New Fire Station Delayed
The Fayetteville Fire Department hoped to open a temporary Fire Station in East Fayetteville this past October. An abandoned EMS station on Cedar Creek Road is being retrofitted as Fire Station 16. Initial bids came in well over the city’s $300,000 budget and were rejected. Now the facelift will happen in stages. Some of the interior has been renovated making it livable, said Deputy Fire Chief Mike Hill. But, the building is still without sleeping quarters for the firefighters. Instead of modifying the original ambulance bays to house the engine, they’re being converted into a dormitory, according to Hill. A standalone metal building will house the fire truck. That will save the city $70,000, Hill said. But now, it will be at least March before construction is completed. Until the sleeping quarters are built, the crew returns to Fire Station 1 overnight. Eventually, the city plans to build a permanent station in the area.
Red Light Cameras
Cumberland County Schools have taken in more than $118,000 in the first four months of Fayetteville’s red light camera enforcement program. North Carolina law requires that the proceeds of traffic citations be turned over the local schools. An update from American Traffic Solutions says 1,687 citations of 4,216 issued since July were paid in full. The schools receive $70 of each $100 fine. The balance goes to ATS. The company says the majority of red light running violations occur on Fridays. Cameras have captured an average of 30 violations per day. The intersection of Skibo and Morganton Roads has seen the highest number of red light runners.
Holly Jolly Christmas
It’s that time of year and holiday shopping requires awareness. Christmas shopping means crowded stores, traffic jams and frayed nerves. But it also means happiness, family, good times and reflection. Law enforcement authorities caution the public to be careful, not careless. Be alert to your surroundings. City police Lt. David McLaurin has some suggestions: Go shopping during the day when possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Use a debit or credit card instead of cash. Be aware of your surroundings. Conceal purchases in the trunk or undercover in your SUV. When returning to your vehicle, have your car keys in hand. If you have a remote key fob, push the panic alarm a time or two to scare off anyone who may be lurking nearby. And always keep your doors locked while driving.
New Chamber Board
The Greater Fayetteville Chamber formally installed a new board of directors for the coming year. Brian Kent of K3 Enterprises is Chairman for 2016. “As a local business owner, I want to do my part to promote positive business advocacy for our City and County,” Kent said. Johnny Wilson will serve as Vice Chairman. Others named or reappointed to the 14-member board are Kitti Jo Finch, Darsweil Rogers, George Breece, Charles Allen IV, Charles Broadwell, Sandy Cookman, Jim Grafstrom, Ralph Huff, Pam Jackson, Jan Johnson, Katy Lollis and Kim Scruton. Rodney Anderson was recently named CEO and president of the Chamber. The organization says its vision is to build a prosperous and resilient community through business leadership.
White Flag Nights
Again this winter, Fayetteville’s Salvation Army and True Vine Ministries say they will open their shelters for individuals seeking to get out of the cold at night. White flags will be raised at the Salvation Army and throughout the city when overnight temperatures are expected to fall to 32 degrees or lower. People wishing to stay over during “White Flag” periods must have current warrant checks completed by the Sheriff’s Office. They should report to the shelter between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Salvation Army facility is located at 245 Alexander Street, downtown. True Vine Ministries operates two shelters, one on its campus at 5315 Morganton Road. A shelter for women is new this winter, at 913 Person Street.