Editor’s note: Last week, the Fayetteville Police Department lost one of its own. A young officer took his own life. Police ask that the community keep the family and the department in prayer.

Assistant Register of Deeds Receives Order of Long Leaf Pine

Cumberland County Senior Assistant Register of Deeds Pam Stultz received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Dec. 18 during her retirement ceremony in the Courthouse. North Carolina Sen. Wesley Meredith presented the order to Stultz on behalf of Gov. Pat McCrory. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the state’s highest civilian honor.

Stultz has been employed with the Register of Deeds Office since 1987, following four years of employment with the State of North Carolina. In 2011, Stultz received the Charles W. Moore award from the North Carolina Association Registers of Deeds. The award is given annually to a register of deeds assistant or deputy in recognition for outstanding service to the association.

Cumberland County Register of Deeds Lee Warren also presented Stultz with a ceremonial key to the Deeds vault in recognition of her years of service to the Cumberland County Register of Deeds office.


Educators accused of assaulting children

Two former Pauline Jones Alternative Middle School educators await trial on charges of assaulting students. Terry Van Drake, 47, faces three counts of child abuse stemming from separate assaults. Danny Pettigrew, 61, faces one charge. Both men are no longer with the school system, according to School Superintendent Frank Till Jr. 

The charges stem from incidents that occurred in late October and mid-November. A Sheriff’s Office investigation was initiated when a parent of one of the children complained. Drake served as Pauline Jones’ safe school coordinator. In one instance, he allegedly grabbed a child by the wrist and yanked him from a desk, according to Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. Drake later allegedly grabbed the child by the wrist, pulled him from a chair and forced him to the floor and placing his knee in the child’s back. Drake allegedly grabbed another student by the wrist, placed his left hand on the child’s back and forced him to the floor, said Swain. He then allegedly picked the child up and forced him into a desk. Two days later, Drake allegedly grabbed another child, jerked him out of his desk and took him to the ground while forcing the youngster’s hands behind his back. Pettigrew, who was a teacher, is accused of grabbing a child by the neck and chest and throwing him against a wall. 


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