Up & Coming Weekly

July 20, 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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Page 9 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JULY 21-27, 2021 UCW 9 Local government's Emergency Rental Assistance Program is distributing money received through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to eligible residents who are unable to pay rent and utilities because of economic hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic. e program is for current costs or those occurring no earlier than March 13, 2020. A total of $10,119,409 has been allocated to the city and coun- ty. e program will operate through the end of this year. "COVID-19 changed our lives and people are trying to survive financial struggles brought on by the pandemic," Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin said. Landlords may work with their tenants to complete applications for the funding. Renters in Fayetteville and Cumberland County needing assistance to cover past, current, or upcoming rent or utility payments may apply online at fayettevillecumberlandRAP.com or by phone at 888-495-7710. FAST bus service receives federal funds Federal grants totaling more than $4.6 million will be used to purchase five new electric buses for the Fayetteville Area System of Transit. e buses are expected to arrive in Fayetteville in the summer of 2023. e projected date reflects a manufacturing backlog. "We want to replace all of our diesel buses with electric vehicles," said Transit Director Randy Hume. "I believe that can happen over the next 15 years." e grant awards also cover costs of bus charging equipment which will be used overnight during off-peak hours. e federal funds will also cover costs of workforce training to help FAST staff members transition from diesel to electric buses. Fayetteville's Public Works Commission will assist FAST in the selection of bus charging equipment and development of strategies to reduce electricity costs. Hume said he believes the new buses will reduce emissions, improve air quality, upgrade the quality of life and reduce FAST operating expenses. Top shelf barbecue Two area restauranteurs have been honored by in- clusion in USA Today's top 10 central North Carolina barbecue spots. Former Fayetteville City Council- man Wade Fowler who now serves as chairman of the Public Works Commission has been involved in many walks of life since retiring as an Air force jet fighter pilot. He owns Fowlers' Southern Gourmet on W. Rowan Street near downtown. It opened in February 2018, and has already gained a reputation for delicious ribs, pork barbecue and smoked bris- ket. Whole hog barbecue is something of a dying art, but Fayetteville native Wyatt Dickson didn't get the memo. He and co-owner Ryan Butler opened Picnic in Durham five years ago. Dickson is one of the sons of Up & Coming Weekly columnist Margaret Dickson. His barbecue mixes old-school technique with a new-school mindset. Economic development organizations has a new chairman e Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Develop- ment Corporation announces that Kelvin Farmer has been named the new board chairman. Farmer is President and CEO of KE Farmer Enterprises, Inc. in Fayetteville. "I anticipate a successful future and am excited to see the growth our community will undergo," Farmer said. He has served as Chairman of several boards including Winston-Salem State University's Board of Trustees and Mount Olive Mis- sionary Baptist Church's Board of Trustees. "Kelvin has played a vital role as FCEDC's Trea- surer for the past two years, and we are honored to have him ... lead our organization as Chairman," said FCEDC President Robert Van Geons. e FCEDC Board is comprised of ten voting members and three ex-officio delegates. ey are appointed by the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, the Fayetteville City Council and the Community Development Foundation. Join- ing Farmer on the Executive Committee are Vice Chair Vivek Tandon of Trinity Hospitality, Treasurer Kathryn Cox of ACLC and Secretary Jack Rostetter of H&H Homes. Farmer succeeds Andrew Pennink who served as Chairman for three years. Stay in school hotline is available e Cumberland County School system hosted a Back-to-School Launch Party to show students that with the right support in place, they can get back on track and graduate from high school. e virtual event took place on July 15. Students received incen- tives for attending. Interested students and families can still learn about opportunities for getting back to school by calling the hotline at 910-475-1145 or by visiting the CCS website www.ccs.k12.nc.us/. Registration is required. e hotline is operational Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. through July 24. "We hope to help students re-engage and get back on track with their education," said Sheral Raines, dropout prevention supervisor. "We want to be able to cheer them across the graduation stage and into the lives that they've al- ways dreamed they could have." Rental Assistance Program can provide money for rent, utilities by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS DIGEST JEFF THOMPSON, Reporter. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Kelvin Farmer

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