Up & Coming Weekly

May 04, 2021

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 MAY 5-11, 2021 UCW 9 City and county government buildings have reopened to the public in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Face coverings are still required in all facilities, and social distancing is in effect. In-person services had been limited since March 2020 to protect the health of residents and employees. "I am proud of our employees for their dedication to the County's mission of providing services and how they adapted to the new work challenges during the prolonged pandemic," said County Manager Amy Cannon. City Hall, the county courthouse and the eight Cumberland County Public Library locations have resumed service. e libraries are open for 45-minute sessions Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 15 minutes before the top of each hour, customers are asked to leave the buildings so staff can clean and wipe down high-touch areas. e libraries continue to offer curbside pick-up service at all branches. Meeting rooms, in-person program- ming, Book-a-Librarian sessions and the Mobile Outreach Service are not available. e Department of Social Services on Ramsey Street is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Citizens may continue to apply for public assistance programs (Food and Nutrition, Medicaid, Child Care and Work First) re- motely without visiting the building. Information on the various ways to apply for assistance is available at ccdssnc.com. Prosecution of military sexual assault cases is under review A Pentagon commission is recommending that de- cisions whether or not to prosecute service members in sexual assault cases be made outside the chain of command. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin wants feedback from top military officials before making a final decision about formal changes. ey have until the end of this month to evaluate the proposals from the Pentagon's independent review commission. One recommendation includes allowing indepen- dent prosecutors to handle the cases. "Sexual assault and harassment remain persistent and corrosive problems across the total force," Austin said when he created the panel. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has urged the Defense Department to change the way it deals with sexual assault. e number of such incidents in the military has risen over the years. In 2019, the Pentagon reported that 13,000 women and 7,500 men had experienced some form of sexual assault. e figure was 37% higher than the previous report two years earlier. Gillibrand chairs the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over military justice. Fire destroys local pet shop Only a few of the hundreds of animals and insects at Fayetteville's Aqua-Rama Pet Center survived a fire that destroyed the building's interior April 25. Shayanne Orme, the owner's granddaughter, said three snakes, a rabbit, a few turtles, some freshwater fish, and a macaw were all that survived the blaze. Joe Spano has owned the store at 4937 Bragg Blvd. for more than 40 years. He thanked firefighters who attempted to rescue some of the animals soon after they arrived on the scene. Officials suspect smoke inhalation killed many of the would-be pets includ- ing scorpions and crickets. e Aqua-Rama Pet Center has been part of a small strip shopping center in Bonnie Doone for 50 years. Spano said he wasn't sure if he would rebuild the shop. Woodpeckers season starts May 11 Fans can now pur- chase tickets for the Fayetteville Woodpeck- ers scheduled home games this month at Segra Stadium in downtown Fayetteville. Opening Night on May 11 is sold out, but seats are still avail- able for the other five games of the May home stand. Seating is limited to 30% of capacity as a COVID-19 prevention precau- tion. For the 2021 campaign, tickets and promotions will be made available on a month-by-month basis. e 2020 baseball season was cancelled because of the pandemic. e Woodpeckers recommend ticket purchases as soon as possible. e Fayetteville Woodpeckers are a Class-A minor league affiliate of the Houston Astros New Dogwood Festival chief named Sarahgrace Snipes is the new execu- tive director of the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival. She suc- ceeds Malia Allen who resigned last summer. Snipes was previously associated with the North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington. "It is an honor to be able to play a part in the Fayetteville com- munity as the next Ex- ecutive Director of the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival," Snipes said in a statement. "After a long and difficult year of the pandemic, I am looking forward to bringing joy to Fayetteville's citizens and businesses through our events." e Dogwood Festi- val has been a Fayetteville tradition for 39 years. It is usually a three-day festival celebrated during the 4th weekend of April. It went on hiatus last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A mini event scheduled last month was also cancelled. Local schools on 2021 Best High Schools list from U.S. News & World Report Eight Cumberland County high schools have earned high national and metro-area rankings in the 2021 Best High Schools rankings, which U.S. News & World Report recently released. By earning a national ranking in the top 40 percent, the fol- lowing schools achieved status as a U.S. News Best High School: Cumberland Polytechnic High School (formerly named Howard Health & Life Sciences High School), Massey Hill Classical High School, Cross Creek Early College School, Jack Britt High School, Reid Ross Classical High School, Pine Forest High School, Cape Fear High School, Cumberland International Early College High School. To view the list and learn more about each school visit www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/ search?state-urlname=north-carolina&district- id=100181&ranked=true Local government offices, libraries are open by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Sarahgrace Snipes

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