- Monday, 16 July 2018
- Written by a STAFF REPORT
Cumberland County Democratic Senate nominee Kirk deViere is taking on one of the Republicans who redrew the district lines in what has become known as political gerrymandering.
deViere said he will hold a series of community meetings to help residents better understand their district. Senate District 19 encompasses most of rural Cumberland County and parts of the city of Fayetteville.
“Our team decided we needed to go into the community and bring people together to share their concerns, solutions and have their voices heard,” deViere said. “I’m going to meet the people in their own neighborhoods and listen to their frustrations.”
He said his meetings will be held in Hope Mills, Gray’s Creek, Pearce’s Mill, Stoney Point, Eastover, Godwin, Wade, Stedman, Vander, Cedar Creek and some neighborhoods in Fayetteville.
deViere is a former Fayetteville city councilman. He is opposing four-term Republican Sen. Wesley Meredith, who is also a former member of Fayetteville City Council. Both men are Army veterans and own local businesses.
Cumberland County Schools safety enhanced
The Cumberland County Schools system has spent $2 million on security upgrades. The projects, which were scheduled over a three-year period, were stepped up after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, in February. Upgrades have been completed at all but half a dozen elementary schools, and that work should be finished before the start of the traditional school year.
CCS Associate Superintendent Tim Kinlaw told The Fayetteville Observer that securing some campuses was challenging because nearly all classroom doors opened to the outside rather than a hallway. Chain link fences had to be built around all the buildings at those schools.
“Every school is different,” he said. “Our newer schools are easier because they were built with security in mind.”
The school system, which is the fifth largest in the state, has 52 elementary schools, 18 middle schools and 17 high schools. Kinlaw said elementary schools will have buzzer systems with cameras so visitors can be seen by school officials before they are admitted to the building.
Kinlaw said he understands that fences and gates are not pleasing to the eye. The upgrades are meant to give staff members time to lock down campuses when need be to protect students and faculties.
Air drops resupply troops in Afghanistan
U.S. forces in Afghanistan are being supported by way of an unconventional supply line familiar to Fayetteville/Fort Bragg residents. Supplies have been increasingly delivered to remote areas of the country via cargo aircraft and parachuted into Afghanistan to sustain operations against the Taliban this summer.
More than 327,000 pounds of supplies were airdropped into Afghanistan by the end of May this year, with the bulk of those drops occurring in April and May, according to numbers provided by U.S. Central Command’s Combined Air Operations Center.
That number stands in stark contrast to 2017, when the Air Force air dropped only about 33,000 pounds of supplies.
Officially, the Air Force said the spike signals an increase in combat operations against insurgent forces. Capt. Mark Graff, an Air Forces Central Command spokesman, could not expound on where the airdrops were focused, but he did say supplies are not distributed evenly across the country.
Airdrops are often used to resupply or build up smaller and more remote outposts, which heavily dotted Afghanistan before the drawdown in 2014.
Bomb squad robots
Then North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has three new robots to join the battle against violent crime. With 64 calls since January, the members of the SBI Bomb Squad welcome the new robots that weigh about 70 pounds, can go up and down stairs, have six cameras, can lift about 15 pounds and can cut wires. They have the capability to remotely locate and neutralize improvised explosive devices in confined spaces, such as aircraft, buses and trains.
“These new robots will be small enough to enter tight spaces where bomb technicians had to go before,” said Tim Luper, commander of the SBI Bomb Squad.
The unit serves all 100 counties in North Carolina as needed, and assists local authorities in situations involving IEDs, weapons of mass destruction, suspicious packages, homemade fireworks and other explosive hazards.
“The whole reason the bomb squad exists is for public safety,” Luper said.
The three robots were purchased through a $153,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission.
PHOTOS: N.C. District 19 Senate candidates Kirk deViere & Wesley Meredith
- Tuesday, 10 July 2018
- Written by DR. SHANESSA FENNER
Fayetteville Technical Community College’s Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business, along with Wells Fargo, presents the 2018 Youth Entrepreneurship Camp. It is set for Monday, July 30, through Friday, Aug. 3, from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on the campus of FTCC. Friday’s schedule is 8:30 a.m.-noon. The camp is open to rising seventh- through ninthgraders who are interested in future business and entrepreneurship goals.
“This will be the ninth or 10th year of having rising seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders for five days – and it is a fun camp – but they actually learn something in the process,” said Kent Hill, FTCC director of the Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business. “We have a lot of simulations and games, and the students come up with a team business plan or an individual project in which they will compete.”
Successful entrepreneurs will speak to the students and share their insights about their journey with their businesses. “We have a lot of young guest entrepreneurs and they will speak to the students,” said Hill. “We have a young man from Athens, Georgia, who is building a really big business, and he is a freshman in high school.”
Hill added they have had young people take hobbies and monetize them into income streams to help pay for things they want or to save for college.
“We have had the most awesome support from Wells Fargo, and it is not just financial support, it is their involvement,” said Hill. “One of the things the kids do in their teams is to pitch their elevator speeches to get funding from Wells Fargo bankers.” Hill added there is a panel of Wells Fargo bankers who gently coach the students. He said it is a blast to watch the students in action.
“Some of the students who are goofing off get in front of the bankers and get really serious and are really focused,” said Hill. “They are pretty good salespeople when money is involved, and that is a pretty good motivator.”
“We also have some fun games and competitions, and they will compete for prizes,” said Hill. “We are doing something different this year in which the students will tie-dye their own camp T-shirt.”
Hill added the students will also tie-dye additional shirts that they can sell. They will have to buy them from FTCC and sell them for a profit.
“We try to feed them a dozen or more potential businesses that they can reasonably operate in school profitably as a student, legally,” said Hill. “We really want this to be meaningful and want these young people to go out and say they have some alternatives.”
Applications can be found online at www.facebook.com/FTCCSmallBusinessCenter or at http://tiny.cc/ftccsbc. The camp fee is $52 and is due by July 20. It includes a camp T-shirt and lunch Monday through Thursday.
For more information, contact Hill at 910-678-8462.