Up & Coming Weekly

October 27, 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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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM OCTOBER 28-NOVEMBER 3, 2020 UCW 9 e principal of Cliffdale Elementary School, Suzanne Owen, has been named Cumberland County Schools' 2021 Principal of the Year during the district's first-ever virtual celebration. With 24 years of experience in education, Owen has served as principal of Cliffdale Elementary since 2018. Under her leadership, students met growth in all measures, exceeding growth in reading. "Her dedication to sup- porting teachers and building positive relationships with students is commendable, and we are fortunate to have her in CCS," said school superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly. Tianna O'Brien, assistant principal at Bill Hefner Elementary School, was named the CCS 2021 Assis- tant Principal of the Year. As the district's Principal of the Year winner, Owen received $3,000 from Lafay- ette Ford-Lincoln ($1,000 for personal use, $2,000 for school use), a cash award, iPad mini and floral arrangement from CCS, a commemorative Principal of the Year ring, an engraved desk clock and a trophy from the board of education. "is year—more than ever before—it's important that we celebrate our school leaders who have shown resilience during a challenging and unprecedented school year," said Dr. Connelly. As the district's Principal of the Year win- ner, Owen will now compete for the regional title. Fatal house fire Fayetteville's Fire Investigation Team continues to investigate a fatal house fire that occurred on Oct. 16 at 7534 Decatur Drive in the LaGrange neighborhood off S. Reilly Rd. Fire Marshall T.J. McLamb identified the victim as Racquel McKoy, 36, who died at the scene. Odell Bethea, 34, was hospitalized at the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill in serious condi- tion. "Smoke alarms were found in the home but did not appear to have been in working condition at the time of fire," McLamb said. e fire started in the kitchen of the house and was quickly extinguished. Rescue crews found the victims inside and rendered medical treatment until an EMS team arrived. Better help, better sight e Cumberland County Vision Resource Center has dedicated a walking trail for blind and visually impaired people at the Center for the Blind at 2736 Cedar Creek Road. e event was held to coincide with National White Cane Awareness Day, a national observance recognizing the independence and ac- complishments of the blind. e walking trail is a quarter-mile gravel loop designed to provide a safe place for blind and visually impaired people to walk. An anonymous foundation donated funds for the trail, which was built by Green Biz Nursery of Fayetteville. "e new trail provides a safe place for blind and visually impaired people to walk for fitness and recreation," said Vision Resource Center Execu- tive Director Terri omas. VRC projects include healthy living programs, independent living classes, arts and crafts, social activities, support group meet- ings and a summer camp for blind children. e VRC began in 1936 as the Cumberland County Associa- tion of the Blind. It was incorporated in 1976 and its name was changed to Vision Resource Center in 2000. Improving literacy one step at a time County officials and community partners celebrat- ed the opening of the StoryWalk at Clark Park Nature Center recently with a ribbon cutting. e StoryWalk is a project led by the Cumberland County Public Library and funded by a grant from the Women's Giving Circle, a fund of the Cumberland Community Foundation. is literacy-focused amenity encour- ages children, caregivers and their teachers to expe- rience reading, participate in physical activity and explore nature together. "is reading adventure will improve literacy one step at a time," said Chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners Marshall Faircloth. "Now, more than ever we need to show our children how important it is to read, and what better way than to step outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Clark Park." e Story- Walk is a little over a mile and consists of each page of a picture book laminated and displayed along a walking trail so adult and child can read the entire book together. Updated throughout the year, families can read several stories. Picture book displays also feature early literacy and Science, Technology, Engi- neering, Arts and Math activities along with move- ment exercises. Airborne all the way e Army is looking into a viral video showing a soldier drinking from an Ocean Spray juice bottle and lip-syncing the words of the Fleetwood Mac hit "Dreams" while on a daytime parachute jump. e video has been viewed about 360,000 times since it was posted on the social media platform TikTok. "We're looking into it," the 18th Airborne Corps said in a statement. e incident may be a safety viola- tion, Col. Joseph Buccino, a spokesman for the Fort Bragg-based unit, told Stars and Stripes. He would not identify the soldier in the video. An AATW patch covered his name tag. e paratrooper's video reminded social media users of an incident in April 2015, when an Army specialist posted a selfie hold- ing his pet Siamese fighting fish in a plastic water bottle during his last jump before exiting the Army. Top school principal named by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Suzanne Owens

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