Daniela Ocampo

Chatham Board of Commissioners Extend Oil and Gas Moratorium

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on July 17 and voted unanimously to extend the moratorium on oil and gas development in the county for one more year. This moratorium focuses on hydraulic fracking, a shale gas drilling and extraction method. In 2012, then Governor Pat McCrory lifted a moratorium on fracking in NC, causing Chatham County to take local action. Chatham County’s fracking moratorium was set in place in August 2015 because of many health, safety and environmental concerns, and so that the county could have an opportunity to further researches its effects. The...

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New UNC Research Could Help Treat ALS

A new discovery made by researchers at UNC School of Medicine and NC State could lead to treatment and prevention for Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS is a disease that gained more awareness in the past five years, which many say  is thanks to the viral online Ice Bucket Challenge. Senior author of new ALS research at UNC School of Medicine, Dr. Todd Cohen agrees. “The ice bucket challenge tapped into something that I would have not predicted, so I think that social awareness about this disease has this amazing power to put it on everyone’s radar”,...

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New 25 Year Plan for Chatham Open for Public Comment

Chatham residents now have an opportunity to give their comments and opinions on the final draft of a 25-year plan for the county. Since Chatham County is the seventh fastest growing county in North Carolina and expected to continue to grow, this Comprehensive Plan sets forth goals, identifies key partnerships, and recommends steps for the County to take over the next 25 years. The plan aims to address how several the county’s most important elements will develop including transportation, agriculture, environmental protection, water infrastructure, affordable housing, economic development, parks and recreation and land use. In the fall of 2015,...

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Two Residents Treated for Smoke Inhalation After Fire in Meadowmont

The Chapel Hill fire department responded to a residential kitchen fire at Meadowmont on Monday at 8:04 PM. Residents of the home successfully extinguished the fire, according to a release from the town, which was limited to the stove area, with an at home fire extinguisher as Chapel Hill Fire Department arrived at the scene. The two residents who were inside the home were treated for minor smoke inhalation at the scene but were otherwise unharmed. A second engine company assisted in evacuating the heavy smoke that was a result of the fire. A total of nine fire personnel...

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Aldermen Approve Final MLK Park Plans

At its June 27 meeting, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen finalized development plans for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park located on 1120 Hillsborough Road. The development plans from Stewart Inc. include an amphitheater, a natural playground, a pump track for bicyclists, a half mile walking path surrounding the park, new picnic shelters, and expansion of the community garden. “Once we get this approval we can go ahead and finish the drawings, and resubmit them for permit drawings, go ahead and get our site permit with the town,” said a spokesperson for Stewart Inc. During a public hearing, residents...

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Duke Grads Begin “Ugly” Produce Delivery Service

A new produce delivery service called Ungraded Produce will deliver “ugly” but high-quality local vegetables and fruit that are otherwise unable to be sold in grocery stores. The produce delivery service was founded by two recent Duke graduates with the mission to address both the issues of food waste and hunger within the triangle. “We source a lot of ‘ugly’ produce, the misshapen stuff from local farms, (and) we recover a lot of excess wholesale produce, particularly fruits,” said Courtney Bell, President and Co-founder of Ungraded Produce. “Our main goal is to fight food waste mostly by sourcing local...

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UNC Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Humanities Initiative

UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences has received a $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund its new Humanities initiative. The four-year initiative, called “Humanities for the Public Good,” began on July 1, led by Senior Associate Dean Terry Rhodes. The initiative has been broken down into three overarching themes: Integrating New Models of Education, Integrating Digital Approaches into Research and Education, and Public Engagement and Outreach. “This is thrilling that we’ve received this grant,” said Rhodes. “It’s going to enable us to integrate public humanities more into the curriculum and to tap digital technology...

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Riverwalk and Gold Park to Reopen Friday

Hillsborough will reopen Gold Park and Riverwalk to the public on Friday morning. The park closed following flooding on Tuesday that carried debris and sediment onto the park’s greenway trails. Since then, town clean up efforts have worked to collect debris and clear the trails in record time. “We feel confident that the trail and park can be accessed by the public beginning Friday morning, but we hope that visitors use caution in any wet areas,” Hillsborough Public Space Manager Stephanie Trueblood said. While most of the park has been cleaned up, floodwaters washed away the mulch in certain...

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New Affordable Housing Board in Carrboro Seeks Members

The Town of Carrboro is searching for members to fill the seats of its new Affordable Housing Board. The creation of the new advisory board was discussed at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting, according to Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle. “One of the items dealt with how that would happen and how that would look and how we’d solicit for members, and the composition of it and so forth.” Lavelle says Carrboro has had an effective affordable housing task force for several years. “Now that that has been set up and adopted and is underway, we thought it was...

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Chapel Hill Moving Meetings from Monday to Wednesday

****UPDATE: The council approved moving meetings from Monday to Wednesday this fall to serve as a test period.**** Chapel Hill Town Council meetings have been taking place on Mondays for at least 45 years, according to former council member Gerry Cohen, but that may be changing. The discussion to move council meetings to Wednesdays is gaining traction after being introduced earlier this year. Mayor Pam Hemminger says the council is considering changing the meetings from Mondays to Wednesdays for several reasons. “There are many positives to moving the meeting so that people have the weekend to look over materials...

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