Local News

Evaluating college costs

06Methodist Univ 2If students are looking for an affordable university and prefer going to college near home in the fall, they are in luck. Affordability isn’t simply finding a school with a low published in-state tuition. It’s important to research the typical financial aid package offered by a school, the average net price paid, and most importantly, the quality of education students receive for their tuition dollars. CollegeCalc is a website that lists best-value colleges in North Carolina for rankings that consider school quality and average net price.

CollegeCalc’s proprietary national percentile ranking has an average score of 50. Dollar value is a measure of a school’s academic rating compared with the average net price paid. All price quotations are reprinted from the U.S. Department of Education’s 2017-18 IPEDS Survey and reflect reported costs for the 2017-18 academic year.

The most affordable four-year public colleges in North Carolina are listed by one year’s in-state tuition list price for the 2017-18 school year. Leading the colleges list is Elizabeth City State University with an in-state tuition of $2,856. Fayetteville State University tuition is $2,982 per year for in-state residents. This is 58% cheaper than the national average public four-year tuition of $7,056. The cost is 84% cheaper than the average North Carolina tuition of $18,281 for fouryear colleges.

Tuition ranks second in North Carolina among four-year colleges for affordability in the state. If attending from out-of-state, the tuition at FSU is $14,590, which represents a 389% premium. The school charges a fee of $2,201 in addition to tuition, bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $5,183.

FSU provides on-campus room and board for $8,627 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus should budget at least this amount. The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $400. Students should budget $2,426 in additional living expenses. The total tuition and living expense budget for in-state North Carolina residents who went to FSU was $16,636 for the 2017-18 academic year. Out-of-state students who don’t have North Carolina residency can expect a one-year cost of $28,244.

Private colleges and universities are considerably more expensive. Duke University has the most expensive tuition and fees in North Carolina, totaling $55,695. Tuition for Fayetteville’s Methodist University was $32,504 for the 2017-18 academic year. This is 17% more expensive than the national average private, nonprofit four-year college tuition of $27,755. The cost is 78% more expensive than the average North Carolina tuition of $18,281 for four-year colleges. Tuition at MU ranks 59th in North Carolina among four-year colleges for affordability and is the ninth most expensive college in the state. The school charges an additional fee of $356 in addition to tuition, bringing the total effective in-state tuition to $32,860.

The school provides on-campus room and board for $12,210 per academic year. Students electing to live off campus elsewhere in Fayetteville should budget at least this amount. The estimated annual cost for books and supplies is $1,400. The annual tuition and living expense budget to go to MU was $54,529 for the 2017-18 academic year. The cost is the same for all students regardless of North Carolina residence status as there is no in-state discount.


Get to know city government better

05city govt academyThe next Fayetteville Citizens Academy class is set for Wednesday, Aug. 14, at Kiwanis Recreation Center, 352 Devers St. Class begins at 8:30 a.m. and features officials of Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks & Recreation and the Development Services Department.

Applicants must be city of Fayetteville residents or work in Fayetteville. The class size is limited to 25 residents. This session will conclude at or before 5 p.m. To apply, log onto www.fayettevillenc.gov/citizensacademy, scroll to the bottom of the page and download the application.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by close of business Friday, Aug. 9.

“The Citizens Academy gives residents an opportunity to see city of Fayetteville employees at work, up close and personal,” said Corporate Communications Director Kevin V. Arata. Lunch will be provided, and residents are asked to dress appropriately for the weather in business casual attire and closedtoe shoes. There will be some walking involved during tours of city facilities.

Splash pads are popping up all over the county

The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners and town of Linden leaders have cut the ribbon on the fifth splash pad opened in rural areas of Cumberland County this year. The water feature is at the Linden Little River Park, located at 5010 Loop Rd. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (3-7 p.m. when school is in session) and Sundays from 2-7 p.m.

Eastover and Wade splash pads opened May 22, Godwin on May 31 and Gray’s Creek on June 7. Each of the splash pads cost between $230,000 and  $250,000, according to Fayetteville/Cumberland Recreation and Parks Director Michael Gibson.

The Linden water feature is 1,000 square feet and was funded by Cumberland County recreation dollars as were the other four. The pad is wheelchair accessible and features a Super Splash and Aqua Dome. Future projects include a shade structure, additional playground equipment and an additional parking lot.

Kids may have the summer off, but parents don’t

Even though school is out for the summer, parents might like to know what their children will need for the upcoming school year this fall. Cumberland County Schools has a one-stop resource that will answer all your questions. It’s called the 2019-2020 Back-To-School Guide. It contains 26 pages of information about the school calendar, needed school supplies, open house schedules, lunch prices, bell schedules and more. This parent resource can be found on the Cumberland County Schools website, http://ccs.k12.nc.us, or at btsg.ccs.k12.nc.us.

Cornhole a popular recreational sport

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers have announced the inaugural edition of its Cornhole Tournament to take place at Segra Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 17. At 3 p.m. that day, teams and spectators can begin entering for registration. Beginning at 4 p.m., registered teams of two are invited to compete for a $250 cash prize for first place and a $100 cash prize for second place. With 50 team slots available for the tournament, fans and competitors are asked to register for the event no later than Friday, August 2.

Each two-person team will feature one captain and one partner. Both competitors will receive complimentary Fayetteville Woodpeckers T-shirts and drink Koozies. Registration is $50 per each twoperson team. Registered teams can also save up to $9 on tickets when purchasing at least two general admission tickets to any upcoming Woodpeckers home game.

Gilbert Theater loses an artist

The board of directors of the Gilbert Theater has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Matthew Overturf as artistic director, effective Jan. 31, 2020.

“All of us are very grateful for Matthew’s enthusiasm, vision and excellent contributions to the Gilbert Theater over the past three years,” said a news release from the theater. “The demands of his full-time faculty position will make it impossible for him to continue as the Gilbert’s Artistic Director,” the statement continued.

The Gilbert Theater board of directors has begun a search for a new artistic director. For more information, including the job description, visit www.gilberttheater.com.

Fayetteville gets one of the first new generation Dunkin’ Donuts

Fayetteville has a new Dunkin’ Donuts on Bragg Boulevard. “The launch of our next generation concept store marks one of the most important moments in Dunkin’s growth as an on-the-go, beverage-led brand,” said Dave Hoffmann, president of Dunkin’ Donuts North American business, in a statement. “Our new look represents both our heritage and our evolution as the brand that fuels optimism and keeps America running with great coffee, donuts and more,” said Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer, Dunkin’ U.S.

Downtown isn’t the only area with parking problems

06rocketfizzWhen Gander Outdoors, formerly known locally as Gander Mountain, got in the business of selling recreation vehicles and motorhomes, the company found it needed more space than its parking lot provided. Its location at Marketfair Mall on Skibo Road wasn’t designed to display a couple-dozen large recreational vehicles. It also needed room to display additional units that it couldn’t park in front of the store. So, Gander Outdoors worked out a lease with WSB Retail Partners of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, which provides property management services for Marketfair. Under new owners, the venue has become an upscale retail, dining and theater facility.

Last fall, some of the small-business owners in the courtyard near the AMC Cinema 15 complex became concerned when they discovered RVs were being placed in an overflow parking lot adjacent to the businesses. Ann Sims, co-owner of Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop, said her customers complained that the lot was filling up because the RVs took up so much space. She told Up & Coming Weekly that in February she was rebuffed by Gander management when she inquired. A month or so later, Sims said WSB management got involved, but nothing developed.

By this time, the parking issue had become a cause for Sims. “We work hard to have a successful business,” she said. In mid-June, she arrived at work to find that a chain link fence had been erected in the middle of the overflow parking lot. RVs were being parked inside the fence. Marketfair customers had to park in the smaller section, which Sims said was poorly planned and awkward for motorists.

Sims fired off a lengthy email to WSB Managing Partner Dusty Weiderhold. “While we want what is best for our business, we also want to aid our fellow tenants and ensure an environment that helps make the center a better shopping experience for all our customers and prospective tenants, not just Gander Outdoors,” she wrote.

Weiderhold conceded things have been happening that he was unaware of, and he shared that with Sims. He told her he was concerned that the fence had been installed in the adjacent parking lot. He declined to comment regarding large unattended parking areas to the rear of the AMC theaters and next to the Rooms to Go furniture store.

“We will try to get together with them,” he said of the business owners.

“Rocket Fizz has tried hard to promote Marketfair Mall since we first moved in in 2015, as we have helped promote and organize events such as Christmas Tree Lightings, Easter Egg Hunts and Trunk or Treats and (have) brought a lot of attention from the press to highlight this center,” Sims said.

Weiderhold told Sims he hopes to arrange a meeting with Marketfair business owners sometime during the week after the July Fourth holiday. Sims said she was happy to hear what she hopes is Marketfair’s genuine interest in solving the parking problem.

City honors Jay Reinstein

05jayreinsteinCity of Fayetteville staff members who know him say Jay Reinstein is a good guy. Reinstein, 57, spent five years on the job as an assistant city manager. His last day on the payroll was June 30, although he has used family medical leave and sick leave since last October. That’s when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Reinstein is not yet eligible for retirement. Disability insurance provides income for someone who can no longer work because of illness or injury. He will receive short-term disability through the state retirement system and a year later will apply for long-term disability until he can officially retire in 2022.

Reinstein was honored by the city on June 24 with a luncheon, reception and a special presentation by City Council. Mayor Mitch Colvin presented him with a key to the city, Fayetteville’s highest honor. The presentation at the City Council meeting followed a video tribute prepared by and featuring numerous department heads and others. Reinstein’s wife and daughter were on hand for the ceremony.

“The next chapter of my life is to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s,” Reinstein told the gathered City Hall assembly. He has been named to the board of directors of the National Alzheimer’s Association and will attend his first board meeting this month in Chicago, Illinois. He makes a point of often repeating that he doesn’t want sympathy. He wants support.

The impact of Reinstein’s condition became clear last fall when The Jaywalkers, a team of friends and associates organized to honor him, raised nearly $25,000 for research. Researchers hope that studies on biomarkers will allow experts to diagnose the disease more quickly. Biomarkers are proteins in the body, or other types of markers, that reliably indicate the progress of a disease.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s is a rare form of dementia that strikes people younger than 65. Statistically, only about 5% of those who develop Alzheimer’s develop symptoms before age 65. Most people with early-onset Alzheimer’s develop symptoms of the disease in their 40s and 50s. An accurate diagnosis is crucial, for medical reasons, to rule out other potential issues and get the most appropriate treatment as well as for personal and professional reasons. For one’s family, the diagnosis is fundamental in helping members respond with appropriate understanding and compassion.

Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease can be a difficult situation to cope with. Reinstein is on record as knowing that it helps to have a positive outlook and to stay active and mentally engaged. It’s also important to rely on friends and family as much as possible. When the disease is still in its early stages, it’s critical to think about the future, again something Reinstein says he has done. This includes financial planning, clarifying health insurance coverage and getting important documents in order. Doctors also say it is important to have a healthy diet, get regular exercise, cut down on alcohol and use relaxation techniques to reduce stress.

Photo: Jay Reinstein

Providing for the homeless

04lodgeWith all the discussion in City Hall about homelessness and what to do about it, Up & Coming Weekly got an update from Operation Inasmuch and its shelter for homeless men. The Lodge, as it’s known, is not just a shelter. “It’s a transformation program for homeless men who want to change their lives. Each man commits to create realistic financial, social and spiritual goals, become drug- and alcohol-free, get a job, and treat others in the program with dignity and respect,” says in the Operation Inasmuch website.

The Lodge provides a place for up to 40 men to sleep every night. Internet access, a kitchen, laundry facilities, showers and a dayroom are also provided. Financial planning, Bible studies and other helpful opportunities are available for these men. The Lodge is located across the street from the Operation Inasmuch Ministry Center at 531 Hillsboro St. Learn more online at www.faoiam.org.

Seth’s Wish gets its wish

The city of Fayetteville will not require that local homeless advocacy group Seth’s Wish pay fees or penalties for not obtaining proper permits before renovating its building. Council member Tisha Waddell said she wasn’t comfortable with allowing the fees to be waived. But City Manager Doug Hewett pointed out there was a precedent for the waiver. Waivers were granted to several businesses that suffered damage during Hurricane Matthew, as Seth’s Wish’s building on S. Cool Spring Street did. Waddell and several other Council members said they would be willing to make personal financial contributions. But Council agreed to approve the manager’s recommendation during a dinner meeting June 24.

Seth’s Wish is a volunteer homeless advocacy charity supported by private donors. Find out more at www.sethswish.com.

Violent deaths are down slightly

While murder rates are on the increase in Raleigh and Durham, homicides in the city of Fayetteville are down so far this year, although the typical peak season lies ahead. Fayetteville Police spokesman Sgt. Shawn Strepay said 10 local homicides were investigated during the first half of 2019. He said that compares to 11 murders during the corresponding period of 2018.

Board of Education looking to fill a vacancy

Members of the Cumberland County Board of Education need to fill a vacant seat on their nine-member board. Cumberland County residents who reside in District 6 and are interested in serving are invited to submit a one-page resume and letter of interest to the office of the school board attorney by July 15 at 5 p.m.

Board member Peggy Hall resigned abruptly last month. For more information about the vacancy, visit the Cumberland County Schools website at www.ccs.k12.nc.us. For questions about District 6 residency, call the Cumberland County Board of Elections at 910-678-7733.

Pat McCrory and the Trump administration

President Donald Trump considered former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory for a position in his administration, according to records obtained by the news and information website Axios. But those records show the Trump administration found some “red flags.” The 10-page file on McCrory contained accusations of “favoritism toward Duke Energy” and having “thin skin,” and “comments critical of Trump.”

The headline of an October 2016 Washington Examiner story saying “Pat McCrory says Trump ‘needs to have his mouth washed out’” topped the list of red flags.

McCrory was responding to comments Trump made about women in a recording from 2005. McCrory is one of dozens of Republican politicians and officials identified by the Trump transition team as potential suitors for top posts in the administration.

After losing a tight governor race to Democrat Roy Cooper in 2016, McCrory met with Trump’s transition team in New York City.

Former Republican Rep. Charles Jeter, a supporter of McCrory’s, described him this way: “He can’t fathom that anyone would question his motives,” Jeter said. “And he (has) a tendency to take criticism personally. He’s done it with the press. He’s done it in the legislature.”

Our community has lost a pair of dedicated public servants

Late last month, former Cumberland County Commissioner and educator Bob Lewis died from complications following heart surgery. He was 88. Days earlier, retired Hope Mills police chief John Hodges died.

Lewis served two four-year terms as a commissioner. Before that, he was principal of Seventy-First High School from 1968 to 1976 and later principal at Seventy-First Elementary School until he retired in 1982. Lewis was an acknowledged disciplinarian at Seventy-First High at a time when student misconduct was excessive. “I might have been tough sometimes, but they knew I cared about them,” he once said.

Lewis earned the Purple Heart while fighting during the Korean War as a member of the 1st Marine Division from 1950 to 1954.

Retired Hope Mills police chief Hodges died at the age of 84. He served the town for more than 20 years until his retirement in 2009. Hodges retired from the U.S. Army after a 20-year career before taking the Hope Mills post. The town board of commissioners voted to name the new public safety building being planned for Hodges.

“It’s just a shame that he didn’t live to actually see the building,” Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner said.


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