SparkNC brings a new way of learning to Scotland High School

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org While his peers spend their mornings in math or English class, Trevon Wall connects wires to circuit boards for the robotic car he’s building and coding from scratch. Wall, a senior at Scotland High School, is one of the first in the state to experience SparkNC, a new curriculum aimed at teaching high-tech skills.  “I like to be hands-on,” Wall said. …Read more Continue reading SparkNC brings a new way of learning to Scotland High School

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Low pay, lack of resources lead to burnout in southeastern NC schools, teachers say

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  It’s an epic vocal trio of Aaron Burr, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Tensions are rising within George Washington’s presidential cabinet. Jefferson can’t take it anymore. “If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse,” Jefferson raps in the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton,” “you can’t put it out from inside the house.” Those lyrics hit Kaylan Ganus like a brick. It was …Read more Continue reading Low pay, lack of resources lead to burnout in southeastern NC schools, teachers say

Q&A with Jenny Phelps: Bringing community together for Special Olympics Scotland County

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org On April 24, Scotland County held its annual Special Olympics, an event that recognizes those with intellectual disabilities and gives them a chance to compete in a number of events. This year, Jenny Phelps was the local program coordinator of the Special Olympics alongside Kelly Jackson. Border Belt Independent spoke with Phelps about her first time helping with the Special Olympics …Read more Continue reading Q&A with Jenny Phelps: Bringing community together for Special Olympics Scotland County

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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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Gambling, immigration, education among priorities for lawmakers in NC’s Border Belt

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org State Sen. Danny Britt says video gambling is one of his top priorities for the current legislative session — and although top Republican leaders have said casinos likely won’t be considered, he’s not giving up on the idea of an “entertainment center” with a casino in southeastern North Carolina.  The Republican-led legislature could decide whether to legalize video slot machines during …Read more Continue reading Gambling, immigration, education among priorities for lawmakers in NC’s Border Belt

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Scenes from the Special Olympics in Scotland County

By Les High If only most sporting experiences could be as carefree and joyful as the Special Olympics Scotland County— an event where placing first usually comes second to cheerful high fives from volunteers, sharing joy with classmates, and snack time. That’s not to say the athletes don’t try their hardest. It’s easy to see the desire and determination they sprint to the finish line …Read more Continue reading Scenes from the Special Olympics in Scotland County

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In rural Scotland County, voters say candidates must show up to gain their support

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  When Scotland High opened in the late 1960s as an integrated school, Marie Willis’s cousins, who are Black, got into fights with white students. Her cousins were expelled, while the white kids faced few consequences. Then, North Carolina civil rights attorneys Julius Chambers and Adam Stein stepped in and got the expulsions reversed.  It’s a story that has stuck with Willis. …Read more Continue reading In rural Scotland County, voters say candidates must show up to gain their support

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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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Thousands of southeastern NC residents will likely lose discount for internet service 

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Tens of thousands of people in rural southeastern North Carolina are set to lose access to a federal program that helps pay for internet service. The Affordable Connectivity Program allows eligible residents to save up to $30 on their monthly internet bill. But the program for low-income families is set to end in May unless Congress agrees to extend its funding. …Read more Continue reading Thousands of southeastern NC residents will likely lose discount for internet service 

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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