Local News

Crucial need for blood locally

07 IMG 3797A shortage of blood is nothing new at Fayetteville’s Blood Donor Center. About 900 donors provide blood supplies for Cape Fear Valley Health System in a good month.
“We transfuse 1,100 units of blood a month,” said Marketing and Outreach Coordinator Lindsey Graham. “The past year has been one of the most critical years ever.”

For the first time in Graham’s 12 years at the blood donor center, Cape Fear Valley hospitals have had to cancel elective surgery because of the blood shortage. Graham said the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the shortage.

The Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center is a community program that serves the needs of patients at the health system’s hospitals in Cumberland, Hoke and Bladen counties through blood donations by individual donors, community organizations and businesses. With public school out for an indeterminant period, there will be even fewer donations.

“High school students provide half the blood supply,” Graham said. They are the most reliable providers in our community, she added. Graham is at a loss to understand why, in a major military community, there isn’t more donor enthusiasm because, Graham said, “The need is great.”

O negative is the most common blood type used for transfusions when a patient’s blood type is unknown, making it the universal blood type. And, it is the safest blood for transfusions for immune-deficient newborn babies. Because of its versatility for transfusions, it is in high demand.  In an emergency, it is the blood product of choice. O negative is the first blood supply to run out during a shortage, and that is the case locally, according to Graham.

Since the community requires a continuous, safe blood supply, the Blood Donor Center encourages donors to give on a regular basis. Donors are eligible to donate whole blood every eight weeks. “Each donation can save up to three lives,” Graham noted.

Blood is a living tissue circulating throughout the human body and is comprised of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. It is most often collected as whole blood and separated into major components before transfusions. In the U.S., the collection, testing, preparation, storage and transportation of blood and blood components is governed by Food and Drug Administration regulations.

The Cape Fear Valley Blood Donor Center is located at 3357 Village Dr. It is always open for donations Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. As members of the Blood Assurance Plan, donors can build blood credits. Each donation equals one blood credit that may be kept by the donor or transferred to a family member or friend in need. Blood credits may be used to replace blood or platelet unit charges for patients of the Cape Fear Valley Health System. 

Bloodmobile drives are scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 1-4 p.m., at Bright Light Brewing Company at 444 W. Russell St.; Wednesday, April 22, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., at Chick-fil-A, 4611 Ramsey St.; and Saturday, April 25, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at Fort Wagg Pet Supplies, 2672 Highway 24-87 in Cameron.

FTCC’s nursing program wins million-dollar grant

Fayetteville Technical Community College has been awarded a $961,200 grant by the Golden LEAF Foundation to support its health care workforce training program. The grant will be used to renovate and equip an existing space as a simulation suite for FTCC’s nursing programs — associate degree in nursing, licensed practical nursing and certified nursing assistant.

“We’re so grateful to the Golden LEAF Foundation for their ongoing support and collaboration with communities such as ours throughout North Carolina,” said FTCC President Larry Keen.

Simulation is a proven method for students to practice a variety of health scenarios enacted in controlled environments.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Center gets local help

Also, Fayetteville Tech has provided thousands of items of personal protective equipment to Cape Fear Valley Health System for its use during the coronavirus outbreak.
“These are the heroes on the front lines, and we support them,” FTCC President Dr. Keen said.

Supplies provided to Cape Fear Valley included face shields, N-95 masks, regular medical face masks, gloves, isolation gowns, aprons, lab jackets and head covers, as well as disinfectant and hand sanitizer. The college also donated 150 masks and hundreds of gloves to the North Carolina State Veterans Home in Fayetteville. FTCC uses personal protective equipment for students in many of its health care programs and its funeral services program.

Local Walmart stores are engaged in internal crowd control

Walmart has taken steps to promote health, safety and consistency and enhance social distancing, including regulating store entry and changes to the shopping process. In an email to Fayetteville City Councilman D. J. Haire, Walmart’s Regional Director of Public Affairs & Government Relations Brooke Mueller said stores are allowing no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20% of a store’s capacity. Customers will be admitted on a “one-out, one-in” basis. The company is also instituting one-way movement through shopping aisles in some of the stores, using floor markers and direction control from associates.

“We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop,” Mueller said.

Fayetteville’s United Way steps up

United Way of Cumberland County has established a COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund provides assistance and resources to those affected by the current public health emergency. Money collected is helping local families and individuals impacted by the virus meet their basic needs. To donate to the relief fund, visit www.unitedway-cc.org, text UNITED to 855-735-2437 or mail a check to the United Way office at 222 Maiden Lane, Fayetteville, NC, 28301 with “COVID-19” written on the memo line.

All of these funds will stay in Cumberland County.

April is the Month of the Military Child

Cumberland County Schools are recognizing the resilience of military-connected students during April, which is nationally known as “The Month of the Military Child.” The Cumberland County Board of Education recently declared a proclamation in support of the 15,529 local military family dependents who face challenges with school transitions and family separation.

“Every time military members are deployed or receive orders for a permanent change of duty station ... it causes a change in the child’s family dynamics,” said CCS Military Family and Youth Liaison Joseph Peek. “Our acknowledgement of the Month of the Military Child is a way for us to show our appreciation and support for them and the sacrifices they make.”
 

Churches practicing social distancing for Easter

In a typical year, many people would plan to put on their Sunday best and head to church tomorrow for an Easter service. Of course, this year isn’t like most years due to the practice of social distancing. But in a time that is so hectic and stressful in so many ways, churches throughout Cumberland County are being creative in how they offer Easter services  to their congregations in hopes that their efforts will provide hope and peace during a troublesome time. 

Many churches are putting information on their Facebook pages and websites to let their congregations and other people in the community know about changes in Easter plans. Here are ways that  just a few of the churches in the area are celebrating differently this year. 

The Village Baptist Church will livestream their Easter services at 7 a.m, 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on April 12. Visit https://www.facebook.com/officialvillagebaptistchurch/ to see the service. You can also catch broadcasts of the services on the radio. Carolina Country 100.1 WFAY and The River 106.5 WMRV will both air the 11 a.m. service. The Village Kids Easter service will be available at https://www.facebook.com/villagekidsnc/ and will start at 9 a.m. 

Epicenter Church normally has a popular event called Hop in the Park, but due to the cancellation of the event, the Church is finding other ways to reach out. The church made “Hop at Home” kits available, which included Easter eggs, crayons, coloring pages and candy that were available through April 9. Epicenter is also taking this opportunity to support local causes. They have given a financial contribution to Southern Coals, which has been providing food to local students who aren’t able to get food at school. They have also made financial contributions to Operation Blessing and Fayetteville Urban Ministry. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/yourepicenter/ for a variety of links, including a Youtube channel, a sign-up page for life groups, and a page for kids. 

Manna Church is hosting Easter services online at 8:15 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., as well as on My RDC TV at 10 a.m. Visit https://fayftbragg.manna.church/updates/easter-with-manna?fbclid=IwAR3LTb9itlXrwVIwMIa5JqY_i0DPLcscwSnxgeoPPbwulgNrDZFhGQNb1ps for more information. 

Northwood Temple Church, located at 4250 Ramsey Street, is having drive-in church, rain or shine. Live worship music will begin at 9:30 a.m. The church will provide pre-packaged communion for those in attendance. Other people who wish to tune in can turn to The River 106.5 WMRV from 10-11 a.m. 

Southview Baptist Church is having drive-in services tomorrow morning as well. Located in Hope Mills at 4089 Elk Road, the services will be at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SouthviewBC/ to watch the services online. 

FTCC’s business administration program prepares students

10 business administrationToday’s globalized economy is filled with all kinds of competition — from small businesses to large corporations. Members of today’s workforce must be competitive, interactive and diverse to compete and succeed in today’s global economy.  Employees will be required to meet these global challenges with the skill sets needed to keep their companies successful and profitable in an ever-changing economic environment. Are you ready for the challenge?

At Fayetteville Technical Community College, our business programs prepare students for a successful career in a wide range of business platforms with a variety of academic program choices to meet career and educational goals.  FTCC’s business programs prepare students for employment in a competitive marketplace or guide students to a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college. FTCC also has numerous articulation agreements with four-year universities, allowing students to complete additional upper-level courses with the value of FTCC’s affordable tuition.

Business program students seeking employment in today’s competitive, diverse, global marketplace upon graduation often pursue a business administration degree. The business administration degree curriculum is designed to introduce students to the various aspects of the free enterprise system.  Students are provided with a fundamental knowledge of business functions and processes and an understanding of business organizations in today’s challenging global economy.

Course work includes business concepts, such as accounting, business law, economics, human resources, entrepreneurship, management and supervision, and marketing.  Skills related to the application of these concepts are developed through the study of effective communications, critical thinking, collaboration, leadership, team-building, decision-making and computer applications.  Through these skills, students will have a sound business education foundation which leads to lifelong learning and career growth opportunities. Graduates are prepared for employment opportunities in entrepreneurship, management, marketing, retail, sales and finance, with large or small businesses or industries.

The faculty at FTCC bring real-world expertise and ideas into the classroom learning environment, regardless if the class is face to face, online or blended educational formats. FTCC has instructors who owned and operated their own businesses, worked in the industry and managed organizational resources, finances, programs, processes and personnel. At FTCC, students are not just learning from a textbook; students learn from proven business professionals, each prepared to deliver their practical experiences in real-time relevance. FTCC’s business programs instructors are skilled academic advisors who want to help students succeed. They’ll also celebrate and proudly stand by students at their graduation ceremonies. 

For students interested in pursuing an exciting career in the business industry, FTCC is a wise choice for pursuing education.  As long as the economic environment has businesses, there will always be a high demand for students who graduate with business administration degrees.

First Session Summer classes at FTCC begin May 26. Tuition expenses are considerably lower at FTCC than at four-year colleges, yet the quality of education is high. Visit www.faytechcc.edu to apply now. Many classes and programs are completely online.  You can email me at bellfloj@faytechcc.edu for help or questions about programs of study available in business administration.  FTCC is proud to open its doors to all who seek a quality education.  Learn more about the smart choice for your education — Fayetteville Technical Community College! 

Distance learning

The Cumberland County School district has expanded Cumberland@Home digital educational content for third through eighth-grade students. “Now that we will be out longer because of COVID-19, it’s vital that our teachers are able to provide students instruction,” said CCS Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly, Jr. Cumberland@Home was developed by Cumberland County Schools as a remote learning opportunity. Teachers can assign third grade through eighth-grade pupils studies requiring the use of computers with internet access. Students who do not have devices or online connectivity should contact the Cumberland@Home technology hotline at 910-678-2618. Pre-K through second-grade students have already been provided paper and pencil packets. Packets are also available to download at www.cumberlandathome.ccs.k12.nc.us. High school students will continue to receive their supplemental assignments digitally. Students who do not have devices or internet connectivity should contact the Cumberland@Home technology hotline at 910-678-2618.

Local government services transition to a new normal

Much of the day-to-day operation of county government has been minimized. Most county government departments are temporarily closed in order to mandate personal separation because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Local government should set an example by limiting the exposure of our workforce and contributing to the potential spread of this virus,” said County Manager Amy Cannon.
Contact information and closure details are available on the County’s COVID-19 webpage at http://www.co.cumberland.nc.us/covid19closures. They are also listed on individual departmental webpages. The department of public health remains open to the public. Appointments are required for all services via email at Clinicappointments@co.cumberland.nc.us. or by phone at 910-433-3600. Fayetteville City Hall and all city buildings are closed to the public to mitigate the spread of COVID19 and keep citizens and employees safe. All recreation centers are closed. The downtown FAST Transit Center closes at 7 p.m. daily. Following the example set in the Triangle, bus rides are now free. Most city services can be accessed online by visiting FayettevilleNC.gov/COVID19. Also, Mayor Mitch Colvin has directed staff to cancel all boards and commissions meetings until further notice unless a board has time-sensitive items requiring action.

Health and medicine update

To protect staff and patients from COVID-19 Cape Fear Valley Health System locations, including hospitals and outpatient clinics, are closed to visitors until further notice — with a few exceptions: Laboring mothers may have one support person/coach for the duration of their stays. If the support person/coach leaves the premises for any reason, he or she will not be allowed to return to the building. Pediatric patients: Legal minors may have one parent or guardian with them. Patients who need health care decisionmakers or require communication assistance may have one person with them. End-of-life patients will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine the appropriate number of visitors.

PWC Cares

The United States has approximately 160,000 public water systems, which serve 84% of the nation, providing water for domestic, industrial and commercial uses. Businesses, factories, hospitals, clinics and other public health infrastructure entities need water to maintain operations. Homes and communities are dependent on a continuous supply of water. During the COVID-19 pandemic, community water systems could face shortages of personnel. Employee shortages would affect production, distribution, water quality testing and payroll systems. Labor shortages caused by a pandemic could also lead to insufficient power, parts, supplies and water treatment chemicals. Fayetteville’s hometown utility is taking precautions to protect its customers and employees from the impact of COVID-19. PWC’s drinking water is safe from the COVID-19 threat. The World Health Organization says conventional water treatment methods that utilize filtration and disinfection deactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. PWC urges customers to be cautious of scammers who may attempt to take advantage of the pandemic. Public Works will never call or contact customers demanding immediate bill payments to avoid disconnection. During the crisis, PWC will not disconnect services for nonpayment. Bills are not being waived. Customers are being given additional time to pay.

Fort Bragg commissaries are cracking down on unauthorized customers

Military commissaries worldwide are more closely checking the IDs of customers at store entrances in response to COVID-19-related crowding concerns, commissary officials said. Stores have also eliminated early-bird shopping to allow more time for cleaning and restocking, the Defense Commissary Agency said on its website. The agency said it believes the ID checks and visitor restrictions “will reduce the number of people in our stores and help with social distancing.” Individual commissaries may also need to limit purchase quantities of some products. Shelves at commissaries in Germany and elsewhere have run short of disinfectants and toilet paper, as well as some foods like rice and meat. “We are increasing deliveries to our overseas commissaries, including shipments of high-demand items,” the agency said on its website.
 

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