Salsa Night With DJ Juan Pachanga

Cafe Symmetry Presents Salsa Night With DJ Juan Pachanga on Friday, September 25.

Come to Cafe Symmetry in Carrboro for their first Salsa Lesson Latin Dance Party.  Salsa lessons from 9:30 to 10:30 PM.  Latin dancing from 10:30 PM till 1:00 AM or last call.

Rogers Road Sewer Project Moving Forward

Another hurdle has been cleared in the Rogers Road sewer project.

Orange County Commissioners voted unanimously at the board meeting last Tuesday to move forward with acquiring easements to extend sewer lines to the Rogers Road community.

The Orange County landfill was located in the historically-black community for more than 40 years before closing in 2013 under pressure from environmental justice advocates. Planning to bring in new sewer service has been in the works for more than two years. The proposed sewer line is approximately 18,500 linear feet.

Commissioners heard from county deputy manager Travis Myren about acquiring land to go forward with the project.

“There are about 80 easements that need to be acquired in total,” Myren said. “Seventy-three of those are within the historic Rogers Road neighborhood and seven parcels are outside of that area.”

Myren said the total cost of acquiring the land is estimated to be $212,000. The easement cost is based on current property taxes and will not take into account the property revaluation that goes into effect next year.

Myren presented three recommendations to the board: authorizing the payment of negotiated easement value, authorizing staff to proceed with the condemnation process if a voluntary easement cannot be reached and authorizing staff to bring a budget amendment before the board to cover the cost of acquiring the easements.

The funding will be provided by the county and the municipalities of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

County manager Bonnie Hammersley said that the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill have been “on board with this.” She added that a team made up of representatives from the county, each town and the Jackson Center have worked closely with the Rogers Road community and OWASA to move the project forward.

Myren said that the county hopes to conduct the voluntary easement outreach by the end of March.

“For those properties for which we cannot voluntarily negotiate the easements, we would proceed with a condemnation process in early April,” Myren said. “That process would be completed then by about the middle of May. And we would need to have all of the easements in place by the time permits are filed on or about June 21.”

County attorney John Roberts said that if any property owners do not want to agree to the voluntary easement process, it should not slow down the project moving forward.

“If someone refuses to grant an easement, the county would place a deposit with the clerk of court,” he told the board. “Once the county places that deposit – and this is after a notice period in which the property owner is notified – once the county makes the deposit of the estimated value of the easement to be acquired, then the county essentially has the easement at that time.”

Minister Robert Campbell, President of the Chapel Hill – Carrboro NAACP, has been instrumental in organizing the effort in the Rogers Road community. He said at the meeting that the community meetings have helped answer questions and calm nerves surrounding the easements.

“People are excited about the possibility of being able to connect up to sewers pretty soon,” Campbell said while thanking the board. “We see the progress that is taking place. Now people are being a little more relaxed, but they are constantly asking questions and they are engaged in the process that is taking place.”

Commission chair Earl McKee thanked Campbell for his continued work to assist the project over the lengthy process.

“I know it’s been a long process but, as we used to say in the tobacco fields, ‘I think we’re in the short rows now.’”

Carrboro Poet Laureate Application Open

The Town of Carrboro is now accepting applications and nominations for the position of poet laureate.

The Carrboro Poet Laureate is a two-year position that will begin July 1, 2016 and will expire July 1, 2018.

The poet laureate is an unpaid position meant to expand the role of poetry in the community and help organize the West End Poetry Festival held every October.

Residency in Carrboro is desired but not necessary.

If you wish to apply, please submit a cover letter that addresses your qualifications for the position and 3-5 poems (no more than 5 pages of poetry).

If you have published one or more poems, include in your cover letter titles with the name and date of the revue or Web sit, as well as a list of your public readings.

Also  provide a statement of 250-350 words on your vision of the role of poetry in Carrboro, with suggestions for activities in which you would engage as Laureate.

All application materials must be received by April 30, 2016.

If you wish to nominate someone, please provide with the name a justification of 150-200 words.

Nominations, applications and questions should be sent to Rah Trosh, who can be reached via email

Carrboro Police Warn Residents About Break-Ins

Carrboro Police are warning residents after an increase in breaking and entering incidents across the area.

Captain Cornell Lamb said the department has seen a recent increase in the number of residential break-ins.

“There’s not a set pattern,” Lamb said. “It’s going to be older homes. Most of them probably will not have alarm systems. We’ve just seen an increase and we want to make people aware.”

These break-ins have been occurring both during the day and at night, so Lamb said to be careful and take precaution.

“Make sure you lock your doors and windows,” Lamb said. “There’s nothing that stands out in these cases other than the common thread is they’re older mill homes.”

The police department is asking citizens to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity.

If you have any information regarding these break-ins, call Lt. Cannady at (919) 918-7417 or Crime Stoppers at (919) 942-7575.

New Barbecue Restaurant Replacing Southern Rail in Carrboro

A new barbecue restaurant will be opening in the space formerly occupied by Southern Rail in Carrboro.

CrossTies Barbecue will be opened in the downtown Carrboro location by Venable chef and owner Andrew Moore.

A release says CrossTies will “serve authentic Carolina ‘que with all the fixin’s and feature a varity of smoked meats in a full service menu.”

Diners will have the option of choosing seating in a larger central dining room in one of the two historic train cars or patio seating.

The lease also includes the former The Station and The Tiger Room businesses.

The Station will re-open as a bar and live music venue in March, after some minor updates, according to the release.

The Tiger Room space will be converted into a smokehouse and prep-kitchen.

Construction is underway and CrossTies Barbecue is slated to open in May.

Moore also owns B-Side Lounge in Carrboro.

Southern Rail closed last month.

Carrboro Park Closed Due to Rain Damage

The Wilson Park playground in Carrboro is closed while crews are repairing damage to playground surfaces, the town announced Tuesday.

Officials say the damage occurred during the heavy rain events over the past week.

Town crews are asking residents to refrain from using the equipment while “Facility Closed” signs are in place.

Officials say the repairs are expected to be made by January 15.

Carrboro Police Investigating Homicide

Correction: This story originally stated Richardson was found at a residence on Lisa Drive. The incident report lists the location as Lisa Drive, but police have now confirmed Richardson was found at a home on Highway 54.

Carrboro Police are investigating a late December homicide.

Police say the inquiry began when officers responded to a wellbeing check on December 26.

“We’re looking at it as a homicide right now,” says Captain Cornell Lamb. “It came across as a check wellbeing by a family member. And, once we were inside, we discovered that it was a homicide.”

Police identified the deceased as Todd Richardson.

Police say Richardson was found at a residence on Highway 54 in Carrboro.

The report shows no sign of forced entry.

Lamb says police are working to identify suspects.

No further information is available at this time.

Anyone with information is being asked to call Sergeant M. Mertz at (919) 918-7409 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 942-7515. Calls to CrimeStoppers are anonymous and cash rewards are offered for information that leads to an arrest.

Chapel Hill Flash Flood Warning Leads to Apartment Evacuation


Heavy rain has saturated our area, led to a Flash Flood Warning to be issued on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued the warning just after 11:30 on Wednesday morning. The Flash Flood Warning originally was set to last until 3:30, but it has been extended for Orange County until 6:30 Wednesday evening. The Flash Flood Warning for Durham County is set to expire at six o’clock, and the warning in Chatham County is in effect until 7:15.

The warning included Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and the surrounding areas.


Bolin Creek

Bolin Creek. (Photo via Nicki Morse)

In addition to the flash flood warning, several area roads flooded.

High water at Bolin Creek contributed the water to several flooded areas.

Lisa Edwards at the Chapel Hill Fire Department tells WCHL’s Chris Grunert that there was a volunteer evacuation at Camelot Village near University Place.

The entrances to the apartment complex were closed.

Chapel Hill Transit assisted displaced residents.  Emergency officials say they set up shelters for residents choosing to leave apartments due to high water levels.

That area has experienced severe flooding before.

This video shows that evacuation taking place.


Umstead Dr near MLK Blvd

Flooding at Umstead Drive near MLK Blvd (Photo via Nicki Morse)

Officials with the Town of Chapel Hill advised motorists to avoid Willow Drive, Umstead Drive and Cleland Road due to sections of the roads being underwater.  Estes Drive near Library Drive is also under water.

There was also a report of a road closure at Ridge Road and Manning Drive on the UNC campus.

North Greensboro Street at Estes Drive in Carrboro was reduced to one lane.

WCHL also received reports of flooding on Eubanks Road near the railroad tracks and Hwy 86.

The Town of Chapel Hill asked residents to avoid low-lying areas.  Do not walk, bike, or drive through standing or flowing water.

Salute to Community Heroes Ceremony Held on Thursday Night

The Chapel Hill – Carrboro Chamber of Commerce held its Salute to Community Heroes ceremony at University Place on Thursday night.

Those citizens honored at the event included:

Carrboro Police Officer of the Year: Sergeant James Walker
UNC Public Safety Employee of the Year: Sergeant Michael Laffan
Chapel Hill Police Officer of the Year: Officer Brad Kramer
Orange County ES EM Coordinator of the Year: Emergency Management Coordinator Kirby Saunders
Orange County ES EMS Employee of the Year: EMS Logistics Officer James Lunsford
Orange County Sheriff’s Employee of the Year: Chief Deputy Jamison Reed Sykes
Chapel Hill Firefighter of the Year: Master Firefighter James R. Spero
Carrboro Firefighter of the Year: Driver Josh Asbill
Citizen of the Year: Mark Kleinschmidt, Town of Chapel Hill
Jim Gibson Volunteer of the Year: Archie Daniel, Orange County Sheriff’s office
Town and Gown Award Recipient: Anna Wu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Irene Briggaman Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: Fred Battle and Rev. Dr. Robert Seymour, Binkley Baptist Church

Carrboro Police Investigating Car Break-Ins

Carrboro Police are investigating multiple vehicle break-ins with a common theme.

Carrboro Police Captain Chris Atack says authorities were alerted of three incidents in relatively close proximity from late Friday evening through Saturday night mainly on the southwest end of Carrboro and along the Highway 54 corridor.

“We had two vehicles at separate locations that were broken into” Atack says. “Both of them were unlocked. People rifled through the vehicle. No items were taken that the owners were able to identify at the time.

“The third incident was a scooter that was in the process of being stolen when someone actually witnessed it and was able to chase off the folks that were stealing it.”

Atack says that scooter was recovered as well as a second scooter which had been stolen. He adds an investigation is still ongoing into those thefts.

Atack says the vehicle break-ins appear to be suspects pulling handles.

“There will be folks that go around and just try door handles in parking lots and other places and just see what happenstance will bring them,” Atack says.

Atack adds the time of year may be having an influence on the attempted robberies.

“As you come into the holiday season, certainly there is a belief that there may be better goodies inside of a car,” he says. “We do seem to see certain kinds of crimes like this peak at certain times. But they also naturally have an ebb and flow.

“I can’t tell you which this is related to at this point.”

Atack says police encourage residents to lock their vehicles and remove any valuable items from the vehicle or at least move them out of plain sight.