Local News

Man charged with exposing himself at Ramsey Street business

FPD logo A Fayetteville man is charged with exposing himself to an employee at a business on Ramsey Street, according to the Fayetteville Police Department.

The incident was reported about 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18 in the 5000 block of Ramsey Street, according to a news release.

The man left the business before police officers arrived but was located on foot in the area of Ramsey Street, the news release said.

Dennis Edwards Rodgers Jr., 34, was arrested and charged with indecent exposure, the release said.

The Police Department says Rodgers has been involved in at least two previous indecent exposure incidents that are under investigation.

Rodgers was held at the Cumberland County Detention Center under a $1,000 secured bond, the release said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact Sgt. Newland, the Special Victims Unit supervisor, at 910- 818-6276 or CrimeStoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477).

Police searching for man they say removed electronic monitor

handcuffs N2212P48005H The Fayetteville Police Department is searching for a man who removed his electronic monitoring device and fled, according to a news release.

Officers with the Electronic Monitoring Unit responded to a tamper alert just after 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19 in the 500 block of Trust Drive, the news release said.

The device was assigned to JQuan Rashod Fitzgerald, 23, according to the release. Officers said Fitzgerald had removed his electronic monitor and fled the area on foot.

Fitzgerald was arrested on a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon. He posted bond but was ordered by a judge to remain on a monitor, the news release said.

Officers plan to obtain additional warrants charging Fitzgerald with interfering with an electronic monitor and damage to property, the release said.

Fitzgerald is described as being 6 feet tall and weighing about 180 pounds.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts asked to call 911 or contact CrimeStoppers at 910-483-TIPS (8477) or http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org.

‘It’s been a good ride’ After 32 years of providing bikes to children in Cumberland and surrounding counties, Ann Mathis is gearing up for her last bike giveaway.

bycycle man After 32 years, Ann Mathis is shutting down the annual Bicycle Man bike giveaway that she and her husband started in the Tiffany Pines community.

“I’m retiring,’’ Mathis said Dec. 16. “It’s not an easy decision. It’s bittersweet.”

Saturday is the last day bikes and other donated items will go to deserving children. But Friday was all business for the soon-to-be 77-year-old Mathis, who took over the annual giving event when her husband, Moses Mathis, died in 2013.
Mathis was busy readying the warehouse at 1800 Wynfare Lane, directing volunteers who were setting up vendor tables. Zipping about in her mobility scooter, Mathis was pulling tables and directing where they needed to be set up. Along with repaired and new bicycles of all sizes and colors, the event also includes community organizations that provide items for the children.

Organizations include McDonalds, Panera Bread, the Cumberland County Public Library, Hood Memorial AME Zion Church and American Legion Post 525.

At least 1,000 bicycles are ready for the taking. They are neatly parked in one half of the warehouse, along with bicycle helmets and various donated items. In the other half of the warehouse are bicycles that have not been fully repaired. Mathis said they will go to a nonprofit organization, Bikes Across Borders.

The bicycle giveaway started in 1990 when Moses Mathis fixed a bicycle for a 10-year-old at Christmas in his Tiffany Pines garage. That one good deed launched the bicycle giveaway in the Tiffany Pines community. Years later, the project morphed into the Bicycle Man Community Outreach Project, and in 2011 the program expanded into six surrounding counties.

To become eligible for a bike, a parent or guardian applies at the child’s school. There, the school social worker will provide the necessary form and determine eligibility. There are no fees involved, however, any donation will gladly be accepted.

In 2013 a stroke took the life of Moses Mathis. His wife since then has honored his wishes to carry on the project.

“This time of year, he’s usually with me. I miss him,” Ann Mathis said.

Everette Lyles, the American Legion 525 commander, asked Mathis what it would take to establish a similar program. Mathis said she does not intend to leave the program to anyone else, but if the organization was serious about starting a similar program, “just do it.”

“You got to start somewhere,” she said, adding that she and her husband at first didn’t know how to run a nonprofit organization, but soon learned.

“You have to do it for the right reason,’’ she said. “It’s not easy. It took up a lot of our time and we had to put off things we wanted to do.

“It’s a full-time job. Most people just see the end result but don’t realize what it takes to get it done,” she said.

You also have to rely on volunteers.

“Beginning October, I didn’t think we’d have 500 bikes,” she said.

But after the first media interview and letting people know she was preparing for another season, volunteers and donations soared. “We had volunteers from Wake Forest and Raleigh,” she said.

But Mathis said she was ready to leave it all behind. “It’s time for me to move on. I think I’ve done enough,” she said.
Next week, Mathis will join her son in Georgia for Christmas. “Nothing will keep me from that,” she said.

“It’s been a good ride. I’ve enjoyed most of it,” she said.

City, county offices and services to observe Christmas, New Year’s holidays

pexels tim mossholder 942304 City and county offices will be closed for several days to observe the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

Fayetteville government offices will be closed Dec. 23-26 for Christmas and Jan. 2 for New Year’s, according to a city news release. Trash pickup, transit service and recreation center will operate on altered schedules.

All Cumberland County government offices will be closed Dec. 23-27, including Cumberland County Public Library and Animal Services.
The county’s solid waste facilities, including container sites, will be closed Dec. 24-25, according to a county spokesman.

Details of the city’s holiday schedule include:

  • Police Department: The front lobby and records unit of the main police station at 467 Hay St. will be closed Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.
  • Solid Waste Division: Garbage and yard waste on Monday’s routes for Dec. 26 will be collected on Wednesday, Dec. 28; recycling on Monday’s routes for Dec. 26 will be collected on regular schedule. Garbage and yard waste on Monday’s routes for Jan. 2 will be collected on Wednesday, Jan. 4; recycling on Monday’s routes for Jan. 2 will be collected on regular schedule.
  • Fayetteville Regional Airport: Administrative offices will be closed Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. All other airport operations will be on a regular schedule. Questions about travel conditions and flight schedules should be directed to individual airlines.
  • Fayetteville Area System of Transit: Transit services will not operate on Dec. 25 but will resume on regular operating hours Dec. 26. They will not operate on Jan. 1 but will resume a regular schedule on Jan. 2.
  • Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation: Administrative offices will be closed Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Recreation centers will be open on the abbreviated schedule of 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 23-24, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. Recreation centers and gated parks will be closed on Dec. 25. Trails and open green spaces will remain open.

Historic E.E. Smith House to open for first Christmas tours

EE Smith house The historic Dr. E.E. Smith House will be open for Christmas tours this week in what organizers hope will become an annual celebration, according to a city news release.

The home of Ezekiel Ezra Smith, located at 135 Blount St., will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, according to the release.
Visitors are invited to tour the 1902 house, which is decorated for the holidays.

Smith was an educator, minister, diplomat and soldier, according to the news release.
He was the third and longest-serving principal of the State Normal School, the forerunner of Fayetteville State University.

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Admission to the tour is free.

“We are excited to announce the first annual Dr. E. E. Smith House Christmas,” Heidi Bleazey, historic properties coordinator with the Fayetteville History Museum, said in the news release. “We hope to see alumni, families and history enthusiasts pay a visit during this open house to see the home in traditional holiday decorations.”

For more information, contact the Fayetteville History Museum at 910-433-1457 or www.fcpr.us\historymuseum.


Latest Articles

  • Trump pays tribute to Diamond Hardaway at celebration service in Fayetteville
  • The man who murdered the owner of the Uncle Ben’s store is now free
  • Fayetteville police investigating death of 1-year-old
  • 314 grams of meth, 114 grams of fentanyl seized from vehicle, 2 residences
  • Fire, police occupy new Public Safety building
  • Spring Lake board to get financial update
Up & Coming Weekly Calendar

Advertise Your Event: