Local News

Annexation granted, area’s first smart growth neighborhood planned

07 annexation The eventual development of barren property three miles north of Fayetteville “is going to be fabulous” for the northside, said City Councilman Johnny Dawkins. The city has agreed to a voluntary annexation of 254 acres of land by Broadwell Land Company. The property is located in a triangular area west of Ramsey Street between Elliot Bridge and Elliot Farm Roads.

Dawkins believes the multiuse development proposed by Broadwell will lure residents of the unincorporated area between the old Fayetteville city limit and the new project to also request annexation.

The Public Works Commission has developed a plan to extend city water and sewer to the Broadwell property. That makes the utilities available to others along the route, but they have to agree to voluntary annexation.

The Broadwell firm proposes to build 350 single-family homes in two phases over the next several years. Attorney Johnathan Charleston, who represented the company in talks with the city of Fayetteville, said the homes will range in price from $250,000 to $400,000. Also planned are 250 multifamily units, a school, commercial buildings and 24 acres of green space. The entire venture will take 10 to 15 years to develop.

The huge project is the first of its kind in Fayetteville. Broadwell and the city say it’s the area’s first smart growth neighborhood. Smart growth is a concept of serving the economy, the community and the environment. It changes the terms of the development debate away from traditional growth patterns to how best to accommodate the community as a whole. Charleston noted the neighborhood would become the southernmost part of the Research Triangle region.

Fayetteville city planner Jerry Newton told city council that stakeholders had worked cooperatively for several months to perfect the project. PWC’s willingness to provide water and sewer utilities was considered the key to bringing the area into the city.

“No matter what we decide up here, it’s going to be built,” Councilwoman Kathy Jensen said. She represents the district on city council. “The real question is whether the project will be built to county standards or more stringent city standards,” Jensen added.

A few residents of nearby neighborhoods objected. Businessman Jimmy Jones, who lives just south of the proposed development, worried about whether apartments would negatively impact his property value. “All the impact in that area will be positive,” Councilman Larry Wright countered.

Dennis DeLong, who lives on Ramsey Street, said he will do everything he can to stop the annexation. “Any legal avenue I can possibly take, I will” he said.

Newton was unable to provide specific details on multi-use plans, which could range from duplexes and town houses to three-story apartment buildings. City council voted unanimously to grant the satellite annexation and initial zoning established earlier by county commissioners.

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Cumberland County civic leader dies

06 news digest Longtime county commissioner and civic leaderEd Melvin died last week. He was 72. Melvin servedhis community in many ways but is best remembered as a four-term county commissioner. He chose not to seek re-election in 2014.

Melvin was admitted to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Oct. 18 after suffering an apparent heart attack. He died five days later.

A native of Bladen County, Melvin spent his adult life in Cumberland County but never lost touch with friends and family in the Tar Heel area. He belonged to dozens of civic, advisory and business groups and owned and managed 50 rental homes.

Melvin also had a chain of auto repair shops. Several years ago, he sold all but one of them: Ed’s Tire and Auto Shop on Murchison Road.

Melvin was a U.S. Army veteran and a member of Village Baptist Church. He is survived by his wife, Julie, and their five children.

Health department leadership post still vacant

The Cumberland County Department of Public Health hasn’t had a permanent director for nearly a year and a half. In August, the board of health selected an executive search firm to help recruit the next health director, but it has not yet begun the search. Former director Buck Wilson resigned in June of last year. Other county executives have filled in since then.

“We are excited to initiate our search for a permanent health director,” said Interim Health Director Duane Holder.

The board’s search committee met with the firm on Oct. 17 to begin the formal recruiting process. Staff and community listening sessions are being planned. Public input will be solicited, and the board of health says it welcomes feedback.

Four-year terms on the ballot

Local ballot issues Nov. 6 include proposals to change the terms of Fayetteville City Council members and Hope Mills Town Commissioners. Both bodies want to extend terms of office from two years to four.

The prospect has raised little voter interest in Fayetteville, but opposition by Hope Mills residents has surfaced since the board rejected offers made by Lone Survivor Foundation to purchase property at Hope Mills Lake Bed #2 for a military veterans’ retreat. Residents have organized Hope Mills Citizens for Change, a political action committee opposed to longer terms. They have distributed signs around town.

The four-year referendum idea was first proposed by Hope Mills Commissioner Mike Mitchell in February. If adopted, four-year terms wouldn’t begin for Hope Mills commissioners until the 2019 election. The mayor and five board members would serve staggered terms.

The Fayetteville City Council proposal is nonbinding. If authorized by voters, council would then decide whether to make the change.

Local youth wins statewide honor

A Cumberland County NCWorks Career Center student, Lamonty Bullock, 24, was named Outstanding Young Adult at the 2018 Governor’s NC Works Awards of Distinction ceremony held Oct. 11 in Greensboro.

Bullock was enrolled in the Fundamental Skills for Substance Abuse Counselor Program at Fayetteville Technical Community College when nominated for the honor. He has completed part one of the program and is preparing for part two, with a goal of becoming a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor to help teens and young adults.

“I really want to focus on prevention because that’s where it all starts,” Bullock said. He was living in a group home until he turned 18, when he aged out of the foster care system. He did not complete high school but later obtained his diploma and approached Cumberland County NCWorks for career training assistance.

Bullock’s former NCWorks career advisor, Victoria Grey-Allen, described him as an “extraordinary example of what resilience, hard work and determination can accomplish.”

Local university leader honored

Fayetteville State University Chancellor Dr. James Anderson was honored this month by the North

Carolina Justice Center for his years of “extraordinary advocacy for and commitment to social justice, inclusive community engagement, and educational opportunities.” The NC Justice Center describes itself as the state’s preeminent voice for economic, social and political justice.

“My task is to apply leadership and management strategies that reflect integrity, quality, transparency and excellence,” Anderson is quoted as saying on Fayetteville State University’s website. “Our most precious commodity is our students and everything that we do should support their growth, maturity, and success.”

Fayetteville Technical Community College

still top notch

Military Times has ranked FTCC No. 5 nationally in its 2019 Best Colleges for Vets. The rankings are based on the results of Military Times’ annual survey, considered the most comprehensive schoolby- school assessment of veteran and military student services. About 500 colleges took part in this year’s survey.

Military Times’ Best for Vets designation ... can’t be bought with advertising dollars – unlike some other supposedly veteran-friendly rankings – only earned through a record of steadfast service and dedication to those who have served,” said George Altman, the editor in charge of the rankings. The publication also factors in data from the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments.

Photo: Ed Melvin


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Oxendine makes history as he wins 50th annual CCGC title

dnPlaying the 50th Cumberland County Golf Championship on his home course at Gates Four Golf and Country Club, Jack Britt High School senior Spencer 

Oxendine wasn’t lacking for confidence. “I told my mom if I didn’t win this thing I’m going to be pretty upset,” the N.C. State golf commit said.

He had little reason to be upset Sunday after turning in a 74-72-146 that led him to the title over previous champions Billy West and Gary Robinson. 

Robinson and Thomas Owen tied for second, Robinson shooting 79-72-151 and Owen 74-77-151. West, the defending champion, recorded a 75-77-152. He apparently made history in the process, becoming the first CCGC champion in the tournament’s 50-year history to win the event while still attending high school. 

In 1984, Pine Forest product Mitchell Perry won the title after graduating the previous June. The tournament was held in September that year. Oxendine just began his senior year at Jack Britt this fall. 

Oxendine, who blistered the Gates Four course with a 62 this summer that was one shot off the course record of another Cumberland County high school star, South View’s Todd Gleaton, said his effort over the course this weekend was “nothing stellar.”

He felt he drove the ball well and kept it in play for the most part. “ I played the course how I always do,” he said. “I play this course very aggressive. This is not a golf course where you can hit it off line, because if you start to hit it off line, you can make some big numbers.”

 Oxendine’s goal was to keep the ball in play and get it on the green. The first day he recorded four bogeys and only three birdies. He finished Sunday’s round with three birdies and three bogeys.

His near-course record 62 over the summer featured nine birdies, an eagle and one bogey. He called the win a great confidence boost going into his senior season of golf next spring at Jack Britt and looking ahead to his freshman season with the N.C. State team a year from now. 

“Winning is always good no matter what it is,” he said. Oxendine said he was looking forward to playing the full three days of the tournament and was disappointed when bad weather forced cancellation of Friday’s first round. 

“I was kind of upset but there was nothing we could do about it,” he said. “We didn’t want to tear up Stryker.” The tournament had been scheduled to open on Fort Bragg’s Stryker Golf Course, which would have been a first for the event. 

“It didn’t change my approach,” he said. “My approach was I was probably going to shoot par on Stryker, maybe one or two under, then I would kind of tear it up on Gates Four. That was my mindset.”

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FTCC offers associate degree program in respiratory therapy

12 anatomy 145696 1280 copyWhen visiting the hospital, most people have no problem recognizing the doctor, nurse and even the lab technician. But how many can identify the respiratory therapist? 

Respiratory therapists are often those unsung heroes who care for our loved ones – or us – at crucial times. Respiratory therapists touch the lives of many. The work of the respiratory therapist may involve a patient receiving supplemental oxygen or perhaps a life-saving respiratory medication to ease the work of breathing during a crisis. In other situations, the respiratory therapist may assist individuals who are on advanced life-support equipment while in the emergency room or intensive care unit. 

Respiratory therapists are highly trained pulmonary specialists who effectively assess, educate and treat patients with heart and lung problems. They apply their expertise to every patient population, from newborns and infants to children and adults. They work in all areas of hospitals, doctor’s offices, diagnostic centers, home health, education, research, rehabilitation centers and medical equipment sales. 

   These practitioners are highly skilled in critical thinking, patient assessment and cardiopulmonary diagnostics, cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, pharmacology, advanced life support, evidence-based clinical care and advanced biomedical engineering and technology. 

   According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for respiratory therapists in 2017 was $59,710 per year. The entry-level education level required to enter the profession is an associate degree from a CoARC-accredited program. CoARC, or the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, is a governing body that sets standards for respiratory therapy programs to ensure they prepare highly competent respiratory therapists for practice, education, research and service. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects that the respiratory therapy profession will grow by 23 percent within the next eight years, which is cited as being much faster than average. 

   Fayetteville Technical Community College offers an associate of applied science degree in respiratory therapy. The program is an advanced-level program that fully prepares the graduate to enter the profession right away and begin quality patient care and practice in all areas of respiratory therapy. The associate degree also prepares students to continue education and pursue degree advancement, such as a bachelor’s degree. 

   FTCC’s program accepts 24 students every August and runs for five consecutive semesters. Students will complete classroom lecture, laboratory skills practice and clinical rotation and application during each of these semesters. Students focus on patient assessment, critical thinking, diagnostics, and skills development and application in all aspects of the professional practice of respiratory therapy. The program accepts applications from Nov. 1 through Jan. 30 every year for admittance into the program during the following August class. 

   FTCC’s respiratory therapy program is competitive, so it is important to know and follow all the procedures and requirements for the program. 

   Those interested in becoming a respiratory therapist can begin their journeys at FTCC by calling 910- 678-9869 or emailing thompsok@faytechcc.edu. 

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Senior Center West under construction

07 Senior Center West 2   The city of Fayetteville is making its first significant addition to facilities for seniors in decades. The city broke ground last week on the much-anticipated Senior Center West. It is being built along the western edge of Lake Rim, in the vicinity of 7510 Old Raeford Rd. Senior Center West is the sixth project to get underway with funds generated by the $35 million Parks & Recreation Bond Referendum secured in 2016. 

   The building will be a 19,000-square-foot lakefront property with a fitness room and a warm-water indoor pool. It is one of two nearly identical facilities funded in the referendum. A location for the Senior Center East has not yet been selected, but “the city is working on partnering with (Fayetteville State University) on the site located at the corner of Murchison (Road) and Filter Plant (Drive),” said city spokesman Nathan Walls. “That partnership will be presented to council for consideration soon.” 

   The new senior centers will address two growing needs in the community: providing more space and adequate facilities in Fayetteville to assist the heavily used Senior Center on Blue Street and providing quality programming and activities to a growing senior citizen population. 

   Studies from the National Council on Aging have shown the need for more senior citizen activities as statistics have shown that the more seniors remain active, the better quality of life they have and the longer they live. Senior centers focus on several wellness factors in efforts to improve those numbers: emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual and vocational wellness. 

   In addition to the Blue Street Senior Center, Fayetteville/Cumberland Parks and Recreation operates the Tokay Fitness Center for Seniors and the Dorothy Gilmore Therapeutic Recreation Center. Tokay provides residents six treadmills, six stationary bikes, six ellipticals, three lower body and six upper body Nautilus machines, plus an abdominal machine, dumbbells, exercise mats, exercise balls and table tennis tables. Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaires must be filled out before using the equipment. 

   The Gilmore Center on Purdue Drive offers “recreation and leisure programs to people with disabilities to improve functional abilities, enhance well-being and facilitate independence,” according to the city’s website. The staff of the Gilmore Center uses recreational services and leisure experiences to help people with limitations make the most of their lives. 

   The new senior centers are not operated jointly under city/county auspices. Cumberland County Commissioners chose not to participate in the bond referendum. So now city government keeps separate books for projects undertaken as the result of the $35 million Fayetteville package. Payrolls and other operating expenses for the senior centers have not been publicly discussed. 

   Splash pads at Kiwanis, Massey Hill and Myers Park recreation centers have already been constructed and opened since passage of the bond issue and initial sale of bonds. Other completed projects include Seabrook Park and pool deck upgrades and the new Massey Hill universally accessible playing field. It has been utilized by Buddy Sports programs, which have seen a 15 percent increase in enrollment since the field opened. 

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