Up & Coming Weekly

December 15, 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 DECEMBER 16-22, 2020 UCW 9 e Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County announced the expansion of the Artists In Schools initiative with the assistance of a grant from the North Carolina Glaxo Smith- Kline Foundation. e Arts Council received $25,000 through the Ribbon of Hope Grant Program to expand access to AIS for Title One schools in Cumberland County.AIS is a pro- gram explicitly developed to prepare students for the challenges they face in the next decade by including an interactive arts education experience. Artists in Schools goes beyond painting, singing and dancing. AIS provides schools with highly trained professional artists who work with teachers and students in core subject matter areas through the arts. Artists In Schools has operated in partnership with Cumberland County Schools for over two decades. Since 2005, AIS serves approximately 20,000 students in grades K to 12 each year in Cumberland County and over 300,000 in total. "e Ribbon of Hope directly aligns with our goal for the AIS Program: expansion of a suc- cessful arts and culture initiative to meet the needs of our youth in Cumberland County," said Bob C. Pinson, interim president and CEO of the Arts Council. Paratrooper murder update e Army has concluded that Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez's death was a homicide, but the cause of death remains undetermined because only his head was available for exami- nation, according to the Division of Forensic Pathology at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine. e soldier had been de- capitated and dismembered, officials said. "A positive identification was made using the sol- dier's dental records," the report stated. Mar- tinez, 21, was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division. His remains were washed ashore on Shackleford Banks Inlet of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. A $25,000 reward has been offered for tips leading to the arrest and con- viction of those responsible for his death, the Army said. e Army Criminal Investigation Command continues to probe the case. Teacher of the year wins regional title Cumberland County Schools' 2021 Teacher of the Year has been voted the Regional Teach- er of the Year. Nicole Rivers learned that she had been named the 2021 Sandhills Regional Teacher of the Year while attending a routine meeting. She teaches ninth and tenth grade English at Gray's Creek High School. "I'm just overwhelmed. I thought I would have found out with just a simple phone call," she said. "ey got me good with the announcement during the Zoom meeting." Rivers will compete against eight other regional winners for the state title. Interviews are scheduled for Feb. 19 in Cary. e N.C. Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by Burroughs Wellcome. VA Women's health transition training Military women and female veterans are using the VA's health care system for everything from mammograms and respiratory testing to pre- scription refills and urgent medical care. e VA says 50 percent of women see navigating VA benefits as their greatest challenge when transitioning to civilian life. e Women's Health Transition Training Program helps female service members and veterans learn about services the VA provides and how to en- roll in VA health care. e goal of the program is that participants leave the course feeling empowered to proactively manage their health care and to be comforted by their new sup- port system at VA who can guide them through the military transition process and help them navigate personal health and wellness for the rest of their lives. It's offered online twice per day, five days per week. To register for a session visit VA Women's Health Transition Train- ing - Center for Women Veterans (CWV). "is training provides a leg up to the new wave of women veterans by giving them the informa- tion they need about VA health care," said one of the veterans who asked not to be identified. VA training sessions for women are conducted by military spouses and female health profes- sionals. Presents from Paratroopers More than 1,000 Fort Bragg paratroopers jumped from C-130 aircraft and helicopters for a good cause as part of the 82nd Airborne Divi- sions' annual Presents from Paratroopers holi- day toy drive. About 600 of the soldiers were selected in a special raffle. To enter the raffle, each paratrooper donated a toy to the Travis Mills Foundation which serves as the pro- gram's civilian partner. About 1,500 toys were donated this year. e foundation distributes the toys to charities around the state including the North Carolina Children's Home Society, the Armed Services YMCA, the Fort Bragg USO, the Cumberland County Sheriff 's Office and the Fayetteville Urban Ministry. is year's jumpers had the opportunity to earn Chilean Army jump wings. Troops are authorized to wear the wings on their dress uniforms. "It's great to get your foreign wings, but [the toy drive] has a bigger purpose: giving back to the community and being able to bring the unit to- gether," said 1st Lt. Blake Wilson. "at's what brings us all joy." He donated a new kids' bike to secure his place in the jump. Arts Council receives grant to expand school program by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Spc. Enrique Roman-Martinez Nicole Rivers

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