N.C. State Rep. Margaret Dickson (D-Cumberland) has been selected to serve on the newly created Joint Study Committee on Military and Veterans’ Affairs.
    Representative Dickson will serve the 18-member committee, which includes seven House members, seven Senate members, Rear Admiral (Ret.) L.F. “Ferg” Norton, New Hanover County, and Lt. Col. Christopher R. Canipe, NCARNG (Ret.) Guilford County.
    The committee has been asked to study:
    •The definition and use of the term “veteran” and “disabled veteran” throughout the North Carolina General Statutes and whether those definitions must be consistent with corresponding federal laws.
    •The availability of continuing education, training, and other employment services to veterans and their dependents seeking employment assistance.
    •Examine the re-entry process for service members who return to civilian life after being engaged in an active theater.
    •The ability of North Carolina’s mental health system to provide care and services to military personnel.
    •The availability of services provided by federal, state, and local governments that offers veterans employment counseling and other support services.       
    •Education issues relating to military dependents, including dependents that are transferring into North Carolina schools from other jurisdictions.
    •Compatible development issues facing the state’s military installations.
    •The extension of state benefits and privileges to veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation     Enduring Freedom consistent with those currently granted to veterans of World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.
    The committee will submit a final report on the results of its study, including any proposed legislation, to the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, on or before Dec. 31, 2008.


    On April 7, officials from the City of Fayetteville and the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (FACVB) learned the city was awarded a $150,000 Preserve America Grant. The FACVB applied for the grant on behalf of the City of Fayetteville, and is providing matching funds.
    “Preserve America Grants help weave cultural and national heritage into the economic, educational and social fabric of communities by promoting heritage tourism,” said Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett, who announced 43 Preserve America Grants on April 7.
    The purpose for the funded project, titled Culturally Connecting America’s Hometown:                 Fayetteville/Cumberland County Wayfinding Initiative, is to plan, design and implement a complete wayfinding signage system throughout the county, with an emphasis on historic and cultural resources. Preserve America funds will be used to hire a consultant and to implement a portion of a strategic plan for the program. The consultant will assess the navigational needs of visitors to our county, identify the appropriate signage system for our market, seek input from the public, determine the necessary location, placement, number, design and content of such signs and to reach a consensus on the final plan amongst all stakeholders. 


    With the presidential election taking place in 2008, U.S. citizens will choose the direction that America will take for the next four years. Before that though, Fayetteville residents have an opportunity to participate in another federal event that could have more of a local impact. Citizens can do that by filling out U.S. Census Bureau Dress Rehearsal forms they have received in the mail and sending them back in the provided envelope. The information on the questionnaire helps the community better its chances at receiving funding for public projects.
    Census counts are used for congressional representation, legislative redistricting and the distribution of $300 billion in federal, state and local money every year. The census ensures that power and money are fairly distributed. A complete count means everybody counts — in different words— more participation helps chances for improving quality of life.

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