Rising honored for real-estate sales

May 09, 2019

Romans 8:1-16

There is peace and comfort to all who are in Christ Jesus, especially as we take hold of the words, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”

Consider the importance of this statement because in it we find the precious grace of our Lord. We learn that we are under the “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that, as Paul said, “made me free from the law of sin and death.”

There is now no condemnation not because we are without sin, but because we no longer live under the law of sin and death. Christ Jesus has freed us to live under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ. Our Father chastens us, but He does not condemn us.

The law could not do everything for man, so God accomplished what the law was not able to provide man. The life of a believer is marked by the indwelling Spirit. Paul had previously written about our justification, a one-time occurrence in a believer. Now, he speaks of sanctification, the ongoing process of being conformed to the image of Jesus.

Why could the law not accomplish everything? Because apart from Christ, we lived in the flesh and so, we were enemies of our heavenly Father. God loved us so much that in His knowledge of how we lived in the flesh, He had a plan of salvation that would make peace between Himself and man without the aid of the law.

In sending His Son “in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,” God “condemned sin in the flesh.” In other words, God dealt with sin by dealing with human flesh and blood. In this way, when Christ died on the cross, sin no longer should have dominion over mankind.

We must never forget Jesus shed His blood for us to satisfy our sin debt. We come before God as guilty people, but Christ’s shed blood and death settled all accusations against us. In this, a believer is able to come near to God.

Every person since the fall of man in the garden is born into sin. Thus, we have this connection with Adam, but we died with Christ when we believed in Him as our Lord and Savior.

There was the redeeming work of Christ, but there is now the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul said, “if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

The Holy Spirit guides, heals and gives us peace. There is also the hope that comes by the indwelling of the Spirit.

The Spirit of the One who raised our Savior from the grave is the same Spirit that will make our bodies live.

May 08, 2019

LUMBERTON — The Lumberton City Council gave the green light Wednesday to hire an engineering firm to plan and design floodgates in the Jacob Swamp Dike to protect large sections of the city from catastrophic flooding, but questions loom.

While the project is two years in the making and “creeping along,” it faces a lawsuit from residents who claim it will worsen flooding in their neighborhoods. The City Council got more unwelcome news from Public Works Director Rob Armstrong, who said the project may take four years and cost twice what was expected.

The city has $2.2 million in grants from the Golden LEAF Foundation and from a federal Community Development Block Grant, but Armstrong said the cost will more likely run $4 million to $5 million.

The discussion came during the City Council’s monthly planning session, and decisions will be confirmed at the regular monthly meeting of the council on Monday. After two 500-year floods in less than two years, the city hopes to plug a critical hole in the dike at the CSX Railroad tracks.

“No matter how long it takes, West and South Lumberton need that flood gate,” Mayor Bruce Davis said.

“The longer we wait, the more the project will cost,” said Councilman Leroy Rising.

The only thing that Councilman Eric Chavis, who represents the west side, wanted to know is when will the project get started.

“There are so many complications,” Armstrong said. “We got bids from two very large and experienced engineering companies.”

The winning bidder is Atkins Global, an engineering company headquartered in London with offices in Charlotte. The engineering costs will be determined by the scope of the job, Armstrong said.

Besides legal obstacles, the effectiveness of floodgates in preventing city flooding has yet to be determined. Atkins’ engineers will conduct a hydrology study.

In other discussions, an election to replace the late District 2 City Councilman Wayne Robinson will be held either on Sept. 10 with the District 9 Congressional election or in July as a stand-alone election.

The Robeson County Board of Elections favors the September date as less costly, City Attorney Holt Moore said, but the council agreed for a summer date on a Tuesday in July or early August.

There will be one polling site for Lumberton Precinct 2 and no early voting or mail-in ballots.

“The state Board of Elections said a July election can be done,” Moore said. “It should not be very expensive with just one polling site.”

The council also heard that the Lumberton Housing Authority is slowly recovering from Hurricane Florence. Lumberton Housing Authority Director Adrian Lowery reported that 276 of the city’s 729 low-income units were damaged and 179 are complete losses.

“We have $15 million in needs to recover,” Lowery said. “We will replace some of the projects with scatter-site, duplexes and single-family homes in empty lots on high ground.”

The Housing Authority is days away from purchasing a new administration and maintenance building, located just over the railroad tracks on Martin Luther King Drive. The authority’s former offices and maintenance facilities were flooded.

“This is a location convenient to Mohr Plaza, Turner Terrace and several public housing projects,” Lowery said.

Also, the council voted to contract with BB&T for its banking services for three years despite getting a better bid from CressCom Bank, which has handled the city’s money for the past three years.

CressCom would net the city about $30,000 with higher interest rates and lower service fees, Councilman John Cantey said.

“Does $30,000 outweigh BB&T’s community contributions?” Cantey said.

Cantey listed BB&T’s significant contributions after two hurricanes. The bank, which has historic connections to Lumberton, donated heavily to the United Way’s relief effort, the Baptist Men, who fed people in the immediate aftermath of the hurricanes and continues to renovate homes.

BB&T City Executive Phillip Stone estimated BB&T’s post-flooding contributions at $200,000. BB&T also has 500 employees in Lumberton.

After hearing from City Manager Wayne Horne that the decisions may be made at the council’s discretion, the vote was unanimous for BB&T.

“I’ve seen what BB&T has invested in the community,” said Councilman John Carroll. “Give them the contract.”

The City Council also renewed its contract with Retail Strategies, a consultant that works to attract retail business. The cost is $25,000 for the next fiscal year.

With the fiscal year running out and City Manager Horne warning that “it will be a tight budget year,” the council set May 29 as its first budget workshop.

As a preliminary to the budget, Horne listed funding requests from area nonprofits and the city manager’s recommendations.

The city manager approved requests from the Lumberton Boys and Girls Club for $5,000; The Community Relations Commission for $12,500; the Lumberton Rescue Squad for $25,000; The History Museum for $8,500; The Exploration Station for $12,500; The Mayor’s Committee for the Challenged for $6,000; The Lumberton Appearance Commission for $5,000; The Partnership for Children for $1,100; Robeson House for $3,000; and the Black Girls Training Camp for $5,000.

The Robeson County Church and Community Center requested $5,000 and $3,500 was recommended; Southeastern Family Violence Center asked $20,000, $10,000 was recommended; The Humane Society requested $12,000, $9,000 was recommended; Christian Care asked for $26,000, $23,500 was recommended; Palmer Prevention asked $5,000, $2,500 was recommended; Borderbelt AIDS asked $5,000, $1,250 was recommended; Sandy Grove Summer Academy requested $3.500, $500 was recommended; and the Robeson Arts Council asked for $5,000, $3,000 was recommended.

A request came from United Way of Robeson County for $12,000 and $5,000 was recommended. A request from Teen Court was tabled pending further information.

May 08, 2019

Principal Lewis Cox leads more than 500 students at East Robeson Primary Elementary School in a walk around campus Wednesday in celebration of National Walk to School Day. The event was held by Healthy Robeson and the Robeson County Department of Health and is part of the department’s Active Routes to School initiative. Before the walk, Region 8 Active Routes to School Project coordinator for the department, Taylor Hammonds, briefed students, teachers and staff on pedestrian safety.

May 08, 2019

RALEIGH — A bill championed by a Robeson County legislator giving a “second chance” to some who have been convicted of crimes cleared the Senate on Wednesday.

The legislation, backed by a wide range of groups across the political spectrum, means offenders with multiple nonviolent misdemeanor or low-level felony convictions would be eligible to have them expunged, regardless of age. The bill also expands expunctions for misdemeanors and some low-grade felonies committed by 16- and 17-year olds. Currently, only nonviolent, first-time convictions are eligible for expunction.

Danny Britt, a Republican whose District 13 includes all of Robeson County, was a primary sponsor of the “Second Chance” bill.

He posted this on Facebook: This legislation will make it possible for individuals who have made a mistake to renter society and the work place after a significant amount of time has passed without reoffending. This bill is designed to streamline the expunction process to those less fortunate who can not afford the attorney fees to navigate the process is essential.”

He said the bill was supported by Koch Industries, The American Conservative Union Foundation, Americans for Prosperity, Conservatives for Criminal Justice Reform, North Carolina Second Chance Alliance, North Carolina Justice Cenrer, John Locke Foundation and forward Justice.

The measure comes two years after the state agreed to raise the age for automatic prosecution as an adult to 18 and a few months after President Donald Trump signed legislation focusing on criminal justice reform and lowering recidivism rates.

In other approved legislation, the state would further expand school choice programs and increase the number of people who could have criminal records erased under bills that won Senate approval Wednesday as lawmakers passed a key milestone during their two-year session.

The “crossover” deadline, when most bills unrelated to spending or taxes must pass one chamber or remain dormant until 2021, wasn’t as harried as in previous sessions. Although the legislature’s self-imposed deadline was actually Thursday, the House wrapped up its pre-crossover work Tuesday .

Still, scores of bills cleared the GOP-controlled House or Senate over the past week, including 15 Senate measures on Wednesday.

Senate Republicans advanced a measure relaxing standards for North Carolina’s programs in which tax money helps families send children to private or parochial K-12 schools and enables children with disabilities to receive intensive services.

The most significant changes would raise the income cap to qualify for the Opportunity Scholarship program, which gave more than 9,600 students scholarships of up to $4,200 in tuition this school year. For example, a family of four would qualify if they make up to about $71,500, senators said, compared with a little over $63,000 currently. A cap on kindergarten and first-grade recipients equal to 40 percent of the annual scholarship funds would be eliminated.

The changes “ultimately lead to just really expanded access for more working families to benefit from these scholarship programs,” said Sen. Deanna Ballard, a Watauga County Republican.

But Democrats who oppose Opportunity Scholarship “vouchers” said income eligibility changes would skew benefits to wealthier families at a time when the program is already overfunded. And the bill doesn’t increase oversight of private schools that benefit, said Sen. Natasha Marcus, a Mecklenburg County Democrat.

“Instead, we’re finding a creative way to spend it on this program and play keep-away from public education,” Marcus said before the largely 27-18 party-line vote.

In other legislation, enrollment caps in the state’s two online charter schools would be eliminated. The Senate proposal pitted senators promoting school options for more students against those skeptical of the virtual charter school performance.

The General Assembly agreed to a virtual charter school pilot program in 2014. The N.C. Connections Academy and N.C. Virtual Academy are now operating. The measure removes an enrollment cap of almost 2,600 students per school and now allows them to continue to grow by 20 percent annually.

Democrats complained the schools haven’t performed well, earning “D” grades on the state’s A-F school report card system.

“You should vote against this bill because virtual charter schools give charter schools a bad name,” said Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, a Wake County Democrat. The bill passed 25-18.

More people may soon qualify to have criminal records erased thanks to a bipartisan bill approved unanimously loosening requirements on the process. Offenders with multiple nonviolent misdemeanor or low-level felony convictions would be eligible to have them expunged, regardless of age.

Supporters say the measure would remove barriers that prevent long-ago offenders from getting jobs or accessing housing.

With crossover now complete, the General Assembly’s focus returns to the state budget. Senate Republicans hope to pass the chamber’s two-year government spending plan during the last week of May, Majority Leader Harry Brown of Onslow County said. The House approved its budget last week.

Some measures that didn’t get passed by the deadline could resurface, potentially by adding spending or fee provisions that would exempt them from the crossover rule. They include a House measure that would financially punish local governments that enforce “sanctuary city” immigration policies and a Senate measure that seeks to bar wind energy projects across a wide swath of eastern North Carolina.

RALEIGH — A clean-energy advocacy group wants an investigation into whether a longtime North Carolina legislator violated ethics laws by pushing legislation sought by Duke Energy Corp. while his law firm did legal work for a gas pipeline project.

The group NC WARN filed a complaint Wednesday with the State Ethics Commission asking for an official look at the connections between the country’s largest electricity company and state Sen. Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat.

NC WARN says Blue’s law firm is collecting fees for suing dozens of landowners to make way for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a project partly owned by Duke Energy. The 605-mile (974-kilometer) natural gas pipeline would originate in West Virginia and run through Virginia and North Carolina, ending near Pembroke in Robeson County.

Blue is not personally representing the company, but he acknowledged in a statement his law firm represented the Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC in several eminent domain cases.

NC WARN said the extent and timing of Blue’s legal work for the pipeline entity primarily owned by Charlotte-based Duke Energy and Virginia-based Dominion Energy should be investigated to see if the Democrat and the power companies have further connections.

Blue also is sponsoring legislation that would let Duke Energy get multi-year rate increases at a time when it plans to pass along billions of dollars in construction on to consumers.

“The ethics issue is clear-cut: Sen. Blue can’t serve the public interest when he’s heavily paid to serve the diverging interests of Duke Energy,” NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren said in a statement.

Blue, a former state House speaker, has served in the General Assembly for 35 years. He rejected suggestions that his financial interests were connected to his support for changing way Duke Energy is regulated.

“I am confident in the position that I’ve taken. I haven’t been influenced by anything that Duke has done,” Blue told reporters. “One would be stupid to serve in this body and be compensated for taking some act as a result of what they did do.”

A total of 88 complaints were either filed with the North Carolina State Ethics Commission in 2018 or were carried over and still pending last year, commission attorney Kathleen Edwards said.

Only nine were referred to legislative, judicial or other oversight bodies for further consideration of potential sanctions, she said. Nine cases remain pending, while the rest were dismissed because they weren’t properly filed, didn’t concern a person covered under state law or there was insufficient evidence of a violation, Edwards said.

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May 08, 2019

LUMBERTON — Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot will be the first of the seven bands to perform at the 2019 Alive After 5 concert series, which kicks off Thursday.

From 7 to 9:30 p.m., the band will perform at the newly-renovated Downtown Plaza, located between Third and Chestnut streets. The plaza will be dedicated at 6:45 p.m., before the show.

Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase. Attendees can bring lawn chairs for comfort.

The band, known as a soul, R&B party band, is based out of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Its musical repertoire covers decades of hits from popular artists of many musical genres, including soul, rhythm & blues, funk, reggae, jazz, country, 1950s, 1960s and Carolina beach music.

This year’s Front Row Sponsors include the City of Lumberton, Food Lion, county Commissioner Tom Taylor, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Robeson County Arts Council.

Next week, Jim Quick and the Coastline Band will perform.

May 08, 2019

Willie Melvin, of Murphy Lane in Lumber Bridge, reported Tuesday to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office that a break-in had occurred at his residence.

Caper Fear Utilities reported an incident of larceny Tuesday to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. The incident occurred on Bethesda Church Road in Fairmont.

Lisa Martin, general manager of Denny’s located on Wintergreen Drive in Lumberton, reported Monday to the Lumberton Police Department that an employee used coupons to take an undisclosed amount of money out of the register.

LUMBERTON — A Lumberton man thwarted an armed robbery attempt at his home on Tuesday when he fired back, injuring one of the assailants as gunshots flew in both directions.

The homeowner escaped any injury.

According to police Capt. Terry Parker, Demarreon McDaniel, 26, of Manning Road, Rowland, suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound to his upper leg. He was taken to a local hospital and then to another undisclosed hospital with serious injuries, but they do not appear to be life-threatening.

Parker said he will be charged once released from the hospital.

A second person, Sterling Herman Hester, 27, of Myrtle Court, Lumberton, was arrested Wednesday morning with the help of the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team and North Carolina Probation and Parole. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and felony conspiracy, according to Parker.

He was jailed under a $100,000 bond.

Parker said that at about 5:53 p.m. Tuesday, McDaniel and Hester went to 1120 Cherokee St. for “the purpose of robbing the tenant.” The men approached the tenant, Thomas Hester Lewis, 39, who was inside an open garage in the back yard of residence and displayed a gun with the intent to rob him.

But, according to Parker, Lewis pulled out a gun and shot McDaniel in the leg. A flurry of shots followed in both directions, but no one else was struck.

When officers arrived, they found the injured McDaniel and pieced together what had happened by interviewing Lewis. Parker said an investigation identified Hester as the second gunman.

The investigation continues and more charges are expected. Anyone with additional information concerning the incident is asked to call Detectives Robert Nolley or Charles Keenum at the Lumberton Police Department. The number is 910-671-3845. Callers can remain anonymous.

RED SPRINGS — The Red Springs Board of Commissioners finally received the town’s delayed 2018-19 audit Tuesday and took home some suggestions on the next fiscal year budget.

During the board’s regular meeting, Alan Thompson, who presented the audit, issued some warnings about developing the next budget, which takes effect July 1.

“When you have your budget meeting coming up in the next weeks, you need to have a specific plan to get from where you are to where you need to be,” Thompson said.

On Jan. 3, the State and Local Government Finance Division, part of the Department of the State Treasurer’s Local Government Commission, sent a letter to Red Springs leaders detailing concerns about the town’s finances. The letter specifically referenced “a low available fund balance in the General Fund,” and a negative cash flow in the Water/Sewer Fund.

Thompson said town leaders should be more involved in knowing the General Fund balance. The balance currently sits at $1.6 million.

“If I show up and say the General Fund Balance is X and you say ‘What?’ that shouldn’t happen,” Thompson said.

Town Manager David Ashburn said the town already has addressed the issues in the report in the proposed budget for the board. The commissioners will get a first look at the spending plan on Tuesday.

“I knew it would be ugly,” Mayor Edward Henderson said. “I expect the next year to be better.”

Syreeta Morrisey, of Fayetteville-based Action Pathways, encouraged board members to get the word out about home weatherization offered by the organization. Weatherization involves conducting an energy assessment to identify the most economical energy improvements that need to be performed on a dwelling, and then making the improvements at no cost to the household.

Morrisey said that the company is having trouble reaching its goal for the Robeson County area. Twenty-six low-income homes in the county are required to be served, but the program will not reach that goal this fiscal year, according to Morrisey.

“With the storm damage in Robeson County, we are having trouble getting customers,” she said. “I want to make sure this county is not under-served. We have been to every township in Robeson County.”

The program is designed to help people who meet federally outlined income requirements conserve energy and cut costs. The organization can be reached by calling 910-223-0116. Residents who have had their homes weatherized after 1994 are not eligible.

During commissioner comments, Carolina Sumpter urged town administrators to address the problem of town residents receiving 45-day utility bills.

“If this is a process problem, then we need to fix it. If it’s an employee problem, then we need to fix it. Whatever it is, we need to fix it,” Henderson said.

The commissioners again tabled a request from Renet McQueen, of Community Wellness, to allow the nonprofit to use a town-owned facility for youth group workshops. Ashburn said the town’s insurance company recommended the nonprofit obtain some form of liability insurance.

Commissioner Shearlie McBryde said the town allows the schools and senior citizens to use town-owned facilities.

“There’s something wrong with that,” McBryde said. “What we do for one we do for all.”

Sumpter said senior events are under the town’s Recreation Department and covered by the town’s insurance and the schools are insured as well.

The board agreed to discuss the matter further during the budget workshop.

Also at the meeting, the commissioners:

— Approved a Community Develop Block Grant contract for the town to receive $1,988,000 to repair and replace sewers in low-income areas.

— Amended the budget to pay contractors $33,000 for construction at the farmers market. The market now has walls and air conditioning for broader use. Ashburn said the money will be reimbursed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

— Urged the town’s administration to start cleaning out ditches and canals to prepare for the hurricane season.

— Tabled a request from the Police Department to donate a surplus 2004 Crown Victoria to a law enforcement training facility based in the old Dayco Plant facility on N.C. 211.

“I recommend we sell that car to generate revenue,” Commissioner Duron Burney said.

— Approved an updated attorney’s contract. There are no changes to Town Attorney Timothy Scott’s retainer fee, but a stipulation was added that the town will be charged a discounted rate if meetings exceed 90 minutes.

PEMBROKE — Teresa Ann Huff Quimby’s birthday wish to find the Robeson County family she lost almost 50 years ago came true this past weekend.

Quimby, who turned 50 in April, and her mother, Sandy Huff, attempted to end a lifelong mystery surrounding Teresa’s family, who gave her up for adoption in 1971. They decided that the weekend powwow would be the right place at the right time.

Before the Florida residents made it to the Dance of the Spring Moon Powwow on Saturday afternoon, they had their answer. Just hours after their story was posted to The Robesonian’s website, they got the call they were hoping for.

Teresa was told she had two brothers based on information provided by the social worker who placed her. That scrap of information proved true, but there was a bonus of two additional half-sisters. There might be another half-brother too.

There were also aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and more hugs than she could count at dinner at Aunt Maudella Locklear’s house.

In an interview Tuesday, Teresa said,“I did not expect to find the whole family. I wish we had thought to contact the Robesonian 20 years ago.

I feel lighter, as if it was weighing me down.”

Sandy, who with her husband adopted Teresa while they were earning advanced degrees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said she was catching up on her sleep after the long trip and an exciting weekend in Pembroke.

“We had a good time,” she said. “At the powwow, we walked around, and everyone we talked to had read the article in The Robesonian.”

Sandy and Teresa had just left the Museum of the Southeast American Indian on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke when they got the all-important phone call. They met brother Kenneth “JimDay” Burns, half-sister Glenda Jones, cousin Thomas Burns and his partner Susan Baker at McDonald’s, located across from the university.

“In the parking lot, I made a beeline to my brother, JimDay,” Teresa said of her older brother. “I had dreamed about him, and realized he was the face in my dream.

“It felt like we had never been separated,” she said of the meeting that lasted several hours. “He was raised by Aunt Maudella. My older brother Tony is deceased.”

Teresa’s mother and father also are deceased. Her father died on Teresa’s birthday in 2013, but as one of 11 children, he left a lot of family behind for his daughter. Teresa also discovered her parents’ names: Dorothy Burns and Leo Kenneth Jones.

“At dinner, it was like, ‘Here comes another aunt,’” Teresa said. “They all said, ‘You look just like your mama.’”

“They said I laugh just like my mother,” she said. “They had pictures of my parents.”

There was one more photo tied to this story that is nearly unbelievable. Another phone call they received came from Wanda Miller, the daughter of her now deceased foster parents.

Miller explained: “I was a teenager when Teresa came to us. My mom always had photos made of the children when they came to us. I knew Teresa well, and I recognized her instantly. We loved that little girl and were sad to see her leave us.”

“We met Sunday night, and Wanda showed me a photo of me as a baby, the same photo that was given to my adoptive parents,” Teresa said. “On the back of Wanda’s photo was my birth name — ‘Teresa Burns.’ That photo was the link that cemented my identity .”

At home, Sandy is entering all the names and photos in a genealogy software program, “It’s the only way we’ll be able to keep all the relatives straight,” she laughed. “We also found out that Teresa and her daughter Kira might be eligible for membership in the Lumbee Tribe”.

Teresa is still sorting it out, but is making plans to attend Lumbee Homecoming this summer.

LUMBERTON — Thursday will be an evening of reveals and music in the heart of downtown

The 2019 Alive After 5 concert series kicks off at 7 p.m. as Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot will perform, the first of seven musical acts on tap for this season.

But first, everyone is invited to a reveal of the renovated Downtown Plaza and the Riverwalk. The unveiling is scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

The plaza renovation idea was born decades ago as a way to create a downtown area that is inviting and invigorating, and could draw visitors, shoppers and more businesses into the area. A lack of money and bad weather continued to stall the project. All the pieces came together in 2016, and work was scheduled to begin in the fall. Then Hurricane Matthew struck in October and forced another delay.

The work is done now, thanks in part to many city employees who supplied much of the physical labor. Rediscover Downtown Lumberton supplied ideas and information on what was important to downtown denizens and what they wanted to see in a rejuvenated plaza. The group’s ideas and input helped guide the creation of the new plaza.

What was created is a plaza with a reworked water feature, with a renovated base. A sculpture by local artist Melvin Morris has been placed in one corner. Upgraded parking lots, fresh paint, new concrete, park benches, lamp posts with acorn-shaped fixtures, and rectangular planters all are part of the new look.

Many of the lamp posts and planters adorn a rebuilt alley between Fourth and Third streets. That alley now sports brick paving and two low points to which water can flow and be directed into a reworked wastewater system. All the overhead power lines and transformers have been removed.

The Riverwalk is a wooden pedestrian walkway along the edge of the Lumber River where it flows through downtown. Nature lovers will be able to walk between the old N.C. Department of Transportation building and the Fifth Street bridge and watch the black water flow while shaded by overhanging branches. A 40-foot-wide deck extends over the river about 12 feet.

As for Thursday night’s Alive After 5 performers, Gary Lowder & Smokin’ Hot, known as a soul, R&B party band, is based out of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Its musical repertoire covers decades of hits from popular artists of many musical genres, including soul, rhythm & blues, funk, reggae, jazz, country, 1950s, 1960s and Carolina beach music.

On May 16 Jim Quick and the Coastline Band will perform Carolina beach/shag music and a little rock and blues.

Rising country singer Tim Elliott will perform on May 23. Elliott recently was named Carolina’s Male Country Artist of the Year. His latest single “I Got You” was released in 2018.

The Band of Oz is scheduled to perform on May 30. The eight-member band will offer beach music and a variety of periodic music.

Bounce is a party band from central North Carolina that will perform June 6.

Liquid Pleasure will thrill people who grew up listening to and enjoying The Temptations, The Four Tops and Aretha Franklin on June 13.

Hip Pocket performs the final show on June 20. The cover band performs songs, old and new, of all genres. The band’s song list includes “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love” by Barry White and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5.

All shows will be 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the plaza at Third and Chestnut streets. Admission is free, and food will be available for purchase. Attendees can bring lawn chairs for comfort.

This year’s Front Row Sponsors include the City of Lumberton, Food Lion, county Commissioner Tom Taylor, the North Carolina Arts Council and the Robeson County Arts Council.

LUMBERTON — A shooting Thursday afternoon left one man possibly fighting for his life.

According to information from Lumberton police Capt. Terry Parker, officers responded about 4:53 p.m. to a call about shots fired in the area of 1120 Cherokee St. They found a male had been shot in the upper leg. He was taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment of the wound.

His condition wasn’t known as of shortly after 6 p.m., according to Parker. But his condition was thought to be serious and possibly life threatening.

Another man was detained at the scene, according to Parker.

The police department is withholding the names of the two men as the investigation continues, Parker said. Officers and investigators still were on the scene as of early evening processing the scene and conducting interviews and a neighborhood canvas.

More details, including the names of the parties thought to be involved, will be released at a later time, according to Parker.

Anyone with information concerning the shooting is asked to call Detective Robert Nolley or Detective Charles Keenum at the Lumberton Police Department, 910-671-3845.

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