So many transplanted voters now

So many new voters, where did they come from?“Voters born elsewhere make up nearly half of N.C. electorate.”So begins the latest DataNet report from the UNC Program on Public Life, directed by former journalist Ferrel Guillory.So what? What difference does it make to us that almost half of North Carolina voters were born somewhere else?To begin to show the importance of such a large number of non-North Carolina natives participating in t...

23 hours ago | | | Email

Grandma was a fly-killing machine

My grandmother hated flies, but it wouldn’t be fair to leave it at just that. Nowhere near as humorous, either.I thought about my grandmother the other day, when a fly began to dive-bomb my face for no apparent reason. As I spent the next several moments waving off its repeated attempts to annoy me, I suddenly heard my grandmother’s words: “Don’t just swat at it … kill it!”Don’t be taken aback. My grandmother, who passed away bac...

2 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Thanks for the memories

As I sat by the third base dugout at Leinwand park a few weeks back, I was overwhelmed with emotion as I realized that I was watching the last few pitches of my youngest son’s illustrious baseball career.My family has spent the last 12 springs cheering our three sons from coach-pitch through majors — and now, it’s over. Hard for us to believe.From the depths of our hearts, the McGill family would like to say “Thanks for the memories” to all ...

5 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Feeding the masses

Beginning with the next school year, almost all of Bladen County’s students will eat breakfast and/or lunch for free.

9 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

A truly memorable weekend

A trip to the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania this past weekend restored my belief that there are still good people out there, that God does have a plan that will amaze us and he always puts special people in our paths.The trip started out like any other. It was Friday evening and there were several of us in a van headed north on Interstate 95.About an hour into the ride, the van gave a “beep-beep” warning — which was promptly ignore by Tammy, who owne...

9 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Books … past, present, future

Why do we read books? For entertainment, of course, first and foremo...

12 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

That’s a wrap

The N.C. Film exodus is officially under way.This was made clear when Aaron Syrett, director of the N.C. Film Office, confirmed he would be resigning his position, effective July 31. For seven years, Aaron’s leadership fostered a period of tremendous growth that was fueled by our current film incentives program.And during those years, we witnessed the making of films like “The Secret Life of Bees” and “Hunger Games” get made in North Carolin...

12 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Are we doomed to polarization?

We Americans are trapped in a political dilemma. We all like representative democracy, but we don’t much like the way it’s performing. ...

15 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

The definition of ‘illegal’ is …

I have a friend in Upstate New York who was recently arrested after he tied one on, drove and hit a guardrail. His blood alcohol level was slightly over the state limit of .08 and the prosecutor was in no mood to negotiate.Despite the fact that my friend has a family, is the lone moneymaker, is expecting his second child and is a regular volunteer for charitable events in the area, the prosecutor pushed hard for a six-month jail sentence in addition to reparations.

16 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Second chance

Voters in Bladen County will once again have the opportunity to decide whether they want everyone — residents and visitors alike — who purchase consumer goods in the county to pay an additional one-quarter of a penny in sales tax to benefit Bladen County Schools’ efforts to refurbish and/or repair their 13 school facilities.The referendum was defeated on the May 6 primary ballot by more than a 2-1 margin — 5,822 against, 2,276 for.But the Bladen C...

16 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Surge over

Over the past few weeks, there have been parties and gatherings throughout the country and television ratings have soared to new heights. For soccer, of all things.As the American team played through the preliminary bracket round with a 1-1-1 record — good enough to advance into the so-called knockout round of 16, where a loss sends a team home — fan interest just blossomed. Estimates even have about 25 million Americans who watched the USA game against Portugal on June...

19 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Preserving the monuments of a controversial past

“You see him and ask: ‘Why is the statue still here? What was it he actually stood for?’ This is the kind of debate that a public work of art makes possible. We won’t change the way people think just by getting rid of a monument.” ...

20 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Quick actions save a life

On Wednesday, July 2, CPR training and the availability of an AED saved the life of Bay Tree Lakes pool manager Donovan Vinson.Mr. Vinson’s heart stopped beating and he passed out after performing some duties at the pool. Fortunately, neighbors Karen Pack, a local P.A., Junior Rideout and Bay Tree Lakes volunteer fireman Terry Randall were present and responded immediately, administrating CPR and utilizing the recently installed AED.Mr. Vinson had expired but was b...

20 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

How can communities revive?

My wife and I recently spent a long weekend in New York City celebrating our wedding anniversary. It’s amazing how time flies: This is number 34, thank you.New York City — or simply “the City” to native New Yorkers — conjures up both negative and positive feelings. We’ve visited the City many times (my wife was born in New York, although not in the City). It is crowded, busy, noisy and confusing. People can be pushy, partly because if you donR...

21 days 23 hours ago | | | Email

Happy birthday America, IHOP

As you prepare to host a backyard barbecue or pack the car for a weekend at the beach or just settle in for a much-needed day off from work during the July 4 holiday, think about this: the United States of America very nearly had a July 2 Independence Day instead.Even our second president John Adams was convinced July 2 would be this country’s most patriotic holiday.

23 days 23 hours ago | | | Email


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Thanks for the memories

As I sat by the third base dugout at Leinwand park a few...

5 days 23 hours ago | | | Email


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