Jess Clark

Internet Access Changing Chapel Hill Family’s Lives

The Town of Chapel Hill, AT&T and Google are trying to get internet access into the homes of low-income residents. But just how important is broadband in the home for local students? Brothers Job Mbaihiguimang, Moustapha Miambaye and Prosper Mbaigon crowd around a Dell laptop in their home in Chapel Hill. They’re using Google Earth to get an aerial view of the summer camp they’ll be attending in a few days. The laptop is a new addition to their household. The boys’ mother, Berthe Mairounga, received the computer as a donation from the Kramden Institute, a Durham nonprofit that...

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Local Business Becomes ‘Alzheimer’s-Friendly’

Some local businesses are training to become friendlier for customers with Alzheimer’s disease. Friday lunches are the busiest time for Chik Fil A at University Place. The dining room is packed, there’s a line winding its way around the store, and baskets of fries hardly have time to cool before the cook has to dunk another one into the deep-fryer. Listen to the story below: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/08/11/Alzheimers_WRAP.wav   At the register, Chik Fil A manager Alex Nystrom is taking an order. The transaction goes quickly and smoothly, even during the lunch rush. But customer service isn’t also as straightforward when...

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Confederate Flag Supporters Rally In Hillsborough

Hundreds of Confederate flag supporters gathered in downtown Hillsborough Saturday for the “Southern Heritage Ride and Rally.” From the steps of Hillsborough Town Hall, Gary Williamson spoke to a crowd of about 600 people. There were old people, young people, families and couples. Most carried or wore the Confederate battle flag. Even toddlers waved their own pint-sized versions of the Southern Cross. Williamson’s message was that their beloved symbols were under threat. http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/08/10/Confederate_Rally_WRAP.wav   “They are trying to take it away from us, they are trying to make it disappear,” Williamson warned. “No government, no liberal idiots, no crybabies,...

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Hundreds Gather in Hillsborough to Support Confederate Flag

Several hundred confederate flag supporters gathered in downtown Hillsborough Saturday for a ‘Southern Heritage Ride and Rally.’ It was pitched as an educational event to learn more about the history of the flag and other Confederate memorials. WCHL’s Jess Clark was there, listen below: http://audio.chapelboro.com.s3.amazonaws.com/2015/08/10/Confederate_Rally_WRAP.wav   Last Thursday, on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, NC NAACP leaders held a press conference aimed to “promote the accurate history of ugly racist policies and symbols of hatred.”...

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NAACP Protests Hillsborough ‘Ride and Rally’

More than 150 people gathered in front of the historic Hillsborough courthouse for the North Carolina NAACP’s “Press Conference for Historical Accuracy.” The crowd included elected officials, local NAACP leaders and residents of many races, some waving small American flags. North Carolina NAACP leader Rev. William Barber said his organization called the conference to mark 50 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act and to protest the 2013 state voting laws and moves by the 2015 legislature to protect Confederate monuments. “Our current legislature and governor will protect monuments and flags of our racist past that fuels...

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Storytelling Linked to Early Reading in African-American Children

New research from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute suggests oral storytelling skills might be particularly important for early reading in African-American children. Researchers know that a preschooler’s ability to tell a story can predict their reading skills later in life. But Frank Porter Graham researcher Nicole Gardner-Neblett wanted to take that connection a step further. “This link hasn’t been investigated by race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status in the past, and so we wanted to take a look and see, are there differences?” Gardner-Neblett said. Gardner-Neblett and her co-author studied data from a national survey of more than...

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Chancellor Folt Takes Hard-Hitting Questions

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt took some tough questions Tuesday at the National Press Club luncheon. Chancellor Folt’s prepared speech highlighted UNC’s efforts to bring in more low-income students and support them through graduation. The university has been nationally recognized for its affordability and its Carolina Covenant Scholars program, which allows some low-income students to graduate debt-free. “The tuition at UNC Chapel Hill is about 8,300 dollars,” Folt noted. “It is among the lowest tuitions in the country, and among the top pier institutions—our peers in public universities—it’s at the bottom. We have very low tuition. The debt for students...

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DNC Pushes for Voting Rights Act Amendment

The trial over a series of voting laws enacted by the legislature in 2013 wrapped up Friday. But North Carolina isn’t the only place where people are challenging recent changes in voting laws. National Democratic representatives are looking for a federal fix that would make it harder for states to pass restrictive voting laws like North Carolina’s 2013 Voter Information Verification Act. Those provisions ended same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting, cut early voting days and requires voters to present a photo ID beginning in 2016. Former Ohio Senator Nina Turner says laws like this are discriminatory. She spoke with...

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Orange County Weathered Recession Better Than Most

An advocacy group’s analysis shows more North Carolinians are out of work now than before the recession. North Carolina’s unemployment rate has dropped sharply since the darkest days of the recession. But the state still has more people looking for work than it did before the start of the Great Recession in 2007, according to Patrick McHugh, an economist for the North Carolina Justice Center, a left-leaning advocacy group. “There are 100 counties in North Carolina and over 60 of them still have fewer jobs than existed before the recession hit,” McHugh said. This statistic may have you scratching...

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Harrison: Light Rail Likely to Move Forward Amid DOT Change-Up

A former mayor of Durham has been named acting secretary of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Tony Tata resigned Tuesday from his position as secretary of the North Carolina DOT. Tata says he plans to focus on his career as an author of military thriller novels. While the governor searches for a permanent replacement, Tata’s Chief Deputy Secretary Nick Tennyson will take his place. Chapel Hill Town Councilman Ed Harrison has a long history with Tennyson. “I’ve known Nick since we were teenagers,” Harrison said. “We came to college together and met the first day way back in...

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