Senate Bill could designate state cat

By Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist

Dear Senate District 10 Constituent,

I hope everyone is having a great week. In last week’s newsletter, I encouraged high school students to apply for the Youth Legislative Assembly program. I believe this is a great program that offers valuable experience to students who are interested in the legislative process and politics. I have decided to sponsor a student from each of the three counties in our district. If you are interested in being part of the program, please send me the information found on the application at, along with telling me the reason why you would like to serve in the program.

This week, we have pages from the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy in New London. I enjoyed getting to meet and talk with them Monday night in our chamber.

I look forward to having the privilege of sponsoring the students from the Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy in Salemburg when they page for us at the end of this month.

Larry Hall Confirmation

On Monday night, the Senate unanimously confirmed Larry Hall as the Secretary of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs. North Carolina holds its military and veterans in high regards, and I believe it is one of the best things about this state. I look forward to working with Secretary Hall in the future, and wish him good luck in his new role as Secretary of the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked what your thoughts were on SB 55. If passed, this bill would allow the installation of cameras on school buses to provide video or photo evidence against a person who may break the law by passing a stopped school bus. Many of you responded that you like the idea of additional cameras. I am always open to exploring all options of safety for students, along with all North Carolinians. I look forward to monitoring this bill as it progresses through the legislature.

This week, I would like to hear your feedback on a recently filed bill, SB 197. This bill would name the Bobcat the official state cat of North Carolina.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in any way possible.

Annual Calypso benefit fundraiser

The seventh annual Calypso Baptist Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer Benefit fundraiser will be this coming Saturday, March 11, at the Calypso Fire Department. The event will start with Barbecue plates being served at 4 p.m. The annual fundraising auction will start at 6pm and items being auctioned will range from gift baskets to baked goods. All benefits raised by the fundraiser will be split between the MS Society and Outlaw Foundation to assist in fighting Multiple Sclerosis and cancer.

Sidewalk play spaces in Benson

The Town of Benson recently completed their Sidewalk Play Spaces around the Mary Duncan Public Library. These painted Sidewalk Play Spaces consist of a variety of different interactive activities for citizens; such as hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, and spelling and math games. Benson’s Parks and Recreation Department submitted the Sidewalk Play Spaces as part of the KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challenge. The challenge is a non-profit program that awards cities across the United States for innovative ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families. Play Everywhere Challenge dedicates itself to bringing active play to the daily lives of children. Benson was among the 50 out of 1,000 applicants and received an award of $10,000.

SCC program provides homes

The Building and Construction Trades Department at Sampson Community College is a program that was designed to be mutually beneficial for the students who participate in the program and Sampson County. The program provides students with hands on experience in all phases of the construction industry; including management, blue print reading, estimating, building codes, management, and much more. Students at Sampson Community College actually build full sample homes that they then sale to the citizens of Sampson County for an affordable price. These homes come complete with plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and have to pass the same professional inspections as any other home. The Sampson Community College Foundation partnered with Sampson Building Supply have made this possible, with the work of the Building and Construction Trades Department at the community college.

District Spotlight

Recently, Jarman and Nancy Sullivan were awarded as one of the ten finalist from across the United States as a National Outstanding Young Farmer. The Sullivan’s run a family farm near Faison and grow corn, soybeans, wheat, tobacco, and timber. Also, they have hog nursery and finisher operation. Jarman Sullivan graduated from NC State with a degree in Agronomy. After graduating, Jarman returned to the family farm and implemented lots of improvements, such as center pivot irrigation, soil moisture sensors, low drip nozzles, soil sampling, and terraces to reduce erosion. This has all helped reduce the risk factors associated with farming and help to produce new, more efficient products. In addition to farming, Jarman is the fire chief of Piney Grove Volunteer Fire Department and also serves as a member of the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee and Southern States Cooperative Advisory Board. Nancy Sullivan teaches second grade at Hobboton Elementary School, while also handling the technology on the farm, such as bookkeeping, records and software mapping. Please join me in congratulating Jarman and Nancy Sullivan on being inducted into the prestigious National Outstanding Young Farmer Organization for their hard work on their farm and in their community.

In Closing

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative in the North Carolina Senate. I read every email that comes to my legislative account and I encourage you to reach out to me with your thoughts and concerns. If you would like to stay informed of my actions in the legislature, I encourage you to friend me on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter using the links at the top of the page. If you would like to subscribe or unsubscribe to this newsletter, please email Alex Fagg at [email protected]

By Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist