Fayetteville’s Rockefeller Estate

In 2013 I discovered ‘urban exploring’.  I was working as a portrait photographer then and a friend asked me to do a family shoot at the Rockefeller Estate.  I had no idea there was one, much less two Rockefeller estates in the area!  Over the next few years I made dozens of trips to the […]

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Fayetteville’s historic cemeteries

It’s not often Cait wants to spend the day with me…when she does I jump on it.  We spent all afternoon tooling around the historic cemetery’s in Fayetteville.  There was lots of Spanish moss, a few homeless people and a lively discussion about grave robbing.  In general I’m opposed to it.  

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New Board is quick to fix issues and move forward

  The new Board of Commissioners met this evening for a special meeting to address the listed issues.  Town Manager Melissa Adams began by reading an existing policy to the Board.  She covered basic protocols which the staff and Board have followed for decades…until the last board was elected… The Town manager will provide the […]

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Trip to Southern Pines

Southern Pines before is one of our favorite day trips.  Jim and I drove down recently to explore and then just a short while later Candice and I made a day of it… Nestled in the Sandhills between Pinehurst and Aberdeen, is the quiet town of Southern Pines. Founded in 1887 by steel magnate John […]

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Investing in our future is a no-brainer

by BILL BOWMAN  PUBLISHER’S PEN Will Fayetteville get a new North Carolina state-operated North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center? That’s a good question. Basic logic would dictate it’s a no-brainer for a community like ours that is working hard to attract business and industry to Cumberland County. As the General Assembly readies itself […]

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Dear Sherri,

Yes! Your family should move here! Hope Mills is part of Cumberland County.  We’re the 2nd largest municipality in the county, Fayetteville is the largest.  Our population is roughly 17,000 strong. Hope Mills is known for it’s parks and recreation.  Most of the municipalities in Cumberland County rely on Fayetteville to run their programs but […]

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Up & Coming Weekly addresses the investigation and results

Today marks the one year anniversary of the closed session and LSF’s meeting with the Board of Commissioners.  And while a lot has changed, too much remains the same.  In the past week supporters of Larson and Mitchell have launched a campaign to discredit Cauley and his investigation.  As recently as yesterday Larson used social […]

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May 20th Meeting Recap

– The Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau produced this amazing Visitors Guide for Hope Mills.   FACVB did a tremendous amount of research for the books and paid for them so they didn’t cost the tax payers anything.  And they’re really beautifully done.  They should be popping up all over town very soon, if they […]

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Have we moved forward???

Up & Coming Weekly has dedicated next week’s issue to the Hope Mills investigation.  Jeff Thompson, Earl Vaughan Jr. and I have each written an article to cover the investigation. However, this has become a developing story. Wednesday night James Cauley presented the results of his investigation to the Board of Commissioners.   He began by […]

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Up & Coming – their red herring

  The above graphics are from June 2017, when the Board initially heard the proposal from Bill Bowman, and from July 2017 when the Board voted unanimously to accept the proposal.  But what exactly was the proposal? What was presented as the Hope Mills Initiative (HMI) was really a collaborative effort between the Hope Mills […]

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Creative place making Pt. II

As the creative place making initiative weaves its way across the country, big and small communities are finding unique opportunities to incorporate art into our environment.  The idea of making every-day objects decorative was a natural leap. These are examples of art covering storm drains.  They’re not only artful, but they’re an opportunity to remind […]

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Discussion of Lake Bulkhead Project

The Board faced backlash from residents who were unhappy the lake level was being lowered and the lake would be unavailable for the majority of the summer.  They stood by their decision to continue with the project instead of delaying. During the April 1st meeting Town Manager Melissa Adams read the following statement. – The […]

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Government overreach in Hope Mills

    On March 17th (Sunday) a local resident began removing trees from his private property…the property is adjacent to Heritage Park.  Several people saw this and thought the town was removing trees from municipal property.  Residents began to call Commissioners, who then called town manager Melissa Adams at home. Adams called the resident and […]

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The backpedaling is coming

The Board of Commissioners will meet tonight for their regular meeting.  The agenda includes two interesting topics… Commissioner Mitchell has asked the board to discuss the lake bulkhead project, and Commissioner Larson has asked to discuss a PARTF grant for the lake park. Link to all agendas and minutes December 3 2018 – This board […]

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Full disclosure

How much influence does Lisa Waring wield over the Board of Commissioners and specifically, over Commissioner Larson? Once again, a source has provided screen captures from inside Hope Mills Chatter, the private Facebook group owned and operated by Lisa Waring.  This conversation took place March 19…six days prior to the special meeting held by the […]

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There are two sides to every story

1 – Whereas the Hope Mills Town Board appreciates and supports the cultural arts within our community. 2 – Whereas the Hope Mills Town Board believes it is important for elected officials to act in an honest, ethical and transparent manner for the citizens we serve. 3 – Whereas it is important for our citizens […]

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Guerilla marketing meets economic development

The face of retail has changed considerably since 2009 when the national recession began.  Large and small retail companies had to reevaluate their investment, and in too many cases they determined the cost of staying open far outweighed the potential revenue. With so many closures, communities of every size are facing an abundance of empty […]

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The Creative Sector: A Proven Economic Catalyst for Rural America

Today’s post is from www.medium.com It reinforces some of the ideas we’ve been discussing on the site this week, about the role art plays in a community and the effect art has on our economy. NGA   The National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors. Follow NGA at @NatlGovsAssoc Rural regions […]

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Creative place making – Pt. I

The world is but a canvas to our imagination.  -Henry David Thoreau Today we’re going to continue our discussion of creative place making and bringing art into our community.  These are all ideas I’ve been stashing away for years, and to be honest, since most of the Board of Commissioners isn’t too fond of me […]

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The nice things we can’t have…

For nearly eight months I’ve talked about the Board of Commissioners…specifically about certain commissioners…and how their personal agendas and vendettas prevent the entire board from moving forward.  They are the reason we can’t have nice things.  I think I even used that as a title on an article.  But…what are the nice things we can’t […]

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Editorial by Earl Vaughan, Jr.

Publisher Bill Bowman cedes his usual column space to Earl Vaughan Jr. this week. Vaughan Jr. talks from a personal perspective about an issue plaguing Hope Mills leadership. I’ve known Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner since she was the cheerleading coach at Douglas Byrd High School years ago. Warner was one of the first cheerleading coaches at that time who pushed the envelope for her young […]

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Where is Hope Mills’ history????

The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and the Board of Commissioners met February 13th to discuss the Christ Episcopal Church Parish House on South Main Street.  Last March the board voted unanimously to destroy the house at a cost of $11,000. “I question why our commission was never informed of their decision to demolish the building,” […]

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The board uses lies and half-truths to justify bad behavior

During the February 18th meeting, the Commissioners spent a great deal of time discussing veteran issues.  Again.  Specifically Commissioner Mike Mitchell addressed my February 7th article ‘Mitchell launches new attack on veterans’.  (Link) MM – “I take exception to this article.  Never at any point did I separate any discussion on the veteran committee.  I […]

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What good shall I do this day?

I’ve never gotten to say this before…but the Board of Commissioners impressed me tonight.  They held a special workshop meeting to discuss…for the third time…changes to the sign ordinance. All of the board members were polite to one another, they asked great questions, they sometimes contradicted one another but not in a mean spirited way.  […]

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Mitchell launches new attack on veterans

  January 11th I emailed an application for the historic preservation committee to the town clerk.  One other person applied before me so the clerk emailed back to ask if I was interested in any other committees.  I knew there would be an opening on the Veterans Affairs Commission (VAC) so I told her I’d […]

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Laws are the sovereigns of sovereigns

‘It was more of an introduction of interest”  Larson During the February 4th meeting the board addressed my questions regarding ordinance 2018-9 and whether or not they’d violated that ordinance. Commissioner Larson said, “I wanna address the ordinance with our attorney because there were three commissioners that were present at the meeting – but there […]

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Pot, kettle…black!

During the Board of Commissioners meeting on July 23rd, Commissioner Larson accused Mayor Warner of having prior knowledge of Lone Survivor Foundation’s June 4th presentation.  Mayor Warner clarified she knew there would be a presentation, but not what the presentation was about.  Larson’s continued suspicion spawned a formal investigation. It also spawned Ordinance 2018-9 “Whereas […]

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The wheels of justice turn slowly

ACLU Responds – In July 2018, Commissioner Mike Mitchell blocked me from his social media.  I contacted the North Carolina branch of the ACLU for guidance.  This very issue was being heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals who only recently rendered a decision. It IS unconstitutional for elected officials to block the public […]

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Hope Mills deserves better leadership

  Editor’s note: On occasion, Publisher Bill Bowman yields this space to allow others to discuss relevant local topics. This week’s Publisher’s Pen is by HopeMills.net founder Elizabeth Blevins. “If you want an amazing downtown, it must start with rock stars leading the way. Board members who understand their commitment.” MainStreetAmerica.org Where are the rock stars in Hope Mills? Where’s the dedication and […]

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Who’s ‘wrongdoing’ what?

As a rule I try not to name private citizens.  Elected officials are subject to scrutiny but private citizens are not.  Likewise, I don’t reference personal issues.   But when private citizens use social media to accuse their fellow citizens and respected organizations of serious crimes, they forfeit that privacy.  They become the news. Last week […]

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Up & Coming Weekly – Golf Course Article

On December 3rd the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners voted to approve a plan for Phase II of the lake bed project.  The engineering firm, Fleming & Associates, has been presenting revised site plans to this board for a year, at a cost of $50,000. Monday night the board was told federal regulations have changed […]

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The reason we can’t have nice things…

    This is the video of the December 3rd meeting, posted by the Town of Hope Mills.  There are many relevant points and I’ll be posting about those at a later date.  For now, We’re going to focus on 2 key issues. Issue 1 – Roughly 11 minutes into the video, Mayor Warner announces […]

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The evolution of the blog

Not long after the July 23rd meeting, Commissioner Mitchell wrote a post for his official Facebook page, in which he accused the mayor of ‘going rogue’ in facilitating the sale of 19 acres to Lone Survivor Foundation.  His post, which you can read for yourself, implied that Jackie Warner conspired with her son, Teddy Warner, […]

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Is a Fayetteville Performing Arts Center in our future?

BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY.   COMMENTS? COMMENTS?        BILL@upandcomingweekly.com.    910-484-6200 As a child, when I took more food than I could eat my mother would say,  “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” Well, the same may be said of Fayetteville and Cumberland County’s appetite for initiating future economic development projects. […]

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The untold good news story of America today

This is not my article….I found it while doing research and thought it was incredibly relevant.    We’ve become complacent.  We’ve allowed the discourse that emanates from the Board of Commissioners to set the tone throughout the entire community.  We have to stop! Please read the entire article and be as inspired as I was.  I […]

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Parks and Recreation Committee meeting recap

Written by Elizabeth Cooper, Co-founder of Hope Mills Citizens for Change The October 29th, 2018 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.  The meeting was attended by Sally Bailey, Chairperson, Sandra Ebron, Winnie Golden, Tiffany Horne (arrived late), Mike Seals, Linda Sumners, Maxie Dove(Liaison for HM PR), Meg Larson (Liaison for HM BOC), and Bruce Armstrong (Liaison […]

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Board blunders through baseball offer

  The October 22nd meeting began with a presentation from Jeremy Aagard, the General manager for the Fayetteville Swampdogs.  They’re proposing a partnership with Hope Mills wherein they would lease 5 acres of golf course property, plus enough for a parking lot.  They want to build a $12-15 million-dollar multi-use facility for recreation.  They’re asking […]

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Lone Survivor volunteers clean Hope Mills cemeteries, replace flags

Written by EARL VAUGHAN JR. & Published in Up & Coming Weekly October 2, 2018 There were plenty of opportunities for cleanup in Hope Mills in the wake of Hurricane Florence, but once she determined most of the needs of the living were met, Mayor Jackie Warner sought help for a group that couldn’t help […]

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Mitchell Adds Insult to Injury

August 17th I posted about this email from Commissioner Mitchell to the staff and Board.  The email looks like a violation of N.C. General Statute 160A-169   Not even two weeks later, on August 30, Commissioner Mitchell posted this graphic on his Facebook page..showing that he actually attended the John Szoka meet and greet he […]

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Hope Mills Wins Award, Loses Respect

Written by: Elizabeth Blevins From the August 29 issue of Up & Coming Weekly – During the August 20 Board of Commissioner’s meeting, Hope Mills received a plaque from the City-County Joint Appearance Commission, who recognized the dam at the 10th Annual Community Appearance Awards. On September 10, Town Manager, Melissa Adams, will travel to […]

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Support rally for LSF labeled ‘protest’ by Commissioner

Last night there was a rally for citizens who support Lone Survivor Foundation, and who want to encourage the Board of Commissioners to reconsider their stance on selling LSF a parcel of land.  The group met at Grace Place Christian Church on Main Street and spent more than an hour discussing options.  A petition has […]

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Interview with Terry Jung, Executive Director Lone Survivor Foundation

  “Mourning is in every household, desolation written in broad characters across the whole face of their country, cities in ashes and fields laid waste, their commerce gone”  General Sherman In March of 1865, General Sherman stormed through our small town, burning the mills around which we’d built a community.  His intention was to bring […]

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