and Legacy of Former UNC System President Dick Spangler

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) spoke on the Senate floor to honor the life and legacy of philanthropist and UNC System President Emeritus C. D. Spangler, Jr. “I had the privilege of meeting Dick Spangler 11 years ago, and since that first meeting I never left an encounter with him without learning something new. He loved North Carolina and the UNC system that he helped build into what it is today,” said Senator Tillis. “Dick truly was a mentor to me, and I want to offer my condolences to his wife Meredith and daughters Anna and Abigail. Even though he is no longer here, his advocacy will live on for decades to come …..

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Cooper, NCGA Dem Leaders Silent

NCDP Hispanic American Caucus Denounced Immediately; Cooper, D. Jackson, G. Meyer, D. Blue Remain Silent Raleigh, NC — This morning, following news that House District 64 Democrat candidate Cathy von Hassel-Davies is planning to exit the race, Republican National Hispanic Assembly Committeewoman Marlynn Burns released the following statement: “We understand parties are sometimes handed candidates that do not match their values,” stated Burns.  “This seems to be the proper result.  The bitter and backward thoughts expressed by Ms. Hassel-Davies have no place in North Carolina politics and should be soundly and unequivocally denounced by the leaders of the North Carolina Democrat Party.  However, Governor Cooper, House Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson, Rep. Graig Meyer, and Senate Minority Leader …..

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US House Passes Congressman Pittenger’s Landmark Foreign Investment Reform Legislation

WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives today gave final approval to Congressman Robert Pittenger’s historic legislation to protect America’s critical national security technology and infrastructure from malicious foreign investment. Congressman Pittenger’s Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA, H.R. 5841) was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was approved by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 359-54.  President Trump is expected to sign NDAA, including Congressman Pittenger’s provisions, into law. “For years, China and other adversarial nation-states have vacuumed up critical American security-related technology and infrastructure through targeted business investments, especially in the areas of emerging technology,” said Congressman Pittenger (NC-09).  “China has also forced American companies to share military-applicable technology through strategically-designed joint …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

One more reminder of the Summer Sounds Concert from 6 to 9 PM today at Cape Fear Farmers Market.  Music provided by The Pizzaz Band and it is free.  Bring a chair, if you think you need one, sit and enjoy with friends or dance ’til you hearts content.. It’s easy to say nice things about good folks. Mark you calendar for the fundraiser for Joey Taylor, a good man who continues to battle serious health issues.  It’s  Wednesday, August 1 from 5 to 7 PM at Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church.  His friends are offering a Baked Ziti dinner for $10 a plate. A silent auction will also be held. For further details contact Jennifer Leggett at 910-862-8423 ext. …..

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State Board to host public demonstration of voting equipment

RALEIGH, N.C. – The State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement on Friday(July 27) will host a public demonstration of all voting equipment under consideration for certification in North Carolina.  The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at the State Board office in the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.  The purpose of this demonstration is for members of the State Board and the public to witness voting systems demonstrations and have their questions and concerns addressed by the vendors. This demonstration fulfills the requirements of Section 3.5.10 of the Elections Systems Certification Program adopted by the State Board in 2017. “This is a major step in the process of reviewing new equipment …..

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Tillis, Shaheen & Lankford Issue Joint Statement on Andrew Brunson Being Moved to House Arrest

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following joint statement after a Turkish court in Izmir ordered American citizen Andrew Brunson to be moved from prison to house arrest: “Today’s decision by the Turkish Court system to move Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison to house arrest is a step in the right direction and will help alleviate some of the unacceptable hardship and anguish Pastor Brunson and his family have endured over the last 20 months. The Government of Turkey should now release Pastor Brunson and immediately return him to the United States, an action that would begin to restore the longstanding friendship between our …..

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Letter to the Editor: Eastpointe MCO responds to Concerned and Frustrated Parents

To the Editor, On behalf of my Eastpointe colleagues, I want to address concerns raised by Tocarra Osborne and Marie Smith in their letter “Concerned and Frustrated Parents.” I want to start by saying to Ms. Osborne and Ms. Smith: We hear you. We understand your frustrations. Thank you for bringing us your concerns and requesting that we meet with the Bladen Parent Advisory Council. We look forward to continuing to work with you to make sure families of special needs children have the necessary resources. Eastpointe serves those with mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). None of these communities chose the challenges with which they …..

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Tillis Secures Multiple Provisions in Final NDAA

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

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Dear Felicia: A friend’s battle with cancer

By: Jefferson Weaver Dear Felicia, I just want you to know, I hate you. Now, I fully realize hate is a strong word, but it’s appropriate in the case. You see, Felicia, you aren’t a human. You’re a demon. You thrive off of hurting and killing people. Most folks call you cancer, but my friend April calls you Felicia, so that’s what I’m going with. I don’t care if you don’t mind You have no standards. You have no conscience. You have no feelings. You are evil. Considering you come in so many varieties, there’s a lot of you to hate. The breast cancer April is fighting is different than …..

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Tillis-Shaheen Provision Delaying Delivery of F-35s to Turkey Included in Final NDAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) announced that the conference report for the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision authored by the senators that directs the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress assessing the Government of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program.   The provision stipulates that the Department of Defense may not deliver any F-35 to Turkey until the report has been submitted to Congress. The provision requires an assessment of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program, including an assessment of the impacts of a significant change in Turkish participation in the F-35 program. This reporting requirement …..

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Tillis Applauds Overwhelming Bipartisan Confirmation of Robert Wilkie as VA Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) applauded the overwhelmingly bipartisan confirmation of Robert Wilkie, a native of Fayetteville, NC and Senior Advisor to Senator Tillis from 2015 until late 2017, as VA Secretary.   “I’m proud that Robert Wilkie – my friend and former staffer – was confirmed on a broad and bipartisan basis. Robert is a leader blessed with a public servant’s heart who has the right experience, skill-set, and genuine love for our servicemembers and veterans to be a great VA Secretary,” said Senator Tillis. “Robert has already demonstrated what he is capable of during his short tenure as Acting VA Secretary, quickly working to improve morale at the …..

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Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While Shaving

Rain, rain all around, but little near the Hester household.  Prospects for rain in the area good over the next week, with forecast ranging from 50% to 80% chance and wind gust up to 22 mph today.  Heavy rain in some nearby communities over the past 24 hours, but only about a tenth recorded at the local airport as of early Tuesday.  Thunderstorms are expected to continue today with rainfall totals of 2 to 4 inches in some areas of southeastern NC. Good news for BladenOnline.  BO “had the 10th most visits for a week in history with 35,300 and were within about 1,000 page views of cracking the Top 10 in that …..

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Town Of Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Council Approves Sale of Lot

By Erin Smith In a special meeting called on Monday, the Elizabethtown Town Council voted to accept an offer to purchase a lot located at 432 West Broad Street. Town Manager, Eddie Madden, said the lot is located adjacent to the dental office of Dr. Tracie Vestal. The winning bid was in the amount of $85,000, and was received from Michael G. Woodcock, said Madden. The meeting took place at Cape Fear Vineyard and Winery, following the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Tory Hole Park. Share:

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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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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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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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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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Tillis Statement On U.S.-Russia Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) issued the following statement on U.S.-Russia relations after the meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin:   “There cannot be any equivocation: Vladimir Putin is to blame for Russia’s poor relations with the United States and the rest of the free world. It is Putin’s regime that illegally invaded Crimea, props up Assad’s murderous regime in Syria, assassinates dissidents on foreign soil, and meddles in the elections of the United States and its European allies.   “I’ve long maintained that America needs to take a strong position when it comes to Russia. While we should work with Russia on the specific instances where …..

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Letter to the Editor: Board of Elections now has Facebook page

The Bladen County Board of Elections now has a Facebook page and the public is encouraged to join and like the page, we will publish important public information. With the popularity of Facebook, we feel that this will greatly enhance our ability to inform voter’s of changes in law and upcoming public information seminars. I would also like to commend our board on it’s successful bipartisan efforts in securing voter access and confidence in the security of their votes.  Furthermore, I realize that change does not come easy to many individuals but this board realizes the many security concerns in elections and would rather take a pro active implementation approach …..

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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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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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Opioid Task Force making progress; increase risk of heroin abuse

By Charlotte Smith Bladen County Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson, Chairman of the county’s Opioid Task Force opened the meeting calling for prayer. First Sergeant Richard Allen with the Bladen County Sheirff’s Office started the discussions with updates on the success of the community outreach educational presentations. Churches and other civic organizations are being informed about the Opioid abuse, the impact it has on communities, medication disposal options, treatment centers and support by Allen and his committee from the task force. He reported his team continuing to give two to three educational presentations per month at different locations throughout the county. Allen also mentioned some positive outcomes Brunswick County’s Sheriff’s Office …..

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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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Board of Elections approves One Stop plan

By Erin Smith The Bladen County Board of Elections met on Tuesday afternoon and voted to approve a One Stop voting plan. The plan must now be sent to the State Board of Elections in Raleigh for their approval. Bladen County Board of Elections Chairman Jens Lutz joined the meeting via telephone. The local board had until July 20th to submit a plan to the State Board of Elections. The discussion among board members at times was contentious before the board held a unanimous vote on the plan. Recently adopted N.C. Senate Bill 325 mandates hours for One Stop voting to be 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on weekdays. One …..

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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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White Lake Hears Water Clarity Update

By Joy Warren Dr. Diane Lauritsen, a water scientist working with the Town of White Lake, addressed the Board regarding the continued efforts of the Lake water clarity. She stated that the Alum treatment that was administered in May continues to improve the water clarity up to 6 feet now. The treatment did address some of the suspended algae which caused the pH to increase. The pH level has decreased from 9 to 6 units at this time. There is still a bottom layer of algae and other rooted growth that will continue to need monitoring. Mayor Goldston Womble indicated that permit requests are being pursued for further treatments, if …..

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Tillis Statement on Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued the following statement following President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States: “Judge Brett Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the last decade and earning a reputation for being a mainstream and fair-minded jurist. Judge Kavanaugh undoubtedly has the right qualifications to serve as an associate justice on the Supreme Court, and I look forward to meeting with him in the coming weeks in advance of his confirmation hearing.   “I hope all my colleagues, regardless of their party …..

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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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Gagging local farmers and awarding millions

By Charlotte Smith Bladen County farmers along with pork companies in the mother county are grasping for help after a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The verdict handed down in one case resulted in a Bladen County farmer losing all his hogs according to witnesses. There are over 20 more similar pork industry lawsuits set to take place and the next one has other local farmers fighting to keep their farms. In April, 10 hog farm neighbors were awarded 50 million dollars by a jury. To comply with a 1995 North Carolina law capping damages the judge presiding over the landmark verdict reduced the damage sentence from 50 million dollars to 3.25 …..

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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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State Superintendent and State Board of Education Still At Odds Over Court Ruling

By LIZ SCHLEMMER on www.wunc.org Tension between State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the State Board of Education has not improved since the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in a case between the two. If anything, the tension is rising. In early June, the Supreme Court gave its decision in a case to settle a power struggle between the State Board of Education (led by Republican Chair Bill Cobey) and Superintendent Johnson (also a Republican). The Court sided with Johnson and the state of North Carolina in declaring a law that gave his position more direct control at the Department of Public Instruction constitutional. However, the effect of that ruling remains unclear. …..

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Judicial candidate filing has begun

The filing period for judicial candidates has begun in North Carolina. The filing period for the judicial races ends at 12 noon on Friday, June 29th. There are two judicial races of local interest. They are the race for the NC Superior Court District 13 seat currently held by incumbent Judge Ola Lewis and the NC District Court Judge District 13 currently held by incumbent Judge Fredrick Gore. To view the complete of candidates who have filed, thus far, click here. Share:

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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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