Blake Hodge

Varsity Theatre Over 50% to Goal for Digital Conversion

Technology can lead to amazing spectacles, but it also brings the possibility of turning some of our favorite experiences into memories. The Varsity Theatre, with its historic marquee, has been a staple of downtown Chapel Hill for over 50 years. But technological advancements in movie making have threatened the future of the Franklin Street cinema. Paul Sharesian owns the Varsity Theatre and says the theatre needs major upgrades because of a transformation in the movie-making process. “We hit the point where, if we didn’t convert to digital, we wouldn’t be able to show films anymore,” he says, “because they’re...

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Common Themes Develop Among 2015 Priorities

Flipping the calendar to a new year can cause reflection over what happened over the previous 12 months. It can provide a clean slate for starting new. And it can present new challenges. Managing growth and fighting poverty are two ideas that would seem to counter each other. But, throughout our community, this juxtaposed theme continues to emerge. The message from many community leaders is that we must continue to strive for growth, while lending a helping hand to those in need. In that vein, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says he is excited about the two zones in...

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Chapel Hill Drug Manufacturer Ends Agreement with Johnson & Johnson

Chapel Hill-based drug developer Pozen has been in the spotlight a lot as of late. In mid-December the FDA did not approve the company’s latest drug application. And, on Monday, Pozen broke off a licensing relationship with Johnson & Johnson. Pozen and the industry giant mutually agreed to end their licensing agreement over a drug produced by Pozen, according to the Triangle Business Journal. TBJ’s Jason deBruyn says that he believes Pozen thinks they can get a better offer than what Johnson & Johnson was providing for Pozen selling their migraine treatment in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. “This...

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Hillsborough PD Investigating Dec 23 Shooting

An investigation is ongoing into a shooting that sent three victims to the hospital last week, in Hillsborough. Hillsborough Police Lieutenant Davis Trimmer explains the shooting was reported around 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, December 23. “We had a shooting incident that occurred on Torain Street,” Trimmer says. “Several shots were fired and three people were injured.” Lt. Trimmer adds that all of the victims received medical attention at Duke University Medical Center. “Two were slightly injured; they were treated and released from the hospital,” he says. “The third was treated at the hospital and released either the next day...

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Civil War and WWI Lectures Offered by CHHS Teacher

The Civil War and World War I are still topics that generate interest today and an opportunity exists to brush up on your history knowledge – and learn something new. Bill Melega is a history teacher at Chapel Hill High School and was named the 2010 Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Teacher of the Year. He is bringing his expertise to the community in the form of a weekly lecture covering portions of two of the most polarizing wars in human history. Melega says the lectures will be broken into portions. “[We’ll do] five weeks on the Civil War,” he...

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Downtown Chapel Hill Businesses Continue to Evolve

Downtown Chapel Hill has seen a lot of things change over the years and that is continuing with new businesses coming into the area. Kristen Smith, with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, says she is anxious to see where the changes in downtown Chapel Hill lead. “I think downtown is evolving. And that’s what makes it exciting,” she says. She adds that many businesses view downtown as a place they can thrive, and it is important to find the right pieces to complete the puzzle. “Downtown is so desirable, these spaces don’t stay empty,” she says. “It’s just...

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Improvements Coming to Downtown Hillsborough in 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a busy year in Hillsborough with major projects to improve the downtown area. Mayor Tom Stevens says he’s confident that proposed renovations in downtown Hillsborough will have a positive impact on the area. He says, “one year from now Downtown Hillsborough is going to be better than ever.” Those improvement projects include a major renovation to the main parking lot in Hillsborough, known as the Bank of America lot. “It’s a very odd lot,” he says, “but it is where people tend to gravitate immediately.” Mayor Stevens adds that they will be tackling...

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Redistricting Continues to Stir Legal Battle in NC

Drawing the congressional map in North Carolina has been a topic of debate, in conversation and in courtrooms, for decades. The latest rendition of the North Carolina congressional district map is constitutional, according to a State Supreme Court ruling. State Republican lawmakers are responsible for the latest depiction of the districts; the GOP drew the map in 2011, after the last census in 2010. The legal challenge to the map’s constitutionality may not be done, as an appeal to the US Supreme Court is likely. There have been 27 judicial interventions in North Carolina’s drawing of congressional districts in...

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Hillsborough Police Investigating Shooting

Hillsborough Police are investigating a shooting from Tuesday afternoon in the Fairview neighborhood. Below is the full statement from Hillsborough officials: Hillsborough police are investigating a shooting that took place at about 2 p.m. today on Torain Street in the Fairview neighborhood. Several shots were fired, and three people were injured — none with life-threatening injuries. The injured were transported to Duke University Medical Center, and two were treated and released. One person remains at the hospital and is being treated for a non-life-threatening injury. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Hillsborough Investigator...

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Elementary Schoolers “Shop with a Cop”

‘Tis the season of giving; and some local law enforcement got into the holiday spirit earlier this month with some elementary school children in the community. Morris Grove Elementary School Principal Amy Rickard says she was approached by Carrboro Police to see if students would be interested in a field trip – a trip to the store to “Shop with a Cop.” “We had 19 students who were able to go on the field trip,” she says. “And five different police department organizations – the Carrboro Police Department, Chapel Hill Police, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Campus Police, and the...

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