Graduation rates rise. Was it COVID?

There may at least be one silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic. Partially because of a pandemic-forced switch to remote learning and also through concentrated efforts by high school principals and staff, the graduation rate for Black students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools jumped nearly 10 percent during the last school year.

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Protecting Orange County’s Votes

Early voting for the 2020 election starts this week, and almost 15,000 absentee ballots have already been processed and counted in Orange County.

Dear Autumn

On behalf of all of us in Orange County, NC, including the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough – thank you. Thank you for being autumn. Others may seek to claim you, to boast that your beauty is greater there than it is here.

Rev. Robert Seymour Dead at 95

The Rev. Robert Seymour, a major voice in the community for 70 years and a pivotal figure in the local battle for civil rights, has died at the age of 95.

Twin Brothers Wait for Kickoff

A fall without football isn’t new for East Chapel Hill High School. The school cancelled the 2017 varsity football season, but kept its junior varsity team, after struggling to build a program. Twin brothers Anthony and Anton Enoch were freshman then.


How well do you know other members of our community? No, not what they think about politics or their views on international relations. We’re talking about the more important personal questions — like what’s their favorite restaurant.

UNC Delays Start of Spring Semester

UNC plans to begin its spring semester on Jan. 19 — a two-week delay from the original academic calendar — because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Dynamic Decade

It’s possible that you’ve never heard of Bruce Runberg, but if you live in Chapel Hill you’re surrounded by his accomplishments. And you’re going to see more of them, soon.

It’s the Real Deal, Lucille

Scratch me, and you get a photographer. It was photography, not writing, that got me to the dance. So, it should come as no surprise that this column is photo-driven…

Leftover Memories of Elmo’s

If you ate at Elmo’s Diner in Carrboro over its 29-year run, thank kitchen manager Charles “Chuck” Mills: he made your day better.

Finally, Planting Trees

These past two weeks Kit and I have fretted and fussed about trees. We’ve confessed poor choices and lamented mistakes in the hope of helping you avoid costly problems.

Scott’s Hole — A Neighborhood Mystery

Scott’s Hole was apparently a well-known swimming hole that students (and probably some faculty and townspeople) used for bathing when the weather was warm, from at least 1820 until about 1920.

What gets birders really going? A rare bird!

People who are “into birding” are excited when they see a new bird for the first time. Many keep “life lists” — an account of each different species they have actually seen worldwide…

The Power of Patents

The United States patent system was created to promote innovation and economic growth, and provides exclusivity for those who expend resources and capital in an effort to develop and provide novel products and services.

Euzelle Smith Dies at 101

Euzelle P. Smith, along with her husband the namesake of Smith Middle School, and a long-time educator in the district, passed away earlier this month at the age of 101.

A Wingman’s Farewell

Perhaps you’ve seen him — this happy man zipping along the streets of Southern Village, his recumbent trike low and fast — a jaunty multi-colored pennant bobbing merrily in his windy wake.

How to Kill a Tree

These are good days to plant trees. You can do it right or you can lay a trap for future generations. Last week Kit shared some of her misadventures with trees;

A Look Back, a Look Ahead

It’s been quite a year. And The Local Reporter has been there for it. Exactly 12 months ago, on this date, The Local Reporter, your nonprofit, relentlessly local news source, published its first articles.

A Parking Deck’s Impact on Cobb Terrace

The undersigned residents of Cobb Terrace wish to register their strong objection to the direct connection from the north side of the proposed parking deck to North Street for cars entering and leaving the deck.

An Advocacy Movement Born in Chapel Hill

Neighbors on Call co-founders Becca Zerkin and Andrea Stein half-wept beside one another while watching Hillary Clinton’s concession speech after she lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

A Beautiful Garden of Art

Welcome to the world of The North Carolina Botanical Garden where garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts interplay to inspire and enlighten visitors from across the globe.

What a New Parking Deck Will Mean for Chapel Hill

Over the past 10 months, the Chapel Hill Town Council has been discussing proposed redevelopment along East Rosemary Street that would include construction of a parking deck by the town and development of a new 200,000+ square foot office/research building by Grubb Properties.

Trading (Parking) Places

Anyone who has played Monopoly understands you don’t trade Park Place to the player who owns Boardwalk in exchange for Tennessee and New York avenues, especially if you don’t already own St. James Place.

Marijuana: Decriminalize or Legalize?

The resolution before the Orange County Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 15 meeting called for the support of legalizing marijuana. But that wasn’t clear from the title: “A Resolution Supporting the Decriminalization of Marijuana.”

In Praise of Losers and Suckers

Up until now, in this space I have avoided the temptation to say anything even vaguely political; but herein, I succumb. The latest outrage over service members being called “losers and suckers” is my tipping point.