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Mary Katherine Murphy

Position: Reporter
E-Mail Address: mmurphy@civitasmedia.com
Phone Number: 910-506-3169


About Mary Katherine Murphy

Mary Kate covers the Laurinburg City Council, Scotland County Commissioners and the Scotland County Board of Education.

Latest Stories by Mary Katherine Murphy

County updated on school funds

LAURINBURG — Though the mediation that brought 2014's Scotland County and Scotland County Schools budget deliberations to an end also left little room for negotiations this year, on Wednesday the Scotland County Board of Commissioners learned where its $10.8 million appropriation will be going in the 2015-2016 year. The school system's total

LAURINBURG — Though delivered in many more words, Scotland County Schools Superintendent Ron Hargrave's message to the 47 teachers, teacher assistants, and other employees gathered in the St. Andrews University Belk Center on Wednesday was simple: keep doing what you're doing.
This year, each of the system's schools designated a Teacher of t

School leaders celebrated

LAURINBURG — Though delivered in many more words, Scotland County Schools Superintendent Ron Hargrave's message to the 47 teachers, teacher assistants, and other employees gathered in the St. Andrews University Belk Center on Wednesday was simple: keep doing what you're doing. This year, each of the system's schools designated a Teacher of t

City to apply for 2 programs

LAURINBURG — The Laurinburg City Council gave its new community development director free rein to apply for a pair of programs that he said could pay dividends for the city's downtown area. The Preserve America designation, according to Teddy Warner, would cost the city nothing and would earn it national recognition and eligibility for grant

LAURINBURG — Comprising parents, social workers, and guardian ad litem volunteers, an intimate crowd, but not one short on enthusiasm, cheered on 10 foster children on Tuesday in a talent show organized by the Scotland County Department of Social Services.
“It's a learning experience for them and their time to shine,” said social

'It's their time to shine'

LAURINBURG — Comprising parents, social workers, and guardian ad litem volunteers, an intimate crowd, but not one short on enthusiasm, cheered on 10 foster children on Tuesday in a talent show organized by the Scotland County Department of Social Services. “It's a learning experience for them and their time to shine,” said social

School board mulls options for redistricting

LAURINBURG — Faced with a bevy of scenarios, the Scotland County Board of Education rejected all redistricting proposals but one on Monday, however the board's deliberations are far from over. When asked by the board to recommend a single of the proposals submitted so far, Superintendent Ron Hargrave put forth the most recent, which would cl

WAGRAM — Though they were 150 years too late to find Fort Fisher, the two-man crew of the “CSS Lumber” emerged victorious from the leafy recesses of the river's Chalk Banks Access Area on Saturday to win the Chalk Banks Challenge.
The cardboard boat fashioned and piloted by Brent Spivey of St. Pauls — who donned a Confedera

Duo claims Chalk Banks victory

WAGRAM — Though they were 150 years too late to find Fort Fisher, the two-man crew of the “CSS Lumber” emerged victorious from the leafy recesses of the river's Chalk Banks Access Area on Saturday to win the Chalk Banks Challenge. The cardboard boat fashioned and piloted by Brent Spivey of St. Pauls — who donned a Confedera

LAURINBURG — The crowds at Friday's Laurinburg After Five concert greeted received native son Jim Quick and his Coastline Band with the kind of enthusiasm only a small town can muster.
Hundreds of people from Scotland and the surrounding counties flooded the field at the James L. Morgan Recreation Complex on a made to order evening of sun, s

After 5 draws crowd

LAURINBURG — The crowds at Friday's Laurinburg After Five concert greeted received native son Jim Quick and his Coastline Band with the kind of enthusiasm only a small town can muster. Hundreds of people from Scotland and the surrounding counties flooded the field at the James L. Morgan Recreation Complex on a made to order evening of sun, s

LAURINBURG — Saddle shoes made a one-night-only comeback on Friday night for the 16th annual Cancer Survivors' Day organized by Scotland Cancer Treatment Center.
“We have a word for tonight,” oncologist Kelvin Raybon said in a greeting to the 150 survivors and guests in attendance in the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church fellowship

'It's just a fun night for everybody'

LAURINBURG — Saddle shoes made a one-night-only comeback on Friday night for the 16th annual Cancer Survivors' Day organized by Scotland Cancer Treatment Center. “We have a word for tonight,” oncologist Kelvin Raybon said in a greeting to the 150 survivors and guests in attendance in the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church fellowship

Sheriff names chief deputy

LAURINBURG — After nearly five months in office, Sheriff Ralph Kersey selected a chief deputy on Friday from one of the three officers he initially hired with the position in mind. But the announcement was soon followed by the resignation of a second sheriff's major in as many weeks. On Friday morning, Kersey appointed Capt. Lloyd Goins as

County auction nets over $200K

LAURINBURG — Last week's auction of 60 foreclosed parcels resulted in the sale of all of them and performed in line with the county manager's most optimistic expectations. The sale, conducted by Iron Horse Auctions of Rockingham, ended on May 7 with bids for all of the properties totaling $282,600. According to County Manager Kevin Patterso

MARSTON — Freed from slavery at the age of eight, Hector McMillan later purchased 100 acres — at $1 per — in 1875.
Nearly 150 years later, his great-grandson Robert Drakeford founded a campground and RV Park on a section of the property.
Drakeford, a retired public administration professor and former mayor of the Orange County t

Marston 'oasis' offers laid-back lodging

MARSTON — Freed from slavery at the age of eight, Hector McMillan later purchased 100 acres — at $1 per — in 1875. Nearly 150 years later, his great-grandson Robert Drakeford founded a campground and RV Park on a section of the property. Drakeford, a retired public administration professor and former mayor of the Orange County t

LAURINBURG — Whether a practical handmade basket or scarf or a moment in time captured by paint, a camera lens, or the power of language, the talents of Scotland County's seniors was on display on Thursday night in a companion event to the Scotland County Senior Games.
Also open to all aged 50 and over, Silver Arts showcases creative talents

Seniors show off special talents

LAURINBURG — Whether a practical handmade basket or scarf or a moment in time captured by paint, a camera lens, or the power of language, the talents of Scotland County's seniors was on display on Thursday night in a companion event to the Scotland County Senior Games. Also open to all aged 50 and over, Silver Arts showcases creative talents

Gibson finalizes budget proposal

GIBSON — It was a skeleton crew that make the final adjustments to Gibson's 2016 budget on Thursday night before it is presented for approval in June. Town commissioner Randy Pearson wielded the gavel in the absence of Mayor Ronnie Hudson, and Commissioner Pete Wilkins was also away from the table. “It looks like this year we're going

Step made toward new city hall

LAURINBURG — Currently embarking on planning the possible construction of a new city hall, the Laurinburg City Council will not consider cost until further into the process. On Tuesday, general services director Harold Haywood presented to council the city's timeline for selecting and hiring an architecture firm to design a city hall to repl

LAURINBURG — While Scotland County is home to around a dozen mental health agencies, it is nearly impossible to travel several blocks in a populated area without passing a church.
Given the central role of faith in the lives of many county residents, it may not come as a surprise to local pastors when they find themselves offering advice to

State of Mental Health: 'To set the captives free'

LAURINBURG — While Scotland County is home to around a dozen mental health agencies, it is nearly impossible to travel several blocks in a populated area without passing a church. Given the central role of faith in the lives of many county residents, it may not come as a surprise to local pastors when they find themselves offering advice to

LAURINBURG — The Scotland Memorial Hospital emergency department is nearing completion of a $1.5 million expansion that will better enable it to funnel hundreds of patients a year into long-term psychiatric treatment.
According to Pat Phillips, Scotland Health Care System's vice president of operations, the emergency room transferred 300 psy

State of Mental Health: Scotland Memorial adds adds secluded psychiatric emergency room

LAURINBURG — The Scotland Memorial Hospital emergency department is nearing completion of a $1.5 million expansion that will better enable it to funnel hundreds of patients a year into long-term psychiatric treatment. According to Pat Phillips, Scotland Health Care System's vice president of operations, the emergency room transferred 300 psy

State of Mental Health: Barriers impede treatment

LAURINBURG — The question of how to treat members of society for whom everyday life and its functions — driving to work, shopping, social encounters — become overwhelming is one that has had many solutions tested throughout the years. Since the emergence of public asylums in the 18th century, where patients were sometimes subject

LAURINBURG — With a total of 892 beds, North Carolina's three state psychiatric hospitals served 3,964 people between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, less than a quarter of the number annually served a decade earlier.
In the same 10-year period, the average daily population of state psychiatric hospitals fell from 1,198 to 768.
But one does

State of Mental Health: Criminally ill often repeat offenses

LAURINBURG — With a total of 892 beds, North Carolina's three state psychiatric hospitals served 3,964 people between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, less than a quarter of the number annually served a decade earlier. In the same 10-year period, the average daily population of state psychiatric hospitals fell from 1,198 to 768. But one does

LAURINBURG — Founded in 2007, Scotland Family Counseling Center began with a single counselor working for half a day each week.
It now employs three people full-time, and in the words of director Charles Wentz, it is “just scratching the surface.”
Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, 2,204 Scotland County residents — si

State of Mental Health: 'Society really would rather just look the other way'

LAURINBURG — Founded in 2007, Scotland Family Counseling Center began with a single counselor working for half a day each week. It now employs three people full-time, and in the words of director Charles Wentz, it is “just scratching the surface.” Between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, 2,204 Scotland County residents — si

State of Mental Health: 'They knew something was wrong and they didn't want to say anything'

LAURINBURG — It would be inconceivable to hear of anyone's death from a physical ailment like cancer or diabetes, and to further find out that the deceased never mentioned the disease to anyone or sought medical treatment. Though it is similarly unsettling to read of suicides, whether of celebrities or those much closer to home, the narrativ





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