Blake Hodge

DOT Preparing for Long Night as Inclement Weather Looms

The possibility of inclement weather throughout our area has led to the state Department of Transportation going into overdrive to prepare the roadways. Mark Mueller is the Communication Officer for the division of the DOT that oversees Orange County, and he says they have been watching the forecast to most efficiently prepare. “It’s looking like .01 – .12” of accumulation,” he says. “The potential for down tree lines usually happens at .25 – .5” – so it does not look like that’s going to be happening.” Mueller adds crews have been preparing all day to ensure the equipment will...

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Freezing Rain May Lead to Slippery Commute Wednesday

Winter has officially settled in across the Tar Heel state, and our area is no exception. After seeing heavy rain early Monday morning, temperatures have fallen and led to the possibility of some icing as we continue through the week. The National Weather Service has issued alerts – including a Winter Weather Advisory for Orange County and a Winter Storm Watch for Durham and Wake Counties – that will go into effect late Tuesday and remain through mid-day Wednesday. NWS Meteorologist Shawna Coakley says Tuesday we expect to have lingering drizzle, but the real problems may develop late Tuesday...

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UNC Requiring Students, Faculty, and Staff to Take Sexual Violence Course

Students, faculty, and staff at UNC will be required to take a training course on sexual harassment and sexual violence. The Office of Student Affairs at UNC sent an e-mail to students, on Monday, detailing a mandatory online training course to comply with a larger policy aimed at stopping all harassment and discrimination on campus. Christi Hurt – Chief of Staff for the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at UNC – says this training is meant to educate everyone on campus. “[The training is] making sure that they’re aware of all of the different components of the policy,” she...

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Carrboro Town Leaders Ready for First Meeting of 2015

The Board of Alderman is setting up for a very busy 2015 with their first meeting of the new year, on Tuesday night. There are several large agenda items for leaders of the Town of Carrboro. Mayor Lydia Lavelle says she is expecting to see new developments concerning the Martin Luther King Jr. Park Master Plan. “I do think citizens that are interested in the Martin Luther King Jr. Park will be interested in seeing what kinds of proposals are being made,” she says. “A couple of concept designs are going to be coming forward to us, after some...

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Chapel Hill Mayor: “Tough Decisions” Coming on Transit System Sustainability

Chapel Hill town leaders are being forced to get creative when looking at options to maintain transit services that are offered. Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says the town is faced with a very clear problem. “We need to come up with and develop a financial sustainability system for our transit system,” he says. The solution to that problem, however, may not be as cut and dry. At the last Chapel Hill Town Council meeting, a town-hired firm delivered the expected news that the state’s second-largest transit system, as it stands, is not sustainable in the long-term picture. That...

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DBAP Outranks Dean Dome and Cameron Indoor for Stadium Experience

For many sports fans along tobacco road it doesn’t get any better than watching the Tar Heels at the Dean Dome or the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor. But recently another area sports venue has outranked both iconic basketball arenas. Jason deBruyn with the Triangle Business Journal says the trade publication, Stadium Journey, has an annual ranking of sports venues. “This is the fourth year they’ve been [ranking] the top 100 in-stadium experiences,” he says. “The number one ranked stadium experience in North Carolina was the Durham Bulls Athletic Park; they ranked 33 in the nation.” deBruyn says the...

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Cempra Clears Hurdle Toward FDA Approval

Chapel Hill-based drug developer Cempra has cleared a major hurdle toward FDA approval of an experimental drug that could work toward solving one of the biggest health issues worldwide. Jason deBruyn, with the Triangle Business Journal, says the drug would work to treat one of the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections in the world. “[The treatment is] specifically for Community Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia,” he says. “It’s actually the number one cause of death from infection.” deBruyn says this condition is diagnosed in 5 to 10 million new cases every year. “It’s developed some antibiotic resistance,” he says. “The Center...

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MBA@UNC Ranked #1 Online MBA Program

The Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC has brought in another number one ranking. For the first time ever, U.S. News & World Report ranked online MBA programs. And MBA@UNC is checking in at the top spot. Doug Shackelford, Dean of the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, says they were excited to be at the top of the list “We started the program in 2011,” he says. “Our mindset, from the very beginning, was there are a lot of great MBA prospective students for whom coming to Chapel Hill might not be very easy. But they would love to get an...

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Hillsborough “Vision 2030” Open House

Hillsborough Planning Director Margaret Hauth led an Open House, on Thursday evening at the Town Barn, to discuss the “Vision 2030” project. The early stages of the project involved collecting Hillsborough-centric data. “If you don’t know what the current situation is,” she says, “you don’t know whether you’ve made any progress.” There are several lofty goals as part of the development project: town-wide wireless internet by 2025, increasing residential density without losing small-town charm, all while maintaining affordable housing options. But one item grabbed community member’s attention on Thursday night, the construction of a train station to re-establish Amtrak...

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30 New Flu Deaths Reported Across State

We are entering the heart of flu season across the Tar Heel state, and this year’s virus is proving difficult to fight. The most recent numbers from state health officials show a staggering increase in flu deaths. 30 new flu-related deaths were reported across North Carolina for the week ending January 3. That brings the total number of deaths related to influenza to 54, since early October. Last flu season saw 107 deaths in the state. Earlier this week, officials with the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Heath gave an update on the severity of...

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