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Auger & Auger is happy to announce that Amauri Bowman is one of the recipients of our 2018 Fall Semester Disabled Scholar Award. These $1,000 scholarships are presented twice a year to high-achieving students across America who have worked hard to overcome the perceived limits of their disability. They have achieved excellence in and out of the classroom, and they have made a positive impact on their community.

Amauri was born with sickle cell anemia, a blood disorder that can cause tremendous pain and serious health problems. When she was 7 years old, her sickled cells clotted an artery, and she suffered a stroke. She underwent an emergency blood transfusion, and has received transfusions once a month since that incident.

Now in her third year at Francis Marion University in South Carolina, Amauri has had to learn how to cope with her pain and prioritize her school work, extracurricular activities and doctor’s appointments. However, he’s always made sure her grade point average was at or above 3.0. Amauri’s always strayed away from using her disability as a hindrance or a crutch, but rather she takes the fullest advantage of life she can.

After graduating from Francis Marion University, Amauri plans to start her nursing career at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She wants to work at MUSC because that’s where she has been taken care of for the last 20 years.

Amauri plans to further her education and become a Pediatric Doctor of Nursing Practice. With this higher education, she wants to give back to those who aren’t able to afford the best healthcare.

She believes her chronic illness and the lessons it’s taught her, including how perseverance, courage and maturity, have prepared her for college and for her career as a nurse. She believes that, because she has sickle cell, she will be able to relate to patients on a different level and be an advocate for them when they’re in pain.

Ultimately, she wants to open as many free health service clinics she can around the globe to provide more than the bare necessities of healthcare. She wants to make sure that every child, woman, man, and elderly person with a chronic illness has access to the proper healthcare for their specific needs.

To those who are also facing disabilities, especially “invisible disabilities” like sickle cell anemia, Amauri’s advice is to “always keep your head up and find the silver lining in situations.”

“My mother always reminded me when I was down about being sick, that there is always someone who is in worse conditions, and that even though we go through things, we are always blessed in some way or another,” she says. “The obstacles that you face in life are put there for a reason, whether it be a lesson to be learned or to make you stronger; whatever you’re going through, just remember that all things work together for your good.”

Even though having sickle cell anemia is challenging, and the pain can sometimes be unbearable, Amauri would never trade the life lessons it’s taught her. She says that having a chronic illness has made her look at life and enjoy even the bad days, because every day spent on this earth is precious — and should be treated as such.

Part of the thrill of riding a motorcycle is being able to cruise over the open road and take in beautiful scenery. There may be no other better way to take in your surroundings than a bike ride. On a bike there is nothing separating you and your location and some people say that is the freedom they love and feel when they are on their motorcycle. If you are looking for some info on cool motorcycle routes in North Carolina, you are in luck. Here are some great rides to take if you are looking for some new ideas.




1. Deal’s Gap

This route is also known by its other, perhaps more popular, name: Dragon’s Tail. If you start in North Carolina, you will be in Tennessee before your ride is over. You can catch the road in Tapoco, NC and take it all the way into Tallahassee, TN. You’ll drive near the Smoky Mountains, beautiful forests and navigate no fewer than 318 curves. The road is a challenge that is better left to someone who has experience on their bike; new riders beware.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway

This is another two-state route. The Blue Ridge Parkway will take you from North Carolina into Virginia. There are two places to start the route in North Carolina: Asheville and Cherokee. As you are riding, you will be able to take in the sights of the Smoky Mountains in the south and several historic sites to the north.

3. The Copperhead Loop

Look for the beginning of the loop near the Asheville Regional Airport on Interstate 26. Take Exit 40 towards the airport, head toward Brevard and make your way to the Pisgah Forest. You’ll only travel three roads on this loop, making it an easy one to remember. Riders on the loop will see Davidson River, Looking Glass Falls and Sliding Rock, just to name a few sites. There are several places to stop along the route if you are feeling like a shutter bug.

4. The Cherokee Run

Take US 19 South and then one of three choices: U.S. Highway 441 North, U.S. Highway 441 South or U.S. Highway 74 west. Any of the choices will lead you down roads that are full of scenic and beautiful roads. Keep an eye on your speed because of the road quality! This ride is a good one for someone gearing up for the Tail of the Dragon route.

5. Devil’s Whip

Find Pleasant Gardens, NC and you can start this ride which will have you climbing to 2500-ft elevation. As you ride, be sure to take in the beautiful water and lovely views of Mt. Mitchell. Riders enjoy this route because once you get past residential areas; there isn’t much else but plenty of road. If you are looking for a ride that has you feeling like it’s just you and the road, this is the one for you. Get something to drink and gas up because there is nowhere to stop past the golf course.

6. Full Day of North Carolina Twisties Loop

This ride will take you through 133 miles of some of the most challenging asphalt in the state. You will find yourself on Highways 23, 107, 64, 281 and 276 during your ride. You will ride through the Nantahala National Forest and be pleasantly surprised at how well the roads are kept. Your smooth ride will take you down Highway 276 which is full of some of the most twists available on any loop.

7. The Coastal Huggin’ NC 12

If you want to do this ride from one end to the other, you’ll have to use the Ocracoke Ferry. If you don’t want to maneuver your bike onto the ferry, you can start in the middle and head either north or south. The middle point is in Whalebone. As you ride along NC 12, you’ll be treated to the sight of the Atlantic Ocean and the Intercoastal Waterway. You’ll see tourists enjoying what our state has to offer as well as some gorgeous sand dunes. There are a ton of tourist attractions along this route which means you can easily make a day of it.

8. Old Liberty Road

Sometimes you don’t want to ride for hundreds of miles and you don’t want to be gone for hours. If you are looking for a fun little ride, this is the one. Old Liberty Road stretches for only 17 miles, making it perfect for a jaunt in the evening after a long day at work. If you’re in the mood for farmland and pastures, take this ride. Take Old 220 north from Asheboro and turn right onto Old Liberty Road. Enjoy the ride to Liberty, NC and back.

9. Back Country Church Roads

53 miles packed with scenery is what you will find on this route. In Durham, you’ll take Erwin Road, W. Cornwallis Road and Walnut Grove Church Road. W. Cornwallis Road changes names a few times so don’t be alarmed thinking you made a wrong turn. You’ll see several churches along the way as well as forests, fields and little towns. Take the ride when the weather is clear and you’ll be treated to dozens of pleasant sights.

10. Quiet Country Ride

Here’s another route to take if you are looking for a relaxing ride through the countryside. 77 miles along Route 157 north and through the towns of Elfland and Cedar Grove and up to Roxboro. You’ll eventually loop back to your starting point in Durham. Streams, small lakes and twisting farm roads highlight this route through the sleepy countryside.

Speak to a North Carolina Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you are looking for a new route, any of the above are well worth a try. You might just find a new favorite. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident in Charlotte or elsewhere in the state, call our office. When an accident is caused by someone’s negligence or error, victims have the right to compensation.

Auger & Auger is happy to announce that Haley Avery is one of the recipients of our 2018 Spring Semester Disabled Scholar Award. These $1,000 scholarships are presented twice a year to high-achieving students across America who have worked hard to overcome the perceived limits of their disability. They have achieved excellence in and out of the classroom, and they have made a positive impact on their community.

In the summer of 2012, Hailey awoke one morning to find herself unable to get out of bed. Struck with sudden paraplegia, she was rushed into emergency surgery. Over the next 20 months, she endured 13 major surgeries to remove cysts along her spine. These surgeries left her with a variety of ongoing issues, including recurring paralysis.
Looking back on her ongoing struggles, one thing became abundantly clear: Hailey refused to be defeated, to give up or to lose. She made up her mind that she would overcome this obstacle. Hailey chose to combat her challenges with resilience and strength and her determination is to be greatly admired.

Due to her previous surgeries and continuing spinal cord abnormalities, Hailey has gained a new sense of empathy for others. She’s found that what she has gone through isn’t unique in the sense that we all have something we are suffering through. In addition, Hailey has learned that not all struggles are physical, and this has helped her as she has succeeded in her academic studies and in her professional pursuits.

Most of Hailey’s surgeries occurred during her freshman and sophomore years of high school and because of this she completed her studies online. Employers that review her academic records have asked her about this and at first it made her uncomfortable. At that point she was more private and guarded about discussing matters related to her health. Her point of view on this matter has since changed. She now believes that her struggles with her spine have given her a new perspective and have allowed her to connect with others. Hailey has become a lot more accepting of herself and is able to use her own experiences as a way to relate to and communicate with other people.

Hailey is currently a student at Arizona State University at Tempe-Barrett, The Honors College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance with certifications in International Business Studies and Data Analytics, with a minor in Russian. After she completes her undergraduate education, she plans to work for a government agency for a few years. She hopes to then either go on to get an MBA or go to Law School. She has even thought about potentially working in tax law matters as future career path.

Her advice to anyone enduring a physical or mental struggle is to never give up. “Although you’re often limited by your struggles, you can always push past them and change your world for the better,” she said. “I initially thought I’d never be able to walk again. I’d never finish high school and go onto college. Now, I’m doing things that I have never dreamt of. The world and your situation do not limit you. Your mind is the only thing that sets you back from your dreams.”

Legal office of lawyers and attorneys legal bronze model statue of Themis goddess of justiceIn a recent turn of events, two students at the Charlotte School of Law in North Carolina have filed a lawsuit against the institution. In the lawsuit, the two students, Robert C. Barchiesi and Lejla Hadzic, claim the for-profit school hid ongoing academic issues in order to continue collecting tuition money. Tuition and expenses at the school is about $60,000 a year. The lawsuit names $5 million in damages for the named plaintiffs, as well as other students affected.

The lawsuit comes after a December 31 announcement that federal student aid will be cut off by the US Department of Education for misleading prospective and current students regarding the school’s accreditation by the American Bar Association. This was the first time in US history a fully-accredited law school has lost access to student loans and other financial aid. Within the class action suit, the Charlotte School of Law is accused of engaging in misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment and constructive fraud.

A History of Problems

The Charlotte School of Law has seen its fair share of issues when it comes to the American Bar Association. As far back as March of 2014, the ABA scrutinized the school over its lacking on admissions, bar exam pass rates and overall academic rigor. January of 2015 was when the school was first told it was failing to meet certain standards.They repeated their warning in February and July of 2016 as well. Those warnings came with the demand that the CSL tell their students what was happening — the school did not.

The school appealed the finding, but the ABA upheld its ruling in October. The next month, the school was put on a two-year probation and the ABA findings were made public. However, CSL maintained its accreditation. Finally, in December, the US Department of Education stated that they would be pulling all federal aid from the school. Of the about 700 students at the school, it is unclear how many receive federal aid, but the school received nearly $50 million in federal aid in 2015.

However, the CSL’s problems go back even further, to the founding of the school in 2006. Before the school opened, Charlotte was the largest city in the United States without a law school. When the first 53 students graduated in 2009, only 67 percent of them passed. That was the lowest rate among the seven law schools in the country. For comparison, Elon University opened its law school in 2006 as well. Of the 98 first graduates from there, 83 percent passed the bar. In 2016, the CSL pass rate for the bar hit a low of 35 percent.

Laying Blame

In an effort to correct the ship (or perhaps to appease critics), CSL has asked Camille Davidson, the school’s academic dean in charge of curriculum, to step down. The request came specifically from Jay Conison, the head dean at CSL. Davidson is a Georgetown Law graduate and, according to a former colleague, regularly shielded the faculty and students from InfiLaw, which operates CSL as well as law schools in Arizona and Florida. In fact, lawsuit plaintiff Barchiesi described Davidson as “tough but fair,” and an “excellent professor.”

However, Conison has had trouble with the ABA before. In November of 2016, the Valparaiso University Law School in Indiana was reprimanded by the accreditation board for failing to meet admission standards by accepting students who would not do well in law school. The current dean at Valparaiso said the censure covered the years between 2007 to 2013 — when Conison was the dean there. Now, CSL faculty seem to be withdrawing their support for the dean. In a recent open letter, they blamed the institutions problems on “key but unnamed decision-makers.”

The Future of the Charlotte School of Law


On January 10, the Department of Education confirmed it had met with CSL officials to discuss a government program usually reserved for schools that are on the brink of shutting down. This program, called a “teach-out,” is defined as “a written course of action a school that is closing will take to ensure its students are treated fairly with regard to finishing their programs of study. Some plans include written agreements between the closed school and other schools that are still open for teaching.”

However, a recent announcement from the school states that it will reopen for the spring semester. To do so, at least 500 students needed to commit to taking classes in the spring. But, the school has also announced it would not be accepting new students for this semester. Though it is unclear what the future of the school looks like, it does appear students who are one semester away from graduating will be able to leave the school with an accredited law degree.

Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, students who attended the CSL may be eligible to have their federal loans forgiven under borrower defense. This is reserved for students whose schools committed fraud, misled them or otherwise broke certain laws.

There is no court date set as of yet for the class action lawsuit. You can find the full text of the lawsuit here.

skyline-of-downtown-charlotte-in-north-carolinaSo, you just got married or maybe had a baby, and you have the chance to move anywhere in the country. Where do you go? You want somewhere that has a great nightlife for those times you need to get out of the house, but you also need a great school system and other family-friendly amenities. Small-town living seems pretty mundane, but the big cities are just too much to handle, especially with small children. Finding the right balance can seem pretty close to impossible.

However, there is at least one city in America that can fit the needs of young families: Charlotte. The up-and-coming metropolis in North Carolina is rapidly growing, and young people are leading the charge. Large and small businesses alike are finding roots in Charlotte, making it that much easier to find a fulfilling career. In addition, the city is just a short drive from the wilderness of the Carolinas, if you ever need to just get away. We’ve compiled a list of just a few reasons Charlotte is one of the best cities for young families, with a little help from Eli Pacheco:

1. Education Opportunities

serious-schoolboy-in-schoolFor young couples with children, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is the city’s district. It operates 136 elementary, middle, and high schools in Charlotte and surrounding communities. CMS also operates alternative education programs and magnet schools. The district consistently ranks as one of the best in North Carolina. Charlotte is home to other education alternatives, too. The city has 72 private schools, with an average high school tuition of $12,909. Finally, there are also quite a few charter schools in Charlotte, which can run from kindergarten through 12th grade.

If you are looking to further your own education, Charlotte and the surrounding area is home to a few different colleges and universities. University of North Carolina Charlotte is part of the UNC system. In addition to Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte is home to Queens University, Johnson C. Smith University and Johnson & Wales University. Schools in the surrounding communities include Belmont Abbey College, Davidson College, Wingate University and Winthrop University, just a half hour away in South Carolina.

2. The Job Market

uptown-charlotte-aerial-photoCharlotte’s known for a having one of the strongest banking presences in the Southeast. However, the job market is incredibly diverse. The surrounding communities — including Concord, Fort Mill, Gastonia, Kannapolis, Monroe, Mooresville, Rock Hill and other towns — offer all sorts of jobs, from tech to textiles. If you are looking for a stable corporate job, these companies call Charlotte and surrounding area home:

  •    Bank of America
  •    Belk
  •    Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
  •    Dale Earnhardt Inc.
  •    Duke Energy
  •    ESPNU
  •    Family Dollar
  •    The Inspiration Networks
  •    LendingTree
  •    Meineke Car Care Center
  •    NationsBank
  •    Petro Express
  •    Rack Room Shoes
  •    Red Ventures
  •    Richard Petty Motorsports
  •    SEC Network

In addition, with so many young people living in the city, there are ample opportunities for dreamers to finally start that small business they’ve always dreamed of. In fact, Charlotte has a network for small business owners to get everything they need for their start-up, from financing to tips for getting permits to location advice. Additionally, the city is home to well-known incubators such as City Startup Labs, QC Fintech, and RevTech Labs poised to support the entrepreneurial spirit. Charlotte is also host to an annual Startup Grind event that draws national interest.

 3. City Safety

charlotte-suburbJust like in any city, different parts of Charlotte can have different reputations. Communities farther from the center city tend to have lower crime rates than those in Uptown. The Highland Creek and Providence Crossing neighborhoods are among the city’s safest, as well as the Weddington area. For families with children, suburbs tend to be preferred over the city. To the north, Davidson offers lake living and a small-college-town feel. Just south of the state line, Fort Mill has both quaint neighborhoods and safe new developments with single-family housing. Businessweek named Fort Mill “One of the Best Places to Raise Kids” in 2013.

Charlotte highways, like in other places, tend to stay busy. Interstates 77 and 85 cross near the center of town. Interstate 485 loops around the city to give travelers easy access to the center of the city and its surrounding communities. While driving can become hectic during rush hour and travel weekends, compared to cities like Atlanta and Washington, D.C., Charlotte’s pace is decidedly relaxed. If you have kids who are will be driving soon, Charlotte is perhaps one of the best cities to teach them the skills they need.

 4. Fun and Games

bank-of-america-stadiumCharlotte has a thriving nightlife for those times you simply need a night out without the kids. Thanks to the eclectic community that calls this city home, you can find anything from “hipster” haunts like Amos’ Southend concert venue to raucous bars like Howl at the Moon. Of course, there are plenty of traditional bars and even a few jazz clubs as well, in addition to restaurants serving just about every kind of cuisine under the sun. No matter what kind of night and entertainment you are in the mood for, you can find it in Charlotte.

There are also great opportunities for family fun as well. For art aficionados, the world-renowned Mint Museum is a must-see. Discovery Place is also a great option for learning about science and technology. Football fans will be pleased to know that Bank of America Stadium, home of the Carolina Panthers, is in north Charlotte. Charlotte Motor Speedway, home of NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 and an annual Christmas light show, is also nearby. For a fun-packed day with the family, don’t miss an opportunity to visit Carowinds amusement park!

5. Vibrant Community

male-home-tutor-helping-teenage-boy-with-studiesThough there are more than 2 million people living in the Charlotte, it has the same tight-knit community feel you may find in a town a fourth of the size. There are numerous opportunities to get involved in clubs and organizations, such as Kiwanis and Rotary, that strive to make the city — and the world — a better place. In addition, there are many social clubs in Charlotte. If you are someone who struggles to make friends in a new city, joining one of these clubs may be a great, easy way to meet new people with similar interests of you.

Volunteer opportunities not associated with service clubs are also prevalent in Charlotte. For example,with more than 20 hospitals in the area, the city healthcare system is always looking for helping hands. In addition, the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity holds many events throughout the year. For more localized opportunities, Hands On Charlotte can connect you with animal shelters, mentorship and tutoring programs and other one-time or long-term volunteering projects. If you and your family are looking for a fun, enlightening and even challenging way to spend a weekend, volunteerism is a great way to go.

If you are looking for a good place to raise your family, Charlotte is hard to beat. From the school system to the job market to weekend fun, there’s no place like this city. Of course, Charlotteans all have their own reasons why they love their city so much — be sure to ask about their favorite spots when you make your move to North Carolina!

hayden-lovelace-photoAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hayden Lovelace has won the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. When she was just 14, Hayden was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a juvenile form of macular degeneration. This condition is untreatable and caused her to slowly lose her central vision. When Hayden received this diagnosis, it was shocking. She and her mother thought their visit to the optometrist that day would be routine. But when the doctor told her she would never drive and would face other obstacles for the rest of her life, Hayden was ready to throw in the towel. However, instead of letting Stargardt’s keep her down, Hayden rose up to reach accomplishments most thought impossible.

Just two years after her diagnosis, Hayden obtained her driver’s license. In fact, she is able to do most things others can, if not with a little assistance. In school, she relies on her friends and peers to help her find the classrooms, at least until she has her schedule memorized. When she uses her computer, she has to greatly enlarge the text, and her textbooks are all in large print. Since she cannot read anything on a board at the front of the classroom, she needs handouts of everything. Yet, even with these struggles, Hayden has excelled in academia.

Hayden graduated from high school in Tennessee with a 3.8 GPA. This fall, she will start her first semester at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. She has been accepted into the university’s early-entry pharmacy program, and will eventually earn her Doctorate in Pharmacy from Ole Miss. It’s a competitive seven-year journey, made more difficult by Hayden’s vision problems. But Hayden knows she can achieve her goals, if not with a little help. She has always had an interest in the medical field, and pharmacology is an area in which tools can be adapted so she can excel.

Every year, Hayden helps to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness by participating in the Memphis VisionWalk. She first became involved when her mother was researching potential treatment options and found a retinal research specialist in Memphis. Hayden began visiting that doctor, who has been conducting extensive tests to keep up with the progression of her disease. He is also the president of the the Memphis Foundation Fighting Blindness chapter, and explained the VisionWalk to Hayden and her family. This year, they have already exceeded their goal of $2,000 raised.

Though Hayden has overcome many of her struggles by her own strength, she says she wouldn’t be where she is without her parents. They have provided her with all the tools she has needed to succeed, including glasses, magnifiers, a large television and phone and zooming software for her computer. No matter what she needed, her parents were there to help and provide. What’s more, her mother is on the board for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and has always been proactive in keeping up with doctor’s visits, researching and organizing the VisionWalk team.

“She has taught me that I will be miserable if I sit back and wait for a cure. I have to make the best of my situation, and I would not have done that if it weren’t for my mom,” Hayden says.

Along those lines, Hayden encourages those who struggle with vision impairments to be self-sufficient. There are always alternative methods to accomplishing one’s goals, even without site. In addition, being proactive is crucial. One way in which Hayden pushes forward is with her involvement with the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Each person who makes a team at the VisionWalk is getting researchers a step closer to a cure for macular degeneration, something she hopes to experience in the near future.

Above all, Hayden encourages those who are facing difficulties similar to hers to push forward. As she has learned in the four years since her diagnosis, nothing is accomplished by simply standing still.

hugo-concha-stony-brook-medicine-lab-coatAuger and Auger are proud to announce that Hugo Concha has been awarded the Disabled Scholar Award, worth $1,000. At the age of 6, Hugo was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. He had to undergo a 13-hour surgery to remove his thyroid and part of the tumor. In addition to the surgery, he was given radioactive iodine to take care of the cancer; in order to take all of the cancer out surgically, he would have had to undergo a tracheotomy. For a time after that surgery, he lost his ability to speak. However, with the iodine, Hugo was able to beat the cancer and continue on his life as normal — or at least he thought.

When Hugo turned 16, he was diagnosed with cancer again, this time acute lymphoblastic leukemia. While the leukemia may or may not have been caused by the iodine treatment from his childhood, one thing was certain: he would need extensive radiation and chemotherapy in order to defeat it. The new, more aggressive treatment was ongoing for three years. During that time, Hugo was bedridden for over 8 months. Being bedridden caused his muscles to atrophy, requiring therapy in order for him to walk normally again.

Even now, after his therapy is complete, the cancer and its subsequent treatments have made it all but impossible for Hugo to run or even walk quickly. In addition, the chemotherapy affected his heart, compromising it in such a way that he is unable to lift more than 50 pounds. Hugo is 24 years old now, and starting at age 30, he will require screenings at least once a decade to ensure the cancer hasn’t returned and his body is functioning properly. Though the cancer is unlikely to come back, if it does, it will be more aggressive than ever.

After facing more difficulties before he had a driver’s license than most people face in a lifetime, Hugo has chosen to take his experiences and use them to help others. He is planning to go to Cornell Medical School to earn a degree in clinical anesthesiology. He chose Cornell due to the impact the university has already had on his life. The surgery when he was 6 was performed at New York–Presbyterian Hospital, which is affiliated with Cornell. In addition, he wants to remain in the city after he gains his medical doctorate to help those in need.

While he was facing his two cancer diagnoses and treatments, his mother and older sister (who is now a doctor) were by his side the whole time. In fact, his sister stopped an antifungal treatment during leukemia treatment because it could have damaged his kidneys. It is for these reasons that his mother and sister are two of the most influential people in his life. However, Hugo is quick to point out that his other sister, his little brother and his father have also played an important role in his life.

While his mother and sister were with him in the hospital, Hugo’s father was home with the other two children, making sure their lives continued as normal. Because of this dedication and his mother’s will to never give up — she came to America and learned how to speak English here — Hugo and his two older sisters have been able to chase their dreams in the medical field. Both of Hugo’s sisters are now health care professionals — one is a doctor and the other a nurse — paving the way for him and his little brother.

When it comes to facing difficulties in his life, Hugo remembers and draws from his fights with cancer. “Ninety percent of the battle is mental,” he says. “Difficulties like cancer can always be used to your advantage and to help you grow as a person. It’s never an easy situation, but there is always a silver lining.”

Hugo encourages those facing cancer or who have recently defeated it to not dwell on the negatives, as easy as it is to do. Rather, look forward, taking each day at a time and living this life to the fullest.

tree-fallen-on-houseIf you are like one of the many people in North Carolina that sustained property damage during Hurricane Matthew, you may be wondering what to do next. The good news is that mobile claim centers, insurance adjusters and catastrophe personnel have already been sent to the east coast and are ready to do what they can for their customers.

The Insurance Information Institute has offered several tips for people who need to report damage to their property. Here are the tips I.I.I. has offered those affected by the storm.

1. Begin the process quickly.

The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner you will receive a settlement. Your insurance agent will want your policy number, address and contact information. Even if you contact your agent in the next few days, it is important to note that it is not first-come, first-serve after a devastating event such as a hurricane. Instead, adjusters and inspectors will visit properties with the most severe damage first.

If someone in your family has special needs that have been affected by the damage to your property, be sure to mention it. The health and safety of people is always a priority. Ask your insurance agent when you can reasonably expect an adjuster or inspector to arrive.

2. Begin documenting your losses.

If you haven’t done so already, start taking as many pictures as you can of the damage to your property. The insurance adjuster will take a look at things for themselves, but if you have an inventory of the things you lost, it would be helpful. Look for receipts, owner’s manuals with serial numbers or any identifying information. Knowing the make and model of your television, for example, will be more helpful than simply telling the adjuster that you had a flat screen TV.

3. Don’t throw away damaged items.

You may be tempted to throw away the things that have been damaged, but don’t. Your insurance adjuster will want to see the items if at all possible. If your local municipality is requiring that you throw damaged items away for health and safety purposes, be sure to photograph them first.

4. Sign up for text alerts.

Many insurance companies are offering customers the ability to sign up for text alerts to keep track of the status of their claims. You will get text messages when your claim is reported, when an estimate is available and when your agreed-upon payment is sent.

5. Get to know emergency services.

You will want to be aware of any emergency services that are available in your area. You may need help removing water from your home, boarding up or repairing doors and windows or more. You may also need assistance if you’ve been injured, even if said injury didn’t seem major when you sustained it. If your home has been made unlivable by Matthew, your insurance company will provide you with a check for living expenses.

6. Keep written notes.

If you aren’t good at recordkeeping, now’s a great time to become more proficient. Keeping good notes will help you simplify the claims process. Make note of every person you speak to, the date and the time. The more organized you keep yourself, the easier everything will be. Even using your voice recorder on your phone as a dictaphone can be immensely helpful.

When you make your claim, keep in mind that a hurricane deductible is not like a typical one. Most homeowner insurance policies have a deductible of $500 or $1,000. A hurricane deductible is not so standard. The average deductible is somewhere between 1 percent and 5 percent of the total amount of coverage. You should be able to find these amounts on your declarations page. Because every insurer is different, reading through your policy will help you determine what you can expect from your own.

tree-fallen-on-carFor many people, it wasn’t only homes and structures that were affected by Hurricane Matthew. Many people sustained severe damage to their vehicles. Vehicle damage will not be covered under a home owner’s policy. If your vehicle was struck by debris or crushed by a tree or other falling object, you will need to file a claim with your auto insurance company.

Home owners often worry about flood damage after a hurricane, especially if they don’t have a flood damage rider on their policy. President Barack Obama has declared Matthew a disaster, as he did after Hurricane Sandy. Because of this declaration, home owners without flood damage coverage should have at least part of any damage from standing water covered under their normal policy. Speak to your insurance agent for the exact details.

Hurricane Matthew was a terrible storm to be sure. Thousands of people across multiple states experienced damage to their property, structures and vehicles, not to mention bodily injuries. Although it may feel like it right now, you are not alone. There is help out there for you and your family, and the first step is contacting your insurance agent. If you have questions about your policy or how to file a claim, your agent can provide the information you are looking for.

Dakota LoosemoreTexas high school senior Dakota Loosemore knows life isn’t always fair. He experienced a stroke as he was being born, and from then on he has suffered from hemiparesis. Due to this condition, he has a severely limited range of motion and functionality on his right side. What’s more, his right leg is a couple inches shorter than the left. The hemiparesis also slightly affect his face, but it is barely noticeable. While he will continually gain more function and range in his right side, it will never be as strong as his left side. But Dakota refuses to give up.

Dakota is pushing forward to chase his dreams. In the fall, he will be attending Louisiana State University to study Athletic Training. Auger & Auger is proud to help Dakota pursue this goal with our $1,000 Disabled Scholar Award. This scholarship assists with tuition and other expenses as winners work toward their undergraduate degree.

Dakota decided to get his degree in athletic training after he played sports as a kid. He loved playing football, basketball, lacrosse and, his favorite, soccer. He quickly realized he would need to adapt and learn to do things in his own way. But, Dakota says this wasn’t so much of an obstacle as a learning curve. When he realized he couldn’t play sports like he wanted to, he knew he still wanted to be on the field. That’s when he found athletic training.

He spent a few years in high school as a trainer, winning multiple awards. He will continue his role as an athletic trainer at LSU, and his work there will pay for his two years pursuing a master’s degree after graduating. After he finishes his education, Dakota plans to move back to Texas, where high school sports are king. He wants to help young athletes achieve their dreams of playing sports, since he wasn’t able to.

Dakota says he couldn’t have made it this far without the encouragement of his dad. His dad made sure Dakota was able to do everything he wanted to. He was never told he couldn’t do something. Rather, his dad let him learn his boundaries on his own. Dakota says he was also inspired by his dad’s life. Even though his father never went to college, he worked 20 years to take of his family to make sure they had everything they wanted.

To anyone reading this post, Dakota has a message: Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do something. As Shia LeBeouf said, don’t let your dreams be dreams. If there is something you want to achieve, even if it seems impossible, never stop pursuing it. With the help of the Auger & Auger Disabled Scholar Award, Dakota plans to do just that.


charlotte-skylineWhen people think of North Carolina, they probably think of a few things: Tarheels (or Blue Devils), good barbecue and maybe a few classic country songs. However, Charlotte — and other cities in the state — is a hub of culture. There are so many things to do around the city, from popular tourist attractions to hole-in-the-wall restaurants and venues. Here are 5 categories of attractions for both locals and tourists to visit.

  1. Carowinds and Ray’s Splash Planet

If you are in Charlotte in the warmer months, Carowinds is a must-visit. This amusement park is packed with Carolina culture, live entertainment and, of course, rollercoasters and other rides. In fact, Carowinds is home to the world’s tallest and fastest Giga coaster: The Fury 325. It rises 325 feet into the air and has a top speed of 95 miles per hour. This coaster will take your breath away, especially since it’s over 6,000 feet in length.

If water parks are more your style, check out Ray’s Splash Planet. This indoor water park has lots of great features that can be visited any time of year. With 29,000 square feet to explore, you can visit all day without getting bored. So of the most fun attractions include a double figure-eight water slide, lazy river and dump buckets.

  1. Local Museums

For those who are looking for relaxing day in the city, Charlotte has a variety of museums and similar attractions to visit. One of the most popular is Discovery Place. This interactive science museum is great for families. It features a digital 3-D theater, interactive science lab stations, deep sea aquariums and other elements. For locals, there are also summer camps and other programs to inspire a love of science in your children.Nascar

Race fans should take the opportunity to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This
150,000 square-foot center has interactive attractions and other exhibits that preserve the history and the heritage of the sport. There are thousands of artifacts to explore, plus a movie theater to relive some of the best — and worst — moments in NASCAR history. Other areas like the Crown Ballroom can be rented out for different events.

  1. Best Restaurants

Located just a few hours from the Atlantic Coast, Charlotte is a great place to get fresh seafood. Whatever local eatery you visit, you will likely find this fresh flavor infused into the flavor. One of the most popular restaurants in the cities is Barrington’s. Be sure to grab your formalwear before going! This restaurant is known for its fresh, perfectly prepared seafood and other dishes. They also have a wide alcohol selection and decadent desserts, plus a rich atmosphere that makes it a hotspot for locals.

For lighter fare, be sure to visit Good Food on Montford, featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post and Southern Living Magazine. This local restaurant has a great selection of soups, both chilled and hot. In addition, the pasta selection is made with homemade ingredients. If you are in the mood for pasture-raised meat or food fresh from the ocean, you can find it on the menu. Top off your visit with great desserts and after-dinner drinks.

  1. Bars and Pub

Visiting local bars and pubs is the best way to truly experience the culture of a city. Charlotte is full of bars for every taste, from big game-day ones to little dive bars. For a taste of the local brewery scene, stop by VBGB Beer Hall and Garden. This small bar specializes in serving beers from all across the state. The patio is the largest in the city, and there are always 30 craft beers and imports on tap. VBGB has won multiple awards for its service and atmosphere. This is one stop you don’t want
restaurantsto forget.

If you want to relive the fun of college, without dealing with the college-aged crowd, check out Selwyn Avenue Pub. Often described as an “adult frat party,” you can catch the latest game or simply have a good time at this pub. This is a favorite for locals thanks to cheap drinks and tree-shaded deck. If you are looking for a nightly party full of loud, fun people, Selwyn Avenue Pub is the place to be.

  1. Local Entertainment

Of course, one thing Charlotte is known for is their sports teams. The city is home to the Carolina Panthers, one of the most dynamic teams in the National Football League. In addition, during basketball season you can catch the Charlotte Hornets take on some of the toughest teams in the National Basketball Association. You can also catch minor league baseball and other sporting events throughout the year.

Charlotte is also home to a huge variety of music and entertainment venues. For big shows, be sure to visit Uptown Amphitheatre Charlotte. Some of the nation’s most popular bands frequent this venue. For a more intimate setting, The Evening Muse is a local favorite. Many up-and-coming acts have found their platform in this small bar, and local bands perform here almost daily.

Charlotte is a huge city, and this is only a taste of what it has to offer. Whether you are a local or a visitor, take time to explore the city — you never know what you’ll find!

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