06dogwood festivalFayetteville’s Dogwood Festival has been designated the best event in the southeast U.S. by the Southeast Festivals and Events Association. The honor was announced at the association’s annual conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Events in eight states were eligible for awards.

“We are beyond thrilled to bring home this prestigious award for our community,” said Carrie King, Fayetteville Dogwood Festival executive director. “The spirit of the Fayetteville community made the Dogwood Festival a natural choice for the award.”

The Dogwood Festival has received top honors from local, state, regional and international organizations. The annual event is a private undertaking committed to providing a variety of family-centered activities each spring and has done so for 36 years. The 2018 festival will take place April 26–29 in downtown Fayetteville.

Mayor concerned about racial inequities

Fayetteville City Council has withdrawn City Attorney Karen McDonald’s selection of two local attorneys in a nationwide civil action against prescription opioid manufacturers and wholesale distributors. Attorneys Terry Hutchens and Billy Richardson volunteered to represent the city of Fayetteville in cooperation with two national groups of lawyers who have taken the opioid manufacturers and distributors to court.

The lawsuit is being presided over by a single federal judge. The objectives of the legal consortiums are to recover the costs of dealing with opioid abuse and to eventually reimburse local communities for their costs of fighting the epidemic.

Mayor Mitch Colvin objected to McDonald’s awarding of the contract to the lawyers without going through the city’s bidding process. Colvin told Up & Coming Weekly that local attorneys Jonathan Charleston, Allen Rogers and Lila Washington, all black, had asked him why they hadn’t been offered an opportunity to represent the city.

“There needs to be local and minority inclusion in this city, and it has not happened for years,” Colvin said.

McDonald disagreed with Colvin’s characterization of events.

“This is a cultural change,” Colvin said.

City council revoked McDonald’s action and ordered the administration to invite other attorneys to offer their services. No money is at stake except that eventually cities and counties could receive damages and the lawyers would earn compensation.

Cumberland County Primary Election preliminaries

The 2018 May Primary Elections are just around the corner. Local and state primaries are May 8 this year. Early voting begins in mid-April. Six voting places have been established for one-stop voting.

The Board of Elections voting hours are:

Thursday-Friday, April 19- 20; 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Monday-Friday, April 23-27; 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Monday-Friday, April 30-May 4; 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Saturday, May 5; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cliffdale Recreation Center, North Regional Library, Hope Mills Recreation Center, East Regional Library and Gray’s Creek Recreation Center voting hours are:

Thursday-Friday, April 19-20; 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Monday-Friday, April 23-27; 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 28; 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Monday-Friday, April 30-May 4; 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 5; 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Grove Street bridge closed for repairs

The Grove Street bridge over the Cape Fear River has been closed this month for repair and maintenance work that will extend its longevity. Concrete repairs are being made below the bridge. Deck joints on the driving surface are also being fixed. The bridge was built in 1974 and carries about 25,000 vehicles a day. Portable detour signs have been erected.

While the bridge is closed, locals are being detoured using Cedar Creek Road and Clinton Road, which becomes Person Street, and U.S. 301/Business 95.

For updates on the bridge closure or other realtime travel information, go to DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

PWC water changes may be noticeable

The Fayetteville Public Works Commission has temporarily stopped adding ammonia to its water treatment disinfection process. The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources requires all water systems that add ammonia to their drinking water to discontinue its use for a one-month period annually. PWC will resume adding ammonia to the water treatment disinfection process April 1.

This month, fire hydrants are being opened frequently to flush the water distribution system. During the month, chlorine may be more noticeable, and some customers may experience discolored water because of the flushing.

FTCC hosts Fayetteville’s fourth annual Foodtrepreneur Forum this Thursday

Kent Hill, FTCC director of the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, is excited that the school, alongside the Center for Economic Empowerment and Development, is cohosting Fayetteville’s fourth annual Foodtrepreneur Forum Thursday, March 15. The conference and expo focuses on the rapidly growing opportunities for food trucks and other mobile food service options, such as pushcarts and pop-up coffee bars. The event will begin at 8 a.m. in the Tony Rand Student Center at FTCC’s Fayetteville campus, located at 2201 Hull Rd.

Attendees will be offered a variety of learning opportunities, including how to build a solid business plan for any food truck and how to collaborate with other local mobile businesses. There will be advice and testimonies from successful restaurateurs and food truck owners. Food industry experts will be on hand offering advice. There is even a tour of the successful “R Burger” food truck scheduled.

In addition, there will be a panel discussion about how to get started in the food truck business, managing costs, food truck public and trade relations and obstacles to avoid in food truck marketing.

Kent Hill and FTCC’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business is the go-to resource for helpful business seminars, one-onone confidential business counseling and expert guidance to assist entrepreneurs in launching new businesses or to help existing businesses grow their companies. All these FTCC SBC services, seminars and resources are free.

Online registration is required for entry to the free Foodtrepreneur Forum on March 15. Seating is limited, so early registration is highly recommended. Visit http://tiny.cc.ftccsbc to secure your spot.


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