Steph Beckett

Groundbreaking Held for Rogers Road Sewer Project 40 Years in the Making

Orange County, Chapel Hill and Carrboro officials are moving forward with construction of a sewer line for the Rogers Road community. After waiting nearly half a century, community members and local officials gathered at the Rogers Eubanks Neighborhood Association Community Center Tuesday for a groundbreaking and celebration. “For forty years this neighborhood has housed the Orange County landfill. And from the time it was built, promises were made to this community about how long it would last, about what kind of amenities would be provided in exchange for hosting the landfill and about what kind of provisions would be...

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Food for the Summer Gears Up for Year Two

Food for the Summer is gearing up to provide local kids with free lunches until school starts again at the end of August. More than 3,500 children in the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School District qualify for free-and-reduced lunch. That’s almost 30 percent of the school system. It’s also the percentage of the school system’s kids who are often left without food when school lets out for the summer. That’s where Food for the Summer steps in. It’s a nonprofit collaborative that provides kids up to age 18 with lunch during the summer months. Money for the program...

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Orange and Chatham County Public Defender Retires

James Williams has served as public defender for Orange and Chatham counties since 1990. He’s also the first vice president of the Chapel Hill Carrboro chapter of the NC NAACP. At the end of May, he retired from the public defender’s office. But he said, that doesn’t mean he’ll stop speaking out about the injustices in the criminal system. “Too much of our criminal justice system is about revenge and retribution,” Williams said. “And I would like to see more emphasis placed on reintegration and revival and renewal for instance.” Williams said he still plans to attend meetings, forums and...

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Rev. William Barber Makes Appearance on ‘The Daily Show’

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is the outgoing president of the North Carolina NAACP and is the convener of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition. He’s also mobilized the Forward Together Moral Monday movement – in which people of all ages, genders, socioeconomic statuses and races protest the General Assembly. Barber appeared on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” on Comedy Central Monday to talk about this movement and about how it ties in with religion. “Every progressive movement, every progressive idea that has taken root in this country and around the world had a deep moral...

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Annual Carolina Blood Drive Kicks Off 29th Year

According to American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the country needs blood. They need blood his or her body can’t produce fast enough, and in these cases, they need donated blood. “I may be a rare person in that I not only consented but requested my own emergency hysterectomy because I started yelling, ‘Take it out! Take my uterus out! I don’t need it,’” said Shannon Harvey, a former patient at the North Carolina Women’s Hospital. “Because I wanted them to be really clear on what my priorities were.” Harvey was one of those who needed donated...

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AAA Warns of ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for Teen Drivers

Over the past five years, over 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving young drivers in the time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. AAA refers to this as the “100 Deadliest Days”. 16 and 17-year-olds are already three times as likely as adults to be involved in a fatal crash. But over the 100 Deadliest Days, the number of deadly teen driver crashes increases. “It climbs,” said Tiffany Wright, Public Relations Manager for AAA Carolinas. “In fact, it climbs 15 percent compared to the rest of the time of the year, so we talk about the 100 deadliest...

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Eno River Association Acquires 56 Acres of Land

The Eno River Association is an organization and land trust dedicated to protecting public parks and natural resources. It also focuses on acquiring land around the Eno River and preserving it and the wildlife that live there. According to its website, the organization has 2,000 acres left to acquire for Eno River State Park, but the organization acquired 56 of those acres earlier this month. The land obtained includes almost a mile of frontage on the Eno and 2,200 linear feet along two tributary streams in Orange County. The land is north of US Highway 70 West and is...

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House Bill to ‘Raise the Age’ Must Pass Through Senate

The North Carolina House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill that will treat crimes by minors as youthful indiscretions. Now, the bill must pass through the Senate before it can be signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper. North Carolina is the last state in the country that tries crimes by 16 and 17-year-olds as adult offenses. House Bill 280 was filed in March to reclassify those legal offenders under age 18 as juvenile delinquents. Senators and local faith leaders held a press conference Tuesday to discuss the bill and its place in the senate budget. Senator Tamara...

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Youth Justice Project: Increase in Suspensions Could Have Negative Impact on All Students

When students misbehave in the classroom, they’re often suspended, meaning they’re sent home for a certain amount of time. The Youth Justice Project released a report that says suspending students can actually be harmful, both to those students and to the rest in the classroom. “Suspension and schools that have high rates of suspension actually have reduced school climates for all students,” said Peggy Nicholson, Co-Director of the Youth Justice Project. “So, it’s not necessarily that you get rid of one rotten apple, which a lot of people would have you believe. Schools that are actually addressing the behavior,...

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NC Child: Senate Budget Could Leave 50,000 Children Hungry

Over 1.6 million low-income North Carolinians receive health benefits through SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 43 percent of them are children. About one in five children in the state live in food insecure households. But that number could climb. The North Carolina Senate passed a provision in its new budget that cuts one of the requirements to receive SNAP benefits, and that could lead to other implications for hungry kids. “If they lose their SNAP eligibility, then at the same time they automatically lose their free or reduced lunch eligibility,” said Rob Thompson, senior policy and communications...

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