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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.


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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Knights fall a second time

RED SPRINGS — A four-run explosion in the top of the second inning Tuesday propelled South Robeson past West Bladen in the second round of the Robeson County Slugfest, 6-2.The loss sent the Knights home for the balance of the spring break after losing both tournament games.The Mustangs opened the game by manufacturing a run in the first inning, but West Bladen bounced back with a pair of runs in the home half of the inning when C.J. Singletary led off with a single...

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Wyatt HR helps send West into title game

RED SPRINGS — West Bladen got a two-hitter from pitcher Nicole Wyatt and the Lady Knights scored four runs in the third to send South Robeson to the consolation bracket of the Robeson County Slugfest on Tuesday with a 6-1 loss.The win also send West Bladen to the championship game for the fourth straight year.The Lady Mustangs nicked Wyatt for an unearned run in the top of the first, thanks to the lone error of the game by the Lady Knights.West Bladen kn...

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Eagles lose two in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE — After a first-round win on Monday in the J. Hoyt Warren/Wayne Edwards Invitational, the Eagles of East Bladen found the going a bit tougher on Tuesday, dropping games to Gray’s Creek and Hoke County.“We just don’t have the pitching to go up against these good teams,” said East Bladen coach Russell Priest. “We were facing pitchers throwing in the mid-80s, and it’s tough to catch up with that.”In the second-rou...

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Helping teens, young adults find their way

ELIZABETHTOWN — For some teens, finding a job is a difficult, if not impossible task. One man wants to change that, and is trying to help connect teens and young adults with potential employers in Bladen County.“A lot of our young people have nothing to do,” said Wilson Bolden. “I have 25 or 26 young people who are looking for something to do.”

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Vote for beer, wine referendum

I would like to encourage you to vote FOR the county-wide beer and wine referendum on May 6.If you go to church three times a week or barely make it one time a year at Easter, I encourage you to vote FOR.If you drink occasionally or never, I encourage you to vote FOR.If you live in Elizabethtown, Clarkton or East Arcadia — or live near the county line — I encourage you to vote FOR.Across this country, it is legal for citizens over 21 yea...

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National Day of Prayer looms

It’s that time of year again — the National Day of Prayer, to be held the first Thursday of May, which falls on May 1. The event will begin at noon.Please come to Elizabethtown Town Hall on West Broad Street and help pray for our country, our schools, government and our cities. We need to pray for our children because they are next in line to take over and rule.I think all of you who have come out to pray during all these years. God has made the difference, a...

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Field Day at Bladen Lakes

Bladen Lakes Primary School students recently enjoyed a favorite annual tradition: Field Day! Faculty members William McMillan and Liz Lytch led warm-ups and songs at an opening ceremony. Students then competed in short and long races, sack races, and egg races. After lunch, the students jumped rope and flew kites. Other students competed in a yo-yo contest. Winners were able to yo-yo the longest and showed off yo-yo tricks.

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Battling bigotry

Hank Aaron, the black former Major League Baseball star who in 1974 surpassed the home-run record held by Babe Ruth, an American icon who was white, recently reflected on that bittersweet time — sweet because the record finally was his, but bitter because America was exposed as a nation with too many bigots.

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Sports briefs

Rams Club Tar Heel Tour***LUMBERTON — North Carolina football coach Larry Fedora and other UNC personalities will make an appearance in Lumberton on Friday, May 2, during a stop on the Rams Club Tar Heel Tour. The event will be held at 11:45 a.m. at Candy Sue’s.Eric Montross, a member of UNC’s national championship basketball team in 1993, and longtime Tar Heel sports announcer Woody Durham will also be there.The c...

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