Local News

FTCC’s business administration program prepares students

10 business administrationToday’s globalized economy is filled with all kinds of competition — from small businesses to large corporations. Members of today’s workforce must be competitive, interactive and diverse to compete and succeed in today’s global economy.  Employees will be required to meet these global challenges with the skill sets needed to keep their companies successful and profitable in an ever-changing economic environment. Are you ready for the challenge?

At Fayetteville Technical Community College, our business programs prepare students for a successful career in a wide range of business platforms with a variety of academic program choices to meet career and educational goals.  FTCC’s business programs prepare students for employment in a competitive marketplace or guide students to a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college. FTCC also has numerous articulation agreements with four-year universities, allowing students to complete additional upper-level courses with the value of FTCC’s affordable tuition.

Business program students seeking employment in today’s competitive, diverse, global marketplace upon graduation often pursue a business administration degree. The business administration degree curriculum is designed to introduce students to the various aspects of the free enterprise system.  Students are provided with a fundamental knowledge of business functions and processes and an understanding of business organizations in today’s challenging global economy.

Course work includes business concepts, such as accounting, business law, economics, human resources, entrepreneurship, management and supervision, and marketing.  Skills related to the application of these concepts are developed through the study of effective communications, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, team-building, decision-making and computer applications.  Through these skills, students will have a sound business education foundation which leads to lifelong learning and career growth opportunities. Graduates are prepared for employment opportunities in entrepreneurship, management, marketing, retail, sales and finance, with large or small businesses or industries.

The faculty at FTCC bring real-world expertise and ideas into the classroom learning environment, regardless if the class is face to face, online or blended educational formats. FTCC has instructors who owned and operated their own businesses, worked in the industry and managed organizational resources, finances, programs, processes and personnel. At FTCC, students are not just learning from a textbook; students learn from proven business professionals, each prepared to deliver their practical experiences in real-time relevance. FTCC’s business programs instructors are skilled academic advisors who want to help students succeed. They’ll also celebrate and proudly stand by students at their graduation ceremonies. 

For students interested in pursuing an exciting career in the business industry, FTCC is a wise choice for pursuing education.  As long as the economic environment has businesses, there will always be a high demand for students who graduate with business administration degrees.

First Session Summer classes at FTCC begin May 26. Tuition expenses are considerably lower at FTCC than at four-year colleges, yet the quality of education is high. Visit www.faytechcc.edu to apply now. Many classes and programs are completely online.  You can email me at bellfloj@faytechcc.edu for help or questions about programs of study available in business administration.  FTCC is proud to open its doors to all who seek a quality education.  Learn more about the smart choice for your education — Fayetteville Technical Community College! 

Distance learning

The Cumberland County School district has expanded Cumberland@Home digital educational content for third through eighth-grade students. “Now that we will be out longer because of COVID-19, it’s vital that our teachers are able to provide students instruction,” said CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. Cumberland@Home was developed by Cumberland County Schools as a remote learning opportunity. Teachers can assign third grade through eighth-grade pupils studies requiring the use of computers with internet access. Students who do not have devices or online connectivity should contact the Cumberland@Home technology hotline at 910-678-2618. Pre-K through second-grade students have already been provided paper and pencil packets. Packets are also available to download at www.cumberlandathome.ccs.k12.nc.us. High school students will continue to receive their supplemental assignments digitally. Students who do not have devices or internet connectivity should contact the Cumberland@Home technology hotline at 910-678-2618.

Local government services transition to a new normal

Much of the day-to-day operation of county government has been minimized. Most county government departments are temporarily closed in order to mandate personal separation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Local government should set an example by limiting the exposure of our workforce and contributing to the potential spread of this virus,” said County Manager Amy Cannon.
Contact information and closure details are available on the County’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.co.cumberland.nc.us/covid19closures. They are also listed on individual departmental webpages. The department of public health remains open to the public. Appointments are required for all services via email at Clinicappointments@co.cumberland.nc.us. or by phone at 910-433-3600. Fayetteville City Hall and all city buildings are closed to the public to mitigate the spread of COVID19 and keep citizens and employees safe. All recreation centers are closed. The downtown FAST Transit Center closes at 7 p.m. daily. Following the example set in the Triangle, bus rides are now free. Most city services can be accessed online by visiting FayettevilleNC.gov/COVID19. Also, Mayor Mitch Colvin has directed staff to cancel all boards and commissions meetings until further notice unless a board has time-sensitive items requiring action.

Health and medicine update

To protect staff and patients from COVID-19 Cape Fear Valley Health System locations, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, are closed to visitors until further notice — with a few exceptions: Laboring mothers may have one support person/coach for the duration of their stays. If the support person/coach leaves the premises for any reason, he or she will not be allowed to return to the building. Pediatric patients: Legal minors may have one parent or guardian with them. Patients who need health care decisionmakers or require communication assistance may have one person with them. End-of-life patients will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriate number of visitors.

PWC Cares

The United States has approximately 160,000 public water systems, which serve 84% of the nation, providing water for domestic, industrial and commercial uses. Businesses, factories, hospitals, clinics and other public health infrastructure entities need water to maintain operations. Homes and communities are dependent on a continuous supply of water. During the COVID-19 pandemic, community water systems could face shortages of personnel. Employee shortages would affect production, distribution, water quality testing and payroll systems. Labor shortages caused by a pandemic could also lead to insufficient power, parts, supplies and water treatment chemicals. Fayetteville’s hometown utility is taking precautions to protect its customers and employees from the impact of COVID-19. PWC’s drinking water is safe from the COVID-19 threat. The World Health Organization says conventional water treatment methods that utilize filtration and disinfection deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. PWC urges customers to be cautious of scammers who may attempt to take advantage of the pandemic. Public Works will never call or contact customers demanding immediate bill payments to avoid disconnection. During the crisis, PWC will not disconnect services for nonpayment. Bills are not being waived. Customers are being given additional time to pay.

Fort Bragg commissaries are cracking down on unauthorized customers

Military commissaries worldwide are more closely checking the IDs of customers at store entrances in response to COVID-19-related crowding concerns, commissary officials said. Stores have also eliminated early-bird shopping to allow more time for cleaning and restocking, the Defense Commissary Agency said on its website. The agency said it believes the ID checks and visitor restrictions “will reduce the number of people in our stores and help with social distancing.” Individual commissaries may also need to limit purchase quantities of some products. Shelves at commissaries in Germany and elsewhere have run short of disinfectants and toilet paper, as well as some foods like rice and meat. “We are increasing deliveries to our overseas commissaries, including shipments of high-demand items,” the agency said on its website.

Social distancing, virtual togetherness and community support

07 N1205P65006CThere’s an old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And so, Fayetteville, here we go. Things seem pretty bleak. As COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the healthcare system, the economy and the nation’s morale, not surprisingly, this community’s generosity and ingenuity have kicked into high gear. You don’t have to look far to see examples of goodness and selflessness. Read on for inspiration, ways you can help and resources to stay informed.

Lend a hand if you can

Small businesses are pulling out all the stops to continue serving their customers. If you are able, consider supporting them by purchasing gift cards, ordering products online, using curbside services or leaving a positive review online.

Nonprofits and arts organizations are struggling as well. If you have a season ticket or pass, consider donating the balance for the remainder of this season. Purchase tickets for next season, support their online efforts, make a donation or leave an online review. 

Call or text your neighbors and loved ones to check on them.

Do your part to stop the spread. Stay home if you can. Wash your hands thoroughly and often.

Social distancing … together

It’s hard to support your favorite downtown establishments when it’s not clear what is open and/or in what capacity. Downtownfaystrong.com provides an extensive list of downtown businesses that offer online services, curbside pick/takeout and delivery. The site includes phone numbers. A few phone calls and voila — a date night/an intimate family brunch becomes as easy as a jaunt downtown.

The site also offers space for businesses to register to be included on the list. It also includes links to several organizations that support small businesses, including the Small Business Association, the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, the Golden Rule Charity and more.

It’s spring. The warm weather usually comes with a flurry of fun activities and gatherings. With schools and many businesses closed, we are urged to hunker down at home and practice social distancing. It might mean stay home, but it doesn’t mean disengage. Several local organizations are taking their programs online or introducing “to go” versions of longstanding programs. Here are a few.

Kidsville News! is a local educational resource for grades K-6. Visit kidsvillenews.com to view the flagship edition.

Cape Fear Regional Theatre has temporarily closed its doors to in-house performances through the end of this season while ramping up its online offerings. Virtual weekday “edutainment” classes offer online courses for students in grades K-5. Classes begin March 30 and include music, interactive storytelling, theatre, art and more.

The Virtual Spring Passport Series for military children uses Zoom Meetings to provide an introduction to theater and playwriting. There are several sessions available.
Every weekday from 3-4 p.m., join free classes, via Zoom Video Conferencing, as CFRT artists for classes on a variety of topics, including acting, dance, voice and more.
Visit http://www.cfrt.org/ to learn more about CFRT and its many programs.

Cape Fear Botanical Garden has started a video series called “The Garden Minute.” The series features a peek at springtime in the Garden along with tips, virtual tour, gardening how-tos and education. The Garden is currently closed for visitors through March 31. Find out more at https://www.capefearbg.org/.

The Downtown Alliance has created a Social Distancing Outdoor Scavenger Hunt. Visit https://betsymacdesignco.app.box.com/v/SocialDistancingScavengerHunt?fbclid=IwAR06AfBK_IpxBmSwEoGBWpyVbKsnKgqBL5Pxb-i7xYbpHz7w4Etn3fX0_YU to download the graphic.

Downtown’s go-to paint-your-own-pottery store, Greg’s Pottery, offers premade Kits-To-Go. Visit the Facebook page to see what’s available and how it all works. Pick up your kit (on Wednesdays only) via curbside service. No substitutions. The kit includes seven glaze colors.

A long-time resource for parents, Fascinate-U Children’s Museum has taken to Facebook to offer a plethora of activities for children. From screen-free ideas to crafts, fun recipes and science experiments, the museum offers parents of young children plenty of ideas for staying busy at home.

Kidcreate Studio in Westwood Shopping Center has at-home art kids with online instructional videos available for pick up. According to its Eventbrite “Kidcreate Art Kits” post, each kit is good for one art project and contains an easy to follow lesson plan, a link to a correlating online instructional video taught by a Kidcreate Studio art teacher, all the art materials needed to create a fridge-worthy masterpiece and additional suggestions for online learning opportunities for your child that relate to the art lesson.

4-H offers several initiatives to engage young minds and bodies. The 4-H Pen Friends program invites youth to put pencil to paper and write letters to other 4-Hers from a different county or an older person in a nursing home. If at least six letters are exchanged, it counts as a communication project. Sign up at https://tinyurl/w8gqjdc.

The N.C. 4-H Mystery Challenge takes place each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Participants have 24 hours to complete the challenge and post It on social media. The challenges are critiqued, and a winner will be announced on social media as well. 4-H members across North Carolina are invited to take part. Email srwiley@ncat.edu for more information.

Online learning and entertainment aren’t just for kids, and the sources are practically unlimited. Artists, entertainers and organizations are reaching out to the public with incredible resources and heartfelt performances. Check your favorite bands to see if they are one of the many streaming concerts for free. The Google Arts & Culture project has assembled links to more than 2,500 spaces from across the globe. Many of them offer virtual tours, including MoMA, New York; Musee d’Orsay, Paris; Uffizi Gallery, Florence; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Here’s a link https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en. Many Museums also have free downloadable coloring pages. Use the hashtag #ColorOurCollections on social media to find and browse your favorite pieces to download and color. Several Ivy League institutions offer free classes online. From poetry to Constitutional interpretation to the science of well-being. Find out more about these courses and how to register at https://www.classcentral.com/collection/ivy-league-moocs. Sites like udemy.com and thegreatcourses.com offer reasonably priced online courses on a variety of topics as well. Many fitness centers are streaming their workout classes right now, too.

There is still a lot to be said for the simple pleasures in life, too. Play board games. Get outside and play catch or shoot a few baskets with your kids. Take a walk or a bike ride. Prepare a meal together. Read a book. Paint, or draw. Write a letter. Meditate. Go on a picnic. Sit on the porch and watch the world go by. Finish your to-do list. Plant a garden. Take a hike. Bird watch.

Stay informed

Reliable information is paramount in troubled times and vital for good mental health. Here are a few websites with up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the community:

Globally The World Health Organization who.int 
 Nationally The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cdc.gov; The White House whitehouse.gov or coronavirus.gov
Statewide The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ncdhhs.gov
Locally Cumberland County http://www.co.cumberland.nc.us/; City of Fayetteville https://fayettevillenc.gov/

First Cumberland County homicides of 2020

Cumberland County Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Hope Mills man in connection with the triple shooting March 21 that left two people dead and a third injured. Sterling J. Straughter, 20, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder. The incident occurred near the intersection of Ajax Dr. and Tower Dr. in Grays Creek.  Th victims were identified as 21-year-old Franklin Monroe of Hope Mills, and 16-year-old Cameron Emery of Fayetteville. Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Sean Swain said a teenaged girl was hospitalized at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Deputies responded to the Short Stop at 4946 NC Hwy 87 S., at the intersection of Sandhills Rd. and found two young men with fatal gunshot wounds. They apparently had been driven to a nearby fire station across the street to seek help.

Cumberland County jail closed … sort of

The onset of COVID-19 in the Fayetteville community has resulted in certain governmental changes not noticeable by the general public. For instance, don’t try to enter the Cumberland County Detention Center. It has been locked down — to visitors. “We have stopped walk-in visitations at the detention center, but you can still do a video visit via the internet,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Sean Swain. The local jail is one of the largest in North Carolina, housing more than 800 detainees.

First responders are taking care

Fayetteville Police emergency dispatchers are asking additional questions when callers dial 911: Is it possible for you to meet the officer outside the residence? Is anyone inside the residence experiencing flu-like symptoms or fever? Has anyone been exposed or been in contact with anyone exposed to COVID-19? 

“These questions will not slow officer response,” said Sgt. Jeremy Glass, FPD spokesman. “Officers have been reminded of the importance of using (personal protection equipment) — they are also reminded to wash their hands as often as possible whenever a handwashing station is available.”

This line of work sometimes requires close contact to either arrest, assist or provide life-saving measures to someone, Glass noted. “Officers continue to uphold their duty ... but also practice social distancing when close contact is not required, Sgt. Glass added.

Emergency care behind the scenes

The Fayetteville Fire Department has also modified its daily practices. “We follow guidance of our contagion policy much the same as we do during flu season,” said Fire Chief Mike Hill. “Fascinate-U Children’s Museum We have suspended participation in most all activities except emergency response.”

Hill said more aggressive cleaning and disinfecting of fire stations and equipment is routine. The department has minimized the number of firefighters providing patient care and, at times, first responders place surgical facemasks on patients. “Fortunately, our force is still going strong and we have experienced no degradation of service,” Hill added.

Blood in short supply

Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center continues to need blood donors because of an increased blood shortage partially caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Blood donor centers nationwide face similar shortages as canceled blood drives, travel restrictions and social distancing measures take effect. The center supplies all blood products to Cape Fear Valley Health hospitals in Cumberland, Bladen, Hoke and Harnett counties. The Blood Donor Center is located in Bordeaux Shopping Center, at 3357 Village Dr., and is open for appointments. To make an appointment to donate blood, call 910-615-LIFE or email savingliveslocally@capefearvalley.com.
Some DMV offices closed

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has consolidated customer services to offices large enough to maintain social distancing. The DMV closed 60 branches that were too small for members of the public to remain 6 feet apart from one another. One Cumberland County office is closed on Clinton Road in Stedman. DMV offices on U.S. 301S, in Eutaw Village Shopping Center, Hope Mills and Spring Lake remain open for business by appointment.

“The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority,” said DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup. Road tests are no longer being conducted except for commercial driver licensees and medical reassessments. Many DMV services can be accomplished online, including license and registration renewals and ordering duplicate licenses and registration cards. Visit www.ncdot.gov/dmv to review available services. Appointments can be made by calling the DMV customer center at 919-715-7000.

Army recruiting stations closed

The Army is the first military service to announce it is shutting down its recruiting stations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Gen. James McConville, chief of staff of the Army, told Pentagon reporters the service will move to “virtual” recruiting through a variety of social media sites and other online activities. The Navy and Marine Corps said that they are keeping their recruiting stations open, but the services will follow state guidelines. The Air Force has not publicly indicated its intention. The move comes as the Army works to recover from recruiting shortfalls and struggles in recent years, prompting leaders to develop more programs to reach young people online.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said it’s not yet clear how long the shutdown will last. The Army, which is the biggest military service, has had the most difficulty bringing in needed recruits in recent years. It met the goal in 2019 for the first time in 13 years. The target goal for recruits was lowered from 76,500 in 2018 to about 68,000 last year.

Dear Loyal Readers




Greetings Readers, Friends and Associates.

These are trying times. However, we are Americans. We are resilient and possess the intestinal fortitude and determination to get through this COVID-19 crisis. It’s in our DNA.

As a community newspaper and member of the North Carolina Press Association, Up & Coming Weekly will continue to be published and distributed throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and all the Cumberland County municipalities during this critical time. In addition, U&CW is available FREE online by subscription at
www.upandcomingweekly.com. After all, what would a Wednesday morning be like not reading Margaret Dickson’s stimulating column or scratching our heads to one of Pitt Dickey’s imaginative creations or wondering why Karl Merritt isn’t writing for The Wall Street Journal or why he hasn’t won a Pulitzer Prize for embracing humanity?

We will continue to keep you updated on the COVID-19 situation, local news, views and, of course, the features and articles by the writers you have gotten to know and enjoy over the last two decades.
We encourage residents to visit www.coronavirus.gov, a centralized resource that includes up-to-date factual information on the COVID-19 situation. Don’t depend on the erratic, sporadic and flawed information flooding the social media networks.

Thank you, advertisers, for your continued trust and support. Keep your message out in the community and know we are here for you. Contact us first if you have message to get out or story to tell.

We know we could not exist without our readers. You are the greatest — and the most significant reason Up & Coming Weekly newspaper is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Please continue to support the people, businesses, organizations and institutions that support us — and you. Their messages, products and services serve you and support this community.

Many of our writers have been with us for over two decades and some just a few years. We know that we wouldn’t be who we are without you. You give voice to organizations, people and causes that matter. You make us think, make us laugh and keep us informed. Thank you for your dedication to our community and to our readers. Your love for this community and for humankind shows in every issue. There is still so much to write about and so many stories to tell. We can’t wait to read what you write next.

We are committed to supporting this community and showcasing and accentuating Fayetteville’s unique quality of life. We know it is our readers, advertisers and writers who are responsible for our 25 years of success, and we will keep serving you. We’ve been through hard things before and come out stronger for it — as individuals and as a community. We will do it this time, too.

Thank you for your continued support.

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