News Happenings


By Laurie Paolicelli

Finley Golf Course Redesigned

Finley Golf Course, Chapel Hill.

The course has been redesigned by the firm of Love Golf Design, with former Tar Heels and brothers Davis and Mark Love and chief designer Scot Sherman taking the Tom Fazio-designed course from 1999, giving it a complete agronomic overhaul, recontouring greens and fairways and adding and deleting bunkers at various junctures. “Finley has moved from being a local community, public golf course to one that is designed for our championship-caliber golf teams,” athletic director Bubba Cunningham says.

Tyler Currin and Robert Costra are ready to welcome new and returning guests.

“Chapel Hill deserves a golf course that reflects the beautiful landscape and excellence in athletics of the community. I’m very hopeful that the new Finley will attract people from across the world where we can show off our unique southern hospitality,” says resident and golfer, Debbie Stroman. 

A new Library, Radio Station, and Cultural Resources Center on target for early summer 2024

The Carrboro 203 Project is set to be completed and open in Summer 2024. The project is located at 203 South Greensboro Street and will be a 49,550-square-foot facility featuring more than just a library: a Carrboro Recreation, Parks and Cultural Resources Center, the WCOM Radio station and a teen center for recreational use will be housed there as well. The total cost for the project, a joint partnership between Carrboro and Orange County, is over $41 million, with $18 million contributed from the Town of Carrboro and $22 million from Orange County.

Brian Wasson.

Chapel Hill High School English Teacher Debuts Novel

Brian Wasson debuts his novel, Seven Minutes in Candyland, published through HarperCollins/Quill Tree Press on December 12th at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. It is a whimsical YA novel with a big mental health angle, but you can read the full summary/review/ratings hereCongratulations Mr. Wasson!

To attend the book signing or order a copy, information is listed below:

  • Book Signing: Tuesday, Dec.12th at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. Launch Information here.
  • Book Preorder link through Flyleaf here.
  • Audiobook Preorder link here.

Morehead to Celebrate 75th Anniversary in 2024 

Calling all #Morehead alumni! Next April 6-7, as part of their 75th anniversary celebration, the Planetarium team invite all to come back to #ChapelHill and reunite with old friends and colleagues. Registration opens January 2024. Stay tuned for more details. 

Todd Boyette, Director, also announced a new sponsor for its growing annual Science Exhibit: “We are also delighted to welcome RTI International as the presenting sponsor of NCSciFest 2024,” said Todd Boyette, co-founder of NCSciFest and director of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center (Morehead). “Their strong belief in the promise of science makes them an ideal partner in our pursuit of advancing scientific knowledge and promoting (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education across North Carolina.”

Pauli Murray Mural, Hillsborough.

My Name is Pauli Murray on Amazon

Mural of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray Unveiled

On Tuesday, Dec. 5 the Orange County Office of Equity & Inclusion unveiled the new Pauli Murray mural, created by Scott Nurkin. The mural is located at the Orange County Sportsplex at 101 Meadowlands Dr., in Hillsborough. The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray was a trailblazing civil rights activist, lawyer, and feminist icon. In 1938, Murray applied to the Ph.D. program in sociology but was denied admission because, as university officials wrote at the time, ‘members of your race are not admitted to the university.’ Watch the documentary on Pauli Murray on Amazon TV.

New Restaurants 

Young Nay’s New Carrboro Restaurant, La Montaña.

La Montaña, 370 E. Main St. Suite 170, Carrboro.

Located next to IZA Whiskey Eats, in every corner of La Montaña there is a unique story, and every piece of its decoration, especially the bamboo wall panels, is reminiscent of the childhood of Yung Nay, the owner and chef. The restaurant opened on Oct. 9 and was inspired by Nay’s life transitioning from the mountains of Pleiku, Vietnam, to his Latin-influenced upbringing in the United States. La Montaña offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and special beverages.

Ay Por Dios!, 431 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Inside Ay Por Dios!, customers are greeted by an explosion of color and intricate decorations adorning the walls — ornate tiles, portraits and folk art. The air is filled with lively Mexican dance music. The restaurant opened on Sept. 28 and serves upscale Mexican cuisine, including different types of mole, fresh seafood, and steak. 

Snooze Eatery, Chapel Hill.

Snooze Eatery, 1800 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill

Snooze Eatery, a new breakfast restaurant, recently opened in Chapel Hill’s Eastgate Crossing Shopping Center. Snooze opens at 6:30 a.m. and serves unconventional takes on typical breakfast foods, such as blueberry Danish pancakes and pork chile verde eggs benedict.

Tonya’s Cookies & Bake Shop, 400 S. Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill

On South Elliott Road stands a new cookie shop, Tonya’s Cookies & Bake Shop. The establishment was inspired by owner Tonya Council’s memory and appreciation of her grandmother’s culinary skills at her restaurant, Mama Dip’s Kitchen, boasting a wide menu ranging from their signature pecan crisp cookies to cakes and pies.

Laurie Paolicelli is executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2005. Laurie has worked in tourism and marketing for twenty-five years, having served in leadership roles in Houston and California convention and visitor bureaus. She is a native of the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communications from the University Wisconsin-Superior and graduate certification in Technology In Marketing from the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

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