Daniela Ocampo

NC Teen Lands Spot on Latest Season of ‘The Voice’

An 18 year old from down the road in Sanford is a contestant on the latest season of NBC’s The Voice. The fourteenth season of The Voice premiered recently,  opening the show with NC native, Britton Buchanan. “I feel great. The support has been overwhelming and it’s been amazing to see how much life has changed,” said Britton. Buchanan, a senior at Lee County High School, began playing guitar at age eight and had his performance debut at age 10 as Mowgli in The Jungle Book Kids at Sanford’s Temple Theater. Since then, Buchanan has spent years performing around...

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NC Governor Cooper Posts Gun Safety Action Plans

The Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, which took the lives of 17 students and teachers, has sparked a national conversation about gun control laws in the country. North Carolina’s Democratic Governor Roy Cooper posted on Wednesday on the website Medium, exactly one month after the shooting, his current actions and goals for combating gun violence in North Carolina. Cooper said that he has already requested that the North Carolina Department of Public Safety direct law enforcement and school administrators to ensure that rapid deployment training and school emergency response plans are in order....

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FPG Institute Launches Project to Narrow Down Best Practices for Children with Autism

UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute is launching a project called The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice. The project will review thousands of research articles about children with autism to narrow down most effective practices. FPG advanced research scientist and director of the National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice, Kara Hume, says that it is overwhelming for teachers, parents and community providers, to decide what intervention to choose for individuals with autism. “If you, you know, google autism you’re going to get about three million hits I think on autism and intervention. So what we...

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Orange County Compiles Slave Records from Old Deed Books

An index of slaves that were mentioned by name in the old deed books of Orange County has been compiled and put into an online Orange County NC Slave Records blog. Orange County Register of Deeds Mark Chilton shared the blog to his social media stating that 4,300 records were reviewed to compile the list. “We’ve been working for the last year and a half or so on going through all of our old deed books, the original old deed books from when Orange County was created in 1752 onward, and trying to identify all of the places where...

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Orange County Hosts First Affordable Housing Coalition

The Orange County Affordable Housing Coalition hosted their first Affordable Housing Summit last Friday to bring together elected officials, government staff, community organizations and the public to have a conversation about affordable housing development in the county. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle called the summit informational and interactive and said she thinks it could start to occur on a regular basis. “I bet there were a couple of hundred people there. When I looked around the room, I saw folks – not just elected officials – but people who work with affordable housing organizations, persons who live in affordable housing, staff...

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Orange County Begins a Search for New Mobile Home Park Location Due to Homestead Mobile Home Park Residents Displacement

Orange County was informed earlier this month that residents of Homestead Mobile Park may soon be displaced. Since then, the county and jurisdictions in the county have formed a Mobile Home Park Work Group and a Rapid Response Team. Orange County housing and community development director Sherrill Hampton updated the county Board of Commissioners at last week’s meeting on what the work group and response team are doing to help residents living in the park relocate. “[The park] is a very small one, about nine spaces, it is off of NC 86 right near Allen and Son Barbeque,” said...

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Chapel Hill Advocates Protesting Alleged Wage Theft

Immigrant and worker advocates protested earlier this month outside the home of Magnum Fine Home Builders director Curt Hendrickson over alleged wage theft. The home-building company is being accused of owing a past worker, Sergio Hernandez, $14,456 from painting and drywall work he and other workers completed in 2016. According to Hernandez, he has messages between Hendrickson and himself along with emailed invoices that document Hernandez’s attempts to collect the debt. Director of North Carolina Immigrant’s Rights Program Lori Khamala was an advocate at Saturday’s protest and says wage theft is a widespread problem. “We’re talking North Carolina, at...

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Carrboro’s South Greensboro Street Closing This Summer for Roundabout Construction

Carrboro drivers should begin planning a detour for South Greensboro Street for the summer. The town announced upcoming construction on South Greensboro that will close the street beginning June 11 and expected to last through August 24. According to the town’s press release, Woodhill N.C. LLC and the North Carolina Department of Transportation will be constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Rand Road, Old Pittsboro Road, and South Greensboro Street during the closure. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said it was originally planned to only close one lane during construction. “During this engineering phase it was determined that there...

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Chapel Hill Engaging Foreign, Refugee and Latinx Residents Through Local Government

Chapel Hill is one of two North Carolina municipalities to be selected for a multi-year planning process that helps North Carolina local governments successfully engage with foreign-born, refugee and Latinx residents. The Town Council was given a report regarding the project at last Wednesday’s meeting. Office of Housing and Community assistant director Sarah Vinas said the Building Integrated Communities project, or BIC, aligns with Chapel Hill’s Comprehensive Plan goal of making Chapel Hill a place for everyone. “Our community is diverse. Seventeen percent of Chapel Hill residents are foreign born. That’s about 10,000 residents,” said Vinas. Siler City is...

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Chapel Hill Town Council Discusses Hiring Process for New Town Manager

Chapel Hill’s Town Council discussed the expectations and competencies officials will be looking for when selecting a new town manager at Wednesday night’s meeting. Current town manager Roger Stancil announced in November that he will retire in the fall of this year after 12 years of service. President and founder of Developmental Associates Stephen Straus went over the selection process during the meeting and outline how the public will be given time to make comments regarding the selection. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said that a long list that was written during the meeting centered on the values of...

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