Border Belt publisher’s family to receive prestigious Gish Award

The Thompson-High family, owners of The News Reporter since 1938, are the winners of the 2021 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism. The award is presented by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky.  A news release from the University of Kentucky announcing the award notes that The News Reporter and The …Read more Continue reading Border Belt publisher’s family to receive prestigious Gish Award

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‘Can’t we all just get along?’ NC family pleads for answers in football player’s death

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Marqueise Coleman was gunned down in the small southeastern North Carolina town where he was well-known as a good student, a standout on the football field and a young man with a bright future. Now, Coleman’s family is pleading with the community to share information about the shooting that left the 19-year-old dead in the early-morning hours of July 29. “I …Read more Continue reading ‘Can’t we all just get along?’ NC family pleads for answers in football player’s death

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New community center will serve Scotland County families in need

By Rebecca Woltz Young Dakoda Cribb was struggling in elementary school, earning C’s and D’s on his report cards.  Then, in the third grade, he joined a program through Partners in Ministry in Scotland County that aims to help children improve their reading and math scores.   Three years later, Dakoda is getting A’s and B’s, and he says he understands the importance of learning.    “When …Read more Continue reading New community center will serve Scotland County families in need

Nonprofit helps build future leaders in southeastern North Carolina

By Ivey Schofield iveyschofield@borderbelt.org After her mother died in 2009, Alyssa Delts didn’t expect to find a new family.  The next year, when she was 11, her social worker signed her up for a summer camp with Men and Women United For Youth and Families. That’s when Delts found a group of people that continues to support her more than a decade later. Founded in …Read more Continue reading Nonprofit helps build future leaders in southeastern North Carolina

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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

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‘Our children need more voices.’ Southeastern NC seeks volunteers to help kids in court

At 4 a.m. each weekday morning, attorney Bryan Wilson grabs a cup of coffee and looks over dozens of files of neglected and abused children from southeastern North Carolina. It’s his job to make sure they’re safe during the months — and sometimes years — that their cases trudge through the court system.  Hours later at the Bladen County Courthouse, Wilson ticks through a series …Read more Continue reading ‘Our children need more voices.’ Southeastern NC seeks volunteers to help kids in court

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

Scotland County, halfway between Charlotte and the NC coast, looks to distribution

In the five years that Mark Ward has served as Scotland County’s economic development director, he’s seen an increase in companies interested in the area.  “We’ve had announcements every year since we’ve been here, whether it’s an expansion or a new company,” Ward said. “We know that our growth is going to come from within.” Scotland County is home to several companies that manufacture automotive …Read more Continue reading Scotland County, halfway between Charlotte and the NC coast, looks to distribution