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Local agencies join military training exercise

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LAUREL HILL — Those gathered on a playground or front porch near the Laurel Hill Community Center on Wednesday morning were privy to an odd sight — the arrival of two unmarked vans carrying a mix of uniformed soldiers and a somewhat motley crew of bearded, tattooed men in gym shorts, jeans and T-shirts.Those who had gotten wind of the group’s arrival and stuck around under the center’s outdoor shelter or on the tailgate of a pick-up witnessed the scene get stranger as the group worked to modify the old gym with propaganda, and Humvees carrying about a dozen more soldiers rolled slowly into the parking lot.“If I didn’t know any better I’d be nervous,” joked Mike Edge from the sidelines.

 

Bill forces counties into false choice

Plans to finance both public education and transit at the local level would be stopped in their tracks under the version of legislation (House Bill 1224) that has emerged from the state Senate Finance Committee. The bill not only places a hard cap on the local sales tax rate at 2.5 percent but also only allows counties to levy a sales tax increase for either education or transit — not both. This bill joins a slate of other bills that would restrict local control.

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Speech-stifling ordinance grants notable exemption

On June 26, in McCullen v. Coakley, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law requiring pro-life activists to stay outside a 35-foot “buffer zone” around abortion clinics. Although the outcome of this landmark First Amendment ruling was unanimous, the justices were deeply divided in their legal reasoning.

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Good fire protection stems from great partnerships

When government increases taxes there is a general push back from citizens. This year the Board of Commissioners voted to increase the fire tax from 2 cents to 5 cents, and the action was greeted with more support than outrage. Unlike most county funded services, fire protection is easy for people to understand. The need is simple — when your property is on fire, the fire departments responds and put it out.Why did the commissioners increase this tax? Why was there no outrage...

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Optimist 10U team continues regional tourney run

MATTHEWS — Thanks to recent success and a bit of luck, the Optimist 10U baseball team was invited to participate in the Cal Ripken Southeast Regional this week.The team finished second in last week’s Cal Ripken Eastern North Carolina State Tournament after losing to West Raleigh in the championship series. It marked the fourth straight year the 10U team finished as the runner-up.The Southeast Regional in Matthews features 12 teams from seven different states....

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Kids get birds-eye-view of feathered fowl

LAURINBURG — More than 700 children were blown away Wednesday at the Scotland Memorial Library after learning where their ears would be if they were owls — nearly directly behind their eyes.Mark Christenson, senior bird trainer and keeper at the Carolina Raptor Center, quieted his audience before putting on a leather glove and carefully lifting different types of birds, one at a time, from their cages set on the stage.

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Planning board further refines city ordinance

LAURINBURG — The city’s planning board reviewed on Wednesday the first set of drafted articles designed to overhaul and modernize the city’s unified development ordinance.The ordinance revision, conducted by Holland Consulting Planners of Wilmington, expands the list of acceptable land uses from some 140 to 200 including wind farms, satellite dishes, solar arrays, microbreweries, and child care facilities. Dale Holland, who presented the ordinance revisions made s...

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Committee to draft new school funding rule

LAURINBURG — Between August and March, a committee of county commissioners and school board members plans to redesign the county’s method for determining school funding and thereby eliminate the contention engendered on a nearly annual basis by the current school funding formula.The committee, composed of county commissioners Bob Davis, Whit Gibson, and Carol McCall and school board members Pat Gates, Darrel Gibson, and Jamie Sutherland, was formed as a provision of the...

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Repeat offender breaks into home days after being released from jail

LAURINBURG — A 21-year-old Laurinburg man is back behind bars for allegedly breaking into a city home days after he was released from the Scotland County jail, according to the Laurinburg Police Department.Michael Zhang, of 823 Old Lumberton Road, was arrested Tuesday for a break-in at a Jackson Street home, said Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms.Zhang is charged with felonious possession of stolen goods, fraud, misdemeanor breaking and entering and misdemeanor ...

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Crime report for July 24

Break-inLAURINBURG — Alpheus Linthicum, of Spring Hill Drive, reported on Tuesday that someone broke into his storage unit at Storage Solutions and stole household goods valued at about $2,400, according to a police report. There are no suspects at this time.LAUREL HILL — Laurin Sutherland, of Old Wire Road, reported Tuesday that someone broke into a barn at her home and stole a lime green kayak, a pressure washer and bicycle, all valued at a...

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MMA welterweight fighter excited for match near Laurinburg home

LAURINBURG — Growing up, mixed martial arts fighter Blaine Thomas bounced from place to place, constantly moving because his father worked in the military. Despite living in countless locations and houses, he has always called Laurinburg home.Thomas is a member of the Lumbee Tribe, and is one of the few Americans Indians competing in the MMA. His grandparents, William and Elizabeth Locklear, live in Wagram, and his mom graduated from Scotland High School. Thomas currently liv...

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School board should be praised for discussion of system’s needs

To the editor:Our community needs to thank our school board for the time and effort spent in meeting to address our public educational needs. Such clear-eyed, common sense as they show is a much-needed antidote to the heated political churning going on in Raleigh under the guise of “helping our children.”

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Newton seeks chemistry with receivers as Panthers report to camp

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Cam Newton will have plenty to do when the NFC South champion Panthers report to training camp.In between spending time in the training room rehabbing from offseason ankle surgery, Newton hopes to develop some on-field chemistry with a completely revamped group of wide receivers.Toss in the fact coach Ron Rivera is counting on Newton to take on a bigger leadership role following the departures of longtime offensive captains Steve Smith and Jordan G...

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Scotland sending two players to East-West All-Star game

LAURINBURG — After helping their team advance to the state championship game as seniors, Scotland High’s Garrett Best and Tasheen Tyson find themselves together on the same team once more before they embark on their college careers.Today marks the 66th annual East-West All-Star game held at Grimsley High School in Greensboro. Best and Tyson, along with Scotland head coach Richard Bailey, will represent Scotland High School for the East team. This game, run by the North ...

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Stone tapped for district judge seat

LAURINBURG — An attorney who has practiced law across the state of North Carolina for 19 years was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory last week to the District Court seat left vacant by the retirement of Judge John Horne, Jr.McCrory officially announced the appointment of Michael A. Stone, who owns a private legal practice, on Monday. Horne retired on July 1 after serving for seven years on the 16A District Court bench.Stone received the call from the governor’s o...

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Where are the charges against owners of sweepstakes cafes?

To the editor:Looking at the paper, I see that Scotland County again has the highest unemployment rate in the state, at 12.7 percent.

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Ol’ Charley done found religion

Last week we left Ol’ Charley Perkins as mad as a setting hen ‘cause he thought someone had poisoned his bear. Charley won’t never much of a religious man anyway, no-sir-re. Why he never would go to Sunday school, church or revival meeting. In fact, if’en you didn’t watch him, he’d cheat you blind. He’d go to weigh out a customer a mess of fish, looking them straight in the eye, and I be dog gone if’en Charley wouldn’t have his thumb on th...

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Scotland offers plenty of things to do

“There’s nothing to do in Scotland County!”Have you ever heard this? I have and every time I hear it, I really want to scream. There are at least two to three times a month when I either have to decide which event I attend or I go somewhere and leave early, so that I can make it to the next event. Yet, there are people who think there is nothing to do in Scotland County. I just don’t understand it!

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