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Family calls for change after deputies shoot NC man struggling with mental illness, drugs

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org When Matthew Oxendine used drugs or had too much to drink, he would sometimes call 911 or the local sheriff’s office and say he was going to kill himself.  He began making the calls years ago, long before he spent about a week in a psychiatric unit in 2016, said his brother, Greg Oxendine. Doctors diagnosed him with depression.  So when …Read more Continue reading Family calls for change after deputies shoot NC man struggling with mental illness, drugs

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At Lumbee Homecoming, a celebration of culture and a look at a community in need

Laura Dial left Robeson County decades ago in search of new job opportunities.  But Dial, 72, travels nearly 250 miles each year to attend Lumbee Homecoming, a celebration of family, food and Native American traditions that draws thousands of people to southeastern North Carolina.  “This is always home,” said Dial, who now lives in Anderson, S.C.  Some say this year’s event, which wrapped up Saturday …Read more Continue reading At Lumbee Homecoming, a celebration of culture and a look at a community in need

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One county’s struggle to control COVID-19 highlights challenges in rural North Carolina

Rufus Duckworth, the mayor of Bladenboro in southeastern North Carolina, said he was shocked when he learned about a COVID-19 cluster in his town.  But, he said, “A lot of people are weary of the vaccination.”  Bladen County, home to about 33,000 people, including 1,600 in Bladenboro, is the only North Carolina county currently designated by state health officials as having “critical spread” of COVID-19.  …Read more Continue reading One county’s struggle to control COVID-19 highlights challenges in rural North Carolina

Laurinburg Maxton Airport

Could the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport become a regional business hub in NC? Leaders hope so

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org As the United States ramped up its World War II efforts in the early 1940s, Fort Bragg grew to become the largest Army post in the country, accommodating 60,000 soldiers.  But lesser-known military training was taking place about 40 miles southwest of Fort Bragg, at what is now the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport. Up to 10,000 soldiers were stationed at the site, which …Read more Continue reading Could the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport become a regional business hub in NC? Leaders hope so

Welcome to southeastern North Carolina. Good luck finding a place to live

Phillip Britt can barely keep up with everyone who wants to move to Robeson County.  Before the coronavirus pandemic, buyers had plenty of options, with about 400 homes for sale in the county at any given time, according to Britt, a Realtor. For the past several months, he said, the number has been more like 60 or 65.  Yes, the housing boom is indeed booming …Read more Continue reading Welcome to southeastern North Carolina. Good luck finding a place to live