Sticky post

In historic NC hearing, Joe Freeman Britt’s troubled past as prosecutor looms

By Jacob Biba This story was produced in partnership with the Garrison Project. In February and early March, a Johnston County Superior Court judge held an evidentiary hearing related to a claim filed by Hasson Bacote that race played an impermissible role in the jury selection of his first-degree murder conviction and death sentence.  For nearly 14 years, Bacote, a Black man, has sought relief …Read more Continue reading In historic NC hearing, Joe Freeman Britt’s troubled past as prosecutor looms

Sticky post

Some Border Belt voters went to the wrong precinct on Election Day

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org After being redirected for a second time, Trayonna Haddock got in her car and drove away from the Bill Sapp Recreation Center in Lumberton to travel to yet another voting precinct. “This happens to me every year,” Haddock, 53, said before going to her third location on Election Day, March 5. Haddock wasn’t the only voter who got sent to another …Read more Continue reading Some Border Belt voters went to the wrong precinct on Election Day

Sticky post

At UNC Pembroke, frustrations about safety reach fever pitch following shootings

By Rachel Baldauf  rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  Their faces illuminated by electric candlelight, students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke wept as they gathered for the second time in less than a month to remember a friend who was shot and killed.  Cameron Taylor, 22, was killed in a March 2 mass shooting when a fight broke out at The Commons at Pembroke, an off-campus apartment …Read more Continue reading At UNC Pembroke, frustrations about safety reach fever pitch following shootings

Sticky post

Robeson County company got state funds for STEM classes. It also does military training

By Lisa Sorg This story was originally published by NC Newsline. On its face, the Emerging Technology Institute in Red Springs, in northwestern Robeson County, promotes STEM education — wowing school kids with drones and dog robots. But behind the scenes, the well-connected defense contractor reveals its other mission: Offering military-style urban and rural tactical training with role players and drones. Rifle and pistol marksmanship. Exercises in countering “emerging threats.” A …Read more Continue reading Robeson County company got state funds for STEM classes. It also does military training

Sticky post

What does sports betting mean for UNC Pembroke? 

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is among the 13 schools within the UNC System that will get money from sports betting.  Each school will receive $300,000 next fiscal year from taxes generated by sports betting, which became legal in North Carolina on Monday. In addition, 20% of remaining tax proceeds not earmarked for other uses will go to the …Read more Continue reading What does sports betting mean for UNC Pembroke? 

Sticky post

Tyris Jones taps into the art of storytelling

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Tyris Jones, 55, has always dreamed of his name being in lights on Broadway and knows one day he is going to win an Oscar.  In his community, Jones is best known as a storyteller and enjoys sharing his craft with others. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Jones about storytelling and how he brings awareness to this uncommon art form. …Read more Continue reading Tyris Jones taps into the art of storytelling

Sticky post

Southern Columbus County: Where new development collides with a rural way of life

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  This story was co-published by the Border Belt Independent and The Assembly. The aroma of cigarettes, coffee, and Snickers bars fills the air outside of Fowler’s Supermarket on a rainy Sunday morning. Just before they head to church, a dozen men gather on the long wooden benches and plastic rocking chairs outside the store and debrief the local goings on. It’s …Read more Continue reading Southern Columbus County: Where new development collides with a rural way of life

Sticky post

‘Vote in hope of change’: education, community concerns top voter issues here

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org Before heading to the polls, Theresa Guyton gets on a group call with every member of her family. They sort through each office on the ballot — from president, to state auditor and everything in between. Each person is assigned a different race to research prior to Election Day, then they confer and decide who earns their vote.  This primary was …Read more Continue reading ‘Vote in hope of change’: education, community concerns top voter issues here

Sticky post

Anti-establishment success: takeaways from the 2024 primaries in southeastern NC

By Ben Rappaport  benrappaport@borderbelt.org   While Super Tuesday didn’t yield many surprises in the high-profile races for North Carolina, voters in the rural southeastern region of the state distinguished themselves in important ways. Most notably, they opted for “anti-establishment” candidates in both parties, many of whom campaigned in the region showing a need for increased engagement of rural voters in the lead-up to the election in …Read more Continue reading Anti-establishment success: takeaways from the 2024 primaries in southeastern NC

Sticky post

Private school vouchers in southeast NC see sharp increase as funding more than doubles

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Private schools are on the rise in North Carolina, and the Border Belt region is no exception. A successful Republican-led push to expand the state’s private school voucher program last year has created massive growth in the number of students receiving vouchers and the amount of state funding in the program. Private school vouchers, also known as Opportunity Scholarships, provide families …Read more Continue reading Private school vouchers in southeast NC see sharp increase as funding more than doubles

Sticky post

Reynolds Trust renews three-year grant for Border Belt Independent

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust renewed a three-year, $495,000 grant for the Border Belt Independent, the trust recently announced. “Our journalism is funded by grants like these and donations from readers,” said Publisher Les High. “We do not sell advertising, and all content is free. Without the support of organizations like the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and others, there would be no Border …Read more Continue reading Reynolds Trust renews three-year grant for Border Belt Independent

Sticky post

‘Feel more pain’: southeastern NC is at the heart of a 30-year public education fight

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  For 28 days, Angus Thompson has been undergoing intensive radiation therapy at UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton. The treatments have left him tired and he now walks with two canes for support. But the fire hasn’t left the 72-year-old retired public defender. Neither has the fervor in his booming voice. He’s a presence that demands attention and a listening ear when he …Read more Continue reading ‘Feel more pain’: southeastern NC is at the heart of a 30-year public education fight

Sticky post

Q&A with Carol Caldwell: ‘My story is told for a lifetime, not just February’

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Carol Caldwell knows the importance of recognizing Black voices in her Columbus County community. So she and some other residents created a committee that focuses on the preservation of African American culture.  The Border Belt Independent spoke with Caldwell about her efforts. Q. When did the Columbus County Committee for the Preservation of African American Culture start? It actually started as …Read more Continue reading Q&A with Carol Caldwell: ‘My story is told for a lifetime, not just February’

Sticky post

Homicides in Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties in 2024

The Border Belt Independent is tracking homicides in Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties in southeastern North Carolina. The map will be updated each week using information from local law enforcement agencies and media reports. Click on the pins within the map for details. Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties typically record violent crime rates that exceed statewide figures. When asked what contributes to the …Read more Continue reading Homicides in Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties in 2024

Sticky post

How can Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties gain better access to food?

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Four open-house forums about the future of food access in southeastern North Carolina will take place across Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties this month. The events, organized by N.C. State University’s Visioning Our Food Future project, will gather community input on how to improve residents’ access to healthy and affordable food. Visioning Our Food Future brings together N.C. State researchers with …Read more Continue reading How can Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties gain better access to food?

Seat belt illustration Sticky post

Despite efforts, Robeson County ranks last for traffic deaths. What needs to happen?

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  The N.C. Department of Transportation had an idea in 2018 to reduce traffic deaths in Robeson County, which has ranked the worst in the state for traffic safety for the past 20 years.  The goal was to assemble a task force of community leaders to brainstorm solutions to traffic problems and educate drivers on how to stay safe on the roads. …Read more Continue reading Despite efforts, Robeson County ranks last for traffic deaths. What needs to happen?

Sticky post

AmeriCorps volunteers build new home for Columbus County family affected by hurricanes

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  The thwacking of nail guns against wooden beams and the buzzing of a power saw cutting down planks created a cacophony of construction.  Just off a dirt road outside the Columbus County town of Cerro Gordo, a group of young people built the foundation for what will soon become a tiny home. They worked on the project for three weeks as …Read more Continue reading AmeriCorps volunteers build new home for Columbus County family affected by hurricanes

Sticky post

Border Belt People: Jessica Cory brings awareness to Lumbee literature

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Jessica Cory, a lecturer at Appalachian State University, grew up hearing about the Lumbee tribe from her mother-in-law, who grew up in Robeson County. These stories inspired her to write about the significance of tribal history. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Cory about her writing and her interest in the Lumbee tribe. Q. When did you become interested in writing …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: Jessica Cory brings awareness to Lumbee literature

Sticky post

How a man charged with murder was released on bond and shot two Robeson County deputies

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Robeson County sheriff’s deputy Jonathan Walters had an uneasy feeling as he and his partner set out to arrest a suspect who was out on bond and cut off his ankle monitor.  “It was just pretty much like a sixth sense,” said Walters, who has worked for the sheriff’s office since 2020 but was marking his one-year anniversary on patrol that …Read more Continue reading How a man charged with murder was released on bond and shot two Robeson County deputies

Sticky post

Here are some economic development projects to watch for in NC’s Border Belt

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  From a glass company to an IT service firm, the past two years have brought several major economic development announcements in rural southeastern North Carolina. There’s more on the way, local officials say. The Border Belt region — Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties — has announced more than $255 million in economic investment totaling 1,115 jobs since 2022, according to …Read more Continue reading Here are some economic development projects to watch for in NC’s Border Belt

Waccamaw-Siouan tribe, PFAS, Native American, STEM Sticky post

Border Belt People: Ashley Lomboy brings Western science, Indigenous culture together

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Ashley Lomboy of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe took an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) from a young age. This fascination led her to become a Global Information Security Manager at Corning Optical Fiber and Cable, and later, founder of the Waccamaw Siouan STEM Studio. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Lomboy about her many accomplishments and how she …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: Ashley Lomboy brings Western science, Indigenous culture together

Sticky post

Helping the homeless in Robeson County

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Tina Bowen maneuvered “Miss Dorothy,” a 30-foot utility truck she converted to a mobile laundry unit, into the parking lot of CrossWay church in Pembroke.  The thrum of the engine stirred Michael Locklear, who was huddled under a sleeping bag next to the church, bracing himself against the cold. Temperatures dipped into the low 20s the night before and were still …Read more Continue reading Helping the homeless in Robeson County

Sticky post

One of North Carolina’s poorest cities wants to crack down on panhandling

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Holt Moore, the attorney for Lumberton, said City Hall gets phone calls almost daily from residents complaining about panhandlers in street medians and parking lots.  In one incident, Moore said, someone asking for money tried to open a driver’s door.  Now Lumberton, the largest municipality in Robeson County and one of the poorest cities in North Carolina, wants to strengthen its …Read more Continue reading One of North Carolina’s poorest cities wants to crack down on panhandling

Sticky post

Southeastern North Carolina counties will be the last to transition to eCourts

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Counties in southeastern North Carolina will not transition to the eCourts digital record management system until 2025, according to the state Administrative Office of the Courts. Harnett, Johnston, Lee, Mecklenburg and Wake counties transitioned last year to the $100 million eCourts system. The state has announced plans to expand the program to 44 more counties within the next year. But nearly …Read more Continue reading Southeastern North Carolina counties will be the last to transition to eCourts

A white concrete building with red shutters has a roof that is collapsing. Sticky post

Homeowners in NC’s Border Belt would pay much more for insurance under new proposal

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org Homeowners in southeastern North Carolina would have to pay substantially more for insurance under a new proposal. The North Carolina Rate Bureau last week proposed an average statewide increase of 42.2% for homeowners’ insurance. In Bladen, Columbus and Robeson counties, the proposed increase is higher. Get the Border Belt Independent’s weekly newsletter. Columbus County would see the highest increase at 63%, …Read more Continue reading Homeowners in NC’s Border Belt would pay much more for insurance under new proposal

Bladen County, Elizabethtown, Cape Fear Winery and Distillery Sticky post

Border Belt People: Greg Martin retires after 25 years as Bladen manager

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Bladen County Manager Greg Martin, who has been working in local government for almost 30 years, is retiring. He first worked in local government starting in early 1996.  The Border Belt Independent spoke with Martin about his time in the position and his decision to retire. Q. What was your upbringing and journey to being county manager of Bladen County? Are …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: Greg Martin retires after 25 years as Bladen manager

This is a 3d rendered computer generated image. Isolated on white. Sticky post

What the Trillium merger means for Medicaid recipients in NC’s Border Belt

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Mental health services for people enrolled in Medicaid in much of southeastern North Carolina will soon be consolidated following a merger approved by the state.  Trillium Health Resources will manage mental health care, substance misuse treatment and disability services for many low-income residents in 46 counties — including Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland — when it merges with Eastpointe and Sandhills …Read more Continue reading What the Trillium merger means for Medicaid recipients in NC’s Border Belt

Dr. Melba McCallum, Partners in Ministry, Laurinburg, United Methodist Church Sticky post

Partners in Ministry helps kids become ‘change agents’ in their communities

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org The hallways of Partners in Ministry’s building in Laurinburg are covered in inspirational sayings: “Put first things first.” “Begin with the end in mind.” When Executive Director Melba McCallum first dreamed the idea for the nonprofit in 2003, she couldn’t have known all that it would grow to become. Today, the group runs an afterschool program for about 300 students, provides …Read more Continue reading Partners in Ministry helps kids become ‘change agents’ in their communities

Judge's gavel on a desk. Sticky post

Construction firm must pay after off-duty deputy injured in Robeson County, court rules

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Robeson County sheriff’s deputy Stephen Matthew Lassiter was off duty but directing traffic at a construction site on Interstate 95 north of St. Pauls just after midnight on March 28, 2019, when he was hit by a pick-up truck.  A month later, when Lassiter filed for workers’ compensation benefits, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office and Truesdell, the construction company managing the …Read more Continue reading Construction firm must pay after off-duty deputy injured in Robeson County, court rules

Hand holds smartphone with communication icons. Technology concept. Sticky post

Robeson County schools join lawsuit against social media giants

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org The Robeson County school district has joined a lawsuit against social media giants, claiming the companies are intentionally addictive and negatively impact students’ mental health. Public Schools of Robeson County is one of 12 districts in North Carolina and 200 across the country to join the lawsuit against Meta, Google, ByteDance, and Snap Inc., which owns Snapchat. Other N.C. districts include …Read more Continue reading Robeson County schools join lawsuit against social media giants

Photo shows a man's hand dropping a ballot into a box. Sticky post

Here’s who is running for Congress and the NC legislature in the Border Belt in 2024

By Ben Rappaport  benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Several candidates have filed for state and federal races in Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties for the 2024 election.    Republicans have maintained firm control of North Carolina’s Border Belt region in recent elections and will look to keep up the momentum.  Many incumbents in the region want to keep their seats, including Republican Congressman David Rouzer, Republican state Sen. Danny …Read more Continue reading Here’s who is running for Congress and the NC legislature in the Border Belt in 2024

Greg Bacot, UNC Pembroke, Alan Cummings, scholarship Sticky post

Border Belt People Q&A with Greg Bacot: ‘So many opportunities in the world’

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Greg Bacot, a 1985 graduate of UNC Pembroke, established the Lacy and Alice Bacot Higher Education Scholarship at the university to honor his parents in 2018. On Oct. 20, Bacot, 62, announced a $1.2 million planned gift that would enhance the scholarship. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Bacot about his time spent at UNCP and his reasoning behind establishing the …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People Q&A with Greg Bacot: ‘So many opportunities in the world’

Sticky post

Race, equality and alliances: The story behind Lumberton’s contentious election

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org A slate of political hopefuls wanted to shake up the Lumberton City Council in last month’s contentious election that highlighted issues of race and equality in the Robeson County town.  Voters, however, opted to stick with the status quo. They re-elected Mayor Bruce Davis and three incumbent council members. In another district, voters rejected the only candidate on the ballot — Erich …Read more Continue reading Race, equality and alliances: The story behind Lumberton’s contentious election

Larrell Murchison, Los Angeles Rams, testicular cancer awareness, East Bladen High School, Elizabethtown, NC, NFL Sticky post

Border Belt People Q&A: Murchison’s cleats honor twin brother’s bout with cancer

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org  Larrell Murchison, 26, was born and raised in Elizabethtown playing football from a very young age alongside his twin brother, Farrell. Today, Larrell plays defensive end for the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams. On Dec. 3, Murchison wore customized cleats for the Rams’ matchup against the Cleveland Browns to raise awareness and represent the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. The Border Belt Independent …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People Q&A: Murchison’s cleats honor twin brother’s bout with cancer

This is a 3d rendered computer generated image. Isolated on white. Sticky post

Medicaid expansion starts Dec. 1 in NC. Here’s how Border Belt counties are preparing

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Medicaid expansion will begin in North Carolina on Dec. 1, opening the door for hundreds of thousands of people who were previously ineligible to enroll. The Scotland Health Care System in Laurinburg wants to be prepared. The hospital now has three on-site employees dedicated to helping people through the sign-up process, and staff members are compiling a list of patients who …Read more Continue reading Medicaid expansion starts Dec. 1 in NC. Here’s how Border Belt counties are preparing

Robeson County, Lumber River, megalodon, shark teeth, Indian canoe, Lumbee Tribe, UNC Pembroke, scuba diver Sticky post

Border Belt People: A Q&A with Paul Valenti, historian and Lumber River diver

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Paul Valenti, 69, works as the chief water plant operator in Lumberton, but he is also well known for being a historian and scuba diver. Born and raised in Lumberton, Valenti has explored the Lumber River, finding many historical artifacts from megalodon shark teeth to an 1,100-year-old canoe. The Border Belt Independent spoke with Valenti about his experience as a diver …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: A Q&A with Paul Valenti, historian and Lumber River diver

Sticky post

Clouds over Columbus County

By Carli Brosseau and Sarah Nagem This story is co-published by The Assembly and the Border Belt Independent. Not three months after Bill Rogers accepted an appointment as Columbus County sheriff, he received a subpoena to testify before a federal grand jury in Raleigh.  At the center of the investigation was his predecessor as the county’s top law enforcement officer, Jody Greene. Rogers had known …Read more Continue reading Clouds over Columbus County

Sticky post

New Whiteville councilman brings youthful energy to aging county

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  The average age of the Whiteville City Council is set to decrease in December with the swearing-in of 31-year-old Joshua Harris. He was one of three candidates in Whiteville District 1 who were under 32 years old. The former Columbus County sheriff’s deputy and Whiteville police officer was the top vote-getter in this year’s Whiteville municipal elections, garnering 223 votes. Second …Read more Continue reading New Whiteville councilman brings youthful energy to aging county

Sticky post

NC county still reeling from sheriff’s racist comments is dealt another blow 

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org A school board member in rural North Carolina who was convicted of assaulting a Black town employee during an encounter in which she was also accused of using a racial slur said Monday she will remain on the board but step down as chairperson.   Kandle Rogers, who has served on the Whiteville City Schools Board of Education for years, was found …Read more Continue reading NC county still reeling from sheriff’s racist comments is dealt another blow 

Sticky post

Jobs are scarce – but hope isn’t – in this Robeson County town

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Calling Aiesha Wilkinson’s move to Robeson County a struggle would be an understatement. She’s lived in the county for just five months, and she’s already gone through three jobs. Wilkinson said she was recently fired from her job at a manufacturing facility because she couldn’t reliably get to work on time due to transportation issues. She doesn’t own a car, and …Read more Continue reading Jobs are scarce – but hope isn’t – in this Robeson County town

Lumbee Tribe, UNC Pembroke, Indians, Robeson, Native American Sticky post

Border Belt People: Q&A with Nancy Fields, director of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Nancy Strickland Fields serves as director and curator of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian located on UNC Pembroke’s campus, working for the museum since 2017. As director and curator, Fields, 50, makes sure the public is made aware of the history, art, and culture of Native Americans in their own communities. The Border Belt Independent asked Fields about her …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: Q&A with Nancy Fields, director of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian

Sticky post

Tar Heel Bus Tour makes stop at The News Reporter, Border Belt Independent

By Justin Smith Publisher, The News Reporter A Carolina blue bus filled with more than three dozen faculty members and senior administrators from UNC Chapel Hill stopped at The News Reporter Wednesday to learn about community journalism. The group, joined by Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz, was part of the multi-day Tar Heel Bus Tour, which sends one bus on a westward route from Chapel Hill and …Read more Continue reading Tar Heel Bus Tour makes stop at The News Reporter, Border Belt Independent

Ed Tatum stands in red shirt and holds up an old photograph of himself receiving a military badge in uniform Sticky post

Border Belt People: A Q&A with former Tomb of the Unknown Soldier guard Edward Tatum

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Edward Tatum of Elizabethtown served in one of the nation’s most prestigious military units, the Old Guard, as a sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, Va. The Old Guard assists with funerals at Arlington National Cemetery and guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It is the oldest active-duty unit in the Army, founded in 1784. Its …Read more Continue reading Border Belt People: A Q&A with former Tomb of the Unknown Soldier guard Edward Tatum

Sticky post

Columbus County school board adopts local Parents’ Bill of Rights

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  The Columbus County school board on Monday adopted a localized version of the so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights that limits instruction about the LGBTQ+ community and requires teachers to notify parents when students want to change pronouns.  The move, which had unanimous support from the school board, follows the passage of Senate Bill 49, a controversial measure that became law when …Read more Continue reading Columbus County school board adopts local Parents’ Bill of Rights

Sticky post

NC charter school group tweaks controversial hair policy. Parents say it’s not enough

By Ivey Schofield iveyschofield@borderbelt.org A charter school group in southeastern North Carolina agreed Thursday to tweak its controversial hair policy for boys, but parents say the change is not enough.   Classical Charter Schools of America, which enrolls 2,500 students in grades K-8 at schools in Leland, Southport, Wilmington and Whiteville, has faced pushback since administrators told families in March that boys must cut their long …Read more Continue reading NC charter school group tweaks controversial hair policy. Parents say it’s not enough

Sticky post

Inflation pinches this Columbus crab shack

By Ivey Schofield iveyschofield@borderbelt.org At 18, De’Maya Berry started selling seafood from home to earn money before pursuing graduate school. At 26, she has expanded, turning her dream into a restaurant in southeastern North Carolina.  Maya’s Crab Shack, located in the eastern Columbus County community of Riegelwood, serves crab legs, shrimp and grits, lobster tails and more – offerings that locals say aren’t available within …Read more Continue reading Inflation pinches this Columbus crab shack

Sticky post

Journalists hear that people want better access to local news and more stories that focus on solutions

A group of Border Belt-area residents and UNC Pembroke students told journalists Thursday evening that reliable news is hard to come by. Organizers say the forum helped them understand how people get their news, what the barriers are, and what types of stories people want. “To extend better service to communities, news organizations first need to spend time listening to people, understanding their habits, and …Read more Continue reading Journalists hear that people want better access to local news and more stories that focus on solutions

Sticky post

North Carolina’s Border Belt lags behind in COVID booster shots. Here’s what to know 

Counties in North Carolina’s Border Belt have among the lowest rates in the state for COVID-19 booster shots, which health officials say are crucial in combating the virus.  In Robeson County, 19% of the population has received a vaccine booster or additional shot, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. That’s the second lowest percentage in the state, behind neighboring Hoke County.  …Read more Continue reading North Carolina’s Border Belt lags behind in COVID booster shots. Here’s what to know 

Sticky post

Subscribe to our free newsletter and never miss a story

By Les High Publisher There’s a line from the Apple TV series Ted Lasso in which Ted is told: “The truth will set you free, but first, it will really piss you off.”  The truth, however, is hard to come by today. That’s one of the reasons why we founded the Border Belt Independent in May, and why we need your continued support. Newsrooms like …Read more Continue reading Subscribe to our free newsletter and never miss a story