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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