Log in Newsletter


Bill Kirby Jr.: We’re burning the midnight oil just for you


We’re up and running full throttle over here at CityViewTODAY and burning the midnight oil not just to keep warm from the winter cold, but to keep you informed of everything we can that’s going on in Fayetteville, Cumberland County, Hope Mills, Spring Lake and wherever the news calls.

We’re staying abreast of the Fayetteville City Council, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners, the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen, our city utility, the county school system and all of the news you want to know. We’re glad to have our readers and subscribers aboard, and your voices matter. Take my word, we’re reporting, we’re writing and we’re spreading the news.

Snow prep, again

Gene Booth, director of Cumberland County Emergency Services, says the county is keeping a watch on the weather. The National Weather Service in Raleigh is forecasting a 70% chance of rain and snow Friday, with temperatures of 29 degrees.

“Prognostication at this point leans to less impact,” Booth says after last weekend, which brought three to five inches of snow in the Fayetteville area as well as freezing rain. The weather service says there could be a 60% chance of snow Saturday, with a high of 38 degrees. 

Our hometown utility is monitoring the weather, too. “We are all on standby, ready to respond if we're impacted by the storm,” says Carolyn Justice-Hinson, spokeswoman for the Fayetteville Public Works Commission. “We encourage customers to always be prepared should an outage occur. Should road conditions worsen because of the storm, we encourage residents to only travel if necessary. Vehicles hitting utility poles is common during this type of weather.” 

A shout-out to local lawmakers 

“Bill, the ‘Can Do Six’ and their result$ for Cumberland County will be a real game-changer if we all work together as they did,” George Breece says about the Cumberland County legislative delegation of Reps. Billy Richardson, John Szoka, Diane Wheatley, Marvin Lucas and  Sens. Ben Clarke and Kirk deViere – who worked to bring more than $400 million to this community as part of the $25.9 billion state budget signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Couldn’t agree more, my friend. And they could not have been more humble at a “Can Do Thank You’’ state delegation reception hosted by the Greater Fayetteville Chamber on Jan. 13 at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. 

Praise for Marty Sternlicht

“Great article,” Bob Cogswell writes in an email referencing a Jan. 23 column about Marty Sternlicht, who received his Legion of Honor pin on Dec. 17 as a member of the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville. “Great Kiwanian.” 

Dr. Dickson Schaefer also commented on that column.

“Bill,  great article about Marty,” Schaefer writes in an email about Sternlicht, who was recruited into the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville by Schaefer’s father, the late Brownie Schaefer, in the fall of 1971.

“Such a great guy. He was truly one of Dad's dearest friends. I, too, wish Dad had been there. He would have been so proud to have brought Marty into the club. Marty was Dad's most successful  hire in the insurance business as well. Pretty cool to hire someone and have them become your best friend.”

Yes, good doctor, Marty Sternlicht is a stand-up fellow, as was Brownie Schaefer and Brownie Schaefer’s son.  

Remembering Leonard Black

“Bill, terrific column about Leonard Black,” Danny Highsmith says about the Fayetteville resident who starred on the football fields of Fayetteville High School and Duke University, and later played for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League and the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. Black was 86 when he died on Jan. 21.

Faces of Homelessness exhibit

“What a terrific and visual story you developed on Dona Marlowe’s touching art exhibit plus homelessness in our city,” Lucy Jones says in an email about a Jan. 9 column about “I AM SOMEBODY– Faces of Homelessness,” a photo exhibit by Marlowe at the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County. “I am on the board of Connections of Cumberland County with Dona. I would like to invite you to visit our Day Resource Center for women and children who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. We are in the old Cool Spring Tavern building downtown.”

I will be more than happy to visit Connections of Cumberland County to learn more about the plight of the homeless and share it with our subscribers and readers.  

Marlowe wrote to say that some of the people featured in the exhibit attended a pre-exhibit reception on Jan. 7.

Not only did Chris and Charles show up, so did Janice and Maurice and at least 10 of their friends who are also unhoused,” Marlowe writes.It was a beautiful sight. Charles read two of his poems and Chris read one of his own about veterans. The room was filled with emotion. Not only from the participants seeing their faces, but also from all the folks who came to the exhibit witnessing homelessness through a loving lens. I cannot begin to express the joy I felt.”

Soap Box Derby

“Bill, I read your article about the Soap Box Derby,” Jim Jackson, president of the Fayetteville Jaycees in 1976, writes in an email about a Jan. 16 column about Warren Hahn, a member of the Kiwanis of the Cape Fear. The organization wants to bring a Soap Box Derby competition to Fayetteville in 2023.

“It brought back memories. I was the Jaycees’ director for the derby in 1969. My wife and I took the Fayetteville winner, Reed Spears, to Akron, Ohio, for the national Soap Box Derby. I was able to play golf at Firestone Country Club for free. What a thrill. Reed was a fine young man. I lost contact with him, but I'm sure he has done well in life. Powers-Swain and M & O Chevrolet provided their shops for the kids to use for building the cars. One of my many great memories of the Fayetteville Jaycees.”

Such a nice memory to share with us, Mr. Jackson. This community hasn’t had a Soap Box Derby since 1971, but many of us are pulling for the Kiwanians in 2023.  

‘I try to make you better than me’

So many people, notably the Facebook sleuths, seem to say they know so much about Jason Walker, the 37-year-old who was killed Jan. 8 by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy along Bingham Drive. Jeffrey Hash, the off-duty deputy, has said that Walker jumped onto the hood of his pickup, broke off his windshield wipers and cracked his windshield. Hash said he was defending his wife and daughter, who were in the truck with him. Hash is on paid administrative leave. No charges have been filed.

Walker's 14-year-old son, Christian Heywood, told us something else about his father. “I always told him, ‘When I grow up, I want to be like you,’ ” Heywood told about 200 people on Jan. 21 at Walker’s service at Cape Fear Conference “B’’ Headquarters. “He said, ‘Man, I’m not trying to make you like me. I try to make you better than me.’ ” A son’s words resonated throughout the sanctuary. 

Remembering Larry Cheek

“Billy, there are special ‘Larry would love this’ moments that have happened now and then,” Suzan Cheek writes in an email about her late husband, Larry Cheek, the journalist this community came to know in his distinguished column-writing days from 1973 to 2000 with The Fayetteville Times and The Fayetteville Observer.

“Reading your column about him” in the November issue of City View Magazine “is one of them. You captured a blend of history and love for journalism, and for him. I'm so glad you named the Times buddies and the vision of his desk and the old newspaper office on Hay Street.”

For those of us who have spent our lives as journalists in this community, Suzan, your Larry was one of us and always will be. Larry Check was 85 when he died Sept. 30 after struggling with Parkinson’s disease.

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.  

Column, Bill Kirby Jr., Kiwanis, Soap Box Derby, snow, Marty Sternlicht, Leonard Black, homelessness, Jason Walker, Larry Cheek