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Anne Brenner

Local Residents Question Fracking Monitoring-Standards

CHAPEL HILL – State residents will have to wait to find out whether the state’s first rule surrounding hydraulic fracturing will be approved—and in the meantime, some local residents are afraid oil industries might have too much influence over any rules that are allowed to exist. “Here again, if, in the end, there’s no broader consideration for the broader concerns for protecting our water and resources, I  have a lack of confidence they’ll write a good rule in that case,” says local science expert Jeff Danner. Last year, hydraulic fracturing—otherwise known as “fracking”— was formally legalized in North Carolina. Since then, the N.C. Mining & Energy Commission has been charged with creating regulations for the procedure. On Friday, the commission was set to formally vote on its first rule, which stated that miners would have to publically disclose certain chemicals that were being used. But at the last minute, commission members learned they couldn’t consider the rule yet because officials from Haliburton—one of the country’s biggest oil companies—believe it’s overly harsh in its current form. During fracking, miners drill high-pressure fluid and chemicals into the ground to obtain natural gas. Many local politicians and residents, such as Danner, have questions about how the practice should be monitored to make sure it stays environmentally safe. Danner says this could be just the beginning of a larger pattern where high-powered oil...

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Hagan Sees Uptick In Popularity After Vote For Background Checks In Gun Sales

CHAPEL HILL-Senator Kay Hagan’s recent vote in support of background checks for gun sales might help her as she seeks re-election. Public Policy Polling Tom Jensen says according to the company’s newest round of surveys, 52 percent of North Carolinians are more likely to vote for Hagan now that she voted in favor of those checks. “Only 26 percent are less likely to, and that’s just a reflection that those background checks remain overwhelmingly popular,” he says. “Seventy-three percent of North Carolinians support them and only 22 percent are opposed.” On April 17, the U.S. Senate members, including Hagan,...

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New Assistant Principal, Top Honors For Businessman

Tiffany Cheshire is the new assistant principal of McDougle Elementary School. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School System made it official this week. Cheshire served as a principal intern at Seawell Elementary before heading to the Alamance-Burlington School System as an assistant principal. She also spent four years in the Orange County Public School System as a Spanish teacher. Cheshire received her Master of School Administration from UNC and earned her bachelors degree from Appalachian State. **** One prominent local businessman is being honored at both the regional and national level for his achievements in the financial services field. Corporate...

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ECHHS Earns High Honors In National Ethics Bowl

CHAPEL HILL-A local high school has earned semi-final honors in a UNC-hosted competition designed to encourage discussion among young people about various ethical issues. This year marked the first-ever National High School Ethics Bowl, which was held in Chapel Hill April 19-20, and East Chapel Hill High School finished among the top four finalists. UNC Faculty Chair Jan Boxill says the event is, in some ways, similar to a debate—but in another sense, it’s very different. “It’s a competitive yet collaborative event where students analyze and discuss real-life, timely ethical issues,” she says. “It differs from debate in that...

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BOCC Passes Resolution Denouncing Death Penalty

ORANGE COUNTY-Orange County recently became the first county in the state to formally take a stand against using the death penalty. During last Tuesday night’s meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 to pass a resolution calling for the repeal of capital punishment. Allen Archibald of Hillsborough first asked the board to pass the motion; he says his stance against capital punishment has been motivated by what he perceives to be racial biases. “We now know as a matter of statistically demonstrated truth that the deck is seriously stacked against people of color,” he says. “Perhaps the...

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NCYTE Returns Home For Finale Dance Concert

CHAPEL HILL-Over the course of its dance seasons, the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble has traveled all over the world for performances,—and this weekend, they’ll wrap up their year a little closer to home with a finale dance concert spectacular. Ensemble artistic Director Gene Medler says the performance, which is called “Rhythm Evolved,” covers a variety of different percussive dance styles. “It ranges from French-Candian waltz clogs and Irish jigs, all the way up to the cutting edge contemporary choreography of Michelle Dorrance.” Michelle Dorrance is the daughter of highly touted UNC women’s soccer head coach Anson Dorrance. Each...

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UNC Baseball Slams N.C. State 7-1

RALEIGH- UNC baseball didn’t have much trouble taking down N.C. State 7-1 last night in the first of a three-game series against the Wolfpack in Raleigh. Junior Tar Heel pitcher Kent Emanuel pitched through the eighth inning and tied a career high nine strikeouts. Colin Moran and Brian Holberton both tallied home runs for UNC. “He got better as he went,” says Head Tar Heel Coach Mike Fox. “It’s tough to start a game. You don’t know where the strike zone is, and you’re really having to pitch.” The Heels took control right, putting three runs on the board...

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Local Residents Clash Over Budgeting Priorities For 2013

CHAPEL HILL- As budget season kicks into high gear, local and state officials are working to determine what services make up the local area’s top priorities—but the local community is sharply divided on which of those entities should come first. “There’s a level of service we want to maintain, be it libraries, recycling pick-up, or affordable housing,” says community member Greg Bell. “It will be sad to watch the gradual dismantling of those services. Even though the General Assembly is going to force a lot of unfounded mandates on us, we need to do our best to hold on...

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After A Decade, CH Opens New Public Library

CHAPEL HILL-Hundreds of local residents gathered Saturday afternoon at the site of the Chapel Hill Public Library off Estes Drive to celebrate the opening of its newly renovated facility—and it’s a project that’s been about a decade in the making. “Dreams of more than a generation of Chapel Hillians are the mortar holding these bricks together,” says Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, who was one of several local government officials to deliver remarks during the ceremony. “These are the kinds of days when I pinch myself and ask, ‘Am I really the mayor of this great town?’ Look at...

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