Steph Beckett

State Legislature to Consider Shrinking UNC BoG

****UPDATE: The North Carolina House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed House Bill 39 on Wednesday. It now awaits action in the state Senate.**** As it stands now, the UNC System Board of Governors comprises 32 members. But if a new bill passes, that number will shrink to 24 by mid-2019. The North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives appoint new board members every two years. In 2015 and before, they appointed 16 new members. But if House Bill 39 passes, in 2017 they will appoint 12. “We believe that by decreasing the total number of people, you will actually get...

Read More

Congressmen Advocate for Light Rail Progress

GoTriangle is continuing to work with local and state officials to make the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project a reality. The organization hosted a tour Monday of the project corridor for congressmen David Price and G.K. Butterfield, along with other local officials. The corridor included the added stop at North Carolina Central University. Butterfield said making the light rail connector a reality will help make traveling and commuting easier for all residents of Durham and Orange counties. “The individuals who are leading this effort are transportation professionals who understand the importance of light rail and what it will do...

Read More

University, Community Leaders Spark Conversation About Immigration Policy

UNC and the Town of Chapel Hill are creating dialogue surrounding President Donald Trump’s executive order: prohibiting residents from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya from traveling to the US. University and community leaders gathered at the Student Union Wednesday evening to discuss this executive order and two others he signed at the end of January. “I think most immigration lawyers are telling clients, ‘Do not travel,'” said Lynn Calder, UNC professor and immigration attorney. “Just don’t travel outside the country for awhile. No matter who you are. If you’re not a citizen, look at your specific circumstances...

Read More

Advocates Hopeful for Continued Fight Against AIDS Under New Administration

There are more than 56,000 new cases of HIV infection each year in the country. But the Office of National AIDS Policy is trying to change that. It was originally created under President Bill Clinton’s administration to respond to the AIDS epidemic during the 1990s. But former President Barack Obama released a national strategy in 2010 to continue to work on bringing that number down. Lee Storrow is the Executive Director of the North Carolina AIDS Action Network. He said he hopes President Donald Trump continues to work on the national strategy under his administration. “One hope that I...

Read More

Mayors: Chapel Hill, Carrboro Not Affected by Executive Order on Sanctuary Cities

Both Chapel Hill and Carrboro apply for federal grants each year that could allow the towns to expand, create and make life better for residents. But after Trump signed an executive order limiting federal money that sanctuary cities are eligible for, it left questions of which cities and towns those are. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said Chapel Hill is still eligible to apply for federal grants, because it isn’t technically a registered sanctuary city. She said instead, the town has a community value that includes inclusivity. “As far as I know, we’re not applying for grants that require...

Read More

Two Popular Franklin Street Stores to Close

The lease on The Bookshop of Chapel Hill at 400 West Franklin Street runs out on July 31, but this year the owner won’t be renewing. The landlord, Bolin Creek Books, has put the building on the market for 1.6 million dollars. Chapel Hill Comics is also closing its doors at the end of March. Meg McGurk is the executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership. She said The Bookshop is closing for various reasons, but not because of lost business. “Certainly The Bookshop had a very healthy online business,” she said. “It wasn’t for a lack of business...

Read More

Ackland Receives Art Donation Worth $17 Million

140. That’s the number of artworks Dr. Sheldon Peck and his wife Leena donated to the Ackland Art Museum Wednesday. And these aren’t just any pieces of art, but rare European master drawings, valued at $17 million. Peck also gave the Ackland an $8 million endowment to support museum development. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said with the inclusion of seven Rembrandt drawings, it’s an important addition to the museum and university. “We get to celebrate what is absolutely a giant step forward for the Ackland,” she said. “This is the largest gift ever received by our museum with this...

Read More

‘Kindness Blitz’ Takes Over the Triangle

In the Triangle, kindness is spreading almost as quickly as the flu. One local organization, Inspire MEdia Network, encouraged people to do something kind for others on Inauguration Day for what the organization called, “Kindness Blitz.” Andrea Griffith Cash works for the organization and said people did many things to celebrate being nice, from paying for others’ coffee to handing out candy. They then posted what they did on social media, using the hashtag, #KindnessBlitz. “We had a lot of people writing nice notes and putting them on strangers’ cars,” she said. “What was cool, was then you could also see it from...

Read More

Federally-Funded Program Can Help Pay Heating Bills This Winter

It’s mid-winter, and with winter comes paying for heat. But for families that are struggling to keep their house warm, the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program could help pay a heating bill. “The payment’s made directly to the energy vendor on behalf of the family, and it just helps off-set all those increased costs that we see this time of year,” said Lindsey Shewmaker, Human Services Manager for the Orange County Department of Social Services. Shewmaker said anyone is welcome to apply if he or she meets circumstances such as: an income test, reserves at or below $2,250 and that...

Read More

UNC Officials Pushing to Keep NCSSM Grads In-State

University system leaders want to bring back a policy that allows North Carolina School of Science and Math students to have free tuition if they choose to attend a UNC system school. The policy was put into place in 2004 and lasted until 2010. When it was in place, almost 75 percent of NCSSM students attended UNC schools. Now, less than 60 percent of students opt to attend a school in the UNC system. Chairman of the UNC Board of Governors Lou Bissette said the tuition waiver has been added to the system’s budget request, which needs approval from...

Read More
Translate »