Elizabethtown needs to prevent flooding. But with little cash, options are limited

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org  Stephen Duffy feels like he is constantly playing a game of Whac-A-Mole. The Elizabethtown public services director is stuck in a stormwater doom loop: filling potholes and sealing broken pipes as needed but never attacking the root cause of the damage caused by stormwater. That’s because the Bladen County town, like most municipalities across rural southeastern North Carolina, lacks any budget …Read more Continue reading Elizabethtown needs to prevent flooding. But with little cash, options are limited

Q&A with Stacie Kinlaw: ‘ROARing’ for years to come in Robeson County

By Kerria Weaver kerriaweaver@borderbelt.org Stacie Kinlaw of Bladen County has worked for various nonprofits in southeastern North Carolina. She is currently the community engagement assistant director for the Robeson County Partnership for Children. Kinlaw works to grow awareness of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and resilience. She hopes the prevention of ACEs will also lead to other positive outcomes, such as lower violence and crime and …Read more Continue reading Q&A with Stacie Kinlaw: ‘ROARing’ for years to come in Robeson County

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Horace Locklear, a Lumbee trailblazer in North Carolina law and politics, dies

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org Horace Locklear saw the injustices of the segregated South while growing up in Robeson County, where schools, the local hospital and water fountains were separated into thirds — white, Black and Native American.  The prejudices he endured as a Lumbee ignited in Locklear a commitment to serve his community and advocate for tribal rights. He became the first Native American licensed attorney …Read more Continue reading Horace Locklear, a Lumbee trailblazer in North Carolina law and politics, dies

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Red Springs company’s request for $1.1m in state funds would not ‘survive an audit’

By Lisa Sorg  This story was originally published by NC Newsline. No payroll. No receipts. No bills or invoices. Lacking any supporting documentation, James Freeman, president of the Emerging Technology Institute, nonetheless asked the Town of Red Springs to reimburse him $1.1 million in state taxpayer funds for “service, salaries and goods” related to his military training center and STEM education venture, public records show. But the …Read more Continue reading Red Springs company’s request for $1.1m in state funds would not ‘survive an audit’

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

Columbus County magistrate suspended, accused of ethical violations

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org Robert A. Worley was suspended from his duties as a Columbus County magistrate on Wednesday after being accused of using private court records for personal use and criticizing the Whiteville Police Department in Facebook posts. Six members of the Whiteville Police Department, including Chief Douglas Ipock, said in affidavits that Worley used records from the North Carolina Administrative Office of the …Read more Continue reading Columbus County magistrate suspended, accused of ethical violations

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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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Judge denies petition in Robeson County election bribery case

By Ben Rappaport benrappaport@borderbelt.org Wake County Superior Court Judge Vince Rozier denied an appeal in a case alleging voter bribery in Robeson County’s primary election, an attorney involved in the case said Wednesday.   The ruling by Rozier, who had not filed an order explaining his decision as of Thursday morning, means Robeson County Commissioner Judy Sampson’s slim victory in the March 5 Democratic primary will …Read more Continue reading Judge denies petition in Robeson County election bribery case