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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’

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Rural Black voters, including those in Scotland County, are key for Democrats in NC

By Ben Rappaport and Kerria Weaver benrappaport@borderbelt.org kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org In a navy blue pinstripe suit and black and gold paisley tie, 93-year-old William Matthews Jr. drove through downtown Laurinburg in a Wagoneer bearing his name, waving and tossing candy out the window as he passed the crowds. Matthews, a retired command sergeant major in the National Guard, was the grand marshal for Scotland County’s Second Annual …Read more Continue reading Rural Black voters, including those in Scotland County, are key for Democrats in NC

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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

Chemours asks federal appeals court to negate EPA health goal for GenX

By Lisa Sorg NC Newsline This story was originally published by NC Newsline. Chemours, the company responsible for polluting the drinking water of 800,000 people in the Lower Cape Fear River Basin with GenX, is asking a court to negate the EPA’s health advisory for the toxic chemical. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, heard arguments last week. There is not a timetable …Read more Continue reading Chemours asks federal appeals court to negate EPA health goal for GenX

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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?

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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?

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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

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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

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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