• 20 Astin WarrenAustin Warren arrived in Tempe, Arizona, at the Los Angeles Angels minor league baseball spring training camp in February anxious to continue working on his dream of making it to the major leagues.

    But after a few weeks working out with the other early arrivals, and almost the same time as his mother Alana Hix and other relatives arrived to watch him play spring training games, minor league baseball joined the rest of the sports world in shutting down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Now back in Fayetteville, the Terry Sanford High School and UNC-Wilmington product is working out three days a week and waiting like everyone else in minor league baseball to find out what the future holds, both for the sport in general and his career.

    Warren started 2019 with the Inland Empire advanced Class A team in San Bernardino, California, then he was briefly assigned to the Mobile Bay Class AA team in Alabama. He was in Mobile long enough to compile a 1-2 record with a 2.57 earned run average, walking nine batters and striking out 14.

    Team assignments for the aborted 2020 minor league season weren’t to be made until near the end of spring training, but Warren said he expected he would have been sent to Los Angeles’ new Class AA near Huntsville, Alabama, the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

    Even after the season was canceled, Warren hoped to stay in Tempe and get in some more workouts, but while hiking there with family a couple of days after the season was halted, Warren got the word from team officials that nobody could stay behind and everyone had to return to their homes.

    Since coming back to Fayetteville, Warren has divided his time between here and his old college haunts in Wilmington, while working out locally to stay in shape and keep his pitching as honed as much as possible.

    During his brief time in Arizona this year, he did get to do some bullpen work as well as throw live batting practice against some of the Angels’ major league players.

    He said coaches from the Angels have been in regular contact with him since he came home, checking on his health and conditioning.

    As for what will happen next with minor league baseball, Warren said he’s just as much in the dark as everyone else.

    “I’m hoping they will start some kind of fall league like I was in last year,’’ Warren said. “I’m sure winter ball teams will reach out to people. You never know what’s going on with this virus. You’ve got to play it by ear.’’

    Warren said the formula for advancing further in the sport is simple. “You’ve got to throw strikes, pound the zone and like everyone says trust your defense,’’ he said. Warren feels he’s improved all of his pitches and has the confidence to throw any pitch in any situation.

    “I just can’t wait to get back with the guys and get things rolling again,’’ he said.

    Pictured: Austin Warren

  • 19 Trey EdgeLike everyone else who considers themselves a fan of high school football, Trey Edge is trying to stay optimistic that the powers that be making decisions about whether the sport will be played this fall in North Carolina are looking into all the options possible for safely returning coaches and athletes to the practice and playing fields.

    But at the same time, the radio voice of Terry Sanford High School football broadcasts is realistic enough to know the COVID-19 pandemic presents an array of challenges to everyone involved that is difficult to sort through.

    “The kids’ health comes first,’’ said Edge, who was a quarterback himself during his high school days at his alma mater Terry Sanford. “It’s also an issue of how do you test everybody. It’s a money thing.’’

    He added that’s the big difference between football at the professional, college and high school levels. Both the NFL and college football have deeper pockets to afford the expensive testing that COVID-19 requires. High schools don’t have that luxury, without considerable outside assistance that’s not readily available.

    That’s ironic because high school football is the major source of revenue for schools to support the entire athletic program. “The fear is we don’t get to play this fall,’’ Edge said. “The bigger fear is that these kids are okay. It’s a lot of responsibility for the county and the coaches.’’

    As a former player, Edge has memories of what a high school locker room is like. He agrees with Pine Forest football coach Bill Sochovka, who recently compared working with a football team like the environment of a petri dish where bacteria is grown and studied for experiments.

    “It sounds barbaric to talk about it but it’s sweat and it’s dirt,’’ Edge said of the atmosphere in a locker room after both a practice and
    a game.

    “Preventing that spread from even starting is a big problem. I think you have to go into it with wide eyes and know someone, somewhere is going to test positive. Then what happens when they do?’’

    Edge said a bubble like the NBA, WNBA and NHL are using is out of the question for high school sports, adding that coaches and athletic directors will have to be especially creative in finding a solution to the problem.
    As a starting point, he said it’s critical everyone continues what’s being done: masks, social distancing and washing of hands.

    While some coaches have pushed for a return to practice, saying we need to accept the disease for what it is and just be as safe as we can in spite of it, Edge said the safety of the athletes has to remain the top concern.

    “I can understand the desperation,’’ Edge said. “It’s a moving target. We miss football, but can you find a way to do it?’’

    Pictured: Trey Edge

  • Not even a global pandemic could stop the Poetic Pathos poetry team from Gray’s Creek High School enjoying its best-ever finish in a national poetry competition recently.

    The team had to cope with a variety of challenges as it participated in the 23rd annual Brave New Voices competition, originally scheduled for Washington, D.C., but changed to a virtual format via Zoom because of the COVID-19
    pandemic.

    The Gray’s Creek poets advanced all the way to the final round the final full week of July and finished third among the 12 teams that were able to participate in the event.

    Joel Mayo started the Poetic Pathos group at Gray’s Creek in 2014 with the goal of bringing the youth in the community together and giving them the opportunity to share their voice through the medium of spoken poetry.
    The Brave New Voices competition is usually a much bigger deal with some 50 teams from around the United States as well as foreign countries.

    But even with a smaller event, the Gray’s Creek group found a way to make history. According to Mayo, this was the first time a North Carolina team made the finals of the competition.

    Nicole Rivers, another English teacher who has been at Gray’s Creek for 10 years, assisted Mayo with coaching the current team. She said the slam poetry style that the team uses offers many benefits.

    “It allows them to assess who they are on the inside — and in the world around them — in a very honest way,’’ Rivers said. “That is why it is so positive. It makes them think critically about what’s going on inside them and around them.’’

    Rivers said it also gives students a different perspective on poetry, stopping them from thinking that poetry is something created only by authors who are elderly or deceased. “It’s not about the past,’’ Rivers said. “It’s about the moment, and they get to express that. That’s what makes it relevant. It’s close to genres of music that they hear now.’’

    Members of the team that competed in this year’s Brave New Voices included Isa Meachum, Miya Walters, Yasmine Saintjuste, Kine Clark and Natalie Blacker.

    Meachum said one of the biggest challenges of this year’s competition was not being able to be face-to-face with team members or to have an audience in front of them since all of the competition was done on Zoom.

    “When you have a crowd in front of you, it allows you to feed off the energy when you’re doing good,’’ Meachum said. “You can really build off what they give you.’’

    Another challenge came from situations where the team did a group performance. In order to avoid exposing the team members to face-to-face contact because of the virus, they elected to prerecord all of their group performances for the competition on Zoom.

    Meachum said that was a challenge, especially when it came to getting timing right. “On Zoom there could be a little lag if they are not there with you,’’ he said. “It’s hard to be in sync.’’

    The virtual nature of the competition was actually a benefit to one team member, Miya Walters, who was vacationing with her family during the event and had to take part in Brave New Voices while away from home.

    Still, Walters said it was difficult to coordinate. “We had to do a lot of video takes,’’ she said. “That was hard because we had different internet connections. We had to time our speech so we didn’t have overlap or have a pause because we were timed for our competition.’’

    Walters felt the passion and the knowledge of the Gray’s Creek team were the keys to their best finish ever at this level of competition. But Walters didn’t think winning was the most important thing.

    “We went there as a team and wanted to say what we had to say for ourselves,’’ she said.

    She hoped the win helped the team show, as she put it, that poetry isn’t something about whining on a stage and complaining. “It’s starting a conversation that needs to be had,’’ she said. “It shows poetry is much deeper than that poem you had to write in your first year of English class.

    “People may not realize the simple things they are writing in their diary every day may be something that needs to be said on stage. It (poetry) shows people they can really use their voice.’’

    18 01 joel mayo

    18 02 nicole rivers18 03 isa meachum18 04 miya walters

    L-R: Joel Mayo, Nicole Rivers, Isa Meachum, Miya Walters.

     

  • goodsandservices

     

    • Best Veteran-Owned Business..........Chop Shop Tattoos


    • Best Shopping Complex (Not the mall)...............Westwood Shopping Center


    • Best Store For A Unique Gift..... White Trash & Colorful Accessories


    • Best Health Food Store.....Apple Crate Natural Market


    • Best Candy/Sweet Shop... Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop


    • Best Tobacco Shop......Anstead’s Tobacco Company


    • Best Place To Buy Local Art.............Cape Fear Studios

     

    • Best Framing Shop...............Lisa’s Custom Framing


    • Best Furniture Store - Used......New & Nearly New Thrift Shop

    • Best Furniture Store - New........Bullard Furniture


    • Best Antique Shop...........The Pickin’ Coop


    • Best Book Store - Used.................2ND & CHARLES


    • Best Library Branch......Headquarters Library


    • Best Private School.............Village Christian Academy


    • Best Carpet/Flooring Store......... Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration


    • Best Clothing Store - Men..............Belk


    • Best Clothing Store - Women............ Belk


    • Best Clothing Store - Children............Tiny Town


    • Best Thrift Shop....... Timely Treasures Thrift Store


    • Best Consignment Shop......High Cotton Consignment


    • Best Pawn Shop.............Jim’s Pawn and Gun Jobbery


    • Best Jewelry Store..........Rhudy’s Jewelry Showroom

    • Best Sporting Goods Store..... Academy Sports


    • Best Place To Buy A Gun...............Jim’s Pawn and Gun Jobbery


    • Best Car Dealer - Used.............. CarMax


    • Best Car Dealer - New..........Bryan Honda


    • Best Auto Repair........Black’s Tire & Auto Service


    • Best Car Wash/Detailing....TLC Auto Wash


    • Best Motorcycle Service........Baker American Cycles


    • Best Motorcycle Dealer - Used.....................Baker American Cycles


    • Best Motorcycle Dealer - New.............Baker American Cycles


    • Best Tire Store..........Black’s Tire & Auto Service


    • Best CPA Firm .......McFadyen & Sumner, CPAs PA


    • Best Law Firm....Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, P.A. Attorneys At Law


    • Best Legal Assistant...........Danielle Rea...Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, P.A. Attorneys At Law


    • Best Criminal Attorney..... David Courie...Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, P.A. Attorneys At Law

    • Best Divorce Attorney..............Timothy Edwards...Blackwell and Edwards


    • Best Personal Injury Attorney ...............Mark Sternlicht...Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, P.A. Attorneys At Law


    • Best Traffic Ticket Attorney ..........Mark Hearp...Beaver Courie Sternlicht Hearp & Broadfoot, P.A. Attorneys At Law


    • Best Local Pharmacy...........Cape Fear Discount Drugs

     

    • Best Family Dentist................Village Family Dental


    • Best Pediatric Dentist.........Highland Pediatric Dental


    • Best Orthodontist..............Village Family Dental


    • Best Chiropractor..........Nelson & Nelson Chiropractic


    • Best Aesthetician ...............Riya Nepal


    • Best Urgent Care.................FastMed Urgent Care


    • Best Family Medical Practice.....................Village Internal Medicine


    • Best OB/GYN......... Women’s Wellness Center


    • Best Pediatrician............Rainbow Pediatrics


    • Best Optometrist ........Dr. Hakkam Alsaidi of Risk Optometric Associates, PA


    • Best Ophthalmologist... Dr. Wayne Riggins of Cape Fear Eye Associates, PA


    • Best Electrical Contractor.......................Blanton’s Air, Plumbing & Electric


    • Best HVAC Contractor...... Blackwell Heating & Air Conditioning


    • Best Plumbing Contractor .... Wade Hardin Plumbing


    • Best Computer Repair Service.......Ross I.T. Services


    • Best Cell Phone Repair...............ifixandrepair


    • Best Bank........BB&T


    • Best Credit Union.....State Employees’ Credit Union


    • Best Hair Salon...... Blown Away Hair Studio


    • Best Barber Shop............. Pinky’s Chop Shop


    • Best Place to Board Pets.........Bed & Biscuits Boarding


    • Best Pet-Sitting   ...........................Carolina Pet Care


    • Best Dog Groomer..............................Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming


    • Best Vet/Animal Hospital.........Animal Hospital of Fayetteville


    • Best Employment Agency... Express Employment Professionals


    • Best Wedding Venue........Cape Fear Botanical Garden


    • Best Convention Venue .......Crown Center Complex


    • Best Florist...............Always Flowers by Crenshaw


    • Best Funeral Service.... Rogers & Breece Funeral Home


    • Best Health Club/Gym.........Planet Fitness


    • Best Day Spa......Renaissance European Day Spa

    • Best Place For A Kids Party..................Monkey Joe’s

    • Best Sign/Banner Company..................FASTSIGNS


    • Best Advertising Specialties... Carolina Specialties International


    • Best Mortgage Company...........Union Home Mortgage


    • Best Real Estate Company..........1st Choice Real Estate


    • Best Realtor........... Santina Lashay Epps-Thomas of 1st Choice Real Estate


    • Best Insurance Agent/Agency............Kurt Riehl of State Farm


    • Best Security/Alarm Company..........Gill Security Systems INC.


    • Best Moving Company.................Andy Anderson Moving Co.


    • Best Remodeling Contractor......... Jason’s Home Improvements


    • Best House Cleaning..........Savvy Cleaning Company


    • Best Lawn & Garden/Nursery............Bell’s Seed Store


    • Best Landscaping Company..............Snow’s Landscaping & Lawncare Inc.


    • Best Pool/Spa Company.................Hallmark Spa & Pools


    • Best Place To Get A Tattoo/Body Piercing........Evolution Ink

  • wineanddine

    • Best Restaurant Overall.........Luigi’s Italian Chophouse & Bar


    • Best North Side Restaurant........Scrub Oaks Contemporary American

    Pub


    • Best Downtown Restaurant..........Circa 1800


    • Best Dining With Kids.........Chuck E. Cheese


    • Best Fine Dining........Luigi’s Italian Chophouse & Bar


    • Best New Restaurant.........Drop by the River Seafood


    • Best Place For A Romantic Dinner..... Antonella’s Italian Ristorante


    • Best Local Caterer............Peaden’s Seafood & Catering


    • Best Waitstaff/Service......Peaden’s Seafood & Catering


    • Best Brew House...............Mash House Brewing Company


    • Best Wine Shop.............. The Wine Café


    • Best Breakfast..................Zorba’s Gyro


    • Best Sunday Brunch...............Circa 1800


    • Best Business Lunch.............Huske Hardware House


    • Best Food Truck...........R Burger


    • Best Appetizers..............Antonella’s Italian Ristorante


    • Best Coffee House......... Rude Awakening


    • Best Deli................New Deli


    • Best German Restaurant....... Max & Moritz Bakery & Restaurant


    • Best Indian Restaurant..........Tandoori Bites


    • Best Italian Restaurant......... Luigi’s Italian Chophouse & Bar


    • Best Japanese Restaurant...........Miyabi Japanese Steak & Seafood House


    • Best Korean Restaurant.........E Tae Won


    • Best Chinese Restaurant..............Hunan Garden


    • Best Vietnamese Restaurant...........Saigon Bistro


    • Best Thai Restaurant...............Prik Thai Cuisine


    • Best Sushi Restaurant.................NONA SUSHI


    • Best Mediterranean Restaurant........Olea Mediterranean Kitchen


    • Best Greek Cuisine...........Zorba’s Gyro


    • Best Mexican Restaurant..Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant


    • Best Seafood Restaurant........Peaden’s Seafood & Catering


    • Best Soul Food Restaurant...........Fred Chasons Grandsons


    • Best Southern-Style Restaurant................Fred Chasons Grandsons


    • Best Vegetarian Cuisine...........Bombay Bistro


    • Best Vegan Cuisine..................Bombay Bistro


    • Best Bakery...............................Superior Bakery


    • Best Desserts...........................Sweet Boutique


    • Best BBQ.......... Southern Coals Country Style Kitchen


    • Best Hamburger.................Rustic Burger


    • Best Hot Dog......................Hot Diggidy Dog


    • Best Fried Chicken...................KFC


    • Best Pizza (Eat In)..............Mellow Mushroom


    • Best Pizza (Take Out)...........Pizza Hut


    • Best Ribs.................Texas Roadhouse


    • Best Steaks.............Texas Roadhouse


    • Best Wings............. 301 Wingz

  • media

    • Best Area TV Station............ABC11 WTVD


    • Best Traffic Report................NBC5 WRAL


    • Best Weather Report.............NBC5 WRAL


    • Best Local Columnist/Writer.........Bill Kirby

  • outdoorsandrec

     

    • Best Bowling Alley.............B&B Lanes


    • Best Extreme Activity/Adventure......ZipQuest - Waterfall & Treetop Adventure


    • Best Golf Course..... Gates Four Golf & Country Club


    • Best Fitness Coach...... Kasey Adair of Omni Health & Fitness Center


    • Best Local Picnic Area.......Arnette Park


    • Best Place For Taking A Hike.............Cape Fear River Trail


    • Best Place For Doggie Walk...........Cape Fear River Trail


    • Best Recreation Center........Stedman Recreation Center


    • Best Senior Living Center..............Heritage Place


    • Best Shooting Range.........Jim’s Pawn and Gun Jobbery

  •  

     

    politics

     

     

    • Most Responsive City Politician.....Councilman Johnny Dawkins


    • Most Responsive County Politician....Commissioner Michael Boose


    • Most Respected Civic Leader.....Judge Toni King


    • Biggest Local Scandal...........Judge April Smith


    • Best Use Of Local Tax Dollars.......Segra Stadium


    • Worst Use Of Local Tax Dollars..........Segra Stadium

  • arts

    • Best Live Theatre......Cape Fear Regional Theatre


    • Best Local Actor/Actress.... Lanie Jo Myrtle


    • Best Play/Musical This Season........“Annie” at Cape Fear Regional Theatre


    • Best Art Gallery.......The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County


    • Best Museum........Airborne & Special Operations Museum


    • Best Cinema Complex..... Millstone 14


    • Best Local Celebrity........J. Cole

  • nightlife

    • Best Venue/Club For Live Music......The Drunk Horse Pub


    • Best Local Musician/Band............Rivermist


    • Best Night Club Overall....... Paddy’s Irish Pub


    • Best Place For Girls’ Night Out..... Aqua Lounge & Night Club


    • Best Neighborhood Bar.............Last Call Sports Bar


    • Best Bar For Craft Beers......Dirtbag Ales


    • Best Sports Bar........Bubba’s 33


    • Best Pool Room...........Corner Pockets

  • 08-18-10-upside-of-irrationality-the-unexpected-benefits-of-defying-logic-at-work-and-at-home.gifThis November a lot of good elected public officials — along with, it must be said, some sorry ones, too — are going to lose their jobs.

    When times are bad, or when voters are angry for any reason, there are few options for them to register their discontent other than voting against whoever happens to be in office.

    Maybe you heard the story of the older blind woman who was assisted in the voting booth by a younger friend. “Do you want to vote for John Brown or Bob White?” the young friend could be heard asking. The older woman’s voice boomed through the hall, “Which one is ‘in’?”

    “Mr. Brown.”

    “Then vote for the other one.”

    Down the ballot, the older woman directed “the other one,” after finding out which candidate was ”in.”

    Does irrational behavior like the older woman’s voting choices pay off? Does it accomplish things that perfectly rational conduct just cannot achieve?

    These are the kind of questions that Duke professor Dan Ariely deals with in his new book, The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.

    Ariely’s new book follows up his best selling Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. That book’s main point was that many important decisions we make every day are not based on a rational determination of what is best for us from an economic viewpoint.

    The new book’s title indicates that there might be a considerable “upside” to all the irrational decisions that we make. Actually, Ariely mostly continues to point out the downsides of our irrational choices and make suggestions about how to make better choices. But he does give some interesting exceptions.

    For instance, he shows how there may be some “upside” to the normally irrational response of revenge when we are done wrong. He describes why a donkey thief might pass by the opportunity to steal an animal from someone who “is not always rational and … in fact … the dark-souled, vengeful type who would chase you to the ends of the earth, take back not only my donkey but all of your goats, and leave you a bloody mess to boot.”

    Would you steal this man’s donkey? Ariely: “My guess is that you would not.”

    Even when there is no social utility to it, the compulsion for revenge is powerful.

    Ariel measured the compulsion in a “trust games” experiment. Each of two people were given $10. One person is given the option to keep his $10 or give it to the second person. If he gives it to the second person, that person gets an additional $30 so that he has a total of $50. He then has the option to keep the $50 or to give $25 back to the first person.

    In the game, some gave and some kept it all.

    Ariely added a twist. For the people who got nothing back, he gave a chance to get revenge. They could put up their own money to punish the ones who had failed to share with them. For every $2 the first person put up, $4 would be taken away from the second person. So, if he put up $25, the second person would lose all his winnings.

    Many players took the full revenge. Most interestingly, says Ariely, he measured the brain activity of the revengers. Their brain activity indicated they took great pleasure with their actions — those who punished the most taking the greatest pleasure.

    The revenge that some voters take this fall may not be in their long-term best interests. But if we could measure the pleasure their acts of electoral revenge give them, we might understand better why democracy does not always deliver the most rational result.

  • citylife


    • Best Place To Commune With Nature...Cape Fear Botanical Garden


    • Best Local Festival/Event............Fayetteville Dogwood Festival


    • Best Change In Fayetteville For 2019...Fayetteville Woodpeckers

      Baseball


    • Worst Change In Fayetteville For 2019..........Paid Parking Downtown


    • Best Local Landmark..........Market House


    • Best Little-Known Attraction.......Museum of the Cape Fear


    • Coolest Venue Downtown.......Segra Stadium


    • Best Thing To Show Off To Visitors........Airborne & Special Operations  Museum


    • Worst Thing To Hide From Visitors.......Bragg Blvd.


    • What Does Fayetteville Need Most......Downtown Parking


    • Best Local Community Project......The Vision Resource Center


    • Best Local Nonprofit Organization.........Fayetteville Animal Protection     Society


    • Best Local Fundraising Event.... Cape Beard Pig Pickin’ for Autism

  •  

     

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  • 24Mandy McMillan Terry Sanford tennis 25Ritika Shamdasani Terry Sanford tennis To hear that Terry Sanford is the favorite to win this year’s Patriot Athletic Conference girls tennis title is no surprise.

    But league teams may be a little more concerned when they hear head coach Mandy McMillan’s assessment of her 2018 squad.

    “These girls came back and shocked me this year when we did challenge matches,’’ she said. “My whole team is strong. I don’t have a weak link. I’d put them up against anybody in the conference.’’

    The Bulldogs will be led at first court by Ritika Shamdasani, who said she thrives on the support of McMillan and her teammates during matches and practices.

    On the court, Shamdasani said, she tries to focus on playing her game and not get caught up in trying to emulate moves that her opponents are using. “You have to stay true to your game and how you play,’’ Shamdasani said. “That’s usually what wins matches.’’

    Shamdasani said the strength of her game is serving. She’s been consistent and powerful in this area.

    McMillan thinks if there is a conference team that could give Terry Sanford a run for its money, it’s Cape Fear, led by No. 1 singles player Chloe Arnette. Arnette already beat Shamdasani in their first match this season, 6-3, 6-3. “Chloe is a tough competitor,’’ McMillan said of Arnette. “That was a win well deserved.’’

    Cape Fear finished second to Terry Sanford a year ago, losing only to the Bulldogs in conference play.

    “This year, our goal is to be as competitive as possible with Terry Sanford,’’ Colt coach Chris Lucas said.

    Arnette, who first took up tennis as something to
    keep her in shape for basketball, is now looking to
    tennis as the sport she’d like to play in college.

    “I feel my strength is my athleticism,’’ she said. “And I’m a really strong competitor. I analyze what I need to do better to win the next point.’’

    But, she said, her main focus is having fun. “You have to have fun. It’s the key to playing.’’

    Arnette has advanced to North Carolina High School Athletic Association regional play in doubles all three of her years at Cape Fear. She’s
    undecided this year if she’d like to make a final try at a doubles title or pursue the chance to play for a singles championship.

    She said she’ll decide which way she plays based on if she’s doing better in singles or doubles when the time comes to make the decision.

    Photos L to R: Mandy McMillan, Ritika Shamdasani

  • How can two people walk together unless they agree? They can’t. Have you ever done the three legged race? One of your legs is tied to another person, in order to get to the finish line you must work as a team. During the race there is no time to discuss08-08-12-umoja.gif strategy or to go through a long discussion about a teammate’s weaknesses or strengths. You just get together and work with what you have to successfully complete the race. It’s not about the individual but about the group, it’s about Umoja! Umoja is a Swahili word that means unity. The focusis on building communities that stand together with mutual respect and cooperation.

    On Aug. 18, 2012 the Umoja Festival will be held at Seabrook Park at 1520 Slater Ave. in Fayetteville. The Umoja Festival is an African-American cultural, family and community festival. The event is from noon until 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public. The festival is sponsored by Umoja Group, Inc. of Fayetteville, a nonprofit organization whose mission initiates and supports African, African-American and Caribbean positive history, art and culture.

    The event is truly festive and includes: storytellers, cultural displays, music, ethnic food, a fish fry and vendors. The Fayetteville State University and E.E. Smith bands will be present along with the Delta Steppers. Radio station107.7 Jamz, 3rd World Soundz, Fayetteville/Cumberland Parks & Recreation, the African-American Education & Research Organization, as well as Cape Fear Valley Health will also be participating in the festival. According to the project director, Isabella Effon, you don’t want to miss the good food. “If you are on a diet that day, take a day off and enjoy the food.”

    Although the crowds will be delighted with the food Effon states that the festival is really about bringing families together. “The festival is more family oriented; the elders of the African-American community come out in great numbers. They look forward to it,” says Effon. Many of the elderly come out to talk about their history. Some of them have been interviewed by the Umoja groups’ presidential director Dorothy Fielder. During the festival you will have an opportunity to converse with these “treasures of heritage.” They are walking books of culture and heritage.

    This festival has been held since the inception of the Umoja group. This year marks the 22nd year of Umoja Festival. The Umoja group has hosted other events in the past twenty years as well including Kwanza, the Malcolm X Forum, and it’s first Women’s Conference, which was held February of this year.

    The group also holds international exhibits. In the coming year they will hold a music exhibit from the West Africa Department of Performing and Fine Arts, so mark the calendar and plan to attend. And while celebrating Umoja, take some time to look at the Fayetteville State University mural on Seabrook Dr. This mural is painted and cared for by the Umoja group, partners in both the community and education.

    As a partner in the community the group is offering free health screenings. The health screenings are sponsored by Cape fear Valley Health and the African Physicians Association of Fayetteville. These spectacular screenings are the highlight of the festival. The screenings provide many on site services, such as glucose & blood pressure screenings, rapid HIV testing, one on one doctor consultations, EKGs, BMI ( body mass index ) screenings and the opportunity to sign up for a mammogram. So while you are there be sure to go by and get a free health screening, just do some dancing before the screenings and eat after your BMI check.

    It’s a family affair. It’s about coming together. It’s about linking up. It’s about sharing and moving forward as a unit, as a community; mutual respect, mutual effort, mutual support and lots of fun.

    In case of rain the Umoja festival will be held on Aug. 25 instead of Aug. 18. For more information call 910-483-6152. Vendors please call 910-488-7130.

  • uac082912001.gif It’s about family, faith and culture. It’s about food, dancing and community. It’s about celebrating. It’s Greekfest 2012.

    Every September for the past 22 years the Greek community has spent an entire weekend celebrating and sharing all things Greek with the community. This year, the festival falls on the weekend of Sept. 7-9, and it promises to be even bigger and better than before. And it’s free.

    A cornerstone of the Greek culture is its faith. The congregation of Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church are passionate about their faith — so much so that church tours are offered throughout the Greek Fest. Visitors who take the tour get a peek at sanctuary and the many religious icons that are a part of the worship services. Father Alexander Papagikos leads the tours and explains the faith, taking questions from visitors along the way.

    A new event this year, is Faith and Family Sunday, which is scheduled for Sept. 9. All clergy and church families are invited to participate in the Greek Orthodox Divine Liturgy Sunday morning, and if that is inconvenient, to attend, they are invited to lunch. On this day, in honor of faith, family and worship, a donation to Fayetteville Urban Ministry will be made. The donation will come directly from a portion of the Sunday lunch proceeds at the Greek Fest.

    “Each year we choose an organization to support and this year it is Fayetteville Urban Ministry,” said Kelly Papagikos, event spokesperson. “Sunday we are having Faith and Family Day. After other congregations have f nished their services, they are invited to come and join us for lunch and tour of the church. If anyone wants to worship with us that day they are more than welcome.”

    The food at the Greek Fest is reason enough to come for a meal or two throughout the weekend, but supporting the Fayetteville Urban Ministry makes it that much more enjoyable. The tables in the food tent stay full during the Greek Fest as gyros, souvlaki, spanikopita and other delicacies are served to eager customers. The food offered to the crowds comes from the same recipes used for generations in the old country.

    For dessert, don’t forget the ever-popular Greek pastries that are available for sale. Baklava, Finikia and Kataifi are just a few of the many confections usually sold at the fest. Members of the Greek community spend days preparing for the fest and serve only the best to the guests that come to the celebration.

    “The women in the Greek community work for weeks to prepare for this. Everything is freshly hand-made. There is no store-bought baklava for sale at this festival,” said Papagikos. “The women pass the torch from generation to generation in hopes that the younger women will be then next generation to make the pastries. The pastries are always the first to sell out — no matter how much the church makes.”

    Each year the dance troupes perform dances from Greece for the visitors to the festival. This year they will perform in new costumes from various regions of their native land. The Nick Trivelas Band is scheduled to perform this year. Trivelas performs regularly at festival and events in the southeast and has been08-29-12-cover-story.gifperforming for more than 35 years.

    While Greek and American beer and wine imports are popular, a new addition for adults this year is the uozo blue shots. Uozo is black-licorice flavored liquor popular with the Greeks and it packs a wallop.

    “It will knock your socks off,” said Papagikos. “…and give you a taste of Greece.”

    The Greek Festival is a popular event that grows each year. What started in the fellowship hall has overfl owed into the lawn and church property. There will be a larger playground for the children this year, as well as more vendors at the Greek Market. Take a little bit of Greece home from the fest. Pick up a few items at the Greek grocery market or the ever-expanding Grecian Marketplace.

    “The markets are so popular, we are always looking for ways to add new vendors,” said Papagikos.

    Looking for Greek god-like skin?

    “We have added a new line of soaps this year that are made with things like goat’s milk and olive oil,” she added.

    The raffle, a staple at Greek Fest every year, costs $5 per ticket. Tickets are drawn hourly for prizes and the grand prize is either $2,000 or two round-trip tickets to Athens, Greece.

    On Friday , Sept. 6, local schools are invited to come and enjoy a meal and learn about the Greek culture.

    “Last year more than 400 students from surrounding schools came to learn about the culture,” said Papagikos. “This way we are able to give back education-wise once a year. We love having them — we give them lunch, teach them to dance and enjoy sharing our culture with them. The Greeks are known for their fellowship and warmth. It is called filoxenia — fellowship, warmth and love — and that is definately something Greeks are known for.”

    Not only does the Greek Fest open the hearts of the Greek community during the weekend of the festival, it builds a sense of purpose and community in the weeks and months leading up to the event — and it’s not just for the Greeks.

    “It is amazing how many people from outside the church come to help with the fest,”” said Papagikos. “With all the different cultures blending in Fayetteville everyone longs to come to the Greek Fest. It is a place where everyone feels welcome and accepted. It is always a good time with lots of good food …you can’t help but walk away with a new Greek friend.”

    The festival is held at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church at 615 Oakridge Dr. The festival starts on Friday around lunch time and runs through 10 p.m. Saturday the hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Call the church at 484-2010 for more information.

    Photo: Fayetteville’s Greek population comes from all over Greece, according to Kelly Papagikos, wife of Father Alexander Papagikos at Sts. Helen and Constantine Greek Orthodox Church.

  • 08-07-13-armyground.gifThanks to its strong connection to Fort Bragg, the citizens of Fayetteville have a unique level of access to the military. One way that this benefits the community is the many events that the military sponsors and that local citizens get to enjoy. One such event is the concerts presented by the Army Ground Forces Band, the Summer Salute.

    The Army Ground Forces Band has a rich history. Originally the Fourth Infantry Regiment Band, it was formed on July 21, 1845. The Armed Forces Band is the only military band that has received a combat distinction, which it earned by fighting in the Mexican War. The band now serves by performing all around the country for events ranging from local festivals to inaugurations. Local performances are particularly special for the band, however.

    “The Army Ground Forces Band arrived at Fort Bragg in the summer of 2011. Since that time, the band has endeavored to find ways to serve the area’s citizens and strengthen the ties between the Army and the surrounding communities. To further those goals, the band worked closely with the City of Fayetteville, Parks and Recreation and the Arts Council to plan this year’s inaugural outdoor concert series. The band’s first performance on June 20, was attended by several hundred people and honored firefighters, paramedics, first responders and members of the Red Cross for their service to the community. The biggest reward is being able to play for the members of our host community; the biggest challenge is getting Mother Nature to cooperate,” said Carol Eubanks, the public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Forces Command Public Affairs Office.

    This summer, the band will offer free concerts in Festival Park. While many may be skeptical about concerts presented by soldiers, these fears are wholly unfounded. These soldiers auditioned for the band, and many of them have trained at the nation’s leading music schools. A prime example of the skill level required for this band is the current commander and conductor, Captain Daniel Toven. He has a masters of music in conducting from Eastman School of Music, and numerous other accolades such as attending the Pierre Monteux School for Orchestra and Conductors.

    One of the most incredible things about The Army Ground Forces Band is its mastery of multiple genres of music. With the Summer Salute the band is highlighting its flexibility by performing many different styles.

    “Each concert promises to be a highly entertaining evening of music by some of the Army’s most talented soldier-musicians. The remaining concerts will feature the Loose Cannons rock band (Aug. 9), the Jazz Guardians (Aug 16) and the Concert Band (Aug. 30),” said Eubanks.

    It is fun for the whole family, and has something for everyone to enjoy.

    Festival Park is located in downtown Fayetteville at 225 Ray Ave. The concerts are free to the public and it is recommended that those attending bring a blanket or a lawn chair. The concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are scheduled on Aug 9, 16 and 30. For more information, visit the website www.forscom.army.mil/band or call 570-7223.

    Photo: The Army Ground Forces Band is set to perform several concerts for the community with its Summer Salute Series.

  •     Brotherhood will be the word of the day on Saturday, Aug. 16, as members of the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg/Pope Air Force Base Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity hold an “Achievement Luncheon” to honor five local African-American men and women of distinction.
        The luncheon will start at noon and be held at the Fort Bragg Officers’ Club.
        Those recognized at the luncheon include: North Carolina State Supreme Court Associate Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson; Billy R. King, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners; C. Mason Quick, M.D. (posthumous); Charles W. Cookman, president/owner-WIDU Radio; and Dr. Allen S. McLauchlin, president of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Ministerial Council.
        According to Floyd Shorter, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, as well as director of the Fayetteville Business Center, “all of the honorees have distinguished themselves as community leaders and exhibited outstanding achievement in the respective award categories of service, business and economic development, leadership, civic involvement and spiritual empowerment.”
        Kappa Alpha Psi is a collegiate fraternity with a predominantly African-American membership. The fraternity was founded on Jan. 5, 1911, at Indiana University-Bloomington and has more than 150,000 members with 700 undergraduate and alumni chapters in every state of the Union, and international chapters in the United Kingdom, Germany, Korea, Japan, the Caribbean and South Africa.
        The local chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi has about 150 members said Shorter, and is active in providing mentoring and leadership to young African-American males in Cumberland County.
    “We teach them etiquette and how to prepare themselves for collegiate life as well as fitting into society,” said Shorter. “The kids are very enthusiastic and excited to be networking with other kids. It helps boost their confidence.”
        {mosimage}Shorter said Kappa Alpha Psi also provides food for the needy.
        The fraternity was the first predominantly African-American Greek-letter society founded west of the Appalachian Mountains still in existence, and is known for its “cane stepping” in NPHC organized step shows.
        The president of the national fraternity is known as the Grand Polemarch; Dwayne M. Murray, an attorney and the 31st Grand Polemarch of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., will be the guest speaker for the luncheon.
    Murray, an experienced bankruptcy attorney, was the first African-American lawyer appointed to the Chapter 7 Panel of Trustees for the United States Middle District Bankruptcy Court.
        “It’s a huge honor to have Grand Polemarch Murray at our luncheon,” said Shorter. “And it’s an honor to recognize the achievement of five African Americans so involved with and so important to our community.”
        The cost of the luncheon is $35 per person. Proceeds will support scholarships for high school young men upon graduation who are involved in the Kappa League program, an ongoing program of the fraternity that focuses on the mentoring and personal growth of young males.
        “We’re looking forward to seeing many members of the public at our luncheon,” said Shorter, who added that non-active members of Kappa Alpha Psi are encouraged to get back on board with the local chapter.
        For ticket requests, contact Lee Beavers, chairman of the Achievement Awards Luncheon by calling (910) 527-3707, or inquire via e-mail to lbeavers141@embarqmail.com.


  • 11 Intersection 1Methodist University has a decade-plus reputation for presenting unique exhibitions at one of Fayetteville’s premier art venues — the David McCune International Art Gallery. So, it’s no surprise that its fall exhibition will be both unique in presentation and experience for the audience.

    Opening at McCune, located in the Bethune Center for Visual Arts on the MU campus, the free exhibition titled Intersection will be open to the campus community and public until Dec. 1. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday each week (except on MU holidays). The gallery follows all campus safety protocols related to COVID-19. For more information visit https://www.methodist.edu/

    “Like all of our shows, this one will feature amazing artists and their works,” said MU Professor of Art Vilas Tonape. “But it will also be very unique in that it will lead the guest to an experience of appreciating not just the similarities of the art being presented, but also the differences. It’s truly an intersection, where people will visit the gallery from all walks of life and enjoy both commonality and differences. All are welcome and will enjoy this exhibit.”

    Intersection will feature the works (which are for sale) of Andréa Keys Connell, Zhimin Guan, Sondra (Soni) Martin and Winter Rusiloski. Each has presented their works both nationally and internationally and hold positions as instructors at institutions of higher learning.

    •Rusiloski: Investigating abstracted landscapes for 20 years; more than 30 juried exhibitions around the world since 2016; paintings in public and private collections; an assistant professor of Painting in the Baylor University Department of Art and Art History.

    •Martin: Extensive commissions, grants and awards; works in private and corporate collections; expertise in studio arts (sculpture, printmaking, painting) and contemporary art theory; a professor of Visual Art at Fayetteville State University.

    •Guan: Featured in more than 200 professional exhibitions, including 20 solo shows; pieces in permanent museum collections in the U.S., China, and Singapore; a professor of Art at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

    •Connell: More than a dozen solo exhibitions; featured in numerous publications; taught workshops on figure sculpting at craft schools; an associate professor of Ceramics in the Department of Fine Arts at Appalachian State University.

    “This unique selection of artists brings paintings and sculptures together in an exciting way that allows the viewer to contemplate multiple dimensions and medium’s ability to play with the intersection between landscape, figure and ground,” said Connell.

    Each of the artists — and certainly Tonape, the curator — have an appreciation for the gallery, which has had numerous successful exhibitions that featured artists such as Warhol, Chagall, Rodin, Picasso, and most recently, Rembrandt. The University, Division of Fine and Performing Arts, and gallery also showcase exhibitions of work from MU students, faculty, staff and local artists.

    “I’m very excited to be a part of such an outstanding exhibition in a stellar international art gallery,” said Rusiloski.

    Tonape knows the quality of the art being presented, and offering that would certainly be successful in itself, but he was purposeful in his efforts to bring artists and work that would resonate with students.

    Intersection showcases many perspectives and diversity of work, which is perfect for a liberal arts university,” he said. “We have classes for painting, abstract painting, ceramics and sculpture, and the students can see how these forms of art can work together and also be very different … they can see the show and at some level, realize they either pertain to their study right now, or they will in the future.”

    All similarly in one place, but all undeniably unique, the fall exhibition at the McCune Gallery at Methodist University is truly an “Intersection.”

    For more information on the exhibition or Methodist University visit https://www.methodist.edu/.

    Pictured: The Intersection exhibition features the work of four artists: Winter Rusiloski, Soni Martin, Zhimin Guan and Andrea Keys Connell. (Photo by Gabrielle Allison)

  • 9 Barton5Cape Fear Studios will host an open reception for its latest exhibit on Aug. 27 from 6-8 p.m. The exhibit highlights the eclectic paintings and sculptures of Barton Hatcher.

    Growing up on his grandfather’s farm in Bladen County, Hatcher began using his artistic and creative talent when he was only six years old. A self-taught artist and mixed media sculptor, Hatcher’s work is infused an elevated sense of style and pays playful attention to unexpected details. Aa an avid gardener and fly fisherman, Barton draws inspiration for his artistic designs from nature itself.

    Fans of Hatcher’s art see a transcendent quality, earning him a state-wide following. He has been able to showcase his talent in several North Carolina galleries. On occasion, clients have commissioned Hatcher to create custom art designs that draw from their individual tastes and desires. His work is in several private art collections from North Carolina to New Jersey.

    Following his life-long admiration for nature and the outdoors, Hatcher owns and operates Gardens by Barton, a landscape design business based in Wilmington. In business, Hatcher uses his artistic talents to create uniquely tailored gardens, including building hardscapes such as arbors, trellises and garden patios.

    Before he started that business, Hatcher worked for Cape Craftsmen of Elizabethtown for more than 30 years where he served as an art buyer and designed and built prototypes for furniture. Through the many years of designing furniture and home décor, his art has evolved into the style today that he refers to as “contemporary abstract.”

    Whether it is furniture, sculpture, gardens or canvas, Hatcher’s passion for creating rich, thoughtful and extraordinary designs saturates everything he touches.

    The Studio’s workshops and retail section will also be open to visitors during the free public reception. The Studio is located at 148 Maxwell St. in Fayetteville. Hours of operations are Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    For more information email artgallery@capefearstudios.com, call 910-433-2986 or visit www.capefearstudios.com.

    Pictured: Cape Fear Studios' newest exhibit features art by Barton Hatcher. (Photos courtesy Cape Fear Studios)

    10 Barton1

  • 11 Taipei Tower 2 with Blue SeriesAnother first for the area, Lost and Found: New Media Works by Carla Guzman opens at Gallery 208 on Aug. 17. Her first one-person exhibition since earning a Master’s in Fine Art in Contemporary Art at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Republic of China. During her studies, Guzman’s focus was new media in the visual arts.

    Attending the artist’s reception between 5:30 and 7 p.m., visitors will meet a young artist who is the daughter of immigrants from El Salvador, a small country that experienced civil war in the late 80s. Raised with the work ethic to achieve the American Dream she noted: “over the years I have become very Americanized, yet I will always be influenced by a background which stems from transgenerational trauma due to civil unrest and contradiction.”

    Before completing the new media graduate degree in China and returning to the United States, Guzman had graduated from Fayetteville State University with an undergraduate degree in visual arts. For Guzman, the transition of ideas and meaning in new media was similar to the way she worked in traditional mediums, the challenge was learning the technology and programming.

    Guzman stated, “I always come back to my roots in traditional image making, it is the most direct way to tap into my creativity. My process includes three steps: the initial drawings, the postproduction and then the translation to new media (which is still evolving). I can look at the digital work and identify the original matrix it came from and how it has evolved since then. For example, I might use a drawing from years ago again in a new work today. I tend to recycle images since emotions are at the core of my work and they remain constant.”

    Guzman was asked about the advantages or disadvantages of working in different modalities or sensory systems and to comment on the idea of selecting images verses creating them without a computer. She was quick to explain how ways of working influence the modality you are using.

    For example, she stated: “I was the type of printmaker that loved mistakes because they were always beautiful and interesting to me. Printmaking taught me not to become too attached to an end-product but follow the process. In a similar way, if my external hard drive becomes messed up or if something happened, half of my drawings remain on the other side of the world. I am okay because I have my operative system that I go by. In the same way as printmaking, I welcome these mishaps. Building upon previous work is interesting, but also, a clean slate is great because there is the challenge to improve things like technique and skill which applies to new media as well.”

    It takes time to find one’s way in a technological medium that has been rapidly developing for the last 40 years, even faster the last 5 years, and Guzman is a newcomer. A constructive turning point was during her thesis research when she came across some of the earliest artists in the 1970s who were the first to mix art and technology. Discovering E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology: a non-profit organization established in 1967 to develop collaborations between artists and engineers) and artists Robert Mallary and Harold Cohen was a way for Guzman to focus on a strategy to express herself in new media.

    Guzman considers herself like Harold Cohen, the artist who created AARON - a computer software program that generated compositions on its own, allowing the artist to create several compositions in the course of a few days. Guzman takes a similar approach to Cohen: “I like that a computer can generates many images, then I select the best and develop my imagery from the successful ones. It allows for more iterations of the same image without totally abandoning the original one.”

    In addition to developing new technological skill, the time Guzman spent in China influenced the artist in many other ways: “The graduate program in China was an international curriculum with professors from top art institutions around the world and in China. It was an amazing nonwestern experience that led to opportunities for travel in China and meeting with contemporary Chinese and international artists, emerging and established. Your sensibilities and viewpoints change when you are not able to communicate or understand anything other than the images in front of you.”

    Guzman lived in China three years, and then due to the pandemic, lived a year and a half in Taiwan before returning to the USA. Lost and Found includes works from her graduate thesis exhibit titled Contemporary Emotion-Based Multimedia Art: Artistic Strategies and Viewer Response and works while living in Taiwan.

    Guzman describes herself as “digital abstract expressionist” and her works are “essentially maquettes which are meant to be spatial emotional sculptures within the real world and the void. The works completed while living in Taiwan were during my time of being displaced in Taiwan due to the pandemic. The result was efforts to integrate emotional sculptures, feelings of loss and chaos, in actual location in Taiwan.”

    In seeing Guzman’s “emotional sculptures,” visitors to the exhibit will need to reconsider what it means for something to be a sculpture. Traditionally we think of sculpture as a tangible object that has been physically carved, modeled or cast in a material. The world of virtual reality and other new media platforms are most often illusionary - but ever present. The semantics of what it means to be a sculpture in a new media world has been forever altered to have new meaning, new forms - with this comes new sensibilities about experiencing the object/nonobject and the making of the object/nonobject.

    In describing her images, new explanatory words are used to refer to their existence which would never apply to traditional sculptural forms. For example, in the early works titled “Taipai Tower 1” and “Yuanshuan Series,” Guzman has created floating sculptural forms in cityscapes. Hard-edge linear forms appear and disappear as if in dissonance with the space. The sculptures are not static but living, expanding and contracting. Reflective color and form interrupt the space and yet inhabit the space in a palatable way. There is sense these sculptures are never permanently located but continuously move themselves.

    Compared to the earlier work, the “Hualian Series” is a sculptural series made of light, sometimes colorless as well as the colorless becoming refractive color. Located on a shoreline, seeing the series next to each other, it is if we do not move closer to the sculpture, but the sculpture moves closer to us. The spinning forms in earlier works are now a vaporous wall; not inhabiting the space but appearing as energy and potential.

    For anyone who visits Lost and Found, the artist would like viewers to “leave the exhibit feeling like they saw some beautiful images but also possibly formed some associations from their own experiences with her ‘emotional sculptures’ since emotions are innately part of all of us.” After recently returning to Fayetteville after living abroad for almost 5 years, Guzman shared she is presently “in the process of getting found” and looking forward to “networking and collaborating with new media artists.”

    The public in invited to meet the artist and attend the public reception of Lost and Found: New Media Works by Carla Guzman on Aug. 17 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Gallery 208 located at 208 Rowan Street. The exhibit will remain up until the end of October. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday. For information call 910-484-6200.

    Pictured Above: "Taipei Tower 2 with Blue Series" by Carla Guzman.

    Below: "Skate Park with Blue Series 3" by Carla Guzman.

    10 skate park w blue series 3

     

  • Inception (Rated PG-13) 4 STARS

    You know what movie really reeked? Insomnia, Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to the amazing Memento. You know08-04-10-inception-poster1.gifwhat else reeked? The Prestige, Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to Batman Begins. You know what movie didn’t reek? Inception (148 minutes), which Nolan wrote and directed. His lead actor is completely overrated and his two female leads are underutilized, but on overall thrills and head-scratchiness, Nolan delivers. If we could just get him to jumpstart a new X-Men franchise, Imight finally be able to put my Singer vendetta to rest.

    The film opens on a beach, with Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) face down in the sand. He is detained by armed guards and taken inside a building. Puzzling dialogue takes us into the next scene so as to confuse the audience as early in the film as possible.

    The film’s focus is the creation and manipulation of dreams, and in a wonderfully crafted introduction to this central idea Cobb and his partner Arthur (Joseph Gorden- Levitt) submit a business proposal to Saito (Ken Watanabe). During their meeting with Saito, Cobb’s wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) appears and throws a wrench into their plans.

    This leads into the main plot. Cobb and his team are hired to target a man named Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy). They are supposed to assist Saito in an act of industrial espionage, planting an idea to influence Fischer to break up his near monopoly in order to protect Saito’s business interests. Even though Cobb is experienced with stealing ideas, the rest of his team is convinced that planting an idea (inception) is impossible. At least they are until Cobb tells them a bedtime story about a dream within a dream.

    The only problem with “inception” is the potential damage to the subject and danger to the dreamer. Once the existing team (and the audience) understands the risks involved, Cobb meets with his father-in-law and teacher, Miles (Michael Caine). Miles offers his most brilliant student, Ariadne (Ellen Page) to work with the team. Despite her stupidly dramatic name she seems like a pretty good egg. Cobb and Company manage to recruit her as the dream’s architect and then set about filling out the rest of the team.

    A series of classic team building subplots follow. First Cobb hunts down expert forger Eames (Tom Hardy) to impersonate a key character inside the dream. Then he goes after Yusef (Dileep Rao) to prepare the carefully crafted chemicals necessary to induce the proper dream state.

    Back in the “A” plot, Ariadne and her stupidly dramatic name begin to discover some of Cobb’s better kept secrets, which reveal an even greater element of risk to the group. It is here that the concept of Limbo is explained, and those of you in the slow seats will probably want to take some notes, because it all gets a little hard to follow at this point.

    It is a major strength of the film that reality and the various levels of dreaming are so interchangeable, since the audience can keep guessing til the cows come home without ever really knowing for sure where the characters are. While there are various ambigious clues offered throughout the movie, each viewer is allowed to decide at what point the dream ends and reality begins (if it ever does).

  • 08-25-10-dr.-megan-1.gifMegan Traficante is fairly new to Fayetteville. She has been here about two months working with Dr. Karen Goldsmith at Atlas Chiropractic, and she is excited about what the future holds for her here.

    Coming from a family of chiropractors, Traficante knew from a young age that she would spend her life helping others.

    “I grew up with chiropractic all my life. My uncle and my brother are chiropractors,” said Traficante. “In under-grad school, I did the whole pre-med background curriculum but I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to chiropractic school or medical school. I knew I wanted to do something in the healthcare field. I never was into taking any drugs and growing up with chiropractic I knew that that is what I preferred to do rather than push drugs. I couldn’t push drugs — that is why I chose chiropractic over medical school.”

    With her degree in hand and high hopes for what she can bring to the community, she’s joined Atlas Chiropractic with every intention of making a difference in the lives of her patients. She’s heard the stories all her life about how this particular form of medicine changes lives and has even witnessed first hand the benefi ts of chiropractic when she was in college.

    “When I was in school, I had a patient who came into the clinic in a wheel chair. He was a Vietnam vet and he was on so much medication that when you asked him questions he would just repeat himself,” she explained. “We worked with him, and after a few adjustments, he was walking into the clinic which was a amazing! He told us that for the fIrst time in I forget how many years it was, he could walk to his mail box and take his dog out to walk. That was a pretty good story/testimonial.”

    A native of Pennsylvania, Traffi cante sees Fayetteville as a happy medium between Florida, where she attended chiropractic school and her family up north. “I was kind of nervous when I moved to Fayetteville. I always had school and you are forced to meet people there, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to meet people in Fayetteville,” said Trafficante.

    Turns out, that hasn’t been a problem.

    “The people here are so friendly. I really love it down here. My first weekend I met people. It was July 4th weekend and I went to the symphony concert at Festival Park. I met people there and ended up going to a pig roast. People are very welcoming here. I really can’t name just one thing that I like best here. I love going downtown and just sitting outside and going out to eat down there or for a drink I really like that area of town.”

    Atlas Chiropractic is located at 4542 Raeford Rd. 426-2272.

  • 08-18-10-fayettevillehastalentlogo.gifFrom deep within the Sandhills of Fayetteville, the talented folk emerge from their homes, and throw off the drab covers of ordinary life to don the sequined leotards of the stage and reveal to the world their talents in the local competition, Fayetteville Has Talent.

    This is the second annual talent competition put on by Cape Fear Regional Theater. It was began as just a way to see the different talent in Fayetteville according to Leslie Flom, the marketing director for Cape Fear Regional Theater.

    “Sometimes people just feel more comfortable auditioning for something like this rather than an actual play,” says Flom.

    Fayetteville Has Talent is open to people of all ages — open to everyone age eight and up — and according to Flom that’s part of what sets this talent show apart from other shows in the area. Iits contestants are multigenerational and multi-talented.

    “There’s no telling what you’ll see with such different performers, said Flom. “Everyone from eight to 55, 56. Well, actually I don’t know how old the oldest adult is.”

    For those not actually in the talent show there is still a way for you to come and support your favorite act. This year08-18-10-childwinner.2009.fht.erisgoodson.gifyou can vote for your favorite in the semi-finals as well as the finals, where as last year you could only vote in the finals. Votes count for 40 percent of each competitors score in this competition. Your vote does matter. In fact, it matters a lot.

    Tickets for the semifinal eliminations are $10, and votes are $2 each or you can cast three votes for $5. The youth semifi nals will be held on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. and the adults will be on Friday Aug. 20 at 7 p.m. Voting starts at 1 p.m. the day of the competition and you can call (910) 323-4233, which is the number for the Cape Fear Regional Theater Box Office, or you can actually go down to Cape Fear Regional Theater which is located at 1209 Hay St. To pay for votes you can use either credit cards, debit cards or cash.

    Finals will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 21. Tickets cost $15, and voting will begin at 11 a.m. that day. Votes are $5 per vote or 5 votes for $20. You can call (910) 323-4234 or visit Cape Fear Regional Theater at 1209 Hay St. to vote for your favorite act.

    So even if no one you know is in the show, come on down and observe as the hidden treasures of Fayetteville emerge. According to Flom it’s a fun thing to do, and no one wants to miss a good time.

    Remember to bring a few bucks because your votes do matter!

  • 09-01-10-paul-papadeas.gifWho doesn’t love it when a local citizen hits it big? Whether it is a sports legend, a music star, an academic/scientifi c discovery — you name it, it just feels good to to see or hear about that person and be happy for them and know that you have something in common even if it is only the fact that you’ve both fi lled up your car at the same gas station in town at some point in time.

    Paul Papadeas is a Fayetteville native on the verge of huge success in the entertainment world. He’s a Terry Sanford graduate and an alumnus of Campbell University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Papadeas spends his time writing and producing films for a living.

    His current production, Yeardley, which was a collaborative effort with his former classmates from the School of the Arts, opened at the Santa Fe Film Festival in 2009 and was nominated Best Feature. It went on to win Best Feature 1st Runner Up at the Myrtle Beach 2009 Film Festival, the Platinum Reel Award at the Nevada Film Festival in 2009 and most recently was named Best Feature at the Malibu International Film Festival 2010. Papadeas and the cast and crew of Yeardley have their eyes set on a much bigger prize though.

    “We are doing quite well with the film but because of budget cuts Hollywood is not sending many critics to these fi lm festivals,” said Papadeas. “It is difficult to get over the radar. So we decided to do a screening and try to raise money to establish a marketing budget so that we can show the f lm in New York and L.A. and other big markets. Then we can get into art house theaters where we can garner a New York Times or an L.A. Times review.”

    Once that happens the hope is that the critics will recognize the value in the movie that the judges at the fi lm festivals saw and Yeardley will get picked up for national (or international) distribution.

    Far from light hearted, Yeardley is a dark drama about a married narcissist who becomes unhinged during the economic downturn.

    “It is pretty much the embodiment of the 21st century American male who doesn’t want to take responsibility for their actions,” said Papadeas. “We have the environmental damage of BP. We have the financial shenanigans of 2007 leading to the problems we have today. Everybody loves to blame everyone else but there have been no investigations. We have kind of a sociopathic, highly individualized culture but there is no collective responsibility at all.

    “This character takes no responsibility at all for the decisions in his life but he fails to accept what he has done,” he continued. “He falls deeper and deeper into a dark hole where the state has to take over and there are tragic circumstances. It is a very dark character drama very much reminiscent of the fi lms from the 70s. It is a hard movie about adult situations. It is an art fi lm so it is not a gratuitous exploitive genre movie.”

    There will be a screening of the movie in Fayetteville on Sept. 18. Currently the event is invitation only, however, there is a possibility of a second screening at a later date. To fi nd out more about Yeardley visit http:// yeardleymovie.com/welcome.php, or to fi nd out more about the screening or tax free donation opportunities email papadeas13@yahoo.com.

  • 08-07-13-mudbog.gifBig trucks, small trucks, old trucks, new trucks and mud trucks. No, this isn’t a Dr. Seuss story, but the scene of Aug. 10 at the Outback Motorsports Complex in Laurinburg. The Mud Bog Run will raise money in support of the local Spring Hill Fire Department so that the firefighters can better equip themselves to save lives and homes. Additionally, some of the money will be donated to Relay For Life.

    The Mud Bog Run is what one might expect. ATVs, dirt bikes and trucks are welcomed to tear up the mud track for an evening of unadulterated, mud-slinging fun. Mudding became popular in the ‘70s throughout the United States and Canada and still remains immensely popular today.

    “It’s cool to see the guys go through mud bogs. It’s pretty popular to a lot of people. We’ll have a three-acre pond in the back, too. We’ll have a little bit of mud wrestling and a little bit of everything,” said Mike Evock, owner of Outback Motorsports Complex.

    “It’s a good, family-oriented event and park,” Evock said. “It’s an event for people to get together, have some food, have a good time and have fun.”

    While enjoying the mud bog, pick up some concessions and enjoy the DJ at the event as well. Also, there will be a bouncy house for the kids to enjoy.

    This is the first Mud Bog Run in support of the Spring Hill Fire Department. The money raised will help the department buy more firefighting equipment as well as aid their construction efforts in adding to the department’s new building. The Mud Bog Run is the perfect social event to have a great time and support a good cause. If this is your first mud bog run and you’d like to participate directly, Evock has some advice.

    “Just have good tires on your truck and go right ahead,” Evock said. “Go out there and go for it. Give it a shot.”

    Relay For Life is the charity of the American Cancer Society. Since 1985, Relay For Life has donated more than $4 billion to cancer research. Participants in the relay jog different laps to bring awareness to the harm cancer does to society. The organization began in May of 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt ran around a track in Tacoma, Wash., for 24 hours, ultimately raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. A year later, hundreds of supporters joined the event and it has since grown into a worldwide phenomenon.

    Do not miss out on the chance to help save lives in two different ways. The gates to the event will open at 9 a.m. And the mudding will begin at 3 p.m. For more information about this event, call 916 0284.

  • New Albums Released08-07-13-the-buzz.gif

    This week in The Buzz we will feature several recent happenings in contemporary Christian music.

    Stellar Kart frontman Adam Agee tells us about their new lineup and new sound.

    According to Adam Agee, lead singer for Stellar Kart, the band has undergone some major changes over the past couple of years.

    New guitartist Nick Baumhardt, former touring player with Thousand Foot Crutch, brings producing skills along with his “killer” guitar playing. Adam’s longtime friend Jeremi Hough has been the drummer for the band over the last several years.

    The newest member of the band is actually Nick’s sister Allie. Reluctant at first, she is now thriving on bass and brings complementary vocals as well. Allie’s voice is featured significantly on the new Stellar Kart record All In. Adam describes it as having a new dynamic and being super-fresh.

    The album releases on Aug. 27.

    Veteran artists still have plenty to sing about.

    More than 30 years ago I, along with thousands of Christian music fans, was introduced to Amy Grant through her song “Father’s Eyes.” Much has changed in the world of music over the last three decades, but the key to producing great songs is the same; sing relate-able lyrics, from your heart and direct attention back to the giver of the song. Amy’s first studio release in ten years, How Mercy Looks From Here follows that formula to a tee. She is as transparent as ever as she shares this ‘labor of love’ with the world. How Mercy Looks From Here by Amy Grant is available now.

    Fresh off a successful project he did exclusively for Cracker Barrel, Steven Curtis Chapman has another full studio album ready to release; The Glorious Unfolding. The first single, currently available for download, is the upbeat and infectious “Love Take Me Over.” It has a very familiar sound, not unlike what we have heard from Steven in the past, yet at the same time it is new and fresh. The Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman will release on October 1st.

    A baby has been born but for this one London is his name, not his birthplace.

    Group 1 Crew is made up of three individuals: singers Blanca & Manuel along with drummer Ben Callahan. Well Ben and Blanca are married and they recently welcomed their first child into the world!

    London Rey Callahan was born at 12:55 a.m. on Thursday, July 25. Everyone is happy and healthy. And when the touring season starts up in the fall, life on the bus is sure to be much more exciting.

  • uac082510001.gif Up & Coming Weekly had a chance to talk with Lt. Gen. Stultz, the commander of the U.S. Army Reserve Command about their transition to Fort Bragg. Stultz, a South Carolina native, is excited about the move, and how his command can integrate into the community.

    UCW: Most of the attention for the BRAC move has been focused on U.S. Army Forces Command. Tell us a little about your command.

    Stultz: The US Army Reserve Command is composed of more than 206,000 Soldiers permanently stationed in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Saipan, Guam, Germany and Italy. On average the Army Reserve has approximately 30,000 soldiers mobilized everyday serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ugandas primarily Combat Service and Combat Service Support units such as Engineers, Military Police, Transportation, Medical, Civil Affairs, Military Intelligence, Signal, Logistics, Aviation and a number of other key enablers for the combat forces. In my role I am dual-hatted as the Chief Army Reserve with an office in the Pentagon where I am an advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Army for Army Reserve matters. I am also the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command serving as the commander for all Army Reserve Forces around the world. The U.S. Army Reserve Command is currently located at Fort McPherson in Atlanta and will be relocating to Fort Bragg next year.

     UCW: How many people/jobs will your command bring to the area?

    Stultz: The Army Reserve Command is comprised of approximately 1,500 personnel with full-time military, civil service and contractors comprising the headquarters. While the full-time military positions will be filled by soldiers who will PCS to Fort Bragg, a number of the civil service and contractor positions will need to be fi lled because the personnel currently occupying the positions do not desire to relocate from the Atlanta area. We have already started recruiting and hiring personnel to fill some of the positions. One of our newest hires as a Senior Executive Service Employee is Mr. Addison “Tad” Davis. You may remember him as Col. Tad Davis, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, from 2000 to 2003. As we begin to migrate functions from Fort McPherson to Fort Bragg beginning early next year, we will accelerate the process of filling positions at Fort Bragg. Between Forces Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command, there should be some exciting opportunities for people in the Fort Bragg area.

    UCW: Many of your jobs are fi lled by reservists. Tell us about the training that is ongoing with these citizen soldiers to integrate them into the work force.

    08-25-10-gen-stoltz-speaking.gifStultz: Over the past three years we have developed the Employer Partnership Initiative where we have established formal relationships with businesses across America to identify and help fill their critical needs with skilled Army Reserve soldiers. W first started with the medical community who identified critical shortages in the medical technology field, radiology, respiratory, surgical etc. We signed partnerships with several major medical organizations where the Army Reserve will either identify existing soldiers who are already qualified or recruit new soldiers, train them and certify them and then make them available for employment. It’s a true win-win-win situation because we get a qualifi ed medical technologist for our Army Reserve hospital units, the medical community gets a drug free, physically fit, battle tested, leader to fill their needs and the individual has a career in both the civilian and military establishment. We quickly expanded to the trucking industry with our military truck drivers, law enforcement with our military police force and on and on. Today we have more than 1,000 employers across America including such big names as Wal Mart, General Electric, Schneider and Conway Trucking, Washington, D.C., Police Department, and many others who are employer partners with the Army Reserve. We have now taken our program and expanded it to include all Reserve-components and the Federal Government Employment Offi ces. We can truly tell an individual “Join the Army Reserve and get a career.” I am certain that we will bring a high-level quality workforce to Fayetteville that will enhance the local business community.

    UCW: What are your thoughts on the move, and how do you plan to integrate your command and your staff into the community?

    Stultz: We are excited to be coming to Fort Bragg. I was born in North Carolina, grew up in Dillon, S.C., just 50 miles south on I-95, went to Davidson College in North Carolina and married the love of my life, Laura, 35 years ago in her hometown of North Wilkesboro. This is a homecoming for me. The key to the Reserve component is the community. We are part of the community. Our soldiers work and live in the community. They serve as your policemen, firemen, school teachers, coaches, etc. As we relocate to Fort Bragg, one of our number one priorities will be to establish our relationship with Fayetteville and surrounding communities. The Army Reserve is composed of citizen-soldiers. We want to excel as soldiers and as citizens in our communities. We depend on the community support for our soldiers and families and must ensure that we give back to the community in service and support with every opportunity. In closing, let me say a personal thank you to everyone in the Fort Bragg area for the support, love and care that you have continued to give to our soldiers and families. Our men and women in uniform are a true national treasure. They raise their hands and take an oath voluntarily to serve their country knowing that they are most likely going to be asked to go in harms way. They do so because they love their country and they know their country loves them. God Bless them all and God Bless America.

  • 14 9781469653532Can any of North Carolina’s great roadside eateries and local joints survive the coronavirus?

    I have my doubts. So does UNC-Press. It has put the release of an updated and revised edition of my book, “North Carolina Roadside Eateries,” originally published in 2016, on hold indefinitely. We just do not know which of the more than 100 restaurants in the book will be in business when and if normal times returns. Nor do we know what the roadside restaurant business will be like in North Carolina after the worst of the coronavirus is over.

    Will we be able to explore places where locals gather for good food along North Carolina’s highways?

    In general, the forecast is not good. But there are bright spots. For instance Wilber’s, the legendary barbecue restaurant in Goldsboro, closed in March 2019 and was therefore not included in the revised “Roadside Eateries.” Last month Wilber’s reopened, at first only for curbside pickup. Thus, if the revised “Roadside Eateries” is ever published, Wilber’s will be in it.

    There is more good news. Saltbox Seafood Joint in Durham, one of the places covered in the original “Roadside Eateries,” got an expanded description in the now postponed revised edition.

    It is the sort of joint that can make it through the pandemic. Because it is thriving, it might give a clue about what kinds of locally owned eateries and joints will be available to give us the experiences that “Roadside Eateries” celebrated.

    Here is some of what my editors and I wrote for the revised “Roadside Eateries.”

    Since the last edition of “Roadside Eateries,” Saltbox chef Ricky Moore has been just a little busy. Though he’s a busy man, don’t worry — he’s still at it, cooking incredible food for lucky locals.
    Now, Ricky’s success isn’t the least surprising. He’s been in the food business all his life. He grew up catching and cooking fish in eastern North Carolina. He cooked during his seven years in the Army, studied at the Culinary Institute of America and worked at the fine Glasshalfull restaurant in Carrboro and as the opening executive chef at Giorgio’s in Cary.

    Moore explained to me that it’s not easy or cheap to get the best fish. He has to take into account that “the value is in the quality of fresh product we provide. Good, fresh seafood is not cheap, and the North Carolina fishermen deserve to get top dollar for their catch.”

    Hush-Honeys are Ricky’s version of the hushpuppy. They’re a little salty, a little spicy and a little sweet. They’re the perfect complement to the best seafood you’re liable to find anywhere, let alone in the middle of the Tar Heel State.

    Even if you are not able to visit Saltbox Seafood Joint for its mostly take out service, you can learn some of its secrets in a new cookbook published by UNC Press, “Saltbox Seafood Joint
    Cookbook.” Chef Ricky Moore tells his life story. He shares 60 favorite recipes and his wisdom about selecting, preparing, cooking, and serving North Carolina seafood. That includes how to pan-fry and deep-fry, grill and smoke, and prepare soups, chowders, stews and Moore’s special way of preparing grits and his popular Hush-Honeys.

    North Carolina’s cultural icon David Cecelski is the author of “A Historian’s Coast: Adventures into the Tidewater Past” and numerous other books and essays about our state’s coastal region. He gushes in his praise, “Chef Ricky Moore’s new cookbook is out and I think he’s written the finest seafood cookbook you’ve ever seen and probably ever will see if you’re like me and love the flavors of the North Carolina coast.”

    To learn how one restaurant owner is surviving the pandemic, visit Chef Ricky at the Saltbox as soon as you can. Until then, join Cecelski and me to celebrating Chef Ricky Moore’s success and enjoy trying the recipes in “Saltbox Seafood Joint Cookbook.”

  • 13 kyle head p6rNTdAPbuk unsplashThe Cape Fear Regional Theatre presents its new EduTAINMENT: After School Program that will run from Monday, Aug. 24, to Friday, Sept. 25, from 2:30–6:30 p.m. or 3:30–6:30 p.m. for kids ages 8-13.

    “Once we had to close down for COVID-19, we were trying to figure out how can we still be (part) of the community and (provide) the programming that they are used to getting from us,” said Ashley Owen, marketing director and education associate of Cape Fear Regional Theatre. “At the time we started our virtual EduTAINMENT classes — those were online classes taught by myself and our education director, Marc de la Concha.”
    Owen added that the theater offered supplemental classes that provided elementary and middle-school kids a safe, fun place to learn and engage with their peers over the course of the day.

    “Once Cumberland County Schools announced they were going to do the first five weeks of school virtual, all summer, we were coming up with all these different plans of what we could do,” said Owen. “Because we were doing our summer camps, we found that kids were missing the interpersonal connection with other kids their age because they have been at home for the last several months with their siblings or just with their families.”

    The Cape Fear Regional Theatre came up with the perfect program idea. “So we decided that an in-person after-school program would be really great and it would be a great way for parents to be able to drop their kids off somewhere (where parents) know they are safe, having fun and learning. And parents can get a little bit of time back in their day if they are working from home,” said Owen.

    “The groups are limited to no more than 12 kids, and they will social distance, wash their hands and wear face masks and face shields.”
    Owen added that the 8- to 9-year-old group will do a play called “Not-So-Grimm Tales” while also learning about the different variations of the fairy tales. The older kids will do an adaptation of a book.

    The theater will also offer Virtual EduTAINMENT online classes. “We are going to bring that original program back, and it will be once a week on Thursdays from 12:30-1:15 p.m.,” said Owen. “It will be for K-5 students and will take place from Aug. 27 through Sept. 24. The cost is $40 for the semester.”

    The cost of the EduTAINMENT After School program is $150 per week from 3:30–6:30 p.m., or $175 per week from 2:30–6:30 p.m. Students must register for all five weeks of the program.

    “We have a great reputation, and we wanted to provide a safe place for parents to send their kids,” said Owen. “This is just another way for us to reach out and give back to the community.”
    For additional information, call 910-323-4234.

     

  • uac082714001.gif Each September, the greater Fayetteville area is treated to ten days of rides, food, exhibits, shows, pageants, competitions and more when the Cumberland County Fair comes to town. Officially, the fair is supposed to “provide an opportunity to showcase and preserve the history and legacy of the agricultural communities in Cumberland County; to celebrate the diversity of local arts and crafts; to promote a safe setting for fun, healthy family entertainment featuring music, motorsports and animals; and to encourage an environment of friendly competition for all ages.”

    What that really means is 10 days of non-stop fun. From Sept. 5-14 visit the Crown and enjoy the many attractions that have been a year in the making.

    This year, look for all the favorites that make the Cumberland County Fair something worth looking forward to each year. Rides, food, exhibits and shows are all staples at this event but there are some new features worth checking out, too.

    “We’ve got The Wiggles and The Roller Derby as part of the fair this year,” said Hubert Bullard, Cumberland County Fair manager. “They are special ticketed items but they are part of the fair. We are going to have a few more rides this year. We have one of the largest portable roller coasters in the world and some of the most spectacular music rides this year.”

    Then there are features that are returning because they were such a big hit last year. 08-27-14-fair1.gif

    “We have the skate boarding demos and a huge competition the second weekend of the fair,” said Bullard. “It will include skaters from up and down the east coast. Locals can compete in it , too. This event is sponsored by Daville Skate Shop. And the Kidsville News! entertainment stage is returning.”

    Last year, the Kidsville News! stage offered a chance for visitors to see some of the local talent in the community. Different dance groups, singers, gymnasts and other entertainers from around the community graced the stage and performed for the crowds. There were games and activities scheduled every day and Truman the Dragon was there, too. Visitors can expect to have a lot of fun this year, as well. The groups returning this year include Kerry’s Dance Beat, The Charlotte Blume School of Dance, Cumberland Dance Academy and Firehouse-Eastover’s Studio of Performing Arts. The Kidsville News! stage is excited to welcome some new groups that include 4D Straw of Wood Boy Entertainment, REJOICE!, Mizz Fabulous and Lil’ Blizzard and more.

    There is so much going on throughout the course of the fair that it might be difficult for some to choose which days to attend. There will be helicopter rides, monster truck rides and camel rides. Look for a one-ring circus this year.

    “We have a large outdoor circus called Torres,” said Bullard. “It is a lot of acrobatics and they also have animals. They are new this year. We try to keep the really good things each year and also bring new things in. We have the largest exotic petting zoo of any fair in North Carolina.”

    08-27-14-fair2.gifOne of the things that makes the fair such a success is the great care that is taken by the planners and vendors.

    “We take all measures to be safe in the petting zoo. We don’t let parents go through with food, drink or strollers. We sanitize hand rails once per hour minimum and require everyone to wash their hands when they leave the petting zoo.”

    Some of the exotic animals this year include zebras, giraffes and porcupines. There are also domestic animals like goats, rabbits, sheep and pigs. In all, Bullard estimates that there are between 85 and 100 animals in petting zoo.

    There are more than 200 people who work to bring the Cumberland County Fair to town each year — and it takes a year to make it happen. Whether it is the racing pigs, the livestock shows, the pageants, the food, the rides, the exhibitions, the skate board demos or other live performances that make the fair special to a person, Bullard says it is worth every bit of work and planning that goes into it to see people having fun.

    “It’s a monumental task putting different aspects of a fair together. We start working on next year’s fair as soon as this one gets over. The rewarding part is seeing so many children leave with a warm fuzzy feeling, smiling faces and having had a good time.”

    The fair runs from Sept. 5-14. Visit cumberlandcountyfair.org/ to purchase tickets or to find out more about the fair.

  • foster musicMusic enriches people's lives in myriad ways. Age is of no consideration when it comes to benefitting from and appreciating music, but it seems that young people in particular have a lot to gain from music education.

    According to the New England Board of Higher Education, various studies have found that consistent music education can improve vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.

    In addition, the National Association for Music Education says that research has found a significant relationship between arts participation at school and academic success.

    Parents who want their children to reap the benefits of being involved with music can try the following strategies aimed at fostering a love of music in young people.

    Turn the television off and turn music on. Exposing youngsters to music is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get them to embrace it.

    For example, in lieu of turning on the television while preparing meals, parents can play music instead.

    Let youngsters pick their own songs, or mix it up by including some of mom and dad's favorites as well. Such exposure can be incredibly valuable for youngsters. In fact, a 2016 study from researchers at the University of Southern California found that musical experiences in childhood accelerate brain development. Music is especially effective at helping children in language acquisition and reading.

    Another way to build kids' enthusiasm for music is to replay some of their favorite songs. While mom and dad may cringe at the prospect of hearing "Baby Shark" several times in a row, they should take note of how enthusiastic their kids become when hearing a favorite song. That enthusiasm can benefit their language skills as they listen closely to the lyrics in an effort to memorize the words. Youngsters may not be so receptive if they don't like what they're hearing.

    Dance to music. Kids are bundles of energy, and dancing is a fun way for them to expend some of that energy. Dancing also provides a great reason to play music. Physical activity set to music can help kids burn off some extra energy as they develop their brains, making dance sessions a win-win for both parents and children.

    Embrace opportunities to see live music. Kids are often captivated by seeing musicians perform in person. When possible, take youngsters to concerts, local music festivals and/or restaurants that showcase local musicians. Such excursions may prompt youngsters to want to learn how to play, which can provide a host of additional benefits, even for especially young children.

    In fact, a 1996 study published in Nature found that first grade students who took part in music classes during art study programs experienced marked improvement in reading and math proficiency.

    Music enriches people's lives in various ways, and exposure to music at a young age can be especially valuable to children.

  • 17 15403707 192759641189073 90141381049863955 oFor more than 20 years UNC TV's "North Carolina Bookwatch" has broadcast great conversations with North Carolina-connected authors.

    An important part of the program's makeup has always been the warm and open spirit that authors bring into the television studio. Through the magic of broadcast television, their informative and entertaining conversations have made their ways into the living rooms and dens of many North Carolinians. It is one of the longest running locally produced UNC-TV programs.

    At the beginning of this year, plans were under way to produce some programs at bookstores and college campuses, similar to the successful production of three programs at Isothermal Community College late last year. "Bookwatch" was also lining up authors and UNC-TV studio times for production of a new series.

    Then came the virus. Bookstores closed. So did college campuses. UNC-TV's studios and offices shut down completely, leaving its enormous facility an empty cavern.

    It looked like a lost season for "Bookwatch." Then the program’s producer, Katy Loebrich, suggested a trial of the distance-connecting program Zoom to see if it could be suitable for regular broadcast. David Zucchino, author of “Wilmington’s Lie,” agreed to be a guinea pig. From her home, Katy connected to me in my house and to David in his den.

    The result was not perfect, a little patchy, but encouraging. Then, thanks to Katy's editing, the program was more than a successful experiment. It passed muster and was aired last month. That success let us to try Zoom with Sue Monk Kidd, author of “The Book of Longings.” That program will be broadcast next month.

    We found that we were able to produce the program without being in face-to-face direct contact with our guests. Subsequently, we have produced programs with author Lee Smith, who was spending the summer in Maine.

    One of our prospective authors, Devi Lascar, author of “The Atlas of Reds and Blues,” grew up in Chapel Hill but now lives in California. With the new distance capability, we were able to interview her from her home thousands of miles away, an interview that might not have happened otherwise.

    From her home in Cornelius, former Charlotte Observer reporter Pam Kelly talked about her book “Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South.”

    Other authors who might have been too busy to make their way to the UNC-TV studios have given us interviews because they did not have to leave their homes or travel to the studio.

    For instance, William Darity Jr. and his wife Kirsten Mullen, authors of “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century,” sat down in their living room and talked to us about their recent work on reparations.

    We are planning interviews with Kathy Reichs, who will be talking to us from Charlotte about “A Conspiracy of Bones.” Daniel Pierce, author of “Tar Heel Lightnin’: How Secret Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World,” will be able to save a seven-hour round trip from his home in Asheville by doing his interview with Zoom or Skype.

    Some authors, such as Allan Gurganus, Jodi Magness and Jill McCorkle, came to specially adapted, newly reopened studios after being assured that they would be in a separate room from the host, reducing the risk that might have been involved in communication across the same table.

    As bad as the coronavirus is, by adapting to it, "North Carolina Bookwatch" has made improvements that will be a permanent benefit for viewers and the authors who are the stars of the program.

  • 14 N1908P39002CWhile art is good for humanity in general and can have positive impacts across a person’s lifespan, it can be especially beneficial in how children develop. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, participate in a math and science fair or win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate. And honestly, whether it is dance, drawing, writing creating, sculpting, or you name it — art is fun. However, engaging in art during a pandemic looks and feels different than art-related events did pre-COVID. Check out some of the upcoming opportunities to support youth in the arts — and keep your creative juices flowing, too.

    Sunday, Aug. 9, from 7-8:30 p.m., join the community for a virtual fundraising event. This event is different because it is by kids and for kids. Tune-in to Facebook on the LeClair’s General Store page for a variety show with individual performances as kids entertain from their homes — separately but together. The event also includes an online auction with one-of-a-kind artworks created by local youth throughout the community.

    The goal of the event is to make local arts organizations accessible to all youth regardless of race, beliefs, disability or economic status. The event benefits the following organizations and their youth scholarship funds: Cape Fear Regional Theatre, The Gilbert Theater, Carolina Performing Arts Studio and Temple Theatre. Search “Kids With Hearts For The Arts! A Virtual Fundraising Event!” on Facebook for more information.

    Gilbert Theater rolls out its adult theater education series starting Saturday, Aug. 15, with a session titled “Singing with Sarah.” Directed by education director at the Gilbert and voice teacher Sarah Chapman, the event offers a short introduction to singing for the stage and preparing for auditions as well as some fun singy-songy exercises. The class runs from 10 a.m.-noon.

    The second session in the four-part series is titled “Improvisation with Gage” and runs from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 22. Instructor Gage Long will help attendees not only better understand improv but help them get more comfortable and proficient with it, too.

    Saturday, Sept. 12, the “Stage Makeup/Special Effects” session offers a look at the basics of stage makeup, in addition to special effects like wounds and age — and perhaps even a space alien. The class runs from noon-2 p.m.

    The session “Intermediate Acting Techniques” brings instructor Justin Toyer’s talents to the forefront. He’ll outline basic acting techniques, audition preparation, memorization techniques and how to connect with your character emotionally. The class is from 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 5.

    Find out more about these and other opportunities at Gilbert Theater at http://gilberttheater.com/education.php.

  • The best thing about a charity golf tournament is that you can still be a community hero even if you hit a shank from every hole. If you’ve evolved out of the shank, the 1st Annual Chipping for Charity Golf Tournament may turn you into a community hero with a million dollars or a new BMW.

    Chipping for Charity benefits the Team Daniel Foundation and the Karen Chandler Trust. The tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. with a shotgun start on Friday, Sept. 16 at the Gates Four Golf and Country Club. Entry fees are $75 per player and $300 per four-man team. Fees include an 18-hole round of golf, cart fees, event T-shirt and lunch. Sammio’s Italian Restaurant and The Wine Café are sponsoring the 19th hole.

    Golfers may register at Sammio’s Italian Restaurant at 3057 North Main St., in Hope Mills, starting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15. In addition to registration, golfers can bid in the silent auction.

    “We’re auctioning off a cruise, four spots for a shot at a million dollars for a hole in one, three slots for a $2,500 putting contest and four spots for a hole in one for the BMW car,” said Dr. John Tinsley, Chipping for Charity organizer. Bids will be open through the end of the tournament. Golfers may also register at 8:30 a.m. the day of the tournament or by mailing in the registration form found on the Chipping for Charity Facebook event page.08-31-11-chipping-for-charity.jpg

    The Karen Chandler Trust is named for a local musician who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1999. Before her death, fellow musicians held a benefit to help Chandler meet her fi nancial needs. The trust was established after Chandler’s death to help others in our community deal with the financial burden of living with cancer.

    “For example, if a person needs chemotherapy and they have to go out of town for treatment, the trust will help supplement the family so they can go with their family member. They fill a lot of gaps where families can fall through the cracks when insurance doesn’t pay for everything,” said Tinsley.

    Team Daniel Foundation was established in 2008 to educate families and the community about resources and services available to individuals with developmental disabilities.

    Tinsley explains, “Not all families are aware, exactly, of what the government helps pay for and Team Daniel helps families fi nd those funds and budget for their needs.”

    John and Denise Mercado, founders of Team Daniel Foundation, have personal experience navigating the maze within which support services can be hidden. Their son, Danny, contracted spinal meningitis as an infant, which caused multiple developmental disabilities. The Mercados use their experience and knowledge to advocate for families across North Carolina.

    For more information on Chipping for Charity, please contact Team Daniel Foundation at golf@teamdaniel.info or 800.991.6421.

    Photo: Chipping for Charity benefits the Team Daniel Foundation and the Karen Chandler Trust.

  • 08-07-13-roundtable.gifFrom 1919 to 1929, a group of artists, writers, wits and actors met in New York City’s Algonquin Hotel for lunch. This celebrated group became known as the Algonquin Round Table.

    Members included writers Dorothy Parker, Harold Ross (founder of The New Yorker) and Robert Benchley; columnists Franklin Pierce Adams and Heywood Broun, and Broun’s wife Ruth Hale; critic Alexander Woollcott; comedian Harpo Marx and playwrights George S. Kaufman, Marc Connelly, Edna Ferber and Robert Sherwood. They became famous for satire, witticisms, wisecracks, and artistic creativity.

    Fayetteville’s own Lynn Pryer hosts our city’s version of the Algonquin Round Table. Lynn is the creative genius and founder of Fayetteville’s innovative community playhouse — the Gilbert Theater. As a patron of the arts, he brings together an eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, poets, actors and bon vivant philosophers every Sunday for brunch.

    Pryer started this salon movement to promote interaction among Fayetteville’s arts community. No venue existed for the arts crowd to meet socially and exchange ideas — in an informal setting.

    Why?

    In his lifetime, Pryer observed the gradual isolation of modern man. People would rather text than talk face-to-face. He saw how quickly “we are caught up in life; disconnected from one another in a highly modular society”.

    “People today are victims of the technology of isolation,” said Pryer.

    The weekly roundtable breaks barriers, builds bridges and connects individuals.

    The “group with no name” meets at the Marquis Market on Hay Street. Every Sunday Pryer invites a new group of 14 epicurean arts-lovers. A different group each week brings together many creative people over time. The literati have been meeting since February 2013.

    Pryer carefully prepares his invitation list. I call him Maestro because he orchestrates the selection of guests to insure compatibility and creativity.

    At every brunch he circulates a sketch pad for everyone to doodle.

    Upon arrival participants meet and greet over coffee then adjourn to a theme-decorated dining table. Every week Pryer has different decor. Past themes include Easter; famous writers; famous painters; dance; the African veldt; music; the Fourth of July; movies; vintage cars; great actors and actresses.

    Interspersed with the dinner conversations are amusements. Pryer holds an auction for a coffee-table-type book. The book is related to the theme of the day. This is not an auction where money is the coin of the realm. Participants bid acts of kindness. I bid 17 acts of kindness to win the book The Art of Edward Hopper. Successful bidders must keep a journal and give a full report to the group after four weeks.

    Dinner conversation is fresh and sparkling. Discourse covers a colorful spectrum from fashion to philosophy; to music, art, plays, writing and “wuz up” in town. This is a cornucopia of laughter, good cheer and frivolity.

    The atmosphere is upbeat, warm and inviting. A vintage jazz combo usually provides cool music in the background. The atmosphere is reminiscent of a 1950s Greenwich Village coffee house.

    A fresh venue … stimulating our vibrant arts community.

    This is Fayetteville’s own Algonquin Round Table.

    Photo: The Algonquin Round Table: (l-r) Art Samuels, Charles MacArthur, Harpo Marx, Dorothy Parker and Alexander Woollcott (circa 1919-1929)

  • 16 Miss Cotton PageantWhen Hurricane Florence blew through Hope Mills last fall, one of the many casualties of the storm was the Miss Cotton Pageant.

    Florence became a perfect storm to wreck the pageant as the town’s Parks and Recreation Building was damaged and uninhabitable for months, forcing the recreation staff to take temporary headquarters in Town Hall.

    All that upheaval made the task of putting on the pageant too big a challenge.

    But barring the intervention of weather again this fall, the Miss Cotton Pageant will return, scheduled Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28, in the auditorium at Jack Britt High School.

    Paulette Hobbs of the recreation department is overseeing this year’s pageant. The original plan was to hold it at South View High School, but the school couldn’t guarantee the dates the town was seeking, so it was moved to the auditorium at Jack Britt.

    Applications to enter the pageant are available at the recreation center on Rockfish Road or online at www.townofhopemills.com.

    The entry fee is $50 per contestant and the entry deadline is Friday,
    Sept. 13.

    Separate age categories of the competition will be held on each of the two nights of the pageant.

    Sept. 27 is for the 3- to 9-year-old contestants. Sept. 28 is for the 10- to 22-year-old contestants. Both evenings the competition will begin at 6:30 p.m.

    Two important events will be held prior to the actual pageant. On Saturday, Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Parks and Recreation Building there will be a meeting with all parents of pageant contestants. Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., a dress rehearsal for all contestants will take place in the auditorium at Jack Britt High School.

    For any questions or concerns about the pageant, contact Hobbs at the Parks and Recreation offices at 910-426-4109.

  • 15 Hope Mills Community RoundtableElected leaders are welcome but politics will not be the focus of a Hope Mills Community Roundtable sponsored by the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce and Up & Coming Weekly. 

    The event is scheduled at Harmony at Hope Mills, 7051 Rockfish Road, on Thursday. A meet and greet time is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by the roundtable at 7 p.m.

    “We are glad to be hosting it with Up & Coming (Weekly) and Harmony of Hope Mills,’’ said Jan Spell, president of the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce.

    Spell called Harmony a wonderful facility that has been good to the chamber. “Now they’re wanting to be good to the residents of our community as well,’’ she said. “We hope that they’ll come out and express their voices so they can be heard, do a little learning and let us learn from them as well.’’

    The roundtable will begin with brief presentations by local government leaders and town staff. While all citizens and elected officials are welcome to attend, Spell stressed this is not a political rally and should not be confused with a campaign event on the part of anyone running for office.

    “There may be candidates there that the residents want to speak with,’’ she said. “Everyone is welcome to attend. This is an open forum for everyone, not just citywide but countywide too.

    “Mostly we’re looking for our citizens to come and join us.’’

    In addition to Spell, scheduled speakers include Cumberland County Commissioner Michael Boose and Hope Mills town finance director Drew Holland.

    Up & Coming Weekly publisher Bill Bowman said his publication is sponsoring the event to give the people of Hope Mills a chance to learn what the Chamber of Commerce is doing in the community and to bring people up to date on the wonderful things that are going on in Hope Mills.

    “The best way to do that is to get everybody together on an informal basis, to have an informal conversation about what they would like to see, what they like about Hope Mills and to meet the movers and shakers of the county and Hope Mills so they can identify people and start developing relationships with the town,’’ he said. 

    Like Spell, Bowman stressed the event is not political in nature. “This is for the people,’’ he said. “No political agenda associated with it.’’

    Bowman said the response to this first meeting will be gauged, and if it’s successful, future meetings could be held as frequently as quarterly each year. 

    “We want to get people used to them,’’ he said. “It should be a lot of fun.’’

  • 8-13-14-financial-planning.gifAre you ready for this? September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Preparedness Month seeks to educate Americans on preparing for natural disasters and other types of emergencies. But you’ll also need to prepare for unexpected events in many other areas of your life — particularly those events related to the financial security of you and your family.

    Here are some of the most important of these events, along with possible preparations for them:

    • Unanticipated early retirement. If you encounter a “downsizing” or other occurrence that results in the loss of a job, or even the end of a career, before you expected it, would you be able to avoid major disruptions to your lifestyle? To help prepare for such a loss of income, make sure to fully fund your IRA each year. The maximum contribution is $5,500 per year plus an additional $1,000 for those age 50 and older.

    • Disability. Even a short-term disability can seriously harm your finances — and a long-term disability could prove devastating. Your employer might offer some form of disability insurance, but it may not be sufficient. So you may need to explore private coverage.

    • Personal liability. If someone were ever injured on your property or due to some action of yours, you could face legal actions demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars. To help protect yourself, consider adding umbrella liability insurance.

    • Changing family situation. Changes in your life — marriage, divorce, remarriage, children, stepchildren — can drastically affect your estate plans and the type of legacy you want to leave. To prevent unpleasant surprises for your family, make sure you periodically review beneficiary designations on your investment accounts, such as your IRA and 401(k), and work with your tax and legal advisors to update your estate-planning documents — will, living trust and so on — as needed.

    • Outliving your money. Once you reach retirement, your greatest concern may be that you’ll outlive your money. To help prevent this from happening, create a sustainable withdrawal strategy — that is, determine how much you can take out each year from your investment and retirement accounts, and stick to this amount.

    • Need for long-term care. You can’t predict whether you will ever need to enter a nursing home or require the assistance of a home health care worker, but one thing is for sure — these services are extremely expensive. Consider this: The national average for a private room in a nursing home is nearly $84,000 per year, according to a recent survey by Genworth, a financial security company. To help prepare for these costs, you may want to consult with a professional financial advisor, who can suggest appropriate solutions.

    • Untimely death. Your absence could jeopardize your family’s financial security, particularly if you passed away while your children were still at home. To help ensure that your family could remain in the home and that your children could go to college, if they choose, make sure you have adequate life insurance.

    Your passage through life will be filled with twists and turns, and you can’t always see what lies ahead. But you can ease your journey by preparing yourself for the unexpected.

  • 14 ALMSHOUSEAfter a successful summer of providing meals to children in need, the ALMS House in Hope Mills is gearing up for an even more ambitious project of a similar nature as school resumes in Cumberland County.

    Over the summer months, the ALMS House provided an average of 20 bag lunches a week to children and some adults who needed them, getting much-needed support from the community in the form of donations of food and money.

    A few weeks ago they got a call to help out with another program that received state funding to provide food to children if another organization would give them a location where the children could go to relax and enjoy the meals. That program ended in early August, and ALMS House was asked to pick up the ball for the remaining weeks until school resumed late this month.

    Since that responsibility was added, the ALMS House has been averaging 90 meals per day in addition to the 20 per week they had been doing. “It’s unbelievable how the community has stepped up and provided both funding and provisions for us,’’ said Delores Schiebe of the ALMS House. “It has just fallen into place.’’

    Once school resumes, the pace at ALMS House will pick up even more as they begin providing take-home bag lunches for under-privileged children that school social workers have identified as likely to not have access to food over the weekend.

    Schiebe said ALMS House will start packing some 250 bag lunches the first week of school, but as time passes the numbers will grow upwards of 450 to 500 bags per week.

    “We try to make the bags as nutritious as possible,’’ Schiebe said. They include things like milk and natural fruit juice, not simply flavored water. Other items include ramen noodles, pop-top cans of spaghetti or other main course type dishes, beef jerky, cheese and crackers, fruit snacks and
    a spoon.

    These bags are designed to be taken home each Friday by students that have been identified by school social workers as children at risk of going without food over the weekend.

    Schiebe said the number of bags increases because often a child will return from the weekend and say they shared the food with a sibling and ask if they could get an extra bag for them.

    Since there are so many more children involved than the summer program, this is much more expensive for the ALMS House to handle and requires even more support from the community.

    “We encourage cash because we go shopping,’’ Schiebe said of the process used to fill the bags each week.

    Donations of actual food are also accepted, Schiebe said, including pop-top cans of meat or pasta or the microwaveable dishes that come in single-serve plastic containers. Bottled water is also welcome.

    Volunteers came in this week at ALMS House to begin packing the first bags that will go out to the children this year.

    Looking ahead, Schiebe said plans are in the works for the annual Peace, Love, Walk event, scheduled in October 19 at 4 p.m., that is a major benefit for the ALMS House. Members Credit Union is the primary sponsor of the walk. “We are looking for sponsors, walkers and vendors,’’ Schiebe said.

    For further information on the walk and how to support it, Schiebe
     said people can contact the ALMS House or the local Members Credit Union office. 

    The ALMS House can be reached at 910-425-0902. Members Credit Union is 910-425-6806.

  • 12 Ramp at lakeOne of the jobs of the North Carolina Department of Transportation is to monitor subrecipients of federal funding that fall under their watch for compliance with the Americans with Disabilites Act.

    That’s why sometime last year the town of Hope Mills, as a municipality that receives federal money through DOT, got a letter from DOT checking in on the status of the town’s compliance.

    Don Sisko, who heads the public works department for Hope Mills, indicated the town is taking an aggressive approach to making sure the process to assure facilities under town control are either already accessible or will be made that way as soon as possible.

    Sisko noted the town only has control over upgrading town-managed facilities and property. Private businesses and other town entities not under government control don’t fall under the direct oversight of the town or Sisko’s department. 

    To help make sure nothing falls through the cracks, the town has secured the services of the engineering firm of Stewart, Inc. “They have begun their field survey so they can do a self-assessment,’’ Sisko said. “It has to do with streets and sidewalks, facilities and programs.’’

    Sisko said he’s already learned some things about ADA compliance that the casual observer likely wouldn’t even think of. A great example is the official town website. Under ADA regulations, it must be made accessible to people who having hearing or vision problems that makes normal interaction with a website difficult. 

    That’s why it’s good to have a company like Stewart helping with the evaluation. “They are subject matter experts on this,’’ Sisko said. “The ADA law is itself is written in legalese. It’s good to have a good subject matter expert on your side to make sure you get done what needs to be done.’’

    Toward the end of getting things done, the town has hired a specialist to help oversee the ADA compliance issue. Bruce Clark is the ADA coordinator for the town and has been in that position for about a month. “He’s ramrodding this part of the project,’’ Sisko said. 

    In addition to the work that is being done by Stewart, the town will be soliciting public input through a variety of outlets . Sisko said it would be similar to the responses the town sought when the comprehensive recreation plan was being developed. “There are going to be public meetings advertised and surveys put out so we can actually get public input on it,’’ he said. “That will all be collated to help us develop a priority listing.’’

    Sisko added that Chancer McLaughlin, administrator of development and planning for the town, will coordinate the public input effort.

    The work to complete making the town ADA compliant won’t be completed in a short time. “We are realistically trying to get our plan set up to do everything within about 10 years,’’ Sisko said.

    He added that the Board of Commissioners is on board and has money budgeted once the areas of need have been identified. They already began last year with upgrading the computer program for the town website. “This year we are starting to look at some of the physical things as well,’’ Sisko said. “We are waiting until we get the report back from Stewart.’’

    But there is some work ongoing. The mill house that is being converted into a museum will require a wall to be removed so the bathroom can be modified to make it ADA compliant.

    Work was recently completed on the new bulkhead at Hope Mills Lake, which included the installment of a ramp leading to the kayak launch and swim areas.

    “That’s the last project we had on the books that we’ve completed,’’ Sisko said of the ramp at the bulkhead. “We are looking at pressing forward and going back to past practices and making the corrections on those, bringing that to compliance.’’

    Sisko noted that anyone with concerns about ADA compliance in the town should contact Clark. His phone number is 910-429-3387, and his email is bclark@townofhopemills.com.

    “We’ll do our outright best to make sure whatever is brought to our attention either gets corrected or is programmed for correction,’’ Sisko said. 

    Clark said the town already developed a public awareness notice that can be seen at all facilities open to the public as well as on the town’s website and all of its social media sites.

    “It’s basically a position statement on where we stand in providing compliancy with ADA in our facilities and our programs,’’ Clark said.

    “The 1,000-yard view of this program, of what we’re trying to get established here, is equal access, basically, equal access for everybody to our programs, to our facilities.’’

  • 18 01 Dalton PatrickCoach: David Lovette

    2018 record: 7-5

    Top returners:Kendall Evans, 6-3, 240, Sr., DT; Dalton Patrick, 6-0, 180, Sr., S/WR; Jerry Garcia Jr., 5-10, 170, Jr., LB/DB/RB; Ben Lovette, 6-1, 165, Sr., QB; Garrett Crockett, 6-3, 280, Jr., OL; Terry McLaughlin, 6-1, 180, Jr., OL; D.J. Crutcher, 6-1, 180, Sr., DB; Justin McClintock, 5-10, 200, Sr., LB.

    Top newcomers: Jarrod Kenney, 5-8, 155, Jr., RB; Jalen Randall, 6-0, 230, Jr., DL; Jalen Johnson, 6-4, 200, So., DE; Robert Burks, 6-1, 175, Jr., DB; Jayden Williams, 6-4, 280, Jr., DT; Josiah Arreguin, 5-11, 165, Jr., DB.

    18 02 DJ KrutcherTeam strengths:“We return experience on the offensive line and quarterback positions. On defense we return two All-Conference players in McClintock and Crutcher. The secondary returns three out of four starters and one of the better defensive linemen in Evans.’’

    Team concerns: “Depth is always a concern.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Dalton Patrick, D.J. Crutcher

  • It was one year ago a group of representatives from local art agencies sat with Bill Bowman, Editor of Up & ComingWeekly, to talk about the possibility of forming an alliance of the galleries in Fayetteville, galleries who have an exhibition calendar of at least sic months ahead of schedule.

    From the beginning, the alliance’s main focus w08-04-10-vaa-logo.gifould be to run bi-monthly ads about gallery openings for the general public, promote member organization events and pursue collaborative programming and marketing in the visual arts.

    The alliance’s name became VAA, the Visual Art Alliance; its slogan, “buy original, buy local,” is one that celebrates its member’s position all year round. By late August 2009, a grant was submitted to the Arts Council of Fayetteville and Cumberland County for seed money to support the organization.

    After receiving the grant, Gallery 208 became VAA’s official gallery — every third month one of VAA’s members coordinated a regional artist exhibit for Gallery 208 and a local artist in McLeod Gallery, both at Up & Coming Weekly. During its first year, VAA hosted excellent exhibitions in their space. The opening receptions, hosted by Up & Coming Weekly, as always, were special — lots of food and beverage, artists and art patrons participated as well as art lovers to the receptions.

    In an effort to promote Fayetteville as an art-buying destination and to reshape the perception of the visual arts in Fayetteville, VAA presented two lectures at the Arts Council about buying art and how to pursue a gallery in a major city. Both lectures were well attended.

    In addition to the lectures and exhibitions by member agencies, VAA had a special art sale during a particularly hot day in the Transportation Museum parking lot on June 5. The One Day Art Market was a huge success as a way to generate funds.

    Although ceramics and jewelry were available, people came to find good deals on prints, drawings, watercolors and paintings. And they did! As a fundraiser many professional artists donated personal works they regularly sell between the amounts of $300 to $1,200 and marked those works as little as $25 and never more than $150.

    Within the first three hours of the art market, the raffle for two professional works took place and the work was picked over. VAA members noted there were a significant number of people who were from out of town that visited the sale.

    From July of last year to the present the Visual Art Alliance has been dedicated to building an enduring visual arts community in Fayetteville. Members last year included the Fayetteville Museum of Art and its present members: Cape Fear Studios, the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, Rosenthal Gallery at Fayetteville State University, the Fayetteville Art Guild, the art gallery at Fayetteville Technical Community College and Old Towne Gallery.

    The organization made it though a successful first year with the help of its sponsors and a membership dedicated to the arts locally. So, thank you big sponsors: Arts Council, Up & Coming Weekly, and its newest sponsor, The Fayetteville Feed. VAA could not have done it without your support!

    Special thanks to the small dollars from individuals who attended the lectures and made purchases at the one day market. Every dollar helps and adds up! But it takes people, too.

    It’s a year old organization that I think has helped to make a difference this past year in the art landscape in Fayetteville; but it’s a year round effort by everyone who wants to strengthen the arts in Fayetteville to support the Visual Arts in Fayetteville by attending the openings and buying local. You don’t have to purchase to go to a reception or an exhibition at a gallery. All of the galleries are happy to see visitors enjoy the works of art, too.

    Each art agency is a valued sister organization in the community, all are interrelated to support the success of the arts. Yet participation at openings and events is just as important to support reputable art galleries and exhibit spaces for all levels of artists to show their work — including the novice.

    I know how important art patrons are to the arts, but as cited in an earlier exposé Chris Kastner stated, “It’s important for artists to be at openings. In general, the public likes to meet the artist whose work is hanging on the wall and ask the artist questions — its good business for artists to attend openings to meet other artists.”

    VAA hopes the next year will bring more artists and art patrons and new-comers out to galleries. The agency hopes younger emerging artists will take the time to attend openings and events, mix with established artists.

    The alliance will continue to do its part, to work as a collective, seeking to promote events and increase the number of individuals who attend openings and art events all over the city. I just hope artists understand how important they are to an artistic community that celebrates all creative people and process; that values the exploration of new ideas, new ways to exhibit, and new art business ventures.

    There are many exciting exhibitions planned in VAA’s second year. When you’re in its member’s galleries, look for the newly published post card maps which geographically locates VAA’s member galleries. And in the months ahead, look for the VAA canopy on Maxwell Street during 4th Fridays.

    Individual artists can’t joint VAA, but if you are seeking information about VAA or would like to contact VAA, contact its President, Sean McDaniel at Fayetteville Technical Community College (910) 678-0042, or Secretary Chris Kastner, Executive Director of the Cape Fear Studios (910) 433-2986.

  • 17 01 Kevin BrewingtonCoach: Rodney Brewington

    2018 record: 11-3

    Top returners:Matthew Pemberton, 5-9, 180, Sr., ATH; Kevin Brewington, 5-9, 165, Sr., WR; Mahlik Gonzalez, 6-1, 240, Jr., FB; Deshaun Rivera, 6-2, Sr., LB; Timel Smith, 5-9, 165, Sr., DB; J’marcus Ray, 6-1, 165, So, DB; Joshua George, 6-2, 235, Jr., TE; Michael Herbert, 6-2, 240, Sr., OL/DL; Tyrese Harris, 5-5, 155, Sr., RB; Taeveon Dove, 5-10, 265, Jr., OL.

    Top newcomers:Ahmir Ashley, 5-10, 165, Jr., SS; Raheem Baldwin, 5-10, 165, Jr., S; Caesar Dais, 5-10, 260, Fr., OL; Bryan Brewington, 6-2, 190, So., DE/TE; Michael Breedlove, 5-9, So., LB; Isaac Evans, 5-10, 185, So., LB.

    17 02 Timel SmithTeam strengths: “This year’s team will have experience along the offensive line. There will be depth at running back.’’

    Team concerns:“The major concern is replacing eight starters on defense and replacing a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard receiver and their leadership.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Kevin Brewington, Timel Smith

  • Umoja is the Swahilli word for unity, and at the Umoja festival that is what they strive for. A unity in interest, education,08-18-10-umoja-unity.gifand just general acceptance. The history of African Americans is rife with hardship and trouble, but that’s what makes it such an interesting and rich culture. There is so much that can be learned from their stories and the hardships that they have overcome, and the Umoja festival is about presenting those points of view to every one open to learning.

    On August 28 from noon-7 p.m. at Seabrook Park, the 19th Annual Umoja Festival is being held. The Umoja Festival is the annual African American family festival. This is a place where all people are welcome to come and celebrate and learn about African American history and culture.

    At the festival there will be a variety of fun things like the Health Fair, Storytellers, FSU and E.E. Smith bands, and the FSU Retirees Fish Fry. There will also be assorted vendors and from 10-11:30 a.m. “Rescue Men” the story of an all-black life saving crew on Pea Island which will be presented inside the Smith Center. Also a special attraction is the appearance of Conversations with Treasures of Our Heritage: Charles and Gerdine Stevens, from noon until 1:30 p.m. Seabrook park is at 1520 Slater Avenue in Fayetteville.

  • 16 01 Justin BroadhurstCoach:Brian Randolph

    2018 record:5-7

    Top returners:Kevin Sentell, 6-2, 190, Sr., QB; Justin Miliman, 6-3, 320, Sr, T; Anthony Fiffie, 6-0, 170, Sr., WR; Shawn Healey, 5-9, 220, Sr., C; Mason Walker, 5-10, 170, Sr., RB; Tyquan Patterson, 5-8, 160, Sr., CB; Karnell Leavell, 6-1, 325, Sr., G; Josh Townsend, 5-9, 150, Sr., CB; Justin Broadhurst, 6-2, 205, Jr., DE; Marquise Walker, 6-0, 160, Jr., DB.

    Top newcomers:Jacob Copeland, 5-11, 195, Jr., RB; Maurice Wickware, 5-3, 130, Jr., WR; Corey Hutcherson, 6-2, 190, Jr., TE; 16 02 Mason WalkerJaQuan Johnson, 6-3, 340, Jr., T; Isaiah Mercado, 5-11, 170, Jr., LB; Jaden Scott, 6-5, 210, Sr., DE; Ronald Logan, 5-10, 165, Jr., DB; Athanlio Liscano, 5-11, 150, Jr., DB; Jaylan Hackett, 6-0, 160, Jr., LB; Jeremiah Ray, 5-8, 224, Sr., DE.

    Team strengths: “This offseason, our guys have embraced the culture at Jack Britt through their teamwork, discipline and commitment to the program. Iron sharpens iron. We believe that our schedule will bring out the best in us.’’

     Team concerns:“This upcoming season we have several important roles that need to be filled on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Who will answer the call for service is the question yet to be answered.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Justin Broadhurst, Mason Walker

  • Fayetteville is having a birthday party for Lafayette! There will be a Party in the Park from 5 to 8 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 11, to celebrate his birthday, as well as a full day of events — a French Toast Breakfast, a 10K Run, a Parade of Pooches, Cultural Heritage Trail Tour, the Festival of Yesteryear and a Fencing Tournament. Wow! Sounds like a great day of celebrating. But, why are we celebrating the Frenchman’s birthday here in Fayetteville, N.C.?

    In 1825, the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette visited Fayetteville, North Carolina during his “Grand Tour” of the United States. Of all the cities named for him, Fayetteville was the only one that he actually visited. It was in 1783 that Fayetteville became the very first city named for this French nobleman, who came to America’s aid during its fi ght for freedom from England.

    The Lafayette Society of Fayetteville began an annual celebration in 2007, the 250th anniversary of Lafayette’s birth. Because of that event and because of Fayetteville’s unique connection to Lafayette, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives proclaimed, “Fayetteville is the place where North Carolina celebrates Lafayette’s birthday.” Although the actual birthday is Sept. 6, the weekend after Labor Day has been designated for the public observance.

    First up on the day’s agenda is a guided tour of the Lafayette Trail beginning at 9 a.m. The Lafayette Trail is one of the Cultural Heritage Driving Trails, a new program of the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. It starts at the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Headquarters and Museum on Burgess Street in historic09-01-10-lafayette-logo.gifdowntown Fayetteville. Space is limited and tickets are $25. For a sneak preview, go to the website for the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.visitfayettevillenc.com.

    You can also start your day, from 7 to 11 a.m., with a French Toast Breakfast Fundraiser for the Child Advocacy Center. It comes with bacon or sausage and coffee for only $7 and you may substitute pancakes for French toast. For every plate sold, Horne’s Café will donate $2 to the Child Advocacy Center, a nonprofi t agency dedicated to stopping child abuse in Cumberland County. Horne’s Café is located at 124 Hay St., and tickets may be purchased in advance there or in the front lobby of the CAC at 336 Ray Ave. Tickets will also be available at Horne’s on the day of the event.

    The Child Advocacy Center will also benefi t from your participation in the Parade of Pooches. Bring your canine pal downtown for an informal gathering and parade in honor of the marquis de Lafayette. Dogs of French descent, from poodles to bijons, will be the stars of the show but anyone can join in the fun! All breeds are welcome if they wear a costume with a French or Revolutionary War theme (think berets and bikinis!) Dogs (or owners) in costume will have the chance to compete for prizes in several categories. Come meet some of the Child Advocacy Center’s “welcome dogs,” part of a new program at the CAC that uses therapy dogs for some of their young clients. Gather at 9:30 a.m. with your dog (on a leash please) at the corner of Anderson and Hay Streets. The good folks from the Dogwood Festival are helping organize this event with the Child Advocacy Center. You can call them to register ahead of time at 910-323-1934. Registration for dog and owner is just $5.

    For the more athletic among us, there is a Lafayette Rotary Club 10K, 5K, and 1-mile Fun Run or Walk covering a 10K or 5K course over gently rolling hills through some of Fayetteville’s prettiest neighborhoods. These races are sanctioned using the Champion Chip System. There is also a 1-mile fun run or walk for those who just want to enjoy the great outdoors. All participants will enjoy a valuable goodie bag, sharp T-shirts, and the friendliness and helpfulness of the host Rotarians! Registration starts at 8 a.m. at Fayetteville Technical Community College at the corner of Hull Road and FTCC Access Road. Proceeds will be used to buy dictionaries for Cumberland County school children. Go to www.active. com to register or call 910-964-3996 for more information.

    The day continues downtown with a Sidewalk Sale in downtown Fayetteville and the Festival of Yesteryear at the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex. This festival highlights the state’s Colonial and Revolutionary War history and is an amazing historical experience for all ages. For more info, visit the museum’s website www.museumofthecapefear.ncdcr.gov or call (910) 437-2603.

    The celebration will conclude with a French Wine and Cheese Tasting at the Fresh Cafe on Hay Street and the Party in the Park at Cross Creek Park from 5-8 p.m., featuring, food music, games for kids and much,much more! For more info on the celebration visit www.lafayettesociety.org.

  • 15 Timon of Athens

    The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Company is taking its act on the road to Hope Mills for the performance of a lesser known work of the legendary playwright entitled "Timon of Athens."

    The outdoor performance is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Carleen’s of Hope Mills at the Moulder-Warner House, 5703 Rockfish Road. A preshow concert begins at 7 p.m., with the play starting at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting.

    Jen Pommerenke is one of the directors of the play. She divides her time between Fayetteville and Brevard, where she is program director for a summer camp.

    Pommerenke said the company performs mostly classical works with the goal of making their theater accessible, magical and delightful for people in the Fayetteville community and beyond.

    “It’s kind of like a backyard barbecue with a bunch of family members and a play breaks out in the middle of it,’’ Pommerenke said.

    Most of the company’s performances take place outdoors in Fayetteville on the grounds of the 1897 Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear. When the weather turns colder, they move to indoor venues.

    The company’s props and costumes are what Pommerenke calls minimalist and are designed in such a way that the performances aren’t tied to a specific time period. “We like to be very fluid with that,’’ she said. “We make the story the magical part of it.’’

    Pommerenke said "Timon of Athens" enjoyed a resurgence about 10 to 15 years ago when the economy was doing poorly because of problems in the stock market.

    The play tells the story of a benevolent philanthropist and businessman who has been exceedingly generous to friends over the years but eventually finds himself in debt.

    The friends he once helped abandon him and he leaves Athens to live in a cave.

    When another group that has been banished from Athens begins to raise an army to attack the city, the city reaches out to Timon to return and help against the attackers.

    Pommerenke said the focus of the story is what do you truly value in life? Are you giving the people you love money and presents or time, care and compassion?

    Are you a true friend or do you seek material things that don’t really matter?

    The base charge for attending the play is $10, but for those who are able, Pommerenke said the group welcomes donations for an individual ticket up to $50.

    The performance begins with a preshow concert at 7 p.m., which gives the audience time to chat, enjoy the local fare and hear a little about Sweet Tea Shakespeare. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

    The audience is asked to bring its own seating for the outdoor performance. Rental options are available, but they are subject to availability. Spectators should bring their own insect repellent if needed.

    Accessing parking at Carleen’s can be tricky. The best entry point is on Hill Street off Rockfish Road, which runs in front of the Baldino’s there, then turn right onto Newton Street. You can also turn on Johnson Street at Robin’s on Main off Main Street and enter from that direction. 

    Last-minute changes in the performance time or issues with weather will be announced on the Sweet Tea Shakespeare Facebook page around
    4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. You can also get information on the company at www.sweetteashakespeare.com, or by calling 910-420-4384.

    "Timon of Athens" will also be performed at the 1897 Poe House Aug. 22-24 at the same times as the Hope Mills performance. 

    The popular Sweet Tea Shakespeare company will be performing "Timon of Athens" in Hope Mills on Aug. 21. The show will be preceded by a concert at 7 p.m. 

  • 16 Naegleria fowleriIn the wake of the tragic death of a swimmer at nearby Fantasy Lake just outside of Hope Mills, Town Manager Melissa Adams released a statement to Up & Coming Weekly.

    Although the lake is located just a short distance from the Hope Mills Town Hall complex on Rockfish Road, it is not within the jurisdiction of the town and is not connected with nearby Hope Mills Lake.

    However, the proximity of the lake to Hope Mills and the loss of life that resulted there prompted town officials to make citizens aware of precautions needed when swimming in warm bodies of freshwater during the summer months.

    Here is Adams’ statement:

    First and foremost the Town of Hope Mills would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family of Eddie Gray, the individual who contracted an infection due to Naegleria fowleri and recently passed away.

    Infection due to Naegleria fowleri is rare, as evidenced by the reporting of only five cases in the state of North Carolina between 1962 and 2018. The Town of Hope Mills would like to echo the advisory of the Cumberland County Health Department and would encourage everyone to use precaution when swimming, diving or water-skiing in warm, freshwater lakes.

    The amoeba cannot be eliminated from freshwater lakes because it is naturally occurring, but the following precautions are recommended.
    • Limit the amount of water going up your nose. Hold your nose shut, use nose clips or keep your head above water when taking part in warm freshwater-related activities.
    • Avoid water-related activates in warm freshwater during periods of high water temperatures and low water levels.
    • Avoid digging in, or stirring up, the sediment while taking part in water-related activities in shallow, warm freshwater areas.

    For more information about Naegleria fowleri and primary amebic meningoencephalitis, visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/.

    If you have questions or concerns, you may contact the Cumberland County Department of Public Health at 910-433-3645 or 910-433-3655.

    Computer-generated representation of Naegleria fowleri in its ameboid trophozite stage, in its flagellated stage, and in its cyst stage. 

  • 13 A Woman Is No ManRocky Mount writer Etaf Rum, author of “A Woman Is No Man,” grew up in a Palestinian immigrant family in Brooklyn, New York, in the 1990s and 2000s. Her book is based on experiences in that community. We first meet Isra, a 17-year-old girl living in Palestine. Her family arranges marriage to an older man, Adam, who owns a deli and lives with his parents and siblings in Brooklyn, New York. Living in Adam’s family’s basement, Isra becomes a virtual servant to Adam’s mother, Fareeda, who pushes the couple to have children, males who can build the family’s reputation and influence. Isra produces four children, but because they are all girls Fareeda shows her displeasure.

    Years later after Adam and Isra die, Fareeda raises the girls. The oldest, Deya, is a high school senior. Fareeda looks for a Palestinian man for her to marry. Deya wants to go to college, but she is afraid to bolt her family and the community’s customs. She knows of women who have stood up against male domination and then faced beatings and even death.

    As Rum explains, the book “meant challenging many long-held beliefs in my community and violating our code of silence.” 

    Elaine Neil Orr’s novel, “Swimming Between Worlds,” is set in 1950s Winston-Salem and Nigeria. The coming-of-age and love story is enriched by the overlay of the Nigerian struggle and the civil rights protests in Winston-Salem.

    Tacker Hart, with an architectural degree at N.C. State, got a plum assignment to work in Nigeria, where he became so captivated by Nigerian culture, religion, and ambience that his white supervisors sent him home. Back in Winston-Salem, he falls for Kate Monroe, from one of Winston’s leading families. They become connected to Gaines, a young African-American college student who drags Tacker and Kate into his work organizing protest movements at lunch counters.

    Orr blends civil rights and romance for a poignant and unexpected ending. 

    Raleigh News & Observerpoliticalreporter and columnist Rob Christensen’s “The Rise and Fall of the Branchhead Boys” follows the Alamance County farm family of North Carolina governors Kerr Scott and his son Robert.

     He describes how Kerr Scott defeated the favored gubernatorial candidate of the conservative wing of the party in 1948 and adopted a liberal program of road-building, public school improvement and expanded government services. He ran for U.S. Senate in 1954 as a liberal in a campaign managed by future Governor Terry Sanford. Once elected, Christensen writes, Scott nevertheless joined with fellow southerners to oppose civil rights legislation and became “just another segregationist, little different from most of the southern caucus.”

    Christensen then follows the political career of Kerr’s son, Bob Scott, who when elected governor in 1968, faced mountains of bitter controversies in the areas of race, labor, student unrest and higher education administration. 

     In “Freedom Fighters and Hell Raisers: A Gallery of Memorable Southerners,” famed essayist Hal Crowther has collected a sampling of his best work — columns about memorable southerners — including Will Campbell, James Dickey, Marshall Frady, John Hope Franklin, Jesse Helms, Molly Ivins, Frank M. Johnson, George Wallace and Doc Watson.

    All are dead, and Crowther, without funeralizing, sizes up their character and contributions.

    Crowther’s essay about blind musician Doc Watson is my favorite. Neither blindness nor the loss of his beloved son, Merle, could keep him from using his music to bring people of all backgrounds and political persuasions to be moved by his songs and guitar playing.

     We need Crowther’s freedom fighters and hell raisers, but the real heroes will be folks like Watson who bring us together. 

  • 15 Henrietta JutsonHenrietta Jutson has been a member of the faculty at Jack Britt High School since it opened its doors in 2000.

    Now she’s one of 50 finalists for a cash prize awarded by Harbor Freight Tools to teachers like her who specialize in the area of skilled trades.

    Called the Prize for Teaching Excellence, the contest will award 18 teachers prizes ranging from $100,000 for first place to $50,000 for second place. Each winner will get a share of the prize money with a share also going to the school where they work.

    Jutson was one of some 700 teachers nationally who entered the competition.

    She teaches integrated systems technology at Jack Britt, which she called a concept of using all types of technology in a manufacturing environment.

    As she put it, it’s when the various elements of technology begin walking and talking together. Her students work with such things as robotics, programmable logic control, hydraulics, pneumatics, plastics and some computerized controls.

    They learn all that and it all starts to work together,’’ she said. “Then they put large projects together.’’

    Jutson said the best part of her job is her students, most of whom are part of Jack Britt’s Integrated and Systems Technology and Applied Engineering Academy.

    “They are interested in what we are doing,’’ she said. “Each of the three classes has its own capstone project they work toward. They really drive their own project. That’s the easiest part.’’

    The problem is that not everyone works at the same speeds or at the same time, so it can be a challenge to get all the parts of the project to come together.

    “It’s all about students doing what they want to do because everybody is doing something different at the same time,’’ Jutson said.

    Jutson is bracing for the next round of the competition, which will require her to write essays in response to a series of questions.

    “You want to answer them as clearly and succinctly as you can,’’ she said. “You want to give them some wow factor and you want it heartfelt and to do a good job writing it,’’ she said.

    She praised the people with Harbor Freight Tools for recognizing the work teachers like her do by putting some serious prize money in the contest.

    “I think it’s wonderful they’ve shone a spotlight on it,’’ she said.

    Pictured: Henrietta Jutson

  • 14 01 Mark Kahlenberg American Legion CoachThe Hope Mills Boosters American Legion baseball team saw their 2019 season come to an end when Wallace was declared the winner of their first-round Area II playoff series.

    Though the series was tied at 1-1, Wallace was declared the winner after back-to-back rainouts of the third game made it impossible to complete the series by the time Legion officials said it had to be over.

    Wallace was declared the winner because it was the higher seed in the playoffs, No. 3 to Hope Mills’ No. 6.

    The finish was especially frustrating to Hope Mills head coach Mark Kahlenberg, who had four pitchers left who hadn’t thrown an inning in the series while the Wallace staff had exhausted its pitching after the first two games.

    Hope Mills finished with a 10-11 record, which was close to what Kahlenberg predicted before the season began because of the amount of youth on this year’s team.
    “We’re only losing four or five players,’’ he said. “That’s great. We also picked up Gray’s Creek High School this year, which we hadn’t done in a while. I hope that will continue in the future.’’

    Two of the biggest losses will be Cape Fear’s Nick West and North Duplin product Colby Bass, who played for the Methodist University.
    West batted .500 and played shortstop nearly every game. He plans to walk-on at North Carolina State.

    14 02 Nick WestBass hit .415 and won the team’s first-ever Fred McFayden Scholarship. The $500 award, presented by the Massey Hill Lions Club, is named after the late McFayden, a longtime member of the club who helped bring the Lions on as a source of financial support for the team.

    Kahlenberg feels the team’s biggest problem remains not being able to have players consistently available for games during the regular season.

    “We didn’t play conference games as well as we should have,’’ he said. “We lost three or four games I felt we should have won.’’

    Kahlenberg said there were multiple nights where the team only had 10 players available as some were on vacation while others were competing for travel ball teams.

    “We missed those guys on certain nights and it hurt us,’’ he said.

    But he’s hopeful things will continue to improve next season. Some of the young players who got their first taste of American Legion baseball saw that it offers the chance to play against college-caliber pitching and experienced competition.

    14 03 Colby Bass“If we get those kids converted and committed, we don’t have to worry about conference games during the season,’’ Kahlenberg said. “Hopefully we’ll have 15 or 18 there every night. That’s how we’re going to win those conference games that let us down this year.’’

    Kahlenberg expressed his thanks to assistant coaches Randy Nalls and Cecil Combs, and especially to the Massey Hill Lions Club for all they’ve done for the program. That includes the support at games, the scholarship and helping the team buy the bus it used this year to take to road games.

    “The Massey Hill Lions have been a big part of turning us around,’’ Kahlenberg said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Coach Mark Kahlenberg, Nick West, Colby West receiving first the Legion Scholarship

  • 10 summer nightsLocal bands. Diverse dining options. Fayetteville community. Downtown Summer Nights, a concert series presented by Cumberland Tractor Kubota of Fayetteville, has transformed Person Street into a full-blown block party every Thursday night this summer. 

    “We had almost 3,000 people on Person Street,” said Kelly West, promotions and marketing director for Rock 103, about the night The Embers performed. “Everyone (came) down to shag. They even wore their shagging shoes.” Regional tribute bands Legacy Motown, Sidewinder and 20 Ride, a Zac Brown Band tribute, are a few more of this summer’s hits, West said.

    Every genre from classic rock to 80s ballads, and plenty more, is  featured in the programming. There’s something for everyone, according to West. “We’ve had every kind of person down here, every walk of life, everything,” including families. The Kids Zone, presented by Fascinate-U Children’s Museum and sponsored by ShineLight, includes an inflatable house, crafts and other activities that change weekly. Popular activities have involved everything from making slime to growing chia pets.

    Most importantly, the concert series highlights the brick and mortar on Person Street, said Isabella Effon, a member of the Cool Spring Downtown District Board of Directors. “I was the only one programming Person Street,” Effon said, referring to her time as a restaurant owner before spearheading Summer Nights Downtown with West. Effon also had Person Street in mind when she started the African World Peace Festival. “We’ve seen growth. There’s so much on Person Street, too.”

    West and Effon provide crowd-pleasing food trucks, but they also encourage concertgoers to try the eateries lining Person Street. In fact, the food trucks were recently relocated to the parking lot next to Person Street to draw attention to restaurants like The Sweet Palette, Circa 1800, The Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop and, soon, Taste of West Africa, which Effon is planning to open after the summer.

    “It’s opening people’s eyes to businesses that people have never paid attention to,” Effon said. “(It benefits) not only Person Street, but the whole downtown district.” According to West, shops like Ro’s Corner Barber Shop and Back-A-Round Records have also gotten more business since the series’ opening.

    In the spirit of being community-minded, Summer Nights Concerts always has a local musician perform the National Anthem. Former “American Idol” contestants, the Cumberland Oratorio Singers and even Fort Bragg’s own Sargeant Mahoon have led or will lead the community in the Star-Spangled Banner this summer.

    Downtown Summer Nights concerts will finish its first run with three August shows. Local band Tyrek and Lotus Sun will open the Aug. 8 show, headlined by Sail On: The Beach Boys Tribute. On Aug. 15, 80’s Unplugged and an Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band will take the stage. The season closes Aug. 22 with Dead City Symphony and Heart Breaker, a female-fronted Heart and Led Zeppelin tribute band.

    The community can expect this year’s favorites, plus some surprises, to make an appearance at next year’s Downtown Summer Nights. “The Embers will be back. Legacy Motown will be back. (The) Earth, Wind & Fire tribute band will be back,” said West. She hinted that there may be completely new forms of entertainment next year as well.

    Downtown Summer Nights concerts take place every Thursday through June 20-Aug. 22 on the 100 block of Person St., next to Ro’s Corner Barber Shop. Admission is free. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and music begins at 6 p.m. The event is brought to the public by Cumberland Tractor Kubota of Fayetteville, Cumulus Media, Cool Spring Downtown District and Five Star Entertainment. To become a vender, or for more information, call Kelly West at 509-901-3467.

  • 12 Fire StoneThe boundaries of the university should be “coterminous with the boundaries of the state.” Leaders of the University of North Carolina often use this language to embrace a wider partnership with the entire state.

    The words came from a University Day speech by Edward Kidder Graham, although he used the term “co-extensive” rather than “coterminous.”

    Graham was UNC’s president from 1913, when he was named acting president, until his death in 1918, a victim of the flu epidemic that scorched the nation at the end of World War I.

    In his recent book, “Fire and Stone: The Making of the University of North Carolina under Presidents Edward Kidder Graham and Harry Woodburn Chase,” Greensboro author Howard Covington explains how the “fire” of Graham and the “stone” of his successor Chase transformed UNC from a quiet liberal arts institution into a respected university equipped to provide an academic experience that prepared students to participate in a growing commercial, industrial, and agricultural New South.

    At the time Graham became president, approximately1,000 students were enrolled at the university. The campus consisted primarily of a few buildings gathered around the South Building and Old Well. Classrooms and living quarters were crowded and in bad condition.

    In his brief time as president, the youthful and charismatic Graham pushed the university to reach out across the state. Speaking at churches, alumni gatherings, farmers’ groups, and wherever a place was open to him, he preached that universities should help identify the state’s problems and opportunities and then devote its resources to respond to them.

    Graham’s ambitious plans to transform the university were interrupted by World War I when the campus and its programs were disrupted and then commandeered by the military.

    His death shortly after the war ended left the university without a magnetic and motivational figure to carry out his plans and vision. That task fell upon Henry Chase, a native of Massachusetts who had gained Graham‘s trust as a teacher and talented academic leader.

    Although he did not have Graham’s charisma, Chase had something else that made him an appropriate successor to the visionary Graham. He had an academic background and a talent for recruiting faculty members who supported Graham’s and Chase’s vision.

    Building on Graham’s plans and the enthusiasm that had been generated, Chase took advantage of the public pressure on the legislature to secure the resources to expand the campus. He organized and found support for university programs that included the graduate and professional training needed to serve the public throughout the state, as Graham had hoped.

    By 1930, when Chase left UNC to lead the University of Illinois, the UNC campus had more than doubled in size, and the student body approached 3,000 including 200 graduate students. His successor, Frank Porter Graham, was Edward Kidder Graham’s first cousin.

    Chase’s ride to success had been a bumpy one. For instance, in 1925, about the time of the Scopes-evolution trial in Tennessee, Chase faced a similar uprising in North Carolina from religious leaders who attacked the university because some science instructors were teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution.

    The state legislature considered and came close to passing a law to prohibit teaching of evolution.

    Chase respectfully countered this attack, always emphasizing the point that Christianity was at the university’s core. His strong defense of freedom of speech gained him admiration of the faculty and many people throughout the state.

    Covington writes that Chase “took the flame that Graham had ignited and used it to build a university and move it into the mainstream of American higher education.”

    Without Graham’s fire and Chase’s stone, UNC would not have become what it is today, one of the most admired universities in the country.

  • {mosimage}    Fayetteville’s new household pick-up recycling program, which began July 7, has been a smashing  success, with a tremendous 75-80 percent participation rate by residents. In the very first week of the program, more than 275 tons of recyclable goods were collected by Waste Management trucks.
        However, as successful as the program has been, Fayetteville owes a huge debt of gratitude to Cumberland County’s Solid Waste Management Department, which has been serving as a “holding pen” or transfer station for the recyclable materials, while the company contracted to transport and convert the recyclables — Pratt Industries — continues construction of its new transfer station.
        Janice Albert, the county’s recycling coordinator, works out of the Ann Street Landfill — one of 17 recycling sites in the county. She says the facility is sending out approximately 25-30 tons of recyclable goods a day that Pratt  picks up and transfers to Charlotte for recycling.
      And she says that for the most part, Fayetteville’s residents have been very vigilant in sorting their recyclables.
    “Recyclables have been very clean. There’s always going to be examples of people throwing trash in the wrong can or putting in items that can’t be recycled, but overall, it looks like it’s been a pretty positive thing... Better than was expected, I’m sure,” said Albert. “Even without counting the city’s material, we get quite a bit here. A lot of it comes from people who don’t live in the city. And we get businesses and such that come out here with their cardboard.”
        Albert says the 17 landfills help fill in the gaps that Fayetteville’s recycling program misses, such as the recyclables generated by multifamily units, including apartment complexes.
    So far, the landfills — all of which were purposely built to be located within seven miles of any home in Cumberland County — have easily handled Fayetteville’s recyclables; and Albert says it will be a long time coming before the Ann Street landfill runs out of room.
        “Depending on how we expand, we can probably make it last for up to 20-25 years,” said Albert of the landfill, which covers more than 300 acres.
        The county’s recycling sites accept a long list of recyclable material, including:
        •Aluminum/Aluminum Cans
        •Batteries (automotive)
        •Cardboard (corrugated and food boxes)
        •Metals (must be able to put in container box)
        •Newspaper (no plastic wrap or string)
        •Magazines
        •Yard Waste (grass, leaves, pine straw, brush & limb clippings — may not exceed 4 cubic yards per week; limbs larger than 3 inches in diameter and 3 feet long must be taken to Wilkes Road)
        •Computers
        •Plastic (bottles, jugs and jars)
        •Glass (brown, clear, green separated)
        •Office Paper (accepted at Ann Street only)
        Of course there are some items that can’t be recycled, such as Styrofoam, acids, compressed gas cyclers, commercial or industrial waste, dead animals, hot ashes, liquids (other than waste oil) and furniture.
        Despite the restrictions, Albert says hazardous waste does sometime slip through, often with unpleasant consequences.
        “We get those (hazardous chemicals) quite a bit,” said Albert,  “and a lot of times if we don’t see them we’ll have stuff blow up and start fires. We also get some compressed gas cyclers... We’ve had people gassed out here.”
    In addition to the regular services, one landfill is helping out the environment both organically and cosmetics wise.
        “Wood that’s not treated or painted is loaded in boxes and taken to the Wilkes Road site where it’s ground up and dyed red to sell for landscaping mulch,” said Albert.
        While a set price has not yet been decided on, Albert says it will probably sell for about about $10 a truck load.
  •     The United Way of Cumberland County kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Aug. 19. More than 250 community leaders gathered for the luncheon at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church to show their support for United Way and enthusiasm for this year’s campaign.
        For its annual fundraising campaign, United Way works with more than 100 companies and organizations in Cumberland County.
        “What’s so unique about United Way,” said Roberta Humphries, director of resource development, “is that people can donate through payroll deductions.”
        Humphries added, “It’s incredible to see how seemingly small amounts of money add up to make such a great difference for the people of Cumberland County.”
        {mosimage}Speakers at the kickoff included United Way’s 2008 campaign chair, Stuart Walters; board chair, Mac Edwards; and volunteers George Quigley, Patty Pittman, and Brian Morrison.
        The three volunteers spoke about the importance of advocacy, philanthropy and volunteerism. Patty Pittman, who received aid from a United Way agency when her house caught fire in 2001, told the kickoff audience, “If you were a contributor to the United Way back in the year 2000, you helped us that day. And the best part is, you didn’t even know us!”
        A phrase from the United Way’s 2008 campaign video, created by Time Warner Cable and Media Sales, Jeff Hylland, another United Way volunteer, echoes Pittman’s sentiment: “You can feel good about (your) money going to something bigger than what you could do on your own.”
        The United Way of Cumberland County was started in 1939, as a nonprofit organization working to improve the overall quality of lives in our community by addressing critical human needs, including education, income and health. Annually, the United Way supports numerous organizations in Cumberland County including the YMCA, the American Red Cross, Better Health, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, CommuniCare, Boy Scouts, Fayetteville Urban Ministries and the Rape Crisis Center. In the 2006-2007 fiscal year, the United Way of Cumberland County gave more than $110 million in funding to community programs.
  • 08-10-11-poe-house-era-etiquette-image-for-u-&-c-story.jpg

    On Monday, Aug. 16, theMuseum of the Cape Fear givesyou the chance for a lunch datewith history in the fourthinstallment of their monthlyseries, Munch on History:A Lunchtime Lecture at theMuseum of the Cape Fear.

    Heidi Bleazey, 1897 PoeHouse education coordinator,will present on Victorianetiquette and 1897 Poe Househistory. The lecture is in thefirst-floor conference room andstarts promptly at 12:15 p.m.

    The 1897 Poe House,home of E. A. and JosephinePoe, is on Arsenal Avenue inthe Museum of the Cape FearHistorical Complex. E. A.Poe, not to be confused with the Edgar Allan Poe of The Raven fame, was aFayetteville brickyard owner and politician at the turn of the 20th century.

    The house is a glimpse of the Poes’ life as an upper-middle-class family inVictorian times. E. A. and Josephine raised eight children in the home, gavedinner parties in the large dining room and welcomed society ladies bearingcalling cards. The 1897 Poe House is unique in that the exhibits are not tiedoff from the public. Visitors may step up and examine artifacts while keeping arespectful distance by not touching. Though not specifically part of the lectureseries, guided tours are available during the afternoons on weekdays and allday on Saturday. 

    The Poes, like other society families of the time, were expected to follow astrict set of social rules.While some etiquette, likethe curtsey, is currentlyout of favor, other rulesof Victorian etiquetteare still relevant today.Lessons from your motherlike sit up straight inyour chair, don’t put yourelbows on the table anddon’t reach across the table for a serving dish were standards inthe early 1900s. The difference in execution is that today you mayget a disapproving glare from your mother. In the Victorian era,you would have been socially banished from polite society.

    The Munch on History series is designed as a short,entertaining lunch break to connect museum visitors withFayetteville’s past. The purpose, says Leisa Greathouse, Curatorof Education, is “to raise awareness about Fayetteville’s place inAmerican history.” Greathouse explains that the series is notintended to make lecture goers experts on a topic, but “to provokethought and examine how history relates to present day.” Past topics includedthe history of the flag in honor of Flag Day and five Fayetteville eventstied to U.S. history.

    Located at 801 Arsenal Ave., near downtown Fayetteville, the Museum ofthe Cape Fear is approximately 15 minutes from any destination in the city.According to Greathouse, “You can leave work at noon, arrive by 12:15 p.m.,eat your lunch during the 20 minute lecture and still be back at work by theend of your lunch hour.” Bring a brown baglunch. Beverages are provided by the museum.Just don’t put your elbows on the table.

  • 08-17-11-youve-come-along-way.jpgIt’s almost the end of summer, but things aren’t slowing down for 4th Friday in Downtown Fayetteville. On Aug. 26, 4th Friday’s theme Women’s Night Out in celebration of the 91st anniversary of the ratifi cation of the 19th Amendment, a defi ning moment in women’s history, and praise all things lost and found. It’s a night, says Sheri Collins, 4th Friday coordinator for the Fayetteville Downtown Alliance, “all about ladies, from the right to vote to the need to be pampered.”

    Festivities will start earlier than usual with a 6 p.m. presentation at the Rainbow Room featuring Mary Walton, author of A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot. Walton will follow-up at City Center Gallery & Books to sign copies of her book. At 8 p.m., Fayetteville’s National Organization for Women (NOW) will reenact the 1913 march on Washington, D.C., demanding women’s voting rights. A woman on a white horse will lead a procession of marchers dressed in vintage suffragist white gowns from the Market House to Ray Avenue. Along the way, actors are planted in the crowd to heckle the demonstrators. NOW will wrap up the event with a showing of Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture at Cameo Art House Theater at 9:30 p.m. The admission charge is donated to the Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County.

    While history is reenacted outside, objects with a history are being reinvented inside for the Recycle! It’s Second Natureexhibit at the Arts Council. Sponsored by the City of Fayetteville’s Environmental Services Department, Waste Management and Pratt Industries, the show features pieces created with recycled materials. “The first recycled art show was such a success that we wanted to do it again. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality, as well as the quantity, of the pieces that were entered three years ago. It was such a wide range in the types of materials and end results. It offered a lot of talk and the opportunity for people to look at recyclables in a fun way,” says Jackie Tuckey, public relations directot for Environmental Services.

    At Cape Fear Studios, the jewelry artists are doing a little reinventing of their own. Lee McMillan, a local jewelry artist, wanted to challenge herself and other artists to use items not typical in jewelry production.

    “I have always worked in recycled items, particularly old jewelry, making them into things people would wear today,” says McMillan, but the purpose of the challenge is to think in broad concepts.

    Called objet trouvé, a natural or dicarded object found by chance and held to have aesthetic value the challenge features local artists Connie Bennett, Linda Sue Barnes, Stephanie Crider, Kathy Moore and Erica Stanckwytch Bailey along with McMillan. In the main gallery is an exhibit featuring potter Gay Smith. Ellen Olson Brooks of Cape Fear Studios describes Smith’s work as “unique in the use of color and style. Not your typical pottery.”

    Meanwhile, artists are demonstrating their work for Arts Aliveat their new location in the parking lot of the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum on Franklin Street.

    As you move from each event, check in with the Downtown merchants. Joely, A Color Studio and Hair Salon is hosting a wine and cheese event with the chance to win a free makeover. At So Chic Bebe, Jill Charles, a singer who is making a name for herself in Fayetteville, is performing. An evening of art, wine, music, history and jewelry, what more could a Fayetteville woman ask for?

    For more information about these events, visit the Downtown Alliance Website at www.fayettevillealliance.com.

  • 08-25-10-ncdba_logo2_nc_2c.gifAbout 15 months ago, the North Carolina Business Association embarked on a mission to increase the number of Department of Defense (DoD) contracts that are won in North Carolina.

    “We do that by providing networking opportunities for folks in that industry, or who want to be in that industry or want to work with folks in that industry,” said Joy Thrash, executive director of the North Carolina Defense Business Association (NCDBA). “We provide networking events for them to come together and build relationships so that they can team up for contracts or be vendors for someone going after a contract and provide a service for them.”

    With several military installations in the state, the NCDBA is focused on more than just the impact that BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) will have in Fayetteville. The organization’s focus is on reaching out to businesses throughout North Carolina. So far, the growth has been steady.

    “Out of 100 counties, 98 had a business in them in 2009 that won a DoD contract,” said Thrash. “Our focus is around bases, but a company doesn’t have to be at one of those locations to win a contract. We have more than 250 members — we just recently reached our 250 mark, so we have gone from 0 to 250 members in about 15 months.”

    An example of their stellar success includes a recent event in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., called breakfast with a prime.

    “That is where we have a prime contractor come and present information, and we allow other companies to present information on their company,” said Thrash. “Then we invite about 50-60 attendees. We limit it because we want it to be a good networking event and not one that the room is so full you can’t move around and circulate in the room.”

    That particular event was a shining example of networking at its best. In Thrash’s 10 plus years of networking experience she says that she is constantly amazed at the synergy created at NCDBA events.

    “It was a spectacular event — it was networking at its best because you just never know how you are going to make a contact,” said Thrash.

    “There was a gentleman from Wrightstville Beach, N.C., who joined after the meeting because he said that he had made two contacts for his business in Wrightsville Beach at an event in Fuquay held by an association headquartered in Fayetteville,” she continued.

    By working with local Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Associations, the NCDBA has been able to increase opportunities for businesses throughout the state and help make connections between companies and people that will have an impact on local economies for decades to come.

    For more information or to contact the NCDBA, visit www. ncdba.com

  • 08-03-10-shfb-logo-color.jpgIt only takes a few minutes with Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) Director David Griffi n and Operations Manager Gideon Adams to understand that they are passionate about their work, and perhaps more importantly, they are practical about it,too.

    In their business, they have to be.

    In an organization that feeds more than 90,000 people every month, practicality is key to surviving. Citizens of Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson and Sampson counties count on the donations of individuals and organizations to stave off hunger every day. Like many non-profi ts, things can be tough even during the best of times. With things the way they are now, the staff of the SHFB fi nds itself in the position of facing a growing need and a declining base from which to draw donations.

    From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, they are pulling out all the stops to raise awareness, have a little fun and reach out to the community to educate it about practical ways to help feed our neighbors.

    “The face of hunger is changing,” said Griffi n. “It used to be mostly homeless people, and this is still an issue for them, but now we are seeing more and more working-class and middle-class people who are struggling.”Griffi n explained that often a person will get laid off but they still have the same nice car, live in the same house and wear the nice clothes that are already in their closet. The problem isn’t about those things, rather it’s now about making hard choices. They often have to choose between paying the rent or light bill and buying groceries.

    Having children in the family adds to the burden. The same is true for many elderly. Costs continue to rise but their income doesn’t. Griffi n noted that many of these people were used to paying their own way and taking care of their own needs, but now they are struggling and they don’t always know where to go or how to ask for help.

    “When someone is hungry it affects so much about the way they function,” said Adams. “It affects how well they can think and concentrate, which can be devastating for students, as well as the kind of risky behaviors they may choose to become involved in. We do what we can to make a difference, but it is diffi cult to reach everyone. The need is so great.”08-03-11-tackle-hunger.jpg

    There are four events remaining in the Hunger Days Campaign, and of course, contributions and donations are appreciated anytime. On Saturday, Aug. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., check out the SHFB Open House at 406 Deep Creek Rd. Learn how the food bank operates and enjoy food, games, activities and entertainment. Member agencies, elected offi cials and individuals are all invited.

    On Thursday, Aug. 18, there will be a Strike Out Hunger Bowl-A-Thon at B&B Lanes from 2-9 p.m. It’s not too late to register or sponsor a team. There will be a 50/50 raffl e and prizes will be awarded for different categories of entries. Sign up with your four-person team, enjoy an afternoon bowling with your friends or colleagues, and help SHFB raise money to fi ght hunger in our community.

    The Strike-Out Hunger Bowl-A-Thon will consist of teams of four bowlers who will have the opportunity to bowl for 1 hour and 45 minutes. There will be a maximum of 69 teams for this event, so make sure you register today! The cost per team is $150.

    On Friday, Sept. 16, the 3rd Annual Driving Out Hunger Invitational Golf Tournament will be played at Baywood Golf Club. Registration starts at 8 a.m. followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start. Registration is $300 per team or $75 for individual entries and includes transportation, round of golf, cart and lunch. For information or to download registration forms, visit www.drivingouthunger.net/tournament.htm.

    The Tackle Hunger Video Game Tournament will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 2–6 p.m. at the SHFB parking lot. Registered participants will play Madden 2012 for a chance to win prizes and claim the Tackle Hunger Champion title.

    Sponsorships are available for all of the events above. To register for any of these events, find out how you can help volunteer, or to find out more about these events, visit www.hungerdays.org or call 485-6923.

    Second Harvest Food Bank Has Far Reach In the Community

    The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is a program of Cumberland Community Action Program, Inc. CCAP is a private, non-profit corporation whose express purpose is to “improve the education and economic opportunities, living environment and general welfare of the people.”

    The food bank was established in 1982, and became an affiliate of Feeding America in 1994. It is one of seven certifi ed affliates of Feeding America located in North Carolina, covering all 100 counties.

    The food bank provides nutritious food to those at risk of hunger through a network of over 200 non-profit members. There are over 200,000 individuals, or 18 percent, at risk of hunger within the seven counties the partner agencies call home.

    The Mission

    • Feed the hungry by retrieving unmarketable, yet wholesome, surplus food from major industries.

    • Solicit public and private donations. Eliminate food waste by acting as a clearinghouse for all foods received through Feeding America food industries or food drives.

    • Judiciously distribute food and grocery products to service our network of member non-profi t agencies; these agencies provide on-site and emergency feeding to those in need.

    • Formulate a bond between local food industry, other non-profi ts and the Food Bank.

    • Develop and follow plans which advocate resolutions to ending hunger.

    The Programs

    The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina works to eliminate the cycle of hunger through a wide range of programs and services. They are achieved through our member agencies and local, state, and national partners.

    • Back Pack Program - provides wholesome and nutritious food to elementary school students. Each Friday, selected students receive enough food for the weekend to supplement meals otherwise not available.

    • Emergency Food Assistance Program – distributes surplus food from the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture to low-income families and individuals.

    • State Nutritional Assistance Program – Allows the food bank to purchase products that are normally not found in regular donations.

    • Nonfood Program – the food bank receives donations such as bikes, furniture, clothing and other nonfood items from Target/WalMart Distribution Center.

    • Volunteer Program – Partnerships with local and state agencies provide volunteer and community opportunities to individuals and families.

    • Grocery Retail Program – This program rescues edible foods such as meat, deli and produce from grocery stores.

    • Salvage Program – The Food Bank receives and distributes donations from retail stores and reclamation centers. The products are inspected to ensure they are edible and safe for consumption. 

  • The Jungle Run, South View’s annual night cross country meet, returns for its 19th year on Saturday, Aug. 31, with the finish line on the Tiger track at Randy Ledford Stadium. 

    This year’s event will feature one significant change, the addition of a combined race for middle school runners, boys and girls.

    South View cross country coach Jesse Autry said he’s trying to encourage middle school cross country because some areas of the state that lack it are falling behind in the sport.

    Another new award will be presented to the Most Spirited Team at the meet for its overall enthusiasm and support of teammates during the competition.

    With one day left before the signup closed last week, 61 teams had committed to the event this year.

    A drawing card for entries is the fact the South View cross country course will host two major competitions later this year, the Patriot Athletic Conference meet and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A East Regional championship.

    Some familiar powerhouses will be coming to South View to compete in this year’s race.

    On the boys side top teams include Raleigh Broughton, Raleigh Leesville Road and Raleigh Millbrook.

    Among the better region teams, Union Pines
    is back.

    Among smaller schools, a powerful Croatan team is back along with private school standout Fayetteville Christian.

    Some of the better girls' teams in the meet include Carrboro, Wilmington Ashley and Cary Academy.

    One traditional power that won’t be running this year is Pinecrest, which is unable to take part due to a schedule conflict.

    Check-in for the meet begins at 4 p.m. The combined middle school race for boys and girls will start at 5:45 p.m., followed at 6:15 p.m. and then 6:55 p.m. by the developmental races for boys and girls respectively.

    The two invitational races for smaller schools will be held at 6:55 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.

    The championship races for boys and girls are set for 9 p.m. and 9:40 p.m.

    The awards ceremony takes place in the football stadium stands beginning at 10:15 p.m.

    Entry to the meet itself is free but spectator parking in the lots at South View is $5 per
    carload.

  • Two of five seniors who live alone (44 percent) have at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health such as eating alone, taking multiple medications and illness, according to research conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care® network.

    The following, from the Home Instead Senor Care network and Sandy Markwood, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), are warning indicators that a senior could be in trouble.

    • The loneliness. More than three-fourths (76 per-cent) of seniors who live alone eat alone most of the time, according to Home Instead Senior Care network research. Suggestion: Try to make sure your older loved one has companionship at home or in a congre-gate meal site.

    • The multiple meds. Nearly three-fourths (71 percent) of seniors take three or more different medications a day, according to research. Suggestion: Talk to your senior’s health care team about how medications might be impacting your older adult’s appetite and discuss with them what to do about it.

    • The lack of healthy staples. For a number of reasons, important staples for a good diet are not always found in a senior’s kitchen. Suggestion: Talk with your older loved one about their favorite recipes — or yours — that incorporate healthy products.

    • The illness. Many older adults are struggling with health conditions that impact eating. Suggestion: Discovering favorite recipes from the recipe box and making mealtime a social event may help

    .• The physical problems. A fourth of seniors who live alone (25 percent) can’t always get to the grocery store any more, nor can they shop or cook for themselves. Suggestion: Tap into neighbors and compassionate friends. Call your local Area Agency on Aging Office or Home Instead Senior Care.

    • That smelly fridge. Check out expiration dates of food in the refrigerator when you’re visiting a loved one. Have you noticed an increase in spoiled food? Suggestion: Package food in small portions and label in big letters with the date.

    • The suspicious grocery list. If you go to the store for Mom, and the list is mostly sweets, then she may be headed in the wrong direction with her diet. Suggestion: Help her put together a grocery list, reminding her of all the wonderful foods she used to cook for you.

    • Those important details. When you’re visiting a senior, check out things like skin08-31-11-senior-corner.jpg tone — it should be healthy looking and well-hydrated — as well as any weight fluctuations. Suggestion: A visit to the doctor can help ensure your senior is healthy

    .• The empty cupboard. An emergency could trap a loved one home for days. Suggestion: Prepare by stocking back-up food, water and high-nutrition products such as Ensure® in case a trip to the store isn’t possible.

    • The support. Isolation is one of the biggest threats to an older adult. Suggestion: Encourage your loved one to invite friends to dinner. If you can’t be there, develop a schedule of friends and neighbors who can stop by for lunch or dinner. Or call your local Home Instead Senior Care office for assistance.

    For more information about the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, go to www.n4a.org. Learn about the Home Instead Senior Care network’s Craving Companionship program at www.mealsandcompanionship.com or contact your local office at (910) 484-7200 or visit their website at: www.homeinstead.com/647.

    Photo: Two of five seniors who live alone (44 percent) have at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health.

  • 20 american football ball brown 2570139After a nightmarish opening weekend to the 2019 season that bad weather stretched from Friday until Monday, let’s hope for a much fairer forecast and games played on schedule this Friday night.
    There were no huge surprises for the Cumberland County Schools during that long opening weekend of games.
    I expected Terry Sanford and Seventy-First both to do well and they didn’t disappoint.
    South View, a team many think could win the Patriot Athletic Conference, got its toe stubbed early with a home overtime loss to Jack Britt.
    Pine Forest, last year’s Patriot champion, didn’t overwhelm anybody but they got the win at Purnell Swett.
    For the week the county schools went 5-4, not the best of starts but not the worst.
    There are some interesting matchups this week that could help us begin to sort out contenders from pretenders.
     
    The record: 6-2
     
    I’ll take an opening week record of 6-2 any year. There’s a lot of guesswork the first week of the season, so starting at 75 percent correct is a good base to build from.
     
    Seventy-First at Cape Fear - This is a big early showdown between two of the county’s best programs from recent years. Cape Fear is still looking to play its first game after last week’s contest with Clinton was rained out and won’t be made up.
    Seventy-First got off to a slow start against Westover but cruised home for a one-sided win over the Wolverines.
    Even though Seventy-First is on the road tonight, I like their chances having already played a game and gotten a chance to work out some of the early-season bugs.
    Seventy-First 21, Cape Fear 14.
     
    E.E. Smith at Hoke County - The Golden Bulls got off to a rough start with their lopsided loss on the road against Lee County last week. I think they’ll be more competitive Friday against Hoke County, but I still think Smith will come up on the short end of the score.
    Hoke County 18, E.E. Smith 16.
     
    Gray’s Creek at Fairmont - The Bears squeaked out a road win against South Johnston while Fairmont had no trouble getting past a struggling Marshville Forest Hills team.
    Jerry Garcia had a solid night running the ball for Gray’s Creek last week and I look for the Bears to try the same thing again Friday at Fairmont with similar results. 
    Gray’s Creek 20, Fairmont 17.
     
     
    Terry Sanford at Jack Britt - One of the surprises of the first week, at least for me, was Jack Britt’s win over South View. Britt head coach Brian Randolph has been preaching the mantra of restore order at Britt, seeking to return the Buccaneer program to the football glory years it enjoyed consistently when Richard Bailey was the school’s head coach.
    I think Randolph has the Buccaneers pointed in the right direction, but as good as Terry Sanford looked last Monday against Lumberton, I think Britt will be taking a slight detour Friday.
    Terry Sanford 24, Jack Britt 12.
     
    Lumberton at Pine Forest - For the second week in a row, Pine Forest takes on a team from Robeson County as Lumberton pays a visit to Harold K. Warren Stadium. Last week’s win over Purnell Swett wasn’t pretty, but the Trojans are 1-0 and that’s all that matters for Coach Bill Sochovka and company.
    I expect it will be 2-0 after Friday’s game.
    Pine Forest 29, Lumberton 14.
      
    Triton at South View - South View is likely still stinging from its overtime defeat to county rival Jack Britt. This was a game the Tigers could have won, but mistakes proved costly.
    Triton put up a ton of points in a season-opening loss to Overhills, so it looks like the Hawks can score. But I think South View can score more and keep possession of the ball with Matthew Pemberton carrying it, and that will be crucial Friday night.
    South View 29, Triton 24.
     
     Open dates: Douglas Byrd, Westover, Fayetteville Christian.
     
    Other games: Trinity Christian 30, Wake Christian 12.
  • 19 01 Alexa GlemakerStan Bagley knew his Cumberland Post 32 Bombers had no shortage of talent this season, but even he was surprised by the way the team coasted through the rest of the field at this year’s North Carolina American Legion Lady Fastpitch state tournament in Shelby.

    Cumberland, in its first season of American Legion softball field, cruised through the double elimination event with a 3-0 record and outscored the rest of the field 30-10 en route to the title. They finished the season with an 18-2 record.

    “I was a little shocked that we hit the ball as 19 02Legion well as we did late,’’ Bagley said. “In all three games, seeing those pitchers the second and third time, they really zoned in and showed me what they were capable of doing.

    “I knew they had the potential. Just to watch it click when we needed it was awesome.’’

    Among the leading hitters for Cumberland in the three games in the state finals were McKenzie Mason with a .727 average, Alyssa Norton .556, Alexa Glemaker .500 and Courtney Cygan .455.

    Bagley credited the top of the Cumberland order — Jaden Pone, Cygan and Mason, for setting the table with their speed and putting the ball in play.

    In the championship game, he praised Ashton Fields for sparking a huge rally that put the win away for Cumberland.

    Most Valuable Player honors for the tournament went to Glemaker for her pitching, mostly in a relief role. She came on in the championship game after Cumberland fell behind early and pitched scoreless relief as the Bombers rallied for the win.

    In 11.1 innings for the tournament, Glemaker recorded seven strikeouts, allowed no walks and just one earned run.

    “All year long, when we needed that relief off the bench she stepped up and came through,’’ Bagley said of Glemaker. “It seemed like she knew the pressure was on and she pitched better for us.’’

    Glemaker, a freshman, will enroll at Cape Fear High School this fall.

    “I know some people thought we weren’t going to be as good because we were a first-year team,’’ Glemaker said. “Watching some of the other teams,
    I thought we had a good shot.’’

    If no one else in Cumberland County decides to field an American Legion softball team next year, Bagley could potentially return everyone on this year’s team for the 2020 season. If another team is formed, a decision will have to be made on how the county schools will divide the players between them.

    Bagley said with the success of this year’s entry, he expects Legion softball to continue growing around the state.

    “The ultimate goal is to have one team in every county in North Carolina, then grow this thing in the Southeast and eventually the whole nation,’’ he said. 

    Photo 1: Alexa Glemaker

    Photo 2: Makenzie Mason, Jaden Pone, Courtney Cygan, Megan Cygan, Becca Collins, Carey Dees, Emma Cobb, Madison Bagley, Alyssa Norton, Ashton Fields, Korie St. Peter, Catie McGrath, Alex Deville, Sarah Edge, Alexa Glemaker, Coach Stan Bagley.

  • 18 01 Ilena HallWith a pair of All-Sandhills Conference players returning, new Jack Britt volleyball coach Jess Grooms is hoping she can continue in the tradition of former coach Leigh Ann Weaver in leading the Buccaneers to the top of the league volleyball standings.

    Meanwhile, in the Patriot Athletic Conference, veteran Cape Fear coach Jeff Bruner will be looking to retool his lineup after major graduation losses following the Colts’ latest conference title.

    Grooms said maintaining communication will be a key to success for the Buccaneers this season as she hopes to build on the foundation established by Weaver.

    18 02 Kaiah Parker“Our libero, Ilena Hall, has done a phenomenal job all summer,’’ Grooms said. “She’s grown so much and has become more of a vocal leader on the floor.’’

    Kaiah Parker, who like Hall was all-conference last year, will be counted on to be a top hitter for the Buccaneers.

    “I think I’m going to move her outside because she’s such a dominant hitter,’’ Grooms said. “I think she’s going to be a big impact player.’’

    Grooms thinks Britt returns enough talent to contend for the 18 03Marlie HorneSandhills Conference title again this season. She got a chance to see a number of the teams Britt will face this season in preseason scrimmages and saw signs of improvement in all of them.

    “This year we genuinely have a group of girls that likes each other,’’ she said. “That makes my job a whole lot easier when there are no issues between the girls on the team.’’

    Cape Fear’s Bruner lost nearly all of the offense from last year’s conference championship teambut does return the core of his defense in Taylor Melvin and Marlie Horne.

    “They have always kind of been our back row and done everything for us,’’ Bruner said. Another key returner is Tori McGowan, who frequently came off the bench last season but will be pressed into a starting role this year.

    “We’ve made her a full-time setter,’’ Bruner said. “She’s always been able and capable to play for us.’’

    So far this season Bruner has been focusingon his team’s defense. “We’ve always had the concept of anytime we get the ball over the net, we’ve got a good enough defense someone is going to get a hand on it,’’ he said. “Essentially if we’re all playing and we’re all aware after someone touches it and everyone’s helping, there’s no reason in our mind that a ball should ever hit the floor.’’

    He expects the Patriot Conference to be highly competitive this season. “Cumberland County has improved its level of play,’’ he said. “Across the board, there is no easy game.’’

    Pictured from left to right: Ilena Hall, Kaiah Parker, Taylor Melvin, Marlie Horne

  • 17 01 Davis Saint AmandFayetteville Academy and Terry Sanford both enjoyed outstanding success on the soccer field last season, the Academy capturing another North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association state title while Terry Sanford went unbeaten in the Patriot Athletic Conference and made the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.

    But look for things to be much different at both schools this season. For one, both suffered major graduation losses, especially the Academy, which lost 12 seniors, 10 them starters.

    Terry Sanford will be much younger with only three seniors back along with 14 juniors and three sophomores.

    But the biggest change for the Bulldogs will be the loss of head coach Karl Molnar, who is taking over as the school’s 17 02 Cortez Herringvarsity boys basketball coach.

    Replacing him will be another veteran coach in the Terry Sanford program, Steven Barbour.

    “I’ve got big shoes to fill,’’ Barbour said. “There’s a winning tradition at Terry Sanford and its always daunting to come in behind a coach who was so successful.’’

    Terry Sanford’s Jarred Miller and Andrew Troutman were the offensive and defensive players of the year in the Patriot Conference last season, but both graduated.

    Barbour knows he’s got a lot of work to do to build chemistry and make use of everyone’s talents.

    “We’ve got a deep pool of talent,’’ he said. “If we get everyone to work together and utilize their ability, I think we can be competitive.’’

    17 03Ever AgueroBarbour expects the midfield to be the heart of the team with Davis Molnar, Alex Fox and newcomer Graham MacLeod leading the way.

    Another returning forward expected to contribute heavily is Ever Aguero Aranda.

    With the coaching change plus having to play all home games at Reid Ross High School while Terry Sanford’s stadium is being rebuilt, Barbour expects a challenging season.

    “I feel we’re in the crosshairs of a lot teams,’’ he said. “Gray’s Creek, Cape Fear and Pine Forest all have their sights set on us. It’s going to be a fun season to rise to the challenge.’’

    Fayetteville Academy’s Andrew McCarthy may have an inexperienced group but said they are working hard to get better every day.

    “We’ve got players playing positions they’ve never played before,’’ he said. “They are certainly improving and that’s all we can ask for.’’

    At this point, McCarthy said he can’t claim the Eagles are either a strong attacking or a strong defensive team, just a work in progress.

    “The two captains, Cortez Herring and Davis Saint-Amand, are our two seniors,’’ he said. McCarthy said the two midfielders have been around the Eagle program for a number of years and will be counted on to provide needed leadership.

    Pictured from top to bottom: Davis Saint-Amand, Cortez Herring, Ever Aguero Aranda

  • I hope everyone out there appreciates that I’m choosing to put myself through the torture of writing this high school football prediction column each week.
    My publisher, Bill Bowman, and my editor, Stephanie Crider, didn’t ask me to do it. I’ve just been in the habit of calling these Friday night outcomes for so long that it’s as much a part of the weekly routine this time of year as praying for cool weather to return and seeing how many points Clemson and Alabama will win by before playing for the national championship.
     
    Before we delve into the first week’s selections, I say this for about the millionth time. Please don’t take this seriously. It’s not rocket science. It’s not quantum physics. It’s just one old guy’s opinion on who is going to beat who on a given Friday night. 
     
    Just because I pick a team to win doesn’t mean I have a rooftop apartment over the gym of that school, as I was once accused — or that my son plays in the band for that school, as I was also accused. I have no children I’m aware of and if I did, with my lack of skill playing any musical instrument save the tone flute in grade school, I’m sure they would not have the gene set for band. 
    I’m just making as honest a call as I can, based on history, statistics, talent and sometimes just pure gut instinct, as to who’s going to win.
    So don’t fume. Enjoy and maybe find a way to laugh if you can. That’s the key to a long life.
     
    The record: 82-27
     
    Last year was not among my best. I missed the magic 80 percent marker, closing with an 82-27 record, 76.3 percent. I was 0-1 the final week of the season as I missed the call on Scotland over Seventy-First.
    These first few weeks are always tough as we feel out who the haves and have nots. Here’s hoping to more right ones than wrong at the start.
    Cape Fear at Clinton - The coaches and media in the Fayetteville area have good preseason opinion of the Colts. They were voted in the top half of the coaches and media polls in the Patriot Athletic Conference.
    Cape Fear has some young faces and a few new ones that need seasoning, but Coach Jake Thomas wasn’t picked to coach in next summer’s East-West All-Star game in Greensboro for his looks alone.
    Cape Fear 21, Clinton 12.
     
    Douglas Byrd at Western Harnett - Eagle coach Mike Paroli told me during the spring that his team will be young and likely a year or more away from contending for a conference title.
    That doesn’t mean the Eagles won’t be able to pick up a few wins this season, and this is one of those games where I think they can do just that.
    Douglas Byrd 24, Western Harnett 12.
     
    E.E. Smith at Lee County - They are calling this the Revenge Tour at Smith as the Golden Bulls seek to atone for last year’s 0-11 record.
    Smith may get its share of revenge this year, but not likely at Lee’s expense. The Yellow Jackets are coming off an 11-1 season and are led by senior defensive end Desmond Evans, considered by many to be the state’s top college football prospect.
    Lee County 28, E.E. Smith 7.
     
    Gray’s Creek at South Johnston - I want Gray’s Creek to have a great season for one reason, junior running back and strong safety Jerry Garcia Jr. 
    You have to be a part of my generation or older to appreciate the significance of that name. For all you under 30 folks out there, Google it. Young Garcia’s namesake and his band the Grateful Dead were quite the music legends.
    Anyway, it’s a name I’d love to write a lot this season, and I think the Bears have the potential to make that happen, starting tonight.
    Gray’s Creek 24, South Johnston 7.
     
    Jack Britt at South View- What a great rivalry to start the season. Jack Britt dominated this series starting in 2008 but for the last three seasons the tide has shifted in South View’s direction.
    I expect it to continue this year.
    South View 20, Jack Britt 14.
     
    Pine Forest at Purnell Swett - It seems like Pine Forest didn’t get a lot of time to celebrate last year’s Patriot Athletic Conference regular season title. The good news is they may get to celebrate another one because they are again among the best teams in the league as the season starts.
    Just how far the Trojans go will likely depend on what kind of a season University of North Carolina-bound running back. D.J. Jones has.
    I look for a good start tonight at Swett.
    Pine Forest 31, Purnell Swett 12.
     
    Westover at Seventy-First - Few coaches in Cumberland County can claim the solid record Duran McLaurin has carved as a head coach, first at E.E. Smith and now at his alma mater Seventy-First.
    I don’t know if McLaurin is coaching a state champion on Raeford Road this season, but I expect him to win more than his share of games again, starting tonight with neighborhood rival Westover.
    Seventy-First 22, Westover 6.
     
    Terry Sanford at Lumberton - I’ve been hearing stories about the Bulldog defense all summer, and when a team is strong on defense that always bodes well for the season.
    It’s especially true with a team like Terry Sanford, which suffered some key offensive losses but has some pieces back that will make Coach Bruce McClelland’s job of rebuilding things a little easier. 
    I look for the Bulldogs to get off to a good start tonight as they make the short drive down I-95 to Lumberton.
    Terry Sanford 29, Lumberton 8.
     
    Other games: Trinity Christian 30, Metrolina Christian 12; Faith Christian 29, Fayetteville Christian 6.
  • 16 01 Brenden Tibbs EE SmithHead coach: Deron Donald

    2018 record: 0-11

    Top returners: Darrius Johnson, 5-11, 260, Sr., OL; Anthony Glenn, 5-7, 210, Sr., OL; Jordan Woodard, 6-2, 185, Sr., WR/QB; Jeremy Evans, 5-9, 160, Sr., WR; Shawn Kirk, 5-7, 155, Sr., RB; John Humphrey, 6-1, 250, Sr., DL; Ananiah Bell, 6-0, 265, Sr., DL; Trevon Hinton, 5-7, 150, Sr., DB; Brendin Tibbs, 5-8, 190, Sr., LB/DB; Micah Gaston, 5-11, 145, Sr., DB.

    Top newcomers: Tyree Johnson, 6-0, 175, Jr., DB; Jabre Humphrey, 6-1, 170, Jr., WR; Genuwine Clark, 6-0, 285, Jr., OL; Tyreeke Allen, 5-9, 170, Jr., DB; Keyon Bryant, 5-11, 200, Jr., LB; Keyon Allen, 6-1, 215, Jr., LB; Dashawn McCullough, 5-11, 160, So., QB; Daniel Dawson, 5-8, 155, So., WR/RB; Khamari Crumpler, 5-8, 155, So., RB; Jeremiah Dawson, 5-7, 165, Sr., OLB.

    Team strengths:“We have several returners that got plenty game experience last year. I believe this year we should be able to handle the Friday night lights better. Experience has always been the greatest teacher.’’

    Team concerns: “Anytime you have a young quarterback you have to be prepared to coach them through growing pains. I know that Dashawn McCullough is very capable of leading our football team and 16 02 Jordan Woodard our coaches and team will support him.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Brenden Tibbs, Jordan Woodard

     

  • 15 01Keyshown Lindsey WestCoach:Ernest King

    2018 record: 4-7

    Top returners:Keyshown Lindsey, 6-1, 210, Sr., RB; Taurienne Freeman, 6-2, 220, Sr., MLB; Zavion Whitehead, 6-2, 185, Sr., WR; Devon Marshall, 6-0, 175, Sr., WR; Gabe Henry, 5-8, 160, Jr., WR; Brandon Henry, 5-9, 175, Sr., DB.

    Top newcomers: Remington Workman, 6-0, 200, So., OLB; Isiah Barber, 6-1, 250, Sr., DL; Kamaree Boyens, 6-1, 170, Sr., DB.

    Team strengths:“Our strengths are our number of kids we have returning with playing experience. Our kids have had more 21 days to learn the system before the season starts.”

    Team concerns: “One of the concerns is the experience of the young players’ success in key positions. Another concern is the depth at each position.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Keyshown Lindsey, Taurienne Freeman

    15 02Taurienne Freeman

  • 14 01Kore Prentice ColesFall football preview: Seventy-First

    Coach: Duran McLaurin

    2018 record: 11-4

    Top returners: Kore’ Prentice-Coles, 5-9, 170, Sr., WR/DB; Jermaine Johnson, 5-9, 170, Sr., WR/DB; Ezra Brown, 5-10, 165, Sr., DB; Jamarious Simmons, 5-10, 175, Sr., QB/DB; Russell Hewitt, 5-10, 275, Sr., DL/OL; Isaac Jackson, 5-10, 285, Sr., DL/OL; Jashawn Owens, 5-11, 230, Sr., LB/TE; Twan Anderson, 6-1, 195, So., DL/TE; Tylon Shropshire, 5-10, 285, So., DL; Anthony Osbourne, 5-8, 180, Sr., RB; Jalen Moore, 6-2, 185, Sr., DB.

    Top newcomers: Jamari Stallion, 5-9, 165, So., WR; Trevon Bolden, 6-2, 175, Jr., WR; Jaelon Macdonald, 5-9, 263, Jr., OL; Julius Riley, 5-9, 155, So., WR; Donovan Wright, 5-11, 170, Jr., RB; Christopher Ferguson, 5-7, 135, Jr., DB; Marquis Smith, 5-9, 263, Jr., FB; Jaysiah Leach, 6-0, 280, Jr., OL.

    Team strengths: “The team will be extremely physical. The team is returning productive players."

    14 02Ezra Brown

     Pictured: Kore’ Prentice-Coles, Ezra Brown

     

  • 13 FOOTBALL COACHES

     

    Here are the preseason coaches and media polls from the Patriot Athletic Conference and the Sandhills Athletic Conference. First-place votes received by each team are listed in parentheses on all polls:

     

    Patriot Athletic Conference

    Coaches 

    1. Pine Forest (4)

    2. South View (2)

    3. Terry Sanford (2)

    4. Cape Fear 

    5. Westover (1)

    6. Gray’s Creek

    7. Douglas Byrd

    8. Overhills

    9. E.E. Smith

    Media

    1. Terry Sanford (3)

    2. Pine Forest (2)

    3. South View (1)

    4. Cape Fear

    5. Gray’s Creek

    6. Westover, Douglas Byrd

    8. E.E. Smith

    9. Overhills

    Sandhills Athletic Conference

    Coaches

    1. Richmond Senior (6)

    2. Scotland (2)

    3. Seventy-First

    4. Pinecrest

    5. Jack Britt

    6. Hoke County, Lumberton

    8. Purnell Swett

    Media

    1. Richmond Senior (6)

    2. Scotland (4)

    3. Seventy-First

    4. Pinecrest

    5. Jack Britt

    6. Hoke County

    7. Purnell Swett

    8. Lumberton

     

    L-R: Brian Randolph, Jack Britt; David Lovette, Gray's Creek; Bruce McClelland, Terry Sanford; Mike Paroli, Douglas Byrd; Ernest King, Westover; Jacob Thomas, Cape Fear; Duran McLaurin, Seventy-First; Deron Donald, E.E. Smith; Bill Sochovka, Pine Forest; Chris McGee, Overhills. 
     
    Not pictured: Rodney Brewington, South View. 
     
     
     
     
     
  • 22 01 Sabeon Campbell Douglas ByrdCoach: Mike Paroli

    2018 record:4-7

    Top returners: Arden Billington, 6-0, 215, Sr., C; Zion Cameron, 6-3, 250, Sr., DL; Sabeon Campbell, 5-6, 155, Sr., RB; Jon Carroll, 6-1, 160, Sr., QB; Jajuan Boykin, 6-0, 195, Jr., DB; Zyon McEachin, 6-2, 270, Jr., OL.

    Top newcomers:Alton Simmons, 5-6, 155, So., RB; Carmello Wesley, 5-10, 160, So., QB.

    Team strengths: “Although few in number, our veterans are doing a great job of being leaders. We have the potential to have quality skill players on both sides of the ball.’’

    Team concerns: “We will have a large number of freshmen and sophomores starting. We have very little 

    22 02 Zion Cameron Douglas Byrddepth on the offensive and defensive lines.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Sabeon Campbell, Zion Cameron

     

     

     

  • 21 01 Jackson Deaver Terry SanfordCoach: Bruce McClelland

    2018 record: 10-4

    Top returners: Elijah Morris, 6-1, 270, Sr., DL; Jackson Deaver, 5-11, 226, Sr., LB; Saquan Smith, 5-11, 196, Jr., S; Roscoe Blue, 6-3, 316, Sr., OL; Jacob Knight, 6-0, 172, Sr., QB; Maurice Jones, 5-10, 181, Sr., DB; Tyquan Hayes, 6-0, 173, Sr., DB; Dorian Clark, 6-0, 190, Sr., RB; Chad McDonald, 5-10, 163, Sr., S; Ezemdi Udoh, 6-5, 242, Sr., TE/DE.

    Top newcomers: Jre Jackson, 5-9, 160, Fr., RB; Jaquan Sheppard, 5-9, 242, Jr., DL; Tyson Leak, 5-10, 262, Jr., OL; Yates Johnson, 6-5, 190, Sr., WR; Jarvis Higgins, 6-2, 226, Jr., DE; 21 02 Roscoe Blue Terry SanfordCooper Barco, 5-10, 163, Sr., WR; McKenneth Kirkman, 5-10, 268, Jr., DL; Hayden Honeycutt, 6-0, 271, Jr., OL; Israel Reuben, 5-9, 163, Sr., WR; Max Hall, 6-1, 172, Jr., LB.

    Team strengths: “Running game, with Dorian Clark in his fourth year on the varsity. Also defensive line and defensive backs. Having Ezemdi Udoh as a blocker and pass receiver is huge. Stopping the run with an experienced defensive line will be our strength.’’

    Team concerns:“We are replacing four on the offensive line and Leonard Mosley, our leading receiver and our other top three wide receiver positions. We’ll have to spread the ball around.’’

     

    Pictured from top to bottom: Jackson Deaver, Roscoe Blue

  • 23 01 Levonte McLean Pine ForestCoach:William Sochovka

    2018 record:10-3

    Top returners:D.J. Jones, 5-10, 195, Sr., RB; Ahmad Simon, 5-5, 155, Sr., WR; Jamal McLean, 6-1, 195, Jr., WR; Levonte McLean, 6-0, 175, Sr., DB; Blake Paul, 6-0, 155, Jr., WR; Brendon Paul, 5-11, Sr., DB; Ethan Ward, 5-10, 200, Sr., RB/LB; Bernard Flerlage, 6-0, 230, Sr., LB; Seth Smith, 5-11, 280, Sr., OL; Blake Marshburn, 6-0, 270, Sr., OL.

    Promising newcomers: Jaden Jones, 5-10, 200, Jr., QB; Jemel Hill, 6-2, 200, Sr., DL; Xavier Johnson, 240, Jr., DE; Zack Huys, 215, Sr., 23 02 Seth Smith Pine ForestOL/DL; Chris Green, 6-2, 180, Sr., DE; Tre Carter, 5-10, 175, Jr., LB; Josh Bell, 5-8, 220, Sr., OL; Patrick Maitland, 5-8, 165, Sr., WR; Josh Johnson, 6-0, 210, Sr., LB; Isaiah Epps, 6-0, 240, Sr., DE.

    Team strengths:“Most of our returning starters are on the offensive side of the ball. Our strength this year will be our running game with our talent core of backs running behind our senior-heavy offensive line.’’

    Team concerns: “Rebuilding our defense that has only four starters from last year’s team, and being able to play at the same level and higher than we did last year.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Levonte McLean, Seth Smith

  • 20 01 Taiquan Gamble Cape FearCoach: Jacob Thomas

    2018 record: 7-4

    Top returners: Cayden McKethan, 6-1, 215, Jr., RB/LB; Kimani Britton, 6-0, 175, So., QB; Taiquan Gamble, 6-2, 198, Sr., WR; Caleb Krings, 6-3, 280, Sr., OL/DL; Nic Minicapelli, 5-10, 220, Sr., FB/DL; Mark Burks, 6-0, 180, Sr., DB/WR; Micah Nelson, 6-1, 180, Jr., WR/DB; Lamon Lock, 5-9, 180, Sr., DB/WR; Cade Oliver, 6-2, 220, Sr., DL/OL.

    Top newcomers: Jaleel Parks, 5-10, 185, Jr., RB/LB; Ricky McDonald, 6-2, 215, Jr., LB/TE; Chason Bryant, 6-1, 245, Jr., OL/DL; Tyree Kirk, 5-9, 175, Jr., DB/RB; Isaiah Lee, 6-1, 170, WR/DB; Mike Wesolowski, 6-2, 280, Sr., OL/DL; Isaiah McLean, 5-10, 165, Jr., W20 02 Micah Nelson Cape FearR/DB; Johnathan Miller, 5-10, 170, Jr., DB/WR.

    Team strengths: “We have a good core of linemen both offensively and defensively returning. Leadership and effort will be two strengths of our team.”

    Team concerns: “We don’t have a lot of senior returners, so a lack of experience there and a lack of offensive speed is a concern.’’

    Pictured from top to bottom: Taiquan Gamble, Micah Nelson

  • 08_21_13lafayette-society.gifDuring the Revolutionary War, the French played a huge part in securing victory for the United States. One man more than any other stands out as a hero and a leader, our town's namesake, the Marquis de Lafayette. In honor of this hero of the American Revolution, and our namesake, starting Sept. 6, the Lafayette Birthday Celebration ensues.


    To kick-off the celebration, Lieutenant General Russel L. Honorè will speak as part of the Lafayette Leaderhip Speaker Series. General Honorè is famous for his management of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. He is now a public speaker about emergency preparedness and leadership in modern day America. The lecture is free to the public and is on Sept. 6 at 11 a.m. until 11:50 a.m. in the Reeves Auditorium at Methodist University, 5400 Ramsey St.

    There are a number of events over the weekend for people to enjoy. They are family friendly, and the majority are completely free to the public.

    "There is the Lafayette Trail tour where people retrace the steps of Lafayette's visit in 1825. Kids can go with their parents to Wine, Paint and Canvas and paint an Eiffel Tower. For people who like sports there is a 3K pooch run and fencing - an open fencing tournament at the All American Fencing Academy. There is something for everyone. There will be sidewalk sales and entertainment in the streets," Hank Parfitt, the event organizer said.

    Wine, Paint and Canvas will offer the paint your own Eiffel Tower from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on Sept. 8. It costs $30 for adults and $20 for children. For more information, call 483-0433. Wine and Canvas is located at 3350 Footbridge Ln.

    The sidewalk sale is also on Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., all throughout downtown Fayetteville. For more information, visit www.lafayettesociety.org/sidewalk-sale.php.

    The 3K Dog Jog and a 5K Road Race will begin behind the Medical Arts Building at Hay Street and Bragg Boulevard. The race starts at 9 a.m. on Sept. 8. The Lafayette Open Fencing Tournament is the fourth annual tournament. It begins at 10 a.m. and will last until 3 p.m. at the All American Fencing Academy, 201 Donaldson St. For more information, call 644-0137.

    The Marquis de Lafayette is a huge part of American History, and though cities all over the United States bear his name, Fayetteville, N.C., is the only one ever visited by the man himself. One of the most popular events of the birthday celebration each year is the guided tour of the Lafayette trail. "Bruce Daws, the city historian and commander of the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry, which is the second oldest private militia in the nation, will guide people through the route Lafayette took when he visited Fayetteville. He will be wearing the uniform that the militia would have been wearing in 1825, when Lafayette visited." Parfitt said. Before the tour there will be coffee and croissants and afterwards there will be a great lunch catered by Circa 1800. A new addition to the tour this year is the local landmark The Cool Springs Tavern. Tickets are $3 and are available by calling 678-8899 or at City Center Gallery & Books at 112 Hay St.

    For more information, visit www.lafayettesociety.org/events.php. 

  • One of the toughest parts about being able to enjoy a preseason high school football jamboree is they often feature four teams on the field at once going in opposite directions on either side of the 50-yard-line.

    That won’t be a problem at this year’s Cumberland County Schools Football Jamboree, which begins a two-day run Thursday at Seventy-First and Friday at Gray’s Creek High School. Scrimmages at both locations begin at 5 p.m.

    In a major change from previous jamborees, only two teams will be on the field at the same time, meaning fans can focus their attention on a single scrimmage during each session.

    The format will be complete with a chain crew marking advancement of the ball and determining when the offensive team gets a first down.

    Action should be over both nights by 10 p.m. The cost of admission to each scrimmage is $10.

    In the event either scrimmage is postponed due to inclement weather, there will be no makeup date as most teams have a scrimmage scheduled for Saturday and the following week marks the start of the football regular season for most teams in the area.

    Here is the full schedule for the scrimmage.

    Thursday at Seventy-First High School

    5 p.m.- Westover vs. Union Pines.

    6 p.m.- Overhills vs. Hoke County.

    7 p.m. - E.E. Smith vs. Apex Friendship.

    8 p.m. - Terry Sanford vs. Clinton

    9 p.m.- Seventy-First vs. Pine Forest

    Friday at Gray’s Creek High School

    5 p.m.- St. Pauls vs. Triton

    6 p.m. - Douglas Byrd vs. Lumberton

    7 p.m.- South View vs. Richmond Senior

    8 p.m. - Cape Fear vs. Scotland

    9 p.m. - Gray’s Creek vs. Jack Britt.

  • 08-28-13-janice-story.gifIf know any of the women who are appearing in The Dames You Thought You Knew at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre, then you probably consider yourself lucky. These women — Suzanne Pennick, Terri Union, Rollin Shaw, Patricia Timmons-Goodson and Margaret Dickson — all successful in their own right as professionals, are more than their bank balances. They are known for their community involvement, for their caring and we would be remiss if we didn’t say for their style.

    Being in a room with one of them is a delight, sitting down with all of them is a treat not to be missed. And you are invited to do just that as The Dames You Thought You Knew hits the stage Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 31 - Sept. 1 and again on Saturday, Sept. 7 and Sunday, Sept. 8.

    The show, conceived by Bo Thorp, is a journey through the lives of five successful Fayetteville women told in their own words, by them. It is held together with music performed by The Singing Dames under the direction of Brian Whitted and Sharon McNair. The music, which spans the pivotal decades in the lives of these women, ties the show together, but it is the wit, wisdom and kindness of the women that tells the story.

    Thorp has been toying with the idea of doing a project like this for some time, she says it has been on her bucket list for quite a while.

    “I’ve been thinking about this for a long, long time, but it wasn’t something I was ready to pursue. But now it’s at the top of my list,” said Thorp. “I think it became more important to me at this point in my life as I have begun to think ‘How did I get here?’ This isn’t where I started, but as I look back, I can see it has been a crooked road, and I was interested to see how the road looked for these women.”

    Thorp looked around the community and came up with 10 women whom she thought were leaders; women who made the community better. She then approached the top five women on her list, and to her amazement, they all agreed.

    “The amazing thing to me is that they said yes, before they even knew what the project was,” she said. “That overwhelmed me that they trusted that I know what I am doing, and I do know what I am doing, to see this project through. I am stunned by that.”

    The ladies, though, had no hesitation in joining Thorp in the project.

    “If Bo said do it, we had to do it — and have fun,” said Shaw.

    With a full endorsement from her cast, Thorp brought the ladies together and what a wild ride it has been. The cast started meeting in January and began telling their stories.

    For Timmons-Goodson, Thorp’s outline of periods of their lives they should concentrate on was key.

    “If you were asked to tell your life story, what experiences would you pick? Bo organized it in such a way that was very helpful. She gave us an outline, so to speak. She said we must select one aspect and one incident. This was fascinating to me, looking at what it is I selected to discuss.”

    The stories the women share are funny and they are sad. They are the fabric of the lives of the women who are telling them. They bring with them humor and kindness, romance and heartbreak, but the common thread of love and a sisterhood runs between the women. It is tangible. As they sit going through the process, some sipping iced tea or diet coke, you can see the ease with which they share their heart.

    As Dickson noted, the ladies were friends before, having been neighbors with children the same ages, but the process has brought them closer, it has made them sisters.

    If you would like to share their incredible journey, visit the CFRT Box Office or call 323-4233. Tickets range from $15 to $30. For more information, visit www.cfrt.org.

    Photo: The show, conceived by Bo Thorp, is a journey through the lives of five successful Fayetteville women told in their own words, by them. 

  • 08-08-12-cfvh.gifEach of us can’t be there to directly tend to the needs of our loved ones. That’s where the Foundation at Cape Fear Valley Health can step in. The donations to the Foundation go directly to support cancer patients right here in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

    The Ribbon Walk (and Ride), as well as golf tournaments and charity drives at companies and schools in the area, all help support Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation. Each help fund both major acquisitions and seemingly small comforts for patients of Cape Fear Valley Health.

    The work of the Foundation helps make Cape Fear Valley Health a “magical place”, according to Brad Loase, a cancer survivor. “It’s the little things they do, not just for patients, but for families as well, to make things easier for them. I always felt wanted, that people were happy to see me. I remember all their faces.”

    Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of the Cancer Center provide assistance with transportation to and from appointments. They can help with emergency funding for medications and utilities, mammograms, and a range of personal needs. And sometimes they just sit and wait with you, providing emotional support and a smile. Brad says “They are the most amazing people.” Friends of the Cancer Center is a community of dedicated volunteers who nurture, support and guide cancer patients and their families through a profoundly emotional time to improve the quality of our patient’s lives. FOCC provides many support programs such as Artful Reflections (painting every Friday), Coming Together (kids and parents group), Man Talk, and the Oasis Complementary Medicine Program.

    With your help we will continue to work to make a difference for each of our patients, each of our starfish. You can make a difference by participating in the 7th Annual Ribbon Walk & Ride for Cancer. This year’s event will be held on Sept. 15 downtown at the Medical Arts building. The 5K (3 miles) walk will take participants through downtown Fayetteville, Linear Park and back. The motorcycle ride will be on a separate route.

    Registration is $25, but only $15 for survivors and t-shirts will be provided. Registration will open at 9 a.m., ride begins at 9:45 a.m. and walk at 10 a.m. All survivors registered by Aug. 15, will be invited to join us for the 1st Annual Survivor Reception on September 14 at SkyView on Hay. Join our community as an individual walker/rider or team in honor and memory of your loved ones while helping our patient’s right here at home. To register, and for more information, please visit www.ribbonwalkforcancer.org, or call 615-1434.

    In last week’s issue, the author of the Ribbon Walk Article was Ginny Deffendall.

    Photo: The Friends of the Cancer Center plays an important role in helping families of patients.

  • Picture for EarlStan Bagley hopes to continue the strong first-year performance of his Cumberland Post 32 Bombers in the upcoming American Legion state softball tournament scheduled to begin Monday in Shelby.
     
    Cumberland, 12-2, will take on Alamance Post 63 in a 4:30 p.m. game at Cleveland Community College. The winner will be the Lady Legion softball Eastern state champion and move on in the winner’s bracket of the tournament. The loser will also be alive but will drop into the loser’s bracket.
     
    Other teams in the field are Caldwell Post 392, Davidson Post 8 and the host team, Shelby Post 82.
     
    Bagley’s Cumberland team is made up mostly of players from Gray’s Creek High School, but also includes players from South View, Pine Forest and Riverside Christian.
    Under the current rules for American Legion softball in North Carolina, Bagley is allowed to pull from any school in Cumberland County.
     
    He wasn’t surprised by the success his team has enjoyed so far this season. “The talent in this area is phenomenal,’’ he said. “I Picture for Earl 2think there are five girls that were on the first Dixie Youth World Series team out of Hope Mills on this team.’’
     
    As with Cumberland County’s only American Legion baseball team, the Hope Mills Boosters, Bagley said his biggest problem this season was having enough players available to remain competitive. Many girls on the team take part in showcase softball and had to miss Legion games because of those commitments.
     
    For weekend games, Bagley said his roster would often thin to 10 to 12 players from a maximum of 18. “We were fortunate we had enough talent that didn’t play showcase ball,’’ he said.
    Offensive leaders include McKenzie Mason of Riverside Christian and Jaden Pone of Gray’s Creek.
     
    Pone has a .708 batting average and leads the team in RBIs with 14. Mason has a .714 batting average to lead the team.
     
    Leading the way on the mound are Bagley’s daughter, Madi, and Lexi Glemaker. Bagley is from Gray’s Creek and Glemaker attended South View Middle School last season.
     
    Bagley has a 7-1 record with 53 strikeouts in 46 innings and a 2.59 earned run average. Glemaker is 5-0 with 21 strikeouts in 20.2 innings and a 3.05 earned run average.
     
    Coach Bagley’s main concern heading into the state tournament is the experience advantage the Western teams will have over the Cumberland squad.
     
    “I think talent-wise we’ll match up, but those girls have been playing together,’’ Bagley said of the Western entries. American Legion softball started in the Western part of North Carolina and has only recently made inroads in this part of the state.“We’ve knocked off some older teams this year, but that bond is huge when it gets to crunch time,’’ Bagley said.
    Bagley said Cumberland will need to continue its solid hitting and take advantage of the speed at the top of its lineup. “Our speed makes a lot of defenses uncomfortable,’’ he said.
     
    Top picture: Front row l-r: Megan Cygan, Casey Dees, Catie McGrath, Summer Powell, Emma Cobb, Sarah Edge.
     Middle row l-r: Becca Collins, Korie St. Peter, Madi Bagley, Carey Dees, Courtney Cygan, Alex Daville, Alyssa Norton.
     Back row l-r: Coach Amy Dombrowski, Coach Stan Bagley.
     NOT PICTURED: Ashton Fields, Kenzie Mason, Jaden Pone, Lexi Glemaker.
    Bottom picture: Jaden Pone
     
     
  • uac081512001.jpg If there is one thing that Sonny Kelly, operations director of Fayetteville Urban Ministries understands, it’s that crisis is not a respecter of persons. Anyone can fall on hard times, and Kelly believes they should be able to get back up again, with their dignity intact. That’s where Fayetteville Urban Ministry comes in. The focus is on transforming lives through faith, hope, love and security, and this is done through a four-pronged approach. Services offered include the Find-AFriend program, emergency assistance, the Adult Literacy Program and the Nehemiah Project.

     

    Like many non-profits these days, the organization has the same mission but less money than in previous years. That hasn’t slowed down progress though. In fact, on Aug. 24 and 25, Kelly invites you to join in celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Find-A-Friend Program. “We’re inviting everyone to come to725 W. Rowan St. on Aug. 24 and join us for an open house,” said Kelly. “There will be food and games and you can hang out in the park. This is really a chance to tell people about what we do.” It’s also an opportunity to plug into the local organization and meet some of the volunteers and community resources that support the program. The event is free and lasts from 4-8 p.m.

    On Aug. 25, celebrate in style with the Fayetteville Celebrity Idol at the Marquis Market. It’s the last weekend before Labor Day, so take advantage of it and join the fun at the All White Affair. “This is going to be a good time with people singing karaoke and competing,” said Kelly. “We have a great list of people who are going to perform to support our cause.”

    Stick around after the performance and enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar and coffee shop. The event is open to patrons 21 and older. The fun starts at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 483-4661 or 483-5944 or at www.fayurbinmin.org.

    Find-A-Friend is about making a difference in the lives of young people. The program includes free tutoring, mentoring, afterschool leadership and life skills workshops and a 6-week Summer Achievement Camp for approximately 200 at-risk youth each year.

    Brandon Price is the community liaison at Fayetteville Urban Ministry. He’s thrilled to be a part of an organization that has an impact in the community. The Find-A-Friend program serves 200 kids a year, which is up from 30 kids ten years ago when they started. “One of our goals is to help keep kids out of juvenile detention centers. In the state of North Carolina it costs more than $125,000 to pay to send a kid to a juvenile detention center for a year. It costs $1,500 to send a young person through Find-A-Friend. When you talk about the fact that this program saves our community and our state more than $1 million each year, I think that is astronomical.”

    For number crunchers and donors, it is good to know that the program is making a difference. For the kids in the program, there is no way to put a price on what they get out of Find-A-Friend — for some it is self-esteem, for others it is encouragement and refi ned coping skills, for everyone it is a sense of belonging and a source of support.

    “What makes us unique is that each of us as staff can relate to these kids in some form or fashion,” said Price. “It is a place where kids can go for behavior modification services, but it’s also a place to call home — where they can be themselves. We can’t take them out of the homes they live in but we can give them tools to survive.”

    On the 30th Anniversary of the Find-A-Friend program, Fayetteville Urban Ministry is launching its 30/30 campaign to raise funds to continue making a difference in the community. “Our goal is to raise $30,000,” said Kelly. “We are asking people to team up with friends and organizations, or if they are able to give as individual supporters to do that. We are asking for 30 contributions of $1,000 each from the community.”

    “We strive to be transparent with the work we do with these kids,” said Price. “We want to continue to grow and to help more kids. Our organization is based on being good servants and we have seen that this attitude makes a difference in changing lives.”

    While youth are the focus of Find- A-Friend, Fayetteville Urban Ministry has other programs that meet different kinds of needs in the community. Emergency Assistance is provided in the form of food, clothing and financial help. According to Fayetteville Urban Ministry, in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, this program helped more than 5,000 family members and more than 300 people in the homeless community.

    The Nehemiah Project repairs the homes of low-income homeowners at no cost to the resident. The program partners with contractors, volunteers and other programs and serves between 170 and 200 elderly and/or low income home owners every year.

    The Adult Literacy Program serves between 150-185 adult students each year. It costs about $320 to put an adult student through the program, but the difference it makes to the individual is priceless. Find out more about Fayetteville Urban Ministry and how you can make a difference at wwwfayurbmin.org. 

  • 18 Eric Mac LainWhen former Jack Britt High School standout Eric Mac Lain became an All-ACC lineman at Clemson University, his major was health science and his plan was to follow in the footsteps of his parents in the medical field.

    But from his Britt days to his years at Clemson, Mac Lain had frequent positive encounters with the media and was always a good interview. The stars aligned and the next thing Mac Lain knew, he was offered the chance to come to Bristol, Connecticut and interview for a job with ESPN’s new ACC Network.

    On Aug. 23, he’ll make his first appearance on "The Huddle," a studio program that will air each week on the new network on Friday evening and Saturday morning previewing that week’s ACC football games.

    “What a cool thing for a young man to be able to pursue with this great company on an awesome network with its launching and us being the ground zero,’’ Mac Lain said. “It’s just a great opportunity and I can’t wait for the launch.’’

    It was during his time at Clemson that he began to realize a medical future might not be his best choice. “When I figured out how much school that took after the fact, I kind of changed my mind and got my master’s in athletic administration,’’ he said.
    The offer from ESPN came at Clemson’s National Championship game with Alabama earlier this year in Santa Clara, California.

    Mac Lain got a text from an ESPN representative who wanted to meet and talk with him. He initially blew it off as just another request for an interview to get his opinions on the game.

    He had been sightseeing in California with his wife and her family, until the ESPN representative finally pinned Mac Lain down for a meeting hours before kickoff.

    The talk at first was about the upcoming game, but then the representative offered to fly Mac Lain to ESPN’s Bristol headquarters to audition for a job with the new ACC Network.

    “I wasn’t pursuing a different career at all,’’ Mac Lain said. “I just stumbled into it.’’
    Other than being interviewed by reporters for print and television, he’d had no previous TV experience. He had done some work hosting a postgame radio show for Clemson football that provided game analysis and commentary on other ACC games.

    “You never really know which interview did the trick or who threw my name in the hat where,’’ Mac Lain said. “I knew all along something like this could happen.’’

    He said he shares that same message when he speaks with college or high school students or church groups. “You create your brand with social media and all the opportunities you’re going to get as an athlete,’’ he said. “It’s cool to be an actual story and an actual example of that.’’

    The show Mac Lain will help host, "The Huddle," will be anchored by Jac Collinsworth. Collinsworth has been the regular host of ESPN’s NFL Live since early 2018.

    Joining Mac Lain and Collinsworth will be former Georgia and Miami, Florida, head coach Mark Richt and former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel.

    “I love this team we have put together and the chemistry we already have,’’ Mac Lain said. “It seems like we have been working together for five or 10 years, but we just met a month ago so it’s really cool.’’

    Mac Lain said the challenge for him in preparing for the show has been to expand his knowledge beyond his alma mater. “It’s an entire conference, not just one school,’’ he said. “I’m going to be faced with knowing the key players and the role players people may not be familiar with.’’

    Mac Lain said his goal will be to avoid speaking in technical terms and draw a picture anybody can understand. He thinks the coaching and playing backgrounds of himself, Richt and Manuel will be an asset to the show.

    “Just being able to dip inside of a player’s helmet or a coach’s headset, what was happening at this moment or what is this guy thinking,’’ Mac Lain said. “I think viewers will really appreciate that.’’

    Mac Lain currently calls Charlotte home, but although ESPN has a studio there where it does production for shows on ESPNU and the SEC Network, Mac Lain will be flying to Bristol and the home office every weekend during the ACC season to do "The Huddle."

    “We are very excited to get rolling,’’ he said. “It’s been a really cool thing to get to know these men and women throughout the network.’’

    Eric Mac Lain points to the historic ESPN logo during his trip to Bristol, Connecticut for audition with ACC Network. 

  • 17 Ray Quesnel Athletic events will be an important part of a year-long celebration at Fayetteville Academy as the school marks its 50th year of being open in 2019-20.

    Current head of school Ray Quesnel said the reason for coordinating the celebration with the school’s athletic side is common sense.

    “Traditionally, most of the time our alumni are on campus revolves around athletic events,’’ he said. “We wanted to capitalize on the fact we usually have them here anyway.

    “We want this to be for our current students and families but also for 50 years of Fayetteville Academy students and families.’’

    The festivities begin on Friday, Aug. 9, at 6 p.m. with the annual alumni soccer game, pitting this year’s Academy boys soccer team against players from previous years.

    “We are expecting a big crowd for that,’’ Quesnel said. “We’ll parachute in the game ball and we’ll have other surprises.’’

    A free hot dog and hamburger cookout will also be held.

    The next big event will be the alumni basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 26, which will include recognition of this year’s class of inductees into the school’s Hall of Fame.

    Homecoming will be observed at a basketball game in late January or early March.

    The big event will be a weekend long anniversary observance March 27-29. A formal gathering of some kind is tentatively scheduled on Saturday, March 28. There are also plans to possibly hold alumni games in spring sports like baseball, soccer and tennis.


    • Village Christian Academy athletic director Harold Morrison announced earlier this month that the school would not field a football team this season.

    “At this time, it is apparent that we do not have enough players to have a football team,’’ he said. “It is our priority and goal to continue to plan and evaluate our program in preparation for the future.’’

    Morrison said the Sandhills Titans club football team has invited the remaining Village football players to join their team this fall.

    The announcement of no team for the coming season is the latest setback for the Village football program. The North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association previously cited Village for recruiting and offering impermissible benefits to players.

    The penalty included forfeiture of all football wins in 2017 and 2018 along with state runner-up and state championship finishes.

    • Former E.E. Smith High School football standout Junior Smith has been named to the East Carolina University Hall of Fame.

    Smith is East Carolina’s all-time leading rusher with 3,745 yards. He was three-time honorable mention All-American and first team All-South Independent. He is the only player in ECU history with three consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

    He averaged 5.1 yards per carry during his Pirate career from 1991-94.

    Pictured: Ray Quesnel 

  • WEBBrian Edkins Cape Fear principalIt was an early start of the official first day of football practice yesterday for Cumberland County high school teams.
    Some were on the field ready to go before 7:30 a.m., while others waited a little later in the morning. Douglas Byrd and Pine Forest opted for evening practice sessions.
     
    Here’s a  few observations from the first day.
     
    • For years, one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from high school football coaches is how limited they are in teaching one of the biggest parts of the game, tackling.
    For safety reasons, high schools in North Carolina are limited to having body-to-body contact within the bounds of the season.
    That means it’s pretty hard to teach young players the fine points of aiming their body at a moving target, wrapping it up and bringing it to the ground.
    I saw an innovation at Seventy-First’s practice that provides a partial solution to the problem.
    A company called Safe-Tackle has created an interesting gadget the Falcons were using at this morning’s practice. Even during the early days of official practice, players can’t wear pads or hit each other.
    This gadget solves the problem. It’s a giant cushioned doughnut with a flat surface on the outside so you can stand it and roll it. A coach aims it at a player, rolls it in his direction, and the player charges, wraps up and makes the tackle.
    Finally, a safe way to do this without wearing pads or breaking the rules. 
     
    • There was an interested spectator at Cape Fear’s first day of football practice, new principal Brian Edkins. Edkins replaces Lee Spruill, who stepped down near the end of last school year.
    This is Edkins’ second stop as a principal in Cumberland County. He was athletic director then principal at South View High School before leaving to serve as principal at Scotland High School for a couple of years. 
     
    • E.E. Smith was the second stop on my tour of Cumberland County Schools this morning. As I left the practice, I paused for a few moments at the monument in the end zone to the late D.T. Carter. The field at Smith is named for him, and the most recent generations of Smith players who never knew Coach Carter missed a really class act.
    Carter created an intramural program for E.E. Smith’s physical education classes that won him national attention. 
    After football wins, he used to light up those slender White Owl cigars to celebrate.
    But win or lose, Carter always remained the optimist.
    His favorite saying was, “The sun will come up tomorrow.’’
     
    • Westover’s football team looked about as sharp as you can at practice, with all of the players wearing specially-made blue t-shirts with a big white W on the front.
    Head coach Ernest King said it’s all part of his aim to get the Wolverines more organized and headed in the same direction.
    He said this year’s Westover team is well ahead of a year ago when he was literally a last-minute hire before the season got started. 
     
    • I heard a hysterical story from my former co-worker Thomas Pope that he got from his dad Arnold, longtime local football official who also was briefly a high school coach.
    There was a local junior varsity high school football coach who had an incredibly gifted athlete on his team. Unfortunately, while the athlete was blessed with awesome physical talent, the good Lord did not see fit to do the same regarding the young man’s mental faculties.
    At one especially frustrating practice, the player made one mistake after another.
    Finally, the exasperated coach looked at him and said, “Son, what exactly is your IQ?”
    The player stood with a blank expression, then twisted his face for a moment, and said, “20-20?”
     
    Pictured: Cape Fear Principal Brian Edkins

     
  • 20 rockn logo jpegIt is that time again, time to grab a chair and a friend and head out for a night of free music. Rock’n On The River is back Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. with two amazing bands.

    The free event will take place at 1122 Person St. in Fayetteville, behind Deep Creek Grill. Parking for the event will begin at 5 p.m.

    Greg Adair, the organizer of the Rock’n On The River concert series, says “The idea was to create another free family event — a smaller scale of the Dogwood Festival. It began in 2018.”

    This upcoming show features Throwback Collaboration Band and North Tower.

    Known locally as TCB, Throwback Collaboration Band plays rhythm and blues favorites, dance and old school. The music crosses the 70s, 80s and 90s, creating a good blend of music that serves up something special for everyone.

    The band is made up of six musicians to include A.D. Thomas, Mark “Duce” Thomas, Michael Counts, Moshe Haire, Richard Bradford and Sybil Pinkney.

    The group has been playing together for more than three years. All musicians are over 50 years old, with the most recent addition, new member Moshe Haire. TCB appeals to a variety of audience, especially older couples in their 30s and up.

    Mark Thomas says of the event, “It is exciting. The venue caters to all walks of life — kids, adults, open air, stake out a good spot — get there early for the free environment.”

    Currently, TCB is playing in venues such as the Dogwood Festival and Dirtbag Ales, the North Carolina State Fair and several local area night spots. Before COVID, they were scheduled to perform at the Segra Stadium for Woodpeckers baseball games.

    “We really hope to see that opportunity come back,” says A.D. Thomas. “Many of the songs we do are from the 70s, 80s and more current stuff. It’s a clean family-oriented show, so we like to see people have fun and see how wonderful it is to come together.”

    North Tower will take the stage at 8:15 p.m. The band has been playing together since 1980. The band consists of Larry Dean, Jeff Hinson, Steve Davis, Tom Bagley, Marty Gilbert, Mark Bost and Ben Shaw.

    The Raleigh-based band strives to deliver a diverse set list to entertain audiences with R&B, oldies, beach, rock ‘n’ roll, mix of adult contemporary, uptown funky and mostly older stuff.

    “North Tower is the most versatile band we utilize at the Raleigh Civic Center,” says Jim Lavery, Marketing Director of the Raleigh Civic Center. “Whether for a convention, private party or our large ‘Alive After Five’ crowds, they always come through for us.”

    Rock’n On The River is a free live concert, sponsored by Healy Wholesale, Bob 96.5 FM radio and Up & Coming Weekly. Beverages and food will be available from Healy Wholesale and Deep Creek Grill. The audience is responsible for bringing chairs or something to sit on. Coolers and outside food are prohibited at this event. Pets are also not allowed onto the concert grounds.

    The parking fee is $5 per person. The event is first come first serve, as the venue can only host 1,200 to 1,400 people.

    “Bringing a well-rounded live concert series to get people out after lockdowns in 2020 and having something people will enjoy listening to is the goal,” says Adair. “Each monthly concert showcases a different genre of music, bringing people together.”

    For more information, head to the Rock’n On The River’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Rockn-On-The-River-271048666818630/

    Pictured below: Throwback Collaboration Band (left) will kick off Rock'n On The River at 6 p.m. on Aug 27. (Photo courtesy www.facebook.com/TCB2019) North Tower takes the stage at 8:15 p.m. to entertain folks with their versatile playlist decades in the making. (Photo courtesy Rock'n On The River).

    13 TCB

    14 North Tower

  • 02 Cuomo GOV FBAndrew Cuomo has resigned as a three-term Governor of New York after a parade of women alleged improper conduct and sexual harassment. Here is some of what he said in his official statement.

    “I thought a hug and putting my arm around a staff person while taking a picture was friendly, but she found it to be too forward."

    "I kissed a woman on the cheek at a wedding and I thought I was being nice, but she felt that it was too aggressive."

    "I have slipped and called people ‘honey,’ ‘sweetheart’ and ‘darling.’ I mean it to be endearing, but women found it dated and offensive."

    "I said on national TV to a doctor wearing PPE and giving me a COVID nasal swab, ‘You make that gown look good.’ I was joking, obviously, otherwise I wouldn’t have said it on national TV. But she found it disrespectful."

    "I have been too familiar with people. My sense of humor can be insensitive and off-putting. I do hug and kiss people casually, women and men. I have done it all my life …. In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone, but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn."

    "There are generational and cultural shifts that I just didn’t fully appreciate, and I should have. No excuses.”

    Cuomo is correct on both counts. Women today are less willing to tolerate behaviors we have tolerated in the past. And, he should have known better.

    I am Exhibit A of “generational and cultural shifts.” I have a photograph of myself with then U.S. Senator Al Franken of Minnesota taken at a political fundraiser in 2016 before Franken’s own fall for bad boy behavior.

    We are standing beside a dining room table, and he has his arm around my shoulder. No groping that all women find offensive, but it is telling that I never even noticed that a man I had met only minutes before had his hand on my bare shoulder until I saw the photo. A younger woman would have been far more conscious of physical contact than I was.

    Among the most bizarre aspects of Cuomo’s behavior is that he publicly positioned himself as a women’s rights and feminist advocate, all the while behaving like what back in the day was called a “male chauvinist pig,” or MCP for short.

    Cuomo, like millions of other men including Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, and countless ordinary men have not read, much less acknowledged, the change memo.

    Cuomo et al., men of a “certain age,” apparently believe they are not subject to the same rules, and laws for that matter, regarding human interactions that apply to the rest of us. Famous men have fallen, flamed out, or otherwise dropped from sight, as have many average Joes, believing themselves special and exempt.

    “Honey, sweetheart, and darling” are one thing, and some men may never get the point on that score, even though women keep trying.

    A lawyer friend whose client asked her to wear a certain dress to a meeting, told him, “sure, as soon as you pick it up from the cleaners.”

    Even the most boorish guys sometimes get it after taking such incoming from women they offend.

    Unwanted touching, groping, harassment, threatening job security are something else altogether, and men have lost families, careers and freedom over them.

    I have to believe men are getting the message, whether they like it or not. Cuomo et al., have become the poster boys of unacceptable, sometimes criminal, behavior.

    Public humiliation, not to mention prison time, generally gets people’s attention, and they are changing behaviors, however slowly.

    Cuomo’s resignation looks like progress to me.

    Pictured above: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. (Photo courtesy www.facebook.com/GovernorAndrewCuomo/)

     

  • 12 Tim Hair with Indian OutlawThe Gates Four Summer Concert Series is back this month with the penultimate show of the 2021 season featuring Tim Hair with Indian Outlaw on Aug. 28 at the Pavilion.

    “We are a southern, high-energy band,” said Tim Hair, the front man of the group. “We want to get the crowd involved, we want them singing and dancing along.”

    The seven-member band includes: Tim Hair on lead vocals; Jeff Eisemann on drums; Kevin Freeman on violin, cello and mandolin; Gina Gerard on keyboard, flute and harp; Dale Nelson on acoustic guitar; John Parker on bass guitar; and Ken Pittman on electric guitar.

    The band has been together for about a year, but individual members have decades of experience performing and entertaining audiences.

    “Jeff and I have known each other for about 10 years,” said Hair. “Jeff knew the others.” The band came together with the intent of performing at fairs, festivals and doing theater shows. “We didn’t want to play clubs late at night anymore.”

    Eisemann focused on putting together the best performance band he could, picking talented musicians from across the state. Band members live from Sandford to New Bern but come together for rehearsals and live shows.

    Hair has been performing as a Tim McGraw tribute artist for about 18 years, but “I’ve always been singing,” he said.
    Hair sang in church growing up and performed in concert choir while attending the University of Mount Olive. Later he sang at weddings and then clubs.

    People told him he looked like Tim McGraw many times, so as a joke, he attended a McGraw concert in the late 90s wearing the singer’s typical fashion of jeans, cowboy boots, hat and T-shirt.

    “I was bombarded by people,” Hair said. Some thought McGraw was walking through the crowd, some wanted to get their picture taken with him. At one point a security detail surrounded him.

    Hair decided to enjoy the experience and, being a fan of McGraw, began doing tribute shows, even performing in Las Vegas as part of Matt Lewis’ Vegas ShoWorks Entertainment. He’s also had a few opportunities to perform with McGraw on stage in 2001 in Charlotte and in 2014 in Raleigh. Hair sang back-up vocals during a virtual concert McGraw performed last year during the pandemic.

    Once, Hair took part in a “magic trick” at a McGraw concert. At the beginning of the show, McGraw’s security people walked Hair through the crowd to the stage. “It was an illusion,” Hair said. While the audience focused on Hair, the real Tim McGraw was hidden in the crowd to be revealed as a surprise when McGraw came out of hiding and started singing.

    Although he won’t be hiding anywhere at Gates Four, Hair said that is the kind of fun he and Indian Outlaw like to deliver to audiences.

    “The guys in the group are super excited to be playing [at Gates Four]. It is our first time here as a band,” Hair said. Hair has performed shows in the past at the Crown and at the Cumberland County Fair.

    “We come to have a great time and put on a good show,” he said.

    Indian Outlaw will perform three sets. The first two are a Tim McGraw tribute. “We perform his hits from the early days up through ‘Humble and Kind’ and a couple off his new album,” Hair said.

    “The third set is other fun songs, more southern rock,” he said. That set list includes songs to get the audience singing along such as “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Chicken Fried.”

    Tickets for Stylin Country: Tim Hair with Indian Outlaw are available for purchase online at www.fayettevilledinnertheatre.com. Tickets include dinner and the concert with lawn seating (bring your chair). For VIP tables, group rates or more information, call 910-391-3859.

    Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the meal is served from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The concert is scheduled from 7 to 10 p.m. There will also be a complete line of beverages available at full-service cash bars. Concierge table service will be provided for VIP tables inside the Gates Four Pavilion.

    The Gates Four Summer Concert Series is sponsored by realtor Jay Dowdy of All American Homes, Piedmont Natural Gas, Up & Coming Weekly, Healy Wholesale and Gates Four Golf & Country Club.

    For more information about Tim Hair and Indian Outlaw visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/107438679278378.

     

  • 01 service pnp cwpbh 03100 03132vFort Bragg is going to be renamed.

    Last year, Congress passed a law that forced the renaming of military bases with ties to the Confederacy like Fort Bragg, named after Confederate General Braxton Bragg.

    Now, a Commission from Washington, D.C. is meeting to develop a report on base renaming for the Secretary of Defense.

    If our community doesn’t engage, it will be this Commission that decides the new name of our base. I think that is wrong.

    In June 2020, when Congress was considering this move, I said any decision regarding renaming the base should be made by the Fort Bragg community. I still believe that is the case.

    This is a very tough issue for many in our community and I appreciate that there is a lot of passion on both sides.

    Now is the time for our community to come together. We need to respect one another and listen to one another. We can let this situation tear us apart, or we can use it to bring us together.

    Whether you agree or disagree, Braxton Bragg’s name will be removed from the base. Despite my belief that we should remove his name, I recognize the name Fort Bragg has meaning that transcends Braxton Bragg.

    When I visit with heads of state anywhere in the world and I tell them I represent Fort Bragg, their eyes light up. The reason is because the world recognizes and respects the men and women of our Airborne and Special Forces who have fought, bled and died to free the oppressed and spread peace and liberty throughout the world. Their sacrifices, as well as those by every family who has been stationed at Fort Bragg, should be honored.

    On Aug. 11, the Renaming Commission held a meeting with several community leaders at Fort Bragg. Before their meeting, I spoke with members of the Commission and I challenged them to do a better job to engage and listen to key voices across our community.

    Several new names for Fort Bragg were suggested at that meeting, but one stands out. One name suggested, in my opinion, erases any stigma associated with Braxton Bragg while also recognizing the heritage associated with our Airborne and Special Forces communities. That name is of an accomplished Union General in the Civil War who was later a Member of Congress and the U.S. Minister to Mexico.

    His name is Edward S. Bragg.

    There is precedent for a community coming together to replace an obscure but controversial name with a more positive choice with the same last name. Seattle is in King County, Washington. King County was originally named for William King, a person later found unacceptable because he was a slave owner. In 1986, the County Council renamed the County to instead honor Martin Luther King Jr. This decision allowed the community to come together and turn the page in a unifying way. I believe it is an example we should consider.

    While Edward S. Bragg is one name that should be considered, I do not suggest that I alone should choose the new name of Fort Bragg any more than a Commission full of people who do not live in our community should. This needs to be a community decision, but we need to act quickly.

    According to the Commission’s timeline, we have until the middle of September before members release their initial report to the Secretary of Defense.

    I believe your voice and the voices of our community need to be heard. The local elected leaders in Cumberland and surrounding counties need to weigh in. We also need to hear from the Chamber of Commerce and our local veteran organizations.

    The Commission will soon have a website allowing people to submit comments directly about renaming. In the meantime, organizations and folks should engage with local elected leaders, community leaders, or contact my office through my website at Hudson.House.Gov and I will be happy to relay your opinions, letters or resolutions to the Commission on your behalf.

    Fort Bragg is going to be renamed whether we like it or not. If our community doesn’t come together with a consensus name, one will be chosen for us. I believe the consensus name that could unite us is Edward S. Bragg.

    Now it’s time for our local elected and community leaders to join this discussion and bring us together. I stand ready to help.

    Pictured above: Many are calling for Fort Bragg to be renamed Fort Bragg in honor of Union General Edward S. Bragg. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)

  • 07 425500p6635EDNmainimg scouts fishing 1The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville has released its August class schedule which includes a fishing merit badge clinic for Boy Scouts on Aug. 28.

    “Fishing is the 4th overall activity preferred by Scouts,” said Thomas Carpenter, center director of the Pechmann Fishing Education Center. “Our workshop is led by Boy Scouts of America certified angling instructors and volunteers who guide the Scouts through all the requirements needed to earn their fishing merit badge.”

    Carpenter added that offering these types of opportunities helps to develop young leaders who may potentially become the future of wildlife managers and conservation influencers, a key mission of the Wildlife Commission.

    The Boy Scout clinic is free, is limited to 50 Scouts, and Scout Leaders must contact Carpenter Thomas at thomas.carpenter@ncwildlife.org to register.

    Other free classes offered at the Center this month include:
    Aug. 7: Family Fishing Workshop, 9 a.m. – noon for ages 7 and older.
    Aug. 10-12: Beginning Fly-tying Course, 6:30 – 9 p.m. for ages 12 and older.
    Aug. 11: Introduction to Fly-casting, 6 – 8:30 p.m. for ages 12 and older.
    Aug 13: Entomology for Anglers, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
    Aug. 18: Reel Women Fishing Adventure League – Rod Building Primer, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. (virtual)
    Aug. 19-20: Introductory Fishing for Adults, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
    Aug. 21: Basic Rod Building Course for Women, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Aug. 24: Fly-fishing Basics: Creating Hand Tied Leaders, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
    Aug. 26: Fly-tying Forum, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. for ages 10 and older.
    Aug. 28: Boy Scout Fishing Merit Badge Clinic, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for active Scouts 11 and older.

    Courses are led by Wildlife Commission staff and trained volunteers. A North Carolina fishing license is not required to take any of the classes. Registration for all clinics and classes is available online at ncwildlife.org/learning/education-centers/pechmann, or by calling 910-868-5003.

    The John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville was built in 2007 and is the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s newest education facility. It’s the only fishing education center of its kind in the state. Center instructors teach a variety of aquatic programs to anglers of all ages and abilities, usually free of charge. The Center is funded by grants and the sales of recreational licenses offered by the Wildlife Commission.

    Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use and public input.

    The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities.

    For more information or to purchase or renew a fishing, trapping and hunting license and renew a vessel registration online at ncwildlife.org.

    Pictured above: The Pechmann Fishing Eduation Center offers several free classes in August to anglers of all ages. (Photo courtesy the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center)

     

  • 15 woman thinking I was born to a mother whose lack of ability to see led her to be raised as blind.

    She went to a school for the blind, read braille, listened to audio books long before they were trendy or commonplace, and was the picture of tenacity and strength in my youth.

    And though she was technically blind, as science and technology advanced, she was eventually able to see well enough to sew for family and friends and became a talented quilter in her latter years.

    Her spirit of pushing through adversity was a norm for me, and honestly could not have prepared me better for the decades that were ahead of me.

    I've been honored to live shoulder to shoulder with a woman as strong or stronger than anyone I've ever known – my wife.

    Born with a club foot deformity, Dorothy's parents knew her strength early on. Though she endured multiple surgeries, was relegated to braces and formative footwear for much of her early life, she chose to be an achiever over a victim of circumstance.

    Her ability to ever walk was in question when she started school, but she never relented in her pursuit of a full life, to the point of even becoming a cheerleader in high school.

    The Bible makes much of strong women. In Proverbs 31:16-17 it says, "She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong."

    That passage offers a clear view of the woman I've walked and worked with for more than 40 years. In all honesty, it can feel simultaneously like both a blessing and a curse to yoke yourself with someone willing to tackle problems head on, and never stop at the point of 'good enough.'

    In the final equation however, it's admirable. The tenacity it took to literally climb the stairs in a leg brace as a child has been applied to one adverse situation after another, virtually turning what might seem like dead ends to some into mere obstacles on the course for Dorothy.

    From incredibly humble beginnings, her unwillingness to stop at any level of mediocrity has led her to rise from retail clerk to multi-store buyer, and from administrative assistant to company owner. All the while raising children and grandchildren and leaving no stone unturned in her quest for the very best she can offer.

    Dorothy DeBruler is currently one of the owners of Grander Vision Media, the company which operates local Christian radio station WCLN-FM.

    Her day-to-day efforts enable the life transforming message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to reach thousands of daily listeners through radio and several digital platforms.

     

     

  • 01 1065313206827511 2596566957563000637 nMy earliest memory is of my mother taking my 2-year-old hands and physically showing me how to pick up the pretzels I had just poured out on the floor. The image is as clear in my mind as yesterday’s lunch. My mother guided my hands over the piles of pretzels, scooping up bits and pieces, as I resisted with a toddler’s fury.

    There would be many more lessons for me about taking responsibility for my actions, and many more times when my mother would remind me that my actions have consequences. Some of the lessons would be about something as simple as cleaning up my own messes. Others would be life altering decisions that would affect not only me, but my family as well.

    Through the early years, my mother guided me and shared her own experiences. As I grew older, ventured out on my own and started a family, my mother encouraged and supported my decisions but continued to hold me responsible for my choices. She reminded me often that my son was watching me, that my actions would influence him.

    During my own upbringing it was an accepted truism that I could accomplish anything I set my mind to and was willing to sacrifice for. My sister and I were brought up to take care of ourselves, not to rely on a mate to complete us or support us financially. That ingrained independence has certainly brought me some trouble, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Our mother and father never specified what was women’s work or what a man was supposed to do. They lived it. Both my parents cooked and cleaned. Both did laundry. My mom looked after us when dad was at work. My dad looked after us when mom was taking night classes.

    From their examples, my sister and I felt comfortable following our own paths, making choices for ourselves. My sister became a special education teacher. I got a degree in journalism and joined the Army.

    Although a recruiter told me “they don’t let girls in Special Forces” when I was 15, I went on to spend half my Army career serving in Special Operations units in the U.S. and overseas. I’ve been the only woman in the room when serious decisions were being made. I’ve felt the pressure of voicing my concerns when mine was the lone dissenting opinion. I’ve felt the relief of having my voice heard and respected. I’ve felt the pride that comes from a job well done. That pride is the result of hard work and accompanied by a refusal to accept mediocre efforts.

    In the military, mediocre efforts are frowned upon, to say the least. Likewise, on the civilian side, it is hardly news that mediocre efforts rarely meet with real success, the lasting kind that inspires others. Starting with my own mother, I’ve been fortunate in my life to have several examples of women crushing mediocrity and living by example. These women do not accept the status quo, or let someone put them in a “woman’s place” in their education, home or work life. I feel blessed to have been able to help motivate a few young women and men to achieve their own goals by not settling.

    Being the editor of Up & Coming Weekly, I’ve come across many stories of amazing women crushing stereotypes and refusing to allow mediocre standards to slide. These women push their own limits and inspire others, both men and women, to do the same. They accept nothing less than their own best effort to achieve their goals. We are honored to be able to showcase a few of these women in this week’s magazine.

    So, grab a snack — maybe a bag of pretzels — and enjoy reading this issue of Up & Coming Weekly.

    Pictured above: Many of our examples of women (and men) crushing mediocrity come from our own families.

  • 13 transworldAccording to Investopedia, an exit strategy is defined as “... an entrepreneur's strategic plan to sell his or her ownership in a company to investors or another company.”

    An exit strategy gives a business owner the capacity to reduce his/her stake in the business.

    If a business is successful, the business can make a substantial profit, but if the business is not highly successful, an exit strategy allows a business owner to limit their losses. In either scenario, an exit strategy is important.

    As one might imagine, there are a number of different exit strategies to consider, but the most common are: initial public offerings, strategic acquisitions (sale of the business), management buyouts.

    The decision of which exit strategy is best to use often lies in how much control or involvement, if any, the business owner would like to have after they exit.

    For instance, a strategic acquisition means the business owner loses all stakes; therefore, they have no responsibility or control.

    The new owners may do what they wish with the newly acquired business.

    An initial public offering, like the name suggests, is when a private business decides to go public.

    This means that any major debt or lack of investor funding can be remedied by allowing the public to have a stake (in stock) of the business.

    Often, once a company goes public, the owner may still have a leadership role in the company, but all financial aspects of the company are now public.

    IPOs are becoming more popular again, but are not efficient for small businesses.

    Alternatively, a management buyout means that those who currently manage the company wish to buy it from the owner, who may be more hands-off in the day-to-day logistics.

    This is appealing to the management team because they go from employees to owners, which is a major promotion.

    This can be achieved through an employee stock ownership plan, but again the company needs to be of a certain scale for the ESOP to be an economical strategy.

    Our advice is to plan ahead and if you are considering an exit strategy in the next two years or so, seek the assistance of a business advisor who has the skill set and professional tools to help you decide which option is best for you and your business needs.

  • 03 MenMoneyBagHC1108 sourceIf debt and spending were Olympic sports, Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi would easily take home the gold medals.

    Now after a year of unprecedented and reckless spending, there is no relief in sight for hard-working taxpayers. Pelosi and Washington Democrats passed yet another massive $600 billion spending package — a 21% increase in spending from the previous year.

    Even worse, this budget was the first in decades to scrap the Hyde Amendment and allow taxpayer dollars to go towards abortions. The only thing they didn’t fund was the Defense Department and Homeland Security.

    This out-of-control spending is coming with a cost for you and your family in the form of higher prices at the grocery store and gas station. Inflation is a tax increase on all Americans and only getting worse.

    Just last month the inflation marker rose 3.5%, its biggest jump since 1991. This, along with the highest consumer prices in 13 years, is the latest sign that reckless spending by Washington Democrats is driving inflation. For the sake of generations to come, we cannot afford to spend like this.

    While Washington Democrats were busy spending your tax dollars, last week I focused on defending our veterans and the Second Amendment. I hosted a group of wounded combat veterans in Washington to discuss a new regulation on pistol stabilizing braces proposed by the Biden administration’s Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives.

    Under the regulation, an individual could become a felon unless you turn in or destroy your firearm, destroy your brace, or pay a tax. This regulation is a massive attack on our Second Amendment. But worse is that these devices were designed and are needed by wounded veterans to continue exercising their rights.

    Joining me last week was former police officer and U.S. Army veteran Rick Cicero, who was injured in Afghanistan in 2010 by an IED. After losing his right leg and right arm, Cicero helped develop the original stabilizing brace. He now travels the country teaching disabled veterans how to shoot again and said stabilizing braces “are the foundation” for everything he does. Rick talked about the impact on self-esteem and the mental health improvements he sees in these veterans due to this training.

    I led 140 members of Congress opposing this regulation. Forty-eight Senators also joined this effort. Now I am encouraging everyone to submit a public comment against this rule to the ATF before Sept. 8. Folks can visit my website at https://hudson.house.gov/ or go directly to the ATF’s comment portal.

    Veterans and others who rely on these braces deserve an equal opportunity to exercise the Second Amendment. I will not back down until we tell the ATF to defend them and our rights.

    Finally, last week, mask mandates returned to the halls of Congress and many communities across the country.

    Cases have risen, mainly among in those without vaccines. Yet last week, I asked for data from the CDC on why they reversed mask guidance for those who have been vaccinated. Vaccines work and I encourage everyone to consult with their doctor about getting one. But sweeping political mandates not based on science undermine our confidence in public health.

    Furthermore, updated guidance from the Biden administration comes as they continue to allow thousands of migrants to cross our southern border without COVID tests or vaccines. Solving this crisis should be step one to address any rise in cases.

    I am determined to keep our businesses and schools open this fall. Vaccines are helping us do this and we should not allow political agendas to revert us back to mask mandates and lockdowns that aren’t based on science.

    In addition to defending our veterans and Second Amendment, I will always continue to fight for commonsense solutions to protect you and your family.

  • 02 people in masksIf you feel like the rug has been ripped from under your feet, you are not alone. Just as we began feeling safer about being out and about and around people we do not know, a newer and more virulent COVID-19 variant dubbed Delta, has upended our lives yet again. The current surge is driven by and striking the unvaccinated, seriously sickening them, sending them to hospitals and killing some.

    The vaccinated, many of whom are heeding the CDC’s recommendation to re-mask indoors, are far less affected and, if they are affected, they are far less sick. As Aaron Carroll, chief health officer for Indiana University, wrote in The New York Times, “COVID-19 is not even close to a crisis for those who are vaccinated, but it is a true danger to those who are unvaccinated.”

    Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services echoes Carroll. “This is a pandemic right now, of the unvaccinated. The virus will find them,” she said. Distressingly, the Delta variant is far more contagious than earlier COVID viruses and can be spread by both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated.

    The situation varies widely across the nation, largely reflecting vaccination rates in different states and communities. This is clearly true in North Carolina where one county, Richmond, is currently designated red, meaning “critical community spread.”

    Twelve other counties, including Cumberland, are orange, the next highest level. Cumberland’s vaccination rate remains low, with only 30% partially vaccinated and 28% fully vaccinated. Cumberland’s COVID-19 positivity rate is over 9%, with the goal being below 5%.

    Statistics can be difficult to absorb but if you remember only one of them, remember this. In North Carolina, 94% of the new COVID-19 diagnoses are now among the unvaccinated.

    Health officials acknowledge different reasons why Americans remain unvaccinated. Some are victims of our culture wars — so insistent on their individual right to choose that they are willing to risk their own health and the health of those around them. Others have deep misgivings about past medical treatments within their own communities, and others find getting vaccinated inconvenient — they have no transportation to a vaccination site, cannot leave their jobs, have no child care or other personal situations.

    All of that said, health and government officials are doing their darnedest to entice Americans to vaccination centers with cash payments, lottery drawings, free rides and on and on.

    They are doing so because none of us, vaccinated or not, cannot really move on until the pandemic is under control, and that is unlikely to happen until more people are vaccinated.

    The private sector which has largely stayed away from the vaccination issue is becoming impatient with the pandemic’s effect on our economy and is moving to require vaccinations among employees, saying essentially, “no shot, no job.”

    Howls of protest fill our TV screens, but the truth is, the United States has long required vaccines. Children cannot go to school without them and visitors cannot enter our nation or others without them.

    If you fear side effects or bizarre notions of microchips entering your body through a thin needle, look around you. Vaccinated people are going about their lives just fine, because vaccinations work.

    If you need more incentive, go back to the statistics. Of Americans now testing positive for COVID-19, becoming ill and dying, 94% are unvaccinated.

  • 01 N2008P23007HFor the past 20 years the Fayetteville City Council has used an antiquated structure of nine single members elected by districts and one mayor elected at large. The nine districts include about 25,000 residents but the representatives are often elected by an average of 1,300 voters in a city of 211,000 people. District representatives figure out very quickly that keeping those 1,300 people happy is all that matters to help them get reelected in the future. This resulting narrow focus by nine members of City Council does not lend itself to address the often complicated and costly city-wide issues. Too often these issues remain unresolved while the Council debates more territorial issues.

    Even worse, an individual Fayetteville citizen has only 2 elected people representing them — the mayor and their district representative. Meanwhile the other 8 council members are not accountable to the needs of citizens who do not live in their district.

    Other governmental bodies in Cumberland County, including the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, the Board of Education, and the towns of Hope Mills and Spring Lake all have at large members as a part their structure.

    In addition, 9 of the 12 largest cities in North Carolina have at large members included. They have found the structure to work for decades and there have been no efforts to convert to all single member districts.

    The Vote Yes Fayetteville initiative is seeking to collect 5,000 signatures that would give every citizen in Fayetteville the opportunity to vote for the type of local government structure they want.

    The proposal calls for changing 4 of the current 9 seats to at large, leaving a Council comprised of 5 district representatives, 4 at large representatives and a mayor.

    Under this structure, every citizen would have more voting rights by being able to vote for and be represented by 6 members of City Council — the mayor, their district representative and 4 at large representatives.

    Most local governments have found this combination provides an effective balance of both district and citywide focus. In the case of Fayetteville, it would provide more focus on the big issues facing the entire city — issues like $100 million in stormwater needs, the failure to annex Shaw Heights and provide its residents access to basic city services like sewer, for example — that are larger than any one district.

    It would also provide more big-picture perspective before deciding to spend $3 million to replace 64,000
    recycling cans so a logo can be removed, instead of reducing our traffic violations enforcement or filling over 50 vacancies in the police department.

    The current structure of City Council has never been voted for by any Fayetteville voter. In fact, the only time that Fayetteville voters have been given the opportunity to vote for a combination of at large and single member districts, they supported it with almost 60% of the votes cast.

    Fayetteville has grown significantly over the years and now composes almost 150 square miles and over 210,000 people. With that growth comes big city issues that require big city perspectives. It is time to change the structure of our City Council to help ensure that more people represent the big picture and are more accountable to all the citizens of our diverse city.

    Joining the thousands of other Fayetteville voters in signing the petition alone does not change the structure of our City Council. It merely allows the referendum to be put on the next citywide election ballot and gives every citizen the right to vote and make this important decision for our community.

    This important decision should be made by all the voters of Fayetteville. I encourage you to review the information on this important subject on the website at www.VoteYesFayetteville.com and to support the petition and let our citizens decide if they want to have 6 elected people representing them versus the current 2.

     

  • 20 DadBoyHelmetHC1104 sourceIf you've lived in the Fayetteville area any length of time, you probably recall the days before Festival Park.

    Festivals lined Hay and Green Streets, baseball was played by a number of different teams and leagues at J.P. Riddle Stadium, and the kids played on the "big whale" as we came together in front of the band shell for events of all kind in Rowan Park.

    With all of those behind us, the Cumberland County Parks and Recreation Department have given us lots of new reasons to celebrate in the downtown area.

    One of the newer additions may actually have slid in under your radar, as it was opened and dedicated during the time our state government was limiting crowd size and imposing other restrictions on how and where we gathered in 2020.

    I'm talking about the new (and fabulous) skate park which opened in Rowan Park in August of last year.

    There was little fanfare at the time, but it didn't escape the attention of avid skateboard enthusiasts throughout the county, nor was the opening lost on Terry Grimble, a lifetime proponent and advocate of skateboarding in Fayetteville.

    Terry has been outfitting people of all ages with quality gear for as long as I can remember, and was a sane and steady voice calling for something more for the skaters in the county.

    As a skateboard dad and grandpa, I love the fact our kids now have somewhere fun, safe and well-maintained to try their latest tricks and learn new ones.

    Now that the Olympics has even added both street and park skateboarding competitions to the quadrennial celebration of the world's best athletes, we can almost certainly count on seeing more of our agile young people dropping in to demonstrate their prowess with local onlookers and fellow skaters alike.

    We stopped at the skate park for a couple of hours on a July Sunday afternoon, and were thrilled to see plenty of young people skating. The crowd continued to grow as the sun began to back off a little from its midday position, and we watched as some of the more accomplished skaters offered pointers and encouragement to those sitting on the wall in awe. That's good stuff. And something we need more of.

    When you combine the skate park with all the Splash Pads and Pools the County Parks and Recreation has added in the past couple of years, they begin to add up to an improved quality of life for the families who call Fayetteville and the surrounding area home.

    Now let's get out there and enjoy it!

     

  • 02 IMG 7983Have you been wondering who wrote the Book of Love? You won’t get that answer in this column. Go find an old Monotones album and seek guidance there, Grasshopper. Today we are going to explore the reasons that the world is going nutso. Which is admittedly a much easier topic to understand than the vagaries of sweet love.

    Let us consider the mystery of the Anti-Vaxxers. The Rona has come back with its new improved 2021 Delta model. None of that sissy Corona 19 stuff. This is the real thing. Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. It’s Super Rona, a strange visitor from a Cootie planet which is killing Earthlings with powers and abilities far beyond those of mere mortal men.

    The Super Rona is able to change the course of mighty rivers, fill emergency rooms, hospitals and grave yards with its bare hands. The only thing that can defeat Super Rona is its version of Kryptonite, the mild-mannered Vaccines. Logic might appear to dictate that Americans would leap at the chance to get vaccinated but logic would be wrong. Tens of millions of Americans won’t take the Vax, seemingly preferring death before inoculation. As the King of Siam said, “It is a puzzlement.”

    The Vaccines were developed under the Former Guy’s Presidency. Curiously the Vax Refuseniks tend to be die-hard Former Guy cult members. The Former Guy took the vax himself. He should get credit for developing it. He did good getting it up and ready. Logically his followers should be proud of what he did. They should be first to get the vax to support the Former Guy, yet they are the last. We may be watching a national demonstration of Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection taking place before our wondering eyes.

    For most of Biden’s Presidency the Former Guy’s political party and Tee Vee hosts have been playing the part of the Pied Piper leading their followers into the Valley of Death by pretending the Rona was fake news or that Bill Gates was going to inject them with mind control Triskets.

    Recently some of these same leaders began to realize that if their portion of the electorate doesn’t get vaccinated, they will cross over the Great Divide before the mid-term elections leaving the Democrats in charge of Congress. Owning the Libs by filling graveyards with disbelieving Super Corona cult members is somewhat counter intuitive. Dead Democrats do not lose their right to vote. They will keep on voting. We shall learn if Dead Republicans forfeit their franchise if they keep refusing to get into the Vax lifeboats of the Titanic after it has struck the Super Rona iceberg.

    What could cause the puzzling behavior of the Former Guy’s followers? Here are a couple of possible answers.

    The moon has been wobbling more than usual recently. We like to think the moon just peacefully orbits around the Earth in a smooth oval orbit cycling through its orbit every 18.6 years. The moon just minds its own business, creating tides and rhyming in love songs with the month of June. However, as they say on late night TV informercials — BUT WAIT! The moon itself wobbles. NASA released a new study that the moon’s wobbling may lead to record high tides over the next decade. If the moon can screw up tides on Earth, imagine what it can do to the thought processes of the Anti-Vaxxers. Astronomers first noticed the moon’s wobble back in 1728. Ponder all the craziness since 1728. The wobble could explain the current Anti-Vax sentiment.

    NASA recently discovered another disturbance in the Force — Mars is older than Earth. The Mars Onsight Lander sitting on the Angry Red Planet is studying the guts of Mars.

    Think of Mars and Earth as giant gum balls. The outer part of the gum ball is the crust, which sits on top of the mantle layer. (Not to be confused with Mickey Mantle.) Below the mantle is the molten core of each planet — the center of the gum ball. Mars has a thicker crust than Earth. Its mantle is thinner than Earth’s but its molten core is much larger than Earth’s core. NASA says this means that Mars was formed millions of years before Earth when the gasses from the sun were still condensing into planets like Earth and Venus.

    The Onsight Lander has detected more than 700 Mars quakes since landing in 2019. These Mars Quakes may have to power to cloud the minds of the Former Guy’s followers convincing them that Death before Vaccination is the path best taken.

    Moon wobbles or Mars Quakes? Either one might be the reason for America’s current sojourn into the Reality Distortion Field in which we find ourselves.

    If you were looking for a logical answer to an illogical situation, you have come to the wrong column. I cheerfully admit to being clueless. I can remember when polio was a thing. They closed the movies, swimming pools, anywhere there were crowds. Iron lungs abounded. Then the polio vaccine came along and polio went away. Vaccines work.

    Perhaps the Anti-Vaxxers would take the vaccine if they were told it was made from the Former Guy’s bath water. It’s worth a shot. Maybe Sean Hannity can tell them to drink up.

     

  • 01 martin luther king speechI have always been an admirer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In view of our now professed WOKE society, he must be flipping in his grave at America's self-appointed and anointed WOKE culturists who are discounting and disrespecting the resounding worldwide message he shared with us in his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech.

    Wow, how things have changed in only 58 years. Our nation has gone from cherishing the thoughts, vision and messages of one of the greatest humanitarians and Civil Rights leaders ever born to a contradictory focus on the color of a person's skin, gender and political affiliation.

    What? Character, intelligence and integrity are no longer considered valued characteristics that matter? "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

    This is disappointing and sad. I'm not sure how we got to this point; however, I feel strongly that our nation needs to return to respecting the basics of humanity.

    Simply put, we need to get back to practicing the Golden Rule. It's a pretty simple moral philosophy that has never failed to yield the perfect result when interpreted in its kind, humane and Christian manner.

    The most popular and familiar version of this rule read: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This moral philosophy was never intended to be interpreted as justification for senseless killing, stealing, retribution or any other kind of vicious and cruel assault on humanity.

    The most popular, worldwide and humane interpretation of this tenet is "to treat others the way you want to be treated" (positive). Or, you should "treat others in ways you do not wish to be treated yourself" (negative).

    No doubt, Dr. King had it right, and he wasn't woke. He was kind, intelligent, compassionate, steadfast in his convictions and impervious to deep-seated hate. He preached and lived the correct interpretation of the Golden Rule with an understanding that elevated it to prominence in commonsense behavior and ethics, assuring peace, love and respect for all people. Dr. King would not have advocated for Critical Race Theory at any level.

    Besides, it is only a theory. And one that contradicts the teachings, philosophy and heartfelt messages that Dr. King professed, fought for and died for. I don't think this country is ready to cast Dr. King aside for CRT and replace his teachings, goodwill, philosophies, statues and monuments with CRT advocates and doctrine.

    Besides, what Woke/CRT advocates could match Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s integrity and character or passion for humanity? Let me know who they are.

    In the meantime, I will continue to advocate for TLC over CRT.

    Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

    Pictured above: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech on August 28, 1963, calling for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

  • I08-07-13-not-another-t-shirt.giff you’re like me, you have one or more drawers full of promotional T-shirts. And you probably have them in many different colors and with many different graphics, logos and phrases. Some say things that you are afraid to wear outside the house. Some are worn and faded.

    “That one needs to go,” my new wife often says to me. I just chuckle and go on wearing it. That’s what I want to talk about this week — the difference between giving away a favorite T-shirt that people cling to beyond all reason and just another T-shirt.

    T-shirts can be a powerful walking billboard. A good T-shirt does double duty as it is a constant reminder to the wearer of you, the giver, and they show your message to dozens or possibly hundreds of people every day that they are worn. That’s marketing power. So what makes for a good T-shirt?

    T-shirts are made special in three ways: they commemorate an event like a concert, sporting event or visit to a tourist location: the print (graphic, logo or phrase) is one you like being seen wearing: and the fabric feels good against your skin or fits particularly well.

    Commemorative T-shirts are generally created for retailers by professional designers. Most of you who are reading this are neither of those. However, some family and company events do deserve commemoration. Should you find yourself involved in such an event, then apply the rules we will be discussing later and you will be happier with the end product. If you are lucky enough to be using a nationally branded logo that is considered cool to wear, then you don’t need much more than that to get your T-shirt worn often. The rest of us, who have logos that are less well known, may need to add graphics, catchy phrases or effects around or behind it in order to create desire to wear it.

    Often as not, it is a creative use of colors and shapes in the print that makes a T-shirt special. If your screen-printer has a full-time professional artist, he can take a mundane logo or design idea and make it a work of art. The really good ones can make an eye-catching print with just one or two colors, which saves you a lot of money. Using a professional artist might seem expensive but most work for between $30 and $50 per hour and can complete most designs in one or two hours. This is a small percentage of the overall cost of most T-shirt orders and can make the difference between a T-shirt that is worn a hundred times and one that is tossed in the garbage.

    Sometimes, a catchy, funny or provocative phrase can be enough to increase the wear of your T-shirt. Think “Just Do It!” or “Life Is Good.” Use phrases that reflect an attitude (positive is almost always better when marketing a business) that has broad appeal. If you use one that appeals to a narrow demographic, then expect a majority to ignore it when choosing what to wear.

    Most of my customers are surprised to learn that there are many ways to decorate a shirt besides standard vinyl inks. There are water-based inks that are soft after one washing (The most comfortable print for hot weather). Fashion inks that are somewhere in between. Laser engraving that burns the surface of the shirt but adds no pigment. Heat press debossing/embossing where the message is pressed into or raised in the fabric. There are many more and new ones are being invented all the time. Sometimes just decorating a T-shirt in a new and different way can be enough to make users want to wear them.

    Lastly, let’s talk fabrics — the most overlooked aspect of the T-shirt buying process. You have this great graphic in mind and when it comes to choosing the fabric you ask, ‘What’s the least expensive?” Well, if a generic heavy cotton costs $5 and a fashion weight ring-spun ultra soft 4 oz. cotton costs $7, then the heavy cotton is the better deal right? Wrong. The fashion weight ring-spun is incredibly soft and light and most people prefer it hands down over the base model. Therefore, the fashion weight is worn many times more often and is a far better buy dollar for dollar than the heavy cotton. That is not to say you have to increase your budget for the better fabric. You are just as well off buying fewer of a better shirt than having more just end up in the landfill.

    T-shirts are an excellent promotional medium but it takes thought and knowledge to make them truly effective. Take the time to choose the right fabric, decoration method, and image then watch your walking billboards do their job.

    Photo: T-shirts are great ways to advertise, but there are a few things to think about first.

  • 08-28-13-methodist-welcomes.gifWhen hardship descends on a country it is leadership that often decides the fate of the people. One noticeable leader who helped lead a fledgling country from the bloody fields of war into democracy was the Marquis de Lafayette; and it is in his honor that another great leader of our nation is coming to Fayetteville to speak.

    To kick off the Lafayette Birthday Celebration Gen. Russell Honorè will be lecturing on “Leadership in the New Normal” as part of the Lafayette Leadership Speaker Series.

    The lecture is sponsored by Methodist University in celebration of Lafayette’s Birthday.

    “Methodist University feels that part of its mission and purpose is to bring high-quality speakers in routinely. It is exciting to see the university do this and be part of bringing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet and hear General Honorè. He took charge and became a hero. It is an opportunity to see, meet and hear someone of this stature,” Dr. Andrew Ziegler, the director of The Lura S. Tally Center of Leadership Development, explains.

    Gen. Honorè first came into the public eye when he was put in charge of managing the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Dealing with the overwhelming devastation was a daunting task, but with a great leader at the helm, the situation was resolved quickly.

    Ziegler recalls the devastation by saying, “Two-thousand people died as a result of the storm, there was $100 million in property damage, and more than 1 million people were displaced or lost their homes. New Orleans was not the only place affected, it was the entire gulf coast. In the aftermath, civil authority broke down and there were riots, looting and violence: total tragedy. Gen. Honorè came and put it all back in order. He brought thousands of troops, took command of the National Guard and hundreds of boats. It was a massive operation. The first phase was search and rescue, second was restoring order and finally recovery. He handled it superbly. Perhaps this lecture will help people to remember how fragile civil society is.”

    There is more to Gen. Honorè than the ability to handle massive devastation in a short period of time. For years he has been a sought after speaker for emergency preparedness and leadership required for the modern world; but he has pushed for change to better the country in other ways as well.

    “He has a passion for the country and for leadership. He wrote a book called Leadership in the New Normal, and he will be talking about that during his lecture. He is very concerned about bread and butter issues for the country such as education and family,” says Ziegler.

    The lecture will take place on Sept. 6 from 11 until 11:50 a.m. in the Reeves Auditorium at Methodist University. It is completely free and open to the public. Reeves Auditorium is located at 5400 Ramsey St. For more information, visit the website www.methodist.edu/pub_media/releases/honore.pdf or email questions to aziegler@methodist.edu.

    Other events associated with the Lafayette Birthday celebration include the Lafayette Trail tour, which costs $30, a sidewalk sale in downtown Fayetteville and more. There will be a 3K Dog Jog and a 5K Road Race on Sept. 7. Call 644-0137 for more information.

    Wine and Design will offer a paint your own Eiffel Tower class on Sept. 7. Call 483-0433 for more information.

    Photo : Gen. Russell Honoré will speak at Methodist University in honor of Lafayette’s Birthday Celebration.

  • 08-20-14-4th-friday-logo_2012.gifThough summer may be coming to an end, 4th Fridayis in full swing. This family-friendly event puts all that downtown Fayetteville has to offer on display. There is a huge variety of entertainment, culture and shopping; resulting in something for everyone to enjoy on Aug. 22.

    The Arts Council has brought incredible exhibits to the downtown area for decades. It provides a space for local artists to display their talents and ideas. This 4th Friday, the Arts Council has two events scheduled. Inside the building is a new exhibit on display titled Mediating Relevance: The Politics of Gender. This exhibit is designed to “investigate and question society’s position or perception on gender roles and otherness.” Outside the building, The Army Ground Forces Band Freedom’s Groove will perform. Both events begin at 7 p.m. and last until 9 p.m. The Arts Council is located at 301 Hay St. For more information visit http://www.theartscouncil.com/fourthmain.php.

    Headquarters Library will offer a fun and educational event for all ages. The Cape Fear Mineral and Gem Society will put on a demonstration in the Pate Room from 7 to 8:45 p.m. They will have fossils, minerals and gems of all kinds to show and discuss. There is a demonstration about how to make cabochon gems on a polishing wheel. These gems are shaped polished as opposed to the typical style of faceting. Softer stones are generally used in this process. Refreshments are provided and handmade jewelry and stones are available for purchase. Headquarters Library is located at 300 Maiden Lane. For more information, call 424-4756 or visit http://host7.evanced.info/cumberland/evanced/eventcalendar.asp?ln=ALL.

    This month, Fascinate-U will have an activity for parents as well as children. From 7 to 9 p.m. there is a certified car seat technician giving a free workshop on how to properly install a child’s car seat, and the importance of proper car seat safety. For children there is a free craft available. This month it is creating a “funky” self-portrait collage out of food. Admission is free for the evening and the interactive museum is open late. Fascinate-U is located at 116 Green St. For more information, call 829-9171 or visit http://www.fascinate-u.com/contact.php.

    Hay Street United Methodist Church is participating in the fun this month by providing live music. From 6 to 7 p.m. the band Double Trouble will perform, with The Ash Breeze performing until 8 p.m. There is also a free fish craft for kids from 6 to 8 p.m. The church is located at 320 Hay St. For more information, visit http://www.theartscouncil.com/fourthmain.php.

    There is also live music during the evening at the Market Square Coffee House. The music begins at 7 p.m. and will feature local talent. The coffee house is located at 106 Hay St. City Center Gallery and Books located at 112 Hay St. will also provide local entertainment from 6p.m. until 8 p.m.

    Find out more about 4th Friday at www.theartscouncil.com.

  • 08-27-14-tna-wrestling.gifOn Sunday, Sept. 7, The Crown Complex will play host to a night of pro wrestling when the stars of Total Non-Stop Action’s Impact Wrestling World Tour (TNA) come to town for a night of live entertainment. Fans will see many wrestlers like North Carolina’s own, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy. Also scheduled to appear are; Eric Young, Mr. Anderson, Ethan Carter III, “The Cowboy” James Storm, X-Division Champ Samoa Joe, Gunner, Magnus, Knockouts Champ Gail Kim and many others. TNA is sponsoring this one-night-only-event in conjunction with the Cumberland County Fair.

    TNA will also include entry into the “Fist Pumpin’ Pre-Show Party” with every ticket. The party is hosted by TNA President Dixie Carter’s Chief of Staff, Rockstar Spud, and begins when the doors open one hour before the opening bell. The party will allow fans the opportunity to meet the wrestlers, get autographs and take pictures with the athletes while wrestler DJ Z plays popular music to add to the party mood.

    One of the biggest names to appear on the card will be Jeff Hardy. Hardy is a world-renowned professional wrestler who was born and raised in Cameron, N.C. Jeff and his brother Matt make up one of the most popular tag teams of all time, the Hardy Boyz. After making their debut in the World Wrestling Federation in 1999, Jeff and Matt would go on to win the Tag Team Titles a total of seven times and become one of the promotions biggest box office draws.

    After a successful run as a tag team competitor, Jeff also gave being a singles wrestler a shot. His greatest success as a singles competitor came in 2009, during his second run with the WWE, when he became the World Heavyweight Champion. The same championship won and held by the likes of Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan.

    Jeff Hardy now calls TNA Impact wrestling home saying, “I have a dream job right now, TNA has been great… I can go hard then I have plenty of time to come home and heal. It’s not overdoing it.”

    During his time with TNA he has held its World Heavyweight Title three times.

    He expressed excitement about TNA coming to North Carolina to put on a show in Fayetteville, “It’s always good to return to Fayetteville… Every time we are back in Fayetteville it is always cool to tear the house down...”

    The night is billed by TNA as a night of “Fist Pumpin’ Family Fun” that Hardy says is, “well worth the money spent.”

    He went on to say,” We have a crew that works extremely hard. It has been a consistently good, solid show. To witness it live and in person, there is nothing else like it. As far as being a pro wrestling fan and loving the art of pro wrestling, it is the best out there as far as I am concerned.”

    Photo: Jeff Hardy returns to Fayetteville.

  • 13Tara Cronin Day Break ArchivalDwight Smith, project director at Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery, had a specific reason to include a national abstract competition in the gallery’s 2018 exhibition year. Smith and Executive Director Calvin Mims both wanted to respond to a frequent question in the community: If representational artists paint in a way that depicts what is clearly identifiable, then what are abstract artists doing?

    Two hundred fifty artists across the country answered the complex question by participating in an exhibition titled “Immersed in Abstraction: A National Juried Competition.” Of the 250 artists who entered the competition, 25 were selected to send original works for the gallery show at Ellington-White, and fifty-six artists are being represented in an online exhibition.

    Artist Randy Akens was the final juror of a two-tiered jurying process. From Savannah, Georgia, Akens jurors’ statement is short: “The artists in ‘Immersed in Abstraction’ all provide quality of expression and reflect significant points of view nationwide.”

    I think it’s important to expound on some central points about abstraction for anyone who would like to broaden their understanding about the abstract style.

    The range of styles in “Immersed in Abstraction” confirms why there are countless texts published that examine the ideas or intent of abstract art. Of the many relevant approaches, I selected several significant and foundational modern/contemporary statements about the style – explanations that could alter one’s perception about a non-representational style when visiting any gallery.

    As long ago as 1943, Ad Reinhardt’s statement about abstract works created clarity for many when he stated, “It is more difficult to write or talk about abstract art than any other painting because the content is not in a subject matter or story, but in the actual painting activity.”

    The above statement is illustrated in all of the paintings in “Immersed in Abstraction.” For example, when looking at the brushy painted marks of Jean Banas’ “Misplaced Memories,” we know there are two figures in the picture plane – yet the act of painting becomes more important than the subject. The artist’s painting method becomes integral to the meaning of the work itself and the viewer’s interpretation.

    Another important and well-known statement about abstract works was made by Douglas Huebler in 1968. Huebler, defending his position against being a representational artist, said, “The world is full of objects, more or less interesting; I do not wish to add any more. I prefer instead to simply state the existence of things in terms of time and/or place.” Huebler is not referencing the physical “objecthood” of an art object but is challenging the idea of why to reproduce or reference an illusion of an object or objects in a work of art.

    When considering Huebler’s stance, I immediately think of the Hawaii-based artist Tara Cronin, whose work was accepted into the physical exhibition of “Immersed in Abstraction.” Hoping to “promote the idea of science and art as being symbiotic,” Cronin’s work is a pigment print with chlorophyll, pen, pencil and blood. Titled “Daybreak Archival,” something hair-like seems to float amidst a seemingly unknown language. The image conjures something that feels ancient with the universally personal.

    When thinking about Cronin’s work, it’s easy to reflect back to Reinhardt’s statement about the importance of the actual activity of the making.

    Cronin, an accomplished artist and someone who holds several co-patents with her partner, scientist Ed Chen, explores “the interface between the material and the individual by making photographically- based work involving images or prints combined with materials such as reconstituted hemoglobin and chlorophyllin as well as with dust and with liquid metals.” In lieu of practicing chiaroscuro to create the illusion of a three-dimensional object on a flat surface, Cronin shares her investigation of the expressive quality of materials.

    Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery is pleased with the response of artists and the variety of mediums and styles in the exhibit. Ranging from professional and collectable works of art to works by emerging artists, the exhibit includes a range of media – monoprints, intaglio prints, paintings, mixed media, photographs and computer graphics. From the figurative to non-objective, visitors to the gallery will see painterly expressionism as well as hard-edged minimalism, social commentary and personal investigative approaches to art-making, science and politics.

    The politics of M. Wilk’s mixed media work titled “Control Series: Regulation” investigates today’s culture. By combining a mix of stenciled flat people shapes floating above collaged papers, the painterly mark-making exudes an industrial essence. The artist described the “Control Series” as “a dialogue regarding our society and culture in today’s age. The works touch on surveillance regarding the digital landscape we live in, the Elite, consumerism and money.”

    Here is one last statement about the possibilities of abstract art before this article comes to an end. In 2010, Bob Nickas, in his book titled “Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting,” said, “Maybe abstract painting has become a form of imaginative fiction. Here, the painter of abstract life reflects on the world without submission to its direct rendering and counters every other representation... the painter of abstract life slows down perception... Abstract painting can be its own subject, its own world, one that reveals itself slowly over time and may not look exactly the same to us from one day to the next.”

    And so it is with all of the works in the exhibit. Visitors will need to attend the exhibit several times to see how the works can change from one day to another.

    All of the above are reasons to visit “Immersed in Abstraction: A National Juried Competition.” Thinking about new ways of seeing can influence one’s appreciation of works of art in stimulating ways and can even alter one’s own creative approach.

    The show will remain up until Sept. 22. Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery is located at 113 Gillespie St. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. View the online exhibition at www.ellington-white.com. For information on the exhibit or on a Sept. 18 Abstract Monoprint Workshop, call 910-483-1388.

  • 11StsThe curtain has risen on a new season of creative theater from Sweet Tea Shakespeare. First up is Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors,” co-directed by Jeremy Fiebig, Jessica Osnoe and Jennifer Pommerenke. The production is loaded with talented performances and inspired staging and runs through Sept. 8.

    The action of “The Comedy of Errors” is derived from a classic case of mistaken identity. The play follows the exploits of two sets of twins who were accidentally separated at birth.

    Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio of Syracuse travel to Ephesus. Little do they know, Ephesus is the home of their identical twin brothers – Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus. As the two sets of brothers are identical and answer to the same forename, the stage is set for an incessantly-escalating series of misunderstandings and hijinks. To divulge much more of the story would cheapen the experience of seeing it play out live.

    The cast of this show its strength. Here, STS employs cross-gender and cross-race casting to great effect, allowing the production to get the best possible performances out of its talented group of actors and actresses. Antipholus of Syracuse is played by the hysterical Taj Allen, and his identical twin from Ephesus is played by the wonderful Traycie Kuhn-Zapata. Jessica Osnoe and Jen Pommerenke bring their comedic chemistry to the Dromio brothers, while Katherine O’Connell brings Adriana’s ever-growing and under- standable confusion to life.

    The cast is rounded out by an ensemble as good as any ever put up by the company, including strong performances from Laura Voytko, Evan Bridenstine, Jamonte Williams, Linda Flynn, Aaron Alderman, Jeremy Fiebig and Gabriel Terry.

    The show starts at 7:30 p.m., but audiences are really missing out on an essential aspect of the Sweet Tea experience if they arrive that late. Each production is preceded by a short show made up of music and sketches featuring the STS house band, the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers. Pre-shows begin around 6:45 p.m. and run until the main play begins. The songs performed are acoustic renditions of recognizable tunes, and the company is stacked with incredibly talented vocalists and musicians. The pre-show is absolutely worth the effort of arriving early.

    This season promises to be another strong showing from the company. After “The Comedy of Errors” closes, look forward to produc- tions of OthelLIT – an adaptation of the classic “Othello,” “Behold: A Folk Christmas Cantata,” the popular musical “Sweeney Todd,” “Maid Marian,” “Richard III” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor.”

    STS is one of the hidden gems of Fayetteville, and it is a shame that so many people in our community seem to be unaware of the work being done by this company of artists. Artistic endeavors like those undertaken by Sweet Tea should be celebrated. In Fayetteville, we do not have to travel far to see creative and thoughtful theater. Sometimes, we can find it in our literal backyard.

    “The Comedy of Errors” continues through Sept. 8 with shows on most evenings during the week held behind the 1897 Poe House downtown. For specific show dates, times and information on discounts and advanced tickets, call 910-420-4383 or visit www.sweetteashakespeare.com.

  • 04gilgameshHas it been a while since you thought about our old pal, Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, the superstar of Sumeria? Gilgamesh holds title as the subject of the oldest written story – one about a Babylonian superhero. Let’s take a walk down memory lane to see why people still remember Gilgamesh after more than 4,000 years.

    Gil, as his friends called him, was fortunate enough to have at least five epic poems written about him on clay tablets that survived thousands of years. In the 1870s, someone was smart enough to translate Gil’s story. This translation caused a ruckus, as there are several similarities between Gil’s story and Old Testament stories, including a Great Flood, which upset certain theologians.


    So, where to begin? Gil was not only King of Uruk, he was also 66 percent god, 33 percent man and 25 percent Dacron. Like Shaft himself, Gil was one bad “shut your mouth.”

    Gil built cities and ziggurat pyramids and had his way with the ladies whenever he was so inclined. He was one of the first #MeToo offenders. He was so bad he wouldn’t even wash his hands before eating. His subjects wailed piteously to the Sumerian gods for relief from Gil’s bad behavior.

    To calm Gil down, the gods made a wild man named Enkidu to act as a counter-weight to Gil. Like Tarzan, Enkidu grew up with wild animals. He was just as strong as Gil. Enkidu got word of what a bad dude Gil was and decided to confront him. When Enkidu arrived at Gil’s palace, Gil was just about to have his way with a bride on her wedding night. Enkidu assumed the role of special counsel to stop Gil’s de- praved behavior. Enkidu stood in the doorway and told Gil that he shall not pass. Gil, unused to being told what to do, was not amused. An epic rassling match took place between Gil and Enkidu, which ultimately Gil won.

    As in all classic male bonding stories and cop buddy movies, after their rough start, Gil and Enkidu become fast friends. They decide to go have adventures together. They go to a forest guarded by a demon to cut down some magic trees. They kill the demon and take his trees to make a raft to float back home. On arriving home, the goddess Ishtar falls in love with Gil. Gil is more interested in Enkidu than Ishtar. He ignores her, and she becomes a woman- goddess scorned. Ishtar gets her daddy, Anu the god of the sky, to send the bull of heaven to smite Gil. Gil and Enkidu take on the bull of the sky. After a huge battle, the bull of heaven becomes a barbecue lunch for the boys. This aggravates the gods to no end. They decide the boys must be punished. Celestial cooties are unleashed to infect Enkidu. He dies after a long and gooey illness.


    Gil is emotionally crushed by Enkidu’s death. The clay tablet about Enkidu’s death says Gil did not want to bury his friend but sat Shiva beside Enkidu’s body for seven days. This foreshadowed the scene in “Gone with the Wind” where Rhett Butler refused to allow Bonnie Blue Butler to be buried until Mammy finally convinced him. Gil is reported to say, “Enkidu, my friend/ For six days and seven nights I wept over him/ I did not allow him to be buried/ Until a worm fell out of his nose.” That is true devotion on a level of Damon and Pythias or Heckle and Jekyll.

    Gil is so stressed out he stops being king and puts on animal skins. He goes on a quest to mourn Enkidu and to try to learn how to live forever. Gil ends up meeting a megadude named Utnapishtim who tells him how the gods had sent a great flood to drown all mankind except for Utna, who built a big boat to save his family and all the animals of Earth. Utna gets to live forever but tells Gil that man can never become immortal. Gil is a bit of a whiner and pleads for eternal life.

    Utna tells Gil if he can stay awake for a whole week, he can have eternal life. Gil immediately overindulges in Sumerian Thanksgiving turkey. Full of tryptophan, Gil falls asleep and loses his chance for immortality. When Gil wakes up, Utna tells him to go home. Utna’s wife, who had a hankering for Gil, tells Gil about a secret plant that will give Gil eternal life. Gil gets the plant and is ready to head for home with the key to eternal life. Unfortunately, Gil runs into a talking snake who steals the plant from him. The snake eats the plant, sheds its skin and becomes young again. Gil remains mortal and will cross the Great Divide.

    So, what have we learned today? Don’t trust talking snakes. If a worm falls out of your dead friend’s nose, it’s time to call the undertaker. If it looks like it’s going to rain for a long time, build an ark. If you are enough of a Sumerian superhero, people will still be reading about you more than 4,000 years after you are dead. And now you know the rest of the story.

  • 16Music iconsPaul Thompson is a musician and entrepreneur with a heart for this community – especially its big-hearted
    musicians. He owned Big Harry’s Tavern for 13 years and hosted countless bands there as entertainers, but he also hosted fundraisers to help others. And local singers, songwriters and bands always showed up to give stellar performances. Thompson was so touched by their generosity that in 2011, he created Fayetteville’s Icons of Music. “I started this program to recognize musicians who have contributed to events and causes throughout the years,” he said.

    Sunday, Aug. 26, Thompson will add 12 names to this distinguished list. The celebration is open to the public and includes food, fun and an open mic jam.
     
    Today, Thompson is the proprietor of a new nightclub – Paul’s Place – and the program is still going strong.

    “Someone came and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” he said about his former establishment, Big Harry’s. “So,
    I sold and tried to retire for two years.” But that didn’t work out, and he opened Paul’s Place behind the Trophy House on Bragg Boulevard in what used to be Lois’s Book Store, continuing his legacy.
     
    The Icons of Fayetteville Music honored Bob Steele as its first inductee in 2011. “Bob Steele started playing in Fayetteville in the late ’60s after Vietnam,” said Thompson. “I thought (about the fact that) every fundraiser I ever had, Bob was there. So, I presented Bob a guitar with his picture on it.”

    Thompson noted that this program is not a competition but a way to acknowledge the generosity and good works of Fayetteville musicians. It celebrates the diversity and community of the music scene. “I spent 20 years in the military, and you hear a lot about the band of brothers and the brotherhood. While that is true, the musicians here are like that, too. They cooperate and support each other. I did a fundraiser recently, and we had live music for nine hours and raised $3,000.”

    The musicians named Icons of Fayetteville Music have a place of honor at Paul’s Place – an entire wall filled with their photos and accomplishments. Thompson said this is a true representation of the spirit of giving that resides in local musicians. “I’ve got some musicians on the wall that I never got along with, but that doesn’t diminish their contributions (to the community). They give a lot to this community, and their families always appreciate seeing them on the wall. You have to have been active in the Fayetteville area and supporting this community and made a lasting contribution (to be inducted to the Icons of Fayetteville Music).”

    The newest round of inductees that will be honored at the celebration on the 26th are Bill Joyner, Danny Young, Bryan Shaw, Guy Unger, Jerry Godfrey, Scott Miller, Pat Vines, Ken Barfield, Carlton Warwick, Vince Groves, Darrell Collins and Brad Muffett. Food will be served at 2 p.m. followed by a presentation at 3 p.m. A regular Sunday open mike jam follows this ceremony.

    Paul’s Place is located at 719 Starling St. Search Paul’s Place on Facebook to learn more about this event and the many others that Thompson hosts.
  • 13Comedy of ErrorsSweet Tea Shakespeare, the downtown theater company known for quirky outdoor performances that include live music and simple, creative staging, kicked off its 2018- 19 season on Aug. 21 with “The Comedy of Errors.” It’s a story about two sets of twins who get separated during a shipwreck and the satisfyingly chaotic shenanigans and reunions that follow, and it runs through Sept. 8.
     
    The show is directed by STS Artistic Director and President Jeremy Fiebig, Associate Artistic Director Jessica Osnoe and General Manager Jen Pommerenke.
     
    “It’s a story about one giant family that has been torn apart and is seeking one another,” Pommerenke said.
     
    In productions around the world, “The Comedy of Errors” is almost always played as a gag show – solely for laughs born from slapstick confusion and chaos. “It’s written so hilariously that the text alone could have the audience in bouts of laughter,” Pommerenke said. However, she said, STS took a different approach; one that shows how, at the core of the story, there are real hurts the characters experience due to the confusing situations.

    “There’s a twin that has a wife. So when that wife runs into the other twin, he says, ‘I’ve never seen you before in my life.’ So often, that’s played as this big joke. And that line always struck me as so hurtful and so sad. We decided as a directing group to try to play the heart of the story as well as the hilarity.... We sought to find the balance of lifelike truth in it.

    “For us, it’s a story of the lengths people will go for those they love and those they seek to know.”

    Pommerenke added that “The Comedy of Errors” is one of the most family-friendly shows STS has put on, and that it’s also one of the most accessible stories for those who are not familiar with Shakespeare. “The topic might be confusing, but because of the way we’re doing it, people will be able to follow it,” she said.

    Co-directors Pommerenke and Osnoe are in the unique position of also playing one set of the twins who are central to the story. Osnoe plays Dromio of Ephesus and Pommerenke plays Dromio of Syracus, comprising twin-set No. 1; twin-set No. 2 is Traycie Kuhn-Zapata as Antipholus of Ephesus and Taj Allen as Antipholus of Syracuse. The story’s other main characters are in some way tied to these four; there are mothers, fathers, wives, sisters-in-law, friends and powers that be.

    When asked about uniquely STS elements in the show, Osnoe talked about the creation of a balcony that happens every night. “It doesn’t sound like much, but given that we build our set outdoors on a daily basis, things of that nature pose a challenge in staging,” she said. “This particular scene shows our answer to that challenge in true STS fashion.”

    Pommerenke said the element that comes to her mind is the casting of the sets of twins. While she and Osnoe look pretty similar – in fact, their physical likeness is part of what inspired the decision to do this show – the other two actors are physical opposites. Kuhn-Zapata is a white woman and Allen is a black man. However, throughout the show, the two are constantly referred to as being obviously identical, adding to the hilarity of the situation. This is a casting move Pommerenke said she’s never seen in any adaptation of the show.

    “The Comedy of Errors” runs nightly, at 7:30 p.m., through Sept. 2 at the 1897 Poe House and Sept. 5-8 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. As usual, drinks (including sweet tea and spirits) and food will be available for purchase to enjoy during the show. Look out for a special ginger pomegranate sour crafted just for STS by Sanford-based Hugger Mugger Brewing Company.
     
    To buy tickets or learn more about STS, visit www.sweetteashakespeare.com or call 910-420-4383.
     
    Photo: L to R: Traycie Kuhn-Zapata, Jessica Osnoe, Taj Allen, Jen Pommerenke
  • 11BacktoCoolThere are reasons people love Fridays. It’s the end of the workweek for most of us and a chance to kick back and relax with friends and family. And there is no shortage of things to do on a Friday evening in Fayetteville. Once a month, the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County and the Cool Spring Downtown District team up with multiple venues downtown for a celebration. It’s known as 4th Friday. This month, Aug. 24, from 6-9 p.m. there will be new art exhibits, shopping, entertainment and more.
     
    The Arts Council’s newest exhibition opens during 4th Friday festivities. It’s called “Contemporary Art Forms By America’s First People.” The show celebrates the works of contemporary American Indian artists. Works include paintings, drawings, pottery, textiles and baskets. The exhibition runs through Oct. 20.

    “This is the second time that the Arts Council will present an exhibition that features the contemporary works of America’s first people,” said Deborah Martin Mintz, executive director. “The first one – in 2016 – was so well-received, we decided to bring it back. Some of the same artists are included in the upcoming exhibition, as well as new artists.”

    The Cool Spring Downtown District makes 4th Fridays an interactive adventure, showcasing downtown with themes and activities. This month, the theme is “Back to Cool.” According to Sam DuBose, CSDD general manager, “The contest this month will be a hybrid ‘orientation’ and will include various sites in downtown. The sites are broken into departments. For example, the Arts Council is the ‘Art Department’ and so on. People will take selfies and use our designated hashtag and upload their pictures to social media. And there will be a random drawing for a winner – a gift basket will be the prize.”

    There will be copies of the “orientation” guide/“yearbook” available at various downtown businesses or on the 4th Friday Facebook page for download. It will include instructions about how to upload selfies as well as the social media hashtag.

    Have you ever wanted to get a bird’s eye view of downtown? The Market House is open to the public from 6-10 p.m. during 4th Friday. Venture upstairs and see the permanent exhibit “A View from the Square: A History of Downtown Fayetteville” and check out
    the August exhibit “Market House History.” What really went on under the rafters of Fayetteville’s only National Historic Landmark?

    Say goodbye to summer with fun and happy songs at Headquarters Library. Rhonda and Meliheh will sing and play lighthearted sounds on their ukuleles. There will be light refreshments. It’s free to attend. Call 910-482-7727 ext. 1344 to learn more.

    Fascinate-U Children’s Museum invites children to make a pencil topper craft on 4th Friday. The museum is open for free play from 7-9 p.m.
     
    With so much going on, Janet Gibson, Arts Council director of marketing and communications, summed up the fun saying, “The joy. It can beseen – and felt – all around downtown during the 4th Friday celebrations. Myheart always melts when I watch kids
    discover art, perhaps for the very first time, in the Arts Center at 301 Hay St. I love to watch families and friends come together to explore all the downtown galleries, restaurants, shops and other cool businesses. There truly is something for everyone.”
     
    Visit www.visitdowntownfayetteville.com or www.theartscouncil.com for more information.
     
    Photo:This oil painting, titled “James Locklear, Lumbee,” depicts the great-grandfather of artist Jessica Clark.
  • 8-13-14-dodge diabetes.gifBeing active is important to being healthy. Having fun and helping a great cause is a plus! Better Health of Fayetteville is hosting its first ever, Diabetes…Dodge It! For Better Health Dodgeball Tournament. The tournament will take place Saturday, Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. at Freedom Courts Sportsplex on Gillespie St. in Fayetteville.

    Founded in 1958, Better Health is a nonprofit, charitable organization and relies upon local foundation, community and donor generosity for its funding. Better Health is dedicated to bridging gaps in healthcare services for Cumberland County residents by providing: diabetes awareness, education and self-management programs, childhood obesity prevention and education, loans of medical equipment and financial assistance for emergency medical needs.

    Judy Klinck, Better Health executive director, said that she has had many verbal confirmations of participants, and if everyone saying they’ll be there comes, there will be a huge turn out. If it is successful, Better Health will continue to plan this event annually.

    “This event fits our mission very well. We want people to know that exercise and fitness can be fun with the added bonus of improving their health and lessening their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes. No experience is necessary; we want people of all skill levels to come out and play,” said Klinck.

    The proceeds from the tournament will go specifically to diabetes awareness programs within Better Health. There are two divisions: middle school students and adult/open. The team registration fee is $100 for six players with up to three substitutes. Individuals who are not involved with a team but would like to participate can register for $25 and will be placed on a team. Pre-registration is suggested and those who registered before August 8 are guaranteed a tournament T-shirt(6 per team, 1 per individual). The winning team in the adult/open division will take home $500 in prize money, while the top middle school team will receive $250.

    Here’s a quick primer on the rules if you aren’t read up on them:

    The Game

    The object of the game is to eliminate all opposing players by getting them “OUT”. This may be done by:

    1. Hitting an opposing player with a LIVE thrown ball below the shoulders.

    2. Catching a LIVE ball thrown by your opponent before it touches the ground. Definition: LIVE: A ball that has been thrown and has not touched anything, including the floor/ground, another ball, another player, official or other item outside of the playing field (wall, ceiling, etc)

    Boundaries

    During play, all players must remain within the boundary lines. Players may leave the boundaries through their end-line only to retrieve stray balls. They must also return through their end-line.

    The Opening Rush

    Game begins by placing the dodgeballs along the center line – three (3) on one side of the center hash and three (3) on the other. Players then take a position behind their end line. Following a signal by the official, teams may APPROACH the centerline to retrieve the balls. This signal officially starts the contest. Teams may only retrieve the three (3) balls to their right of the center hash. Once a ball is retrieved it must be taken behind the attack-line before it can be legally thrown.

    Timing and Winning a Game

    The first team to legally eliminate all opposing players will be declared the winner. A 3-minute time limit has been established for each contest. If neither team has been eliminated at the end of the 3 minutes, the team with the greater number of players remaining will be declared the winner. Details on overtime can be found in the NADA Rule Book.

    Get your friends together, create the dream team and do something different to make a difference. For more information, please visit betterhealthcc.org or call (910)-964-3069.

  • 01coverUAC0081518001Dr. Larry Wells, director and conductor of the Fayetteville Symphony Youth Orchestra, thinks laughter is essential to the learning process, but he’s not here to play. He’s here to train Fayetteville’s young musicians to operate at a professional level and to help build Fayetteville into a city where the best and brightest  want to stay.

    “It bothers me that... our best young people want to leave,” he said. “That doesn’t bode well for our future if that continues. In my little way, because I just have my little slice of this pie, I want to have something that young people want to stay and do.”

    Wells plays trumpet with the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Carolina Philharmonic and is a professor and director at Methodist University. He holds a Master of Science in teaching music from Portland State University (1996) and a Doctor of Musical Arts in trumpet performance/wind conducting from the University of North Texas (2006).

    Though his current resume is impressive, Wells said growing up there was a lack of programs for young musicians in his home-state, Washington, and that he didn’t have access to professional training until college. This is a situation he never wants to happen to Fayetteville’s young talent.

    “There are certain rules in the professional world that young people won’t have been exposed to unless they’re in a program like (the FSYO); even how you practice and go about your day, how you dress,” Wells said. “The youth symphony is an opportunity for kids to study.”

    The FSYO, which was formed in 2014, is open to students ages 13-21 in public school, private school or homeschool. It includes Cumberland County students as well as students from many other counties.

    Wells said the FSYO is not meant to compete with high school music programs, but rather to complement those programs for students who want to go further. For this reason, the FSYO meets on Sundays; Saturdays would force many students to choose between marching band and the youth symphony.

    “We’re all on the same team,” he said. “The high school programs do a great job for what they do. (The FSYO) can be a conduit for the next step.... There are nitty gritty things like (transposition) that maybe don’t really apply on a marching band field but absolutely apply in a concert hall on an audition.”

    Every week, FSYO students rehearse music for one of three or more concerts they will perform over the course of the year, but there’s also a lot of teaching going on.

    Wells gives them a basic lesson in conducting so they can follow his movements – “No 1, 2, 3, 4 here,” he said. If the students run into a difficult rhythm they don’t know how to play, Wells pauses rehearsal and break the rhythm down on the whiteboard. When players need to transpose their sheet music, they learn how to do that, too.

    If the flutes are having trouble, Wells calls in FSO flute section leader Sarah Busman to work with them in a separate mini-session.

    Students’ direct access to their professional counterparts in the FSO is one of the strongest elements of the program, Wells said. “I’ve got a doctorate in trumpet, but I can’t play tuba well enough to teach my kid how it should sound. Here, they’ve all got access to all of it.

    “We talk a lot about intonation, music theory … Whatever the day, it’s like ok, this is what’s happening, let’s talk about (it) from a professional perspective.”

    The students’ hard work results in three or more concerts over the course of one season, culminating in the “side-by-side” concert, in which students get to play onstage with the FSO. The FSO is led by Music Director and Conductor Stefan Sanders, who has conducted for the New York Philharmonic among many other orchestras.

    Another of the FSYO’s strengths is a structure that allows for both specialization and inclusion. This structure is comprised of a Concert Band (woodwinds, brass and percussion) led by Wells, a String Orchestra (violin, viola, cello and bass) led by FSO violinist Monica Thiriot, and a Full Orchestra led by Wells. Wells said having these separate groups creates two advantages.

    First, he said, separating Concert Band and String Orchestra allows students in those groups to play music that’s challenging for their instruments. Sometimes, he said, music that’s challenging for strings can be painfully easy for woodwinds, and vice versa. It also allows for more specialized instruction.

    Second, the structure allows Wells to say yes to every student who wants to learn. No student who auditions is ever turned away from participating in Concert Band or String Orchestra. However, the audition does determine students’ seating, and to play in the Full Orchestra, they have to be at the top of their section.

    “(This structure) gives me flexibility to meet the needs of all the kids, and it also gives a spot for people where I don’t have to say no,” Wells said. “You never know when the light’s gonna come on for a young person. But if you don’t have them in your group, then you’ll never know if the light (could) come on. He added that having students with a range of skill levels allows for less experienced players to learn from their seniors and then pay it forward.

    String coach Thiriot, who also leads string programs for K-second-graders and ages 13 and under, said her favorite thing about working with the students is giving them music they don’t ever think they could play – and getting them to a place where they realize they can.

    Wells added that the FSYO’s “never say no” policy coupled with the fact the FSYO gets students from school systems as far as an hour away creates a diverse body. Students get to play and connect with other musicians their age they might otherwise never have met.

    The FSYO also holds extra workshops and social events outside of its weekly rehearsals. These include free workshops for Cumberland County students that focus on preparing students for things like all-district auditions and college auditions, as well as an end-ofthe- year party at Wells’ house and possible field trips.

    All in all, it’s a program that lets those who are willing to work for it shine, Wells said.

    “Good enough isn’t good enough for me. … I jokingly tell my students that’s why I’m bald. Because my hair will never look good. So it’s gone. They laugh, but I get my point across. If they’re laughing, then they’re learning.

    “If mediocre is the best you can do, then don’t. Either work hard enough to not be mediocre, or find something you’re good at. Way too many people shoot low; I don’t want Fayetteville musically to shoot low.”

    The thing is, Wells said, being serious about music is actually really fun. “It’s fun to learn, and it’s fun to be good,” he said. “It’s fun to not suck. Young people get that. And again, they laugh, but they remember.”

    The FSYO meets on Sundays; Concert Band and String Orchestra separately from 4-4:50 p.m., and Full Orchestra from 5-6 p.m. Registration for the 2018-19 FSYO season must be completed by Aug. 31. When students register, they also sign up for an audition time. Learn more at fayettevillesymphony.org/youth-orchestra. View the FSO’s upcoming season, which includes dates for the FSYO’s concerts, by clicking on “Concerts and Tickets” and “2018-2019 Concerts.”

  • 01coverUAC0080818001

  • 08-04-10-crimepreventionlogo.gifConnie King and Kathleen Ruppert want people to be smart about protecting their property. The two crime prevention specialists at the City of Fayetteville make it their mission to teach people how to be street smart, informed and unappealing targets to criminals.

    “We’ve really made the push of making people become more aware that it (their safety) is their responsibility,” said Ruppert. “A lot of that is the push with our crime mapping — our e-mails to citizens. We have really been hitting civic groups, Fort Bragg and any group that we can on safety tips — things that citizens can do to make themselves not become a victim.”

    Taking advantage of the techno-savvy population, the Fayetteville Police Department uses a program called Nixle to keep folks informed about everything from crimes that are being committed locally to traffic problems to public service announcements.

    “If people want to know what is going on in Fayetteville, who the bad guys are, what is going on with the police department, any crime trend, anything that is happening, our public information offi cer has been awesome with getting Nixle started in Fayetteville,” said Ruppert. “The information is there, people just have to be receptive and open to getting that info. Nixle is a great tool whether it be through an e-mail or a text alert to your phone.”

    You can find out more at Nixle.com, and you don’t have to register to get a preview of how the Web site works. Type in your zip code and get local and relevant information, then decide if you want to have updates sent to your e-mail or phone and go from there.

    Another way to stay informed is to call one of the Crime Prevention Specialists and get on their mailing list.

    “We send out what we call ‘The Hot Spots’ every week,” said Ruppert. “That is also a way that we try to get people to be aware of what is going on, not just where they live, but in the entire city. We also give them safety tips, try to connect them with their neighborhood watch. They can always contact us — we are always able to prepare statistics for them, especially if they are getting ready to move into a new community. We can let them know what the stats are in a community before they move in.”

    Once a person has moved in, or even if you have lived in your home for years, give the Crime Prevention Unit a call08-04-10-robbers.gifand they will come to your house and perform a security assessment.

    “We offer a free home survey to citizens in Fayetteville,” said King “We will come out and give you different ideas of better ways that you can secure your home. Just call us. It is a free service to community.”

    So while the police department can’t provide a policeman in every neighborhood, they are very serious about providing solid information and educating the public on how to better protect themselves and their property. For help with any of the programs above, call one of the local Crime Prevention Specialists at 433-1033 or 433-1034.

    Here are some easy, common sense things that Ruppert and King think are important to remember when is comes to keeping your home secure.

    • An easy target home is any home that has the no one home appearance ... newspapers in the yard and that kind of stuff.

    • Use automatic light timers in your home while you are gone.

    • If you have an alarm system USE IT! Even when you are at home.

    • Lock the doors — even when you are home.

    • Don’t be afraid to call 911. You can be anonymous, but make the call if you see something suspicious.

    • Porch lights and outdoor lighting allow your neighbors to see anything suspicious going on at your house. Leave the lights on!

    • Don’t leave valuables in your car. Criminals can break in, steal the garage door opener, or gps system, get your address from your registration (or gps) and know right where to come for the rest of your valuables.

    • Get to know your neighbors.

    “You need to speak to them and let them know that you are there for them because they are your first line of defense if something happens,” said King.

    “If you are at home, make sure that you acknowledge someone that is at your door. There was a crime trend where people were knocking on doors and if you don’t answer they were going around back and kicking the door in,” said King. “We recommend at least saying ‘Hello. What do you want? Go away! I am calling 911!’ Something just to let them know that you are at home. If you think about it a criminal really doesn’t want to be seen. If they know you are home they will go somewhere else.”

    • Break down boxes and burn them inside out after making a big purchase. Throwing away an empty box for a big screen TV or gaming system is like advertising to criminals the contents of your home.

  • uac081810001.gif Karen Chandler was the namesake of the Karen Chandler Trust. She was also its fi rst beneficiary, a single mother and local musician, struggling to conquer breast cancer. That was in 1999. Unfortunately Chandler succumbed to the cancer shortly after the first benefit, but her family and friends continue to champion this cause in her memory.

    Each year the trust holds a benefit to raise money that is used to help cancer patients and their families with the fi nancial burdens that often come with this dreadful and long-term illness.

    The Team Daniel Foundation is a much younger organization. It was started in 2008 by John and Denise Mercado after their son Danny died from complications of H.Flu Meningitis, which he contracted as an infant. He was a 24 year survivor of H.Flu Meningitis. The mission of the Team Daniel Foundation is to provide resource information to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

    This year, the Karen Chandler Trust and the Team Daniel Foundation are teaming up to bring A Little Help From My Friends Music Festival to Fayetteville, featuring a Beatles Tribute Band, BritishMania.On Saturday, Aug. 21, there will be fun, food and music for two great causes at the J.P. Riddle Stadium.

    Local musicians Chris Hurst and Atlantic Groove, will also perform. There will be a Carolina Idol karaoke competition, a car show, kids zone and a pig pickin’.

    Paulette Reinhardt is an administrator with the Karen Chandler Trust, and she’s dedicated to helping as many folks as possible.

    “We’re really hoping that our line up this year will bring in some nice traffic and that we’ll be able to raise about $30,000 this year,” said Reinhardt. “There is no overhead in our organization. We are completely volunteer run, and we use the funds to assist local cancer patients with everyday expenses while they are going through cancer treatment. We are in a position where we can be a transitional kind of service.”

    Since most people live just within their means, according to Reinhardt, a serious illness can send them reeling fi nancially so that they end up having problems dealing with utility bills, rent or mortgage, car payments, auto insurance and the like. 

    Team Daniel has a similar mission. They provide resource information to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.

    “We are very passionate about Team Daniel because their cause is not unlike ours,” said Reinhardt. “We are dealing with people who are battling a disease — they are helping people who have become disabled.

    They have the same problems. They still have issues with income because a disabled person requires so much attention and they still have the same kinds of issues that our families are dealing with, so it seemed like a good fit to partner with them.”

    So why a music concert? This is all started because of a musical fundraiser done for Chandler before she passed away, so it only seems right for the event to include music.

    “We have some local musicians playing,” said Reinhardt. “Chris Hurst is playing as well as the Several Devils Band. They are a country/rock/rock-a-billly group. They have a really unique sound. In addition to these two local groups we have the Atlanta Groove Band coming in from Salisbury, N.C. They do a variety of music that everybody will know and enjoy singing to and dancing to — they are a party band.”

    The headliner this year is a band from New Jersey cal08-18-10-britishmania2.gifled BritishMania. They are a Beatles tribute band.

    “When I say tribute I mean a fullblown tribute,” Reinhardt said. “These folks are going to do two acts to include four costume changes. They are going to start out the show with the Ed Sullivan-era with the Beatles in the black suits and white shirts and go all the way through their last performances together in their hippie-ish attire. It is just going to be a wonderful show, and for $15 I just don’t think you can beat it. To see four outstanding groups it is going to be fabulous.”

    Folks seeking the limelight will also have a chance to show off their talent at the Your Voice, Our Choice competition. Reinhardt sees this as a way to highlight some of the local, unknown talent

    “There are a lot of folks who go out and do karaoke. I have been sitting in some of these clubs and hearing some of the most wonderful voices and wonderful talent out there,” said Reinhardt. “It left me wondering what these people do for a living. I thought ‘They must be singers!’ and then I found out that no, they are nurses or waitresses or guys who works on power lines, and they have such fantastic voices. There are younger people out there with wonderful voices, too, who don’t have a clue about how to get started so we thought ‘Hmm, let’s high light these voices.”

    Some of these folks may have a career ahead of them, and it only seems right to give them a chance to shoot for the stars. Digital Wave Recording has jumped in and for part of the prize package, they are going to record a three song master CD in their studio. The winners will have to provide their own soundtracks as far as the music back up though.

    So whether you are looking to entertain or to be entertained, there will be plenty going on at the A Little Help From My Friends Music Festival.

    Don’t forget the food, the Kids Zone filled with activities and bounce houses and the car show that will feature classic muscle cars and antique vehicles too. The fun starts at 1 p.m. and lasts until 9 p.m. For tickets or more info., call 487-8755.

  • The world renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) and The Imani Winds are the highlight attractions for the 2010-2011 Performing and Fine Arts Season at Fayetteville State University (FSU).

    The Department of Performing and Fine Arts is pleased to welcome the Imani Winds as its artistin- residence for the academic year. The Imani Winds has redefi ned the classic woodwind quintet by commissioning new works and reaching out to diverse audiences of all ages. During their residency, members of the group will be available for master classes, private lessons, group lessons, clinics, and workshops both on the FSU campus and throughout the community.

    09-01-10-fsu-performing-art.gifImani Winds Residency dates are September 27-29, November 15-17, February 14-16 and April 18-20. They will culminate their residency with a concert featuring the ensembles they coached during their tenure. The concert will be held April 19 in Seabrook Auditorium at 7 p.m. Highlighting the evening will be a composition for the FSU Concert Choir and Jazz Ensemble by Imani Winds flautist Valerie Coleman. The performance is free and open to the public.

    Imani Winds has established itself as more than a wind quintet. Since 1997, the Grammy nominated ensemble has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, culturally poignant programming, genre-blurring collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs. With two member composers and a deep commitment to commissioning new work, the group is enriching the traditional wind quintet repertoire while meaningfully bridging European, American, African, and Latin American traditions.

    DTH will perform an evening of traditional and classical ballet on April 3, 2011 at 6 p.m. in the J.W. Seabrook Auditorium. Admission cost will be determined at a later date. Proceeds will benefi t the FSU Department of Performing and Fine Arts as it seeks to raise needed scholarship dollars for students in music, dance, theater, and visual arts. An interactive performance for students will be held April 4 at 11 a.m. It is free and open to the public. A workshop for FSU dance students will be held at 1 p.m.

    DTH will enchant and enthrall with a new production called the “Interactive Performance.” Central to the “Interactive Performance” is a ballet performance that opens audiences to see the world in a whole different light. It features live piano music, a narrator to serve as a guide “to take you along the journey,” and classic DTH repertoire by choreographers Arthur Mitchell, Robert Garland, and John Taras, as well as repertoire specially created for the DTH Ensemble (by choreographers Keith Saunders and Lowell Smith). The variety of the high quality artistic content gives the presentation a fast pace. Proceeds from this event will provide scholarships for students in music, dance, theater, and the visual arts.

    Dance Theatre of Harlem is a leading dance institution of unparalleled global acclaim, encompassing a “Classically American” dance company, a leading arts education center and “Dancing Through Barriers,” a national and international education and community outreach program. Each component of Dance Theatre of Harlem carries a solid commitment towards enriching the lives of young people and adults around the world through the arts.

    This is just a small taste of the exciting season that FSU has in store. Look for Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Lalo Davila and Friends Salsa Band, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, The Diviner’s, and “Framless: New Mexico Printmakers among other exhibits and performances.

    To find out more call 672-1006 for info on the Butler Theater Series, 672- 1309 Rosenthal Gallery Series, or 672-2143 for the Harmony Series.

    Photo at top:  Imani Woods

  •     Remember the opening monologue on the old television show The Six Million Dollar Man, where, as scientists turn the severely injured Steve Austin (Lee Majors) into a bionic man, Richard Anderson recites, “Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability.” ?
        {mosimage}Fayetteville has an opportunity to rebuild its transportation system, to make it “better, faster, stronger.” However, such improvement has nothing to do with bionics or Farrah Fawcett-Majors’ ex-husband; the city’s powers-that-be could dramatically change how people travel from point A to point B by installing a light rail transportation system that some say could boost Fayetteville’s economy and reduce traffic gridlock.
        Light rail is a type of urban rail transportation that generally has a lower occupancy rate and lower speed than typical heavy rail trains and subway systems found in larger cities. It is also usually powered by electricity, sometimes utilizing overhead power lines in the same manner as a trolley car.
        There are many question marks surrounding the implementation of a light rail system in Fayetteville, such as: Do we have the technology? Do we have the infrastructure? Do we have the need? What are  the benefits? Do we have the money?
        The answer to the first two questions is an unqualified yes.
        Many cities across the nation have turned to some form of light rail system, including Charlotte, which operates light rail under the umbrella of its citywide transportation service, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS).
        Charlotte’s light rail began operation of its 9.6 -mile route in November 2007. It uses the abandoned Norfolk Southern Railroad right of way, part of which runs alongside NS tracks that remain in freight service.
         1999 study undertaken by the city of Fayetteville and the consulting firm Kimley-Horn and Associates investigated the feasibility of a light rail system. Under the aegis of the Fayetteville Metropolitan Planning Organization, it was determined that the best place for a light rail system would be an approximately 10 plus-mile route along the Cape Fear Railway and Aberdeen & Rockfish railroads that travels, for the most part, parallel to Bragg Boulevard and Skibo Road. Light and heavy rail systems use the same gauge track.
        However, the study alsofound that such a route was not yet economically feasible for Fayetteville, though it did recommend the city preserve the right-of-way on that route for future consideration.
        Don Stewart, chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committee on the project, said he wasn’t surprised that the study found Fayetteville wasn’t ready for light rail; however, he does agree with the study’s recommendation that the city take steps to be prepared for a rail system down the road.
        “What you do is undertake a study to tell us how to prepare for light rail,” said Stewart. “You need to make sure you have the right of way that might get sold to a private entity; you have to purchase and preserve that right of way to prepare for the future. When you get the density of population where you can do this, then that’s why it’s so expensive because you’re having to buy up expensive real estate and you can’t put it where you want it.”
        As an alternative to that light rail system, the study also recommended a trolley system for downtown Fayetteville — comparable to systems found in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash. — that would be “strategically planned and tied to the economic revitalization of the central business district.” A trolley would be much smaller and much less expensive than a light rail system.
        The study does conclude that either system could eventually provide an economic shot in the arm through real estate investment along the light rail corridor, as well as increased tourism in downtown Fayetteville.
        Of course, this increased investment and tourism comes at a cost. Stewart says that typically, light rail costs about $10 million per mile — a figure which includes everything: passenger cars, new track, signals, utilities, maintenance, etc. That number is considerably less than a previous figure given to town officials which left them with a severe case of sticker shock.
        “When consultants said it would cost $23 million per mile a couple of guys from Fayetteville just about jumped out the window,” said Stewart. “But that figure was based on the system in St. Louis that is much, much more grandiose than what we were considering at at that time.
        “Would it cost $10 million a mile? I don’t know,” said Stewart. “But when you go and look at what a highway costs compared to light rail, it’s almost dimes to the dollars.”
        Stewart estimates a downtown trolley system would cost about  $20 million, though such an investment would be greatly offset by various real estate investments.
        “I’d be willing to bet that if you put a trolley line like we proposed that it would drive a business investment of $200 million worth of private investment,” said Stewart.
        Stewart says you also need to consider the other benefits of light rail and/or a trolley system, such as decreased air pollution, decreased traffic, the revitalization of downtown and cheaper gas bills for both the city and individuals.
        Also, a light rail system would not mean that the city buses would or could be retired. Stewart says the bus system will still be needed to distribute the passengers when they get off the trolley or rail, and he realizes that a rail or trolley would not serve the transportation needs of all.
        That was good news for a group of Fayetteville bus patrons waiting at a bus stop on Ramsey Street.
        “I’ve been riding a bus to work for a couple of years,” said Anastasia McLean of Fayetteville. “I don’t want to have to learn a new route.”
        Linda Hunt, also of Fayetteville, said she thinks a street trolley would be a nice thing for the downtown, but she’s not as optimistic about a light rail system.
        “I’ve been to San Francisco and I loved the trolleys,” said Hunt. “But I don’t think we can afford a new train system when we can barely afford to keep our buses running.”
        Hunt isn’t alone in questioning the viability of light rail. A study commissioned by Reasonmagazine makes numerous points against light rail:
        Air Quality: Light rail would not take enough cars off the road to make any real contribution to air quality improvement. For example, the Charlotte system expects to reduce regional auto travel by only 1/10 of 1 percent;
        Economic Development: North Carolina’s population density and high rates of auto use make rail’s ability to generate economic gains all the more unlikely. Those who would provide revitalization — homeowners and business leaders — favor more straightforward approaches to greater economic development. For example, improving schools and keeping business taxes at a reasonable level;
        Cost-effectiveness: Hefty cost overruns have plagued urban rail for decades. Both the Charlotte and Triangle proposals have exceeded initial cost projections. In Charlotte, a proposal that once cost just over $200 million ended up costing more than $400 million, while in the Triangle, a proposal that was long thought to cost $250 million now stands at well over $800 million;
        Mobility improvement: Even though the Triangle rail proposal would cost nine times more than the next most expensive alternative, it would decrease congestion by less than 1 percent. Moreover, the annual cost per new rail passenger would be very high: $6,747 for Charlotte and $10,358 for the Triangle.
        Despite such objections, Stewart remains positive about the future of light rail in Fayetteville.
    “People don’t understand what light rail could do for Fayetteville,” said Stewart. “Some folks think the only people riding the rail would be from a lower economic demographic. If you catered to just that demographic you’d never make any money with a light rail system.
        “And what’s not understood is that a lot of those people will be riding to work, which puts more money into the pockets of the fat cats,” said Stewart. “If we want to grow as a city, we’ve got to think about the future and have a vision — a vision that includes, I believe, some sort of light rail.”
  •     {mosimage}Serious runners will tell you it takes blood, sweat and tears to excel at their sport.
        The local chapter of the Red Cross will tell you it takes blood... lots of it... for the organization to excel at its mission of saving lives.
        On Saturday, Aug. 16, at 101 Robeson St., in downtown Fayetteville, there’s a collision of sorts between these philosophies when the American Red Cross Highlands Chapter sponsors its 2nd Annual Road Event and Family Fun Walk. Though copious sweat is expected, the only blood the Red Cross wants to see is the donated variety, and the only tears are those of joy as contestants cross the finish line.
        Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 400 participants for the Red Cross fundraiser.
        Marlita Suggs, media spokesperson for the Highlands Chapter, said this year’s event is looking even bigger with more than 500 folks already registered to participate.
        “It’s shaping up to be a tremendous event,” said Suggs. “The people who participated last year had nothing but positive reviews of the run and family walk. We have not just locals registering, but runners from across the state.”
        The Road Event and Family Fun Walk is one of several fundraisers sponsored by the Highlands Chapter of the Red Cross. It is the largest road race in Fayetteville. There will be three events: the 2008 RRCA North Carolina 10K State Championship, the 5K Road Event and the 1Mile Family Fun Walk.
        The starting point is across from the Airborne & Special Operations Museum; a detailed route is a available on the ARC Web site, www.highlandsarc.com.
        Starting times are 7:30 a.m. for the 5K, 7:50 a.m. for the 10K, and 8 a.m. for the Family Fun Walk.
        There will be awards for the top three overall male and female runners in the 5K and 10K and in the following age groups: 9-12, 13-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 and over.
        Prizes will be awarded to the top three wheelchair entrants and to the youngest and oldest walker. Awards will also be given to the school/club with the largest participation in the 5K and 10K category.
        Race day registration will start at 5 a.m. at the race location and end at 7 a.m. Race packets will be available for pick up onsite at 5 a.m. on race day and end at 7 a.m.
        There is a $20 race day adult advance registration fee for all age groups; $15 advance registration for ages 3-18; $20 late registration for all age groups; free for ages 12 & under. All registration fees are nonrefundable.
        Should rain be predicted for race morning, all three events (5K, 10K, and Fun Walk) will nevertheless go forward as planned.
        Strollers, kids’ wagons and dogs on leashes are allowed. All participants will receive a T-shirt and goodie bag. Additional T-shirts may be purchased for $8 online or at the event on race day.
        Register online at www.highlandsarc.com. For more information, call Marilyn Martinez at (910) 867-8151.

    Tim Wilkins, Associate Editor
    COMMENTS? 484-6200 ext. 105 or tim@upandcomingweekly.com


  •     {mosimage}In 2007, the Lafayette 250 Committee of Arrangements and the Lafayette Society staged a celebration of the Marquis de Lafayette’s 250th birthday. Fayetteville, the first city to be named after Lafayette, was recognized last year by proclamations in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as the place “where North Carolina celebrates Lafayette’s birthday.” 
    In 2008, the Lafayette Society will sponsor Fayetteville’s annual Lafayette birthday celebration Sept. 4-6. Numerous fun and educational activities are planned and many downtown merchants will feature Lafayette Birthday Specials.
        •On Thursday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m., the Headquarters Library will host Boston historian Alan R. Hoffman, who translated Lafayette In America: 1824-1825. This is a journal of Lafayette’s triumphal return visit to America. The free program will start off with a short documentary film on the 250th celebration in Fayetteville. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
        • On Friday, Sept. 5, there will be a bus tour of the Lafayette Trail. Participants may retrace Lafayette’s visit to Fayetteville in 1825 with live narration by city historian Bruce Daws. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and pastries at the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry museum on Burgess Street and ends with lunch at McDuff’s Tea Room. The tour and lunch are $20. Space is limited. Reservations may be made by calling 678-8899.
        •That evening at 6 p.m., an illustrated history of Lafayette’s life and contributions will be unveiled at City Center Gallery & Books. Illustrated by graphic arts students at Fayetteville State University, Hero of Two Worlds uses a comic book format to tell the story of Lafayette and his contributions to mankind.
         • On Saturday, Sept. 6, there will be a block party for Lafayette’s birthday around the Market House downtown. The Fayetteville Animal Protection Society will stage the Lafayette Dog Parade in front of Horne’s Café at 9 a.m. Poodles and other French breeds will be featured, but others are welcome to participate if they or their owners come in costume with a French or colonial theme. Horne’s will host a pancake breakfast for $6 to benefit FAPS, and the doors will open at 7 a.m.
        •The All-American Fencing Academy will have hourly fencing demonstrations under the Market House starting at 10 a.m. Between the matches, academy students and instructors will discuss sword techniques and the history of fencing.
        •Also at the Market House, the Sons of the American Revolution will host a display of Revolutionary War military equipment and uniforms. Methodist University will display items from its Lafayette collection, and the Fayetteville Transportation Museum will display educational panels on Lafayette’s visit to Fayetteville in 1825.
        •The Museum of the Cape Fear will offer colonial era games for children and a coloring contest in front of Dock’s. The first 100 children to color in the contest will receive a free ice cream cone from Rita’s and a chance to display their artwork that day. The museum will also host a Colonial-themed “Saturday History Special” on the museum grounds at 2 p.m.
        •There will also be a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. for a time capsule to be placed inside the base of the Lafayette statue in Cross Creek Park by the Sons of the American Revolution and the Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry. The statue was erected in 1983 with funds raised by the Lafayette Society. Items from 1983 will be on display along with items from the 200th birthday celebration in 1957.
        In addition to the activities downtown, the Lafayette Rotary Club will host The Lafayette Run to benefit the ABC Dictionary Project at 9 a.m. at Fayetteville Technical Community College. The Lafayette Run includes a 10k and a 5k race, as well as a 1-mile fun run/walk. It is a USATF sanctioned event.
        Additional information may be found in the timeline below, at  HYPERLINK “http://www.lafayettesociety.org” www.lafayettesociety.org or by contacting Hank Parfitt at 286-3979 or  hankparfitt@embarqmail.com.
  • “The happiness of America is intimately connected with the happiness of all mankind; she is destined to become the safe and venerable asylum of virtue, of honesty, of tolerance, and quality and of peaceful liberty.”
    — Fayetteville’s namesake, Marquis de Lafayette

    In the late 1770s, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the marquis de Lafayette —called Gilbert by his friends — was about as All-American as one could get. Well, except that he was French, and America’s existence was still up for debate as it was still fighting for its freedom from British rule. Lafayette is Fayetteville’s namesake. This the only town named for him that he ever visited. He defied French royalty and fought side by side with Gen. George Washington, who later became America’s first president. Lafayette spent most of his personal fortune on the American cause and used his brilliant leadership skills to help lead American patriots to victory.

    Each year, The Lafayette Society tips its hat to this French nobleman, who loved freedom and championed human dignity, with a birthday celebration — complete with cake and ice cream. The 2020 festivities are set for Sept. 3, 10, 11, 12 and will be virtual except for the downtown sidewalk sale — along with cake and ice cream — on Saturday, Sept. 12. To keep everything COVID-19 safe, the cake will be prepackaged Little Debbie cakes.

    Artifacts and Arias has been a mainstay event at the Lafayette birthday celebration for about 14 years. This year, the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County joins the party as the French concert kicks off the festivities Sept. 3 with Hay Street Live, the Art’s Council’s bi-monthly virtual concert and entertainment venue. The shows a streamed via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/TheArtsCouncilFAY/.

    Dr. Gail Morfesis leads the entertainment portion of Hay Street Live with what she calls an informance. It is in a “Name that Tune” format. “In the past, we would play something like the song from ‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour,’ and people didn’t realize it was a French tune,” said Morfesis. “Last year, we used an Elvis Presley song based on a French song, and I sang for them the original French version.”

    During this segment, viewers will be encouraged to write in and guess what the tune is.

    Local artists are always prominent in the event, too. “This year I have a young person who I hope will play a violin piece,” Morfesis said. “He was in our concert five or six years ago and people loved him. We are also going to have an excerpt by the Thiriot family. … They are doing some French tunes and possibly a jazz number.”

    Morfesis will also perform a French duet with Russian soprano Alina Cherkasova. Bella Venti, a woodwind quintet, will perform a piece with a piano.

    “All pieces will be under five minutes long,” Morfesis said. “We want people to not be bored.”

    For the cocktail portion, Morfesis invited Ann Highsmith to be the host. “Our drink is the Highsmith mimosa,” Morfesis said. “Ann and the Arts Council’s Metoya Scott will do the drink for the evening. We will also have a Lafayette impersonator who will taste the cocktail and contribute do some of the spots. This is a variety show, so there is something new every two or three minutes.”

    The French connection is an integral part of the performance as well. It is usually a piece written by an American who was somehow connected to France.
    Join Director Emerita of Special Collections & College Archives at Lafayette College Diane Shaw as she speaks about Lafayette’s passion for human rights and the betterment of mankind. While many know of his contributions to the American Revolution, not everyone knows the depth of his passion for humankind. Visit https://www.youtube.com/user/faytechcc to view the speech Sept. 10, at 2 p.m., or any time afterward at https://www.lafayettesociety.org/.

    “My desire is for people to know Lafayette in a broader sense,” said Shaw. “His great return visit in 1824/25, when he visited every state in the union … was remarkable and underscored his support of African Americans and their issues. I will be talking about how Lafayette first become an abolitionist and his experiment in South America and what happed on the tour. And about all his best friends who had slaves — like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. And the gestures he made during that tour to African Americans. American Blacks knew Lafayette was their friend.

    “I am going to go further than talking about anti-slavery and talk about other human rights. Lafayette helped gain rights for French Protestants and voting right for French Jews. … He was a friend to Native Americans, and he did a lot for them. Lafayette admired women and their intellect. He supported women reformers. He was against the death penalty and solitary confinement as well. I would like people to know him as more than the French hero of the American Revolution.”

    A lot has changed since Lafayette worked so hard to make the world a better place. There is still room to keep improving, though. “I think Lafayette would have a lot to say about the state of America today and what is needed,” said Shaw. “In 1777, he had a vision for American that we would do well to adhere to today.

    Another favorite of the birthday celebration is the Lafayette tour. Explore five significant stops in and around downtown Fayetteville via video and learn more about Lafayette as well as Fayetteville’s history.

    The first stop is the Person Street bridge. It was the first bridge across the Cape Fear River. Learn some of the fun facts about its history. For example, it was a toll bridge — it was 2.5 cents to bring a sheep or a hog across. If you walked across, it was a nickel, but if you were on a horse, it was a dime. The fee for a carriage was 75 cents. Lafayette crossed in a carriage but didn’t pay a cent to cross. Catch the whole story here.

    Next is the Liberty Point building. “We will cover the Liberty Point Resolves,” said Mike Samperton, one of the guides. “We will focus on the monument and a marker there that highlights the three names of Fayetteville.” Here, the tour covers Lafayette’s relation to the building as well as how the fair city nearly become known by a different moniker.
    The next stop is Cross Creek Cemetery. “I will highlight four American Revolution vets buried there,” Samperton said. “We will also talk a little about Cool Spring Tavern. It was built in 1788, and all the VIPS stayed there the next year when we ratified the Constitution.”

    Next up is city hall, which has the Lafayette bust. “We will highlight our relationship with our sister city — St. Avold France,” said Samperton. He also noted that just as Fort Bragg is being scrutinized for its namesake, Cumberland County had a similar issue in its past. It was actually called Fayette County for six months. Learn more about it on the tour.
    The last stop is the Lafayette statue.

    Visit https://www.lafayettesociety.org/ for more information about the events or about The Lafayette Society.

    Pictures: (Top to bottom) The Thiriot family will perform on Sept. 3 at the French concert during Hay Street Live.  Diane Shaw (in red) speaking to Fayetteville State University students. Clarendon Bridge is now known as Person Street Bridge.

     

    01 01 AMAZING THIRIOT FAMILY

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    01 02 D SHAW LECTURE 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    01 03 IMG 1168

  • 08-10-11-golffeet.jpg

    hos· pi·tal·i·ty [hos-pi-tal-i-tee] –noun, plural -ties.The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.

    If Southerners are anything, it’s hospitable. Fayettevilleeven has its own Hospitality Association — the Fayetteville AreaHospitality Association. It’s a nonprofi t organization of businesseswho promote tourism, social welfare and quality of life byimproving the quality and variety of food, lodging and recreationalareas for travelers and local residents.

    Their reach is far, and their impact on the community is great.Every person who stays in a hotel, eats at a restaurant or rents acar in Fayetteville is operating within the world of hospitality andquite possibly interacting with FAHA members.

    For FAHA, hospitality means not only treating visitors well,but also taking care of the community, and for the past 10 years,they’ve done just that, and had a good time doing so, and this yearthey’ve added a new sponsor — Up & Coming Weekly to theirannual fundraising event.

    On Sept. 30, FAHA and Up & Coming Weekly are hosting the Annual GolfTournament at Kings Grant. Proceeds will benefi t Falcon Children’s Home andKidsville News! of Cumberland County.“This is our 10th annual tournament,” said FAHA vice president RamonaMoore.

    “This is our third year donating to Falcon Children’s Home. Last year,we made a commitment to sponsor them for fi ve years.”

    Historically, the tournament has raised between $5,000 and $13,000 forvarious charities. Moore hopes that by teaming up with another sponsor, thetournament will be able to increase their proceeds signifi cantly and be able tohelp that many more children.

    Kidsville News! is an educational resource in the form of a full-colorchildren’s monthly newspaper with fun, relevant and educational articles forchildren, parents and teachers. While KidsvilleNews! content is educational, it is also funand interactive, keeping children engaged andmotivated to learn! The primary mission ofKidsville News! is to encourage learning andliteracy by helping kids have fun reading.

    According to its website, “Falcon Children’sHome began its ministry of caring for childrenin 1909. For more than 100 years, with the helpof our supporters, they have served childrenand families in the Southeastern United Stateswho needed out-of-home placement forvarious reasons. A ministry of the InternationalPentecostal Holiness Church, we have alwaystried to demonstrate Christ-likeness in ourapproach and in the cultivation of our careprograms. We are unashamedly a Christianministry. We believe that to serve the wholechild — mind, body, spirit, and soul — we must foster an atmosphere thatalways asks, “What is best for the child?” and make every effort to answer thisquestion with our resources, assets and best efforts.

    “Falcon Children’s Home offers goal-oriented and goal-directed care aimedprimarily at family reunification and is staffed to meet the needs of students inour care.”It’s easy to support these two great causes. Sponsorships areavailable, teams are being formed and door prize donations arebeing accepted. Call RamonaMoore at 487-1400 to findout more.

  • Cowboys and Aliens(Rated PG-13) Three Stars08-17-11-cowboys-&-aliens.jpg

    Well, I feel rather foolish. I (and I keep my ear pretty close to the ground on this stuff) had no idea that Cowboys and Aliens (118 minutes) was based on a comic book. Here I was, planning to criticize it for being a screenplay by committee, when it turns out that the SEVEN guys with writing credits included the comic book author. You know what? I am still going to criticize it for being a screenplay by committee, because as fun as it is, there are a couple of subtle issues with it.

    First of all, really dudes? Six guys working on it and nobody thought, hey, we’ve got a chick in this thing, maybe we oughta get a female co-writer? Apparently not, which is why, aside from Ella (Olivia Wilde), girls are strictly background in this one. There is one other slightly developed female character, but she gets taken out of the game pretty quick. And, in the grand tradition of action movies, the male characters tolerate but do not welcome her, and save her a few times since she cannot save herself. But she does a pretty good job of maternally protecting the young’un on several occasions. Because that’s what women are good for. Sigh.

    And don’t get all up in my face about how her role at the end of the movie redeems the character, because up until that point her character is not only dead-weight, she is also irritating, what with the wandering around saying “I know something you don’t know!” Of course, I admit that may be due in part to the fact that Olivia Wilde is extremely irritating, and that she is Hollywood Attractive rather than Real World attractive. At least she looks super-pretty in firelight!

    Second of all, the ending is more than a little bit unsatisfying on an emotional level. The writers set up this great father/son (Harrison Ford and Paul Dano) con-flict. Then they establish that the father is a sadist and the son is an idiot. Then, at the halfway point they proceed to ignore the sadism of the father, and by the end of the movie the audience is expected to completely forget that the son was an idiot. Maybe it’s that Harrison Ford isn’t selling his character? And he just wants to play the role like Indiana Jones as a cowboy? And when he tries to be murderous and evil (see What Lies Beneath) he still projects anti-hero type goodness?

    Third, sure, set your science fiction film in the old west. But if you’re going to do that, train your actors to sell the idea that what a modern audience calls alien is perceived by western stereotypes as demons. Seriously, whenever Doc (Sam Rockwell) calls them demons, you can tell he is mentally rolling his eyes … and that goes for most of the main cast.

    But that’s not to say it isn’t a decent action western science fiction movie. Grab that box of popcorn and settle in because it is mostly pretty fun.

    Set in 1873, the hero of the piece (Daniel Craig) plays a great western character. In fact, age him up a few years and I could total-ly see him playing the Gunslinger from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Is he bad? Is he good? It’s super hard to tell since he can’t remember anything from his past. Once he ends up in the defunct gold mining town of Absolution, the character is summed up nicely by the local preacher (Clancy Brown! Good to see you!) … good people do bad things, bad people do good things, etc.

    Too bad he is being singled out more for the bad things he has done. Not too long after he gets into town, he is arrested by Sheriff Taggert (Keith Carradine! Good to see you too!). Naturally, this is when the aliens show up.

    The effects are decent, the aliens are pretty cool looking, and there are enough twists to keep you guessing (if you haven’t read the comic book or seen the trailers, which give away all the twists).

    Now showing at Wynnsong 7, Carmike 12 and Carmike Market Fair 15.

  • 15 Labor Day guy works in storeMany people look forward to Labor Day weekend because it offers one last extended break to enjoy summer weather.

    Though summer does not officially end until September is nearly over, for many people Labor Day, which is celebrated annually on the first Monday in September, marks the unofficial end of summer.

    But Labor Day is more than just one final chance to embrace the relaxed vibe of summer and soak up some rays.

    In fact, Labor Day boasts a unique history that’s worth celebrating for a variety of reasons.

    The United States Department of Labor notes that Labor Day is a celebration of American workers that dates back to the 19th century.

    The day is meant to commemorate the contributions workers in the United States have made to the nation, helping to make it one of the strongest and most prosperous countries in the world.

    Despite the fact that municipal legislation surrounding Labor Day was initially introduced in the 1880s, debate remains as to just who should be credited with proposing a day to honor American workers.

    Some records suggest that Peter J. McGuire, who served as general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and cofounded the American Federation of Labor, deserves the credit for Labor Day.

    However, the Department of Labor notes that many people believe a machinist named Matthew Maguire (no relation to Peter) was the first to propose a holiday honoring workers in 1882.

    At that time, Maguire was serving as secretary of New York’s Central Labor Union, which later adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

    The first Labor Day was ultimately celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in accordance with the plans made by the Central Labor Union, which strongly suggests that Maguire does, in fact, deserve the credit for coming up with the holiday.

    Labor Day is worth celebrating because, without the contributions of millions of workers every year, the United States would not be the success story it is and has been for more than 200 years.

    In addition to the United States, many countries across the globe, including Canada and Australia, have their own versions of Labor Day.

    Labor Day weekend is often dominated by backyard barbeques and trips to the beach. With social distancing in the coronavirus era, this Labor Day weekend celebrants and workers should remember that Labor Day can be a time to reflect on the value of hard work.

    Those who want to be more in touch with the meaning behind the holiday can look for additional ways to celebrate it.

    Research local industry and shop local when possible. Giving your business to a locally owned store increases the investment back into your lcoal economy.

    While many people are off on Labor Day, essential workers may not be. Bring lunch to a police station or firehouse, or simply thank workers you come across, such as grocery store employees, for doing their jobs.

    Active military who are deployed may be missing home, especially during national holidays. Send a care package to them that they can enjoy overseas.
    Purchase items made domestically to support national industry.

    Bosses can reach out to employees with words of praise and encouragement. Too often employees are told what they need to improve rather than what they are doing right. A few words of gratitude can buoy spirits.

    Employers can start the three-day weekend early by enabling workers to leave a few hours early on the Friday preceding the holiday weekend.

  • Scholarships are defined as “money that does not have to be repaid — and is sometimes referred to as free money.” Aren’t scholarships wonderful resources for higher education expens-es? Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC), businesses, religious and civic organiza-tions, employers, philanthropic associations and individuals, colleges and universities, community agencies, and foundations offer free money in the forms of scholarships, stipends or grants. Many students and would-be students assume that scholarships are unavailable to them because they don’t have a 4.0 grade point average (GPA). This thought process is not only a fallacy but also deters numerous students from researching and applying for scholarships.

    The four-program divisions at FTCC (Business, College Transfer/General Education, Engineering/Public Service/Applied Technology, and Health) offer numerous scholarships in each division. Many scholarships may require no more than maintaining a “C” (2.0) GPA or enrollment into one of the programs. Yet, all educational scholarships, stipends or grants require that the student take the initiative to find scholarships, to complete the application process and to exercise astuteness in meeting scholar-ship deadlines. Imagine the feeling of success (master student equals master employee) when a potential employer is informed that you were successful in financing your education through scholarships, stipends or grants.

    The Financial Aid Office, FTCC Foundation, Inc. and the Career Center at FTCC, along with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC.org), Google searches and sundry Websites (plug-in information that is unique to you, such as gender, ethnic background, academic achievement, demographi-cal information, achievements, major, etc.), are valuable resources to locate scholarships, grants, stipends and mentoring programs that will assist with higher educational goals. The researcher can uncover scholarships for allied health professionals; vocational, career and technical studies; careers in teaching, accounting, business and fashion designing; recent high school graduates; first-generation college students; cre-ative writers; working moms and/or women over 50 years old; moms going back to college; single mothers, and the list goes on with scholarship availabilities!

    Many students are not willing to research and expend the time and effort to apply for scholar-ships: “…there are hundreds of millions of dollars in scholarship monies available in the United States, and many — if not most — of these scholarships are attainable by regular students with regular accomplishments.”

    The processes of working diligently toward academic progression, willingly conducting research, following directions when completing forms/assignments and meeting required deadlines in the pursuit of excellence are all opportunities that “master students” embrace. Students who go beyond what is expected to experience successful educational goals are usually students who receive awards and/or free money (scholarships) to pursue higher educational goals.

    Earning scholarships and other educational awards demonstrates transfer08-03-11-money.jpg-able skills for which Fortune 500 business enterprises willingly pay megabucks. Students who receive scholarships are the individuals who usually enroll into four-year bachelor degree and graduate-level programs and/or get the megabucks in the world of work.

    Photo: Many students are not willing to research and expend the time and effort to apply for scholarships.

  • 08-17-11-arsenal-erinn.jpgFayetteville is a town steeped in history, and wars have always been a major part of that history. For years, the Museum of the Cape Fear has been interacting with the public on the matters of history, one of the ways that they manage this is with the Arsenal Round Table program.

    Leisa Greathouse, the associate curator of education, describes the growth of the program from just an idea to a success.

    “It started out trying to do things interactively with the public and history. We’ve done things like the popular Civil War Quiz Bowl, which started out as like the Arsenal Round Table, as a simple competition. Asking trivia questions to contestants. That program grew so big it’s now its own program,”

    The museum offers a variety of programs, but the programs usually focus on the Civil War.

    On Aug. 25 at the Museum of the Cape Fear complex, located at 801 Arsenal Ave., Fayetteville residents will once again have the opportunity to celebrate its wartime history, but oddly enough it will not be about the Civil War. In preparation for the bicentennial, the museum will be focusing on the North Carolina Naval War of 1812.

    “The bicentennial of the war of 1812 begins next year with 2012. So it’s a good way to come and start and get familiar with the War of 1812,” Greathouse explains.

    The War of 1812 is never really thought of as a turning point in American history, but Greathouse explains that it does in fact have a major impact on our history.

    “It is pretty much a war people forget about but it’s actually Americas second fi ght for independence. Even though we won the Revolution, we weren’t being taken very seriously as a new nation. So our actions in the war showed the mother country that we were serious about governing ourselves. It’s the war where we got our National Anthem. We sing it all the time hear it all the time, but we never think about ‘Oh yeah, that came about in the War of 1812’,” she said.

    “We hope to provide a lot insight and ‘Oh wow! This is kind of neat information’ kind of experiences,” Greathouse said when talking about the goals of the program. “We really try to get the people involved. It’s a particular venue for Civil War buffs that may not have a venue of forum for talking to others and getting into discussions of things and increasing their knowledge. I’m sure a lot of Civil War history buffs visit sights and museums and read a lot on their own, but this forum is an outlet to express what they know about things.”

    The Arsenal Round Tablewill take place at 7 p.m. For more information, contact 486-1330.

  • 14 razvan chisu 6F98shIQysI unsplashNow that warmer days are upon us, I seek the refuge of water with my activity of choice kayaking. I have always had a mermaid soul that draws me to the water for activities such as paddle boarding, boogie boarding, swimming and surfing, but the kayaking experience has been unique. This versatile sport can be enjoyed in many different settings, from the river to open lakes and even the beach. I also love that the kayaking community is quite diverse in terms of age and physical ability. Anyone, even you landlubbers, can enjoy this sport.

    If you do not own a kayak, a few places offer kayaks for rent. I appreciate these options as different types and sizes allow people to try them out and find a comfortable fit. I own a sit-in kayak, where my legs fit inside the vessel. Some buccaneers own sit-on-top kayaks, a flat style allowing legs to stay exposed, and prefer that style for both the rowing and what else – tanning. My 10-year-old daughter uses this type of kayak; it is safer, I feel, in the event she has to abandon ship. Everyone seems to have their preferences, so I think renting for a day to “test the waters” is a great option.

    When I first began kayaking, I found it a pleasant surprise the number of places available for kayak access in the local community. The locations vary in level of difficulty and offerings regarding fees and amenities such as shuttle services, guided tours, events and classes. Some kayakers like such programming, while others prefer to strike out on their own.

    Spring Lake Outpost on the Lower Little River in Spring Lake has rental options, guided tours and self-guided options. Book a fun float such as the SLO Glow Canoe or SLO Glow Kayak trip; Freedom Float for the Fallen; Memorial Candle Release or an adult, youth or tandem short-route trip. One option allows you to rent their vessel or use your own kayak to put in. You travel downriver to a designated location where SLO guides pick you up and drive you back to the starting point.

    Another site for a similar shuttle experience is Cape Fear Adventures in Lillington. I enjoy this area of the Cape Fear River in neighboring Harnett County as it is wide enough to give paddlers the freedom to explore with minimal obstacles. I have visited on days when it was calm enough to row upriver and then almost sail back down to the ramp for departure. With a kayak, canoe or paddleboard rental, you can book the Leisure Paddle, Easy Float, 10-mile Challenge, Epic Overnight or Sunset Paddle. Rev up the action with Stand-Up Paddle Board Yoga or Whitewater Kayaking. Slow it down with Lazy River Tubing.

    If you are not into the river scene, several lakes in the local area allow you to launch your kayak free of charge. A few of my favorites are Hope Mills Lake in Hope Mills, Lake Rim in west Fayetteville and Mott Lake on Fort Bragg. All have ramps for easy water access, but Hope Mills Lake provides a nice kayak ramp that makes embarkment a snap. Lake Rim Park offers guided lake tours and off-site paddling adventures as well.

    I like to take a few things on my kayak adventures that you may wish to take, too: a small cooler with water and snacks, bug spray, a sun hat or sunglasses and flip flops or water shoes. Requirements are life jackets for each person and an emergency whistle, just in case.

    Don’t forget to batten down the hatches, as even on calm days, it’s easy to lose a phone to the water. How devastating it would be to miss out on sharing pictures of your adventure with your social media mates. So, grab your Mer Pals, hit the open water and beat the heat this summer.

  • Long before supermarkets and grocery stores, people had to identify food by more than the price tag above them. Medicine was a similar story; there was no pharmacy or hospital, only the products of a clever forager.08-24-11-lake-rim-plants.jpg

    If you’ve ever wanted to explore old-fashioned cures handed down over generations, you can join a hike at Lake Rim Park on Aug. 30, which will teach you how to identify and collect the many medicinal and edible plants native to North Carolina.

    This class is not a directory on what plants you should go out into your backyard and chew on, but rather an informative class on the history of the past medical uses of different plants in North Carolina.

    “I don’t want people to go out and say ‘Ranger Mike told me to use this for this, I’m going to try it,’” Mike Moralise, the Park Ranger who is leading the expedition explained. It is purely for the sake of knowledge not practicality.

    The hike will take place along the mile-long border trail that winds through typical North Carolina wetlands all the way to Bones Creek. It is located in Lake Rim Park where all facilities are generally open to the public.

    “It’s an outdoor program, a hike that takes us about a mile down our border trail. It is to teach people about the uses for plants people have had mainly in the past, Native American, colonial and some modern medicinal uses,” said Moralise.

    “We have more than 230 plants I’ve identifi ed in the park and a lot of them have had uses prescribed to them at some point in the past. I wouldn’t recommend people to try these things or use them, it’s just an educational class to teach people how they’ve been used in the past,” he continued.

    “People used to chew dogwood branches as a precursor to modern tooth brushes. They chewed the ends of the branches and used it to clean their teeth especially in the 1800s and the Civil War era,” he noted.

    “Some of them are being researched by doctors and physicians now, but a lot of them, its older historical uses during Native American and Colonial times, and a lot of the reason for that is that they’ve been disproven,” he said. “Before the advent of medical centers and hospitals, people had to rely on the plants and animals around them to get their food and medicines. Some were based on trial and error and some did show to be useful, but a lot of it was just folklore and beliefs. Perhaps someone took it at sometime and they got better, so people just assumed that it was the plant when they may have been getting better on their own,” he concluded.

    This is a free activity and registration deadline is Aug. 29. The hike begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m., and will follow the Border Trail. All ages are welcome, but it is geared more for adults. Lake Rim Park is located at 2214 Tar Kiln Dr. For more information, call the Lake Rim Park center at 424-6134.

    Photo: If you’ve ever wanted to explore old-fashioned cures handed down over generations, you can join a hike at Lake Rim Park on Aug. 30.

  • 13 dane deaner opZCDREwnMI unsplash 1Farmers markets have grown in popularity in recent years. Nowadays, consumers interested in farmers markets can likely find one near their homes whether those homes are in rural communities, the suburbs or bustling cities.

    People who have never before shopped farmers markets may be curious as to why many people find them so appealing. The following are a handful of benefits of shopping farmers markets that might turn market novices into full-fledged devotees.

    Freshness: Many people visit farmers markets because the fruits and vegetables sold at such markets seem to taste more fresh than those sold at chain grocery stores. People are not mistaken, as the produce available at farmers markets often comes from local farms, meaning there's no long-distance shipping necessary. Locally sourced foods need not be frozen en route to the market, meaning foods purchased there tend to taste especially fresh.

    In-season foods: Some grocery stores may sell fruits and vegetables even when those foods are out of season. Farmers markets only sell in-season fruits and vegetables. To grow fruits and vegetables out-of-season, farmers may need to rely on chemicals or other unnatural methods. No such means are necessary when farmers stick to growing foods in-season.

    Environmental benefits: According to the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, food in the United States travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to consumers' plates. Such journeys burn natural resources, pollute the air and produce sizable amounts of trash that ultimately ends up in landfills and/or the world's oceans. Because food sold at farmers markets is locally sourced, considerably fewer natural resources are necessary to transport the food from farm to table, and the relatively short distances the food travels translates to less air pollution.

    Biodiversity: Many farmers market shoppers find unique foods not readily available at their local grocery stores. This is not only a great way to discover new and delicious foods but also a way to promote biodiversity.

    Hormone-free animal products: Farmers markets do not exclusively sell fruits and vegetables. Many farmers markets also are great places to find meats, cheeses and eggs. Animal products sold at farmers markets are typically antibiotic- and hormone-free, which is both more humane to the animals and healthier than animal products produced with hormones or
    antibiotics.

    Farmers markets are more accessible than ever, and the benefits to shopping such markets are endless.

    Now, more than ever before, is the perfect time to support local entrepreneurs. One of the great characteristics of Cumberland County farmers markets is that, in addition to touting agricultural goodness, other items from local entrepreneurs, like sauces and jellies, crocheted pieces, soaps and more are often offered.

    Here are a list of regular pop-up and brick-and-mortar farmers market locations.

    Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market

    Popular for its taproom, Dirtbag Ales offers a variety of fun activities throughout the year, to include a farmers market. The farmers market welcomes individuals, families and furry companions to support local artisans on Sundays through Nov. 22. The market notes on its Facebook page that it is adhering to social distancing guidelines with face masks being strongly encouraged. Preorders and prepay will be offered. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for more information on the vendor lineup. Dirtbag Ales is located at 5435 Corporation Drive. Visit -https://www.facebook.com/dirtbagalesfarmersmarket/?eid=ARBzYoEIHDqKQpjM4ryHihJaVs-4Y4SMXOSHiGJ9YmhzJ85g69SwR7dAo3tKoP6hwq215i7dwX1I3LGb&fref=tag for more information, or call 910-426-2537.

    Murchison Road Community Farmers Market

    This farmers market, located next to Fayetteville State University is a program that stems from the school's Development Corporation. Find delicious baked goods, handmade crafts and more from the area’s growers and artisans. The Murchison Road Farmer’s Market is located at 1047 Murchison Rd. The market is closed for now, but the organizers hope to resume it in the fall. To learn more, visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fayettevillefreshnc/ or call 845-216-1242.

    City Market at the Museum

    This farmers market, touting fresh produce, beautiful artwork, baked goods, soaps, candles and more is held on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-
    1 p.m. The market is held at the Fayetteville Area Transportation and Local History Museum, located at 325 Franklin St., giving you the perfect reason to stroll around the downtown area and support local merchants.
    For information, call 910-433-1944.

    The Reilly Road Farmers Market and Carolina Farmers Market

    This tried and true local favorite has been open for 40 years. Satisfy your sweet tooth with old-fashioned candies, honeys and jam, browse the fresh produce, or pick up some delicious cheese here. The farmers market is located at 445 N. Reilly Rd., although owner Mike Pate hopes to move into a building currently under construction at the corner of Raeford Road and Bunce Road. Pate also owns Carolina Farmers Market, a nursery with a beautiful selection of flowers, on 4400 Raeford Rd.  The Reilly Road Farmers Market is open throughout the week from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 910-868-9509 for more details. The Carolina Farmers Market is open from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. For more information, call 910-426-1575.

    Bright Beginnings

    If the evenings are more convenient for you to do your shopping, then Bright Beginnings will be the perfect market for you. The night market, located at Bright Light Brewing Company in downtown Fayetteville, is open on the first Friday of every month. Visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Bright-Beginnings-112449620380630/ or call 919-349-6062 to learn more.

  • 08-31-11-nurse.jpgSome call it a Bridge Program; others call it an Advanced Placement Option. Whatever the name, here’s a great opportunity for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to continue their nursing educa-tion to become Registered Nurses with an associ-ate’s degree. Why would LPNs want to continue their nursing education? There are a number of reasons. With many changes in the health care industry, today’s nurses are caring for patients in a more complex, technologically advanced medi-cal environment. The job market for LPNs and the opportunity for advancement are limited. Nursing homes, doctor’s offices, clinics and limited hospital opportunities are available for the LPN entering the nursing profession today. An LPN can advance to the next level of nursing professionalism by be-coming a registered nurse.

    FTCC has had an advanced placement option for many years. However, the program has been revamped with the implementation of the new curriculum implemented by all North Carolina community colleges. FTCC implemented its new curriculum in the fall of 2010. The revamped Advanced Placement Option will be offered for the first time in the summer semester of 2012. The program will continue to be three semesters in length. Students entering the new program, however, will be a separate cohort from the students already in the program. They will enroll in three nursing courses: Nursing 214 Transition Concepts, Nursing 221 LPN to ADN Concepts I and Nursing 223 LPN to ADN Concepts II. The unique feature of the new program is that it is mostly online with evening clinical options. The online offering will make the program more conveniently accessible for the LPN who works while enrolled in the program.

    Applicants wanting to apply to the program must have at least 3,600 hours of work experience as an LPN. Applicants must also have completed all the prerequisites for the nursing program including chemistry, biology and Algebra I and take the TEAS test V. The applicant must also meet all college admission requirements. Applicants should apply by the Jan. 30 deadline for all health programs and must have completed all co-requisites up to the point of entry into the nursing program. This would include ACA, English 111, Psychology 150 and 241, and Biology 168 and 169. The student may be enrolled in the computer course required for the program during the summer starting the program. It is anticipated that there will be many applicants seeking admission during the first ad-mission cycle, so applicants will do well to position themselves competitively prior to the admissions process by completing all co-requisites. Applicants will be ranked according to grade point average and number of courses completed. The Biology 168 and 169 courses must be completed within the past five years and the computer class must be completed within the past seven years. Seating for the first class is limited to 20 students. The nursing faculty members at FTCC are excited about the opportunity to make this goal more achievable for LPNs who are in-terested in advancing their careers in nursing to the next level. Let us help you make that important career advancement!

    Find out more at www.faytechcc.edu.

    Photo: With many changes in the health care industry, today’s nurses are caring for patients in a more complex, technologically advanced medical environment. 

  • 12 CapeFearBotanicalGardenlogoHistory comes alive at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden, a premier garden experience located in Fayetteville’s own backyard. The garden opened in 1989 and serves not only to educate horticulture students from nearby Fayetteville Technical Community College but the public as well. The garden is home to the numerous plant species and communities of the Cape Fear River basin.

    Educational activities for all ages abound, such as the upcoming Heritage Tour. Members and visitors are invited to join staff for a Saturday morning tour of the McCauley Heritage Garden Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. The garden is home to five historic structures, including a general store, farmhouse, tobacco barn, corn crib and the farmhouse outhouse. Guests will learn about early 1900s farm life in North Carolina and will explore the interiors of all the historic structures.

    All ages are welcome. Children under the age of 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

    The garden is also excited to announce the third and final Sunset Picnic Series Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt “A Hawaiian Homicide” Aug. 21 from 5:30-8 p.m. The Owle’s arrive to discover that something mysterious has happened to the patriarch of the family, Lou Owle.

    There’s a mystery to be solved — who killed Lou Owle? So, gather up the family or friends for a social-distancing Hawaiian-style family reunion with the Owle Family and help them find Lou Owle’s killer. Gilbert Theater actors strategically staged throughout the garden will provide clues to guests in search of answers on this self-led scavenger hunt. Enjoy food available for purchase from Cousins Maine Lobster food truck and the Garden View Cafe. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase. Cool Heat will provide live music, and there will be vendors on-site for guest’s shopping pleasure.

    “The June and July events were well received and brought many first–time visitors to the garden, exposing them not only to the beauty and cultural versatility of Cape Fear Botanical Garden, but also to the talented troupe of actors from the Gilbert Theater,” said Sheila Hanrick, director of marketing and events at the garden. “We invite everyone to join us for a mysterious and fun evening on August 21.”

    Hosting cultural events in the garden’s natural setting increases public awareness of the local natural environment and exposes guests to the benefits of nature. The self-led murder mystery scavenger hunts provide the best of both worlds during COVID-19. They allow people to interact at a safe distance while supporting the Cape Fear Botanical Garden’s mission of connecting people with nature.

    End the summer with an evening at the Garden and help solve the mystery of what happened to Lou Owle.

    The Heritage Tour and “A Hawaiian Homicide” are free to Garden members and included with Garden admission for non-members. Pre-registration is required. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the number of participants is limited and registration may fill up quickly.  For more information, call 910-486-0221.

  • For many the idea of leaping from an aircraft is absurd, leaping from a mechanically sound aircraft seems downright crazy. None the less, 72 years ago some brave souls took the plunge at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, and changed warfare and recreation drastically. Fayetteville in particular has been affected by airborne operation, being the home of the 82nd Airborne Division, and so it comes as no surprise that the history is celebrated here. 08-08-12-airborne.gif

    This holiday honoring airborne troops was established in 2002 by President George W. Bush, and recognized by the Senate in 2009. It is however, the 72nd Anniversary of the first parachute jumps taken in Ft. Benning, Georgia that is being celebrated — as well as the museums 10th anniversary. Paul Galloway the executive director of the Airborne Special Operations Museum explained this by saying, “It’s in honor of all the paratroopers and special operations soldiers that have come before us. It came about because of the 40 soldiers that first jumped out of the airplane for the army, and it’s important not to forget those guys.”

    Airborne Operations were integral in the Allied victories in WWII, (like D-day) and there is a tremendous sense of pride amongst all airborne soldiers. To honor these soldiers, and those who have fallen in these operations, there will be a ceremonial wreath laid at the feet of the iconic Iron Mike statue. That is not the only memorial to paratroopers as ASOM has a memorial to the original 40 jumpers. “We have a monument on site, outside of the museum, that has all their names on it,” Galloway says. The day’s festivities include free-fall parachute demonstrations for the public to enjoy, executed by the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Black Daggers of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, and the 82nd Airborne Division’s All American Freefall Team. This demonstration will give spectators a taste of the excitement and joy felt by those who opened the doors to these possibilities by taking the very first plunge from an aircraft.

    Fort Bragg will also provide soldiers to set up both modern and WW II equipment for visitors toexplore and learn about how much technology has changed over the years. Further highlighting the changes the Army has experienced, re-enactors will be walking around amongst the current soldiers wearing uniforms from WWII. Galloway acknowledges the Army’s role in this celebrations by saying, “It’s an Army event, not a (Airborne Special Operations Museum) Foundation event, and they always lay a wreath in honor of all the army paratroopers and special operations soldiers that have died from today to the past.” 

    The event will be taking place on Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum located at 100 Bragg Boulevard. For more information visit the museum’s website www.asomf.org or call 910-643-2766.

    Photo: Airborne Operations were integral in the Allied victories in WWII, (like D-day) and there is a tremendous sense of pride amongst all airborne soldiers. 

  • 08-15-12rw2011-2.jpg

    Saturday, Sept. 15, will be a day to celebrate, honor and support our family and friends; our children and siblings; our co-workers — maybe even you.

    Chances are, you know someone with cancer. Many people who receive the news that they have cancer feel as if their lives have been turned upside down. Even when they come to accept the reality of cancer, they may feel their life is changed, for cancer can affect you emotionally, physically and fi nancially.

    For Mary Acker, Saturday, Sept. 15, will be personal. She’s a survivor. In June 2011, Acker was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer and began treatment at Cape Fear Valley Cancer Treatment and CyberKnife Center.

    After putting off her annual mammogram for years, Acker decided to fi nally get one at the urging of her physician. Her initial mammogram showed she needed more scans. An eventual biopsy confi rmed that she did in fact have breast cancer. While the initial diagnosis scared Acker, she felt confi dent in the physicians at Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center.

    “The thing that impressed me the most about Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center is how the system is so interdisciplinary,” she said. “My doctors met and reviewed my case at every stage to determine the best methods of treatment for me. I did not feel like a number or a nameless medical record. It was personal.”

    She underwent two surgeries and radiation treatment at Cape Fear Valley over the course of a few months. Treatments left her anxious and depressed, but she found help in the Cancer Center’s free Complementary Medicine program.

    “I was naturally anxious and sometimes depressed over my situation, but massage therapy and other programs helped me relax and re-focus on the blessings in my life,” explained Acker. “I felt my mind, body and spirit were in good hands.”

    The Cancer Center’s Complementary Medicine program offers individual sessions in massage therapy, refl exology and healing touch. Art therapy, nutrition classes and “Look Good... Feel Better®” sessions are offered for small groups. Most of the services are free, and all are relaxing, fun or informative. Some services may even help manage the symptoms experienced during traditional cancer treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

    Patients who are currently undergoing cancer treatment or have undergone treatment within the past year may use the oasis’ services at either of the Cancer Center’s two locations: Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and Health Pavilion North.

    Cape Fear Valley’s Complementary Medicine services are offered free or at minimal cost due to the generosity of donors and fundraising events like the Friends of the Cancer Center’s annual Ribbon Walk & Ride. Proceeds raised through the Ribbon Walk & Ride go directly to the Friends of the Cancer Center, which provides hundreds of cancer patients and their families with emotional support, information resources, food supplements, free wigs and turbans and emergency needs funding. In addition, each year, Friends of the Cancer Center sponsors Camp Rockfi sh, a camp to celebrate life for cancer patients and their families.

    Lucky for Acker, her cancer responded quickly to the treatment and she is back on the path to good health. She is a survivor, and this year she is joining hundreds of others to walk downtown in the 7th Annual Ribbon Walk & Ride for Cancer.

    Proceeds from the event will benefi t Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of the Cancer Center. The support you give will make a difference in the lives of hundreds of cancer patients and their families. For more information or to register, please visit www.ribbonwalkforcancer. org or call (910) 615-1434.

  • 14AliveWhile Mayon Weeks has deep ties to a variety of venues in the local arts community, as a musician, he’s captured the attention of music enthusiasts. Weeks recently released his second album, “Alive,” as a follow up to his debut album “Matters of the Heart,” which dropped in 2015.

    He produced his first album when his family gave him the gift of studio time at Echo Mountain Recording Studio. It was evident when Weeks recorded 48 songs over the next six months that the birthday gift had started something special. The 39 mastered songs that came from Week’s flurry of production are what comprise his latest albums. He will soon be releasing a third called “Chasing Dreams.”

    Weeks’s love of music began early on. “In the sixth grade, we were introduced to band instruments, and I choose the trumpet,” he said. “It stayed with me until I traded it for a guitar in college, started singing and writing and became involved in theater. My trumpet-playing in school bands, orchestras and dance bands exposed me to a lot of early bigband music. That was later blended with classic jazz, blues, ‘60s folk and eventually folk rock and then musical theater. My writing weaves in and out of all these influences.” 

    In addition to creating albums, Weeks has also produced a book of songs and has had original works featured onstage. “Cape Fear Regional Theatre twice produced ‘One for Me, One for You,’” Weeks said. “This is a two-act cabaret show featuring my original music. It was conceived and directed by Lee Yopp. It was very successful and a wonderful moment in my artistic life.”

    With years of experience behind him, Weeks is a firm believer in chasing dreams. “If you love it, do it,” he said. “Stay as true to your core beliefs as you can. Practice, practice, practice. Don’t let the size of the crowd or response affect the quality of your work. Success should not be measured in dollars or notoriety. Again … if you love it, do it.”

    Weeks has been extremely involved in the local artistic community for years and has seen its incredible growth firsthand. He was a founding director of the Fayetteville Little Theater, now known as the Cape Fear Regional Theatre.

    He is also a current trustee of the Arts Council. “I am pleased to say that I believe we are at the doorstep of another leap forward in our community being recognized as a nurturing home for emerging and existing artists,” Weeks said. “We enjoy fantastic live theater venues, a well-respected symphony orchestra, a community chorus, frequent dance performances, lovely art and craft studios, and festivals filled with cultural art and artistic exhibits honoring our military relationship and history.”  

    Art provides a tremendous amount of value for individuals and community members alike. “Pablo Picasso said, ‘Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ For me, that expresses a great deal of art’s importance and value to each of us,”  Weeks said.

    “When I speak of art, I include all forms of artistic expression; painting, sculpture, theater, music, dance, spoken word, digital expression and beyond. Let’s also be reminded of the huge economic impact of art.” 

    Purchase “Alive” at http:/mayonsmusic.com/music.html. Alternatively, you can purchase the album by searching for it on iTunes or Amazon. Weeks’s music is also available for free listening on Spotify.

  • 20Spencer Oxendine Jack Britt golfer Summer may be for vacations for most people, but don’t tell that to Jack Britt High School and future N.C. State golfer Spencer Oxendine.

    One of the state’s top junior golfers, Oxendine played in 10 tournaments during the summer break, at one point going 11 straight days in tournament competition.

    The funny thing about it was, he didn’t enter the summer with a goal of winning. “In March, I was talking with my N.C. State coach (Press McPhaul) and I told him my main goal wasn’t to win,’’ Oxendine said. “It was to have a good summer, play solid all summer and make it to the Carolinas-Virginia match play team matches.’’

    Oxendine accomplished that goal and managed to bag some wins along the way.

    He won the Hope Valley Junior in Durham and the Creed Invitational in Camden, South Carolina.

    He also achieved his dream of making the Carolinas team in the Carolinas-Virginia match play and sank a key putt that led to the win by the Carolinas team.

    Oxendine said summer golf is more important than next spring’s high school season as far as preparing for what he’ll face in college, which will start a year from now after he completes his senior season at Jack Britt.

    “(In the summer) you’re going to get the strongest fields, playing the most amount of golf,’’ he said. “In college you’re playing a ton, so it helps big-time getting ready.’’

    He said the stretch of 11 consecutive days of golf this summer was eye-opening for him.

    “When you’re in a situation like that, you know it’s going to be a long week and you prepare for it,’’ he said.

    Since winning at Hope Valley, Oxendine said he hasn’t touched his clubs to give himself a needed break. “I was going to withdraw from Hope Valley, but I’m glad I didn’t,’’ he said. “We had walked 36 holes the Saturday before. Everything in my body was hurting.’’

    His competitive golfing for this year isn’t quite over. He’s got a handful of tournaments scheduled in the fall, including events in Spartanburg, South Carolina; Sea Island, Georgia; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and one at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

    “This is my offseason,’’ he said of the next several weeks. “I’ll be working out a lot more, working on my game. During the summer, I don’t make any changes. This is my time to work on my game.’’

    He used the tournaments this summer to see where his game is and learned a valuable lesson. “Even if I’m hitting poorly, I can still win and play well,’’ he said. “I hit the ball the worst I did all summer at the Carolinas Junior and finished third.’’

    As he approaches his final high school season, he’s setting some goals for himself. “I’d like to beat the conference record I set last year,’’ he said. He was the only golfer in the Sandhills Athletic Conference who played in all five regular-season matches last season and broke 70 for the year with a 69.6 average.

    His biggest goal is winning the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A golf championship, but he knows that will be a challenge.

    His major competition will come from Raleigh Broughton’s Peter Fountain, a University of North Carolina commit, who lost in a playoff last year with Oxedine’s conference rival, A.J. Beechler of Pinecrest. Beechler and Fountain shot 145 over the two-day tournament while Oxendine tied for seventh with a 149.

    “He’s a really good player and a great guy,’’ Oxendine said of Fountain. “Whatever happens, happens.’’

    Photos: Spencer Oxendine

  • Meetings
    For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Most meetings take place at Town Hall or the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation center.

    Labor Day Holiday Monday, Sept. 3. Town Hall will be closed.
    CANCELLED: Board of Commissioners Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.
    Lake Advisory Committee Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m.

    Activities
    Registration underway for the next Hope Mills Citizens Academy, which is designed to help citizens gain insight into how local government works and promote open lines of communication. The next Citizens Academy sessions begin Thursday, Sept. 6. Register online at www.townofhopemills.com. For further information, call Jane Starling at 910-424-4902 or email jstarling@townofhopemills.com.

    Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio’s, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240.

    Hope Meals Food Truck Rodeo Thursday, Sept. 6, at the parking lot between Town Hall and Parks & Rec Center. 5 p.m.

    Registration open for the 4th Annual Miss Hope Mills Cotton Pageant Applications are now being accepted at Hope Mills Parks & Recreation. Registration Deadline is Friday, Sept. 14. The pageant is for ages are 3 - 22 years old. Visit www.townofhopemills.com/375/Miss-Hope-Mills-Cotton-Pageant and see applications for rules and important information for contestants. The pageant takes place Oct. 5 for ages 3-9 and Oct. 6 for ages 10-22.

    Ole Mills Days 2018 Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more details and vendor information, contact Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Bullock: 910-426-4107 or kwbullock@townofhopemills.com.

    Promote yourself: Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com.

  • 10the parsonsStrolling through Downtown Fayetteville on any given day is an idyllic experience. Bricked sidewalks. The iconic clock tower. Numerous restaurants and venues. It’s a place that toes the impossible line between trendy and nostalgic. It knows its roots — but downtown can turn into the epicenter of cultural activity on a dime.

    4th Friday is a monthly celebration downtown that showcases different events and exhibits to the public. Somewhere between a block party and a walking adventure tour, 4th Friday aims to bring a little fun and history to your day. On this 4th Friday, Aug. 25, there are several events taking place:

    Your first pit stop is Cape Fear Studios, located at 148 Maxwell St. The gallery will continue its “Adornments” exhibition from 6 to 9 p.m. All things sparkly and beautiful by North Carolina jewelers Jennie Keatts, Annie Williams, Maggie Joynt and Amy Brandenburg will be on display.

    Cumberland County Headquarters Library at 300 Maiden Ln. presents The Parsons. This acoustic band has been together for almost 30 years. Complete with songs, stories and light refreshments, the event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

    “Open Letters” is another exhibition happening on 4th Friday. Located at the Ellington-White Gallery, 113 Gillespie St., the show features paintings and drawings by Dwight Smith. Smith is a professor of visual arts at Fayetteville State University. The reception is from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday with an artist talk Saturday, Aug. 26, from 2 to 3 p.m.

    For some local history, head over to the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum at 325 Franklin St. One of the museum’s exhibits celebrates the 150th Anniversary of FSU. According to the museum’s website, “(Initially) named the Howard School, it would fill a deep-rooted desire for AfricanAmericans to achieve an education, and it would become a model institution of learning for North Carolina during Reconstruction.”

    The transportation museum also features an educational exhibit, “Market House History,” as an addition to its permanent exhibit “A View from the Square.” Both exhibits will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. during 4th Friday.

    Another museum is hosting 4th Friday activities, although for a smaller and shorter audience. The Fascinate-U Children’s Museum at 116 Green St. will have a fun bookmark-making session. Free play at the museum’s various role-playing stations will also be open from 7 to 9 p.m.

    Lastly, the Arts Council plans to open its new exhibition “Fuel for the Fire” at the Arts Center on 4th Friday. A jury determined which artists’ work appears in the show. Those chosen have utilized wood and paper material in two-dimensional and sculptural forms.

    According to Leslie Pearson, a member of the Arts Council board of trustees and chair of the Exhibitions Committee, artists were selected based on how they were able to incorporate as well as transcend the raw materials’ functions.

    “Perhaps (the artist uses) the materials as commentary on ecology or other social concerns,” Pearson said. “Perhaps the artist chooses to push the material in a nonfunctional way that makes the viewer reconsider its purpose.”

    “Fuel for the Fire” opens Aug. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m.

    All 4th Friday exhibitions and events are free to the public. For more information, call (910) 222-3382.

     

  • 18Dam 2 photo by Steve Aldridge copyAwards continue to come to the town of Hope Mills with the restoration of the town’s centerpiece, Hope Mills Lake, now that the dam has been repaired.

    At last Monday’s meeting of the Board of Commissioners, the town was officially presented a special recognition award from the 10th anniversary meeting of the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Joint Appearance Commission.

    “This is the first time the town has gotten an award from the whole commission,’’ said Mayor Jackie Warner. “This award is something the whole commission decides. It was presented to the town for restoring Hope Mills Lake to its former glory. It was really special.’’

    The town also received some other awards at the meeting. Warner’s business, Carleen’s, was recognized for best restoration of a historical nonresidential property. The South Main Street entrance to the town on Cameron Road was honored for best housing development gateway.

    But the special recognition prize was the big one, and the one that had the most meaning for long-time Hope Mills resident Sally Bailey.

    Bailey, who has called Hope Mills home for 38 years, is a former member of the town’s Appearance Committee and currently serves on the Parks and Recreation Committee.

    She made the presentation to the Joint Appearance Commission earlier this month that led to Hope Mills winning the special recognition for the restoration of the lake.

    “To me, it’s like winning the Oscar,’’ Bailey said. “You’re competing with everything in Cumberland County that’s been done.”

    Bailey said the award was especially meaningful after all the town has endured to get the lake back.

    “It’s taken us years and court battles and everything to get it back,’’ she said. “The award was for the citizens of Hope Mills for never taking no for an answer and never giving up.

    “The town officials worked hard. There were citizens that worked hard. We had so many roadblocks. We’d get this far and go back to the drawing board, making trips to Raleigh and having people come here.’’


    Bailey said the lake is special to Hope Mills for numerous reasons. “It’s the center point of our town,’’ she said. “To me, it is the memories. The beauty of it. The stillness and calmness when you stand by it and see the pride in this town for this lake, how hard we’ve fought for something.’’

    Bailey said she’s excited about plans for the lake moving forward. “I’d like to see more trees out there, picnic tables, an upscale lake area,’’ she said. “The town of Hope Mills has so much potential. We are growing. I look at that potential and see what can become of this town.

    “It takes a lot of hard work. I’m sure this town is going to do it.’’

  • 15Petty politics17Jackie Warner16Hope Mills town manager Melissa AdamsDuring the Aug. 20 Board of Commissioners meeting, Hope Mills received a plaque from the City-County Joint Appearance Commission, which recognized the dam at the 10th Annual Community Appearance Awards.

    On Sept. 10, Town Manager Melissa Adams will travel to Seattle, Washington, to accept a second award, the National Rehabilitation Project of the Year Award from the Annual Association of State Dams Safety Officials.

    Mayor Warner was approached by a representative for ASDSO several years ago and was told the town and dam might be eligible for the award. Since then, she’s worked with Melissa Adams to complete the lengthy application process.

    Warner announced the award during the board’s July 23 meeting and opened the floor to discussion. Commissioner Jerry Legge made a motion to send Melissa Adams before any conversation was held. When Commissioner Pat Edwards asked them to consider sending Mayor Warner, the room fell silent. Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers suggested sending a citizen from the Lake Advisory Committee, but that, too, was rejected. Eventually, Commissioner Meg Larson announced that she supported the idea of sending one person. The board voted 4-1 to send Adams alone, with Edwards being the only member who voted against the plan.

    The July 23 meeting was contentious from the start.

    The Lone Survivor Foundation and its request to purchase municipal property was discussed through- out this meeting. Nearly two dozen citizens spoke in favor of the project when Warner suspended the rules to allow public comments. Several members of the board were opposed to allowing public comments, presumably comments about LSF. Tempers flared through the three-and-a-half-hour meeting, and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell, Bellflowers, Larson and all had outbursts at some point.

    Bellflowers implied the process of bringing the proposal to the board was done incorrectly, then shouted at the mayor and accused her of interrupting him while he was technically speaking out of turn. When Larson asked to respond to a citizen and Warner didn’t allow it, Larson became agitated and spoke anyway. Mitchell insulted Robert van Geons, the president and CEO of the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation, when he asked if it was a conflict of interest for Teddy Warner, the mayor’s son and the director of business development for FDEDC, to be involved in partnering LSF with the town of Hope Mills. Mitchell also implied the LSF staff had colluded with Warner and her son to facilitate the sale.

    There was a considerable amount of tension between the board members and the mayor by the time she broached the topic of the award. With the vote complete, Warner asked the board to give her permission to go and agreed to pay her own expenses. Mitchell, Larson, Legge and Bellflowers remained silent, heads down, refusing to make eye contact with Warner or the crowd. Edwards asked for a consensus, but the board refused to acknowledge even this small request.

    On July 27, the Board of Directors of the Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the town and the Board of Commissioners. They formally requested Jackie Warner be allowed to attend the award ceremony saying: “Mayor Warner has been working diligently and steadfast on the dam project for nearly four years and has played a vital role in acquiring the settlement to rebuild the damn and replenish the lake. Mayor Warner is the ambassador for the town of Hope Mills. It is only proper and fitting that she accompany Town Manager Adams in accepting this most prestigious and well-earned award.”

    The Board of Commissioners have ignored the letter and refused to reply. Interestingly, there was a Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for Sept. 10. At the Aug. 20 meeting, the board voted to cancel it since Adams would be in Seattle and couldn’t attend. There is nothing preventing Warner from attending the ceremony in Seattle, but she’s chosen to not attend, citing a need to honor the wishes of the board members.

    Photos L to R: Jerry Legge, Jessie Bellflowers, Meg Larson, Mike Mitchell, Pat Edwards, Mayor Jackie Warner, Town Manager Melissa Adams

  • 19Hope Mills Lake Celebration committeeThis year’s Hope Mills Lake Celebration was such a rousing success that town officials have decided to make it an annual event.

    Plans have already started to make sure next year’s observance will improve on the first one. Mayor Jackie Warner said various town leaders decided about halfway through planning the first celebration of the lake’s return that it would be a good idea to make the lake celebration an annual event, separate from other town observances including Fourth of July and Ole Mill Days.
     
    The big hit of the lake celebration was the inaugural cardboard boat race, which Warner expects will be the centerpiece of the lake festival every year.

    “It was the novelty of it,’’ she said. “People hadn’t seen anything like that before. It was just fun watching. It was amazing when they saw what people could do with cardboard, when they got there and saw what had been created.’’

    The boat race was so popular it has already secured a sponsor for 2019, Members Credit Union, which has an office on Trade Street in Hope Mills.

    “They were really pleased with the results and want to help promote the event,’’ Warner said. The local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, which sponsored the trophies for the boat race winners, has agreed to return to sponsor them again next year.

    There will be two major changes in next year’s lake celebration, one involving the dates and the other the length of the event.

    The first lake celebration extended over five days and stretched into the town’s annual Fourth of July observance.

    Next year, the celebration will start on Friday, May 18, and only last one weekend. It will include many of the same events as the first celebration, but some of them will be combined on the same day.

    For example, beach music night and jazz night will be held at the same time, along with the street dance. The whole event was moved to the weekend of May 18 to take advantage of spring weather and to separate the lake celebration from Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July.
     
    Dr. Kenjuana McCray, who is a sociology professor at Fayetteville Technical Community College, was involved in the planning both the jazz events and Church on the Lake at the first celebration. She has some ideas for expanding offerings at next year’s celebration. “I want to have an event called Hope and Art, bringing art to Hope Mills,’’ she said. “When I say art, I mean musicians, artists, people who do cooking demonstrations dealing with different cultures and foods.’’

    As a sociology instructor, McCray said issues related to culture and diversity are near and dear to her. “I’m a member of the Fayetteville Arts Council and I feel this is an extension of the work I do with the Arts Council,’’ she said. “Even though we have some great festivals in Fayetteville, this will be unique to Hope Mills.’’

    McCray felt the last lake celebration was a success and brought a lot of people to the community who normally don’t take part in those kinds of events.

    She said the town is actively recruiting sponsors, vendors and talent to take part in next year’s celebration. They can either contact the town office at 910-424-4555 or call McCray at 910-494-1352.
  • Meetings
    For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Most meetings take place at Town Hall or the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation center.

    Veterans Affairs Commission Thursday, Aug. 23, 7 p.m.
    Parks and Recreation Advisory Monday, Aug. 27, 6:30 p.m.
    Labor Day Holiday Monday, Sept. 3. Town Hall will be closed.
    Board of Commissioners Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m.

    Activities
    Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio’s, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240.
    Hope Meals Food Truck Rodeo Thursday, Sept. 6, at the parking lot between Town Hall and Parks & Rec Center. 5 p.m.
    Registration open for the 4th Annual Miss Hope Mills
    Cotton Pageant Applications are now being accepted at Hope Mills Parks & Recreation. Registration Deadline is Fri- day, Sept. 14. The pageant is for ages are 3 - 22 years old. Visit www.townofhopemills.com/375/Miss-Hope-Mills-Cotton- Pageant and see applications for rules and important information for contestants. The pageant takes place Oct. 5 for ages 3-9 and Oct. 6 for ages 10-22.
    Ole Mills Days 2018 Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more details and vendor information, contact Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Bullock: 910- 426-4107 or kwbullock@townofhopemills.com

    Promote yourself: Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com.
  • 18AMKUS combi tool 1 of 2By the end of this month, if folks from Hope Mills find themselves trapped in a car or stuck inside a building with doors that don’t open, they can breathe a little easier when the Hope Mills Fire Department arrives on the scene.

    That’s when Chief Chuck Hodges expects to have a new piece of equipment in the fire department’s assortment of extrication tools that will make the job of getting people out of tight spots easier.

    The town’s board of commissioners recently approved the purchase of a device known as a combi-tool, which serves the dual purpose of cutting through surfaces or spreading doors or entryways open.
     
    The fire department already has extrication equipment in its assortment of gear, but this new device is a distinct improvement.
     
    “It runs off a battery instead of a hydraulic pump,’’ Hodges said. “The advantage of that is it can be put into service immediately instead of having to take a pump off the truck and hook up hoses.’’
     
    The fire department’s existing extrication equipment is powered by an external motor connected with hydraulic hoses. It operates using a gas-powered engine, which is noisy and produces carbon monoxide, so it’s sometimes challenging to use when there’s an extrication involved in a home situation.

    The noisy engine is also a problem when there’s a child or animal being extricated from something. All that racket along with the trauma of being stuck can be extremely unsettling.

    That’s not a problem with the new combi-tool, Hodges said. “It’s quiet,’’ he said.

    And at 50 pounds, 34 inches long, 10 inches high and 10 inches wide, it falls into the category of what firefighters consider a lightweight piece of equipment. The device comes with a charger and two rechargeable 60-volt batteries.

    Hodges said battery life will vary with what the device is being asked to do and how long the power has to be turned on.

    The fire department won’t be getting rid of its other heavy-duty extrication equipment, Hodges said. But he added that if the fire department needs to cut the roof off a pinned car or open a jammed door inside a house, this device can do the job much quicker than with the older equipment that requires a little longer to set up.

    “By the time you pulled all the other equipment off the truck and got it hooked up and running, you could have done what you needed with this one,’’ Hodges said.

    When the new device does arrive, Hodges said it will be necessary to train his firefighters in its proper use. He doesn’t expect that to take long because its operation is similar to equipment that the Hope Mills Fire Department already has.

    “We never put any equipment in service until everybody is trained,’’ Hodges said. “It’s a good thing it’s similar to what we already use. The functionality of it is going to be the same.’’
     
    Even if the device is delayed in shipping, Hodges estimates in the worst case it will be available for use at accident and fire scenes by mid-September.

    “I just think it’s going to enhance our capabilities and enhance the service we provide for our citizens and visitors to the town,’’ he said. “We’re excited about it.’’
     
  • 08_21_13soldiershow.gifGet set to be entertained by "Ready and Resilient," the 2013 U.S. Army Soldier Show as it comes to the Crown Theatre Sept. 3-4.


    The 75-minute song-and-dance production by active duty, Army Reserve and Army National Guard Soldiers uses music to put an entertaining spin on how Soldiers and their families maintain readiness and resiliency.
    "We had to take a good look at what the Army says makes troops and their families ready and resilient and what mechanisms the country and the world in general are offering to help with resilience," said Soldier Show Artistic Director Victor Hurtado. "And helping with readiness because you know there's a good chance that you're going back out again, so you better be ready.

    "The show is very much about illustrating not only ways to get away and be resilient, but also illustrating overarching solutions to certain issues that are facing the military today, like [the Army's Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program], Gold Star, Blue Star and Survivor Outreach Services," Hurtado said.

    The show's troops are focused on accomplishing the mission and providing quality entertainment at the same time.

    "The material makes sense with the messaging, and it also makes sense to them," Hurtado said of the 15 Soldier-performers and seven Soldier-technicians who comprise the cast and crew. "We're also going to be entertaining. We're going to be singing songs just because they are on the radio."

    Hurtado promises there is something for everyone who watches the show. Tributes are paid to the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 75th anniversary of "God Bless America," the 60th anniversary of the Armistice of the Korean War, and the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Vietnam War. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the modern era of the U.S. Army Soldier Show.

    "Every American, military-affiliated or not, will be able to see themselves in the show," Hurtado said. "The fact that the show is entertaining someone is already taking them away [from their mindset], but the messaging is going to inspire. We know they are coming to be entertained, but further, the content in the show is designed to hopefully be a time-released pool of inspiration."

    From the opening song, "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris, the direction of the show is set.

    "There's a lyric in there that we've taken almost all of our cues from, and it says it's not about where you've been, it's about where you're going," Hurtado said.
    "To me, as the artistic director and the writer of the show, that's where I'm taking my cues from," Hurtado said. "Resilience is about the now. And readiness is about getting ready for the future. Not much you can do about the past. We're not painting a rosy picture, but resilience, again, is about moving on."
    Hurtado does not want to reveal too much about the show, insisting this is one not to miss.

    "The mechanism is really brilliant, so if we give too much of it away, they are going to be expecting it," Hurtado said. "Arguably and humbly, I will say this is going to probably go down as one of the more well thought-out shows, and there are a lot of reasons for it."

    The shows are free, and start at 7 p.m.

  • 17Mike MitchellOn July 26, Hope Mills Commissioner Mike Mitchell wrote the first of many confusing and misleading posts on his Facebook page. He accused the mayor and several staff members of colluding with Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation to facilitate the sale of Hope Mills property to Lone Survivor Foundation.
     
    Mitchell bemoaned the procedure followed by the mayor and her staff, alleging they circumvented the board in allowing LSF to conduct soil testing and schedule a presentation by FCEDC and the executive director of LSF during a closed session on June 4. After the June 4 meeting, all of the commissioners, with the exception of Mitchell, were overwhelmingly excited to host an LSF facility in Hope Mills. And while Mitchell never expressed excitement, he suspended his reservations long enough to quote an initial price to the LSF.

    The commissioners are elected to establish policy. That’s it. The town manager executes their established policy. This is an important distinction to remember. It’s also important to remember each elected official is required to attend classes that explain in great detail what exactly their role is within the community.

    Town Manager Melissa Adams and her staff have standard operating procedures they follow in any given situation. If a member of the board is approached with an offer, they convey all information to Adams. She then puts her staff to work cross-referencing land use plans, contacting relevant agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and Fayetteville’s PWC and pulling all documentation on that parcel of land. The staff make a joint presentation to the board to ensure the board members have all pertinent information before voting.
     
    Despite a well-documented history of the staff following this exact procedure, Mitchell was offended at having been left out of the process. For nearly three weeks, he’s repeated the same complaints on social media – insisting the land was never for sale and alluding to a conspiracy involving the mayor. His actions beg the question: Does Mitchell fully comprehend the policies and procedures guiding the board?
     
    Mitchell accused Teddy Warner, the director of business development for FCEDC and the mayor’s son, of soliciting LSF with the intention of selling this piece of land, and then conspiring with Mayor Jackie Warner to facilitate the sale. Mitchell even went so far as to ask the president of FCEDC if he felt there was a conflict of interest. There was not. A conflict of interest would only exist if either party could benefit from the transaction. For instance, if a board member discussed the buying or selling of town property with a personal client and the commissioner stood to profit in some way, a conflict would exist.

    Ironically, Mitchell admitted to violating the very procedure he’s accused the mayor of violating when he announced he’s received multiple requests from nonprofit organizations wanting to purchase the piece of property LSF is interested in. Mitchell abandoned the democratic process by refusing to bring the information to the staff or let the board vote on the issue, and simply told each organization the land wasn’t for sale. Freedom of Information Act requests for details about those offers have been ignored by Mitchell.

    Freshman Commissioner Meg Larson seems to be struggling in her role as well. While Larson was initially excited to partner with LSF, her opinion seems to have been influenced at some point between the June 4 and 18 meetings. She’s been agitated during commissioner meetings and antagonistic toward staff members and the mayor. Commissioner Pat Edwards confirmed that it was Larson who emailed a copy of the PWC surveys to board members after the June 4 closed session. Those surveys indicated that PWC identified Lake Bed #2, the land LSF wants to purchase, as a potential site for a multi- purpose reservoir if the county required more water in the future.

    Larson circumvented the board when she reached out to PWC for clarification. Mick Nolan, chief operations officer of the Water Resource Division at PWC, responded to the inquiry on July 18, assuring her there were more recent surveys indicating the reservoir was unnecessary and that PWC had abandoned its earlier plan. This piece of information was not relayed to the other board members by Larson. They received it from a staff member shortly before the July 23 meeting. While Larson has been aware of the recent PWC surveys for nearly a month, she still has the old surveys posted on her social media accounts.
     
    A source close to the situation said Larson recently submitted a flurry of FOIA requests specifically targeting correspondence between Warner and both the FCEDC and the Mayors’ Coalition. More than one constituent is questioning whether Larson has adequately made the transition from citizen to elected official, and to whom does her loyalty belong? Like the PWC request, these requests were submitted without the board’s approval.

    To date, there’s been no evidence that either Mitchell or Larson have requested any relevant information to help them make informed decisions about a partnership with LSF. But there is evidence they’ve both violated policy in their attempts to prove a conspiracy theory involving the mayor.
     
    Photo: Hope Mills Commissioner Mike Mitchell
  • Good food, culture, music, dancing and great company — what’s not to like? It’s time for the 23rd Annual Greek Festival and all the fun that comes with it. Sept. 6-8 the congregation of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church will host the much anticipated and much loved Greek Festival.

    The entire congregation pulls together every year to host this event, and every year the community takes them up on their offer of hospitality. The festival is centered on outreach and sharing, and every year the entire Greek community pulls together to give the locals an opportunity to get to know our neighbors and their culture a little bit better.

    “One of my favorite things about the Greek Festival is the fellowship and learning more about our religion and sharing these things with the community,” said John Poulos, a member of the Greek FestivalPlanning Committee. “I like sharing the positive things that the Greek culture and the Orthodox Church does for the community and sharing our culture and our heritage.”

    Many friendships are formed and memories made when people break bread together. A favorite aspect of Greek culture for many who attend the event, is the food. The Greek Festival features everything from gyros to souvlaki to spanikopita. For those who love Greek food this is a great opportunity to taste the many lovely flavors of the Greek Isles. Lamb, beef and chicken prepared with olive oil and spices make up a portion of typical Greek fare, along with the greens and veggies that are used in a refreshing Greek salad. Stuffed grape leaves, or dolmades are another popular dish. While parents can enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, there is always something for the kids to eat, too. Greek beer and wine, which pair nicely with the authentic cuisine are also available at the event.

    Not much finishes off a great meal like an amazing dessert, and local Greek pastries can’t be beat. This is one of few occasions throughout the year when the congregation offers such delicacies in great supply. Filled with honey, nuts and butter, baklava is always a hit, but the pastry table is always covered with a variety of delectable treats like finikia, almond cookies and more.

    This year there will be a limited lunch all day Friday, with a full dinner serving beginning at 5 p.m.

    Decked in traditional garb of the Greek Isles, various folk dance troupes perform each year, showcasing the native dances and dress of their homeland. The troupes typically perform at various times throughout the weekend and often invite the audience to join in the fun and try a few of the simpler dances.

    “We are going to show visitors to the festival how to Greek dance, but we will also give them a geography lecture and show slides of citi08-28-13-greekfest-1.gifes, villages and monuments in Greece,” explained Poulos.

    Traditional Greek music will be provided by the Nick Trivelas Band, right down to the bouzouki, a mandolin-like instrument that is a staple in this genre of music. His playlist includes not only traditional Greek songs, but songs that can be heard in Greek taverns today. He’s released a CD of Greek Dance Festivalival music and one of Mediterranean love songs as well and both have met with great success across the country.

    No culture can be truly understood without examining its faith. Take a guided tour of the church and learn more about Greek history and the Greek Orthodox beliefs. It is a great time to ask questions and delve deeper into the beliefs that inspire so many people in the community.

    Books about the Greek Orthodox faith are sold at the market each year. Visitors will find everything from paintings, to clothes to jewelry. 08-28-13-greek-fest-2.gif

    The Greek grocery store offers things like olive oil, cooking wines, coffee and other items that are commonly found in Greek pantries. It is a fun way to experiment with new ingredients, or even to pick up some hard to find items that will perk up meal time.

    Also on display will be a traditional Greek home. Take a peek into the simple décor and serene atmosphere of a typical homestead that one might find on a Greek island.

    The raffle each year includes two round trip tickets to Greece (or $2,000). The tickets cost just $5 each.

    An addition to this year’s Festival is a community health fair. Working in partnership with Cape Fear Valley, the Festival will offer CPR classes as well as screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol. Attendees will have a chance to give back during a blood drive.

    “We are hoping this will have a positive impact on the health of Cumberland County,” said Poulos.

    Gracious hosts each year, the generosity of the congregation extends beyond the Festival weekend. Several nonprofits in the community benefit from donations that the Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church bestows upon them. This year is no different, as the church plans to share part of the proceeds from this event with the community. Agencies who will receive funding include the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way and the Autism Society. “If you haven’t been you should give it a try,” said Poulos.

    “If you have been before, we can’t wait to see you again!”

    The Festival runs Sept 6-8 and is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday; Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; and Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. Entrance to the event and parking are free, but come prepared to shop and eat! Find out more about the Festivalival at www.stsch.nc.goarch.org or by calling 484-2010.

    Photos:  A celebration of culture, faith and food, the Greek Festival runs Sept. 6-8.

  • Meetings Meetings For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Most meetings take place at Town Hall or the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation center.

    • Board of Commissioners Monday, Aug. 20, 7 p.m. The town of Hope Mills will take notice that the Board of Commissioners has scheduled a public hearing at Hope Mills Town Hall, 5770 Rockfish Rd., Room #120, on the question of annexing the following described territory, requested by petition filed pursuant to G. S. 160A-31:  The described area of land is located on SR 2333 (Corporation Drive) and is the exact distance of 1 mile (N) from the intersection of Route No./Road SR 2252 (Chickenfoot Road) towards the city of Fayetteville, but is not within the city of Fayetteville.  LOT 4 CAROLYN R GRANT, Lot frontage 527.80 ft. facing the west is N 72”54’28” E, N 18”26’04”W, S 71”33’58”, N 17”57’39” with a lot depth of 412.11ft.  Lot 4 is in the Rockfish Township of Cumberland County. This is a non-contiguous annexation.The public is invited to attend the meeting to offer comments or ask questions.

    • Lake Advisory Committee Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m. at Hope Mills Parks and Recreation.


    Activities

    • Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio’s, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240. 

    • Senior programs – Acrylic painting, Thursday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m.-noon or 1-3 p.m., in the Small Activity Room of the Hope Mills Parks and Rec center. $5. Sign up at front reception desk. Only 10 seats available per session. 

    Promote yourself: Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com.

  • 09Hope Mills Municipal ParkWhen Hope Mills residents come to Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo in the parking lot behind the Hope Mills Recreation Center, they need to plan on doing more than eating.When Hope Mills residents come to Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo in the parking lot behind the Hope Mills Recreation Center, they need to plan on doing more than eating.

    Kenny Bullock, head of the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department, wants them to arrive ready to share ideas for the town’s comprehensive recreation plan.

    Representatives of the McAdams firm will be on hand to get input from the townspeople about their concerns for the future of recreation in Hope Mills.

    Bullock said the plan being developed will include some nine park areas in Hope Mills, existing athletic fields like Municipal Park and Brower Park, community parks like Herring Park in the Eaglewood subdivision, and parks still on the drawing board like Heritage Park, which will include a museum devoted to the town’s history as a mill village.

    There is also potential for major park development at the old golf course, which the town owns.

    The main purpose of the comprehensive plan is to avoid duplication of services and to make sure that something offered at one park isn’t constructed at another park. “That’s the purpose of the comprehensive plan,’’ Bullock said, “to utilize all the park space independently instead of duplicating park space.’’

    Athletic fields are always a major concern when anyone talks parks. Bullock said the town has existing fields at Municipal Park and Brower Park and also uses the field at Hope Mills Middle School.

    Bullock said there are preliminary plans to add some fields at the golf course property. “We need some multipurpose fields we can use for soccer and football,’’ he said. “There may be a complex we can convert to football and soccer.’’

    He said at Municipal Park it might be possible to use Fields 1 and 2 as a soccer/football field, then turn Fields 4, 5 and 6 into a wagon wheel type facility.

    The most urgent priority in developing the parks is the construction of Heritage Park near the restored Hope Mills dam. “That’s part of the contract with the Hope Mills dam,’’ Bullock said. “The next priority is the museum for the historical committee.’’

    The current plan for Heritage Park involves nothing to do with athletics. It is scheduled to feature walking trails and bridges.

    Bullock feels it’s important not to lump all the parks into one pile when getting input from the public. “We need to concentrate on all of them,’’ he said. “Each park is different. We need to put a focus on all the parks and what we would like to do.’’

    Meanwhile, public input at this Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo is critical.

    Bullock stressed to the citizens of Hope Mills that this is their time to speak out and voice their concerns and their opinions on the future of parks and recreation in the town. “Don’t wait until after the fact and it’s been done,’’ Bullock said.

    Photo caption: The main purpose of the comprehensive plan is to avoid duplication of services and to make sure that something offered at one park isn’t constructed at another park.

  • 08Food truck promoIt may have rained out the last Food Truck Rodeo in Hope Mills, but the rescheduled event this Thursday at 5 p.m. behind the recreation center on Rockfish Road is going to give people a chance to help out children about to return to school.It may have rained out the last Food Truck Rodeo in Hope Mills, but the rescheduled event this Thursday at 5 p.m. behind the recreation center on Rockfish Road is going to give people a chance to help out children about to return to school.

    Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator for the town of Hope Mills, said he realized the later date would push the rodeo closer to the scheduled opening of school. This led to the town using the Food Truck Rodeo as an opportunity to collect school supplies for youngsters.

    The Food Truck Rodeo already collects donations of food for the Hope Mills ALMS HOUSE, which has a mission of feeding the hungry, clothing the needy and providing counseling and financial assistance.

    Now, this week’s rodeo is collecting goods for the upcoming FAYONE event, which is helping to provide school supplies to Cumberland County students.

    McLaughlin said FAYONE is a cooperative effort between a number of other groups that were providing school supplies to youngsters.

    The FAYONE organizers joined their efforts to offer one large event.FAYONE is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Crown Arena beginning at 10 a.m.

    It will feature two events, Gotcha’Back and Cut My City.Gotcha’Back provides backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children, while Cut My City offers free haircuts.To get a free haircut, students must be at the Crown Arena and registered by 2 p.m. the day of the event.

    McLaughlin said when he realized the Food Truck Rodeo was going to have to be postponed, he contacted Hope Mills town manager Melissa Adams to see about adding collecting school supplies to the rodeo.

    All supplies collected at the rodeo will in turn be donated to FAYONE to be given away this Saturday.

    “I feel as a municipality we have a bigger reach and we can be bigger leaders,’’ McLaughlin said. “We want to support a communitywide back-to-school drive as well. We’re telling residents of Hope Mills to bring school supplies when they come to the food drive.’’

    Any school supplies are welcome, but McLaughlin said the top choices for people to bring are wire composition books, pens, pocket folders, rulers, pencils and notebook paper.

    Another feature of the FAYONE event will be a separate area in the Crown Arena called the Teachers Lounge. “We’ll have things for them and supplies we’ll donate to the schools,’’ McLaughlin said.

    If there is anyone who is interested in volunteering to help out at FAYONE this Saturday, they can email fayeone2018@gmail.com.

    In addition to the usual food trucks, because the Thursday rodeo is focused on back-to-school, McLaughlin said Hope Mills will offer a bouncy house, cornhole games, face painting, karaoke and a dance-off for the children.

    There will also be raffles held for various prizes.

    The town will also conduct its usual solicitation for donations of food to the Hope Mills ALMS HOUSE.

    Preferred food donations for the ALMS HOUSE include bottled water, single-serve boxes of cereal, ramen noodles, individual microwaveable servings of pasta and gallon-size freezer bags.

  • uac082113001.gif The fifth season of Huske Unplugged starts on Sept. 4, and if the past four seasons are any indication of the talent that is likely to participate, Fayetteville is in for a treat. While there are several venues for musicians to perform locally, Huske Unplugged is a platform for songwriters (many of whom also happen to be performers). Last season ended with a bang as both local and national sponsors awarded prizes worth more than $20,000.


    Huske Hardware House owner Josh Collins has been a strong supporter of the event since its inception when he offered $2,000 of his own money as the prize. Last season, PCG Nashville, an agency that helps professionally develop artists of all genres awarded a $15,000 scholarship to their program, Reed Lallier Chevrolet offered $3,000 or a one-year car lease and Manifold Recording offered free recording time. Through the entire season the audience was treated to a variety of music by songwriters with varying levels of experience and expertise. In the end, Autumn Nicholas won the scholarship category and Ethan Hanson won the cash award category - and truly the biggest winners were the people who came out week after week to encourage and listen to the songwriters.

    Sponsors are stepping up to support the participants. Mike Tiemann of Manifold Recording has confirmed that they will once again be a sponsor for Huske Unplugged Singer/Songwriter Night. The songwriter awarded best overall performance will receive a day of free recording at the state-of-the-art facility in Pittsboro. There will also be cash prizes each week and at the conclusion of the season.

    As in previous seasons, there are eight weeks of preliminaries. Wednesday nights at 7 p.m., the sign-up sheet goes out. Performances start at 8 p.m. There are 12 available slots each week. The winner walks away with a cash prize and a spot in the semi-finals. Songwriters should come prepared to perform two to three songs, one of which can be a cover song.

    "Songwriters come to this with different levels of experience," said Greg Biltz, cohost and cofounder of the event. "Sometimes one song is all they've written, and we still want to give them a chance to be heard."
    There are two weeks of semi-finals leading up to the big night on Nov. 20. Throughout the competition Biltz has made sure that the event remains focused on the songwriters and the work they put into their compositions.

    "This is not American Idol Fayetteville," said Biltz. "This showcase is about songwriters. Not every songwriter is a natural performer, and we want to keep this about content. We've had some amazing talent come out in the past four seasons and I hope to see some familiar faces, along with plenty of new faces, this time around."

    In the past four seasons combined, 96 songwriters have participated. Only one, Nicholas, has won both the cash prize category and the scholarship category. That means there is a chance that the audience will get to see some of their favorites come out again since winners are only able to win each category once, at the current time.

    An advocate for local musicians, Biltz is impressed with the talent in the area and has been blown away time and again with the many musical acts and what they have to offer.

    "Our very fist winner, Nathan Fair, opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Sturgis this year," said Biltz. "He said they asked him to come back next year, too."
    Nicholas has been to Nashville as part of winning the scholarship category last season. "I went to Nashville to watch Autumn. It was her first appearance as a PCG Nashville client," said Biltz. "She blew everyone away."

    While Ethan Hanson won last season in the cash award category, the execs from PCG Nashville were reaching out to him, too, on the night of the finals. While there were several top-notch performers at the finals in April, Biltz called Hanson's victory a well-deserved win. "There were some people that I thought had a good chance, but then Ethan came in and just ate everybody's lunch," he said.

    Casey Cotton competed last season and has put together a group that is building quite a following around town.

    "Casey is the best keyboard player I have seen in 30 years. He is a showman," said Biltz. "He puts on a good show and he knows how to connect with the audience. His music is  upbeat and hard to describe. They do some fairly well-known pieces, but the way they put it together is different and fresh."

    Mitch Clark is another crowd-pleaser that Biltz hopes to see at Huske Unplugged. "He has been a finalist in all four events and he is coming along phenomenally as well," said Biltz. "He is really developing as a songwriter. In 2011, he had never written a song before and he came in third place."

    With so many talented writers and performers it's hard to tell who may or may not show, but Biltz is excited to see what this season brings.

    "I've said from the beginning, and I tell everybody who shows up to play that this isn't about the money or winning a prize," said Biltz. "It's about an opportunity to have your original work heard. It is a chance to play your own songs in front of people who are interested in hearing them. Shoot, if I weren't hosting I'd be up there every week just to get my material heard."

    Huske Hardware House owners Josh and Tonia Collins have been supporters of local musicians for years. In fact, their daughter, Summer Collins, has graced the stage at Huske Hardware, Festival Park and other local venues since she was in middle school. Thanks to her family's support and her talent and hard work, Summer is yet another success story in the Fayetteville music scene.


    "I am finally heading west to Nashville, Tenn., to attend Belmont University as a commercial music major," she said. "I will be working with masters of the industry and surrounded by inspiration. I am anxious to dive into the Music City culture and driven to make Fayetteville proud."


    Season five of Huske Unplugged starts, Wednesday, Sept. 4 at Huske Hardware House. Check the Huske Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HuskeHardware for more information.

  • Finding Money for College

    How many times have you thought about going to college, only to have your dreams put on hold08-28-13-fttc.gifbecause you could not figure out how to pay for it? The information below will explain how you can turn those educational dreams into reality and offers solutions that you might explore for paying for college.

    First of all, let’s compare the costs of education. Per 12 credit hours of education Fayetteville Technical Community College tuition and fees cost $903; state universities cost $3165.38; and private institutions cost $5102.

    FTCC offers several college transfer options. If you graduate from FTCC with a two-year college transfer degree and have met the requirements of our statewide agreement with the university system, you will enter the university as a first-semester junior. As you can see, FTCC is your affordable alternative for your first two years of college.

    With that said, how do you pay for classes at FTCC? Take a moment to consider your options below.

    Grants: Grant funds are generally given based on financial need. Students do not have to pay back any grant funds received.

    Scholarships: Scholarship funding is given to students based on different criteria, such as need, merit, or other specific requirements. Students do not have to pay back scholarship funds.

    William D. Ford Loans: Loans disbursed through the William D. Ford Loan Program help provide students with financial funding for education, but students must pay back the loan money which incurs interest.

    Payment Plan: FTCC offers a payment plan that breaks up the cost of college into a series of four payments.

    Short-term loans: FTCC offers to students who are applying for financial aid but have not yet completed the entire financial aid process a short-term loan, which must be paid back.

    Employer Grants: Inquire with your employer about employer help with funding for your education. Many employers consider helping their employees with education expenses a worthwhile expense because employees’ job skills will become enhanced or upgraded through education.

    Private loans: Students can easily access a listing of providers of private educational loans through an Internet search. Remember, loans are monies that must be paid back, and loans incur interest.

    Workforce Development: The Workforce Development Center is a service provided through the state of North Carolina that will pay tuition for individuals who are trying to upgrade their workforce skills. http://www.faytechcc.edu/institutional_effectiveness/wfdfrequentlyaskedquestions.aspx

    Centralized Tuition Military Assistance:Many active duty soldiers qualify for tuition assistance. Check with your educational officer to see how you qualify.

    Veteran’s Benefits: If you are a veteran or the dependent of a veteran, you may qualify for certain benefits to include the payment of tuition and fees. For more information, visit the FTCC veteran’s website at: http://www.faytechcc.edu/veterans_services.

    Clubs, Organizations and Churches: Many clubs, organizations, and churches offer scholarship programs.

    Would you like to know more about the options above? Visit the FTCC Financial Aid Website at www.faytechcc.edu/financial_aid/types_of_aid.aspx. Act now to ensure that you have completed the necessary steps to pay for college. FTCC is pleased to serve and be your school of choice!

    Photo: Finding money for college might be easier than you think.

  • COVER

  •  uac081314001.gif On Dec. 10, 2008, Fayetteville was the host to the Ultimate Fighting Championships’ “UFC: Fight for the Troops” event at the Crown Complex. The event was broadcast live on Spike TV free of charge, a rarity at the time. The event was put on by the UFC to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund and featured 10 fights consisting of competitors that were all high caliber mixed martial artists. The fighters that were used were all up and coming contenders that were determined to put on a good show for the men and women of the U.S. Army who filled the arena.

    Since that 2008 UFC card, Fayetteville has been in a bit of a drought when it comes to having high-level MMA events come through. While the UFC has remained at the top of the heap, other national promotions have sprung up like: ElitrXC, Strikeforce, Affliction, Bellator,and a few others. Even with all of those promotions springing up, the city still seemed to find itself overlooked in getting the “big time shows.” The city did manage to attract and host a few smaller regional shows, like the recent FightLab show that came through, but the big national promotions seem to constantly skip over the Fayetteville area. All of that changes on Aug. 22.

    On Aug. 22 at the Crown Complex, Titan Fighting Championships will hold its TitanFC 29 MMA event; the event will also air nationally on CBS Sports Network.

    On that night, fans in attendance will see an undercard featuring local fighters like Blaine Thomas, originally from Laurinburg, and D’Juan Owens from Durham. Also on the card are MMA prospects on the rise, like Keith Johnson from Alabama, who look to inch their way closer and closer to the top of the sport. The top of the card will consist of matches between seasoned veterans of MMA Kurt Holobaugh and Lloyd Woodard who will fight for a future shot at the Titan Featherweight 145 title. Also UFC veterans Mike Ricci and George Sotiropoulos will fight against each other as they work towards their goal of getting back into the UFC. The main event of the night will feature a match between two MMA veterans, Ben “Killa B” Saunders and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons for the Titan Welterweight (170lbs) Championship.

    Jeff Aronson is the owner and driving force behind Titan Fighting Championships, or Titan FC as it is known by fans. Aronson purchased the promotion at the turn of the year, but his roots in MMA run much deeper. Aronson got his start in MMA in his teens training with Renzo Gracie’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in New York as a form of self-defense. Years later, Aronson would use his love for the sport to motivate him to partner with friends Lex McMahon, Nima Safapour and Hip-Hop music pioneer MC Hammer to form Alchemist Fight Management.

    Alchemist Management would grow into a successful fight management company serving a large number of the top tier talent in MMA. Aronson proudly points out; “Alchemist Management is one of the largest and most powerful MMA management companies in the world.”

    Why would a man like Aronson leave such a successful and powerful business to try and put on fights? For Aronson, the answer to that question is directly related to his time as a manager of fighters. “We (Alchemist) would sign all of this incredible, high-level talent and I would have nowhere for them to fight… Everybody’s aspiration was to get into the UFC, but if you are sub 5 fights, or let’s say you were a guy in the UFC that got hurt or you got cut, whatever the case maybe that the UFC released you, it was almost impossible for you to get back in because no one wanted to fight you. After dealing with this for some years now, I felt that it was time to create my own promotion to fill that need. Titan was a regional promotion out of Kansas City… I bought them and we did our first show in Kansas City, then one in Oklahoma and the next one is in Fayetteville.”

    When asked why he chose to bring his fight card to Fayetteville when so many others had overlooked the area Aronson said, “I love the Fayetteville area, I love that Fort Bragg is right there. My longtime business partner is a retired Marine, we are also8-13-14-titanfccage.gifpartners with the A HERO Foundation… we are very military oriented. So, with Fort Bragg being right there and with no major fights being in that part of the country for so long, we looked at it and said this is a natural, how can we not do this?”

    Aronson also offered up the surprise, “Should this event go off like I think it is going to go off… I would like to make Fayetteville one of our primaries. Every six months or every year or something we do a show there.”

    Aronson described what fans can expect from him and Titan, “I’m doing this for them (the fans). I’m putting on a card that is so stacked from top to bottom. Even if you are not a MMA fan and you are curious and you want to see a show live and you want to see an incredible sporting event live, this is something you should go see. This truly is for the fans and I hope that everybody comes out and supports us. I think it is going to be a blockbuster event. We are going to be doing giveaways and all kinds of fun stuff leading up to the fights. I hope that everybody comes out in support so we can do shows in Fayetteville all of the time.”

    Welterweight title contender and main event fighter Ben “Killa B” Saunders sums up why fans should come out in saying, “If you have never seen a live MMA show, this is definitely one to go to. The entire card is stacked with studs; UFC veterans, Bellator veterans… It is a very high quality show that Titan is putting on. If you need an introduction to MMA, this is definitely the show to go to.”

    Tickets for the event are available through Ticketmaster and at the Crown Complex Box Office.

    Photo: The Titan FC 29 is set to bring a smack down to the Crown. It’s an event MMA fans won’t want to miss.

  • COVER

  •  uac082014001.gif Downtown Fayetteville is packed with diverse restaurants offering varied and delicious food. The Fayetteville Downtown Alliance and the Downtown Fayetteville Restaurant Association have figured out just the way to showcase them. On August 20-22, the community is invited to join the Small Plate Crawl to enjoy a little taste of all of them and discover all the enticing dining options downtown has to offer.

    Visit www.faydta.org, download a passport and prepare your palate. During the three days of the plate crawl, bring the passport to participating restaurants, order a small plate and enjoy. Get the passport stamped by three restaurants and become eligible for prizes. The plates cost between $5 and $10 and vary from place to place.

    Pierro’s owner Michael Laurenceau is excited about this event and has come up with an enticing plate that includes caprese, bruschetta and a homemade meatball and crostini. “This is just a really fun way to show people how many great restaurants we have downtown,” said Laurenceau. “We are one of the bigger places downtown and sometimes when I ask people who come here if they have tried many of the other places, they are surprised to hear how many different choices they have for dining in downtown Fayetteville. This is a great way for them to see more of what downtown has to offer.”

    “Each restaurant has its own flavor and your taste buds will be jumping with joy. It is a small sample of what each restaurant has to offer and a low-cost, fun way to build our customer base with people who may not normally eat downtown,” Anthony Jackson, the owner of Circa 1800, said. The hope is that a little taste will bring people back for more and introduce people to restaurants outside of their usual haunts.

    Thanks to the dedication and hard work of many, over the past few years downtown has blossomed into an exciting and thriving place. The Small Plate Crawl encourages further growth, but also highlights the great things already present. “When you shop, eat, and live in downtown and visit the local shops they are all locally owned. Ninety percent of the time, you will meet the owners. This is where we live and work and we pour our hearts and souls into it. You won’t get that from chain restaurants. This will let people see what we put in - the passion - and taste good food in the process.” Jackson explained.

    “We’ve been downtown for about eight years,” said Laurenceau, “and it has been encouraging to watch it grow. Things have changed a lot and I think that the more we can get people to see that the more they will come downtown and enjoy all the things we have to offer. Our establishment has done well enough that we were able to open another Pierro’s in Hope Mills this past January and we are excited to be a part of the good things going on downtown.”

    Circa 1800 is one of the restaurants participating in the crawl. The restaurant prides itself on using as many local ingredients and products as possible. The bounty of North Carolina is truly on display here. The cuisine for the crawl is Southern-inspired, but much more than the plain fried chicken that comes to mind with the mention of the word southern. “We are trying to present Southern fine dining like you might find in Charleston or Savannah. We will have shrimp and grits with whatever is fresh for that day. We use local produce so our vegetable changes every week,“ says Jackson.

    The small plates range from $5 to $10 and if anyone in the group orders a plate, everyone receives a “passport stamp.” “The plate will be a little smaller than an appetizer. If you bring five people in, it will be big enough for each of you to have a bite. One of the main things we want to get across is that a small plate is a small plate. It is not a meal, it is a sample of the restaurants,” Jackson said.

    Each participant receives a passport to chronicle the experience. The passport is stamped at each restaurant they visit. Crawlers should leave their passport at the last restaurant they visit at the end of the three days. Those with stamps for two or more restaurants will be entered into a drawing. Winners will be notified by email. For more information or to download a free passport visit www.DTAFay.org. All restaurants begin serving at 11:30 a.m. and all but the Fried Turkey Shop will continue until 9 p.m. The Fried Turkey shop will end the crawl at 2:30 p.m.

    There will be a drawing on Aug. 25, to see who will get the prizes. The prize packages include:

    One night stay for 2 at Medaloni Cellars with Wine Tasting in the Chateau Bergeron (Cabin) http://www.medalonicellars.com/ ($500 Value)

    • Movie Date Night from the Cameo (Tickets for 2)

    • $100 Gift Card from Sysco

    • $25 Gift Certificate for The Butcher and The Baker

    • Brewery Tour from Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen

    • Cooking Class for 2 people at Sherefe’s

    • Wine Class for 2 people at The Wine Cafe

    The restaurants participating in the event include: Circa 1800- Opened in 2009, this restaurant provides a true taste of what North Carolina has to offer. Nearly all of their products are locally sourced, even the spirits. Their vodka, gin, beer, and rum all come from local legal distillers.

    Huske Hardware- This establishment is a unique mix of a restaurant, pub, and brewery called a gastropub. Simplified, it means that there is great food and phenomenal beer. They carry five house brews year round and at least one seasonal brew.

    Pierros Italian Bistro- The classic Italian fare and warm rustic atmosphere combine to create a relaxing and welcoming meal at any time of day. Whether stopping in for a glass of wine from the most diverse wine selection in Downtown Fayetteville, or a hand cut steak the experience will be fantastic.

    The Wine Café-A glass of wine paired with slice of cheese is a classic and beautiful combination. The Wine Café elevates this experience by providing unique small batch wines from around the world and artisanal cheeses. They also have a unique interactive tasting experience that utilizes automated self-dispensing units for the wines.

    The Blue Moon Café- Fresh skillfully prepared food and craft beer are the center of what makes The Blue Moon Café an incredible restaurant. What could surpass sitting on the spacious patio surrounded by the beautiful brick buildings of downtown Fayetteville enjoying a flavorful cold brew and a gourmet sandwich?

    The Tap House- the Tap House is an offshoot of Huske Hardware. It offers the same high quality of food and brews in a more sports bar themed atmosphere. The food also has a more classic sports bar theme, but with the same high quality as with Huske Hardware.

    Sherefe- Sherefe brings a taste of Greece to downtown Fayetteville. The bright flavors mimic the sun-filled beaches along the Mediterranean Sea and the fresh North Carolina produce makes it all the more flavorful. They also pride themselves on being vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly.

    Off the Hook- This isn’t your average taco joint; in fact, nothing they serve is average. They take incredible flavors and dishes from around the world and condense them into a stunning four-bite taco. Their combinations are unexpected and unique, but always delicious.

    Marquis Market- Today there is coffee everywhere, but the question is, is it good coffee? The Marquis Market is dedicated to bringing the most authentic and delicious coffees from around the world to the public in a sustainable and responsible way. Their passion for quality is also exemplified by their diverse menu

    A Taste of West Africa- A meal at Taste of West Africa is a journey. This honest home cooked food transports you to an entirely new culinary continent and tells a story of passion and commitment. The recipes and traditions are ancient, but the love and ingredients used to make them are fresh.

    The Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop- Since 2008 the Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop has been providing the community with quality sandwiches of all kinds. Of course, the moist and flavorful fried turkey is the star of the menu, but their other options are crafted with the same care and passion. Every dish is a blue ribbon winner. This shop will be participating from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

  • 8-13-14-ftcc\'s-all-american.gifAs our nation and our community scrutinize the current state of affairs in medical care for our vets, there is reason to take pride in other ways we have stepped up to better serve those who have bravely served our country.

    At Fayetteville Tech, no fewer than 3,000 veterans have enrolled since 2012. That’s among the Top 5 veteran enrollments in the country and number one in the state for community colleges. Military Times has ranked FTCC as second highest on their list of Best for Vets for Career and Technical Colleges in 2014. The creation of the All-American Veterans Center (which recently held its grand opening on June 16) supports veterans as they transition to being successful students and employed graduates. The state-of-the-art, 3,500-square-foot All-American Veterans Center serves as a role model for other campuses seeking to support our returning and retiring military personnel.

    A significant characteristic of FTCC’s Veterans Center is that it is managed and staffed by veterans. The one-stop-shop concept at the Center promotes not only certifying educational benefits but also connecting veterans with other support, whether or not the veteran is an FTCC student. The impact to the community represents an outreach to as many as 10,000 veterans in that FTCC’s center offers assistance to all veterans. Physical space within the Veterans’ Center is provided to the many daily volunteers who represent the DAV, American Legion, VFW, Patriot Outreach, Cumberland County VA, Fayetteville Workforce Solutions and N.C. National Guard. Partnerships have also been created with the local Wounded Warrior Project office, VAforVets recruiter, Kangaroo Express, Walmart, Home Depot, and several other local veteran-friendly businesses which support FTCC’s initiatives for veterans.

    Perhaps the best measure of the center’s and FTCC’s success with veterans is our graduation rate. Of the 3,000 veterans enrolled since 2012, 987 graduated in 2012-13, and another 872 graduated this past May. Over this summer, FTCC saw a 9 percent increase in veterans’ enrollment over last year, prior to the creation of the center. And with a current growth of 3 percent projected for the fall, FTCC’s All-American Veterans Center is making a significant impact within our community by stepping up efforts to serve all veterans.

    Engagement through networking with various agencies and companies and attending local meetings of other organizations, who strive to help veterans, helps to increase awareness about the Center and promote ways that various organizations can work together to do the most to help our veterans. Organizations involved with this networking include Community Blueprint, Veterans All-Call, Military family and child/Living in the New Normal, and other active duty spouse groups. The All-American Veterans Center offers résumé workshops, hiring events from local employers, academic and career counseling, and in-house tutoring from faculty. The center is equipped with a lounge with cable, a computer lab, a coffee bar, popcorn, and an employment resource center.

    We invite you to visit the All-American Veterans Center located inside the General Classroom Building (Fayetteville campus, 2817 Fort Bragg Road) to see firsthand the unique extension of care, service and honor that Fayetteville Technical Community College is providing our veterans (thewesm@faytechcc.edu or (910) 678-8580).

  • It probably doesn’t happen as much as you’d like, but from time to time, you have some extra disposable income. When this happens, how should you use the funds? Assuming you have adequate emergency savings — typically, three to six months’ worth of living expenses — should you pay off debts, or fund your IRA or another investment account?

    There’s no one “correct” answer — and the priority of these options may change, depending on your financial goals. However, your first step may be to consider what type of debt you’re thinking of paying down with your extra money. For example, if you have a consumer loan that charges a high rate of interest — and you can’t deduct the interest payments from your taxes — you might conclude that it’s a good idea to get rid of this loan as quickly as possible.

    Still, if the loan is relatively small, and the payments aren’t really impinging on your monthly cash flow that much, you might want to consider putting any extra money you have into an investment that has the potential to offer longer-term benefits. For instance, you might decide to fully fund your IRA for the year before tackling minor debts. (In 2014, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $6,500 if you’re 50 or older.)

    When it comes to making extra mortgage payments, however, the picture is more complicated. In the first place, mortgage interest is typically tax deductible, which makes your loan less “expensive.” Even beyond the issue of deductibility, you may instinctively feel that it’s best to whittle away your mortgage and build as much equity as possible in your home. But is that always a smart move?

    Increasing your home equity is a goal of many homeowners — after all, the more equity you have in your home, the more cash you’ll get when you sell it. Yet, if your home’s value rises — which, admittedly, doesn’t always happen — you will still, in effect, be building equity without having to divert funds that could be placed elsewhere, such as in an investment. In this situation, it’s important to weigh your options. Do you want to lower your mortgage debts and possibly save on cumulative interest expenses? Or would you be better served to invest that money for potential growth or interest payments?

    Here’s an additional consideration: If you tied up most of your money in home equity, you may well lose some flexibility and liquidity. If you were to fall ill or lose your job, could you get money out of your home if your emergency savings fund fell short? Possibly, in the form of a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage, but if you were not bringing in any income, a bank might not even approve such a loan — no matter how much equity you have in your house. You may more easily be able to sell stocks, bonds or other investment vehicles to gain access to needed cash.

    Getting some extra money once in a while is a nice problem to have. Still, you won’t want to waste the opportunity — so, when choosing to pay down debts or put the money into investments, think carefully.


  •     I grew up witnessing my sister and close friends being chased after by many guys, some even claiming to be in love. Then there’s me, 23, never in a relationship, and barely ever sought after. I’m not unattractive, but I’ve just begun to get it together with the clothes, the hair and what not. I lost my virginity last year in a hookup on vacation. I’m now dating somebody I don’t see as relationship material, but who goes MIA, calls randomly and makes me initiate us hanging out. I’m literally STARVED for attention, tired of coming in last place, and meeting men who act interested, but turn out to be distant, sex-crazed maniacs. I feel sick to my stomach when I see how late in the game I am compared to my friends. Am I doing something wrong?
                              —Late Bloomer

                                      

        Your problem isn’t that you don’t have the perfect boyfriend right here, right now, but that you’re in a panic about it, probably making you about as seductive as a mountain lion that hasn’t eaten for weeks: “Shall I pounce on you from above, claw your heart out and eat it raw, or do you feel you need a glass of wine first?”
        You appear to be confusing your love life with The Amazing Race. Your sister, your friends and all their men are licking fondue off each other’s fingers on a plane to the Swiss Alps, while you’re in the dressing room of some dusty sporting goods store, waiting for the manager to come back from lunch and unstick the zipper of your snowsuit. And why aren’t you doing exactly what your sister and friends are doing, exactly when they’re doing it? Um...because you are not them? Sadly, there’s a good chance some of them are also better at long division, and have much shinier hair. 
    Yeah, it’s harsh out there, particularly at 23. Guys are distant because they’re 23 and not that comfortable with themselves. They’re also vats of hormones with shoes and maybe a mustache for a disguise. In other words, it’s not exactly the ideal time to find lasting love. It is, however, a great time to figure out what you want in a lasting love by trying on a lot of fleeting “love.” To do that, you’ll have to stop living like you’ll turn into a cleaning lady and your car will turn into a corn dog if you don’t land the romance of the century by midnight.
        While you’re at it, you might relax some in the “grass is greener” department. Judge the value of what you’re doing by whether it makes you happy, not by whether your friends did it by age 12. Try to remember that things aren’t always as they seem from the outside.

    Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA  90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

  • firehouseJust a few short months ago, summer beckoned. Trips to the beach, the mountains, the mall and visits to family filled the calendar. Now it’s back-to-school shopping and the fast pace of fall that demand attention. Don’t let go just yet. There is still time for one more concert under the stars before bidding summer adieu. On Friday, August 26, Fayetteville After 5 brings Firehouse to Festival Park.

    The Charlotte-based band Firehouse headlines this concert. Glam metal at its finest, Firehouse rocked the charts in the 1990s with a series of singles:  “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “All She Wrote,” as well as their signature ballads “I Live My Life for You,” “Love of a Lifetime” and “When I Look Into Your Eyes.” In 1992 the band was named Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Band/Hard Rock New Artist at the American Music Awards, beating out Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Selling more than  6 million albums, the band tours internationally and plays in the U.S. as well.

    In its quest to bring great entertainment to Fayetteville, Fayetteville After 5 is one venue that area artists can count on when it comes to providing opportunities for local musicians to share their talents. Hailing from the Pembroke/Lumberton area, Breathe New Life opens the concert.  The alternative/metal band is made up of performers from former locally well-known bands such as Lucid, When Words Fail, Mis2Mia, Driven and Tribal Conflict. Comprised of Mark McKinney performing lead vocals, Chris Locklear on guitar, James Hunt playing guitar and singing, Shay Jones on drums and Brandon Hall playing bass and piano and singing, all of the members are Native American.

    Also in the lineup, Brad Benson’s music career started when he was 5. He played the piano. He picked up the guitar as a teen. His albums include Eternal Life, Smoke and Mirrorsand Attitude. Benson hales from Kinston, N.C.

    This season, Fayetteville After 5 added a new component to the concerts: food trucks. Everyone is sure to find something to tickle their taste buds and to wet their whistle. While fall is coming, it’s still really hot, so make sure you plan on purchasing lots of water or yummy lemonade to keep you hydrated while you dance the night away. Come hungry because there are 12-16 trucks slated to attend the concert. Sponsor Bud Light will have beer and refreshments for purchase as well. 

    Come ready to sing, ready to dance, to eat, to drink. The gates open around 5 p.m. and the music lasts till 10:30 p.m. or so. Bring chairs or a blanket and enjoy the show. The concert falls on 4th Friday, which means an entire evening of culture. Enjoy the galleries, shops and businesses in downtown Fayetteville before the show. 

    For more information about Fayetteville After 5, visit the website at www.faydogwoodfestival.com.

  • soniEllington-White Contemporary Gallery selected seven artists to participate in Pictorial Space, the new exhibit at the Fayetteville and Cumberland County Arts Council. Visitors to the gallery will be able compare the ways in which these artists express their ideas about the pictorial and objects in space. The exhibit will remain up until Aug.  20. 

    Investigating pictorial and aesthetic space was a pivotal development in modern painting. For a representational artist, the object(s) being painted may only be the starting point for the idea of what a painting or drawing can become. For other artists, objects are not copied or represented but viewed as elements of a new reality. Many abstract artists have eliminated a person, place or thing in the natural world; the content of the work can often be about form (color, shapes, scale, line, etc.) and the process of making.

    “Rhapsody in Green” by Suzanne Aulds is a beautiful realistic painting of a still life. The painting of a larger-than-life orchid announces itself in the gallery. Detail by detail, Aulds has interpreted, in shades of green and white, a table setting with a plate, orchid and other objects - carefully placed. The illusion of the still life on a two-dimensional surface is at once intriguing, yet the artist has still used artistic license in how she presents distance and guides us to see contour and volume. More than what is being described in the work, Aulds artfully creates a space that informs the viewer about gravity and a type of weightlessness. 

    While Aulds’ approach to painting is tonal, painter Deborah Reavis exaggerates color and the contour line to evoke meaning. Although the work is representational of people and the still-life, patterns of patterns of color and shape emerge as equally important as the subject. 

    In comparison, Vilas Tonape is interpreting similar issues in an abstract style. A well-known realist artist, for Pictorial Space he was asked to show his abstract works on paper and canvas. Even though the works are abstract, Tonape is realizing the illusion of distance by applying overlapping - color and texture are inseparable from visual weight, gravity and anti-gravity. 

    Photographer Capel States uses the floral still-life as a way to evoke a Baroque space of color and fluidity. Using technology, States has literally created states-of-being, flora with crisp edges in an oozy, smoke-filled environment. 

    Dwight Smith is sharing several of his drawings and several paintings in the exhibit. Where several of the artists are exact in their approach to the placement of an object or shape, Dwight is the exact opposite. The act of drawing and painting is a process of immediacy, discovery and possibilities. Material and surfaces become rhythmic sources – types of energy emerge. 

    As well, Becky Lee works in an abstract manner; but her focus is on the expressive quality of color. For Lee large areas of color wash across the pictorial surface and we are left with an impression of sunlight, water or the green of a landscape. Ever connected to the environment, Lee’s minimal compositions seem to be an effort to bath the viewer with the power of color - an appeal to our visual senses in a tactile way. 

    Yours truly is participating in the exhibit. As an artist, I find mixing abstraction with something recognizable is a way to explore perceptions and meaning. For example, That’s Another Conversation, a painting on a Birchwood veneered panel, combines mixed flattened patterns or shapes with a representational element (drips of water). The juxtaposition of the dissimilar is a way of jumping from one reality to another – flat or three-dimensional asserts its own autonomy in the work. As if to say, “look at me, look at me.”

    For information on Pictorial Space, call the Arts Council at 323-1776 or visit the Ellington-White website at www.ellington-white.com.

  •     African dance has a unique beauty in its rhythmic action and is a form of communication that demonstrates emotion, sentiments and beliefs through movements. It can vary from the slowest movement to a movement so rapid that the eye cannot register what is happening. During the days of slavery the African slaves entertained themselves and others with musical and dance forms that contained elements they brought with them from Africa.       
        “My theory is if we understand different cultures we will not have a tendency to fear or be biased,” said Shea-Ra Nichi, instructor of African dance. “It would benefit everyone to have better clarity of other cultures and who they are.”                  
        {mosimage}Nichi is passionate about African dance culture and is launching her own dance technique. She teaches the movements and traditional music found in Haiti, Brazil, Cuba and the Congo, Africa, with live drumming. “It started in 2002 when I went away to Europe, France, Spain and Germany with a Haitian dance company,” said Nichi. “During this tour I learned more about Haitian dance.”
        Nichi added that when she returned people were interested in her teaching a class about different forms of African dance. This led to the development of her company.                       
    Niche’s dance classes will be held on Aug. 16 and Aug. 30 from 1:30-3 p.m. at the   Cumberland Dance Academy. “We will be doing ongoing classes in September,” said Nichi. “The maximum number of students I can have in one class is 32.”                    
        Nichi is an accomplished dancer, director and choreographer who has been performing professionally since age 8. She studied professional theater in New York City and has traveled to Haiti, Europe and Brazil researching and learning all forms of African cultural dance. Nichi has mastered these dance techniques for more than 15 years. Bennett Estaphane, dance partner, plays the drums and is the rhythm to Nichi’s dance technique. “He’s been with me since the very beginning,” said Nichi. 
        Future plans for Nichi include teaching classes at Elite Marshall Arts School located in downtown Fayetteville. She will teach a Brazilian Marshall Arts class and a Pilate’s class.      
        “I have a very strong influence in my natural movement,” said Nichi. “I have been doing it for a while and it is a very natural way for me to move now.”        
        The cost is $15 per class.  People of all ages and levels are invited. Cumberland Dance Academy is located in Hope Mills at 5470 Trade St. For more information call 862-5378 or 474-1134.
  • 03 Market House in Fayetteville NCWe Americans continue to find ourselves in all sorts of distress, some of it acute and some of it as President Jimmy Carter famously said, a “malaise.” The pandemic has upended life as we knew it for millions of all ages, and the sadness, fury and national reckoning following George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparks ongoing peaceful protests across the country and, in some instances, unlawful violence and destruction. In short, many of us feel unmoored and on edge politically and culturally. For many, no safe harbor appears on the horizon.

    Which brings us to the Market House in downtown Fayetteville.

    As a Fayetteville native, the Market House has been part of the landscape all my life. For people who come to our community later in their lives, it must be a curiosity, a relic modeled on the traditional English town hall. History records that the Market House was used primarily by local and area vendors to sell farm produce, meats and other goods in the open arcaded area. Enclosed meeting space above provided a gathering space. Although several Southern port cities such as Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, created designated slave markets, that was not the purpose of the Fayetteville Market House.

    That said, human beings whose ancestors were captured in Africa and brought to this country against their will were indeed sold on the site of Fayetteville’s Market House. It did not happen every day, but it did happen. A 1989 plaque approved by Fayetteville City Council members and erected in the building’s arcade memorializes the human beings who were sold there. The cold hard fact of those sales is what brought out protestors in recent weeks and precipitated vandalism at the site.

    So, what now?

    Some have called for razing the building, the only local structure designated a National Landmark, and others call for finding a commemorative purpose for it. Razing makes no sense to me. Doing so would not take away the stain that resides there, any more than razing Nazi concentration camps in Europe would make the Holocaust not real. I fall into the repurposing camp. In my own memory, the Market House has been open to vehicular traffic, has housed a public library, art museum and several offices and hosted musical concerts and parades and various other activities.

    The first and primary challenge of any repurposing is to expand the memorial to those who were sold there with names and dates as far as are known. This memorial would become the focus of repurposing, central to whatever occurs at the Market House. Various ideas have been floated— a museum dedicated to local African American culture among them, and all proposals should be explored.

    The guiding principle as our community undergoes this process should be to memorialize the people who were subjected to Fayetteville’s role in our nation’s original sin.

  • 02 pub pen book coverThe debate raging over the future of the Market House in our great city of Fayetteville is not diminishing anytime soon. It is and has always been a historic landmark of controversy. However, the iniquitous attention it is receiving now has been conjured up from the revival of decades-old misinformation that the building was a designated slave market. This is not true.

    Even after countless documents of North Carolina historical data on the Market House confirmed that enslaved negros during that period in history were considered property and sold or auctioned as part of private estates. Ignoring these facts seems to be an inconvenient truth as well as an excuse and flashpoint for rioters, hostile protesters and anarchists. Personal sentiments and opinions do not alter the facts.

    In this edition, Margaret Dickson, a lifelong resident of Fayetteville and, successful businesswoman, former Democratic senator and state representative, shares her thoughts, concerns and heartfelt sentiments about this topic in her article “What about the Market House?” on page 5. Not only does she make a compelling argument for repurposing this historic building but “ … to memorialize the people who were subjected to Fayetteville’s role in our nation’s original sin.”

    I was at the dedication ceremony she mentioned in 1989 when Fayetteville unveiled the City Council’s plaque recognizing and honoring the human beings sold there. W.T. Brown, a local educator, statesmen and respected community leader, gave the most elegant and compelling speech. It left the entire audience united, resolved and committed to live and work together for the betterment of the Fayetteville community and for the prosperity of future generations.

    Facts are facts, and history is just that — history. This brings me to the subject of a wonderful and factual resource document brought to my attention recently by a longtime Fayetteville resident, friend, historian, show prom