Hope Mills News

First Good2Grow Farmers Market a rousing success

13Farmers market 1The first Good2Grow Farmers Market, held at the Hope Mills Town Hall complex recently, was a rousing success.

One thing that certainly didn’t hurt was timing the first market with several other major town events that created a lot of foot traffic in the area. On the same day as the farmers market, the town held its annual hazardous waste collection and document shredding events for citizens, along with the annual litter sweep of area streets.

Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator for the town, said there were some 17 vendors who took part in the farmers market.

While there was obviously an emphasis on produce and farm-grown products, McLaughlin noted there were also many vendors with handmade crafts.

Vendors offered a variety of items like farmraised pork products, goat cheese, handmade jewelry, strawberries, jalapeño jams and jellies, natural remedies, essential oils, candles, baked goods and even natural mosquito spray.

“Every vendor that was there was so excited (about) how it turned out,’’ Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner said. Many of the vendors sold out of the items they brought.

Warner was especially pleased with the family atmosphere of the event. “You saw kids running around, eating strawberries,’’ she said. “Parents were shopping. So much was going on.’’

Warner is hopeful that the event will continue to grow in popularity and add more vendors over time.

“The next one (June 1) will be the same Saturday as Pet Fest,’’ she said. “Pet Fest will be between Parks and Recreation and Town Hall. (The) farmers market will be in the area next to the ball fields.’’

McLaughlin said the market will continue through October, on the first Saturday of each month.

The fees for vendors are $50 to set up at the market every month or $20 if a vendor only wants to take part in the event one month.

The original deadline to submit information to become a vendor was April 26, but McLaughlin said that has been extended. Vendors can now apply as late as the day before the next event.

All application information and rules for being a vendor at the farmers market are on the town of Hope Mills website, www.townofhopemills.com.

For those who don’t have access to the internet, McLaughlin said you can stop by Town Hall at 5770 Rockfish Rd. during normal business hours and pick up a hard copy of the application and rules.

McLaughlin said organizers are working on getting a vendor that will sell fresh fish for the next market. They are also looking for more varieties of produce, including watermelons, more fruits, okra and other vegetables. He said a lot of the vegetable and fruit options will be dictated by what’s available during certain seasons of the year.

To contact McLaughlin with questions or concerns regarding the farmers market, email him at cmclaughlin@townofhopemills.com.

Hope Mills Calendar

Meetings

For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113.

Board of Commissioners Monday, May 20, 7 p.m., Luther Meeting Room, Town Hall

Lake Advisory Committee Tuesday, May 21, 6 p.m., Parks and Recreation Building

Veterans Affairs Commission Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Building

Appearance Committee Tuesday, May 28, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Building

Activities

Good2Grow Farmers Market, Saturday, June 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Between Town Hall and Parks and Recreation Building

Pet Fest, Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Hope Mills Park

Parks and rec offers late-night basketball this summer

18Night basketball posterThe Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department is launching a new initiative aimed at keeping young people off the streets on summer nights by engaging them in wholesome activities. Beginning June 7 and continuing until July 12, the department will offer coed 3-on-3 basketball at the recreation center gymnasium, every Friday night from 9 p.m. until midnight. The doors will open at 8:30 p.m. each Friday.

There is no charge to play — participants simply have to sign up at the recreation offices at 5766 Rockfish Rd. 

Lamarco Morrison, new head of the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department, said he got the idea after a recent meeting of the town’s Citizen Academy and the result of a conversation with recreation department staff member Stephen Kessenger.

Morrison said the question was raised as to what the town was doing to attract youth in hard-to-reach areas of the community.

The idea of night basketball was suggested. “It was a way to get the youth off the street in the summer, plus involve the police department,’’ Morrison said.

Morrison later learned that Kessenger had done something similar when he was working in Hoke County. Morrison then ran the idea by other people in Hope Mills, including the town manager and people associated with the parks department.

The plan every Friday is to hold play from 9 p.m. until midnight in the recreation department gym. There will be two half-court games going on at once, each team composed of three players. Each game will last 12 minutes.

“If you win, you stay on the court,’’ Morrison said. “If you lose, you’re off the court. We’ll go that way until 12 (a.m.’)”

The league is open to both male and female players. Although there is no age limit for the games, Morrison said the targeted age group is from 15 to 20 years old.

Morrison is working to get members of the Hope Mills Police Department to play in the games, along with staff from the recreation department. They will be there both to participate but also to supervise the activity.

“The police have two roles,’’ Morrison said, “to make sure everybody behaves, but they also will be involved with playing the game.’’

Morrison said he is still working out some details of that arrangement with Hope Mills Police Chief Joel Acciardo.

Concession stands won’t be open inside the gym during the games, but Morrison said food trucks would be outside for those who might want to get something to eat.

“We’ll do it for six weeks,’’ Morrison said. “If people say they want more, we’ll look at doing it longer.’’

Hope Mills honors its heroes

12Veterans Memorial ParkBill Green, adjutant quartermaster for Hope Mills Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630, encourages everyone in Hope Mills to take time during Memorial Day weekend to honor the memory of those who died in service of this country, as well as those who served and remain as veterans or active duty members of the military. The Hope Mills Veterans Affairs Commission will again hold a special ceremony to remember the fallen on Memorial Day in Hope Mills. It will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Hope Mills near the Parks and Recreation Center on Monday, May 27, at 4 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the recreation center.

“Memorial Day is to honor the sacrifices of our great men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice,’’ Green said.

The format for this year’s observance will follow a familiar pattern and feature things like the invocation and call to order, performances by a dance group, and speakers who were winners of an annual VFW contest. Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner will also read the official proclamation from the town.

There will be some special additions to this year’s observance, Green said. One will be a presentation by Hope Mills Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers, a former commander of the local VFW post. He will share some comments about the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy, which will be officially observed in June.

Three nameplates will be added to the memorial at the park, honoring three members of the local VFW post who have died: Jim Clark, Joe Edwards and George Hill.

“Their families will be there so we can put nameplates on the memorial,’’ Green said. “This is just one way we can recognize them. When you put your name on a memorial, it’s there forever. This way, they are never forgotten.’’

It’s the act of remembering that’s most important to Green.

“You should take a brief moment ... and give thanks,’’ he said of the Memorial Day observance. “If it wasn’t for the veterans, (citizens) wouldn’t have the freedoms they have today. That’s what it all boils down to.’’

Warner thanked the Veterans Affairs Committee for all the hard work its members do in making the Memorial Day observance in Hope Mills possible.

“We have an opportunity to remember those that have served and also recognize the active duty (soldiers) and the veterans that live in Hope Mills,’’ she said. “It’s always a somber and very special event. It’s important for Hope Mills because of our military attachment here.’’

Warner especially praised the late Jim Clark for his years of service on the Veterans Affairs Committee in Hope Mills.

“If you needed something, especially if you needed something from the VFW, he was willing to get it done for you,’’ Warner said. “He was instrumental in helping me get the flags we used to recognize all the veterans the first time we did a field of flags in Hope Mills.

“He kept it alive and moved to get more veterans involved with different groups here in Hope Mills.’’

Red-light cameras a step closer to coming to Hope Mills

17IntersectionIt’s been more than two years since the town of Hope Mills took action to start the process of bringing red-light cameras to the community.

The cameras, which are already in nearby Fayetteville, are posted at no cost to the town at designated intersections and capture images of drivers running red lights.

The drivers are contacted by mail and assessed fines. The money collected from the fines is divided between the company that operates the cameras and Cumberland County Schools.

Neither the town nor its police department are involved in any way in the operation of the cameras or where the money goes. The only thing the town does is decide which intersections to have the cameras cover.

When the plan was first presented to the town’s board of commissioners March 6, 2017, members of that board voted unanimously to move forward with looking into adding cameras to the town.

The issue has resurfaced since the North Carolina House of Representatives recently passed legislation that would bring the cameras to Hope Mills. It still has to pass the North Carolina Senate for it to happen.

Hope Mills Police Chief Joel Acciardo stood by his previous comments from the board meeting of two years ago and said traffic safety is always a priority in Hope Mills. He added that no decisions had been made on where cameras would be located if they are finally approved. When it comes time to make a decision, Acciardo said, the town will likely draw on statistics and find the locations where accidents have been the biggest problem.

Commissioner Pat Edwards, who seconded the original motion by Commissioner Jerry Legge to look into the cameras, said she had heard a lot of pros and cons since then about bringing the cameras to Hope Mills.

Edwards said input from citizens would guide her final decision on adding cameras, but she added that if the issue involves safety for the community and the schools get additional funding from the project, she would tend to be supportive.

“How often do you get something that doesn’t cost anything that provides safety?’’ Edwards said.

Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner supports the cameras, both for the role they could play in saving lives and for providing money to the schools.

Warner mentioned a number of intersections where accidents occur frequently that have been looked at in previous years. The list includes Hope Mills and Camden Road, Hope Mills and Highway 162, and Legion Road and Highway 162.

“A lot of it has to do with impatience, especially at Main Street/Hope Mills Road and Camden,’’ Warner said. “They just take a chance. We see it happening all the time.

“Statistically, there is national proof that the red-light cameras save lives and prevent accidents in attempting to prevent traffic from running yellow and red lights. Ultimately, the final decision will be left up to this board.’’

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