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Sen. McLaurin one of 2 Dems to vote for state budget

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ROCKINGHAM — On state Sen. Gene McLaurin’s scales, the good in North Carolina’s $21 billion budget outweighed the bad.McLaurin said he was one of two Senate Democrats to join a Republican supermajority in voting for the spending plan Thursday. The budget boosts teacher pay by an average of 7 percent without laying off teacher assistants, though experienced educators will see smaller raises when elimination of longevity pay is factored in. It also nudges state workers’ salaries $500 to $1,000 higher.

 

Tending a garden is spiritual work

Most Christians already know that God comes to us in strange and wonderful ways, mundane ways, ordinary ways. Things that happen in a regular day may be nothing special on the calendar with nothing memorable going on, but for a moment in the midst of this sameness, we get a glimpse of the presence of God.Right now, here in the middle of the summer, it could be something like homegrown tomatoes, ripened in the warm sun, brimming with that special smooth taste and exuding that marvel...

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First responders prep for hurricane activity

LAURINBURG — Though slightly below average activity is expected as hurricane season reaches its peak in the coming weeks, the more than 50 public officials and emergency services personnel who met on Thursday will not be resting on their laurels.Scotland County Emergency Services held its annual hurricane meeting on Thursday at the newly completed emergency operations center on West Boulevard. Local emergency responders and health care and utilities providers detailed their r...

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Fountain dedicated in honor of longtime doctor

LAURINBURG — More than 50 people gathered at Scottish Pines Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday to dedicate the center’s founding in honor of the late Laurinburg physician Bradley Bethel.Before his death last year, Bethel practiced medicine in Laurinburg for 24 years and served as medical director at Scottish Pines and Hospice of Scotland County in addition to private practice.“One of the things that I loved about Dr. Bethel is that he ha...

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Free dental clinic offered in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE — North Carolina Missions of Mercy will hold a free dental clinic today and Saturday at Crown Coliseum.The clinic is free of charge for adults 18 and older today from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1960 Coliseum Drive.Patients will be accepted on a walk-in basis only and should be prepared to wait. Refreshments will be available.The clinic will offer dental hygeine cleanings, fillings, extractions, and some denture...

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Cheap overseas labor diminishes U.S. integrity

Diminishing Democratic IntegrityTwo articles presented side by side in a recent edition of the Laurinburg Exchange exemplify the brilliance of our great nation’s founding father’s insight concerning freedom of speech. One addressed the current debate about exchanging Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban Guantanamo detainees. From local residents to national political leaders, there was much discussion, some of it heated, on both sides of this issue, but freedom of speech...

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Monday protesters employ thuggish tactics

It appears the Raleigh-based Moral Monday demonstrators aren’t taking the summer off like our schoolkids. One wonders just how the protesters are able to afford all this time off from their jobs — but in any case, we need to define what issues they’re protesting and why they felt compelled to circumvent our nation’s political system as a Constitutional Representative Republic in order to force these changes.Here are a few laws and regulations passed by repre...

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Father, son team up at Saint Andrews University

LAURINBURG — Joe Baranik never put his son Troy in timeout or ground him when he got into trouble. Instead, he took away the sports page of the newspaper and placed it on top of the refrigerator, out of reach for the disgruntled youngster.This was commonplace in the Baranik household, where sports were the backbone of the family’s lifestyle. Joe, who is going into his ninth season as head coach of the Saint Andrews University’s wrestling team, encouraged his son f...

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Shooting damages city home, cars

LAURINBURG — A shooting into an occupied home on Wednesday night led to no injuries, according to Laurinburg Police Chief Darwin Williams, but damaged the home and two vehicles.Ann Stewart, of Wagram Road, called 911 at about 1:30 a.m. to report that she had been awoken by what sounded like gunshots, Williams said. After inspecting the house, she found bullets had damaged the home’s vinyl siding and front door as well as a 2007 F-150 truck and 2010 Dodge Charger parked ...

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Love is the worthiest of journeys

Here we are, deep in the throes of the rituals of summer. School is out, vacation days are being cashed in, and picnic baskets are being packed. Barbecues are firing, pools are splashing, and ice cream trucks are rolling. Meanwhile, thousands, yea millions, are taking to the great American highway.Seventy percent of the U.S. population will hit the road this summer — off to visit grandma, the beach, the closest roller coaster, or a national park. We just love to feel the bree...

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Five arrested in drug bust

LAURINBURG — Five men were arrested Thursday following a month-long investigation into crack cocaine dealing in two Scotland County neighborhoods, according to Scotland County Sheriff’s Lt. Earl Haywood.Haywood said the investigation targeted the Leisure Living subdivision off Havelock Drive as well as locations in the Gibson area. The five men, four of whom are from Scotland County, were booked into the Scotland County jail within a few hours of each other on Thursday ...

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God can bring comfort to the lonely

All of us have a need for somebody to understand and sympathize with us, but when you try to tell somebody about your situation sometimes they just don’t get it!Imagine, you’re trying to tell the doctor what’s wrong with you and he just doesn’t understand what you are talking about. He just cannot feel what you feel. A minister friend of ours went to the dentist to get a tooth pulled. She tells the dentist which tooth to pull and he ends up pulling the good ...

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Community sends up prayer for Jaylend

LAURINBURG — Pray for Jaylend.From T-shirts to trending hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the message uplifting Jaylend Ratliffe has resounded across the county this week following an ATV accident that has left the standout Scotland High quarterback and Georgia Tech recruit in critical condition.And on a rainy Thursday night, about 400 people came together under the roof of the school’s gymnasium and did one thing — they prayed.

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Ratliffe starts to undergo tests

CHARLOTTE — Scotland High quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe is in serious condition following an ATV accident Tuesday afternoon, sources said Wednesday, but has been taken off a ventilator and is talking and responsive.Ratliffe, who reportedly suffered brain injuries when the ATV on which he was riding flipped, was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte on Tuesday night. Sources close to the family said Ratliffe was still in a lot of pain Wednesday, as doctors stepped ...

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50 kids participate in G.R.E.A.T. camp

LAURINBURG — The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office during the week of July 14-July 18 held its Gang Resistance Education and Training camp, a program intended as an immunization against delinquency, youth violence and gang membership.The camp, better known as G.R.E.A.T. Camp, hosted 50 kids aged 9-14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and was run by employees of the sheriff’s office who had dedicated their time off to the cause.Along with anti-gang training, camp-goe...

2 days 8 hours ago | | | Email

LRDC continues improvement efforts

The rising temperatures of summer have seen Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremonies heating up downtown, with two in the past few weeks. We are delighted to welcome Main Street Shoe Repair and Scotland Bling to the Laurinburg Downtown Revitalization Corporation (LDRC) district. They both represent the kind of small, specialty businesses that are best suited for a downtown location: an owner operator who knows their customers and community, offering goods and services with a personal tou...

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Progress, despite objections

It seems fitting somehow that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced the decision that marks another major step toward marriage equality in North Carolina this week, just a few days after the General Assembly voted to allow charter schools in the state to discriminate against gay students.It’s a perfect microcosm of what’s happening these days in North Carolina and how out of touch our leaders are with the attitudes of people in the state and across the country...

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Crime report for July 31

LAURINBURG — A Laurinburg business is stepping up its surveillance following multiple break-ins on Tuesday.Will Morgan, of Southern Mini Storage, said Wednesday that the business has installed more motion sensors after 22 of its storage units were broken into. Laurinburg Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms said the item’s monetary value has yet to be totaled.Storage units across Scotland County are frequently targeted by thieves.Break-ins...

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