• Howard: Internet access a barrier for Columbus development
    This is the second installment of a series about economic development in the Border Belt, which encompasses Bladen, Columbus, Robeson and Scotland counties.  For years, Jeff Howard watched eastern Columbus County struggle to create opportunities for people because of poor internet access. The pandemic has made it even worse.  “When you go from just a few people needing internet access to everyone needing it, that’s …Read more
  • Workforce is key to capitalizing on agribusiness and population growth in Columbus
    Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories that provides an overview of the economies of Bladen, Columbus, Robeson, and Scotland counties in southeastern North Carolina. The 954 square miles of vast farmland and forests have shaped Columbus County’s economy for generations.  “We can grow anything,” said Columbus County Economic Development Director Gary Lanier. “Because of our farming heritage, we also have …Read more
  • The week in pictures
    Part II of a three-part series on Fair Bluff and the lower Lumber River. The UNC Pembroke sustainable farming program. Photos by Les High.Read more
  • UNCP hub builds the business of farming
    Ellery Locklear started selling watermelons in high school. He got an old tractor running and used an acre of his family’s land to create a business for himself — hawking the summer fruits from the back of his pickup truck. Since then, Locklear, now 41, has grown his Pembroke farming business to 100 acres and six greenhouses. He still grows watermelons – strawberries provide his …Read more
  • Bladen entrepreneur turns bankrupt property into destination with peacocks, wine and bourbon
    Bladen entrepreneur turns bankrupt property into destination with peacocks, wine and bourbonRead more