06LeavesIt’s that time of year again. The city calls it loose leaf season. It’s the only time loose leaves and pine straw can be put at the curb uncontainerized. Loose leaf season usually runs from mid-November through mid-March. 

Vacuum trucks operated by the Fayetteville- Cumberland Parks & Recreation Department collect the yard debris on a published schedule of neighborhoods itemized by postal ZIP codes. This year’s schedule has not yet been announced. 

Leaves and pine straw placed in bags or brown roll-out containers are picked up on a regular weekly schedule. If garbage collection is Monday, yard waste collection is Friday. If garbage collection is Tuesday, yard waste collection is Thursday. If garbage collection is Thursday, yard waste collection is Tuesday. And if garbage collection is Friday, yard waste collection is Monday. 

Arts Council wins national award 

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County recently received special recognition from Ovation, the nation’s arts network. Ovation joined Spectrum to award the Arts Council $10,000 as part of its “Stand for the Arts” joint initiative. It is dedicated to supporting local arts, cultural and educational organizations. 

  The Arts Council will use the award money to raise awareness of available grants and scholarships that promote the arts throughout the region. 

  “The Arts Council is honored and thrilled to be among only 12 national organizations presented with such a prestigious award,” said Deborah Martin Mintz, Arts Council executive director. 

  Also, Spectrum will run public service announcements to highlight its “Stand for the Arts” partnership with Ovation and reinforce the value local arts organizations bring to communities across the country. 

  Grant recipients were chosen based on three criteria: their level of community outreach and engagement, their ability to create inclusive access to artistic programming, and their innovative approach to arts education and skills development. 

Highway safety 

  As family and friends come together for the holidays, the State Highway Patrol has prepared in hopes of ensuring safe travel. According to the American Automobile Association, November and December are the busiest time of the year for travel across the country. Troopers will be out in full force to monitor driver behavior. 

  “Our mission is simple; reduce needless collisions in hopes of reporting zero fatalities statewide,” said Col. Glenn McNeill Jr., commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. 

  The safety campaign is taking place on the busiest travel days of the holiday period, especially on interstate highways. Motorists can assist with safe travel by expecting delays and planning ahead to use alternate routes. Drive cautiously. Speeding is still the leading cause of traffic collisions. Avoid distractions. Focus solely on driving, and never drive impaired. 

Citizens Academy 

  The next Fayetteville Citizens Academy class is being held Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the City Services Building conference room, 455 Grove St. Class begins at 9 a.m. Representatives of the Fayetteville Area System of Transit, Fayetteville Regional Airport and Traffic Services Division will be on hand. 

  “The Citizens Academy gives residents an opportunity to see city of Fayetteville employees at work, up close and personal,” said Corporate Communications Director Kevin Arata. 

  Applicants must be city of Fayetteville residents or work in the city. The class size is limited to 25 people, so early applications are encouraged. Residents will interact with department directors and staff and engage in hands-on learning. Lunch will be provided. 

  The application window closes Thursday, Dec. 6, and applicants will be notified of their acceptance by close of business Friday, Dec. 7. 

Small Business Saturday 

  Many small and independent retailers who are holding Small Business Saturday shopping events Thanksgiving weekend are banding together. Small Business Saturday started in 2010 to encourage consumers to skirt the big box stores and shop local stores instead. Some communal Small Business Saturday events have grown to the point where they’re organized by local chambers of commerce and community business organizations, although Fayetteville merchants have yet to capitalize on it in a big way. 

  Some downtown store owners got involved last year under the auspices of the new Cool Spring Downtown District. What’s considered the downtown district covers an area of 30 blocks and includes roughly 125 small, independent shops, restaurants and entertainment establishments. Last year, retailers said they saw a sales blip during Small Business Saturday, but their aim is also to remind shoppers that they are there year-round. 

  This holiday was created by American Express in 2010 and aggressively marketed via social media, radio and national broadcasting. Today, it is a registered trademark of American Express. 

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