05arny suicides The Army said active-duty soldier suicides were up in 2017, according to service statistics. Since 2012, active-duty numbers have fluctuated. The Army reported 165 active-duty suicides in 2012. They dropped to 121 the following year but rose to 126 in 2014. The following two years suicides dipped, but active-duty self-inflicted deaths swelled to 138 in 2017, Defense Department statistics show. It’s the last year for which information is available.

“Like the rest of America, the Army continues to grapple with the loss of too many of our people to suicide,” spokeswoman Col. Kathleen Turner told Army Times in a statement. “The loss of any soldier or Army family member to suicide is a tragedy.”

Suicide information is closely held information at the Department of the Army. The Criminal Investigation Division, where officials said investigations continue, takes media inquiries about suicides.

“We must continue to ensure commanders have the policies and resources they need to prevent suicides, that all leaders have the tools to identify soldiers who are suffering … and that all soldiers view seeking mental health care as a sign of strength,” Turner said.

Communications firm wins stadium naming rights

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers have announced the firm that has won the naming rights for Fayetteville’s minor league baseball stadium. It will be known as Segra Stadium.

The city of Fayetteville and the Woodpeckers “have entered into a long-term agreement with Segra, one of the largest independent fiber bandwidth companies in the United States,” said Woodpeckers President Mark Zarthar. “Segra will serve as the stadium’s Official Communications Services Partner.”

He added that last spring, EQT Partners completed the purchase of a majority stake in Spirit Communications and announced it would combine with the assets of Lumos Networks, which was acquired in 2017.

Lumos Networks and Spirit just last month rebranded their company as Segra. Zarthar did not disclose what Segra paid to earn the naming rights.

Pre-school education opportunities available

Parents interested in enrolling their young children in NC Pre-Kindergarten must have their applications in by March 29. The NC Pre-K program provides free, quality prekindergarten education for families who qualify.

NC Pre-K classrooms are available in several locations, including Cumberland County Schools, private child care sites and Head Start sites. Children must be 4 years old by Aug. 31, 2019, to qualify for the program.

NC Pre-K gives priority to families who meet income eligibility. Additional consideration is given to families whose children have been diagnosed with developmental disabilities. Also given additional consideration are military dependents of active-duty service members or military service members who have been seriously injured or killed while on active duty and have limited English proficiency or chronic health conditions.

The Cumberland County Partnership for Children can provide additional information about NC Pre-K applications. Find out more at CCPFC.org

Professional baseball game start times released

The Fayetteville Woodpeckers, Class A Advanced minor league baseball affiliate of the Houston Astros, has released game start times for the inaugural 2019 baseball season. Local game times for April 18-June 4 are as follows: Monday-Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 5 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. For June 10-Sept. 4, game times are Monday-Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 6 p.m.; Sundays, 6 p.m.

“The start times provide enough time to get home from work and make it downtown for the game, said David Lane, Woodpeckers general manager. “We have earlier start times on weekends so that families can enjoy an afternoon at the stadium.”

The Woodpeckers have sold more than 1,700 advance full- and half-season tickets. Additional flexible ticket packages are now available for purchase.

The Houston Astros own the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, having agreed to a 30-year lease of the stadium now under construction in downtown Fayetteville.

Hope Mills street widening

Two congested streets in the heart of Hope Mills are scheduled for widening. The Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization requested that the North Carolina Department of Transportation widen sections of Rockfish and Golfview roads. The town of Hope Mills supports the need to improve these streets, which serve the police and fire departments, town hall, municipal park, a public library and a recreation center.

The proposal is to widen both streets to four lanes with raised medians. The section of Rockfish Road to be improved is between Golfview Road and North Main Street, which is also N.C. 59. The section of Golfview Road is between Rockfish Road and North Main Street.

Maps of the proposed plans were displayed at an open house Feb. 12. DOT project team members were on hand to answer questions and receive feedback. The public can submit comments through March 15. The DOT will consider the comments when finalizing the design. Contact NCDOT project engineer Sean Matuszewski at 919-364-0603 or P.O. Box 1150, Fayetteville, NC, 28302.

Local bank employee promotion

CresCom Bank, the second largest community bank in the Carolinas, has announced the promotion of Kayla Strickland as mortgage loan originator at the Green Street branch in Fayetteville. A native of Lumberton, Strickland has more than 12 years of banking experience. She will be responsible for originating and coordinating the closing of residential and construction mortgage loans.

“Her knowledge of the community and experience in the banking industry will be an asset to our team,” said David L. Morrow, CEO of CresCom Bank.

Before taking on her new role at CresCom, Strickland was a customer service representative.

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