Local News

Food service for those affected by COVID-19

09 food giveawayAlliance Health, Hope4NC, Noonday Kitchen and Mercy Chefs will host a food giveaway to address food insecurity in Cumberland County on April 13 from 8 a.m. until noon at the John D. Fuller Recreation Center, 6627 Old Bunce Road in Fayetteville. This event is open to all Alliance members as well as the community. Community members who are picking up one or two boxes can just show up at the event. Community partners who are seeking bulk packaging are asked to pre-register at http://bit.ly/foodboxpickup.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service is partnering with national, regional and local food distributors who have been impacted by COVID-19. This partnership purchases fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers. Distributors package these products into family-sized boxes, then transport them to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

All veterans are eligible for VA COVID-19 vaccinations

08 veteran vaccineMilitary veterans, their spouses and caregivers will be able to receive coronavirus vaccines through the Department of Veterans Affairs once doses are made available, under legislation finalized by Congress. Veterans Affairs leaders supported the move, saying they did not want to turn away any veteran from receiving the shot if they were available. But under current rules, department medical centers were permitted to administer vaccines only to veterans already eligible for VA health care services, and for certain caregivers registered in VA support programs. That totals just under 7 million individuals. Under the new bill, that number is expected to jump to more than 20 million. It will make vaccines available “to all veterans, veteran spouses, caregivers ... and Department of Veterans Affairs recipients to the extent that such vaccines are available.”

Child Advocacy Center plants blue pinwheels to raise awareness

04 Pinwheel KitApril is Child Abuse Prevention Month and for the past 11 years our community has honored children by planting blue pinwheels in honor of child abuse prevention. The pinwheel represents the bright future that every child deserves.

The Child Advocacy Center received a total of 876 reports of child abuse during FY 19/20, a 20% increase over FY 18/19. Currently, we are continuing to see those numbers increase as well. For the period July 1 until December 31, 2020, the CAC received a total of 521 reports of suspected abuse, up 29% from the same period in 2019.

This has been a difficult year on so many levels due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought about so many changes, as well as uncertainty. These challenges have brought about more time at home, more time on electronic devices and less time being able to safely socialize with friends in general. Until last week, children in our community had not been inside a classroom since March 13, 2020.
Jeanne Allert, CEO and Founder of The Samaritan Women, in Baltimore, Maryland, presented a webinar about Victimology: Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. She shared that professionals are already discussing the impact the pandemic may have on children and families once children begin to re-engage in a more traditional school schedule. Educators account for 50% of reports of child abuse.

April is also a time to look forward – a time to be a part of ensuring that every child has a bright future. All children deserve to grow up in loving, stable and stimulating environments, in their home, church, school and in the community. Most of all, we want childhood to be a time when children no longer live in fear.

This year, we want more than ever to have a significant presence with pinwheels heavily displayed throughout our community. We want to cohesively and prominently show that our community supports children. April is an ideal time for our community to reflect and to recognize the children who have been victimized through the pain of abuse — physical, emotional and/or sexual.

At the CAC, our vision is a community where children feel safe, nurtured and loved. April is a time to remind us that no matter the challenges, to include a global pandemic, we face as individuals, caring for all our children must always be our priority.

You can join us in promoting healthy childhoods for our children. You can purchase a pinwheel garden kit (24 pinwheels and a yard sign) for $40 or a Pinwheel Vase (eight pinwheels in a vase with ribbon) for $15. Visit our website CACFayNC.org to place your order. Once you plant your garden of pinwheels or display your pinwheel vase, tag us on your social media, include the following hashtags – #passthepinwheel, #cacfayncpinwheels2021, #pinwheelsforprevention

During the month of April, the CAC will be hosting “Read-Along Story Times” on Tuesday of each week. We will be reading books that talk about body safety, boundaries and how to say no when the child feels uncomfortable. You can view these on the CAC’s Facebook & Instagram pages or on our website CACFayNC.org.

These are great opportunities to talk with your child about appropriate touching and setting boundaries. Research has shown, it is better to start teaching children about body safety when they are young and to continue throughout their childhood. It is never too late to begin.

This April and throughout the year, let’s all join together to provide help, hope and healing to children who have been victimized by abuse. Join us in creating a community (and beyond) where children feel safe to run and play, where all children feel love and accepted versus living in fear.

We hope to see blue pinwheels spinning in the sun and throughout our community this April reminding us all that EACH child deserves a happy childhood.

Community members can join CAC for a virtual Pinwheel Planting at noon on April 1 on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CACFayNC. To learn more about how you can participate, please check out the Facebook page, the website or call 910-486-9700. For more information about April and Child Abuse Prevention, including how to become involved in prevention, follow CAC on social media or visit the website www.CACFayNC.org. Happy Pinwheel Planting!

Civic leader remembered

04 Dr Frank StoutThe Fayetteville community was shocked to learn recently that long-time civic leader and orthodontist Dr. Frank Stout died earlier this month. He was 77. He practiced orthodontics from 1970–1998, when he retired. Dr. Stout and his father developed the Bordeaux Motor Inn and Convention Center, the Bordeaux Recreation Center, and the high-rise Apartel off Bragg Blvd. In 1998, he and his wife, Carolyn, made a major gift to Methodist University where he was Trustee/Emeritus. The donation led to the construction of Joe W. Stout Hall in memoriam to his father. The building houses the university’s admissions office. Stout died on March 6. He is survived by wife Carolyn, son, Cam, and daughter-in-law Kelly Craver Stout. He was preceded in death by his older son, Frank Stout Jr.

Senator's bill would expand controversial N.C. film grants

11 Rba503ad130ea82f55e77f0c3bc0875c2 Hunger GamesWilmington’s Republican senator has teamed up with a Winston-Salem Democrat to push a bill that would expand North Carolina’s film grant program — a program critics say is actually a money loser for the state.

Sen. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, and Sen. Paul Lowe, D-Forsyth, are the primary sponsors of Senate Bill 268, which would add $34 million to the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund over the next
_two years.

That’s on top of the $31 million per year the grant program already receives. The film grants were established by the General Assembly in 2014, and reimburse filmmakers up to a quarter of their production costs for a movie or TV show filmed in North Carolina. The idea is to incentivize major productions — movies with a budget above $3 million and TV episodes costing $1 million or more — in the state, bringing with them jobs and spending.

“Securing the multi-year grant funding would show that the legislature is supportive and responsive to the state’s film industry and the needs of the studios,” Lee wrote on his Facebook page.

“That includes their desire to have fiscal certainty when looking to base a potential multi-year production, like a TV series that often becomes synonymous with where it is shot.”

Wilmington, home to EUE/Screen Gems Studios, has a long history with the film industry. It’s been the setting for movies such as “Iron Man 3” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” as well as as TV shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and “One Tree Hill.”

The Film and Entertainment Grant Fund replaced a film income tax credit program that offered up to $20 million per production. The new grant program has already tripled in size since being introduced fewer than seven years ago.

But studies have shown that film grants and incentive fail to deliver the economic impact they promise.

North Carolina’s programs paid out more than $400 million between 2005 and 2018, but brought back somewhere between 19 cents and 61 cents on the dollar, independent analysts show.

States are increasingly exiting the film incentive business. Twelve states have repealed their programs in the past decade.

“As with other incentives programs, taking money from other people caring for their families and working in other productive endeavors to give to, in this case, film production has consistently shown to be on net bad for the state economy,” said Jon Sanders, senior fellow, regulatory studies and research editor at the John Locke Foundation.

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