• 6:56 am NCHSAA Class 2A Baseball Playoffs: Washington 5, East Bladen 4
  • 6:46 am Thoughts While Shaving for May 18
  • 1:47 am Elizabethtown Rotary Club Tournament Held At Vineyard Golf
  • 1:18 am This Day in History for May 18
  • 1:12 am Bladen commissioners to meet Monday night

It would have been a perfect week for a Polar Plunge. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Jan. 1. Just a few days after 30 people ran into a White Lake on a 44-degree New Year’s Day, it was the thermometer that took a plunge.

Temperatures dropped to the mid-teens overnight Wednesday and Thursday, and wind chills during the day made it feel like it was about 10 degrees. There were reports of a light snow flurry and some icy roads. Bladen County Schools delayed opening two hours Thursday in hopes it would warm up a bit before students had to battle the cold, but the temperature hovered around the freezing mark all day. By Sunday, temperatures were into the low 50s during the afternoon.

So, with the weather outside giving us a chance to use that new scarf we got for Christmas, the news was made inside. Here are some of the highlights.

** Bladen County Economic Development director Chuck Heustess said a chicken processing plant is coming to Bladenboro, creating 50 jobs initially and should grow to 100 jobs. A formal announcement will be made later. The plant will be located in the Bladenboro Industrial Park.

** A new jail for Bladen County took a couple of steps forward on its slow trek to becoming reality. Bladen County commissioners Arthur Bullock, Charles Ray Peterson, Russell Priest and Billy Ray Pait were appointed to a committee to oversee early stages of construction. The jail will be built near the Powell-Melvin Agriculture Building in Elizabethtown to replace the current facility, which is more than 50 years old and has been condemned by state officials. The Town of Elizabethtown approved a special use permit during the week for the Smith Circle area. The projected cost for the new jail is $17 million to $20 million.

** Convicted murderer Joseph Sledge could soon be freed. Chris Mumma, who is Sledge’s lawyer, told The Fayetteville Observer that District Attorney Jon David agrees that Sledge is innocent. David did not comment. Sledge was convicted in 1978 for the murders in 1976 of Josephine Davis and her daughter, Aileen, who lived near Elizabethtown. His case was heard recently by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.

** A Kick-Off Bike Plan meeting was held Thursday at Elizabethtown Town Hall in an effort to create more bike paths and trails in the area. A public hearing will be held at a later date. A healthier lifestyle and economic possibilities are among the reasons given for the project.

** The Lake Shore Riders Cycling Club, which includes members from Bladen County, lost one of its members. Jeff Cushing, 61, of Lumberton, was struck by a vehicle and killed while riding his bicycle.

** In sports, two East Bladen Eagles – senior running back Farrell Murchison and sophomore defensive back Kyle Tatum – were named to the N.C. Preps Class 2-A All-State Football Team.

** Shutouts are not uncommon in football, baseball, softball or soccer. But basketball? The East Bladen junior varsity girls’ basketball team shut out Wallace-Rose Hill 30-0 on Friday.

That’s the week that was in Bladen County.