Hope Mills News

Food Truck Rodeo features Back to School theme

12 Food Truck Rodeo 1After a one-month absence for the observance of the Fourth of July, Hope Mills resumes its monthly Food Truck Rodeos with an extra emphasis on helping the community.

“A lot of people didn’t realize we didn’t have a rodeo in July because the Fourth of July was the first Thursday of the month,’’ said Chancer McLaughlin, development and planning administrator of the town. “In August we are back, and the theme for this month is Back to School.’’

The rodeo is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 1, from 5-8 p.m. It will still be at Municipal Park on Rockfish Road but will be held near the outdoor basketball courts and the playground area at the park. 

All of the vendors who have been invited to take part at this month’s rodeo provide services related to children in the community. Among the organizations that will be represented are the Teen Wellness Clinic, C.H.I.L.D. Incorporated, Partnership for Children, Operation Inasmuch and Fayetteville Urban Ministry.

As usual, donations of nonperishable food for the Hope Mills ALMS HOUSE will be collected, but in keeping with the Back to School theme, school supplies will also be collected.

Because the ALMS HOUSE already has a distribution system set up for sending food to the local schools, McLaughlin said the school supplies will be turned over to them for distribution as well. Donations most needed are white loose-leaf notebook paper, pens, pencils and standard composition books. Book bags should be avoided because there are some schools that require all book bags to be made of a clear or mesh material that is see-through. McLaughlin said three-ring binders are also not good items to donate.

Another group that will be represented at the event is Cut My City, a group of local barbers and others who will provide free services including haircuts to students at an event scheduled at the Crown Coliseum on Aug. 10. McLaughlin said they will be at the rodeo to share information about their project.

As far as fun activities at this rodeo, there will be a gaming truck with free video games for the children, along with face painting and other activities.

DJ King James, who has performed previously at Hope Mills events, will have recorded music as well as karaoke.

The food trucks scheduled to appear include rodeo regulars Chef Glenn and Big T’s. Other trucks scheduled are Nannie’s Famous, Hopkins Barbecue, Coldstone Creamery, Kona Ice, Euasticias Fully Loaded Grill, Cedar Creek Fish Farm and Boss Ross Dogs.

For updates on late changes to the rodeo, check either the Hope Mills Development or the Town of Hope Mills Administration pages on Facebook.

14U boys fourth Hope Mills team in World Series

11 14u Hope MillsRichard Martinez has already taken an all-star team to a Dixie Youth World Series. Next month, he’ll take a second trip as he guides the Hope Mills 14U state Dixie Youth champions to this year’s series in Aiken, South Carolina.

“It’s a very special group of boys,’’ he said of his 12-member team.

He told them earlier that he had previously made a World Series bid and there was no reason this team couldn’t do the same. “If you all work together as a team, and everybody believes in the ‘we’ instead of the ‘I,’ there’s nothing to stop you guys from going all the way,’’ he said.

The strength of this team could be pitching depth. Martinez said all 12 of his players are capable of throwing strikes, and at least nine of them have the ability to dominate when they’re on the mound.

The top hurler so far has been Dallas Capps. He has a 3-0 record in the postseason that includes 13 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts and only three runs allowed.

Anthony Spatorico, who normally is a catcher, shut down Columbus County over five innings as Hope Mills rallied from an early four-run deficit to win 5-4. Garret Smith shut out defending state champion Brunswick County through six innings before being relieved.

At the plate, Capps is the team’s leading hitter with a whopping .777 batting average. Brandon Novy is batting .438.

“All the boys contributed greatly,’’ Martinez said.

Unlike the other three Hope Mills teams headed to World Series play, which will be in Louisiana, Martinez and his team only have to drive roughly three hours to get to Aiken.

The opening ceremonies are on Friday, Aug. 2, and the first game for Hope Mills is Saturday, Aug. 3, vs. Tennessee.

“These boys are resilient; they never give up,’’ Martinez said.

In the time remaining until they leave for South Carolina, Martinez said the focus will be on pitching and bunting. “We missed a lot of scoring opportunities because we couldn’t execute our bunts,’’ he said. In the last two games, Hope Mills stranded 22 runners on base.

Although they don’t have a lot of time — less than a week from the time this story prints — Martinez said the team is going to try to raise as much money as possible to fund the trip.

The tournament ends with the championship game on Aug. 7. “Our goal is to be there on Aug. 7,’’ Martinez said.

Players: Nathan Camacho, Dallas Capps, Stephen Kriner, Adrick Murray, Brandon Novy, Jacob Patawaran, Maddox Powers, Garret Smith, William Smith, Anthony Spatorico, Brayden Speis, Jacob Sports

Coaches: Richard Martinez, Blake Smelcer, Joey Smith, Juan Viera


Hope Mills bulkhead work finally complete

10 Views of Lake Bulkhead 1The long-awaited bulkhead down the shoreline at Hope Mills Lake is finally complete. Now Public Works Director Don Sisko says it’s up to Mother Nature as to how quickly lake levels return to normal.

“We have no control over the inflow of water,’’ he said just days after the work on the bulkhead was completed. “The gate is open minimally so we can maintain the flow in the creek downstream.

“Hopefully we get a couple of days of rain in the next few days and that will take us over the spillway. Once it gets over the spillway to a normal level, we will close the gate completely and be under normal operation condition at the spillway.’’

While the lake was lowered, Sisko said, people could actually see one of the primary reasons the bulkhead was needed: to deal with erosion of the embankment.

“There were folks that were of the mindset you could put some soil there, maybe some sod, that would control the erosion,’’ he said. “The erosion would have a safety impact for the general public.’’

The bulkhead will make the park area near the lake more family-friendly, he said, so people can safely spread out a blanket and watch their children swimming or just enjoy the natural beauty of the lake.

In addition to the bulkhead, there are now steps down to the water and a beach area for launching kayaks and canoes into the water. “People can put their craft in the water without reaching to get over any riprap, rocks or that
sort of thing," Sisko said.

The access ramp is also handicap accessible.

Sisko sees no major issues as far as maintaining the bulkhead. “It’s made of natural material (Southern yellow pine) and it will shrink in dry periods and swell in wet periods,’’ he said. “We may have to do some sanding here and there if it splinters out.’’

The wood will be heavily treated with a preservative called chromated copper arsenate, which is used to protect outdoor wooden structures from microbes and insects.

“I don’t anticipate anything out of the ordinary for years to come, barring a catastrophic event,’’ Sisko said.

The yellow tape that is in place in areas around the park will likely stay there for awhile as new sod is being installed. “We don’t want any foot traffic on it,’’ Sisko said “We want it irrigated and rooted properly so we have a good standing of grass.’’

Sisko hopes the end product is a park area the citizens of Hope Mills can enjoy. “They get to come out and create their own memories,’’ he said. “We want to give them an open
space to enjoy.’’

Hope Mills town leaders expressed satisfaction that the bulkhead project is done.

“I know our community is ready to use the lake because of the extreme heat we are experiencing,’’ said Mayor Jackie Warner. “The good news is it won’t be much longer.’’

Commissioner Pat Edwards said the town will likely look into more plans for erosion control at the lake but added that for now, “The bulkhead looks great.’’

Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers thanked all the members, past and present, of the town’s Lake Advisory Committee for their work on developing the bulkhead project and the public swimming area.

He further praised the various companies that worked on the project, along with town staff who were involved. “The Hope Mills Lake park is a great addition to the town’s already impressive parks and recreational programs,’’ he said. “Our lake park is one of the best family parks that directly impacts the quality of life by contributing to the social, economic ... and environmental well-being of our community.’’


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