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Author: tproctor

Pender County Library to Host Genealogist Tim Pinnick

BURGAW- On Thursday, March 16, at 6 p.m., Pender County Library will host noted genealogist and historian Tim Pinnick for a presentation entitled Exploring Your African American Cultural Heritage and Discovering Family Ties. During this hour-long presentation, Pinnick will provide instruction on research methods to further family tree research. The event will be hosted in person in the Michael Y. Taylor Meeting Room at the Main Library in Burgaw.

In addition to being a noted genealogist and historian, Pinnick is the author of the book “Finding and Using African American Newspapers” as well as more than half a dozen articles including “Using an Extended Research Project to Reconstruct a Community” which appeared in the Association for Professional Genealogists Quarterly, “Answers in African American Newspapers” written for Family Tree Magazine, and most recently “The Carnegie Medal” in NGS Magazine. In 2019, he became the coordinator and facilitator of a landmark workshop course entitled “Building an African American Research Toolbox” for the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR). He has presented papers at large history conferences including the Association for the Study of African American Life and History conference in 2019, along with speaking at the Federation of Genealogical Society Conferences, Ohio Genealogical Society Annual Conferences, and much more. Most recently, Pinnick is known for working with the New Hanover County Remembrance Project to shed light on the stories of the victims of the 1898 Wilmington Coup in North Carolina and track down the living descendants.

This program is presented in partnership the UNCW Office of the Arts and William Madison Randall Library as part of the NEA Big Read Cape Fear grant initiative. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The title for this year’s NEA Big Read Cape Fear is “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. Free copies of the book will be given away at the event on a first come, first served basis.

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

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

Pender County Library to host genealogist tracing family line from southeastern NC to Virginia to Africa

BURGAW- On Saturday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m., Pender County Library will host genealogist Tyrone Goodwyn for a discussion of his research tracing his family lineage from southeastern NC to Virginia to Angola in Africa. The hour-long event will be hosted in person in the Michael Y. Taylor Meeting Room at the Main Library in Burgaw as well as online via Zoom.

Goodwyn has researched free persons of color of southeastern North Carolina for more than 40 years. He concentrates on Pender, New Hanover, Sampson, Duplin, Wayne, and Cumberland counties.

In 2021, Goodwyn and a fellow genealogist discovered a 1745 northeast NC court record that yielded an important clue. Following this clue revealed a connection to a man in the 1600s named Gabriel Jacobs, a member of one of the first documented groups of kidnapped Africans in North America. He was the progenitor of the Jacobs family of free people of color in southeast NC and Tidewater VA.

The surname Jacobs is quite common in southeast NC. These families often identify as Black and as Native American. Several also identify as white. Many of these family lines—Black, Native American, and white—descend from the same root of people who came to NC in the mid-1700s, and have participated vigorously in the Revolutionary War and many significant American events thereafter.

Join us for a presentation by genealogist & Jacobs descendant Tyrone Goodwyn and as we discuss this exciting story!

This program is presented in partnership with Eastern Shore Public Library in Accomac, Virginia.

No registration is needed for attending in person. To attend online, register via our website,, and follow the links under the Events tab. You can also call the library and the staff will take your registration by phone.

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

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

Library Presents Celebrated Local Historian Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr.

BURGAW – Pender County Library will host Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr., Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of History at UNC Wilmington, at the Main Library in Burgaw on Aug. 30, beginning at 6 p.m.

Dr. Fonvielle is well known for the saying “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” In his newest book Curious Tales from Old Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear: The Truth Behind the Legends, he turns that phrase on its head.

In the book, Dr. Fonvielle explores five of the region’s most famous legends through the eyes of a professional historian. The stories, all of which contain an element of truth, have gotten discombobulated after being told and retold for hundreds of years. But what is the truth behind them, what really happened? During this special presentation, attendees will have the opportunity to learn the truth behind local legends.

Dr. Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. is a native Wilmingtonian with a lifelong interest in American Civil War, North Carolina, and Cape Fear history. After receiving his B.A. in anthropology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Dr. Fonvielle served as the last curator of the Blockade Runners of the Confederacy Museum. He subsequently received his M.A. in American history at East Carolina University, and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina, making him a Wildcat, a Seahawk, a Pirate, and a Gamecock.

After teaching at East Carolina University for a period, Dr. Fonvielle returned to his undergraduate alma mater at UNCW in 1996, where he taught courses on the Civil War, Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear, and Antebellum America. His in-depth research focuses on coastal operations and defenses, and blockade running in southeastern North Carolina during the Civil War. He has published books and articles including “The Wilmington Campaign: Last Rays of Departing Hope,” “Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear: An Illustrated History,” and “Fort Fisher 1865: The Photographs of T.H. O’Sullivan.”

In 2014, then-Governor Pat McCrory appointed Dr. Fonvielle to the North Carolina Historical Commission. Upon his retirement from UNC Wilmington in 2018, Chris was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for distinguished service to the State of North Carolina, signed by incumbent Governor Roy Cooper. He is also a regular tour guide for Wilmington Water Tours, featured guest on “Cape Fear Unearthed” podcasts, and contributor of articles on Cape Fear history for Salt Magazine.

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

Pender County Library will host American Red Cross Blood Drive on March 11

Register today!

BURGAW – Pender County Library will host a community blood drive with the American Red Cross on Friday, March 11 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The blood drive will be held at the Main Library located at 103 South Cowan Street in Burgaw.

According to the American Red Cross, we are currently experiencing a national blood crisis and need your help. Blood is routinely transfused to patients with cancer and other diseases, premature babies, organ transplant recipients, and trauma victims.

The short amount of time it takes to donate can mean a lifetime to a patient with a serious medical condition. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative, and A negative.

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to join us in the selfless act of giving blood. With a simple blood donation, we can potentially save the lives of our community members in need.

For more information call Pender County Library at 910-259-1234 during regular business hours. To make an appointment to donate, call the Red Cross at 1-800-733-2767 or sign up online at with sponsor code “Pender.”

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
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