Catherine Pritchard is the local know-it-all. Actually, it’s more like she’s the local find-it-all-out. She writes the daily Live Wire column in The Fayetteville Observer and also has a blog at fayobserver.com.
Her job is to answer questions from the public. So, if there’s something you just don’t understand about the way things work around here, you can leave Catherine a message at (910) 486-3517 or email her at
Meanwhile, here’s some recent questions and answers related to Fort Bragg.
Q: There’s a one-story brick building with dark windows that’s surrounded by an iron fence at the corner of Ravenhill Road and Executive Place. It has a guarded gate and no signs. What is it? — P.P., Fayetteville
A: If we tell you, we’ll have to ... well, tell you. So here goes. The building is being used by a Department of Defense organization that shall remain nameless — because we don’t know its name. Said organization needed access to telecommunications networks on Fort Bragg, according to post spokesman Ben Abel. It set up shop in the building in question because there wasn’t a facility on post that was readily available. That’s all we know — and all he says he knows.
Q: Where can I find the weekly jump schedule for Fort Bragg? — A.H., Cameron
A: You’re supposed to be able to call 396-6366 to hear a recorded version of the schedule — though the phone just rang and rang when we tried the number. Or check the weekly Paraglide newspaper. The schedule is usually on Page 2B. Go to www.paraglideonline.net to see that page in the paper’s electronic edition.
Q: Are the new VA clinics on Fordham Drive and at Millstone similar to urgent care offices, and are they open to all military people and their families? What about retired and medically retired people? — V.L., Fayetteville
A: The VA operates just one of those clinics — the one on Fordham Drive. The other is one of two new off-post clinics operated by the Army. All three clinics provide out-patient primary care services — but only to targeted groups of military-connected people. None of the three provides urgent care services. Now, details. The VA clinic on Fordham Drive, off Village Drive, serves only veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. Its number is 822-7998. The new Army clinics at Millstone Towne Center in Hope Mills and on Bentridge Lane in the Seventy-First area serve a different audience entirely — family members of active-duty service members. But: Those ADFMs, as they’re called by the military, must be enrolled in Tricare Prime and must live in a ZIP code served by the clinics. The military members themselves would continue to get their own primary health care at on-post clinics. Currently, the ZIP codes served by the Hope Mills clinic include 28306, 28348, 28371, 28357, 28384 and 28386. Those served by the Bentridge Lane clinic include 28314 and 28376. Three ZIP codes are served by both clinics: 28304, 28331 and 28309. For more information, call the Womack Army Medical Center information line at 907-6000. Qualified family members aren’t required to use the off-post clinics. If they want, they can go to an on-post clinic for their care. But the Army hopes many will find the off-post clinics to be more convenient and actually better in terms of establishing continuous relationships between patients and providers. Unlike their counterparts on Fort Bragg, the off-post clinics are staffed by civilian medical professionals who won’t be deployed or sent away on temporary duty assignments. The new VA clinic is also an effort by that agency to make care easier and more convenient for eligible veterans. For maps and links to the clinics, check the Live Wire blog.
Q: I see blurbs and snippets about the 295 project all the time. There are random pieces of road being built throughout Fayetteville that I’m told are part of this project. However, I can’t find a map of the final proposed project. Is there such a thing? — S.E., Fayetteville
A: Of course, and we’ve posted a copy of it at the Live Wire blog, along with other information about the Outer Loop project. You also can view Outer Loop maps at the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s offices at 130 Gillespie St. Ask for Bobby McCormick. Or call him at 678-7632. Or you can look at them at FAMPO’s website — www.fampo.org. Scroll to the bottom of the home page for a link to maps of the loop’s route, including the corridor for the still-planned sections. There, you can also see if particular properties are in that corridor by searching for their street addresses or their parcel ID numbers. Eventually, the 30-mile loop is supposed to run from Interstate 95 north of Fayetteville to Fort Bragg, then curve south around Fayetteville and Hope Mills, then tie back into I-95 near St. Pauls. So far, the only driveable section of the loop is north of town, between I-95 and Ramsey Street. Work is under way on another section, between Bragg Boulevard and Murchison Road. No, those two sections won’t connect — until still another section is built between them. A contract for that work was recently awarded and it’s supposed to start March 28. The sections are being done out of order to accommodate military concerns and plans — the Army wants to close Bragg Boulevard to civilian traffic through Fort Bragg to make the post more secure. The plan is to reroute that traffic onto a widened Murchison Road; the new section of loop would help ease the shift in traffic patterns.
Q: How can I get in touch with Gen. Hugh Shelton? — R.D., Fayetteville
A: You can send correspondence to the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — and former commander of Fort Bragg — in care of the program that he helps shepherd at N.C. State University, his alma mater. The H. Hugh Shelton Initiative for Leadership Development aims to identify and nurture leaders. The mailing address is: 1101 Gorman St., NCSU Campus Box 7401, Raleigh, NC 27695-7401.