07NewsDigestAlleged Fayetteville Child Killer 

Tillman Freeman III, 30, remains in Hoke County Jail awaiting trial for killing his two young children. The heart-wrenching murders of 4-day-old Genesis Freeman and her 2-year-old sister, Serenity, is a case that will haunt investigators forever. “It was horrific,” said Sheriff Hubert Peterkin who witnessed the crime scene, a wooded area off a rural road in western Hoke County. Freeman, of Fayetteville, suspected the children were not his, Peterkin said. Freeman eventually agreed to show Fayetteville police where he had left the babies in his car. Detectives had spent much of the day searching for them. Freeman is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and is being
held without bond.

Shaw Heights Annexation Changes

Fayetteville City Council is asking State Rep. Elmer Floyd (D-Cumberland) to modify his Shaw Heights annexation bill. For starters, the city is not asking to annex the impoverished geographic doughnut hole of trailer parks, row apartments, some single-family homes, warehouses, junkyards, dirt streets and numerous illegal dumps off Murchison and Shaw Roads. Officials are seeking extra-territorial jurisdiction for now. The request of the legislature may be doomed to failure because council voted 7-3 for a resolution in support of the general assembly’s intent to eventually annex Shaw Heights. Mayor Nat Robertson and Council members Kathy Jensen and Bill Crisp voted against the measure. Historically, local bills are not given serious consideration by the legislature unless they are sent to Raleigh with unanimous consent. Asked if he thought council’s split vote doomed the measure, Mayor Nat Robertson nodded his head in agreement. But, council will now work to draft a second resolution containing specifics that would be submitted to the House of Representatives by Floyd, if he agrees to it.  

Tax Break for Disabled Vets

North Carolina service veterans who are 100 percent disabled will get a property tax exemption on the first $100,000 of home value, if a bill now pending in the Senate passes. The amended measure, sponsored by Rep. Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), passed the House last week. Fully disabled veterans have been exempt from paying property taxes on the first $45,000 of the value of their homes. The bill also exempts widows and widowers of North Carolina law enforcement officers as well as fire and rescue personnel killed in the line of duty from all property taxes. Lawmakers agreed to reimburse cities and counties for lost tax income.

Tar Heel Bathroom Bill Repealed

HB142 has replaced HB2, North Carolina’s notorious Bathroom Bill. Under threat of what could have been an economically crippling edict from the NCAA, the general assembly repealed HB2. Governor Cooper, who helped broker a compromise, signed the new bill into law. The vote came down to the wire before the state could have potentially lost NCAA athletic championships for several years. Many believe the ACC would have followed suit. 

While HB142 repeals HB2, it still bans local governments from adopting any non-discrimination ordinances through 2020. After that, cities and counties would be banned from passing any non-discrimination ordinances related to bathrooms and locker rooms.

“This is a significant compromise from all sides on an issue that has been discussed and discussed and discussed in North Carolina for a long period of time,” Senate leader Phil Berger said. “It is something that I think satisfies some people, dissatisfied some people, but I think it’s a good thing for North Carolina.”

Upcoming Maternity Fair

Womack Army Medical Center will host a maternity fair on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It will be a thorough presentation offering information on childbirth education, midwifery services, car seat safety, the WIC program and more. Breastfeeding information, nutrition, information for dads, how to soothe a crying baby, TRICARE, vaccines, labor and delivery tours, neonatal intensive care, social work and more will also be discussed, as will alcohol and tobacco cessation, hospital patient relations and social media. Additional information is available at (910) 907-7247.

FTCC Adult Education 

Fayetteville Technical Community College has opened a new Education Center at 225
B Street, downtown in the former Pauline Jones Elementary School. The FTCC Educational Center provides Adult Basic Education designed to help those seeking secondary and post-secondary academic advancement as well as improvement of employability skills.  The new center also provides assessments, testing and human resource development. The programs are geared to provide individuals with skills that are critical to employment in the workplace. Classes are offered face to face, on and off-campus, online and during the daytime and evenings. 

Fayetteville Fire Department Wins Grant

The Hartford, a nationally recognized property and casualty insurance company, has awarded the Fayetteville Fire Department a $10,000 grant to support fire safety education and behavior initiatives. The donation was based on a risk identification study formed from the analysis of information from the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System. It grew out of a survey conducted from a small sample of Fayetteville’s general population of 204,000 residents. Fayetteville ranked 22nd out of 100 U.S. cities with an increased home fire risk.  The survey only identified certain human-related risk factors that may lead to residential fires. 

A date and time the donation will be presented to the department will
be announced.

Cumberland County Citizen Training

Cumberland County Commissioners invite all members of its appointed boards and committees to attend “How to be an Effective Board Member” training April 10-11 at the Crown Complex Ballroom. Commissioners also encourage residents interested in serving on a board to attend. Professional trainer Denise Ryan will lead two 90-minute sessions on April 10 at 12 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. The last session will be on April 11 at 8 a.m. Participants are asked to reserve their seats by April 3 by calling (910) 678-7772 or emailing kbeam@co.cumberland.nc.us. Light refreshments will be provided. “We are offering this training to increase the understanding of what is expected of board members,” said Chairman Glenn Adams.
“I encourage anyone currently serving or interested in serving to attend one of the sessions,” he added.                   

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