Ran Northam

No. 1 UNC Baseball Drops First Contest In Last 15

CHAPEL HILL – The No. 1 UNC baseball team’s second longest winning streak of the season was snapped by a team it blanked earlier in the season Tuesday night. No. 21 UNC Wilmington was 9-2 since the two teams last met in late March and showed that hot streak was no fluke with a 9-8 win over the best team in the country. The Tar Heels scored two runs in each of the first three innings and looked to be well in control. But then the Seahawks put up six in the top of the fourth with the help from a few walks by the Tar Heel pitching staff and a few hits that found their way into the outfield. Carolina took the lead back with two more in the bottom of the fourth, but the home team’s scoring would stop there. Wilmington added one in the seventh and two in the eighth to take the lead. Seahawk junior Kelly Secrest was sent to the mound for the last out of the fourth inning and only gave up one hit in the final five and two thirds innings for the win. With the loss, UNC fell to 39-3; UNCW improved to 31-11. The Tar Heels host Charlotte Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. at Boshamer Stadium. You can hear the broadcast in its entirety on WCHL and here immediately following the WCHL Evening News with Aaron...

Read More

Hodding Carter: Thorp Wrong on Athletics Oversight

CHAPEL HILL – Former President and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation which funds the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, Hodding Carter, III says shifting the oversight of athletics back away from the office of a college’s or university’s president like UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp recently suggested is not the answer. “He’s wrong on almost every count,” Carter says. “First, of course, the reason that the recommendations came down—and they were a long time ago—was precisely because everything was being run by athletic directors and being run into the ground in some instances in terms of the integrity of the university.” The Knight Commission was formed in 1989 in an effort to make sure colleges and universities are functioning in the way they were designed and not falling victim to the negative effects of Big Time College Athletics. Carter says the decision to put the president ultimately in charge of the athletic department wasn’t recommended by people outside the system who didn’t know what they were talking about. “They were largely people who were themselves college presidents and chancellors,” Carter says. “Well, and of course the two who led it were Bill Friday—who knew something about academics—and Father Ted Hesburgh of Notre Dame.” During an athletic forum with members of the national higher education community and sports media last week, Chancellor Thorp said it has taken him all...

Read More

UNC Softball Comes From Behind To Take Series Against GT Monday

CHAPEL HILL – The UNC softball team had to play catch up Monday night to get the win over Georgia Tech despite an early lead and took the series with the 11-6 victory. The Tar Heels got three quick runs on the board in the bottom of the first thanks to freshman Kristen Brown’s fourth homer run in three games followed by senior Constance Orr’s team-leading 12th homer of the season. But in the top of the third, the Yellow Jackets answered with five runs. Heading to the bottom of the fifth, UNC trailed 5-4 but put together a five-run inning of its own. Georgia Tech added one in the sixth, but Carolina extended its lead again with two in the bottom of the inning. Junior Lori Spingola remained in the circle for the entire contest giving up 11 hits, six earned runs, and striking out four. The Tar Heels took the series 2-1 with the 11-6 decision and improved to 36-16 on the season, 12-6 in the ACC; Georgia Tech fell to 22-26, 7-8. UNC hosts UNC Greensboro Wednesday at Anderson Stadium for its home finale before closing out the regular season on the road against Maryland Saturday and...

Read More

Concern Grows At CHPL As Reduced Weekend Hours Turn People Away

CHAPEL HILL – The concern about reduced hours at the newly-renovated Chapel Hill Public Library was fueled this past weekend as volunteers witnessed hundreds of people showing up before the doors opened.“I think the Town has to step up first and say on an ongoing basis, they’re prepared to fund an expanded library,” says Karen Curtin, director of the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library—an organization that raises money, sponsors programs, and fosters interests for the Library. “That to me is the first step, and I don’t think that decision’s been made.”Weekend hours are currently 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.A member of the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library Board of Directors, Cathy Harris was at the library for a meeting with Curtin and others on Saturday before business hours. She says many people didn’t get the word that the library is working on a limited schedule.“I bet there were 400 people out there,” Harris says. “There were just constant cars coming around trying to put their books they wanted to return into those boxes outside. The boxes were absolutely full, and people were trying to jam them in.” She says since no staff members were at the library yet, there was no one available to empty the bin.“So, I put up a little makeshift sign (with an arrow) that said ‘deposit over there on the wall of the library,” Harris says.On April...

Read More

Tar Heel 10 Miler Hosts More Than 5,000 Runners Saturday

CHAPEL HILL – A record number of runners hit the streets of Chapel Hill for the Sixth Annual Tar Heel 10 Miler early Saturday morning, and the first one to cross the finish line of the ten-mile course was Olympian Camas Kovacs. “I (actually) feel pretty good,” Kovacs says. “It was just a test run for me. I’m (getting) back in shape and visiting North Carolina. I went to school at High Point University (and) graduated four years ago. Now I’m back on a visit. It was a good opportunity to put together the running the visit. It was a great course, too.” Kovacs represented Hungary in the 2012 London Olympics’ marathon. He says Rio in 2016 is on his radar. He ran this year’s course in just more than 50 minutes. The second place finisher in the 10 miler was UNC medical student Brock Baker. “I won it last year, so I was hoping to win it again this year, but the guy who won ran a great race,” Baker says. “I ran about as fast as I did last year, so (I’m) overall pretty pleased with it.” All week runners showed their support on Facebook and Twitter of those who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. Less than 12 hours before the race began in Chapel Hill, Watertown, Massachusetts police captured the second suspect in the bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev...

Read More

Chatham County Courthouse Returns

PITTSBORO – Chatham County Board of Commissioners chair Walter Petty says the three year wait to reopen the historic courthouse was well worth it. “It was a tragic loss,” Petty says. “To see it rebuilt and restored to this magnitude has just been absolutely phenomenal. I’m so proud of the work that went into it and so proud of the outcome.” The traffic circle in Pittsboro is once again complete. The Courthouse will host County Commissioner meetings in its courtroom on the upper level; some lower-security cases may also be heard in that courtroom. The Historical Association has displays on the lower level presenting some of the history of Chatham County. A video tribute was presented during the re-dedication ceremony on Saturday in which many people expressed that the courthouse is not only a place where judicial and other business is conducted, but an important part of the community. Orange and Chatham County District Attorney Jim Woodall says to some it stretches even further than that. “I think it’s been a symbol in North Carolina,” Woodall says. “I know people all over the State who talk about going through Pittsboro and circling around the Courthouse.” And he says a lot was lost that March 25, 2010. “It’s also really significant for the court community, because not only did we have offices here—my office burned here in 2010—(but) what coming to work in Chatham...

Read More

Chapel Hill Home Saved Saturday By Sprinkler System

CHAPEL HILL – A sprinkler system in a Chapel Hill home likely saved multiple homes Saturday when a fire broke out while the homeowners were away. The Chapel Hill Fire Department responded to 108 Vintage Drive just after 12:15 p.m. Saturday to find that the automatic fire sprinklers extinguished a fire in the garage. The home where the fire started is connected to four other town homes. The fire department was alerted by the fire alarm inside the home as well as a neighbor who saw smoke. Fire fighters made sure the fire was completely out, and then shut off the sprinkler system which was automatically activated when the ceiling near the sprinkler heads reached approximately 155 degrees. Damage was minimal and limited to the garage door, a few personal belongings, and some smoke made it into the house. The fire department estimated $5,000 in damage. In a release, the fire department said, “The presence of an automatic fire sprinkler system in this home prevented a fire in an unattended home from growing larger and causing severe damage to the owner’s home as well as the neighbors’ homes within the building. Automatic fire sprinklers are proven to save lives, prevent injuries, protect property, and valuables. This is yet another example of how the presence of an automatic fire sprinkler system prevented substantial damage to a dwelling by...

Read More

Chapel Hill Library Officially Opens Its Doors Saturday

CHAPEL HILL – Saturday’s re-dedication of the Chapel Hill Public Library nearly brings the ten-year reconstruction process to an end at a time when interim director Mark Bayles says couldn’t have come sooner. “The community had outgrown it,” Bayles says. “We didn’t have enough space for our materials; we didn’t have enough seating for our patrons when they came in; we didn’t have enough meeting space to meet the needs of the community.” The final stage of the process will be implementing the last increase in operating budget cost: $350,000 of the $700,000 that was projected for the new facility. That conversation will resume when budget talks pick up in May. However, this weekend is for celebration, and Bayles says the library’s new director, Susan Brown will be on hand to join in. “She will actually be in town for the dedication and…the following week for the foundation gala that’s going to be held at the library,” Bayles says. Bayles will hold onto the interim director position until May 20 and then he will step back to the assistant director role. He says Saturday’s events will have fun for all ages. “We have a magician program for the kids,” Bayles says. “Then we’ll have music, drinks, and cookies out on the patio, weather permitting. Look forward to it being a very active weekend.” The Chapel Hill Public Library Re-dedication Ceremony begins...

Read More

NC Unemployment Lowest In Four Years

RALEIGH – North Carolina’s unemployment rate reached its lowest point in more than four years in March, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The Labor and Economic Analysis Division announced North Carolina’s smoothed seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.2 to 9.2 percent from February to March this year. That’s in line with the national rate that saw a drop of 0.1 to 7.6 percent. Orange County numbers remained the best in the state in February. County-by-county numbers are scheduled to be released May 1. March 2013 Unemployment...

Read More

No. 1 UNC Baseball Hosts Duke, Game One Moved Up To 3:00 p.m.

CHAPEL HILL – The No. 1 UNC baseball team continues its home stand Friday with a 3:00 p.m. first pitch against rival Duke. Game time was shifted up due to the threat of inclement weather. There’s a 40-percent chance of thunderstorms beginning at 1:00 p.m., but at 4:00 p.m. the chances increase to 70 percent and up to 80 percent at 7:00 p.m. The Tar Heels are coming off their second beating of the Elon Phoenix on Wednesday as UNC got the win 14-5. That extended Carolina’s winning streak to 12, now just four behind the longest streak of the season after opening the year 16-0. Duke is 22-17 overall but holds an 8-10 record in league play. The Blue Devils are also coming off a dominant win, 12-2 against N.C. A&T after being swept by Florida State last weekend in Tallahassee. Due to the early start time, WCHL will not broadcast Friday’s contest. You can hear it online by clicking here. Saturday’s contest at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale at 2:00 p.m. can be heard live on WCHL. Game...

Read More