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Business Notebook: Grant to fund free smoke, carbon monoxide alarms

Other business news: FTCC recognized for cyber defense education; city to answer builders’ questions on projects; Cape Fear Valley Breast Care Center accredited


Cumberland County Emergency Services received a check for $4,912 from South River Electric Membership Corp. for the purchase of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to be distributed to volunteer fire departments.

The grant was awarded through South River’s Operation Round Up program. The smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will be available free to county residents who need them, according to a news release.

“This is huge for the citizens of Cumberland County,” said county Fire Marshal Kevin Lowther. “We are grateful for South River EMC’s generosity. This grant money will help fund an important initiative in our community that will help save lives and protect property.”

Residents who need smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms can receive them free by contacting the fire department in their fire district. The alarms must be installed by a firefighter. A home safety risk assessment by the local fire department also will be provided free, the release said.

Residents may visit the fire marshal’s webpage at cumberlandcountync.gov/fire-marshal to find out how to obtain the free alarms.

Catherine O’Dell, vice president of member services and public relations at South River EMC, presented the check to county officials on Sept. 14.

South River EMC is an electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Dunn and serving more than 47,000 customers in Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Johnston and Sampson counties. For more information about South River EMC or Operation Round Up, go to sremc.com.

For more information about Cumberland County Emergency Services, go to cumberlandcountync.gov/emergencyservices or call 910-321-6736.

Fayetteville Tech recognized for excellence in cyber defense education

The National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security have redesignated Fayetteville Technical Community College as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Two-Year Education through the 2028 academic year. 

“Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the national information infrastructure,” wrote Renae Weathers, program manager of the Center of Academic Excellence, in her notification letter to FTCC. 

The National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity program creates and manages a collaborative cybersecurity education program with community colleges that: 

  • Establishes standards for cybersecurity curriculum and academic excellence. 
  • Includes competency development among students and faculty. 
  • Values community outreach and leadership in professional development. 
  • Integrates cybersecurity practice within the institution and across academic disciplines. 
  • Actively engages in solutions to challenges facing cybersecurity education. 

Students in the cybersecurity program are given the opportunity to apply for the Department of Defense Cybersecurity Scholarship Program (DoD CySP), participate in monthly tech talks led by industry experts, and attend specialized virtual career fairs, according to an FTCC news release. 

“A highly skilled cybersecurity workforce is a strategic national security advantage,” Weathers said. “The United States government will continue to invest in and enhance programs that build the domestic talent pipeline, from primary through postsecondary education.”  

Rhiannon Holley, interim chair of FTCC’s systems security and analysis department, said FTCC is “privileged and honored” to be recognized for a second term. 

“Our mission at FTCC is not only to deliver industry-aligned training, but to create opportunities for lifelong success by changing the lives and futures of our students for the better,” she said. “This designation enables us to continue to serve our students and the community, ultimately bridging the gap between industry needs and cybersecurity talent.” 

Students in FTCC’s cybersecurity programs can pursue academic degrees, industry-level certifications and other credentials. For information, visit the FTCC cybersecurity web page. 

FTCC is also a co-founder and leader in the Carolina Cyber Network, a consortium of 18 two- and four-year colleges and universities in North Carolina that are working collaboratively to address the gap in cyber skills. 

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City Development Services to answer local builders’ questions on projects

The city of Fayetteville’s Development Services Department is hosting open office hours for builders seeking assistance on current city projects starting at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 18 in City Hall, 433 Hay St.

The open hours will be scheduled biweekly to provide developers and residents an opportunity to meet with city administrators and ask questions about specific projects, according to a news release. Participants can receive assistance from the beginning stages of the process with the online development portal.

“We know that issues can come up after permits are issued on site development and during construction that were not expected,” said Gerald Newton, director of Development Services. “We want to help our development partners in solving those issues early and before they become timely, cause delays or increase costs of development.”

Development Services said it gets frequent requests for training or assistance from builders, small businesses and homeowners developing properties in Fayetteville.

The Development Services Department includes planning; zoning; building and trade inspections; plan reviews; and some code enforcement on private property, the news release said.

Builders can register in advance by visiting this Survey Monkey web page, but it is not required. For more information, contact Alex Magana at 910-433-1671 or AlexanderMagana@FayettevilleNC.gov.

The CityView News Fund is a nonprofit organization that supports CityView’s newsgathering operation. Will you help us with a tax-deductible donation? 

Cape Fear Valley Health’s Breast Care Center accredited

The Breast Care Center at Cape Fear Valley Health was recently reaccredited through the American College of Surgeons.

“In our survey, we were compliant in 100% of the standards,” said Elizabeth Sawyer, medical director for the center. “We are very proud to maintain this important accreditation, which is a testament to the excellent care provided by all of the staff in our breast cancer program. Patients having the trust in us to provide world-class breast care in the comfort of their own hometown is validated through a nationally recognized accreditation program such as the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.”

The accreditation term is three years.

The center was first accredited in 2010 and has been reaccredited every three years since. Accreditation is determined by a rigorous evaluation process and performance review, according to a news release.

“The inherent multidisciplinary nature of this accreditation recognizes and validates the exceptional teamwork within and between different disciplines of the health system,” said Kanwar Singh, executive corporate director of oncology services at Cape Fear Valley Health. “That includes surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists, pathologists, specialists focused on genetic counseling, patient navigation, psycho-social support, access to clinical trials and every other team member who interacts with a patient’s diagnosis and treatment.”

For more information about the accreditation, visit accreditedbreastcenters.org. To learn more about Cape Fear Valley’s Breast Care Center, visit the center's web page.

The CityView News Fund is a nonprofit organization that supports CityView’s newsgathering operation. Will you help us with a tax-deductible donation? 

Fayetteville, Cumberland County, business, FTCC, Cape Fear Valley Health, breast cancer