Help Make this Couple’s Dream Wedding a Reality

By: Rae Arnett

Eric Estep, an ENMU Alumnus and Senior Firefighter, and Jessica Smith, a high school math teacher, are a recently engaged couple and are in a competition to win the wedding of their dreams. Their first date was in 2014, after meeting while coaching at NC A&T.

“Jessica came across the ‘People I Should Know’ section of my Facebook. If you can fall in love with a picture, I did,” said Estep.

Their paths had almost crossed multiple times, so close that they shared a favorite restaurant, our very own Something Different Grill. Smith discovered her love of SDG when she coached for Texas A&M University – Kingsville.

It took six months for Estep to plan the proposal. He worked with the principal at Northwest High School, where Smith teaches math, and with some of her students to work out his plan.

“The fire drill was real, but the key administrators were clued in on the surprise. I needed 7 students to help with the signs and music. I chose one of her trusted students and clued her in three days before the big day. We met at the school and rehearsed everybody’s positions and assignments. She was thrilled to be included and offered to make the signs. Another student was assigned to share the event live on Facebook, so that her mother, our closest friends, and our families who are spread out across the country could be part of our special moment,” said Estep.


Click the link to see how Eric’s proposal played out! THE Proposal

The contest Estep and Smith entered is called the Bella Collina Experience. The Bella Collina Mansion in Stokesdale, NC is beautiful and seems perfectly designed to host elegant weddings. When asked why they entered the contest, Estep said it was all for Jessica.

“I believe every woman deserves her dream wedding. Jessica is no different. When writing my
letter to her mother to ask her hand in marriage, I explained several of the traits I have fallen in love with about her. “She is respectful, thoughtful, kind, selfless, nurturing, and most importantly, honest…she encompasses the true definition of a good person. I want her to have a wedding that exemplifies our love and commitment to each other. Unfortunately, our families’ financial situations do not allow them to provide the sometimes-traditional financial backing for even a simple wedding, let alone a beautiful Bella Collina wedding and as a firefighter and teacher, though both rewarding careers in many areas, financially rewarding it is not,” said Estep.

Voting opens today, February 7th and goes until February 13th. You can vote an UNLIMITED amount of times! Please visit www.bellacollinaexperience.com​.

Lets get behind our fellow Greyhound and help make he and his fiance’s dreams come true!


What is a Libertarian Anyway?

By Chris McManigal

Third of a 4-part series spotlighting the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Party.

The Libertarian Party was founded in the 1971 and while it is not one of the main two parties, it has gained popularity among those that are disgruntled with the two-party system in the United States. Libertarians are not regarded as either right or left-wing, but rather a combination of both with socially liberal and fiscally conservative viewpoints.

The leading ideology of Libertarianism is non-interventionism and as such Libertarians lean strongly against government regulation of any kind. They instead believe in citizens governing themselves. Due to this they do not believe in most taxation and the programs that taxes often fund such as welfare or the military. They also do not believe that the government should have any say over who can and cannot marry or own guns.

Libertarians often refer to themselves as laissez-faire capitalists, which means they feel that the buying and selling of products and services should be totally free from regulation of tax of any kind and should be subject only to the rules that the buyers and sellers themselves agree to.

As such a new party, there have been no Libertarians Presidents in US history thus far. The most famous Libertarians that have held office have been former Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota and former Representative Ron Paul from Texas. Also, Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, a fellow Libertarian, is one of the current Senators of Kentucky and ran for President in the current election until suspending his campaign in February of this year.

Notable Libertarians include TV host Glenn Beck, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, renowned economist Milton Friedman, news mogul Rupert Murdoch and Hollywood alumni including magicians Penn & Teller and actors Gary Oldman and Clint Eastwood.

Libertarians as seen by supporters: pro-gay marriage, pro-business, defenders of liberty, pro-gun rights.

Libertarians as seen by opponents: Anti-government, anti-military, anti-taxation, anti-social safety net.

Key ideology: Non-interventionism

Size: 411,000


Ya Gotta Vote!

By Chris McManigal

As November nears people tend to divide into two camps. Not Republicans or Democrats, not Libertarians or Green Party voters, no, these two camps are not about political parties. These camps consist of people that have either become increasingly titillated about the prospect of voting that they are giddy with anticipation and those that have become so fatigued by the run-up to the election that the idea of casting a ballot makes them queasy.

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 3.23.55 PMFor those falling into the latter camp, take these close elections into consideration before you decide to sit this one out.

In 1910, challenger Charles Smith beat incumbent De Alva Alexander in Buffalo New York’s congressional district by one vote in the first tally, 20,685 to 20,684.
Marcus Morton became the Governor of Massachusetts for the first time in 1939 by receiving 51,034 votes, just one vote more than what would’ve been an exact 50/50 tie subject to revote if he’d only received 51,033 votes. He lost the next election, but incredibly won again in 1942 by a single vote cast in the state legislature after the all of the candidates failed to win enough votes to declare a majority.

In the Indiana 8th Congressional District election of 1984, Frank McCloskey won his seat after a recount declared him the victor by four votes.

In the 2000 Presidential election George Bush won the presidency over Al Gore by just 537 votes, all from the state of Florida.

Christine Gregoire became the Governor of Washington state in 2004 after beating Dino Rossi by 133 votes after two recounts.

In 2008, incumbent Mike Kelly maintained his Congressional seat for Alaska’s District 7 over challenger Karl Kassel by one vote after a recount.

Regardless of who you vote for, remember that on Tuesday, November 8, 2016 your vote matters. Whether you’re running to the polls gleefully or dragging yourself begrudgingly, get to the polls and VOTE!