Variety of scholarship programs available for students at FTCC

16College is expensive, but it doesn’t have to be expensive for you. The financial aid experts at Fayetteville Technical Community College will help you find a scholarship that is just right for you.
The best thing about scholarships, is that unlike loans, you don’t have to pay scholarships back.

Are you a North Carolina resident who doesn’t have enough money to pay for college?

If so, you should apply for the Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarship. It provides up to $2,250 per year for students living in one of the qualifying counties, which are listed on the application. You can use this scholarship to pay for tuition, books, child care, and even transportation so you can get to school.

Would you like to get paid to go to parties?

If so, you should apply for the prestigious Tom McLean Ambassadors Scholarship Program. As a student ambassador, you will help people understand what FTCC is all about and how FTCC benefits the community. Along the way, you will build relationships with community leaders, develop leadership skills, and get lots of great pictures for social media. The rigorous application process includes grade verification, an essay, and a panel interview. Student Ambassadors receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Did your parents serve in the military?

If so, you may be eligible for the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs Scholarship. This scholarship is available to the children of veterans who died, were captured, or became disabled during their military service. If you don’t qualify for this scholarship, that’s OK. Veterans and the children of veterans are eligible for many other educational assistance programs. FTCC was recently named the most military friendly large community college in the nation, so we are experts in helping veterans and the families of veterans.

Do you want to earn big bucks, driving big trucks?

If so, you need to apply for the State Employee Credit Union Bridge to Career Program. This scholarship will help you pay for your commercial driver license training program. When you are done, you will have everything you need to begin a highly paid career on the open road.

Do you hate filling out applications?

So do we. That’s why the continuing education division no longer requires applications for some scholarships. These scholarships can be used to pay for a wide variety of programs including welding, veterinary assistant, medical billing, and many more. Some programs can be completed online. Scholarships are first come, first served, so enroll today before the money runs out.
These are just a few of the scholarship opportunities at Fayetteville Technical Community College.

If you are ready to learn more, visit to begin your journey with FTCC.

Horsing around with Hercules

7 Welcome back to the wonderful land of Greek Mythology. We all know about man-eating tigers. It turns out tigers aren’t the only critter who chows down on people.

Today, Gentle Reader, you shall learn about man-eating horses. These horses are not convivial like “My Friend Flicka,” brilliant like Roy Roger’s Trigger, talkative like Mr. Ed, or airborne like Shadowfax in “Lord of the Rings.” These are carnivorous equines.

Let us compare and contrast man-eating tigers with man-eating horses. First, a recap of the sad Las Vegas tale of Siegfred & Roy. Oct. 3, 2003 was Roy’s 59th birthday.
The show began like any of the other 30,000 previous Siegfred & Roy shows. Like most things in life, everything was fine until it suddenly wasn’t.

Their nearly 400-pound tiger Mantacore, for reasons known only to the tiger, left his position on the stage and began to walk toward the audience. As there was no barrier between the audience and the tiger, Roy jumped in front of Mantacore to stop him from eating several tourists. Roy’s bravery of protecting the audience resulted in Mantacore grabbing Roy’s arm.

When Mantacore finally released Roy’s arm, Roy tripped over the tiger. Mantacore then grabbed Roy’s head in his mouth and tried to carry Roy off stage. Roy ultimately survived the attack with serious injuries. While he was still conscious, Roy said, “Don’t shoot the cat.” Roy was one of the good guys. Mantacore was just doing what tigers naturally do.

Now back to today’s theme of man-eating horses. Do you remember the story of the Mares of Diomedes? Of course, you don’t. Neither did I until I read up on them recently. Allow me to explain. Once upon a time, King Diomedes of Thrace owned a herd of man-eating horses. Why anyone would want to own a herd of man-eating horses is beyond the scope of this column. Crank up your willing suspension of disbelief. Just accept there was a herd of man-eating horses in Thrace. Pro tip: Alexander the Great’s very own horse Bucephalus was an offspring of this herd. No one but Al could ride the spirited Bucephalus. There is no record of Al’s horse eating any humans so it is safe to assume Bucephalus was a vegetarian. Which reminds me, do you know how to tell if someone is a vegetarian? Answer: They will tell you. Ba dum dum.

Enough digression. Back to mythology. As one of Hercules 12 labors, Herk (as his buddies called him) had to steal the Mares of Diomedes. It is unclear if there were Stallions of Diomedes, but since Bucephalus eventually appeared, it is likely there was at least one stallion. The horses were wild and crazy. Their untamed personalities were attributed to their habit of eating strangers who got too close to them. The horses were chained up to a manger all day while guarded by Diomedes’ soldiers. This lack of exercise in all likelihood contributed to their cranky nature. In addition to eating people, the horses breathed fire. Capturing them could be a little bit tricky for anyone.

There are several versions of how Herk handled this task. In Story A, Herk gets a posse together to fight Diomedes’ soldiers. Herk and the posse beat the soldiers and capture the horses. Unfortunately Herk doesn’t realize the horses are man-eaters. He leaves the horses to be watched by his faithful boy pal Abderus. Man-eating horses do what they do. Abderus becomes horse chow. After capturing Diomedes and returning to the barn, Herk learns that Abderus is no more. Irritated beyond belief, Herk feeds Diomedes to his own horses.

Story B reports Herk cut the horses’ chains himself. Herk chases the herd onto some high ground. He digs a ditch flooding the area thereby corralling the horses on the hill. Diomedes then tries to escape. Herk captures him, killing him with an axe, and feeding him to the horses.

Story C says Herk fed Diomedes to the horses before he released the horses. Diomedes’ soldiers find out their King is Purina Horse Chow. Highly disturbed, they attack Herk. Herk releases the herd to charge the soldiers. The soldiers turn tail, skedaddling out of there not wanting to become horse chow themselves.
Regardless of which version is true, it turns out that once the horses consume human flesh, they chill out and become docile. Sorta like the hippies in San Francisco dining on edibles. Herk was then able to duct tape the horses’ mouths shut to turn them over as part of his tasks for his Scavenger Hunt for King Eurystheus.

So, what have we learned today? Once again, not much. Keep one thought, if you see a fire-breathing horse, don’t try to pet it. You have been warned.

‘Deaths of Despair’ need careful analysis

5 According to the latest-available set of comparable data, North Carolina ranks 33rd in the nation in “deaths of despair” — that is, in the combined rates of suicides, fatal drug overdoses, and alcohol-induced deaths. In 2020 our age-adjusted rate was 55.5 deaths of despair per 100,000 residents, slightly higher than the national average of 54.8.

There are steps policymakers can take to ameliorate the problem. Unfortunately, much of the commentary lately about deaths of despair is based on facile and politically charged analysis. Some mortality indicators exhibit strong correlations with age. To respond effectively to a phenomenon such as rising deaths of despair, we need to understand its causes. Looking only at raw data can lead to misunderstandings.

For example, the two Princeton University scholars who helped coin the phrase “deaths of despair,” Anne Case and Angus Deaton, argue that the trend is primarily a reflection of rising inequality, inadequate social programs and weak labor unions. Our free-enterprise system, they argue, once “lifted countless people out of poverty” but “is now destroying the lives of blue-collar America.”

A 2019 staff report from the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress threw cold water on their thesis. A careful examination of age-adjusted rates going back to the early 20th century reveals a “lack of correspondence” between economic indicators such as poverty or inequality and the death rates in question.

For one thing, age-adjusted rates of suicide and alcohol-induced deaths (such as cirrhosis of the liver) were about the same in 2017 as they were in 1975. They also declined from the mid-70s to around 2000, then went up again. These patterns don’t comport well with attempts to finger capitalism as the culprit. “It is very difficult,” the report notes, “to find such trends that improve over the 1970s and 1980s, then worsen after either 1990 or 2000.”

The trendline looks very different for drug-induced deaths. The rate rose consistently but rather gradually during the last four decades of the 20th century then shot up dramatically during the first two decades of the 21st century. What’s changed? Both the potency (and potential lethality) of illicit drugs and the widespread overuse of opioids.

In other words, if you’re looking for a public-policy lever to pull, you’re more likely to get results if you pull the one marked “discourage drug abuse” instead of the one marked “strengthen labor unions.”
More generally, North Carolina can do a better job of making it easier for residents to obtain high-quality treatment for mental illness and addictions. Government funding can and should play a role here, to be sure, though a recent John Locke Foundation study argues persuasively that loosening the state’s certificate-of-need laws would also enhance the number and geographical distribution of treatment options.

To the extent deaths of despair reflect a lack of social connection, however, I think private associations need to take the lead in remedying it. Consider a study published a couple of years ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s psychiatry edition. It found a strong association between death rates and church attendance. For women,
regular attendance was associated with 68% lower rate of deaths by despair. For men, the difference was about 33%.

Naturally, we can’t just assume a causal relationship from the correlation. There was no experiment here in which the researchers identified depressed or lonely people and then randomly compelled some to go to church and others to stay home. But based on other empirical evidence for religion as a social determinant of health, I think it’s fair to conclude that faith-based institutions are integral to any realistic strategy for reducing deaths of despair.

Renaming brings to mind history, the cost of wokeness

6So Fort Bragg is going to be renamed “Fort Liberty.” Why such a bland name? We commemorate great American military leaders by naming bases and installations in their memory. Don’t we have enough highly regarded military leaders and heroes to honor?

I can think of plenty of deserving U.S. military leaders worthy of the honor. But the reality is our “woke” politicians and their backers detest people that have risen to acclaim and respect because they overcame difficulties and achieved success by diligence and competence. They want us underlings to sit back while they, alone, plot the course of progress and rewrite history.

So why not “Fort Fredendall?” General Fredendall was the U.S. Army commander at the catastrophic defeat of U.S. forces at Kasserine Pass in February 1943. Major General Lloyd Fredendall is the epitome of the mediocrity and passivity that the “woke” types want to impose on us. Anyhow, Fredendall was relieved of command.

I agree that Fort Bragg’s name should be changed. But not because it honors a Confederate. Braxton Bragg left his glorious success behind him in Mexico. As a Confederate commander, Bragg arguably accomplished more to bring General Lee and the Confederacy to Appomattox Court House than the majority of the Union’s generals.
Bragg’s only success was at Chickamauga, but only because James Longstreet’s corps arrived to exploit the collapse of the Union line. But Chickamauga would see the rise of Union general George Thomas.

Bragg went on to lose more battles. At Chattanooga, George Thomas’ troops swept Bragg’s Confederates off of Missionary Ridge, in a rout that ended his field service. But Bragg was restored to command just in time to lose Fort Fisher and Wilmington. With the loss of Wilmington, the Confederacy’s last seaport and essential trade were cut off. Bragg then capped his career by his troops’ arriving too late at the Battle of Bentonville, the last major battle of the Civil War.

So when Camp Bragg was set up when the USA entered the First World War, naming the Army base after a native North Carolinian made sense, but full of sarcasm and irony.
So Fort Bragg is named for a dud.

A far more fitting name for the U.S. Army’s largest base would be George Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga” and the hero of Missionary Ridge and Nashville. There used to be a Fort Thomas in Kentucky, but it was closed in the 1960’s. George Thomas is far more deserving of the honor. As a Union commander, born in Virginia, he spans the North-South cultural divide and embodies the qualities we all need to emulate: competence, courage and conscience. Here is an American hero that personifies the qualities that should unite us. But politicians, both “woke” and other, always seek to divide us.

And why stop at Fort Bragg? Cumberland County, that includes much of Fort Bragg, also needs to be renamed. William Augustus — Duke of Cumberland — was King George II’s youngest son. Like Braxton Bragg, William Augustus was a military commander of dubious talent. After losing the Battle of Fontenoy, the Duke of Cumberland was recalled. But in 1745 he returned to the field at the head of a small British Army to deal with Charles Stuart — Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The Duke of Cumberland’s small force defeated the Highlanders at Culloden in 1746, where he earned the nickname “Butcher.” No need to go into details here; every true Scot knows the history. So naming this county, with its long association with Scottish settlement, after the Duke of Cumberland is an incredible gaffe.
Even in England, Cumberland County is no more. It and Westmorland (another name associated with an odious history) County were merged in 1974 to make the new county of Cumbria. So why not “Culloden County” instead?

While the “woke” crowd is celebrating their great victory in their campaign to erase American history that they find distasteful, they of course have no regard to the actual expenses of their achievement.
So what is Fayetteville going to do about Bragg Boulevard? Change its name too? Who cares what that is going to cost the county, city, and, perish the thought, the people and their businesses?

This has not been thought through competently. That is the price of being “woke.”

Jackie and the Beanstalk

9 Jackie Warner is an enthusiastic and energetic Carolina girl. And like Jack in the fable “Jack and the Beanstalk,” she traded her successful teaching and education administration career for the seeds to plant that would produce a solid Hope Mills community and quality of life.

Like Jack’s magic beans, the seeds she planted in the Hope Mills community were allowed to grow and prosper. Jackie Warner’s proverbial beanstalk grew and grew, with the sky being the limit. As she climbed her beanstalk using education, knowledge, common sense and love for the community, she took the Town of Hope Mills to new heights of influence, prosperity and respectability.

When Jack reached the top of his beanstalk, he was confronted by a mean and ugly giant. When Jackie reached the top of her proverbial beanstalk, she too, was confronted by unethical malcontents. These nasties have tried to undermine her authority, destroy her reputation and impugn her integrity using the anonymity of social media to spread gossip, lies, tasteless photos and cruel parodies of her.

For the most part, until now, her detractors are primarily nameless, faceless cowards who second guess, criticize and undermine Jackie and the Hope Mills leadership. In the process, they manage to stifle Hope Mills’s progress while doing a major injustice to the thousands of citizens, businesses and organizations of Hope Mills that deserve better.

Jackie Warner’s character, goodwill and countless accomplishments have enabled her to defend her reputation without deserting the Town, its citizens, or her beanstalk of success. She has never backed down and has always been confident and professionally content, dealing with and addressing her detractors. Two are former Hope Mills Commissioners and former political candidates — Jessie Bellflowers and Meg Larson.

Larson filed a lawsuit against Warner, accusing her of violating public records laws when she used her personal Facebook as her mayoral Facebook page and blocked people from that page.
In January, during the Hope Mills Commissioners meeting, Mayor Warner read a written public apology to Larson and constituents for blocking access to her and other social media constituents. Mayor Warner did so with confidence, class and dignity — characteristics not found in her detractors. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember any apologies to the Mayor when social media showcased photos of Jessie Bellflowers and

Meg Lawson publicly disrespecting Warner during the election period. I recall that the images, still available on Facebook, had Meg Larson dressed in a creepy clown outfit posing in front of a Warner for Mayor campaign sign with arms extended, giving her the “finger” with both hands. This, too, is protected by the First Amendment. However, it doesn’t show sophistication or class, but it indicates the type of harassment Warner endured. Given Larson’s behavior, it is ironic but revealing the hypocrisy when she is quoted saying: “In a small town like Hope Mills, it’s almost a bullying tactic to treat your citizens like this,” Really?

Warner made a mistake. Of course, ignorance of the law is no excuse. (Recently: Just ask Trump, Biden, and Pence.)

Warner understands and knows the law now, and she has apologized. However, the question remains: Will her harassment stop?

What I find interesting and want to share with our Up & Coming Weekly readers is that despite all the harassment, bullying, slander, lies, falsehoods, lawsuits, administrative and policy roadblocks, and petty distractions caused by local malcontents, Mayor Jackie Warner has continued to climb the beanstalk of success by providing years of honest and dynamic leadership to the Town. Leadership that has translated into notable prosperity for Hope Mills and its citizens.

Within the past year, Warner led the Hope Mills Commission in a direction that netted the Town over $4.5 million from the state; the $17 million Hope Mills Public Safety Building is about to be completed; a $750 thousand all-inclusive Playground and Splash pad is on the way; renovations of the Thomas Oakman Chapel have been completed with work about to begin on Heritage Park.

All of this, plus residential building permits are at record levels, dozens of new businesses have come to locate in Hope Mills, and music, art and culture are becoming prominent and a permanent part of the Hope Mills quality of life. All of these things result from hard work, dedication and leadership from someone who truly cares about the community.

Without a doubt, those few Hope Mills detractors attempting to undermine Warner by causing chaos and divisiveness within her administration are collectively incapable of achieving such successes. So, they can continue to rant, rave and scream “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum” at Mayor Jackie Warner’s beanstalk of success. But the local Blunderbores and Gogmagogs do not affect her, and like Jack’s giant, they will eventually get their just rewards.

Ok, you may ask: What’s with the beanstalk metaphor? Well, perhaps I let my imagination get the best of me. However, when you think about it, there is a parallel between Jack and Jackie and a solid moral to both stories. Jack made a mistake by selling his family’s only cow for beans. But, he planted them and grew a beanstalk which he climbed. At the top, he encountered the mean, nasty giant, but also discovered a magical hen that laid golden eggs. Running for his life he outsmarted the giant and ultimately destroyed him. He returned home a hero, safe and sound and wealthy beyond belief. In other words: Jack took a bad situation and using his wits, intelligence, daring and perseverance turned the situation around that culminated in a happy ending.

Like Jack, Jackie also made a terrible decision; however, she planted her Hope Mills beanstalk seeds and it grew to great heights of success due to being cared for and nurtured with respect and love. At the top of her success, the nasties appear to discredit and destroy Jackie so they can take control and get credit for the Town’s progress.

Unlike Jack’s situation, Jackie’s plight has lasted for years. However, in the end, Jackie has succeeded in fending off the nasties and simultaneously provided the leadership that has taken Hope Mills to new heights in prosperity and development, raising the quality of life for all its citizens.

Unlike Jack, who returned home a triumphant hero, Jackie Warner, a real-life Hope Mills hero, is already home.

Thanks for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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