Steph Beckett

Bicycle Safety Task Force Taking Steps to Educate Community

Orange County is commonly known as one of the most bicycle-friendly counties in the state. That being said, there are still clashes between motorists and cyclists when it comes to subjects like holding up traffic. The Bicycle Safety Task Force was formed to develop a campaign for bike safety and research to inform community members who partake in all types of transportation how to best coexist with cyclists. The task force presented a plan at the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday that members say could help make safety a priority. Members suggested that things like improved data collection, updated...

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Carrboro High Receives Guest Lecture from John Kerry

Matt Cone’s classes at Carrboro High School are known for their interesting subject matter, immersive projects and field trips. But one class took it to the next level to try and convince former Secretary of State John Kerry to speak to their class. Cone said he first asked Kerry at an event. But as it turns out, after someone leaves a government position, Cone said they can be pretty tricky to track down. “So within the last two weeks the students sent chocolate-covered strawberries to his house; they wrote him letters; they made videos,” he said. “We made like...

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UNC Postpartum Depression App Extended to Android Users

One in eight women who are or have been pregnant will suffer from postpartum depression. That’s a startling statistic for a condition no one talks about. That’s what Samantha Meltzer-Brody was thinking when she and others in the UNC School of Medicine came up with the PPD Act app last year. “We believe that the PPD Act app is very empowering for women, it allows many mothers for the first time ever to share their experience about a disease that is often so stigmatized and unrecognized,” said Meltzer-Brody. It’s an app for the iPhone that allows women to sign...

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‘Color the Hill’ 4K to Benefit Local Non-Profits

The Color the Hill 4K and fun run is kicking off its fifth year of blitzing runners with cornstarch powder as they complete the course. Color the Hill is open to anyone from kids to the elderly and there is no time limit on completion. Funds from this year’s CTH will benefit the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, the Academy of Information Technology for CHCCS and the SKJAJA Fund. Jill Daly is the co-president of the SKJAJA Club at East Chapel Hill High School. The fund helps children in lower income homes participate in extracurricular activities, but also encourages these children to...

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CHCCS Moving Forward with Equity Plan

CHCCS has been developing an equity plan for its schools for over a year. The plan was originally designed to address racial inequity, but has since been revamped to include other types of inequality such as gender and nationality. “So if we look at what colleges and universities are really doing, this actually affects all of us, not just one person, but every single one of us—that they’re preparing teachers to teach primarily English-speaking white students who come from a middle class, two-parent, heterosexual, Protestant Christian home,” said Sheldon Lanier, Director of Equity Leadership for CHCCS. “So if you...

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‘Hear Our Voices’ Project Gives Voices to Marginalized Groups

Artwork, videos, interview transcriptions and photography were all included in Hear Our Voices: an interactive presentation by students at the UNC School of Social Work. Part of getting a degree from the school includes understanding how to relate to people who are different than you. This is what Doctor Iris Carlton-LaNay’s class had in mind when developing the project for their “Confronting Oppression and Institutionalized Discrimination” class. The students interviewed different people from marginalized groups for the project. They incorporated several types of media to allow those they interviewed to share experiences about the political climate, personal struggles and...

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Local Organization Studies Gap in NC Public School Funding

On average, Orange County spends almost $5,000 on each student in its school systems. This is over $3,000 more than the average county spends on each student, and over $4,000 more than the poorest, Swain County spends on each student. That’s what the Public School Forum of North Carolina found out in its latest study. “That plays out across North Carolina where you’ve got counties like Orange, like Durham, like Wake County, Guilford County, Mecklenburg County,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of NC. “The urban cities have a lot more resources available for their schools....

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UNC Horizons Opens New Facility

UNC Horizons is an internationally-recognized program that treats women who are pregnant, and women who are parents for substance use disorders. The program was formed as an extension of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, but it now has a Carrboro location all of its own. “The children we care for will finally have the rooms and playground to match all the wonderful things that we see happen in their lives,” said Dr. John M. Thorp Jr. “Learners and investigators from across campus will come here and realize this highly prevalent and lethal disease is equally worthy of their...

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‘Queen of Katwe’ Author Featured at Chapel Hill Public Library

Tim Crothers is a UNC professor and sportswriter. He’s a former senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He’s written a book on Roy Williams. He’s written a book on UNC women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance. But he’s mostly known as the author of “The Queen of Katwe.” It’s a book about a Ugandan girl named Phiona Mutesi who learns to play chess, and finds out she’s talented. She then begins to succeed in so many competitions that she dreams to become a grandmaster, or a highest-class chess champion. Crothers said someone pitched him the story idea because they’d heard about...

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‘Whirligig Woods’ Theme Park Planned for Saxapahaw

Bob Baranick is no rookie to theme park designing. “My focus was Disneyland California—I also worked on Epcot,” he said. “Disneyland Paris was one of my passion projects. Busch Gardens, Williamsburg; Busch Gardens, Tampa; Six Flags, Georgia; Hershey, Pennsylvania. And then various projects across the world.” But he said he wanted to branch out and create theme parks of his own. He’s from California, but loves North Carolina because that’s where his wife and art director Carol Wood, is from. Baranick said he and Wood chose Saxapahaw as the spot for a new park they’re working on, Whirligig Woods,...

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