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Showing posts from January, 2015

I Remember When Lumberton Was....

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I usually don't blog on the weekend but Vanessa Underwood shared a post on my time line and I wanted to share it with you. Someone found and old newspaper clipping that featured a photograph of her mother, Mrs. Dorothy Franklin (affectionaly k own as Ms. Dot). Based on the picture, you can see she and others have their hands lifted in praise. I enlarged the photo to read the article written by Vance Evans of the Hattiesburg American. According to the article, the event was tne Second Annual Lumberton Day in the Park. Tne event was held at Wood-Hinton Park and the theme was hospitality. It was noted that several vendors were in attendance and festival goers were saying the event was headed for bigger things in the future. Vanessa said the photo took her back to a time when elected officials cared for the citizens they represented. Here's what she shared with me. "I'm not reposting this picture because its a picture of my mother. I'm posting because this picture…

Unbothered

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I reveived calls, texts from concerned readers wondering if I take the attacks personally. As a blogger, I know if I dish it I must be able to take it. The difference is I point out faults within the scope of the duties and responsibilities but when they make references about me it's about my weight, my job (their belief that I never worked) and the claim that I'm living rent free (if that were true I need a refund). I know who I am and I live by the mantra, if they don't know me personally, I don't take the tnings they say personal. I don't care if the critics never believe I have a job. I'll just sit at my desk and imagine I'm home. At one time, someone challenged me to post a copy of my degrees online. Unless you're offering me a job or writing me a check to pay these student loans, you are not getting access to the most expensive framed art I ever purchased. When I see people post about my weight or boast that their business partner will pay mo…

The Blame Game

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Sadly, yesterday I seriously considered hanging up my blogging hat. I'm not naive, I've been attacked from the pulpit many times before. To have someone refer to you as a devil, to say they see no Jesus in you is enough to shake anyone. But thanks be to God, I know who I am as well as who's I am. One thing I've learned, when someone shows you who they are, believe them, the first time. I don't know what angered this reader but I've learned that people are generally truthful when they speak in anger. From the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Generally, when a person gets an opportunity to calm down and reflect on what they've said, they usually apologize but I even if I forgive them, I always remember what the said in anger because that's how they really felt. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I'm the problem, that I'm talented but printing trash. I don't know how to take backhanded compliments because they…

Seeking First: God or Mammon?

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Last night, Paul Ockmond responded to a post I made several days ago. Actually, it was a picture of the registration of a business established by Winston and Ockmond; Wheel and Deals, the former location of Dirt Cheap. Ockmond came to the defense of his busiess partner, Ben Winston by saying "what Ben does with Wheel and Deal is none of my business." On the contrary Paul, if Winston is using his business while trying to defraud the city, it is my business. As you know, Winston is grasping for straws; trying to change regulations to suit his needs. For example, he's trying to file a HubZone application, knowing they are designated for small businesses, not municipalities. Adlerwoman at Large, Cora Rogers pointed out this fact at the last board meeting, but Winston said "we have a city attorney and he would tell me if the application is wrong." Well, anyone that regularly attends the board meetings know Lindsey Carter rarely instruct the mayor and board on v…

Doing Nothing and Saying Nothing Changes Nothing

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At the last two board meeting, Mayor Ben Winston said my blog is the reason why no one wants to come and help the City of Lumberton. Winston claims I'm running potential businesses away because of what I may post about them. For the record, reputable businesses are not afraid of being mentioned in the blog. Winston seems to think I'm as weak minded as his supporters. It is my belief that Winston is aware of the checkered past of the alleged band of crooks he's bringing to the city. It's his hope that we don't discover their true motives before he request his three votes; a far cry from his proclamation, when he was first elected, that he's looking to restore confidence and unify the board. Winston also said he was going to get an audit so we can know where we stand regarding the finances of the city. As of now, we can't get an accurate budget let alone an audit. Winston's promises are nothing more that political foder. One week from today, there wi…

And There's More....

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I need to stop researching John Shavers, JESCO and J5Global before I discover where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Winston said he's not concerned about a person's past but there's a lot of pending cases involving Shavers and his business ventures. It seems that everyone, including his wife, are trying to get their money. Perhaps I should refer to Ann Shavers as his ex-wife since their divorce is also pending. I can't find the divorce records but there was a motion to hold John Shavers in contempt of court for allegedly refusing to pay attorney fees. While researching Shavers, I came across a term I wasn't familiar with; involuntary bankruptcy. I looked up the bankruptcy case (12-50014-NPO) and I couldn't figure out why he was filing bankruptcy while showing considerable assets. Please keep in mind, the bankruptcy was for JESCO Construction, which is probably what led to the formation of J5Global. I looked up the definition for involuntary bankruptcy. Creditors m…

Winston's Wayward Partnerships: John Shavers of JESCO and J5Global

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I thought I was finished blogging for the week, but since the rain interrupted my satellite feed, I decided to search the net since watching television was no longer an option. The first thing I researched was the HubZone application process. At the special called meeting, Alderwoman Cora Rogers asked to see the application. After researching the guidelines, I now know why. HUBZone is a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) program for small companies that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones). The HUBZone program was created in response to the HUBZone Empowerment Act created by the US Congress in 1998. Based on the Act, small businesses will be designated as HUBZone certified if they have the following criteria:The firm must be a small business based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for size standards. The business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, or a Community Developme…

A True Pioneer: Pastor Buddy Leo Peters

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The members of Gateway Baptist Church recently suffered the loss of their earthly shepherd but the life of Pastor Buddy Peters has impacted the lives of everyone he encountered. If memory serves me correctly, Peters came to Lumberton as the pastor of Zion Hill Baptist Church. Later, he was moved to serve in a different capacity. Shortly after leaving Zion Hill, Pastor Peters started a weekly bible study. Orginally, the gatherings were held at the home of James and Carolyn Sandifer. As the number attending grew, it was necessary to find a larger space to accommodate the growing crowd. Later, with the assistance of the late Carolyn Sandifer, property manager, the weekly gatherings were held at 956 Myrick Avenue ( "The Center" in Turnkey). Peters often used the amended phrase from John 1:46, " can any good thing come out of Lumberton?" At the start of his new ministry, I'm sure there was plenty of opposition and possibly resentment towards Peters as he looked t…

Scammers, Shysters and Shavers

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If you fit any of these categories, Ben Winston wants you. I'm all for thinking outside the box and giving people a second chance but to say a person's past does not matter and you're about to hand over access to confidential information is problematic. A few months ago, everyone was in a frenzy because Mayor Ben Winston allegedly said there's no smart people in Lumberton. Based on his actions, it's easy to see that he actually belive that statement. Otherwise, he would stop trying to bring shysters to the board meetings with the idea that they're the only ones that can save Lumberton. I know the board membets that vote in your favor are not researching your business partners but contrary to your beliefs, there are some of us that are smart enough to utilize Google. In case Ben hasn't noticed, I don't scare easily. I've had to deal with former church members commissioning people to egg my car, threaten to do me bodily harm, claim I tried to hit t…

Winton YOU Have a Problem

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Last night, there was a special called meeting. Orginally, it was supposed to be a budget workshop. Before the meeting, I was surprised to see Judge Pittman in the audience. Since his name wasn't on the agenda, I knew he was the reason the board was going into executive session. I guess the powers that be are not pleased with a praying, God fearing judge; they apparently want a judge that will sign anything put before him. They went into executive session and they reported no actions taken. I think I'm going to contact Judge Pittman and ask him a few questions about what was discussed in executive session because something in tne milk ain't clean. Based on the way Chief Cowart was carefully choosing her words when speaking about the ineffectual work ethic of the city clerk, I have a feeling that they're partly responsible for Judge Pittman allegedly being on the chopping block. I'm going to do some more digging and the truth will eventually surface; it always doe…

To Many Hirelings Not Enough Shepherds

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We celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. each January with a day in his honor. We remember his gifts, laud his accomplishments and pay homage to his legacy. But at no time since Martin Luther King Day was established in 1983 has his legacy been in greater jeopardy. This year we need more than a celebration of the past. We need to fight for our future. As I reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I think of all the risks he took. In order to fight for the civil rights, he risked life and limb for justice for all. Dr. King formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with 60 ministers during a time when taking a stand could lead to the loss of finances, as well as the bombing of the church where they served as pastor. Dr. King was a shepherd but today, there's very few pastors but an abundance of hirelings. The Bible lays out the definitions of both an overseer (under shepherd) and a hireling. John 10:11-13 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gi…

A Fox in the Hen House

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Although the official holiday is Monday, January 19, 2015, today is the actual birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King was assassinated almost 47 years ago and his death shows how far we've come and how much farther we have to go. Dr. King was a Baptist minister with a powerful message that united people from all walks of life whose goals were equality and justice for all. Here we are, 47 years later, and the City of Lumberton has a former Baptist minister serving as mayor. Unfortunately, his purpose is not to unite but to divide the city. Dr. King said, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. " This is something we experience day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year; a board full of sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. However, for the past two years, this parade against progress is being hosted by the grand marshall, Mayor Ben Winston. He does not have the best interest …

Recap of January 6, 2015 Board Meeting

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Before starting this post, I would like to let the coward that keyed my car last night know that they just boosted my ego. You were withing feet of me for two hours last night but you wasn't man enough to confront me but instead, acted like a teenage girl and keyed my car. May you forever reign among the eunuchs. Merlene did bring her husband to the meeting last night, I guess he was her personal security. I wonder if theres any correlation between the keying of my car and his attendance last night? Probably not but now they have an excuse for him to sit at city hall all day. Well, about last night. The first item on tbe agenda was to vote to file an application for Hub Zone Municipality. Winston didn't want to explain to the public what this entails but he gave a brief explanation. It involves the Cooper building but not enough details were presented. Apparently, they have discussed this in private sessions outside the scope of a board meeting because everyone knew the de…