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Strategic plan aimed at state’s wine-grape industry

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GREENSBORO — Because of the growth and economic impact being provided to the state from the wine and grape industry, the North Carolina Wine and Grape Council recently partnered with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to sponsor a research project.That project — which was handled by faculty through the Bryan School of Business’ Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro — was tasked with developing the state’s first-ever strategic plan for the wine and grape industry.


Blowing smoke

The star witness in the prosecution of the athletics programs at the University of North Carolina is in fact guilty of a literary offense she accused some Tar Heel athletes of — plagiarism.It turns out that Mary Willingham, the whistleblower who rebooted the case against UNC with some incredible allegations, used other people’s words without proper citations when writing her thesis, titled Academics & Athletics — A Clash of Cultures: Division I Football Programs,&...

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Knights looking to build on success

DUBLIN — After an 0-11 season in 2012, West Bladen surprised a few teams in 2013 and put together its most successful season in several years, finishing 3-4 in the split Class 1-A/2-A Four County Conference and 5-7 overall. It also qualified for its first state playoff berth in several seasons.But second-year head coach Russell Dove knows the surprise factor is gone now, and his Knights will be challenged hard every week.“I think last year’s success is ...

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Eagles hoping for fast start to season

ELIZABETHTOWN — Although East Bladen football fans have become accustomed to seeing the Eagles in the state playoffs year after year, third-year head coach Robby Priest knows it only take a key injury or two, a key bad break here or there, and one tough loss to keep a team home after the regular season.“Oh yeah, we can’t get off to the kind of start we did last year,” he said. “We were right up against it the whole season.”Priest is re...

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Sheriff’s office receives grant for bulletproof vests

ELIZABETHTOWN — Deputies with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office received good news recently when the Bureau of Justice Assistance notified Sheriff Prentis Benston that his department had been awarded a $5,109.82 grant for the purchase of armored vests.The grant application, which was authored by Capt. Jeff Singletary, is made available through the Bulletproof Vest Partnership for fiscal year 2014-15.“Bulletproof vests are a high priority item that each...

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Wednesday roundup…

The West Bladen Lady Knights defeated the Lady Rams of Purnell Sweat in a non-conferene tennis match by a score of 7-2Singles Action:Kali Strickland (PS) def. Alicia Avellaneda (WB) 8-1Madison Staton (WB) def. Nikana Oxendine (PS) 8-3Alanna Ludlum (WB) def. Genna Locklear (PS) 8-6Amber Long (WB) def. Mary Scott (PS) 8-2Tatianna Sturgis (WB) def. Brooke Huggins (PS) 8-5Sydney Jackson (WB) def. Sarah Locklear (PS) 8-1...

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Walmart associates volunteer at Purple Heart Dinner

WILMINGTON — Bladen County was well represented recently when a Purple Heart Dinner was held at the Wilmington Convention Center.In addition to a pair of Purple Heart recipients from Bladen County, George Moore and Marrell Freemen, attending the event, there were also a handful of volunteers from the Elizabethtown Walmart who attended to act as servers for the dinner.Bill Ebersbach, who is the commander of the local Military Order of the Purple Heart, said the dinn...

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Knights rally for ‘W’ against Swett

PEMBROKE — West Bladen scored a trio of goals in the second half on Wednesday and rallied past Class 4-A Purnell Swett on the pitch for a 3-1 non-conference win.Despite some solid scoring opportunities for the Knights early in the match, the Rams opened the scoring with a goal late in the first half and took that 1-0 lead into the intermission.West Bladen kept the pressure on in the second half, and it paid off with a Seth Britt goal. Moments later, Michael Pastore...

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Hunting mentor seminars scheduled for September

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host 11 hunting mentor seminars statewide in September to network with experienced hunters and share information about mentoring new hunters.The Wildlife Commission created the new “Hunting Mentor Seminars” to build on the popularity of free, skills-based hunting seminars that the Commission has been offering to the public since 2011. The Commission created the ...

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Knights open on the road

DUBLIN — West Bladen’s turnaround began last season with a 34-12 season-opening win over South Robeson, but Knights coach Russell Dove isn’t looking at Friday’s game as a gimme on the schedule.“Oh no, they are a big, physical team,” he said, “and we will need to get out to a good start. It’s pretty tough to play over there.”West Bladen’s win last season at The Castle was made possible by a strong running game &#...

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Looking for redemption

ELIZABETHTOWN — In a season where there will be several opportunities for redemption, East Bladen will get its first chance on Friday when the Eagles host Fairmont in the non-conference season-opener.Last year, the Golden Tornadoes won a shootout over East Bladen, 58-56, and used an aerial attack that piled up 402 yards and seven touchdowns against the Eagles.“We went over there (to Fairmont) for a football game, and a basketball game broke out,” said E...

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Bladen County Sheriff’s Office

ELIZABETHTOWN — Deputies with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office had a busy week between Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, answering 60 calls from the public.Among those were 10 calls for breaking and/or entering, eight for verbal and/or physical assault, five for drugs, five for larceny and one each for alarms, suspicious activity and a suicide attempt.There were also 17 arrests during that time.Following are the more important and/or interesting arrests:...

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Kidney Walk planned for Bladen firefighter

LUMBERTON — A Kidney Walk is planned for Saturday at Luther Britt Park in Lumberton from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. for firefighter Gene Martin, who is in Stage 5 kidney failure. The park is located at 671 Branch St., Lumberton.Samantha Failen, who is Martin’s sister, is organizing the event to help raise money to defray the medical expenses Martin has incurred. The walk will make two laps around the lake at the park and the starting and finishing lines are on the I-95 side of...

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Hancock earns Player of the Year title

ELIZABETHTOWN — Cade Hancock completed his second summer on the Coastal Junior Golf Tour with his second straight Player of the Year title after picking up a pair of second-place finishes on the links this month.Hancock, 13, competed at Magnolia Greens Golf Plantation in Leland recently and all but came up a few holes short of winning.The event was shortened by rain with Hancock having just finished his 14th hole, and the result was that he finished one shot off th...

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ELIZABETHTOWN — After a scoreless first half, visiting East Columbus scored an early second-half goal that didn’t stand up as East Bladen tallied the tie-breaker late in the match to slavage a 1-1 knot.The Eagles’ attack was held in check by the Gators through the first 40 minutes, getting outshot by a 4-1 margin. But East Bladen turned the tables and pressured the East Columbus goal with 15 second-half shots while holding the Gators to just two.With cl...

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County part of first rural health action plan

RALEIGH – On Monday, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Task Force on Rural Health released the first comprehensive North Carolina Rural Health Action Plan that sets forth recommendations to reduce health disparities and increase economic stability across North Carolina’s rural communities.The Action Plan, with six priority areas, identifies strategies at the state and local levels that range from behavioral health to childhood development to investments in high-s...

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Thanks for weekend success

A patriotic and strong thank-you to all who participated in the Battle of Elizabethtown weekend.From the Friday night dance and music concert by High Tower Band to the height of the battle to the last load of equipment and trash that was hauled out of Tory Hole Battlefield Park on Monday morning, it was a total success. Best estimates of all participation is 1,200 people and the media was great in publishing articles and announcements to get people involved.

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Murder suspect extradited to Bladen County

ELIZABETHTOWN —A murder suspect who was arrested in Maryland in late July has now been extradited back to North Carolina.Chief Deputy Rodney Hester with the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Garry Tyrell McCray Jr., 26, of Salisbury, Md., was returned to Bladen County just before midnight Monday. He has been charged with first-degree murder and is in the Bladen County Jail without bond.Four years of thorough investigation paid off for the Blade...

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