Judicial Icon Dies
A beloved Fayetteville jurist, E. Maurice Braswell, has died. He was 94. Judge Braswell served for 16 years on the North Carolina Court of Appeals following a 20-year career on the Superior Court bench. Braswell was born in Rocky Mount, N.C. As a young man, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and because of his excellent eyesight, was assigned as a tail gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress.’’ After flying in more than 40 combat missions, his plane was hit and burst into flames. Braswell parachuted safely but landed behind enemy lines and spent two months as a POW in a Romanian prisoner of war camp. After the war, he studied at the University of North Carolina Law School and came to Fayetteville to practice law. In 1955, he was appointed district solicitor (now district attorney) by then-Gov. Luther Hodges. Braswell was elected a Superior Court judge in 1962. In the 1970s, Braswell signed one of the last outlaw warrants issued in the state prior to the statute’s repeal. It gave lawmen the authority to shoot to kill wanted fugitives. In this case, the ‘outlaw’ was a Cumberland County jail escapee. He was apprehended without incident. In 1982, Braswell ran for a seat on the state Court of Appeals and received more votes than anyone running for statewide office that year. Braswell is survived by his three children. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth.
Rowan Street Bridge Construction Underway
Preparation work is underway for construction of the new Rowan Street Bridge and realignment of city streets in the vicinity. Timber in a city park and areas where the replacement bridge will be built has been cleared. The off ramp from the existing Rowan Street bridge to Murchison Road has been closed and sections of W. Rowan and Hillsboro Streets have been barricaded. Some streets have marked detours. Others do not. Inbound traffic on Hillsboro Street now must turn left onto Moore Street. No detour is posted. S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson, N.C., is the general contractor for the $24 million project. Construction will take three years, said DOT Division Construction Engineer Randy Wise. Two new overpasses will be built immediately adjacent to the existing structure. Rowan Street, Bragg Boulevard and Murchison Road will be realigned to join one another at a single intersection.
City Code Being Enforced Again
With Hurricane Matthew four months behind us, the City of Fayetteville has decided it’s time to resume enforcement of the city code. The city’s Code of Ordinances governs everything we do and shouldn’t do as citizens of Fayetteville. The city “responds to concerns from citizens and oversees nuisance enforcement and ongoing compliance with City codes and regulations, such as overgrown lots or yards, inoperative vehicles, maintenance of structures, illegal signs and public nuisances.” says the city’s website. Downed trees from the hurricane are also covered. Officials say there are still about 300 homes with storm debris that hasn’t been disposed of. Letters giving those homeowners 30 days to complete the cleanup are in the mail, says city spokesman Nathan Walls, after which code enforcement will resume.
I-95 Business Closed Temporarily
The N.C. Department of Transportation has closed I-95 Business/U.S. 301 in Cumberland County for routine maintenance. Both the northbound and southbound lanes are closed between N.C. 24 (Grove Street) and I-95, exit 55 at Eastover. The road will remain closed through Friday, Feb. 24, said DOT spokeswoman Peggy Beach. Motorists are advised to take the signed detour route that involves I-95, Murphy Road, Dunn Road, Grove Street and Eastern Boulevard. This section of U.S. 301 was closed once before for more than two years while new bridges were constructed over the Cape Fear River and Cross Creek.
Police Ball Needs Community Support
The Fayetteville Police Foundation hopes the business and civic communities will chip in to sponsor tables and defray the cost of officers and their guests at the annual Police Ball. It’s scheduled the evening of May 12 at Highland Country Club. The ball features dinner and dancing as well as a silent auction. The Police Foundation raises money to augment the needs of the FPD. It was instrumental in raising much of the money that allowed the department to equip uniformed patrol officers with body cameras. Sponsorships vary in cost and the foundation gladly accepts donations in any amount. For more information, contact Executive Director Cindy McCormic at 433-1746 or 988-0797.