Steph Beckett

Motion to Delay Chandler Kania Wrong-Way Fatal Crash Trial Denied Once Again

Local Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour denied the second attempt to delay Chandler Kania’s trial in court Tuesday. The former UNC student is accused of driving the wrong way on I-85 for at least six miles after several hours of drinking last summer. Kania’s Jeep hit another vehicle head-on and killed three of the four passengers. Defense Attorney Russell Babb says Kania’s defense needs more time to hire an expert to fix the audio quality of a North Carolina Highway Patrol interview with Kania after the wreck. “We’ve tried various ways and used our IT people in-house to help...

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Orange County Board of Commissioners Moving Forward with Affordable Housing Plan

Orange County hasn’t had a plan for affordable housing since 2001. Until now. The Orange County Board of Commissioners met Thursday to discuss the strategic plan that was first introduced in April. The Board is moving forward with the plan that will allocate one million dollars to developing one thousand affordable housing units over the next five years for people below the median income level. According to the plan, this will help close the gap for those who need affordable housing, but don’t have it. “When you talk about the gap it can be looked at from many angles and perspectives...

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UNC and Duke Work Together to Develop Tobacco Treatment Program

It’s no secret that the number of people who use tobacco is on the decline. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about 17% of Americans smoked cigarettes in 2014. In 1980, 33% of Americans reported smoking. James Davis is a Physician at Duke. He’s also the Medical Director for the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation. He’s one of the doctors behind a new program that aims to make that percentage even lower. “Really the state of NC has needed a program like this for a long time,” Davis said. It’s called the Duke – UNC...

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Sculpture Outside Chapel Hill Fire State Rededicated Ahead of 9/11 Anniversary

Bells rang out in memory of those lost on 9/11 at a rededication ceremony in Chapel Hill on Wednesday for the sculpture that sits at the edge of the Chapel Hill Fire Station on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. “As I look at the sculpture, I see heroism, teamwork, connectivity, history, perseverance and community,” said fire chief Matt Sullivan. He spoke at the outdoor ceremony that took place beside the sculpture. Its name is Promethean Honor Guard. And it was made 15 years ago by sculptor Mike Roig. Roig says he was inspired to create it after 9/11, and...

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Carrboro Awards $20,000 to Community Home Trust for Affordable Housing

Community Home Trust applied for $20,000 through the Carrboro Board of Aldermen to buy a townhouse in the Whispering Hills subdivision in Carrboro, but not just for any reason. The non-profit is trying to increase permanently affordable housing in Orange County. Assistant to the town manager Nate Broman-Fulks presented the application to the board at its Tuesday meeting. He says Community Home Trust hopes to buy the house because if the current owner sells the townhouse privately, he or she will have to pay back Orange County half of the equity on the home. “The purchase price, whatever they...

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UNC Launches Mobile App for Campus Safety

Students and faculty have in the past complained about Alert Carolina and the timeliness of the alerts it sends to students, faculty and staff. The university and the Department of Public Safety have been working all summer to change that. Earlier this summer, they unveiled the “one button” system that automates these alerts, by the touch of one of the five buttons. But now there’s a new component to campus safety. It’s an app called LiveSafe. “If you are walking at 2:00 A.M. from South Building to the library and you designated me as your friend, I could monitor...

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UNC Moving Forward with Collaboratory Ordered by General Assembly

It’s common for UNC to work with state and local government officials for research of different issues. But it isn’t so common for the General Assembly to direct university researchers to studying environmental policy. The General Assembly appropriated one million dollars to the university as part of the 2016-2017 state budget to launch the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory. Its purpose is for the faculty-led research at UNC to join with practical usage by the General Assembly. UNC Faculty Chair Bruce Cairns spoke with WCHL about the possibility of this collaboratory last week. Cairns said the faculty is ready to...

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Tourists Spending More in Orange County, According to New Study

Domestic visitors spent over $184 million when they came to Orange County last year, according to statistics from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2015,” a study by the U.S. Travel Association. “They’re coming to visit the University of North Carolina,” said Patty Griffin, Communications Director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. “They’re coming for education and healthcare, travel-related conferences, state association meetings being held here.” Griffin said visitor spending is at an all-time high, up 1.5% from 2014. Although the percentage doesn’t seem high, she said it equates to over $1,300 spent per Orange...

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UNC Receives CDC Grant for Sexual Violence Study

Congressman David Price announced Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will award a grant of over $1.79 million to the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center. The grant will be dispersed over four years, and will be used specifically to study the impact of the “Wise Guys: The Next Level” rape prevention education (RPE) program. The Wise Guys: The Next Level program was designed by the Children’s Home Society. Its purpose is to educate young men and boys in Guilford County about relationship violence and sexual assault prevention. The CDC-funded study will help determine the best...

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Lots of Transition on First Day of School in Chapel Hill – Carrboro

Eighth graders at Smith Middle School joined students across Chapel Hill – Carrboro and the rest of North Carolina shuffling to class on the first day of school on Monday. Almost everything is new for these Smith Middle students. Beyond normal things like new classes and a new homeroom, they also have a new superintendent and principal – and it was their first day of school too. “Today is actually good. It actually is what feels like normal for the first time,” said Stephon Goode. This summer, he accepted a position as interim principal at Smith Middle. Goode had...

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