Already-strained child care centers in NC’s Border Belt fear loss of state funding

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Cynthia Mitchell, who has been the director of Beverly’s Day Care in Columbus County for 36 years, has always had a tough job. But it’s gotten even harder since 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic caused a drop in enrollment and a spike in supply costs.  Funding from North Carolina’s Child Care Stabilization Grants helped Mitchell stay afloat. Since 2021, the pandemic …Read more Continue reading Already-strained child care centers in NC’s Border Belt fear loss of state funding

A sign for Scotland Correctional Institution in North Carolina. Sticky post

Stabbings bring renewed scrutiny to Scotland Correctional Institution

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Two stabbings in less than a month at Scotland Correctional Institution in Laurinburg have brought renewed scrutiny to the prison that has been plagued with reports of mistreatment, unsafe conditions and overcrowding.  The most recent incident, on April 30, resulted in the death of 39-year-old Christopher Michael Edwards, who was found in a common area with multiple stab wounds. He died …Read more Continue reading Stabbings bring renewed scrutiny to Scotland Correctional Institution

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UNC Health Southeastern improves safety grade. What about other local hospitals?

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton improved its safety grade to a B in the latest report from a nonprofit group that advocates for patient safety at medical centers across the country. “This grade marks tremendous improvements the health system continues to make, not only in safety and quality, but also in the overall availability of expert medical care not available elsewhere …Read more Continue reading UNC Health Southeastern improves safety grade. What about other local hospitals?

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Columbus and Robeson counties among 10 deadliest in US for car crashes, analysis shows

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  Robeson and Columbus counties are among the top 10 most dangerous counties in the United States for drivers, according to a new analysis. Robeson ranked third and Columbus ranked sixth in the study, which looked at the number of traffic deaths per 10,000 people between 2018 and 2021. Robeson County saw 263 traffic deaths during that time, the most out of …Read more Continue reading Columbus and Robeson counties among 10 deadliest in US for car crashes, analysis shows

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Here’s how high schools in NC’s Border Belt performed in latest rankings

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  Scotland Early College High School in Laurinburg is the 70th best public high school in North Carolina, according to new rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The school far out-ranked other public high schools in the Border Belt region of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties. PSRC Early College at Robeson Community College ranked 168th. All others fell below the …Read more Continue reading Here’s how high schools in NC’s Border Belt performed in latest rankings

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‘Red Whiteville and Blue’ film follows fight for income equality in Columbus County

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  Patriotic Millionaires, a political advocacy group run by a group of wealthy Americans who want higher taxes for the rich, went to the N.C. Pecan Harvest Festival in Whiteville in November 2022 to ask fairgoers a question: What do you think about the economy? The group was in the midst of launching a pilot program aimed at engaging local voters in …Read more Continue reading ‘Red Whiteville and Blue’ film follows fight for income equality in Columbus County

White medicine pill tablets on a soft blue background.

Robeson County is doling out opioid settlement money. But the process isn’t always easy

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org  When Tamiko Murphy first heard that Robeson County would get millions of dollars from opioid settlement cases, she was excited about what it could mean for her nonprofit, Tae’s Pathway, which serves children who use drugs. Since she founded the organization, which she named for her son who died in a car accident 2013, Murphy says she has paid most expenses …Read more Continue reading Robeson County is doling out opioid settlement money. But the process isn’t always easy

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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

Daylight saving time remains controversial in southeastern N.C.

By Rachel Baldauf rachelbaldauf@borderbelt.org Last Sunday, clocks across most of the country sprang forward an hour, marking the start of daylight saving time. The practice of shifting clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall is intended to make the most out of the amount of sunlight the Northern Hemisphere receives. But the practice has long been controversial. A …Read more Continue reading Daylight saving time remains controversial in southeastern N.C.

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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?