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This circus has to stop

Sampson County Commissioner Jarvis McLamb voted for a 4.5 cent tax hike. No wait, he did, but less than eight hours later he said he didn’t understand what he was voting for. A second vote for a budget ordinance reflecting that tax hike was called for, and this time McLamb cast a dissenting vote.Fellow commissioner Harry Parker voted against a 4.5 cent tax hike. No wait, he did, but less than eight hours later he turned around and voted for a budget ordinance reflecting that ...

1 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Weighing in on state’s budget

There has been a lot of discussion and concern in the media recently regarding the duration and nature of this year’s budget negotiations. In light of that, I want to be clear about one thing: responsible governing is not a quick and easy process. When I was elected, I promised the voters that I would come to Raleigh and make a sincere effort to find long-term solutions to the financial and administrative problems that have piled up over the last decade. I intend to follow through on th...

2 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Support for educators a priority here

While educators don’t always get the support they deserve from state government, they certainly receive it from the local community, particularly as it pertains to individual citizens willing to go above and beyond to ensure that both our public and private schools are taken care of, be it helping to offset incurred costs or through time and talents volunteered.You see it all the time from business and industry, from individuals and from parents.That’s why it...

2 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

A UW ‘Bounty’ worth supporting

The United Way of Sampson County has once again outdone itself, developing yet another ingenious idea that spreads the word about the needs the nonprofit organization attempts to meet while, at the same time, coming up with a fundraising adventure in which everyone seems to want to be a part.And it’s coming back for a second year.The first-ever “Outstanding in Our Fields” event proved hugely successful in 2013, with people clamoring for the 100 tickets ...

3 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Time for board to set a proper budget course

Beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sampson’s county commissioners will return to work, trying to find a resolution to a 2014-15 budget conundrum that has left the county with an interim fiscal plan through July 31 and department heads scrambling to produce a map that will lead governing officials to 5 percent across-the-board cuts.The meeting is scheduled to run, minus lunch and presumably dinner, through 8 p.m., with employees back before the board to discuss their departments t...

4 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Our youth shine through Illuminate

Young people often get a bad rap. They’re thrown into a lot with the “bad apples” whose misdeeds often leave the perception that most of today’s youth are driven by selfishness, laziness and a penchant for the wilder side of life.But if you glanced around just about anywhere in late June and early July, whatever negative perceptions one might have of youth should have vanished, replaced by a new-found respect for our younger citizens, a couple hundred who ro...

6 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Why aren’t people better?

It was a question for which I didn’t have a good answer. We were coming back from Greenville after an East Carolina football game a few years ago. It was a crisp fall day traveling the usual route from Greenville through Kinston, Mt. Olive, and back to Clinton. Looking at the passing scenery, we noticed that there seemed to be a church around every curve as we traveled along. Then Terri asked me the question that I didn’t have a good answer for at that time, and am not sure I have...

6 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Overcoming generations of inequality

My great-grandfather Cato Sutton, at 14 in 1864, was an eyewitness to the closing months of the Civil War. With little to no education, he would soon find himself faced with a dilemma. No longer a slave to a master, but now, without land and money, he was a slave to society, which was the plight of the vast majority of the four million freed men at the close of the Civil War in 1965.By the end of Reconstruction in 1877, my great-grandfather, now married, had relocated in Sampson Co...

6 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

The Book of Sodor

It’s nice to find television programming appropriate for my three-year-old child; programming that teaches positive lessons and is absent any vulgarity.“Thomas and Friends,” for example, is a show about a gang of rail engines as they haul freight around the Isle of Sodor under the supervision of cartoon capitalist Sir Topham Hatt. The characters were created by the Rev. W. V. Awdry, an Anglican priest, in part as a bedtime story for his son.With that DN...

10 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Delivering a difficult message for Sampson

Is he like the little boy who cried wolf? Or is he like the little boy who said the emperor was wearing no clothes?You probably remember the tales from your childhood. The first is about a young boy who wanted attention. He would warn the townspeople about a wolf that was attacking the sheep. They would panic, go out to fight, and then find out there was no wolf. After several times, the townspeople ignored the little boy’s cries of “Wolf!” But one day there was a...

13 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Senate offers shows education support

As budget negotiations continued this week, most policy issues have been put on hold. Since many of our members are involved in the negotiations, committees are not meeting on the Senate side and very few bills are on the floor. With all of our energy focused on reaching an agreement with our colleagues in the House, I am optimistic that we will have a final conference budget in the near future.

15 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Seven years old forever

A magnificent sweet gum tree, thick as a wagon wheel ruled a section of the boy’s pasture near his North Carolina home in the 1940’s.He was seven years old then-recklessly freckled, shock of unruly hair, usually uncombed, several teeth missing. Typical, inquisitive boy.Each day he hurried home from school to stop and drink in it’s wide acre of shade. He would kick off his shoes and start climbing, Branch over branch to a spot as near to the sky as he da...

16 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

July ‘Got To Be Ag’ month

The season of fresh fruits and vegetables is upon us! NC produce farmers are a significant part of the state’s $78-billion agriculture industry. In recognition of agriculture’s importance as the state’s top industry, Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed July 2014 “Got to Be NC Agriculture Month.”Got to Be NC, the official state identity program for North Carolina agricultural products, is managed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. ...

18 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Gospel Explosion at Jackson Grove this Saturday

Prayer meeting and Bible study is held every Wednesday at 11 a.m. and every Friday at 7 a.m. at Point Level Disciples of Christ Church.Prayer and Bible study is held every Thursday from 6 p.m until 7 p.m. at the House of Prayer in Faison.Western Union Association Unity Ministers March is asking all pastors and ministers to attend this event. FMI contact the Rev. Michelle Raynor 910-379-1692.Saturday, July 12, at 6 p.m., Minister Angelic White, mass choir, ushe...

18 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

Celebrating freedom every day

Friday we celebrated the Fourth of July. There were hot dogs and hamburgers, kids playing in sprinklers and swimming pools and, of course, fireworks, lots of them. In Clinton, for example, crowds lined up early along Sunset, with tailgates flung open, grills fired up and blankets spread out, all to witness the culmination of a day’s worth of activities celebrating our nation’s birthday.Newton Grove will hold similar activities tonight during their own July 4th celebrati...

20 days 11 hours ago | | | Email

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