Local News

Veterans Day Parade commemorates gold star families

10 Veterans Day Parade The Cumberland County Veterans Council is sponsoring the Fayetteville Veterans Day parade this year on Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. in downtown Fayetteville.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, 8-9.9% of the adult population of North Carolina was made up of veterans. Across the nation, and especially in a town so near to Fort Bragg, honoring the sacrifice of military service members is important.

This year, the parade’s theme is “Celebrating Gold Star Families.” “(For themes,) we’ve done female veterans, we’ve done gold star mothers, we’ve honored our veterans and thought it was time we honored the families,” said Penny Cacoulidis, president of the Cumberland County Veterans Council and the parade director.

“A gold star family is one that has lost a loved one, be it a father, a mother, a brother, sister, son, aunt or uncle — a family that has lost a loved one due to protecting this nation and our freedom,” she explained.

Although the theme is centered around gold star families, the event honors all veterans. The Council plans the event, but hosting an event like this one in Fayetteville requires help beyond what the Council alone can do. With the help of the city of Fayetteville, several Cumberland County departments and an abundance of volunteers, veterans can be honored at the ceremony. More volunteers are still needed for the event.

The grand marshall of the parade will be a gold star mother. The people walking in the parade will represent 114 organizations. These groups include Sons of the Revolution, bike organizations and high school bands and more.

Businesses will not advertise in the parade so as to keep the focus on the veterans.

“They are all veterans organizations,” Cacoulidis explained.

Established in 1919 and originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was started by President Wilson to honor soldiers who died while serving their country.  Wilson said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

Cacoulidis urged, “It’s time we go out and say to our nation, ‘The strength veterans showed by joining the military, whether they were called up in the draft or they joined out of their own will — they do it to support our nation.’”

Heroes Homecoming will host a variety of events that weekend.

“We’re attempting through the council to do a sponsorship for the Gold Star Dinner which will be on October 8. We are hoping to get the sponsorships that we are needing,” Cacoulidis said.

Volunteers are going to go through the crowds and pass out signs that say “thank you” that people can hold.

The parade route begins at the intersection of Hay Street where Bragg Boulevard and Robeson Street meet, by the U.S. Army Airborne & Special Operations Museum, and proceeds down Hay Street around the Market House, and ends on Cool Spring Street.

For more information on the Veterans Day Parade, visit the website at http://www.fayveteransdayparade.com/ or call Penny Cacoulidis at 910-200-7242.

FTCC's Electronics Engineering Technology blends technology and fun

13 ftccAt Fayetteville Technical Community College, you can have lots of fun while majoring in electronics engineering technology. One of the courses offered, ELN-133 “Digital Electronics,” provides the opportunity to have fun programming gate arrays. Field Programmable Gate Arrays are electronic components used to perform a specific task or tasks. One really cool aspect of using these devices is that you get some great hands-on experience with both coding,  or software, and implementation on a development board, or hardware.

Want to create a really neat calculator? Use the toggle switches to represent 1s and 0s for your input numbers and LEDs for your output result. As an added bonus, you get to learn binary numbers. Want to implement a stopwatch to time how long it takes you to do 10 push-ups or 10 sit-ups? Use a push-button switch to perform the start or stop operation and the seven segment displays to show how many minutes and seconds have elapsed during your workout. Want to write a fun message for your friends? The seven-segment displays will allow you to accomplish this.

In addition to using the development board, you can also run simulations on your design on the computer. This process allows you to make sure your stuff is working right. Simply provide the inputs you desire and validate the outputs. For example, if I perform 2 + 2 on my calculator, do I get 4? Does my stopwatch start when I press the push-button and display the elapsed time? Is my message what I expected or did I make a typo?

How about using the seven-segment display to count in hexadecimal? Show your friends how cool you are because you know both binary and hexadecimal.

FPGAs are a great application of electronics engineering technology. They provide a fun way to learn about different aspects of the field of study. Let’s use the calculator as an example. You learn about the theory of how computers do arithmetic using 2s complement. You learn how to program in a language called VHDL as well as doing schematic capture. You gain valuable hands-on experience doing both simulation on the computer and verification on the development board. Learn more about all of these things at FTCC.

In addition to this single course, the Electronics Engineering Technology program at FTCC offers many more classes, which prepare you for a career as a technician or for further study in the field leading to a bachelor’s degree. Classes in computer programming, programmable logic controllers, microprocessor applications, robotics as well as others provide fun ways of learning about electronics.

Visit our website at www.faytechcc.edu and enter “electronics engineering technology” in the search tool for more details about the Electronics Engineering Technology program of study:

Veterans Day run honors America’s veterans

08 N1809P59007CThe VFW Post 670 presents its 2nd Annual Veteran’s Day 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk of Honor to honor America’s Veterans Sunday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m., at Festival Park in downtown Fayetteville. 

“We started this run last year, and last year was the 100th anniversary of the origination of Armistice Day,” said Thomas Dosier, chairman of the 5K Veteran’s Day Run Committee of  the VFW Post 670. “The purpose of Armistice Day was to honor the 116,000 people that we lost during World War I. They signed the armistice to go into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.”

Dosier added that after World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day and made it a national holiday to honor all veterans of all wars.   
BJ’s Wholesale Club will supply water for the participants. All participants will receive a finisher’s coin.

Participants who registered by Oct. 18 will receive a T-shirt. There will be awards given to the different age categories for first, second and third place winners and top overall male and female winners.

The VFW Post 670 started in 1933. “Our mission has always been to assist veterans, and all funds that we raise will be used in that purpose,” said Dosier. “We pay a lot of electrical bills and rent for young soldiers and veterans during difficult months.”

Dosier added that the name of the post was changed in July. It is now called the Corporal Rodolfo P. Hernandez Post 670.

“This event is going to be an annual thing from now on,” said Dosier. “We look forward to everyone participating in this event to honor our veterans.”     
The event is open to the public. Ticket cost is $35. Pricing will be $40 Nov. 9-10.  Ticket cost for the 1 Mile Walk of Honor is $20. You can register for the run at http://it’s-go-time.com/veterans-day-run/. Sponsorship packages are available for purchase.

For more information call 910-922-2809.  

The 2nd Annual Veteran’s Day 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk of Honor to honor America’s Veterans is set for Nov. 10 at Festival Park.

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn’s never-ending case

07 Matthew Goldstayn 2War hero or murderer? It’s a question that has dogged the military career of Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn for eight years. Golsteyn’s story is an extraordinary one — a Green Beret decorated for valor in combat who, during a job interview with the C.I.A. in 2011, volunteered that he had killed a suspected bomb-maker a year earlier in Afghanistan. The Army opened an investigation but did not charge Golsteyn, instead stripping him of a Silver Star and issuing a letter of reprimand.

President Donald Trump intervened in the case via Twitter, saying, “I will be reviewing the case of a U.S. Military hero, Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder.” As commander in chief, Trump complicated the military’s case against Golsteyn, raising questions of undue command influence, as well as the possibility that the prosecution is bound to be short-circuited by a pardon. With that tweet, Trump made an extraordinary intervention into the American judicial system.

“Major Golsteyn admitted to what appears to be a summary execution — a very serious crime under international law, and it is vital that the investigation go forward,” said Patricia Gossman, senior researcher for Afghanistan at Human Rights Watch.

Three years ago, in an appearance on Fox News, Major Golsteyn again said he had shot the Afghan. The Army opened a second investigation in late 2016, and charged Golsteyn with murder. In an interview, Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, called the Army’s decision to charge his client with murder a case of “political correctness,” and said he was glad that Trump was going to look into it.

Golsteyn was in Afghanistan in 2010 during the battle for the city of Marja in the Helmand Province. More than 15,000 American, Afghan, British, Canadian, Danish and Estonian troops attacked the Taliban stronghold. Over the next several months, dozens of Americans were killed, and hundreds were wounded. In February of that year, a roadside bomb killed two Marines who had been working with Major Golsteyn’s Green Beret team. There are conflicting accounts of what happened next.

Army documents, which claim to recount what Major Golsteyn told the C.I.A., suggest that he and his team began clearing buildings looking for the source of the roadside bomb, eventually finding explosive materials like those used in the bomb that killed the Marines. The team took a suspected bomb-maker back to its base where he was identified as a member of the Taliban. Golsteyn and another American soldier, concerned that if released, the man would kill American troops, took him off the base, shot and killed him and buried his remains in a shallow grave, the documents say.

According to public reporting and his admission, Golsteyn returned to the burial site to retrieve the body and burned it in a burn pit. Prosecutors say such alleged actions provide powerful insight into the major’s criminal state of mind at the time of the killing. A court-martial is set for Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg, the home of Army Special Operations. Golsteyn will stand trial for premeditated murder. He pleaded not guilty in July.

Pictured: Maj. Matthew Goldsteyn


Cumberland County Schools’ best

06 01 Christina DiGaudioDr. Christine DiGaudio, principal of Ireland Drive Middle School, is Cumberland County Schools’ 2020 Principal of the Year, and Dr. Natasha Brown, an assistant principal at Lewis Chapel Middle School, was named the CCS 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year. The winners were made public Oct. 14 at the 2020 Administrators Dinner to honor educators for their leadership and commitment to student success.

DiGaudio, a 21-year veteran educator, began her career as a middle school teacher in 1998 after graduating from the State University of New York’s Buffalo State College. She later obtained a master’s degree from Ashland University, an Education Specialist Degree from East Carolina University and a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

DiGaudio has served as principal of Ireland Middle School since 2013. “Leaders cannot and should not be trusted or respected solely due to their position or title; leaders must earn trust and respect,” said DiGaudio. She now moves on to compete against other local award recipients from the Region IV Sandhills/South Central Region of the state.

Brown has served as an assistant principal for six years. She began her career as an English-language arts teacher at Spring Lake Middle School after graduating from Fayetteville State University. She has since received a master’s degree from Fayetteville State University and an Education Specialist Degree as well as a doctorate from Liberty University. “As an instructional leader, it is my responsibility to ensure that every student has the opportunity to engage in a quality educational experience,” said Brown.

As the CCS Principal of the Year winner, DiGaudio received the Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award, an iPad mini and floral arrangement from CCS, an engraved desk clock from Herff Jones, a commemorative Principal of the Year ring from Jostens, two season tickets to the Fayetteville Marksmen Hockey games, a weekend stay at the Embassy Suites 06 02 Natasha BrownFayetteville/Fort Bragg, a $5,000 check for school use and a $1,000 check for personal use from Lafayette Ford Lincoln.

As CCS Assistant Principal of the Year winner, Brown received the Assistant Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award, an iPad mini and floral arrangement from CCS, two season tickets to the Fayetteville Marksmen Hockey games and a $500 check for personal use from Olde Fayetteville Insurance.

Other Principal of the Year finalists were recognized at the event and received cash awards and iPads from CCS. They were Dr. Michele Cain from Cumberland Road Elementary, Christina Tucker from Ponderosa Elementary, Erica Fenner-McAdoo from Howard Hall Elementary, Stephanie Wall Rivers from Montclair Elementary, Shannon Booth from Cumberland Mills Elementary and Reggie Pinkney from Ramsey Street High.

Assistant Principal of the Year finalists were also recognized and received cash awards from CCS. The finalists were Kelly McKoy from Cumberland Road Elementary, Eric McLaurin from W.T. Brown Elementary, Ricky Tucker from John Griffin Middle, Niesha Witherspoon from Jack Britt High and Royvell Godbolt from Terry Sanford High.

Pictured from top to bottom: Dr. Christine Di GaudioDr. Natasha Brown


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