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 Considering Options for Dilapidated CVS-Owned Building

The Carrboro Board of Aldermen decided unanimously at Tuesday’s meeting to move forward with a draft non-residential building ordinance. It would give the town more power over commercial buildings at risk for being a health hazard to the community.

Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle says the draft ordinance is especially in reference to one building in town: the CVS-owned building on the corner of North Greensboro and West Weaver Streets.

Lavelle says the question she’s asked most by members of the public is about the future of the building.

“About once a week, ‘hey what’s going on with that building? Why is it abandoned? Why does it look so bad? What’s the plans?’”

CVS bought the building but did nothing with it after the board denied the request to rezone the property around it in 2013. Lavelle says the town has offered to clean the area up, but the company hasn’t responded.

“We’ve made some offers to CVS to tear everything down; we’ve made offers to use it for parking; we’ve made offers to maintain it while they decide what they’re going to do with the property. And it’s been met with really kind of, you know, crickets.”

READ MORE: That Building in Carrboro is Still Just Sitting There

She says in the building’s current state, it poses some health and safety concerns.

“You can see the ceilings are falling in. The ceilings are falling in, they might have varmints, you might have little critters kind of in there. You might have folks seeing it broken up and trying to jump over the fence to stay in there at night. You might be attracting rats.”

But with the draft ordinance, it will allow an administrator to enter a property if certain complaints have been made to the town. After that happens, the company will have a certain amount of time to repair any damages. If they’re irreparable, other plans may have to be made.

But Lavelle says there are certain protections landowners have under the proposal as well. And all she really wants is to clean up the property, and make use of the building somehow.

“It’s really our hope that this will start a conversation of some sort just to do something with the area.”

The “Town of Carrboro Non-Residential Building Ordinance” will be one of the items up for discussion at a public hearing set for October.

Carrboro Police Again Successfully Use Naloxone to Reverse Overdose

Carrboro Police have once again utilized naloxone to reverse a drug overdose.

Officials say the patient in this case was transported to UNC Hospitals for treatment. Administering naloxone reverses the effects of overdose, which allows an opportunity for medical intervention to save the life of the user.

Carrboro Police have been on the forefront of the wave of law enforcement carrying the reversal drug. CPD partnered with Orange County EMS, the Orange County Health Department and the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to go forward with the program.

Authorities say this marks the third time an officer has used naloxone since officers began carrying the drug in October 2014. The first instance was a successful overdose reversal in January 2015. Just a few weeks later, in late February 2015, the second use of naloxone was during the reversal of a triple overdose.

Law enforcement officials have been more open to carrying naloxone and thinking about overdose as a health problem rather than a law-enforcement issue, even though illegal drugs or illegal use of prescription drugs is the cause of some overdoses.

Police continue to ask that you call 911 if you suspect someone is in an overdose state and remain with the subject of concern.

Gas Shortage Causing Long Lines and Angst for Motorists

The gas shortage that has been impacting much of North Carolina over the last few days has made its way into our community.

Drivers were sitting in their vehicles at stations that still had bags over the pumps at the Cruizers in Chapel Hill North on Tuesday morning. The reason they felt it was worth the wait was the large truck making a gasoline deposit.

Below is a running list of gas stations that do not have gas in our community.

gas shortage

The gas shortage at BP on Martin Luther King Blvd in Chapel Hill. (Photo by Jeffrey Clayton)


  • Exxon on Main Street
  • CITGO on Main Street
  • BP at 500 Jones Ferry Road
  • Kangaroo Express on HWY 54 W


Chapel Hill:

  • Marathon on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
  • Petro Mart on HWY 15/501 south of Chapel Hill
  • Shell on Farrington Road
  • Speedway on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
  • Exxon on East Franklin Street in Village Plaza
  • Family Fare BP on Weaver Dairy Road at Sunrise
  • Kangaroo Express at Estes and Franklin


  • Shell on HWY 70 East
  • BP on HWY 86
  • Circle K on Churton Street



  • Mobil on Hillsboro Street
  • C Mini Mart on East Street
  • Cruizers on Andrews Store Road


White Cross:

  • Shell on HWY 54 W
  • Exxon at corner of HWY 54 and Hatch Road (Had small supply of premium)

Gas stations that have gas are listed below.


  •  Exxon on HWY 54, according to GasBuddy on Wednesday morning

Chapel Hill:

  • BP on Estes Drive (regular only as of Wednesday morning)
  • Cruizers at Chapel Hill North
  • Mobil at intersection of Hillsborough and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
  • Run in Jim’s on Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
  • BP at Falconbridge has regular fuel only



  • CITGO on Old HWY 86
  • Lloyd’s Quick Mart on HWY 86
  • CITGO Breene Thru on South Churton Street



  • Cruizers on Powell Place


White Cross:

  • Calvander on Dairyland Road

GasBuddy has also launched a gas availability tracker, which is based on user submissions.

If you see locations throughout the day that are not listed above but have gas or are now out of gas, please call the WCHL newsroom at (919) 967-8363 or tweet us @WCHLchapelboro.

Governor Pat McCrory has issued a state of emergency over the shortage, which was caused by a leak in a pipeline in Alabama.

Attorney General Roy Cooper is asking North Carolinians to report concerns over price gouging to the AG’s Office. Reports are that there are currently more than 600 reports of possible price gouging.

Local officials are urging residents to use public transit during this time. An e-mail from town manager Roger Stancil to town leadership said that the town has enough fuel to last 16-20 days during normal operations and that a gasoline delivery was received specifically for transit operations on Saturday. Stancil estimated that would last around 30 days.

The Associated Press is reporting that the pipeline company has repaired the leak and that it expects to restart the main gasoline line on Wednesday.

Chelsea Clinton Scheduled for Carrboro Campaign Visit on Wednesday

Chelsea Clinton is visiting Carrboro on Wednesday campaigning for her mother Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for President of the United States.

Clinton is scheduled to be at 209 East Main Street in Carrboro for a voter registration drive beginning at 10:30 Wednesday morning. The website posting for the event says it is at capacity.

This is one of several stops Chelsea is making in North Carolina and of Secretary Clinton’s return to the campaign trail on Thursday after a bout with pneumonia. Clinton’s first stop after the illness will be in Greensboro on Thursday.

Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump are locked in a tight battle for the Tar Heel state. Polls show voters across the state nearly evenly divided as Election Day nears. Both nominees and their vice presidential candidates have made multiple stops in North Carolina, which analyst are calling a “must-have state” if Trump has any chance to win the election in November.

Carrboro Board Approves New Plans for Town Commons Renovations

Construction on new renovations for the Carrboro Town Commons has been approved by the Board of Alderman to begin in November or December.

The Town of Carrboro’s Public Works Director James “JD” Freeman spoke at the board’s meeting last Tuesday about the proposed final plan to the area.

“What the upgrades do, it provides a flexible space at Town Commons, of course for the farmer’s market, but also for multiple events, public and festivals, that are held on these grounds,” Freeman said.

Some of the upgrades include: widening the parking lot and creating 90 degree parking spaces instead of slanted, public restrooms on-site, additional storage for the Farmer’s Market and town staff, increasing electrical availability and adding more lighting around the area.

These changes were made after hearing from the board when it was first proposed, as well as hearing from the residents through an online survey created for public comment.

In the initial plans, there were ideas for a second phase of the Town Commons which included a pass through Laurel Avenue but that was changed after further investigation of the current roadways.

The town has decided to do away with the phase two plans until receiving more data from the NCDOT on the types of cars that travel the area, considering the small area that would be created for a pass-through roadway.

The board seemed most excited about the renovations in regards to the Farmer’s Market every Saturday in Town Commons because of its high popularity in Carrboro. Former Carrboro Farmer’s Market Manager Erin Jobe shared her excitement for the new upgrades.

“We are thrilled to see this project go forward. This project will be incredible for the market. It’s the thing that we need, the fresh face of the market, the thing that will sustain the market into the future,” Jobe said.

This project has been estimated at $90 thousand and town manager David Andrews said since the bank would not be able to provide secured debt funding if the project were to go over budget, due to the type of project it is, they plan to use town reserve funds if necessary.

Food for the Summer Distributes More Than 48,000 Meals in Pilot Summer

One word kept coming up at the meeting wrapping up the Food for the Summer effort last Wednesday, amazing.

An amazing number of meals served; an amazing effort to organize all of the moving parts; and amazing work by community members volunteering to hand out these meals.

“We had no idea how we were going to make this work,” Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger said after the meeting. “It was a pilot, and we thought we would be somewhat successful.

“To see all of the pieces that came together to make it even a bigger experience than we were planning on – with the books, with the activity buckets, with all of the interactions with kids, with growing TABLE’s list of kids to help serve – I had no idea we could actually reach that far in such a short period of time.”

Hemminger said this was a shining example of the Chapel Hill – Carrboro community coming together for a common cause.

“I’m so proud of the community for responding,” she said. “That’s a lot of volunteers for a program that never existed before. We want to do a better job reaching more kids earlier and letting them know this is an opportunity. But I love when you hear the stories of community members who interacted with kids.”

Hemminger specifically pointed to the police and fire departments getting involved to enhance the children’s experience.

“Their experience is more than just giving them food.”

Program coordinator Katie Hug said that, even considering the success of this year’s pilot campaign, there is plenty of room for growth.

“We need to really listen to the kids; we need to talk to the kids; and we need to make sure we’re heard by the kids,” Hug said. “We’re so excited about the numbers we had, but I think they, most definitely, can and should grow.”

Whatever growth happens next summer will happen without Hug being as integral of a part as she was this year to launch the program. Hug has taken a position with the state Department of Public Instruction to help with outreach of similar programs across North Carolina. But she says she can’t quite come to grips that this first experience is over quite yet.

“Not yet, because it can’t be over,” Hug said. “It’s just the beginning of something that’s amazing. And it’s going to continue, I have no doubt about it.”

Over the 54 days of summer from mid-June to late-August, 48,145 meals were served by the Food for the Summer program. To make sure all of those meals got to the children in need, 525 adult volunteers, with the more than 100 children who accompanied them, filled 1748 volunteer shifts. After jumping into the program mid-summer, more than 3,500 books were distributed as part of the effort as well.

There are still challenges to overcome and the group is still looking at information to know if the program’s financial model is sustainable. The group will be working to secure grants to keep the work going next summer and hopefully increase its impact.

More information is available at the Food for the Summer website.

Carrboro Awards $20,000 to Community Home Trust for Affordable Housing

Community Home Trust applied for $20,000 through the Carrboro Board of Aldermen to buy a townhouse in the Whispering Hills subdivision in Carrboro, but not just for any reason. The non-profit is trying to increase permanently affordable housing in Orange County.

Assistant to the town manager Nate Broman-Fulks presented the application to the board at its Tuesday meeting. He says Community Home Trust hopes to buy the house because if the current owner sells the townhouse privately, he or she will have to pay back Orange County half of the equity on the home.

“The purchase price, whatever they sell it for, minus what is owed on the mortgage, so the revenue basically from selling it, they would have to buy back.”

But if the non-profit buys it from them, it will move to permanently affordable inventory.

Robert Dowling is the executive director of Community Home Trust. He attended the meeting to answer questions about the application. He says the non-profit can cover most of the expenses of purchasing the house. But the money that is needed is to help with things like acquisition costs and remodeling.

“We had a home inspection done. And we know there’s work that needs to be done. It’s a 30-year-old house. It’s in good shape, but still – it’s a 30-year-old house. And like any 30 year old house, there’s things that need to be done.”

Dowling says the whole purpose of the project is to provide the house in as best shape as possible to the next buyer, and to provide that buyer with somewhere great and affordable to live.

“What do we have and how do we make it work in the future? And that’s how we view this. And with $20,000, we believe we can make this work.”

Community Home Trust may also receive funds from the Housing Finance Agency once the non-profit finds a buyer for the home.

44 Applications Submitted for CHCCS Superintendent

The window for applications to serve as the next superintendent of the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City School district has closed with 44 applicants from 17 states hoping to fill the role.

CHCCS officials say the applications will now be processed by the North Carolina School Boards Association and released to the CHCCS Board of Education in mid-September.

The CHCCS board has taken public input on what to look for in a new superintendent through board meetings, a public forum and an e-mail survey. Community members can attend another public forum on Saturday at Northside Elementary School to add their voice to the discussion. The forum at Northside is scheduled to begin at 1:30 Saturday afternoon in the cafeteria.

School officials have said they hope to have a new superintendent in place in January.

Dr. Tom Forcella retired as superintendent earlier this summer and Dr. Jim Causby has been serving in that role on an interim basis.

Glenwood Elementary Principal Moving to New Position at CHCCS

Dr. Darlene Ryan has been named the new executive director for curriculum and instruction for Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools.

Darlene Ryan. Photo via CHCCS.

Darlene Ryan. Photo via CHCCS.

Ryan has served as principal at Glenwood Elementary since 2010. Prior to her tenure at Glenwood, Ryan held a position at the district level and several teaching positions in CHCCS and Chatham County Schools.

“We are very pleased to have someone of Dr. Ryan’s experience and passion helping to lead the district’s instructional efforts,” said Interim Superintendent Jim Causby. “She knows the challenges we face, and has a proven track record of great results. She is highly skilled at leading teachers and administrators to creative and viable solutions.”

Ryan is replacing Dr. Steven Weber, who recently accepted a position out of state.

Christopher Liles will move from assistant principal at Glenwood to the interim principal until a permanent replacement is named.

Ryan earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from UNC. She will begin her new role on September 15.