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Sarah Willets

Position: Reporter
E-Mail Address: swillets@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 910-816-1974


About Sarah Willets

Covering breaking news, crime, health, Lumberton and Fairmont

Latest Stories by Sarah Willets

LUMBERTON — The Red Springs Police Department's chief and captain have been ordered to explain in court why a box of evidence related to the 1983 rape and murder of a Red Springs girl was not turned over to investigators until four years after it was initially requested.
Chief Ronnie Patterson and Capt. Kevin Locklear were served with an ord

Chief, officer must explain evidence delay

LUMBERTON — The Red Springs Police Department's chief and captain have been ordered to explain in court why a box of evidence related to the 1983 rape and murder of a Red Springs girl was not turned over to investigators until four years after it was initially requested. Chief Ronnie Patterson and Capt. Kevin Locklear were served with an ord

Crime report

Thefts Brandi Locklear, of Eddie Sampson Road, Lumberton, reported Monday that her $10 wallet, $80 in cash and $85 worth of bank and identification cards were stolen at 2301 Lackey St., according to a police report. Jiovana Belfield, of Hedgepeth Circle, Lumberton, reported Monday that shots were fired near her home, causing $1,550 in damage to h

LUMBERTON — Residents, law enforcement and local officials joined together Tuesday night to discuss what Robeson County District Johnson Britt called “a problem of epidemic proportions” — crime.
The meeting, sponsored by Citizens 4 Change, was called following several recent violent crimes, including the deaths of a 25-year

Crime solution sought

LUMBERTON — Residents, law enforcement and local officials joined together Tuesday night to discuss what Robeson County District Johnson Britt called “a problem of epidemic proportions” — crime. The meeting, sponsored by Citizens 4 Change, was called following several recent violent crimes, including the deaths of a 25-year

E'town man killed in Lumberton accident

LUMBERTON — An Elizabethtown man was killed in an accident in Lumberton on Sunday morning, according to the state Highway Patrol. Frederick Lee Riggins, 54, was killed when his vehicle ran off of Wire Grass Road, about two miles from N.C. 41 in Lumberton at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, according to 1st Sgt. Jeremy Brewington. According to Brewington,

Crime report

Thefts Lindsey Anderson reported Sunday that a $600 laptop was stolen from Muffler King on East Fifth Street in Lumberton, according to a police report. Fredrick Leach, of Parmele Drive, Lumberton, reported Sunday that $200 in cash, a $20 wallet and IDs were stolen from his home, according to a police report. Jeffery Myre, of Sanford, reported F

Elizabethtown man killed in wreck near Lumberton

LUMBERTON — An Elizabethtown man was killed in an accident in Lumberton on Sunday morning, according to the state Highway Patrol. Frederick Lee Riggins, 54, was killed when his vehicle ran off of Wire Grass Road, about two miles from N.C. 41 in Lumberton at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, according to 1st Sgt. Jeremy Brewington. According to Brewington,

Crime report

Thefts Lawrence Burke reported Thursday that someone pried open the door to Barnhill Construction on Old Whiteville Road in Lumberton, causing $300 in damage, and stole a $250 stereo, according to a police report. Danielle Purdie, of Kennedy Circle, Lumberton, reported Thursday that someone punched her at a day care center on Martin Luther King J

Man involved in standoff undergoing mental evaluation

LUMBERTON — A man involved in a standoff with Robeson County deputies on Wednesday is undergoing mental evaluation and has not been charged for threatening officers, according to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. Jarrett Maynor was taken into custody Wednesday after refusing to leave his mother's home on Lombardy Village Road for two hour

Contributed photo Hundreds of Prospect Elementary students participate in the annual Spring Fling activities on Friday. Students from Pre-K through fourth grade danced to various songs and participated in a traditional wrapping of the May Pole Ceremony with spring colored ribbon.

Springing into action

Contributed photo Hundreds of Prospect Elementary students participate in the annual Spring Fling activities on Friday. Students from Pre-K through fourth grade danced to various songs and participated in a traditional wrapping of the May Pole Ceremony with spring colored ribbon.

ROWLAND — Fun-seekers hoping to take advantage of the mostly sunny, 70-degree weather will have a couple of options Saturday when outdoor festivals will be held in Rowland and Fairmont.
The streets of downtown Rowland will be bursting with activity during the town's annual Springfest event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The festival

Festivals, powwow mark weekend

ROWLAND — Fun-seekers hoping to take advantage of the mostly sunny, 70-degree weather will have a couple of options Saturday when outdoor festivals will be held in Rowland and Fairmont. The streets of downtown Rowland will be bursting with activity during the town's annual Springfest event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival

South Robeson Rescue Unit sidelines

FAIRMONT — Services provided by South Robeson Rescue Unit have been suspended and calls for emergency response from that unit are being rerouted, according to a county official. According to Charles Britt, general services manager for the county, the Fairmont-based rescue unit's insurance was terminated at midnight on Wednesday. A franchise

Forum on Tuesday to address crime problem

LUMBERTON — A town hall forum on crime will be held on Tuesday at the South Lumberton Resource Center. The meeting, sponsored by Citizens 4 Change, was called after the recent shooting death of 25-year-old Nathaniel Thompson in the Turner Mobile Home Park. The April 18 shooting also left three others injured, including a 6-year-old. No arres

LUMBERTON — A Lumberton man wanted by authorities in Fayetteville for allegedly holding a woman at gunpoint in her home has been arrested.
Lafayette Graham, 24, was arrested by Lumberton police just after 1 a.m. today in Robeson County. He is one of three people wanted by the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office for their alleged involvement i

City man charged with robbery, home invasion in Fayetteville

LUMBERTON — A Lumberton man wanted by authorities in Fayetteville for allegedly holding a woman at gunpoint in her home has been arrested. Lafayette Graham, 24, was arrested by Lumberton police just after 1 a.m. today in Robeson County. He is one of three people wanted by the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office for their alleged involvement i

Crime report

Vandalism Kerian Estevez reported Wednesday that a window was broken at NutriCenter on North Pine Street in Lumberton, causing $200 in damage, according to a police report. Break-ins The following break-ins were reported to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office: Stephanie Hepburn, of Loretta Drive, Lumberton; Harry Deese, of U.S. 74 West, Maxton;

RALEIGH — The state House agreed Tuesday night to pull back on North Carolina's long-standing ban on hunting with guns on Sundays, replacing it with legislation containing exceptions and giving counties the ability to ban it again locally in a couple of years.
The House voted 83-35 for legislation that would allow hunting with a firearm on t

Sunday hunting gets House nod during split vote

RALEIGH — The state House agreed Tuesday night to pull back on North Carolina's long-standing ban on hunting with guns on Sundays, replacing it with legislation containing exceptions and giving counties the ability to ban it again locally in a couple of years. The House voted 83-35 for legislation that would allow hunting with a firearm on t

Crime report

Thefts Gail Lassiter, of Havelock Place, Lumberton, reported Tuesday that a green bicycle, valued at $100, and a red wagon, valued at $70, were stolen from her home, according to a police report. Nellie Grissette, of Windsor Street, Lumberton, reported Tuesday that $500 in cash was stolen from her purse, according to a police report. Donyal Pear

Two-hour standoff with deputies ends peacefully

LUMBERTON — A man is in custody following a two-hour standoff with law enforcement Wednesday during which he refused to come out of his mother's home and fired shots while inside it, according to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. No one was injured in the standoff, and shots were not returned by the deputies, according to Maj. Anthony Tho

ROWLAND — A fire that destroyed two buildings of a vacant Rowland motel this weekend was sparked accidentally by a discarded cigarette.
“There was a homeless man down there and he failed to extinguish his cigarette and it caused the mattress and everything to catch fire,” said Rowland Police Chief John Reaves.
The Family Inn on

Motel fire ruled accidental

ROWLAND — A fire that destroyed two buildings of a vacant Rowland motel this weekend was sparked accidentally by a discarded cigarette. “There was a homeless man down there and he failed to extinguish his cigarette and it caused the mattress and everything to catch fire,” said Rowland Police Chief John Reaves. The Family Inn on

The coal ash testing required of Duke Energy is steeped in Session Law 2014-122, 130A-309.209. This is a requirement caused by the collapsing of the retention pond near the Virginia border. Similar sites are in 14 places in North Carolina, all associated with abandoned energy plants.
Robeson has one of those plants as Weatherspoon is located on N.

Health Department eyes water safety

The coal ash testing required of Duke Energy is steeped in Session Law 2014-122, 130A-309.209. This is a requirement caused by the collapsing of the retention pond near the Virginia border. Similar sites are in 14 places in North Carolina, all associated with abandoned energy plants. Robeson has one of those plants as Weatherspoon is located on N.

Crime report

Break-ins The following break-ins were reported to the Robeson County Sheriff's Office: Connie Britt, of Alamac Road, Lumberton; Gary Dwayne Locklear, of Alamac Road, Lumberton; Daniel Fields, of Sparrow Lane, Lumberton; and Grace Locklear, of Albert Road, Pembroke.





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