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.

Carrboro Jaguars Win 2nd Straight Women’s Soccer Title

The Carrboro Jaguars won the 2A state championship on Saturday for the second time in as many years.

Carrboro knocked off Forbush in the championship game, just as the Jaguars did last season.

The game was scoreless through regulation. Freshman Alexa Wojnovich scored the state title-winning goal with three minutes left in the first overtime period off of a deflection from a corner kick. It was Wojnovich’s 36th goal of the season.

Wojnovich was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

The Jaguars have now won three state championships in four appearances with titles in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Mike Brough: Hometown Hero

Mike Brough is Thursday’s Hometown Hero.

He was the Town Attorney for the Town of Carrboro.  He was at that post for almost 40 years.  He was first appointed on August 1, 1976.

His last meeting was back in February.

You can nominate your own Hometown Hero.  WCHL has honored local members of our community everyday since 2002.

Pint of Science Festival Makes First Trip to Triangle

The Pint of Science global festival is coming to the Triangle for the first time ever this year with events in Carrboro and Durham.

A release says Pint of Science “isn’t just a festival for experts, instead it’s for anyone with a tender geek underbelly who’s eager for a chat about art and science over a local brew.”

The events will cover microscopy, photography and the overlap between artistic and scientific experimentation.

The Triangle’s Pint of Science will run Monday through Wednesday with events in Carrboro and Durham. The event begins at Steel String in Carrboro for a presentation on Photography and Imaging in Discovery from seven o’clock until nine on Monday night. The festival will take a trip to Motorco in Durham for the second event, Translating Science Through the Arts, from eight o’clock until 9:30 on Tuesday night. The festival will wrap up with Creativity and the Pursuit of Knowledge at Cat’s Cradle Back Room in Carrboro from seven o’clock until nine on Wednesday night.

You can get more information and purchase tickets here.

Senate Bill Could Cut State Funding to Chapel Hill & Carrboro

A bill being discussed in the North Carolina Senate would cut off education and transportation funding from the state to local governments that have Sanctuary City policies.

Chapel Hill and Carrboro have been sanctuary cities for several years, meaning that local police do not turn undocumented residents over to federal authorities, if the resident has no history of violence or felony behavior.

A bill was passed through the North Carolina General Assembly during the legislative session last year that banned Sanctuary City policies but there was no enforcement mechanism or punishment included in the legislation.

Now Senator Buck Newton, who represents Johnston, Nash and Wilson Counties, has filed Senate Bill 868. Newton is one of the primary sponsors of the bill. Newton is also running for Attorney General.

Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said the bill would prevent another local initiative – distributing community identification cards.

“We have over 600 individuals [who] have come out to get a community ID working with our police department and El Centro [Hispano],” Hemminger said. “People want to have some sort of identification. If they can’t get a driver’s license because of all that, they want a form of identification.

“It’s helpful; you need it for certain things.”

As far as what reaction the town would have if this bill passed, Hemminger said, “We haven’t had that discussion yet, so I’m hopeful that our town would stand up for its rights.”

“I don’t understand this whole mode by the legislature [that] claims to be from the bent of local control should have local control, and yet they stomp all over that,” Hemminger said. “And then they fuss when the feds do it to them.” Hemminger was referencing the General Assembly’s claims of government overreach coming form Washington, D.C. and President Barack Obama over regulations conflicting with North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.

Hemminger admitted it was a “frustrating” time.

“We embrace being open for business, open for people, open for all of this,” Hemminger said. “We want to be this open, inclusive community, and that’s part of who we are.

“And it’s just really, really frustrating to see the state go down the path of being frightened of what’s coming.”

Senate Bill 868 currently awaits discussion in the Senate Judiciary II committee.

Fed: Schools Must Allow Transgender Students to Use Facilities Matching Gender Identity

Public schools across the country “must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity” in order to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments.

That is what the United States Department of Justice is telling local school districts across the country in a notice sent out on Friday.

The letter comes after the DOJ and the state of North Carolina have filed dueling lawsuits over the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires transgender individuals to use the bathroom and changing facility that matches their birth certificate rather than their gender identity. The US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also issued a ruling recently that a local school board in Virginia violated Title IX protections by forcing a transgender male student to use the female restroom and changing facility. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said on Thursday that the Obama administration would not withhold federal funding from North Carolina until a resolution was reached in court regarding HB2.

The notice to school districts says schools are obligated to provide transgender students equal access to educational programs and activities “even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns.”

The notice also says:

“The Departments interpret Title IX to require that when a student or the student’s parent or guardian, as appropriate, notifies the school administration that the student will assert a gender identity that differs from previous representations or records, the school will begin treating the student consistent with the student’s gender identity.”

The letter adds “there is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.”

School staff and contractors “will use pronouns and names consistent with a transgender student’s gender identity,” according to the letter.

Schools will also be required to allow transgender students to access sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing and athletic teams that are consistent with the student’s gender identity.

The letter also stipulates steps that must be taken in record keeping to ensure the student’s privacy under FERPA laws.

The American Civil Liberties Union released a statement following the letter’s publication with a quote from the plaintiff in the 4th Circuit lawsuit Gavin Grimm.

“I am so happy that with this new guidance, transgender students across the country have a new tool to ensure they are treated with dignity and respect at school. This guidance would have made a big difference in my life, and I’m happy that kids will be free to use the bathroom that reflects who they are.”

Governor Pat McCrory said the “federally mandated edicts” changes “generations of gender etiquette and privacy norms which parents, children and employees have expected in the most personal and private setting of their everyday lives.” McCrory admitted in his statement “States and local governments cannot have a myriad of different laws which cause confusion and inconsistent application.” But he added, “However, the executive branch of the federal government does not have the authority to be the final arbiter.”

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore said in a release, “We disagree with the Obama Administration’s interpretation of Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act] and Title IX.”

Moore went on to say:

“This morning, parents all across the country are waking up to find that the Obama Administration has sent every public school a letter requiring the schools to allow boys and girls to share locker rooms and restrooms. This is no longer a North Carolina issue, this is a national issue. We all have to wonder what other threats to common sense norms may come before the sun sets on the Obama Administration.”

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest released a statement saying North Carolina public schools are bound to the law in the state – HB2 – rather than “the President’s non-binding directive.” He added, “It should be rejected as a matter of principle and policy.”

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools superintendent Tom Forcella released the following statement regarding the letter:

“We find ourselves in a unique situation in which our Federal government has issued one order, and our State government has issued an opposite order. Our school district will do whatever is necessary to maintain a positive, non-discriminatory learning environment for all students.”

If schools are found to be out of compliance with these standards going forward, it will be interpreted as a violation of Title IX regulations, according to the letter, and the school may be subject to a loss of federal funding.

See the full letter from the DOJ here.

North American Travel Journalists Coming to Orange County

The North American Travel Journalists Association will hold its annual conference in Orange County next year.

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau chair Rosemary Waldorf said in a release that “NATJA enjoyed experiencing Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough on their site tour and our success in landing the conference is because of Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle and [Hillsborough] Mayor Tom Stevens personally hosting NATJA CEO Helen Hernandez and pointing out the unique attributes of each town.”

Hernandez is quoted in the release:

“Orange County, North Carolina proudly weaves their history, culture, food and family into the very fabric of their communities. The beauty and historical significance of this area should be shared with everyone and who better than the members of a travel journalism association. NATJA looks forward to experiencing Orange County and its surrounding communities.”

The conference will also allow the community to show its hosting chops to a large number of travel journalists.

“This conference allows us to highlight Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Orange County as a top-notch visitor destination,” said Laurie Paolicelli, Orange County Director of Community Relations and Tourism. “We are thrilled the travel journalists will get a close up and personal look at Orange County and be able to experience our communities through our people, attractions, natural beauty, farms, food, music, brews, spirits and more.”

The convention is one of the first to announce it is coming to Orange County after North Carolina passed House Bill 2, which has made national news and continues to be labeled as being among the worst pieces of anti-LGBT legislation in the nation. During the WCHL Community Forum, Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens spoke about the questions that were now having to be answered by localities to assure these conventions their attendees would be welcome here.

The 2017 NATJA 15th Annual Conference & Marketplace will convene from May 15 – 19 and will bring together travel journalists from throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Carrboro Aldermen Set to Discuss Homestead – Chapel Hill High Greenway Tuesday Night

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen will receive an update on Tuesday night regarding the proposed Homestead – Chapel Hill High School Multi-Use Path.

Citizens, including members of the Chapel Hill High School cross country team, spoke for nearly 90 minutes at the board meeting last Tuesday to voice opposition to the proposal.

The project dates back to 2003 and a contract has already been awarded to lay the pavement. Construction is scheduled to begin next Monday, but Mayor Lydia Lavelle said delaying that is a possibility.

The public outcry last Tuesday centered on the fact that the proposed greenway would cross the Chapel Hill High cross-country course on three occasions. Lavelle said the board was unaware it would cross over that many times before the school was notified construction would begin soon.

The board will be meeting at 7:30 Tuesday night in Carrboro Town Hall. WCHL will have a follow-up story on any decision regarding the greenway after the meeting.

Carrboro Day Canceled Due to Weather

***Carrboro Day has been canceled due to the threat of in element weather.***

Weather permitting, Carrboro Day will take place Sunday, May 1.

Join neighbors and friends to learn about and celebrate the unique qualities that make our town special.

Enjoy old Carrboro stories and photos, poetry readings, music and dancing, interactive field games, crafts, family activities and more.

The event starts at 1:00 p.m. on the Carrboro Town Hall grounds.

In the event of inclement weather, the event may be cancelled. A decision will be made on Sunday morning.

If the decision is made to cancel the event, a message will be placed on the Department’s Weather Information Line at 919-918-7373 by 10:30 a.m.

Carrboro Police Cruiser Struck While on Roadside

Two motorists were transported to UNC Hospitals on Wednesday night after their vehicle struck a Carrboro Police vehicle.

Police say two officers were assisting a disabled motorist on NC 54 when a Mercury Milan struck the rearmost cruiser.

The accident caused moderate damage to both vehicles and two passengers in the Mercury were transported for treatment of unspecified injuries, according to authorities.

No officer was in the vehicle that was struck at the time of the accident, but the officer’s service dog Titus was inside. Titus was uninjured.

Police say this incident shows the importance of following North Carolina’s Move Over Law, which requires motorists to move to a left lane, when available, to protect first responders and public service workers who are working near roadways.

There is no word from authorities at this time on any charges being filed against the driver of the Mercury. The State Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.