Housing choices reflect political divide

14HoodThere is a familiar kind of political argument that goes something like this: “I know we are politically divided. I think that partisanship has its place – butsurely there is no need to make (fill in the blank) apartisan issue.”

Politicos routinely claim that education shouldn’t be a partisan issue or health care shouldn’t be a partisan issue or whatever because of course we all care about good schools, good medical care and other good things. What comes next, all too often, is a passionate argument for a particular policy, one disproportionately favored by either Democrats or Republicans.

I don’t think such rhetoric is dishonest, for the most part. Human nature takes over. We all tend to see our own views as reasonable applications of broadly accepted principles while describing alternative views as informed by narrow special interests or partisan gamesmanship.

Most of these partisan divides aren’t artificial. They accurately reflect deep, persistent differences in values, assumptions and even definitions of terms. Few policy issues are immune from the effects.

Take the very pragmatic, seemingly non-ideological question of how to structure and deliver public services to local communities. Progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans tend to disagree about issues such as housing regulation, mass transit, street design, and growth controls not because of external pressure by special-interest groups but because their preferences are fundamentally different.

A recent poll question from the Pew Research Centerties this up well. Asked whether they would rather live in communities where “the houses are larger and farther apart, but schools, stores and restaurants are several miles away” or in communities where “the houses are smaller and closer to each other, but schools, stores, and restaurants are within walking distance,” voters as a whole were evenly divided – 49 percent favoring the former, 48 percent favoring the latter.

But ideology was a strong predictor of who preferred which option. Among the respondents who were most consistently left-wing on other issues (from fiscal policy to foreign affairs), 77 percent said they’d prefer the option often described as “smart growth,” the more-walkable communities with higher densities. Correspondingly, among the most conservative respondents on other issues, 75 percent said they’d prefer the less-compact suburban option, a model my John Locke Foundation colleagues have long described as “flex growth.”

The present task is not to explore all the growth policy arguments and counter arguments that lie beneath this philosophical disagreement. My sympathies lie with my fellow flex-growthers, to be sure, but that’s a topic for another day.

Rather, I will point out that in North Carolina, as in most other states, voters are acting on their personal preferences and policy priorities not just with their votes but also with their feet. People who like both urban living and progressive politics are moving into or near the downtowns of Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Wilmington and other cities. They’re living in denser, mixed-use neighborhoods. They’re disproportionately voting for Democrats, up and down the ballot.

People who mix a preference for suburban or exurban lifestyles with conservative politics prefer to live in other parts of urban counties – places such as Wake’s Cary, Apex and Holly Springs, or Mecklenburg’s Huntersville, Mint Hill, Matthews and Pineville – or in next-door counties such as Union, Cabarrus, Johnston, Franklin and Alamance.

The effects on local politics are clearly evident. Big cities that used to have at least some spirited partisan contests are increasingly Democratic, so that most races are settled by primaries or with “left vs. further left” races that are officially nonpartisan. And some populous, fast-growing counties that were once Democratic, and then went through a period of robust partisan competition, are now reliably Republican.

If this troubles you, I understand. But waving your hands at millions of your fellow North Carolinians and insisting that they “take a nonpartisan approach” won’t change anything. Each will say the other side’s policies on growth are costly and counter productive. Each will define those terms differently.

Add a comment

Political correctness and fear: A destructive combination

03starbucksI contend that political correctness is running rampant in America, and when joined with fear, the result is proving destructive. Let’s start with a couple of definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Political correctness: conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.

Fear: an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

The recent arrest of two blackmen in a Philadelphia Starbucks and the responses that followed highlight the destructive combination of political correctness and fear.

On an April day, two blackmen walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks to wait for another man with whom they were to have a meeting. Various reports indicate that the men asked to use the restroom and were told that they could not because they had not made a purchase. The men were later asked to leave. When they refused, a lady, subsequently identified as the manager, called the police. Police arrived and, after several minutes of conversation, the men were arrested for suspected trespassing. This summary of events is based on an article by Matt Stevens titled, “Starbucks C.E.O. Apologizes After Arrests of 2 Black Men.”

Several persons made videos of a portion of the interaction between the two men and the police officers who arrived at the scene. The longest video I was able to find is available at: The sound quality in this video is poor, but it does show the interaction between the two men and the police officers. My assessment of the video is that during some 10 minutes of interaction, the police officers attempted to negotiate the men’s departure from the establishment. The men clearly refused to leave and were eventually arrested.

As this and other videos were distributed by social media and in news reports, protests started. The protests, as best as I can tell, were not directed solely at the person who made the call to police, but at all of Starbucks.

Shortly after the incident, Richard Ross, Philadelphia police commissioner, who is black, released a video in which he said the officers “did nothing wrong.” That video is available at: He reviews, step-by-step, what happened and emphasizes that the officers, three times, asked the men to leave the establishment. They repeatedly refused. After arresting the men and taking them to a police station, officers were advised that Starbucks was not pressing charges. They were released.

A Philadelphia Inquirer story titled “Firing Starbucks manager won’t address Philly police’s overboard response to her 911 call” includes the following:

“What Ross leaves out is that officers do have some discretion in carrying out their duties. Consider when the Eagles won the Super Bowl and only four arrests were made after drunken, celebrating fans flipped a car, dismantled light poles, smashed a Macy’s window, and crumpled an awning at the Ritz-Carlton.”

Later, after further investigation; Commissioner Ross held a news conference during which he explained that his statement was not good messaging and caused unintended harm. He indicated he should have said the officers “followed the law.” Ross also referred to a conversation with the Starbucks’ CEO during which he learned that it is company policy to allow persons to sit in a store without making a purchase. Ross pointed out that this is not a policy commonly encountered by officers. Normally, just the opposite is the case. He was not aware of this “no purchase necessary” policy when he made his earlier statement. Given that businesses ordinarily require individuals to make a purchase in a situation of this nature, the officers had no reason to think that the Starbucks’ policy was any different. This news conference is available at:

In response to all of what has been addressed to this point, Starbucks, at the corporate level, announced that the manager who called police no longer works with the company. Further, Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores in the United States May 29 to conduct anti-bias training. Some 175,000 employees will be affected. CEO Kevin Johnson has apologized to the men involved and declared that the incident at this location is inconsistent with their business practices.

Interestingly, an article titled “VERIFY: What’s Starbucks bathroom policy” by Eliana Block includes the following:

“Today Starbucks’ CEO apologized to the men but said different stores have different rules.

“‘In certain circumstances, local practices are implemented,’ Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said. ‘In this particular case, the local practice of asking someone who is not a customer to leave the store ...followed by a call to the police.’

“Despite store policy, Johnson says this never should have happened, calling it ‘reprehensible.’”

The manager who called police no longer works for Starbucks as of a few days after this event.

Gregg Re writes this in an op-ed titled, “DEFAMATION: The Starbucks Manager Accused of Racism Is Probably About to Be A MILLIONAIRE.”

“The former Starbucks manager who called the police on two non paying black customers earlier this month may have a good case for bringing a defamation suit against the coffee company.

“In numerous public statements, Starbucks and its CEO Kevin Johnson have gone out of their way to imply that the female manager, identified in media reports as Holly Hylton, was acting on subconscious racial motivations when she told the loitering customers to either buy a beverage or get out of her store. Crucially, Starbucks has also strongly implied that, as a factual matter, the manager violated company policy.”

Now, this from an article by Kelly Weill titled “4Chan Hoax About Free Starbucks Coffee for Black Customers Reaches Laura Ingraham’s Show.” The article addresses the action of Bryan “Hotep Jesus” Sharpe, a black comedian (

“Sharpe uploaded a YouTube video of himself demanding a free coffee in Starbucks.

“I heard you guys don’t like black people, so I wanted to get my Starbucks reparations voucher,” Sharpe told the barista. The young woman responded that she’d seen the voucher on Twitter, and gave Sharpe a free coffee. She told him she was a student and that it was her last day at the store until fall.”

Various reports indicate the two men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were arrested, settled with the city of Philadelphia for $1 each. In addition, the city will create a $200,000 fund that will, with the assistance of a nonprofit organization, assist young entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.

Without a doubt, that is a lot of background. Here is how I think all of this comes together to show that political correctness and fear make a destructive combination. Two black men repeatedly refuse what I see as reasonable direction from several police officers. They were able to do so without negative repercussions and receive an apology from the CEO of Starbucks, along with a financial settlement with the city of Philadelphia.

I hold that this kind of response is the product of out-of-control political correctness across American society. The impact of this condition is made worse by the fear that political correctness generates in people. Standing for what is sensible and fair becomes a rare occurrence. In this case, Starbucks allows a manager to be routinely forced from employment in spite of following her store’s local procedures; a police commissioner reverses course and profusely apologizes for initial statements that made all the sense in the world to me; Starbucks closes stores for training that will likely do absolutely nothing to prevent recurrence of the kind of incident that provoked the one addressed here.

The destructive consequences of this interaction between political correctness and fear are many. The consequence that shows through most clearly is a breakdown in the rule of law. That is, people are encouraged and even permitted to break or disregard the law, and disrespect authority without being held accountable. If you doubt the truth of that statement, go back and read the quote regarding the so-called “discretion” demonstrated by Philadelphia police after the Eagles won the Super Bowl.

Finally, consider the young lady who gave free coffee to Bryan Sharpe in response to his reparations claim. She impresses me as a kind person who did not come close to thinking through what Sharpe requested. This failure to think is another destructive consequence of political correctness and fear. America better see this destructive combination for what it is and forth rightly address the issue.

Add a comment

Judge government by value added

14JudgeWant to know why conservatives are more skeptical than progressives of the idea of government confiscating more of our money to throw at social programs? I’ve already given you the answer in my choice of words.

Our disagreements begin, but do not end, with definitions. Look at the way I worded my question. I could have instead asked “why conservatives are more hostile than progressives to the idea of all of us investing more of our money together to solve social problems”? Hostility sounds more unreasonable than skepticism. “All of us investing” sounds cooperative, while “government confiscating” sounds invasive. And obviously there’s a big difference between “throwing money” at programs and “solving problems.”

My purpose isn’t to endorse the more positively stated proposition. As a conservative, I’d reject it as misleading and biased.

For example, I think using the term “all of us” to describe an inherently coercive institution, government, is erroneous. Taxes are surrendered, not voluntarily contributed. People get a say in electing politicians every two to four years, if they want it, but that’s not the same thing as saying “we” collectively constitute the government, which is a discrete social institution (there are others) with clearly identifiable rules, structures, employees and vendors.

Just to be clear: the vast majority of right-leaning folks are not anarchists. We grant that government plays a legitimate and necessary role. We also think it should be tightly circumscribed, so as to minimize how much we get bossed around by government officials who may not share our values, goals or priorities.

Take education. With the exception of a few “separation of school and state” hard-liners, most conservatives and libertarians favor a government role in education, at least at the state and local levels. That means we favor taxing North Carolinians to ensure that all children are offered the opportunity to receive a sound, basic education.

But how high should those taxes be? Remember that every dollar government takes from us to spend represents a dollar we cannot spend for ourselves on food, clothing, shelter, rearing children, receiving medical care, supporting religious and community organizations, enjoying recreation and leisure or building valuable capital to generate future income.

You can’t answer the question satisfactorily with platitudes. Education is highly valuable and critically important. We all agree about that. But other things are valuable, too.

One productive way to approach the question is to try to gauge the value added for each additional dollar spent. If the value added by public schools, for example, rose consistently with public expenditure –such that the highest-spending schools, districts and states delivered the most value – that might constitute a persuasive argument for North Carolina, which ranks below the national average in per-pupil spending, to raise its public expenditure on schools quickly and significantly, even if that meant higher taxes.

In reality, however, there is no consistent relationship between expenditure and the value added by public schools, at least not in modern times. Even states with relatively low expenditures spend far more today than any did in the early days of public education.

That’s what most empirical studiesshow. That’s also consistent with thedistribution of just-released national testscores. The Urban Institute has a handy tool for adjusting state averages by student characteristics such as poverty and native languages other than English. After such adjustments, only four states rank in the top 10 for all four tests – for reading and math, in 4th and 8th grades.

Two of them, Massachusetts and New Jersey, are high-spending blue states. The other two, Florida and Indiana, are low-spending red states. If we broaden the analysis to include high-scoring states on at least three of the four tests, three more states join the ranks of highest-value-added: Georgia (35th in spending), Virginia (26th) and our own NorthCarolina (38th).

Conservatives look at these and other facts and conclude that North Carolina can continue to improve our education system – and that we don’t need tax hikes to get the job done.

Add a comment

Private Hope Mills Facebook group raises concerns

02HM pub penHope Mills Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell is concerned about questionable social media practices that are starting to manifest and possibly have a detrimental effect on the town. These concerns have appeared because of the proliferation of a private Facebook group, the Hope Mills Chatter, which only accepts privileged members who are scrutinized, vetted and pre-approved by the group manager, Lisa Carter-Waring. Normally, this would not be an issue – except some residents have complained that the site is discriminatory and is being used as a political lobbying vessel to bully, intimidate and unduly influence town commissioners. Residents have complained they have been blocked from accessing the Hope Mills Chatter. Some who have been approved for participation have been abruptly terminated and kicked out of the group when disagreeing with Carter-Waring’s dogma or objecting to the mission or mandate du jour.

This private social media group includes three prominent Hope Mills commissioners: Meg Larson, Jesse Bellflowers and Jerry Legge.

Some residents suspect the site is being used as a three-to-two conspiracy to control the business and policies of the town. Three out of five town commissioners meeting together equals a quorum. Mayor Jackie Warner is also a member of this group but has no vote. If the three town commissioners constitute a quorum, their participation in the Hope Mills Chatter may be a violation of the North Carolina Open Meetings Law. This is why Commissioner Mitchell is looking into the matter. In the end, their participation may not be illegal, but appearances matter, and the appearance of impropriety is definitely an issue here.

Mitchell launched an informal poll on Facebook recently to see how the residents of Hope Mills feel about it; 76 percent of the respondents said they had concerns with elected town commissioners participating in a private and restricted Facebook group.

Mitchell said, “I personally believe that public appearance is very important, and when the three commissioners that participate in Hope Mills Chatter (a closed Facebook group with less than 300 members) vote three to two to take actions, citizens might wonder how much of the decision was previously discussed in the closed group.” His point is well-made.

Up & Coming Weekly has requested a formal opinion from Amanda Martin, attorney for the North Carolina Press Association, concerning the possible violation of the Open Meetings Law. We explained to Martin that the Hope Mills Chatter was only accessible to a select group of people vetted and approved by the page moderator, Carter-Waring, and that it includes three sitting commissioners. We also pointed out that Carter-Waring is a paid correspondent for the weekly Hope Mills newspaper, The Sandspur, which is owned and produced by The Fayetteville Observer.

I suspect Carter-Waring and Larson are using the Hope Mills Chatter and Carter-Waring’s position with The Sandspur to gain and maintain political influence, dictate the commissioners’ agenda and control the overall narrative of the town of Hope Mills.

Another indicator of this conspiracy was Carter-Waring’s and Lawson’s organized attempt to discredit Up & Coming Weekly’s partnership with the town. Carter-Waring blocked our access to the Hope Mills Chatter while allowing other local news media access, including four reporters from The Fayetteville Observer, Greg Barnes (WTVD), Goldy (WFNC) and Gilbert Baez (WRAL). While the content and comments in the chat area are private, the membership list is public, and I have confirmed the information about who has access to the group.

We applaud Mitchell’s initiative. This is not and never has been what Hope Mills is about. Adversity and challenges over the last decade have proven the trust, ability, judgement and mettle of leaders like Warner, Mitchell, Pat Edwards, Melissa Adams, Drew Holland, Bob Gorman, who died this November, and dozens of other dedicated employees who know and understand the future challenges that Hope Mills faces.

We are proud to serve Hope Mills. The town has publicly endorsed and recognized Up & Coming Weekly as its official community publication. Why? Because of our 23-year history of quality, fair and accurate community news coverage across Cumberland County.

Hope Mills wanted a valuable, long-term marketing strategy for the enhancement of quality of life and the growth of local businesses and solid long-term economic development. That’s why they partnered withus. That decision was overturned by the Chatter crew, Lawson, and Carter-Waring.

In a blatant move to discredit us and stymie our style of positive local news coverage in Hope Mills, Carter-Waring uninvited us from the chat room and ultimately blocked us from the page. She has refused to respond to our inquiries or provide an explanation as to why our newspaper is excluded while she allows other all other media to participate.

Many advocates for Up & Coming Weekly have since been involuntarily extricated from the group. However, this is not the main concern. The main concern is if the presence and participation of three Hope Mills Commissioners in this private chat group constitute a violation of the Open Meetings Law. Or, at the very least, is this practice ethically questionable and something that should be discouraged and addressed by the commissioners? We’ll see how this plays out.

Our newspaper has gained the trust of dozens of nonprofit organizations and hundreds of businesses, civic organizations and government entities. The Hope Mills Chatter, Carter-Waring and Lawson undid a solid, well-thought-out media program for their personal gain and undermined the work of Warner, Edwards, Gorman and Adams.

I don’t know where this social media controversy will end, but, I do know it is not good for the future of Hope Mills. Again, kudos to Mitchell for broaching the subject. In the meantime, we will continue to promote and develop the Hope Mills Initiative by spreading the good news about Hope Mills throughout all of Cumberland County and Fort Bragg – just as the previous leadership intended.

Respectfully, Carter-Waring and her few chattering Sandspur followers pale in comparison to the bold and aggressive positive message that we and the Hope Mills leadership intend for its residents and visitors. Hope Mills is becoming prominent and respected throughout the county. The town of Hope Mills needs to protect itself from non-visionaries and small thinkers.

Whether Up & Coming Weekly continues to be the official media voice of Hope Mills or not will be determined by the town’s people. Carter-Waring and Larson do not want the town to have another media voice. They do not share the vision for growth and economic prosperity of Hope Mills. They want things to stay the same. No vision, no progress, no growth, no competition, and certainly no Up & Coming Weekly!

Mike Mitchell, stay the course. Transparency is vital to free and open government. Demand public input. Demand to hear all residents of Hope Mills – not just a select few.

Readers, we would love to hear from you. Send your thoughts and comments to

Thank you for reading Hope Mills’ community newspaper.

Add a comment

Failing to recognize danger is costly

04Michael CohenWithout doubt, when danger lurks and a person, or group, fails to recognize and properly respond to it, it is costly. Recently, I was driving on a heavily traveled road in Fayetteville. A little sports car was trailing me and got very close to my rear bumper. I immediately realized this was a dangerous situation. I moved ahead enough for him to pass me. He flew past. If I had not seen that car in my rearview mirror and taken preventative action, very likely, a collision would have been the result. This experience highlights the need to recognize and act in the face of danger.

The costly nature of failing to recognize and act in response to danger extends to every aspect of life. It seems there is an epidemic underway regarding failure to recognize danger. At least three causes for this condition in America should be considered. The first is that people are so busy struggling to support themselves and family that little or no attention is given to sensing danger. Another is that there can be so much anger, so much emotional baggage, that there is a blinding of one’s capacity to identify danger. Then, in a world of unbelievable selfishness, people look at conditions that might be dangerous but decide these conditions do not affect them and, consequently, give no attention to an otherwise dangerous situation.

The examples of how this failure to recognize danger happens and can prove costly are almost without limit. As I write this column, there is a developing situation that demonstrates all of what was addressed in the preceding paragraph. Reports on April 9 indicate that the FBI raided the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen. He is the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump. Various materials were taken for reasons that have not been publicly reported. The search resulted from a referralby Robert Mueller, special council to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. This suggests Mueller discovered some possible breach of law that was not under his purview, but should be addressed. The raid was conducted under a search warrant obtained by the Manhattan federal prosecutors.

The first concern is that this was a search of an attorney’s office, which gave the FBI access to client information that clients had every reason to think was protected by attorney-client privilege. For this reason, the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual is clear in requiring defined steps and extreme care when dealing with a situation of this nature. Below are some segments from the section that addresses searches of attorneys’ records. To fully appreciate the importance of this issue, please read the full section at

“Because of the potential effects of this type of search on legitimate attorney-client relationships and because of the possibility that, during such a search, the government may encounter material protected by a legitimate claim of privilege, it is important that close control be exercised over this type of search.

“In order to avoid impinging on valid attorney client relationships, prosecutors are expected to take the least intrusive approach consistent with vigorous and effective law enforcement when evidence is sought from an attorney actively engaged in the practice of law. Consideration should be given to obtaining information from other sources or through the use of a subpoena, unless such efforts could compromise the criminal investigation or prosecution, or could result in the obstruction or destruction of evidence, or would otherwise be ineffective.

“Procedures should be designed to ensure that privileged materials are not improperly viewed, seized or retained during the course of the search. While the procedures to be followed should be tailored to the facts of each case and the requirements and judicial preferences and precedents of each district, in all cases a prosecutor must employ adequate precautions to ensure that the materials are reviewed for privilege claims and that any privileged documents are returned to the attorney from whom they were seized.”

Clearly, these segments reflect recognition of the possible detrimental consequences of searching anattorney’s records. With that in mind, consider how the search of Cohen’s records has proceeded. The searches took place. With his attorney, Cohen went to court and requested permission to have an independent third party, called a “special master,” review the materials that were removed. The aim would be to identify materials believed to be covered by attorney-client privilege. This review would take place before any review by the FBI.

Although government attorneys have not been specific regarding reasons for the searches, there is substantial reporting as to the reason. Olivia Messer and Kate Briquelet write the following in an article titled, “Judge Hands Defeat to Trump and Cohen Over FBI Raid: ‘You’ve Miscited the Law.’”

The article states, “Prosecutors reportedly sough tinformation about Cohen’s role in facilitating hushmoney payments to Trump’s alleged mistress, porn star Stormy Daniels, and his potential role infacilitating a payout to ex-Playmate Karen McDougalin the run-up to the 2016 election. Both women claim they had affairs with Trump and have sued to be released from their NDAs. The raids were ‘the result of a months-long investigation into Cohen’ and his ‘own business dealings,’ prosecutors said in a Friday filing.”

Beyond the searches, the court process resulted in the names of two Cohen clients being revealed. Every indication is that these clients had absolutely no involvement with the suspected offenses by Cohen that are being investigated. Those clients are Elliott Broidy, a Republican fundraiser, and Sean Hannity, a Fox Cable News show host. Hannity had requested that his name not be disclosed. Judge Kimba M. Wood, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, to disclose an unnamed client, who turned out to be Hannity.

As of April 20, reports are that Judge Wood announced she would, in late May, make a decision regarding a special master. That means materials taken in the Cohen searches will not be examined until June.

I hold that the picture painted here is one where: attorney-client privilege is jeopardized; an attorney’spractice is prematurely destroyed; the public is given reason to distrust claims of privacy protection when communicating with an attorney; people who had absolutely no involvement with the suspected wrong doing can have their identities exposed and face serious undesired consequences; the process for settling a matter of this nature seems to go on without end; and on goes the list of negatives. Without doubt, what is described here is dangerous for every American.

The scary, and quite sad, fact is that far too many Americans will disregard this danger for one or more of the reasons given in the second paragraph above. That is – they are so occupied with simply surviving, consumed by negative emotions, or focused on self to the point that this danger is disregarded because it is viewed as not applicableto them. In that category of negative emotions, the raging hatred that so many people have for PresidentTrump is a prime example. That hatred will blind those haters to the danger in what has been described regarding the treatment of Cohen, Trump, Broidy and Hannity.

Not only in addressing this Cohen situation, but in every moment of our living, we would do well to learn from the words of Martin Niemöller. This background and his words are reported at

“Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

“He said, ‘First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.’”


PHOTO: Michael Cohen

Add a comment

Latest Articles

  • Cape Fear athletes flock to Ultimate Frisbee
  • Help for weak conference schedules
  • Scholar Athletes of the week
  • Hope Mills Lake swimming a muddy issue
  • Hope Mills eager to connect with local builders