Fayetteville

Deaths from drug overdose have surpassed homicides in North Carolina.
NC DHHS/FBI

Fayetteville is part of a nationwide project that is trying to compile information about the opioid crisis. 

The non-profit New America is working with about a dozen cities to create maps on opioid overdoses and how to prevent them.

Ft Bragg Stories A mixed 'chalk' of U.S. and British paratroopers line up to board a C-130 transport plane for the main jump of the joint exercise.
Jay Price / North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC

North Carolina is home to the largest U.S. military installation in the world by population. It employs more than 50,000 military and close to 30,000 civilians and contributes tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy.

Retired Army Colonel Fred Black came to Fort Bragg as a second lieutenant platoon leader in 1968. He remembers the sense of pride and accomplishment among the men of the 82nd Airborne Division.

The Fayetteville City Council has denied a zoning permit that would have allowed a resident to run a shelter for victims of domestic violence out of her home.

A retreat for combat veterans and their families is coming to the Fayetteville area.
Fort Rucker / Flickr, Creative Commons, https://flic.kr/p/aDwYea

A non-profit group started by a Navy Seal who was involved in one of the most famous incidents of the war in Afghanistan is about to start building a retreat for combat veterans and their families near Fayetteville.

The Fayetteville City Council has moved forward on plans to build a downtown baseball stadium, approving two big measures this week.

The Fayetteville City Council has heard mostly positive feedback about plans for a minor league baseball stadium.

A picture of J. Cole performing in London in 2011.
thecomeupshow / flickr.com/photos/thecomeupshow/6149980678/in/photostream/

This weekend, HBO will release the concert film from hip hop star J Cole's homecoming show in Fayetteville.

Cole returned a hero this summer after a tour to promote his Platinum album 2014 Forest Hills Drive. That's the address of his childhood home in Fayetteville.

Rap superstars Jay-Z and Drake took the stage at this performance.

Former Charlotte-resident Scott Lazer directed the concert film and the Road to Homecoming series leading up to the big show.

A picture of a slave deed.
Guilford County Register of Deeds.

Guilford County's Register of Deeds is putting bills of sale from the local slave trade on display at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro until October 31.

The Register of Deeds made information from these slave records available online several months ago for people doing historical and genealogical research.

County Registrar Jeff Thigpen says this new display can make the same information seem more real.

An image of a sign for Fort Bragg
Fish Cop / Public Domain

 

The U.S. Army announced Thursday it is cutting about 40,000 soldiers nationwide. Fort Bragg is home to more than 50,000 troops in Fayetteville. The base will largely be spared deep cuts in the latest round of military downsizing.

WFSS
WUNC

North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC officials announced today the acquisition of WFSS, a public radio station licensed to Fayetteville State University.

WFSS is a 100,000-watt FM station that broadcasts in the Sandhills region on the 91.9 frequency. It will begin airing WUNC’s news programming following approval of the deal by the Fayetteville State University Board of Trustees this morning. Previously, WFSS offered a news/jazz hybrid.

A picture of running tap water.
malla_mi / Flickr

State environmental officials will decide this week whether to allow Cary, Apex, Morrisville and other Wake County communities to have an additional nine million gallons of water per day. 

They say they need it to serve their rapidly growing communities. They want more treated water moved from Jordan Lake into the Neuse River Basin instead of sending it to the Cape Fear River Basin.

Tom Fransen is Water Planning Section Chief for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

John Stender, program participant
Leoneda Inge

Tinkering with the family car used to be good training for getting a job at a body shop or a garage. But the vehicles rolling off assembly lines these days are so high-tech, a whole new generations of workers is needed to repair them.

There's a new degree program at Fayetteville Tech designed to fill the growing demand for highly-trained mechanics.

Jon Stender is one of the first students to enroll in the new collision repair and refinishing technology two-year degree program.

Black Hawk helicopters land on training ranges during an air-assault, live-fire training exercise on Fort Bragg, N.C.
U.S. Army

The U.S. Army anticipates major cuts to brigade combat teams, which sets up the country's largest military base for a big hit. Now, Fort Bragg is considering what recommendations to make when downsizing. And they're opening the process up to  public input.

"At the end of the day, our responsibility is to make sure we have trained and prepared soldiers ready to go out the door, regardless of what decisions that might be made higher than here at Fort Bragg," says base spokesman Ben Abel.

Fort Bragg could stand to lose 16,000 jobs.

J. Cole
the artist

Rapper J. Cole grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This week, with very little fanfare, he announced that his new album would go on sale December 9. The album is called "2014 Forest Hills Drive." The title refers to Cole's childhood home in Fayetteville.

The announcement came with a short documentary of the musician, wearing a sky-blue UNC jersey, re-visiting many of the places of his childhood.

There's the roller rink, and the game arcade, and the football field where he rapped publicly for the very first time:

City of Fayetteville Police Department
bethebadge.com

The U.S. Department of Justice will spend the next several months reviewing the policies and practices of the Fayetteville Police Department. The review comes at the request of Fayetteville Police Department as part of the Justice Department's Community Oriented Policing Services program. They'll be looking at the use of force and deadly force by the police, as well as community interaction.

A state police car stopping a motorist
Cindy Cornett Seigle / Flickr/Creative Commons

On Thursday, the Durham City Manager will present the City Council with a recommendation that police officers be required to get consent in writing before searching a vehicle. This is part of a response to months of debate over reports of racial bias in the Durham police department.

Durham Deputy Police Chief Larry Smith would have to implement such a process. Smith recently presented to the city council two examples of how a consent form works now and how a search would work if an officer were required to get consent in writing. 

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Police in Fayetteville say they will work with other local authorities to crack down on human trafficking in North Carolina. 

The Cumberland County District Attorney joined Fayetteville's mayor and police chief this week to renew their efforts to fight traffickers. 

The state's largest cities have reported several cases in recent months that involved kidnappings and forcing victims into prostitution. 

Fayetteville police chief Harold Medlock says the crime is not new in North Carolina, but authorities need to collaborate more to catch offenders.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Police and community leaders in Fayetteville are working on a local incarnation of the Silent Siren program to help veterans in an emergency.

Fayetteville police responded last week to a call from a woman whose husband, a soldier, was parked outside a Walmart threatening to kill himself. Police approached the stand off without lights, sirens and shouting.  They were able get the soldier help.

Fayetteville wants to expand that gentle approach for emergencies involving veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or traumatic brain injury.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Fayetteville's city leaders are considering a property tax hike to fight crime. 

Officials say the proposed budget would raise taxes an average of $60 per year on a $150,000 house. 

Mayor Nat Robertson said the money would be used to put more officers on the street. 

“Our chief of police has asked us for 67 new employees,” Robertson said. “That includes 50-some-odd credentialed employees and support staff for them.”

Robertson stressed the spending plan is just a proposal, so far. 

The strike would have begun at midnight Saturday.
Gmanviz via Flickr, Creative Commons

The United Steelworkers Union has reached an agreement with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company that will avoid a strike at several facilities across the country, including the Goodyear plant in Fayetteville.

The negotiations were over a four-year labor agreement for 8,500 hourly employees at six plants. Terry Brewington is Vice president of the Fayetteville office of United Steelworkers. He said his union was fighting for cost of living raises, more vacation time for new hires and increased wages for people hired after 2006.

City of Fayetteville Police Department
bethebadge.com

The FBI says Fayetteville has the fifth highest rate of property crime in America, according to analysis of crimes rates for large cities in 2012. The figures come in the same week the Fayetteville City Council voted to pass up a tax increase that would have raised money for 15 new police officers.

Salmonella, magnified 15,000X, virus, disease
CDC/ Janice Haney Carr

The number of people sickened by salmonella traced to a Fayetteville area hotel has risen to at least 82.  Officials say the outbreak happened earlier this month at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux.  Buck Wilson is the public health director for Cumberland County.  He says finding the precise cause is challenging. 

Aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Aaron 'tango' Tang via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mental health experts in Fayetteville are hosting a community forum on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder a week after the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

A new chief has been hired for the Fayetteville Police Department.

Harold Medlock accepted the job as top cop in Fayetteville today. He appeared at a news conference with his wife to be formally introduced as chief. Medlock comes to Fayetteville from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department where he served as deputy chief. He says he won't begin his new duties until mid-February.

Fayetteville's city council has approved new dog limits. Starting July 1st, people living in apartments will only be able to keep two dogs, and people living on less than a half acre will be limited to three. Cumberland County approved the same ordinance earlier this month. Three council members voted against the measure, saying the city should focus on problem dogs. But Cumberland County animal control director John Lauby says the new restrictions will make people safer.

Municipal primary elections could be on the chopping block in Fayetteville. The City Council has voted to explore the idea of eliminating the biennial primaries, and their 84-thousand dollar price tag. Fayetteville's mayor is among those who've raised concerns about the potential change. The mayor wonders if ditching the primaries could unfairly benefit incumbents. But Councilman D.J. Haire, who proposed the measure, doesn't share that worry.

City of Fayetteville Police Department
bethebadge.com

Fayetteville's City Council has taken steps to address a perception of racial bias in its police force. Civil rights groups have complained about a greater frequency of police searches on black residents than white ones. The Council voted Monday night to require at least one documented reason for asking for a consent search. Drivers and occupants still will have the right to refuse. City Manager Dale Iman says it's still up to each officer to determine what's a reasonable pretext to ask to search someone. But Iman says they have to document that reason now.

The City of Fayetteville wants the remaining damaged homes from the April 16th tornadoes cleaned up. The twisters that swept across the state left thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. Scott Shuford, Fayetteville's Development Services Director, says they've identified 85 homes in need of extensive cleanup or repair four months after the storms hit. He says they don't have any jurisdiction to do anything about homes that are just eye-sores.

Fayetteville Police officers will receive training from the U.S. Justice Department about how to avoid racial profiling. That's according to city manager Dale Iman. He says he asked for help in response to concerns raised by local activist groups. Statistics from last year show police searched three times more black drivers than white ones in Fayetteville. The Justice Department says that trend holds across the country. Iman says he welcomes the training,  in addition to training from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.