Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson

Talkback for Sunday, February 19, 2023 Cumberland County’s Expungement Program and the 2023 Dogwood Festival Preview Download

27:38 Download February 25th, 2023

Today is Sunday February 19th…the 50th day of the year. 315 days remaining  in 2023

Today is National Chocolate Mint Day, National Lash Day, National Boston Terrier Day and Rubber Chicken Day

There are 2 days left until Mardi Gras, 3 remaining until Ash Wednesday (the beginning of the 40-day Christian season of Lent)

— On this date in 1878, Thomas Edison invented the phonograph (record player)

— In 1913, Cracker Jack started inserting prizes into their boxes

— 1968, the first nationwide broadcast of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood aired on PBS

— February 19th 2006, The Rolling Stones played to a crowd of 1.3 million people in Brazil

— And in 2018, Sly Stallone was the victim of a death hoax. He dispelled the rumors by tweeting: “Please ignore the stupidity. Alive and well and happy and healthy…Still punching!”

On Talkback Today, two different sets of dates on the calendar of upcoming events in Fayetteville and Cumberland County.  Last Spring, 215,000 area residents and guests were attracted Fayetteville’s Annual Spring welcome mat, the Dogwood Festival – centered around Festival Park in Downtown Fayetteville.  The Dogwood Festival’s Executive Director Sarah Grace Mitchell will fill us in on the stage acts, activities and schedule for the 2023 edition, slotted for Thursday, April 27th  through Sunday the 30th.  That’s coming up later in Talkback.

First, updated approaches to law enforcement and criminal justice have been in the headlines in our country over the past several years.  The Cumberland County, North Carolina, Courts and Justice System have received an abundance of credit across the U.S.A. in recent years for initiative in making sure when non-violent, victimless crimes are committed by perpetrators who suffer from drug abuse, human trafficking or mental illness, instead of the perpetrators being prosecuted as criminals to the fullest extent of the law, it is the causes of the crimes WITHIN the people that are aggressively treated in drug courts, human trafficking courts and veterans courts, diverting criminal prosecution in hopes of rehabilitating offenders. 

In the last six years, Cumberland County has understood that some non-violent crimes committed in Cumberland County have been by momentarily lost individuals who made mistakes as momentary flaws, after sufficient time has revealed these crimes were exceptions as opposed to repeated life patterns.  Led by former long-time Cumberland County Commissioner, former Fayetteville City Councilperson, former Congressional candidate and NOW heading his advocacy foundation Project Fresh Start, Charles Evans…along with Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West Jr. and Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin, comes the sixth year of an Expungement (or criminal record removal) initiative that might benefit qualified past offenders of certain non-violent Felony and Misdemeanor crimes in Cumberland County.

This is a big deal for anyone who’s ever filled out a job or housing application and come to the question, “Have you ever been convicted…”  Checking that box can have painful consequences that overshadow all the good behavior and positive actions that have followed the mistake you made.  Not everyone is eligible, but you can learn more about the Expungement process AND OTHER ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE at an upcoming meeting THIS SATURDAY February 25th, 11am at Seabrook Auditorium on the Fayetteville State University campus!  Let’s find out more…910-475-3010  Email: [email protected]

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