Fayetteville Piano Teachers Association to Increase Piano Presence in Community

For piano instructors like Chima Enwere, growing the presence of performers in the city of Fayetteville is an important goal. In order to do so, the Fayetteville Piano Teachers Association will host a Piano Festival and Competition on Friday, May 17 until Sunday, May 19 on the campus of Fayetteville State University.

The three-day festival begins on Friday at 6:30 pm for those who simply want to showcase their talent instead of competing. The competition is on the next day and is split into three divisions: elementary, junior, and senior. The divisions are all based on skill level.  Winners will be announced that evening after the competition.

Participants were students selected by piano teachers who are members of the association.  The students are all from Cumberland County and surrounding areas. It was optional for teachers to enroll their students in the festival and competition.

While the teachers selected the students to enter in the competition, the judges are from Sandhills Community College and Salisbury, NC to avoid a conflict of interest.

Chima says that he hopes this event will help improve the presence of pianists in Fayetteville.

“Before joining Fayetteville Piano Teachers Association, I thought Fayetteville didn’t have a large presence of serious piano teachers,” said Chima. “The more I get into it, the more I realize there are a lot of serious performers in the area and I don’t think a lot of people realize that.”

The association allows piano teahers to engage with one another and share ideas. They have a mutual goal of growing the piano presence.

However, the greater goal of the association impacts several students. It gives them the opportunity to fall in love with the piano keys. Chima says that this is his focus when working with his students. Before competing for the cash prizes or playing for their parents, he wants them to develop their own love. He wants them to love the piano so much that they continue to play.

“I want them to do it because they love it and not just because their parents want them to or for cash prizes,” Chima explained.

Chima teaches piano at three locations in the area. He is an instructor at Fayetteville Music & Arts on Morganton Road and is a full-time teacher to 24 students at Freedom Christian Academy. He also teaches at a private studio in his church.

Teachers involved with the association want to expose students in the Fayetteville area to piano and the talented performers who play the instrument. According to Chima, there are many pianists in the area who are highly skilled and have been playing for years.

One of those highly skilled pianists is instructor, Dr. Seung-Ah Kim. Chima is still taking lessons from Dr. Kim to improve his piano playing skills. He credits her as being one of the best to ever teach.

As the youngest member of the association, Chima has goals for himself as a pianist. He started playing at the age of eight. His inspiration came from watching the women in his church play the organ and piano. He became fascinated with the keys.

Chima currently has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with Elective Studies in Business from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He plans to pursue his master’s degree in either piano performance, piano pedagogy, which teaches piano playing, or collaborative piano.

The association is looking to increase the number of teachers involved. They are always looking for new teachers in the area to join.

For more information on the Fayetteville Piano Teachers Association or the festival and competition, visit their website or Facebook page.

The local bar that’s promoting Fayetteville nightlife

For adults in Fayetteville, finding a place to mingle and socialize may seem hard. But at the NZone Bar and Social Lounge on Raeford Road, you can always count on entertainment, good drinks, and tasty food.

Three years ago, Tonya McNeil, opened the location to give parents and co-workers a place to escape. She says she was tired of watching people have to drive miles away to find a fun nighttime environment. She wanted them to know that there is a social scene in Fayetteville.

“We’re trying to get out there so people know that we are actually here providing,” McNeill said. “They don’t have to go out and drive an hour away to actually have fun. We are right here in the city.”

Last Super Bowl Sunday NZone saw a huge crowd come in to watch the game. Things went so well, that they hosted an event the following week featuring R&B group, 112. Well-renowned Blues singer, Theodis Ealey, came by to perform at another event. Ealey felt so at home that he asked McNeil if he could use the lounge’s venue for his birthday party. A couple of weeks ago, Tonya invited a speed dating host from Atlanta which led to a hugely popular event.

For regular customers, NZone offers annual memberships for just $5 that allow people to attend the events for half price.

One thing Tonya wants people to know is that NZone is more than just a bar. Her plan was to create a spot that would not just turn into a club, but become a spot for entertainment. She wanted adults 25+ to feel welcomed in a lighthearted, fun environment.

She rents the venue out for people who want to host parties and events. The building has an area with tables and seating that can be blocked off and reserved. Several schools have already made reservations this year for alumni-related events and gatherings including E.E. Smith and Seventy-First High School. As a graduate of Seventy-First, Tonya will host a grown-up prom during homecoming to give those who never went to prom in high school the chance to attend.

At NZone, Tonya is known for her famous wings with savory sauces like lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, buffalo wings, barbecue, and sweet mild. Other than just regular appetizers served at the bar, Tonya provides southern comfort food. They have gizzards that are fried to perfection and golden fried pork chops.

Every day, they have drink specials that range from $2 to $5. Their top shelf beverages can go for as much as $10.

With prior experience bar-running experience, Tonya’s advice to potential business owners is to know your audience. It is important to have a plan and know who you want your business to target, she explained.

“When you open up a social bar, what is it that you want to give the people? When you say social, are you just giving them somewhere to go that they can come and meet new people,” she added.

The dress code upon entry is casual, without t-shirts and hoodies. In order for people to feel comfortable, security is at the door. They walk around to monitor, especially during packed events.

Operating hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 4 pm until 12 midnight. On Fridays and Saturdays, they open later, beginning at 4 pm and closing at 2 am. Tonya is looking at opening on Sundays but is in the process of finding a live band that would perform.

Overall, Tonya wants the city, and military community, to know that NZone is present and dedicated to providing an environment that will get people to relax and enjoy their time. To find out more about NZone Bar and Social Lounge, visit their Facebook page.

Group raises $20K to bail moms out of Cumberland County jail for Mother’s Day

Several mothers were bailed out of jail in Cumberland County in honor of Mother’s Day. 

Police Accountability and Community Task Force, or P.A.C.T, in Fayetteville is paid for it.

The group raised more than $20,000 to bail out moms.

They’re only bailing out mothers who have not been convicted, but are in jail waiting on a court date.

A single mother of two was one of them. 

“It was painful, I basically sat in a cell and cried the whole time because I missed my kids, I’ve never been away from them like that,” said the mom who wanted to remain anonymous, “It’s nice being with my child and not being in there and staying in there another day because I’ve never, never ever been to jail, it’s a scary situation.”

The group plans to bail out at least four mothers in Cumberland County and surrounding counties.

Organizers say they will continue to do it until the funds run out. 

“We have a lot that have failure to appear that we could get out, it depends on the circumstances, what crime was committed, if it’s a non-violent offense, if it’s a recurring individual,” said Fayetteville P.A.C.T Vice President Kathy Greggs.

The group says the goal is to put an end to cash bonds that keep people locked up who can’t afford bail.

The group says they’re planning a homecoming for the mother’s just out this week, and a similar event for Father’s Day.

Read the original story on CBS17.com.

Downtown Fayetteville Bakery Uses Creativity to Build Personalized Cakes

Creativity is of utmost importance to The Sweet Palette located in downtown Fayetteville. Their creative touch is evident on their cakes and all throughout the bakery

With bright green and purple painted walls that compliment the brick interior, the dessert shop is a great space to get some work done or meet up with a friend. In addition to the atmosphere, the tables provide workspaces for those who need it. There are also comfortable couches that are perfect for those who need a social setting.

The owner, Patsy Crawford, said that she never had to question where to open her bakery. She knew that downtown Fayetteville was the place. As a Fayetteville native, Patsy has seen the improvements of downtown and the arts. She works to show support by having The Sweet Palette partner with local organizations.

“We are big on the arts. We like being involved and love seeing downtown Fayetteville evolve,” she said.

When you enter the building, you see paintings and other pieces of art line the brick wall. They spotlight several artists that are local to the area. It is important to Patsy that artists can display their work. She hopes The Sweet Palette can help local artists get the recognition they deserve.

Patsy opened the bakery five years ago after baking on the side. She spent her day-to-day life working as a freelance graphic designer until one day her son, Adam, asked her to bake a cake for his girlfriend. This influenced her and Adam to open the bakery and provide the same service to others.

Her favorite thing about baking was utilizing her creativity to decorate cakes and cupcakes. She explained that she also opened the bakery to give customers specially crafted and customized cakes that aren’t widely available.

Other bakeries may only focus on one aspect: either a perfectly decorated cake or a cake that looks plain but tastes good. However, Patsy wanted to provide her customers with both. She wants them to see her personalized cakes and fall in love when they taste them.

In addition to the cakes, Patsy’s most popular desserts are her cupcakes and macaroons. She says that the Oreo cupcake is one of the customer favorites. Next to the Oreo, she has been told that they have the best red velvet cupcake in town. Lastly, the banana pudding cupcakes sell quickly.

“Usually whatever sells out that day, I consider it the most popular,” Patsy explained.

Their newest item, macaroons, are made by Adam. The popular dessert is winning the hearts of many customers. Even though Adam’s specialty are the French macaroons, Patsy says that he is a big part of the cake decoration and that she couldn’t have done this without him. She has two other sons who kept the creativity in the family and became artists.

Patsy says that learning the business side of the bakery was the tough part, but her passion for baking and cake decorations made it easier.

Originally, they wanted to open a smaller bakery, but the extra space provides them with more opportunity to attract local nonprofits and more customers. The bakery has a venue space that people are able to rent out for events. Many nonprofits and community organizations use the venue including Poetry-N-Motion, which hosted a poetry festival last April and used the bakery for some of their other events.

Recently, the bakery has been working extremely hard to serve customers during the wedding season. They have also had several requests for unicorn-themed cakes. Their favorite time to bake for parties is Halloween, though. When they opened five years ago, it was around the same time of the year.

Patsy and Adam are always looking to expand their bakery menu. They recently experimented with pies and plan to add them soon. They will offer lemon meringue, apple, and peach.

For more information on the bakery and its menu, visit their website.

Fayetteville leaders consider restrictions on vape, tobacco shops near schools

Vape and tobacco shops are popping up closer to schools in Fayetteville. 

Now city leaders are talking about enacting restrictions, so stores can’t open close to schools. 

The issue came up after complaints from neighbors near 71st High School. A vape and tobacco shop recently opened up directly across the street from the high school. 

“For it to be close to a neighborhood like this and a day care and two schools — high school, middle school and elementary — is pretty bad,” said neighbor Jay Young. “I just think it’s easier for kids to go in and get these from smaller stores.” 

Workers at the store showed CBS 17 what they were selling inside. There are aisles of candy for kids along with everything from tobacco, alcohol, knives, cigarettes, vape pens and bongs for adults.

The owner says the adult products are kept behind the counter and glass — and they’re careful who they sell it to. 

“We make sure we ID everybody, we so strict with school kids especially with cigarettes or beer,” said owner Omar Ali.

But city council members are proposing restrictions on stores, restrictions that would make it so vape shops would have to be away from schools. 

So far, they say it’s too early to tell whether the new rules will be enacted.

Cumberland County woman recognized for saving toddler from drowning

A toddler is OK but his mother is now facing criminal charges after he wandered off and a neighbor stepped in to save him from drowning.

It all happened on La Quinta Lane between Hope Mills and Fayetteville on Friday.

Cumberland County Sheriff Ennis Wright said the toddler went through a fence with his dog, got across a wooded area with no clothes on and to the neighbor’s gated pool. 

That neighbor was Evelyn Brewington.

She said she happened to walk passed her back window and saw the boy and his dog in her backyard.

In a matter of seconds, they were underwater. 

That’s when Brewington said she took action.

“When I came out that door, I jumped in,” said Brewington. “He was under so I pulled him up, put him here and then I got the dog.”

Brewington was recognized for her life-saving efforts.

“I felt we should recognize her for her good deed, and that way we let citizens know that by just doing an act, it’s not thankless,” said Wright. 

When deputies found the toddler’s mother, Sharnae Quitilda Fuller, she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abuse.

The 31-year-old mom received a $1,000 secure bond. 

Read the original story on CBS17.com.

Police: Fort Bragg soldier killed in Raleigh motorcycle crash did wheelie on Glenwood Ave.

Courtesy: CBS17.com

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fort Bragg soldier was identified as the person killed in a motorcycle accident Thursday in Raleigh, police said.

Raleigh police released the crash report, identifying 29-year-old Blake Kristopher Tercero as the person who died in the crash. The report said he was operating at a high rate of speed on Glenwood Avenue and sideswiped another car in the middle lane “after completing what was described by witnesses as a wheelie,” the report said.

Tercero then ran off the road to the right and hit a tree. He died at the scene, according to the report.

Officers were dispatched to the scene at the 6100-block of Glenwood Avenue shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday. 

Read the original story on CBS17.com.

Fayetteville service members honor their mothers

Some service members currently stationed in Kuwait took a moment to wish their loved ones a happy Mother’s Day. You can watch the heartfelt messages in the videos below.

Master Sgt. LaTishia Ambroziak

Staff Sgt. Demetri Marsh-Patterson

SFC. Pamela J. Stenman

Annual poetry festival inspires passion for the arts

One popular way to get kids involved in the community is through self-expression and, this year, Poetry-N-Motion plans to do just that! 

With several festivals going on this season, the 2019 Southeastern Regional NC Poetry Festival is always looking to provide a place where the youth can create and grow in the arts. This year, CEO and Founder of Poetry-N-Motion, LJ Bowens, and the committee are putting on another Youth Slam on Saturday, April 27th at 7:30 pm during the annual four-day festival. 

The poetry competition gives people participants ages 13-19 the opportunity to showcase their best poetry and win the $300 grand prize. It is usually one of their most popular events and is highly requested
each year by their supporters.  

“The youth find ways to express themselves. If they can’t express themselves in a way where it’s vocal or people don’t understand, sometimes they tend to go to the arts,” said Bowens.  

Media and art typically influence each generation’s youth. Bowens points to the influences of old school hip-hop and poetry during his youth. Poetry was his outlet to express himself and he understands why it is so important today.  

“I know for one, myself, growing up in an art scene, it was a beautiful thing to have that as an outlet,” Bowens said. “So now you have more people trying to push that onto the youth so that they can do something more constructive.”  

In his free time, Bowens and his wife, Monica, work with a group of students at Western Harnett High School twice a month. They have partnered with non-profits that work specifically with the youth and other schools to keep poetry classes and workshops going.  

They love getting kids engaged and helping enhance their poetry skills. It brings them joy to see their participation and growth in poetry. To Bowens, it is important to sow the seed in the generation that will plant seeds in the generations to follow.  

“It is good to see them coming out, being more vocal about it and wanting to express themselves with that. In return, you get youth poets and they’re the next generation of great writers and great storytellers that this world needs. Because when we’re gone, the stories need to continue, or their stories need to be heard.”  

However, when dealing with the community and the arts, Bowens said it is about a common vision. Poetry-N-Motion teamed up with The Sweet Palette, Winterbloom Tea, Volta Space, and the Main Branch Library to put on the festival. Each of these places do a lot for the arts already, so their contribution toward the festival is meaningful.  

The support has grown over the years through more partnerships. The library and The Sweet Palette are two originals since the first festival ten years ago. Now, more non-profits and businesses are reaching out to Bowens in order to participate in next year’s festival.  

The events vary each year, too. In addition to their annual Youth Slam, they hold NERD Slams where poets showcase their passion in comics, tv shows, video games and others. They try to do different events each year along with their year favorites. This year they hosted an LGBTQ Open Mic at the Winterbloom Tea.  

In previous years, they’ve hosted an erotic open mic, old school versus new school slam, all-women’s slam, and even a spelling bee for poets.  

Overall, the festival is meant to merge activism and art. According to Bowens, the stories that lie within poetry are just as important as the art itself. Each poem gives each person something to relate to. There is a passionate subject a poet has that can affect a community. 

“When you have the art and when you have what’s known as the activism that comes with these things, it’s meant to mesh so it brings that community aspect into these events,” Bowens said. “That’s why we do a lot of well-rounded events with the festival.” 

For additional information about the festival, the events, or Poetry-N-Motion, visit the Facebook page.  


Volunteers in Fayetteville will install 1,000 free smoke alarms

Courtesy: CBS17.com

Seven people die in home fires every day, according to the American Red Cross.

That’s why on May 4, volunteers will install 1,000 free smoke alarms in Fayetteville.

It’s part of the “Sound the Alarm” event.

A report from the Red Cross shows nearly 33 million Americans say they haven’t bought a smoke alarm because it’s too expensive.

Red Cross volunteers will also replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create fire escape plans.

You can sign up for a smoke alarm here.

Read the full story on CBS17.com.