Commissioners hear update on school bond referendum

New town hall/fire station should be ready by Jan. 1, town manager says 

Jenna Turner, Staff Writer

Sept. 20 was Wingate’s Board of Commissioner’s monthly meeting. Joe Delaney, an administrator for  Union County Public Schools, spoke during the public comment about the Referendum that will be put before the voters on Nov. 8.

They need $54 million to complete projects at Monroe High, Piedmont High, Porter Ridge Middle and High, Western Union Elementary, Sun Valley High and to update the transportation facilities. This will include .16 cent tax increase.on every $100 in property value. Wingate Elementary School is not included in the project.

Delaney said that he was only there to inform the members about the projects and have them consider voting to approve this referendum while they are in the polls voting. He said that it is the last item on the ballot and it is going up against two other bonds.

Commissioner Barry Green voiced his concern saying “You’re asking me to support something that isn’t helping our schools.” Delaney responded with “these are the ones we narrowed it down to this time but we will keep asking so we can keep updating everything.”

Under the New Business portion on the meeting, there were six new thing brought in-front of the board. The board approved Robert Stedge-Larsen to serve three more years as the head of the ABC Board.

They wrote off $4,582.66 in underpayments and uncollected taxes from before 2007, approved the county’s collection of $470,000 this past year and for them to collect $470,000.03 on the town’s behalf this year.

There was an approval of giving $5,000 annually to the Monroe Union County Economic Development agency for the next five years.

Town Manager Patrick Niland also gave the board an update on the new Town Hall/Fire Station. The project is ahead of schedule and should be 90 percent completed mid-October.

Everything should be transferred in and they should be fully operational in the new building by January 1. The plan is to then move the Police Station to the old Fire Station and then start renovating the station.

Bart Farmer, Public Works Official, gave the board a quick update on Public Works. They have repaired the waterline between Marshville and Wingate. They also moved a waterline so it does not conflict with the new bypass.

Sandra Thomas, Grant Administrator, is still looking for more funding for the way-finding signs and working with a Wingate University representative about a Farmer’s Market on campus.

Donnie Gay, Police Chief, talked about the break-in through the drive-through window of McDonald’s. The men waited until the morning staff showed up then emptied the safe before taking off. The search for the men is still on-going.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

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Track and Field Team prepares for its upcoming season

Track and Field Team Overview

Tariah Harrell, Staff Writer

The Wingate University men’s and women’s track and field teams have began their preseason practices for the 2016-2017 season. Head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field teams Travis Leflore and graduate assistant sprint coach Cole Henderson has given us a little insight on how they feel about this preseason and this upcoming indoor and outdoor season.

“The 2016 preseason is looking very encouraging for us,” Leflore said. “We have a lot of new faces to mix in with a strong group of returners. Athletes are looking strong and fit, which for us means a lot. We’re going to continue to build on the great start and try to keep everyone healthy. That mixture will lead to a successful year.”

“The 2016 preseason is looking promising for WUTF” grad assistant Cole Henderson said. “Some students have came back from summer training looking like brand new versions of themselves. The testing week showed growth in strength and speed from returners. Many of the athletes are experiencing some hard workouts, but understand that is the little improvements that add to future accomplishments. I believe the team could be called ‘Wingate Hills’ instead of Wingate Bulldogs right now because we will be running a lot of hills during this preseason.”

WUTF has been on a roll the past two seasons (indoor and outdoor), meanwhile fighting through struggles as days go on as they continue striving to become the best team in the country physically, mentally and emotionally.

“As head coach of this team, my job is to not only prepare our student-athletes for the season, but also our staff,” Lefore says. “As a staff, and a young staff, we’ve done a lot during the offseason to continue to progress this program. We’ve focused a lot on nutrition and hydration with our athletes this preseason, really driving home how important it is to take care of your body to improve. Obviously on the track, we have been working to get as fit as possible while staying injury free; and emotionally, we have been talking about faith, whether someone believes in that or not. That is something that has brought us closer together as a program.”

Cole Henderson, who is a former Wingate track and field superstar, is now in his 2nd year of grad school and being a coach. His mindset has changed tremendously from an ‘athlete’s’ mindset, to a coach’s point of view, but yet he can still relate.

“Mentally I am trying to prepare the athletes to consciously understand what their body is doing during performance. I do not want any athlete to simply just go through the motions of sprinting and hurdling. I try to challenge them to get out of their comfort zone when performing different repetitive workouts. Practice is the time to make mistakes and learn from them.”

“Physically, I am trying to prepare my athletes to be strong, therefore there are a lot of workouts that demand strength from the athlete. Threshold and capacity workouts will be implemented before speed, which becomes the cement over the foundation. Emotionally, I hope I am preparing my athletes to lean on God by example. Whenever an athlete is emotionally stricken, I like to remind the athletes that we serve a good God and to lean on him in times of need through prayer” Henderson replies.

In the South Atlantic Conference Championships this past March, men’s track and field placed 3rd, while the women placed 2nd, losing to Queens University by a few points. “I fully expect for both men and women to win the SAC conference championships this year,” Henderson said.

“I have been a part of the WUTF program for 6 years and this is the most competitive women’s team I have ever seen. The women’s team is filled with veterans that are ‘hungry’ for the championship. While on the men’s side has seen success in 2014 at the SAC championships, last year’s 3rd place finish was a big upset. The memory of last year’s defeat is fueling the men’s team this year, and it is evident by the hard work they have been showing, ”Henderson said.

Leflore, being the youngest track and field coach in NCAA Division II history and first AfricanAmerican head coach at Wingate, says that his expectations for the team is fairly simple. He expects the WUTF to be one of the top teams in the region and conference, and continue to have more athletes competing in the NCAA National Championships while also moving up in their national rankings.

“I want our young men and women to grow as individuals”. WUTF’s team morales has become very high since Isaiah Kyle’s return to campus after an intense health scare. Leflore and Henderson both say that the team morale has been high and has brought the team closer together.

“We have all been through a lot as a team, but we have all witnessed God’s grace and mercy with Isaiah coming back on campus, and we are so happy to have him back,” Leflore responds.” The love and support shown by the university and student body was graciously overwhelming,”

Cole Henderson says. “It was special to see the faith aspect of Wingate University be fulfilled during that hard time. People who didn’t know Isaiah personally were praying for him and prayer was the powerful tool that helped complete the process.”

As the team gets ready for their 1st indoor meet, the coaches are preparing not only their athletes but also themselves for the upcoming season. “As head coach, we deal with so much daily, I think the big thing for me is just to continue to improve across the board and be ready for everything,” Coach Travis responded.

“Motivation for the team can come in so many different ways, I am constantly thinking of ways to keep everyone motivated through the long season.” As for grad assistant Cole Henderson, he says he prepares by praying over the team and for himself that he can lead accordingly.

“I pray for my sanity at times because coaching is not easy. I try to learn from my elders, such as Coach Travis, Coach Whitney, and Coach Ashley, by asking them questions and following their lead. I am continuing to grow from things that I did last year as a coach and improving the program by any means necessary; and with that commitment, I hope to see success fall into place”.

The Wingate Bulldogs first meet is December 3rd at the JDL Kickoff Classic in Winston- Salem, North Carolina.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Wingate Seeks Donations for the Namesake of the Newest Building!

Wingate working on naming the new Health and Wellness Facility

Kendall Sienon, Staff Writer

Wingate, N.C. — Have you ever wanted a building named after you? Well now’s your chance! Wingate University’s newest construction, The Health and Wellness Center is running smoothly. In fact, they are accepting donations for the building’s namesake! But most importantly, we have an exclusive look at the newest features of this center.

Wingate University’s new Health and Wellness Center is going to be a fresh take on fitness with “fantastic equipment and state of the art features.” The building will include a new, modern lobby space with a functioning scanning system and optical gates to allow student entry.

There will be locker rooms for not only students but for faculty and staff as well. The updated strength room will be triple the size of the current one in the DPC. A two-court wood floor for basketball, two racquetball courts, and a Multiple Activities Court (or MAC) will be installed on the first level. The MAC is a multipurpose area designed for many different sports including indoor soccer, floor hockey, and lacrosse. Additionally, there will be office suites for coaches and staff as well as administrative offices.

On the second floor, there will be two group fitness rooms, a room designed for cycling class, an indoor track, and designated cardio areas. Brand-new TVs will fill the space as well as built-in Internet, Netflix, and a whole new dose of technology that will change the way students work out. “There will be something for everyone,” says Dei Reich, Director of Campus Recreation who also is assisting in heading the project.

With the new construction, there will be a few changes to Campus Recreation. For one, there will be a plethora of new jobs available for students. The hours will be extending to allow everyone the opportunity to use the new facility. There is a hope for increase participation in intramural sports and to influence students to “Unleash an Active Lifestyle”, a mantra Campus Rec and its staff members try to instill upon Wingate students.

“I’m excited for our students,” states Dei Reich. “This will be a great place for our students to play, work out, be active, and be social.”

Scheduled to be open in January 2017, it couldn’t come at a better time. The New Year, New Me resolution most people take will hopefully give students, faculty, and staff a perfect opportunity to use the facility! Look for advertising after Fall Break for student job opportunities and potential information about training.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Students prep for the future with Internships and Career Services

Tips for Internships and Career Services 

Cierra Smith, Staff Writer

As many college students may know, the stresses of getting out into the workforce after spending four years earning a degree can be monumental. During those four years, the students spend the majority of their time researching what they want to do and who they want to be once graduating, and that can also be an added stress. Depending on the school, there are an abundance of different resources on-campus that can help aid in the process of finding employment, as well as prepare students with the necessary experience that they may need when entering the workforce.

Here at Wingate, we have just that! The Office of Internships and Career Services, is an on-campus organization that aims to help students find internships and jobs prior to graduation, as well as serve as a resource for students when it comes to the different aspects of their majors.

In an interview with the Assistant Director of the office, Candice Sturdivant, she was able to lay out a few key things about her job, as well as valuable information about the Office of Internships and Career Services. When talking about internships, it’s important to know what they actually are.

Candice described internships as opportunities for students to learn more about a career that interests them, as well as a way to gain real-world job experience through hands-on learning. With internships, not only are they essential when it comes to gaining experience in your career-field of choice, but they are also great resume builders.

Candice stressed that it is not imperative to have an internship, but did mention that having one could give you the upper hand when it comes to interviewing for jobs once graduating from college.

In the Office of Internships and Career Services, there are six career advisors, including Candice, who serve as allies to help students within particular majors get their careers started. They work with students to build resumes, find what career they want to go into, as well as aid them in other areas of academics.

The office also has an online database, CareerGate, which populates the legitimate jobs and internships in the areas surrounding Wingate and the database is meant to be used as a tool for students looking for employment opportunities.

During the interview, Candice mentioned that the office looks at other job databases and personally picks out jobs that they know will be of interest to students and jobs that relate to the majors here at Wingate. As the interview wrapped up, Candice shared that the most rewarding part of working in the Office of Internships and Career Services is being able to help students navigate their way through their college journey and seeing all of the success stories of the students who visited the office while in college.

Candice also said that the most challenging part was advertising the office and getting more students into their doors. One last thing that Candice stressed during the interview was to not be afraid to stop by the office, which is located on the first floor of Alumni Hall. All of the career advisers are there to help students in any way that they can when it comes to their career of choice and enjoy being an ally for students here at Wingate.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Study Abroad Peer Mentor Program Starts at Wingate

Beginning of a new program to connects its students Internationally

Megan Katz, Staff Writer

This semester, Wingate’s Office of International Programs is beginning a new Peer Mentor program to connect students interested in studying abroad with mentors who have already completed their respective programs.

Ms. Lizz Baxter, Assistant Director of International Programs at Wingate University, crafted this program from a pre-existing model, because she says she wanted there to be a platform for students who go abroad to be able to share their stories.

Ms. Baxter says it was evident the most effective way students get information about study abroad opportunities is through a personal connection, and she wanted to help make those connections stronger.

“The first mentor assignment has been to speak in Gateway classes upon request,” says Ms. Baxter. “We have a language fair that the mentors will be involved with, as well as the W’International Pre-departure.”

Peer mentors will also have the opportunity to speak at special events like Family Weekend and Scholar’s Day.

Sophomore Danielle Nook is one of the student mentors in this program. She had the opportunity to participate in the Costa Rica Language Immersion program this past summer.

“I had an absolutely incredible time on my study abroad program, and I wanted to share that with other people and encourage them to do the same,” says Nook.

Nook says that any student who may be wary about going abroad should really just take the time to talk to a mentor. Going abroad is a priceless opportunity, and there may be so many ways to achieve that experience that students may never think of, Nook says.

Ms. Jennifer Armentrout, Director of International Programs, says, “I am excited to see this program come together, and I look forward to even more students taking advantage of the many opportunities we offer to go abroad on high impact programs.”

A bulletin board featuring the pictures and biographies of all of the current peer mentors will soon be posted in the lobby of Alumni and the DPC.

Ms. Baxter says she is always looking for more mentors, so if you are interested in becoming a mentor or studying abroad, please contact the Office of International Programs at e.baxter@wingate.edu or international@wingate.edu.

Keep an eye out for the Language Fair which will be held in the cafeteria on October 4th from 11-1pm, as well as International Education Week which will happen in November. Please contact Ms. Baxter if you would like to propose an event for that week.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Calm on campus amid the chaos close to home

Perspective of safety from a Campus Safety Officer

Zeriq Lolar, Staff Writer

             With the hustle and bustle of the Wingate University school year, it can be very hectic for students and faculty. Although, it is hectic for these individuals, campus safety can be hectic also.

Wingate University has had its population go up and down the past years, but for the 2016-2017 school year it has been very evident that the population is flooding with students. With limited parking spots, and smaller cafeteria, Wingate has been trying to expand due to its overflow of individuals. This however can attract a lot of crime due to more vehicles around campus and limited parking spots.

Wingate University Chief of Campus Safety Michael Easley reacted to the increase of students. Easley said, “The calls for service are a lot more than we normally deal with, nothing bad though, but with the number of freshman that we have coming in it was a lot to handle at once, so we had to bring in some new officers for traffic control and answer calls for service.”

The chief also gave some good advice and insight on safety for cars as students look for parking spots, especially at night to prevent break-ins. Easley said, “I would suggest that you park in well-lit areas so your car is visible, keep your car locked don’t leave any valuables in view, and always report any suspicious activity.”

Due to recent events in Charlotte, there have protests and rioting that have caused lots of damage to the city of Charlotte. With Wingate only being 30 miles down the road from Charlotte there have been rumors that there was going to be rioting or protests on campus.

Chief Easley shared what his plan would be if that were to occur. “Unfortunately we have had some rumors that these things might happen on campus, I immediately got with our command team and met with local law enforcement and had a plan in place if in the event something were to occur. Thankfully nothing happened, we actually had a prayer vigil and some of the campus safety officers participated in the vigil. We have a great community at this University and we like to think of it as one big family.”

Craziness might be happening right in our backyard, however, the students and faculty of Wingate University can feel very safe, especially when Chief Michael Easley and Wingate Police are around to protect and serve.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Local gas shortage causes panic at the pumps

Residents sent into panic about the possible lack of fuel in NC

Anthanee Doyle, Staff Writer

 Wingate Students, Faculty and staff drivers panic about riots, pot holes, glass in the street or maybe even animals but do not panic about gas. If you have been under the impression that gas prices have gone insane you’re wrong. Yes, The Carolinas have been effected by a big gas leak.

This leak caused many gas stations to higher their prices a little if they have not yet suffered from an outage. Good news, the company has restarted their gasoline pipeline meaning everything should go back to normal soon.

September 9th in Shelby county Alabama an employee for Alabama Surface Mining Commission noticed the strong odor of gasoline from the pipeline where he then discovered a massive leak. The gasoline company estimates that the colonial pipeline that services the east coast leaked between 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline.

This colonial pipeline was built in 1963 and the company estimates that is supplies over 40 percent of the east coasts gasoline. This Tuesday Colonial Pipeline spokesman Bill Berryrews got the green light to begin cleaning up the gasoline. Since then over 800 employees have been working hard in Alabama to restart the pipelines.

The Charlotte Observer said that the average price of a gallon of gas in their area is 19 cents higher than last week’s prices. Wingate Universities basketball coach Markus Kirkland said “ I always try to get gas in SC because the gas is cheaper, but even the gas in an border city was gone, but my routine didn’t change much”.

When he drives from Indian land, South Carolina to Wingate; Kirkland said “ 3 out of every 4 gas stations that I passed, over both states, were out of gas. Luckily I filled up before the crisis”

AAA spokeswoman Tiffany Wright reported that these gas outages have made drivers feel the need to go fill up all at once. If demand increases so does the price of gas. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory expresses to the people not to fill up their tanks unless they need to. These actions are only making gas prices higher.

In the next few days gas prices and availability should be back to normal if everyone keeps calm. So Wingate don’t be scared of this unfortunate event.

Edited by: Sara Gunter