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Officials: Duke deal is good business

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LUMBERTON — Lumberton is already benefiting in its efforts to attract businesses to the community as a result of this week’s announcement that Duke Energy plans to purchase the generating assets of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, according to Robeson County’s economic developer and industrial recruiter.“I’ve already had conversations with one company in Lumberton that says this is good news,” Greg Cummings said. “Now they can move forward with their plans to expand.”

 

NCAE official: Pay hike bogus

LUMBERTON — Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to sign into law a budget that will give teachers a 7 percent pay increase, which Republicans say is the largest in the history of the state that comes without a tax hike, but not all educators are happy.“The devil is in the details,” said Mark Jewell, vice president for the North Carolina Association of Educators, who met with Robeson County NCAE members on Friday to discuss the budget plan. “Once you start peeling a...

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VA brings health care to vets

LUMBERTON — After more than 25 years of service to his nation, veteran Jimmy Wactor knows all too well the cruelty of man, but on Friday morning he got an opportunity to see the kind of inherent kindness and generosity of spirit that he fought to protect.“It is good to see people out here. This is important for veterans to see,” Wactor said. “This has opened a lot of doors for veterans that they didn’t know existed. A lot of veterans, when they leave t...

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Tips sought in ambulance wreck

LUMBERTON — Officials are hoping that footage captured by a camera mounted inside an ambulance will lead them to the person who caused the vehicle to wreck.A Robeson County ambulance carrying two paramedics flipped over on N.C. 41 Wednesday after its driver swerved to avoid hitting a green Dodge Neon that had veered into its path, according to Greg Bounds, director of Robeson County Emergency Medical Services. Neither paramedic was seriously injured, but the vehicle was heavi...

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NC 71 road closing delayed until Aug. 11

MAXTON — The state Department of Transportation will close a portion of N.C. 71 between Maxton and Red Springs beginning on Aug. 11.DOT officials plan to widen a concrete culvert near Gum Swamp, about three miles from the Wakulla community. The work is expected to take two weeks and cost $1.1 million.The widening was expected to begin Monday, but was delayed to give DOT officials time to move water and power lines near the culvert.Drivers will be detoure...

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Victory wave not a slam dunk for GOP

RALEIGH — As North Carolina’s legislative session draws to a close and we enter the last quarter of the 2014 campaign, Democrats are hoping it will be a rerun of 1998. Republicans are hoping that it will be a rerun of 2010.Bu it may not look much like either cycle.Let’s examine the Democratic scenario first. In 1998, Republicans held both chambers of the U.S. Congress and a number of legislative chambers, including the North Carolina House. Bill Clinton...

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Crime

TheftsJulie Dowless, of Manchester Lane, Lumberton, reported Thursday that someone stole a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, valued at $750, from her desk at Robeson Community College, according to a police report.Patrick Wayne, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., reported Thursday that someone broke into his 2014 Dodge Ram on Capuano Drive, Lumberton, and stole a 9mm Smith and Wesson handgun valued at $800, a fan valued at $70, a bottle containing 45 Loratab pills valued at ...

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COMtech puts business in mix

PEMBROKE — For several students from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Thursday’s business mixer at Mariani’s was a great event for them to build relationships with Robeson County business leaders.“I came here because I am interested in trying to build relationships with business and community members,” said Biruk “B.K.” Kassaw, president of the university’s Student Government Association. “People are more relaxed an...

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Walters cool on new budget

RALEIGH — State Sen. Michael Walters, who represents Robeson and Columbus counties, said this morning that the $21.1 billion budget passed by the Senate early today is just another example of the “rural-urban divide” that exists when it comes to funding for state programs and services.Walters had an “excused absence” when the Senate voted 33-10 with no discussion to pass the budget shortly before 1 a.m. today. The vote followed a marathon week of craft...

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Back under the Friday lights

LUMBERTON — After the second summer in a row spent learning a new playbook, the Lumberton football team will get a chance to showcase all the progress its made.With football practice officially starting today, the Pirates’ first day will conclude with a Midnight Madness event aimed at generating excitement among the Lumberton community.“Our kids have worked pretty hard to this point,” Lumberton coach Mike Setzer said. “It’s a way to ge...

1 days 20 hours ago | | | Email

Scotland community holds prayer vigil for injured QB Ratliffe

LAURINBURG — Pray for Jaylend.From T-shirts to trending hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the message uplifting Jaylend Ratliffe has resounded across the county this week following an ATV accident that has left the standout Scotland High quarterback and Georgia Tech recruit in critical condition.And on a rainy Thursday night, about 400 people came together under the roof of the school’s gymnasium and did one thing — they prayed.

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Police make special effort for kids

LUMBERTON — A patrol car parked in front of a business usually spells trouble, but the Lumberton police cruiser posted up in front of CiCi’s Pizza on Thursday signaled quite the opposite.Capt. Steve Hardin and Patrol Officer Cedrique Bridges were at the Lumberton restaurant to collect donations for the North Carolina Special Olympics as part of a statewide event called Cover the Cruiser. For each dollar a guest contributed, they received a placard to sign and paste to t...

1 days 20 hours ago | | | Email

Crime

TheftsLonnie Webb, of Martin Luther King Drive, Lumberton, reported Wednesday that someone stole a bottle containing 40 Metformin 500 mg pills valued at $8 from her business, according to a police report.Rex Holmes Jr. reported Wednesday that someone stole a package of ham valued at $5 from Bo’s Food Store on East Fifth Street in Lumberton, according to a police report.Kellen Byrd, of West 32nd Street, Lumberton, reported Wednesday that ...

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Fair pay for our teachers

North Carolina’s teachers this week provided a good lesson for those who sit in their classrooms: If you want something bad enough, don’t stop chasing it.After a budget compromise was struck on Tuesday, teachers across North Carolina will enjoy the largest raise in North Carolina’s history that comes without a tax increase, a robust 7 percent. That would boost pay for early career teachers to about $35,000 a year, ranking the state about 32nd in the country; curre...

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Republicans’ state budget isn’t kinder and gentler

There are two pieces of good news about the final state budget agreement released this week. One is listed explicitly in the 260-page budget document. The other is how legislative leaders are presenting the plan.Teachers in North Carolina are getting a raise. That is the explicit part. Despite the claims otherwise, it is not the biggest overall percentage increase in state history, though newer teachers are getting a double-digit increase. Some veteran teachers are receiving less t...

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Kinlaw working with DSS

LUMBERTON — Former Robeson County Attorney Hal Kinlaw has been granted a six-month contract with the county’s Department of Social Services to work on conflict cases, a decision that the chairman of the department’s board called “kind of disappointing.”Kinlaw’s contract took effect July 1.Becky Morrow, executive director of the Social Services Department, said that Kinlaw has been involved in DSS conflict cases during the past year tha...

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Budget well worth difficult journey

RALEIGH — It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters most — or so we have been assured by deep thinkers ranging from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Steven Tyler. When it comes to North Carolina’s revised 2014-15 state budget, however, the journey proved to be less an idyllic journey through the countryside than a drive through rush-hour traffic with a station wagon full of cranky kids.It took longer than expected for the House and Senate to resolve their di...

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Throwback Thursday: A life with few regrets

GREENSBORO — The first thing Keith Atkinson remembers about William Hardin in high school is his strength.“William had tremendous wrist strength,” said Atkinson, who was Hardin’s teammate at Lumberton High School in the early 1980s. “He would work with his father as a brick mason, and that, to me, developed the quickness in his wrists.”The power and quickness in those wrists helped to make Hardin one of the most feared hitters at the p...

2 days 20 hours ago | | | Email

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