Local News

Veterans Day run honors America’s veterans

08 N1809P59007CThe VFW Post 670 presents its 2nd Annual Veteran’s Day 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk of Honor to honor America’s Veterans Sunday, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m., at Festival Park in downtown Fayetteville. 

“We started this run last year, and last year was the 100th anniversary of the origination of Armistice Day,” said Thomas Dosier, chairman of the 5K Veteran’s Day Run Committee of  the VFW Post 670. “The purpose of Armistice Day was to honor the 116,000 people that we lost during World War I. They signed the armistice to go into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.”

Dosier added that after World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day and made it a national holiday to honor all veterans of all wars.   
 
BJ’s Wholesale Club will supply water for the participants. All participants will receive a finisher’s coin.

Participants who registered by Oct. 18 will receive a T-shirt. There will be awards given to the different age categories for first, second and third place winners and top overall male and female winners.

The VFW Post 670 started in 1933. “Our mission has always been to assist veterans, and all funds that we raise will be used in that purpose,” said Dosier. “We pay a lot of electrical bills and rent for young soldiers and veterans during difficult months.”

Dosier added that the name of the post was changed in July. It is now called the Corporal Rodolfo P. Hernandez Post 670.

“This event is going to be an annual thing from now on,” said Dosier. “We look forward to everyone participating in this event to honor our veterans.”     
 
The event is open to the public. Ticket cost is $35. Pricing will be $40 Nov. 9-10.  Ticket cost for the 1 Mile Walk of Honor is $20. You can register for the run at http://it’s-go-time.com/veterans-day-run/. Sponsorship packages are available for purchase.

For more information call 910-922-2809.  

The 2nd Annual Veteran’s Day 5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Walk of Honor to honor America’s Veterans is set for Nov. 10 at Festival Park.

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn’s never-ending case

07 Matthew Goldstayn 2War hero or murderer? It’s a question that has dogged the military career of Army Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn for eight years. Golsteyn’s story is an extraordinary one — a Green Beret decorated for valor in combat who, during a job interview with the C.I.A. in 2011, volunteered that he had killed a suspected bomb-maker a year earlier in Afghanistan. The Army opened an investigation but did not charge Golsteyn, instead stripping him of a Silver Star and issuing a letter of reprimand.

President Donald Trump intervened in the case via Twitter, saying, “I will be reviewing the case of a U.S. Military hero, Major Matt Golsteyn, who is charged with murder.” As commander in chief, Trump complicated the military’s case against Golsteyn, raising questions of undue command influence, as well as the possibility that the prosecution is bound to be short-circuited by a pardon. With that tweet, Trump made an extraordinary intervention into the American judicial system.

“Major Golsteyn admitted to what appears to be a summary execution — a very serious crime under international law, and it is vital that the investigation go forward,” said Patricia Gossman, senior researcher for Afghanistan at Human Rights Watch.

Three years ago, in an appearance on Fox News, Major Golsteyn again said he had shot the Afghan. The Army opened a second investigation in late 2016, and charged Golsteyn with murder. In an interview, Golsteyn’s lawyer, Phillip Stackhouse, called the Army’s decision to charge his client with murder a case of “political correctness,” and said he was glad that Trump was going to look into it.

Golsteyn was in Afghanistan in 2010 during the battle for the city of Marja in the Helmand Province. More than 15,000 American, Afghan, British, Canadian, Danish and Estonian troops attacked the Taliban stronghold. Over the next several months, dozens of Americans were killed, and hundreds were wounded. In February of that year, a roadside bomb killed two Marines who had been working with Major Golsteyn’s Green Beret team. There are conflicting accounts of what happened next.

Army documents, which claim to recount what Major Golsteyn told the C.I.A., suggest that he and his team began clearing buildings looking for the source of the roadside bomb, eventually finding explosive materials like those used in the bomb that killed the Marines. The team took a suspected bomb-maker back to its base where he was identified as a member of the Taliban. Golsteyn and another American soldier, concerned that if released, the man would kill American troops, took him off the base, shot and killed him and buried his remains in a shallow grave, the documents say.

According to public reporting and his admission, Golsteyn returned to the burial site to retrieve the body and burned it in a burn pit. Prosecutors say such alleged actions provide powerful insight into the major’s criminal state of mind at the time of the killing. A court-martial is set for Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg, the home of Army Special Operations. Golsteyn will stand trial for premeditated murder. He pleaded not guilty in July.

Pictured: Maj. Matthew Goldsteyn

 

Cumberland County Schools’ best

06 01 Christina DiGaudioDr. Christine DiGaudio, principal of Ireland Drive Middle School, is Cumberland County Schools’ 2020 Principal of the Year, and Dr. Natasha Brown, an assistant principal at Lewis Chapel Middle School, was named the CCS 2020 Assistant Principal of the Year. The winners were made public Oct. 14 at the 2020 Administrators Dinner to honor educators for their leadership and commitment to student success.

DiGaudio, a 21-year veteran educator, began her career as a middle school teacher in 1998 after graduating from the State University of New York’s Buffalo State College. She later obtained a master’s degree from Ashland University, an Education Specialist Degree from East Carolina University and a Doctor of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

DiGaudio has served as principal of Ireland Middle School since 2013. “Leaders cannot and should not be trusted or respected solely due to their position or title; leaders must earn trust and respect,” said DiGaudio. She now moves on to compete against other local award recipients from the Region IV Sandhills/South Central Region of the state.

Brown has served as an assistant principal for six years. She began her career as an English-language arts teacher at Spring Lake Middle School after graduating from Fayetteville State University. She has since received a master’s degree from Fayetteville State University and an Education Specialist Degree as well as a doctorate from Liberty University. “As an instructional leader, it is my responsibility to ensure that every student has the opportunity to engage in a quality educational experience,” said Brown.

As the CCS Principal of the Year winner, DiGaudio received the Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award, an iPad mini and floral arrangement from CCS, an engraved desk clock from Herff Jones, a commemorative Principal of the Year ring from Jostens, two season tickets to the Fayetteville Marksmen Hockey games, a weekend stay at the Embassy Suites 06 02 Natasha BrownFayetteville/Fort Bragg, a $5,000 check for school use and a $1,000 check for personal use from Lafayette Ford Lincoln.

As CCS Assistant Principal of the Year winner, Brown received the Assistant Principal of the Year Award from the Cumberland County Board of Education, a cash award, an iPad mini and floral arrangement from CCS, two season tickets to the Fayetteville Marksmen Hockey games and a $500 check for personal use from Olde Fayetteville Insurance.

Other Principal of the Year finalists were recognized at the event and received cash awards and iPads from CCS. They were Dr. Michele Cain from Cumberland Road Elementary, Christina Tucker from Ponderosa Elementary, Erica Fenner-McAdoo from Howard Hall Elementary, Stephanie Wall Rivers from Montclair Elementary, Shannon Booth from Cumberland Mills Elementary and Reggie Pinkney from Ramsey Street High.

Assistant Principal of the Year finalists were also recognized and received cash awards from CCS. The finalists were Kelly McKoy from Cumberland Road Elementary, Eric McLaurin from W.T. Brown Elementary, Ricky Tucker from John Griffin Middle, Niesha Witherspoon from Jack Britt High and Royvell Godbolt from Terry Sanford High.

Pictured from top to bottom: Dr. Christine Di GaudioDr. Natasha Brown

Rowan Park revitalization

05 01 Rowan StIn the 1970s and 80s, Fayetteville’s Rowan Street Park was a popular family gathering place for picnics, recreation and outdoor concerts. It won’t be long before the park will regain its long-lost popularity — but for an altogether new reason. A glance at the park from West Rowan Street or Woodside Avenue. reveals a major construction project. City Council decided over the summer to build a skateboard park where the natural amphitheater used to be. Voters approved a $35 million parks and recreation bond referendum in 2016 and about $1 million of it is for this park. A preliminary sketch indicates it will have a concrete bowl for skaters to ride rapidly up and down to do tricks. There also is to be a large “street skate” area with ramps and fixtures to simulate skateboarding on public streets. The park will have a concession area and restroom facilities and viewing stands. Team Pain Skate Park Design & Construction of Winter Springs, Florida, is building the park.
 
Combatting roadway deaths

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program has awarded more than $18 million in grants to keep travelers safe on N.C. roads. “Reducing the number of traffic deaths and serious injuries is a top priority,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Ninety-seven community-based grants will be allocated during the federal fiscal year from October 05 02 State Patrolman2019 to September 2020. The grants will address drunk driving, speeding and seat belt usage — the leading causes of traffic deaths and injuries. The grants will be used to train prosecutors and law enforcement officers and will continue support for DWI treatment courts in Cumberland, Robeson and Buncombe counties. More than $3 million is allocated to expand blood-alcohol testing, toxicology and field sobriety testing training. About $8.7 million — the largest share of the grant funding — will aim to reduce drunk driving. About 30% of the state’s traffic deaths each year involve drunk drivers. A complete list of grant recipients is available online at www.ncghsp.gov.
 
New Spring Lake fire station

The town of Spring Lake broke ground last week on Spring Lake Fire Department’s new Station 11. It will serve the northside of town at 2355 Lillington Highway/N.C. Highway 210. It will be the second firehouse for the department and will also serve the former Manchester Fire District in an adjoining unincorporated area of Cumberland County. The Manchester Fire Department was dissolved approximately 20 years ago. Cumberland County provides funding and contracts with the Town of Spring Lake to provide fire service in the Manchester Fire District.
 
05 03 Spring Lake Fire DeptUNC Pembroke street update

A major reconstruction of the main gateway to the UNC Pembroke campus is open to traffic and pedestrians. The N.C. Department of Transportation spent $5 million overhauling a mile of North Odom Street/Prospect Road off West Third Street. The improvements make the roadway safer and more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. A median, two roundabouts and sidewalks were built. Bike lanes and 12 crosswalks were added. The roundabouts improve safety by slowing traffic and providing a U-turn location. The wide, grassy median replaced an open center turn lane. It provides a refuge for pedestrians when crossing the roadway. “With so many of our students, faculty and staff crossing Prospect Road throughout the day, this was a much-needed project on our campus,” said University Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “We are so thankful to the Department of Transportation for their efforts to help us increase the safety on our campus as we accommodate and continue the growth we are experiencing.”

The orange barrels will be removed after a few remaining touch-up items are completed.
 
05 04 Pembroke State Univ roadwayPWC solar weatherization project

The N.C. Weatherization Assistance Program has awarded grant funds of $128,000 to three organizations that provide community solar resources for qualified low-income residents. NCWAP will provide $3,200 per home to Fayetteville’s Public Works Commission, Roanoke Electric Cooperative and Blue Ridge Energy for a pilot program covering a total of 40 homes. The funding allows NCWAP clients to participate in the community solar programs of these electric utilities.

“This is an innovative approach that allows low-income households to support and participate in a clean energy resource that would otherwise be inaccessible,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan of the Department of Environmental Quality.

NCWAP will also provide weatherization services to these single-family households. Services can include energy-related health and safety issues like duct sealing, insulation, air sealing, lighting upgrades and refrigerator/heating/cooling system evaluations. PWC will use its funding to support the participation of 10 eligible households in its Community Solar Weatherization Pilot project. Target benefits of the community solar pilot program will be approximately $365 per year per eligible household for no less than 15 years. 
 
05 05 PWC Solar
 
 
 

U.S. offers $5 million reward

07 Myeshia Johnson LaDavid Johnsons widowThe U.S. is offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the militants who committed or aided in the deadly Oct. 4, 2017, attack on a joint U.S.-Nigerien military patrol that left four Fort Bragg soldiers dead. The U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice Program is offering an additional $5 million reward for information on the whereabouts of Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, the leader of the ISIS offshoot known as Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, according to a news release.

The ISIS affiliate in West Africa claimed responsibility for the deadly attack that overwhelmed an American special operations team and roughly 30 Nigerien soldiers who accompanied the patrol near the village of Tongo Tongo, Niger. The patrol was pursuing an ISIS commander named Doundoun Cheffou when it was ambushed, resulting in the deaths of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright and Sgt. La David Johnson. They were assigned to Army Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3212.

An investigation into the deadly firefight uncovered several things that went wrong with mission planning before the patrol. The team was not authorized to conduct capture or kill missions. Team leaders were not clear in its concept of operations paperwork that they were to pursue Cheffou. However, the investigation noted that the officers who filed the paperwork were not deceptive. A few people, mostly enlisted Green Berets, were reprimanded following the ambush, including Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks. He was the commanding officer of Special Operations forces in Africa.

Family members expressed their unhappiness in interviews with ABC News with the Pentagon’s decision not to punish other senior commanders for their role in the circumstances that led to the deadly attack. The decision that two officers in the Green Berets’ former chain of command — Col. Brad Moses and Lt. Col. David Painter — would not receive administrative punishments means that they will be eligible for future promotions and commands. Painter, according to multiple sources, received a reprimand, but it wasn’t a career-ending punishment, and he is reportedly up for a promotion.

Family members complained that Painter, as well as Moses, commander of Fort Bragg’s 3rd Special Forces Group, should be accountable for placing the team near ISIS fighters. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., who advocated for the families, called the decision to not punish higher-ranking officers “a shirking of responsibility to the memory and families of the deceased.”

The fallen soldiers in the ambush were posthumously awarded medals for valor. Wright’s family was presented with the Silver Star in August. Wright’s father said he was told his son had been nominated for the Medal of Honor, but that it “was downgraded twice” and that he would receive a posthumous Silver Star. Sgt. La David Johnson’s family was also presented with a Silver Star. He was a mechanic assigned to the special operations team. Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Bryan Black were posthumously awarded Bronze Stars.

Pictured: Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson’s widow, Myeshia

Subcategories

Latest Articles

  • The holidays aren’t always easy
  • Tip accordingly
  • Fun at the Thanksgiving table
  • Teacher goes above and beyond
  • ‘Behold’ Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s Christmas cantata
  • A Dickens Holiday turns 20

 

Login/Subscribe