fire training

A man no longer works as a firefighter in Chatham and Guilford counties after posting derogatory comments about immigrants on Facebook.


A firefighter in Chatham and Guilford counties no longer works in either place after posting hateful words about immigrants on social media.

During a discussion of the crisis on the southern U.S. border, Caleb Folwell proposed that all migrants currently in custody should be “exterminated” and that their executions should “be televised over Mexican National TV.” That, Folwell posted on Facebook, would send a message “that if you cross illegally, you die.”

It is not clear whether Folwell was fired or resigned, but Fire Chief John Strowd of the North Chatham Volunteer Fire Department, a mix of paid and volunteer firefighters, told WRAL News that Folwell was no longer employed there.

Meanwhile, details were trickling out of the Julian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in Guilford County, where Folwell also worked, about the removal of two members after their posts on social media. An official apology from the department reads in part: “Julian Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department respects all the residents and visitors of the fire district regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, political views or sexual orientation. Furthermore, we are working with the governments of Guilford County and Randolph County to re-establish the trust of the community and will focus on professional response and conduct for anyone that needs emergency assistance.”

The interim fire chief, Guilford County Fire Marshal Stephen Thomas, told The News & Observer of Raleigh on Wednesday that Caleb Folwell and his father, Jeff Folwell, who was the Julian fire chief, no longer worked for the department.

First, to state the obvious: Every time someone — from elected officials to schoolteachers — says something dumb or insensitive, or both, on social media, you have to marvel at their incredible lack of judgment. Then you shudder at the fact that a man whose job it is to save lives would wonder out loud whether America should put to death men, women and children who are seeking asylum as refugees.

Making matters worse is a severe shortage of volunteer firefighters in Guilford County and throughout North Carolina.

The late, great singer Marvin Gaye may have put it best: “Makes me wanna holler.”

The flames of hate and ignorance may be the hardest of all to extinguish.

Bar exams

Here’s looking at U.

Gov. Roy Cooper has signed into law a bill that allows universities in the UNC system to sell beer and wine at athletic events.

The idea of alcoholic beverage sales appeals particularly to athletic departments as a significant source of additional revenue.

For his part, N.C. State football coach Dave Doeren also said he hopes wine and beer sales will entice more fans to remain inside the stadium rather than leave at halftime for parking lot tailgate parties and arrive back late for the second half.

Skeptics cite possible problems with disruptive conduct from fans who may become intoxicated. There’s also increased potential for underage drinking.

But the law’s proponents counter that alcohol consumption inside a stadium is more easily policed than outside the stadium.

And the law does prohibit vendors from selling to intoxicated fans.

Further, one of the private schools in the ACC, Wake Forest, began serving beer and wine at home football and basketball games back in 2016.

Universities that now have that option for wine and beer sales include N.C. A&T, UNCG, N.C. State, East Carolina, Appalachian State, N.C. Central, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Asheville, Western Carolina, Elizabeth City State, UNC-Pembroke, Winston-Salem State and Fayetteville State.

Schools’ trustees may choose individually whether to follow that path.

N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill are expected to adopt the new policy quickly.

N.C. A&T and UNCG sent representatives to legislative committee meetings on the bill but have not made official decisions.

Our advice: Proceed carefully, and monitor closely.

As for any coach who worries about getting fans into their seats after halftime, the best antidote to that isn’t a stiffer drink.

It’s a decent opponent.

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