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Bladenboro shooting: ‘Person of interest’ says victim pulled the trigger

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BLADENBORO — The man at the center of an investigation into the fatal shooting of a woman in Bladenboro in the early morning hours of April 14 claims it was the woman herself who pulled the trigger during a struggle for the weapon.Patricia Scott Cooper, 38, was shot at about 2:30 a.m. outside the Ash Street apartments and pronounced dead at Bladen County Hospital at about 3:31 a.m.Johnny Yarbrough, 56, who has been tabbed as a “person of interest” by investigators, said in an interview with the Bladen Journal on Monday that Cooper was the aggressor and arrived at his apartment wielding a 14-inch fillet knife. Yarbrough and Cooper had dated for less than a year before he said he broke up with her back in January.


Passing referendum has consequences

There are many very important reasons for opposing the county-wide beer and wine referendum besides religious ones.One of the most compelling reasons is that it robs each community of the right to decide for itself, and allows those who do not live in a community to determine the destiny of those who do. It also puts communities that have not incorporated into a township in danger of attracting bars that attract customers who do abuse alcohol and cannot be controlled, since there i...

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Religion Calendar for Friday, April 25, 2014

Missionary Baptist Church in Riegelwood wil lcelebrate homecomine, Sunday, July 14, at 3 p.m. The REv. James Brown and the Lihgt of the Word Missionary Baptist Church family of Wilmington will render the service. The church is located on Old Lake Road.April 25— Antioch United Methodist Church located on NC 210 near Garland will have a barbecue plate sale beginning at 11 a.m. Plates cost $7 each and consist of barbecue pork, slaw, baked beans, ro...

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Community Calendar for Friday, April 25, 2014

April 26— The annual Harmony Hall Plantation Village reunion will be held from 9 a.m. until … with numerous activities and tours of the buildings. The public is invited. Admission is free, but donations welcome.

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Child Abuse Awareness Day planned

ELIZABETHTOWN — As part of the effort to bring awareness of and prevention of child abuse, there will be a Child Abuse Awareness Day on Saturday.According to Child Protective Services Supervisor Jill Sampson, the event will kick off with a walk which will start at San Jose Restaurant in Elizabethtown at 1 p.m. and end at the Bladen County Courthouse.“We are encouraging those who participate to wear blue,” said Sampson.She said the color blue ...

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Foster care creates success stories

ELIZABETHTOWN — Sometimes along the way as a Child Protective Services and Foster Program worker, there is an encounter with a case that truly touches the very fiber of your being. That was the case with Ava (her name has been changed to protect the privacy of the family).Drucilla Wright, who oversees the foster car unit for Bladen County Department of Social Services, and DSS Director Vickie Smith, both said Ava’s case was successful and unique at the same time....

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Putting NC growth in context

Where are America’s economic hotspots?If you answer that question based solely on what politicians or pundits say, you might well get it wrong. You might think that Sunbelt states consistently outperform Frostbelt states, or that California’s economy is a basket case. And if your media diet is limited enough, you might think that North Carolina’s recent economic performance has been lackluster or even poor.None of these propositions is supported by the ...

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USDA offering housing money to eligible families

LUMBERTON — USDA Rural Development recently announced that federal funding is available for low and very low income citizens in rural North Carolina.USDA Rural Development offers direct and guaranteed single-family housing loans to eligible rural residents. Applicants may obtain 100 percent financing to purchase an existing dwelling, purchase a site and construct a dwelling or purchase newly constructed dwellings located in rural areas. Eligibility is based on household incom...

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Local agencies partner to assist sexual assault victims

WHITEVILLE — Families First Inc. is a non-profit organization that is committed to serving victims dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault in Bladen and Columbus Counties.Families First has teamed up with local agencies with the assistance of Coastal Carolina Health Alliance to establish a Sexual Assault Response Team also known as SART, to assist victims of sexual assault. Bladen County agencies have established a protocol to maintain a clear, consistent, and effec...

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Lady Knights earn Slugfest three-peat

RED SPRINGS — The Lady Knights took and early punch from Fairmont in the title game of the Robeson County Slugfest on Wednesday, but then stormed to their third straight championship.West Bladen, the No. 1 seed going into the tournament, used a 14-run, 12-hit attack to knock off the Lady Golden Tornadoes, 14-4.“I don’t think we were expected to have this kind of season after losing the players we lost from the first two title teams,” said West Bla...

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Birthday wishes

Photo courtesy of Jessica BurneyKeith Burney, who once owned his own business in Bladenboro called Keith’s Vinyl Siding and is employed with Bladen County Schools, turned 55 on Wednesday, April 23. So three different Bladenboro businesses acknowledged his birthday — Bladenboro Hardware, Rodney Barber Shop and Sassy Scissors — by sending him birthday wishes on their marquees.

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Fixing our schools: Dublin Primary School

ELIZABETHTOWN — May 6 is fast approaching and we want to be sure you are educated on this very important vote of the Sales and Use Tax referendum that will impact your children and the future of the entire school district.It’s a big decision for our community and one that we hope you will take very seriously. As those responsible for educating your children, we understand the concerns and continue to encourage the conversations and your questions. We are excited about t...

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Bladen County Sheriff’s Office

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office had a busy week with calls from victims of potential crime, but a slow week making arrests.Between April 16 and April 22, deputies answered a total of 53 calls from residents — among those were nine for larceny, nine for physical and/or verbal assaults, three for break and/or entering, three for suspicious activity, two for alarms and two drug-related.There were also a total of 11 arrests during that sa...

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Election letters

— Editor’s note: The Bladen Journal will post online or publish letters in support and/or opposition of candidates and referendums only through Tuesday, April 26.

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Commissioners hear jail feasability study

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation this week regarding a jail feasibility study the county had commissioned.Bladen County Manager Greg Martin said that study went over some of the history of the county’s jail and gave some numbers based on reports that are sent to the state. For example, Martin said the average length of stay of a prisoner in 2009 was just 15.09 days then in 2010 the average stay was about 15.08 and in 2013 the...

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SEDC hold annual meeting at Lu Mil

DUBLIN — Dan Gerlach painted a somewhat bleak economic picture for the southeast portion of North Carolina on Tuesday, but he also managed to weave in the positive efforts being made to produce a positive outcome.Gerlach, the president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, was the keynote speaker for the 46th annual meeting of the Southeastern Economic Development Commission at Lu Mil Vineyard. The SEDC serves 12 counties — including Bladen, Columbus, Robeson, Cumberland and S...

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Earning while learning

Contributed photo

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Bladen Journal wants your “selfie”

Here’s your chance to show off your selfie!The Bladen Journal is accepting selfies for a special project to publish in mid-May. We are inviting readers to send us their best selfie photograph. One lucky selfie will be chosen as the main art to be published in the newspaper. Other selfies will be posted on our Facebook wall and website for our readers to enjoy.Please email your selfie by May 2 to with the word ‘selfie’ in the su...

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