- Tuesday, 30 October 2018
- Written by STAFF REPORT
Longtime county commissioner and civic leaderEd Melvin died last week. He was 72. Melvin servedhis community in many ways but is best remembered as a four-term county commissioner. He chose not to seek re-election in 2014.
Melvin was admitted to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Oct. 18 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He died five days later.
A native of Bladen County, Melvin spent his adult life in Cumberland County but never lost touch with friends and family in the Tar Heel area. He belonged to dozens of civic, advisory and business groups and owned and managed 50 rental homes.
Melvin also had a chain of auto repair shops. Several years ago, he sold all but one of them: Ed’s Tire and Auto Shop on Murchison Road.
Melvin was a U.S. Army veteran and a member of Village Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife, Julie, and their five children.
Health department leadership post still vacant
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health hasn’t had a permanent director for nearly a year and a half. In August, the board of health selected an executive search firm to help recruit the next health director, but it has not yet begun the search. Former director Buck Wilson resigned in June of last year. Other county executives have filled in since then.
“We are excited to initiate our search for a permanent health director,” said Interim Health Director Duane Holder.
The board’s search committee met with the firm on Oct. 17 to begin the formal recruiting process. Staff and community listening sessions are being planned. Public input will be solicited, and the board of health says it welcomes feedback.
Four-year terms on the ballot
Local ballot issues Nov. 6 include proposals to change the terms of Fayetteville City Council members and Hope Mills Town Commissioners. Both bodies want to extend terms of office from two years to four.
The prospect has raised little voter interest in Fayetteville, but opposition by Hope Mills residents has surfaced since the board rejected offers made by Lone Survivor Foundation to purchase property at Hope Mills Lake Bed #2 for a military veterans’ retreat. Residents have organized Hope Mills Citizens for Change, a political action committee opposed to longer terms. They have distributed signs around town.
The four-year referendum idea was first proposed by Hope Mills Commissioner Mike Mitchell in February. If adopted, four-year terms wouldn’t begin for Hope Mills commissioners until the 2019 election. The mayor and five board members would serve staggered terms.
The Fayetteville City Council proposal is nonbinding. If authorized by voters, council would then decide whether to make the change.
Local youth wins statewide honor
A Cumberland County NCWorks Career Center student, Lamonty Bullock, 24, was named Outstanding Young Adult at the 2018 Governor’s NC Works Awards of Distinction ceremony held Oct. 11 in Greensboro.
Bullock was enrolled in the Fundamental Skills for Substance Abuse Counselor Program at Fayetteville Technical Community College when nominated for the honor. He has completed part one of the program and is preparing for part two, with a goal of becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor to help teens and young adults.
“I really want to focus on prevention because that’s where it all starts,” Bullock said. He was living in a group home until he turned 18, when he aged out of the foster care system. He did not complete high school but later obtained his diploma and approached Cumberland County NCWorks for career training assistance.
Bullock’s former NCWorks career advisor, Victoria Grey-Allen, described him as an “extraordinary example of what resilience, hard work and determination can accomplish.”
Local university leader honored
Fayetteville State University Chancellor Dr. James Anderson was honored this month by the North
Carolina Justice Center for his years of “extraordinary advocacy for and commitment to social justice, inclusive community engagement, and educational opportunities.” The NC Justice Center describes itself as the state’s preeminent voice for economic, social and political justice.
“My task is to apply leadership and management strategies that reflect integrity, quality, transparency and excellence,” Anderson is quoted as saying on Fayetteville State University’s website. “Our most precious commodity is our students and everything that we do should support their growth, maturity, and success.”
Fayetteville Technical Community College
still top notch
Military Times has ranked FTCC No. 5 nationally in its 2019 Best Colleges for Vets. The rankings are based on the results of Military Times’ annual survey, considered the most comprehensive schoolby- school assessment of veteran and military student services. About 500 colleges took part in this year’s survey.
“Military Times’ Best for Vets designation ... can’t be bought with advertising dollars – unlike some other supposedly veteran-friendly rankings – only earned through a record of steadfast service and dedication to those who have served,” said George Altman, the editor in charge of the rankings. The publication also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments.
Photo: Ed Melvin
- Monday, 29 October 2018
- Written by Stephanie Crider
Playing the 50th Cumberland County Golf Championship on his home course at Gates Four Golf and Country Club, Jack Britt High School senior Spencer
Oxendine wasn’t lacking for confidence. “I told my mom if I didn’t win this thing I’m going to be pretty upset,” the N.C. State golf commit said.
He had little reason to be upset Sunday after turning in a 74-72-146 that led him to the title over previous champions Billy West and Gary Robinson.
Robinson and Thomas Owen tied for second, Robinson shooting 79-72-151 and Owen 74-77-151. West, the defending champion, recorded a 75-77-152. He apparently made history in the process, becoming the first CCGC champion in the tournament’s 50-year history to win the event while still attending high school.
In 1984, Pine Forest product Mitchell Perry won the title after graduating the previous June. The tournament was held in September that year. Oxendine just began his senior year at Jack Britt this fall.
Oxendine, who blistered the Gates Four course with a 62 this summer that was one shot off the course record of another Cumberland County high school star, South View’s Todd Gleaton, said his effort over the course this weekend was “nothing stellar.”
He felt he drove the ball well and kept it in play for the most part. “ I played the course how I always do,” he said. “I play this course very aggressive. This is not a golf course where you can hit it off line, because if you start to hit it off line, you can make some big numbers.”
Oxendine’s goal was to keep the ball in play and get it on the green. The first day he recorded four bogeys and only three birdies. He finished Sunday’s round with three birdies and three bogeys.
His near-course record 62 over the summer featured nine birdies, an eagle and one bogey. He called the win a great confidence boost going into his senior season of golf next spring at Jack Britt and looking ahead to his freshman season with the N.C. State team a year from now.
“Winning is always good no matter what it is,” he said. Oxendine said he was looking forward to playing the full three days of the tournament and was disappointed when bad weather forced cancellation of Friday’s first round.
“I was kind of upset but there was nothing we could do about it,” he said. “We didn’t want to tear up Stryker.” The tournament had been scheduled to open on Fort Bragg’s Stryker Golf Course, which would have been a first for the event.
“It didn’t change my approach,” he said. “My approach was I was probably going to shoot par on Stryker, maybe one or two under, then I would kind of tear it up on Gates Four. That was my mindset.”