> Ukrainian international captured has Columbus County ties

> Southards: Carolina Sands Golf Club in White Lake out of business

> NC farmers lead country on legal foreign workers

> Greensboro's labs profit the most from Medicare

> Dissatisfaction with Common Core State Standards crosses political lines


P J Wetzel: hiker, writer, earth scientist

Election Update
Early voting begins Thursday, April 24th at four (4) locations in Bladen County. 
1) Bladenboro 
2) Dublin 
3) East Arcadia
4) Bladen County Library, Elizabethtown

Elizabethtown Primary School  - Third 9 Weeks Honor Roll Lists
 4th Grade
Superintendent’s List
Raymond Autry, Kassie Bagwell, Denitsa Dimova, Natalea Fowler, Weslyn Hall, Aubree Jacobs, Kelis Johnson, Tyler Lewis, Merritt Martin, Justin McAllister, Alexus Mitchell, Azariah Rhodie, Silence Smith, Natalie Spears, Latham Waters, Lauryn Williams
 “A” Honor Roll
Kaylee Bagwell, Tahjanae Bell, Zyasia Crumb, Heather Hardin, Amber Knighten, Jabaylin Looby,  Marvin McKiver, Zaniya McKiver , Kameron Melvin,  Amariah Murchison, Ahmad Powell,

Bladen County Sheriff's Department Crime Report: April 7 to April 13

   The following arrests were filed by the Bladen County Sheriff's Department from Monday, April 7 through Sunday, April 13. The people listed have not been convicted of the charges and are presumed innocent. Failure to appear charges are not listed.

Tuesday, April 8
    Demond Shaw, 41: Probation violation out of county (misdemeanor)
    Maurice James Williams, 17: Simple possession of Schedule VI controlled substance (misdemeanor)
    Nathan Richard Strickland, 18: Possession of stolen goods (misdemeanor)

                              CHARLOTTE (APRIL 16, 2014) - While gasoline prices have climbed 36 cents a gallon since Christmas, they are still 5.6 cents a gallon less on average in North Carolina than they were last Easter.
                              Typically a family stay-at-home holiday, Easter gas prices always serve as precursor to higher prices due to the May 1 national deadline for refineries to start producing less-polluting summer-blend
fuel. This transition pressures prices upward because supply becomes crimped. 

Author/storyteller visits Tar Heel Middle


Donna Washington, author and storyteller extraordinaire spoke to the Tar Heel Middle School student body Tuesday, April 15th as part of the Collaborative & Innovation grant Tar Heel and Bladen County Public Library received from the North Carolina State Library.  The grant's purspose is to strengthen ties between student, school & public library as well as offer books that support the curriculum and reading programs. 
Ms. Washington is a terrific, energetic storyteller and has published 7 books.  Her stories, sound effects, and characters will long be remembered by Tar Heel students. She took them around the world and through time as she told stories from Africa, Ireland, the Appalachians and tossed in some classic Chaucer. 

A Brief Period of Freezing Temperatures is Possible Tonight.
A very cold airmass is settling over the area.  Meteorological analysis shows there is a low possibility of an hour or two of freezing temperatures possible tonight. We are currently forecasting readings to stay just above freezing but any slight deviation in the forecast could lead to temperatures falling to or just below briefly.  The airmass should modify quickly Thursday eliminating the threat.

Thoughts While Shaving
If you plan to be in Raleigh Thursday....stop by the state farmers market for a free tomato sandwich.  It's the Annual Greenhouse Vegetable Day Celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
We had strong wind damage over the past few hours in Bladen....One report indicated thunderstorm wind damage 4 miles SSW of Bladenboro...Not sure if same report but an abandoned trailer was reportedly knocked of the foundation.  Winds were estimated by radar around 40 mph.
Had a couple of news releases from David Rouzer and Woody White campaign headquarters reporting financial updates...

Bladen County Weather
National Weather Service
Today...Sunny, with a high near 58.  Northeast wind 14 to 18 mph.
Tonight...Mostly clear, with a low around 34.  Northeast wind around 9 mph.
Thursday.....Mostly sunny, with a high near 67.  Northeast wind around 11 mph.
Thursday Night...Increasing clouds, with a low around 42.  Northeast wind around 7 mph.

Board of Education Meets
Bethany Stephens
The Board of Education met this past Monday for their monthly session.  During the meeting, the board recognized several students and organizations for various accomplishments.  The board first recognized Bladenboro Middle School’s Junior Beta Club for earning several medals at the NC Jr. Beta Club Convention in February.  Cierra Byrd won first place in both Speech and Sculpture.  Dalton Pait won first in the T-Shirt category, and Brandon Walden won first place in the Black and White Photography category.  Angelica Caraballo also won third place in the Watercolor category.

Meet the Candidates: Steve Lesane, Bladen Sheriff

   Steve Lesane spent many years and served in many roles before leaving the Bladen County Sheriff's Office in 2010. Now, the Bladen County native wants to return to the department, this time as sheriff.

   Lesane is challenging incumbent Prentis Bentson in the May 6 Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican Jim McVicker in November's general election.

Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on April 15


Highest Temperature

92 degrees





Lowest Temperature

32 degrees





Greatest One-Day


2.08 inches



Yesterday's High Temperature was 73 degrees.

DHHS encourages safety measures to prevent spread of Hepatitis A
Monday, April 14, 2014

Raleigh, N.C. - As the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services assists Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties in their response to a case of Hepatitis A in a food handler, it is important to remind people to always take precautions when preparing food, whether at home or at a restaurant.
The simple act of thoroughly washing your hands before and during the preparation of meals can prevent the spread of Hepatitis A and other food-borne diseases. Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

Governor McCrory Announces Appointments
Governor Pat McCrory announced several appointments Tuesday.  Among them was the reappointment of Dr. Robert L. Rich to the North Carolina Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control.
Dr. Rich is primary care physician in Bladen County.

ICYMI: Gov. unveils new partnership during Sanford stop


Community college system president calls it "most significant step" for workforce development in 20 years


April 15, 2014 • Education, • Jobs and the Economy


Gov. unveils new partnership during Sanford stop Will Doran The Sanford Herald April 14, 2014 After being laid off from his job in Siler City in 2011, Alberto Sosa-Diaz found temporary work with Caterpillar. He then started night classes at Central Carolina Community College and eventually learned enough welding skills to land a full-time job.

Cakes for Cody!


Week 16 drawing for a Banana Nut Cake donated by Olga Bauer and a Decorated Easter Cake donated by BJ Clark
Update provided by Cody’s Grandmother, Brenda Clark:


                Cody was the star of the show on Saturday as he was asked to throw the first pitch at the opening ceremony for our Dixie Youth Baseball season.  As you can see, he has a mean little right arm.  He was so proud and while he couldn’t stand on his own, his dad was there to support him..

Teenager makes cakes to help Relay for Life
by Marsha Burney
At just 14 years old, Bethany Strickland is already working to make a difference in this world. The Clarkton School of Discovery eighth grader has been working for the last few weeks baking cakes. The money she makes off her cakes is her donation to her school’s Relay for Life team.
So far, she’s donated $600 to her school’s Relay team, and she took the initiative to do it all on her own!

Woman killed identified; ex-boyfriend 'person of interest'

   The woman who was fatally shot early Monday morning in Bladenboro has been identified and her ex-boyfriend is considered a "person of interest" by Bladenboro police, Chief Chris Hunt said Tuesday afternoon.

   Patricia Lyn Cooper, 38, was killed in the shooting that happened about 2:30 a.m. Monday outside an apartment complex on Ash Street during a domestic dispute with her ex-boyfriend, Johnny Yarbrough, Hunt said. Cooper was shot in the back.

National Government Month
Since 1991, (National Association of Counties) NACo has encouraged counties across the country to actively promote county government programs and services. National County Government Month (NCGM) is celebrated each April by the nation's counties to raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of county government. This year's theme is:  Ready and Resilient Counties: Prepare. Respond. Thrive.


The Lake Church to hold first service Easter Sunday

   Dublin First Baptist Church has had the vision to expand its reach for about 10 years. Easter Sunday, Rev. Cameron McGill will see the church's vision become a reality.

   The Lake Church will hold its first service at 8:32 a.m. at the Venue at Regal Resort at White Lake. "The reason for starting the service at 8:32 is because of John 8:32, which says, 'Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,'" McGill said. "We wanted folks to understand that it was going to be a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church."

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Meet the Candidates: Prentis Bentson, Bladen Sheriff

   Prentis Bentson came to Bladen County in 1987 to work for the Sheriff's Office under Sheriff Earl Storms. Twenty-seven years later, the native of Hyde County is nearing the end of his first term as Bladen County Sheriff.

   "I've done 27 years of continuous law enforcement with the Sheriff's Office in Bladen County, starting in the Civil Division and moving up to Sheriff," Bentson said. "It's certainly an honor and privilege to have served as sheriff of Bladen County since 2010."

Bladenboro board approves additional Community Building construction funds

   The Bladenboro Board of Commissioners on Monday approved an additional $13,000 for construction of the town's new community building. The money will be used to build a deck and railing on the back to meet code requirements.

   Bladenboro received a $500,000 N.C. Catalyst Community Development Block Grant in September 2012 to demolish the nearly 70 year old community building and construct a new one on the same site.

Governor McCrory Launches Major Workforce Development Initiative


“NCWorks to focus on one goal – connecting North Carolina jobs with North Carolina people.” – Gov. McCrory
Sanford, NC - Governor Pat McCrory and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker joined state officials today in announcing "NCWorks," a major initiative that will promote one consistent, cohesive strategy for workforce development across North Carolina.

“While I am continually pleased to see more and more people finding jobs in North Carolina, it is important to remain focused on getting people back to work,” said Governor McCrory. “As we continue to rebuild, I am committed to making our state stronger and more resilient.

Bladen Students Attend YLA
Valerie Newton
Elizabethtown, NC - Thirteen high school students from Bladen County recently participated in the N.C. Youth Legislative Assembly conference in Raleigh. Over 200 students from 36 counties were in attendance during the three-day legislative session. 
North Carolina Congressman Justin Burr was the keynote speaker. Wake County District Court Judge Vince Rozier, son of Bladen County School Board member Vinston Rozier, presided over the assembly.

Body Pulled from Cape Fear River
A body was pulled from the Cape Fear river Sunday by Bladen County Water Rescue, and has been identified as Joey Glen Voncannon, a 49 year old white male, of 1570 Pine Acres Road, White Oak, NC.
According to his wife, Voncannon left home a week before on Sunday, April 6, driving a pick up truck, pulling a trailer and jet ski and never came home.

Elizabethtown Primary School Battle of the Books


 Elizabethtown Primary's Battle of the Books team; Kassie Bagwell, Latham Waters, Lauryn Williams, Natalie Spears, Merritt Martin, Natalea Fowler, Kameron Melvin, Raymond Autry, Weslyn Hall, Denitsa Dimova, Justin McAllister, along with coaches, Beverly Brady and Shantell Faircloth, participated in Bladen County Schools' first annual Battle of the Books competition on Friday, April 11th. The students had to read seven books and answer questions regarding the books in a timed competition. The team came in 2nd place in the county competition.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week: April 13-19

   This is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week. It's dedicated to honoring the many telecommunications professionals who aid in providing 911 emergency assistance.

   The Emergency Communications Center strives to keep up with the demands of the public safety departments in Bladen County and the people they serve. In an emergency, minutes can count and the Communication Officers with Emergency Communications know this.

Ben Dowless Building
109 West King Street
Click HERE For More Old Photos of Local Area
Photos Courtesy of Lewis Smith             

Meet the Candidates: Vince Rozier, Bladen Board of Education At-Large

   Vince Rozier believes that being able to reach out and communicate with a child is among the best ways to help give them an opportunity for a better future. That's what he's tried to do as a minister, former Boy Scout leader and a member of the Bladen County Board of Education.

   "We go out here now in the communities near the church and talk to children and young people as much as possible," Rozier said. "We want to help children who don't have a means of communication. If you can communicate with a child in a way, then you might be able to help them go forward."

Director creates new seal for Bladen's HHS
by Marsha Burney
A little over a year ago, the Bladen Commissioners consolidated several agencies in the county -- the Health Department, the Social Services Department, the Division of Aging, and the BARTS (Bladen Area Rural Transportation System) program. Then last summer, the Commissioners hired Cris Harrelson to put it all together and make everything work out right.
Harrelson has done just that.

Bladen Election Info Update
Latest absentee info 4/11/14
Absentee ballots mailed out 549
Ballots returned   286
Registered Voters as of 4/11/14 (Bladen County)
Total              22,547
Democrats     14,769
Republicans     2,965
Unaffiliated       4,786
Libertarian            27

Dixie Youth Season Off to Good Start in Elizabethtown
250 Dixie Youth youngsters and 65 coaches along with hundreds of moms, dads, brothers, sisters and grandparents were at Leinwands park in Elizabethtown for the Opening Ceremonies that officially kicked of the 2014 season.
West Bladen high school senior Haley Hall (L) sang the National Anthem.
Mayor Sylvia Campbell, Town Commissioners and the Town Manager were present, but the highlight of the day was Cody Clark tossing out the first pitch.  He would have preferred to have been introduced as a team member with friends.  That is not possible this year.  Cody continues to receive treatment for brain cancer that was discovered late last year.

Pleasant Hill Holiness Church
Elizabethtown, NC
Click HERE for other Church Photos             
Meet the Candidates: Berry Lewis, Bladen Board of Education At-Large

   As a structural inspector consultant for the N.C. Department of Transportation, Berry Lewis helps pave the way for safe travels across our state's roadways.

   For the past eight years as a member of the Bladen County Board of Education, Lewis has worked to pave the way for students to prepare for the future.

Cody Clark tossing out the first pitch to begin the 2014 Elizabethtown Dixie Youth baseball season.

Bladenboro Rotary Club Announces Plans for Annual Tournament
The 16th Annual Bladenboro Rotary Golf Tournament will be held Friday, May 9th at Land O Lakes Golf Course near Whiteville.  Golfers will be treated to lunch before they play and a meal afterwards.  The field is limited to the first 30 teams.  Call 674-1995 to enter.
Since 1988, over $47,000 has been raised to help fund scholarships for Bladenboro and West Bladen High School school seniors.  The Bladenboro Rotary Club established the J.W. and Martha Black Scholarship in 1967 to provide funds for college expenses for deserving seniors.  The is tournament is the club's major fundraiser, and the commitment to West Bladen high school in memory of two outstanding educators.

Cakes for Cody!
Congratulations to Week 15 winner - Sindy Portillo Ramirez of a Chocolate Layer Cake donated by Alicia Mitchell!
Week 16 drawing for a Banana Nut Cake donated by Olga Bauer and a Decorated Cake for Easter donated by BJ Clark
Tickets may be purchased at the Bladen County Finance Department for $1.00 each.

Bladen We Care's 25th Anniversary Draws a Crowd


Nearly 400 supporters attended the 25th Anniversary celebration of Bladen We Care sponsored by Smthfield and Murphy-Brown Friday night at Lu Mil Vineyard.  Those attending enjoyed the nearly non-stop music of Blackwater Rhythm & Blues Band, dancing, delicious food, a reverse raffle, an auction, a 50-50 heads/tail benefit game and an update on Bladen We Care activities..
It is one of two annual events to assist the organization in their effort to continue to support Bladen County residents in need due to medical situations.  

Tips for Eating Out

For Better Living

Sandra Cain
Research shows that on any given day, almost half of all adults in the United States will eat at least one restaurant meal. Contrary to what you may think, it is possible to eat out and still eat healthy.  Many restaurants offer delicious meals that are low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. That’s good news for your health because a diet high in saturated and trans fats raises blood cholesterol. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, and it’s also a risk factor for stroke.

Meet the Candidates: Kory Hair, Bladen Board of Education At-Large

   Kory Hair comes from a family of Bladen County educators. His grandfather, W.J. Hair, served as superintendent for many years. His father, Miles, made his career teaching and coaching. His wife, Jennifer, is a teacher, and, at one time, her three sisters were teachers. Other family members also have been in education.

   Hair, however, chose a different career. He earned his Animal Science degree from N.C. State in 1998, and has been working for the Bladen County Building Inspections Department since 2003. He also oversees Animal Control.

Highway Patrol Announces Operation Slow Down 2014


Troopers to Keep a Close Eye on North Carolina Highways


RALEIGH – The Highway Patrol announced today that it is kicking off its annual Operation Slow Down 2014 campaign to catch excessive speeders on North Carolina’s highways. Operation Slow Down, which begins on Monday, April 14 and ends on Sunday, April 20, was created in an effort to reduce traffic collisions across the state. The campaign will be conducted in combination with the Governor's Highway Safety Program’s No Need to Speed campaign.

Fishing pier constructed on Cape Fear River at Lock & Dam 2 in Bladen

   The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently completed construction of a universally accessible fishing pier that runs along the Cape Fear River at Lock and Dam 2 in Bladen County.

   The wooden pier includes an 8-foot-by-90-foot fishing platform that runs parallel to the river and a 7-foot-by-93-foot walkway that provides access to the fishing platform. A 7-foot-by-7-foot concrete abutment connects the pier to an existing ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk that also provides access to the existing concrete boat ramp. 

McIntyre Participates in Capital Soccer Classic to Benefit Youth Sports
Photo courtesy of Rod Lamkey, Jr. (Politico)
Washington, D.C.- U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre joined fellow Members of Congress and former U.S. National team players in the second annual Capital Soccer Classic, a charity event benefiting youth sports after school programs. 

Dublin Second Graders Learn about Saving
On "Teach Children to Save Day," bankers across the nation connect with students and talk about budgeting and saving.
Judy Harrelson, Wells Fargo Banker from the Elizabethtown, NC branch, visited Mrs. Priest second grade class at Dublin Primary School Friday and read from 'Lily Learns about Wants and Needs.'
The students were attentive and enjoyed the visit.
April is "National Financial Literacy Month."

Mike Walden's You Decide:  Where's the growth?


Dr. Mike Walden
North Carolina Cooperative Extension


Economists love numbers – some might call it an occupational hazard. Numbers are our window into the workings of the economy. Without numbers, we’d have a difficult time understanding how the economy is changing, both in positive and negative ways.
But all economic numbers aren’t created equally. For example, many of the economic statistics released monthly – such as the job numbers – are based on statistical samples.

Meet the Candidates: Tim Benton, Bladen Board of Education At-Large

   Tim Benton has spent the past three decades walking the halls and pacing the sidelines in various roles within Bladen County Schools. He's been a teacher, coach and administrator. For the past three years, he's served as assistant principal at West Bladen High School.

   Benton is hoping his experience will help him win one of three at-large seats on the Bladen County Board of Education.

Gov. McCrory Proposes Higher Investment for High-Demand Occupations
Governor Pat McCrory has proposed reinvesting $16.8 million in savings generated by community colleges into additional funding for the state's 58 community colleges to train workers in high-demand fields such as health sciences, engineering, construction, manufacturing, transportation, chemical and biotechnology fields.
The program, 'Closing the Skills Gap' initiative would allow each community college to decide how it will invest the money, such as the needs of business and industry by funding high-cost,

Bladen County Headlines...35 Years Ago
Dewey Tedder, a native of Clarkton, was named Senior Vice President of Lorillard Tobacco International.
Annie McKee presented a piano concert at Clarkton Presbyterian Church.
White Lake Jaycees announced that they would hold their Awards Banquet at Dowless Restaurant in Clarkton.

Governor Mike Huckabee to Campaign for White
The Woody White for Congress campaign announced recently the former GOP presidential candidate and Governor Mike Huckabee will come to the district on April 25th for a press availability and two events promoting White's candidacy.
The events are scheduled as $25 per person rally in Brunswick Forest and then a private reception later in Wilmington.

Second-Term Republicans Gain in New Effectiveness Rankings
With a super majority in the state legislature, Republicans claimed the top 15 spots in both houses in the new ranking of legislators' effectiveness released earlier this week by the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.  President Pro Tem of the Senate Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) top the ranking for the second time in a row.
The biennial effectiveness rankings are based on responses to surveys from the legislators themselves, from registered lobbyists based in Raleigh, and capital news media who regularly cover state government.

We Are Paying Them What?
 Cooperative Extension 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 Cooperative Extension Director's salaries.

Harmony Hall reunion planned April 26; cookbooks on sale

   Harmony Hall Plantation Village has scheduled its annual reunion for Saturday, April 26, and has updated and reprinted its cookbook.

   "While Harmony Hall was in the (middle) of restoration 15 years ago it was not unusual to have over 2,000 people (for the reunion) on the first Saturday in May," Field Marshal Bobby Lewis said. "Now we have to schedule around other activities. We hope to have 500 this year and grow a crowd from that."

Friendship Holiness Church
White Lake, NC, Area
Click HERE for other Church Photos            

Meet the Candidates: McCrae Dowless, Bladen Board of Education District 2

   McCrae Dowless admits that he "loves politics." He helped start Politician Appreciation Day eight years ago, a non-partisan event that allows all candidates an opportunity to talk about their campaigns. The most recent one was held on the last Saturday in March.

   Two years ago he decided to put his name on the ballot and won election as Bladen County's Soil and Water Conservation supervisor. Now, Dowless, a Democrat, is campaigning for a seat on the Bladen County Board of Education.

Midway Truck Stop
NC 87 West
Click HERE For More Old Photos of Local Area
Photos Courtesy of Lewis Smith            

North Carolina’s February County and Area Employment Figures Released
Bladen Rate At 10 percent

RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 95 of North Carolina’s counties in Feb ruary, increased in four and remained the same in one.  All 14 of the State’s metro areas experienced rate decreases.
Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 13.8 percent while Orange County had the lowest at 4.4 percent.  Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 9.6 percent experienced the highest rate and Durham-Chapel Hill at 5.0 percent had the lowest. 

Meet the Candidates: Roger Carroll, Bladen Board of Education District 2

   It's been 23 years since Roger Carroll was involved in a vehicle accident that left him partially paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. But it hasn't stopped the Bladenboro High School graduate from raising his family and being involved in his community.

   Twelve years ago, he was elected to represent District 2 on the Bladen County Board of Education. Carroll, a Democrat, is seeking a fourth term in the May 6 primary against challenger McRae Dowless. There is no Republican opposition.

Grieving mom pens book to help others
by Marsha Burney


It’s natural for people to mark events in their lives according to a calendar. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions, and we mark the milestones in days, and months, and years.


This Friday, April 11, Rhonda Sellers Elkins of Clarkton will mark one of the most difficult milestones in her life. It will be one year to the day that her beautiful, intelligent, successful, 23-year-old daughter died. And while losing a child could never be easy under any circumstances, Rhonda has struggled for the past year with the fact that her precious Kaitlyn took her own life.

A house that was a home
By Jefferson Weaver
Staff Writer 
The old house rambled across the ridge, shaded by sad old pecans and a sweetgum that had seen better days.
The house obviously didn’t wander to and fro, as I am wont to do; the term, however, is perfectly applicable, since its porches didn’t match, the beaded siding on one section didn’t quite line up with the sawmill basics of the next addition, and the bathroom was an obvious afterthought from a time after electricity had come to the country.

Nominations Now Open for the North Carolina Awards, State’s Highest Honor
April 8, 2014 • Ethics and Accountability


Raleigh, NC - Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 North Carolina Awards, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state and awarded by the governor, through May 15. Created by the General Assembly in 1961, and administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the award recognizes “notable accomplishments by North Carolina citizens” in the fields of literature, science, fine arts and public service.

Education First for a Better Bladen: Part 4
Valerie Newton
Elizabethtown, NC – Bladen County School’s future depends on the sustained progress of its public school system. That’s why, as part of the May 6 Sales and Use Tax Referendum, Superintendent Robert Taylor forged a Promises Made, Promises Kept pledge with the community. The pledge demonstrates clearly that the school system is committed to ensuring that revenue generated from the ¼ percent sales tax, if approved by the voters, are used with fidelity.

ETMS Needs Proctors


It's that time of year again...Testing is in the air!  Elizabethtown Middle School is in need of proctors for the End of Grade Tests that will be administered June 2 -10, 2014.  Proctors are required for each test session and will assist the Test Administrators (teachers).  Proctors must be at least 18 years old. Please contact Geraldine Bradshaw gbradshaw@bladen.k12.nc.us or call the school at 862-4071

Meet the Candidates: Gary Rhoda, Bladen Board of Education District 1

   The Million Man March held Oct. 16, 1995 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was a gathering of African-American men that was designed to raise awareness for fathers and men to take responsibility for themselves and their families. The event drew plenty of national attention, both positive and negative.

   For Elizabethtown's Gary Rhoda, the Million Man March was life changing.

Meet the Candidates: Glenn McKoy, Bladen Board of Education District 1

   With more than 500 victories and two state championships as a high school basketball coach at Whiteville High School, Glenn McKoy knows the importance of teamwork.

   Retiring in 2006 after more than 30 years in public education, McKoy wants to bring Bladen County government officials and the communities they represent together as a team to help students and staff in the school system.

BCC Small Business Center presents “Getting Ready for Summer” seminar series
Jack McDuffie
The Bladen Community College Small Business Center is presenting a series of no-cost seminars entitled “Getting Ready for Summer” during the month of April.  The seminars will be held at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown on Thursdays 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  The seminars are as follows:

Meet the Candidates: Charles Whitted Sr., Bladen Board of Commissioners District 3

   Charles Whitted Sr. spent 21 years in the Air Force. Upon his retirement, he couldn't wait to return home to Bladen County. He's been back since 1995, helping family members with businesses and starting Whitted Home Improvement. He also serves as a minister in Methodist churches.

   Now, Whitted, a Democrat, is running for public office for the first time. He's challenging incumbent Russell Priest for the District 3 seat on the Bladen County Board of Commissioners in the May 6 primary. There is no Republican opposition.


East Bladen Booster Club Plan for Reverse Raffle
The Annual East Bladen Reverse Raffle is planned for Saturday, May 10.  Tickets to be sold are available at Leinwands and Eagle Club members need to pick them up.
A Booster Club meeting is planned for the Easter Break. Tickets need to be sold and money turned in before the raffle date.
The dinner begins at 6 p.m. on May 10.

Water Festival Dates Set
The White Lake Water Festival will be held the third weekend in May.
The deadline for Sponsorships has been extended to April 15.
Contributions received by April 15th are guaranteed to be listed in the brochure.  All Gold Sponsors will also be listed on the t-shirts and sponsorship boards at the festival site.
Organizers need the support of the community to help grow this annual event that kicks off the tourist season in this area.  

Bladen Online to preview local candidates on May 6 ballot

   The primary election is about five weeks away. Between now and May 6, you'll see campaign signs clustered along roadways in Bladen County, and advertisements online, in newspapers, and on radio and television. There will be rallies and discussion of issues.

   In Bladen County, there are 16 candidates on the May ballot. For most, a win on May 6 means winning the seat since there won't be opposition in November. However, for sheriff and at-large seats on the school board, a win in May means another election lies ahead.

Click HERE for the 2014 Bladen County Primary Notice and list of Candidates

Bladen County Rabies Clinics - Click Here for schedule
Bladen County Rabies Clinics for dogs and cats is underway.
North Carolina law requires shots for dogs and cats over four months of age. Shots are $6 each.  Check the schedule for the site and date nearest you.

Churches in Bladen County - Click HERE To VIew Church Listings
How many churches are there in Bladen County? How many adherents (supporters or followers)? and what denominations are represented in the county?
According to a website, The Association of Religious Data Archives that was completed in 2010 there are 120 congregations listed in Bladen County.  That number is skewed somewhat because reports are incomplete from congregations and adherents from the larger African-American denominations.

Upcoming events


April 18.......The Bladen County Solid Waste Transfer Station will be closed Friday, April 18th in observance of Good Friday. Normal operations shall resume on Monday, April 21st. All other county collection centers will be operating on regular scheduling and will be open to the public.


April 19.....Graham Tabernacle FBH Church in Clarkton will be having a YPI Joy Night on Saturday, April 19 at 6:00pm.  The pastor, Reverend Samuel Bellamy and members invite everyone to attend.  There will be various choirs and soloists on the program.  Come out and enjoy the Lord in songs.  Contact:  Mary Shaw 910-876-0056


April 19.....White Oak Family Worship Center will hold its annual Egg Hunt on Saturday April 19th at 11 am unitl. Games, food and fun for all ages. Everyone is invited and everything is free. Also the same day the Outreach Care Ministry will be having a free clothes give away. Clothing for all ages and sizes will be available. Parents are welcome to come and brouse while the children are enjoying the fun and games.  

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The Barking Lot
Big Blue
Bladen Community College
Bladen DoIt Best Builders Supply
Campbell Oil
Cape Fear Propane
Cape Fear Valley Hospital
Charles D. Allen, Jr., D.D.S., F.A.G.D., P.A.
CLC Financial Services Group
Coach's Furniture
Corner Cafe
Dickerson's Pharmacy
Elizabethtown Denistry
Elizabethtown Nursing Center
Eric Bryan Plumbing
First Source Staffing
Fishers Men and Ladies Shop
Four County Electric Membership Corporation
Healthworks Fitness Center
Hester, Grady & Hester PLLC
Hester Tire
Hilton Auction and Realty, Inc.
Houston's Peanuts
Johnson Law Firm
Kinlaw Furniture and Appliance
Lacy West-Thomas Insurance Agency, Inc.
Main Street Treasures
McDuffie Pest Control
Nationwide Insurance, Elizabethtown
New Light Church
Nissan of Clinton
Poplar Heights 
Southeastern Health
Star Telephone Membership Corporation
Walane Gas Company
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