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Author: tproctor

Hampstead Branch of Pender County Library to host program on email safety in partnership with Pender County Information Technology Services

HAMPSTEAD- On Thursday, March 9, at 4 p.m., Pender County Library will host representatives from Pender County Information Technology Services to discuss how you can keep your email secure. You will learn the difference between safe emails, spam, phishing, and more. The hour-long event will be hosted in person in the meeting room at the Hampstead Branch Library located at 75 Library Drive in Hampstead.

No registration is needed.

For more information, contact Teri Ross at 910-270-4603 or email us at



Library to screen local documentary “CF Pope, Where Champions Were Grown”

BURGAW- On Jan. 26, Pender County Library will partner with Stack Stories LLC to host a screening of the film “C.F. Pope: Where Champions Were Grown”. The screening will take place at the Main Library at 103 S. Cowan Street in Burgaw at 6 p.m. Community members of all ages are encouraged to view the film and meet the film’s co-directors Richard T. Newkirk, Ed.D. and Claudia Stack, M.Ed

“C.F. Pope: Where Champions Were Grown” (2022) is a story about the C.F. Pope School in Burgaw. C.F. Pope School was founded in 1891 by the Middle District Missionary Baptist Association and began as a school for ministers. The school, which was accredited in 1924, became one of only two high schools for African Americans in Pender County. In this moving film, alumni share stories about their time at the school, how their families sacrificed to support their education, and the teachers who grew champions there.

This film was made possible in part by a grant from North Carolina Humanities in collaboration with Pender Education Partnership. Local documentarian Michael Raab was the producer and Patrick Oglevie was the editor.

For more information, contact Christine LaLonde at 910-663-3775 or email

FOCUS Broadband Makes Service Available to First Pender County Customers

High Speed Internet Now Available Near Still Bluff

 Pender County, NC – FOCUS Broadband has announced that it now has high-speed internet service available to its first customers in Pender County. Residents and businesses located near the Still Bluff community along Morgan Road and Bethel Road in western Pender County can now call to order high-speed internet with speeds of up to 1 Gigabit as well as telephone service, digital cable TV, and home security and automation services from FOCUS Broadband. Additional areas near the Canetuck community are expected to be made available in the coming weeks.

“We are thrilled to finally be able to offer service in Pender County and bring high-speed internet to rural communities that desperately need it,” said Keith Holden, FOCUS Broadband’s CEO and General Manager. “A number of issues brought about by the COVID-19 Pandemic have hampered our early progress, but we anticipate service being made available in more areas early in the new year with new phases coming online thereafter.” Areas around Atkinson, Currie, Holly Shelter, and Hampstead are currently under construction.

The Pender County project is being made possible using a $21.6 million dollar grant from the USDA ReConnect Grant Program. FOCUS Broadband will provide up to $7.2 million in matching funds for the project. More than 7,000 unserved homes and businesses will have access to high-speed internet upon the project’s completion.

Company officials added that they’re able to temporarily connect to Pender County using fiber provided through a partnership with Four County EMC and that they are in the process of building a permanent connection to their Columbus County network. This portion of the project has taken time due to difficulties boring underneath the Black and Cape Fear Rivers.

FOCUS Broadband continues to look for funding opportunities to help bring high-speed internet service to all of Pender County’s underserved areas. At the end of August, FOCUS Broadband was awarded a $4 million dollar grant through the NC Department of Information Technology’s GREAT Grant program to bring high-speed internet to an additional 1,331 homes and businesses located in rural areas which were not included in the 2020 ReConnect Grant award.  For the GREAT Grant project, FOCUS Broadband will contribute $547 thousand dollars and Pender County will provide an additional $547 thousand dollars using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Residents and businesses near the Still Bluff community where service is available can sign up for services from FOCUS Broadband by calling, 833-981-4152. To stay up to date on FOCUS Broadband’s progress to bring high-speed internet to other areas of Pender County, visit

About FOCUS Broadband

FOCUS Broadband is a member-owned cooperative providing a multitude of communications services, including telephone, business services, wireless, broadband internet, cable television, and home security, in Brunswick County, North Carolina. FOCUS Broadband provides services in additional areas through its wholly owned subsidiary, ATMC, LLC. FOCUS Broadband is the largest communications cooperative in North Carolina and one of the largest in the country. For more information on products and services from FOCUS Broadband, visit For more information on FOCUS Broadband’s drive to bring faster internet service to rural Columbus County, visit

Pender County adopts Digital Inclusion Plan

In the Nov. 15 meeting of the Pender County Board of Commissioners, the board unanimously adopted the Pender County Digital Inclusion Plan.

The Digital Inclusion Plan will make Pender County eligible for the maximum amount of broadband expansion funding – funding that could pay for construction to bring internet access to practically every citizen of the County without access.

To learn more about the place, click here.

Your opinion is important

Pender County residents, your opinion is important to us. Pender County leadership recognized the need for access to broadband as a priority for the county and, through collaboration with community leaders, worked to form a Broadband Committee to develop a Digital Inclusion Plan to help guide the county to a more connected future.

The Digital Inclusion Plan will make Pender County eligible for the maximum amount of broadband expansion funding – funding that could pay for construction to bring internet access to practically every citizen of the County without access.

This is probably the last chance to ever see funding on this scale made available for broadband expansion.

We need your input now.

Please read the Digital Inclusion Plan and provide us with your feedback via email to

Thank you for your participation.

Pender County Digital Inclusion Plan October 25 2021

County online payments will be not be available on Oct. 12

System upgrade will make online payments impossible on Oct. 12

 BURGAW- Pender County’s online payments system will be offline Oct. 12 due to a software upgrade.

Residents and property owners will not have the ability to pay taxes, permitting fees, or utilities online on Oct. 12.

Walk-in services for payment will be available, but all account numbers must be provided at the time of service. Clerks will provide handwritten receipts on Oct. 12. In the tax office, please bring documents that identify the property or account you wish to make a payment to, as staff will not be able to look up your property.

All walk-in payments will not be posted until Oct. 13.

Pender County apologizes for the disruption of services.


Pender County Library to host online panel discussion of the role of men of color in southeaster North Carolina in the Revolutionary War & the Civil War

BURGAW- On Saturday, Oct. 9, at 12 p.m., Pender County Library will host online a panel of genealogists and historians for a discussion of the role of men of color from southeastern North Carolina in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.

During the hour-long event, to be hosted online via Zoom, three genealogist-historians will tell the story of their ancestors.

Men of color have defined America every step of the way, always in “the room where it happened”: Crispus Attucks, an African & Indigenous man who participated in the street protest known as the Boston Tea Party and was killed by British troops; two men of color named Primus Jacobs—one a formerly enslaved man in Massachusetts, one a third-generation member of a free family of color in North Carolina—both of whom fought in the Revolutionary War; and the many men of color, free and enslaved, who fought on both sides of the Civil War as volunteers and as abductees. Men of color conceived, created, and corrected America alongside their white countrymen, kinsmen, and enslavers.

The presenters include genealogist-historians Tyrone Goodwyn, Luke Alexander, and Kevin Eugene Graham.

Tyrone Goodwyn has researched free persons of color of southeastern North Carolina for over forty years. He concentrates on Pender, New Hanover, Sampson, Duplin, Wayne, and Cumberland counties.

Luke Alexander is a genealogist and community historian with a focus on African American and Indigenous heritage in the Carolinas.

Kevin Eugene Graham is President of the Lower Cape Fear Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, the first African American to hold the office. His research has focused on free families of color from the counties of Bladen, Columbus, New Hanover, Robeson, Pender, and Sampson prior to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

Register online at, or go to the library’s website,, and follow the links under the Events tab. You can also call the library and staff will take your registration by phone.

The event will be hosted on Zoom. There is no need to have a Zoom account; just click the link provided in the confirmation email and follow the prompts to download Zoom. The talk can be viewed on smartphones, tablets, or computers. Registration is required.

For more information or assistance, call Pender County Library at 910-259-1234 (Burgaw) or 910-270-4603 (Hampstead) during regular business hours.

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