Hope Mills News

Army exercise coming to Hope Mills for four weeks

Elements of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command are conducting realistic military training on Fort Bragg and in the greater Fayetteville area, including Hope Mills, from Oct. 28 until Nov. 22.

You may see soldiers in civilian clothes meeting at predetermined locations throughout the city as part of the training scenario. This has been coordinated with Fayetteville law enforcement and the city manager and the town manager of Hope Mills.

This type of training is routine and gives soldiers the opportunity to work in a more realistic environment. The military sincerely appreciates the cooperation of citizens and local businesses in the vicinity of this training and apologizes for any disturbance it may cause.

Q. Are townspeople likely to notice anything?

A. The soldiers taking part in this training will not be in uniform, carrying weapons or driving military vehicles. Members of the community are not likely to notice anything out of the ordinary while this training is conducted.

Q. Can you share anything about the general purpose of the exercise?

A. Special operations soldiers regularly conduct this type of training off of military installations because it adds an increased level of realism and greater training value for our special operations personnel.

Q. Why does the exercise last as long as it does?

A. Four weeks is simply the amount of time it will take to cover all of the course material and complete the practical exercises. Readiness determines our ability to fight and win our nation’s wars. It is the capability of our forces to conduct the full range of military operations to defeat all enemies regardless of the threats they pose.

Q. Will different Fort Bragg personnel rotate in and out of the exercise from week to week or will it be the same group of participants start to finish?

A. This is a single course, therefore the same personnel will be participating in this training for the entire four weeks.

Q. Is this a 24/7 event or will the exercise only be in morning or evening hours?

A. This training will mostly be conducted during the day, Monday through Friday.

Q. How many personnel will take part?

A. A total of 18 students will take part in this course.

Q. What kind of things will the participants be doing?

A. Special operations soldiers will be conducting network enabler training. This training will certify civil affairs soldiers on their informant network-building skills, a critical skill for special operations soldiers.

Small groups of soldiers in civilian clothes will conduct interviews in public places throughout the greater Fayetteville area. It is important to note that any interaction with members of the public will be secondary.

Soldiers will not be interacting with members of the public to gather information for this training.

All information gathering will take place between students and instructors or previous graduates of the course.

Moxie owners find hairstyling fun, not just a job

17 moxieBusiness partners Mary Susan Megill and Tara Freeman don’t look at what they do as owners of Moxie Hair Studio on Legion Road as a job.

“A lot of people look at it as a hobby, which kind of in a way it is, but it’s a hobby that is also a job that we like,’’ Freeman said. “It doesn’t feel like work. I genuinely like my clients and like to make them feel good about themselves.’’

The two recently opened their new studio in the Coffman Commons shopping center at 4251 Legion Road.

“I had previously worked in Hope Mills and had built a clientele out there,’’ Megill said. “It’s close enough to most things in Fayetteville and it wasn’t too far for most of our clients.’’

Freeman lives in the Gray’s Creek area and saw it as a chance to add another hairstyling option for people in what is a rapidly-growing part of Cumberland County. "It’s an opportunity to market this area more,’’ she said.

They describe the business as a full-service hair salon available to the entire family. Women, men and children are all welcome.

For the time being, Megill and Freeman are the only stylists in the shop, but they have openings to add more stylists in the future.

There are no firm hours with most business being appointment-based. Walk-ins are welcome but depending on the appointment load, it’s better to schedule something in advance.

Generally, the studio is open during traditional business hours Tuesday through Saturdays.

Freeman got her cosmetology training at a vocational high school in Ohio. Megill learned the trade at a local hairstyling school.

Both took the traditional 1,500 hours of training, which for both is ongoing on the job. Between them they’ve got 33 years of experience on the job.

“It’s always changing,’’ Megill said. “There’s always something new, the client thing, as well. You become close to your clients. You build a relationship with them.

“We both have clients we’ve been seeing for years. (You) watch them grow with their families and their jobs and whatever else is going on in their life.’’

Megill said that technique-wise there is always something cool coming out in the hairstyling business. “It’s not boring,’’ she said. “It really, truly is a fun job.’’

While the main services they offer are hair cutting and coloring, they offer specialty work like rainbow hair coloring and balayage.

Balayage is when dye is actually painted on to create a graduated, natural-looking effect.

The procedure can take as long as two hours to perform. The two also do fashion colors and corrective colors.

For further information on the business, visit their Facebook page, Moxie Hair Studio. You can contact them at 910-491-4542 or by email at moxiehairstudio19@gmail.com.

Harmony holds Fall Family Festival

16 01 hair stuff


Due to the threat of severe weather Saturday from Tropical Storm Nestor, the Fall Family Festival at Harmony at Hope Mills has been postponed to a later date.

Harmony at Hope Mills, an assisted living facility, is still somewhat new to the Hope Mills community. It’s located at 7051 Rockfish Road, a short distance from Jack Britt High School.

To help introduce itself and to give back to the town it hopes to serve, Harmony is holding a Fall Family Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

“We want to say thank you and bring the community together as well, as with our families that are currently residents,’’ said Taneshia Morris, the move-in coordinator at Harmony.

Harmony is partnering with the group that sponsors the annual Cut My City event to offer a variety of activities and services to anyone who would like to take part, especially members of the senior citizens community.

One of the big features of the festival will be free haircuts and some makeovers.

Hair dressers and professional makeup artists will be on-hand to help with the makeovers.

Morris said Harmony has reached out to local churches to ask them to nominate deserving members as candidates for the makeovers.

Around 2 p.m., Harmony will hold a seniors fashion show for anyone ages 60 and up. Morris said the fashion show will be complete with a catwalk for the participants.

16 02 harmonyThere will also be senior games, carnival style, with prizes for the participants.

Other events will include a photo booth, an antique car show, a cornhole competition and a variety of food trucks.

Anyone who would like to find out additional information about the event or RSVP for the makeovers or the fashion show is asked to call by Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the latest.

The number is 910-635-0555.

“We just want people to know we are here,’’ Morris said.

Hope Mills secures long-awaited generator for Town Hall

16 generatorA short time ago, the Hope Mills Police Department swung an amazing deal to get a new tactical vehicle for special situations.

Now the Hope Mills Fire Department is following suit, helping secure a generator that will provide power to keep Town Hall up and running enough to do business during times of power loss.

Deputy Chief Steve Lopez of the Hope Mills Fire Department wears a number of hats. In addition to his role as a firefighter, he is also the operations chief for the fire department and the town safety director for Hope Mills.

After a lengthy search, Lopez has located what is called a tactical quiet generator that he is now working to get final approval and installation for.

Lopez said that when the Town Hall building was originally constructed, the intent was to get a generator.

For whatever reason, that never took place, and after Hurricane Florence, when power was out to Town Hall for eight days, something needed to done.

“We had a sit down (after Florence) and did a lessons learned type of thing,’’ Lopez said. “The problem we were having was the fact all the infrastructure for the servers and the phones were located in the Town Hall.’’

During that same period of time, Cumberland County dispatch services were also down for two or three days. That meant certain services could not be dispatched by radio or reached by telephone. “The gist of the situation was we needed to try to get a generator here as quickly as we can,’’ Lopez said.

But that’s a lot easier said than done. A generator of the type Hope Mills needed to keep Town Hall running cannot be purchased at the typical big box chain. The cost for a new one runs upwards of $35,000, which is well beyond the reach of the town budget.

Lopez began looking at options available via military surplus. “The thing with generators on the military side is they are very powerful, they are made to government specifications and they are made to operate in the worst conditions,’’ he said.

Lopez finally found what he was looking for with a federal surplus outlet in Raleigh. The cost was only $3,975.

He checked it out and brought a generator mechanic with him. “He tested it and it passed with flying colors,’’ Lopez said.

He then took the generator to a local trucking company to do further checks on the generator’s diesel motor. “They judged it to be in super condition,’’ he said.

“It’s very, very quiet,’’ he said of the generator when it’s operating. “It’s actually used in a forward area where you have to keep the noise to a minimum.’’

The next step will be to get an estimate on the cost for installing all the hardware needed to connect the generator to Town Hall and set it up so it will automatically turn on just 1.5 seconds after the building loses power in the next storm event or other cause of power failure.

Should the cost to do all the connections run over $5,000, Lopez said it will have to go to the Board of Commissioners for final approval.

Lopez added the generator is not designed to power Town Hall completely like normal current would, but he also noted that not everyone comes to work when power is out so every light and power outlet in the building won’t be needed in that situation.

“There are critical functions in a municipality that need to stay functioning or have the ability to function,’’ Lopez said. “The manager’s office is one and payroll is another. We prioritize which areas we want stood up (powered).’’

Another major consideration is the detrimental effect no power can have on some equipment. During the time of Florence, Lopez said it got too humid inside the building, causing problems for some of the town’s computers.

“This generator should power pretty much everything we need in a storm event and post-storm event,’’ Lopez said.

Pig racing added to popular Gallberry Corn Maze

15 01 goatsThe popular Gallberry Corn Maze is back for a sixth season of weekend fun for families, with a special added attraction this year.

“We are doing pig racing,’’ said Jeanette McLean, spokesperson for the corn maze.

They try to get in at least two pig races during Friday’s hours for the corn maze and as many as three or four during their longer hours on Saturday.

This year’s hours are 5-10 p.m. on Friday, noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The last tickets are sold each day one hour before closing.

The pigs have their own track at the corn maze, the Gallberry Nas-Hawg Speedway.

The four competing critters are named Earnhawg Jr., Danica Porkchop, Stinkerbelle (a Southern pig, of course) and Spongehawg Spampants.

The pigs are Gloucestershire old spots and were originally bred as orchard pigs. “They are actually leaner, longer pigs and aren’t messy,’’ McLean said. “They don’t root as much as a farm pig does.’’

Each pig is assigned a number and a color prior to the race and children that come to the corn maze are encouraged to cheer for the 15 02 Corn Maze signpig of their choice to win.

In addition to the racing pigs, Galberry continues with many of its traditional attractions that have made the corn maze a fall hit.

There is the jumping pillow along with a wide assortment of farm animals. They include Hee Haw the Donkey, baby goats and baby peacocks, Tom Tom the Turkey and rabbits.

Other attractions include a giant corn shack with 6,000 pounds of corn, various slides, a climbing wall, cornhole games, tic tac toe played with Styrofoam pumpkins, a barrel train and a hayride.

Of course, the main attractions are the two mazes, a one-acre children’s maze and the five-acre main maze. McLean estimates it takes about 45 minutes to walk through both mazes.

Flashlights are required in the maze after dark. They are available for sale at the concession stand but McLean said most customers use the light on their cellphones.

Tickets are $11 for everyone ages 3-65. Children under three are free. Cumberland County school teachers, seniors 66 and over and military can get a $1 discount with proper identification.

The hay ride stops at dusk for safety reasons.

All sales are cash only and there is an ATM at the main ticket gate.

The only thing a ticket doesn’t include is the popular air cannons which are three shots for $1.

Pumpkins and all food from the concession stand cost extra.

Concession items include water, soft drinks, juice boxes, funnel cakes, fried Oreos, honey buns, corn dogs, hot dogs, nachos with chili and cheese and fried corn on the cob. There are also S’Mores kits available. Fire pits are also provided.

The Gallberry Corn Maze, located on 5991 Braxton Rd., is open through Nov. 3. For more information, visit the Facebook page, Gallberry Corn Maze, the website, gallberrycornmaze.com, or call McLean at 910-309-7582.



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