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Week in Review: Jan. 12-19

   Last year, the Bladen County Board of Commissioners approved a beer and wine referendum to be placed on the ballot for the May elections.

   Last week, the battle lines for those in favor and those against the referendum started to be drawn.

   A newly formed Political Action Committee headed by Rev. Bruce Cannon, who is director of missions for the Bladen Baptist Association, held its first meeting at Sandy Grove Baptist Church. The PAC is against the measure. Rev. Mark Creech, who is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, was the guest speaker.

   There's no official group organized in support of passage of the referendum, at least not yet, but the issue has drawn plenty of discussion on Bladen Online's guestbook.

   Supporters say its a matter of choice to purchase a legal product, that Bladen County will benefit from additional revenue, and it prevents people from driving to neighboring counties to purchase alcoholic beverages.

   Detractors say it encourages underage drinking, doesn't provide an economic boom, and is a destructive drug.

   Bladen County Elections Director Cynthia Shaw has said she expects a much higher turnout than usual for the May elections because of the referendum being on the ballot.

   Stay tuned. You'll be hearing a lot about the issue over the next 3 1/2 months.

   In other news,

   Several people attended the Bladen County Board of Education meeting in support of naming assistant principal Tim Benton as the school's principal. Toni Warrick left the post over the Christmas holidays and was replaced by Wade Lowry for the rest of this school year. Benton attended Bladenboro High School, and has been a teacher and coach in the Bladen school system for several years.

   The Bladenboro Board of Commissioners appointed Terry Nance to fill the remaining two years of the term of Larry Simmons. Simmons resigned his seat in November. The board also selected Alan Maynard of Maynard Law Firm in Elizabethtown to be the town attorney. The town is still in need of a town administrator.
   Woody White, a former Elizabethtown resident, announced he is running for Congress to represent residents of the 7th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. He made the announcement at the Cape Fear Farmers Market in Elizabethtown. White is a Wilmington attorney and currently serves as chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. His parents, Barbara and Eddie White, still live in Bladen County

   In sports, former UNC-Pembroke and West Bladen High basketball player Nathan Priest signed a professional contract with Kosarkarski Klub Elektra Sostanj, a Slovenian team. Meanwhile, the unbeaten East Bladen girls' basketball team (15-0) was ranked third in the first N.C. Preps Class 2-A poll of the season.

   That's the week that was in Bladen County.

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