As 2018 draws rapidly to a close, Sandhills Sentinel looks back at some of the big stories of the year.

Severe weather figured prominently this year.  From January snowstorms that dropped significant amounts of snow on the Sandhills to the double whammy of Hurricanes Florence and Michael that struck North Carolina roughly a month apart, resulting in over $20 billion dollars worth of damage in North Carolina and 42 deaths.

Long discussed plans for new schools and sources to fund them came to fruition in 2018. Moore County voters approved both a $103 million bond and a quarter-cent rise in the county sales tax that will fund three new elementary schools and renovations/additions to several high schools and Sandhills Community College.

The area was also visited by several prominent people including Governor Roy Cooper who came to inspect the effects and recovery from Hurricane Florence as well as Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Michael Pence, who visited local businesses that employ veterans.

Pinecrest High School Coach Chris Metzger was selected as U.S. Cellular Coach of the year in a nationwide contest. This resulted in the awarding of a $50,000 cash prize to Pinecrest High School as well as a Samsung Technology Package valued at $30,000.

Ronnie Fields defeated incumbent Neil Godfrey in the Republican Primary for Moore County Sheriff and went on to win the general election. The race saw Mike Connor, former Police Chief of Aberdeen, being forced to drop out of the race after a DUI charge.

2018 was an eventful year, and 2019 promises more of the same. Sandhills Sentinel will be here providing the best local news coverage in the Sandhills for 2019 and beyond.

Written and video by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Chris Prentice.

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