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

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

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

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