Bladen County

In a sweet tea-colored swamp in Bladen County, North Carolina there is a group of trees that has intrigued researchers for decades.

Scientists knew the bald cypress trees that sprouted up from the Black River were old, and a new study reveals a number of the trees date back millennia. One tree is at least 2,624 years old.

The bald cypress' remarkable age reveal information about climate history in the region, including whether the people who lived in the area experienced significant droughts.

Black River
Will Michaels / WUNC

A swamp on the Black River near the town of Ivanhoe, North Carolina has been a long-running fascination for researchers.

Decades ago, they identified dozens of bald cypress they believed were part of an ancient forest, but until now, they weren't sure how long these trees had been living in this remote corner of Bladen County. A recently published research paper has revealed the trees to be among the oldest in the world.

The Bladen County Board of Elections
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Bladen County was ground zero for the vote tampering scandal that led to a new election in North Carolina's 9th Congressional District.

File photo of NC GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse.
Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNC

State and federal officials from both parties are calling for a full investigation into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. With only 905 votes deciding the race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready, and reports of absentee ballot irregularities, the state elections board voted to have an evidentiary hearing later this month. 

Gerry Dincher / Flickr Creative Commons

There is plenty of debate over whether an algae bloom, or chemicals, or a combination of the two led to the devastating fish kill on White Lake in Bladen County, NC. What is clear, is more than 100,000 fish of various species, including hearty largemouth bass, floated up to the surface and washed ashore starting in May.

Photo of Michael Scott at microphone
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Last week state officials held a public forum in Bladen County to share information and address concerns about GenX, the unregulated chemical produced by Chemours that has contaminated drinking water. Many residents said they left with more questions than answers.

A sign at the entrance of the Fayetteville Works site on N.C. 87 in Bladen County, North Carolina.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

For many people in North Carolina, Chemours is synonymous with contamination of drinking water. News surfaced last year that the chemical manufacturer released GenX and other emerging contaminants into the Cape Fear River for years without knowing how they could affect humans. GenX has also ended up in residential wells near the company’s plant in Bladen County.

Lennon Lacy, Bladenboro, NC NAACP, Hanging
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Two years ago today, 17-year-old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in a Bladenboro, North Carolina trailer park.

Bladenboro, N.C.
Gary Dincher / Flickr Creative Commons

    

In August, 17-year-old Lennon Lacy was found dead in the small town of Bladenboro, N.C, hanging by his neck from a swing set.

Local police say Lacy killed himself, but Lacy's family says suspicious circumstances have raised questions about whether Lacy's death was a suicide or a lynching.

Joseph Sledge, photographed at Pamlico Correctional Institution in Bayboro, N.C. Thursday, February 28, 2013.
ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com

In 1976, Joseph Sledge escaped from an Elizabethtown prison and within 24 hours, mother and daughter Josephine and Ailene Davis were murdered. 

The Turkey Man

Nov 26, 2014
Photo of Mike Davis is a turkey hunter turned turkey enthusiast who owns more than 700 turkey-themed items.
StarNews Online

Across the country on Thursday, Americans will consume the quintessential Thanksgiving food: turkey.