• 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

  • 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

  • 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)

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  • 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)

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

     

  • 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)

     

  •     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.


  • 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.

  • 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).

  • 08-18-10-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.

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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/)

     

  • 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)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • “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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.’’

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.’’

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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

  • {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.

  • 16 ShoesLooking for the right shoe for your activity can become a confusing search, especially when it comes to running and walking shoes. The racks are beckoning with shoes that display colorful combinations and elaborate structural compositions. The average person has little idea what they are looking for other than the eye is drawn to the appeal of the shoe. Shoes can run upward to more than $200 and you may feel that is an ouch for a shoe selection! Is the investment worth it? The answer is yes. Let’s look at the difference between walking, running and shoes for group fitness classes.

    Walking shoes are structured differently than running shoes and offer more bend and flexibility. The distribution of weight remains even while walking and rolls from the heel to the ball of the foot. A running shoe has a thicker heel for cushion and a thicker wedge for support and forward movement. Structure and stability are the main design composition for the absorption of body weight and heel strikes.

    Not one shoe is a fit all for group fitness classes. In a Spin class it is advised to wear a stiffer soled shoe because softer soled shoes tend to flex over the pedal and could result in injuries. Spin shoes are designed to click into the bike to improve stability and pedaling efficiency.

    Dance based fitness classes are designed for movement. Consider investing in a shoe that is designed for lateral support with little or no tread on the sole. This type of shoe allows lateral movement and to pivot without putting stress on the joints.

    Boot camp and weightlifting classes are safer with a shoe that is structured for stability and weight distribution.

    Other group fitness classes, such as step and kick boxing, require shoes that offer absorption of the balls of the feet for dynamic movement. Classes that involve movement associated with the feet like barre and yoga also have a type of footwear that is safe for the activity. A barre or yoga sock comes with gel bands on the bottom that help with the participants stability and reduce the chance of slipping and injury.

    The bottom line is to get shoes fitted by a professional for your activity, who can offer an analysis that may include your gait and foot type. If you engage in the same activity more than three times a week select a shoe designed specifically for that activity. Get fitted for your shoe towards the end of the day, due to shifts in fluid retention. For activities taking place consistently at the same time each day the consideration of a fit may be more beneficial for that time.

    It is also important to select a quality sock and to wear the sock when tying on selections.

    A quality athletic shoe for running or walking should provide 350 to 500 miles of performance. Being aware of how the shoe is wearing and if it needs to replaced, are important observations to prevent ankle and knee injuries. Observing the wear patterns on the bottom of the shoe, especially at the heel is a good indicator for replacement and if the soles of the shoe are worn flat. It can be a hard decision for a purchase with a mounting price tag, but remember that your feet are an investment. Proper shoe fit is essential to avoid injuries, while allowing maximum performance for your activities.

  • 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

  • 21 Truman for pageSchool is back in session, and the lazy, hazy days of summer are drawing to an end. The minds of teachers, parents and guardians return to the three Rs and resources to enhance and support these and other essential skills. Kidsville News!, the Cape Fear region’s fun, family publication for students in grades K-6, is here to help.

    Kidsville News! promotes education, reading and good character traits for students and offers a variety of free and fun articles, games, coloring activities, puzzles, kid-friendly recipes, career exploration and more.

    Resources you’ll recognize fill the publication pages, such as the NASA Night Sky Network, James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read book reviews, Kids First movie reviews, NOAA weather and Sheri Amsel’s Exploring Nature. Find all this, a local community calendar and a letter from Truman the Dragon just for the kids in each monthly issue.

    Created in 1998 by newspaper publisher Bill Bowman as a local and self-sustaining “newspaper in education” program in his community of Fayetteville, North Carolina, the publication has a proven track record.

    Accolades for Kidsville News! include receiving recognition from the Parents’ Choice Foundation and the National Parents’ Choice Award in 2008 and 2012. (www.parents-choice.org/aboutus.cfm)

    Each Kidsville News! issue offers teacher/parent “Brainwork” online activities that extend the learning through printable, downloadable worksheets adaptable for home or school use. Visit www.kdisvillenews.com to view the Cape Fear region’s flagship edition or find a copy in a newsstand near you.

  • 06 Thom Tillis 2Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC, spent more time than initially allocated on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College Aug 18. He was escorted by Dr. Larry Keen, FTCC President.

    Tillis toured the college’s newest facility -- a general classroom building. But it’s much more than that. The structure on Ft. Bragg Rd. houses cyber warfare computer technology laboratories and classrooms where students learn how to battle via information networks.

    Tillis is spending time visiting areas of his home state during the congressional summer recess. He won re-election to a second six-year term in November, 2020.

    Tillis, 60, a former IBM consultant and state House speaker, has been a consistent proponent of wearing masks during the pandemic, but he tested positive for COVID-19 in early October.

  • 07 Charles Evans 3Cumberland County Commissioner Charles Evans says he hopes to replace Rep. Richard Hudson, R-NC, as North Carolina’s 8th District Congressman.

    Evans currently serves as chairman of the board. In a statement on his congressional campaign website, Evans said that people often complain the two major parties “seem almost indistinguishable.”

    He filed with the Federal Election Commission in the spring and has been fundraising.

    “Under the new administration and what our president is trying to do to assist those of us that aren’t as fortunate as others — that’s been my advocacy for a long time, since I’ve been in the political arena,” he said.

    With the 2020 Census, North Carolina will add a 14th congressional seat to the U.S. House of Representative. The tar heel state’s Republican-majority General Assembly will redraw the map.

    Evans has been elected countywide three times since 2010. He also served two terms on the Fayetteville City Council from 2005 to 2009.

    Pictured: Charles Evans, Chairman of the Cumberland County Commission

  • 05 AA logoThis year’s All American Week, hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division and scheduled for Aug. 30 — Sept. 2, has been postponed due to the deployment to Afghanistan.

    “All American Week has been a proud tradition for our Division, current events and the activation of our Immediate Response Force requires us to reschedule,” said Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, the 82nd Airborne Division commander. “Postponing this event is hard for all of us, but we are working to find a new time to celebrate with our All American veterans, families and friends.”

    For over 30 years, All American Week has been open to the public to celebrate veterans and honor active duty service members, featuring sporting competitions, ceremonies and memorials. After 18 months of lockdown, All American Week was meant to build esprit-de-corps, bring the community together, and celebrate 104 years of service toward the nation. The first All American Week was held by the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. in 1986. In its inaugural year, the week began with a Division Run, sport competitions, a memorial, and a Division Review. In recent years, the Division has updated the Airborne Review an airborne operation, air assault and a demonstration of modern battle techniques.

    The dates for All American Week will be published as soon as they are available.

  • 04 82nd deploysThe 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is on duty at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

    The brigade is the division’s Immediate Response Force, America’s rapid response team. It is able to deploy within 18 hours of notification. “This is what the 82nd does and they do it very well,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.

    The 82nd trains for airborne assault operations into enemy areas with a specialization in airfield seizure. The 82nd's Immediate Response Force has seen action in recent years deploying on News Year’s Eve 2019 to Iraq to help secure the U.S. embassy as it came under attack by Iranian-linked Shia militias.

    The Division again deployed troops in the summer of 2020 to the Nation’s Capital Region in response to civil disturbances in Washington, D.C.

    The division’s commander, Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, is leading the paratroopers in Afghanistan.

    Pictured: Paratroopers with 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division board a plane enroute to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy 82nd Airborne Division)

  • 03 pregnant womenRecent research is supporting the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations for pregnant women. Though pregnant women were excluded from the initial clinical trials for the vaccines — as is standard practice for all vaccine trials — almost 140,000 pregnant women have voluntarily joined the CDC’s V-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry since December, 2020.

    Cape Fear Valley Perinatology’s Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist Stuart Shelton, M.D. said this is an issue that has come up a lot lately with his patients. Dr. Shelton is the only maternal fetal medicine specialist, or perinatologist in Cumberland County. He has been practicing in Fayetteville 19 years.

    “So far, the data show no increased risk of miscarriage, birth defects, preterm birth. or stillbirth,” Dr. Shelton said. “Basically, there’s no increased risk of any adverse pregnancy outcomes. Data are still being collected and analyzed.”

    Shelton said he tells all his patients the same thing when they ask about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

    “I think the vaccine is safe, and I tell the patient that her risk of pregnancy complications is much higher if she gets COVID infection than it is with the vaccine,” he said. “And right now, we don’t know of any increased risks associated with the vaccine. If it was one of my family members or friends, I would highly recommend they get the vaccine without any reservation.”

    That’s not just his personal opinion. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine have highly recommended the vaccine for pregnant women and lactating women.

    “And the reason for that is they feel the vaccine is safe, and we know that if a woman gets COVID while pregnant, she has a higher risk of complications,” Stuart said.

    “Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a three-times higher risk of being admitted to the ICU, and about two to three times higher risk of being on a ventilator. Their chances of dying from complications of COVID, compared with a woman who is not pregnant, are about twice as high.”

    Shelton said that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the best choices for women of childbearing age because of some very rare complications that have occurred in reproductive-age women who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

    Those complications were not related to pregnancy. However, the best choice for any person is the vaccine they are willing to take. For some women with severe needle phobias, the one-shot advantage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could make it the right choice for them.

    Though Dr. Shelton typically sees women who are already pregnant, he says rumors that vaccines cause infertility are unfounded based on available evidence. As noted by ACOG, given the mechanism of action and safety profile of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are not a cause of infertility.

  • 10 IMG 4842Linda Carnes-McNaughton has spent her career as an archaeologist and works as such on Fort Bragg. “I discovered anthropology, the study of human cultures, biology and behaviors.

    It seemed like a perfect fit, then I went on ‘a dig’ and knew that was what I wanted to do forever, I wanted to learn about people of the past through discovery.”

    As a military brat, Carnes-McNaughton was immersed in other cultures as a child when the family moved around. In Japan, at the age of 6, she took language classes, traditional dance and crafts and enjoyed the games she played with Japanese children.

    “I think that experience, that exposure, that immersion into another culture at such a young age, planted the seed of anthropology in my head.”

    In her current work, Carnes-McNaughton said archaeologists are able to engage with folks who have direct connections to this land as well as others who want to know more about the people of the past.

    She goes on to say, “One of our current responsibilities is working with federally-recognized Indian Nations who once called the Sandhills their homelands. Building respectful long-term relationships with these heritage families enhances our understanding of this landscape and its vital natural resources.”
    “The term ‘heritage families’ refers to families whose ancestors we know from documentation and oral histories once lived on this landscape. Their ancestors could have been Native Americans, or early colonists or former enslaved Africans who lived here, raised families here and may have died here, and are buried in one of our 26 early historic cemeteries. The work we do in discovering people of the past is greatly enhanced by the families’ histories shared by descendants. Often, we can share what we learn about an old farm or house site with descendants and they will then share their knowledge with us.”

    At this point in her career, she has been on nearly 100 digs, most of those in the southeastern United States, but primarily in North Carolina.

    “Once I was fortunate enough to do a small survey in Northern Ireland on historic pottery manufacturing sites. Over the years, I worked as an archaeologist for university-sponsored field projects, private-consulting agencies, and state- and now, federal-government programs,” she said.

    “The sites ranged in age from prehistoric times to historic cultural periods; sites like 2000-year old soapstone quarry sites, to 19th century tar kilns, or early pottery kiln sites, to battlefield sites, home sites, colonial towns, prehistoric village sites, some cemeteries and even work on pirate shipwrecks.”

    Carnes-McNaughton co-authored the book “Blackbeard’s Sunken Treasure: The 300-year Voyage of Queen Anne’s Revenge,” with Mark U. Wilde-Ramsing. She really enjoyed working on the project. “I specialize in material culture studies (the artifacts – how they are made, what they date to, what they are used for, how they get recycled and who used them).”

    She began as a volunteer on the shipwreck project looking at the pottery and glass recovered on this 1718 site. Then, the work expanded into examining items of personal gear such as items of clothing, smoking pipes, ornamentation like beads and buttons, buckles, etc., as well as navigational equipment, and then cooking or galley artifacts and finally into the realm of maritime medicines such as looking at medical equipment found on the wreck.

    “All this research led to a better understanding of who is represented by the artifacts, leaning more about activities that took place and how the remains of the wreck ended up on the ocean floor,” Carnes-McNaughton said. “My co-author was the former QAR project director, an underwater and we realized that between us we made a great team to document what has been found on this important shipwreck. I enjoy this research as much as I enjoy pottery research.”

    Working outdoors has always appealed to Carnes-McNaughton and excavation has always been her preferred avenue of discovery. She enjoys the fieldwork the most but also enjoys interaction with the people (descendants and others) who have a vested interest in the history of the Sandhills and pre-Fort Bragg landscape. She also likes starting a conversation by sharing a single artifact and talking about what it means to different people. That is oftentimes very intriguing.

    “If I had to pick one single site that was a life-changing experience it was helping to excavate the oldest European-style pottery kiln found in North America, the 1566 kiln at the Spanish fort site of Santa Elena on Parris Island, South Carolina.” said Carnes-McNaughton. “That was sheer delight.”

    Carnes-McNaughton encourages others to explore the field in which she has found a rewarding career.

    “Archaeology is important science in that it helps us look at the past in order to understand the present and future of our place on this planet. Being an archaeologist means looking at the world around us in a different perspective. We learn to be humanists at the same time we practice our science.”

    Pictured above: Linda Carnes-McNaughton is an archaeologist on Fort Bragg. (Photos courtesy Fort Bragg Garrison PAO)

  • 14 headshotShari Fiveash moved to Fayetteville earlier this year to start her new role as the President and CEO of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber.

    “I am new in this role in Fayetteville, but I have done nonprofit management for chambers and associations for a little over 30 years now,” she said.

    After earning a bachelor’s degree in Design at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Fiveash spent her career in roles with multiple chambers, economic development, nonprofits, visitor bureaus, association in management positions and event hotel management.

    “A design degree you wouldn’t have thought would work but has worked very well in my position,” she said. “I have helped design a welcome center in Missouri, I was the lead contractor for a remodel of a chamber in Kentucky, so I have used my degree but just not straight up, and you never know what's going to lead you to what you
    really like.”

    Since moving to North Carolina from Connecticut, Fiveash has been taking on her role as Chamber president with enthusiasm and a respect for local organizations and businesses.

    “Once you get into it, you kind of get a passion for that nonprofit and hospitality and kind of do that service thing,” Fiveash said.

    “It’s kind of addictive, you get attached to it because you enjoy working with people and the opportunity to meet new people and not doing the same thing every day.”

    Originally Fiveash had looked at job opportunities in Georgia and South Carolina which weren’t the exact fit and wasn’t sure of the position in Fayetteville, before she met the people and that’s what sold her on being here, she mentioned.

    “It was just a really nice group of people I spoke with, it was just the right situation,” Fiveash said.

    The Greater Fayetteville Chamber acts as the catalyst in growing a healthy business community through advocacy of business-friendly public policy, fostering of diverse innovative business initiatives, delivering valuable programs and services to the community.

    The Chamber’s origins can be traced back to 1899 and has functioned under various names for 100 years.

    “This Chamber is coming out of COVID just like a lot of businesses, we were down staffed, and we took a hit just like everyone else did so we are picking up the pieces and coming back together and trying to regroup so I am doing a lot of jobs that I might not normally be doing,” she said. “We are trying to grow back and open up and do all kinds of things.”

    Due to those reasons, Fiveash said she’s currently wearing lots of hats that she wouldn’t normally have on and there’s no average day for her as they are still rebuilding.

    Her day involves a lot of answering questions and reaching out to people, a lot of operations and marketing, she said.

    “So everything’s changed a little bit due to COVID and we’re trying to bring everything back up and dust them off and change them up a little bit and make everything bigger and better,” Fiveash mentioned.

    After starting her position, she’s focused on regrouping and has helped celebrate the Army’s birthday, the business networking breakfast, coffee clubs and more.

    “The Chamber's main purpose is to help keep the economy strong in our community,” Fiveash said. “We help businesses grow, thrive, network with educational opportunities, resources and more so that they have the opportunity to prosper and help our community to do so also.”

    Her main job function is working for the directors of the chamber, by taking their vision and applying her experience to help craft it and lead the business community in the right direction, she mentioned.

    The Great Fayetteville Chamber belongs to the state and national chamber, and has a government committee that does lobbying and stays aware of the different things on different levels for businesses and the community. The Chamber also helps the community take up leadership positions in local government.

    “Right now there’s a lot of open positions on different committees in the city, county, and so we have a program called Leadership Fayetteville where we try to educate people and encourage them to not so much be political figures but to give up their time, talent and service to our community,” Fiveash said.

    A part of her vision as the new president and CEO of the chamber is to implement new programs.

    “One of the things I discussed with the government relations group is Washington Fly-In, where you go see many legislators in D.C. which I think have a viable impact and value,” Fiveash said. “Another program I would like to see happen here is where we teach kids to make business plans, a joint effort with the school system and small businesses.”

    She wants to see young entrepreneurs grow and teach them the value of staying in the community.

    “We’ve got some great colleges and teaching kids there is great opportunity here and continue to grow our community with some young entrepreneurs, keep growing our economy that would be very valuable,” she mentioned.

    In her free time, Fiveash says she enjoys the beach, loves a good bargain, estate sales and auctions as well as drawing and painting which she hopes to get back into as time permits. She is also a Rotarian.

    Every one of her past roles have been different from each other, but all focus on service and helping the community stay prosperous and grow, she says.

    “I would say seeing a community grow and blossom is what inspires me,” Fiveash added. “This community is growing and changing, it's just on the cusp, it could be so much more and I think that potential is there, but they just need a little push and a nudge over the edge to make some big leaps.”

    Pictured above: Shari Fiveash is the President and CEO of the Greater Fayetteville Chamber.

  • 09 Peace Easton 1400x1484Coaches play a pivotal role in the lives of their players and they carry the huge responsibility of having to develop them as individuals and athletes. Peace Shepard Easton is qualified, willing, and more than ready for this responsibility and challenge as the new coach for Fayetteville Tech’s women’s basketball.

    Her extensive background began with her start in playing recreational basketball in her elementary years. During her middle and high school years, she played basketball, ran track and participated in volleyball. Volleyball was one of her top sports and she was also good in track and field with the triple jump, high jump, long jump and 4x400 relay.

    Easton excelled in all three sports and graduated from Swansboro High School in 1993. She attended basketball camps and was recruited by several colleges in the ACC.

    Easton attended N. C. State where she played for Coach Kay Yow. In her senior year, Eaton helped the Wolfpack make it to the NCAA Final Four. She also played professional basketball after college overseas in Italy, Brazil, Honduras, Ecuador, Finland and Greece.

    Her awards include Coach of the Year, Hall of Fame inductee, MVP, numerous state championships, state playoffs and more. Easton was previously the coach of Holly Springs High School for seven years. While there, Easton racked up 100 wins and earned conference coach of the year honors three times and lead the program to four conference chanpionships and five state playoffs.

    With having the substantial experience of more than thirty-something years of coaching and playing basketball FTCC Athletic Director Dr. Shannon Yates gave Easton the opportunity to lead the Trojans.

    “I am looking forward to being their influencer, coach, big sister and mentor,” said Easton.

    “By having been a high school student, a college basketball player, a professional basketball player, and a coach, I don’t have all the answers, but I can at least guide the ladies in the right direction to do the right thing because I have been through it.”

    She added, “I understand the struggles of being a high school basketball player from a small town trying to be noticed.”

    Easton had a life changing experience during her childhood.

    “My father had a stroke when I was in the 8th grade so I was living in a home where my mom took care of my dad,” said Easton. “He is paralyzed on his right side, can’t talk, and nothing has changed besides he has gotten older and has become more dependent on my mom who has been the best wife that any husband could actually have.”

    "People didn’t know that I have always assisted her in the background and a lot of people did not know that I had all of this going on in the spotlight with basketball,” said Easton.

    “They never knew that I was coming home to a mother who was taking care of my father, showed me how to make lemons out of lemonade, and she is my biggest influencer.”

    Coach Easton earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and spends time working in health services.

    “At the moment I have worked for five years with UNC and I have been working with Medicare claims,” said Easton.

    “So basically I assist providers as far as getting their claims paid in regards to if it is going to be covered by Medicare, the patient, or hospice.”

    Easton added that she has been in health care since she graduated from high school and started out at Sigma.

    Coach Easton has great plans for Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Women’s basketball team.

    “I just want to make a difference as far as trying to get kids to the next step and using my background, connections and networks that I have created in the past,” said Easton.

    “I made a lot of relationships and I want to take advantage of that because there are a lot of people that I know who are college coaches in any realm of Division I, II and III.”

    She added, “I want to take those relationships and help make the lives better for my athletes.”

    When asked what is the one thing that people would be surprised to know about her, she responded, “They would be surprised to know that I am very shy and I don’t like public speaking or being in the spotlight, but there is something about when I get on the court and start coaching, it just leaves me,” said Easton. “There is no fear at all and I am in my element at that time, but I like for someone else to do the speaking and I will tell them thanks for doing a great job.”

    As far as beginning her first season at FTCC, Easton was quick to share her thoughts: “I am very proud and excited to be given the opportunity in the college world to coach,” said Easton. “It has always been a dream of mine.”

    Pictured above: Peace Shepard Easton brings decades of experience to her role as head coach of FTCC's women's basketball. (Photos courtesy Fayetteville Technical Community College)

     

  • 05 hurricane imageHurricanes are dangerous and can cause major inland damage because of high wind, heavy rain, flooding and tornadoes. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from the base of a thunderstorm down to the ground.

    Tornadoes can occur at any time of day or night and at any time of the year. They are most common in the southeastern states and the central plains. In recent history the month of September has been the most active period for Atlantic storms. Hurricanes Matthew and Florence impacted the greater Fayetteville area causing severe flood damage.

    Households should have emergency plans and provisions in the event of lengthy power outages. Cell phones should be kept charged, and when you know a hurricane is in the forecast purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

    Plan, prepare and be ready for emergencies with The Public Works Commission’s 2021 Storm Preparation Guide. Request a copy of the guide at PWC’s website www.faypwc.com. Copies of the Guides are also available at Up & Coming Weekly stands in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.

  • 07 Fayetteville Highway LitterThe N.C. Department of Transportation needs volunteers to help clean up roadside trash along during the Adopt-A-Highway Fall Litter Sweep from Sept. 11-25.

    Each April and September, NCDOT asks volunteers to help remove litter from street sides. Volunteers from local businesses, schools, nonprofits, churches, municipalities, law enforcement and community groups play an important role in keeping North Carolina’s roads clean. Joining this effort is easier than ever before as volunteers can now sign up by way of a convenient online form.

    “The litter sweep is a great opportunity to get outdoors with family and friends and work alongside NCDOT to ensure North Carolina remains a beautiful place to live and work.”

    Volunteers can request supplies such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests from local NCDOT county maintenance offices. Anyone who has been recently diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19 should refrain from participating. For more information visit www.ncdot.gov/or call 919-707-2970.

  • 04 Field of HonorThe Airborne & Special Operations Museum Foundation says there is a limited number of Field of Honor flags left for purchase at $45 each.

    Each flag comes with its own story and displays a tag identifying the person who sponsored the flag and the honoree.

    This living display of heroism flies as a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans and honors all who are currently serving, those who have served, and the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation’s freedom.

    The Field of Honor will be displayed on the Museum's Parade Field Sept. 11 through Nov. 14.

  • 08 N1211P12003HSome active duty soldiers and veterans are being “grossly” overcharged for VA home loans, and federal regulators need to suspend or ban alleged bad actors and strengthen their oversight over lenders, according to a new report from the office of Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif.

    The report alleges that NewDay USA and The Federal Savings Bank are aggressively refinancing loans with fees and interest rates that could cost borrowers tens of thousands of dollars more over the life of the loans compared to other lenders.

    “It is despicable that corporate executives would prey on veterans and military families to line their pockets,” said Porter in an announcement of the report, titled “AWOL: How watchdogs are failing to protect servicemembers from financial scams.”

    The report “calls out the lenders that are continuing to single out vulnerable military borrowers for overpriced, cash-out refi mortgages.

  • 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 pr