Joey DeVito

Light Rail Station Planning Workshops Begin Wednesday in Chapel Hill

The Town of Chapel Hill is moving further along in the process towards brining light rail to the Triangle. In a joint effort with GoTriangle, the Town of Chapel Hill is bringing in experts to help create new land-use plans for areas surrounding future light-rail stations. These experts would help the town in a series of workshops set between Wednesday, February 22 and Monday, February 27. Between Durham and Chapel Hill there are seven areas that are currently being evaluated. Gateway Planning’s Scott Polikov said it would ultimately be up to the council whether they wanted to accept any...

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Orange County Commissioners Mapping Plan for Affordable Housing Bond Funds

After an overwhelming majority of Orange County voters approved a bond referendum to help fund affordable housing projects, the county is moving forward to distribute the first portion of those dollars After receiving permission from the public to seek up to $5 million in bond funding for affordable housing, the commissioners unanimously approved a rating system at a meeting last week for how that money would be distributed. According to the rating system created by the board, the top priority is to provide more affordable rental units for low-income and very-low-income county residents. Board chairman Mark Dorosin said the...

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Booker Creek Study Proposes $30 Million in Varying Improvement Projects

The Chapel Hill Town Council took an important step to help protect local watersheds after unanimously adopting a study on Lower Booker Creek last Wednesday. Mayor Pam Hemminger said it was the job of local governments to manage and maintain their watersheds. “We currently have citizens and homes and roads and businesses flooding out,” Hemminger said. “I see this as a real take-some-action, get-some-things-done to help that situation. “But it also improves the water quality that we’re responsible and charged with improving.” The study was commissioned by the council in 2014 and was completed by W.K. Dickson, a consulting firm...

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CHCCS Discusses Equity For All Students

The Board of Education chose not to vote on an equity plan designed to help close the achievement gap for students of color in the district. Although no members of the board were against the creation of the plan, some said they thought the plan wasn’t ready to be approved. The plan was initially created to tackle issues of race, but board member Rani Dasi said she thought it should be more inclusive. “There are gaps in gender, there are gaps in LGBT treatment, there are gaps in our English-language learners,” she said. “I’m not prepared to leave this...

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Orange County Commissioners Vote to Move Forward with Light Rail Project

After a long night of discussion and debate, the Board of Orange County Commissioners passed a memorandum of understanding that says the county will look into the possibility of paying an additional 40 million dollars over a 10-year period towards the Durham-Orange Light Rail Project. County attorney John Roberts said the memorandum does not require the county to commit any funding at the moment. “It’s non-binding for the time being,” Roberts said. “If the board agrees to look for additional funding, you’re creating, potentially, an expectation that you will implement that funding. But you are not obligated to implement...

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Chapel Hill Approves Sancar Turkish Cultural Center

The Chapel Hill Town Council unanimously approved a plan brought forward by Aziz and Gwen Sancar to create a Turkish Cultural Center at 1609 E. Franklin Street. The building would offer a place to celebrate Turkish culture and house scholars visiting from Turkey. Gwen Sancar said the center would be available for anyone in the community on dates when there are not Turkish events. “We want to build this to a human scale,” she said. “Not a huge palace, but instead a cultural center that is accessible to the community.” Aziz Sancar is a native of Turkey and is...

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Orange, Durham To Face Major Light Rail Decision

Elected officials from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Orange County came together with representatives from GoTriangle Thursday evening to discuss budgetary issues related to the Durham-Orange Light Rail Project. The groups are now hurrying to come up with enough money to fill a gap in the current budget that was created by a recent change in federal policy. The Federal Transit Administration has said it would reimburse 50 percent of the total cost of the project. It was initially expected to pay $125 million dollars per year over an eight-year period, but GoTraingle project director Danny Rodgers said FTA...

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CHCCS Pushes Towards Closing Achievement Gap

According to Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools director of equity leadership Sheldon Lanier, assistant superintendent Rydell Harrison takes a copy of the district’s equity plan to every meeting. “Dr. Harrison has done a great job of referring to the plan every single time,” Lanier said. “I was actually in a meeting with him one time and he said, ‘You can tell I use my plan.’ It was tattered and torn. It was bent in every single corner, and I think there were some pages upside down.” Lanier and Harrison are major parts of the school district’s push to...

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Will Ferrell Campaigns For Clinton In Carrboro

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton picked up a major endorsement from fictitious NASCAR superstar Ricky Bobby. The announcement was made by comedian Will Ferrell during a visit to Clinton’s campaign office in Carrboro Saturday afternoon. Ferrell played the character in his movie Taladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby. “Of course Ricky Bobby is voting for Hillary Clinton,” he said. “All of my characters are going to vote for Hillary Clinton.” Ferrell made a stop in Carrboro as part of a tour across the triangle to encourage Clinton supporters to volunteer for the campaign. He made stops in Raleigh...

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Hemminger: Wegmans Poised to be Among the “Biggest Sales Tax Producers in the County”

The possibility of Wegmans Supermarket coming to Chapel Hill highlights several different milestones. It’s the first time that the Town of Chapel Hill and Orange County have partnered together for economic development work. It would also be the first Wegmans in Orange or Durham Counties. On Wednesday, county and town leaders announced the Orange County Commissioners and the Town of Chapel Hill will consider an incentive package to bring Wegmans Supermarket to Chapel Hill. The Wegmans would open in the 14-acre property on 15-501 that will be vacated by Performance Automall next July. Performance is set to move to...

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