https://www.upandcomingweekly.com/


  • 05Expensive runway repairs at Pope AAF have been completed under budget along with improvements to the airfield electrical system, according to an Army news release. The project was budgeted at $100 million.

    "Since World War II, Pope Army Airfield has served as a critical component of America's national security infrastructure," said Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps.

    Until a realignment of military facilities a few years ago, Pope was a U.S. Air Force base. The Army said Fort Bragg units temporarily used civilian airports, including Fayetteville Regional Airport, during the repairs.

    The main runway and taxiways were reconstructed with concrete instead of asphalt.

    The airfield had not been "completely resurfaced" in more than 50 years, said Col. Joseph Vanoni, commander of the 43rd Air Mobility Operations Group.

    The first aircraft to touchdown after the airfield reopened was an Air Force C-17 with Fort Bragg Commander, Col. Scott Pence on board.

  • 03The Biden Administration has released a plan to tackle toxic PFAS pollution. The plan could create a national drinking water standard and designate certain chemicals as hazardous. The project is the result of an analysis conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency Council on PFAS that EPA administrator Michael Regan established in April 2021. As a former North Carolina official, Regan dealt with an unregulated variant of toxic chemicals called GenX that was spread from a Chemours plant east of Fayetteville into local private water wells and the Cape Fear River.

    Senator Kirk deViere said that he applauds the plan, but believes there could be more short-term solutions to help people get access to clean water now.

    The strategies include increasing research, leveraging authorities to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and accelerating the cleanup of PFAS contamination.

    “This is a public health crisis and the time for drastic immediate improvement is now,” deViere said. “I am calling on NCDEQ Secretary Biser, Governor Cooper, as well as Chemours to provide bold and aggressive leadership to ensure clean water and help my constituents and so many others affected by PFAS pollution."

  • 01 classroom

    Almost 30 years ago, Cumberland County Schools joined with four other low wealth school systems in a lawsuit arguing that every child in North Carolina is Constitutionally entitled to a sound basic education. The suit asserts our state’s Constitution means all children, not just those living in counties blessed with a solid tax base able to fund public education adequately.

    Equal opportunity was the argument in 1994 when the lawsuit was filed, and it remains the case today.

    In the intervening decades, the original presiding judge has retired, lawyers have come and gone, North Carolina has had six different governors, and the Hoke County student for whom the suit was named has completed high school, both college and law school, and now practices with a Raleigh law firm.It would take more trees than we want to chop down to go through all the permutations — judicial rulings, appeals, reports, commissions and political hot air, that have occurred and all the energy expended since 1994, but here we are heading into 2022, and very little has actually changed.

    Children in wealthier counties — think Wake, Mecklenburg, New Hanover and others — have considerably more and higher quality educational opportunities than children in poorer, largely rural counties. You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip, and you cannot squeeze tax dollars for education out of businesses and individuals who simply do not have it.

    I have heard it argued that children in poorer counties are even worse off educationally now than they were in 1994, because economic inequity is growing in our nation, not shrinking, and because the General Assembly has since allowed students to opt out of public schools into private institutions, with tuition paid by tax dollars, yours and mine.

    On the long legal trajectory of Leandro, where are we now?

    Last year, the judge now shepherding Leandro through the courts found that despite North Carolina’s clear Constitutional responsibility and various state programs, many students are still not receiving a sound basic education. Earlier this year, the same judge issued an order that the state not may but must, implement the comprehensive education plan agreed to by all parties in 2020. He gave Oct. 18 as the date by which the state is legally obligated to pony up sufficient funding to address educational inequality.

    So, what is the hold up? What is the problem? Why is nothing happening?

    North Carolina has not had an approved budget since 2018. The old budget just keeps rolling over at the same level of spending. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper supports increased funding, but the Republican controlled General Assembly is loath to provide it despite a budget surplus bumping up on $30B — yes, billion.

    There are signs that the Governor and legislative leaders are at least speaking, but as of this writing, no agreement has been reached, so there is yet to be a budget.
    The stage is now set for a legal showdown.Whatever your place on the political spectrum, a generation is a long time to wait for a shot at educational equality. Millions of young students have received less than stellar educations, and they and their communities continue to suffer for it. It is time — past time — for the General Assembly to do its Constitutional duty to provide educational funding for all our children, not just some.

    Mr. Leandro has been waiting so long he grew up.

  • 02America’s chattering classes are yakking up a storm as election year 2022 looms. It will be a big year with a U.S. Senate race in North Carolina as well as the U.S. House, the General Assembly and a host of local offices.

    Queues are already forming — some on the downlow — for the 2024 Presidential race, and to top it all, the redistricting that comes after every U.S. Census will change the political landscape in many of those contests.

    Local analyst, commentator and activist Troy Williams published an op-ed in the Fayetteville Observer earlier this month. Using 2020 census data, Williams points out that Fayetteville’s self-identified white population has declined from 64% in 1960 to 34% in 2020, with 11% of that decline in the last decade, meaning that Fayetteville is now a majority black city.

    He also notes that our community has more black elected officials, including our mayor, a majority of the city council and local judges than in recent memory.

    He asks the question, is “white flight” affecting Fayetteville?

    The U.S. Census does not answer that question.

    No agreed upon definitions of black or white exist — we all identify ourselves.

    And to muddy the waters further, the U.S. Census Bureau has more boxes to check than in earlier censuses including the 1960 one, so we are comparing apples and oranges about who is moving and much less why.
    The reality is that there are probably as many reasons for moving as there are people making that decision.

    Williams rightly observes that the people who are moving, for whatever reasons, are taking their assets and taxable property with them.

    That means that without comparable or more resources moving in, Fayetteville’s tax base is reduced which translates into diminished city services.

    On that point, he challenges local leaders to listen to the people they represent.

    “Do they understand that many middle-class families, black and white, have similar goals: newer houses, better schools for their children and attractive environments?”

    To that list, I would add fair and effective law enforcement, all of which goes to the point that we are more alike in our goals and desires than we are different.

    Williams asserts that with elective and appointive authority comes responsibility, and he is dead right on that. Politics has always been and is now a blood sport, not for the faint of heart.

    In addition, widely discussed political divisions of recent years coupled with ridiculously low salaries have repelled would-be candidates at all levels.

    That said, it is incumbent on Fayetteville residents — and every other community — to recruit, support and elect the most responsible, reliable and honest among us to seek public office, including ourselves. Running for public office is not rocket science and serving is a balancing act between competing interests of different constituencies, frustrating and sometimes difficult, generally with no one “right” decision — just many, many shades of gray. In short, neither is easy and both are necessary.

    Democracy, if it is to prevail and there are real threats against it at the moment, demands people of good will and of all colors participate in the political process as candidates, supporters and voters for contests from the Presidency on down to local offices.

    Failure to do so means we have abdicated our responsibility to participate in self-governance, and we will get the government our abdication deserves.

    Chances are excellent we are not going to like it.

  • 10The Joy of Giving: that’s Holly Day Fair’s theme this year. The fair is the largest holiday gift and craft show in Eastern North Carolina.

    With over 150 vendors, there will be an extensive selection of unique handcrafted and manufactured products for the 22,000 visitors expected to attend.

    The shoppers will shop a selection that boasts the best in holiday decorations, handmade crafts, stylish jewelry and clothes, children's toys, specialty food items and much more.
    Proceeds from the Holly Day Fair benefit the Junior League of Fayetteville and its programs targeting homelessness and food insecurities. These funds have a substantial and lasting impact on the community.

    Katie Crawford, a local artist, has participated in the Holly Day Fair for a little over a half-decade.

    "It's always one of my better shows for the year. I have done it enough years in a row now that I have people that come to see me every year," Crawford said. "It's great to have a well-known and established show to keep the tradition going."

    Crawford sells several pieces of her artwork at the fair, including her watercolor paintings, felted sculptures, notecards, and giclee prints.

    She will also be selling her book, “What the Map Left Out” for the first time this year.

    "It's a fun show," Crawford explained. "You have a mix of local and out-of-state dealers and food vendors. It's not a traditional "art show" either, so there are a lot of different products for people who are not necessarily into art."

    Holly Day Fair kicks off on Nov. 4 with Super Shopper hours from 9 a.m. to noon. The Holly Day Fair will also be offering its Sip & Shop event for the third year. Sip & Shop will be held during super-shopper hours but provides an exclusive shopping experience.

    Sip & Shop guests will be treated to a continental breakfast with mimosas and receive a special commemorative gift. The Sip & Shop tickets are $30 and are limited. Strollers and any rolling carts are strictly prohibited during Super Shopper hours.

    Regular hours of the event are Nov. 4, noon – 8 p.m., Nov. 5, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Nov. 6, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Nov. 7, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at CapeFearTix.com, and in person at the Crown Complex Box Office, Leisure Travel Services on Fort Bragg, The Pilgrim Gifts in Fayetteville, Junior League of Fayetteville office, Jernigan's in Dunn, Jernigan's in Lumberton and Fabulous Finds Boutique in Fayetteville.

  • 09More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – a leading cause of death in the United States.

    In North Carolina alone, there are more than 180,000 people living with the disease and 358,000 caregivers.

    The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

    The Alzheimer’s Association hosts 17 walks across North Carolina including Fayetteville.

    “We invite the community to join us in taking steps for Alzheimer’s disease. More than ever, we need to come together to support all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementia,” said Lisa Roberts, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of the Eastern North Carolina Chapter. “With the dollars raised, the Alzheimer’s Association provides care and support to families while also advancing critical research toward methods of treatment and prevention.”

    Dementia is not a single disease; it’s an umbrella term that covers a wide range of specific medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Disorders grouped under the general term “dementia” are caused by abnormal brain changes.

    These changes trigger a decline in thinking skills, also known as cognitive abilities, severe enough to impair daily life and independent function. They also affect behavior, feelings and relationships.

    Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases.
    Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor is increasing age, and the majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older. But Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old age. Approximately 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, also known as early-onset Alzheimer’s.

    Jay Reinstein was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2018 at age 57. At the time, Reinstein was working as the assistant city manager in Fayetteville.

    He started noticing that he was having a hard time remembering things – writing notes as reminders, taking more time to do tasks than in the past. He struggled to recall names of colleagues he had worked with for decades. Reinstein sensed something was wrong and reached out to a friend, who was a neurologist at Duke University. After additional testing it was confirmed that he had early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
    Reinstein is looking forward to the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s with his team, the Jaywalkers. This is the fourth year he has been a part of the fundraiser. So far, he has raised $91,000.

    “I hope to make it to $100,000,” Reinstein said. “I have 3 teams: PWC sponsors a team; Fayetteville sponsors a team; City of Durham has a team.”

    “Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is not a death sentence,” Reinstein said. “It is very challenging but make sure you don’t isolate. Science says exercise, being social and healthy diet are all important. Join a support group. It has been a saving grace for me.”

    On walk day, participants honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies our solidaity in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s — their personal reasons to end the disease.

    “The Alzheimer’s Association is moving forward — and we’re offering options for supporters to join us at our local event or Walk From Home in their own neighborhoods.” said Roberts. “No matter where people walk, their health and safety are our top priorities.”

    The Fayetteville walk has raised over $84,000, achieving the goal amount. All funds raised will help further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s takes place on Saturday, Oct. 30, 9 – 11 a.m. at Segra Stadium. Check-in opens at 9 a.m. with an Opening Ceremony at 10 a.m. The walk will begin at 10:30 a.m.

    To sign up as a walker, team captain or to learn more about becoming a sponsor of Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Fayetteville, visit act.alz.org/fayettevillenc or call 800-272-3900.

  • 13The first historic proof of dance came from wall paintings in a 9000-year-old cave in India and was with us before written language. For thousands of years dance has been present in celebrations, entertainment, ceremonies and rituals and has evolved through the centuries in many forms.

    There are historians that believe social dance is one of the essential factors of development in early civilization. Watching a baby or toddler move to the beat is a prime example of how dance could have evolved before written language.

    The benefits of dance can help with weight loss, flexibility, balance, reduce stress and has no age limits young or old. Your style of dance may be swaying to a favorite song while you’re driving, dancing around the house or rocking those moves on a dance floor. Wheelchair dance is popular in over forty nations with styles ranging from ballroom to line dances and is becoming an International Paralympic Committee Championship Sport.

    Another benefit of dance is how it makes us feel. It is a powerful expression that grabs us with inner light, speaks to our creative outlet and makes us happy.

    It is an expression of movement with music that speaks a universal language and for the enthusiast requires no special skill, experience or form.

    We enjoy dance in countless styles and enjoy watching others dance.

    Recently I attended a Mick Jagger concert. The man is a phenomenal entertainer and at seventy-eight commands the stage of someone more than half his age.

    We all take memories from a concert and for me it was the way he moved on stage. Jagger has a choreographer, trainer and his exercise regimen consist of dance, kick boxing, Pilates, yoga and running. He isn’t the only one. Goldie Hawn strives to dance or do some form of exercise every day for a set amount of time or in intervals and is the epitome of someone that dances like no one is watching.

    Age is certainly limitless with ninety-five-year young Dick Van Dyke who exercises his abdominals, legs and more. A quote from Dick Van Dyke is exemplified by his lifestyle. He has no plans to slow down and looks forward to being one-hundred years old.

    “All you old guys out there, listen to me. You can go on for a long time. I’m still dancing and singing.”

    It can be easy to say that celebrities have the benefit of a personal trainer. The common factor is that the love of dance and music is universal without celebrity status or a trainer.

    My mother and aunt were dance instructors, and my family seems to have inherited the dance gene.

    Mother enrolled me in ballet classes at an early age and growing up I loved the old movies with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire and later the more pronounced dancers with gyrating moves such as Hawn, Ann Margaret, Tina Turner and Elvis Pressley. Michael Jackson is an all-time favorite and of course there are the inspiring movies like Dirty Dancing and Flash Dance. I love to dance and when the music starts there is a driving energy in me to hit the dance floor and feel the beat!

    Dance classes are popular for ballroom, Latin, Shag, line dancing or Zumba group fitness classes. Have you ever noticed people just about running to the dance floor for a popular line dance?

    Be the one who enjoys dancing like no one is watching socially, or at home or in a class. Live, love life and reap the benefits.

  • 06Cumberland County schools’ Joy Williams, a 23-year veteran educator, has been named the 2022 Principal of the Year. Queesha Tillman, a 16-year educator, was selected assistant principal of the year.

    Williams is principal of Luther "Nick" Jeralds Middle School. She began her career as a classroom teacher at Douglas Byrd Middle School after graduating from Fayetteville State University. She later earned her Master of School Administration from FSU.

    "We strive to find real-world examples that include culturally relevant language for students which allows them to relate to what is being taught," Williams said.

    Tillman is the assistant principal of Loyd Auman Elementary School. She too graduated from FSU and joined the school system as an exceptional children's teacher in 2002.

    There were eight other finalists for principal of the year and six other finalists for assistant princpal of the year.

  • 04New employees of the Cumberland County School district have received signing bonuses four months into their new jobs. The board of education approved a recruitment and retention plan to pay staff members who were hired June 1, and were still on the job Sept. 30, $1000 bonuses.

    These bonuses were funded through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

    Employees hired after June 1, who continued to be employed on Sept. 30, received $500 bonuses.

    The retention bonus concept gave school officials the opportunity to thank new employees for the challenges they faced because of positive COVID-19 cases while serving the district's 49,700 students.

    The Durham Public School System is giving all full-time employees, including teachers, $1000 bonuses to those who remained with the district during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 14The weather may forget every few days, but the calendar says it's officially fall.

    There's just something about the season – the trees we thought we recognized begin to show off with remarkable colors as they work in harmony to create unforgettable sunlight scenes. And the weather.

    I truly love fall weather.

    We begin to feel a certain crispness in the air each morning, while the afternoons remind us to bring a little jacket as the sun begins to set a little earlier day by day.

    Fall is a perfect buffer between a humid North Carolina summer and when winter officially sets in to send us on daily trips to the woodpile.

    The fall weather is more than beauty and comfort, though. It's a sign. A signal to us all that the time for gathering as family and friends is just ahead.

    It's a season for gratitude and thoughtfulness, where the coolness of the air outside is perfectly countered by a warmth that seems to grow within us all.

    We started a new fall tradition in my family a few years ago, and I think it's a good exercise in humility. The gratitude pumpkin.

    Maybe you've done this, too (or at least heard about it.)

    The concept is simple: get a pumpkin, place it where it's easily visible to your family and guests, and use a permanent marker or paint (for the really artsy among us) to write down things you're grateful for.
    It doesn't take long to get past the cool stuff and start writing really simple things like health, family or a home, and that's where the gold is. Realizing how immensely blessed we are in our everyday lives.

    Life — even abundant life — isn't about money or cars or possessions. It's about the relationships we build. It's about the joy we get from or bring to others.

    There is an undeniable joy in the laughter of a toddler, or the tender moments with a newborn. There is cause for joy and much to be thankful for all around us. It just takes us pausing long enough to recognize it.

    The gratitude pumpkin at our house was so filled with the thankful thoughts we wrote on it last year you could hardly tell it was ever orange at all. And that's how I want to live.

    I'm ready for the negativity, and the pain and the ugliness we see in this crazy, divided world to give way to a sense of gratitude for what we have.

    There is freedom in that place. There is joy in that place. And there is love in its truest form in the place where gratitude lives.

    So, consider getting a pumpkin and a marker. Or you can just sit down with a spiral notebook and a pen and begin writing.

    Encourage your children, spouse or people you work with to do the same. Record the things that make you smile. Write down the people who bring you joy.

    Count your blessings. One at a time. It's almost certain you will run of paper (or pumpkin) before you're finished.

  • 11They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Personal fulfillment is the essence of capturing compelling moments in life that tell a story, that have a profound impact and create indelible memories that last a lifetime. As with all matters of the heart, Dara Colón’s passion is priceless when it comes to her love of photography.

    “I own a photography business and I also offer videography and graphic design services,” said Colón, owner, Serendipity Creative Media, LLC. “The biggest thing that I want to say about my photos is that no matter how you look, whether you are tall, short, young, old, different nationalities, ultimately everyone, in their own way, is beautiful and deserving of having a moment where they feel confident in who they are.”

    She is a native of Bronx, New York, and moved to Fayetteville, during her senior year of high school. She is a graduate of E. E. Smith High School and Fayetteville State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Business Administration.

    In 2014, Colón was practicing photography as a hobby and in 2018, she decided to make it legal, form an LLC, and turn it into a professional side hustle. She left her full-time position at FSU as a marketing and social media coordinator for Student Affairs in March of 2020 to make her photo hobby a full-time business.

    “It was a great way to make some extra money on the side in addition to my job at the time,” Colón said. “It has been going great so far and I love what I do, I love to make people smile, I love to make people feel good about themselves. And being behind the camera gives me an opportunity to do that. ”

    Every photographer has a favorite camera and Colón’s favorite is the Canon 5D Mark IV.

    “My favorite part of my camera is the lens that I use, which is a Sigma 135 mm lens,” said Colón. “It gives me a really amazing shallow depth of field, which is when the subject really stands out and the background is blurry so that the focus is on the individual.”12

    Her skill set as a photographer did not come from the classroom.

    “It comes from trial and error, YouTube University and following other local or out of state photographers on social media,” Colón said. “I have to give credit to two amazing local photographers, Larry Shaw and Ezekiel Best, for their mentoring and support.”

    The sky is the limit for this rising photographer and her ultimate goals for Serendipity are promising.

    “I want to have a sustainable income where I am comfortable, but I am also growing the business,” Colón explained. “Secondly, I want to pay it forward and pour into other up and coming photographers.”

    The studio runs by appointment only. For questions or information about picture packages a visit www.serendipitycm.com or follow her on Instagram @serendipitycm_ and on Facebook at Serendipity Creative Media LLC.

     

  • 08The 53rd annual Cumberland County Golf Championship turned into a father-son celebration. Brian Dreier won the CCGC at Gates Four Golf & Country Club, while his son, Sutton Dreier, won the inaugural CCGC Junior Division title.

    "I'm proud of him," Brian Dreier said about his 15-year-old son. "He's just getting his feet wet with tournament golf. He's improving a lot, but he's got a ways to go. I'm excited for him. But considering the field I competed against and the field he competed against, I'm going to say my win's a little bit better."

    "I think it's awesome that we both won the same year. They said we're making history, so I guess it's the first time it's ever been done. I'm excited to see what I can do in the future,” the Northwood Temple sophomore said.

    Brian Dreier had to come from five shots behind in the final round to win his first CCGC title since 2012. This was the first time he had played in the event since 2015, when he turned professional.

    He just regained his amateur status in January. Brian Dreier, 48, shot the only subpar round, a 1-under 71, on the last day of the 54-hole event.

    The playing conditions toughened up with cooler, windy weather moving in, and the tees moved back to 6,962 yards.

    "This was very unexpected with the quality of players in the field," Brian Dreier said. "But today was one of the best ball-striking rounds I've had. That's what it takes when you play a tough golf course in the wind. You've just got to be patient. You can't force anything. It was good enough to hold everybody else off."

    As Brian Dreier headed to the tenth tee box of the final round, he was locked in a battle with some of the best amateur golf talent in Cumberland County. Defending champion Thomas Owen, the two eight-time CCGC champions in Billy West and Gary Robinson, Jack Keefe, the leader after the first two rounds, and Brian Dreier were separated by only two shots.

    Things started to change quickly on the back nine. Keefe bogeyed three holes in a row and finished in third place at 3-over par after rounds of 69-71-79 — 219.

    Robinson saw his chances end with bogeys at 11, 12, and 13 and a double-bogey at 15. He tied for sixth place with rounds of 72-72-79 for a 7-over 223.

    He did end his tournament on a high note with a birdie on the last hole.

    Owen's putter let him down on the back nine. He tied for fourth place with Spencer Goodnough after rounds of 70-75-75 — 220. West made the turn at even-par and held a one-shot lead over Brian Dreier with four holes left to play.

    But he missed the green at the 15th and 16th holes and couldn't get up and down. Those two bogeys opened the door for Brian Dreier. He took advantage by making a 10-foot birdie putt on the 52nd hole of the tournament, the 16th, to open a two-shot lead.

    Brian Dreier had a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-5 17th, but he slapped his leg in frustration when it slid by the hole.

    "I left myself a perfect look on 17 up the hill," he said. "I was trying to get that putt to go in to give myself a little bit of a cushion."

    West, 47, needed to birdie the last two holes to tie.

    He missed his 12-foot birdie putt at 17 to end his chances. However, he did walk off the 18th green smiling when he holed a 30-foot birdie putt to lose by one shot.

    "It was ironic to make a 30-footer when I had missed some six to eight footers that you need to make to hold onto the lead," West said. "Brian just went out and played an excellent, clean round of golf. I couldn't be happier for him. I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to get it in one or two better."

    West, who was trying to win for the ninth time, shot rounds of 72-69-75 for a one-over 217. West could blame his loss on the par-4 16th hole, which he played in 4-over par for the tournament.

    "I thought whoever shot par or better on the back nine was going to win," he said. "Brian played the best golf down the stretch."

    West pointed out that when he was trying to win the CCGC title for a third straight year in 2012, Brian Dreier beat him.

    And this year, when he was trying to break the tie with Robinson who holds the most championship titles, Brian Dreier was his nemesis again.

    Ironically, Brian Dreier's father-in-law is Gary Robinson.

    That may explain why Sutton Dreier is off to a good start in his young golfing career with his dad and grandfather as teachers.

    "His granddad and I are trying to instill as much wisdom as we can," Brian Dreier said. "I think it's important for him to see me and his granddad play well. It gives him something to move him along and help him gain
    confidence."

    Sutton Dreier won the CCGC Junior Division title in a playoff over Chris Bucholtz. Both players shot 167 in the 36-hole junior tournament.

    Sutton Dreier parred the 18th hole while Bucholtz made a bogey to force the playoff. In the playoff on the par-4 first, Sutton hit his tee shot into a fairway bunker.

    But he blasted the second shot to within 15 feet of the hole and made the birdie putt to win. Next up for Sutton Dreier will be trying to beat his dad on the course.

    "He hasn't beaten me yet," Brian Dreier said. "But it's not going to be long. He already hits it past me. He's going to put together a good round, and I'm going to have a so-so day. But I'm going to beat him as long as I can."

    13-year-old Taft Courie won the first year of the CCGC Boys Middle School Division with rounds of 72-74 — 146.

    Allison Ferguson shot 103-99 — 202 to win the Girls Middle School Division.

    Charles Robertson won the men's Open Division with rounds of 77-82-81 — 240. He won by two shots over Brett Miller and Jon Riddle.

    Mike Lane took the Senior Division title with rounds of 73-74-74 — 221.

    Scott Azzarelli finished two shots behind. In his 27th consecutive CCGC tournament, Charles Franks was the Super Senior champ with rounds of 82-79 — 161. He won by four shots over Ray Miranda.

    Jennifer Eavenson shot 84-91 — 175 to win the Women's Division CCGC Title three shots over the 2020 Women's Champion Clara "Duckhee" Brown.

    "I'm pleased with the momentum the tournament is getting," said tournament director Bill Bowman.

    "These are the champions of tomorrow. They will carry on the golfing tradition in Cumberland County. Yes, I think the tournament is in good shape for the future."

    The 54th Annual Cumberland County Championship dates have been set for Oct. 7 – Oct. 9, 2022, with registration beginning on Aug. 1, 2022.

    Gates Four will remain the "official" site of the CCGC with some new enhancements designed to make the tournament more enjoyable, competitive and accessible to more Cumberland County golfers.

    Additional information and tournament updates can be found on the CCGC website: www.cumberlandcountygolfclassic.com.

  • 07All answers in this forum have been printed as submitted by the Hope Mills mayoral candidates. The only edits have been for style and punctuation where needed. Each candidate was given the same questions and the same requested word count for their responses.

    Jessie Bellflowers currently serves as the department chair at Fayetteville Technical Community College and is retired from the United States Army. Bellflowers was born August 22, 1956. His Family members include his wife, Bambi, daughter, Jessica and he has three granddaughters. Bellflowers has served as commissioner for the Town of Hope Mills since 2017.

    Jacquelyn Warner is a small business owner at Carleen’s Baby Boutique and a retired principal and teacher. Warner was born June 24, 1950. She is married to, Alex, and has two children a son, Teddy, daughter, Molly and has five grandchildren. Warner has served as mayor of the town of Hope Mills since 2011 and previously served as a town commissioner from 2007 to 2009.

    As Mayor of one of Cumberland County’s fastest-growing communities, describe what a typical routine work week would look like.

    BELLFLOWERS: According to the U.S. Census, Hope Mills has grown 17.3% in the last 10 years. More and more people and businesses are choosing our community mainly because of schools and recreational opportunities. But, despite this growth, the town hasn’t been able to keep up [with] infrastructure and traffic congestion.

    Since I was first elected four years ago, folks ask me what a typical week looks like. I always respond with every week is different — there is no typical weekly routine. Serving as an elected official, regardless of position, is a full-time 24-hour, 7-days a week where you must be available to community citizens — returning phone calls, answering emails and text messages, checking the town website, meeting with citizens and business owners, attending town sponsored business functions and serving on various committees, for example the Gateway Study Committee, Heroes Homecoming IX, etc. Over the past four years, I have attended every town board meeting with 100% attendance, something unheard [of] these days in politics.

    The role of mayor is one who conducts the meetings, signs legal documents and acts as ambassador for the town.

    Each week, I review the upcoming town board meeting agenda, for example, I spend hours researching every agenda item before board meetings. This action includes driving to each zoning and annexation property location to learn if the request fits the integrity of the surrounding neighborhoods.

    As mayor, our sense of inclusiveness and identity as a community will always be a priority for me. Remember, elected officials are public servants.
    We should always support community engagement that builds deeper, stronger and more trusting relationships between our town board and citizens. Servant leaders are also ethical leaders with no hidden agendas.

    WARNER: A mayor’s primary role is leadership in the best interest of the municipality. The mayor represents its township in ceremonial events and, when necessary, states of emergency, e.g, hazardous weather conditions, accidents, etc. that disrupt normal town functions. The mayor presides over board meetings and other committee meetings. The mayor also promotes partnerships with other stakeholders for the benefit and future planning for the community at large.

    As mayor, my typical work week is busy rotating around attending meetings, virtual workshops and answering emails or phone calls. I prioritize work based on how urgent and important the different activities are. I address the issues or concerns in the order of priority. But, being mayor is not limited to our home government. The role must be integrated with surrounding mayorships (Mayors Coalition), participation with local and state programs such as FAMPO, Senior Tarheel Legislature, Mid-Carolina Council for Aging, FCEDC and interacted with cooperative participation with state and national issues as well. Being part of a larger government makes our local board even stronger.

    Even though being mayor is highly rewarding in seeing progress for Hope Mills, the extra hours required, especially overseeing such a busy town, makes it challenging. I work overtime to be constantly available for town concerns as the spokesperson for our citizens. Building partnerships to bring more resources to our town is a priority, therefore my involvement with the Mayor’s Youth Council, Tier I Committee, Heroes Homecoming Committee are examples of how my time is spent to get input from our youth, seniors and our veterans to identify what is needed to improve our quality of life through partnerships. Being retired from my chosen field of employment, I have the time to be available. I know that I possess what is required and will deliver to the best of my resources. I love serving people and believe the happiness of Hope Mills residents provides the motivation for our board to work harder and smarter. Being mayor is an honor for me, personally, to work for the citizens in one of the finest small towns in our great state.

    As Mayor, what will be your top three (measurable) priorities for improving the livability in the town of Hope Mills? Which one will present the biggest challenge.

    WARNER: The priorities that are listed below are my personal opinions only since the mayor has no vote in our actual prioritization of future town projects and appropriations for such. That responsibility is left to our elected town commissioners. Personally, I feel three projects of concern and need are as follows:

    1. The completion of capital projects, namely, our Public Safety Building, grant-funded improvements for Main Street items (cross walks, bike path), municipal park improvements adding splash pad and all-inclusive playground is a family priority, a restoration of the location of our first and largest mill factory area known as Heritage Park is a historical priority. These projects will provide recreational opportunities for our citizens along with improvements for public safety.

    2. Transportation for our citizens to provide bus routes around Hope Mills and to surrounding points of interest or need. This can be accomplished by working with community partners to maximize our funding sources to include grants available for seniors, youth and the disabled mobility.

    3. Preparation for present and additional traffic concerns related to the impact of the fast approaching I-295. This priority is the most challenging as we continue working with Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and Department of Transportation for completion and opening of I-295 along with the widening of Rockfish, Golfview Roads and Main Street to improve traffic patterns. This priority will present the biggest challenge because of the inconvenience of the construction work to include road closures, paving and detours.

    Also the time it will take to complete projects will be frustrating—our community will benefit in the end with sidewalks, pedestrians crosswalks to improve safer walk-ability along with safer movement of vehicular traffic.

    BELLFLOWERS: Without question, our community is at a crossroads regarding residential and economic development growth. With growth, comes traffic congestion. One of the enormous challenges will be to address our town’s aging infrastructure where public safety and limited community parks and recreational opportunities are high priorities.

    These challenges may be separate, but I consider them linked to our community’s sustainable quality of life, commercial/residential growth challenges and economic development opportunities.

    We must have the courage to be smart about planning our future and managing growth with a sustainable, visionary long-term strategic economic development plan. For example, future residential and economic development growth regarding I-95, Exit 41 and Future I-295 bypass gateway areas.

    Public safety has always been my number one priority. Currently, the new police and fire department complex, named the John W. Hodges Public Safety Center is being built and [will be] completed in 2022. Even with completion of this project, we must still find a workable, affordable solution to build at least one or two new satellite facilities over the next five years.

    Another top priority is community recreational programs whereas the town must invest in improvements to existing facilities, programs and the development of new recreational opportunities in order to maintain and enhance community quality of life. Hope Mills Lake Park is the centerpiece of our downtown and another testament to the power of vision, planning and results-driven leadership that will be required to address future residential and economic development growth in our community, for example, the Heritage Park and Golfview Greenway projects.The biggest challenge with managing these priorities going forward will be to locate sustainable funding resources without raising property taxes.

    The U.S. Congress is currently debating infrastructure legislation. What infrastructure project(s) in Hope Mills should have the highest priority? What ways would you maximize funding resources for Hope Mills?

    BELLFLOWERS: The American Rescue Plan (ARP) is a defining moment with a unique opportunity to invest in our town’s long-term future. But, I would like to emphasize the importance of municipalities-county collaboration. For example, elected officials should think as one Cumberland County regarding the strategizing of priorities for spending this one-time funding throughout our county.

    In July 2021, the town received $2,525.517.90 in ARP funding. The town will receive the second half of the funding in July 2022. The town has until 2024 to obligate the funds, and 2026 to use them.
    This is not the time to make quick, unresearched decisions to spend this money on immediate needs that may not be eligible for these funds. Eligible uses for ARP include: supporting public health expenditures; addressing the negative economic impacts of the pandemic; providing premium pay for essential workers and investing in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. Remember, this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity not only for Hope Mills, but all the municipalities in Cumberland County. Collectively, it may not be the best practice to duplicate spending efforts.

    If elected mayor, my sound recommendation to maximize funding for Hope Mills: Identifying eligible ARP funding priorities should start with reviewing the town’s current Capital Improvement Plan and the Stormwater Strategic Master Plan. During the Spring 2022 Budget Retreat, departments should make priority recommendations during the budget process to begin the process of researching the priorities that may qualify for matching grants, therefore, adding additional funding to the ARP funds. We have one time to get this right regarding appropriate uses of the funds and the audits required.

    WARNER: In my opinion, the maintenance and paving of our town streets should be ranked near the top.

    We have had a study completed with a plan for maintenance and paving for all town streets with the price tag that we simply can not afford.

    Even budgeting on a yearly basis, it would be difficult to stay on target with inflation issues, normal road deterioration, etc.

    Also needed is the ever-present, growing funding for stormwater preparations. Thankfully, included within the state budget expenditures for 2021 is $350,000 for our town’s study for future requirements for storm water funding.When this study is completed we can use it for leveraging our infrastructure funding. Our town’s strategic plan can be used for evidence in both instances (street maintenance and stormwater) to assure ways of acquiring and maximizing funding.

    Working collectively with the other Hope Mills Commissioners over the current term, what three achievements are you most proud of?

    WARNER: One of the achievements that our board can be proud of is the successful adoption of another balanced budget with no property tax increases for our citizens.

    Our budgets have provided cost of living increases for our staff and met the needs of our community with a focus on public safety. Another achievement would be successful planning, financing and ground breaking of our new public safety building. This construction is on schedule and our board receives timely reports on expenditures and progress.

    Third, results from a first ever round-table discussion with area legislators of town needs that have been granted within the state budget of 2021. Our Capital Improvement Plan allowed quick access to projects with estimates of cost to give necessary information to our legislators. Our request for $350,000 for stormwater projects was put in the budget first and thanks to our delegation more projects were requested for possible funding.

    We should receive with approval of the state budget the following funding: at Municipal Park -$340,000 for splash pad, $340,000 for all-inclusive playground, at dam area-$500,000 for Rockfish Creek Bed clearing, $2,500,000 for repair of sides of creek bed on East Patterson Street (due to flooding damage from hurricanes) and $650,000 for pavement and repairs of streets in Woodland Hills. Our board can now re-prioritize the remaining Capital Improvements and plan for additional community needs. This mayor is thankful for Senators deViere, Clark, Representatives John Szoka, Billy Richardson, Marvin Lucas and Diane Wheatley for making this happen for Hope Mills.

    BELLFLOWERS: Town operating budget. The town board approved its budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year that does not include an increase in the tax rate. The approved budget is the largest town operating budget in the history of Hope Mills that meets the needs of the town while living within its means without raising property taxes!

    John W. Hodges Public Safety Center, the town board unanimously approved a new police and fire department complex at the site of the old headquarters next to Town Hall.

    The new safety facility is being built and completed in 2022. The town budgeted $17 million for the project which is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan. Even with completion of this project, we must still find a workable, affordable solution to build at least one or two new satellite facilities over the next five years.

    Closing Crampton Road stub. As our community continues to grow, neighborhoods must be protected from the dangers of too much traffic. For example, recently the citizens of two established neighborhoods (Golfview and Brightmoor) voiced their concerns about a potential traffic problem that would have evolved with an apartment complex that wanted to use their neighborhoods as a possible ingress and egress for apartment traffic. I agreed with their safety concerns.

    This issue dragged on for eight months while Mayor Warner formed a committee to study it. The committee only met one time without resolution. Finally, after frustrating delays by Commissioners Marley and Edwards, Mayor Pro-tem McCray and Mayor Warner, the town board made the decision to close the road stub. It was the right thing to do to protect and maintain the safety for these neighborhoods.

    Hope Mills has a very diverse and growing population including young families, millennials , military, seniors and plenty of retirees and disabled veterans. Collectively, what programs and policies would you recommend and implement to enhance everyone’s quality of life?

    WARNER: As mayor, to identify quality of life programs, I have aligned with our youth through a Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council — representative of our three high schools-Southview, Grays Creek and Jack Britt — our veterans and military by being involved with Heroes Homecoming, attending and participating with our military at Fort Bragg events, our seniors by representing our community on the Senior Tarheel Legislature and the Mid-Carolina Council of Aging, the Pastors’ Coalition, using these avenues to identify the needs and concerns for a better Hope Mills.

    Partnerships are important as we address the needs of these populations to include available funding that can be acquired by working together with others in our county. Currently, our Tier 1 Committee with board approval is in the process of researching how a facility could provide services for our seniors and veterans to include rehabilitation and prepared meals free of charge, a pool for high school competitive team practice, swimming lessons for our youth, a family friendly facility with childcare while other members are involved in certain activities and more gym space for our recreational needs — funding partnerships so our citizens receive the benefits without tax increases. Our committee’s findings to include estimated costs and details will be presented to the town board for their input and approval. We need to encourage recruitment and retention of our police department personnel to include more funding for a drug task force. Our new Public Safety Building should help in recruitment. Public safety is necessary for quality of life—as our population increases our policies and programs must develop around a safe and secure town.

    Finally, bringing programs to Hope Mills such as classes provided by FTCC, FSU or Methodist University, Art Council exhibits and cultural arts programs to enhance our community such as we have started with our partnership with UNC Pembroke.

    BELLFLOWERS: Research has shown that recreation is an important factor in quality of life for everyone, for example, a very diverse and growing population in Hope Mills. One of Hope Mills most valuable resources is its network of parks and the main recreational facility.

    For example, Hope Mills Recreation Center is a recreational facility primarily used for Parks & Recreation programs. With just over 28 acres, Hope Mills Municipal Park is one of the community’s most treasured resources along with Ed Herring and Bonayre Gardens neighborhood parks.

    And, Hope Mills Lake Park is the centerpiece of our downtown where people from all over our community gather to enjoy recreational opportunities and the natural beauty of the lake. Another example is the Golfview Greenway Park where open green space is a premium in any community as a quality-of-life amenity.

    Parks are places to meet and celebrate with family and friends. They are inclusive, accessible and venues for community events and sports activities. On any given week day and especially on weekends, you will find plenty of young families, millennials, senior citizens, military families and disabled veterans with service dogs all enjoying the park.

    And, on the horizon is the Heritage Park project which has been funded for Phase I completion. Going forward, we need a senior citizen center and a town museum. Our community parks and recreational facilities can be just as important as fire and police services to the quality of life in our community.

    We must guard these valuable community assets that has served generations past and those generations to come. This is called vision and if elected as mayor, I pledge to protect our limited recreational space and the historical culture of our town.

    Finally, each candidate was asked to include a question of their own. One they felt should have been asked.

    BELLFLOWERS: Why would Hope Mills citizens vote for you as Mayor?

    I am totally committed to improving quality of life, economic development, public safety, recreational opportunities and preserving the history of our community. My vision includes addressing and finding workable solutions to fix infrastructure needs, traffic congestion and roadway improvements.

    There is no question that addressing the many challenges that face our community will require results-driven leadership, creative thinking, building cooperation and consensus, and a tremendous amount of teamwork.

    Our community deserves an effective town board, one that can work and communicate together with a “collective vision” for future prosperity and one that demonstrates unselfish representation and pre-eminent leadership.

    I am committed to ensuring that Hope Mills continues to be a wonderful place for all people to live, work and raise their families. Hope Mills continues to grow in residential and economic development growth. Managing this growth requires continued vision, planning and results-driven leadership. We need a vision with the passion, time and energy to continue to build a family-oriented community all of us are proud of today and years to come! I bring to the table many years of results-driven, proven leadership and pledge to listen to citizen issues and concerns, have an open mind on all decisions, and spend a significant amount of time researching community issues facing our community. I am committed every day on enriching the lives of our town citizens by creating an exceptional community to work and live in while providing exemplary town services that enables our community to thrive and prosper, while leading our community as one we are proud to call home … this is my compass. This election is not about me … but all about YOU, your vision, issues and concerns! I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov 2nd.

    WARNER: Do you think a plan is needed for downtown?

    What is considered our downtown is our historic Trade Street—in the 1900s it was a busy street with shops, a pharmacy, post office, theater, pool halls, groceries and a funeral home to name a few.

    Nearby were two Mills and the mill villages where people lived. The train depot and a boarding house also meant visitors came to Hope Mills and spent time on Trade Street.

    Today Trade Street is important to our town not only for historical reasons, but it is near our lake where many people congregate for a variety of activities so we are putting more emphasis on revitalization.

    This area, with new opportunities for funding, is in the early stages of planning for revitalization — I am excited to say that after early attempts to join the Main Street program did not materialize, we now have a new focus on Trade Street.

    We have new businesses willing to share in the vision along with our Historical Committee and Appearance Committees providing leadership.

    Our Economic Development Planner supports revitalization in this area and is looking for ways to make it happen.

    Election Day is, Nov. 2. On Election Day, go to the polling place assigned to your precinct between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Those in line by 7:30 pm, will be able to vote. If you go to the wrong polling place in Hope Mills and don’t have time to go to the correct poll, ask to use a provisional ballot. If you have any questions or concerns you can call the Cumberland County Board of Elections at, 910-678-7733.
    If you are properly registered, your vote will count.

  • 01The Hope Mills political scene is in a state of disarray. Especially with regards to the mayor’s race. It is a near-perfect example of how the threads of selfishness, greed, hypocrisy and personal agendas have become commonplace and interwoven into every aspect of local politics.

    Hope Mills is one of the most desired and habitable communities in Cumberland County. It is recognized as progressive and one of the fastest growing towns in the state. This growth is a product of past decades of competent, responsible and dedicated leadership.

    Yet, regardless of the town's achievements, accomplishments and successes, there are always a few (a very few) disgruntled individuals who insist on placing their personal agendas ahead of the constituents they are supposed to be serving. With the advent of social media, these ill-spirited individuals want to have prominent voices in the future and direction of the Hope Mills community, but without the commitment and responsibility of management that goes along with it.

    Full disclosure, I am passionate about the Hope Mills community. I was a friend and admirer of former seven-term Hope Mills Mayor Edwin Deaver, who passed away in 2016. He was a good friend and a one-of-a-kind character. He graciously loved serving Hope Mills and its citizens. His impact on the town was positive in nature and gentle with a spirited touch of homegrown enthusiasm that can still be felt on Trade Street today. Former Mayor Eddie Dees likewise contributed to the Hope Mills quality of life by keeping the welfare of the residents his highest priority.

    Again, full disclosure, I am a Mayor Jackie Warner supporter. From the start of her tenure, with the help and guidance of a competent board and staff I watched her build and expand on the foundation built by Deaver and Dees. Together, working in cooperation with each other they took Hope Mills to an elevated level of respectability and prestige, both culturally and economically.

    So, one might ask, why all the negativity? And, what can be so bad in a community recognized for being so good? The answer to both is nothing at all.

    What makes it even more interesting and concerning is that the two primary individuals responsible for the negativity are former Hope Mills Commissioner Meg Lawson and current Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers. Both of whom were active in the town's prosperity and growth over several years, working closely with the Mayor, who, by the way, has no voting power or sole jurisdiction over decisions directly affecting the town. Yet these two are leading a cabal of negative criticism against Warner, whose leadership has led the town to statewide recognition and prosperity.

    The next question should be why would they do this? The answer, for personal power and control. Neither Bellflowers or Lawson bring anything to the table that contributes to quality of life in Hope Mills that is not already present; thus, their strategies and platforms all hinge on slander, character assassination and false or misleading information attempting to diminish the accomplishments of Warner. A Herculean task at best.

    This brings me to the most concerning and dangerous aspects of this situation. One of the very first actions Lawson took in her role as a Hope Mills Commissioner was to team up with Bellflowers to cancel a media contract with Up & Coming Weekly. The purpose of the contract was to assist in the creation of a community newspaper for the town of Hope Mills. This partnership with Up & Coming Weekly would have provided the mayor and all Hope Mills governmental departments with a weekly communication with residents, businesses and organizations. A local community newspaper would have been a win-win situation for all concerned. Finally, Hope Mills had devised a plan for a media voice for the sole purpose of informing citizens on town-related news while promoting local businesses and economic development. The Hope Mills commissioners unanimously agreed that the town needed a newspaper and voted likewise. However, Bellflowers, Larson, and their small cabal pursued actions that would stifle free press, free speech and free expression. Not only did they vote to cancel the Up & Coming Weekly contract, but they failed to bring forward any alternative media options or newspaper prospects to fill the void. The newspaper project should have been valued at a quarter of a million dollars yearly. The town’s actual investment? $28,000. It should concern every citizen in Hope Mills that Bellflowers is challenging Warner for the Mayor's seat when he and his like-minded supporters do not support or advocate for local media, transparency in government or free speech. Most recently, Larson submitted a Public Records Request to the town of Hope Mills for all e-mail correspondence between the Up & Coming Weekly newspaper and Mayor Warner and Commissioners Bryan A. Marley, Pat Edwards, and Kenjuana McCray. Why? What are they looking for? Anything that they can use to discredit the mayor and anyone in support of the town creating a community newspaper. After 25 years of publishing, I can assure you they will be vastly disappointed.

    My message to all Hope Mills residents is to beware of anyone in opposition to the free press or government transparency.

    Hope Mills is not located in Russia or China. In America, local communities embrace the U. S. Constitution and our First Amendment rights. Hope Mills residents and voters need to be very cautious and skeptical of people, especially elected officials, who do not support a local free press.

    As a final thought, if you have, or even if you have not, read the most recent Fayetteville Observer article with questions and answers from the two candidates, I suggest you turn to pages nine through ten in this edition of Up and Coming Weekly. Please take a moment to read a unedited, even-keeled comparison of how the two candidates stack up against one another in their own words prior to voting on Nov. 2.

    Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

  • 04 FT Bragg Sharp GO BagSix Army posts, including Fort Bragg, have been selected for a one-year pilot program that creates additional locations for soldiers to report sexual harassment and assault.

    They will have all the resources needed for personal recovery and prosecution.

    The “fusion directorate” is part of the planned redesign of the Army’s Response and Prevention program, known as SHARP.

    A pair of recent independent reports found the Army was failing the soldiers who report these crimes.
    The directorate creates facilities that will include care providers, investigators, and criminal prosecutors, “allowing them to...keep victims better informed at each step of an emotional and complex process,” the Army said.

    The program serves as an additional resource for soldiers that is outside of the chain of command.

    “Soldiers and civilians must feel comfortable raising allegations of sexual harassment or sexual assault, and quickly receive the care and services they need,” said Lt. Gen. Gary M. Brito, the deputy chief of staff for the Army’s personnel office.

    Congress is poised to pass a measure that paves the way for this change in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.

    If the soldier chooses to make an unrestricted report, which does attempt to hold their perpetrator accountable, the chain of command receives all the same information that it would from any other method of reporting.

  • 08 FSO 3Want to get in the Halloween spirit through music?

    Well, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is hosting a fantasy and ghostly themed performance, just in time for Halloween. The Ghosts and Ghouls one-night event will take you on a Halloween themed journey of exceptional orchestral music.

    The performance will feature music from Disney’s Fantasia as well as Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Some of the other pieces that will be performed include:

    • "Waltz from Masquerade" by Aram
      Khachaturian
    • "A Night on Bald Mountain" by Modest
      Mussorgsky arr. Rimsky-Korsakov
    • "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Säens
    • "Beauty and the Beast" from "Mother Goose" by Maurice Ravel
    • "The Sorcerer’s Apprentice" by Paul Dukas
    • "Firebird Suite (1919)" by Igor Stravinsky

    Stefan Sanders will be the conductor of Ghosts and Ghouls. He is an arts advocate, and focuses on cultivating cultures of artistic excellence, sustaining growth and development and having meaningful engagement within the community.

    When asked what his favorite piece to conduct has been, Sanders explained that whatever piece he is conducting at the moment is his favorite. Although he does have some preferences.

    “I like the ending from the "Firebird Suite" 1919 by Igor Stravinsky,” Sanders said.

    The entire performance will be an hour and 20 minutes long.

    Ghosts and Ghouls will also be kicking off the 2021-2022 season for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. There are six total season concerts this year. People have the option to buy tickets for the full season, tickets for three concerts or tickets for each individual concert.

    Ticket prices for the Ghosts and Ghouls performance ranges from $5 for children, $20 for military and seniors, and $25 for adults.

    However Ghosts and Ghouls isn’t the only spooky event that the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is performing. They will also be performing at the Heckler Brewing Company Oct. 28 for their community concert series, Symphony on Tap. This concert will be Hogwarts Edition, so the music – and the alcohol – will all be Harry Potter themed.

    Symphony on Tap is a new series by the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra that aims to engage the community through music and beer. Symphony on Tap performances are free admission.
    While there is no dress code to attend, the Ghosts and Ghouls concert encourages costumes for both attendees and the musicians. The one thing that is required to be worn are face masks.

    Ghosts and Ghouls will take place, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Seabrook Auditorium at Fayetteville State University. Tickets can be purchased at https://ci.ovationtix.com/36404/production/1075542

  • 10 FTCC Library PhotoThe original reason I returned to college at the age of 39 was to finish what I started after completing high school. However, except for finishing and getting a degree, I had no goal—only to finish. But open enrollment to college had its hurdles, and for me, the hurdle was doing well on the assessment test. With no one to turn to, I was somehow led in the direction of the campus library, and had it not been for the librarian who helped me at that point in my life, I would not have begun college and certainly would not have completed college. The librarian I met that day helped me get the resources I needed to do well so I could begin college credit-earning courses.

    That experience drew me even closer to the library environment. I discovered that I wanted to help people succeed with their education as much as I had been helped. Six years later, I changed careers from being a bulldozer operator to becoming a librarian. Now, as the Director of Library Services at Fayetteville Technical Community College, what brings me joy is when a graduating student comes into the library waving their degree and thanking the library staff for their help.

    Helping students succeed is what the library is all about. By continually assessing students’ needs and implementing strategies based on that feedback, we can prepare the 21st century student for the globally competitive workforce.

    The Paul H. Thompson Library recently installed additional study rooms based on student feedback, and the latest innovation is the upcoming Makerspace where students can work individually or meet in groups to collaborate on research projects, class assignments and homework.

    There are now three library locations across Cumberland County that can support FTCC students with library services. Those locations are the Paul H. Thompson Library at the Fayetteville campus; the Spring Lake Campus Branch of the Cumberland County Public Library; and the John L. Throckmorton Library on Fort Bragg. At each location, students have access to print books, e-books, journals, e-journals, multiple electronic databases, films, audio recordings, maps, photos and digital archive materials.

    A wide variety of spaces are available where students can study, conduct research, and read or meet in small and large groups to collaborate on projects. Laptops are also available for checkout for use within the Paul H. Thompson Library reference room and at the Spring Lake Campus branch library.

    All students are welcome to the library to get the help they need to graduate with success. But, they don’t have to come on campus to get the help they need.

    On-campus and distance learners have access to library staff at the Paul H. Thompson Library during business hours by calling 910-678-8247, or emailing library@faytechcc.edu. When the Library is closed, students can contact a librarian by using the online “Ask-a-Librarian ChatNow” button located at https://www.faytechcc.edu/campus-life/library/

  • 03 Cumberland County SchoolThe Cumberland County Board of Education narrowly voted to approve bonuses for Superintendent Marvin Connely Jr. and his cabinet for the upcoming year.

    Connely will receive a $10,000 bonus. The nine employees on Connely’s cabinet will each receive a $5,000 bonus.

    The Cabinet includes Dr. Mary Black, Ruben Reyes, Joe Desormeaux, Nick Sojka, Clyde Locklear, Lindsay Whitley, Betty Musselwhite, Dr. Stacey Wilson-Norman, and Ron Phipps. 

    The raises and the one-year contract renewals come after the Board did their annual review of the Superintendent and the Cabinet and found they were doing a “satisfactory job.”

    The board approved the raises and the one-year extnded contracts with a five-to-four vote. Board members Alicia Chisolm, Donna Vann, Nathan Warfel, Greg West and Susan Williams voted for the approval while board members Deanna Jones, Charles McKellar, Judy Musgrave and Carrie Sutton voted against it.

  • 12 Rockin on the river logoRock’n on the River is closing out their 2021 concert season with their last performance of the year.

    On Friday, Oct. 22, Rivermist and Tuesday’s Gone will finish the year with free music and family-friendly fun.

    Rivermist is a local band with great musicianship and always host high-energy shows.

    They have been voted Best of Fayetteville's Best Band for the fifth year in a row.

    The band was recently listed as Up & Coming Magazine’s 2021 Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg area’s Best Local Band.

    Rivermist kicked off the very first Rock’n on the River in October 2018.

    Rivermist was formed in July 2014 in Fayetteville, but is formed of musicians that have been playing in and around the Fayetteville area for more than 40 years.

    They are primarily a variety/party band, playing the best music from the 70s-2000s eras and in all genres.

    They have released original songs that have charted on the Country and Beach Billboard charts.

    Tuesday’s Gone will start their performance at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday's Gone is the ultimate tribute to legendary southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    Based out of Raleigh, the cover band travels all over the country paying tribute to the original 1970's version of Skynyrd.

    Tuesday’s Gone has been together for 20 years.

    “What sets us apart is how diligent we are in being a very authentic 1970s Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band.
    We even use the same instruments,” Ryan King, the lead vocalist of the band said.

    Rock'n on the River is typically held the third Friday of each month. The event runs from April through September. This year, the concert series was held May through October.

    Rock’n on the River will take place at 1122 Person St., behind Deep Creek Grill.

    Parking for the event will begin at 5 p.m. and will cost $5. Beer and food sales will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the concert will start at 6 p.m.

    Concert goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

  • Chante OatesA Fayetteville Police Officer was hit and dragged by a car while investigating a hit-and-run, Oct. 12.

    The suspect, Chante Oates, 24, allegedly hit her grandmother and then hit her grandmother's home with her car while driving while intoxicated.

    After crashing into the home, Oates drove to Beuer Street. The officer attempted to stop her, but Oates allegedly hit the officer and ran over her leg.

    The officer was transported to the hospital and is recovering.

    Oates is facing a number of charges including assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, assault on a law enforcement officer inflicting serious injury and driving while impaired. She is currently being held in the Cumberland County jail on a $153,500 bond.

  • .02 market house

    It will likely be next spring before the Fayetteville community learns the future of the historic Market House.

    An ad hoc citizen's committee has begun a project to fulfill a city council directive to recommend repurposing the center city landmark. The group includes young people, people of various racial/ethnic backgrounds, faith leaders, civil rights advocates and service providers.

    A U.S. Department of Justice representative has been appointed to help facilitate receiving feedback on the Market House. The first of two private meetings were held a week ago. A second event will be scheduled for early 2022. The USDOJ and the Fayetteville-Cumberland Human Relations Commission created the group to represent the community.

    The committee has been asked to prioritize at least three potential options for repurposing the Market House.

  • 05 ERAPThe Fayetteville City Manager announced at last week’s City Council meeting that the money for the emergency rental assistance program have been used as of Oct. 7. The city did not plan for that money to be fully used until December.

    “I am asking you to recharge that pot of money with an additional two million dollars in what we call an ERAP 2.1,” City Manager Doug Hewitt told the council. “Once that money is in the pipeline, that additional two million dollars. then we'll go back to the federal government and ask for an additional three billion dollars to be able to draw down to recharge that for a total of over 10 or 11 million dollars that we hope to be able to provide to our residents in Cumberland County.”

    However, many people voiced concerns that even though they were awarded money, they have not received it. Hewitt told the council that the average time to distribute money after it has been awarded is around 3 weeks, but they need more staff to help cut down those costs.

    City Council unanimously approved to request a little more than 2 million dollars from the U.S. Department of the Treasury as well as allocate $280,000 to Innovative Emergency Management Inc. to hire more staff to reduce the wait times and issues that people have been having.

  • 11 Women of Power BrunchA brunch for women leaders by women leaders. The Women’s Business Center of Fayetteville, part of the Center for Economic Empowerment & Development, will be hosting a networking event at the end of October that will focus on connecting women entrepreneurs with each other. The theme for the first annual Women of Power Brunch is the “State of Women in Business.”

    Caitlin Chastain, the Business Consultant for the Women's Business Center of Fayetteville, says the goal of the event is to create an overall understanding of how women in the county are doing.

    “We want to create a dialogue of what is going on with women in business, what is going on with women in leadership in Fayetteville,” Chastain said. “We really want to start recognizing women entrepreneurs and women in business in our city that often get overlooked.”

    Another one of the goals of this networking brunch is to create mentorships for younger women and for women who are new to the area, including military wives.

    Chastain hopes women will leave with a sense of motivation, inspiration and an understanding and awareness of how they can better themselves. By doing that, these women can then better the community.

    “They can get educated on facts in our community on women in leadership, get inspired by entrepreneurial stories, and can have fun networking,” Chastian said.

    According to the U.S. Census, women-owned businesses make up little more than 41% of all businesses in Cumberland County. In Fayetteville, that number rises to at least 43%.

    This event also launches the partnership between An Affair to Remember and the WBC of Fayetteville to celebrate and acknowledge female leaders making a difference in the local community.

    The owner of An Affair to Remember is Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen and she will be speaking at the bruncheon about her Women of Power Society, a group that hosts a local local fashion show, and her entrepreneurial path to success.

    Jensen will be announcing the theme of her Women of Power Fashion Show for 2022.She will also be accepting nominations for next year's Women of Power class that will walk at the Affair to Remember Fashion Show.

    Lashanda Shaw, a local real estate agent and owner of Lashanda Shaw Realty, will also be speaking at the event. She will be focusing on her doctoral dissertation about the lack of women leaders in Cumberland County.

    Suzy Hrabovsky, the Executive Director of CEED and the 2021 Woman of Power Alum, will also speak.

    Brunch will be provided by Dorothy’s Catering. The event will take place on Monday, Oct. 25 and will be at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.

    Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-of-power-brunch-tickets-172208800157 until Oct. 24.

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