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CRESCOM Branch Introduces New Manager

Kathryn Skeen Introduced As New Branch Manager For Crescom Bank’s Elizabethtown, N.C., Branch

CresComBankELIZABETHTOWN, S.C. – March 25, 2015 – CresCom Bank has named Kathryn Skeen as branch manager for its Elizabethtown, N.C., branch. Skeen’s familiarity with the community and experience within the banking industry will serve her well as she continues on in her new position. As branch manager she will be responsible for the operation and administration of CresCom Bank’s Elizabethtown location. 

Prior to joining CresCom Bank, Skeen spent time with First Community Bank and Coastal Federal Bank in various retail banking capacities, and a portion of this work included training bank employees in Elizabethtown.

“We are pleased to welcome Kathryn to the CresCom Bank family,” said David L. Morrow, CEO of CresCom Bank. “Her leadership and banking experience will serve as a positive and valuable asset to our team and to our customers within the Elizabethtown community.”

HCA Kindergarten Registration

Tenth grade HCA Ambassador, Amos Lanier, escorts John, Sharon, and Addison Haney around the HCA campus during kindergarten registration on March 20.


IGA Store Banner

Old Fashion Planters Day this weekend

The 23rd Annual Old Fashion Day sponsored annually by the White Oak Ruritan Club will be held this weekend at 9252 Old Fayetteville Road, Ammon, North Carolina.
Old Fashion Planters Day provides fun for the entire family.  It is like stepping back in time and enjoying the day in a slower paced world.  There is so much to see and do including sawmill demonstration, children and ladies tractor pull and music, including country, bluegrass and gospel.
Old tractors, classic cars and delicious food, games and entertainment for all ages.  Local craft vendors and ticket prices are donations only.’
Highlights include
6 p.m. Music by Rev. Neill Smith
Chicken ‘n Rice supper   donations
9:30 a.m.   Opening Ceremonies
Words of Wisdom/Invocation  Rev. Richard Smith
Activities all day long.

Commissioners announce Special Meeting

Bladen County Commissioners will hold a Special Meeting on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 2 p.m.  The purpose of the meeting is to view an Equalization and Review Board webinar, receive information regarding the 2015 Revaluation process, receive information regarding Senate Bill 369 and other planning items.
This is a rescheduled Special Meeting which was originally set for Monday, March 23, 2015.  That meeting was postponed so commissioners could attend the funeral of Bobby Roberts, former county commissioner.
The March 30 meeting will be held in the commissioners room of the Bladen County Courthouse, 106 East Broad Street, Elizabethtown, NC.

Quality Ford, Bladen Car Credit

North Carolina’s February Unemployment Rate Unchanged From January

RALEIGH — The state’s seasonally adjusted February unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, remaining unchanged from January’s revised rate. The national rate decreased 0.2 of a percentage point to 5.5 percent.
North Carolina’s February 2015 unemployment rate was 1.2 percentage points lower than a year ago. The number of people employed increased 30,562 over the month to 4,429,049, and increased 94,203 over the year. The number of people unemployed decreased 174 over the month to 248,014, and declined 53,370 over the year. READ MORE

8K Trail Run and Walk to Benefit the Wounded Warrior Project

Woodman of the World Present Flags

Mayor H. Goldston Womble, Jr. accepted flags on behalf of the Town of White
Lake from Trey Duncan, Field Representative with the Woodman of the World.
The Woodman of the World presents new flags to the Town each year.


Small Business Center at Bladen Community College

HCA Student Ambassadors Board Begins Again

Tradition is returning to Harrells Christian Academy, and students are leading the way. HCA’s Student Ambassadors Board is back and prepared to make all visitors and newcomers feel like a part of the family. The goal of HCA’s Student Ambassadors Board is to promote hospitality to those at HCA and in the community. Ambassadors have a list of duties, including hosting new students, performing school tours to potential families, and lending a helping hand at school events.

The new board members performed their first official duties on Friday, March 22, 2015 as they welcomed, registered, and toured potential families during HCA’s first day of Kindergarten testing for the 2015-2016 year.

HCA previously had a student ambassador’s group, but work with the student organization fell apart when the faculty sponsor left the school due to a family move. This year, after seeing a need for the group’s services, faculty members Meredith Horne and Karen Burton began the steps to reinstate the group. READ MORE

Revised Bladen Hardware Ad 3

Bladen Population Drops

Bladen County population dropped 181 since last year according to the latest estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The ten county Cape Fear region saw seven counties with less population and only three with an increase.
Bladen County    -181
Columbus County -241
Sampson County -48
Cumberland County -138
Robeson County  -196
Lee County -335
Scotland -430
Three counties in the region saw an increase in population.  They included:
Harnett County +1,529
Hoke County  +458
Moore County  +1,501
Bladen County’s population was just over 35,000 in 2010, but has dropped slightly each year since that date..  The latest estimates are in the range of 34,662.

2015 Spring HVAC Tune Up BOL Ad

USDA Implements 2014 Farm Bill Provision to Limit Payments to Non-Farmers

Department Proposes Changes to “Actively Engaged” Rule

USDAWASHINGTON, March 24, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a proposed rule to limit farm payments to non-farmers, consistent with requirements Congress mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill. The proposed rule limits farm payments to individuals who may be designated as farm managers but are not actively engaged in farm management. In the Farm Bill, Congress gave USDA the authority to address this loophole for joint ventures and general partnerships, while exempting family farm operations from being impacted by the new rule USDA ultimately implements.

 “We want to make sure that farm program payments are going to the farmers and farm families that they are intended to help. So we’ve taken the steps to do that, to the extent that the Farm Bill allows,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “The Farm Bill gave USDA the authority to limit farm program payments to individuals who are not actively engaged in the management of the farming operation on non-family farms. This helps close a loophole that has been taken advantage of by some larger joint ventures and general partnerships.” READ MORE

Ad for Gordon Kinlaw Thermal Image audit

You Decide: Are there easy answers to key economic questions?

By Dr. Mike Walden

North Carolina Cooperative Extension

When I give presentations about the economy around the state, I always leave time for questions and answers. Of course, the questions vary based on the group, the location and the most recent economic news.

However, although I’ve not kept specific records, I have noticed several economic questions that appear to be repeated quite frequently in my meetings. In fact, there are four in particular that I am often asked. This tells me that, among all the existing economic issues, these may be he top ones on many people’s minds.

So here are the four questions, along with a summary of my answers.

 Do we have to pay off the national debt?  

The national debt is now $18 trillion and climbing. Expressed on a per-person basis, this is $56,000 for every woman, man and child in the country. People understandably worry about how the average person could ever pay off this obligation. READ MORE

Main Street Treasure Booth Rental

HCA Science Olympiad Sweeps Regionals


Competing in numerous competitions, the Crusaders came away with numerous wins following the regional competition at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC. Twenty-three high school students and six middle school students competed in various areas of competition. HCA competes yearly in Divisions B and C (Middle and High School).

HCA students placed first in six separate competitions. Those who placed first overall in their competitions will go on to the state competition on April 25, at North Carolina State University.

Faculty member Dee Cannady is the sponsor for the group and she works year round with students to help them prepare for the competitions held in March every year. This is the school’s sixth year of Science Olympiad.

Reflecting on the team’s success and future, Cannady stated, “I hear more and more students express an interest in the competition. The middle school level is generating a lot of interest. I’m hoping that we may be able to get an elementary team someday.” READ MORE

Thoughts While Shaving

Thoughts While ShavingWeather could be a big story over the next 72 hours….temps dropping throughout the day to the mid 40’s this afternoon…90% chance of rain and windy…gusts up to 20 mph.   Saturday and Sunday high temps around 54 degrees……Monday’s weather should return to more normal conditions with mostly sunny skies and highs near 66…

Blueberry and strawberry folks must be concerned….
Elizabethtown Police Chief Robert (Bobby) Kinlaw announced Thursday that he would be retiring in August.  He will have 34 years of service to the town….and Chief the past 15 years…He obviously has done a good job….He is still a young man…Bet he is not content to go home and sit….He will be busy doing something…Good job, well done…  READ MORE


Hazardous Weather Outlook – National Weather Service

US-NationalWeatherServiceLow temperatures Saturday night are expected to fall to 27 to 32 degrees.  This freeze could be very damaging to budding and blooming fruit trees and to sensitive garden plants.
Low temperatures Sunday night should remain above freezing…but there is the potential for frost in normally-frost prone inland locations.

Big Blue Store

Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on March 27

Extremes For Bladen CountyHighest Temperature    81 degrees          1991
Lowest Temperature    25 degrees           2014
Greatest One-Day Precipitation     1.50 inches          1917
Yesterday’s High Temperature was 76 degrees.

7-Day Forecast

1 Center Road Baptist

This Day in History – March 27

This Day In History1794—The United States Government establishes a permanent navy and authorizes the building of six frigates.

1841—1st US steam fire engine tested, NYC.
1863—American Confederate President Jefferson Davis calls for this to be a day of fasting & prayer.
1879—Longest championship fight (136 rounds)
1884—1st long distance telephone call, Boston-New York.
1933—Farm Credit Administration (US) authorized.
1945—7th NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Oklahoma State beats NYU 49-44.
1945—Ella Fitzgerald & Delta Rhythm Boys record “It’s Only a Paper Moon”
1950—Jazz pianist, Erroll Garner’s solo concert (Cleveland,OH)
1958—CBS Labs announce new stereophonic records.  READ MORE

First Choice Staffing


Chief Kinlaw announces retirement

KinlawElizabethtown Police Chief Robert L.(Bobby) Kinlaw announced his retirement Thursday during a city council workshop.
Kinlaw became a rookie police officer with the Elizabethtown Police Department in 1981.  He has worked every position in the department throughout his career.  He was promoted to Chief in 2000.
His retirement is effective August 2015.  He will retire with 34 years on the job, all with the Elizabethtown Police Department.
Elizabethtown City Manager Eddie Madden indicated he would advertise the position in an effort to hire the best person available. He praised the work of Chief Kinlaw.

River House

Four County EMC Linemen’s Quick Response, Saves Member’s Home

4CountyFour County EMC linemen, Jay Willoughby, Randy Anderson, Gregg Mobley and Brett Noble, just happened to be at the right place, at the right time on the afternoon of March 17. These men came to the aid of Mrs. Barbara Matthews at 178 Corinth Church Road in Rose Hill by putting out a grass fire that had spread under her house.

The fire had gotten out of control while the family was burning straw and grass, spreading under and actually catching Mrs. Matthews’ home on fire. The Four County EMC linemen happened to be driving by on their way to their job site when they noticed the Matthews family trying to extinguish the fire with a water hose.  The linemen immediately stopped to lend a helping hand. Using fire extinguishers off of their trucks, the linemen put out the fire and waited for the Rose Hill Fire Department to arrive before leaving the scene. While no extensive damage to the home was reported, there was some minor damage underneath the house including some duct work. “If it had not been for their quick actions, her house would have sustained a lot of damage from the fire”, commented Rose Hill Fire Chief Clayton Herring, Jr.

Bladen Community College Spring 2015 Ad

Rouzer Votes for Permanent Repeal of Sustainable Growth Rate

David RouserWashington, D.C. – Congressman David Rouzer released the following statement today after the House passed H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

“The permanent repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) ends 17 years of short-term patches that cost the taxpayers $170 billion during that period of time.  Additionally, the uncertainty brought about by these short-term patches coupled with the structure of Medicare’s reimbursement formula has forced many doctors to quit taking Medicare patients.      

“I voted for this bi-partisan package because it will result in greater access to quality care for senior citizens on Medicare, provide much needed certainty for our doctors, and achieve the first meaningful entitlement reform in 20 years, which is critical to getting Washington’s spending under control.  Under current spending practices dictated by law, Medicare is one of the primary drivers of the national debt.  This spending, left unchecked, will continue to skyrocket without structural changes to the Medicare program.  This bill is a very good first step to tackling the tough challenges we face to preserve and protect Medicare.”

Walgreens Cuts Ribbon on New Facility

The new local Walgreens in Elizabethtown, held their Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Thursday March, 26 2015.

Carmen Greene, Store Manager, and her team greeted the crowd at the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Walgreens Thursday afternoon. Elizabethtown Mayor, Sylvia Campbell, and Chamber of Commerce President, Trey Duncan, offered their support to the new store..

“Walgreen’s is a very convenient shop, I’ve been a couple of times, stayed longer than I should have and spent more than I should have, but then that’s what you want. That’s what we work so hard for”, said Mayor Campbell. “If any of the town commissioners can help you in any way, please contact one of us. We will get it done for you”

“From the Chamber of Commerce, we appreciate everyone coming out and being apart of the Walgreens’ Ribbon Cutting.”, Chamber President Ducan said. Members of the Chamber of Commerce attended the ribbon cutting, along with Town Manager Eddie Madden, and many more supporters of the new store. This new store will enhance to community by offering local folks the trademark Walgreens style and product lines. A warm Bladen County welcome goes out to this new business, and a hearty Thank You to all those who made it happen.

Public Meeting to Discuss Proposed Safety Improvements to Cedar Creek Road Thursday, March 26, 2015

NC DOTRALEIGH —The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an informal public meeting regarding proposed safety improvements on Cedar Creek Road (N.C. 53), west of I-95 to east of I-95 in Fayetteville.

This update will make the route safer and more effective in handling the traffic in the area. The project would include construction of a median with directional crossovers for U-turns, mid-block pedestrian crosswalks with refuge islands and flashing beacons and sidewalk. Crews will also resurface the project area.

The meeting will take place from 5 until 7 p.m. on April 2, at the J. W. Seabrook Elementary School at 4619 N.C. HWY 210 S, Fayetteville. READ MORE

School of Creative and Performing Arts Accepts Marley Ketterer

Marley Ketterer accepted to attend a two week camp at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in New York (SOCAPA)

Marley Ketterer, a sophomore at East Bladen High School, was accepted to attend a two week camp at the School of Creative and Performing Arts in New York (SOCAPA). She submitted her application and a dance video clip last fall to Manhattan’s School of Creative and Performing Arts. She was accepted to the school and will attend one of their programs offered this summer with other high school and pre-college dancers from all over the world. She will live in a dorm located on the NYU campus and spend 8 hours a day learning new skills, dance techniques and professional choreography at the world class dance studio located in downtown Manhattan.

Marley started dancing when she was 4 years old and started participating in competitions annually at age 5. She is looking forward to the opportunity and experience she will have learning new dance techniques at the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Marley currently dances at Dance Infinity Studio under the instruction of Kristi Dove Williamson. She is the daughter of Alan and Dawn Maynard of White Lake.

Consulate General of Mexico and N.C. DHHS Reach Agreement for Protection of Minors

Raleigh, N.C. – On March 25, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Social Services (DSS) and the Consulate General of Mexico in Raleigh signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that protects Mexican minors in the event they have been separated from their parents or guardians.
“We could not be more pleased to work with the Mexican Consulate,” said Wayne Black, Director, N.C. DSS. “This agreement will ensure the best possible protection for Mexican minors in North Carolina.”
While the Mexican Government has signed MoAs in 27 states, the agreement with DSS comes with a more comprehensive scope, establishing mutual cooperation between the Consulate General and DSS to locate family members, provide evidence and documentation, accessibility of services of both government agencies, joint participation in Community Outreach activities and reuniting minors with their families in Mexico when appropriate. READ MORE

Elizabethtown Commissioners hold Budget Retreat

Town Of ElizabethtownElizabethtown City Council held their annual Budget Retreat Thursday as they begin preparation for the upcoming FY 2015-16 budget.  The retreat was held at Vineyard Golf Course at White Lake in the Clubhouse.
The process began with a round table discussion that included representatives of other agencies in the county.  Included was Greg Martin, Bladen County manager; Dr. Bill Findt, President of Bladen Community College; Chuck Heustess, Bladen County EDC; Ms. Tanya Head and Ms. Valerie Newton representing Bladen County Schools and Mac Campbell, Jr. representing Bladen Agri-Industrial, in addition to the Town Board, Mayor Sylvia Campbell and Eddie Madden, Town Manager.
The various agencies spoke about things that thought were going well in their agency, and not so good, ex. state funding for the Boards of Education and Colleges.  The group spoke about issues that they were already collaborating on and how they could do a better job, with less money and more demands for services.  Time expire before the complete agenda could be discussed, however those in attendance were pleased with the communication and suggested more such meetings.  Sheriff Jim McVicker was invited but had a prior commitment. READ MORE

Update about Door-to-Door Scammers

Scam-AlertOn March 17th we wrote an article about a Kirby van going to homes in our community, looking in homes, and knocking on doors after 9 pm. We have reached out to the Kirby of Wilmington business owner due to the fact the number on the van visiting homes after 9 pm was to the Kirby of Wilmington business. We have also written the NC District Attorney and our local elected officials.

We have not yet received an official response back from the Kirby of Wilmington owner, nor have we received any information back from the District Attorney. Our local elected officials are researching information to see if our local ordinances may be changed to assist in protecting community residents from scammers. 
It is unlawful for door-to-door sales people to knock on anyone’s door after 9 pm. Door-to-door sales people are also required to have a permit to go door-to-door in Bladen County and should be able to show you the permit when they knock on your door. The sales folks should also have photo identification visible when knocking on doors as well. 
We will keep you up to date on any new information we receive about these issues. Please be very careful if you have a stranger approach your home. If you do not feel safe, call 911 immediately. Ask to see the door-to-door sales person’s identification and permit.  READ MORE 

Mr. Dennis Troy Speaks at BCC Meeting

Mr. Dennis Troy, who is the Chairman Of Bladen Community College Trustee Board spoke as a guest speaker for the Men of Standard Male Mentoring Program today March 26, 2015. Dennis went on to speak to the young men of Bladen Community College to stay in school and stay off drugs.

Snow is a possibility Friday night, Saturday

Yes, it’s late March. And, yes, there’s a chance of light snow and freezing temperatures this weekend. This is truly March Madness.

Bladen County’s weather forecast looks more like a roller-coaster ride with the high temperature Thursday expected to be near 80 degrees while the overnight low Saturday may dip as low as 29, according to the National Weather Service. There may be a few snowflakes mixed in, although no accumulation is expected.

The best chance of snow, according to current forecast models, will be from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday, although there may be some snowflakes Friday night. It’s only a slight chance and, if it occurs, will be little more than a few flakes. READ MORE

NWS seeks volunteer weather watchers

By:Jefferson Weaver

Jefferson-WeaverThe National Weather Service is seeking volunteers to set up home weather stations.

The Citizen Science Program provides daily data to the Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS). Volunteers are needed across the state to provide as much data as possible. The information is shared with media outlets as well as government agencies that track meteorological information.

The effort is part of a growing national network of home-based and amateur rain spotters to help provide more localized data to help with emergency response and planning. The project came about, according the NWS, after the Fort Collins, Col., thunderstorm that dropped a foot of rain in some areas, and only modest amounts in others. The resulting flash flood claimed several lives and caused millions in property damage. READ MORE

Eating pizza is a win

Pizza2Pizza1Elizabethtown, NC – While many of us consider pizza to be a yummy treat, two high school students recently found out that eating pizza is a win! In partnership with the Child Nutrition Department, HOPCO Foodservice Marketing held a drawing at each high school during lunch, giving away a digital camera. For each piece of pizza the student had on their plate that particular day they received a ticket entering them in the giveaway. At the end of the school day a ticket was pulled and the winner announced. 

Edgar Ventura was the lucky recipient at East Bladen High School and Enrique Bazaldua was the lucky recipient at West Bladen High School. HOPCO Sales Representative Ashley Ellington was on hand to deliver the camera to each winner.


NAACP Attorney calls for more help from locals in FBI investigation

Lennon Lacy Bio PicA large crowd attended, what was billed as a Community Mass Meeting, at the First Baptist Church in Bladenboro Wednesday evening related to the death of a young black man.
An NAACP attorney provided little new information about the case other than the investigation was ongoing, but there was still work to be done.  He called on anyone with any information to come forward and share it.
Lennon Lacy, a 17 year old West Bladen football player, was found hanging from a wooden swing in the middle of a mobile home park in the western portion of Bladenboro in mid August, 2014.  READ MORE 

John Rendleman, Reporter Gave an Informative Pop Quiz to the Local Rotary Club

By: Charlotte Smith

John RendlemanJohn Rendleman was invited to give a presentation to the Elizabethtown Rotary Club this week by local store owner and Rotarian, Ricky Leinwand. John put a different spin on giving a presentation to the group. He gave a pop quiz with WWAY t-shirts to the top 5 highest scores.

John’s questions were not easy, but very interesting. Everyone in the club learned something new before leaving the lunch meeting.

One question John asked was, “In all my years with WWAY, what was my favorite high school basketball rivalry to cover?”  After many wrong guesses, the correct answer was Tar Heel verses Bladenboro. Coach Cross, was head coach over Tar Heel, and Junior Nance was the head coach of Bladenboro.

John recalled, “You would stand in line an hour or two to get in because it was two tiny gyms. It was two extremely well coached basketball teams and two great teams. You knew it was going to be a good game. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing them play basketball anymore, or at least not anytime soon.”  READ MORE 

Small Business Center Seminars to Highlight Business Opportunities

The Small Business Center at Bladen Community College is offering the following NO-COST seminars on the Main Campus in Building 2, Room 207 starting this Thursday:

- How to Start/Expand Your Lawn Care Business               

Thursday 03/26/15 6:30 – 9:00pm at Main Campus in Building 2, Room 207

-  How to Start/Expand Your Café/Coffee/Sandwich Shop/Bakery            

Thursday 04/02/15 6:30 – 9:00pm at Main Campus in Building 2, Room 207

- How to Start/Expand Your Non-Profit Business              

Thursday 04/09/15 6:30 – 9:00pm at Main Campus in Building 2, Room 207  READ MORE 

Sheriff McVicker Announces Group Round-Up of Men for Break-In

Group photo

Sheriff James A. McVicker announced today that his office had arrested a group of young men who were committing break ins of residences and outbuildings in the county. These break ins had happened in the last couple of months. McVicker said the young men worked with each other and separately to commit these crimes.

Arrested this week were the following individuals. READ MORE 


White Lake man charged with sex crimes against a child

James Chrisitan27 year old James Daniel Christian has been arrested by the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child, one count of first-degree sex offense with a child, and one count of sex offense in a parental role.  The arrest was made after a joint investigation with the White Lake Police Department.

Sheriff Jim McVicker said, “this is another example of our two agencies working together to achieve a common goal. Police Chief Bruce Smith and I are both proud of the way our investigators handled this case and worked so closely with each other.  READ MORE 

Elizabethtown Man charged with Break-ins at Tar Heel and White Oak

KempBladen County Sheriff James A. McVicker announced the arrest of 48 year old Michael Kemp of 1691 Lyon Landing Road, Elizabethtown.  He is charged with three counts of felonious breaking and entering, felonious larceny and felonious possession of stolen goods.

Sheriff McVicker said Kemp is charged with two counts of breaking into the Murphy Brown LLC facility in Tar Heel and one at their White Oak location.  The break-ins occurred in February.  READ MORE 

Bladen County ranked 88th in North Carolina in County Health Rankings

Bladen CountyBladen County is becoming healthier, although there’s remains much room for improvement, according to the County Health Rankings published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Bladen County ranked 88th among North Carolina’s 100 counties in the 2015 rankings released Wednesday. That’s a rise of three places from 2014 and a jump of 10 places from 2013 when Bladen County was ranked 98th.

“Bladen’s rise in the County Health Rankins show us that the efforts of our community partners are making a difference in the health of our county,” Bladen County Health and Human Services director Cris Harrelson said.  READ MORE 

Jones Lake State Park to host Easter egg hunt April 4

Jones Lake State Park will have an Easter egg hunt Saturday, April 4 beginning at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required by Friday, March 27. Call (910) 588-4550 or stop by the park’s visitor center located off N.C. 242 to register. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of the Bay Lakes.

The egg hunt will start at 10 a.m., so participants are encouraged to arrive early to check in. There also will be raffle drawings, games, hikes, and other special events lasting until 2 p.m.

Walgreens Ribbon Cutting, Thursday, March 26th

Walgreens will host a grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, March 26th from 4 pm to 6 pm at the corner of ‘healthy and happy” located at 402 S. Poplar Street in Elizabethtown.

Walgreens after construction completed.



During the construction of Walgreens.  READ MORE 


Rep. Rouzer Chairs First Subcommittee Hearing

Rep David Rouzer

Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee, held a public hearing to examine the implications of potential retaliatory measures against the United States in response to its country-of-origin labeling (COOL) requirements for beef and pork.

 In 2002, Congress initially adopted a country-of-origin labeling requirement for meat products despite serious concerns that it would not comply with trade commitments. Subsequently, the law was amended ion 2008 and immediately challenged in the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Canada and Mexico, the main livestock exporters to the U.S. The WTO has since ruled three times in their favor, and members and witnesses at today’s hearing stressed the significance of the U.S. potentially losing its fourth and final appeal. READ MORE 

Folding the flag

By:Jefferson Weaver

Jefferson-WeaverMatthew Guevara, Khaalidah Sidney, Naty Rico, John Salazar, Matthew Tsar, Negah Fatahi.

In all likelihood, you never wouldn’t have heard of these University of California, Irvine students if our children weren’t being taught to be ashamed of Americans.

The young people serve on a committee that’s part of the UCI student government. Now, student government associations at colleges and universities haven’t always had a good track record – the SGA at my alma mater wanted to pay someone to approve what went in the college newspaper – but humans learn from trial and error, once we get past adolescence. The late, great William Wagoner, chancellor of UNCW, regularly reminded me that it’s often wise to let storms blow over on campus, since the weather always changes.

We live in an odd spoiled brat dominated period of time, when every single person who disagrees with the slightest thing is, by definition of academia and often the federal government, offended. If your feelings are hurt, you must be rewarded and catered to – unless, of course, that person’s values and standards were once considered the norm. READ MORE

Bicycling Plan Update

Elizabethtown and NCDOT are working together to create safe and connected routes for bicycling throughout town.  The plan aims to use bicycling as a tool for increasing quality of life, tourism, and economic development. Please join this effort by filling out this comment form and visiting the project website. You may also provide input in-person on March 26, 2015, 11-1, PM at the Cape Fear Farmers’ Market.


Bladen man on Most Wanted List of deceased Vietnam Veterans

A Bladen County man is one of about 100 U.S. service members who were killed during the Vietnam War and no photo is available to go along side more than 58,000 others on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, DC.
Volunteers with the fund’s Faces Never Forgotten project are attempting to find photographs of every soldier memorialized on the wall.
The lone Bladen County soldier with no photo is David Smith, II of Elizabethtown (1947-1968).
Nearly 2,000 North Carolinians died in the Vietnam War,about 70 remain faceless according to Janna Hoehm, a former Fayetteville resident now living in Hawaii and serves as a team leader for Faces Never Forgotten.  READ MORE 

Council man charged with statutory sex offense

JohnParksJohn Wayne Parks was arrested Sunday and charged with statutory sex offense of a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker said Monday.

Parks, who is 56 years old and lives on Railroad Street in Council, was released Monday after posting bail on a $102,500 bond. He is expected to have his first court appearance later this week in Bladen County District Court. READ MORE

E-town Officials greet military officials at the river

FullSizeRenderMayor Sylva Campbell and other town officials greeted a group of Navy officials involved in training on the Cape Fear River Monday.
Campbell, and Town Commissioners Rufus Lloyd, Ricky Leinwand and Darrell Page welcomed them to the area and thanked them for their service to the nation.
The Navy uses the river 3 or 4 times annually for approximately a week at the time.
Other branches of the military use the river and White Lake for training on a regular basis.

Craven County Senator proposed changes in Sales Tax Distribution

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Brown, a Jacksonville Republican, is proposing a change in sales tax distribution that could be beneficial to smaller rural counties.  Brown represents Craven and Jones counties, a mid size county and a small county.

Under the proposal, the shift would be phased in over a three year period, moving from a system weighted toward sending tax revenue back to where the sales are made to a system where the money is distributed on the basis of population.

Monday, lawmakers were provided a chart that shows the effect of the change by comparing last year’s distribution to what should happen when the change is fully in place for the fiscal year that ends in June 2019. 

 We Are Paying Them What?

Bladen County Economic Development Director

Once again this year we will be comparing Bladen County public official’s salaries with those of our neighboring counties. A reminder that when you look at these figures remember that counties have different tax bases thus some officials have more duties to perform that others. We will be listing the position, the salaries, the population of the counties and any other compensation that goes with that position. This week we look at County Economic Director’s salaries. READ MORE

Bladen County Farm Service Agency:  Foreign Persons Must Report

U.S. Agricultural Land Holdings

(Elizabethtown) – The Executive Director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Bladen County, Chris Tatum, reminds foreign persons with an interest in agricultural lands in the United States that they are required to report their holdings and any transactions to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

“Any foreign person who acquires, transfers or holds any interest, other than a security interest, including leaseholds of 10 years or more, in agricultural land in the United States is required by law to report the transaction no later than 90 days after the date of the transaction,” said Tatum.

Foreign investors must file Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act (AFIDA) reports with the FSA county office that maintains reports for the county where the land is located. READ MORE

Bladen County Headlines…35 Years Ago

Bladen County Headlines... 35 Years Ago
Cynthia Cain was named the new Administrator at Elizabethtown Nursing Center.
The Gray Moss Chapter of the ABWA was planning their yearly luau.
The Bladen County Hospital Auxiliary was in the process of developing a cookbook for sale.
Goldston Womble, Elizabethtown attorney, was name Bladen County Campaign Manager for Carl Stewart, a candidate for Lt. Governor of North Carolina.
200 people attended a hearing concerning the controversial housing project in the town of Clarkton.


Kelly Volunteer Fire Department Spring Fest and 5K Event

Spring-Fest-2015-FlyerCome join us at this year’s Annual Kelly Spring Fest on Saturday, April 25th at the Kelly Ball Park located on Highway 53 in Kelly NC.  This year’s event will be hosted by Kelly Volunteer Fire Department.  Our day will begin with the Kelly Volunteer Fire Department Spring Fest Run.   This event will include a 5K, 1 Mile Walk/Run, and a Kids Mad Dash.  The race will begin and finish at the Kelly Ballpark. This is the perfect race for the entire family. Go to to register online.  Register by April 11th to guarantee your t-shirt and race discount.  There will also be on-site registration beginning at 7:30am the morning of the race.  Race awards will follow immediately after the race. 

After the run stick around for the Annual Kelly Spring Fest Parade beginning at 11am followed by lots of music, games, food, bounce houses, fun with Elsa, face painting, tractor pull for the kids, corn hole, cake walks, silent auction, craft vendors and more.  READ MORE

Wildlife Commission Offers Two Fishing Skills Workshops in April

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (March 23, 2015) — To help anglers improve their fishing skills, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering two free fishing workshops in April at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville.

On April 11, the center, along with the Fort Bragg/Fayetteville chapter of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, will host the 4th Annual Kayak Fish and Float Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Capt. Jerry Dilsaver and Mark Patterson of the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association will instruct participants on:

  •          Kayak safety and rigging,
  •          Inshore kayaking fishing,
  •          Kayak fishing for mackerel,
  •          Kayak fishing for bass, and
  •          Kayaking basics for panfish.  READ MORE

March 23-27 is National Work Zone Awareness Week

RALEIGH – Warmer weather across North Carolina means an increase in activity along our highways roads, both in terms of travelers and the number of N.C. Department of Transportation projects to improve our roads and bridges. That means it is even more important for drivers to pay attention and be careful while on those roads. That is especially in work zones, and as a reminder to motorists it is National Work Zone Awareness Week through Friday, March 27.

In 2014, more than 4,000 crashes occurred in work zones, killing 22 people and injuring almost 2,000.   READ MORE

Public Invited to Provide Feedback on Draft Schedule for Transportation Projects

Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties’ Meeting Scheduled for March 31 

NC DOTRALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation wants your feedback on its Draft 10-Year State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) and how it was developed. This is the first STIP developed under the new Strategic Transportation Investments lawwhich established the Strategic Mobility Formula.

NCDOT will hold a regional meeting on March 31 in Fayetteville for paired divisions five and six. Division six includes Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Harnett and Robeson counties. Division five includes Durham, Franklin, Graham, Person, Vance, Wake and Warren counties. 

The informal meeting will be held at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall, 701 Westmont Drive from 4 to 7 p.m. It is an opportunity for the public to stop in, ask questions and provide feedback on the process the department used to develop the Draft STIP.  READ MORE

Bladen County Extension Director, Ryan Harrelson, Is Guest Speaker at West Bladen High School

By: Mrs. Shanna Harrelson

Ryan HarrelsonWhile studying various introductory soil science topics such as general soil composition/type, erosion, agriculture, overgrazing, and land use, Mrs. Shanna Harrelson’s West Bladen High School’s Honors Earth/Environmental Sciences classes welcomed Mr. Ryan Harrelson, Bladen County Extension Director (with NC State University and NC A & T University) to their classroom. READ MORE 

USDA Finalizes Procedures for Sorghum Referendum

USDAWASHINGTON, Feb. 19, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing procedures for the upcoming referendum regarding the continuation of the Sorghum Checkoff Program and is announcing the dates it will conduct the referendum.

The Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order requires that a referendum be conducted no later than seven years after the start of assessments, which began on July 1, 2008. For the program to continue, a majority of those voting must favor the continuation of the order.

USDA will conduct the referendum beginning on March 23, 2015, through April 21, 2015, at county USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for producers and the Agricultural Marketing Service office for importers. Ballots may be obtained in person, by mail or facsimile at county FSA offices, or via the Internet. READ MORE

Former Bladen County Commissioner buried Monday

Robert G (Bobby) Roberts, former Bladen County Commissioner, died Friday after a lengthy illness.  A funeral service and burial were held Monday.
Roberts, a lifelong resident of the Bethel community, was first elected to the Bladen County Board of Commissioners in 1972 at the age of 28. He later served as Bladen County Tax Supervisor.
The 71 year old Roberts was a farmer/businessman, and an active member of Bethel Baptist Church where he served in numerous positions including deacon. READ MORE

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Bladen Online By the Numbers: March 15-21

Here’s a look at the numbers for Bladen Online for the week of March 15-21. We thank our advertisers and readers for your continued support in our ongoing efforts to provide Bladen County news, sports and information for folks here at home and around the world. Contact us at (910) 879-1029 or

Page views: 86,266
Visits: 37,174

Most read stories
16,799: Kirby van is not trying to sell vacuums
4,105: Man with gun is shot, killed by Bladen officers near Dublin
2,265: Declan Owen of Elizabethtown was man killed by Bladen officers
1,270: Two officers on administrative leave following Tuesday’s fatal shooting
1,165: Recent roundup targeted street level crack cocaine dealers
925: Body of Edward Huntington Lewis found near home
644: Obituary-Jeffery Winston Lewis
620: Obituary-Declan Meirion Owen
481: Body of missing Bladen County man found
392: Missing Person-Edward Huntington Lewis

Career & Technical Education teachers achieve proficiency

CTETeachersFour Bladen County Career & Technical Education teachers achieved student proficiency in their classes during the first semester of the school year, Bladen County Schools announced Monday.

The teachers were recognized at the March meeting of the Bladen County Board of Education.The teachers, who are pictured with school board member Alan West, all had 100 percent student achievement of 77 percent proficiency and above in the following courses:** Cedric Mathis, East Bladen High School, Carpentry I** Mitchell Newkirk, East Bladen High School, Masonry I** Elizabeth Gail Marsh, West Bladen High School, Foods I** Charlotte Davis, West Bladen High School, Nursing Fundamentals

Bladen County schools receive attendance banner

Booker T. Washington Primary School, East Arcadia School and West Bladen High School received attendance banners for February at a recent meeting of the Bladen County Board of Education.

Elementary School Division: With an average student attendance during the month of February at 93.2 percent, Booker T. Washington Primary School, under the leadership of Ronald Coley, is the recipient for March.

Middle School Division: With an average student attendance during the month of February at 94.66 percent, East Arcadia School, under the leadership of Demetrice Johnson-Jones, is the recipient for March.

High School Division: With an average student attendance during the month of February at 89.89 percent, West Bladen High School, under the leadership of Wesley Floyd, is the recipient for the month of March.


Elizabethtown Christian Academy Drama Club Presents “The Word Is Love” Dinner/Variety Show

By: Charlotte Smith

Enjoyable cuisine and a heart-felt show is what the Elizabethtown Christian Academy (ECA) Drama Club brought to the table Saturday evening with the help of many volunteers, and Drama Director Mrs. Tammy Hatchell. “The Word Is Love” dinner and variety show was a huge success that ended with a standing ovation.

Headmaster Ronald Montgomery welcomed everyone and provided the blessing over the evening. Dinner was complete with a salad, lasagna or spaghetti, bread sticks, and different desserts to choose from, with refreshing tea, water, and coffee to drink. The variety show was broken into three parts, ‘Love of Others’, ‘Love of Country’, and ‘Love of God’.  READ MORE

Annual Bladen County Rabies Clinics Kick Off

By: Charlotte Smith

The sun was shining and the rain subsisted just in time for Elizabethtown Veterinary Hospital to host the first of the Bladen County Rabies Clinics on Saturday, March 21st. The clinics were held at five different locations. The first clinic was held in the Carvers Creek Township at Blanks’ Store in East Arcadia. The last clinic ended at 1:00 pm at the Elizabethtown Township at the Elizabethtown Veterinary Hospital.

It was a great turn out according to Michellie, one of the hospital’s team members. Michelle Demers, brought her black and white companion to the clinic in Elizabethtown. Demers said, “It’s a great program. I’m so glad they have these events for the community.” READ MORE


Bladen and Columbus County Youth Helps Clean Up Mercer Mill Road

The State Employees Association adopted Mercer Mill Road and sponsored the Bladen and Columbus County Community Juvenile Services Association to clean up the road. There were an estimated 18 youth from Bladen and Columbus Counties that turned out to collect litter along the road side on Saturday, March 21st.

Bladenboro Volunteers Step-Up, Again

By: Robert G. Hester

The Bladenboro Benefit Committee sponsored another special fund-raiser for 5 local residents Saturday afternoon.  The  committee believes in helping their neighbor.
Charles Ray Peterson, Berry Lewis, Teddy Britt, Jimmy Brisson and others fired up the grills before sunrise Saturday morning.  Peterson said they had cooked over 1000 pounds of pork.
Joyce Walters, the chairman of the Benefits Committee, said about 20 local residents make up the group that holds a benefit several times during the year, usually for local residents suffering with some type of a medical problem.  According to Walters, over 100 cakes were baked and provided by volunteers in the community.  The food is all paid for prior to the cookout.  Churches in the area pay for many of the supplies, individuals also step up with contributions. READ MORE 

SMART Start Brings Dr. Seuss to Family Fun Day

By: Cheryl Thurston

Bladen SMART Start hosted a Family Fun Day on Saturday, March 21, at the SMART Start Center in Elizabethtown, and presented “A Family Voyage with Dr. Seuss” to youngsters and their parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. This event also served as a “Raising A Reader” Parent Workshop.

Executive Director, Lillian Bryant, and her staff, decorated the center with images of characters from all the most popular Dr. Seuss books, and a Story Time appearance was made by The Cat in the Hat, who read aloud, “Oh, The Places You Will Go” to those in attendance.

The children (and their families) participated in colorful crafts and shared activities, followed by a nice lunch. There were around 75 people registered for this event, and each child received the gift of a literacy package that included activity books for coloring, reading, writing, identifying words and letters activities, and crafts. READ MORE


For Better Living

By: Sandra R. Cain

Eating Smart and Staying Healthy

Sandra CainEating smart and staying healthy sounds simple. But with all the conflicting advice on what we should be eating to stay healthy, eating smart can be a challenge when considering the ample variety of sweet and savory snack foods that fill our grocery shelves and vending machines as well as the focus on “super sizing” in the restaurant industry.

Eating smart doesn’t have to mean giving up good taste or all your favorite foods. It does mean choosing high-calorie, high-fat foods such as chips, fries and donuts as “sometimes” foods and making lower-fat, higher-fiber choices your “everyday” foods. Rather than having donuts and coffee for breakfast every day, make whole-grain cereal and low-fat milk your everyday choice and donuts and coffee your Saturday morning choice.

Healthy eating helps you get the most out of life. A healthy lifestyle is the key to looking good, feeling great and being your best at work and play. It all starts with a healthy eating plan. READ MORE

Earlier Stories

Summer Sounds Concert Returns

Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Healthcare and the Elizabethtown-White Lake Chamber of Commerce have announced the 2015 Summer Sounds Concert schedule.
July 9th will feature Band of Oz
July 23rd features North Tower
August 13th—The Fantastic Shakers
August 27th—Blackwater Rhythm & Blues
Additional sponsors are welcome, but the deadline is March 31st.
Platinum Sponsorships $2000. READ MORE 

Daine Smith, Owner of Cape Fear Heating and CoolingNEW HVAC Business, Cape Fear Heating and Cooling, Opened In Bladen County

Monday, March 2nd, marked the official first day of Daine Smith’s new business,  Cape Fear Heating& Cooling, LLC, in Clarkton. Smith had been with Campbell Oil Company Heating and Air Conditioning for many years. On March 1st, 2015 Campbell Oil Company closed their heating and cooling division.
The owners of Campbell Oil Company approached Smith in January and wanted to exit the HVAC business in an effort to focus more on the core part of their business, convenience stores and oil and gas. “I have been doing heating and air conditioning nearly all of my life and a great portion of it had been at Campbell Oil Company.

Cape Fear Heating and Cooling Logo

Our relationship has always been great and it continues to be of that nature. I’m very grateful for the opportunities this company has given to me.” Smith said.
“After much consideration, prayer and with full support from my wife, Charlotte Smith, we have decided to start Cape Fear Heating & Cooling. A core group of folks that have been with me at Campbell Oil for some time have made the transition. We are very excited as we prepare to continue offering great quality service and products to our wonderful community.” READ MORE

Falling Prevention Workshop For Older Adults and Their Caregivers

By: Joy Warren

fallingAre you concerned about falling? The Family Caregiver Support Program at the Lumber River Area Agency on Aging and the Bladen County Division on Aging are sponsoring a workshop for older adults and their caregivers. The workshop will include information on the prevalence of falling among older adults; medications that can contribute to falling; vision problems and poor lighting; balance, mobility and strength training; fall-proofing your home; low cost home modifications to insure safety; and “Falling Monologues” videos. Lunch will be provided by the Trinity UMC Men . The workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church, 901 West Broad Street in Elizabethtown. Call 862-3302 to register to attend.

3rd Annual Father-Daughter Sweetheart Dance set for March 28, 2015

By: Stacie Kinlaw

father 2Bladen County 4-H and Bladen County Parks and Recreation are partnering together to offer their third annual Father – Daughter Sweetheart Dance on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 6:30 pm. Tickets and registration forms are available at either agency’s location in Elizabethtown. On this special night, Bladen County Dads (or Grandfathers) will bring their sweetheart date(s) to enjoy a night of music, dancing, pizza from Giorgio’s Restaurant, refreshments, face painting, a keepsake photo, crafts and much more! Tickets will be available through mid-March as space allows. The cost of a ticket will be $15/couple and $5 for each additional daughter. All checks will be made payable to Bladen County 4-H, as any proceeds from the event will help support our county’s 4-H youth development program in the coming year.

On March 28, the Auditorium at the Bladen County Extension office will be transformed into a dance floor, photo booth provided by Sweet Cherish Photobooth, crafting space and decorated with sweet hearts everywhere! The space is limited for this special occasion, so be sure to get your tickets early. You can either stop by the offices of Bladen County 4-H or Bladen County Parks and Recreation to pick up the registration form and pay for your tickets or you can download the form and bring by one of the offices with payment. For more information about this event contact Stacie Kinlaw – Bladen County 4-H (910) 862-4591 or Patti Miller – Parks and Rec (910) 862-6770. Bladen County 4-H is a program of Bladen County Cooperative Extension Services and is located at 450 Smith Circle Drive in Elizabethtown in the Powell Melvin Agricultural Building. The Bladen County Parks and Recreation main office is located at the King Street Gym at 803 W King Street Elizabethtown, NC 28337. READ MORE



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