Up & Coming Weekly

June 04, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 10 of 32

10 UCW JUNE 5-11, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM President Donald Trump and his Veterans Af- fairs secretary are claiming full credit for health care improvements that took place before they were in office. Trump said he passed a private-sec- tor health care program known as Veterans Choice, after failed attempts by past presidents. e Choice program, which allows veterans to see doctors outside the government-run VA system was passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. Trump's recently appointed VA secretary, Robert Wilkie of Fayetteville, is also distorting the facts. He suggested it was his efforts that improved waiting times at VA medical centers. e study cited by Wilkie on wait times covers the period from 2014 to 2017 — long before he was appointed VA secretary. e VA "had suffered from bad leadership," Wilkie said. "I had to make sure that as we ap- proach our veteran population that we make sure that they are at the center, their needs are at the center of what we do ... I think we've had it back- wards at VA for many years." In an interview with Fox News, Wilkie claimed that now "we have same-day mental health ser- vice." Same-day mental health service started at the VA before Trump took office. e VA's effort to provide same-day primary and mental health care, when medically necessary, at every VA medical center was publicized in April 2016 dur- ing the Obama administration. Roadside trash isn't getting picked up "We've got a systemic problem," Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said, moments after City Council member Bill Crisp complained that areas of Strickland Bridge Road have mattresses and box springs at the curb that haven't been picked up since he complained about it a week earlier. e remarks came during a May 28 City Coun- cil dinner meeting. City Manager Doug Hewett reminded Council that the city can't respond to issues as quickly as he would like. "ere's no money in the budget," Hewett said. "We've got to figure out a way to flex." Councilmember Kathy Jensen said the public needs to be better educated when it comes to gar- bage and yard debris pickup in addition to bulky items and tree limbs. Hewett noted that since 2013, residents have not been required to report special needs and so they simply put their junk at the curb. Deputy fire chief promoted Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett was ap- parently guided by local history when he named Deputy Fire Chief Mike Hill permanent chief of the Fire/ Emergency Man- agement Depart- ment. Fayetteville fire department chief officers have been promoted from within since the agency be- came a full-time, paid department in 1947. Hill has served with the fire department for more than 25 years and was appointed acting chief when Ben Major retired earlier this year. "Michael Hill has the talent, experience and leadership abilities to be Fayetteville's next fire chief," Hewett said. Hill has managed or been assigned to every division of the department. As chief, Hill will lead a staff of 331 operating out of 15 fire stations in North Carolina's second-largest city geographi- cally. He will manage a $29 million budget for a department that is internationally accredited and has achieved a class one ISO rating. ISO is the Insurance Services Office, whose ratings deter- mine a community's commercial insurance rates. e ratings also position fire departments com- petitively among themselves. A one rating is the highest to achieve. Relief from the heat e Cumberland County Department of Social Services is the latest agency to provide relief for those suffering from the current heat wave. D.S.S. will open an auxiliary lobby to members of the public on days when the heat index reaches 100 F and a heat advisory is issued. e effort provides relief for citizens who have no other way to escape the high summer temperatures. e DSS building is at 1225 Ramsey St. e lobby areas will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Temperatures topped 100 F and regularly reached the upper 90s the last week of May. Misinformation surrounds Veterans Affairs healthcare policy by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Fayetteville Fire/Emergency Management Chief Mike Hill SPECIAL EDITION Published, Distributed and Online in the Fayetteville, Ft. Bragg and Cumberland County area ALL YEAR! 2019 Best of Fayetteville Special Edition • Coming July 31, 2019 ATTENTION LOCAL BUSINESSES...NEED CUSTOMERS? Advertise & promote your business all year long eectively and aordably! Advertise, market and promote your business in the most popular, most read edition of the year! For more information, rates and deadlines call (910) 484-6200 RESERVE YOUR SPACE TODAY!

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