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Young Man lives with Down Syndrome

For Marks comfort, this video was conducted in a place where he felt most comfortable, home.

Mark Farmer Jr. was born on February 8, 1987 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is 29 years old. When Mark was born, doctors discovered that he had the genetic disorder known as Down Syndrome. This disorder occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. Although he was born with a disorder that affects his mental capacity, Mark does not let it stop him. His mother, Adrienne Wilson says that he competes in the special Olympics and has won several medals.

“The disorder does not set him back at all. He is very active and high functioning”, Adrienne said.

Comedian Bill Cosby faces Trial for Sexual Assault Accusations

Famous comedian Bill Cosby has been in the spotlight for last two years. Cosby has been accused of sexual assault on several women.
The accusations came about following a comedy show that took place in October of 2014. While performing in Cosby’s home town of Philadelphia, Burress mocked Cosby’s public persona. “Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ’80s,” he said in the bit. “Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches.” Things went into an uproar after that. Brian Vitagliano, Holly Yan and Kristina Sgueglia of CNN published a story discussing the current issues surrounding the on going case.
A judge in Pennsylvania found enough evidence during a hearing in May to proceed with a criminal trial. If found guilty, Cosby could serve 10 years in prison.
Cosby’s defense attorney was not please with the decision to move forward with trial. Following the decision to continue with a trial, the attorney made this statement:
“The evidence presented today was evidence of nothing. They had 12 years to bring an accuser to confront Mr. Cosby. They chose not to,” defense attorney Brian McMonagle said.


The photo’s used in the animoto video were obtained from the google photo sheet for Bill Cosby. 

Fisher, L. (2015) Bill Cosby: A Timeline of Sexual Assault Allegations. ABC News. Retrieved from

Seemayer, Z. (2015) Bill Cosby’s Accusers: A Timeline of Sexual Assault Allegations (Updated). ET Online. Retrieved from

Vitagliano, B., Yan, H., and Sguelia, K. (2016) Bill Cosby to stand trial for assault charges, judge rules. Retrieved from

Fort Bragg Harley Davidson hosts Second Annual All American Weekend

Motorcycles and cars lined up and down road on Sunday May 22, for the second annual All American Weekend hosted by the Fort Bragg Harley Davidson, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The event was promoted during the Myrtle Beach Bike Week as well as All American Week in Fayetteville. This event was free and open to the public. There were activities and entertainment for people of all ages. There were bouncy houses, balloon animals, and face painting for the children, and a live band, motor show, and vendors for the adults. The planner of the event was Harley Davidson marketing manager, Christine Montgomery.

“I really just wanted to see everybody come out and see what we are all about. This event is for the community and to see this many people come out to enjoy themselves is great to see”, Montgomery said.

The main attraction was the Ives Brothers’ Wall of Death stunt show. The live music came from RiverMist and Jasmin Cain.

Nat Robertson, the Mayor of Fayetteville, attended the event and did a raffle drawing for a Harley Davidson T-shirt quilt.

The representatives at Harley Davidson say “if you want the real deal, come to Fort Bragg Harley Davidson”. They are the only authorized dealer on Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Cliffdale Public Library promotes Reading “Under the Sea”

On Monday, May 16 at the public library located on Cliffdale road in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a reading event was held for children in grades K-5. The event theme was “under the sea”. The theme song was “Under the Sea” from the classic movie The Little Mermaid.

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world’s largest organization. This organization focuses on the support and enhancement of library services provided for children of all ages. The ALSC’s creative programming includes more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, children’s literature experts, publishers, education and library school faculty members, and other dedicated adults that want to help children succeed in the area of reading and literacy. The events that are hosted at the North Carolina public libraries are held to promote reading in a fun and engaging way that motivates children to want to read everyday. These events help the children to learn to read through music, art and crafts and games. Youth Services Library Associate, Jaime Orsini is a part of the ALSC. She encourages children to read and create and their own stories.

“The goal is to get the children to read and understand what they are reading so that they too can create their own stories to tell” Orsini said.

The public libraries in North Carolina host events every week for children of all ages.


581 Degree’s Conferred at UNC Pembroke Commencement

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke held its 2016 Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 7 at 9 a.m. The ceremony took place on the Quad South Lawn of university’s campus. There were 581 undergraduate degrees conferred during the ceremony.  The local newspaper, The Robesonian reported that there were over 5,000 people in attendance. The speaker for the commencement was 1976 UNCP graduate, Dr. Sallie McRorie. Dr. McRorie’s message to the students was to keep moving and never give up.

Fourteen of the graduates will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S Army and U.S. Air force. This news sent the audience in to an uproar of applause.

During the ceremony, a memorial degree was given to the parents of Doris Paul,21, a former student at UNCP. Paul was killed in a car accident in April of 2015. Her parents were at the ceremony, along with her brother, Charles Paul, who accepted her degree in her honor. Emotions were stirring and the audience began to applaud Doris’s brother as he walked across stage. Doris was a biology major.

Following the ceremony, several celebration stations were set up around the campus to accommodate students and their loved ones. With over 5000 people in attendance, the 2016 UNC Pembroke Commencement Ceremony was one to remember.

Carolina Market: Back by Popular Demand

Carolina Farmers Market, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has been serving the community for over six years in the location it’s in today. Over the years, the customer numbers have increased significantly. Several thefts occurred during the Christmas season, which causes issues with the management, but with the help of the county, the market is back up and running with better security.

“People get desperate during the Christmas season so they feel the need to steal Christmas tree’s. It’s sad but it happens all the time. I feel bad the the market went through that because that’s money lost, customer, Debra Branam said.

Although the market faced a few losses, it didn’t stop them from coming back.  Their customers depend on them for their gardening needs. Even when the rain comes, many customers come out to get their favorite plants and flowers for the Spring.

“I only get my flowers from here. The people are friendly and help me to find what I need to find. That’s why I write to the county representatives to make sure they come back every year, loyal customer, Terry Cobb said.

Spring is the season of flowers, which make them a popular demand. Carolina Farmers Market provides the tools needed for gardener’s, nurseries, and anyone with a green thumb.

Carolina Farmers Market is located in an area of high traffic. The only disadvantage of this fact is that customers are often blocked from the entrance of the market. Customer’s are raising concerns about the location of the market.

“There are accidents on this road almost every other day. I come to the market every other day to see what’s new. One time I waited for about 45 minutes to get into the parking lot. I think relocation is a good idea”, Renee McRae said.




The Life Changer Known as Alzeheimers

James Barnes, 86, waiting to leave for adult day care on Friday morning. He has Alzheimers disease and can no longer care for himself.

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, behavior, and thinking. Nearly 44 million people have Alzheimer’s or related dementia. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia. Today, Alzheimer’s is at the forefront of biomedical research.

James Barnes, 86, of Linden, North Carolina was diagnosed with dementia in 2011. He had already had a history of heart problems since early 2005. The dementia diagnosis only added to his rocky medical history. When James was diagnosed with dementia he was at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina being treated for congestive heart failure. It was not until he began to make confusing statements that doctors decided to test James.

James Barnes, 86, in Fayetteville, North Carolina was doing his hand excercises for the day.

Since his diagnosis, James has been living with his youngest daughter, her husband and their four children. To keep his health, memory, and sanity in check, James takes several prescription medications. He takes medicine in the morning and at night. His diet consists of no salt.

James’ medications for the week.

One of the challenges of caring for a person with Alzheimer’s is the sudden mood changes.

“One day he is completely calm and the next day he can be very irritable. It all depends on how effective the medicine is, his daughter Christina Pennie said.

James does not know that he has Alzheimer’s. He believes that he is a young boy and still lives with his parents.

“Pa taught me everything I know”, James Barnes said.

Elderly people with Alzheimer’s find joy in being around small children.

James Barnes and his great-granddaughter Destiny sitting on his bed enjoying a relaxing night at home.

“He really loves to play and laugh with his great granddaughter. She keeps him alert and smiling”, Christina said.

Each day is a challenge in the life of James Barnes but with the help of his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren he will be celebrating 87 years of life on April 20, 2016. Alzheimer’s alters a person’s life as it progresses.

We just take each day one step at time, that’s all we can do”, Christina said.

James recieving his night medication from his daughter Christina Pennie, alongside his great-granddaughter Destiny.

A Diabetic Story

IMG_6724 A simple sports physical led to a day that David Cobb will never forget. After having his blood drawn, he became lightheaded and sat down abruptly. Alarmed, the doctor checked his urine sample to see if there were any issues. To David’s surprise, there was a big problem. The doctor found glucose in his urine. Not a good sign. Just weeks later, after fighting for his life in  the ICU at Cape Fear Valley Hospital,  David was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was 18 years old and a freshman at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

“It was defintely a shock. I thought I was healthy. I didn’t even know what diabetes was at the time”, David said.

David would have never know how sick he was if it was not for him being unable to complete to a PT test during Air Force ROTC at Pembroke. This caused him to go home for the weekend to reboot. During his visit at home, David enjoyed a browie sunday at the popular restaurant Chili’s. Following the outing, which included his parent’s and his cousin, David went to his cousins house. While there, he fell into a deep sleep. When he woke up, everyone asked was okay, thinking he was just sleepy.

“I was actually completely passed out, but no one knew”, he said.

He passed out a second time. When he awoke the second time, David decided to go home and excercise to see if he would feel any different. He knew something was wrong, but he was avoiding it.

“My dad had me to check my blood sugar, and it was unreadable, so from there is when I went to the hospital and recieved my diagnosis”, David said.

Since finding out he has diabetes, David has been taking good care of himself to stay healthy. He is currently using a pump to provide insulin.

“I have diabetes, diabetes doesn’t have me”, he said.

Young Woman Finds her Father on Facebook

DSC00276Rebecca Gordon, 22, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, looking on Facebook, at the first picture she took with her father, John Pennie, in 2013.

  Rebecca Gordon, a native of Spring Lake, North Carolina, spent 20 years of her life, without a father. That is 20 years of growing, laughing, and loving. At the tender age of 13, Gordon became interested in finding her father.

“I went to my mother and I asked her who my dad was, what did he look like, where is he from”.

Gordon said that her mother could never give her a clear answer. She even tried searching for him on She didn’t get any hits. As a result, she was left with only dreams of what her father could have been like. After several failed attempts with her mother, Gordon gave up on trying to find her father. Seven years later, at the age of 20, Gordon received some very exciting information from her mother, it was her father’s name.

“I just remember feeling excited because I was step closer at finding him”, Gordon said.

At the time, Gordon’s mother had just created a Facebook page. She said that this was another door opened for her to take advantage of. Gordon logged in to her mothers Facebook account and began searching for a man by the name of John Pennie.

The search didn’t take long, she found a man named John Pennie, showed the photo to her mother, and to her surprise, he was the man that her mother said was her father.

“I had to build up the courage to send him message, because it just seeing his picture wasn’t enough”, Gordon said.


John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, playing outside in front of his home, with his grandson Miles.

The message read: Hi. My name is Rebecca. My mom’s name is Debra Brahnam. I wanted to reach out to you because I think you are father. Did you work for Pepsi Cola in 1992? If so then you are definitely the man I have been looking for. I have a son, Miles, he’s 3 and we would love to meet you in person. Please get back with me as soon as possible. Thank you.

Gordon waited for days before she finally received a response from John Pennie.

“It was not a surprise to me. I always knew in the back of my mind that I had a child. Her mother and I lost connection with one another so I never knew what happened, “Pennie said.

DSC00274John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, sitting on a couch in his home, alongside his daughter Rebecca Gordon of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

On June 13, 2013, Gordon met her father for the first time. It was obvious that she belonged because it was if they were looking in the mirror.

DSC00271John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, joking around with his daughter, Rebecca Gordon, of Spring Lake, North Carolina.

“She has my nose, it’s a very distinctive feature that all my children gained from me”, Pennie said.

Gordon was residing in Louisiana before she met her father, today she lives in North Carolina where she be close to her father and her new family.

“Family is everything to me. I want to be close to my dad and I want my son to have his grandpa close by. That’s important,” Gordon said.

DSC00269John Pennie, of Fayetteville, North Carolina, swinging his grandson Miles, of Spring Lake, North Carolina, with the help of his daughter Rebecca, of Spring Lake, North Carolina. The three were enjoying some fun in the sun together.

Gordon said that she knew all along that she was different from her other siblings. She had different hair, and different mannerisms. She knew she had to find her father, so she could compare herself to him. It turns out, they are just alike. Now, Gordon has a father, and Pennie has a new daughter. On April 12, 2016, Gordon will celebrate her birthday with her father for the first  time. They will celebrate in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with family.