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Site near Converse picked for industry-recruitment study

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LUMBERTON — The Robeson County’s economic developer is banking on participation in Duke Energy’s 2014 Site Readiness Program to attract an industrial or manufacturing business to a 257-acre tract of former farmland in Lumberton near the old Converse plant.“This site is centrally located and all infrastructure is in place,” Cummings said. “It’s centrally located, isolated and has access to rail, which is something many businesses looking today for a place to locate or expand want.”


Who opposes school choice — and why?

RALEIGH — Liberal activists may fume, and left-wing editorialists may grind their teeth, but legislative leaders are going to defend their 2013 opportunity scholarship bill against lawsuits by the teacher union and other special interests.Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Thom Tillis, House Speaker Pro Tem Skip Stam (the main architect of the program), and other leaders won’t be defending school choice because they oppose public education. They won’t be def...

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Local legislators don’t score well with family-value votes

To the Editor,A quick note regarding legislator effectiveness is in order with the recent release of rankings by the NC Center for Public Policy Research. The survey is fairly solid and widely quoted in the media. Overall, the group does a pretty good job.But it is worth noting that public policy groups in Raleigh generally fall into two camps. The left-of-center camp with ties to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and the right-of-center camp with ties to the John William...

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Our once-great nation is on a corrupt and sinful path

To the Editor,Voter ID is necessary. Too many dead people, pets and illegals have voted in our country for too long and it has escalated to the point of disgrace. One must have a legal photo ID to cash a check, to take the driver’s test and for many, many other things. So what is the big deal? In one state more than 5,000 illegal votes were cast in a recent election.

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Developer touts plans for abandoned Sara Lee plant

MAXTON — The owner of the site of the former Sara Lee distribution facility on U.S. 74 near Maxton told town commissioners on Tuesday that he wants to develop the property into a food distribution and research facility.

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McCory picks April 15 to hype tax-plan benefits

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory and his fiscal allies used Tuesday’s tax-filing deadline to highlight a tax overhaul passed last summer that they say will benefit most North Carolina residents — either by leaving more money in their wallets or providing them with new jobs. But critics insist most people will see higher taxes and government services still hindered by cash shortages.McCrory, Republican lawmakers and representatives of conservative think tanks participate...

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Ronald Graham

Ronald GrahamLUMBERTON — Mr. Ronald Gene Graham, 63, was born Sept. 18, 1960, to Albrie and Odessie Graham. He departed this earthly home on April 13, 2014, following an extended illness.The funeral will be 3 p.m. Thursday at Burnt Swamp Baptist Church, the Rev. Keith Long officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.He was preceded in death by his father, Albrie Graham.

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Fairmont plans May Day celebration

FAIRMONT — Fairmont residents won’t have to wait until the Fourth of July for the town’s next festival.The Fairmont Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on Tuesday night gave a thumbs up to the May Day Fun Festival, which will be held on May 31 downtown, and also approved beer sales for the event.“It brings the town and the people together,” Commissioner Terry Evans said. “We’re always doing that in Lumberton, let’...

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Candidates forum Thursday at library

LUMBERTON — The Unified Robeson County NAACP, Democracy N.C. and the Lumberton Robeson Leadership Black Caucus will hold a candidate forum on Thurday.Candidates running for sheriff, clerk of court, the Robeson County Board of Commissioners and state Senate have been invited as well as Rep. Charles Graham and Antonio Blue, the mayor of Dobbins Heights in Richmond County.The forum, which is open to the public, will be held at the Robeson County Public Library’s...

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Reading and right

In the summer of 2010, when news broke that the football program at the state’s flagship university was being investigated by the NCAA, officials at the University of North Carolina took an accommodating posture. Instead of mounting a public-relations defense, they beared the onslaught without a grin, apparently having made the decision that if they didn’t join the conversation, perhaps it would be shortened.

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CRAWFORD: Examining the filthiest contracts and ultimate bargains in pro sports

Kobe Bryant loosens his tie and leans back in his seat, struggling to swallow the Lakers’ latest home loss to Charlotte.In minutes, he’ll chastise coach Mike D’Antoni and the effort of teammates to reporters before presenting no explanation as to why Los Angeles has dropped to 16-31 two weeks before the All-Star break.Why is he befuddled? No doubt he wants to win and Bryant’s championship pedigree proves it, but mired in mediocrity, there’s ...

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This is Day 2 of earning for yourself

RALEIGH — The weather is getting warmer, the plants are in bloom, and people are starting to spend more time outside. Yes, it’s springtime, and as we get more comfortable with the season change, one thing continues to put a damper on things — tax day. April 15 arrived yesterday, but do you know exactly how long it took you to pay those taxes?If we add up every tax you have to pay — federal, state, property, etc. — how long would it take? What is the co...

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RCC unanimously nixes land deal

LUMBERTON — The Robeson County trustees on Monday unanimously voted to turn down a request from COMtech Park to sell or trade some prime property it owns at the park’s entrance so that the COMtech can move forward with plans to establish a Business Support Center.Noah Woods, the chairman of the Robeson County Board of Commissioners and a trustee at the college, abstained. The county had lobbied trustees in favor of COMtech’s request, with County Manager Ricky Harr...

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Rand Paul’s foreign policy problem

The oil-services company Halliburton is an old obsession of the anti-Bush left, and evidently of Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.The libertarian standard-bearer and almost-certain Republican presidential candidate suggested to audiences a few years ago that Vice President Dick Cheney’s views on the Iraq War were influenced by his time as CEO at Halliburton. Cheney had opposed going into Iraq during the Persian Gulf War under the first President George Bush; then, after a stint at Hal...

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Gala recalls the Roaring 20s

LUMBERTON — If anyone wandered into the back of Candy Sue’s restaurant on Saturday, they may have thought they had stepped out of a time machine.For the night, the downtown eatery became a speakeasy, complete with a big band, couples doing the jitterbug — and a concoction called Giggle Water.The Roaring on the River Gala signalled the end of the Great Getaway, a series of 1920s-themed events put on by the Robeson County Arts Council. Before the party, r...

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City OKs design for new shelter

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council on Monday night unanimously voted to accept an over-budget bid for construction of an emergency shelter and soup kitchen downtown so that the building be redesigned in order to lower costs.The council, meeting as the Council Policy Committee, on Wednesday had approved the $1,218,000 bid from Central Builders. The bid is more than $100,000 above the the amount of grant money available for the project.Accepting the bid allows th...

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Baseball Elite Poll: Slugfest Lumberton’s to win

Say what you want about the seeding — it is voted on by coaches after all — but the Robeson County Slugfest at Red Springs is Lumberton’s tournament to win this season, jokingly labeled the ‘Pirate Invitational’ a season ago after the program’s seventh title in the last 11 years.Lumberton, seeded third this weekend behind Fairmont and Purnell Swett, has taken the business trip angle in recent years in the spring break kickoff tournament, capturin...

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Teacher-pay report short on specifics

RALEIGH — Several educators and legislators on a General Assembly task force were cool Monday to their own panel’s recommendations for overhauling public school teacher compensation, which included few specific actions and asked for another study.The final report of the Educator Effectiveness and Compensation Task Force lacked a detailed road map on how to improve salaries for all educators and evaluate teacher performance to reward the best instructors.

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