Steph Beckett

Hippoie Creek Helps UNC Children’s Patients Play, Learn

Wonder Connection, a program that connects the NC Botanical Gardens with UNC Children’s, is known for its innovative techniques that let hospital patients participate in hands-on natural science activities. Last summer, Wonder Connection introduced the WonderSphere, a sealed dome that allows kids to touch and interact with plants and soil with special attached gloves, so they don’t risk infection. But, as of Wednesday, kids get to play and learn with something new, Hippoie Creek. It was named after a former patient’s favorite stuffed animal, after the patient helped come up with the design. Wonder Connection Program Manager Katie Stoudemire...

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David Price Only NC Democratic Congressman to Attend Trump Inauguration

****UPDATE: Congressman David Price released a statement just after 8:30 Tuesday night saying he will attend the inauguration. You can read the full statement from Price at the bottom of this story.**** NC Representatives G.K. Butterfield and Alma Adams both released statements saying they will not be attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday. Butterfield released his statement on Twitter, saying, “After prayerful consideration, I cannot in good [conscience] attend the inaugural ceremony for President-elect Donald Trump. Considering Mr. Trump’s brand of division & insult, I believe it would be hurtful to my constituents for me to attend the inauguration.”...

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Chapel Hill, Carrboro Celebrate MLK Day

Chapel Hill and UNC have been celebrating Martin Luther King Junior day since before the bill was passed to make it a federal holiday in 1983. Every year, the town encourages people to come together, converse, march and even sing. Continuing the tradition with past years, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro and UNC chapters of the NAACP held a rally, march and church service at First Baptist Church. Northside Elementary School principal Corretta Sharpless spoke at the rally. She said battling injustice is important, and everyone should do it every day, not just on MLK Day. “Overcoming means that I don’t look...

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Chapel Hill Considers Internet Filters for Library

Library officials in Chapel Hill are looking to upgrade, or change the internet policy for library computers, to block access to visual depictions of child pornography. Library computer users currently have unfiltered access to the internet, and mayor Pam Hemminger said that can pose problems for children and families who also use the library’s resources. “We have some filters that we can put on there, we have not chosen to do that in the past,” she said. “Mostly because people didn’t have as much access to computers on their own, but now people do, there’s better access, but you...

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UNC Catalyst to Provide Tools to Fight Rare Diseases

There are more than 6,800 rare diseases in existence. These diseases are usually genetic, and include conditions like muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis. Doctors are learning more about how to identify rare or orphan diseases in the United States, but not so much about how to treat them. That’s why UNC created the UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases. It’s an initiative that aims to give patient groups and rare disease institutes the research tools to train scientists to create new treatments. “Many of these foundations lack experimental laboratories to pursue these areas of research,” said Bob Blouin, Director of...

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Carolina Angel Network to Support UNC Start-Ups

Innovation costs money. And money isn’t something many start-up companies have much of, even if the ideas they aim to bring to life are great. That’s why the Carolina Angel Network (CAN) exists. It’s a newly developed UNC-based network that partners start-ups with bigger companies that act like an “angel” and provide advice, networks and funding. “Much of our technologies and ideas that come out of UNC’s programs needed funding,” said CAN Managing Director Randy Myer. “They’re some really interesting and great technologies but without funding to get them commercialized, we’re getting frustrated that they were not getting there.”...

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CHCCS Accepts Leaders Library Card Challenge

Chapel Hill is working on a new initiative that will make accessing library books and resources easy for local students and families. Last year, public libraries and schools countrywide signed on to compete in a challenge in which cities develop programs for students enrolled in school to easily obtain access to public libraries. But this year, the new challenge is the Leaders Library Card Challenge. It encourages the same things – for schools, libraries and towns to collaborate. Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said all three are going to be up to that challenge. “We’re going to sign up...

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Hillsborough is the Place to Bee

Bee City USA has officially named Hillsborough as the 35th Bee City of America. What does this mean? Hillsborough has been recognized for its work to reverse pollinator declines. Since Hillsborough has been nominated, the town will continue to work and help raise awareness of the role that bees and other pollinators play in sustaining plant life. The town will also help expand pollinator-friendly spaces and practices. The Hillsborough Garden Club will partner with the Hillsborough Public Space Division and Hillsborough Tree Board to develop the program and educational materials. The town worked to obtain Bee City status by...

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Traffic Shift Set for Carrboro Pipe Installation

A traffic shift will be implemented next week as a pipe installation continues on South Greensboro Street between N.C. 54 and Rand Road in Carrboro. Crews will close one of two northbound lanes and shift traffic to one lane starting at 9:00 A.M. Tuesday morning, weather permitting. The traffic shift is set to last about 90 days. The work is being done to improve drainage in the area, and prevent flooding. The NCDOT encourages motorists to pay attention to the speed limit in this area, and allow extra time to reach destinations...

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How to Have a Safe Yet Fun New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is a big time for parties and celebrations across the country, but according to the Durham Police Department, it’s important to keep safety in mind when with friends and family. The department released a statement, reminding Durham and neighboring counties that participating in celebratory gunfire is illegal, particularly when fired into the air. They also say it’s important to plan ahead and decide who will be a designated driver, so that no one has to drink and drive. Or consider public transportation, a taxi or an Uber to minimize holiday traffic. If you do drive a...

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