Local News

Fayetteville Fights for Fair Image

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FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville and Cumberland County have been fighting for respect for some time now. Random acts of violence like recent ones make the process seem like an uphill battle.

There are new fronts to old facades in downtown Fayetteville. Amilitary museumis coming. And the area is home to a sparklingcoliseum, with a hockey team to fill it.

After years of work, exciting things are happening inCumberland County. But tragedy always seems to follow.

A Canadian teenager passing through Cumberland County continues tofight for his lifeafter a rock, thrown from an Interstate 95 overpass, hit him in the head Monday.

Doug Traub, who is President of the local Convention and Visitors Bureau, does not think the attack will work against tourism efforts.

But at the same time, the Visitors Bureau is taking an interest. For the first time, it has contributed reward money to help solve a crime.

"We want to make sure the roads are safe for people to come to our area and we don't want something like this to happen again," Traub says.

Mayor J.L. Dawkins says the city and surrounding community take a step back in their efforts to improve the community's image every time unusual crimes happen.

"I think it just makes us work harder to get out our true selves," Dawkins says.

Although recent crimes seem to attract a lot of attention, the number of violent crimes in both the city and county dropped in 1998.