Hope Mills News

Hope Mills makes push for ADA compliance

12 Ramp at lakeOne of the jobs of the North Carolina Department of Transportation is to monitor subrecipients of federal funding that fall under their watch for compliance with the Americans with Disabilites Act.

That’s why sometime last year the town of Hope Mills, as a municipality that receives federal money through DOT, got a letter from DOT checking in on the status of the town’s compliance.

Don Sisko, who heads the public works department for Hope Mills, indicated the town is taking an aggressive approach to making sure the process to assure facilities under town control are either already accessible or will be made that way as soon as possible.

Sisko noted the town only has control over upgrading town-managed facilities and property. Private businesses and other town entities not under government control don’t fall under the direct oversight of the town or Sisko’s department. 

To help make sure nothing falls through the cracks, the town has secured the services of the engineering firm of Stewart, Inc. “They have begun their field survey so they can do a self-assessment,’’ Sisko said. “It has to do with streets and sidewalks, facilities and programs.’’

Sisko said he’s already learned some things about ADA compliance that the casual observer likely wouldn’t even think of. A great example is the official town website. Under ADA regulations, it must be made accessible to people who having hearing or vision problems that makes normal interaction with a website difficult. 

That’s why it’s good to have a company like Stewart helping with the evaluation. “They are subject matter experts on this,’’ Sisko said. “The ADA law is itself is written in legalese. It’s good to have a good subject matter expert on your side to make sure you get done what needs to be done.’’

Toward the end of getting things done, the town has hired a specialist to help oversee the ADA compliance issue. Bruce Clark is the ADA coordinator for the town and has been in that position for about a month. “He’s ramrodding this part of the project,’’ Sisko said. 

In addition to the work that is being done by Stewart, the town will be soliciting public input through a variety of outlets . Sisko said it would be similar to the responses the town sought when the comprehensive recreation plan was being developed. “There are going to be public meetings advertised and surveys put out so we can actually get public input on it,’’ he said. “That will all be collated to help us develop a priority listing.’’

Sisko added that Chancer McLaughlin, administrator of development and planning for the town, will coordinate the public input effort.

The work to complete making the town ADA compliant won’t be completed in a short time. “We are realistically trying to get our plan set up to do everything within about 10 years,’’ Sisko said.

He added that the Board of Commissioners is on board and has money budgeted once the areas of need have been identified. They already began last year with upgrading the computer program for the town website. “This year we are starting to look at some of the physical things as well,’’ Sisko said. “We are waiting until we get the report back from Stewart.’’

But there is some work ongoing. The mill house that is being converted into a museum will require a wall to be removed so the bathroom can be modified to make it ADA compliant.

Work was recently completed on the new bulkhead at Hope Mills Lake, which included the installment of a ramp leading to the kayak launch and swim areas.

“That’s the last project we had on the books that we’ve completed,’’ Sisko said of the ramp at the bulkhead. “We are looking at pressing forward and going back to past practices and making the corrections on those, bringing that to compliance.’’

Sisko noted that  anyone with concerns about ADA compliance in the town should contact Clark. His phone number is 910-429-3387, and his email is bclark@townofhopemills.com.

“We’ll do our outright best to make sure whatever is brought to our attention either gets corrected or is programmed for correction,’’ Sisko said. 

Clark said the town already developed a public awareness notice that can be seen at all facilities open to the public as well as on the town’s website and all of its social media sites.

“It’s basically a position statement on where we stand in providing compliancy with ADA in our facilities and our programs,’’ Clark said.

“The 1,000-yard view of this program, of what we’re trying to get established here, is equal access, basically, equal access for everybody to our programs, to our facilities.’’

Fall football preview: Gray’s Creek

18 01 Dalton PatrickCoach: David Lovette

2018 record: 7-5

Top returners: Kendall Evans, 6-3, 240, Sr., DT; Dalton Patrick, 6-0, 180, Sr., S/WR; Jerry Garcia Jr., 5-10, 170, Jr., LB/DB/RB; Ben Lovette, 6-1, 165, Sr., QB; Garrett Crockett, 6-3, 280, Jr., OL; Terry McLaughlin, 6-1, 180, Jr., OL; D.J. Crutcher, 6-1, 180, Sr., DB; Justin McClintock, 5-10, 200, Sr., LB.

Top newcomers: Jarrod Kenney, 5-8, 155, Jr., RB; Jalen Randall, 6-0, 230, Jr., DL; Jalen Johnson, 6-4, 200, So., DE; Robert Burks, 6-1, 175, Jr., DB; Jayden Williams, 6-4, 280, Jr., DT; Josiah Arreguin, 5-11, 165, Jr., DB.

18 02 DJ KrutcherTeam strengths: “We return experience on the offensive line and quarterback positions. On defense we return two All-Conference players in McClintock and Crutcher. The secondary returns three out of four starters and one of the better defensive linemen in Evans.’’

Team concerns: “Depth is always a concern.’’

Pictured from top to bottom: Dalton Patrick, D.J. Crutcher

Fall football preview: Jack Britt

16 01 Justin BroadhurstCoach: Brian Randolph

2018 record: 5-7

Top returners: Kevin Sentell, 6-2, 190, Sr., QB; Justin Miliman, 6-3, 320, Sr, T; Anthony Fiffie, 6-0, 170, Sr., WR; Shawn Healey, 5-9, 220, Sr., C; Mason Walker, 5-10, 170, Sr., RB; Tyquan Patterson, 5-8, 160, Sr., CB; Karnell Leavell, 6-1, 325, Sr., G; Josh Townsend, 5-9, 150, Sr., CB; Justin Broadhurst, 6-2, 205, Jr., DE; Marquise Walker, 6-0, 160, Jr., DB.

Top newcomers: Jacob Copeland, 5-11, 195, Jr., RB; Maurice Wickware, 5-3, 130, Jr., WR; Corey Hutcherson, 6-2, 190, Jr., TE; 16 02 Mason WalkerJaQuan Johnson, 6-3, 340, Jr., T; Isaiah Mercado, 5-11, 170, Jr., LB; Jaden Scott, 6-5, 210, Sr., DE; Ronald Logan, 5-10, 165, Jr., DB; Athanlio Liscano, 5-11, 150, Jr., DB; Jaylan Hackett, 6-0, 160, Jr., LB; Jeremiah Ray, 5-8, 224, Sr., DE.

Team strengths: “This offseason, our guys have embraced the culture at Jack Britt through their teamwork, discipline and commitment to the program. Iron sharpens iron. We believe that our schedule will bring out the best in us.’’

 Team concerns: “This upcoming season we have several important roles that need to be filled on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Who will answer the call for service is the question yet to be answered.’’

Pictured from top to bottom: Justin Broadhurst, Mason Walker

Fall football preview: South View

17 01 Kevin BrewingtonCoach: Rodney Brewington

2018 record: 11-3

Top returners: Matthew Pemberton, 5-9, 180, Sr., ATH; Kevin Brewington, 5-9, 165, Sr., WR; Mahlik Gonzalez, 6-1, 240, Jr., FB; Deshaun Rivera, 6-2, Sr., LB; Timel Smith, 5-9, 165, Sr., DB; J’marcus Ray, 6-1, 165, So, DB; Joshua George, 6-2, 235, Jr., TE; Michael Herbert, 6-2, 240, Sr., OL/DL; Tyrese Harris, 5-5, 155, Sr., RB; Taeveon Dove, 5-10, 265, Jr., OL.

Top newcomers: Ahmir Ashley, 5-10, 165, Jr., SS; Raheem Baldwin, 5-10, 165, Jr., S; Caesar Dais, 5-10, 260, Fr., OL; Bryan Brewington, 6-2, 190, So., DE/TE; Michael Breedlove, 5-9, So., LB; Isaac Evans, 5-10, 185, So., LB.

17 02 Timel SmithTeam strengths: “This year’s team will have experience along the offensive line. There will be depth at running back.’’

Team concerns: “The major concern is replacing eight starters on defense and replacing a 3,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard receiver and their leadership.’’

Pictured from top to bottom: Kevin Brewington, Timel Smith

Sweet Tea brings Shakespeare to Hope Mills

15 Timon of Athens

The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Company is taking its act on the road to Hope Mills for the performance of a lesser known work of the legendary playwright entitled "Timon of Athens."

The outdoor performance is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21, at Carleen’s of Hope Mills at the Moulder-Warner House, 5703 Rockfish Road. A preshow concert begins at 7 p.m., with the play starting at 7:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Jen Pommerenke is one of the directors of the play. She divides her time between Fayetteville and Brevard, where she is program director for a summer camp.

Pommerenke said the company performs mostly classical works with the goal of making their theater accessible, magical and delightful for people in the Fayetteville community and beyond.

“It’s kind of like a backyard barbecue with a bunch of family members and a play breaks out in the middle of it,’’ Pommerenke said.

Most of the company’s performances take place outdoors in Fayetteville on the grounds of the 1897 Poe House at the Museum of the Cape Fear. When the weather turns colder, they move to indoor venues.

The company’s props and costumes are what Pommerenke calls minimalist and are designed in such a way that the performances aren’t tied to a specific time period. “We like to be very fluid with that,’’ she said. “We make the story the magical part of it.’’

Pommerenke said "Timon of Athens" enjoyed a resurgence about 10 to 15 years ago when the economy was doing poorly because of problems in the stock market.

The play tells the story of a benevolent philanthropist and businessman who has been exceedingly generous to friends over the years but eventually finds himself in debt.

The friends he once helped abandon him and he leaves Athens to live in a cave.

When another group that has been banished from Athens begins to raise an army to attack the city, the city reaches out to Timon to return and help against the attackers.

Pommerenke said the focus of the story is what do you truly value in life? Are you giving the people you love money and presents or time, care and compassion?

Are you a true friend or do you seek material things that don’t really matter?

The base charge for attending the play is $10, but for those who are able, Pommerenke said the group welcomes donations for an individual ticket up to $50.

The performance begins with a preshow concert at 7 p.m., which gives the audience time to chat, enjoy the local fare and hear a little about Sweet Tea Shakespeare. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

The audience is asked to bring its own seating for the outdoor performance. Rental options are available, but they are subject to availability. Spectators should bring their own insect repellent if needed.

Accessing parking at Carleen’s can be tricky. The best entry point is on Hill Street off Rockfish Road, which runs in front of the Baldino’s there, then turn right onto Newton Street. You can also turn on Johnson Street at Robin’s on Main off Main Street and enter from that direction. 

Last-minute changes in the performance time or issues with weather will be announced on the Sweet Tea Shakespeare Facebook page around
4:30 p.m. or 5 p.m. You can also get information on the company at www.sweetteashakespeare.com, or by calling 910-420-4384.

"Timon of Athens" will also be performed at the 1897 Poe House Aug. 22-24 at the same times as the Hope Mills performance. 

The popular Sweet Tea Shakespeare company will be performing "Timon of Athens" in Hope Mills on Aug. 21. The show will be preceded by a concert at 7 p.m. 

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