Up & Coming Weekly

September 22, 2020

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 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 23-29, 2020 UCW 9 Nicole Rivers, an English teacher at Gray's Creek High School, is Cumberland County Schools' 2021 Teacher of the Year. From creative assignments to starting a poetry club, Rivers goes above and beyond to form authentic connections with her students. "My job as an educator is not to just get what I deem as valuable information into the minds of my students," Rivers wrote in her nomination portfolio, "but how to effectively and responsi- bly use their words to change the world around them." A 15-year veteran educator, Rivers graduated from Fayetteville State University. As the 2021 Teacher of the Year, she received a trophy and flowers from Cumberland County Schools, $300 from the Cumberland County Board of Educa- tion, $500 from Olde Fayetteville Insurance and Financial Services, $3,000 from Lafayette Ford-Lincoln — $2,000 for use at her school and $1,000 for her personal use — a commemorative custom Teacher of the Year ring from Jostens, an engraved desk clock from Herff Jones and a gift basket of edibles from Zazzy Treats. Fort Bragg hero earns the Medal of Honor Gunfire ripped through the air and explo- sions rattled the ground as then-U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Patrick Payne peered into a burning building where dozens of ISIS hostages were locked in cells in the northern Iraqi city of Hawija. He knew he had to act or the hostages would die. Payne entered the building, exposing himself to machine gun fire. He used bolt cutters to free the prisoners. For his actions in the Oct. 22, 2015, raid, which ended with the first Ameri- can service member killed by ISIS since the U.S. return to Iraq in late 2014, now-Sgt. Major Payne, 36, was presented the Medal of Honor by President Trump. The award is an upgrade of the Distinguished Service Cross that Payne initially received in 2017. He is "one of the bravest men anywhere in the world," Trump told an audience in the East Room of the White House, which was filled with senior Pentagon officials and Payne's family. Master Sgt. Joshua Wheeler, who was killed by enemy fire during the raid, posthumously received the Silver Star for his actions that day. Payne received the Medal of Honor on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the primary event that convinced him to join the military, as thousands of other Americans did. In 2007, Sgt. Major Payne joined the Army's most elite unit in Special Operations at Fort Bragg. He has since served several deploy- ments to Afghanistan and Iraq and in support of counterterrorism operations in Africa. Payne is now an instructor at Fort Bragg, having earned numerous valor awards for battlefield heroics. He is also a Purple Heart recipient. "I still want to serve to this day," Payne said. "We're still a nation at war, and I still want to serve my country." HealthPlex reopens Fayetteville's largest health and wellness center is up and running again. New, tempo- rary hours and safety precautions are in place at Cape Fear Valley's HealthPlex off Skibo Road because of COVID-19. Hours of operation are 5 a.m.–8 p.m., Monday – Friday. The pool closes at 7:30 p.m. Saturday hours are 7 a.m.–5 p.m. Sunday hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Temperature checks are performed at the main entrance as members check-in. The rear entrance is closed. Members are required to wear face masks when not exercising, and physical social distancing is requested. Modified group fitness classes have resumed with limited capacity. Massage services have been suspended. Pool lanes provide for one swimmer at a time for a maximum of 45 minutes. Whirlpools and steam rooms are off-limits. Learn more about new safety precautions at www. capefearvalley.com/healthplex/index.html. Cumberland County announces Teacher of the Year by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Nicole Rivers Sgt. Major omas Payne An Exclusive Offer For Up & Coming Weekly Readers TV WATCHING MADE EASY! Call toll-free:1-877-580-4817 Subscribe online: tvweekly.com/twcp TM Get 10 issues for only $9.75 You save 76% off the cover price! TV Weekly Magazine is your essential guide to finding new shows, old favorites, new channels or streaming services. PLUS: Comprehensive TV Listings Crossword, Games, Trivia, Q&A & More! Horoscope, Soaps, Sports & Movies What's On & Where To Find It!

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