Local News

Local woman named NC mother of the year

10 If there is one thing North Carolina’s Mother of Year award winner, Demetria Davis, is, it’s busy. Mama Dee, as those around her call her, finds the time to talk about herself late at night — after the dinner is made, kids are in bed and all the tasks that fall on a mother are done.

“Sometimes, you have to carve it out and make time,” she said.

Davis grew up in Fayetteville and ran track at Terry Sanford. After high school, Davis continued to run track in college in South Carolina. She secured an endorsement from Nike and traveled the world running for the U.S. She ended up taking home a medal at the world championships in 2003. Suddenly, her days as a track star came to an end.

“I ended up getting injured. It went kind of downhill from there. I soon after met my husband. We got married, had kids. We started doing ministry together,” Davis said.

Davis described this evolution as natural and spoke about it with a loving tone. In 2012, Davis and her husband moved back to Fayetteville and started their ministry in North Carolina. Being both a mom of five children and a minister kept her busy. Davis said she has many “kids” in the community. Everyone loves “Mama Dee,” as one kid coined Davis many years ago.

She said she never intended to be nominated for Mother of the Year. An outing at a pageant led another attendee to nominate Davis for the Mother of the Year Award.

“She said just from spending time with me, she really loved my spirit. It was definitely different. I cried. There’s so many wonderful mothers out there,” Davis said.

For Davis, it is an honor to represent North Carolina and all the mothers in the state. But despite the title, Davis says she doesn’t have all the answers as a mom. Mother of the Year does not equal perfection. Like most moms, she was afraid of making mistakes with her children.

“They see everything you do. One of the most challenging things is being who God wanted me to be for them. You learn every day how to be a mother. Sometimes you are walking your way blindly,” she said.
Davis has found that mothering isn’t limited to the kids she “birthed.” Mothering, for her, extended to those kids in the community that look to her for advice and bonding. She became “attached” to many kids in the community. She’s taken kids in and even had some stay with her during Christmas time.

“You end up being a mother to kids that don’t have that at home. That was unexpected. It’s amazing.”

Her kids are also involved in sports and often bring friends home. It has become a hang-out of sorts for teenagers. Davis has two other boys right now that she says feel like her kids. She met both through her and her husband’s ministry efforts. She says her love for God and her family is her biggest passion, and it becomes easy to serve people through it.

“We love serving people. I love my family. I love being able to make them happy.”

For Mama Dee, serving her family and others includes great meals at home and catering on the weekends. Cooking is another passion for Davis. She believes that service to others can sometimes come from serving food and cooking.

“Whatever it is, I’m cooking, I am putting my all into it,” she said.

Mama Dee recently became a grandmother. Her daughter had a baby last year. She gives the same advice to her daughter about being a mother. She tells her that she will make mistakes and not to get upset at herself.

For Davis, every day is a new opportunity to learn as parents. Davis does have some advice for other new moms as well.

“Be your authentic you. You are exactly who God created you to be. Sometimes we lose track of that, but once we get back on track and be who he wanted us to be, it’s well worth it.”

Health Department offers free mosquito insecticide

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is giving away free mosquito insecticide to Cumberland County residents while supplies last. The Mosquito Dunks product is a biological pest control agent that kills mosquito larvae. It is non-toxic to fish, birds, wildlife and pets.

Residents can pick up a two-month supply in the Environmental Health section of the third floor of the Health Department, 1235 Ramsey St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The product is placed in water, where it floats. It will be effective for 30 days in standing water and covers 100 square feet of surface. It can be used in areas where standing water creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The active ingredient is bacillus thuringiensis. Printed instructions are available.

West Nile virus, La Crosse and Eastern equine encephalitis are the most reported mosquito-borne illnesses that can be acquired in North Carolina.
In addition to mosquito dunks, citizens can use other mosquito control methods, including the “tip and toss” method. Tip over any containers that have standing water and replace water in bird baths weekly.

Other ways to prevent mosquito bites are:
•Keep children’s wading pools empty or stored on
their side when not in use.
•Use insect repellent containing DEET when out
doors, which also repels ticks.
•Wear long sleeves and pants at dusk and dawn
when mosquitoes are most active or stay indoors
during these hours.
•Make sure your windows and doors have good
screens to keep mosquitoes out.

Fort Bragg soldier killed in military vehicle accident

9a Spc. Luis Herrera, 23, of Marion, North Carolina, died April 28, from injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident while conducting routine military training on Fort Bragg.

“Our thoughts and prayers, along with the Paratroopers of ‘Geronimo’ 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, are with Spc. Herrera’s wife and loved ones as we mourn the loss of Luis,” said Capt. Daigoroh Abreu, his company commander.

“Big Lou’s’ presence was a gift to us all, and his radiant smile brought warmth to all who knew him.”
Spc. Herrera was assigned to Raider Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

“Spc. Herrera was an exceptional paratrooper and an engaged friend to all those who knew him. Luis was a soldier’s soldier who always led by example and never missed a chance to leave a positive impact on those around him,” said Col. Theodore Kleisner, commander of 1st BCT.

“Our brigade was made better by the selfless service of Spc. Herrera. The leaders and paratroopers of 1st Brigade Combat Team are committed to ensuring every resource is available to his family and peers to help them through this difficult time.”

The 2-501st PIR will host a memorial for Spc. Herrera in the coming weeks.

Spc. Herrera enlisted into the U.S. Army in 2017, as an Infantryman, and served two deployments to Kuwait.

His military awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon and the Parachutist Badge.

Spc. Herrera is survived by his wife, parents, family and friends.

Three additional soldiers were involved in the military vehicle accident.

One soldier was treated at Womack Army Medical Center and released. The other two soldiers were admitted for treatment and observation.

The circumstances surrounding the military vehicle accident are under investigation.

City Council approves more than $14.8 million in improvement projects.

Fay City Council During a 37-minute Fayetteville City Council meeting on Monday, April 25, seven of the 10-member council present unanimously agreed to two significant actions totaling more than $14.8 million in City of Fayetteville improvement projects.

Only six of the 10 council members were physically present at the City Hall meeting. Those present were Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen, who chaired the meeting. Council members present were Antonio Jones, Larry Wright, Johnny Dawkins, Chris Davis, and Yvonne Kinston. Absent were Mayor Mitch Colvin and council members Shakeyla Ingram and D.J. Haire. One council member, Courtney Banks-McLaughlin, joined the meeting remotely.

Tucked away in the consent agenda, the City Council voted 7-0 to adopt a resolution accepting American Rescue Plan funding from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality for $10,550,000. The money is designated for stormwater infrastructure improvement projects. City staff presented the issue to the Fayetteville City Council during an earlier meeting.

Stormwater improvement projects are slated for Adams Street, North Street, Ray Avenue, Spruce Street and Sunbury Drive.

The North Carolina General Assembly created the fund, administered by the Division of Water Infrastructure, to assist eligible units of local government in paying for water and wastewater infrastructure needs.

In accepting the state money, the City of Fayetteville must meet several obligations and requirements. First, the City must submit a bid and design package for the projects by Aug. 1.

Additionally, the City must:

  • apply for and qualify for all necessary permits as soon as possible
  • have its bid and design package approved by Dec. 1
  • advertise the project, receive bids and have the authority to award contracts by April 3, 2023
  • execute all construction projects by May 1, 2023
  • and submit the last reimbursement for any of the projects by December 21, 2026

The state warned that failure to meet or adhere to any requirements could forfeit the money.

Also, on Monday night’s consent agenda was the adoption of a Capital Project Ordinance to appropriate state grant money for pedestrian safety improvements. The $4,319,350 will be used for 29,880 linear feet or 5.7 miles of sidewalks.

Sidewalk construction includes:

  • McPherson Church Road from Collinwood to Raeford Roads
  • Yadkin Road from Skibo Road to Fort Bragg limits
  • Pamalee Drive from Murchison Road to Bragg Boulevard
  • Brighton Road from Raeford to Belford Roads
  • Old Owen Drive from Raeford Road to Owen Drive
  • Ann Street from Gorham Alley to Gray Street

Proposed projects also include a Person Street round-about at B Street, citywide wheelchair ramps and the plan and design of a sidewalk on Blanton Road from Bragg Boulevard to Pamalee Drive.

In other action, the City Council postponed the Fayetteville Airport Administration report to City Council. City staff on March 7 briefed the City Council on the airport’s operations. That report included a peer comparison with Killeen-Fort Hood, Texas and Albert J. Ellis Airports.

At that meeting, Mayor Mitch Colvin asked for additional peer comparisons with other airports. Recommended peer city airports have demographics equal to or larger than the Fayetteville/Cumberland County area.

The additional comparison airports include Charlotte International Airport, Asheville Regional Airport, Piedmont Triad International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Comparisons include 2021 total passenger enplanements, parking revenue and rental car revenue, among others.

The report states: “As expected,” the comparison data shows that Fayetteville lags in making money compared to larger airports.

Sheriff’s Office investigates deadly motel shooting

Damon Javone Ward Cumberland County deputies are investigating a deadly shooting that left a 29-year-old man dead.

On Sunday, April 24, deputies responded to a reported shooting at the Coliseum Inn on Gillespie Street. They found Donald Charles Owens III in the parking lot, suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center where he died Monday morning, according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators do have a person of interest they want to speak to about the case. 28-year-old Damon Javone Ward of Fayetteville, (pictured to the side), is wanted for questioning.

Anyone who has information about the case is asked to call Homicide Detective Lt. A. Bean at 910-677-5496 or Crimestoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

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