Bruce Rosenbloom

Chapel Hill Officials Discuss Designs for Local Light Rail Train Stations

The Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project is picking up steam as the Chapel Hill Town Council considers how to approach the construction of train stops in the area. Gateway Planning Group President Scott Polikov briefed council members earlier this week on design philosophies for six local light rail stations that stand to be built. A call for conscientious development was made by Council Member Michael Parker, who used a prospective station site to make a point about nearby neighborhoods. “The Gateway station area is still an underdeveloped part of town, so I think that we need to make sure...

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Canine Influenza Outbreak Reported In North Carolina

A highly contagious airborne virus known as canine influenza is beginning to infect dogs in North Carolina according to public health agencies within the state. Infections were confirmed earlier this week in Carteret, Rockingham, Wake and Davidson counties by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association. Two dogs in the state were also reported to have died as a result of infection, with one of those canines having recently been brought to a dog show in Florida. The deaths of those dogs were confirmed by Rollins Laboratory, which works with the North Carolina Department of Agricultural & Consumer Services. According...

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Carrboro Officials Plan to Fill Vacant Board Seat in November Elections

Officials in Carrboro have decided on the manner in which a replacement will be selected for the position left vacant by former alderwoman Michelle Johnson. According to Mayor Lydia Lavelle, elections for that position were being considered by the Carrboro Board of Aldermen after Johnson expressed her desire to resign. “This was the way I figured that the board was leaning; it’s just that we didn’t have a discussion as a total board until the resignation was turned in, and […] she had her last meeting with us a few weeks ago,” she relayed. Lavelle noted that board members...

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Custodial Contractors Considered for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

The contracts that govern classroom custodians are being discussed by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education as the debate over living wages for local workers continues. Board members were briefed last week by William Mullin, the executive director of district services, on work proposals from two companies that provide various custodial services. Those companies are GCA Services Group, a national building management provider, and Executive Building Maintenance, which Mullin described as a regional cleaning business. “They’re a very small company, privately owned; the owner and president is our contact person — he’s here on site,” he relayed....

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Chatham County Officials Review Environmental Study on Fracking

The petroleum extraction technique known as fracking is boring into the meeting agendas of officials in Chatham County as they prepare to review new research on oil development activity. A temporary moratorium on that activity was issued by county executives in 2015 to permit the study of potential impacts by an outside consultant with appropriate credentials. Those studies were recently completed by Charles Yuill, a professor at Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design with over 30 years of environmental consulting experience. Officials will hear a presentation from Yuill this evening on findings that will be considered by...

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Board of Education Bars Sixth-Grade Students in Chapel Hill and Carrboro from Sports Teams

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education is putting sixth-grade students on the bench after a debate on whether they should be allowed to join middle school sports teams. That debate ended last Monday with board members endorsing a recommendation to raise the grade level at which students are allowed to participate in interscholastic competition. Funding and safety issues were cited by Scarlett Steinert, the director of district-wide athletics, as two reasons why the recommendation was formulated by assorted middle school faculty members. Opposition to the recommendation was relayed to board members by Kyle Clements, a local resident...

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Sidewalk Demolition Planned for Churton Street in Hillsborough

An area redevelopment project in Hillsborough is currently underway, with stormwater piping having recently been installed at the site of a planned bus stop on Churton Street. According to a news release from the municipal government, contracting crews will begin laying asphalt at that site and demolishing a nearby sidewalk on Monday. The labor is intended to expand downtown accessibility options for disabled residents while making functional and cosmetic improvements to antiquated streetscapes. Motorists that frequent Churton Street between Margaret Lane and Tryon Street should expect lane shifts during business hours as a result of the construction taking place....

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Durham Tech Students Receive Financial Aid from Wells Fargo

Students at Durham Technical Community College are receiving even greater access to work-based learning opportunities with assistance from the Wells Fargo Foundation. A grant of $10,000 was given by the foundation to the college in support of over 20 career-oriented education programs and enrollees that wish to pursue practical internships. According to Charlene West, a department head in charge of those programs, “Durham Tech is especially grateful to Wells Fargo for their continued support” of student success. The director of the Durham Tech Foundation, Melissa Chappell, is also grateful to the foundation for helping students acquire the “real-world experience...

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Orange County Commissioners Approve Funding for Five Affordable Housing Projects

The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to split over $2.7 million between five local affordable housing projects. Portions of that sum are being granted to Habitat for Humanity, CASA, and EmPOWERment Inc. for the construction of low-income domiciles. Habitat for Humanity will receive over $915,000 to build 24 owner-occupied townhouses for senior citizens that earn less than the area median income. CASA was allocated over $1.3 million to provide 28 rental units for residents that earn less than the median income or currently live unsheltered. EmPOWERment Inc. is being given over $475,000 to bring three...

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Consultants Hired to Conduct Review of Orange County Water Crisis

A third-party consultant has been hired by county executives to study the water crisis that brought life in Chapel Hill and Carrboro to an inconvenient crawl over four months ago. Crisis Focus LLC will work with an established committee of local officials to review the plans that were executed in the wake of the crisis and make appropriate revisions. This work will take place over the next several months, with a draft analysis scheduled for this Friday and document finalization occurring toward the end of September. Community involvement in the review process is also expected to take place through...

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