05Bill Hurley Mayor 2 Former Fayetteville mayor Bill Hurley died late last month. He was 85.

“His work as mayor and in the N.C. House of Representatives gave Fayetteville a new vision for the future — as a community, we are thankful for his hard work, and I extend heartfelt condolences to his family,” Mayor Mitch Colvin said.

Hurley owned a local insurance agency. He served as mayor from 1981-87 and was then elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives.

As mayor, Hurley led efforts to rid the then notorious 500 block of Hay Street of topless night clubs. He personally launched the wrecking ball that demolished run-down buildings in the block, clearing the way for the Medical Arts Building and the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. Hurley also co-founded the Dogwood Festival and raised money for the Lafayette statue in Cross Creek park on Green Street.

New Dogwood Festival executive director

The Fayetteville Dogwood Festival has hired a new executive director, Malia Allen. The new executive director has huge shoes to fill. She succeeds Carrie King, who retired earlier this year.

“I am looking forward to continuing the traditions of the community that the Dogwood Festival brings while also putting my own spin on things,” Allen said.

Each year, the organization produces its signature spring Dogwood Festival, the Dogwood Fall Festival, Fayetteville After 5, and the Miss Fayetteville Dogwood Festival. The Dogwood Festival owes its success to a dedicated board of directors, generous sponsors, volunteers and loyal patrons, the organization says on its website, Faydogwoodfestival.com.

Camden Road widening

North Carolina’s Department of Transportation proposes to widen a 3.3-mile section of Camden Road in the Hope Mills area in 2023. State and local transportation planners say it should alleviate growing congestion and improve traffic safety. People have been given an opportunity to review preliminary design maps of the roadway improvements. A public comment period continues for citizen feedback.

NCDOT and the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization determined the need to improve the road between N.C. 59 in Hope Mills and the future I-295 interchange at Camden Road. The project would widen the road from two to four lanes with a raised median. Recent residential and commercial development has popped up along this stretch of highway, which also serves a shopping district anchored by the 14-screen movie theater complex. The project’s overall cost is estimated to be about $29 million.

Friends of the Animal Shelter

The Friends of the Cumberland County Animal Shelter has received 501(c)(3) nonprofit designation, allowing the organization to seek donations through a direct link on its Facebook page. It also qualifies the group to receive grants and nonprofit programs that benefit animals at the Cumberland County shelter, said FOCCAS President Shelly Bryant. The group works with the animal shelter to promote animal welfare initiatives and responsible pet ownership.

“The Friends of Cumberland County Animal Shelter organization is vital to our shelter and the community because they help us provide our shelter animals with enrichment and extended medical care and assist pet owners in need,” said Animal Control Director Elaine Smith. “We have limitations to our budget and resources, so FOCCAS helps fill in the gaps with things like extra toys, treats, community assistance and education programs.” For its first community outreach initiative, FOCCAS is collecting dog houses, straw, blankets and food for outdoor dogs to be comfortable and safe over the winter months. Residents can drop off items at the shelter.

Photo: Bill Hurley

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