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THE KIRBY FILE | Bill Kirby Jr., Senior Columnist

Market House being decorated in all of its Christmas splendor


The Market House is returning to all its Christmas splendor with holiday wreaths, bows, garland and colorful Christmas ornament displays, and bravo for the city and the Cool Spring Downtown District.

“They are doing it today … right now,” Loren Bymer, the city spokesman, was telling CityView on Wednesday afternoon. “From my understanding, bows and garland will be around the balcony. The footing lights are lit again illuminating the arches.” And look for lighted candles in the windows, too. Cheers to the city and the Cool Spring Downtown District, and “Joy to the World” and our community this holiday season.


Bernadette Bogertey couldn’t fathom the thought of an underprivileged child in need of a Christmas bicycle, so she’s continuing the legacy of Moses Mathis, aka The Bicycle Man.

“This program has been a part of our community for more than 30 years under the guidance of the late Mr. Moses Mathis, ‘The Bike Man,’” says Bogertey, who is executive director of The Healthy Child & Adolescent Network, aka “The Bike Giveaway Program,” a 501(c) (3) that plans to carry on the Mathis’ legacy from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 16 with a bicycle benevolence at 786 Blue St.

“When he passed away, his wife Ann Mathis, led the charge. Now. for health reasons, Mrs. Mathis can no longer head the organization. The board has allowed me to step up to the plate and continue the legacy of this well-intended program. We are asking that you make either a monetary donation or donate new or gently used bikes Your monetary donations will help to purchase tires, inner tubes and training wheels to repair the donations of gently- used bikes. We will also need to purchase helmets to ensure the safety of our young riders. These resources will service at-risk youth ages 1-15. Please donate, so we can continue to support our youth and provide them with a bicycle for the holidays. Thank you in advance for your contribution, and  we look forward to your continued support of this awesome program.”

You can reach Bogertey at P.O. Box 9026, Fayetteville, N.C. 28311 or call (910) 745-8008.


How about a ticket to the 51st annual Massey Hill Lions Club “Shucking for Sight” Oyster Roast as a stocking stuffer for Christmas?

Club members Michael McCaskill, Jerry Scott, Charles Dixon, Davey Barrett and Scott Stephenson are among the Lions already “gearing up” for what has become a community fundraising tradition. Advance tickets are on sale for the “all you can eat” event that’s scheduled from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 27 at the Massey Hill Lions Club at 1613 Camden Road. Tickets, according to McCaskill, are $50 each. You can purchase a ticket by sending an email to Masseyhillionsclub@gmail.com or by calling (910) 551-4662.


Something you can’t ever argue is that downtown, with its linear row of willow oak trees along Hay Street, is scenic and quite eye-catching.


“We are delighted that our superintendent, Dr. Connelly, has been named North Carolina's Superintendent of the Year,” Deanna Jones, chairwoman of the Cumberland County board of education, says about selection of Marvin Connelly Jr., 60, the county school system’s recipient of the 2024 A. Craig Phillips North Carolina Superintendent of the Year honor.

“This well-deserved recognition reflects his unwavering dedication to educational excellence,” she said. “This achievement speaks volumes about the exceptional leadership driving positive change in our schools.”

Connelly has been superintendent for the county school system since 2018 and, according to a news release, will represent the state for National Superintendent of Year at the American Association of School Administrators’ National Conference on Education scheduled for Feb. 15-17, 2024, in San Diego, Calif.

“Dr. Connelly is so very deserving of this honor,” board member Susan Williams says. “His work ethic is surpassed by none and I believe he truly loves his job. We are fortunate to have someone that believes that all children need equitable access to education and works for that goal each and every day. It is an honor to serve on the board under his leadership and I believe under his guidance we will see continuing growth this coming year.”


Joe Gillis, 76, patriarch of Gillis Farms in west Fayetteville, is scheduled for induction today into the Cumberland County Agricultural Hall of Fame.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of Mr. Gillis and are pleased to have the opportunity to recognize his contributions to the agricultural community,” Lisa Childers, county extension director, says in a news release.

The ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. in Room 118 at the Judge E. Maurice Braswell Courthouse, where Jessica Gillis Lee, the 2023 Cumberland County Young Farmer of the Year, also will be recognized.


Hope Mills Mayor-elect Jessie Bellflowers, 67, will take his oath of office from Cumberland County Superior Court Resident Judge Jim Ammons at 7 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Hope Mills Town Hall.


If you plan to have dinner in the dining room of an upscale restaurant with your wife or significant other, be a gentleman. Lose the baseball cap.


“My sincere thanks for the article in City View Today,” Willie Wright sends an email about our Nov. 12 column where Wright, a retired Army colonel, was guest speaker for the Blue Star Memorial Veterans Day ceremony at the N.C. Veterans Parks that was sponsored by the Cross Creek-Briarwood Garden Club. “I have received several telephone calls and positive comments from friends and coworkers. I am grateful.”

Let me tell you something. If this community and the world had more people like 86-year-old Willie Wright, this community and this world would be a better place.


Cumberland County Commissioner Jimmy Keefe has a lot of his late father in him — always noodling about something when it comes to this community.

“I think it would be a dynamic place where the community can come together,” Keefe was saying at a Nov. 9 Board of Cumberland County Commissioners meeting about a proposed International Farmers Market at the intersection of Bragg Boulevard and Rowan Street. A place, Keefe says, for a farmer co-op, administration building, food education area, incubator kitchen, food and pop-up vendors, and a concept that could include medical and public health, public safety and quality of life. The cost, Keefe told fellow board members, would be between $15 million to $23.7 million with support from the city, the Cumberland County Cooperative Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the county could pursue funding from grants and use a portion of the county American Rescue Place Act funding. Fellow commissioners Toni Stewart, Glenn Adams, Marshal Faircloth, Jeannette Council, Michael Boose agreed to have county staff identify prospective partners and move forward with the proposal. Keefe’s father, John V. Keefe, is a former commissioner who died at age 66 in 1996.

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

Kirby market house Fayetteville