Up & Coming Weekly

November 12, 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 9 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 13-19, 2019 UCW 9 Five rural Cumberland County fire depart- ments will receive over $1 million in funding as part of a 2018 federal grant program, according to the Cumberland County Fire Chiefs Associa- tion. A combined $1.6 million was awarded to the Stedman, Bethany, Wade, Spring Lake and Stoney Point fire departments through a fire and emergency response grants program. Stedman, Bethany and Wade community fire departments collaboratively applied for and received a joint grant for $530,847 to purchase new self-contained breathing air packs. "e grant for lifesaving air packs not only relieves our taxpayers of the finan- cial burden but also places our fire departments in compliance with the National Fire Protection Association national standard," said Stedman Fire Chief Justin Nobles. Seventy-six self-contained individual breathing air packs with spare bottles will be purchased, Nobles said. e Spring Lake and Stoney Point Fire Departments were awarded grants to hire additional firefighters, said Freddy Johnson Sr., president of the Cumberland County Fire Chiefs Association and chief of the Stoney Point department. Fort Bragg paratrooper dies Army officials continue to investigate the circumstances that led to a paratrooper's death on post at Fort Bragg. Sgt. Matthew D. Joskowitz, 24, died on Halloween night in his barracks. e soldier's death was not training related, according to division spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Burns, who said he was unable to discuss the facts of the case as the investigation is ongoing. e paratrooper from Hackensack, New Jersey, was an infantry- man assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. "Sgt Joskowitz represents the very best of our nation," Lt. Col. Christopher Brawley, his bat- talion commander, said in a statement. "He was revered by his fellow paratroopers and was a superb noncommissioned officer. We are focusing on caring for his friends and family as they mourn this tragic loss." Joskowitz enlisted into the Army in May 2014 and spent his five-year career at Fort Bragg. "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Sgt Matthew Joskowitz," Capt. Christopher Ci- offoletti, his company commander, said in a state- ment. "A rising star in our battalion, Sgt. Joskowitz was motivated by a deep love for both his country and his fellow paratroopers," Cioffoletti added. High school choice opportunities An estimated 1,000 people attended Cumberland County Schools Choice Fair Nov. 2 to learn about the educational options the school dis- trict has to offer students. Educators and student ambassadors manned information booths that lined the walls of E.E. Smith High School's atrium, cafeteria and gymnasium. Parents stopped to ask questions of the representatives in their quest to find that 'perfect fit' for their children. Choice program options range from engineering and fire science to the arts and foreign languages. e choice application season just began, and parents interviewed seemed to like the idea of one-stop shopping for their children's education during the three-hour event. "is has been great," said Kaia Frye, who attended the fair to learn about the opportunities available to her daughter, an eighth grader at John Griffin Middle School. "is has helped us get information firsthand and talk to students who are currently in the program about their experiences," she said. Frye said her daughter plans to apply at Cumberland International Early College High School. For more information about CCS' Choice Program and its educational options, visit www.choice.ccs.k12.nc.us. Death from child neglect A 7-year-old boy who died in last spring didn't have proper care officials say. e youngster wasn't breathing when first responders arrived at a Fayetteville home April 15, the city's police department said. Officers said the boy was pro- nounced dead at the scene. "Based on the investigation and reports from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, it was determined that the child was not receiving prop- er care," the Fayetteville Police Department said. e child's grandmother, Geneen Ballenger, 53, has been charged with felony involuntary man- slaughter in connection with the case. Ballenger was arrested late last month. She posted a $25,000 bond and was released pending trial. Records indicated her next court date is Nov. 21. Fighting hunger in Cumberland County A private nonprofit agency designed to serve the hungry has been founded locally. Noonday Kitchen is located at 214 Myrover St. in Fayetteville's Hay- mount community. Noonday Kitchen is a local organization dedicated to fighting food scarcity in Cumberland, Hoke and surrounding counties by providing meals and groceries to individuals dis- placed during natural disasters. "Food connects people and has always been a passion of mine (to) serve our city's most needed individuals," said Claudia Perez, founder of Noon- day Kitchen. She brings over 10 years of catering, and commercial food preparation experience to her organization. Her plan is to mobilize the initiative functioning primarily out of a food truck to increase the reach they can have in remote communities struggling with food insecurity. For more info visit: https://www.noondaykitchen.org. Volunteer fire departments win federal funding by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Sgt. Matthew D. Joskowitz Geneen Ballenger

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