Congratulations September Employee of the Month: Dana Diaz

Dana Diaz

Dana Diaz continues, on a daily basis, to represent the Financial Aid Department by providing world class customer support to our current and future students, faculty and staff. She answers a multitude of financial aid questions. She clearly has a wealth of knowledge that makes the department run smooth and creates a seamless flow of satisfied students who are able to receive financial aid for their college education.

Dana takes the initiative to help every customer by providing them with helpful information and she provides hands-on support with the submission of applications for Federal PELL Grants. Often times, too many to count, Dana has taken on the role of a Financial Aid Specialist and performs at a high level of proficiency. She works countless hours performing Financial Aid Specialist duties while employed as a receptionist. She has volunteered to work many hours after close of business to help the department during multiple end of semesters to manage records. Recently promoted to a Financial Aid Specialist, Dana worked as the only specialist in the department for three weeks during a transition period with minimum staff and still provided seamless customer support.

Dana Diaz
Financial Aid Specialist

Q.   How long have you worked for CCCC?
A.   I have worked here for a little over four years.
Q.   What brought you to CCCC?
A.   I began my Human Service Degree in Fall of 2010 right after graduating from high school. As a full-time student I found that I really needed a part-time job to help pay for my expenses. I found that the part-time Financial Aid Receptionist position was available and I applied!
Q.   Describe what you do for the College.
A.   As a receptionist I saw the majority of the students that stopped by the financial aid office. I had to assess their needs and either attempt to help them at the window or get them back with one of the specialists. I did that for four years and recently got promoted to Financial Aid Specialist over the work study program.
Q.   Where were you born?
A.   I was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Q.   Where did you grow up?
A.   I grew up in Sanford.
Q.   Educational credentials?
A.   I received my Associate Degree in Human Services Technology and am currently working on my University Transfer degree to hopefully get my bachelor’s in Social Work.
Q.   Where do you live now?
A.   I currently live in Cameron, North Carolina.
Q.   Tell us about your family (relatives, spouse, children, grandchildren, etc.).
A.   I was married in April of this year to Jose Cuellar, who is a specialist in the US Army. I have a four-year-old son named Romeo Joel Diaz.
Q.   What are some of your hobbies or other interest outside of CCCC?
A.   I love to watch movies, read, and spend quality family time with my husband and son.
Q.   Anything else you'd like to share with the CCCC family?
A.   I would love to share that I am blessed to be a part of the CCCC family.

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First in the World $9.2M Grant


Central Carolina Community College has been awarded a $9.2 million First in the World (FITW) grant by the Department of Education. The four-year grant will begin October 1 and will be largest in the 53-year history of the college.

The First in the World program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing college. Nationwide, only two FITW validation grants were awarded to test, at a broad scale, college student interventions supported by significant evidence.

In 2012, Central Carolina launched a College Success Center with a team of success coaches who collaborate with faculty and staff to provide individualized academic and personal support for students who need it the most. Aviso, our innovative early alert system, uses predictive data to help focus our success coach and advising efforts where we can be most impactful. As a result, we have increased our persistence rate by 13% since 2012.

This First in the World grant will help spread the proactive success coach model to nine additional North Carolina Community Colleges to improve student outcomes statewide while also helping CCCC continue to refine its success coach/advising practice locally.

National expert Jobs for the Future will serve as an advisor and advocate for the project. JFF seeks to design and drive the adoption of innovative and scalable education and career training models and systems that leads from college readiness to career advancement. JFF also develops and advocates for federal and state policies needed to support these solutions.

Full details will be included in a press release soon. For more information about Central Carolina's FITW grant project, contact Dr. Brian Merritt, VP of Student Learning/CAO, at or (919) 718-7426.

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The Power of the Purse

Join in on Oct. 8 for The Women’s Exchange at the Dennis Wicker Civic Center. Presented by the Sanford Business & Professional Women’s Club and geared toward career women. The Women’s Exchange is a half-day women’s conference designed to help women succeed personally and professionally. The program includes kickoff speaker, Dr. Pam Senegal, a professional development session, a moderated panel discussion-moderated by Crystal McIver, networking, and a luncheon with a keynote address

The Business and Professional Women (BPW) organization is the oldest of its kind in the world. It is devoted entirely and actively to the interests and needs of all employed women irrespective of their occupation and of their status.

The first 50 registrants will receive a free Swag Bag the day of the event!

The Women's Exchange

Registration Fees
Sanford BPW Members - $29.95
Non-BPW Members - $39.95 (Early bird rate)
Full-time college or high school students - $25.00

View the full agenda at Register at

I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this event, or our monthly meetings.

Kind regards,

Pamela Fincher
Vice President of Membership
Sanford BPW

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Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Topics

Dear CCCC Faculty & Staff,

We need your help! After a 15-month process to identify key issues emerging from institutional assessment, the *potential* Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) topics were unveiled by the QEP Core Team on September 3. Now we need your input to ensure there is a direct relationship between our future QEP and current institutional needs.

The four potential QEP topics are:

  1. I AM Advising! Advising Matters - Assure that academic advising is a personalized, student-centered, consistent, and effective learning process.
  2. MAP: My Academic Pathway - Ensuring that students make the most informed decisions about potential educational pathways to careers and transfer opportunities when they start at CCCC.
  3. BOSS: Boost Online Student Success - Evaluating students' readiness in order to provide support mechanisms for success and to maximize their online learning experience.
  4. Can you DIG IT?: Developing Innovative Guidance for Instructional Technology - Identifying and implementing best online educational practices to enhance our online learning environment.

Please take a moment and give us your feedback!

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Alabama and Beyond: Creating a Lasting Legacy

Alabama and Beyond is a true story about the experience of not just the life of Dottie Gravely, but of multiple generations. Her autobiography of and some of her family's faith triumphs is now available on Amazon. Visit her blog, Legacies That Last, for more information.

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Congratulations Graduate!

Kathy Farley

Kathy Farley, DNP, RN from the Sanford campus nursing department, graduated on August 8 from Indiana Wesleyan University with her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, with a focus on leadership and global health. She traveled to LaGonave, Haiti in February as part of a global health class requirement, and exchanged teaching and information on the high mortality rate for pre-eclamptic mothers and babies.

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Upward Bound Math & Science Summer Highlights

Summer Internship Highlights 2015

Summer Academy Highlights 2015

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Writing and Reading Center Extended Hours

The Writing and Reading Center has extended hours on the Sanford campus! We are now open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday. It should be noted, however, that from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. students can be seen by appointment only.

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NCVetsCorps’ Operation Gratitude Letter Writing Campaign

I'd like to begin by saying thank you all for your gracious acceptance of me as one of the newer staff members at Central Carolina. People have been wonderful with answering my many questions, providing information about the different programs and services available at the college, and just helpful at every turn with a friendly smile.

My first NCVetsCorps project has completed. "Operation Gratitude" is a letter writing campaign that encourages people, from all walks of life, to write a letter of appreciation to a service woman or man deployed or in active duty. The intention of the letter is to write kind and positive proses that hearten and uplift the reader. Each letter is placed in a care package filled with food supplies and other sundries. One million packages were created last year and distributed to military women and men all over the world.

I must thank my co-workers, Ashley Tittemore, Wilson Lester, Diana Cagle, Tia Bell, and Robert Immormino for their amazing support these first weeks, and others who have been "soooo" supportive in pointing me in the right direction to get this project underway: Mike Neal, Sarah Hoffarth, Jamie Wicker, Patrick Kelly, Wendy Harrington, Antonia Verhine, and others who have been kind and helpful.

I must give a special thanks to Rebecca Howington and Tia Bell and Brenda Cheek, who went out of their way to participate in the writing campaign, Thank you Rebecca, Tia, and Brenda!

If you would like more information about Operation Gratitude, please call me at (919) 718-7537 or (919) 717-1129. My email is or And yes, you can come by the office anytime at the Hockaday Hall Building, TRiO Programs, Room 66.

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Supply Store Catalog


You may be thinking about supplies for Fall 2015. The Supply Store Catalog is available. Print the revised catalog and be sure to discard any old copies as items have changed.

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Center for Teaching & Learning

There are many meaningful opportunities coming up this fall for faculty. Four examples are listed below. For more information, please visit our Center for Teaching & Learning website.

Please contact Amanda Carter at with questions or for more information.

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We Have Moved!

The College Success Center has moved to the AAC in the Science Building!

Success Coaches will be available to help students as they always have. If students need to find their Success Coaches here is a list of locations:

  • Chatham students: Angela Crisp-Sears, AAC Building 2
  • Harnett students: Jamie Wicker, Miriello Building, Student Services
  • Sanford students: Seth Buchanan, AAC Science Building
  • Sarah Hoffarth, AAC Science Building
  • Kevin Pearson, Wilkinson Hall Office 31
  • Dane Peterson, Lett Hall Office 9
  • Nick Testa, Student Center
  • Adam Wade, College Fitness Center

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Central Carolina Works Update

Central Carolina Works Updates:

  • 797 high school students are enrolled in college courses this term from the 9 service area high schools.
  • 1,144 total high school students are enrolled in college courses this term.
  • Patrick Kelly is the new CCW Coordinator and Advisor at Lee County High School.

2014-2015 Report Card

  • 694 students were enrolled in CCP courses
  • 65% were enrolled in a career and technical education pathway
  • 14% of juniors and seniors enrolled in CCP compared to only 5% in 2013-2014
  • 24 graduating seniors earned a college certificate
  • Advisors reached 75% of their student bodies through outreach and engagement activities
  • 88% of CCP students from the service area earned an A, B, or C in college coursework

For monthly CCW updates, please visit

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Promote Your Class on TV!

4CNC Logo

If you have something that you would like 4CNC to cover this semester, don't forget to click on the link under Helpful Files by Department on our Intranet and fill out a form or email

We would love to cover any of the following:

  • Student debates
  • Mock trials
  • Special speakers/presentations
  • Students presentations
  • Dramatic performances
  • Interesting lectures
  • Poetry readings

Basically, anything that you feel could run on the TV station! The more local content we have the better. Keep in mind we air in 17 counties in North Carolina, and featuring your event could bring new students. Requesting coverage does not guarantee coverage, but we will do our best to make it to as many events as possible. If we do film an event for you, the show can be made "on demand" for you to show when needed in future classes.

We will also begin airing Cougar basketball games this fall. Have a great semester everyone!

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Congratulations Veterinary Medical Technology Program

Veterinary Medical Technology Program

The Veterinary Medical Technology Program successfully completed the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) Re-Accreditation Site Visit on September 16-18, 2015. The final appraisal of the VMT Program is based on review of the total educational program by an evaluation site team and required nine months of preparation leading up to the three day site visit.

This process of quality improvement encompasses a six year period and requires countless hours of additional work to complete. Congratulations to the VMT Team for their dedication and perseverance throughout the CVTEA accreditation process!

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Contributor in Chemosphere

Angela Carroll, Chemistry Instructor, is one of the authors of a scientific study appearing in an upcoming edition of the journal, Chemosphere. Her paper, titled "Surface waters as a sink and source of atmospheric gas phase ethanol" addresses important issues related to gas exchange with water and has potential implications for biofuel use. We look forward to reading more!

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Professional of the Year

Martha Wilkie was selected as the District 7 Lula M. Burrell Educational Office Professional of the Year for the NC Association of Educational Office Professionals. She will compete next at the State level. Congratulations!

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Chinese Art Exhibition

Chinese Art Exhibition 2015

Please join the Confucius Classroom for a Chinese Art Exhibition on Sunday, October 4, featuring original Chinese art and traditional music! In partnership with the North Carolina State University Confucius Institute, the CCCC Confucius Classroom is hosting this event as part of the tenth anniversary of the Confucius Institute.

The exhibition begins at 5 p.m. in the lobby of the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. and hors d’oeuvres will be provided. This event is free of charge and open to the public.

This event will showcase the original paintings of Feiyan Liu, Vice President of Yangtzi Art Academy, and will include a brief technique demonstration. Musicians from the NC-RTP Chinese Music Ensemble will perform traditional songs as part of the program.

For more information, please send an email to or visit the Confucius Classroom online at

We look forward to seeing you at the event!

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News From The Library

Harnett Library Book Sale
The Harnett Library is having a book sale. Discarded books are all you can carry for $1.00. Stop by to see what hidden gems you can find to take home!

Annual Haunted Library
The Lee Library will hold its 6th annual Haunted Library on October 26-30. Stop by for a trick or treat and enjoy our Halloween decorations.

Haunted Halloween

Updated Library Tutorials
Our online library video tutorials have been updated and are now available on our web page. The tutorials serve as a great refresher for students who have been through a library class already, or for library instruction for distance education students. If you assign these tutorials for your online classes, please remember to ask your students to complete the corresponding quiz with each tutorial where applicable. The quizzes are our means of assessing library instruction for online students for SACS purposes. Instructors may obtain a spreadsheet of their students’ responses to the quizzes by contacting Samantha O’Connor at

Library Instruction Classes
Need to schedule a library instruction session for your class? Here are your librarian contacts for each campus.

  • Lee Campus: Samantha O’Connor (919) 718-7340
  • Harnett Campus: Jennifer Seagraves (910) 814-8843
  • Chatham Campus: Dana Haven (919) 545-8088

Reminder – New Library Password Available!
The password for accessing our online databases from off campus changed as of May 2015. This information was emailed to faculty and students in May and also at the beginning of this semester. If you missed the email and need the new password, please contact the library at (919) 718-7244.

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Professional Development Opportunities

Take a look at the upcoming Professional Development opportunities. Which ones will you join?

  • September 29 (Tuesday):
    Blackboard Test Exceptions & Adaptive Release
  • September 30 (Wednesday):
    AV/Classroom Troubleshooting
  • October 1 (Thursday):
    Advising Bootcamp 1
  • October 2 (Friday):
    Grade Center Troubleshooting
  • October 5 (Monday):
  • October 6 (Tuesday):
    Grade Center Troubleshooting
  • October 7 (Wednesday):
    AV/Classroom Troubleshooting
  • October 12 (Monday):
  • October 14 (Wednesday):
    Advising Bootcamp 2
  • October 22 (Thursday):
  • November 5 (Thursday):
  • November 6 (Friday):
    AV/Classroom Troubleshooting
  • November 17 (Tuesday):
    New Blackboard Features
  • November 18 (Wednesday):
    The Disney’s Customer Service Model Applied to Higher Ed
  • November 30 (Monday):
  • December 2 (Wednesday):
    Cool Tools

Register and view all Professional Development opportunities and we look forward to seeing you soon.

If you have any questions or concern, please do not hesitate to contact Daisha Gaines at

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Welcome New Employees!

  • John Ainsworth, Lee Campus, Networking
  • Timothy Barnes, Pittsboro Campus, Psychology Instructor
  • David Barron, Lee Campus, Math Instructor
  • Emma Belcher, Harnett Campus, Biology Instructor
  • Kelly Burton, Pittsboro Campus, Culinary Instructor
  • Virginia Ferguson, Lee Campus, Financial Aid Technical
  • Margaret Hatcher, Lee Campus, Financial Aid Technical
  • Paciddia McDonald, Lee Campus, ConEd Support
  • Sherri Reynolds, Lee Campus, Financial Aid Technical
  • Shirley Rijkse, Lee Campus, Business Administrator
  • Kris Walters-Herring, Lee Campus, Biology Instructor

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Employee of the Month Program

Please join me as we continue recognizing our full-time faculty and staff for their exceptional contributions and customer service. The purpose of this award is to:

  • Promote positive employee-to-employee and employee-to-student interactions on campus in order to further a learning first culture
  • Increase employee engagement through recognizing positive employee behaviors

The Employee Recognition Committee is currently accepting nominations. All nominations are due by the first Monday of the calendar month to be recognized the following month.

Read Employee of the Month Program Eligibility & Guidelines. To nominate a deserving colleague, please click: Employee of the Month Nomination Form

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Wanted to share this glorious news... Charity Turner and her husband welcomed their baby boy, Silas, into the world on September 15. Silas weighs 7 lbs. 10 oz. and is 19.5 inches long. What a happy time for their family!!!

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Birthday Cake
9/25 Jamee Stiffler
9/25 Liz Wicker
9/26 Denise Martin
9/27 Lora Witcher
9/28 Markita McCrimmon
9/30 Emma Belcher
10/1 Felicia Crittenden
10/1 Chuck Mann
10/3 Ben Cole
10/3 Danette Foster
10/4 Dr. Bud Marchant
10/4 Ronald McLamb
10/5 Brian Merritt
10/5 Nutan Varma
10/6 Timothy Barnes
10/6 David Hartman
10/6 Oscar Hernandez
10/7 Randy Foxx
10/7 Danny Furr
10/8 David Haire
10/9 Tommy Holder
10/9 Summerlin Page
10/10 Mike Neal
10/12 Wrenn Crowe
10/13 Charlie Bell
10/13 Jesse Jasso
10/16 David Barron
10/16 Nicole Lofton
10/18 Mary Jones
10/20 Lisa Brown
10/21 Craig Ciliberto
10/21 Matthew Smith
10/23 Rosita Davis
10/23 David Foster
10/24 Samantha O'Connor
10/25 Kay Faucette
10/25 Vickie Harrington
10/28 Debra McNeill
10/28 Arlen Mills
10/30 Amy Whitmer
10/31 Crystal Smith
10/31 James Thomas

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Note of Thanks

There are simply no words to express how much your phone calls, prayers, flowers and plants, food, cards, and visits have meant to me and my family during this time. My CCCC family is truly a blessing to me and my family. Thank you again so much.

Kay Faucette

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News From The CCCC Family


With great sadness we announce the unexpected passing of Abby Walker's mother, Patricia "Pat" Smith Bridges, age 72, of the Deep River Community. Pat passed on September 10. The funeral service was held at Flat Springs Baptist Church in Sanford. Please keep Abby Walker and her family in your thoughts and prayers. Any condolences are welcomed at 4260 Deep River Road, Sanford, NC 27330.

We regretfully announce the passing of Larry Bowles, Jr.'s father, Larry Bowles, Sr. on August 29. Larry, Jr. is the Welding Instructor at HCI for CCCC. Funeral services were conducted at Crossroads Church in Broadway. Online condolences can be made at Any condolences may be sent to the family to P.O. Box 463, Olivia, NC 28368.

We regretfully announce the passing of Kay Faucette's father, James Brown, on August 25. Services for Mr. Brown were at Hickory Grove Baptist Church, 17721 NC 902 Hwy, Bear Creek, 27207.

With sorrow we announce that retiree Pam White Hunter's sister, Mary Claudette White, 65, passed away on August 25 at First Health Hospice House in Pinehurst. A Celebration of Life was held in her memory.

We regretfully announce that Sandra Mae Byrd Dickens, wife of retiree Johnny Gene Dickens, died peacefully on August 20 at Wake Med Raleigh Hospital. A Celebration of Life Service was held at Antioch Baptist Church. Correspondence may be sent to Johnny Dickens at 83 Community Road, Lillington, NC 27546.

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Dates to Remember


October 2 The Innovation Center will sponsor an open house and tours from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in recognition of National Manufacturing Day.

October 3 The Chatham Cottage Auction will be held at 1 p.m. at the Chatham County Campus in Pittsboro.

October 4 Central Carolina Community College will host a Chinese Art Exhibit at 5 p.m. at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center.

October 20 The Harnett County Campus Fall Activity Day/Evening will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in Lillington.

October 21 The Lee County Campus Fall Activity Day/Evening will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in Sanford.

October 22 The Chatham County Campus Fall Activity Day/Evening will be held from noon to 5 p.m. in Pittsboro.

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Cougar Pets News

Cougar Pets

A fond farewell! Jonathan Loftis, who has served as Animal Facilities Manager and Instructor in the Veterinary Medical Technology program, is leaving to become Deputy Director of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board.

Jonathan, who has been at CCCC for 12 years, said there are many good memories from his time at the college. "Of course, seeing each of the graduating classes walk across the stage stands out in my mind. Watching each of them grow in their knowledge, skill set, and in general has been absolutely fantastic," said Loftis. "Being honored as the Employee of the Year in 2006 was a truly wonderful experience. Being a part of the college's 50th celebrations was also a great time. Most recently, watching the 50th class of VMT students begin the journey to become RVTs has been a blast."

Kim Browning, CCCC VMT Department Chair, has worked with Loftis for 15 years. "When a person is so fortunate to have the privilege to know and work with a 'Jonathan Loftis' in their lifetime, you count your blessings every day," said Browning.

Lisa Baker, CCCC Dean of Health Sciences, has great praise for Loftis. "His knowledge, work ethic, and dedication have led to an increase in student retention, work-based learning opportunities, and animal adoptions," said Baker. "I am grateful for his service to the CCCC VMT program, faculty and students.

Megan Kelly, who is now an instructor at the college, said she remembers her days as a student at CCCC and serving as Loftis' assistant. "He inspired me as a student to be more than average, and he still inspires me now, as a coworker, to be a better person each day. He's the most supportive and dedicated coworker I've ever worked with. Jonathan is the first one to get here and the last to leave, but even in those long hours, he's always willing to go above and beyond for the faculty and students. As a former student, assistant, friend, and coworker, I will miss him from the bottom of my heart."

We wish you the best, Jonathan!

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Contribute to Cougar Bytes

Cougar Bytes is a monthly newsletter distributed to staff and faculty. Is there a college event you would like to promote? Perhaps you have a success story you would like to share? We welcome any events, stories, photos, or shout-outs in our next issue. Please submit any contributions to

Our deadline for contributions is Oct. 21 for the October issue. Thank you!

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The next issue of COUGAR BYTES will be
Friday, Oct. 23, 2015.