High School Football Preview: Week 2

Football is back across our community again tonight.

WCHL will broadcast the game Friday night between Carrboro High School and East Chapel Hill High School. The game will start at 7:30

East is looking to avenge a 42-12 loss to the Jaguars last year. Both East and Carrboro are coming off of a loss in their first games of the season last week.

Carrboro lost to Cedar Ridge 56-15. The Jaguars were torched by Cedar Ridge QB Peyton Pappas, who went 8-9 for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and RB Shemar Miles, who ran for 161 yards and also scored three touchdowns.

In their first game of the season the Wildcats fell to Northern Vance by a score of 26-15.

As both teams look to right the ship and get back on track with a victory on Friday night, WCHL will have all of the coverage you are looking for.

In other action this week, Chapel Hill travels to South Granville, Cedar Ridge takes on Jordan Matthews, Orange defends their home field against Northern Durham and Northwood is up against Charlotte Latin at home.

You can see the full schedule here.


Be Loud! Sophie Fundraiser at Cat’s Cradle Friday and Saturday

Cat’s Cradle will host a weekend of music benefiting the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.

The lineup includes John Howie Jr. & the Rosewood Bluff, Southern Culture on the Skids, and the Neil Diamond Allstars on Friday night. On Saturday night, The Veldt, Dillon Fence, and Preesh! will take the stage.

Greg Bell and Elsa Steiner from Be Loud! Sophie were on the WCHL Morning News with Ron Stutts with more information about the weekend.


You can buy tickets for the whole weekend for $40. Tickets for individual shows are also available. 100 percent of the proceeds will go to the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation.


New WCHL Owner on Station’s Future

Leslie Rudd is a Colorado-based entrepreneur and philanthropist with Chapel Hill ties, who will also be the new owner of WCHL and Chapelboro.com, once the final administrative hurdles are cleared.

WCHL has a history of serving Orange County that dates back to 1953.

READ MORE: New Owner Announced for WCHL and Chapelboro

Rudd says he is excited to continue the work of WCHL and Chapelboro, as one of the few remaining commercial radio stations in the country with a mission of serving the local community.

“We are very excited about owning WCHL and Chapelboro.com in a community that is near and dear to my heart. There have been some questions about the new ownership, and what we plan to do with the station and website, which are unique properties in a vibrant college town. Although we do not officially take over until the FCC license transfer is complete and the actual sale closes, our plans are to continue to serve the community with informative, entertaining and educational programming and content, much like it has in the past.

“Our business model when acquiring an existing company is to keep the operation in place and help the staff get even better at what they are doing as we go along. In some cases, we have brought in partners that make up a local ownership group, and we are exploring that option with WCHL. Of course, we will continue to carry the Tar Heel games and cover high school sports and have Ron Stutts in the morning and Aaron Keck in the afternoon. In my years having a home in Chapel Hill, I met so many wonderful people and still have great friends there. I know how much having their own dedicated radio station means to them, and that is what they will continue to have.”

READ MORE: New Bidders Vie for WCHL


1953 Roland “Sandy” McClamroch begins WCHL as a daytime operation with 1,000 watts at 1360 AM

1958 Jim Heavner joins WCHL as a part time summer announcer

1967 Heavner purchases first interest in WCHL from then Mayor McClamroch

1978 Heavner purchases McClamroch remaining ownership, owns 100%

1993 Curtis Media purchases WCHL

2002 Heavner buys WCHL back from Curtis

2009 Barry Leffler buys controlling interest in WCHL from Heavner

2011 WCHL establishes Chapelboro.com, a community news and feature website

2012 WCHL adds FM translator at 97.9FM

2014 Heavner repurchases Leffler interest when he leaves for Dallas role with Tenet Health Care, places it in VilCom.  WCHL is offered for sale.

2015 Leslie Rudd purchases WCHL


Affordable Care Act Funds Coming to Carrboro

Primary care services in Carrboro are getting a boost from the Affordable Care Act.

The Carrboro Community Health Center will receive more than $270,000 in funds from the Affordable Care Act to improve primary health care services, according to Jason deBruyn with the Triangle Business Journal.

“One of the big drivers of health care costs, in the United States, is that people just simply don’t take advantage of primary care,” he says. “The primary care physicians don’t have enough control over treatment of patients at sort of a basic level.

“And that leads to all kinds of downstream problems – chronic illnesses, people showing up in the emergency rooms, having expensive surgeries – when maybe they could have managed their diseases much better.”

deBruyn says this money will turn into supplies needed at the facility or for community outreach programs.

“You could have health clinics where you go out to churches or community centers and help educate people on proper eating,” he says. “Or have people in the community centers encouraging patients to come in for health checkups.

“Or even put in health-screening day, where you tell people ‘come on in for free, and we’ll screen you for your health.’”

deBruyn adds routine primary care health checkups are a vital factor in lowering health care costs and maintaining higher levels of health across our community.

“Health systems, hospitals, doctors, it’s something they’ve been trying to do a much better job of here lately,” he says, “getting people in for those routine checkups.

“Just like you would getting your oil changed in your car. It’s maybe a bit of a crass example but not that dissimilar.”

These funds are a piece of the most recent distribution from the Health Resources and Services Administration, according to deBruyn. He says the funds in the Tar Heel state total nearly $4 million, which will translate to serve more than 20,000 new patients in North Carolina alone.

The Carrboro Community Health Center is part of the Piedmont Health Services network.

Other recipients in North Carolina, according to deBruyn, are the Appalachian District Health Department in Sparta, Blue Ridge Community Health Services in Hendersonville, Rural Health Group in Roanoke Rapids, and Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine in Greensboro.


Rise Donuts Coming To Carrboro

Rise Biscuits and Donuts has acquired a huge following since it opened in Durham in November 2012 – and now the business is making the leap to the next level.

In the next six months, Rise will be opening five new franchises in the Triangle, including one in Carrboro at the 300 East Main Street development. Owner Tom Ferguson says the Carrboro location will open sometime in November.

For the expansion, Ferguson says he’s working with the same company that’s guided the expansion of numerous nationally-recognized brands, like Qdoba and Five Guys Burgers & Fries. (When asked how far he’s hoping to expand Rise, Ferguson jokes: “World domination.”)

Ferguson spoke with Aaron Keck last week on WCHL.


In addition to the Carrboro location, Rise will also be opening franchises in Morrisville, downtown Durham, and Raleigh (Sutton Square and Cameron Village). The Morrisville location will be the first to open – on Saturday, August 22.


Carrboro Police Make 2 Arrests in Break-In

Carrboro Police have made two arrests in connection with an armed robbery.

Carrboro Police Captain Chris Atack says officers were called to the scene of a reported armed home invasion at Estes Park Apartments at 1:18 Tuesday morning.

“Upon arrival, officers discovered that two people had tried to force their way into an apartment with a weapon,” he says. “By the time officers arrived, the suspects had fled the area.

“We used one of our canines to track one of the suspects. And the track went for a period of time and actually our canine needed to be relieved by a Chapel Hill canine. And when the Chapel Hill canine took over, apparently the suspect was very near to where our canine had tired out.”

Atack says – with the help of the four-legged partners – police were able to take 29-year-old Joseph Moran into custody. Atack says after further investigation 29-year-old Jared Grant was also arrested.

Atack adds both suspects required medical attention upon their arrest.

“Both Mr. Moran and Mr. Grant suffered injuries as a result of the residents defending themselves,” he says. “They had not serious injuries, but they were significant injuries.”

Atack says this does not appear to be a random act, at this time.

“There was a nexus that led these people to a certain location,” he says, “and it’s not a random event.”

Atack says, because of that, police do not believe this is connected with a string of armed robberies in the area.

“Different folks, different MO, we don’t feel there’s any involvement,” he says. “We’re not sure exactly where this idea came from, but we don’t believe this is part of a greater trend at this point.

“We think it’s a singular event.”

Moran was charged with First Degree Burglary and Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon. He is being held under a $105,000 bond. The Orange County Court calendar shows Moran with a scheduled appearance for Wednesday afternoon on those two charges as well as felony possession with intent to sell cocaine, felony possession of a scheduled 1 controlled substance, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a concealed weapon.

Grant will be transported to the custody of the Orange County Jail after his release from UNC Hospital.

Atack says the police department wants to take this opportunity to encourage residents to notify authorities if they see anything suspicious.

“We always want to come out and check on things before there’s a problem,” he says.

If you have additional information regarding the Carrboro break in, you are asked to contact Carrboro Police or Crime Stoppers.


The ArtsCenter Features Theatrical ‘Mixed-Tape’

The ArtsCenter in Carrboro is holding its 14th annual “10 By 10 in the Triangle” program. Each performance features 10 different 10-minute plays performed back-to-back.

Director Jules James told “The Art Spot’s” Jeri Lynn Schulke the program is almost like a mixed-tape.

“It’s got to have some sort of sense of organization, as well as some sort of larger story that you want to tell the audience,” James said. “Not that every play means something immediately next to one another, but they’re going to mean something because they’re put next to one another.”

This year’s “10 By 10″ features a whole new set.

Performances are at 3 p.m. Sunday, and Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m.


PACE Students, Teachers Await Mid-August Decision

Lawyers wrapped up their arguments Tuesday in a hearing to determine whether a Carrboro charter school will remain open. But students and teachers at PACE Academy won’t know for several weeks whether they will be able to return to PACE in the fall.

After a meeting at PACE Academy, PACE student Addison Edwards takes a stack of papers from Jamie Bittner, his school’s occupational therapist.

“This is his paperwork for career and college promise,” Bittner says waving the stack of forms. “His GPA is outstanding, his SAT scores are outstanding, so he’s going to be taking community college courses while attending—hopefully PACE next year.”

Bittner says “hopefully PACE,” because it’s up in the air whether PACE will be open for Edwards to come back to in the fall.

In May, the State Board of Education voted not to renew the school’s charter over concerns about poor attendance records and non-compliance with some regulations for teaching students with disabilities. The school appealed that decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings.

After 4 days in court, it rests for Judge Phil Berger Jr. to decide if PACE will get to keep its charter. That has PACE student Jerry Garfunkel worried about where he’ll be in the fall.

“It’s scary to think about,” Garfunkel says. “I don’t really know where I’m going to go, or what I’m going to do.”

PACE says its mission is to serve students in grades 9 through 12 who aren’t thriving in traditional public schools. Half of PACE’s students have autism or other mental health diagnoses. Many are teen mothers, and some are homeless or former dropouts.  Garfunkel says he came to PACE because the traditional public school environment was much too stressful for him.

“I thought I was going to end up in the UNC psych ward if I stayed there any longer,” he says. “I almost had a mental breakdown in my study hall class.”

Garfunkel says the smaller class sizes and nurturing environment at PACE suit him much better.

“The people here are understanding, the students here are very kind, the teachers here are extremely qualified for their jobs,” he said. “I’ve just been going from like D’s and F’s to A’s. It’s incredible.”

Berger will deliver a judgment by August 13—less than two weeks before the start of the school year. PACE Assistant Principal Jane Miller says that means she and the other administrators aren’t just hoping for the best, they’re planning for it too.

“Rhonda, Jamie and I are still operating as if we are going to open on August 25,” Miller told a room of concerned parents, students, alumni and teachers. “Because if we don’t plan enough, we simply wouldn’t have enough time once we get the decision that affirms we stay open.”

At the same time, PACE administrators say they have a contingency plan. Miller says she and other staff members will spend the next weeks helping families identify traditional public schools, private schools and home-school groups in case PACE closes.


Judge Extends Hearing on PACE Academy

A hearing that will decide whether PACE Academy will keep its charter will go longer than expected.

Attorneys for PACE Academy Charter School and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) were scheduled to wrap up their arguments Thursday in a hearing that will determine whether PACE will remain open. But PACE’s attorney Phillip Adkins says there’s more questioning and argumentation to be had.

“It has gone longer than we expected,” Adkins said. “And given our schedules and the judge’s schedule, we’ve decided to return on Tuesday morning at 8:30.”

PACE Academy is appealing the DPI’s decision not to renew the school’s charter. This is the second time the school has faced closure. In 2013 the Charter School Advisory Board and the State Board of Education (SBE) expressed concerns about low attendance, poor academic performance, compliance issues and fiscal difficulties.

PACE was allowed to keep its charter as part of a settlement agreement last summer.

But this year, the DPI said it found evidence of continuing poor attendance, bad record-keeping and compliance issues. In May, the SBE recommended the charter not be renewed.

Adkins says PACE wasn’t given a fair shot to present its case to the SBE.

“If the Department of Public Instruction would let the charter school—before the meetings—see the material that’s going to be presented, exactly what they’re going to present, so that they can prepare to reply to that—because it’s supposed to be a conversation—then I think it would be much fairer, and we wouldn’t be here,” Adkins said.

Adkins says the judge’s decision will hinge on whether the school received ample opportunity to make its case and whether its methods for tracking attendance were legal. The school counts some students as present when they take their classes off-site, but the DPI has taken issue with the practice.

“We now in the courtroom understand each side’s position,” Adkins said, “but unfortunately I think it’s going to have to go to a decision the judge has to make.”

The judge in the case is Phil Berger Jr., the son of Senate President Phil Berger. The hearing continues next week. Adkins says PACE is hoping Berger will rule on the case by the end of July.


Carrboro Charter School Battles to Stay Open

PACE Academy will fight in court Tuesday to keep its doors open.

Teachers, students, parents and alumni of PACE Academy gathered at the State Board of Education building Monday morning. They were there to protest the Board’s decision to revoke PACE’s charter.

The state’s Charter School Advisory Board recommended PACE be closed due to concerns about low attendance, financial problems and compliance issues. But protest organizer Stephanie Perry says she believes those concerns are unfounded.

“Over the past two years, PACE Academy has been aggressively targeted by the Charter School Advisory Board in a very unfair way,” she said.

Perry says the advisory board did not take into account the school’s unique population when making its assessment. PACE serves students in grades nine through twelve. The school says half of its students have mental health problems or learning disabilities and that many of its students are teenage parents and former drop-outs. Perry says that means many PACE students take classes on a nontraditional schedule and weren’t there when advisory board members came out to check the school’s attendance

“Because of the vocational curriculum, a lot of the students have on-the-job training and internships,” Perry said.

PACE has appealed a May decision by a State Board of Education review panel that revoked the school’s charter. Senate President Phil Berger’s son, Judge Phil Berger Jr., will hear arguments beginning Tuesday.

This is the second time PACE has had its charter on the line. The school’s charter was nearly revoked in 2013 over similar concerns.