Up & Coming Weekly

October 26, 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 OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 2, 2021 UCW 11 e Biden Administration has released a plan to tackle toxic PFAS pollution. e plan could create a national drinking water standard and designate certain chemicals as hazardous. e project is the result of an analysis conducted by the Environ- mental Protection Agency Council on PFAS that EPA administrator Michael Regan established in April 2021. As a former North Carolina official, Regan dealt with an unregulated variant of toxic chemicals called GenX that was spread from a Chemours plant east of Fayetteville into local pri- vate water wells and the Cape Fear River. Senator Kirk deViere said that he applauds the plan, but believes there could be more short-term solutions to help people get access to clean water now. e strategies include increasing research, lever- aging authorities to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment, and acceler- ating the cleanup of PFAS contamination. "is is a public health crisis and the time for drastic immediate improvement is now," deViere said. "I am calling on NCDEQ Secretary Biser, Gov- ernor Cooper, as well as Chemours to provide bold and aggressive leadership to ensure clean water and help my constituents and so many others af- fected by PFAS pollution." School staffers receive bonuses New employees of the Cumberland County School district have received signing bonuses four months into their new jobs. e board of educa- tion approved a recruitment and retention plan to pay staff members who were hired June 1, and were still on the job Sept. 30, $1000 bonuses. ese bonuses were funded through the El- ementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Employees hired after June 1, who continued to be employed on Sept. 30, received $500 bonuses. e retention bonus concept gave school of- ficials the opportunity to thank new employees for the challenges they faced because of positive COVID-19 cases while serving the district's 49,700 students. e Durham Public School System is giving all full-time employees, including teachers, $1000 bonuses to those who remained with the district during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pope Army Airfield runway reopened Expensive runway repairs at Pope AAF have been completed under budget along with im- provements to the airfield electrical system, ac- cording to an Army news release. e project was budgeted at $100 million. "Since World War II, Pope Army Airfield has served as a critical component of America's national security infrastructure," said Lt. Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps. Until a realignment of military facilities a few years ago, Pope was a U.S. Air Force base. e Army said Fort Bragg units temporarily used civilian airports, including Fayetteville Regional Airport, during the repairs. e main runway and taxiways were recon- structed with concrete instead of asphalt. e airfield had not been "completely resur- faced" in more than 50 years, said Col. Joseph Vanoni, commander of the 43rd Air Mobility Op- erations Group. e first aircraft to touchdown after the airfield reopened was an Air Force C-17 with Fort Bragg Commander, Col. Scott Pence on board. Cat adoptions temporarily stopped Cumberland County Animal Services has halted cat adoptions until Nov. 1 because of exposure of four kittens to the feline panleukopenia virus. e situation has not risen to the level of a widespread outbreak, the county said. Animal shelter staffers are closely monitoring cats at the shelter and are taking cleaning and disease transmission precau- tions to prevent any spreading of the virus. FPV is a highly contagious, often fatal, viral disease of cats. "By taking immediate precautions now, we hope to limit the spread of the virus and keep the num- ber of animals affected very low," Animal Services Director, Elaine Smith said. Only cats or kittens that have bitten someone or are themselves seriously sick or injured should be taken to the shelter. Owners of recently adopted kittens have been notified of the illness. Adopters of kittens that are positive with FPV will be given the option of picking up new kittens after Nov. 1. Smith notes that this virus does not spread to hu- mans or dogs. Dog adoptions are continuing. Cumberland County announces 2022 principal of the year Cumberland County schools' Joy Williams, a 23- year veteran educator, has been named the 2022 Principal of the Year. Queesha Tillman, a 16-year educator, was selected assistant principal of the year. Williams is principal of Luther "Nick" Jeralds Middle School. She began her career as a class- room teacher at Douglas Byrd Middle School after graduating from Fayetteville State University. She later earned her Master of School Administration from FSU. "We strive to find real-world examples that include culturally relevant language for students which allows them to relate to what is being taught," Williams said. Tillman is the assistant principal of Loyd Auman Elementary School. She too graduated from FSU and joined the school system as an exceptional children's teacher in 2002. ere were eight other finalists for principal of the year and six other finalists for assistant princ- pal of the year. JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. The EPA has come to grips with GenX by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST

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