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Positive impact through focus on the human voice

13Human voiceMay is Better Hearing and Speech Month.Speech-Language professionals around the globe work hard to influence in a positive way the most powerful tool offered to mankind, the human voice. Communication disorders are among the most common treatable childhood conditions. Program faculty encourage parents to take time this month to assess their children’s communication skills and take action. In the words of James Earl Jones, “One of the hardest things in life is having words and being unable to utter them.”

Fayetteville Technical Community College is proud to be one of two schools in North Carolina that continues to offer a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant program. Courses provide instruction on the roles and responsibilities of SLPAs as outlined by the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.Students who complete the program graduate with an associate degree in applied science in speech-language pathology.

FTCC SLPA students continue to make historic strides. This year, Jasmine McKoy, former FTCC SLPA student, presented at the American Speech-Language and Hearing Annual Convention, while Latoya Comer presented at the North Carolina Speech-Language and Hearing Annual Convention. McKoy presented on “The Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Communication.” Comer presented “Kids are Just Kids, Toys Aren’t Just Toys.” Comer was supported by six of her classmates, who also attended this year’s state convention: Shana Cameron, Latonya Chester, Ambria Martin, Portia Mac Kelsky and Dakota Ripley.

As FTCC’s SLPA program continues to thrive, SLPAs remain in high demand with career opportunities in school systems and private agencies. The SLPA curriculum prepares graduates to work under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist, who evaluates, diagnoses and treats individuals with various communication disorders. Courses provide instruction in methods of screening for speech, language and hearing disorders and in following written protocols designed to remediate individual communication disorders. Supervised field experience includes working with patients of various ages and various disorders.

FTCC’s SLPA program uses a competitive admissions process for acceptance into the program. For more information on the program, call 910-678-8492 or email gaineyc@faytechcc.edu. For general information about FTCC, visit www.faytechcc.edu or plan a visit to the Fayetteville or Spring Lake campus locations. FTCC also has a presence at the Fort Bragg Training and Education Center.

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Massey Hill student wins national art contest

07ArtcontestSince the 1980s, the Congressional Institute has been helping members of Congress better serve their constituents and helping citizens understand the operations of the national legislature. From conferences to research projects, the nonprofit closes the gap between legislators and the people they govern. Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. The Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982. Since its inception, more than 650,000 highschool students have participated.

“Students submit entries to the irrepresentative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol,” said the U.S. House of Representatives website, www.house.gov.

Deanna Glus, a junior at Massey Hill Classical High School, is winner of the 2018 Congressional Art Competition. Her watercolor, titled “A Hometown Feeling,” was judged best entry in a selection process that included a professional artist, community input and Congressman Robert Pittenger’s staff.

Marcy Gregg, a highly-sought professional artist from Charlotte, commented that “A Hometown Feeling” features “wonderful line work.” Community input included a suggestion that the artwork be used as a billboard and that it had “great use of perspective and color balance.”

Glus’ artwork will be displayed in a busy corridor of the U.S. Capitol for one year. She’ll also receive a scholarship offer from a prestigious Southern arts university and two complimentary airline tickets to fly to Washington, D.C., to attend a reception in her honor.

“This impressive watercolor captures the beauty and spirit of Fayetteville,” said Pittenger. “We will proudly hang this in one of the busiest corridors of the U.S. Capitol, where members of Congress and thousands of visitors will be able to see it each day. Congratulations to Ms. Glus, and thank you to every student who entered. Over 40,000 people viewed your artwork, and we are proud of each one of you.”

An album displaying Glus’ entries among others is available on Pittenger’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/CongressmanPittenger). The 2018 Congressional Art Competition is carried out at no expense to the federal government. All expenses are provided locally in the community.

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Athletic complex site selected

06Athletic ComplexIt’s official. Fayetteville’s sports complex to be funded as part of last year’s $35 million recreation bond referendum will be built at the Military Business Park off SantaFe Drive. It was the overwhelming preference of city council members. A city-owned property off Fields Road in East Fayetteville was also considered.

The athletic complex, proposed as part of the referendum, is planned to include 15 ball fields for softball, baseball, soccer and football. A clubhouse for concessions and banquet/meeting rooms is also planned. The projected cost of $5.5 million does not include purchase of the property adjacent to the military business park. That could add $4 million to the price.

The council committee that studied locations was chaired by Kathy Jensen, who recommended the SantaFe Drive site.

Councilman Jim Arp stressed that location is significantly important because “sports tourism is a $7billion industry nationwide.” The proposed site is near I-295 and 2.7 miles from the mall retail area. Arp noted the locale is already equipped with water and sewer utilities and is likely to attract significant commercial development.

At its monthly work session, citycouncil also tried to allay the concerns of residents along and near the two-lane section of Cliffdale Road between Morganton and McPherson Church Roads. State DOT Division Engineer Greg Burns said widening of the roadway was added to the state’s highway improvement program last year. He said engineering and surveying work is underway, but construction isn’t scheduled to begin until 2024. Burns said numerous efforts will be taken to encourage public input on design planning beginning in the fall.

The marathon meeting included discussion of multiple projects. It appears city council is backing away from trying to justify repairing half a dozen earthen dams that were heavily damaged or destroyed during hurricane Matthew a year and-a half ago. The cost of repairing two of the dams is already in the millions of dollars; and the NC Dam Safety agency is holding nearby residents responsible. City officials say they can’t get involved because the dams and lakes serve no public interest.

Council members, including Kathy Jensen, said repairing the dams is unaffordable for residents and the city. “It just doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Councilman Bill Crisp, whose district includes two of the dams, told his colleagues the projects are not doable because of the high cost. Council agreed to cancel further studies of the other four dams where residents indicated an interest in restoring them.

Planning and engineering of the proposed West Senior Center at Lake Rim Park continues. Council learned that the cost of the proposed $5 million project, which is also part of the bond package, is now just short of $7 million. A pair of 19,000-square-foot buildings is planned overlooking Lake Rim off Old Raeford Road. Some council members would like to eliminate a heated therapeutic swimming pool to reduce the cost. Staff will continue evaluating possible project cuts.

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Low voter turnout for primaries

05primaryPrimary night in Cumberland County was a short election night. The unofficial vote count was in before 10 p.m. With 77 of 77 precincts reporting, under 11 percent of registered voters cast a vote May 8. In Cumberland County there are 212,458 registered voters out of a total population of 332,546. Only 23,135 people made it a priority to have a say in who will run in the midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Midterm elections are the elections held near the midpoint of the president’s four-year term. Every two years, voters elect Congress members, the 435 members of the House of Representatives. Across the country, votes will also be cast for 35 Senate seats and 39 governorships, but North Carolina is not affected. Senators get elected to six-year staggered terms. Governors get elected to four-year terms.

Cumberland County is partitioned into two congressional districts, Districts 8 and 9, of North Carolina’s 13 districts. District 8 includes all of Cabarrus, Montgomery, Moore, Hoke and Stanly counties, as well as portions of Rowan and Cumberland counties. District 9 consists of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Robeson counties. It also includes a southeast portion of Mecklenburg county, and most of Bladen and Cumberland counties. Where you live in Cumberland County will determine which congressman in the House of Representatives represents you. Generally speaking, District 8 is the northern part and District 9 takes a larger portion in the southern part of the County.

The District 8 Democratic primary winner is Frank Mcneill. Mcneill won with 15,965 (56.11percent) votes across the district. In Cumberland County, Mcneill carried the vote with 6,411 (52.86percent) votes cast here. His opponents were Scott Huffman and Marc Tiegel. Huffman tallied 6,545 (23 percent) votes district wide and county wide 2,175 (19.76 percent). Tiegel fared better than Huffman county wide with 2,420 (21.99 percent) and district wide finished below Mcneill and Huffman with 5,941 (20.88 percent) votes. Mcneill will challenge incumbent Rep. Richard Hudson, who ran unopposed in the primary.

District 9 will see new leadership. Incumbent Rep. Robert Pittenger had two challengers, Rev. Mark Harris and Clarence Goins Jr. In Cumberland County, Pittenger brought in 44.19 percent over Harris’s 31.92 percent and Goins’ 23.89 percent. Pittenger won the county by 12.27 percent over Harris. But it was not enough for him to get reelected to the House. It was a tight race across the district. Harris won the seat with 17,224 (48.52 percent) of total votes cast. Pittenger won 16,411 (46.23 percent) votes, losing his seat by 813 votes, or 2.29 percent. Speaking on Harris’ win, Frank Raczof the Cumberland County Tea Party Group, which endorsed Harris, said, “It is refreshing to see Pastor Harris move the House of Representatives and the Republican Party to the right.”

Harris will run up against the winner of the Democrat primary, Dan McCready. McCready had an easy victory over his opponent Christian Cano. In Cumberland County, McCready secured 2,829 (76.46 percent) of the votes cast. Across the district, he won 37,824 (82.83 percent) of the total votes cast. Cano picked up 7,838 (17.17 percent) across the district and in the county 871 (24.54 percent) votes.

This November, the Democrats have a chance to pick up two seats in Cumberland County.

There were two North Carolina State Senate race primaries, both for the Democrat Party. Former Town Councilman Kirk deViere won just under 2/3 of the votes for North Carolina State Senate District 19. Primary voters cast 5,248 (62.62 percent) votes for deViere over Clarence Donaldson’s total of 3,132 (37.37 percent) votes. Winner deViere will challenge incumbent State Sen. Wesley Meredith, who did not have a challenger.

In the North Carolina State Senate District 21 primary, Naveed Aziz beat incumbent State Sen. Ben Clark by 275 votes. She collected 3,814 (51.87percent) votes over 3,539 (48.13 percent) votes for Clark. Republican newcomer Timothy Leever, who was uncontested, will challenge Aziz for the District 21 seat in November’s general election.

Democrats had a primary for North Carolina House of Representatives District 43. Incumbent Rep. Elmer Floyd remains the party choice. Floyd won his district overwhelmingly with 3,880 (79.18percent) votes. His challengers, Theresa Gale and Prince Christian, garnered 889 (18.14 percent) and 131 (2.67 percent) respectively. Republican John Czajkowski, who was unopposed, will challenge Floyd for the seat.

Voters made their choice firmly known in the North Carolina House of Representatives District 44 Republican primary. Voters chose former Republican Cumberland County Party Chair Linda Devore with 1,528 (67.02 percent) votes over challenger Patrick Petsche, who picked up 752 (32.98percent) of the votes. Devore said upon her victory, “I’m very happy with today’s primary. It’s a little disappointing to not have larger numbers of voters turn out who are interested. But those who are interested have been heard, and that’s great. I look forward to representing our party on the November ballot. I’m looking forward to the race. The campaign starts tomorrow.” Devore will challenge incumbent State Rep. Billy Richardson, who did not have any challengers.

In the Cumberland County Clerk of Superior Court race, incumbent Lisa Scales won her Democrat Party primary with a solid countywide victory. Scales pulled in 12,921 (82.78 percent) votes over Eschonda Hooper, who managed 2,687(17.22 percent) votes. Cindy Blackwell, who had no opponents for the Republican primary, will challenge Scales.

November’s Cumberland County Sheriff’s race looks to be a competitive one. The Democrat primary was decidedly won by incumbent Sheriff Ennis Wright, who secured his position with 13,003 (82.70 percent) votes. Opponents Jeff Marks pulled 1,890 (12.02 percent) votes, and Denny Davis gathered 831 (5.28 percent) votes. The Republican primary was also determined by a wide margin. Charlie Baxley locked in the Republican nomination with 3,669 (53.98 percent) votes. The other three candidates accumulated 46 percent collectively. Carlton Sallie garnered 1,164 (17.13 percent) votes, Victor Starling collected 1,020 (15.01 percent) votes, and LaRue Williams picked up 944 (13.89percent) votes.

The midterm General Election will be held Tuesday,Nov. 6. Campaign signs may be pulled up until around Labor Day when you will see them sprout again, but the campaigns are just starting.

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News Digest: May 16, 2018

04NC Health and Human Services copyForging the future of local human services agencies

Cumberland County Commissioners have set May 21 as the date they will decide on the future structure of the departments of social services and public health.

The board has been thinking about changing the way the agencies are governed. A revision in state law encourages counties to do that. According to Assistant County Manager Duane Holder, 33 of North Carolina’s 100 counties have made changes.

At present, Cumberland County’s social services and health departments are governed by individual boards appointed by commissioners. Changes in the law allow the county to consolidate the agencies. Or commissioners can take on governance of both departments themselves. Or they can leave things as they are.

“The health care environment is changing globally and could influence the way we go,” said Commissioner Marshall Faircloth.

Cumberland County has a poor health care reputation in national surveys, noted Commissioner Jimmy Keefe. “We cannot lock ourselves in a box,” he said. “We need an all-encompassing approach,” he added.

The Cape Fear River and clean water

Cape Fear River Assembly’s 45th annual educational conference is set for Wednesday, May 23, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The conference will be held at the UNCW Center for Marine Science in Wilmington.

This year’s theme, “Working Together to Protect the Cape Fear River,” is timely given the growing concerns about the risks of unregulated compounds such as GenX and others.

There will be speakers and panelists from various sectors, including government, business, academia and citizen groups. The panel of experts will discuss the effects of current and emerging unregulated contaminants.

Since 1973, the CFRA has uniquely represented and strived to maintain and improve the quality of life in the Cape Fear River Basin. Many groups and individuals, often with divergent view points, are brought together to find solutions to water quality and quantity problems impacting the entire river basin. The CRFA has been a voice for the Cape Fear River and encourages smart management of theriver, its tributaries and adjacent land. The entireCape Fear River basin is the largest and most developedregion of North Carolina.

Registration is $30 per person. Each registration includes a one-year individual membership in CFRA as well as lunch and refreshments. For more information and to register, go to: http://cfra-nc.org/annual-meeting/2018-2

Employment opportunities in downtown Fayetteville

A significant economic residual growing out of the baseball stadium project on Hay Street is the extent to which the general contractor is recruiting minority workers. Barton Malow Co. held a workforce development information session this month at the headquarters library. One objective is strengthening diversified workplace employment of minority and military veteran-owned businesses.

“Barton Malow is committed to investing in the community in which we build, so that the impact of our projects goes beyond the brick and mortar,” said senior project manager Roslyn Henderson.

Barton Malow construction crews are on the job to ensure successful completion of the $38 million minor league stadium by next spring’s opening day.

“We are committed to increasing the presence, skill level and inclusion of small local businesses in this project,” Henderson added. Consultants have connected with over 130 companies and helped to walk them through the pre-qualification process. Small contractors can do the work, but the paperwork often discourages them from applying. As construction continues, additional opportunities become available for businesses to get involved.

School bus strobes lights

Yellow and black school buses are some of the most noticeable vehicles on the road. Officials say that in certain conditions such as inclement weather and low light, added conspicuousness helps other motorists see the buses in time to avoid collisions.

The roof-mounted strobe lights are positioned on the longitudinal centerline of the roof, usually close to the rear. Their lenses are typically clear or white. Regulations on roof-mounted strobes vary by state. The Cumberland County School System is the fifth largest in North Carolina and has about 450 buses on the road every weekday during the traditional school year.

Toys R Us gets bonus life

Toys R Us announced March 15 that it will liquidate operations. There is no publicly confirmed date for when the store will close permanently.

According to a company press release, on April 11, Toys R Us announced it “received $80 million in incremental debtor-in-possession financing to augment liquidity as well as support the working capital needs of the company’s operations in Asia and Central Europe” in the form of a commitment from its Taj Noteholders.

Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “This additional financing further positions our Asian and Central European operations for continued success. We appreciate the ongoing financial support and look forward to continued positive relationships with our vendors.”

In Canada, Toys R Us has been saved by Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd, a Toronto investment firm led by billionaire Prem Watsa. They were able to secure the 82-store Canadian operation for $237 million. Another billionaire and toy mogul, Isaac Larian, is seeking to buy the 735-store U.S. operation. His initial bid was declined, and his GoFundMe campaign to raise $1 billion was unsuccessful. But other media outlets report that Larian has said, “We have the financing we need. It’s now a matter of determining how much more we’re able to bid.”

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