05 1 I 95The North Carolina Department of Transportation is developing plans to widen almost 19 miles of I-95 between Lumberton and Hope Mills from four lanes to eight lanes. The project’s overall estimated cost is almost $450 million, with construction scheduled to start in 2026. The project will reduce congestion, lower the risk of crashes and enable the interstate to better handle anticipated traffic growth.

About 63,000 vehicles pass through exit 22 in Lumberton each day. By 2040, that figure is projected to exceed 95,000.
“This is one of the oldest parts of I-95 in our state, and we really need to modernize it and expand it,” said Grady Hunt, a Robeson County resident who represents the area on the North Carolina Board of Transportation.

Meanwhile, a busy intersection in east Fayetteville has been changed to a four-way stop to reduce the risk of crashes. The change at Clinton Road and North Plymouth Street is intended to reduce collisions. North Carolina DOT crews have added additional signs, converted the overhead flashers to red lenses in all directions and restriped the pavement.
Interim chancellor named for Fayetteville State University
Dr. Peggy Valentine, dean of Health Sciences at Winston-Salem State University, has been named interim chancellor of Fayetteville State University, the University of North Carolina System announced this month. She will fill in following former Chancellor James Anderson’s resignation in June. She starts Aug. 7, a news release said.

Valentine received a doctorate in education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Science from Howard University.

Valentine is listed in Who’s Who of American Women. She has conducted research on homeless and minority issues and has published journals, textbooks and manuals on the subject. She is the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Best Practices in Health Professions Diversity.

She serves on the board of trustees for Novant Health and is secretary/treasurer of the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

Want to learn more about Fayetteville’s Hometown Utility? Oct. 2 is PWC Day and will include tours of the Butler-Warner Generation Plant and water and wastewater plants. PWC will also provide an up-close look at power restoration, water main rehabilitation, PWC’s customer call center and emergency operations.

The day begins at the Public Works Commission headquarters at 955 Old Wilmington Rd. at 8 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Lunch and transportation to other PWC facilities will be provided. Transportation back to your car will be available should you need to leave at any point during the day. 
School’s out for the summer, but …

Teachers at Cumberland County School district’s year-round schools returned to their classrooms last week to prepare for the arrival of students this week. CCS Superintendent Marvin Connelly announced that every teacher is receiving $300 from the school system to purchase supplies and materials. This is in addition to any funds that teachers typically receive for classroom resources.

Providing support to teachers and staff is one of four major priorities in CCS’ Strategic Plan.

“I know how hard our teachers and staff work to prepare for our students each year,” Connelly said. “Many teachers spend personal funds to make sure their classrooms are just right for the first day of school. This is a small way for us to express our appreciation for all that our teachers do to provide robust learning experiences for every student.”
Indigo Moon Film Festival approaches

Fayetteville’s fourth annual Indigo Moon Film Festival is like a nerve center for great films from around the globe. The festival this year is set for Oct. 11-13.

Of course, film screenings are a major element of the festival. But there is much more. GroundSwell Pictures presents the festival, which takes place in downtown Fayetteville. It also features awards, barbecue, Q&A panels and more. The event organizers are seeking volunteers. Sign up at https://signup.zone/imff-2019.
4-H summer fun programs

Cumberland County 4-H is taking registrations for the 2019 Summer Fun Program. The 4-H staff has been planning lots of exciting activities for youth ages 5-19. Included in the Summer Fun Program are workshops, programs and field trips.

Young people will visit exotic animals, learn to knit with their fingers and how milk is processed, participate in a cooking competition and more. There will also be two arts and crafts days — just in time for Cumberland County Fair entries.

Teens will have an opportunity to spend two days in August exploring the North Carolina Mountains, taking a train ride and mining for gold.

For more information and to register, contact Jeanie Edwards at 910-321-6864 or via email at jeanie_edwards@ncsu.edu.

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