Up & Coming Weekly

December 08, 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 DECEMBER 9-15, 2020 UCW 9 Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller has made it official: the U.S. military will draw down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq by Jan. 15, 2021. Forces will be cut in half in Afghanistan to 2,500, and by 500 troops in Iraq to 2,500, Miller said. is de- cision by the president is based on continu- ous engagement with his national security cabinet over the past several months, Miller said. "I have also spoken with our military commanders and we all will execute this re- positioning in a way that protects our fight- ing men and women," he added. Elements of the 82nd Airborne Division in the region could be among the troops to come home. President Trump has called for American troops to withdraw from Iraq and Afghani- stan since he assumed office in 2017. e troop drawdown will be completed just five days before President-elect Joe Biden's planned inauguration. e order was an- nounced days after Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Miller. Shortly before his firing, Esper sent a classified memo to the White House in which he expressed concern about the accelerated timeline for a troop withdrawal. Government executive changes job e city of Fayetteville isn't always able to match county government's employee wage structure. City police officers are paid less than sheriff 's deputies, something Po- lice Chief Gina Hawkins says she has been working with City Manager Doug Hewett to correct. Assistant Fayetteville City Man- ager Angel Wright-Lanier surprised some in city hall when she recently announced she is going across town for a similar job with county government Jan. 1. Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon is hiring Wright-Lanier an assistant manager fill- ing a vacancy created by a recent retire- ment. Wright-Lanier is receiving a nice pay raise. Official records indicate she will earn an annual starting salary of $162,000 compared to $155,500 that she is being paid by the city. "I look forward to the new role and continuing to develop as a leader, while still serving this community," Wright- Lanier said. She has a bachelors degree, two masters and is studying for a doctorate in education from Vanderbilt University. Wright-Lanier is the second senior admin- istrator to leave city government this year. Long time Deputy Manager Kristoff Bauer resigned in July. Local library fun e Cumberland County Public Library system is preparing for some fun this winter with its annual Winter Reading and Activity Program or WRAP which launched Dec. 1 and goes through Jan. 31. All eight library branches give customers opportunities to win prizes for reading or participating in reading-related activities. While the librar- ies remain closed to the public because of COVID-19 precautions, residents can pick up program materials at the front of the libraries during business hours. WRAP uses Facebook, Instagram and YouTube for pro- gramming, including videos and interactive virtual events. A calendar of events is avail- able at co.cumberland.nc.us/departments/ library/events-calendar. North Regional Library customer Julia Furman depends on curbside pick-up to help supplement her 6-year-old twins' learning at home. With assistance from Youth Services Library Associate Robin McKoy, Furman checks out about 150 books every two weeks. "e resources are endless, and the customer service is phenomenal—there's nothing like it," Furman said. "e WRAP program is a perfect starting point if you have never used the Cumberland County Public Library," said McKoy. "Public Libraries are a gift," said Furman. "ey offer the opportunity for endless learning and growth for all ages." e Baby Store is up and running e Cumberland County Health Depart- ment has reopened the Baby Store which is located on the second floor of the Pub- lic Health Center at 1235 Ramsey St. e store is for clients who spend "baby bucks" earned by attending appointments and par- ticipating in programs. To protect against the spread of COVID-19, appointments are required to visit the store and only the customer and her children will be allowed to enter. Call 910-433-3890 to secure a 15-minute appointment. Shoppers must wear facemasks and visit the hand sani- tizing station prior to shopping. e Baby Store is an incentive-based, prenatal health promotion program that aims to create healthy moms and healthy babies. Health Department clients earn "baby bucks" by attending their prenatal care appointments and participating in health education pro- grams such as smoking cessation, child- birth, parenting and breastfeeding classes. Troop withdrawals imminent by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Angel Wright-Lanier A Paratrooper assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division pro- vides security during a key leader engagement earlier this year in southeastern Afghanistan. (Photo by Master Sgt. Alejandro Licea, courtesy of DVIDS)

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