Community Notices Archive


August 31, 2021

Carrboro Town Hall Closed for Labor Day

Carrboro Town Hall and administrative offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 6, for Labor Day. They will resume regular business hours Tuesday, Sept. 7. 

Yard waste and loose leaves will be collected Tuesday, Sept. 7, instead of the usual Monday collection day. 

Town of Carrboro Accepting Applications for Youth Advisory Board

The Town of Carrboro is accepting applications for the Town’s Youth Advisory Board. The board meets virtually once a month (currently, the first Tuesday of the month at 4 p.m.). 

The board plans the annual MLK Youth Event with the NAACP Youth Council and the Recreation and Parks Youth Council and advises the Town Council on items of interest to teens. Participants must be high school age and either live in Carrboro or attend high school in Carrboro.

Apply at

Four Suspects Charged in Shooting

Investigators with the Carrboro Police Department have charged four suspects in the shooting incident that occurred Aug. 2 outside of Wendy’s restaurant at 100 S. Greensboro St.

Juvenile petitions were obtained for all four suspects and each was charged with the following offenses: Attempted 1st-Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit 1st-Degree Murder, Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury, Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle Inflicting Serious Injury, Shooting into an Occupied Vehicle, and Possession of a Handgun by a Minor. At the time of the incident, one suspect was 17 years old, and the other three were 16 years old.

Three of the suspects are currently being held in juvenile detention facilities on unrelated charges from other agencies. The fourth suspect will be taken into custody by Juvenile Justice and confined in a juvenile detention facility as well. Because of the age of the suspects, no additional identifying information is being released.

If you have additional information on this incident, please contact Investigator Trey Kennedy with the Carrboro Police Department at (919) 918-7412 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515.

Town of Chapel Hill Accepting Applications to Create Affordable Housing Opportunities

The Town of Chapel Hill is accepting applications through noon Friday, Oct. 1, to fund affordable housing development and preservation projects in the community.

Awards will be made from the Town’s Affordable Housing Development Reserve (AHDR), established by the Town Council in March 2015. The total funding available this fiscal year (July 1, 2021 through July 30, 2022) in the AHDR is $688,395.

The Town will accept applications for the following priority project areas:

  • Land bank and land acquisition
  • Rental subsidy and development
  • Homeownership development and assistance
  • Future development planning

The Town’s Housing Advisory Board will evaluate applications and present a funding recommendation to the Town Council for final approval in October 2021. There will be up to two additional funding cycles this fiscal year until funding is exhausted.

To access the application and learn more, visit

August 27, 2021

Church Street Upcoming Closure

Google Fiber is in the process of installing fiber infrastructure under Church Street, requiring a road closure from Monday, Aug. 30, through Wednesday, Sept. 8. The closure will be from West Franklin Street to West Rosemary Street Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. No work will occur on Sundays. The nearest detour is South Columbia Street.

AD Clark Pool Repairs Complete

The AD Clark Pool reopened Saturday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. It is now open for drop-in recreation swim on Saturdays 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sundays 12-7p.m., weekdays 3 p.m.-7 p.m. and Labor Day Monday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

For more information about pool schedules and operations, see

Last week, the AD Clark Outdoor Pool facility was temporarily closed in order to drain the tank and clean broken glass from the pool deck and the pool itself.

Improved Glenwood Elementary School Carpool Line

Beginning Monday, Aug. 30, Glenwood Elementary School administrators, along with Chapel Hill Police and Fire, will encourage parents and guardians to form safer drop-off and pickup lines leading to the school. Lines forming on Hamilton Road are blocking the front of Fire Station Two and backing up onto NC-54. Instead, authorities and school administrators are asking parents and guardians to line up along Prestwick Road, toward Finley Golf Course Road.

The improvement, with more space for lines, is designed to make walking, driving, biking and rolling safer for everyone in the area. The change will also give firefighters and personnel with Orange County Emergency Services at Fire Station Two the access they need to quickly respond to emergencies.

Animal Services Joins “Clear the Shelters” Campaign

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) has joined NBCUniversal Local’s Clear the Shelters™ 2021 pet-adoption campaign. This year, the campaign will run Aug. 23 to Sept. 18. Adoption fees will be waived for all adoptable pets at OCAS during that time. Also, OCAS encourages donations by asking that everyone view the opportunities listed on their donation page. OCAS depends upon monetary and material donations to continue to care for the thousands of animals that come to the shelter each year.

A special reservation event will be held at OCAS Saturday, Sept. 18, to help finalize this year’s Clear the Shelters campaign. The Animal Services facility will be closed to visitors, with the exception of those who make an appointment in advance. During these appointments, people may view, meet and adopt pets.

Every year, NBCUniversal Local’s NBC and Telemundo-owned stations, plus affiliated stations, partner with animal shelters and rescue organizations in their communities to host Clear the Shelters events. Since 2015, the campaign has resulted in more than a half-million pets finding new homes.

Visit and for more information. For more information about OCAS see

Curry Named 2021 Outstanding Tax Employee of the Year

Valerie Curry, a collections manager with the Orange County Tax Department, has been named the 2021 Outstanding Tax Employee of the Year by the North Carolina Tax Collector’s Association.

Curry was nominated by her tax peers across the state and her co-workers. She has been employed with Orange County Tax Administration for 23 years, beginning as a paralegal and advancing to her current position. Valerie was described as helpful to others, dedicated, hardworking and open-minded and a supporter, encourager, leader and friend.

Photo courtesy

August 25, 2021

New Town Manager Takes Office in Carrboro

Richard J. Wright III began his tenure as Carrboro’s town manager Aug. 23. Twenty years ago, he served as assistant to the town manager for Carrboro. Since then, he has served as the Elon Town Manager and in executive management positions with the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County, GA and most recently, the City of Asheville.

Estes-Greensboro Roundabout Update

As part of the Estes-Greensboro roundabout project, two pedestrian hybrid beacons (PHBs) have been installed along N. Greensboro Street at Williams Street and at Oak Avenue. 

These signals control the flow of traffic to create a dedicated phase for people crossing the street. Research by the Federal Highway Administration has shown that PHBs reduce total crashes by 19% and crashes with pedestrians by 69%. The graphic here shows the phasing operations of these PHBs. Note that drivers are expected to stop during the steady red phase (#4) but may proceed during the flashing red phase (#5) once people have cleared the crosswalk. 

For more information about PHBs, see

Photo courtesy

Carrboro Citizens Academy Postponed

The Carrboro Citizens Academy has been postponed due to rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19. 

Town Clerk Catherine Dorando said she hopes the highly interactive, in-person academy can be brought back safely in spring 2022. 

The free, six-session course is designed to provide insight into town government and develop future leaders through well-informed and civically engaged residents.  Participants enjoy an up-close and personal look at how town government functions and helps shape the community.

Chapel Hill Police Investigate Reported Assault

The Chapel Hill Police Department responded to a reported assault at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. A female victim was walking in the area of the 500 block of North Columbia Street. The victim told officers she had just left the area of East Franklin Street and North Columbia Street. Officers are working to gather details on suspects. No additional information is available at this time.

Anyone with information should contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or call 911. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919- 942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Chapel Hill Labor Day Holiday Closings

Monday, Sept. 6, is a town holiday for Chapel Hill. Some services will be affected, including residential trash will not be collected (makeup day Wednesday, Sept. 8), there will be no Chapel Hill Transit service and Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed.

For a complete list of Labor Day closings and schedule changes, see

Chapel Hill Police Investigate 18 Vehicle Break-ins in One Day

Chapel Hill police officers are investigating 18 vehicle break-ins that happened early Monday, beginning at about 3:30 a.m. Most of the break-ins were on Abbot Place. Others happened on residential streets near Homestead Park. In each case the vehicle was unlocked. Three of the vehicles were stolen.

Officers are working to gather a description of the suspects in these cases. Anyone with information should contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday), or call 911. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919- 942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Two Businesses Certified by OCLW

Two businesses, Grata Café ( and Szostak Build (, have been certified by Orange County Living Wage as living-wage employers. Located in Carrboro, Grata Café serves “Italian-themed dishes in a welcoming and warm space.” Szostak Build is based in Chapel Hill. Its mission is to “build unique, modern homes using proven building practices that stand the test of time.”

For a full list of living-wage employers, see

Photo courtesy

August 20, 2021

New Art Bus Designed by Local Youth

A new art bus hit the streets of Chapel Hill this week, highlighting the struggle for racial justice and celebrating young community members who rise above racism. Titled Rise Above Racial Injustices, the art bus is a collaboration between several community arts partners, local Black artist and arts educator Debi Drew and members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council. This bus, along with Orgullo Latino/LatinX Pride by Georges Le Chevallier, are both art buses created during the pandemic to honor inclusivity and diversity.

The art buses, along with a growing collection of artistic bus shelters, are part of the Town of Chapel Hill’s Art + Transit project ( The three Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Youth Council participants selected for the project were Kennedy Lytle, Sol Ramirez and Anthony Swann. Artist Debi Drew was selected to lead this project because of her artistic expertise and experience working with youth.

Four powerful words — Rise Above Racial Injustices — extend across each side of the art bus. Along with this statement, the bus holds three portraits of masked local teens and their personal missions and motivations for fighting against racism. “My self-worth negates racist remarks” by Kennedy Lytle, “Rise above hate” by Sol Ramirez and “Show empathy for others” by Anthony Swann are all quotes on the new bus.

Comment on Changes to Chapel Hill Parks for the North-South Bus Rapid Transit Project

Chapel Hill Transit is holding a 30-day public comment period focused on impacts on local parks and trails from the North-South Bus Rapid Transit (N-S BRT) project.

Constructing and operating the N-S BRT project will require some minor changes to parks and trails, including:

  • Southern Community Park
  • Fan Branch Trail
  • Bolin Creek Trail
  • Carolina North Forest (PSNC Corridor)
  • Homestead Park and Upper Booker Trail

Residents and users of these parks can find more information about these proposed changes and impacts at, along with a comment form. The comment period opened Aug. 16 and will close on Sept. 16.

New Law Enforcement Program Aims to Reduce Impaired Driving

In a joint effort, the Chapel Hill Police Department and the Campus and Community Coalition are teaming up to identify alcohol establishments that serve intoxicated patrons and contribute to a potential public-safety threat. The Chapel Hill Police Department is piloting a Place of Last Drink (POLD) program to identify the last place that suspected impaired drivers consumed alcohol.

The Chapel Hill Police Department program will gather valuable information on where those arrested consumed their last drink. The data collected are an investigative tool for law enforcement and the Campus and Community Coalition to track and monitor bars and other alcohol-serving establishments that could pose a problem. In turn, law enforcement can educate, monitor, and conduct compliance operations on those establishments that are reported more frequently in POLD data.

Photo courtesy

New Mural at Carrboro High School

Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road, is sporting a new mural, ready for the return to in-person classes beginning Aug. 23. The mural is a gift from the Carrboro High School Class of 2021, students who had not been in school most of their senior year and for about half of their junior year.

Muralist Loren Pease, in collaboration with Michael Brown, involved students in the conceptualization and painting of the mural, which depicts a purple jaguar and “Welcome to Carrboro High” message. It is located on the outside wall facing the football stadium and athletic fields.

AD Clark Pool Temporary Closure and Alternative Location

Because of a vandalism incident at the AD Clark Outdoor Pool facility, the pool has been temporarily closed in order to drain the tank and clean broken glass from the pool deck as well as from the pool itself. It likely will take one to one-and-a-half weeks to have the pool back up and running.

Alternative recreation swim times are available at the Homestead Aquatics Center ( program pool Monday thru Friday 2-7:50 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sunday 12-7 p.m. The recreation swim times are all drop-in, with a maximum capacity of 20 people at any one time. All drop-in swims will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

To ensure users are well-informed, there is a webpage titled “What to Know Before You Go” available at There is also a health screening checklist ( that participants will be asked to complete before entering a facility.

For more information see

Help Map Heat in Chapel Hill

Citizen scientists are needed to map urban heat in Chapel Hill this month. Researchers at UNC’s Data-Driven EnviroLab ( will use the data to better understand how people are experiencing the Urban Heat Island effect. Citizen scientists will collect the data using hand-held sensors and a smartphone app. Each mapping session should take about one hour. Cool treats will be provided. If you would like to help, please fill out the form at, or contact with any questions.

OWASA Among Drinking-Water-Treatment Plants Honored

The North Carolina Division of Water Resources has honored 64 water treatment plants, including Orange Water and Sewer Authority, for surpassing federal and state drinking water standards in 2020. The facilities received the prestigious North Carolina Area-Wide Optimization Award, which is part of a state effort to enhance the performance of existing surface-water-treatment facilities.

Awards are given each year to water systems that demonstrate outstanding turbidity removal, a key test of drinking water quality. Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness or haziness of water caused by individual particles that can interfere with disinfection and provide a medium for microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic particles that occur naturally but can include harmful bacteria and viruses.

While all drinking water systems must meet strict state and federal drinking water standards, these systems met performance goals that are significantly more stringent than state and federal standards. In 2020, nearly 2.5 million North Carolina residents were served by these award-winning plants.

To see a list of award-winners, see

Sally Greene. Photo courtesy

August 17, 2021

Sally Greene Receives Outstanding County Commissioner Award

Sally Greene, Orange County Commissioner, was one of the recipients of the M. H. “Jack” Brock Outstanding County Commissioner Award, given by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) Aug. 14, during the 114th NCACC Annual Conference. Ms. Greene was recognized for her work on the 5-5-5 Committee—5 county managers, 5 attorneys, 5 commissioners—that worked on an opioid settlement.

The committee’s time and effort were instrumental in developing the historic statewide Memorandum of Agreement on the distribution and use of opioid-settlement funds. The Outstanding County Commissioner Award honors commissioners for going “above and beyond” on behalf of counties and their constituencies.

North Carolina is projected to receive about $750 million from the $26 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and other companies that distributed opioids while addiction and overdose deaths increased. All counties in the state will benefit from this settlement.

In addition, Renee Price, chair of the Orange County Commissioners, received an award for “dedication, commitment and support,” by the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials (NCABCO). NCABCO is an affiliate of the NCACC and focuses on the well-being and advancement of African American communities, advocating for a future of peace and justice.

Grand Opening of the Bonnie B. Davis EAC

On Friday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m., a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held for the grand opening of the Bonnie B. Davis Environmental and Agricultural Center, the first building in Orange County to be named in honor of an African American woman. It will be the first building to open in Orange County’s new Northern Campus. 

Mrs. Davis was a longtime agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension and died in 2018. She worked for 40 years until retiring in 1990. After her retirement, she remained active in the community and became a founding member of the Friends of Department of Social Services.

Carrboro Seeks Feedback on Town Information Centers

The Town of Carrboro installed four Town Information Centers (TICs) (outdoor kiosks) in Rocky Brook Mobile Home Park, on Rock Haven Road, in the Oakwood public housing community, and in the Pine Grove Mobile Home Park, and is now seeking feedback on them. 

The Town is asking how likely people are to use the kiosks to access community information and resources. Also, they would like to know what types of information people would like to see. All comments are welcome. 

There are paper surveys in English and Spanish posted at the TICs, or you can access an online survey via a QR code posted at the kiosk. The surveys are available in English at and in Spanish at  

The Town is evaluating locations for additional TICs. If you are interested in requesting one for your neighborhood, please contact Catherine Lazorko, Communication and Engagement Director, at

August 12, 2021

Indoor Mask Mandate Reinstated for Orange County

With several key COVID metrics experiencing a drastic increase since the end of June, Orange County reinstated its countywide indoor mask mandate effective 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11. The mandate applies to anyone 2 years and older, regardless of vaccination status.

The mandate does not apply to the following individuals:

  • Anyone with a diagnosed medical or behavioral condition or disability, including difficulty breathing;
  • Children under 2 years of age;
  • Children under 5 years of age if their parent, guardian, or responsible person has been unable to place and maintain a face covering safely on the child’s face;
  • Anyone who is actively eating or drinking;
  • Anyone who is seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired in a way that requires the mouth to be visible;
  • Anyone who is giving a speech or performance for a broadcast or to an audience where they maintain a distance of at least 20 feet from the audience;
  • Anyone who is working alone in an individual office setting (however, such persons shall apply a face covering when in common areas such as breakrooms, hallways, restrooms, or other areas where additional persons may be encountered);
  • nyone who has determined the face covering is impeding their visibility in the operation of equipment or a vehicle;

Even though Orange County has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the state with 76% of the population fully vaccinated, the county is still experiencing a surge in new cases, mostly among the unvaccinated.

For the week of Aug. 1-7, Orange County reported 235 cases out of 4,040 tests, for a positivity rate of 5.3%. A positivity rate above 5% is considered one of the key indicators of increased spread. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also show that vaccinated people can transmit the virus, particularly the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Businesses are struggling to recruit and retain workers and are concerned that infected individuals may transmit the virus to their employees, which would then force them to close their doors again.
Many locations throughout Orange County now have the free vaccine. Visit to find a provider near you.

NCDHHS Approves Orange County Transition to Alliance Health for LME/MCO Services

Orange County’s request to disengage from Cardinal Innovations and align with Alliance Health as its Local Management Entity/Managed Care Organization (LME/MCO) has been approved by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). Orange County’s transition to Alliance will occur Dec. 15, according to a timetable established by NCDHHS.

LME/MCOs are local political subdivisions of the state that manage mental health, traumatic brain injury, substance use and intellectual/developmental disability services for individuals who are insured by Medicaid or who have no health insurance. Alliance currently manages these services for residents in Durham, Wake, Cumberland and Johnston counties. Mecklenburg County will also be transitioning from Cardinal to Alliance.

More information about this transition is available at, and additional questions can be directed to Alliance Health at (800) 510-9132.

Local Service Organizations to Assist Chapel Hill/Carrboro Teachers with Supplies

A program funded through Chapel Hill Rotary groups, the Public School Foundation and a Rotary district grant will provide eight Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and 650 teachers with necessary school supplies. Booths will be set up Aug. 19, when the PTA and Rotary volunteers distribute supplies to teachers.

In addition, 115 backpacks will be provided to the city schools for social workers to distribute to students in need.

According to Tim Smith, volunteer with East Chapel Hill Rotary, the sponsoring organizations are now hosting their 15th store with a total of $415,000 donated by the East Chapel Hill Rotary club. This service has helped 5,965 teachers.

For more information, contact Tim Smith at 919-824-6117 or email him at

Air Permit Renewal Issued for UNC-CH

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality has issued a renewal of the Title V air permit for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This permitting action also consolidates three additional applications for modification of the facility.

The final permit adds monitoring, recordkeeping and reporting requirements to ensure compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides as a result of updated modeling.

The final permit, final permit review and environmental justice report are available at

Street Closings for UNC Fall Fest

Stadium Drive and Raleigh Street will be closed starting at 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, for UNC’s Fall Fest.

Chapel Hill Transit will also have detours on the following routes:

  • A—from the Pittsboro Street Credit Union toward University Place and from Glen Lennox toward Weiner & Severin
  • N—from the Pittsboro Street Credit Union toward Meadowmont and from Harris Teeter toward Estes Park Apartments
  • NU—from Hillsborough Street to Ridge Road
  • U—from Carolina Coffee Shop to Ridge Road

Photo courtesy of

Town of Carrboro Accepting Applications for Carrboro Citizens Academy 

The Town of Carrboro is accepting applications for Carrboro Citizens Academy for individuals who would like a better understanding of the town.

The free, six-session course of interactive classes is designed to provide insight into town government and develop future leaders through well-informed and civically-engaged residents.  
Citizens Academy sessions will take place Wednesdays from 6 to 8:30 p.m. starting on Sept. 8 and ending Oct. 20.

Apply today at

Chapel Hill Police Investigating Breaking and Entering on Laurens Way

The Chapel Hill Police Department is investigating a breaking and entering on Laurens Way (off Weaver Dairy Road Extension near Homestead Road) that occurred around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. This case is similar to a string of incidents currently being investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Durham Police Department.

Investigators believe a suspect in a construction-style vest is going door-to-door checking to see if residents are home; if no one is home, he and the other suspects return and break in. The resident in this case reported four suspects left the scene, one in a construction-style reflective vest. No one was injured during the breaking and entering.

If you have information about the incident or see the suspects, please call 911. If you see the suspects, do not approach them. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. People with information that leads to an arrest could be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Town of Carrboro Requests Comment for COVID-19 Business Grant Policy

The Carrboro Economic Development Department has released a policy for a new COVID-19 Mitigation Business Grant and invites the public and business community to review and provide comments on the policy.

Approved by the Town Council in June 2021, the grant program allows the department to issue up to $300,000 in business grants using funds the town will receive from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The proposed policy would allow a business to receive up to $20,000 in order to mitigate negative economic impacts to the business from COVID-19. The grant funds could be used for a variety of things, including marketing and advertising, back rent and utilities, COVID-19 loan repayment, training for new under-skilled or unskilled employees, and capital expenditures to adapt business to a post-COVID-19 environment.

To learn more about the grant program, review the policy, or provide a comment on the policy, please visit The comment period will remain open through Monday, Aug. 16. 

Photo courtesy

August 7, 2021

Chapel Hill Transit Resumes All Routes

Chapel Hill Transit (CHT) have resumed running all routes. However, with more than 30 full-time operator positions unfilled, CHT is unable to operate all scheduled service. To see schedule updates, customers should follow @chtransit on Twitter or use the NextBus/Umo app and website.

The following route schedules have been changed, removing some trips:

Additionally, Carolina Livery is operating the following routes until further notice:

There are also bus stop changes. The bus stop at Pittsboro Street and University Drive was permanently closed on Aug. 1, due to safety concerns; the closest alternative stops are the Pittsboro Street at Credit Union stop and the Health Sciences Library stop. The bus stop at Manning Drive at Public Safety will be closed Aug. 9 through late November for sidewalk and parking lot improvements.

Chapel Hill Transit is actively recruiting bus operators for full- and part-time positions, with paid training and excellent benefits. Anyone interested can apply at


Annual Maintenance Scheduled at Parks and Recreation Facilities

The Hargraves Recreation Center and Northside Gym will close Aug. 16-20 for annual maintenance and reopen Aug. 23. This does not include the A.D. Clark Outdoor Pool.

The Chapel Hill Community Center Pool is scheduled to close for annual maintenance Aug. 23 for up to four weeks, with a planned reopening date of Sept. 20. The Chapel Hill Community Center and gymnasium will also close for annual maintenance Sept. 13-19 and will reopen Sept. 20.

During this closure of the Community Center Pool, pass holders may use the pool at the Homestead Aquatic Center, which has available a mix of reservable and drop-in facility use times. Through Aug. 16, the A.D. Clark Outdoor Pool offers free drop-in lap swimming from 7 to 9:30 a.m. (maximum three swimmers per lane). Drop-in swims will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For information on reservable and drop-in swim times and pool schedules, see

OneOrange Community Engagement

OneOrange is a commitment by Orange County, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough leaders and staff to uncover and address implicit racial biases in our institutions and to create a community where race no longer predicts life outcomes in our community. For the past few months, representatives from these local governments have been working on a framework for engaging the community to advance these efforts.

This work entails meaningful engagement and participation with all of the community, particularly members of the community most impacted by racial bias and discrimination. Organizations are encouraged to provide feedback on the framework for the racial equity plan that will help OneOrange develop strategies to meet the vision of true racial equity in our community. Inform the team of any standing meetings, outreach efforts, or other ways for it to connect with the community.

There will be two virtual information sessions, at 11 a.m. August 10 and 7 p.m. August 17. Team members are also available to meet with members of organizations in whatever manner works for them.

Register in advance for the virtual meetings at (Aug. 10 meeting) and (Aug 17 meeting).
For more information, contact the team by email at or by telephone at 919-245-2317. 

Parks and Recreation Releases Fall Recreation Programs

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation has released its fall 2021 recreation guide, titled RECREATE. You can download your own copy and browse all recreation programs online at The printed edition will be available at each of their recreation centers and at Chapel Hill Public Library on Monday, Aug. 9.

Fall programs and activities include 13 days of Halloween-themed programs, a new mix of pickleball clinics and outdoor youth and adult athletic leagues as well as parks and recreation destinations. 

Chapel Hill residents may register beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16. Non-residents may register beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23. 

For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, visit

Orange County Reinstitutes Mask Mandate Inside County Facilities

With COVID cases surging due to the Delta variant, Orange County government has reinstituted a mask mandate for visitors and staff inside county facilities. The mandate went into effect Aug. 5 and will remain in place indefinitely. Visit for more information about the vaccine and to schedule an appointment at a place and time convenient to you.

Carrboro Police Investigate Burglary and Shooting

The Carrboro Police Department is investigating a burglary and shooting that occurred at Oakwood Apartments, located at 605 Oak Ave.

At approximately 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, August 5, a resident returned home and discovered that multiple suspects had broken into their apartment. The resident and a friend chased the suspects out of the apartment and through the complex. At some point, one of the suspects fired one shot from an unknown-type weapon; no injuries were reported. The suspects escaped the area and are still at large. The victim reported that multiple items were stolen from the residence.

If you have additional information about this incident, please contact INV Trey Kennedy with the Carrboro Police Department at (919) 918-7412, or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515.

N.C. Agriculture Cost-Share Funds Available Soon

The Orange Soil and Water Conservation District expects to receive its cost-share allocation from the state for non-point source pollution control from agriculture activities in the next couple of weeks.

These funds are available to improve water quality by assisting farmers in implementing Best Management Practices (BMPs), which help decrease the amount of sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, animal waste, chemicals and other pollutants entering the surface and ground waters of the state. 

Landowners and operators may apply for technical and cost-share assistance to install BMPs such as animal-waste storage facilities, mortality-management systems, wells and watering troughs in conjunction with livestock exclusion fencing from streams, heavy-use areas, animal trails and stream crossings, closure of waste impoundments, cropland conversions, sod-based rotations, grassed waterways, field borders and diversions.

For a complete list of BMPs available and other cost-share programs to improve water quality and enhance an agriculture operation, visit (see Financial Assistance).

An initial sign-up will be held through Aug. 21 for those landowners and operators wishing to request technical and cost-share assistance on practices.

To apply for cost-share assistance and other agricultural funding programs, contact Kenny Ray or Todd Roberts at (919) 245-2750.

Town of Carrboro Requires Masks Indoors, Vaccinations for All Employees

Beginning Monday, Aug. 9, the Town of Carrboro will require all employees and visitors accessing town facilities indoors to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. Social distancing (maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals) is also required in all facilities.

The indoor mask requirement was reinstated because the Delta variant of the coronavirus is so highly contagious. Orange County public health officials urge all unvaccinated residents 12 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Those who are vaccinated remain strongly protected against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

By Sept. 1, Town of Carrboro employees will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination status. Currently, more than 70% of Town employees are vaccinated.

Jones Ferry Road Bike Lane Installation Scheduled Aug. 11

The Town of Carrboro will be installing a protected bike lane along the eastbound lanes of Jones Ferry Road between the N.C. Highway 54 eastbound ramps and Barnes Street.

Workers will be present in the roadway beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11, and work is expected to be completed before 4 p.m. Rain days for the installation would be either Thursday, Aug. 12, or Wednesday, Aug. 18.  

A map of the work zone can be viewed at
For more information, visit the project webpage at

August 4, 2021

Carrboro to Unveil New Truth Plaque

The official unveiling of the Town of Carrboro Truth Plaque for the Freedman School will take place at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 9. 

The plaque is located in the Town’s right of way next to St. Paul’s AME Church at 101 N. Merritt Mill Road. Nearby parking is available at the parking deck adjacent to the Hampton Inn at 370 E. Main St.

The goal of the truth plaques is to recognize Carrboro’s history while uplifting the truth and acknowledging an unjust past. The first plaque, located at Carrboro Town Hall, explains Julian S. Carr’s ties to racial segregation.

Learn more about the history of the Freedman School at

Assistance for Orange County Residents and Families Facing Eviction

With federal and state COVID-related eviction moratorium programs having expired, Orange County residents and families facing eviction can seek assistance through the Orange County Housing Helpline and the Eviction Diversion Program (EDP).

The Housing Helpline connects people with eviction diversion, homeless services and other resources. Contact them during business hours at 919-245-2655 or Calls are answered live in more than 200 languages from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Voicemails and emails will be responded to during business hours.

The EDP can be accessed through the Housing Helpline at 919-245-2655, by writing to or directly through the EDP Intake Form (

School COVID-19 Vaccination Status Requirements

UNC-CH Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz is asking students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated and to certify their vaccination status online. Students who neglect to advise the university of their vaccination status will get tested every week. For more information, visit

Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools are expected to comply with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (

Carrboro Police Investigating Shooting

The Carrboro Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred outside of Wendy’s restaurant at 100 S. Greensboro St. at approximately 9:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2.

A vehicle pulled up to, and suspects within the vehicle opened fire on, another vehicle attempting to leave the Wendy’s parking lot entrance within the 100 block of W. Main Street. The suspect vehicle then fled the area and is still at large. Passengers in the initial vehicle fired upon and passengers in another vehicle, which attempted to flee the scene when the shooting started and struck a light pole and overturned, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Another vehicle in the drive-thru at Wendy’s was hit multiple times with bullets; no one in that vehicle was injured. Multiple bullet holes were found in the Wendy’s building and fence around the drive-thru at the rear of the business.

At this point it appears this is an isolated incident, and authorities do not believe that there is an ongoing threat to the public. Police do not have any suspect information at this time, and the investigation is continuing.

If you have additional information on this incident, please contact INV Trey Kennedy with the Carrboro Police Department at (919) 918-7412, or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515.

SCSJ Ballot Analysis Allowed Votes

In 2020, North Carolina’s mail-in “cure” process allowed nearly 20,000 North Carolinians to have their votes counted in the general election, according to the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s (SCSJ) recently released impact analysis.

SCSJ’s analysis of mail-in ballots with material errors from the 2020 November election revealed that the cure process helped almost 20,000 voters either: 1) cure their ballot (9,461) or 2) receive notice of an issue with their mail-in ballot, giving them the option to vote another way (10,006). The cure process also addressed the disproportionate impact of mail-in ballot rejections on voters of color in North Carolina. For example, of the more than 7,000 Black voters who had material defects with their mail-in absentee ballot applications, 27.1% (1,946) were able to use the cure process to have their vote counted, and 60% (4,313) were able to find another way to vote. 

See the full report at

NAACP Announces New Push to Safeguard Americans’ Voting Rights

On July 28 the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) announced a new push designed to call attention to the grave risks that recent developments in Texas pose to the voting rights of all Americans and encourage elected officials to take concrete steps to prevent the spread of voter infringement.

Led directly by NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson and NAACP Texas President Gary Bledsoe, the goal of this work will be to alert concerned Americans as to how easily the infringement of voters’ rights in Texas could become a nationwide blueprint unless the U.S. Senate passes voting reforms. The NAACP’s work will:

  • Enlist support from, and highlight stories of, elected officials and other policymakers who are ready to enact needed voting reform
  • Evaluate the various voting-rights reform measures being considered for passage at the federal level
  • Track state-specific impacts that certain voting policies could have on disenfranchised communities

Across the country, lawmakers are proposing bills that endanger everyone’s voting rights and, in particular, target the rights of Black and brown communities. For example, in Texas, restricting mail-in ballots and reducing early voting affects every American’s right to a fair and just voting process.

Local Jurisdictions Release Joint Statement on Greene Tract

Since 2000, deliberate steps have been taken to explore and identify how the 104-acre Greene Tract and the permanent preservation of a 60-acre Headwaters Preserve can enhance the Historic Rogers Road Neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods, while also serving the community as a whole. Three governments, Orange County, Carrboro and Chapel Hill, have joint ownership of the properties.

Steps taken have included: a “community-first” long-range planning process, which culminated with the report, Mapping Our Community’s Future; planning efforts with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School system to set aside land for a school; a market research study to evaluate retail and other neighborhood business opportunities; and an environmental assessment.

Throughout this time, top priorities have been affordable housing, environmental conservation and a future school site. In 2020, the owners’ respective boards voted to utilize the remaining lands as follows: 

  • Approximately 66 acres for housing/mixed-use 
  • Approximately 22 acres for joint preserve 
  • Approximately 16 acres for public school site and public recreational facility site

In addition, based on the environmental assessment, a realignment of the boundaries of the Headwaters Preserve in order to best preserve highly sensitive areas is being considered. All three jurisdictions will vote on the realignment of these two parcels this fiscal year, FY2021-22.

July 30, 2021

Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP Creates Factual Covid-19 Website

In order to protect vulnerable communities, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has created a website of factual information. The website contains up-to-date research, resources and stories to help ease uncertainties and safeguard the community. Visit it at

Orange County Public Library Receives Grants to Reduce Barriers to Library Use

The Orange County Public Library (OCPL) has received two grants totaling $62,343 to reduce barriers to library use. The library will use the funds to purchase a mobile app and contact-less self-checkout machines, Chromebooks for at-home use and a customized website for computer instruction. The new services will be available for use this winter.

The OCPL seeks to address head-on lack of transportation or work and family demands that make it difficult for some residents to get to the library or to use the library’s online services. The mobile app will reduce the time needed to borrow materials and manage multiple library accounts. Once the immediate threat of the pandemic is over, having the app will make it possible to offer circulation services at community locations. 

The county has a broadband taskforce ( that is investigating ways to increase internet access for the more than 5,000 Orange County residents who still lack it. In the meantime, the library is taking steps to address that gap.

By combining hotspots, laptops and instruction, the library will have a robust program to help address the digital divide. Currently, library account holders may check out internet hotspots, and adding Chromebooks to the collection will make it possible for patrons to borrow both devices at the same time. The library will also launch a website to offer computer instruction. 

The OCPL has two locations, the Main Library at 137 W. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough and the Cybrary at 100 N. Greensboro St. in Carrboro. For more information, visit, call 919-245-2525 or email

CDC Recommends Indoor Masking for Vaccinated Individuals in High-Risk Counties

To prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where the COVID-19 virus has substantial or high community transmission. According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker (, Orange County currently has moderate, but not substantial or high, community transmission.

Vaccination is the most effective tool against COVID-19. Following are locations where residents can get a free, effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Chapel Hill Vaccine Clinic
    2501 Homestead Road
    Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    (Closed holidays)
    Call 919-913-8088 to schedule an appointment.
    Moderna, Pfizer and Janssen are available.
  • Hillsborough Vaccine Clinic
    2nd Floor, 300 W. Tryon St.
    Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    *Closed Monday, Aug. 9; Thursday, Aug. 12; Friday, Aug.13
    Call 877-505-6723 to schedule an appointment.
    Call 919-913-8088 for questions.
    Moderna and Pfizer are available.
  • Pop-Up Vaccine Clinic
    In addition to regularly scheduled walk-in clinics (see above), the Orange County Health Department offers a pop-up vaccine clinic to all community members ages 12 and older. You are encouraged to register by calling 919-913-8088 or by visiting Walk-ins are also welcome.
  • National Night Out at Gateway Apartments
    400 Lakeside Drive, Hillsborough
    Tuesday, Aug. 3, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
    ***$25 gift cards for 1st-dose recipients***
  • Sportsplex at Passmore Center
    103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough
    Wednesday, Aug. 4, from 4 to 7 p.m.

Learn more at

National Night Out in Chapel Hill

National Night Out is held annually across the country to give community residents a chance to meet their neighbors, local police and fire departments and members of local churches and community organizations, to promote community safety. Chapel Hill will hold its National Night Out this year Tuesday, Aug. 3. All town-hosted events will be outdoors to promote physical distancing and good air flow; everyone is asked to wear face coverings at the events due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

“History has shown us that, when community members know each other, important relationships are formed that can help us come together when crime occurs or when our neighborhoods are facing a challenge,” said Chapel Hill Police Lt. Paul Bell.

The Chapel Hill Department of Housing and Community will host neighborhood gatherings at Colony Woods West, South Roberson, and Eastwood from 4 to 7 p.m. The police department will host a block party from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hargraves Community Center (216 N. Roberson St.), with free food, a live DJ, inflatable play structures, giveaways and more. A free, round-trip shuttle to the block party will be available, courtesy of Chapel Hill Transit. View the flier with the map for more details at (English) and (Spanish).

People are also encouraged to host an event in their own neighborhoods to get out and get to know their immediate neighbors.

Carrboro Seeks User Feedback on Town Website

The Town of Carrboro is evaluating for a future update and seeks your feedback.

An online survey, which takes about two minutes to complete, offers website visitors the opportunity to provide input through Aug. 8. at the following sites:

The new website, expected to be completed in early 2022, will improve the end-user experience; possess better design and functionality; employ streamlined and simplified site navigation; ensure full Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility and security compliance; and enhance and simplify staff processes.

Orange County Housing Ready to Help Residents in Need

With federal and state COVID-related eviction moratorium programs already expired or set to expire July 31, Orange County residents and families facing eviction can seek assistance through the Orange County Housing Helpline and the Eviction Diversion Program (EDP).

The Housing Helpline connects people with eviction diversion, homeless services and other resources. Contact them during business hours at 919-245-2655 or Calls are answered live in over 200 languages from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Voicemails and emails will be responded to during business hours.

Staff can assist with several programs, including the Orange County EDP program, which provides free legal representation for individuals and families threatened with eviction. The EDP has assisted over 200 Orange County households facing eviction, allowing residents to remain in their home or obtain additional time to find an alternative residence. The EDP can be accessed through the Housing Helpline or directly through the EDP Intake Form (  

The Orange County Emergency Housing Assistance program ( also continues to assist people with rent, mortgage and utility payments. People can apply online at In-person help is available on Tuesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Southern Human Services Center (2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill). For help over the phone or by email, contact the Housing Helpline.

The recently reopened HOPE Program ( provides rent and utility assistance for renters who meet income requirements. New HOPE applicants can apply online at . Returning HOPE applicants can call (888) 927-5467 to speak with someone about their application.

Animal Services Offers Grant Program to Support Animal Welfare Initiatives

Orange County Animal Services is offering The Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant, a program to support animal welfare initiatives and projects in Orange County, thanks to a generous donation from Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter. This is the sixth year the award has been offered, and it will be awarded for initiatives up to $500. Applications must be received by Friday, Oct. 15.

The grant can be used for a wide range of pilot or seed projects or to supplement other programs, projects and grants that support companion animals, including those animals used in recreation or therapy. It is available to individuals, groups and organizations, and although the recipients do not have to live in Orange County, the funds must be used to aid animal welfare efforts in Orange County. Past recipients include Hope Animal Rescue, Independent Animal Rescue, North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, Pet Pals, Trestle Leaf Web Design and Carolina Boxer Rescue.

For more information on the grant, to find the application and to find out more about giving opportunities for this program, visit

State Urges Employers to Adopt Vaccine Verification, Issues New Guidance

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations accelerating at an alarming rate, North Carolina will begin requiring vaccine verification for state employees and urges other government agencies and private employers to do the same.

The changes announced Thursday, July 29, come as the highly contagious and potentially dangerous Delta variant has spread across the state, mostly among the unvaccinated. The changes include additional guidance for unvaccinated people and align with new guidance on masks from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Updated guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reminds unvaccinated people to continue practicing the three Ws (wear a mask in all indoor public settings, wait 6 feet apart in all public settings and wash hands often), do not gather with other unvaccinated people who do not live with you or, if you do, stay outside and keep 6 feet of distance and do not travel.

Updated guidance from the CDC this week recommends that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where the COVID-19 virus has substantial or high community transmission. According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker (, Orange County currently has moderate community transmission. Counties surrounding Orange County currently have substantial or high community transmission.

The state also recommends, in accordance with the updated CDC guidance, that all K-12 public and non-public schools require face coverings to be worn by students, staff and visitors regardless of their vaccination status. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is updating its guidance for schools to align with this recommendation.

The governor’s latest executive order ( took effect at 5 p.m. July 29 and will remain in effect through 5 p.m. Aug. 31. Under the order:

  • Effective Aug. 2, unvaccinated cabinet agency employees must wear face coverings in any indoor area of a state government office, building or facility that is controlled by an agency that is part of the governor’s office or is headed by a member of the governor’s cabinet.
  • Effective Sept. 1, cabinet agency employees who are not vaccinated will have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Under the order, private businesses and organizations are strongly encouraged to follow, at minimum, the guidance from the NC. DHHS to reduce transmission of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. The recommendations are available at and include:

  • Requiring workers to verify that they are fully vaccinated.
  • Requiring unvaccinated workers to wear face coverings and be tested weekly.
  • Recommending face coverings for fully vaccinated workers and guests indoors when other people are present.

Getting a free, effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine is easy. Find locations at (English) or (Spanish).

Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Program Releases Court Observation Report

The Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Program (OCBBJP), a faith-based initiative that seeks to change unjust bail practices in Orange County and provide assistance to people who cannot afford to pay their bail, has issued its 2020 court observation report. According to the report, 2020 saw a drastic reduction in arrests and detentions, a marked increase in the use of Written Promise to Appear to release individuals, and significant reversal of racial disparity for several justice indicators the initiative tracks. The report cautions that, while these positive trends are encouraging, one cannot conclude that any permanent progress has been achieved yet based on only two years of data, especially given the anomalous events of 2020.

OCBBJP encourages anyone interested in fair, consistent, and universal justice practices to read the full report and engage in existing community efforts — both inside and outside the justice system — to bring equity to pretrial practices in Orange County.

See the full report at

July 27, 2021

Orange County Extends Local Emergency Declaration Indefinitely

With hospitalizations increasing and the Delta variant spreading, Orange County has extended the local COVID-19 related state of emergency declaration ( indefinitely. The extension went into effect Friday, July 23, at 5 p.m.

Orange County’s positive rate of COVID tests was at 0.4% the week of June 6-12 but has increased steadily since, reaching 1.3% for the week of July 4-10 and 2.9% for the week of July 11-17. Most of the new cases are amongst unvaccinated individuals and are caused by the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

The Health Department continues to urge individuals who are eligible for a vaccine to get the shot. Learn more about how to schedule an appointment at

Orange County will continue to follow the terms of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 220 related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. As noted in Executive Order 220, the local education agencies of Orange County, together with all other public and private schools in Orange County, shall comply with the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (

New Mural to Celebrate Black Trailblazers of Chapel Hill and Carrboro

A new mural will start to take shape this week at 111 S. Merritt Mill Road, where Chapel Hill and Carrboro meet. The mural will celebrate 12 black “trailblazers” who helped shape and improve the community. Kiara Sanders, a Black artist from Apex, will be working on the mural over the next several weeks and expects to complete it by mid-August.

The mural will be on the north side of the building, which houses two black-owned businesses, Walt’s Grill and Ms. Molly’s Gift Shop. The mural will feature an assembly of portraits of black community leaders, from educators and entrepreneurs to religious and civic leaders.

The idea for the mural originated with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Other community partners have come on board to make this mural a reality, including the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, the Town of Carrboro, the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Orange County Arts Commission.

More information about the project and the people honored will be released over the coming weeks, with an official unveiling announcing the completion at the end of August.

Carrboro Mayor Lavelle Calls on White House and Congress to Pass Citizenship Legislation

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle, alongside 83 fellow mayors across 28 states, sent a letter Monday, July 26, to President Biden, Vice President Harris, Majority Leader Schumer and Speaker Pelosi calling for citizenship for Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, farmworkers and other essential workers to be included in any economic-recovery legislation, including through budget reconciliation.

According to a study by the Center for American Progress and Univ. of California-Davis Global Migration Center (, a new path to citizenship for Dreamers and TPS holders would add $799 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product over 10 years. Similarly, for essential workers, citizenship would add $989 billion over the same period. Overall, according to the study, if Congress were to act, nearly 440,000 new jobs would be created, energizing the local economies of communities across the country.

July 24, 2021

Volunteers Needed for Food Drive

The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with weekly food bank distributions. Many people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and are food insecure, and the need for volunteers continues to grow. 

The drive-thru food distribution takes place at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot in Chapel Hill on Wednesdays, starting at 10 a.m. and lasting until 11:30 or until all of the food is gone. 

Visit to see the weekly food distribution schedule.

If you’re able to volunteer a few hours, sign up online at

Chapel Hill to Resume Fire Inspection Fees

The Chapel Hill Fire Marshal’s Life Safety Division will resume charging inspection fees for businesses in Chapel Hill in September. Fees were paused in the spring of 2020 in response to the heavy toll the COVID-19 pandemic was taking on local businesses. Critical fire inspections continued during this time without the businesses being charged.

North Carolina mandates that every structure be inspected for fire code violations at least every three years. The fee includes initial inspection and one re-inspection if all corrections are made. Subsequent re-inspections will require additional fees.

The fees are:

  • 0 – 999 sq. ft. – $50
  • 1,000 – 2,499 sq. ft. – $75
  • 2,500 – 9.999 sq. ft. – $100
  • 10,000 – 49,999 sq. ft. – $200
  • 50,000 sq. ft and more – $300

For more information, visit

For questions, email

Street Resurfacing on Christopher and Culbreth Roads

A contractor for North Carolina Department of Transportation will resurface sections of Christopher and Culbreth roads in Chapel Hill beginning next week. Lane closures and delays are expected during this work.

Christopher Road from U.S. Highway 15-501 to the end will be resurfaced July 28 and 29. 

Culbreth Road from U.S. Highway 15-501 to Smith Level Road will be resurfaced July 28 and 30 through Aug. 13. Also on Culbreth Road, bike lanes will replace the left-turn lanes at Weyer Drive, Cobble Ridge Drive and Culbreth Park.

Schedules are tentative and dependent on favorable weather.

For more information on the restriping plans, visit

E&W Electrical Certified as Living-Wage Employer

Orange County Living Wage ( has announced that E & W Electrical (515 Meadowlands Dr., Suite 100, Hillsborough) has certified as a living-wage employer. E & W Electrical is a locally-owned power-systems provider focusing on complete generator solutions.

July 22, 2021

Tree Removals Due to Declining Health

Town staff have determined that some large trees in the downtown Chapel Hill area are in declining health and need to be removed to avoid future damage.

Between July 26 and July 30 (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.), three trees in the 200 block of East Franklin Street and one tree at 165 East Franklin St. will be removed. Lane closures will be necessary along the 200 block of East Franklin Street.

Between Aug. 2 and Aug. 6 (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.), two trees at 416/422 Cameron Ave. will be removed. Lane closures will be necessary, and nearby houses will receive information about this work.

For more information, contact Park Maintenance Superintendent Kevin Robinson at 919-969-5104 or

Tar Heel Bikes Hub Relocated to West Franklin Street

The Town of Chapel Hill and UNC-Chapel Hill have coordinated with the UNC bikeshare provider, Bolt Mobility, to move a Tar Heel Bikes hub from campus to downtown Chapel Hill. The hub is on the brick area on the southeast corner of West Franklin and Church streets.

ar Heel Bikes can be picked up or dropped off at this location. Anyone may use Tar Heel Bikes for one hour with the Daily Plan, without needing to pay for a yearly membership. After registering for an account at, find and reserve a bike using the SoBi mobile app, the SoBi website (, or the bicycle keypad. For more information on how to use Tar Heel Bikes, visit

The hub is located in downtown to test ridership and to inform future shared-mobility options in Chapel Hill. The town is exploring additional hub opportunities with UNC.

Estes Drive Public Information Meeting Aug. 4

The Town of Chapel Hill will host a virtual public information meeting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, to give a brief overview of the Estes Drive Connectivity Project. Virtual office hours will also be available for drop-in from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5.

Work is scheduled to begin on Estes Drive—from west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Caswell Road—in late August or early September. Work will consist of bicycle and pedestrian improvements, including raised bike lanes, sidewalks and a 10-foot multiuse path. More information can be found at

Register to attend the Aug. 4 public information meeting via Zoom at

Register to drop in for office hours Aug. 5 via Zoom at

July 20, 2021

Applicants for Orange County BOCC Vacancy

Four people have applied to be considered for appointment to the Orange County (OC) Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to fill the vacancy that will occur July 31, when Commissioner Mark Dorosin officially leaves to assume new responsibilities in Florida. The applicants are: 

  • Marilyn Carter
  • Rani Dasi
  • Penny Rich
  • Anna Richards

The applications are being forwarded to the OC Democratic Party for review, as well as to the Board of Elections for verification of eligibility. In addition, all applications, which include a series of questions and answers, are posted on the county website (

The BOCC will vote to appoint a new commissioner at their Sept. 2 business meeting. This person will serve through November 2022. A special election will be held next year to elect a person to serve the final two years of Dorosin’s unexpired term.

Orange County Sponsors Southern Hospitality Hiring Series Job Fairs

Orange County Department of Social Services and the North Carolina Works/Skills Development Center co-sponsor Southern Hospitality Hiring Series job fairs for the hospitality industry on the fourth Friday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon at 100 Europa Drive, Chapel Hill. Door prizes and gift cards will be given to the first 100 eligible job seekers.

The pandemic has created many job openings in the hospitality industry with salaries starting at $10-$15 per hour and higher, depending on experience. Job seekers must have an active NC Works account (

Employers scheduled to participate include AC Hotel, Rizzo Center + Carolina Inn, Fearrington Village, the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group, Waffle House, Hillsborough BBQ, Panera Bread, Wegmans, Chapel Hill Transit and many more.

Unvaccinated attendees must wear a mask.

OC BOCC Chair Price Sponsors Resolution to Fund Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Incentive Grants

Orange County Board of County Commissioners Chair Renee Price, along with Guilford County Commissioner Kay Cashion, sponsored a resolution encouraging Congress to fund the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Incentive Grants at the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, at the annual conference of the National Association of Counties earlier this month.

The adopted policy reads: “The National Association of Counties (NACo) urges Congress to provide $61.5 million funding to the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) for the purposes of including arts-based juvenile justice programs among its strategies and expanding existing programming for justice-involved youth in all counties, parishes and boroughs.”

Chapel Hill Police Department Seeking Information About Shooting Incident

The Chapel Hill Police Department has requested that anyone with information about an incident of shots fired at around 11:40 p.m. Sunday, July 18, into an occupied dwelling in the 1700 block of Legion Road, call the Chapel Hill Police Department between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 919-968-2760 or 911 at any time. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. You can also leave tips for Crime Stoppers at Information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.

No injuries were reported. Preliminary information suggests this was not a random act, and there does not appear to be an ongoing threat to the community.

At-Home COVID-19 Vaccinations

In its effort to provide everyone access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) Area Agency on Aging to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to people with limited mobility who cannot leave their homes.

Caregivers, providers or individuals may access the program by calling the At-Home Vaccination Hotline at 866-303-0026 at any time or by visiting and filling out the registration form. 

Within three business days, a PTRC Vaccination Specialist will connect with the individual to schedule their at-home vaccination.  

There is increasing urgency for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the highly contagious Delta variant is rapidly spreading in North Carolina. Clinical trials among thousands of people have proven that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for anyone age 12 and over. All COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, including from the Delta variant. More than 160 million Americans have been safely vaccinated.

July 18, 2021

BOCC Commits $100,000 to Support Restart the Arts Grants

At their June 15 meeting, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners approved $100,000 to support Restart the Arts grants for the local arts community. Funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the request was included in a larger proposal submitted by the Orange County Arts Commission to utilize ARPA funding to kick-start the local economy through the arts and provide accessible arts opportunities for residents.

The funding will help restore the local arts sector to its prepandemic impact, employing approximately 4,000 creative industry workers and contributing $131 million to the local economy each year.

The arts commission will establish funding guidelines and will announce the application period later this month.

Alert Carolina Sirens Test Tuesday, July 20

On Tuesday July 20, between 6 and 7 p.m., UNC-Chapel Hill will test its emergency sirens. The sirens will sound an alert tone along with a brief pre-recorded voice message. The University tests the sirens regularly throughout the year to make sure the equipment works properly and to remind everyone what to do in a real emergency.

During the test, anyone outdoors near campus or downtown will likely hear the sirens. You may also hear the emergency sirens that are located at the Friday Center and near the Giles Horney Building off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. No action is required.

Street Resurfacing Begins July 22

A contractor for the Town of Chapel Hill will begin street resurfacing Thursday July 22 at locations throughout town. The project will continue through Aug. 27, weather permitting.

Each location will see milling and patching first. Milling consists of grinding and removing the old pavement; patching involves adding new pavement to areas with cracks, holes or other weak spots. Once the milling and patching are complete, the final driving surface will be paved.

Tentative dates for milling and patching are July 22-Aug. 24 and for paving are Aug. 2-27 on Allard Road, Arlen Park Drive, Brookside Drive, Caswell Road, Catesby Lane, Cedar Hills Circle, Colburn Point, Collison Drive, East and West Columbia Place Drive, Europa Drive, Faison Road, Frances Street, Gurnsey Trail, Ivy Brook Lane, Karin Court, Kingston Drive, New Castle Place, North Columbia Street, North Roberson Street, Nuttal Place, Nuttree Lane, Old Barn Lane, Ridgecrest Drive, Rigsbee Mobile Home Park, Rossburn Way, Simerville Road, Sourwood Circle, Sourwood Drive, Umstead Drive, Woodhaven Road and Woodleaf Drive.

For more information, visit

Chapel Hill Transit Returns to Full Service in August

On Aug. 1 Chapel Hill Transit will begin running routes paused during COVID-19 pandemic. Some routes will have reduced service and some routes will be operated by a third-party contractor, Carolina Livery.

All customers and team members are required to wear masks while on transit vehicles, and barriers have been installed between seating benches to provide physical separation between people.

Chapel Hill Transit is actively recruiting bus operators for full- and part-time positions, paid-training and excellent benefits. Anyone interested can apply at:

Chapel Hill Transit implemented service changes Aug. 3, 2020. For customers who have not been using transit, review the new route brochures at

Chapel Hill Transit’s office will remain closed to the public. Lost and Found and EZ Rider certifications will remain by appointment only. Call 919-969-4901 to speak with a member of the Chapel Hill Transit team.

Traffic-Calming Interim Installation in Barred Owl Creek Neighborhood

In response to drivers exceeding the speed limit, the Town of Carrboro will be installing traffic-calming devices along Carol Street Thursday July 29, beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Interim devices will be installed for testing purposes on the 100 and 300 blocks of Carol Street and on Carol Street at Lorraine Street.

The interim treatments will be in place for several months to allow time for data collection. Anticipated next steps are data collection in October and a neighborhood meeting in November.  

See the project webpage at For any questions or concerns, contact the Town’s Transportation Planner at or at 919-918-7329.

Rosemary Street Parking Deck Work Begins Shortly

Work is about to begin on the Rosemary Street Parking Deck in Chapel Hill. Contractors for the town will install construction fencing around the Rosemary Street Parking Deck in the coming weeks.

The pedestrian bridge over East Rosemary Street will be removed over a weekend to minimize impacts to motor vehicles and pedestrians. Detour signs will be installed for that work. Complete demolition of the deck will follow. The sidewalk on the north side of East Rosemary Street will be closed for the duration of the project to protect people in the area.

For regular updates visit

July 16, 2021

Free Food Distribution July 22 in Carrboro

From 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday July 22, Carrboro and Orange County volunteers will distribute free food boxes at Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road, Carrboro. Orange County Animal Services will also have pet food available at no cost. Free masks will be distributed to anyone who needs them.  

The distribution is drive-thru; volunteers will place the food box in the trunk of your car. There are no eligibility requirements — first-come, first-served.

Online Auction to Benefit NAACP

The North Carolina National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is holding an online auction to support their cause. Autographed mementos they have secured from the University of Virginia (UVA), the University of North Carolina (UNC), and the National Basketball Association (NBA) Charlotte Hornets to auction off include a signed football from UNC Head Football Coach Mack Brown, a signed basketball from UVA Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett, and a signed jersey from NBA Charlotte Hornets Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball. Other donations are appreciated.

National Night Out in Carrboro

The Carrboro Police Department will be holding a National Night Out event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 3, at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main Street.

There will be music, games, free food (beef, veggie and turkey hot dogs catered by Al’s), activities, an officer and a firefighter in a dunk booth, the junior firefighter obstacle course, emergency vehicles on display, a free car-seat-checking station and many organizations in attendance with tables. Carrboro Police will also be collecting canned foods and other items to donate to the Inter-Faith Council and Table. Donations are welcome. 

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. For more information about National Night Out, please visit

Restaurant and Hospitality Hiring Event July 19th

The Town of Chapel Hill’s Office of Economic Development is coordinating with Corralling Chaos to host the “Greets and Treats Hiring Event” from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday July 19, at University Place on Estes Drive in Chapel Hill. Funding for this event is from the ReVive Recovery Plan.

The purpose of the ReVive Plan is to support local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty to 30 local business will be in attendance and on-the-spot hiring will be available for qualified candidates who are looking for work immediately.

More information about the event and a sign-up form for employers and job seekers can be found at

To see more about ReVive, visit

Photo courtesy of

Summer Outdoor Movies Are Back at a New Location

Chapel Hill’s outdoor movie series is back for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Movies Under the Stars will take place on three evenings this summer at its new location, The Forest Theatre.

Movies will begin promptly at sundown, which will vary between 8 and 8:30 p.m., and guests can arrive early. No folding chairs are allowed, and no food or drink will be available on-site; you may bring your own water.

The closest parking is available at the Cobb Parking Deck on Paul Green Drive, Chapel Hill; and the Park Place lot in Chapel Hill. Free parking is available after 6 p.m. on West Franklin Street (past Columbia Street) in Chapel Hill. For more information on parking, visit

To learn more about Movies Under the Stars, visit To learn more about The Forest Theatre, visit

July 13, 2021

Special Breed of Dogs on the Loose

Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) wishes to inform the public about several at-large dogs that are presumed to be wolf and German shepherd hybrids, although it has not been confirmed that all of the dogs are wolf hybrids. These dogs recently escaped from their enclosure in Orange County, and it is estimated that approximately four dogs currently remain at large. Some of the dogs were safely captured and are currently being housed at the OCAS facility.

Do not attempt to capture or confine these dogs. If you see any of these dogs running loose, please call Orange County Animal Control at 919-942-7387, option 1.

Orange County Animal Control officers have set traps in the Cedar Grove area of Orange County where the dogs originally escaped their enclosure. OCAS is asking the public not to feed the dogs or interfere with these trapping efforts, as this will severely hinder efforts to safely capture the dogs.

At this time, there is no confirmation that the dogs have attacked or hurt any people, animals, or livestock. However, like any fearful animal, these dogs may display aggressive tendencies when confronted by people. 

No outcome has been determined for the dogs at this time. They are not currently available to the general public for adoption or foster, and it is highly unlikely that they will ever be made available in that way. Hybrids of this kind may not be kept as pets in Orange County, and there is not an approved rabies vaccine for these canines. OCAS is working to find placement options.

Bakery Receives Living Wage Certification

Starfish Bakery ( has received certification as a living-wage employer by Orange County Living Wage.

July 11, 2021

Public Feedback on Triangle Bikeway Requested

After more than 2,000 individuals shared their thoughts during the Triangle Bikeway’s first phase of engagement, the project team is back to seek public feedback on a recommended route and to find out more about how bicyclists and pedestrians would like to access this regional shared-use path.

The Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro MPO invite Triangle residents, employees, businesses and visitors to provide input on the Triangle Bikeway Study’s recommended route – a critical milestone in the process to create a regional 17-mile biking and walking path connecting Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Research Triangle Park (RTP), Durham and Chapel Hill along I-40 and NC Hwy 54. By connecting Triangle communities, the pathway will allow residents to make both short and long biking and walking trips for work, play and daily errands. Since the eastern segment of the pathway has been through a preliminary study, the current planning effort includes design recommendations between Raleigh and RTP and a corridor assessment for the connection west to Durham and Chapel Hill.

The goals of the Triangle Bikeway Study focus on equity, connectivity and safety and include prioritizing equal access to the shared-use path for all; providing seamless connections between the path, the regional transportation network, employment centers and local neighborhoods; and addressing the safety needs of users of all ages and abilities.

The survey during this second phase will identify pathway user preferences and facility needs. Participants can share their ideas on where they would prefer to walk along the route and where they would like to access the path by taking the survey at The survey will remain open through Friday, July 16. Learn more at Watch the project update video at

Chapel Hill’s New Online Permit System

On July 8, the Town of Chapel Hill Building and Development Services Department launched a limited new online permit center that allows applicants to submit building permit applications, track the progress of their applications, schedule inspections, communicate with staff and pay permit fees online. The limited-launch period will last at least a month, after which the Town will publish an evaluation of the system and describe next steps. 

Applicants can still use their preferred method of submittal, and staff will help them enter the information in the system and set them up with an account. Staff will also continue to accept applications and inspection requests via telephone and email. The purpose of the limited launch is to help users transition to the new system and will allow staff the opportunity to collect user feedback and make any changes that are needed to the system. 

If paying fees online, a third-party transaction processor provided by charges a non-refundable convenience fee to process a payment. This fee is separate from Town fees and goes directly to Stripe. Cash and checks will still be accepted at the Town Hall Revenue Desk. 

  • Credit card fee: 2.99% + 99 cents per transaction
  • Electronic check:  $5.50 flat fee

Visit to use the new system and create a login with an email address and password. To provide feedback, email or call the Permit Center at 919-968-2718.

Homestead Aquatic Center Reopening Operations July 12

On July 12 the Homestead Aquatic Center will begin a mix of new hybrid pool operations for both reservable swim times and drop-in swim times. The Chapel Hill Community Center Pool will continue to operate on a limited schedule with only reservable times available. The AD Clark outdoor pool will revert back to free drop-in swimming with a limit of 45 swimmers at any one time. Drop-in swims at all facilities will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. For pool schedules and more detail, visit

The easiest way to reserve a swim time is via the online catalog at If you need to register by phone or have a question, call Homestead Aquatic Center (919) 968-2799, Chapel Hill Community Center pool (919) 968-2790, or AD Clark outdoor pool (919) 968-2816. Patrons who plan to swim at Homestead Aquatic Center or at the Chapel Hill Community Center pool will have the option of paying the single-visit fee when they reserve online or may inquire on-site about 20-day, six-month and 12-month passes. To learn more about swim passes, visit

See the webpage titled “What to Know Before You Go” ( for more information on Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation. See for updates and information regarding parks and recreation facilities and service.

Orange County Department on Aging 2021 Direct Care Worker Award Nominations Now Open 

Since 2015, Orange County Department on Aging and the community group Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners of Orange County (SHARP) have hosted an annual SHARP Direct Care Worker Awards event. This event is in honor of nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc. who affect their clients’ lives on a daily basis and make a difference in the Orange County community.

Awards will be presented for client impact, longevity, leadership, going the extra mile and rising star. One person will be chosen as the “Direct Care Worker of the Year.”

To be eligible, direct-care workers must have served clients in Orange County within the past year. Each person may be nominated in two categories. Nominees must have provided direct care to clients and have at least six consecutive months of service in the past year.

Nominations are open through Sept. 24. A ceremony will be held for award winners Thursday, Nov. 4, from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

For more information about the awards or to nominate a direct-care worker, please visit, or contact Kim Lamon-Loperfido at or at 919-245-4253.

Orange County Senior Centers Phase in On-Site Programs

The Seymour Center (2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill) and the Passmore Center (103 Meadowlands Dr, Hillsborough ) again offer indoor programming, with limited capacity. In addition, individual activities, including table tennis, billiards, fitness center, fit feet clinic and more are available by reservation. Many programs will be offered in a hybrid model, with in-person and online options. Outdoor spaces are also available for gathering with friends. Lunch service will continue to be offered curbside.

Participants must pre-register for programs and activities and sign in upon arrival. While inside, masks and social distancing will remain in place at both centers.

For assistance or more information about programs offered, contact the Passmore Center (919-245-2015), Seymour Center (919-968-2070), or the Aging Helpline at or 919-968-2087.

Deadline to Appeal Property Values Extended to Sept. 1

On June 15 the Orange County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to extend the 2021 Orange County Board of Equalization and Review Formal Appeal adjournment date from June 30 to Sept. 1.

The purpose of this extension is to allow additional time for property owners to formally appeal their 2021 property values to the Board of Equalization and Review.

Instructions and the Formal Notice of Appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review are available on the Orange County website: Property owners may file a formal appeal online at

To receive a paper copy of the form, email or call 919-245-2100, option 2. All formal appeals must be submitted before the board’s adjournment Wednesday, Sept. 1.

NEXT Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund Candidate Coming-Out Party and Happy Hour

The NEXT ( Chapel Hill-Carrboro Action Fund will hold its biennial Candidate Coming-Out Party and Happy Hour ( Friday, July 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Present Day on Main (901 West Main St., Carrboro).

This event will mark the end of the candidate filing period for this year’s municipal, school board and state elections. Attendees can meet and engage with constituents, journalists and candidates for local office in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough.

Orange County Seeking to Expand Rural Broadband

Orange County has designated $5 million of its initial American Rescue Plan Act Local Recovery Funds to improve broadband in rural areas and is seeking a company or companies that can help the county achieve its goals.

The Orange County Broadband Task Force and the North Carolina Broadband Infrastructure Office are offering virtual meetings for interested companies. These sessions will be held Thursday, July 22, beginning at 3 p.m. Each company will have 20 minutes to discuss their ability to meet the county’s goal to improve service in rural areas.

Companies should be prepared to discuss the details of an affordable fiber-based solution that provides a minimum of 100 Mbps symmetrical service to approximately 5,000 unserved and underserved households within Orange County. The plan should include a subsidized option for low-income families to ensure that all residents are served.

Interested companies should include details on project costs and what kind of subsidy per household would be needed from the county to provide the minimum service to every home by Dec. 31, 2024.

Interested companies should register for a meeting at

July 6, 2021

Carrboro Town Council Member Barbara Foushee (photo courtesy of

Carrboro Town Council Member Barbara Foushee to Seek Reelection

Carrboro Town Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Foushee announced Tuesday, July 6, the launch of her reelection campaign. Learn more about Foushee and her campaign at

House Fire at 106 Kenan Street

The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded at 6:16 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, to the report of a structure fire at 106 Kenan Street. The fire was under control within 30 minutes of crews arriving.

No one was injured because of the fire; two residents will be displaced. The fire damaged roughly 50% of the house. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Frederick Douglass Community Reading Available for Viewing

The Town of Carrboro held its eighth annual Frederick Douglass Community Reading of Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” under the old elm tree outside Town Hall July 4.

The speech was first delivered in 1852, in Corinthian Hall, Rochester, New York, to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society. The themes addressed in the speech still resonate with Americans more than 150 years after they were written, forcing us to reckon with the legacy of slavery and the promises of democracy. It took 13 years after the speech for slavery to be abolished — 89 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Opening remarks for the program were provided by former North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, the first African American woman to serve as chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

The complete video of the event can be viewed at Justice Cheri Beasley’s opening remarks are at 35:00, and closing remarks by James Williams, the retired chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties who chairs the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System (NC CRED), are at 1:44. The Douglass speech is available at

Tracks Music Library Releasing New Local Music Throughout July

Tracks Music Library, Chapel Hill’s commercial-free streaming music platform, announces a new music collection for 2021 featuring more than 30 albums produced in the last two years by Triangle-area musicians. Launched in the summer of 2020, Tracks Music Library is a collaboration between Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture. Anyone can listen to the streaming service for free, and those with a Chapel Hill Public Library card can download songs. 

To celebrate the 2021 Tracks Music Library collection, local media and digital platforms will be featuring Tracks artists and curators each Tuesday in July. Listeners can visit each Tuesday to hear newly released albums and a ‘summer mixtape’ playlist curated by staff that showcases a variety of genres and bands. They can also tune in to WCHL 97.9 The Hill ( each Tuesday in July from 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. for live interviews and on-air performances with Tracks musicians and bands, follow Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture and Chapel Hill Public Library social media accounts on Tuesdays for to read features and hear live performances, and download music and create custom playlists with a Chapel Hill Public Library card. Orange County residents can obtain a library card for free at

To learn more about Tracks Music Library, visit To learn more about Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, visit To learn more about Chapel Hill Public Library, visit

July 4, 2021

The Chapel Hill Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library Takes Another Step Towards Fully Reopening

Starting on Thursday, July 8, library users will be able to browse the stacks on the Chapel Hill Public Library’s main level.

Users are asked to wear masks, as will the library staff. This phase will start with some occupancy limits, and users are asked to keep visits brief.

Also, starting on July 11, Sunday hours are being restored. The library’s hours of operations will then be Monday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday closed; and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

People can still request items and pick them up at University Place lockers. Computers and printers are available on the lower level of the library, and the terrace is available for a place to meet or to work.

Call 919-969-2034 or email library director Susan Brown ( with any questions or concerns.

July Traffic-Safety Initiatives in Chapel Hill

The Chapel Hill Police Department will perform four special traffic-safety initiatives—in addition to normal patrols—in July, with the main goal of improving safety for pedestrians. The events will be held (subject to change) Friday, July 9, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, July 13, and Friday, July 23, 2-6 p.m.

Each effort will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (e.g., along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor).

Chapel Hill Police will also perform four speed enforcement operations this month, on Tuesday, July 6, 6:30-8:30 a.m.; Friday, July 16, 2-4 p.m.; Thursday, July 22, 10 a.m.-12 noon; and Tuesday, July 27, 8-10 a.m.

Police encourage everyone to limit distractions; yield to pedestrians in crosswalks; and walk against traffic, ride with traffic.

The Town will utilize its variable message sign (VMS) boards throughout town to alert people driving of the events as well as encourage them to limit distractions and watch out for people riding their bikes and walking.

July is National Parks and Recreation Month

An initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (, Parks and Recreation Month has been celebrated in the U.S. since 1985, building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation, and to recognize park and recreation professionals, seasonal workers and volunteers who maintain our community parks. This July Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will join in the celebration by celebrating how Chapel Hill is stronger, more vibrant and more resilient because of parks and recreation.

This year’s theme for Parks and Recreation Month is “Our Park and Recreation Story,” and people can follow along on their Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages. People can also share what parks and recreation mean to them by taking their picture and posting about their favorite park or park experience to their own social media page using the hashtag #OurParkAndRecStory.

The Town of Chapel Hill is nationally regarded for its quality of life. In addition to parks, trails and indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation offers a myriad recreation programs and cultural activities for all ages and backgrounds. To learn more about the Town of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, visit

Tracks Music Library Launches New Video Concert Series

Tracks Music Library, a local music-streaming platform launched in collaboration with Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, has released Tracks in the Stacks, a video series of three intimate, short concerts and interviews filmed inside Chapel Hill Public Library. The videos can be viewed at The video series originated amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with people yearning for live music and to be among the “stacks” at Chapel Hill Public Library.

The series, produced and hosted by Hip Hop artist Kevin “Rowdy” Rowsey, features three Tracks musicians, A.yoni Jeffries, XOXOK and Austin Royale. The set also features a variety of hand-picked titles and authors that highlight Black musicians, performers, graphic novelists and more. The booklist can be found at More will be coming from Tracks Music Library this summer.

To learn more about Tracks Music Library, visit To support the artists and watch the Tracks in the Stacks video series, visit

New Art at Bus Shelter at Eastgate Shopping Center

There is new artwork on the bus shelter at 4352 East Franklin St. The piece, created by artist Victoria Primicias, is titled, “Birds of a Feather,” and is inspired by the metaphor for inclusion, community, acceptance and diversity. All the birds depicted are common species found in North Carolina. Several more shelters will be getting beautified with art in the coming weeks.

East Rosemary Street Redevelopment Project

Contractors for the Rosemary Parking Deck will begin preparations for its demolition in the coming weeks. Fences and barricades will be set up before the work begins, and the Town will share more at that time. The Town of Chapel Hill is preparing to carry out the East Rosemary Street Redevelopment Project in conjunction with Grubb Properties.

The project involves construction of a 1,100-space parking deck and an office building with web lab space, bringing an estimated $50 million investment and 800 jobs. UNC-Chapel Hill is exploring the possibility of joining the envisioned Innovation Hub.

The project is expected to attract new entrepreneurs and retain local businesses. Development of office space has remained stagnant for over a decade in Chapel Hill. Additional community benefits include increased centralized parking, new greenspaces, improved bike and pedestrian connections, and downtown jobs to support Chapel Hill restaurant and retail businesses.

For a timeline and project materials, visit

July 2, 2021

Applicants Needed for Orange County Advisory Boards and Commissions

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting applicants for the following advisory boards and commissions:

  • Agricultural Preservation Board – One position for a representative of the Cedar Grove Voluntary Agricultural District, as well as three at-large vacancies.
  • Animal Services Hearing Panel Pool – One position for a resident living in an unincorporated area of the county and one position for a veterinarian.
  • Board of Equalization and Review – Five alternate positions.
  • Historic Preservation Commission – One at-large position.
  • Orange County Housing Authority Board – One at-large position.
  • Orange County Parks and Recreation Council – One Cedar Grove Township position.

If interested, apply at Applicants must reside in Orange County.

For additional information, contact Tara May at 919-245-2125 or at

New Bulk Item Waste Collection Schedule

The Carrboro Public Works Department will begin collecting bulk waste items, such as furniture and appliances, on a regular, biweekly schedule.

To find your collection day, a list of acceptable and unacceptable items and collection guidelines, see All bulk waste items are collected free of charge.

Town of Carrboro to Observe Independence Day Holiday

In observance of Sunday’s Independence Day holiday, Town of Carrboro administrative offices will be closed Monday, July 5.

Yard waste and loose leaves will not be collected on Monday. Residents who normally receive this collection on Monday will receive it on Tuesday, July 6. 

View the Town of Carrboro’s 4th of July holiday events at

Tree to be Removed at Martin Luther King Jr. Park

A silver maple tree in the parking lot of Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 1120 Hillsborough Road, Carrboro, will be removed soon because of extensive decay and the possible hazard it poses due to falling limbs and branches.

For questions, contact the Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Department at 919-918-7364.

Photo courtesy

June 29, 2021

Blackwood Farm Park to Close for a Year 

Blackwood Farm Park, 4215 NC 86 S, will close July 4 at 8 p.m. for construction. The park is expected to remain closed for approximately a year. The construction will bring many upgrades to the park, including a large picnic shelter, restrooms, an amphitheater and a new park entrance and parking area. Read more about the plans at the Blackwood Farm Park website,

County Extends COVID Guidelines

Orange County has extended its local state-of-emergency declaration for its COVID-19 response through July 30. The terms of the governor’s current and future executive orders related to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency shall be effective in Orange County without exception. This means the county will follow state guidance on face masks, capacity, etc.

To read the executive order in English, go to For the order in Spanish, see

Application Form Available for Orange County Commissioner Seat

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will have a vacancy on the board after July 31, 2021. Applicants must be registered Democrats and live in District 1 in Orange County. Applications are due to the clerk of the board by July 19, 2021, at 5 p.m.

The application may be downloaded at—Vacancy-Application. Interested individuals can also obtain a copy of the application by contacting the clerk to the board at 919-245-2130 or by emailing

For further information on the process to fill the vacancy, visit or contact the clerk to the board.

The person chosen by the board of commissioners will serve until Dec. 1, 2022. An election will be held in 2022 to fill the remaining two years of the unexpired term.

Chapel Hill Services Schedule for July 4

Residential trash will not be collected (make-up day July 7). Curbside recycling will not be affected.

Commercial trash will not be collected July 5. Monday’s trash will be collected July 7.

Waste and recycling centers and the Orange County landfill will be closed.

Chapel Hill Public Library will be closed.

Chapel Hill Transit will not operate. On July 5, Transit will run Sunday routes (except the U and NU). EZ Rider will operate from 8:15 a.m. to 6:52 p.m., and the 420 route will run.

Housing Office and Maintenance Division will be closed. For emergency maintenance services, call 919-968-2855.

Chapel Hill Community Center, Hargraves Center, Northside Gym and the Teen Center will be closed July 4-5.

Homestead Aquatics Center and AD Clark Outdoor Pool will be open from noon to 5:30 p.m. July 4, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 5 (reservations required — schedule a time online at

Parks, greenways, trails, dog parks, playgrounds, picnic shelters and outdoor park amenities will be open with safe user guidelines posted.

A fireworks show will be held at Southern Community Park. Shuttle service will not be provided, and parking will be limited. See for more information.

Orange County Begins Phase 1 Transformation Plan

Orange County will begin a phased approach to reopening county facilities to the public beginning July 1. The county’s transformation plan is based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the Orange County Health Department.

While allowing residents to return to certain county facilities, such as the library, departments will continue to offer remote and online services developed over the last year in response to the pandemic.

Effective July 1, the following transformation strategies will be implemented:

Face coverings
Face coverings will not be required for fully vaccinated guests or employees to enter county facilities, except for employees who provide transportation services, medical and dental care, in-home visitation or serve children. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear face coverings in all county facilities.

Indoor social distancing
Social distancing (maintaining a six-foot distance between individuals) is required in waiting areas and other indoor settings where the public may congregate. Care should be taken in small spaces, such as elevators and restrooms, where social distancing is not practical. All outdoor venues are allowed to open at full capacity, although proper social distancing is encouraged. Both indoor and outdoor facility rentals may resume at full capacity.

For department-specific plans, see

Free Parking on West Franklin Street through July

Parking will be free on West Franklin Street (west of Columbia Street) after 6 p.m. and every Saturday through July.

Carrboro’s Affordable Housing Board Seeks New Members

Carrboro’s Affordable Housing Advisory Commission has vacancies on its board. The AHAC plays a key role in helping the town further its goal to provide opportunities for safe, decent and affordable housing for all residents. Learn more at

The AHAC reviews goals, strategies, policies and Affordable Housing Fund applications. The board makes recommendations to the Town Council that further affordable housing goals. Carrboro seeks to appoint members who represent the ethnic, racial and geographic diversity of the community.  

Online applications are available at

County Aging Department to Host Self-Care Event

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE Mental Wellness Senior Resource Team will present a virtual presentation, Let’s Talk About Self Care, on July 22. The event, open to the public, is in celebration of National Self Care Day. Annie Deaver, LMSW, will talk about the importance of individuals looking after their own health based on the knowledge and information available to them.

The event will take place on Thursday, July 22, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. via a virtual platform. Register at If technical assistance is needed, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, July 20.

June 25, 2021

Commuting Options for Veterans

Veterans can learn more about the ride-along buddy program and alternative transportation in Chapel Hill (transit, biking, walking or rolling) at the Veterans Commute Options Event to be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 25, at 140 West Franklin St. plaza. The Vets on the Move program provides assistance with alternative transportation for veterans who are transitioning into civilian life.

The program helps veterans use public transportation to get to work and medical or mental health appointments. Ride-along buddies will accompany those needing someone to ride along for three sessions until they are comfortable using public transportation alone.

At the event, attendees can get a Commute Toolkit, find out their best routes, and sign up for monthly gift-card drawings.

Volunteers, including veterans and Town of Chapel Hill employees, helped to develop the program, which was envisioned by Len Cone, Town of Chapel Hill transportation demand community manager. This is one of two similar programs in the country, and the only program like this on the East Coast.

All attendees are asked to wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from non-household members.

For more information on Vets on the Move and transportation alternatives, visit

Homebuyer’s Education Webinar

Empowerment Inc. is hosting a free webinar for prospective homebuyers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 26, via Zoom.  

Topics will include understanding mortgages, debt management, predatory lending, budgeting and fair housing. A translator will be available. Contact Sharron Reid at 919-967-8779 or to register.

Park for Large Dogs to Close for a Day

The dog park enclosure for large dogs at Southern Community Park (northern entrance at 100 Sumac Road and southern entrance at 1000 Dogwood Acres Drive, Chapel Hill) will be closed from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, for routine maintenance (Friday, July 2, as a rain date if needed). The enclosure for small dogs (less than 25 pounds) will remain open. During this brief closure, large dogs should not be brought into the small-dog enclosure.

During the maintenance period, people with large dogs can visit the town’s other dog park at Homestead Park, 100 Aquatic Drive, Chapel Hill.

Town of Carrboro July 4th Events

The Town of Carrboro will celebrate July 4th with a mix of virtual and live activities at Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.:

Annual community reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay

From 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. Mayor Lydia Lavelle will host the eighth annual community reading of Frederick Douglass’ essay, “The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro.” The community reading will also be available on YouTube, at

Musician Tre. Charles

From 2 to 3 p.m. musician Tre. Charles will perform live, and the performance will also be livestreamed on YouTube, at For more information about the artist and his music, visit

Mix Tape Grab Bag

From 4 to 6:00 p.m. the Town of Carrboro is partnering with the Cat’s Cradle to present a livestreaming performance from local favorites, Mix Tape Grab Bag. The performance is tentatively scheduled to stream via the Cat’s Cradle social media channels.

Ice cream truck

An ice cream truck will be on site at Carrboro Town Commons during the above events.

Kids’ crafts

July 4th-inspired crafts have been created by camp staff, with how-to videos. For a supply list, visit .

For video instructions on how to complete these craft projects, check out the playlist on the YouTube page at .

Continue to check for updates. 

June 22, 2021

Bee Protection Week Has Carrboro Buzzing

The week of June 21-27 has been proclaimed Pollinator Week in Carrboro.

In October 2014, Carrboro became the third municipality recognized as a BEE CITY USA and, in doing so, agreed to meet the standards required of all BEE CITY USA affiliates, including annual celebration of National Pollinator Week or other appropriate occasion through events, proclamations and promotions that showcase the town’s commitment to being a BEE CITY USA.

The town has worked to create pollinator habitats by installing native bee nest boxes, establishing a pollinator garden and planting pollinator-friendly vegetation.

To read the proclamation, go to

Survey Would Benefit Regional Bikeway Study

The Triangle Bikeway Study seeks input from residents, employees, businesses and visitors for the creation of a regional 17-mile biking and walking path connecting Chapel Hill, Durham, Research Triangle Park, Morrisville, Cary and Raleigh along Interstate 40 and N.C. 54.

The focus of the study is on equity, connectivity and safety and providing seamless connections among the path, the regional transportation network, employment centers and local neighborhoods.

An initial survey conducted in fall 2020 provided public input on desired destinations, commuting patterns, estimated frequency of use and route preferences. The survey during this second phase will identify user preferences and facility needs. Participants can share ideas on where they would prefer to walk along the route and where they would like to access the path by taking the 5-minute survey at The survey will remain open through July 16.

Two public meetings will be held online on June 29 so that community members can receive the latest project updates, provide feedback on the recommended route of the Triangle Bikeway and ask questions of the project team. Meeting details, informational videos and more can be found on the project website at

Deadline to Appeal Property Values Extended

Orange County property owners will have more time to appeal their 2021 property values. The county board of commissioners has approved a resolution to extend the 2021 county Board of Equalization and Review Formal Appeal adjournment date from June 30 to Sept. 1. The extension is to allow additional time for property owners to appeal their 2021 property values to the Board of Equalization and Review.

Instructions and the Formal Notice of Appeal to the Board of Equalization and Review are available on the Orange County website:
Property owners may file a formal appeal online at
To receive a paper copy of the form, email or call 919-245-2100, option 2. All formal appeals must be submitted prior to the board’s adjournment on Sept. 1.

June 18, 2021

Orange County Living Wage Certifies More Businesses

The following businesses have been certified by Orange County Living Wage as paying employees $15.40 an hour without benefits, or $13.90 an hour if the employer provides health insurance:

Acupuncture & Apothecary, 1829 E. Franklin St., Suite 9-C, Chapel Hill; 919-241-5395
Acupuncture & Apothecary is an integrative Chinese medicine practice, complete with a pharmacy of herbs and nutritional supplements.

Caffe Driade, 1215-A E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill; 919-942-2333
Caffe Driade is an award-winning, independently owned, full-service espresso bar, wine bar and teahouse. Learn more at

United Church Preschool, 1328 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill; 919-338-7916
Founded in 1993, United Church Preschool is a”small, nonprofit preschool serving children ages 2 through 5. For more information about its philosophy and enrollment process, visit

The Noble Law Firm PLLC, 141 Providence Road, Suite 210, Chapel Hill, 919-251-6008
Founded in 2009, The Noble Law Firm is a women-owned business providing consultations and legal advice for employment issues. Learn more about its services at

Fireworks Planned for July 4 Event

The Town of Chapel Hill will host a fireworks display at Southern Community Park on Sunday, July 4. This year’s event will be smaller in scale and scope than in previous years, due to the pandemic.

No additional programming such as live music and kids’ activities is planned. There will not be any shuttle service to the event. Event parking will open at 7 p.m., with the fireworks show expected to begin at 9:20 p.m.

The best viewing for the fireworks is expected to be from the Southern Community Park ball fields and around the Southern Village Green. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs; tents and tailgates will not be allowed.

Between Southern Community Park and Southern Village, there are approximately 1,000 parking spaces. Masks will not be required, but attendees are encouraged to spread out. Masks are encouraged for those who carpool with people who have not yet been vaccinated.

For information and parking details, visit

Carrboro Sets a Day to Honor Top Teacher

Carrboro has declared Wednesday, June 16, as Eugenia Floyd Day. In April, Floyd was named the 2020-21 Burroughs Wellcome Fund N.C. Teacher of the Year.

“I urge all residents of the Town of Carrboro to congratulate North Carolina Teacher of the Year Eugenia Floyd,” Mayor Lydia Lavelle said.

Floyd is a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Scroggs Elementary School in Chapel Hill. She was first recognized as the Teacher of the Year at Scroggs and then as Teacher of the Year in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District in June 2020, and then as North Central Regional Teacher of the Year in December 2020.

As Teacher of the Year, Floyd will spend the next school year traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession and will also serve as an adviser to the State Board of Education for two years and as a board member for the N.C. Public School Forum for one year.

Read more about Floyd’s dedication to her students in the proclamation posted at

Vaccine Team Offers COVID-19 Vaccinations in Homes

The Orange County Mobile Vaccine Team has begun to vaccinate people who are homebound or otherwise unable to travel to a vaccine clinic.

To date, the team has administered COVID-19 vaccine to 44 homebound individuals. The county encourages community members to make referrals for individuals who may be encountering challenges to getting vaccinated.

The team serves people who are medically fragile or may be physically unable to leave home, such as people who need supplemental oxygen when traveling to a vaccine clinic. Or bed-bound people who may not be able to make or afford a trip because of the cost of convalescent services. 

Set up a time for in-home vaccination by visiting or by calling 919-245-6127.

June 15, 2021

Police to Monitor Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian safety will be the focus of several Chapel Hill Police Department traffic-safety initiatives in June. The first efforts will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including downtown and mid-block crosswalks (for example, along the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor):

  • Thursday, June 17, 2 to 6 p.m.
  • Friday, June 25, 8 a.m. to noon
  • Wednesday, June 30, noon to 4 p.m.

Police also will perform two speed enforcement operations:

  • Tuesday, June 22, 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 29, 4 to 6 p.m.

Police offer the following safety tips for everyone on and near roads:

  • Limit distractions
  • Phones down; eyes up (this is true for people driving, walking, rolling or riding a bike)
  • Keep music at an appropriate level to hear what’s happening outside your car or around you
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Use designated crosswalks to cross roads
  • Walk against traffic; ride with traffic, in a bike lane, if there is one

Bicycles are permitted to ride on the sidewalk except downtown (Franklin and Rosemary streets) and on the east side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of the Chapel Hill Police Department.

Variable message signs will be posted throughout town to alert drivers to events as well as to encourage them to limit distractions and watch out for pedestrians and bicyclists.

For information on town strategies to address pedestrian safety, visit:

Photo courtesy

Celebrate Juneteenth in Carrboro

The Town of Carrboro will celebrate Juneteenth as an official holiday for the first time on Friday, June 18. Juneteenth, the oldest known celebration marking the end of slavery in the U.S., is observed on June 19. It was originally celebrated June 19, 1865, the day Union soldiers told enslaved Black Americans in Galveston, Texas, the war was over and they were free. The news arrived more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday is also recognized by the towns of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, and Orange County.

The holiday will celebrate Black community and culture through art performances, history exhibits, kids’ activities and more. Most of this year’s events will be virtual, with a limited number of in-person and hybrid offerings. Events start June 18 at 7 p.m. and continue through June 19.

Household trash will not be collected on June 18. Residents who normally receive waste collection services on Friday will be serviced on Monday, June 21. Town government offices will be closed on June 18. Learn more at

Carrboro Seeks Applicants for Community Safety Task Force

The Town of Carrboro is accepting applications from Carrboro residents who want to serve on a new Community Safety Task Force. In the interest of developing new approaches to public safety beyond policing, the ideal task force will include five to seven residents with professional expertise or lived experience in the criminal legal system, human services delivery, social work, public health and harm reduction, community building in marginalized populations or related content areas. Town Council will pick two of three of its members to join the task force.

The task force will provide recommendations to council for additional services to enhance community safety and well-being that rely on prevention and intervention strategies as alternatives to policing and the criminal legal system — including community nonviolence and de-escalation training programs; domestic violence intervention and prevention; youth-oriented programs; on-call crisis response that would allow certain calls for police assistance to be handled by other trained professionals, such as social workers or crisis counselors; and other related approaches.

Read the authorizing legislation at   

Apply at 

Root Named Orange County’s Next Housing and Community Development Director

Corey Root, who has spearheaded the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness since March 2016, has been chosen to succeed Emila Sutton as Orange County’s next housing and community development director. Root’s first day will be June 21.

As OCPEH coordinator, Root partnered with local government elected officials, staff, service providers and advocates to advance affordable housing goals within Orange County. She also coordinated efforts to develop and implement programs and services for the homeless or those in danger of becoming homeless. In the past five years, OCPEH completed a systems map and gaps analysis and worked with community partners to fill several of the major gaps in homeless services. 

Root has a degree in film and TV from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and a master’s degree in public administration from N.C. State University. Before coming to Orange County, she was a project specialist for the N.C. Coalition to End Homelessness.

The primary mission of the Orange County Housing and Community Development Department is to promote adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity and a dignified living environment.

Free Food Distribution Planned for June 24

A community food distribution event is scheduled for 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 24, at Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road. Anyone in need of free food is welcome; there are no eligibility requirements. The distribution is first-come, first-served. Distributions are drive-through, and boxes are placed inside vehicle trunks. Free masks will be distributed to anyone who needs them.

The event is sponsored by the Town of Carrboro and the Orange County Social Services Department. If you are interested in volunteering, contact

Volunteers Needed for Chapel Hill’s Food Distribution

The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with its weekly food bank distributions. If you’re able to volunteer up to four hours per shift, sign up at

Community members in need of food assistance can view the weekly food distribution schedule at

The food is given out at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot (

CommUNITY Commissioned Bus Shelter 

The CommUNITY Commissioned Art + Transit shelter is here. Thanks to RedApple school art teacher Ms. TT for leading the project and excellent work by the K-5 students. This project is made possible through a collaboration with The Chinese School, the Chinese-American Friendship Association, Community Arts & Culture, and Chapel Hill Transit.

Orange County Department on Aging Wants Input on Next Master Aging Plan

The Orange County Department on Aging and its advisory board are seeking the input of the community as they develop the next Master Aging Plan, a five-year plan that provides comprehensive and coordinated delivery of community services and support that foster lifelong community engagement and well-being to older adults in Orange County. To develop the MAP for 2022-27, the department would like input on goals that are important to the community.

Survey participants have the opportunity to anonymously share their ideas and vision about how to make Orange County a great place to age. Take the survey online at or pick up a hard copy of the survey at the Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill, or Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough. 

The survey is now open and will close on July 15 and is available in English, Chinese and Spanish. For more information or assistance, please call 919-968-2087 or visit

Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Facilities Reopening Update

Carrboro Century Center at 100 N. Greensboro St. has updated its reopening plan as follows:

  • All recreation classes have returned to their normal size limits.
  • Capacity limits have been lifted, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and all Century Center reservations are currently being accepted, with the exception of larger public events. People are asked to wear masks and social distance during events.
  • Century Center reservation restrictions will change based on further guidance from the CDC and state agencies.
  • The Carrboro Cybrary plans to add additional hours and services the first week in August and will continue its current curbside schedule until then. August hours will be Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday/Thursday 12 noon to 7 p.m.

For questions, contact the Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources main office at 919-918-7364.

June 10, 2021

Orange County to Host Presentation on Home Funerals

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual presentation, Home Sweet Home Funerals, on June 22.

Sara Williams, founder of Shrouding Sisters (, will discuss alternatives to conventional funeral ceremonies. She will present information regarding the care, ceremony and honoring of a body while keeping a loved one at home. Valuable information will be provided on the legalities and other components of family-directed home funerals.

The free virtual event will take place on Tuesday, June 22, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Participants may get into the event beginning at 3:50 p.m. to get help with any questions or platform issues before the program starts.

To register, visit If technology assistance is needed, please contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, June 21.

Photo courtesy

Six Triangle Transit Agencies Hold a Job Fair

The need for bus and paratransit operators is so critical across the Triangle that GoTriangle is having to reduce service on eight routes starting June 14. Chapel Hill Transit also has had to modify schedules on some of its most popular routes, and GoDurham and GoCary are planning service reductions this month as well.

To respond to the need, six transit agencies are staging a mega job fair to attract responsible people with good driving records and excellent customer service skills for fulfilling careers in transit.
The regional job fair will be on Tuesday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at GoTriangle’s offices at 4600 Emperor Blvd. in Durham. Masks will be required.

Representatives from Chapel Hill Transit, GoCary, GoDurham, GoRaleigh, GoTriangle and GoWake ACCESS will be on site to interview potential bus and paratransit operators and will be ready to make job offers that day.

Having a Commercial Driver’s License is not required to apply, but those offered employment for bus operator positions will need to obtain a class B CDL Permit with a Passenger Endorsement before starting training.

The agencies prefer that people fill out online applications before attending the event for every agency they are interested in talking with. Following are links for each agency:

Exhibit Remembers Black Victims of Violence

Carrboro Poet Laureate Fred Joiner, journalist Mike Ogle and Orange County Commissioner Renee Price have created three banners that illustrate the violence and trauma that Black people have experienced in America since its founding. The banners acknowledged Manly McCauley, Emmett Till and James Cates, with poetry by N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green.

The exhibit will be set up on the lawn at the Hillsborough Visitors Center at 150 E. King St. Hours are: Friday, June 18, from 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 19 (Juneteenth), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and Sunday, June 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. It will also be set up again at the Last Friday Event in Hillsborough on June 26.

This project is made possible by a grant from the Orange County Arts Commission.

Blue Dogwood Public Market Certified as Living Wage Employer

Blue Dogwood Public Market, 306 W. Franklin St., Suite G, Chapel Hill, has been certified as a living wage employer by Orange County Living Wage. The public market and food hall also features art by local artists and hosts special events. For more information, visit

Shenekia Weeks (left), Loryn Clark (middle), and Ran Northam (right)

Chapel Hill Promotes Staff

Ran Northam has been promoted to communications and public affairs director for the Town of Chapel Hill, after serving in the interim since May 2020. Loryn Clark has been named deputy town manager, succeeding Flo Miller, who had held the position for 32 years before retiring in June. And Shenekia Weeks has been hired as the town’s first diversity, equity and inclusion officer.

Northam joined the town staff in 2014 as a communications specialist. Since 2017, he has worked as the public information officer for the police and fire departments. Previously, he led WCHL’s news and sports divisions.

Clark started as an intern in the town’s planning department in 1994 and worked her way up to executive director of the department of housing and community when that position was created in 2014.

Weeks comes to Chapel Hill from Stokes and Surry counties, where she is the district administrator of the Guardian ad Litem program. Previously, she was director of diversity, equity and trauma for EducationPlus. In her 27-year career, she has addressed multiple facets of social determinants of health and eliminating race- and class-based disparities.

Department on Aging Seeks Volunteer Drivers

Orange County Department on Aging is looking for volunteers for the community-based services team to deliver lunches to older adults throughout the county on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays from noon until 1 p.m. Volunteers must be dependable, qualified drivers.

Contact Shenae McPherson, Volunteer Connect 55+ administrator, at 919-245-4243 or via email

Chapel Hill Public Library

Chapel Hill Public Library Raising Money to Diversify Collection

Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library is launching a community-wide fundraising campaign, “Diverse Books for a Diverse Community.” The campaign — which will run through Labor Day — aims to raise $15,000 for the Chapel Hill Public Library to increase the diversity of its collection, particularly for children.

The money will enable the library to purchase picture books that feature differently abled kids; books in languages other than English; young adult books about Black teens, written by Black authors; and novels written by Latinx and Asian American authors.

For more information and to invest in this campaign, go to

June 2, 2021

The Marian Cheek Jackson Center in Northside. Photo courtesy of Google Maps.

Northside Property Tax Update: Price-It-Right!

In response to what many perceive as inequitable property valuations, Chapel Hill’s Northside neighborhood Jackson Center has written a “Community Letter” ( by which residents can appeal their property valuations. In just a few weeks, more than 650 Orange County residents have signed onto the letter, and over 50 individual appeals have been submitted.

This effort took hundreds of hours and the collective effort of 40+ volunteers and Jackson Center and EmPOWERment Inc. ( staff. 

In the coming weeks the nonprofits aim to continue spreading the word, as the county considers the appeals. They created “Price It Right” (, a satirical quiz and game show parody that shows examples of property valuations in Chapel Hill/Carrboro.

Jackson Center Hires New Director of Housing Justice

The Jackson Center has named Christine Abernathy director of housing justice for the Northside neighborhood in Chapel Hill. Abernathy will lead the Jackson Center’s housing justice initiatives, stewarding the land bank and the 45+ partnerships that are a part of the Northside Neighborhood Initiative. She brings experience and enthusiasm to lead housing justice in Northside — enabling elders to age in place, creating affordable housing opportunities for diverse families, and preserving the future of the neighborhood by passing the baton of community justice to the next generation of Northside, Pine Knolls and Tin Top residents. 

Abernathy first got involved with the Jackson Center when she was a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. Since then, she has remained connected through her work at Habitat for Humanity of Orange County, leading youth empowerment initiatives and volunteering with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Reach her at

Historic Cottages Moved to Northside

The brief, below, has been updated to correct the number of houses moved and the actions taken by the property owner and the Historic District Commission.

The Northside Initiative moved three century-old cottages from the Franklin-Rosemary Historic District to Northside. The tiny houses (from 366 to 756 square feet) were built from kits sold through Sears & Roebuck in the 1920s. Author John Grisham bought the Franklin Street property and applied in 2017 for a demolition permit, which the Historic District Commission delayed for a year in order to look for a way to save them. Several nonprofits lobbied to take the houses, and the Northside Initiative prevailed. The houses were moved to two lots in Northside and renovated. Two cottages were joined to create a duplex and will be rented at an affordable rate; the other cottage was sold to a local family.

Online Learning Connects Generations

This year the Northside neighborhood in Chapel Hill launched Learning Across Generations-Online (LAG-Online), a free digital curriculum tailored for at-home and hybrid learning across a range of ages. The curriculum draws upon the wealth of wisdom of the experiences of Northside neighbors, showcased in From the Rock Wall and their education programs. The curriculum teaches local students about the powerful civil rights and local histories of the community’s historically Black neighborhoods. As school classrooms reopen, Northside hopes to continue developing this curriculum as a powerful and dynamic tool for learning. Explore and access the LAG-Online curriculum at

From the Rock Wall ( was developed under the auspices of the Community Review Board with the collaboration of hundreds of neighbors over many years. It hosts a wealth of memory and vision from historically Black neighborhoods of southern Orange County, including Northside, Potter’s Field, Sunset, Lloyd/Broad, Tin Top, Pine Knolls, Rangewood and Rogers Road. Read more about it at, or at

Juneteenth Scavenger Hunt

In honor of Juneteenth, the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NAACP ( is hosting the first #BuyBlackCHC Virtual Scavenger Hunt (, June 14-20. Participants will earn points for activities and purchases at local Black-owned businesses, trivia responses and Juneteenth-inspired actions.

Activities will include in-person, curbside/pickup and virtual options, in which participants can try new foods and products, learn Black history about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and win gifts. Follow @chcnaacp_econ and hashtag #BuyBlackCHC for tips, teasers and bonus points.

To participate in the scavenger hunt, follow these steps:

  1. Download the GooseChase iOS or Android app.
  2. Register for a personal account with a username & password of your choice.
  3. Search for and select the Juneteenth BoB Scavenger Hunt game, or search by game code VJ9WKX; password is #buyblackchc.
  4. Follow the prompts to select or create your player profile.

This event is held in conjunction with the inaugural Juneteenth Celebration in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Learn more about the events and community partners at

June is Immigrant Heritage Month in Carrboro

June as “Immigrant Heritage Month” in Carrboro, by proclamation from Mayor Lydia Lavelle. 

Generations of immigrants from around the word have built the U.S. economy and contributed to the cultural diversity across the country. Immigrants continue to grow businesses, innovate and strengthen the economy. The Town of Carrboro appreciates local nonprofits and other groups, including El Centro Hispano and the Refugee Support Center, that work with immigrant communities. 

Read the mayor’s proclamation at

Celebrate Small Town Pride

Carrboro and Chapel Hill are collaborating to show LGBTQ+ Pride and to affirm community values ensuring that all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with respect and dignity.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ+) Pride Month is celebrated nationally and locally each year in June, stemming from the Stonewall riots in 1969. Patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City clashed with anti-LGBTQ police. Marches and protests popped up in some major U.S. cities in June of the following year to commemorate the event, and the tradition has continued. The purpose of celebrating Pride is to promote the equality of the LGBTQ+ communities, as well as increase visibility, challenge anti-LGBTQ legislation and bring awareness to other LGBTQ issues.

Through a mix of in-person and virtual events, Small Town Pride will promote equality and celebrate diversity and acceptance in Carrboro and Chapel Hill. The entire community — local businesses, artists, volunteers and community partners — will get involved.

 Small Town Pride events include:

  • Proclamations of Pride Month by each municipality
  • Raising of Pride flags in the downtowns
  • Social media campaign to highlight local LGBTQ+ leaders, history and milestones
  • Small Town Pride video: Small Town Pride, about the Pride vibe that took place in Carrboro in 2019, by Richard Jaimeyfield, a local filmmaker
  • Area business specials
  • Pride Food Truck Rodeo and Dance Party at Carrboro Town Commons on June 24, 5-8 p.m.
  • Pride Book Club virtually on June 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Drag Queen Story Time
  • Special guest speakers

 If you have an idea to contribute to the next Small Town Pride, contact

Pop in to Carrboro Pop-Ups

Carrboro Connects Pop-Up booths taking place June 10-12, will give residents an opportunity to share input on the town’s first Comprehensive Plan, including transportation, housing, jobs and more. Popsicles will be on hand for all who share, and safe physical distancing will be practiced.

Carrboro Connects is a comprehensive planning effort of the Town of Carrboro to address climate action, race and equity, affordable housing, and economic and fiscal sustainability. 

A Virtual Pop-Up will be available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week at See the flyer at:

Library Brings StoryWalks to Three Town Greenways

In June, three of Chapel Hill’s greenways will have a new attraction: environmentally themed children’s books featuring diverse voices, authors, illustrators and languages. Chapel Hill Green Way StoryWalks will be constructed along accessible trails in Homestead Park, Pritchard Park and the Tanyard Branch Trail (Umstead Park). Each installation will highlight a different culturally diverse, nature-themed picture book. Updated with new titles throughout the year, StoryWalks will regularly provide fresh opportunities for kids to develop as readers and learners.

Karin Michel, project manager and library manager of youth and family experiences, says that titles were selected with language access in mind, too, with some of the books written in world languages like Spanish, Mandarin and Burmese.

Partners in Chapel Hill Green Ways Story Walk include Chapel Hill Public Library, the Friends of the Library, Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation and Flyleaf Books. Additional grant funds come from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

StoryWalks was created by Anne Ferguson, a chronic-disease-prevention specialist in Montpelier, Vt., in 2007, in conjunction with Rachel Senechal from the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Their goal was to initiate an activity that would keep families active and engaged. StoryWalks have grown in popularity, popping up in parks, at libraries and in hundreds of outdoor community spaces.

Chapel Hill, Property Owners Partner to Improve Alleyway

The private owners of the 157 and 159 E. Franklin St. buildings have been renovating the two buildings throughout the last year and have now partnered with the Town of Chapel Hill to install two archways between the buildings, in Amber Alley. This is part of the town’s continuing effort to improve pedestrian walkways in downtown. The archways were constructed by local metalsmith David Wehrenberg of Iron on Fire and match those installed in 2019 at Varsity and Post Office alleys.

The iconic Amber Alley was the historic home of The Rathskellar and now includes Bandido’s Mexican Café and Gizmo Brew Works. The alleyway also connects pedestrians from the Wallace Parking Deck to East Franklin Street.

Improvements to 157 and 159 include an overhead canopy, repainting the alleyway and constructing a new roof-top bar, slated to open late this year.

Carrboro Celebrates Trails Day

Saturday, June 5, is Trails Day in Carrboro, proclaimed by Mayor Lydia Lavelle.

Residents are invited to enjoy the hiking opportunities that can be found in the region and to celebrate the outdoors. 

Chapel Hill Proposes Bike Lanes on Culbreth Road

The Town of Chapel Hill is proposing to add bike lanes to Culbreth Road as part of a scheduled resurfacing and repaving project by the N.C. Department of Transportation this summer.

The Culbreth repaving project may start as early as July 1 and is scheduled to be completed before school begins in August. As part of this resurfacing, the town is looking at adding bike lanes on Culbreth Road, as included in the Mobility & Connectivity Plan ( This would be accomplished by narrowing vehicle lanes and removing the center turn lane. This change would keep the left turn into the kiss-and-go driveway at Culbreth Middle School, the left turn into Adams Way and the intersections of Smith Level Road and U.S. 15-501.

The town modeled the changes in the town-wide traffic model and found little to no delay as a result of removing the turn lanes. For full details on the analysis and the proposed lane changes, go to

The town would like to hear feedback from residents on the proposed changes to Culbreth Road and is collecting it through:

Contact Josh Mayo, transportation planner, at, with any questions.

DCHC MPO Seeks Comment on Transportation Needs Analysis

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking public feedback on the Deficiency and Needs Analysis for the 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan. The DCHC MPO is updating the 2050 MTP this fall and will use the public input received on the Deficiency and Needs Analysis as part of its efforts to model future population and employment projections to identify where roadway, public transportation, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation investments will be needed over the next 30 years. 

Residents and other stakeholders are asked to review the Deficiency and Needs Analysis at the DCHC MPO website ( and provide comments by email no later than Wednesday, June 30.

The DCHC MPO plans and programs state and federal transportation projects in all of Durham County and the urbanized areas of Orange and Chatham counties. For more information about the 2050 MTP, contact DCHC MPO principal planner Andy Henry at 919-560-4366, ext. 36419, or by email,

May 26, 2021

Ceremony Honors Veterans

The Orange County Veterans Memorial will host a special ceremony on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, at the Veterans Memorial Site on Homestead Road. The guest speaker will be former Army Ranger Capt. Nick Palmisciano, CEO of Diesel Jack Media, founder of Ranger Up. Arrive at 7:45 a.m. for the Posting of Colors promptly at 8 a.m. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside at the Seymour Center Theater, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill.

Photo courtesy

No Buses on Memorial Day

Chapel Hill Transit will not be operating on Monday, May 31, in honor of Memorial Day. Buses will return to the road on Tuesday, June 1, running on reduced weekday routes, along with GoTriangle’s 420 route and EZ rider service.

Orange County Memorial Day Schedule

Curbside recycling will be collected, and Orange County buses will run only the Carolina Dialysis routes on Memorial Day. But all other Orange County Government offices and operations will be closed Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day. Offices will resume normal operations Tuesday, June 1, with the following exceptions:

• Though curbside recycling will be collected under the normal schedule on Monday, all manned waste and recycling centers and the landfill will be closed.
• Orange County Public Transportation will operate only the in-county dialysis route. In order to provide two working days’ notice for scheduling, trip requests for Tuesday, June 1, must be received by 5 p.m. Thursday, May 27. Trip requests for Wednesday, June 2, must be received by 5 p.m. Friday, May 28.

The walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Whitted Human Services Building will be closed on Memorial Day. Visit for the current schedule and a list of pop-up vaccine clinics being held throughout the county.

Period Poverty Awareness Week in Carrboro

Recognizing that period poverty is a public health issue, Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed May 24-30 to be Period Poverty Awareness Week in Carrboro.

National surveys and research studies report that one in four women and girls struggle to secure enough menstrual supplies due to a lack of income, and this lack of supplies, known as period poverty, can adversely affect the health and well-being of menstruators. 

Lavelle is encouraging the residents of Carrboro to donate generously to period-supply banks, product drives and organizations that collect and distribute period products to those in need. 

Carrboro is home to trusted community-based organizations, including On the Spot, a program of the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. These period-supply banks and their staff and volunteers served on the front lines of Carrboro’s COVID-19 pandemic response, helping local families weather the crisis.

Read the mayor’s proclamation at

Orange County Halfway There

Orange County has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the state, with more than half (50.4 percent) of the population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of May 24.
If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 919-913-8088 or visit, and search for your ZIP code to find locations near you. The Orange County Health Department also hosts pop-up vaccination clinics throughout the county.

Check the vaccine page on the health department’s website,, for a schedule. The health department has vaccine events planned at the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association Community Center, 101 Edgar St., Chapel Hill, on May 29; and at the Buckhorn Flea Market, 529 Buckhorn Road, Mebane, on June 12.

Orange County Summer Camps

Orange County Recreation is offering in-person camps this summer. More information, including program descriptions, can be found at Pre-registration is required.
Orange County Cooperative Extension is also offering camps. Check its website for a schedule at

May 23, 2021

BIPOC Business Roundtable Discussion

The Carrboro Department of Economic Development has scheduled a business roundtable discussion for black, indigenous, Latinx and people of color (BIPOC) for Thursday, May 27, at 4 p.m.

In addition to informing the town about the needs and challenges of BIPOC businesses, the roundtable discussions serve as an opportunity for BIPOC business owners to get to know and support each other.

Businesses interested in participating in the roundtable discussions are asked to pre-register. To register and find more information, go to  

Applicants Sought For School Committee

Carrboro is looking for four applicants to serve on its Safe Routes to School Committee. The following seats need to be filled:

  • Two students of either an elementary or middle school (from different schools) located in Carrboro;
  • One parent of an elementary or middle school student attending school in Carrboro;
  • One administrator, faculty or staff member working at an elementary or middle school in Carrboro.

Applicants are accepted on a rolling basis, and appointments will be made by the town council.

Applicants should visit the link:  

Interested applicants may attend the town’s Transportation Advisory Board meeting on Thursday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom. Future meetings will occur on the third Thursday of January, March, June and September of each year.

Additional information about the town’s Safe Routes to School Plan can be found at

For information or questions, contact the town’s transportation planner, Zachary Hallock, at or call 919-918-7329. 

Memorial Day Observances Planned

Local Memorial Day observance will begin at 6:30 a.m. on May 31 when veterans and members of Scout Troops 835 and 505 will begin placing flags at marked graves at the Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery at 1721 Legion Road. A memorial service will follow. For more details visit

The Orange County Veterans Memorial Committee will host a memorial service at the Veterans Memorial site at 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill (near the Seymour Center). It starts with seating by 7:45 a.m. and the raising of colors promptly at 8 a.m., followed by the memorial service. For more information about the Orange County Veterans Memorial, visit

And an open house and food drive will begin at 11 a.m. at the new headquarters of American Legion Post 6 at 3700 N.C. 54 West in Chapel Hill. A post memorial service is at 11:30 a.m. The Village Band will perform a concert at 1 p.m., and Maple View Mobile Ice Cream will be on-site. Visit

Memorial Day Recycling Schedule

Recycling trucks will roll on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, but the landfill, recycling centers and offices will be closed. The Waste and Recycling Centers, Landfill/Disposal Center and administrative office, though closed on Memorial Day, will operate under their normal hours Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30. For hours of operation, please visit

Curbside recycling will be picked up as usual Monday, May 31. Place your carts out on the curb by 7 a.m.

Application Period Opens for Arts Grants

The Orange County Arts Commission opened its 2020-21 Arts Grants Application Period on May 18. Approximately $60,000, funded by the N.C. Arts Council and Orange County, will fund artist, school and nonprofit arts programs and projects taking place between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
Available grants are:
–Artist Project Grants, which fund individual artist-led projects that benefit the greater community;
–Grassroots Arts Program Grants, which fund arts programs, projects and services through area nonprofits, schools and municipal organizations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s school grant cycle will take place in the fall.

The deadline to apply is June 30. All applications must be submitted through the OCAC’s online submission program. For information, including guidelines and criteria, visit the arts commission’s website at, call 919-245-2335 or email

Spring Shred-A-Thons Successful

Orange County held confidential-paper shredding events April 24 at the Eubanks Road Park and Ride lot and May 1 at the recycling site behind Home Depot in Hillsborough. Over 1,100 participants brought a total of 55,000 pounds of paper (about 50 pounds per car) — about 20 percent more than the previous average from 2019. Two events are included in the proposed 2021 County budget and, if approved, will be held in October. Watch for further announcements later this year.

Photo courtesy

Towns Plan Juneteenth Celebration

The first annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro Juneteenth Celebration is planned for June 19. The event will celebrate black community and culture through arts performances, history exhibits and children’s activities. While this year’s event will be mostly virtual, a limited number of in-person and hybrid offerings are planned. 

The celebration will kick off June 18 at 7 p.m. with online video messages from local leaders and performances from poets laureate CJ Suitt and Fred Joiner. On June 19 at 4 p.m., a Juneteenth motorcade will proceed through historic black neighborhoods. Online and in-person music performances are planned for June 19, with live performances slated for Downtown Chapel Hill’s Save the Music series that night.

To learn more, go to

May 15, 2021

State Lifts Mask Mandate

North Carolina has lifted its mask mandate for most indoor settings as well as mass gathering limits and social distancing requirements.

On May 14, Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen made the announcement following the May 13 decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated individuals can safely do most activities without wearing a mask.

Masks will still be required in child care facilities, schools and camps. Everyone, including people who are fully vaccinated, will still be required to wear a mask in such settings as public transportation, health care settings (hospitals, doctor’s offices, rehab facilities and nursing homes), correctional facilities and homeless shelters.

State officials also announced that children between 12 and 15 can now get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, the state has administered more than 7.7 million doses, with 51 percent of residents 18 and older at least partially vaccinated, and 46 percent fully vaccinated. 

Meeting Set to Continue Buckhorn Discussion

Orange County Planning will host a virtual meeting Monday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., to discuss continuation of coordinated efforts between Orange County and the City of Mebane on the Buckhorn Area.

The purpose of the public outreach meeting is to follow up on previous Buckhorn Area Study meetings, focus on outreach and planning coordination between Mebane and the county and collect public comments and questions.

Participants must register for the meeting in advance, which will generate the Zoom invite with the link to join, at

Anyone who does not have internet access may contact Tina Love at 919-245-2575 for information on how to call in the meeting.

Additional information, including background information on the study as well as the hyperlink for registration to this meeting, can be found on the Planning Department’s website under the Current Interest Projects tab.

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will receive a report on comments and questions collected, as well as the final FAQ document, at its business meeting on June 1, 2021. Public input will help guide the BOCC in determining any next steps.

Fire Marshal Has Advice on Fuel Storage

In the wake of the Colonial Pipeline disruption, the Orange County Fire Marshal is reminding residents to follow proper procedures when dispensing and storing fuel, including using only approved containers.

Residents are also asked not to hoard fuel. Purchase fuel only if needed, and remain patient and civil while waiting in line.

The fire marshal offers the following tips for safely dispensing fuel:

  • When using a fuel pump, always identify the emergency shutoff prior to operation;
  • Shut vehicle off prior to fueling;
  • Avoid any activity that involves lighting a fire such as smoking, striking a match or using a lighter;
  • Only dispense fuel to approved containers;
  • Keep all ignition sources away from the fuel;
  • And, if filling an approved fuel can, always place the fuel can on the ground to prevent static electricity.

Next Round Set for Arts Support Fund

The fifth round of grant applications is open for the Orange County Arts Support Fund. The fund supports local artists, arts industry workers and arts organizations facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro serves as the fiscal agent for this initiative, meaning all payments will be issued by the ArtsCenter’s personal check. However, this is not a fundraising effort by or for The ArtsCenter.

To apply, go to To contribute, go to
The deadline to apply is midnight, May 31.

News of Orange Mural Project Seeks Artist

The Hillsborough Tourism Development Authority in partnership with the Orange County Arts Commission is looking for a mural artist to design and install a publicly viewable mural on a private building exterior at 109 E. King St. in Hillsborough.

The mural will be on the east elevation facing a public alley and is intended to capture the rich history of Hillsborough as well as The News of Orange, a local newspaper publication that has been in production since 1893.

For information go to

May 11, 2021

County Holds Hearings on Budget and Capital Investment Plan

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners will hold its next public hearing on the general operating budget and Capital Investment Plan on June 7 and 7 p.m. Residents may weigh in on the spending plan recommended by the county manager for the next fiscal year, from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.

Included in the budget and CIP are recommendations to fund an emergency management services substation at Waterstone; maintain the same level of per-pupil spending for the two school systems; and increase the property tax rate. There are also plans for parks, housing, climate change mitigation, the arts and more to consider.

Members of the public are asked to contact the clerk of the BOCC at no later than 3 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Please indicate that you wish to speak at the budget public hearing, along with your name, address, email address and phone number you will use to call in from, if you plan to speak via phone. You may also mail your comments in a letter to: Board of County Commissioners, P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, N.C. 27278.

Memorial Day Service 2021

A Memorial Day service will be held on Monday, May 31, at the Veterans Memorial site on Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. In case of inclement weather, it will be inside at the Seymour Center Theater, 2551 Homestead Road. The guest speaker will be Nick Palmisciano, CEO of Diesel Jack Media, founder of Ranger Up, former Army captain and ranger. Please arrive at 7:45 a.m. for the Posting of Colors promptly at 8 a.m.
To learn more about the memorial and to make a donation to make this become a reality, please visit

Kashara Lavonda Lyons

Missing Person

UPDATE: Kashara has been found and is safe.

The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking assistance locating Kashara Lavonda Lyons, 38, of Dobbins Drive, reported missing since 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 5.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 at any time or Chapel Hill Police (919-968-2760) from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

May Is Bike Month in Carrboro

Carrboro is celebrating Bike Month in May, proclaimed by Mayor Lydia Lavelle. Established in 1956 and promoted by the League of American Bicyclists, National Bike Month has been celebrated in communities from coast to coast. 

The Town of Carrboro and community partners are planning events open to all to encourage new riders by showcasing the many benefits of biking, such as enjoying the outdoors and using active transportation to commute.

Carrboro Bike Month Activities Include:

  • May 14 – Taco Truck Tour – 7 p.m. at The ReCYCLEry, 108 N. Graham St., Carrboro 
  • May 17-23 – Bike to Work Week 
  • May 18 – Bike to Work Day Afternoon Snack – 4 to 6 p.m. at Libba Cotten Bikeway (endpoints Roberson Street near Sweet Bay Place and S. Merritt Mill Road near W. Cameron Avenue)
  • May 21 – Salute Heroes & Bike to Work/School – decorate your bike 
  • May 21 – Full Moon Ride – Queer Ride Carrboro Cruiser Ride – 8 p.m. – meet at ReCYCLEry, 108 N. Graham St.

For more information about bike month events being held across the Triangle, visit

Mental Health Awareness Month in Carrboro

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle proclaimed May as Mental Health Awareness Month. 

The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month is “You Are Not Alone.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness will share stories on its website,, about using this time to focus on the healing value of connecting in safe ways, prioritizing mental health and acknowledging that it’s okay to not be okay.

The purpose of Mental Health Awareness Month is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses; to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses; and to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illnesses.

May 8, 2021

Chapel Hill Celebrates Bike Month 2021

The Town of Chapel Hill encourages COVID-safe cycling by asking cyclists to wear helmets and follow state and local mask and distancing guidance. Check out the following videos for more information:
• Chapel Hill Police Department bicycle safety video (
• Traveling on the bus with your bike (
• Bike fix-it stations (

For important N.C. traffic laws applicable to cycling, see

Chapel Hill Public Library

Library Indoor Pickup Begins May 13

Beginning May 13, Chapel Hill Public Library users will be able to come into the library to pick up materials they have requested to be held for them. Library users should continue to electronically place a hold on materials they want, then put on a mask and go inside for pickup. Users will no longer have to call in advance. Once someone has gotten an email letting them know that their materials are ready, they are welcome to come by anytime the library is open.

The library will be closed May 11 and May 12, so staff can prepare for library users to come inside. After that, library hours will be:

Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Closed Wednesday and Sunday

A limited number of people will be allowed inside at once. Everyone will be asked to follow the “3Ws,” wearing a face covering, watching your distance and washing hands. Masks will be required for everyone over the age of 5 at all times inside the building.

To ensure a smooth transition and orderly operations, library staff encourage everyone to bring their library card or have their library card number ready.

Town Hosts Public Information Meeting on E. Rosemary Redevelopment

The Town of Chapel Hill will host a virtual public information meeting at 6:30 p.m. on May 10 on the upcoming East Rosemary Redevelopment Project. The meeting will include a project schedule, visuals, communication plan, opportunities for further information and a question-and-answer session.

The public is invited to register and attend via Zoom at Registrants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar in listen-only mode.

For further information on the project, see

Carrboro Listens to Immigrants Virtually

As part of the Town of Carrboro’s ongoing comprehensive planning process, Carrboro Connects, community members from Myanmar participated in a listening session with Mayor Lydia Lavelle on Tuesday, May 4. Hear what they had to say at

The conversation, which was assisted through interpreters in the Burmese and Karen languages, addressed housing, transportation and jobs/economy.

In March, Carrboro Connects held a similar listening session with members from the Latino community. In this bilingual session, Lavelle and Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Foushee heard ideas and concerns of residents. It aired live on El Centro Hispano’s Facebook page at  

Common themes shared in both sessions are the desire for quality affordable housing, expanded transit service, workforce development, translated materials, jobs and services.

Register at to learn more about the project, stay up to date on future events and news, and share your ideas.

May 2, 2021

COVID Restrictions Eased

Effective Friday, April 30, masks are no longer mandated outdoors in North Carolina but are strongly recommended outdoors by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services in crowded areas and higher-risk settings where social distancing is difficult. Masks are still required indoors in all circumstances. 

The number of people who may gather indoors has increased from 50 to 100, and the number of people who may gather outdoors has increased from 100 to 200. Occupancy limits currently in place remain the same.

The state continues to strive for two-thirds of adults to be at least partially vaccinated. Orange County Health Department offers self-scheduling of COVID vaccine appointments at

Photo courtesy

More Riders Allowed on Chapel Hill Buses

Chapel Hill Transit buses will remove capacity restrictions on buses starting May 3. All customers are still required to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth, and customers should not ride if they feel ill. The majority of the bus fleet has been outfitted with an enhanced air-purification system that will improve air circulation and the air-replacement rates on vehicles.

Chapel Hill Transit will continue to run reduced weekday service until further notice.

CHPD Announces May Traffic-Safety Initiatives

The Chapel Hill Police Department will perform four special traffic-safety initiatives in May: May 7 and May 28, 4 to 8 p.m., and May 13 and May 20, 1 to 5 p.m. The goal is to improve safety for pedestrians.

Efforts will focus on areas with heavy pedestrian and bicycle traffic, including near schools, downtown and midblock crosswalks. CHPD urges drivers to limit distractions and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Pedestrians should walk against traffic; cyclists should ride with traffic.

View Greene Tract Environmental-Assessment Presentation

An environmental assessment for the Greene Tract has been completed, and the video presentation is available for viewing at The 104-acre tract is jointly owned by the Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Orange County. 

In January 2020, the Town of Carrboro, Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County adopted the Greene Tract Resolution for a Path Forward. This resolution initiated the drafting of an environmental assessment to obtain site-specific information on environmental and cultural conditions present on the Greene Tract. Following a request-for-proposal and bid process, SynTerra was selected to complete the Environmental Assessment. Beginning in May 2020, SynTerra reviewed background information, conducted fieldwork and completed an environmental analysis of the Greene Tract. The final assessment was presented to the local governments in July 2020.

Comments and questions regarding the environmental assessment and video presentation can be submitted at All questions are due by May 23. Following this date, local government staff, in partnership with SynTerra, will provide additional informational materials, including frequently asked questions and a second video presentation to answer questions from the public.

Residents who have limited internet access are welcome to schedule a reservation to view the video, within COVID-19 protocols, at the Rogers-Eubanks Neighborhood Association Community Center, 101 Edgar St., Chapel Hill, or to learn about other viewing options.

Reservations can be scheduled by email ( or by phone (919-245-2589).

For further information, contact Craig Benedict, Orange County Planning and Inspections director,, 919-245-2592; Judy Johnson, Chapel Hill assistant planning director,, 919-969-5078; or Trish McGuire, Carrboro planning director,, 919-918-7327.

Carrboro Joins Criminal Justice Debt Program

Carrboro residents needing assistance with fees and costs imposed due to criminal justice or traffic court involvement are now able to apply for relief through the Criminal Justice Debt Program. 

The Carrboro Town Council voted on April 27 to officially join the program established in 2020 by the Town of Chapel Hill. The Town of Carrboro is providing $7,500 for the program through the end of the fiscal year, with future appropriations to be determined through the annual budget process. 

The program provides criminal justice-related debt relief to community members who are taking steps to reintegrate into the community but whose ability to do so is hampered by debt from court fees and costs.

Court fees and costs have greater impact on the poor, and these costs and fees create barriers to seeking to reintegrate into the community. African Americans are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system due to historic and structural racism, making this a racial-equity issue.

The program pays the outstanding court debt for low-income residents of Orange County. Relief is considered for post-conviction court fees and costs, deferred prosecution court fees and costs, and license-restoration fees. Fines and restitution payments imposed as part of sentencing are not eligible for the fund. Program applications are available online at Paper applications are also available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Burmese and Karen.

To be considered eligible for relief, applicants:

  • Must live in Orange County
  • Must meet court indigency standards
  • Cannot be currently incarcerated
  • Must have outstanding criminal justice or traffic fees or costs 
  • Must demonstrate that they are on the road to stability
  • Must have already pursued other avenues for debt relief (e.g., driver’s license restoration program)
  • Must demonstrate that assistance will have an immediate impact on their stability or successful reentry into the community

For questions about the application or program requirements, contact the Chapel Hill Police Crisis Unit Supervisor Megan Johnson at 919-968-2806; or Savannah Allred, with Carrboro Police Department, at 919-918-7397.

April 28, 2021

Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Expands Assistance

In the first quarter of 2021, Orange County Bail/Bond Justice expanded assistance program and issued a special report on citations versus arrests for 2020.

The OCBBJ board voted to donate 20 percent of its Bail Fund to provide other types of assistance to those ordered detained pretrial in Orange County. OCBBJ will help pay court costs and fees, transportation costs to court and some jail-related fees (telephone calls and commissary costs at the detention center) for people unable to afford them.

OCBBJ assessed local law enforcement agency data on citations and arrests for the year 2020. To better focus on enforcement situations in which the officers’ arrest choices are more discretionary, only those arrests not involving a warrant or indictment were assessed. For citations, traffic infractions were excluded. Key findings include the following:

  • For cases involving only misdemeanor charges, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough issued citations in most cases (55 percent and 65 percent, respectively). Carrboro issued arrests in 56 percent of misdemeanor cases.
  • The overall percentage of citations given in 2020 declined. The most significant change in police practices due to COVID-19 was the drop in police citations and arrests in 2020 compared to 2019, not the proportion of citations given during the COVID lockdown or COVID post-lockdown period in 2020. OCBBJ has called for maintaining the decreased detentions seen in 2020, which means a need to sustain the decreased police citations and arrests. It also shows an opportunity to increase the use of citations over arrests when taking enforcement action.
  • Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough had a higher percentage of police cases involving citations and arrests for Black residents compared to their portion of the community. In Carrboro, this was also true for Hispanics. There are aggregate differences between white and Black residents in the total number of citation and arrest cases, and for Hispanics and Asians in the likelihood that a case will result in arrest, suggesting some racial disparity in our criminal justice system.

The assessment did not evaluate causation. More complex study would be needed to show racial bias or discrimination in practice. These findings indicate a need for further study by police and the community into policies, practices and biases that may contribute to inequities in our local criminal justice system.

For more information about Orange County Bail/Bond Justice, visit

Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Updates

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department will reopen the Carrboro Century Center at 100 N. Greensboro St. for limited indoor programming and reservations beginning the week of May 17.

All activities/rooms will operate at 30 percent and follow all state and local health guidelines. Modifications include reduced class sizes, increased social distancing, mask requirements and increased hand sanitizing. More modifications may be made depending on the nature of the activity. Rooms will be sanitized between activities.

Facility access will remain limited to enrolled activity participants and approved reservations. Doors will remain locked, and staff will be on hand to facilitate access to the building. Residents wishing to conduct business in person will need to make an appointment by contacting the department at 919-918-7364 in advance. All participants and visitors to the facility will be required to answer health-screening questions and receive a temperature check.

Outdoor programming will operate in the manner in which it has since last summer/fall, complying with current state and local guidelines as above.  

All park facilities, including pavilions and athletic fields/courts, are open and available for reservations. Events and reservations are considered on a case-by-case basis. All state and local guidelines must be followed and may require an approved COVID plan from the Orange County Health Department.

Town-sponsored special events — Carrboro Day (, Freight Train Blues Concert Series ( and Carrboro July 4th Celebration ( — will be presented virtually. Continue to check the event websites and for COVID-related programming and facility updates.

Comments Sought on Changes to Long-Range Bike/Ped and Transportation Plan

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking public feedback on a proposed amendment to the Comprehensive Transportation Plan. The CTP identifies future highway, transit, rail, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation projects for this region over the next 30 years and beyond. The DCHC MPO is amending the CTP to add a network of bicycle/pedestrian paths along major roadways, identify high-capacity transit (such as bus rapid transit) along the region’s major travel corridors, ensure that the CTP supports local bicycle plans and improve roadways in fast-developing rural areas.

Residents and other stakeholders are asked to provide comments by reviewing the proposed Amendment #3 at the and provide comments directly by email to by Tuesday, May 25. Residents and stakeholders may also directly address the DCHC MPO Board on Amendment #3 on Wednesday, May 12, beginning at 9 a.m., during the virtual board meeting (

Freight Train Blues 2021. Photo courtesy of Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Freight Train Blues Rolls in to Carrboro

The Town of Carrboro, the Carrboro Tourism Development Authority, WUNC, Music Maker Relief Foundation, Soul Bag and Artarie will present a livestream version of the annual Freight Train Blues Music Series each Friday at 6:30 p.m. beginning May 14. Featured concerts include “artist on the rise” (NPR Music) Amythyst Kiah, “enchanting new Appalachian voice [that] sounds like the soul child of Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton”; Alexa Rose; sacred soul guitar master Johnny Ray Daniels; Grammy-nominated trio The Hamiltones; and Harvey Dalton Arnold of Southern rock legends The Outlaws.

The series is hosted by the Hillsborough-based nonprofit Music Maker Relief Foundation, whose mission is to tend the roots of American music. The series, which typically takes place at Carrboro Town Commons, was filmed at The Fruit in Durham and will be broadcasted on Facebook and YouTube. It will also be streamed on Soul Bag ( and Artarie (

Each installment of the series will open with a rare archival performance from one of North Carolina’s Piedmont blues masters. These legends have either been showcased at previous Freight Train Blues performances or performed in Carrboro over the years.

For more information, see

Black Summit Urges Protecting The Vote

The N.C. Black Alliance held its Annual Black Summit virtually on April 22 and 23, with the theme “Focused on the Fight, Facing the Future.” N.C. Senator Valerie Foushee, president of the NCBA board of directors, served as mistress of ceremonies. Orange County Commissioner Moses Carey Jr. was among the honorees and offered words of wisdom from his career in public service and community engagement.

One major takeaway of the summit was the importance and significance of protecting the vote, particularly for Black women and men, as efforts to disenfranchise specific sectors of Americans are underway. Participants were urged to register to vote; be informed about the candidates and issues; and then make a promise, “I will vote.”

Input Sought on Buckhorn Area Plan

Residents interested in keeping abreast of the Buckhorn Area Plan can offer their input at a community outreach meeting on Monday, May 17, from 6 to 8 p.m., hosted by Orange County Planning Department staff, who will provide the materials and Zoom link. Email Tom Altieri ( with questions about the plan.

Information about how to join the meeting will be posted on the Current Interest Projects page of the website ( once it is available.

April Marks Financial Literacy Month

At a time when an examination of wealth in the U.S. finds evidence of staggering racial disparities, the NAACP is working to promote economic development.

Gaps in wealth between Black and white households reveal the effects of accumulated inequality and discrimination, as well as differences in power and opportunity that can be traced back to this nation’s inception.

The net worth of a typical white family ($171,000) is nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family ($17,150), as of 2016. The Black-white wealth gap reflects a society that has not and does not afford equality of opportunity to all its residents.

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP branch organized its Economic Development Committee in 2021 in part to address this wealth gap. The committee seeks to explore issues related to these disparities as well as ways to close the gap in line with the programs of the national NAACP. In addition to promoting support of minority businesses and advocating living wages for all workers and reparations, the committee will promote financial literacy and education.

Join an Economic Development Committee meeting ( on the third Monday of every month, or email the co-chairs ( for more information.

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides

On May 4, 1961, 13 Black and white civil rights advocates boarded a Greyhound bus in Washington, DC, bound for New Orleans. Riding side by side on interstate highways through the Jim Crow south, they sought to test the 1960 U.S. Supreme Court decision that segregation of interstate transportation facilities was unconstitutional. From May to December 1961, over 400 women and men challenged segregation, despite the danger of refuting white supremacy at the time.

On Wednesday, May 5, 2021, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the Orange County Community Remembrance Coalition, in collaboration with Carolina K-12, will present a free virtual program to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides.

The featured speaker will be David J. Dennis, JD, who will recount some of his experiences among the fearless and determined Freedom Riders on the bus and also his work as co-director of Council of Federated Organizations, Mississippi Director of the Congress of Racial Equality, and a coordinator of the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Also speaking will be Dr. Freddie L. Parker and Dr. William Sturkey, with a facilitated discussion by young leaders Derrick Davis (UNC-CH student) and Joyah Horton (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Youth Council).

In addition to elevating this important history, the program will explore the ways in which the struggle for civil rights continues, via discussion with local activists Braxton Foushee, LaTarndra Strong, Jerdene Alston and Ajamu Dillahunt-Holloway, as well as local “artivists” Cortland Gilliam and Jerry Wilson of Black Out Loud. In addition, Chapel Hill Poet Laureate CJ Suitt will deliver a special tribute to Bayard Rustin.

The event is free and open to the public. Attending K-12 teachers can receive continuing education credits, and lesson plans will be provided. Teachers are encouraged to invite their students to attend as well.

Suggested pre-viewing:

Carrboro is Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community

Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed the Town of Carrboro to be a 2021 Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community. The local designation supports parents and childcare staff to continue breastfeeding and offering expressed milk when returning to work or school and supports childcare staff with on-site breastfeeding facilities or spaces.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and other leading health organizations, breastfeeding is the optimal food for infants. 

The Carrboro community has attained broad support and direct community actions. The UNC Women’s Hospital and a birthing center, Women’s Birth and Wellness Center, have attained Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative designation; the Orange County Health Department has received the N.C. Breastfeeding Coalition Mother-Baby Clinic Award; and childcare programs in the community have been designated breastfeeding-friendly. 

To learn more about how the Town of Carrboro is helping families to thrive by ensuring that they receive community support to develop and sustain healthy lifestyles, see the proclamation at

Centers for Disease Control Updates Guidance for Vaccinated People

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has updated its guidance for fully vaccinated people. Some of the changes include the following:

  • Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • Fully vaccinated workers do not need to stay home from work after exposure, as long as they do not have any symptoms.
  • Fully vaccinated people living in a non-healthcare congregate setting no longer need to quarantine after an exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated people who have not been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have any symptoms may be exempted from routine screening testing.

The CDC adds that immunocompromised individuals should check with their doctor about these recommendations.

For more information, read the full CDC document at

Housing Advisory Board Seeking Applicants for the Board

The Town of Chapel Hill is currently seeking three members to serve on its Housing Advisory Board. The three open seats are Affordable Housing Advocate, Homeowner/Tenant and Non-market Rate Housing Resident.

Submit an application online at or call 919-968-5014 to request a paper application.

The Housing Advisory Board is made up of nine members appointed by Town Council, including three homeowners or tenants; one non-market rate housing resident; one affordable housing advocate; one non-profit housing provider/professional; one for-profit developer; one real estate broker; and one housing, planning or public policy expert.

Housing Advisory Board members are appointed by the Town Council to serve three-year terms. The Board meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The average time commitment to serve on this board is about 2-4 hours per month. No previous board experience is required—new members will receive training and guidance to support their success.

For questions, call 919-969-5014 or email

April 23, 2021

Town of Carrboro Achieves High Financial Ratings

The Town of Carrboro was recently assigned a credit rating of Aa1, the highest of high quality and only one notch below the highest possible rating of Aaa, by Moody’s. Additionally, the Town of Carrboro is rated AAA, the best rating possible, by Standard & Poor’s.

The ratings are key indicators of the town’s financial strength and allow the town to borrow funds at the best possible interest rates, saving taxpayers money.

For more information about the Town of Carrboro budget and debt management, visit

Cary and Greensboro Playwrights’ Forums Present Radio Play Festival

A collaborative audio play festival co-produced by the Cary Playwrights’ Forum and the Greensboro Playwrights’ Forum will present two plays each week, May 8-29, on CPF’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The plays also will be fully produced on the CPF Radio Hour podcast site, In keeping with the season, the theme is “rebirth/renewal.”

Links to the premieres on the CPF Facebook page and YouTube channel will be added on or slightly before each of the four Saturdays. Viewing is free with no required pre-registration; donations are appreciated and can be made by clicking the Donate button at the CPF home page,

The names of directors/editors and cast and information about how to watch the premieres will be available at

For questions, contact one of the producers, Christian O’Neal at ( or Mike Brannon

Orange County Offers Vaccine Walk-In Clinics

The Orange County Health Department has switched to walk-in clinics for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. No appointment or pre-registration is necessary.

Walk-in clinics will be held every week at the Whitted Building, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough, on Mondays and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The county will host pop-up clinics at other locations throughout the county. For a full schedule of pop-up and walk-in vaccine clinics in Orange County, visit

The vaccine is free, and no identification or insurance is required.

If you would like to be notified when clinics are available, you can still register with Orange County at or by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.

To find out when shots are available with the Orange County Health Department or other providers close to you, visit and search for your zip code. You can register for an appointment through the website, or you can just arrive during clinic hours and receive a shot. The website will show you other vaccinators within your area and times they are available.

Questions may be directed to

County Honors Community Partners in Preventing Eviction

The Orange County Housing and Community Development Department has recognized the exceptional contributions, collaboration and partnership from community organizations in administering eviction and homelessness prevention funds through the Emergency Housing Assistance program. The organizations receiving recognition are Community Empowerment Fund, El Centro Hispano, Family Success Alliance, Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and Refugee Community Partnership.

These agencies work closely with Orange County residents in need of resources and services, support them throughout the process of seeking assistance, and advocate for housing opportunity and racial equity in the community.
In 2020, in partnership and investment from the towns of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Hillsborough, the EHA and Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) programs assisted 1,245 Orange County households and provided more than $4 million in financial assistance, preventing eviction and homelessness and ensuring that residents had stable housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HOME Consortium Seeks Public Input on Annual Action Plan

The Orange County HOME Consortium is seeking public input on its draft Annual Action Plan for the fiscal year 2021-22 HOME Program. Each year, Orange County receives funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program. The county creates an annual action plan that lays out how HOME funds will be spent in the upcoming program year to address the county’s affordable housing needs and priorities. 

For FY 2021-22, Orange County proposes funding projects carried out by three local nonprofit organizations, Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (assistance to low-income households to purchase affordable homes); Pee Wee Homes (funds to develop three units of affordable rental housing for low-income households experiencing homelessness); and EmPOWERment Inc. (funds to acquire two units to be preserved as affordable rental housing).

To see the full draft plan, visit: (under “Plans, Reports and Forms”).

The public comment period is open through April 28. Comments may be submitted by mail (P.O. Box 8181, Hillsborough, N.C. 27278), email ( or telephone (919-245-4331).

April 22, 2021

Deadline Monday for Artists to Create Vaccine Posters

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro and Day One Relief will pay a local artist or designer $150 to create original poster art that spreads awareness about and encourages COVID-19 vaccination. Artists and designers residing in North Carolina are invited to apply with their portfolio of past work, especially poster design work, as well as a short, written description of the poster and tagline they would create if selected. One applicant will be selected and paid a $150 artist fee to create the poster design, which will be printed by The ArtsCenter and distributed by Day One Relief as part of vaccine rollout. Posters will be distributed to vaccine clinics and providers and community partners across the state, including Elizabeth City State University, NAACP North Carolina and Sunshine Station for Pasquotank/ECSU. As vaccine rollout continues into the summer and fall, applications will reopen to commission more artists to design more posters for more locations.

The request for proposals is available at in both English and Spanish. The deadline for the first round of proposals is Monday, April 26. Application materials should be emailed to Artists who are seeking guidance on how to prepare an application or anyone with questions about this project are invited to contact marketing director Patrick Phelps-McKeown at

Feast on Poetry, Virtually

Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources invites you to celebrate National Poetry Month with a menu of local poets reading from their works. Log on to the virtual event and bring your own your water, wine, or coffee and dessert as you feast on poetry. There will be time for discussion and questions.

Featured poets include: Chris Abbate, Bartholomew Barker, Dan Boehl, Marrow Dowdle, Tara Lynn Groth, Maura High, Jonathan Hopkins, JeanMarie Olivieri, Gary Phillips and Anna Weaver.

To access the event via Zoom, go to

Composting Expands to Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market

The Chapel Hill Farmers’ Market will begin accepting residential food waste at University Place on Saturday, April 24. Coming on the heels of Earth Day, this new drop-off program will divert organic waste from the landfill to create compost, thereby reducing potent greenhouse gas emissions like methane. Residential food waste that is free of plastics, produce stickers and other non-compostable materials can be dropped off during Saturday market hours from 8 a.m. until noon.

A very wide array of organic materials is acceptable, including all food; food-related uncoated paper products, like paper napkins and paper towels; and certified compostable serving-ware that has been approved by Biodegradable Products Institute or other certification organizations. Be sure to remove all stickers, labels, plastic, rubber bands, twist-ties and other contaminants from the food before tossing it in the bin, the rule of thumb being, “When in doubt, leave it out.” Read more about what is — and isn’t — compostable at

Carrboro Day Program Online

The annual Carrboro Day Event is scheduled for Sunday, May 2. This year’s event will be presented in a virtual format with activities via YouTube and Zoom. Content will also be shared via the Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Facebook page at  

Events this year include music with Saludos Company; an open poetry reading in the round; Storytime with Mr. Keith; a historical presentation on schools in the Carrboro area by local historian Richard Ellington; a historic downtown walking tour; and a virtual art exhibition with Carrboro artist Renzo Ortega.

Visit for the schedule and details of all of these events.

April 18, 2021

Photo courtesy

Take the Bus to Vaccination Clinics

Chapel Hill Transit provides service to two UNC Health vaccination clinics and the Orange County Health vaccination clinic, at the RR Lot, 1071 Estes Drive Extension, Chapel Hill.

Routes FCX, S and N provide service to the UNC Friday Center on N.C. 54. From Friday Center Drive, customers can walk to the back of the center to access the UNC Health vaccine clinic. GoTriangle’s routes 800, 800S and 805 also stop at the Friday Center.

GoTriangle’s 420 route provides service to the UNC Health vaccine clinic in Hillsborough. 

Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents who are unable to access fixed route service or need to access the RR Lot can use EZ Rider to get to these vaccination points (you don’t need to be an EZ Rider customer). Book your trip by calling 919-969-4979 or completing the online form at

Chapel Hill Transit asks that customers do not ride the bus if they are sick or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19. Face coverings are required on Chapel Hill Transit vehicles. 

CASA Breaks Ground on Perry Place

CASA (Community Alternatives for Supportive Abodes) has broken ground on its newest affordable housing community in Orange County. The site is located along South Merritt Mill Road and straddles the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro. When completed, the community will be named Perry Place in memory of Northside leader and activist Velma Perry. 

The community will consist of 48 one- and two-bedroom apartment units for individuals and families living at under 60 percent of the Area Median Income. A portion of the apartments will be reserved for people living with disabilities. 

CASA was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the N.C. Housing Finance Agency for this community, as well as an interest-free Workforce Housing Loan. Additional funding for the land and predevelopment costs for Perry Place were provided by Orange County, the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and Strowd Roses Inc. 

Velma Perry was a community leader and activist who lived in the same home in Chapel Hill for 98 years and was a passionate affordable-housing advocate.

Carrboro Seeks Volunteers for Racial Equity Commission

The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for the newly established Racial Equity Commission, a volunteer board empowered to make short-, mid- and long-term recommendations that will make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism, boosting economic mobility and opportunity and creating generational wealth in the Black community. The commission was established by the Carrboro Town Council on Jan. 19.
Commission members will serve two-year terms. Interested potential volunteers can find and submit an application at An informational flyer is accessible at

The mission of the Racial Equity Commission is to educate, provide leadership and facilitate ongoing equitable engagement with the immediate and greater Carrboro community. The focus is to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment that enhances the overall social, physical, mental and economic well-being of Carrboro. The town seeks to incorporate equitable policies, procedures and practices for real change based on both short- and long-term strategies to address disparities. Necessary resources and budgetary appropriations can start immediately to build greater equity within the community.

The commission will comprise nine members who complete race and equity training provided by the town’s core team. Members will include four representatives from the community (two who have lived in the community for at least 20 years and two for at least 10 years and should have a lived experience based on being a person of color); one youth representative between the ages of 15 and 18 years old who lives in Carrboro and works in or attends public, private or homeschool classes; and one representative each from the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission, the Environmental Advisory Board, the Economic Sustainability Commission and the Farmer’s Market Board. There will also be three non-voting town representatives — two Town Council liaisons and one staff liaison, the Town Race and Equity Officer.

For more information, contact the Town Clerk’s Office at or 919-918-7309. 

Grant to Animal Services Aids Kittens

Orange County Animal Services has received a grant of $25,000 from Petco Love to fund its kitten foster program. The grant will be used to provide medications, vaccines and medical care for kittens in the foster program at OCAS. The grant will also be used to increase the amount and quality of care provided in order to help even more kittens in the program grow strong and remain healthy in their foster homes.

For more information about the kitten foster program at OCAS, visit

Orange County Program Supports Sexual Assault Survivors

The Orange County Local Reentry Council will host “Understanding Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence and Trauma” on Tuesday, April 27, at 10 a.m. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center will present on sexual violence and tools to be used by service providers when interacting with survivors. Join the meeting at

County Fosters Understanding of Reentry Challenges

N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper has declared April as Second Chance Month to recognize the hurdles many formerly incarcerated people face as they reacclimate to society. Several virtual events are being held this month to bring greater awareness to the issue and highlight support programs available in the Orange County.

The Orange County Local Reentry Council Stigma & Recovery Support Services is hosting a free virtual event at 10 a.m. on April 21. Troy Manns, the statewide manager of advocacy and education for Recovery Communities of North Carolina, will present on stigma and recovery support services. Join the meeting at

The Coordinated Local Reentry Council for Orange County will host its regular meeting on April 23. The public is invited to participate in this live virtual event hosted by the Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Department and the Orange County Health Department. Join the meeting at For more information, contact Keith Patterson, local reentry council coordinator, at 919-245-2064.

Carrboro Roundabout Traffic Shifts on April 20

The N.C. Department of Transportation contractors plan to shift traffic between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, onto a new roundabout at the intersection of Greensboro Street and Estes Drive.

Once open, approaching drivers will yield to any vehicles or bicyclists already in the roundabout. Drivers should also use turn signals when exiting and yield to pedestrians using crosswalks at the roundabout.

A short video at will show how easy it is to maneuver through a roundabout.

Carrboro Town Council

Carrboro Grant Helps Affordable Housing on Cobb Street

The Carrboro Town Council granted $100,000 from its Affordable Housing Special Revenue Fund in support of the construction of four new units (two duplexes) on Cobb Street in the Northside neighborhood. These homes will be energy efficient and affordable to households earning between 30 percent and 80 percent of the Area Median Income. The two ground-floor units will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant. 

The project is the culmination of a collaboration among the Compass group, Northside Neighborhood Initiative, the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, Self Help Ventures Fund, Habitat for Humanity and the Town of Carrboro.

April 14, 2021

Property Tax Assistance For Elderly and Permanently Disabled Residents

The N.C. General Assembly offers three programs to help low-income elderly and disabled homeowners obtain tax relief: the Elderly and Disabled Exclusion, the Disabled Veteran Exclusion, and the Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment. To obtain any of these, complete the application found at

In addition, those totally and permanently disabled need to complete a Certification of Disability (

The Homestead Exclusion Program assists homeowners 65 and older or who are permanently disabled on Jan. 1 and have income below $31,500. Applicants must have owned the home as of Jan. 1 and use it as their permanent residence in order to receive an exclusion of the taxable value of their residence of either $25,000 or 50%, whichever is greater. Apply with the Assessor’s Office between Jan. 1 and June 1.

People applying for the Homestead Exclusion Program may also qualify for payment assistance with their Solid Waste Programs Fee ( Submit the application with the Homestead Exclusion Application.

The Circuit Breaker Tax Deferment creates a lien on property and is a tax-deferment program that caps the current property tax obligation for eligible taxpayers at a percentage of their income. Taxes, interest, penalties and fees in excess of the circuit breaker tax “ceiling” are deferred and are not payable until a disqualifying event occurs, such as if the owner transfers the residence, dies or ceases to use the property as a permanent residence. Multiple owners of a permanent residence must all qualify for the circuit breaker.

For questions about any of these programs or to schedule an appointment to speak to a staff member, contact the Orange County Tax Office at 919-245-2100, option 2.

Spring Green Home Tour a Hybrid Event

The High Performance Building Council of the Triangle, a joint council of the Home Builders Associations of Durham, Orange and Chatham counties and of Raleigh-Wake County, will hold its 2021 Spring Green Home Tour on April 24-25 and May 1-2.

This year’s tour will have some homes open for in-person touring, and all 18 homes will have their own online tours. A 3D virtual tour will stay live through the end of 2021 ( The tour will showcase a variety of excellent examples of green home construction at various levels of national certification, with links for the public to reach out to building professionals with questions.

Attendees will be able to interact with the builders and onsite representatives (whether online or in person) to learn more about what’s involved in meeting stringent green building requirements. Homes entered in the tour may be in various stages of construction or owner occupied.

According to Home Innovation Research Labs, North Carolina continues to be ranked first in the country in the number of National Green Building Standard-certified single-family homes.

For more information about the tour, call (919) 493-8899, email, or visit the Tour pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro Creek Cleanup Ends April 17

The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro are inviting residents and businesses to help clean our urban streams this spring (

So far, 60 residents in Chapel Hill and Carrboro have removed over 1,500 pounds of trash from our local watersheds. The goal is to top 2,000 pounds.

Participants can enter to win prizes by completing the Litter Cleanup Data Sheet on Survey123 ( The data sheet will be open to the public until April 17. Prizes include reusable straws, cloth grocery bags, water bottles and more.

All trash should be bagged and put into your trash can. If you have more trash than will fit in your trash can, take it to one of the Waste and Recycling Centers, 1514 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill or 1616 Ferguson Road in Chapel Hill.

Learn more at, or contact Sammy Bauer at 919-968-2715 or or Heather Holley at 919-918-7426 or

Memorial Day Ceremony Planned at Orange County Veterans Memorial

The Veterans Memorial Planning Committee will hold its annual tribute to the women and men in our armed services who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, beginning at 7:45 a.m. The special ceremony will be held at the site of the future Orange County Veterans Memorial near the Orange County Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road. To learn more about the planned memorial, visit

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Paused for Review

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services sent a message to health care providers around the state advising that they follow the federal recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration review data about an extremely rare type of blood clot that has been reported in six people who received that vaccine in the United States.

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving a rare and severe type of blood clot that was reported in six people after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time.

There are three vaccines available. These events have not occurred with the other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.

Parks and Recreation Releases Summer Recreation Programs and Summer Camp Guide

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation is releasing its summer recreation program guide titled RECREATE. It will also contain a six-page Summer Camp Guide.

A mix of summer programs and activities for all ages and skill levels will be offered. The numerous indoor, outdoor and virtual programs this summer include Trivia Nights, Glow in the Dark Archery, Art In The Park, virtual Drawing for Comics, and much more.

Chapel Hill residents may register for summer recreation programs and specialty camps beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4, and for summer day camps at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12. Nonresidents may register for the programs and camps beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 11, and for day camps at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 19.

All summer camps will be running at a limited capacity this year, and everything possible will be done to make sure as many kids as possible still get to go to camp.

Recreation programs and summer camps can be viewed and downloaded at The printed edition will be available at recreation centers and the Chapel Hill Public Library on Monday, April 19.
For more information about Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, visit

Share Your Input on Community Celebrations in Chapel Hill

Over the next two weeks, residents are invited to share their personal thoughts about Chapel Hill celebrations by completing an online survey and/or participating in a virtual open house.

The 5-minute online survey is available in both Spanish and English at The survey is open until Sunday, April 25, and is anonymous.

On Thursday, April 15, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., community members are invited to drop into various Zoom breakout rooms to discuss festivals and events in Chapel Hill. Topics include location and family-focused, adult-centric and uniquely Chapel Hill events. Registration is not required but appreciated. Email to receive the Zoom link or visit

The Community Arts & Culture division of the town is coordinating this project. Project findings will be shared with the community in early summer. To learn more about the project, visit

April 10, 2021

Celebrate Earth Day All Month Long

The Town of Chapel Hill has created a month-long guide of fun (and COVID-friendly) activities, workshops and challenges to inspire love for our local environment. Called April Is for the Earth, the program invites residents to get outside, appreciate natural spaces and learn about local sustainability efforts. Go to for the full schedule of programming.

Mayor Lavelle Signs Monarch Pledge

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has signed the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90 percent decrease in eastern population.

Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities are committing to create habitats for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate community members about how to make a difference at home and in their community.  

Actions to increase pollinator habitat throughout Carrboro include a proclamation to raise awareness about the decline of the monarch butterfly and the species’ need for habitats; a public communication effort to encourage residents to plant monarch gardens at their homes or in their neighborhoods; native seed or plant sales, giveaways or swaps; monarch neighborhood challenges to engage neighborhoods and homeowners’ associations within the community to increase awareness and create habitats for the monarch butterfly; an invasive-species removal program that will support the re-establishment of native habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators; and educational signage at monarch gardens and pollinator habitats beyond monarch demonstration gardens.

Learn more about the Monarch Pledge at

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Extended Through May 6

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) has extended its assistance through May 6. Volunteers provide free federal and N.C. state income tax preparation to eligible individuals with low-to-moderate income regardless of age or county of residence. The Internal Revenue Service and N.C. Department of Revenue have extended the tax filing deadline to May 17.

As of April 1, VITA closed its virtual service and now provides only a do-it-yourself program and drop-off services. 

Drop-off VITA is by appointment only on Thursdays through May 6 at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill and on Wednesdays at the Passmore Center in Hillsborough.

For DIY VITA, certified volunteers are offering assistance by email through May 7. The DIY service is powered by TaxSlayer, free software to prepare and e-file your own taxes.

Unfortunately, VITA is not able to assist foreign students this year.

Go to to learn more and schedule an appointment.

Frank Porter Graham Bilingue PTA president Alana Argersinger, dressed as the school mascot, a flying lion, welcomes fourth graders Daniela Schwartz, left, and Alma Lee on the first day of full-time in-person classes. Contributed photo.

Schools Reopen for Full-Time Option

On April 5, elementary school students throughout Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools entered their school buildings and saw their teachers in person for the first time in more than a year. The welcome back at Frank Porter Graham Bilingue included health screenings and temperature checks in the drop-off lane, traffic backups along Smith Level Road and a creative hello from the PTA.

Some students began in-person classes in mid-March after the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board offered a hybrid model of teaching that opened schools to in-person classes two days a week. Few parents chose that option. Then on March 11, Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a bill requiring schools to offer optional full-time in-person instruction. Many parents who turned down the part-time model chose to send their children back to school full time.

April 7, 2021

Chelsea Theater photo courtesy

Open House at Chelsea Theater

The Chelsea Theater is hosting a public open house Saturday, April 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Attendees will be able to see the renovated theaters and test the new seats, pick up membership materials or sign up for a membership, and purchase posters and Chelsea Theater T-shirts. There will also be fresh Chelsea popcorn.

The Chelsea is located in Timberlyne Shopping Center, 1129 Weaver Dairy Road, Suite AB, Chapel Hill.

Where to Get Free COVID-19 Test

COVID-19 testing is available in Chapel Hill every weekday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road. Testing will take place in the large conference room inside the front entrance. Preregistration is encouraged and may be done online at

In Hillsborough, COVID-19 testing is available every weekday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Whitted Human Services Center, 300 W. Tryon St. Preregistration is encouraged and may be done online by going to; select Orange County.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, has been around people outside of their household, or thinks they have been exposed to the virus should get tested. 

Everyone 16+ Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Everyone 16 and older in North Carolina is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

To register with the Orange County Health Department to get your vaccine, complete the Vaccine Interest Form at or call 919-913-8088. The phone line is operated daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.

To see a full list of other places to get the vaccine, go to or call 888-892-1162.

Fordham Side Path Public Information Meeting

The public is invited to join a virtual public information meeting on Monday, April 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. to review the current plans and next steps for the development of the Fordham Boulevard side path.

The Town of Chapel Hill is in the design phase for a multi-use side path along Fordham Boulevard between Cleland Drive and Willow Drive. At this meeting, team members will share the construction plans, including the layout of the side path, landscaping, traffic calming mechanisms selected for Hickory Drive and two intersections with Fordham Boulevard. There will also be on-site information meetings with the project manager and other team members to review the path’s alignment.

Attendees may register in advance for this live webinar to ask questions and to provide input. For more information, contact Marcia Purvis, project manager, at or by phone at 919-968-2750.

PORCH Certified as Living Wage Employer

PORCH (People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes) has been certified by Orange County Living Wage as a living wage employer. PORCH strives to “alleviate hunger and promote better nutrition in the community,” according to executive director Sarah Dudzic, who notes: “As an organization whose mission is to provide hunger relief, we don’t want our own employees facing food insecurity.” Find out more about PORCH’s mission and how to get involved at

Exhibit Documents Black Women in Local Civil Rights Movements

In partnership with the Chapel Hill Public Library, Chapel Hill-area historians launched a new online exhibit on the Chapel Hill Community History website ( to document the role of Black women in local civil rights movements. 

Led by community historian Danita Mason-Hogans, the exhibit, “I Was Still Singing,” presents the perspectives of Black women who have shaped the town’s history, telling previously untold stories in the community. The stories of the exhibit center on policies that impacted the Black community in Chapel Hill, Mason-Hogans said. Black women could not afford to focus on just one issue, she said, because the policy issues were and continue to be so fundamentally interconnected.

Community members may directly engage with the exhibit through a “community journal.” Through June, community members may submit their reflections — written pieces, artwork and more — to the CHPL, which will create the journal. Submissions can be made in person at the CHPL or online at

HDC Adopts Revised Design Principles & Standards

On March 18, the Chapel Hill Historic District Commission adopted the final draft of the Principles & Standards. The HDC and town staff apply the Principles & Standards to the Certificate of Appropriateness review process. COAs are required for exterior alterations to buildings, sites and structures in the local historic districts of Franklin-Rosemary, Cameron-McCauley and Gimghoul. The revised document ensures that alterations are compatible with the historic character of these districts.
In summer 2019, North Carolina’s Historic Preservation Office awarded the Town of Chapel Hill a federal Historic Preservation Fund grant of $10,000 to revise the historic district’s design standards. The town allocated another $15,000 to the project.

Police Seek Help in Armed Robbery

The Chapel Hill Police Department needs your help identifying a suspect in connection with an armed robbery that occurred at the PNC Bank located at 841 Willow Drive. 

On April 3, at 12:46 p.m., the suspect entered the bank, displayed a weapon and stole cash. The suspect, described as a black male about 5’10” tall, weighing about 150-160 lbs., was last seen leaving the bank and running toward Conner Drive. He was wearing a dark blue UNC hat, sunglasses, a blue shirt, green jacket, dark-colored blue jeans and purple surgical gloves. 

If you have information, please call the Chapel Hill Police Department Watch Commander at 919-612-8240, Orange County Communications by calling 911 or 919-732-5063, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.

April 3, 2021

Mayor Hemminger Signs Monarch Pledge

On March 30, Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger joined mayors and other leaders from across the United States, Canada and Mexico in signing the National Wildlife Federation’s Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, a step aimed at protecting the iconic butterfly, which has experienced a 90 percent decrease in eastern population.

Through the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, U.S. cities, municipalities and other communities are committing to create habitats for the monarch butterfly and pollinators and to educate community members about how they can make a difference at home and in their community.  

Information on how to plant a pesticide-free monarch habitat garden can be found at

Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation will lead the town’s involvement in this new initiative. For more information or to get involved, contact department staff at, or call 919-968-2784.

All Adults Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine Beginning April 7

All adults will become eligible to receive a COVID vaccine on April 7. Orange County Health Department offers online registration at Individuals who cannot access the Internet or need assistance filling out the form can register by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available. The call center is closed April 2-4 for the Easter weekend.

Economic Development Provides Almost $1M in Assistance to Small Businesses, Farmers During Pandemic

Orange County Economic Development awarded 188 grants totaling almost $1 million to local businesses and farmers from various financial-assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Out of 509 grant applications received, 188 were awarded, including to 94 women-owned businesses and 27 minority-owned businesses. The value of the grants awarded totaled $954,759.58.

2021 Property Tax Revaluation Complete

Notices of updated property values have been mailed and reflect the value of your property as of Jan. 1, 2021.

A revaluation is required by N.C. statutes at least every eight years, and Orange County follows a four-year schedule. The last revaluation in Orange County was effective Jan. 1, 2017. The purpose is to redistribute the tax burden based on current market data and maintain equitable and uniform property values among property owners throughout the county. As time elapses between revaluations, properties may increase or decrease in market value at different rates.

If you believe that the Jan. 1, 2021, value of your property is not correct, you may file an appeal. An informal appeal form is included with your revaluation notice. Appeals may be mailed, put in the drop box at the front door of the Tax Office in Hillsborough, emailed or submitted online. To appeal online, use the Online Appeals Tool at

You can contact the Tax Office by phone, email or mail or chat online, Although the office is restricting entrance due to the pandemic, you can make an appointment for assistance in person as needed by calling 919-245-2100, option 2, or emailing Masks must be worn.

Review property information at the Property Record Card Search at Review sales in your area at

If you have not yet received your revaluation notice, you may contact the Tax Administration office for a duplicate copy.

March 31, 2021

Public Hearing on Draft UNC Title V Permit Set for May 4

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality will host a digital public hearing on May 4, at 6 p.m. on a draft renewal permit for UNC’s Title V air permit. The public is invited to attend the hearing online or by phone and provide comments on the proposed permit. DAQ will also accept comments on the draft permit through May 6.

The existing power-generation facility, at 200 E. Cameron Ave. in Chapel Hill, has requested renewal along with consolidated modification requests related to boiler operations and emergency-generator engine conditions in the current Title V air permit.

To access the hearing online, use WebEx Link; event password NCDAQ.

To access the hearing by phone (toll call), call 415-655-0003, access code 185 344 434. To comment by phone, when your name is called, press *3 so the moderator can identify and open your line. Once you have made your comment, press *3 to end your comment.

If you wish to speak at the public hearing, you must register by 4 p.m. on May 4. To register, please visit or call 919-618-0968.

Copies of data and the application submitted by UNC are available for public inspection at or in person by appointment only at:
Raleigh Regional Office
3800 Barrett Drive, Suite 101
Raleigh, N.C. 27609

For those who are unable to attend or who experience technical difficulties, comments can also be submitted by email to with the subject line “UNC.15B.” You may also leave a voicemail comment at 919-707-8726.

NAACP Chapel Hill-Carrboro Branch Scholarship Applications Open

It’s that time of year for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch to give out its annual, renewable scholarships to deserving high school seniors selected from among the four high schools in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on April 23.

The recipient must be entering a four‐year college/university or a two-year community college. The scholarships recognize academic achievement, civic engagement, leadership qualities and strong character. Each initial scholarship is in the amount of $1,000, of which $500 is renewable subject to criteria. 
Finalists’ interviews will be scheduled the week of May 3.

For further information, go to

Carrboro Seeks OWASA Board Member

The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for a Carrboro representative to serve as a board member of Orange Water and Sewer Authority. The three-year term begins June 30. The Carrboro Town Council will consider applicants for appointment in June.
Interested Carrboro residents may apply at

For more information, go to

OWASA Completes Temporary Change in Disinfection

Although OWASA completed its annual switch to using chlorine to disinfect drinking water and returned to using chloramines at 8 a.m. on April 1, customers may notice continued chlorine taste and odor in early- to-mid-April because some water treated with chlorine remains in the water distribution system.

Dialysis patients and aquarium owners should continue to take special precautions to remove traces of ammonia and chlorine from the water before using.

Throughout the year, OWASA uses a combination of chlorine and ammonia, known as chloramines, to disinfect drinking water. But in March it used only chlorine, a stronger disinfectant, to flush the system, as recommended by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. This change was only for the month of March and has no impact on the safety of the drinking water.

March 30, 2021

FEMA Offers COVID Funeral Expense Assistance

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 designated funds to be distributed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

If you have incurred COVID-19 funeral expenses or incur them in the future, gather and keep all documentation, receipts and invoices.

FEMA is still working out the details, but you can learn more about the program at:

Orange County will share information about how to apply for the assistance once the details are finalized.

Apply Now for Carrboro Summer Apprenticeship for the Arts

The Carrboro Arts Committee is offering an award of up to $1,000 to assist emerging young artists in developing their talent through a summer apprenticeship. Three apprenticeships are available for rising high school juniors, seniors and graduating seniors, as well as college students and those who have graduated from college within the past year.

Applicants must live in Carrboro. They must have an interest in the arts (visual arts, performing arts, arts administration, etc.) and have secured an apprenticeship with an Orange County artist or arts organization. The apprenticeship must be for at least 15 hours a week for at least 5 weeks. Students who may need assistance finding a local artist or arts organization may contact

Apprenticeships may be remote or in person. Approved COVID protocols that follow local, state, and national guidelines must be submitted.

Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 11.

An online application is available at PDF/Word copies of the application are available upon request.

Applications will also be accepted via email or mail or by dropping off at the Carrboro Century Center. Include two letters of reference with your application to: 
Carrboro Arts Committee
c/o Charles Harrington
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC 27510

Lane to Close April 5 for Tree Trunk Removal

The eastbound lane of Franklin Street and the straight/right-turn lane from Merritt Mill Road onto Franklin Street will be closed from 9 a.m. until around noon on April 5 for tree work.

A tree at the corner of West Franklin Street and Merritt Mill Road was partially removed to perform work on a damaged OWASA water line, and its trunk is scheduled to be removed on April 5.

Groups 4 & 5 To Get Shots Sooner

Gov. Roy Cooper accelerated the timeline for Groups 4 and 5 to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. On March 25, he announced that the rest of Group 4 would be eligible on March 31 and all adults eligible beginning April 7.

Beginning on March 31, additional essential workers and people living in other congregate settings such as student dormitories will be eligible for vaccination. Essential workers include frontline workers and those in a range of sectors such as construction, energy, financial services and public works.

The move will allow the state and vaccine providers to get vaccines into more arms quickly and continue to reach underserved and historically marginalized populations. A new public-private partnership, Healthier Together: Health Equity Action Network, will help increase the number of individuals from historically marginalized populations who receive COVID-19 vaccinations and provide a foundation for a longer-term framework for health equity.

Healthier Together will implement strategies to increase access to vaccines to historically marginalized populations by conducting outreach and education efforts, coordinating local vaccine events at trusted and accessible locations, helping people schedule and get to vaccine appointments, providing on-site translation services and helping ensure people get to second-dose appointments.

The partnership will provide grants to community-based organizations to do this work and hire regional health-equity teams to support community-based organizations in their outreach and education efforts. The initiative will help match vaccine providers with community-based organizations and work with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that communities have the vaccine supply, outreach and transportation resources they need to get people vaccinated.

Bolinwood Drive Water Line Replacement Begins

An OWASA contractor began work on a water-line replacement project on Bolinwood Drive around the bridge crossing Bolin Creek on Friday, March 26.

The work is expected to take 30-45 days to complete, depending on the weather, and could involve some Saturday work. Because work will take place in the roadway, some lanes will close, and it’s possible the full road may close in the area immediately surrounding the bridge. There will also be times when pedestrian access to the Bolin Creek Trail will be restricted from Hillsborough Street. The sidewalks near the bridge will be closed during construction hours. Both lanes of Bolinwood Drive and access to foot traffic will be reopened each evening.

Work on weekdays will take place between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. If Saturday work is needed, it would take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.


Chapel Hill Seeking Applicants for Library Advisory Board

A vacancy exists on the Chapel Hill Library Advisory Board for an Orange County resident, to be appointed by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners.

If interested, please apply at

Orange County strives for diversity on volunteer advisory boards. Minorities are encouraged to apply. Applicants must reside in Orange County.

For questions regarding the position or for additional information, call Tara May at 919-245-2125 or email

Orange County Living Wage Certifies 2 More

Living wage certification has been granted to two more local businesses, Cicada Design LLC and VIETRI.

Cicada Design is a women-owned business in Durham creating “intentional, experiential and beautiful gardens for all.” Owner Carley McCready believes that “everyone deserves to earn a living wage. It’s not just about plants, but people, too.”

VIETRI is a women-owned business based in Hillsborough, specializing in handcrafted Italian designs for the table, home and garden. It has committed to paying its 44 employees living wages for the next two years. Owner Laurie Murray believes in living wages because “every person should be paid so that they can feed their family, cover expenses and save for the future. VIETRI’s mission is to spend time around a table with friends and family, which can only be done if there’s food at that table.”

Orange County Living Wage is a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assist workers seeking living wage jobs.

Free Shredding Event

Orange County residents, small businesses and employees of Orange County, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough may bring their confidential documents for shredding and recycling on April 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Park & Ride Lot, 1768 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

There is a four-bag limit, and it is strongly recommended that clear heavy plastic bags (up to 32 gallons) be used so the program operators can see into the bags for contamination. Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, plastic or metal binders and electronic media cannot be accepted. To ensure the safety of employees and residents, those bringing paper for shredding will have to unload and dump their paper in the carts at the site themselves, with no assistance from county staff, volunteers or Pro Shred staff.

All attendees are required to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and maintain all safety protocols to avoid spreading COVID 19 or its variants.

Governor Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

Due to continuing improvement in the state’s key COVID-19 metrics and increases in vaccine distribution, North Carolina will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions, beginning March 26 at 5 p.m. and expiring April 30 at 5 p.m., by order of Gov. Roy Cooper. The state’s general mask mandate remains in effect.

Occupancy restrictions will be up to 100, 75 and 50 percent capacity, depending on the type of establishment. Those that will be able to open at 100 percent include childcare, camps, outdoor playgrounds, museums, and retail and personal care businesses. Those that will be able to open at 75 percent capacity indoors include restaurants, breweries, wineries, gyms, pools and amusement parks. Those that will be able to open at 50 percent capacity include arenas, conference and reception spaces, movie theaters, gaming parlors and bars.

All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity.

In addition, the order fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants and other establishments.

Mass gathering limits will be increased, from 25 to 50 for the number of people who may gather indoors and from 50 to 100 for the number of people who may gather outdoors.

The K-12 schools guidance has also been updated, allowing them to return to in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible while following all public health protocols in the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit. The updated toolkit no longer requires schools to do daily temperature checks and symptom screenings. Safety protocols such as masks and cleaning of high-traffic areas are still required. Schools are also highly encouraged to conduct free screening testing as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Carrboro Town Council Approves New ArtsCenter

The Carrboro Town Council has approved a conditional-use permit application for The ArtsCenter’s new two-story building plan at 315 Jones Ferry Road. The $5.5 million building will replace the nonprofit arts agency’s longtime home at 300 E. Main St. Its future home will be located across from OWASA near the intersection of Jones Ferry Road and Barnes Street.

Among conditions for the project, the developer must provide a detailed stormwater system maintenance plan. The project will include permeable pavers that let water through to the soil, as well as an underground stormwater storage and sand filter systems. Plans call for 41 vehicle and 16 bicycle parking spaces. The council also required the developer to commit to increased neighborhood engagement to ensure that concerns of the local community are heard.

New COVID-19 Online Vaccination Registration System

Orange County Health Department unveiled a new online registration system for residents seeking to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine. The system allows residents to choose how to be notified when an appointment is available — either via text, automated phone call or email — and will help the county manage the process to ensure that all vaccines are distributed efficiently.

The system can be accessed at Residents who have already registered, either via phone or the online form, will not have to reregister. Those who cannot access the Internet or need assistance filling out the form can register by calling 919-913-8088 seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Spanish and other languages are available.

New Medline Distribution Center to Open in Mebane

Medline, one of the nation’s leading distributors of medical equipment to hospitals and other providers, is building a 1.2 million-square-foot distribution center in Mebane that is expected to open in 2021. The facility will initially create 250 full-time jobs that will provide health, educational and retirement benefits. At full capacity, Medline anticipates the new Orange County operation will employ as many as 600 people.

Medline recently donated 5,000 procedural masks to Orange County Emergency Services to help the county respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Orange County Panel to Discuss End-of-Life Choices

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE End of Life Choices Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual panel discuss on Advance Directives: A Medical Professional’s Point of View on March 30 from 4 to 6 p.m. via a virtual platform. Professional panelists will have an honest conversation on how one’s loved ones, medical teams and proxies must support one another to ensure that a person’s end-of-life choices are respected and fulfilled.

Register for this free event at If technology assistance is needed, contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, March 29.

Orange County to Celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility

The Orange County Department on Aging and the Project EngAGE LGBTQ+ Senior Resource Team invite the public to attend a virtual documentary screening of The Ties That Bind on March 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. via a virtual platform.

The documentary delivers an introspective and honest exploration of acceptance as it details Diana Newton’s journey with her sister Christine, a trans woman, and their family as they navigate the emotional and physical struggles of transitioning. Ms. Newton offers a glimpse into the world of a Southern family as they confront society’s cultural bias and learn to face their own personal journey to live authentically. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Register at If technology assistance is needed, please contact Shenae McPherson at 919-245-4243 by Monday, March 29.

Improving Road Safety in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill is working toward eliminating pedestrian road fatalities and serious injuries and improving safety and accessibility for people who are walking, biking or rolling. The town has joined a national initiative called the Road to Zero, a coalition of communities committed to the belief that traffic injuries and deaths are not inevitable accidents, but preventable crashes.

Each month Town Planning and Police will conduct a high-visibility public education campaign around pedestrian safety in high-injury-risk areas, identified as areas with crossings, intersections and other pedestrian-vehicle conflict areas that have resulted or could result in crashes. The first of these campaigns on speed enforcement and pedestrian-crossing enforcement were conducted on March 23 and March 27 and were focused primarily on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

A key component in turning the town’s Road to Zero commitment into a reality is the 2019 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, which lays out strategies to address pedestrian safety concerns through policy, infrastructure and programming. The Road to Zero Task Force advises implementation of the Pedestrian Safety Action Plan with a focus on equity, public engagement, safe routes to school and data analysis.

Piedmont Health Services Attacked by Ransomware

Piedmont Health Services, a North Carolina health care provider, was one of 81 current and former clients affected by a cybersecurity incident at PeakTPA, a St. Louis health care management company. Piedmont Health Services was notified on Jan. 23 about the ransomware attack, in which data of its patients were illegally accessed. PeakTPA learned of the incident on Dec. 31, 2020.

Piedmont Health Services had been using PeakTPA as a vendor for administrative services for claims payment for several years. PeakTPA offers health care management services to health plans, Managed Care Advantage and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.

Upon learning of the incident, PeakTPA thoroughly investigated the situation, contacted federal law enforcement and contracted with specialized third-party agencies, which determined that certain patient information had been revealed. The information accessed by the attack includes name, date of birth, address, Social Security number and diagnosis codes. PeakTPA took steps to rebuild compromised servers and add additional security software. Piedmont Health Services has also adopted additional security software programs to monitor for malware and ransomware attacks in the future. Piedmont Health Services has notified all impacted patients, in conjunction with PeakTPA.

Chapel Hill Historic Districts Design Principles and Standards

Commission Approves New Standards

At its March 18 meeting, the Chapel Hill Historic District Commission approved the new Chapel Hill Historic Districts Design Principles and Standards.

The commission’s vote capped a year-long process during which the Town Council-appointed commissioners worked with town staff, historic preservation consultant Heather Slane and members of the public to craft a new set of design standards the town will use to preserve the character of Chapel Hill’s three historic districts.

The standards provide direction to 1) property owners in the Franklin-Rosemary, Cameron-McCauley and Gimghoul districts as they plan new construction or changes to the exterior of existing buildings; 2) the HDC as it reviews the appropriateness of proposed changes within the districts; and 3) town staff as they provide administrative approvals for minor projects.

The new standards improve upon the previous version, adopted in 2002, by providing a clear description of the Certificate of Appropriateness application and review process, providing guidance regarding the maintenance of historic building materials, including updated photos and graphics and presenting the design standards in a user-friendly, online/digital format.

For more information about the historic districts design standards rewrite process, see

Two Businesses Cited for Living Wage Efforts

Short Winter Soups and Carrboro United Local Food Hub have been designated living wage employers by Orange County Living Wage, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs.

Short Winter Soups is a women-owned business that serves soup via subscriptions, contactless delivery and the Carrboro Farmers’ Market.

Carrboro United serves nutritious food and supports local chefs through a program that allows consumers to order and pick up food in one central location from local restaurants, purveyors and farmers three times a week.

For more information about Short Winter Soup and Carrboro United services, check out their websites in the directory at

Orange County Living Wage recognizes local businesses and organizations that pay the 2021 living wage of $15.40 per hour, or $13.90 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance.

Chan Mee Yae

Suspect Arrested in December Hit-and-Run

A first appearance has been set for March 22 for a Chatham County woman who Chapel Hill Police have charged with felony hit-and-run involving serious bodily injury.

According to police, the woman was driving on Homestead Road near the Aquatic Center on Dec. 17 at 7:29 p.m. when she hit a bicyclist and then drove away.

The bicyclist is still recovering from injuries sustained in the incident. For more information about the incident, go to

Traffic Impact Meetings Set for Estes-MLK Jr. Development

Presentations on a town-wide traffic model for Chapel Hill and the traffic impact of the planned Aura mixed-use development at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Estes Drive are scheduled for the end of March.

On March 29 at 6 p.m., a representative of infrastructure design company HNTB will present the findings of a town-wide traffic model. To attend the presentation, register in advance at

On March 30 at 6 p.m., representatives from Raleigh-based engineering consultant VHB will discuss the Aura development. Register at

For more information about the Aura development, visit

Partnership will Aid News Publishers and Entrepreneurs

The Local Reporter is one of 24 newspapers in North Carolina and one of seven nonprofit news organizations in the state to be selected to partner with Google News Initiative, Lion Publishers and UNC Hussman School of Journalism and media on three resources to support digital news publishers and aspiring news entrepreneurs.

The Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Playbook is a guide to designing and launching an independent, sustainable news business for aspiring news entrepreneurs. The Project Oasis Database is an interactive library of the North American digital news ecosystem with a map and profiles of 711 publishers. The Project Oasis Research Report provides editorial, financial and organizational insights for new publishers.

Information about Project Oasis Database and Project Oasis Research Report is at

And information about the GNI Startups Playbook can be found at

UNC, Duke Open New Care Facilities

UNC Health opened its Eastowne clinic at the beginning of March.

The six-story, 150,000-square-foot office building at 100 Eastowne Drive includes an imaging and radiology outpatient center and laboratory services as well as clinics for heart, lung and kidney patients. Beginning March 15, urology, gastrology and blood study services will be offered. The center plans to open geriatric and internal medicine clinics by the end of the month.

For information call 984-974-2695 or visit

Just down the road from the UNC facility, Duke Health’s Primary Care Sage Road Internal Medicine clinic has opened at 201 Sage Road, Suite 300. The facility offers services for adults that include annual physicals, preventive care visits, physical exams and acute illness visits as well as lab work and vaccinations.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 919-822-8960 or go to

Annual CROP Walk Scheduled

The 34th annual Chapel Hill-Carrboro CROP Walk is set for April 25.

The fundraising event, a partnership between the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) and Church World Service, will again be a virtual event, just as it was in 2020. Walk Week will be April 18-25, with that Sunday being Walk Day.

During Walk Week, participants should walk an established route or a route in their neighborhoods wearing a CROP Walk T-shirt. Walkers are encouraged to send pictures to be shared on IFC’s social media.

In the past 30 years, the local event has raised more than $1 million to support hunger-relief efforts in the community as well as internationally.

For information or to find out about sponsorships, contact Mae McLendon at 919-942-6571 or

Brothers Charged with Stealing Car Parts

Two men remain in custody in Orange County, charged with stealing catalytic converters from automobiles in Orange, Chatham and Stanly counties. The brothers, both of whom live in Albemarle, face six counts of felony larceny of motor vehicle parts, and more charges are expected.

A catalytic converter reduces harmful emissions from automobile exhaust. Thieves sell the stolen parts to metal recyclers, who extract valuable metals such as gold and platinum and sell them for a profit.

Generally, catalytic converters do not have a Vehicle Identification Number stamped on them, making it difficult to trace them back to a specific victim’s vehicle.

Law enforcement officials advise that parking a vehicle in a garage or in a well-lit area within range of a security camera can help prevent catalytic converter theft.

Anyone with additional information should call Investigator Jason Nazworth at 919-245-2960.

Tesoro to Receive Business Loan

Tesoro, a pasta-focused neighborhood restaurant slated to open this spring at 100 E. Weaver St. in Carrboro, has received a $60,000 business loan through Carrboro’s Revolving Loan Fund.

David Peretin, a managing member of Tesoro, applied for the loan through the Economic Sustainability Commission, which recommended that Tesoro receive the funds. The Carrboro Town Council approved the recommendation on March 2.

Information about the Town’s Revolving Loan Fund is at

Group 4 Set for COVID Shots

The state has set March 24 as the start date for Group 4, the next group eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. Group 4 includes adults at higher risk for exposure and increased risk of severe illness, including essential workers and those in group-living settings. Higher-risk medical conditions for Group 4 include intellectual and developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome, and neurologic conditions, such as dementia.

UNC Benefactor Joan Gillings Has Died

Joan Gillings, who helped found Quintiles and became a leading Triangle philanthropist, died Feb. 18.

Gillings and her husband at the time, Dennis Gillings, gave $50 million to UNC’s School of Public Health in 2007, and the school now bears their name. In 2017, she gave $12 million to PlayMakers Repertory Company and the department of dramatic art at UNC, the largest single gift by a living individual to benefit the performing arts at Carolina, according to the university. The Center for Dramatic Art was named in her honor.

She also contributed to the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, UNC Children’s Hospital, the N.C. Museum of Art, the N.C. Botanical Garden and the Kenan Institute Asia.

Gillings moved to North Carolina in 1969 and settled in Chapel Hill. She landed a job at UNC’s School of Public Health, working as an assistant to young professor Dennis Gillings. The two married in 1978 and divorced in 2011. She helped Dennis launch Quintiles Transnational in 1982. The clinical research organization became an international giant in the industry and employed thousands around the globe. The company went public in 1994 and was acquired by IQVIA in 2016.

Company Earns Living Wage Designation

Grey Star Woodworks and Design in Chapel Hill has been designated a living wage employer by Orange County Living Wage, a volunteer-driven, nonprofit organization that certifies, recognizes and promotes Orange County businesses that pay a living wage and assists workers seeking living wage jobs. Grey Star provides woodwork, home repair and maintenance services.

The 2021 living wage in Orange County is $15.40 per hour, or $13.90 per hour if the employer pays at least half the cost of health insurance. A directory of living-wage businesses is at

DTH General Manager to Step Down

Erica Perel plans to step down as general manager of The Daily Tar Heel in April to become director of the Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. The center supports established and emerging local news organizations through applied research on economic sustainability and entrepreneurship as well as innovative news and digital product solutions.

Perel spent 13 years with The DTH, the last three years as general manager.

Local Residents Honored

Several local residents have been honored by the Orange County Human Relations Commission.

Quinton Harper has been chosen as the adult winner of the commission’s annual Pauli Murray Award. Present Day on Main, a Carrboro coffee shop owned by Sophie Suberman and Soteria Shepperson, was named the business winner of the award.

Harper is the team leader for Activate! IFC, a voting and advocacy project with the local Inter-Faith Council for Social Service. He also chairs the Town of Carrboro Affordable Housing Commission and Human Services Board.

Present Day on Main, according to the commission, infuses social justice, equity and hope by diversifying its customer base and being intentional about using art to invite community and justice while making sure coffee and tea are served.

Pauli Murray, who grew up in the area, was a human rights activist, legal scholar, feminist, poet, Episcopal priest, writer and labor organizer.

Society Receives Donation

The family of Chapel Hill native Roland Giduz has donated to the Chapel Hill Historical Society bound copies of the Chapel Hill News Leader, a local newspaper Giduz edited and published from 1954 to 1959.

The News Leader covered local news and events such as high school football games. Giduz worked for many years on the Chapel Hill Weekly, the Durham Herald-Sun and the News of Orange County. He also created and published The Triangle Pointer weekly visitors guide magazine for 16 years, was alumni editor for the UNC General Alumni Association and worked for 15 years as director of public affairs for the Village Companies.

Giduz was one of the founding members of the Historical Society, which is working with the North Carolina Digital Heritage program to have these volumes digitized page-by-page and made available to the general public via the Digital Heritage website.

New Living Wage Business

Green Energy Lawn Care is the newest business to be certified by Orange County Living Wage.

Certification means the business has committed to paying all employees the 2021 living wage of $15.40 an hour. The nonprofit OCLW has certified more than 200 local employers since its creation in 2015.

Green Energy Lawn Care is based in Chapel Hill and provides zero-emission, quiet, organic lawn care services. According to owner Mik Beetham, the company has decided to pay living wages because “It’s time — unquestionably, the right thing to do.”

Stream Buffer to be Restored

The Town of Carrboro has received a 2020 Legacy Tree Fund Grant from the NC Urban Forest Council to restore a stream buffer in Hank Anderson Community Park.

There will be a virtual presentation from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, March 6, for residents to learn more about the stream restoration project and how it will help Carrboro meet ecosystem protection and enhancement goals of the 2017 Community Climate Action Plan. This plan is posted for review at

After the presentation, residents are invited to participate in a live stream restoration question-and-answer session with staff from the Town of Carrboro’s Planning Department and Stormwater Utility.

Contact Laura Janway at or 919-918-7342 for a link to the virtual meeting.

Camelot Village, Chapel Hill

Police Make Arrest in Fatal Shooting

The Chapel Hill Police Department arrested Jermaine Malik Jahquan Chance, 21, of Mebane and charged him with the first-degree murder of Dearie William Bourne, 21, of Chapel Hill at the Camelot Village Apartments Friday, Feb. 19.

Chance has also been charged with breaking and entering, larceny and discharging a firearm into an occupied dwelling. He’s being held at the Orange County Jail under no bond and will have his first appearance in court Monday.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

If you have any information, call 911. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515. Information that leads to an arrest may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.

Lisa Kaylie

Kaylie Named to School Board

Lisa Kaylie, a former president of the PTA Council, will be the next member of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board.

Kaylie was selected by the board to fill the remainder of the term that became vacant when former member Amy Fowler was elected to the Orange County Commission. The selection was made by coin flip after three consecutive rounds of voting by the current board ended in 3-3 ties between Kaylie and Carmen Huerta-Bapat.

Kaylie, who has two children in district schools, is president of Frucon International, an e-commerce services company. She will be sworn in at the board’s March 4 meeting and her term will expire in December.

Carrboro Hosts Roundtable

The Carrboro Department of Economic Development will host a BIPOC Business Roundtable Discussion Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

The town seeks to hear the needs and challenges of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color businesses in Carrboro, and the role the town needs to play to help businesses start and grow. Additionally, the roundtable discussions will serve as an opportunity for BIPOC Business owners to get to know and support each other.

Businesses interested in participating in the roundtable discussions can find more information and pre-register ag

Pre-trial Detentions Rising

Orange County saw a sharp increase in the number of pre-trial detentions in the last quarter of 2020, according to a nonprofit group monitoring the local criminal justice system. The rise came after what the group called a drastic reduction in people detained pretrial previously during the year.

The Orange County Bail/Bond Justice Court Observation Team found that earlier in the year pre-trial detentions showed a 68 to 75 percent reduction compared to 2019. But from mid-November 2020 to mid-January 2021 the reduction was only around 40 percent.

The change, according to the nonprofit, was likely attributable in part to the county’s COVID-19 lockdown during last March through June, when detentions were at an “artificial low” because fewer people were outside their homes and law enforcement officials were interacting with fewer people. Also, early in the lockdown, the county released people detained pretrial who were deemed at high risk of COVID-19.

New Living Wage Employer

Hoffman Studio, a women-owned, full-service design and build studio in Chapel Hill, has become the latest company certified by Orange County Living Wage.

Certification means the business has committed to paying all employees the 2021 living wage of $15.40 an hour. The nonprofit OCLW has certified more than 200 local employers since its creation in 2015.

Hoffman Studio offers start to finish design/construction of custom homes and large-scale renovations as well as a la carte residential and light commercial design.

Willie Mae Patterson at her home by the rock wall where neighbors gathered to exchange news, watch over kids and plan the first sit-ins in Chapel Hill.

Highlighting the History of Black Neighborhoods

A new interactive website just launched tells the stories of “all who have lived, worked, worshipped, played and served in” Chapel Hill and Carrboro’s historically Black neighborhoods.

From the Rock Wall: Living Histories of Black Chapel Hill/Carrboro brings together more than 250 oral history interviews with images, documents, a timeline, maps and digital lesson plans in a call-and-response format. From the Rock Wall, which was produced by the Northside-based Marian Cheek Jackson Center, draws its name from the low rock wall at the corner of Cotton and McDade Streets, in the heart of the Potter’s Field neighborhood.

Built in the 1930s, the wall quickly became a gathering spot for the Black community, eventually the place to connect, to exchange news, sometimes to call out each other’s children and, in the early 1960s, to plan the first salvos in the fight for Black freedom in Chapel Hill. Over the decades, the rock wall became a symbol of community sustenance and struggle.

From the Rock Wall was developed over many years, with the collaboration of neighbors from Northside, Potter’s Field, Sunset, Lloyd/Broad, Tin Top, Pine Knolls, Rangewood and Rogers Road. The project also received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation.

Last Call for Leaf Collection

Chapel Hill’s final collection of loose leaves for this season will begin on Monday, Feb. 22.

The town advises residents to place loose leaves, free of limbs and debris, behind the curb or drainage ditch for collection no later than 6 a.m. on Feb. 22 to ensure the leaves are collected.

Leaves that are left after a route has been completed will not be collected.

To dispose of leaves after leaf collection has ended, residents should place them in a yard waste cart or other rigid container for curbside collection with yard waste. Leaves may also be placed in 30 gallon, 50-pound weight limit brown paper bags. Leaves in plastic bags will not be collected.

For information about other disposal options, visit or call 919-969-5100.

Parking Lot Closure

The Town of Chapel Hill will close the 25 spaces of the lower portion of the Rosemary-Columbia Parking Lot beginning on Monday, Feb. 22.

The area will be used for a construction lay-down and storage site for several years. This site will support the reconstruction of the 137 East Franklin Street/136 East Rosemary Street (CVS Plaza) building and the construction of the East Rosemary Parking Deck, and potentially serve as a support site for the construction of a new office building where the current Wallace Parking Deck is located once it is authorized by Council

David Andrews

Carrboro Town Manager to Retire

David Andrews has announced plans to retire as Carrboro Town Manager on July 31.

“While I will leave with many enjoyable memories, I am also looking forward to making new ones and spending more time with my family,” said Andrews, who has been Carrboro’s top executive since March 2012. “I will miss the tremendous employee team that is always doing great things for our community with the support and leadership from our elected officials.”

A veteran of more than 30 years of government service, Andrews previously held several executive level positions in Paradise Valley, Oro Valley and the City of South Tucson, all in Arizona. During retirement, he plans to spend more time traveling with his wife to see their grandchildren in Arizona and New Mexico.

“Carrboro is a small organization with only about 160 employees,” he said, “but we’re mighty because of them. Just look at all the amazing things they have been accomplished in our progressive, civically engaged community. So, it’s really the people I will miss the most. The uniqueness of Carrboro is rooted in our people, their values and character.”

Some of Andrews’ key initiatives have included improvements in the areas of employee quality of life, tourism and economic development, affordable housing, communication and transparency, public transportation, and long-term financial sustainability, among others.

The Town of Carrboro is currently inviting executive search firms and consultants to submit a written proposal to conduct a national executive recruitment campaign for the position of town manager. Learn more at

Racial Equity Commission Seeks Members

The Town of Carrboro is recruiting for the newly established Racial Equity Commission.

The commission, established last month, is empowered to make short-, medium- and long-term recommendations that will make significant progress toward repairing the damage caused by public and private systemic racism, boosting economic mobility and opportunity, and creating generational wealth in the Black community.

The commission will be comprised of nine members who complete race and equity training provided by the town. They will include

  • 4 representatives from the community, of which two have lived in the community for at least 20 years and two for at least 10 years and should have a lived experience based on being a person of color.
  • 1 youth representative between the ages of 15 and 18 years old, who shall reside, work in or attend public, private or homeschool classes in Carrboro.
  • 1 representative from the Affordable Housing Advisory Commission
  • 1 representative from the Environmental Advisory Board
  • 1 representative from the Economic Sustainability Commission
  • 1 representative from the Farmer’s Market Board
  • 3 non-voting town representatives – two Town Council liaisons and one staff liaison, the Town Race and Equity Officer

Commission members will serve two-year terms.

An infomation flyer is available at All those interested should apply at

Health Department to Recognize Local Businesses

The Orange County Health Department wants to recognize local businesses that have been vigilant in ensuring that their staff and customers feel safe, secure and well-served during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Best business that was very careful to keep their customers safe from COVID-19
  • Best business that took great care in keeping their employees safe from COVID-19
  • MVP: The overall best business that took on the daunting challenge of a global pandemic and knocked it out of the park

Each winner will receive a trophy and $1,000 in advertising support in the form of advertising on Chapel Hill Transit buses.

Voting is open until Sunday, Feb. 28. For more information, visit

Public Defender Candidate Forum

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Orange County and Chatham County branches of the NAACP, in partnership with the District 18 Bar, are hosting a virtual public defender candidate forum Feb. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The role of the public defender will be summarized by James E. Williams, the former District 18 public defender who served for more than 20 years, followed by candidate introductions and a question-and-answer session, including questions submitted by members of the community.

Orange County Criminal Justice Resource Director Caitlin Fenhagen will moderate the forum.

Anyone interested in attending can join via this link, beginning at 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 3. Questions for candidates can be submitted here by Jan. 30.

How to Report a Violation

Want to report a violation of COVID-19 pandemic protocols?

The Chapel Hill Police Department suggests that minor violations that would benefit from a follow up, like single face-covering violations and small gatherings of people not following physical distancing, can be reported through non-emergency channels below.

More serious violations, like large crowd gatherings (more than 25 people outdoors and crowds clearly violating physical distancing guidance), should be directed to 911 for an immediate response.

  • Chapel Hill Police non-emergency line: 919-968-2760 – 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett

Local Scientist Honored

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed Tuesday, Jan. 26, as Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett Day in the town to honor the Orange County native who played a key role in developing one of the COVID-19 vaccines.

“We recognize her remarkable research and success in creating a vaccination to defeat the pandemic,” Lavelle said. “I urge all of the residents of Carrboro to take time to recognize and honor this outstanding achievement of one of Orange County’s own daughters.”

Corbett is currently a research fellow in the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center. A viral immunologist by training, she has focused her work on developing novel coronavirus vaccines, including mRNA-1273, which has become a primary vaccine against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Corbett was raised in the Cedar Grove community of Orange County and attended A.L. Stanback Middle School and graduated from Orange High School. She earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology at UNC.

Hargraves Center Receives Award

The Hargraves Community Center received the 2021 Bridge Builder Award during the recent annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Celebration.

Hargraves staff members were recognized for their contributions to the community. In August, for the back-to-school event, Hargraves gave out 215 back packs and clothes to 60 families. Staff packaged 20,000 masks, which were distributed to local nonprofit agencies, churches, town staff, and anyone in the community who needed a mask.

For Thanksgiving, Hargraves partnered with Summit Church to give out 83 turkeys along with fixings for families to prepare their own meals, and then partnered with Al’s Burger Shack, which prepared 100 turkey dinners to give to families in the community. Between May 2020 and late fall, the Hargraves Center provided showers to individuals experiencing homelessness and personal hygiene kits to anyone who needed one.

PORCH Names First Executive Director

PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro has chosen Sarah Dudzic as its first executive director.

Dudzic comes to PORCH with more than 15 years of experience leading nonprofit organizations. Her most recent position was director of philanthropy at The Connection in Middletown, CT. Previously, she led the MoveUp Partnership for Adult Learning in Hartford, CT and the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition in Greenfield, MA.

“Sarah’s extensive experience managing grassroots nonprofit organizations and her passion for lifting up our most vulnerable and marginalized community members make her an ideal fit to lead our organization,” said Susan Romaine, chair of PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s Board of Directors.

PORCH has been a volunteer-run, grassroots organization since its inception in 2010, working to alleviate hunger and promote better nutrition in the community through its non-perishable and fresh food programs. At the core of PORCH’s operations are monthly food drives organized in over 160 neighborhoods in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, generating $3.5 in local hunger relief since PORCH’s founding.

“I am truly humbled and honored to become the first executive director at PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Food insecurity is one of the most fundamental issues facing families right now, and PORCH’s grassroots effort to address that issue is nothing short of inspiring. I am beyond excited to see the programs in action and meet all the volunteers, as they are clearly the heart of the organization. We have challenging times and amazing opportunities ahead. I can’t wait to get started!” Dudzic said.

Bailey Receives MLK Award

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP has named Delores Bailey as the recipient of the branch’s 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.

The award recognizes and celebrates people and organizations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro whose work exemplifies the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by raising awareness and speaking on behalf of social justice, promoting diversity, and being a spark for action to build a better future for everyone.

“There is no one more suited for this award than Delores Bailey,” Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP President Dawna Jones said. “She is a staple in the community, a true servant-leader, and an all-around social justice warrior. Delores’ work is a genuine reflection of Dr. King’s values.”

Bailey is executive director of EmPOWERment Inc.. “Service to others is my life,” Bailey said. “I was thrilled to receive this prestigious award and truly thank the members of the branch for this honor.”

COVID-19 Memorial Day in Carrboro

To pause and reflect on the lives that we have lost to COVID-19, Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle has proclaimed Jan. 19 as COVID-19 Memorial Day in the town.

“Carrboro Town Hall will be lit on this evening, and I urge all churches and clergy to toll their bells and all residents of Carrboro to light a candle at 5:30 p.m. to honor the lives lost to the pandemic, and to reflect upon this challenging period in our nation’s history,” Lavelle said.

Almost 70 people in Orange County have lost their lives to the disease, while COVID-19 has led to the death of more than 350,000 residents of the United States and more than two million people worldwide.

Carrboro is joining the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is hosting a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 19 to memorialize these lost lives.

“As we remain in the midst of a deadly pandemic where so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends and neighbors, it is important to pause and reflect on the lives that we have lost, as we continue to work to defeat COVID-19,” Lavelle said.

Mando (left) & Ace (right)

CHPD Welcomes New Canine Partner

The Chapel Hill Police Department is training a new canine officer, Mando, to replace Ace after four years on the job.

K-9 Mando is a German Shepard that will be trained as a dual-purpose canine. Mando will be trained in narcotic detection, tracking, evidence searches, building searches and handler protection. K-9 Ace’s career with Chapel Hill Police began in 2016.

The K-9 program is a lifetime partnership. Ace will retire with his handler for the remainder of his life.

George Henry White

Carrboro to Commemorate George Henry White

The Town of Carrboro will host a virtual program to commemorate the 120th anniversary of George Henry White’s historic farewell address to Congress. The online event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 1.

After serving in the state legislature, White represented North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives for two consecutive terms from 1897 to 1901. White was a leader in the introduction and the fight for anti-lynching legislation.

At the time of his farewell address, White was the only African American congressman, and he would be the last until 1929. It would not be until 1992 that another African American was elected to represent North Carolina in Congress.

The event, which is part of the town’s annual Black History Month celebration, will be emceed by James Williams, Jr., the retired chief public defender for Orange and Chatham counties. Opening remarks will be provided by current U.S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield.

The featured presenter will be White biographer, Benjamin R. Justesen. Justesen will lead a discussion of his new book, “Forgotten Legacy: William McKinley, George Henry White, and the Struggle for Black Equality.”

Following the discussion, local oral historian and documentarian Danita Mason-Hogans will introduce three student guest speakers, Malkam Hawkins and Milosh McAdoo, from N.C. A & T, and Ania Hairston, from NCCU. All three are members of the Cheatham-White Scholars program, which honors White and Henry P. Cheatham.

The Zoom event will be simulcast to the Town of Carrboro’s YouTube account at To register for the Zoom webinar, visit: The Zoom call is limited to the first 100 registrants.  Those who do not register can view the program via YouTube.

Community Food Distribution Scheduled

A community food distribution event will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, at Carrboro High School, 201 Rock Haven Road.

Anyone in need is welcome. The distribution is first-come, first-served. It is free of charge, and there are no eligibility requirements.

Due to COVID-19, distributions are held on a drive-through basis. Boxes are placed inside vehicle trunks. Free masks will be distributed to anyone who needs them.

The event is sponsored by the Town of Carrboro and the Orange County Social Services Department.

Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton

Carrboro Police Chief to Retire

After 27 years in law enforcement, Carrboro Police Chief Walter Horton has announced that he plans to retire effective Jan. 31

A native of Carrboro, Horton joined the department in 1993 as a member of the patrol division. He was appointed chief of police, the first African American to hold that position, in 2013.

“My greatest accomplishment has been being true to this department and this community,” Horton said. “I’m thankful to all the officers and the staff of the department, as well as all my Town of Carrboro colleagues. I would not have been successful without them.”

Mayor Lydia Lavelle said Horton has been the perfect fit as police chief for Carrboro, especially during turbulent times across the nation.

“He and his department serve everyone in the community, including our immigrant population, by their proactive practice of community policing,” Lavelle said. “Born in Orange County, Chief Horton chose to spend his adult years and career in his home community, and he has served us well.”

Tree Removal on East Rosemary

East Rosemary Street will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 26 and 27, from North Boundary Street to Hillsborough Street because of the removal of a tree.

Town of Chapel Hill staff have determined a large tree at 507 E. Rosemary St. is in poor health and needs to be removed.

Anyone interested in honoring the tree can stop by a public gathering at the tree at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. Public health guidelines, including face coverings and physical distance of at least six feet, will be enforced.

The tree has been monitored for several years. Town staff and Bartlett Tree Service agree that the tree’s health will not improve and needs to be removed.

Local traffic will be directed through the closure during the removal process.

Peoples Academy Registration

The Town of Chapel Hill invites residents, students and visitors to register for the 2021 Peoples Academy. People can register for the Academy until Feb. 19 at

The Peoples Academy began in 2018 to give residents and visitors of the town an opportunity to learn about its services and jobs, connect with town leadership and other staff, and build leadership and communication skills.

The 2021 Peoples Academy has been redesigned to provide a similar experience virtually. Participants will participate in a session each Saturday morning in March. Leadership from multiple town departments will engage with participants in discussions of community issues and town functions.

The registration form is available online in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, and, for the first time, The Peoples Academy will provide simultaneous interpretation in those languages.

Musicians Sought

Triangle-area musicians and bands are invited to submit work for consideration in a streaming platform dedicated to local music.

Initiated by Chapel Hill Public Library and Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture, Tracks Music Library is a commercial-free, curated collection of diverse local music. Interested musicians and bands are encouraged to submit songs by Jan. 31 via the link

Launched this past summer, Tracks Music Library aims to represent the diverse sounds of the Triangle area and introduce artists to new listeners. The current collection hosts more than 70 albums from bands spanning the entire musical spectrum from indie rock to jazz to hip hop to R&B.

Local musicians and bands interested in submitting should be based in the Triangle area, hold the rights to the music they submit and the music must have been produced in the last two years. Musicians can submit up to three songs for consideration and will need a minimum of five songs or 30 minutes of music if selected.

Selected musicians will receive a $200 honorarium for sharing their music.

Barber to Speak

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Virtual Celebration Monday, Jan. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign and the former leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays efforts.

The theme of the celebration will be “Lift Every Voice for Justice!” Those interested can register for the Zoom event at

Living Wage Rises

Orange County Living Wage has announced a new annually adjusted living wage of $15.40 an hour, effective with the new year. For living wage employers who provide at least half an employee’s health insurance coverage, the living wage rises to $13.90 an hour.

A living wage is the minimum amount of income a worker needs to cover the most basic necessities without any form of governmental assistance.

OCLW calculates its living wage by using the widely accepted Universal Living Wage Formula based on the standard that no more than 30 percent of a person’s gross income should be devoted to housing. To calculate the wage each year, OCLW considers the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a four-county area that includes not only Orange but surrounding Alamance, Chatham and Durham counties, home to many who work in Orange County.

Since 2015, the Orange County living wage has increased annually by an average of 3 percent to keep up with the rising cost of housing. More than 250 employers have been certified since the beginning of the program. The most recent business to be certified is Syd’s Hair Shop, a women-owned business and a staple in the Chapel Hill community since 2001.

Carrboro Gets Housing Funding

The Town of Carrboro has been awarded $900,000 in funding for emergency housing assistance, the maximum grant amount awarded by the NC Department of Commerce.

The funds will allow the town to continue to respond to the housing needs of Carrboro families, preventing evictions and homelessness.

Keeping the Wreath Green

The Chapel Hill Fire Department is once again displaying the green wreath on the front of Fire Station One at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. during December as a reminder to the community of the importance of home fire safety over the holidays.

Each time crews respond to a fire, a green bulb will be replaced by a red one to remind people of the dangers posed by fires.

The department is also offering these reminders during the holidays:

  • Don’t leave lit unattended candles in your home
  • Unplug holiday lights when you are away
  • Allow three feet of clearance around portable heaters
  • Don’t place live Christmas trees near a fireplace (it dries them out)
  • Water live Christmas trees every day
  • Don’t build large fires in your fireplace
  • Don’t use holiday decorations that are not flame retardant
  • Open the damper on your fireplace before use

Carrboro Waives Fees for Park Pavilions

Responding to community needs for social distancing and outdoor gathering spaces, the Town of Carrboro is waiving fees through Jan. 31 for pavilion rentals at public parks.

Pavilions are located at the following parks:

  • Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 1200 Hillsborough Road
  • Wilson Park, 110 Wilson St.
  • Baldwin Park, 346 Broad St.
  • Henry Anderson III Community Park, 302 N Carolina Hwy 54 W

Park pavilions may be reserved by contacting Wendell C. Rodgers, Town of Carrboro Parks Facilities Administrator, at or 919-918-7371.

Triangle Bikeworks Recognized

Orange County Living Wage has certified Triangle Bikeworks in Carrboro as a living wage employer.

Triangle Bikeworks provides organized cycling opportunities for youth, inspiring them to discover who they’re really meant to be. Kevin Hicks, founder and executive director of Triangle Bikeworks, said “Simply put, paying a living wage is the right thing to do. A living wage means that a person can afford to live a productive life free from many mundane concerns [and] ensure[s] that employees can live where they work.”

This is not a picture of the vehicle. The
stolen vehicle is the same make, model
and color.

CHPD Searching for Carjacked Vehicle

The Chapel Hill Police are looking for a green 2004 Toyota Avalon XL with NC license plate HHF-6582. The vehicle was stolen during a carjacking early Friday morning that left one man taken to UNC Hospitals with multiple gunshot wounds.

According to the police’s initial investigation, the victim was a food delivery driver and was robbed of his vehicle while he was in the area of the 300 block of Umstead Drive for a delivery.

Anyone who has seen the vehicle or has information about the incident should call the Chapel Hill Police at 919-968-2760 during normal business days between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., call 911 24/7 or call Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.

Calls to Crimestoppers may remain anonymous, and anyone with information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward up to $2,000.

Lockers for the Library

Chapel Hill Public Library users can now pick up and return library materials any time of the day or night from lockers at University Place. While the service was originally conceived as a way to offset parking shortages at the library, it is launching during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides a contact-free way to get library materials.

Library users can use the service by first placing holds via the library’s online catalog and selecting University Place Lockers as their pick-up location. Once they receive an email that the items are ready, users then go to University Place at 201 South Estes Drive, in the area between Planet Fitness and Alfredo’s Pizza.

Once there, users scan their library card or enter their card number and wait for the locker holding their materials to open. In addition to the 99 lockers, there is also a bin for returning library materials, a shelter to protect from inclement weather and a delivery van to bring items from the library to the lockers.

Town Ranks High for Equality

The Town of Chapel Hill has received the highest score of any North Carolina municipality in the 2020 Equality Index.

Compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, the index rates cities across the United States each year based on their initiatives to support LGBTQ communities. Cities are given points for inclusive programs and policies, such as non-discrimination laws, transgender-inclusive health benefits for employees, inclusive workplaces and LGBTQ+ liaisons in the executive office.

With a score of 86, Chapel Hill was also recognized as an “MEI All Star,” which is reserved for high-scoring municipalities in states without non-discrimination laws that expressly include LGBTQ+ people.

Public Input Needed

The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group has identified potential strategies for recovering from COVID-19 and needs public input on which strategies best meet the community’s needs.

Community members are asked to take a 10-minute online survey between now and Dec. 11. The survey contains a draft list of recovery strategies and asks the public to evaluate the importance of each.

Survey results will be used to determine the priority order of strategies in a long-term recovery and transformation plan being developed by the group, a partnership of nearly 150 community stakeholders, Orange County and the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough.

Community members are asked to share this survey with their networks ― particularly within communities of color or historically underserved groups ― to help obtain input from all community members.

The work of the Long-Term Recovery Group and the survey can be found on the group’s website,

A Guide to Carrboro Gifts

The Carrboro Business Alliance has launched the new Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide showcasing more than 60 curated, uniquely Carrboro gift ideas for the holiday shopping season.

The Carrboro Cheer Gift Guide is designed to encourage more local shopping this holiday season. The six different gift lists in the guide can be found at, including Uniquely Carrboro, One-Click Wonders, and Gifts Around $15.

CHPL Working to Reduce Waste

The Chapel Hill Public Library is launching Reducing Food Waste, a composting and recycling initiative that seeks to divert up to 12 tons of materials from the community’s waste stream each year.

Thanks to a $21,000 grant from the state Department of Environmental Quality, matched by $4,000 from the Friends of Chapel Hill Public Library, this project will support the creation of new practices, policies and programs to significantly decrease the waste generated at the library.

Orange County Solid Waste will coordinate with CompostNow to regularly collect compost from CHPL and deliver it to a commercial composting facility. This compost collection model was piloted at the Town of Chapel Hill’s Town Hall in 2019, and realized significant reductions in waste.

Work Begins on BLM Mural

Artist Tyrone Small and a student artist team has begun work this week on a Black Lives Matter mural on the side of the CommunityWorx building facing West Main Street in Carrboro.

The team expects to complete the mural by Dec. 20. Work on the project will take place in the afternoons and weekends, and will be done with mask-wearing and social distancing protocols.

“We are extremely excited for this new public art project,” said Anita Jones-McNair, the town’s race and equity officer.  “The Black Lives Matter mural highlights and advocates for values that are important to Carrboro. It expresses our community’s acknowledgment of and opposition to systemic and institutional racism.”

No Waffling: Shop is Finished

One of the oldest restaurants in town, Ye Olde Waffle Shop, is now, definitively, old and gone.

The long-time Franklin Street mainstay has announced on its Facebook page that it is closing permanently. A staple of downtown since 1972, the restaurant said it had been done in by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After much consideration, we have decided to close Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe,” the owners posted. “It is hard to imagine waking up in the morning and not heading over to Ye Olde to prepare breakfast for the town of Chapel Hill, as it has been our norm for over 48 years. However, from a public health perspective and due to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it is the right choice for us.”

The waffle shop joins a growing list of deeply rooted local restaurants that have been forced to close because of COVID, including Elmo’s and K&W cafeteria, among others. Newer places have closed, too, including Lula’s on Franklin Street and City Kitchen and in recent weeks, the 2nd Wind bar, in Carrboro.

Mark Chilton

Chilton Gets Award

The Chapel Hill Historical Society recently presented its first Community History Award to Mark Chilton, Orange County register of deeds.

The award recognized Chilton’s significant contributions to the acquisition, presentation and conservation of vital records in Orange County. Following the presentation of the award by society vice president Richard Ellington, Chilton talked about some of his work, focusing on his efforts to make records more accessible and searchable. This includes efforts to digitize and provide abstracts of handwritten deeds dating from 1752 to the 1870s.

A You Tube video of the award ceremony presentation is available here.

Small Business Saturday in Carrboro

Two days after Thanksgiving will be Small Business Saturday in Carrboro.

“This year, more than ever, supporting our local businesses is even more necessary to their survival; support is easily accomplished in-person or virtually, and by purchase of items or by gift cards for future use,” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said in a proclamation. “I urge all Carrboro residents to make an extra effort to support our local businesses in Carrboro on this day, especially during this challenging year.”

Advocacy groups across the country, including the Carrboro Business Alliance, have endorsed Saturday, Nov. 28, as Small Business Saturday.

There are more than 385 small businesses in Carrboro, making up 95 percent of all businesses in the town.

Socks for the Homeless

The East Chapel Hill High School Benevolence Club is holding a sock drive for those who are homeless in Chapel Hill.

The club is collecting new socks which will then be delivered to various facilities, shelters and rehabilitation centers. The drive will run through Dec.18.  In the past, the club has donated to a women’s rehabilitation facility and several homeless shelters as well as directly to people living under bridges and overpasses.

New socks in any size (with tags on if possible) can be dropped in the club’s collection boxes.  The boxes are located at Cha House, Purple Bowl and Rumors, all on Franklin Street, and Coco Bean Market on Environ Way.

For more information, see on Instagram.

Trail Nearing Completion

The Bolin Creek Trail connector project is finally nearing completion.

Barring any significant rain or inclement weather events, the entire connector projects should be completed later this year, providing direct access to parks, schools, shopping districts, neighborhoods and the UNC campus by foot or bicycle from the community center.

Work on the connector will continue this week, with the contractor replacing the old asphalt section of the greenway with a more resilient concrete path between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bolinwood Drive. While this work is occurring, segments of the trail will not be accessible. Signs providing alternative routes are located at the greenway entrance on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Bolinwood Drive.

Chilton Honored

The Chapel Hill Historical Society we’ll present Mark Chilton, Orange County register of deeds, with its first Community History Award. The presentation will be made Sunday at 3 p.m.

Chilton began his political career as a UNC student by serving on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He later served as an alderman in Carrboro and as mayor there. In 2014 he was elected as register, where he is responsible for taking care of Orange County’s historical records and vital records.

Thrift Shop Closing

The longtime thrift shop CommunityWorx will close its Chapel Hill location on South Elliott Road as it makes plans to open a new store online.

The CommunityWorx Online Thrift Shop “will showcase high end and unique merchandise,” starting in December, said officials with the Carrboro-based nonprofit in a news release. The organization formerly known as the PTA Thrift Shop will continue to operate its store on West Main Street. That store will expand its hours to seven days a week.

The Chapel Hill store, located near Whole Foods, will accept donations until Nov. 29, chief operating officer Erik Valera said in the release. CommunityWorx negotiated an end to the Chapel Hill lease with Regency Centers, which owns the Village Plaza shopping center.

The store has operated on South Elliott Road since 1981.

Crafts for Sale

Preservation Chapel Hill will host its annual local craft exhibit and sale from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24.

On display will be fine woodturnings, pottery and more. The exhibit will take place at the Horace Williams House, 610 East Rosemary Street, Thursdays through Sundays, from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact

Visitor Center Reopens

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitor Center has reopened its welcome center at 501 W. Franklin Street following an extended closure because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With new safety measures in place, the center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to welcome visitors, offer information services and provide updates on local attractions, museums, hotels and walking tours.

Visitor Center amenities include a public restroom, complimentary parking in the back (Bentley Building) parking lot and various gift items for sale by cash or check.

Visitors are required to wear masks and maintain six feet of physical distance to provide a safe experience for all visitors. If needed, face coverings will be provided and disposable gloves will be available for brochure browsing.

For more information, visit, call (919) 245-4320 or email

OWASA Launches Campaign

OWASA’s second-annual Care to Share Day on Thursday will help raise funds for the Care to Share bill-assistance program administered by the water utility and the Inter-Faith Council for Social Service.

For this year’s day, OWASA is asking the community to get involved and help spread the message about the program on social media. Between now and Giving Tuesday, Dec. 1, the utility is asking community members to imagine a day without water.

No drinking water from the tap. No water for making coffee or cooking. No water for a shower or clean laundry. Residents can post a short video to Facebook or Twitter about what a day without water would mean to them, tag OWASA and two friends, and use the hashtag #CareToShare with a link to the donation page.

More information is available about how to donate to the Care to Share program through an on-bill monthly donation or through a one-time gift.

A Time for Trees

The Town of Chapel Hill will celebrate Arbor Day at 9:45 a.m., Friday.

Students from Glenwood Elementary School have been invited to join Mayor Pam Hemminger, staff members of the parks and recreation department and the N.C. Forest Service to participate in the celebration. Community members can view the presentation virtually through Zoom at Arbor Day Celebration.

Hemminger will read an Arbor Day Proclamation and accept the Tree City USA Award from the forest service. Third-grade students from Glenwood will share poems they have written about trees. Also, a short video of the parks and recreation department planting five Emerald Arborvitae trees near Town Hall at the Stephens Street parking lot will be shared.

BIPOC Business on the Agenda

The Carrboro Department of Economic Development will hold a BIPOC Business Roundtable discussion at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

At the roundtable, the town seeks to hear the needs and challenges of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and People of Color businesses in Carrboro, and the role the town needs to play to help businesses start and grow.

Businesses interested in participating in the roundtable discussions are asked to pre-register. To register and for more information, visit

Jones to Take NAACP Helm

Dawna Jones, an assistant dean of students at UNC has been elected as the next branch president, of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro branch of the NAACP.

Diane Robertson, Joal Broun and Anna Richards were elected to vice-president positions. Paris Miller and Margaret Krome-Lukens were elected secretary and assistant secretary, respectively, while Deborah Stroman will serve as treasurer and Lonnie Merrick as assistant treasurer.

“Dawna Jones’ leadership and creativity were integral to operations during the last several years,” current branch President Richards said. “Those experiences ensure a seamless transition and position the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP for the next level. I congratulate her and all members of the team. I look forward to working together for equality.”

The officers will begin serving two-year terms in 2021

Affordable Housing Gets a Boost

The Chapel Hill Town Council has approved $513,395 in funding to support three affordable housing projects in Chapel Hill.

The approved funding plan will support construction of new affordable rental housing, predevelopment and site improvement activities, and provide rental housing subsidies. These projects should add around 125 affordable homes in Chapel Hill.

The projects receiving funding include the Community Home Trust’s master leasing program; the PEACH Apartments Development being developed by EmPOWERment, Inc.; and the 2200 Homestead Road Development.

Lane Closures on the Boulevard

Fordham Boulevard will have lane closures near the Glen Lennox project site — between Raleigh Road and Brandon Road — through Friday, Nov. 20.

Contractors for the project will reduce lanes between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. Weekend hours for the work are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Work also will resume nightly between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Revaluation is Coming

Orange County is getting ready for the next property revaluation.

The effective date of the most recent revaluation was Jan. 1, 2017, and all current tax assessments for real property reflect a market value as of that date. The next planned revaluation will be effective Jan 1, 2021, and tax assessments will be updated to reflect market value as of that specific appraisal date.

State law requires each county to revalue all properties within its borders at least once every eight years. For more information about the county’s revaluation process, visit

Comprehensive Plan Plans

Carrboro is looking for residents to participate in developing the town’s first-ever comprehensive plan.

The drafting of the comprehensive plan is an opportunity for residents to share their long-term vision on issues such as growth and development, race and equity, climate action, and economic sustainability.

A Carrboro Connects task force was appointed by the town council to guide outreach and development of the plan. The next meeting workshop for Carrboro Connects will take place virtually on Thursday, Nov. 19, starting at 7 p.m. To register for the meeting, go to

Climbing Wall Reopens

Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation department has re-opened the climbing wall at the Community Center. Open climb sessions, with limited capacity, will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m.

To maintain limited capacity, as well as provide an equitable opportunity for all to participate, climbing and belaying reservations will be accepted for one 75-minute session per day, no more than seven days in advance. Both climbers and their intended belayer must both reserve a 75-minute session and enter and check in together.

Register online at Activity #110324, or by phone at (919) 968-2790. Walk-up climbing is not permitted. Each 75-minute session is separated by a 30-minute disinfection period, so staff has adequate time to clean.

A handout and web page titled “What to Know Before You Go” gives more information on what the department is doing differently, as well as what patrons are being asked to do differently.

Picture This

The Town of Carrboro is creating a Carrboro People Photo Album.

If you would like to be included, take a photo of yourself, your pod or your family (pets included), and feel free to add your name.

“Many of us haven’t seen each other in a while, due to the pandemic,” said Mayor Lydia Lavelle. “This is a simple way to catch up by sharing a snapshot to show your community how you’re doing. The faces of our community at this moment in time will surely be interesting to look back on, much like photos in a family album.”

Residents can choose how they’d like to be a part of the photo album:

Post to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and tag the Town of Carrboro and #IamCarrboro, email to or mail or drop off to Attn: Carrboro Connects, Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro, NC 27510.

Photos are due by Monday, Nov. 16.

 Celebrating ‘Libba’ Cotten

The UNC university libraries will present an evening of stories and music celebrating the life of legendary North Carolina musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten. The free online celebration —”When I’m Gone: Remembering folk icon Elizabeth Cotton” — will be held Nov. 12 from 7-8 p.m.

Born in 1893 in what is now Carrboro, Cotten wrote her signature song, “Freight Train,” about the train she could hear from her childhood home. Cotten recorded several albums and won a Grammy Award and a National Heritage Fellowship before her death in 1987.

The hour-long virtual program will feature guitarist Yasmin Williams, musician and scholar Alice Gerrard and Cotten’s great-grandson John W. Evans Jr.

To register, visit

Anderson Park Improvements

The Town of Carrboro has received a grant from the NC Urban Forest Council’s Legacy Tree Fund Program.

The grant will be used to plant trees and restore a stream buffer in Henry “Hank” Anderson III Community Park.  If you’d like to help with the work, come to the park on Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bring your own gloves and water bottle and wear a face mask and closed-toed shoes.

For more information, contact Laura Janway at or (919) 918-7342.

Bus Route Change

Chapel Hill Transit will adjust the routing of the S bus starting on Monday to help transport people between the Friday Center Park and Ride lot and UNC Hospitals.

After reaching the Pittsboro Street Credit Union, the bus will turn right onto South Columbia Street, turn left onto Mason Farm Road, turn left on Manning Drive, and then turn left back onto South Columbia Street. This will provide customers with an easier way to access the hospital.

The S route will operate this routing until further notice and the current schedule will remain in effect.

James Parise, U.S. Army, Vietnam; John Cocowitch, Captain US Navy Retired; Renee Price, Orange County Commissioner at 2019 Veterans Day Ceremony.

Celebrating Veterans

Orange County Commissioner Renee Price will offer remarks and special guest speaker Lt. Col. Daniel Hurd, U.S. Army, will speak about service to and by veterans at a live Veterans Day celebration Wednesday.

The celebration, at the Veterans Memorial site adjacent to the Seymour Center, kicks off at 11 a.m. and online viewing is also available through Orange County Veterans Memorial Facebook site, The event is free and open to the public. For a complete schedule of events, see

Following the ceremony members of the American Legion Chapel Hill Post 6 will gather at the former site on Legion Road and caravan to the new site, 3700 NC-54, via Rosemary Street, and give small group tours to new members.  For details on how to tour the site or arrange a visit, call (919) 537-8703 or email Regina Merritt at

Orange County Courthouse, Hillsborough, NC

Virus Closes Courthouse

Because of a case of COVID-19, the Orange County Courthouse will be closed through Friday, Nov. 6.

“We are following best practices to keep everyone who enters the courthouse safe, said Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour. “We will be ready to resume operations on Monday, Nov. 9, and we ask the public for their patience and understanding until then.”

While the courthouse in Hillsborough will be closed, some operations will continue to occur, including first appearances for in-custody defendants and emergency filings. Emergency domestic violence matters will be heard remotely.

District Court matters in Chapel Hill will occur as previously scheduled, while traffic court and criminal district court will be automatically rescheduled.

Carrboro to Place Another Plaque

The Town of Carrboro will place a “truth plaque” at the site of the former Freedmen’s school by the border of Chapel Hill and Carrboro to recognize its historical importance.

The sign, on the side of St. Paul A.M.E. Church on Main Street, will read: “Green Cordal & Benjamin Craig, freed from bondage, purchased this land for a Freedman School and church. With funds from the Society of Friends, they built a schoolhouse that served hundreds of free Black children and adults.”

The Truth Plaque Community Task Force placed its first truth plaque last year at Carrboro Town Hall to recognize the background of Julian Carr, the white supremacist who is the town’s namesake.

Muralists Wanted

The Town of Carrboro is seeking student artists and a muralist to work together on the creation of a new mural to depict Black Lives Matter/End Racism Now.  The mural will be located on the east side of the CommunityWorx building located at 125 West Main St. in downtown Carrboro.

Preference will be given to student(s) that reside in Carrboro and/or members of the Youth Advisory Board, Carrboro Youth Council or NAACP Youth Organization. Compensation will be $500 per student artist up to $1,500 for a team of three artists. The deadline to apply is Nov. 8.

For the coordinating muralist, preference also will be given to applicants residing in Carrboro. Once the mural is selected by the Town Council, the muralist will work with students to create the artwork and help ensure creation and installation of the mural is done in a safe manner and that social distancing is maintained.

Compensation will be $1,500 and the deadline to apply is also Nov. 8.

For questions, contact Anita Jones-McNair at or 919-918-7381.

Absentee Ballot Deadline

If you haven’t requested an absentee ballot already, it’s too late. The deadline to request an absentee ballot was Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.

But if you did request your ballot before the deadline, and want to vote by absentee, you must return it or mail it by Nov. 3. Ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 will be counted as long as they are received by 5 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Orange County residents can return their absentee ballots to the Board of Elections office at 208 S. Cameron Street in Hillsborough. The office is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m-5 p.m.

Weather permitting, there will be a tent outside for staff to accept returned absentee ballots. On gloomy and rainy days, residents should come inside where staff will assist them in the hallway.

Voters who requested and received an absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot was not returned.

Greenfield Wins Award

The Greenfield Community in Chapel Hill has received North Carolina’s top honor for excellence in affordable housing.

Greenfield was financed with town funding, federal low-income housing tax credits awarded by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, Orange County funding and land donated by the town.

Developed by DHIC, Greenfield Place and Greenfield Commons, which together make up the Greenfield Community, provide 149 apartment homes for seniors and working families. The community serves households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income, and renters can save more than 40 percent compared to market rate apartments in the area.

Leaf Pickup Has Begun

Loose leaf collection in Chapel Hill has begun.

This year’s collection might be slower due to limited staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The town asks residents to consider putting leaves in containers for collection this year.

Loose leaves and pine straw (no limbs or debris) should be placed behind the curb. Do not place leaves in the street, and avoid blocking travel and bike lanes, sidewalks, fire hydrants, mailboxes, storm drains or water meters, and interfering with sight distances at intersections. Don’t pile leaves near streams or storm drains.

Colleen Willger

Willger Named Planning Director

Chapel Hill’s next planning director will be Colleen Willger. Willger, who will begin her work on Nov. 16, was selected from a national pool of applicants.

“Colleen brings a wide variety of experiences to this position,” said Town Manager Maurice Jones. “She is committed to promoting and protecting vibrant neighborhoods while enhancing economic vitality in commercial and mixed-use districts.”

Willger has served as the acting deputy director for community planning + design for the District of Columbia’s Office of Planning. She played a key role there in advising government leadership concerning the long-term visioning plan called ReOpen DC. She also serves as the associate director for neighborhood planning in D.C.

Her most recent focus has been on developing small area, corridor and neighborhood plans that reflect the policies and actions outlined by the district’s Comprehensive Plan, with the goal of advancing equity, economic vitality and community vibrancy in diverse neighborhoods.

Phi Beta Kappa Inducts Local Students

Thirteen local students are among UNC’s latest class inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.

The students include:

  • Collins Knight Alexander, a senior with peace, war and defense and global studies majors and a history minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Taylor Cox, a senior with Arab cultures and peace, war and defense majors and a Middle Eastern languages minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Daniel Fan, a senior with a business administration major and a Spanish for the professions minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Katherine Sijing Fesperman, a senior with psychology and sociology majors and a neuroscience minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Callum James Funk, a junior with a biomedical and health sciences engineering major, of Chapel Hill.
  • Angela Wei Guo, a senior with economics and public policy majors and a statistics and analytics minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Marichi Gupta, a senior with mathematics and computer science majors and a music minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Brett Michael Harris, a junior with English and comparative literature and contemporary European studies majors and an urban studies and planning minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Heidi Nicole Kreis, a senior with psychology and exercise and sport science majors and a neuroscience minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Brenna Everly Kuder, a senior with environmental studies and global studies majors and a Hispanic studies minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Joseph Vincent Osti III, a senior with a biology major, of Carrboro.
  • Samuel Benjamin Pritchard, a senior with political science and peace, war and defense majors and a philosophy, politics and economics minor, of Chapel Hill.
  • Robert Allen Winslow, a senior with a computer science major and a business administration minor, of Chapel Hill.

To gain admittance to Phi Beta Kappa at UNC, a student must have either completed 75 hours of coursework on the liberal arts and sciences with at least a 3.85 GPA or 105 credit hours with at least a 3.75 GPA.

County Gets Funds for Housing

The Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development has received a $797,133 grant from the N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency to provide rent and utility assistance to county residents experiencing housing distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This funding will allow us to continue to provide eviction prevention services to the county and continue the work being done through the Emergency Housing Assistance program established by the Board of Commissioners,” said Emila Sutton, Orange County housing and community development director.

With the funding, up to six months of assistance may be provided to allow applicants to remain in safe housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applicants must live in Orange County, in a rental property and earn less than or equal to 80 percent of the area median income and be in urgent need.

Visit for more information and to apply. Eligible callers to 211 will be routed to the Orange County Housing and Community Development Department for application processing.

Carrboro Hopes to Get Grant

The Town of Carrboro plans to apply for $900,000 in Federal Community Development Block Grant – Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds, to be used for emergency housing assistance.

If awarded the full $900,000 (the maximum grant amount), at least 90 percent of funds would be used as direct financial assistance for rent, utilities and other housing-related costs to town residents with low incomes and urgent need for housing assistance.

Two public hearings will be held to receive input on the town’s proposal to apply. The first hearing will be held Oct. 27 at 7 p.m., while the second will be on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

Those interested in more information on the item or watching the meeting can find a link at Those interested in speaking at the meeting or submitting a comment for the public hearing should contact or the Town Clerk, Catherine Dorando at 919-918-7309.

Arts Grants Available

The Orange County Arts Commission will host a virtual information session Oct. 19 at 5:30 p.m. on how to apply for North Carolina Cares for the Arts grants.

The commission is distributing $166,510 in grants to the local arts community and the application period is currently open but closes Oct. 30.

The primary purpose of the grant program is to assist the nonprofit arts industry that has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Nonprofit arts organizations therefore will receive funding priority.

However, other local organizations and businesses are invited to apply, particularly those whose operations have a high impact in our community through employment, tourism or services offered to county residents or artists.

Visit for more information.

Have you seen Aliane Urujeni?

The Chapel Hill Police Department is seeking help in locating Aliane Urujeni, a 25-year-old black female with black hair and dark eyes who is about 5’6” tall and about 140 pounds.

She was last known to be in the area of Umstead Drive on Oct. 9, 2020, and may have been seen in the same area on Oct. 12. She was wearing a white t-shirt, yellow cardigan, khaki shorts and no shoes.

If you have information concerning her whereabouts, call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or contact Orange County Communications by calling 911 or 919-732-5063 immediately.

Triangle Bikeway Study

Virtual public workshops focusing on the Triangle Bikeway Project will be held at noon and 4 p.m. Oct. 29. The project is studying the idea of a 17-mile bikeway that will link Chapel Hill with Raleigh, RTP and Durham.

Focus groups also will be held the week of Nov. 9-13.

To sign up, text TriBike to 73224 or call 855-925-2801 (code 9843)

Sidepath Meeting Scheduled

A virtual public information meeting to discuss recent survey results and next steps for the development of the Fordham Boulevard Sidepath will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 22.

The Town of Chapel Hill is in the design phase for a multi-use sidepath along Fordham Boulevard between Cleland Drive and Willow Drive. The recent survey outlined two options for traffic calming mechanisms for Hickory Drive as well as two intersections along the boulevard. In addition, the existing sidepath between Cleland Drive and Ridgefield Road will be upgraded, and a new section will be constructed between Ridgefield Road and Willow Drive.

To participate in the live meeting, those interested should register at Residents may participate online via the Zoom platform or by telephone. After registering, they will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

For more information, a project summary and copies of the two concept plans are available at Fordham Boulevard Sidepath Project. Contact Marcia Purvis, the project manager at or call (919) 968-2750 for questions or comments.

County Looking for Volunteers

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is recruiting for an Elections Advisory Group. This advisory group will study alternative methods/districts to elect commissioners and make a recommendation to the board.

This is a newly formed group and there are currently 15 at large positions to be filled om the group. This will be a temporary group formation and will dissolve once recommendations are delivered to the BOCC.

If interested, apply at

Chapel Hill Public Library

Library Receives Major Grant

The Chapel Hill Public Library has been awarded nearly $150,000 of competitive federal grant funds to bring computers, increased Wi-Fi and multilingual assistance directly to communities of need.

The project, “Whenever, Wherever, Whyever: Expanding Technology Access,” will address the community’s ongoing need for public computing services and the challenges of providing these services during a pandemic.

Over the course of two years, starting now, the funds from the CARES Act grant — which administers this technology grant — will allow the library to reimagine and redesign public computing access. The project will include a laptop lending program, increased Wi-Fi in communities of need and multilingual instruction and assistance.

The project will target historically marginalized populations, including black and immigrant communities in Chapel Hill, who are more negatively impacted by COVID-19 and its associated outcomes. It will also provide people who have lost jobs as a result of the pandemic the tools they need to search for and apply for jobs, or learn new skills.

CHPL’s proposal was one of more than 1,700 submitted by museums and libraries nationwide.

“With this project, we will turn outward to communities most in need during this pandemic, giving them access to technology that is needed now more than ever,” said Library Director Susan Brown.

Vigil Set for Missing Teen

The family of a missing Chapel Hill teen will hold a vigil for her at the green in Southern Village Oct. 15.

The vigil, held by the family of Sydney West, will begin at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Facebook Live The vigil is intended to bring together those who know Sydney to celebrate their love for her and talk about the help needed to keep up the momentum to find Sydney and bring her home. The program will begin at 4:30 PM ET.

The 19-year old, who had been a student at UC-Berkeley, was last seen Sept. 30, near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Anyone with any information is urged to call the San Francisco Police Tip Line at 415-575-4444.

The West family is also planning a “Vigil to Find Sydney” in the bay area of California.

New Mural to Honor Cotten

A new downtown mural will celebrate legendary blues musician Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, a native of the Carrboro area.

Located on the Carrboro-Chapel Hill line at 111 N. Merritt Mill Road, the mural is part of a statewide project to honor famous North Carolina musicians in their hometowns. The mural will be painted by Chapel Hill artist Scott Nurkin, who also conceived of the statewide project.

Cotten was a folk-blues singer, songwriter and guitar player. Born in the early 1890s, she taught herself to play music on her brother’s banjo as a child, but only began publicly performing and recording in her 60s. Renowned for her distinctive musical style of playing left-handed on a right-handed guitar, she was best known for the song, “Freight Train.”

Nurkin will begin work on the mural beginning Oct. 12 and is expected to complete it by Oct. 19.

Chapel Hill Teen Still Missing

The parents of a missing Chapel Hill teenager are “asking anyone who has any information about our daughter Sydney to please contact” authorities. “This is a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Nineteen-year-old Sydney West has been missing since Sept. 30, when she was last seen in downtown San Francisco, near the Golden Gate Bridge. Until recently, West was a student at UC Berkeley, but according to authorities had been living with friends in San Francisco since August.

“We are asking anyone who has any information about our daughter Sydney to please contact the investigators,” West’s parents said in the video. “We are anxious to have our daughter found safe and brought home.”

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone in North Carolina who may have had recent contact with West to call Investigator Ashley Woodlief at 919-245 – 2909.

Aquatics Center Set to Reopen

The Homestead Aquatic Center will reopen for Chapel Hill and Orange County residents on Monday, Oct. 12, at limited capacity. Lap swimming and independent water exercise will be offered seven days a week, while recreation swimming will be offered on weekends only.

To maintain limited capacity, as well as provide an equitable opportunity for all to participate, the center will continue to offer reservable swim times for all swimmers. Each hour-long block is separated by a 30-minute disinfection period, so staff has adequate time to clean.

Reservations can be made online at, in person or by calling 919- 968-2799 during business hours. Walk-up swimming is not permitted; you must have a reservation in advance. Reservations are limited to three reservations per person per week.

New Reopening Phase

We’re now in Phase 3.

Like the rest of the state, Orange County now has new regulations for reopening during the coronavirus pandemic. As of Friday at 5 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order allows bars, movie theaters and outdoor venues, among others, to open with capacity limits.

“Current trends in Orange County allow us to move forward with the state, but should we experience changes in positivity rates, more clusters or outbreaks or an increase in the number of cases, we will not hesitate to reinstate stricter limits on gatherings and other activities,” said Penny Rich, chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

“We must remain diligent and continue social distancing and wearing masks while in public until a safe, effective vaccine is readily available.”

By aligning with the state plan, the county’s stricter limit on mass gatherings is lifted. State limits of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors now will be in effect until further notice.

New Bus Routes

Chapel Hill Transit will be adding two new bus routes. The CL and N routes will begin Oct. 5. The addition of the routes was approved by the Public Transit Partners committee, comprised of members of the Chapel Hill Town Council, Carrboro Town Council and UNC Parking and Transportation office.

“Providing safe and reliable service to the residents and visitors of Chapel Hill and Carrboro is our top priority. By adding these two routes we will be able to connect more of our customers to employment and healthcare opportunities,” said Brian Litchfield, Transit director.

The newly designed CL route runs between UNC Hospitals and Eastowne Drive, serving East Franklin Street, Old Sterling Drive, Sage Road, Dobbins Drive, Summerfield Crossing Road and Old Oxford Road. The CL route runs every 20 minutes between 6:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The newly designed N route runs between Estes Park apartments and the Northside neighborhood, UNC Hospitals and Meadowmont, providing service the discontinued V route used to provide. The N route provides hourly service from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Free Weekly Virus Testing

Orange County is now offering free coronavirus testing every Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the R7 Parking Lot at 725 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Chapel Hill.

Registration for the tests will occur on-site. Those wanting to be tested can meet with an on-site provider prior to testing.

The tests will be nasal swabs and results will be available on average in three days. Providers will contact patients via text message with positive or negative results.

Bus Route Change

Beginning Monday, Sept. 21, Chapel Hill Transit will no longer serve the Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot (formerly the NC 54 Park and Ride Lot).

The bus S route will begin and end at the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot and will follow the normal routing and continue to serve all stops along NC Highway 54. There will be no changes to the schedule and the Friday Center South Park and Ride Lot timepoint will be used at the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot.

Applicants Needed

The Town of Chapel Hill is seeking volunteers to serve on various standing boards and commissions that advise the Town Council on a wide range of issues.

Appointed members to the boards and commissions meet approximately once or twice per month and are eligible for a three-year term.

No experience is necessary to apply. For more information, eligibility requirements or to complete an application, visit

The council will make appointments in October and November.

Animal Services Launches Assistance Program

Orange County Animal Services is now offering a new Veterinary Care Assistance Program.

The program was created to assist county residents who are having difficulties affording veterinary care, especially due to challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and to help keep more pets in their homes with their families.

The veterinary care fund will be available to Orange County residents based on their needs and ability to meet income criteria. Obtaining this assistance would require collaboration with local veterinarians or specialists, and may cover full or partial expenses for treatable, non-emergency care, such as skin and ear conditions (including allergies and flea/tick treatment), dental issues, arthritis and other painful conditions, upper respiratory infections, vomiting and diarrhea, urinary tract infections, minor surgeries, etc.

Due to time constraints, time-sensitive, life-threatening conditions will not be considered (such as emergency surgery for foreign bodies, emergency orthopedic issues, etc.). Currently, these funds are not available for routine, preventative care such as yearly visits to a veterinarian.

Visit for more information and to fill out a form to apply for assistance. Animal Services is currently asking for help to fund the program by encouraging donations online at Monetary donations can also be mailed to the Animal Services Center at 1601 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

Feedback Sought on Corridor Study

The public can give feedback on proposed highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the US 15-501 corridor between Durham and Chapel Hill. 

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization is seeking that public feedback through Oct. 15 on the US 15-501 Corridor Study, which integrates land use, public plans and a transportation vision for the corridor. Members of the public can provide a comment via email or speak directly to the DCHC MPO Board at an Oct. 14 public hearing.

Those needing assistance to access documents, or to provide feedback, should request it by email,, or contact Andy Henry, 919-560-4366, ext. 36419.

The survey for the Corridor Study comments has been withdrawn. The Public Comments to date can be viewed here:

CHPD Reports Vehicle Break-ins Increasing

The Chapel Hill Police Department says it has seen a sharp increase in break-ins to unattended motor vehicles this year, and that three simple steps could help reduce those crimes.

Residents have reported 215 cases of breaking and entering to a motor vehicle since mid-March 2020. That is a 74-percent increase compared to the same time frame last year (123, from March 13 to Sept. 15, 2019).

The CHPD says it has received numerous reports that the vehicles were entered, with the suspects going through the center console, glove box, and other areas looking for valuables. Even spare change is often reported stolen.

“The most concerning larceny from a motor vehicle that we saw was that of two handguns over the weekend,” said Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue. “Firearms should be secured at all times. Period. Leaving a gun in a vehicle, unlocked, is not adequately secured.”

Blue urged local residents to “please lock your doors, roll up your windows and store your valuables out of sight.” These are, he said, “quick, easy steps. In most of these cases, subjects are walking vehicle to vehicle and pulling door handles. If they’re locked — as long as they don’t see something that appears to be valuable — we hope they will move along.”

Task Force Seeking Applicants

Applications are now being accepted from Chapel Hill residents wishing to serve on the town’s Reimagining Community Safety Task Force that is scheduled to be appointed by the Town Council in October.

The council announced its intention to establish this task force on developing new community approaches to improve racial equity and safety in a resolution at its June 24 virtual meeting ( The council established two subcommittees at its Sept. 9 virtual meeting (, one to finalize the charge of the task force and the other to select 13 members and two alternates to serve on the task force.

For more information about the Reimagining Community Safety Task Force, visit Applications will be accepted through Sept. 28. Apply at

Towns Reopen Some Facilities

As of Sept. 11, a number of Carrboro’s recreation facilities have reopened.

They include: Park pavilions/picnic shelters, playgrounds, the dog park at Hank Anderson Park and the bicycle pump tracks at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

For facilities like pickleball courts and soccer fields, reservations are now being accepted, but are limited to a maximum of 25 people.  All other reservations remain suspended until further notice, including all reservations for the Century Center.

Indoor town facilities remain closed.

In Chapel Hill, also as of Sept. 11, now open are playgrounds, picnic shelter reservations, the bocce court, the sand volleyball courts and tennis and pickleball courts.

Food Drive Volunteers Needed

The Town of Chapel Hill needs volunteers to help with the weekly food bank distributions. As the number of weeks in pandemic continue to grow so does the need for more volunteers.

Community members in need of food assistance can view the weekly food distribution schedule.

If you’re able to volunteer a few hours (up to 4), sign up at The food bank distribution takes place at the Eubanks Park and Ride lot.

New Phase for County Reopening

Orange County is moving into Gov. Roy Cooper’s Phase 2.5 of the statewide reopening plan — but with a few exceptions.

In the county, the limit on mass gatherings will remain at 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, as opposed to the governor’s new limit of 25 people indoors and 50 outdoors. According to county officials, this limit will be reconsidered when the county’s positivity rate for COVID tests decreases to 5 percent. It is currently at almost 10 percent, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.

“We need the community to partner with us in order to get the positivity rate down to 5 percent for a sustained amount of time,” said Penny Rich, chair of the Orange County Commissioners.

State restrictions under the governor’s executive order will remain in effect in Orange County through Oct. 31 despite the state expiration date of Oct. 2.

Meanwhile, playgrounds in the will open Sept. 11, along with some picnic shelters, dog parks and tennis and pickleball courts.

An Easier Way to Request a Ballot

Not sure about how to request an absentee ballot for the November election?

You can now request one completely online.

You don’t have to print it, scan it in or mail it on to the Orange County Board of Elections. All you have to do now is go to where you fill out a simple form to request your ballot. It takes only a few minutes.

The Orange County Board of Elections will begin sending out absentee ballots beginning Friday, Sept. 4. The board is encouraging those who went to vote absentee to send their requests in early.

Voters who receive a mailed absentee ballot may still vote in person on Election Day or during early voting as long as the mailed absentee ballot has not been returned.

10by10 Ready to Stream

Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s OdysseyStage is offering a new approach to the annual NC 10by10 Play Festival.

Odyssey and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum are each producing five ten-minute plays by North Carolina playwrights and then all ten will be presented in a single production. The plays, which will be streaming online Sept. 18-19 and Sept. 25-26, have been adapted for online performance. This year, with a new performance platform, the productions are expected to reach fans of ten-minute plays across the country and around the world.

OdysseyStage, along with the forum, reviewed script submissions from across North Carolina. Playwright Mike Brannon, whose work “The Kindness of Strangers” will be one of the plays presented, said he appreciates the professionalism of Odyssey and the forum from previous festivals. “It’s fantastic to see them fighting to keep theater alive through this presentation of the NC10by10 festival,” Brannon said.

The play festival maintains the summer tradition of the original 10X10 in the Triangle, a staple at the Carrboro ArtsCenter for 15 years. Since 2018, the two theater companies have collaborated to engage more than 100 artists and crew from across the Triangle.

Each ticket provides access to the festival for 24 hours. Suggested donation is $5; see for more details and tickets.

ArtsCenter Offers In-Person Classes

The Carrboro ArtsCenter is now offering select ArtSchool classes in-person.

These classes are conducted with minimal class size, social distancing, mandatory masking and outdoor settings where possible.

Among the new in-person classes are a ceramics glazing workshop and a continuing watercolor painting class.

For more information about ArtSchool, contact ArtSchool Director Jenks Miller at

Eno River Group Revises Fall Programs

Due to safety concerns stemming from the ongoing global pandemic, the Eno River Association is re-imagining several of its popular in-person fall events and programs. The association will focus its efforts on small group and individual programs that highlight the natural, cultural and historic resources of the Eno River basin in Orange and Durham counties.

The association plans to provide environmental education programs for individuals, small groups and families throughout the fall, and supplemental STEM educational programs for local students and learning pods. Additionally, to offset the cancellation of large group stewardship and trail workdays, the association will be supporting small group service projects for workplaces, families and pandemic pods.

“Having access to safe, outdoor activities has never been more essential to the health of our community,” said Jessica Sheffield, the organization’s executive director. “Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, citizens have flocked to our parks for recreation and respite in record numbers. Never has the need for open spaces and safe, outdoor activities been more apparent.”

On Oct. 3, the association will host an education event at their Confluence Natural Area. The program will feature some of the popular activities from their Eno River Field Station and iWalk the Eno Summer Camp program and will support youth and adults of all ages. Attendance will be limited, and participants will be required to sign-up for specific timeslots.

The association’s education team has also created a catalog of available programming ranging from hands-on STEM activities to local history topics to cultural arts. Learning pods are encouraged to use these resources, as well as online educational videos and other self-serve
content, to create physical or virtual field trips to the Eno River this fall.

For more information, go to

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