Bruce Rosenbloom

County Officials to Discuss Federal Pushback on Light Rail Project

Approval prospects for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project have become tenuous as a result of recent communication between GoTriangle and the US Federal Transit Administration. According to an agenda item intended for the Orange County Board of Commissioners, GoTriangle representatives will elaborate on the status of the project during a regular meeting scheduled for later today. The agenda item states that GoTriangle was required by the FTA to clarify aspects of the funding plan for the project, with attached letters from federal employees putting certain data points under scrutiny. Correspondence between Tyrhonda Edwards, an FTA employee, and Jeff Mann,...

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UNC Student Selected for Luce Scholars Program

An undergraduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill earned a spot in the annual class of Luce Scholars bound for Asia next year. According to a news release from the college, Martha Isaacs is one of 18 scholars who were chosen from a national pool of 161. Citing her interest in working abroad, Isaacs said she hopes to “learn from a different political, economical, and geographic context.” As a human geography major whose focus is transportation planning, she is likely to be placed in Singapore or Japan through the program. Chancellor Carol Folt applauded her induction into the program, calling it...

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South Greensboro Street Shut Down by NCDOT

A portion of South Greensboro Street in Carrboro will be closed for at least two months according to a press release from the municipal government. The release states that motorists attempting to travel along that street between Old Pittsboro Road and Merritt Mill Road should expect to be rerouted. Labor in that vicinity on a storm drain pipe is expected to commence on March 6 with oversight from the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Work is expected to continue for 60 days while a larger aluminum arch culvert is installed under the street to reduce the risk of flooding...

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Rezoning Approved for Lincoln Center Expansion in Chapel Hill

Local residents and school district employees appeared before the Chapel Hill Town Council earlier in the week to discuss the proposed redevelopment of the Lincoln Center. Kerry Moore, the director of preschool programs for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, steered the discussion toward plans to establish a centralized preschool on the campus. “If we were to have an unlimited budget, we could outfit all of our classrooms and all of our schools and include the pre-K classrooms in our elementary schools,” she mused. “At this point, that’s not the case, and that’s why we’re looking towards consolidation.” Moore explained that...

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Chatham County Appoints New Elections Director

The appointment of a new director for the Chatham County Board of Elections was announced earlier in the week in a press release from the municipal government. According to the release, Pandora Paschal, a certified elections administrator with over a decade of related experience, will replace Dawn Stumpf, who has retired from service. Paschal stated that she was “truly humbled” by the appointment and expressed compassion for her predecessor, who had experienced medical issues that required a leave of absence. “When you learn from the best, it is hard to fail,” lamented Paschal. “While it is very hard to...

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Visitors Bureau Identifies Need for Attractions in Orange County

The wherewithal of local tourism was the focal point of a presentation given earlier in the week to the Chapel Hill Town Council on behalf of the Orange County Visitors Bureau. The presentation was made by the bureau’s executive director, Laurie Paolicelli, who explained that visitors recognize the particular combination of services and style within the county. “The panoply of assets and services that we trade and that we give to the visitor is really making us a unique destination that you just don’t find other places,” she stated. According to Paolicelli, understanding this combination and how it attracts...

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County Commissioners Revise Affordable Housing Policy

Changes to the affordable housing policy in Orange County were approved by the Board of Commissioners last week during a regular meeting. In approving these changes, board members defined affordable housing as any domicile for which the monthly cost of living does not exceed 30 percent of occupant income. Talks on this definition were led by Commissioner Renee Price, who sought to account for the prevalence of high-income housing markets and the relative purchasing power of residents. “The way this reads right here, you could have a house listing at $650,000, and as long as family income is over...

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County Rape Crisis Center Appoints New Executive Director

Alyson Culin has assumed responsibility for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center as its latest executive director. This change in leadership was announced on Monday in a press release that cited Culin’s eight-year tenure with the center. Her qualifications include a graduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill as well as work experience with other nonprofit initiatives. Culin stated that she is “excited and honored to lead the center and to serve our community in this new role.” Previous posts held by Culin within the center include interim executive director and director of development and communications. The Orange County Rape Crisis...

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Countywide Revaluation Shows Rise in Commercial Property Tax Base

The results of a countywide real estate revaluation were presented to the Orange County Board of Commissioners during a meeting held last week. According to Dwane Brinson, the director of the Orange County Tax Office, the overall tax base for commercial properties in the region increased significantly. “Commerical property countywide, including new construction, including everything else I just talked about — the tax base is going up 39 percent,” he reported. This increase is in stark contrast to a marginal decrease in the overall tax base that was also reported by Brinson regarding residential properties throughout the county. “There’s...

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Shooting at Local Red Roof Inn Leaves One Dead

A 21-year-old man died on Sunday from injuries sustained in a shooting that allegedly occurred at the Red Roof Inn near Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard. According to an initial release from the Chapel Hill Police Department, law enforcement officers responded to the shooting that morning at approximately 1:20 AM. The release also revealed that one unnamed individual was injured in the shooting and transported to Duke University Hospital in Durham for unspecified care. A subsequent release clarified that the hospitalized individual was Edward Young III, who died shortly afterward as a result of his injuries. The Chapel Hill Police Department...

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