Scotland State of Community talk planned

By: Scott Witten - Editor

LAURINBURG — A member of the board of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has been added to the rooster of speakers at this month’s annual State of the Community breakfast.

Former state Sen. Gene McLaurin will join Laurinburg City Manager Charles Nichols, Scotland County Manager Kevin Patterson and Scotland County Economic Development Director Mark Ward, as they give their takes on the state of Scotland County and Laurinburg. Nichols, Patterson, and Ward all spoke at the event last year.

The breakfast is Feb. 23 at 7:30 a.m. at Bright Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church. Tickets are $6. The Laurinburg/Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce is organizing the event.

“The goal is to get the word out to the community,” said Chris English, executive director of the chamber. “The city and county managers — they speak to council and their commissioners on a monthly basis, but this is an opportunity for the public to come out and hear their side and see what exactly is going on inside the city of Laurinburg and the county.”

Attendees will also here from McLaurin, who was recently appointed to Economic Development Partnership by Gov. Roy Cooper. McLaurin, who represented Scotland County in the state Senate, also served as mayor of Rockingham.

He said the biggest problems he sees facing rural communities are workforce development and education, as well as building and maintaining rural infrastructure.

“Rural North Carolina needs all the attention it can get and the governor certainly agrees. He wants a North Carolina that works for everyone,” McLaurin said after his appointment. “I can assure folks in our part of the state that we’re going to make sure that our area is not forgotten about. It’s one that’s near and dear to my heart and one that I’ve enjoyed not only working in but serving in public office.”

The EDP works with public and private entities to attract, maintain and promote business in the state. The partnership had been working to entice Amazon to build its second headquarters in North Carolina with a $92,000 ad campaign, according to the News and Observer.

Attendees may have a chance to ask questions once the presenters are finished.

“People who know me know I love to talk and this is my opportunity to tell everyone about what’s going on in Scotland County,” Ward said. “I’m looking forward to informing our community on our progress and invite everyone to come prepared to ask questions.”

For information about reserving a seat at the event, contact Kaye Buie at 910-276-7420.

Bright Hopewell Missionary Baptist is at 601 North Main St.

Scott Witten


Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023

Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023