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Mary Katherine Murphy

Position: Reporter
E-Mail Address: mmurphy@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 910-506-3169


About Mary Katherine Murphy

Mary Kate covers the Laurinburg City Council, Scotland County Commissioners and the Scotland County Board of Education.

Latest Stories by Mary Katherine Murphy

LAURINBURG — Just a few weeks into the job, and technically the first to hold it, Teddy Warner is defining the city of Laurinburg's community development director post.
Warner, a Hope Mills native and graduate of North Carolina State University, stepped into the office left in November by Brandi Deese, the city's former planning director.
&

Warner takes on Laurinburg's new development post

LAURINBURG — Just a few weeks into the job, and technically the first to hold it, Teddy Warner is defining the city of Laurinburg's community development director post. Warner, a Hope Mills native and graduate of North Carolina State University, stepped into the office left in November by Brandi Deese, the city's former planning director. &

LAURINBURG — Some 200 people crowded the auditorium at I. Ellis Johnson Elementary School on Thursday evening for a selection of treats both edible and auditory.
A total of 22 students comprised the 15 acts that took the stage during the school's “Reaching for the Stars”dessert theater and talent showcase. Overshadowing the cakes

Reaching for the stars

LAURINBURG — Some 200 people crowded the auditorium at I. Ellis Johnson Elementary School on Thursday evening for a selection of treats both edible and auditory. A total of 22 students comprised the 15 acts that took the stage during the school's “Reaching for the Stars”dessert theater and talent showcase. Overshadowing the cakes

LAURINBURG — Those passing the downtown storefront at 117 South Main Street, the longtime home of Brenda's Florist, will notice a different kind of eye-catching display in the front window.
Romantic photos of couples, whimsical shots of babies and children, and edgy yet professional portraits of proud high school and college graduates have b

Entrepreneur follows true passion

LAURINBURG — Those passing the downtown storefront at 117 South Main Street, the longtime home of Brenda's Florist, will notice a different kind of eye-catching display in the front window. Romantic photos of couples, whimsical shots of babies and children, and edgy yet professional portraits of proud high school and college graduates have b

LAUREL HILL — After the school bell rang on Wednesday, more than 50 students and teachers converged on a 30-by-40 foot plot behind Laurel Hill Elementary School to do their part for the planet.
In celebration of Earth Day, the group dedicated the afternoon to sprucing up the school's garden after a winter's neglect.
Armed with shovels, rake

Students do their part

LAUREL HILL — After the school bell rang on Wednesday, more than 50 students and teachers converged on a 30-by-40 foot plot behind Laurel Hill Elementary School to do their part for the planet. In celebration of Earth Day, the group dedicated the afternoon to sprucing up the school's garden after a winter's neglect. Armed with shovels, rake

City's ordinance updated

LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg City Council adopted two new planning measures on Tuesday, though one can only come to fruition through nearly $3 million in external funding. After an open house and public hearing which drew no input from the general public, council approved a general update to the city's unified development ordinance — th

LAURINBURG — Though only one entity among the county's four 2015 Governor's Volunteer Service Award recipients is known to frequently pick up a hammer and nails, they are all responsible for constructing — in one way or another — a better community and a better world.
Scotland County EMS Director Roylin Hammond, Chaka Davis-Smith

Community servants honored with Governor's Awards

LAURINBURG — Though only one entity among the county's four 2015 Governor's Volunteer Service Award recipients is known to frequently pick up a hammer and nails, they are all responsible for constructing — in one way or another — a better community and a better world. Scotland County EMS Director Roylin Hammond, Chaka Davis-Smith

School board moves towards closure of Pate-Gardner

LAURINBURG — At the conclusion of a special meeting on Sunday, the Scotland County Board of Education initiated the formal process to close Pate-Gardner Elementary School for the 2015-2016 school year. That meeting was called to further consider plans to consolidate the school district over the next few years, which could result in the closu

LAURINBURG — Serving a unique assortment of sushi and sashimi, hibachi and teriyaki dishes and other Asian specialties since late 2012, Miyako Japanese Cuisine was named the best restaurant in Scotland County last week by Charleston Food Bloggers.
The blog listed what its authors — husband and wife Scott and Crystal Wink — found

Food blog names Miyako Laurinburg's No. 1 eatery

LAURINBURG — Serving a unique assortment of sushi and sashimi, hibachi and teriyaki dishes and other Asian specialties since late 2012, Miyako Japanese Cuisine was named the best restaurant in Scotland County last week by Charleston Food Bloggers. The blog listed what its authors — husband and wife Scott and Crystal Wink — found

Electric rates will decrease in 2016

LAURINBURG — The city's 8,000 electric customers are promised a decrease in rates by early 2016, after a Duke Energy Progress purchase of assets from the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency is finalized later this spring. Laurinburg was one of 32 cities to form NCEMPA in 1982, a deal which brought consistency in power supply — along wi

LAURINBURG — As Carver Middle School students and staff struggle to cope with Saturday's unexpected death of 24-year-old teacher Justin Baldwin, those who worked closely with him remember a passionate educator whose zany sense of humor seemed limitless.
In his first year as a teacher after graduating from The University of North Carolina at

Students mourn teacher's death

LAURINBURG — As Carver Middle School students and staff struggle to cope with Saturday's unexpected death of 24-year-old teacher Justin Baldwin, those who worked closely with him remember a passionate educator whose zany sense of humor seemed limitless. In his first year as a teacher after graduating from The University of North Carolina at

Special Olympics set for Tuesday

LAURINBURG — Although gold, silver, and bronze medals will be awarded to the day's top performers, for the 145 students participating in next week's Special Olympics, finishing will itself be more rewarding than any trophy. A tradition for more than 30 years, the Scotland County Special Olympics will open at 9:30 a.m. On Tuesday at Scotland

Two new stores slated to open this summer

LAURINBURG — The space in a West Boulevard strip mall formerly occupied by Winn-Dixie will be home to two stores by fall. Renovations to that storefront, vacant for more than a decade, began late last year. In January, Variety Wholesalers, Inc. announced its plans to open a Roses Express there. According to Variety COO Wilson Sawyer, the com

LAURINBURG — At 16, 17, and 18, high school students expected to begin charting the course of their lives had a look at the options open to them during a “transition fair” on Wednesday at St. Andrews University.
Though several four-year colleges were represented, including The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Unive

Students survey next steps

LAURINBURG — At 16, 17, and 18, high school students expected to begin charting the course of their lives had a look at the options open to them during a “transition fair” on Wednesday at St. Andrews University. Though several four-year colleges were represented, including The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, The Unive

City mulls new budget process

LAURINBURG — Reviewing the progress of its current year's budget on Tuesday, the Laurinburg City Council discussed a different method of formulating budgets in the future. As of March 31, the city's general fund had collected 74 percent of budgeted revenue and spent 64 percent of budgeted expenditures. The electric and solid waste funds have

LAURINBURG — As Carver Middle School students and staff struggle to cope with Saturday's unexpected death of 24-year-old teacher Justin Baldwin, those who worked closely with him remember a passionate educator whose zany sense of humor seemed limitless.
In his first year as a teacher after graduating from UNC-Pembroke in 2014, Baldwin taught

School mourns loss of young educator

LAURINBURG — As Carver Middle School students and staff struggle to cope with Saturday's unexpected death of 24-year-old teacher Justin Baldwin, those who worked closely with him remember a passionate educator whose zany sense of humor seemed limitless. In his first year as a teacher after graduating from UNC-Pembroke in 2014, Baldwin taught

School board eliminates grades of zero

LAURINBURG — Though board members expressed some reservations, the Scotland County Board of Education approved changes to the school system's academic policies on Monday that establish 50 as the lowest grade students may receive on an assignment or test. By earning a 50 rather than a zero when they perform very poorly or fail to submit an as

LAURINBURG — Dedicating the chain's annual Month of Giving to Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, the Laurinburg and Pembroke Jersey Mike's Subs locations raised more last month than they did in the 2013 and 2014 events combined.
Between donations made throughout the month and the March 25 Day of Giving, when both locations donated 100 percent

Fundraiser nets $26K

LAURINBURG — Dedicating the chain's annual Month of Giving to Scotland Cancer Treatment Center, the Laurinburg and Pembroke Jersey Mike's Subs locations raised more last month than they did in the 2013 and 2014 events combined. Between donations made throughout the month and the March 25 Day of Giving, when both locations donated 100 percent

Health dept. urges protection against mosquitoes

LAURINBURG — As sunny skies and pleasant temperatures draw people outdoors for sports, exercise, or just sunning on the porch, the Scotland County Health Department advises caution of the ticks and mosquitoes that also come with warm weather. More than 700 cases of tick and mosquito borne infections were reported in North Carolina last year.

LAURINBURG — Hard at work on Friday at a Habitat for Humanity construction site, 21-year-old Tarrance Wall had four days earlier reached a milestone in another kind of building project.
After officially completing his GED on Monday, Wall now faces the dilemma of whether to try for military enlistment or to pursue one of his other interests,

Constructing lives: Building program helps youth get back on track

LAURINBURG — Hard at work on Friday at a Habitat for Humanity construction site, 21-year-old Tarrance Wall had four days earlier reached a milestone in another kind of building project. After officially completing his GED on Monday, Wall now faces the dilemma of whether to try for military enlistment or to pursue one of his other interests,

Gibson makes plans for 2016 town budget

GIBSON — In preliminary discussions of the budget it will pass in June, the Gibson Town Council had high hopes for its 2016 fiscal year. The council held a brief budget session prior to its regular meeting on Thursday. Council members perused a $404,378 budget which included $45,000 to repair the town's main wastewater lift station and $20,0





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