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Filing for Municipal Elections begins July 6
The 2015 filing season for municipal elections begins on Monday, July 6 and closes on Friday, July 17. The date for local elections is Tuesday, November 3, 2015. The following offices and current office holders: Elizabethtown, Mayor: Sylvia Campbell Council Members: Ricky Leinwand READ MORE
Extremes for Bladen County, NC, on July 6
Highest Temperature 99 degrees 1990
Lowest Temperature 56 degrees 1979
Precipitation 2.06 inches 1931
Yesterday’s High Temperature was 91 degrees. 7 Day Forecast
Sunday, July 5th, 2015 Check out our Sports Page
Our local baseball players have really been giving it their all. Read all about it and view some photos of the guys in action on our sports page. Get the schedule of who is playing where today and go out and support our teams if you can.
They did it again! Fireworks bring huge crowd
The crowds were out at White Lake on Saturday, July 4th, enjoying the lake and then the fireworks show after dark at Goldston’s Beach. The Elizabethtown – White Lake Chamber of Commerce has done it again thanks to the support of local business owners. The fireworks show drew a huge crowd not only to Goldston’s Beach, but also to Camp Clear Water. The photos above show the festivities at Goldston’s Beach and at Camp Clear Water.
When the show was over, the traffic was backed up for miles. One traveler said, “It took me almost a hour to get from White Lake back to Elizabethtown. READ MORE
Saturday, July 4th, 2015
Flags Flying High
Flags flying high at the courthouse in Bladen County on this Independence Day. Find more photo of folks celebrating the holiday at Jones Lake by visiting, https://www.flickr.com/gp/jeffowenphotography/90A0j5
Photo courtesy of Jeff Owen, Jeff Owen Photography Find him on Flickr Cape Owen Manor subdivision holds Fourth of July parade
Family and friends in the Cape Owen Manor subdivision off Owen Hill Road near Dublin held their third annual Fourth of July parade Saturday morning.
The parade included children riding bicycles that were decorated in patrotic themes, golf carts and ATVs covered in red, white and blue, at least one riding lawn mower, a boat on a trailer, and walkers making their way down Cape Owen Manor Road. READ MORE
Harmony Hall Ringing Bell for Support If you hear a bell ringing around Harmony Hall today, it’s because people are donating money. Maureen Thompson Bell made the announcement today on her Facebook page. According to Maureen the wooden shingle roof at Harmony Hall is in desperate need of repair and is estimated to cost around $7,000. “The wooden shingle roof is in horrible condition and water will eventually ruin the upper level on down. We desperately need funds to pay for it,” Maureen said. Her plan today is anyone that stops by and makes a donation may ring the bell at Harmony Hall. She also posted on Facebook, if you can’t make it out to Harmony Hall, but would still like to make a donation she will ring the bell for anyone who makes a donation. All you have to do is comment that you will make a donation on her post on Facebook. Then make your check payable to Harmony Hall Foundation READ MORE
Double shooting in Whiteville leaves one dead, one in jail By: WECT READ MORE Rotary Scholarship Winners By: Elizabethtown Rotary Club The Elizabethtown Rotary Club presented two $500 scholarships to local Bladen County Students at their weekly meeting at San Jose Restaurant. Jeremy Davis from West Bladen High School and Malik McKoy a student at Bladen Community College were the two recipients of the scholarships. READ MORE
We Walk For Fennell Fundraiser Submitted By: Barbara Featherson Now wheel chair bound due to sudden paralyzation of his lower extremities, Fennell Yates has returned home after more than a three-month stay between the hospital and rehabilitation centers. Yates returns home to a much different life than what he was accustomed to. His home as well as other necessities has to be modified to adjust to this handicap. An organizer of WE WALK FOR FENNELL has scheduled a walk-a-thon fundraiser for Saturday, July 25, 2015 from 8:00 am-10:00 am at Whiteville High School Soccer Field off Legion Drive. Walkers are asked to register with $10.00. All proceeds will go directly to Fennell. Yates is a graduate of Whiteville High School class of 1997. READ MORE
NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JULY 3
The most dangerous intersection in Bladen County? By: Charlotte Smith There has been a lot of talk in Bladen County about the intersection construction at US Hwy 701 and Hwy 87. Our local NCDOT team members are continuing to work hard on the project as well as Barnhill Contracting Company. However concerns have been expressed by citizens of our community and we want to know your opinion.
The construction at the intersection started on March 3rd, 2015 with the prime contractor for the construction being, Barnhill Contracting Company. The contract amount is $13,265,221.98.
The concept W. R. Marsh, PE, NCDOT Whiteville Resident Engineer gave was US 701 will take a new alignment on the eastern side and go under NC 87 Bypass. New bridges will be built for each direction on NC 87 Bypass and down at Brown’s Creek. NC Highway 242 is relocated to the southern side of Sampson-Bladen Oil Company.
The old piece of NC Highway 242 remains in place for access to Sampson-Bladen Oil Company and the State Employees Credit Union. Marsh said, “Everything in my career has always been up and over.
Now we are going down and under. It’s not quite a tunnel. To tie in 701 and 87 you will have a loop to get you off of 701 to 87 and a ramp to get you off 87 to 701.” To help us try to understand what the intersection will be like for those who learn visually, Marsh has given us a drawing of the work to be done at the intersection. He also provided us with a photo of an intersection in Fayetteville that is similar to the one they are building in Elizabethtown. READ MORE
Ferry is operating Ken Clark NCDOT
The river level dropped sufficiently overnight that the Elwell Ferry IS operating as of Friday morning. The river level is right ‘on the bubble’ though so we will have to monitor closely – NOAA projections are for levels to rise slightly tomorrow.
BCC Presidents and Deans list
Students who have maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. for the term have been named to the President’s List as follows. Gabriela Alcala-Garcia Johnda Melvin Litoria Bartley Sarah Mills Erica Butler Amanda Mitchell Jessica Carroll ShaBrima Montgomery Melissa Carter Amanda Morris Charlanna Coleman Robin Novak La-Faith Council Ashton Oxendine Aaron Cox Levy Pait Rebecca Creasey Chelsie Patrick Jamie Davis READ MORE
Let’s Eat Out, But Where?
Sometimes we go out to eat as a celebration, or as part of our vacations. This July, many of us will eat out a lot more just because it’s July, or just because we were out playing and didn’t go home to cook. Sometimes it’s just because we don’t have time, or are too tired to cook at home, (or maybe we just don’t like to do the dishes). In either case, eating out equals knowing that someone unseen is preparing the food you are going to eat (or feed your children), and that is reason enough to question the cleanliness of the establishments we like to frequent. BladenOnline is happy to offer our readers a monthly update on the health scores given to eating places in our county. You can rely on us as your news source for restaurant cleanliness, so that you can make informed choices when considering a vacation, date night, birthday celebration, or the simple escape from dish-pan hands. View the Health Reports for June. READ MORE
NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JULY 2
Elizabethtown Town Council Meets Monday The Elizabethtown Town Council meets Monday for their regular monthly meeting. A work session will be held at 12 noon and the regular meeting is slated for 7 p.m. at Elizabethtown Town Hall. Included on the Agenda is a presentation by Phil Geary, EI. The topic of the discussion will be Bladen County’s Comprehensive Transportation Plan Update. Two Resolutions will be considered for approval. READ MORE Bladen County May Unemployment At 8.2 Percent RALEIGH — Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 97 of North Carolina’s counties in May, decreased in two counties, and remained unchanged in one county.
Graham County had the highest unemployment rate at 12.0 percent while Buncombe County had the lowest at 4.5 percent. All fifteen the state’s metro areas experienced rate increases. Among the Metro areas, Rocky Mount at 8.6 percent experienced the highest rate and Asheville had the lowest rate at 4.7 percent. The May, not seasonally adjusted, statewide rate was 5.9 percent.
When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 87 counties, increased in six, and remained unchanged in seven. Fourteen metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year while one remained unchanged. READ MORE
Big Plans for Bike Lanes in Elizabethtown
A matching grant was awarded to the Town of Elizabethtown in 2014 along with several other communities in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the Town of Elizabethtown now have a goal to develop a comprehensive bicycle transportation plan.
The Bicycle Plan Steering Committee met again this past Tuesday evening to discuss options available for bike lanes in Elizabethtown. The purpose of the grant is to encourage municipalities to develop comprehensive bicycle plans and pedestrian plans.
During the planning process bicycle lanes were added on King Street in order to create safer bicycling conditions. Since the lanes were added, we have heard from King Street residents worried they are going to lose their ability to park on the street.
During the meeting Tuesday night we announced the concerns about the parking issues on King Street when the committee started discussing the plan for extending the bike lanes along King Street to Peanut Plant Road. Eddie Madden, Elizabethtown Town Manager said, “That is a residential street and it requires off street parking. I can understand that the property owners have gotten accustomed to parking on the street. So, we have encouraged them and provided them with a pamphlet as an educational tool about the bike lane.” READ MORE
By:Jefferson Weaver Note to my readers: With rare exceptions, I do not like to reprint columns, since I consider doing so to be a lazy habit. However, at the request of several folks, the column below is an edited version of the piece by the same name which I wrote in 2009. Thomas Traylor watched. Ellis Covert was likely sick. Ben Weaver probably waited. As important as Independence Day is to me as an American, I have to remember the date as a Southerner, too. From July 1, 1863, until July 3, 1863, a lot of Americans, both Northern and Southern, had things on their minds other than the holiday barbecue or fireworks or beach trip, things most of us enjoyed this past week. READ MORE
Dublin man killed in Lumberton
23 year old Ryan Smith of Dublin died from a gunshot wound in the Turner Terrace housing project in Lumberton Wednesday. Smith was found inside a vehicle. Law enforcement officers responded to a call about 9 p.m. He was taken to a Lumberton hospital where he was pronounced dead. No arrest has been made. Officers do not believe the shooting was a random act.
Lifetime License Holders: Time to Request Seasonal Information
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 30, 2015) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding lifetime license holders that it is time to request a copy of the 2015-16 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 1. Lifetime license holders who have a license that entitles them to hunt big game and migratory game birds also can request their big game harvest report cards, HIP certification and bear e-stamp, if applicable. READ MORE
Cool Tips for Summer Drinks – For Better Living
By: Sandra R. Cain There’s nothing better than a cool drink on a hot summer day to help you feel refreshed. You can enjoy summer drinks from an abundance of options which look incredibly delicious. But remember that some can really pack on the calories in no time.
- Energy drinks. Think twice before swigging one of these for a cool kick-start to your day. One energy drink that is heavily advertised is Red Bull, which has a lot of sugar (two tablespoons) and caffeine (three times the amount in a can of cola). These drinks also are acidic, so the price you may pay for cooling off could be dental erosion. A recent study showed that Red Bull may cause more harm to tooth enamel than soda, Gatorade or a coffee drink. With these energy drinks it’s recommended that you use a straw to reduce contact of the liquid with your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after finishing the drink. READ MORE
VBS Mission Project
Last week Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church celebrated Vacation Bible School by recognizing God’s mighty powers. Children of all ages celebrated at the “Base Camp of Mt. Everest” and realized that with God’s help they can conquer any challenge. One of the greatest powers God has is the power to provide. With this in mind, the church collected school supplies to donate to Bladen County Schools. Elizabethtown Middle School is thankful for the contributions from the church and grateful for the community support in providing for its students.
*You Decide: Is North Carolina’s Rebound Stumbling?* *Dr. Mike Walden* *North Carolina Cooperative Extension*
Some troubling news about North Carolina’s economy made the headlines recently. Numbers for an economic concept called gross domestic product”, or GDP, were released for 2014. While North Carolina’s GDP increased in 2014, it rose much less than in the nation. The comparison was a 1.4 percent gain for the state versus a 2.2 percent improvement for the nation. Does this mean it’s time to worry about the state’s economic rebound? READ MORE Bladen County Collection Centers Open for business The Bladen County transfer station will be closed Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day. Normal operations will resume on Monday, July 6th. All other county collection centers will be operating on a normal schedule.
NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, JULY 1
Kids Fun Day Fundraiser for Ayven Lennon For those who may not have heard, a Bladenboro family received the news last month every family hopes they never hear. Ayven Lennon the 5 year old son of Misty and Toby Lennon was diagnosed with Lymphocytic B-Cell Lymphoma and Leukemia. According to a Go Fund Me set up for the family, Ayven will have a three year journey, which includes weekly trips to UNC Childrens Hospital for Chemo. Our community members want to help the family with their burden. So along with the other fundraisers going on in our area for this family, there will be a Kids Fun Day held Saturday, August 1st in Bladenboro at the Bladenboro Historical Building. The day will include bounce houses donated by Bounce Brothers, train rides donated by David Hales, Face painting, Slushies donated by Lu Mil Vineyard and more! The fun will begin at 10 am and last all day. READ MORE Commissioners Schedule E&R Meeting
BLADEN COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT RECEIVES ACCREDITATION 2015
Bladen County Health Department was awarded Re-Accreditation Status on May 15, 2015 at a Local Health Department Accreditation Board Ceremony in Raleigh, NC. Cris Harrelson, Health and Human Services Agency Director accepted the award at the event. “Receiving accreditation status is important,” said Harrelson. “It lets the citizens of Bladen County know that their local health department meets acceptable standards of professionalism, accountability, and access to care.” The three functional components are: • An agency self-assessment, which include 41 benchmarks and 148 activities; • A three day site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peer volunteers; and • Determination of accreditation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board. Bladen County Health Department was awarded initial Accreditation in May of 2011. Accreditation status is reviewed every 4 years from the initial accreditation review. “I would like to thank everyone involved for this accomplishment,” continued Harrelson. “From members of our Board of County Commissioners to Bladen County government staff to our community partners, this was truly a team effort.” READ MOREOne of our Favorite Local Artists Captures Broad Street One of Bladen County’s favorite, most talented Artists, Kathryn Sellers Bunn, of White Lake, has been seen on these warm summer evenings at the intersection of Hwy 701 and Broad Street in Elizabethtown painting a beautiful portrait of the buildings, Corner Café down to Toddlers and Teens. Better known as Kathy, this local artist is one of the most well-known, admired artists in Bladen County according to most of our residents. Kathy taught Art Class for 29 years. She taught at East Bladen High School for many of those years. Now, she gives Art lessons out of her home for children and adults alike. When she is praised for her talent Kathy responds saying, “It’s not really about talent. It’s about passion. If you are passionate about something it really makes a difference.” READ MORE
N.C.’S SOUTHEAST LAUNCHES NEW BUILDINGS AND SITES MARKETING DATABASE
Elizabethtown, N.C. – July 1, 2015. The Southeastern Partnership (“North Carolina’s Southeast”) has launched a new marketing technology tool that will offer real-time intelligence about the region’s available properties and communities to businesses and site selectors around the globe. The organization’s buildings and sites database, constructed with help from a $35,000 matching grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, went live last week. The searchable site displays information on listed industrial sites and buildings across the region’s 14 counties. READ MORE
Keep your Independence Day celebration safe with these fire safety tips
RALEIGH – Officials with the N.C. Forest Service encourage people to celebrate Independence Day by viewing public fireworks displays rather than risk starting fires by setting off their own fireworks. “Many wildfires that occur during this time of the year start due to the careless use of Class C fireworks such as sparklers, fountains, glow worms, smoke devices and trick noisemakers,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With many free fireworks shows planned across the state, there are a lot of options for enjoying the July 4th holiday that reduce the risk to our forest lands and personal property.” READ MORE
FSA County Committee Nomination Period in Bladen County Now Open
(Elizabethtown, N.C.), July 1, 2015 –Bladen County USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Chris Tatum, announced that the nomination period for local FSA county committees began on June 15, 2015. Nomination forms must be postmarked or received in the Bladen County FSA Office by close of business on Aug. 3, 2015. “County Committees are unique to FSA and allow producers to have a voice on federal farm program implementation at the local level,” said Tatum. To be eligible to serve on the FSA county committee, a person must participate or cooperate in an agency administered program, be eligible to vote in a county committee election and reside in the Local Administrative Area (LAA) where they are nominated. READ MORE Annual Sale Promises Many Savings
NEWS FOR TUESDAY JUNE 30
Amber Alert Canceled, Iyana B. Ross Found, Update from Bladenboro Police
The Amber Alert issued on Monday, June 29th for missing teenager, Iyana Shabre Ross, has been canceled according to Chief Hunt of Bladenboro Police Department. Hunt explained that the juvenile was reported missing by her family members and was believed to have left home on her own. Her whereabouts were unknown. Ross was found around 1:07 pm on Tuesday, June 30th after information was received from the public and a tremendous amount of assistance was given by local, state and federal agencies. Chief Hunt said, “The Bladenboro Police Department would like to thank the FBI, SBI, Department of Public Security Services, Bladen County Sheriff’s Department, Bladen County Department of Corrections, and the public for their assistance in this matter.”
Communicating Effectively For Your Benefit
By Brenda Brown Social Security Public Affairs Specialist in Fayetteville,
NC Good communication is about more than just promptly taking a customer’s phone call or directing them to a helpful website. It includes providing useful information in a clear and easy-to-understand way, in writing, on the web, and over the phone. June is National Effective Communications Month, but at Social Security, we’re at the forefront of clear, concise communications all the time. Our efforts to better serve and clearly communicate with the American public are paying off, and people like you are reaping the benefits. We’re proud of our consistently high ratings in customer satisfaction and usability Regular Schedule for Waste Industries Waste Industries will remain on regular garbage collection schedule for the Town of Elizabethtown on July 3rd. Bladen County Board Retreat The Bladen County Board of Education will hold a Board Retreat on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the Board Retreat is to discuss district planning for the 2015-2016 school year. The retreat will be held in the board room of the Bladen County Administration Office, 1489 US Hwy 701 South, Elizabethtown, NC 28337.
From Our Inbox
Dear Editor: So many times, we think of all the bad things happening around us. It clouds our ability to see wonderful things are happening, even during tragedies. On Saturday morning, June 27, 2015, I witnessed a group of dedicated people working together to save as much of Gibson Cancer Center as possible. Many thanks to the Lumberton Fire Department and those volunteer departments that served as back up support. Our loss would have been much greater had this group of individuals not been responsive, collaborative and professional. I heard one person comment on how the “team was so organized, everyone knew his role and carried it out well.” READ MORE
Congressman Rouzer visits Bladen
Mac Campbell, Jr., Rouzer, Charles DeVane, Harrison Devane and Elizabethtown Mayor Sylvia Campbell. Pictured (L-R) Rep. David Rouzer made another stop in Bladen County Tuesday. He included Bladen as a part of his visits to several nearby counties. His visits were primarily to Ag related businesses, and included Campbell Oil in Elizabethtown.
“On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign” Continues Over July 4 Holiday
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 29, 2015) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will team with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the State Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies over the July 4 holiday weekend for the “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” safety campaign.
The annual multi-agency initiative works to ensure everyone can travel safely on the road and on the water during summer holidays. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 is subject to arrest. READ MORE
SHIIP Announces Statewide Award Winners
Bladen County Headlines…35 Years Ago
David Hursey of Dublin Jaycees was recognized as Dublin Jaycee of the Year. Leonard Hood of Elizabethtown won the Carolina Sands Country Club Tennis Championship. The Bladen County tax rate was increasing by 5 cents to a rate of 90 cents per hundred. Mike McGuiness resigned as Executive Director of the Joint Municipal Housing Cooperative. The Clarkton Tobacco Market, part of the Border Belt market, was scheduled to open around the last of July.
How do I become eligible for Medicare due to disability?
The services of SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Program of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, are not only for people aged 65 and older. SHIIP also provides free counseling about Medicare to people on Medicare due to a disability. Before you can receive Medicare due to a disability, you must apply, be approved and have received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a period of time. In most situations before an individual can receive SSDI, a date of onset must be established. In addition, a five-month waiting period must be served before a person is entitled to Social Security disability cash payments.Highway Patrol Encouraging Motorists to Drive Safely During the July 4th Holiday RALEIGH – According to the American Automobile Association, it is estimated that 41.9 million people will travel during the July 4th holiday period; the most in eight years. As a friendly reminder, the Highway Patrol is advising motorists to be careful as they enjoy the July 4th holiday. Motorists who slow down and travel at posted speeds will not only increase their chances of arriving at their destination safely, but will also conserve fuel. Speed is the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in the state. Troopers will be cracking down on speeders during the holiday and will be using speed timing devices to assist them in enforcing the speed laws. There will be an increased presence of troopers on the interstates, major four lane highways and rural paved roads across North Carolina. Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 7 fatal collisions and 257 injury collisions during the July 4th holiday period. This included 3 fatal collisions and 48 injury collisions due to impaired driving. READ MORE
We Are Paying Them What?
Bladen County Systems Administrator 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 Systems Administrator. READ MORE
Bladen We Care sponsors successful fund-raisers
Bladen We Care’s 26th annual fund-raisers were very successful according to President, Mac Campbell, Jr. Campbell reported recently that the Annual Gala and Golf tournament will provide funds for grants to Bladen County residents, who are experiencing difficult times due to medical expenses. Bladen We Care also assists other organizations that provide assistance to area residents, including Bladen Crisis Center and Bladen Baptist Association. READ MORE
NEWS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 29
Southeastern Carolina Crossroads Officially Opens
Desmond Bryant returns to East Bladen July 11
Desmond Bryant, an East Bladen graduate, and veteran NFL defensive lineman will conduct a free Football Camp at East Bladen on Saturday, July 11. Registration for youngsters ages 6 to 18 will begin at 8 a.m. with the camp to follow. For additional information contact East Bladen Eagle football coach Robby Priest at 645-2500. For Bryant, it is his annual visit to the school for the free camp. READ MORE
NEWS FOR SUNDAY, JUNE 28
EARLIER STORIES Not too late to sign up for the S.T.E.M. Summer Camp
Bladen County Schools will be hosting the S.T.E.M. Summer Enrichment Camp July 13th – July 17th and time is running out to sign up for all the fun and learning. The camp will make visits to Bladen Community College, Tech University, Jones Lake, and the STEM Robotics Camp. Students will be building robotics, exploring chemistry, physics and environmental science, learning about fitness and nutrition and a lot more at the S.T.E.M. Camp. The camp will be 8 am until 3 pm. Students in grades 3rd through the 5th grade may attend the camp for an investment of $75 per student. There will be free breakfast and lunch each day. Students will be picked up and dropped off at Elizabethtown Middle School. Space is limited. READ MORE
Hospice offers free grief program
Lower Cape Fear Hospice will offer a free six-week grief program, Living with grief: Growth and education groups for adults, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays, July 6-Aug. 10, at its Bladen County office, 116 W. Broad St. in Elizabethtown. Discussions include phases of grief and the grieving process, along with other areas of concern. Often being around others who have been through a similar experience enables participants to talk about what they are experiencing. Grief groups help emphasize that participants are not grieving alone and others understand and can support them on their grief journeys. Registration is required and closes once the series begins. For more information, call 910-515-6689. When leaving a message, please leave your name, phone number and indicate the specific program you wish to attend. Sessions are free. Donations are appreciated. Additional groups will form throughout the year. READ MORE