Blake Hodge

NC Lawmakers File Bill Banning Same-Sex Marriage

The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples had the right to marry under the United States Constitution. Three North Carolina Republicans filed a bill on Tuesday saying the nation’s high court “overstepped its constitutional bounds” when making that decision. The new bill says “Marriages between persons of the same gender not valid.” House Bill 780 is titled the “Uphold Historic Marriage Act.” The bill says the North Carolina General Assembly would “declare” the 2015 ruling “null and void in the State of North Carolina.” The proposal contends that “laws concerning marriage are for each state to...

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Tree Removal From Franklin and Columbia Intersection Causing Traffic Delays

The large tree at the intersection of Franklin and Columbia streets is being removed on Monday. Chapel Hill officials say the removal will prompt the closure of the right eastbound lane of West Franklin Street. The tree is one of multiple large trees that line Franklin Street. Several of those trees have been removed in recent years as officials say they are reaching the end of their lifetime and could become a public safety risk. The town’s arborist has been “monitoring the tree and found that it is hollow, posing a potential hazard to people in the area if...

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UNC Linebacker Accused of Rape Cleared by University

The UNC football player who was accused of raping another student has been cleared of any wrongdoing under university policy. The defense attorney for Allen Artis, Kerry Sutton, said the university’s Title IX Compliance Coordinator had notified the reserve linebacker that Artis was cleared after a “thorough investigation.” UNC student Delaney Robinson accused Artis of raping her on Valentine’s Day 2016. Robinson took out misdemeanor warrants in September of last year after saying she was frustrated with the lack of action from the university and criminal justice system. Robinson’s attorney Denise Branch also issued a statement about the decision...

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Chapel Hill Police Investigating Shooting

Chapel Hill Police are investigating a Thursday shooting. Authorities say officers responded to a shots fired call at 751 Trinity Court just before 4:30 Thursday afternoon. Police say an arrest has been made, but the investigation is ongoing. If anyone has any information regarding the shooting, you are asked to call 911. Callers who would like to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to Crime Stoppers are confidential and anonymous. The caller may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000 for information that leads to an...

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Homestead Aquatic Center to Reopen in Mid-April

Three months to the day after being closed due to a suspected leak, the Homestead Aquatics Center pool is scheduled to reopen later this month. The pool was closed on January 17 due to a suspected leak that officials said may have been present since November 2016. The facility saw a spike in water consumption that led staff to explore possibilities and search for any leaks. While the initial notification said there was no estimates of when the facility would reopen, a subsequent release projected a mid-February open. The work finding the leak proved to be more extensive that...

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Construction Closing Portion of Downtown Hillsborough Road

Asphalt repairs will close a portion of a Hillsborough street on Friday. Officials say Wake Street will be closed between West Tryon and West Queen streets from eight o’clock Friday morning until five o’clock in the evening. The closure will allow crews to repair asphalt following recent utility work. Wake Street runs parallel to Churton Street, downtown Hillsborough’s main thoroughfare. If crews are unable to finish the project on Friday, the road will also be closed on Monday, April 10. Homeowners in the closed area will still be allowed access during the repair timeframe. Photo via...

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Seven Injured in Chapel Hill Celebrations

Seven revelers were injured while celebrating the UNC men’s basketball national championship Monday night. Officials estimated a crowd of 55,000 people rushed Franklin Street following the university’s sixth NCAA championship. Of the seven injuries, four suffered burns, according to a release from the Town of Chapel Hill. Bonfires are technically prohibited, but several had to be extinguished and cleaned up by town officials. Franklin Street was shut down right after the victory as the celebration was beginning and regular traffic was reopened just after two o’clock Tuesday morning. Multiple agencies from around the region were called in to supplement...

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UNC Wins Sixth NCAA Championship

The North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team knocked off Gonzaga 71-65 to win the school’s sixth NCAA championship Monday night. UNC entered halftime down three points to the Bulldogs, who were making their first appearance in the NCAA title game, but came out with a hot start to take an early second-half lead. The game slogged through the final 20 minutes as foul calls drew the game to a grinding halt resulting in a back-and-forth battle with Gonzaga keeping pace by accruing points from the free throw line. On a night where the offense was stagnant at times...

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Smith Center Hosting Championship Viewing Party

While bars and restaurants around Chapel Hill will be filled to capacity to watch UNC take a shot at another national title, fans are also invited to take in the game at the home of the Tar Heels, the Dean E. Smith Center. The championship matchup between two number one seeds – UNC and Gonzaga – will be displayed on a large projector and the four Smith Center video boards. Entry A will open for the general public at eight o’clock Monday night. UNC students, faculty and staff can get a half-hour head start at 7:30 through Entry C....

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Chapel Hill Prepares for Potential Celebration

UNC has a chance to win another men’s basketball national championship Monday night, and Chapel Hill Police are preparing for the potential revelry that would follow. Approximately 12,000 people rushed Franklin Street following the Tar Heels victory over Oregon in the Final Four Saturday night. But it’s safe to say the crowd would be much larger if Carolina is able to win the national title Monday night. “We’re extremely lucky that no one was injured from the few bonfires that were set Saturday night,” said Chapel Hill Police Chief and Executive Director for Community Safety Chris Blue. “We’d hate...

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