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The Kirby File: ‘Black Lives Do Matter’ mural, city says, will not be part of Market House makeover


Retired chaplain Archie Barringer came to Monday’s public forum of the Fayetteville City Council seeking a final assurance from Mayor Mitch Colvin that the “Black Lives Do Matter” and “End Racism Now” painted murals around the Market House will be removed once a makeover of the landmark is complete.

“Mr. Mayor and council members, I applaud the new plans for the makeover of the Market House,” Barringer, 74, said. “Do they include the taking down of the slogans?" Barringer eventually left the podium, with reluctance, after being informed that his allotted three minutes to speak had expired  — but not without saying, “Mr. Mayor, as I leave, I'll say Black and white both voted for Blacks and whites as mayor and on this council.” Barringer later interrupted the forum, saying, “Stand up and not stand down!” before abruptly leaving the council chamber. Councilman Mario Benavente later left his seat to step outside and assure Barringer the murals will be removed.

According to Loren Bymer, marketing and communications director for the city, the words painted around the Market House circle "will be removed in both options with pavers or some type of material.” Bymer's comments were in reference to a council work session presentation on Feb. 5 by Robert Stone, director of construction management and capital projects for the city.


Costs for our home-owned Fayetteville Public Works Commission are on the rise, we’ve learned, and the utility says it will be passing along a 2% increase to PWC customers, and like it or not, it’s just how it is.


A 36-year-old man who was shot in the head on Valentine’s evening at a convenience store on the 5500 block of Murchison Road, according to the Fayetteville Police Department, is the third city homicide of 2024. Anyone with information about the shooting can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at (910) 483-8477 or visit http://fay-nccrimestoppers.org or call Detective J. Bergamine at (910) 705-2093.


Sad when a hometown of Kansas City can’t celebrate its Super Bowl champion Chiefs without gunfire that leaves one dead and more than 20 injured, including many of them young people.


Heidi Hudson has been appointed principal at Stedman Primary School. She was approved at Tuesday’s meeting of the Cumberland County Board of Education. Hudson currently is assistant principal at Stoney Point Elementary School and began her teaching career with Cumberland County Schools in 2009 as a 2nd-grade teacher at Eastover-Central Elementary School.

Tanisha Dumas from William H. Owen Elementary School is the Cumberland County Schools’ 2024 as School Counselor of the Year, according to a news release from the school system. Kristy Newitt, the system’s counselor coordinator, says the honor is a testament to Dumas’ commitment to the well-being and success of students at the school on Raeford Road.


Every dollar counts, and Methodist University was doing its park on Feb. 11 in the battle to fight cancer with the Play4Kay 5K Run-Walk at Monarch Stadium and the Play4Kay women’s basketball game at Riddle Center. “This event educates so many people about the importance of raising funds for cancer research,” DeeDee Jarman, deputy director of athletics at the university, says in a news release. “The money we raise assists local women in our community with things like mammograms. Early detection can save a person’s life.” More than a dozen cancer survivors were also recognized at the basketball game between Methodist and Meredith College. Proceeds, the release said, benefit the Kay Yow Cancer Fund in memory of the late N.C. State women’s coach Kay Yow and the Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation’s Friends of the Cancer Center.


Former Hope Mills Police Department Major Bradley Roundtree has retained the Beaver Courie Law Firm in Fayetteville regarding his termination on Jan. 4 by Hope Mills Town Manager Chancer McLaughlin.

“My client emphasizes his unwavering dedication to defending himself against any allegations that may arise during this investigation,” lawyer David Courie says in a Feb. 9 email. “He firmly believes in the principles of justice and the presumption of innocence … Mr. Rountree would like to extend his utmost respect and gratitude to the men and women of the Hope Mills Police Department. Having served alongside them, he has witnessed their dedication, professionalism and unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of the community. He wishes each of them well moving forward and thanks them for the work they do, their commitment to the community and their daily sacrifice. During this challenging period, we respectfully request privacy for his family. He trusts in the legal system and is confident that justice will prevail.”

The town announced on Dec. 22 that Rountree had been placed on administrative leave and that the SBI had been called in to investigate a 911 call of Dec. 12 when a woman reported Roundtree was discovered unconscious in a police department bathroom.


Next: 8 new ambassadors for Fort Liberty

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

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bill kirby, market house, public works commission, stedman primary school, methodist university, hope mills police department