County Commissioners Show Unanimous Support For Wegmens

Following in the footsteps of the Chapel Hill Town Council, the Orange County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a $4 million incentive package to bring Wegmans Supermarket to Chapel Hill.

“When we first started talking about incentives years ago, a number of us said informally that we would never provide incentives for retail,” said commissioner Bernadette Pelissier. “Most of retail doesn’t provide well-paying jobs, doesn’t necessarily provide benefits and this is different. Wegmens is different.”

Wegmans is a high-end supermarket that will move into the space on 15-501 soon to be vacated by Performance Automall.

In the first five years after opening in Chapel Hill, the store expects to grow from $62 million in annual revenue to $83 million.

Director of Orange County economic development Steve Brantley said Wegmans would be the single largest financial generator to the county and to the town.

“This project is proposing the creation of 185 full-time jobs with healthcare and other benefits,” he said. “In addition there are 230 to 413 part-time jobs.”

The incentive will go on for five years after Wegmans opens.

Chapel Hill and Orange County will split the cost of the incentive, with each taking half of the $4 million annually.

The incentives are tied to the performance of Wegmans, meaning if the company fails to reach its expected goals, the financial incentives for Orange County would decrease proportionally.

“I do not thing we can repeat enough that this is performance based,” said commissioner Mia Burroughs. “This is revenue positive and it was built specifically to make sure that was the case, which is why I’m very comfortable supporting this.”

Wegmans will also make necessary road repairs and handle environmental concerns to get the site ready for its opening.

The company also has a history of getting involved with nonprofits in the area surrounding its stores. Brantley said this would be a major advantage for the community.

“When Orange County wins a project like this, we gain the relationship with that organization,” he said. “We can introduce nonprofits like PORCH, Empowerment and so forth.”

Performance Automall is not expected to vacate the premises until the summer of 2017. Wegmens is not expected to open until the fall of 2019.

Chapel Hill Approves Economic Incentives for Carraway Village

The Chapel Hill Town Council approved an economic incentive package that could result in $1.3 million being paid back to the developer of Carraway Village.

The project, formerly known as The Edge, has been a controversial proposal in recent years as it has been seen as having the potential to be a major economic hub in Chapel Hill. The project area rests across from Chapel Hill North near I-40 and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.

The economic incentives would come in stages, maxing out at $1.3 million, and would be predicated on benchmarks being reached for the amount of commercial space being built on the property.

Adam Golden is the vice president of development for Northwood Ravin, the developer who owns the property. Golden, who is also a Chapel Hill resident, addressed the Town Council on Monday night. While some council members had concerns about the possibility of incentives being paid when as little as 7,000 square feet of commercial space had been developed, Golden said Northwood Ravin had invested too much in the property for a small development to be feasible.

“If all we build is an apartment project, I won’t be here the next time we have a project,” Golden said. “We have a tremendous investment in this property. I think as you all know, we have a vision for this much like we did at Carolina Square. We are intending to make this a destination on the north side of town.”

Golden thanked the council for adjustments made in recent years regarding the original Special Use Permit, and he said work was underway in hopes of attracting tenants for the commercial space.

“We have two brokerage firms tag-teaming this to hit every aspect of the market,” Golden said. “The good news, and the thing that I’m very happy to report, is we have people that are interested. The things that you approved in this is getting attention.”

But Golden said the incentives needed to be approved so that work could begin on Phase I of the project and show the potential tenants progress is being made.

“They’re not ready to commit until they know that we’re real,” Golden said. “And to make it real, we’ve got to put a shovel in the ground and we’ve got to get started.”

Part of the Phase I development includes road improvements being made to Eubanks Road, including adding lanes. That portion of the project has an estimated cost of more than $4 million, which is where the proposed incentives would come into play.

Mayor Pro Tem Donna Bell said the town was getting “a gem of a deal” on the road improvement project.

“If for no other reason I am excited about this project is the fact that we are getting the road improvements,” Bell said, “which has allowed us to start thinking about other zoning in that area that will further improve. So it’s not just about this site.”

Mayor Pam Hemminger said she was concerned about the possibility of commercial space not being a high priority for Northwood Ravin. To receive the full incentive allotment, Northwood Ravin would have to develop 175,000 square feet of commercial space.

Council member Nancy Oates expressed concern over the affordable housing on the site.

Under the new proposal, Northwood Ravin has 10 years to get the permit approved and financing secured for the affordable housing rental unit. If the affordable housing unit has not reached that benchmark, one acre of the site designated for affordable housing would be sold to the town for $1.

Monday night’s vote passed 5-3 with Oates, Jess Anderson and Sally Greene voting against the incentive package. Councilman Ed Harrison was not present for the vote.

Chansky’s Notebook: Limping And Smiling

Limping and bow-legged, Ol’ Roy is better.

Roy Williams made his first public appearance of the new basketball season this week at the annual UNC media day. Dressed in a sharp suit and engaging as ever, Williams later revealed his true self to a couple of sportswriters in the hallway outside the Smith Center training room.

Now in his coaching togs, Williams limped down the hallway smiling and said, “It’s so much better than last year . . . this four-month-old knee on this 66-year-old body.”

He was referring to his titanium knee that replaced the broken hinge that forced to him sit down during practice for the first time in his 40-plus year coaching career. He pulled down his brace and showed us the neat scar.

Williams had the knee replaced over the summer after he limped through the recruiting period and took his buddies on their annual golf trip that he struggled through with a handicap cart. Then he went under the knife and, while still limping, he is smiling more now than he has been for the last two years of pain. In another month, Williams will be walking smoothly and ready to coach his 14th Tar Heel team, one that will open the season in the top 10. Carolina lost two of its top eight players, but the best two – Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson. He has asked his returning guys to use the last-second loss to Villanova in the national championship game as fuel to improve and return to the Final Four in Phoenix next April Fool’s Day.

He will probably start three seniors and two juniors, rare for a ranked team in college hoops these days. By committee, they will have to replace Paige’s defense, leadership and clutch shooting, Johnson’s scoring and rebounding around the basket. Carolina will be weaker in the post unless Kennedy Meeks explodes and Isaiah Hicks stays out of foul trouble during their senior years. But Joel Berry and Justin Jackson should give the Heels two of the better perimeter players in the country.

For sure, they will have great motivation and coaching because Roy Williams is now 66 years old and four months, again a stand-up guy.

Ginyard: 7th Signing Date


Recent preseason tournament, “Tyskie Cup”Championship photo. I was named MVP


Signing my National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attend the University of North Carolina was one of the proudest moments of my life. From as early as I can remember, I spent the majority of my time running up and down the basketball court. Between the Boys and Girls Club, AAU and my school teams, I don’t think it was physically possible to play more basketball than I did. Luckily for me, I was able to find a passion for something that would allow me to experience a world not seen by many.

Signing an NLI is the biggest honor to date in collegiate athlete’s life. It’s a culmination of years of dreams, countless hours perfecting your craft, and most likely conquering a few obstacles along the way. Usually family members or loved ones are by your side, helping to guide you through the selection process, which can prove to be quite stressful. The decision is never as simple as it may seem for those who have never been directly involved.

What part of the country will I spend the next four years of my life? Which coaching staff will be responsible for shaping me on and off the court? How will I fit into the team? How does this school fit into my life goals from an academic standpoint? Will this school compete against other top schools in their respective conference? These are just a few questions that were important to me when I was making my decision.

It was an easy choice to play for Hall of Fame Coach (Roy) Williams. I had no doubt that the UNC Basketball staff would make me better on and off the court. Of course, the history and tradition of Carolina Basketball sells itself. The beauty of the campus and town of Chapel Hill captivated me. First class education, as well as top-level athletics across the board also drew me in. On every one of my 20+ visits (19 unofficial) to UNC (which may have set an NCAA record), I felt that I had found a slice of heaven. I was eager to join the Carolina family, which feels even stronger today than when I represented my university on the court.

Two months ago, 10 years after I signed my first letter of intent, I signed my 7th “letter” to continue my professional career with Energa Czarni Sluspk in the Polish Tauron Basketball Liga. Every summer I have a ‘signing day’ deciding where in the world I will pursue the opportunity to play basketball for a living.


The process hasn’t changed much, except now I pick between countries and at times even continents where to play. Without official and unofficial visits, deciding on location and coaching staffs can be a bit more difficult. You have to rely on your agent, as well as network of players and coaches in Europe to help guide you. Of course with professional contracts, your compensation (salary, housing, transportation, etc.) are also major factors in your decision-making process. Most countries have at least a first and second division that change every year, so keeping up with the most competitive countries is also part of your homework as a player. There are also multiple international competitions in which top European clubs participate.

At the end of the day, I think all athletes are in quite similar positions. Whether you’re talking about a high school senior who signed to play his college career at Carolina, or my signing to play in Poland, getting better every day, competing at a high level and playing for championships are part of the athlete’s mentality and will not change for me, even after my days on the hardwood are over.


Connect with Marcus:


Facebook:  Marcus Ginyard

Twitter:  @MG1NYARD

Instagram: @mg1nyard

Culbreth Middle School Principal Named CHCCS Principal of the Year

Culbreth Middle School principal Beverly Rudolph has been named the 2016-2017 Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools Principal of the Year.

Interim superintendent Dr. Jim Causby at a school assembly made the announcement on Tuesday.

Beverly Rudolph. Photo via CHCCS.

Beverly Rudolph. Photo via CHCCS.

“Beverly Rudolph is one of the many exemplary principals we have here at Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools,” Causby said in a release. “She is the most significant person in the lives of the students at Culbreth as they continue their educational journeys. You can tell how important each and every student’s education is to her, as well as the morale of her staff. Mrs. Rudolph was selected by all the other CHCCS principals as being the best of the best and you can’t get a better recommendation than that.”

Rudolph began her tenure as principal in 2011. She was an assistant principal at East Chapel Hill High School prior to her time at Culbreth. Rudolph also taught for Tarrboro City Schools, Buncombe County Schools and Cabarrus County Schools in her career.

Rudolph will now go on to represent CHCCS at the state level.

UNC Names New Dean of School of Dentistry

Dr. Scott De Rossi has been selected by UNC to serve as the new dean of the School of Dentistry.

De Rossi was most recently the chair of the oral health and diagnostic sciences department at August University’s Dental College of Georgia.

“I am honored to be chosen to lead Carolina’s School of Dentistry,” De Rossi said. “The school has a rich history of distinctive strengths that position it to greatly influence academic dentistry and shape the next generation of oral health professionals. I look forward to working with students, faculty, staff and alumni in promoting the health of the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world through excellence in education, patient care, research and service.”

UNC executive vice chancellor and provost Jim Dean said De Rossi’s selection will further UNC’s global mission.

“Scott De Rossi is a leader in oral medicine and brings significant clinical and research expertise,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. “Chancellor Folt and I are confident that his concern for faculty and student diversity and globalization will help our School of Dentistry achieve its vision to be a world leader in improving oral health through excellence in education, patient care, research, public service and engagement.”

Dr. Jane Weintraub announced last December that she would be stepping down as dean of the School of Dentistry after five years leading the school. Weintraub has returned to a researching and teaching at the university.

De Rossi’s appointment has been approved by the UNC Board of Trustees and is effective January 15, 2017.

Chansky’s Notebook: Coach For The Ages

Hail to Anson Dorrance, the 800-win man.

He’s has been so good for so long, and so self-effacing, that Anson Dorrance lives below the radar. He has not only built Carolina women’s soccer into a national powerhouse, he is the man most responsible for making the game a phenomenon for the female gender. And he continues to do it while the craze he created has seemingly brought the Carolina program back to the field.

No, the Tar Heels do not dominate like they once did when most every good girl soccer player in high school either signed with UNC or took a long look before going elsewhere. There is such parody in the ACC – heck, we lost to N.C. State this season – that schools once afterthoughts in the game have become powers. Florida State reached Carolina’s level first and most of the rest have followed to the point where the Tar Heels have a much harder time winning the conference and getting a high seed for the NCAA Tournament.

That is all Anson, who has the most wins in college soccer history. He was the USA women’s coach until he had to step down because he was gaining too much of a recruiting advantage at UNC, something USA Basketball should have done with Mike Krzyzewski after he coached our Olympic team once or at least twice. Yet, Dorrance and recruiting chief Chris Ducar still scout, recruit and sign the best players in the country. It’s not a slam dunk for every girl, as it used to be, but the Tar Heels remain the gold standard in women’s college soccer and have sent 33 players on to the Olympic team, the national teams, the professional leagues and the broadcast booth.

Dorrance won his 800th game last weekend by beating plucky Wake Forest, and together with 172 victories he notched as the UNC men’s coach in the 1970s is 28 wins away from a total of 1,000.  Anson won’t reach that plateau this season or next, but the ageless wonder will be around here long enough to do it.

You can bet on it. Great going, Coach.

UNC Announces Fundraising Challenge for Financial Aid

An anonymous donation is spurring fundraising efforts for need-based and merit-based scholarships at UNC.

Officials announced on Tuesday the university had accepted a $20 million “match challenge” to benefit both Carolina Covenant and Morehead-Cain Scholarships.

The challenge, known as the “Give for Good: Scholarship Challenge,” will allow UNC to continue meeting the university’s mission of being “truly need blind during the admission process.”

Chancellor Carol Folt said announcing this challenge on University Day – celebrating the opening of UNC – was an appropriate way to further the university’s cause.

“This is a wonderful way to mark Carolina’s 223rd birthday with an incredibly generous gift and the match challenge, which will help us raise additional funds for need- and merit-based scholarships,” Folt said in a statement issued by the university. “Carolina continues as a leader among public universities at meeting the full financial need of all undergraduate students who qualify for federal aid. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to go as far as their talents and hard work takes them. This initiative will help provide additional scholarship resources for our deserving students.”

The challenge is the next piece of a fundraising campaign that has set records for annual giving in each of the last two years.

“We are profoundly grateful for a gift that so deftly aligns with our core values, upholds UNC-Chapel Hill’s commitment to excellence, accessibility, and affordability, and at the same time issues a call to action to others in the Carolina community to help enrich the lives of deserving students and their families,” vice chancellor for university development David Routh said in a release.

The Morehead-Cain Foundation, which was founded in 1945, established the first merit-based scholarship program in the country and has benefitted more than 3,100 students over that time frame, according to UNC.

The Carolina Covenant scholarship program was launched in 2004 with hopes of providing students from low-income families to attend UNC and graduate debt free. The program serves many students who are the first in their families to go to college. More than 6,000 students have been a part of the program over its 12-year existence.

The match challenge runs through October 2017.

UNC AD Bubba Cunningham Receives Second 10 Percent Pay Bump of 2016

UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham has received a pay bump after it appeared Cunningham was ready to move to the University of Florida in early September.

The News & Observer is citing a university record that was released on Friday in reporting Cunningham’s salary has been increased to $705,853 annually.

WCHL reported that the university was preparing a raise for Cunningham in the wake of the near move to Florida, which was reportedly offering Cunningham $1.4 million annually.

Cunningham’s new salary at UNC represents nearly a 10 percent bump from his previous salary of $642,268. This is the second 10 percent increase Cunningham has received in the 2016 calendar year. Cunningham’s salary has increased form $583,880 to the new $705,853 figure over the last 10 months.

Cunningham was one of nine administrators who received a raise at a January UNC Board of Trustees meeting. While eight other administrators received raises at that meeting, Cunningham’s was the largest percentage increase.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt’s salary has jumped nearly 13 percent since October 2015. Folt was given a nearly 10 percent increase by the UNC System Board of Governors last fall before receiving a raise of more than three percent in July. Folt’s salary is now $596,448.

Report: Alcohol A Factor in Fatal Wrong-Way Wreck in Chapel Hill

A toxicology report shows that alcohol was involved in a fatal wrong-way crash on Raleigh Road earlier this summer.

The marketing and press director at UNC’s PlayMakers Repertory Company was driving with a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit when she was killed in a head-on crash earlier this year.

The News & Observer reported on Monday that the toxicology report from the office of the North Carolina Chief Medical Examiner showed Connie Mahan’s BAC was between .21 and .22 the night of the crash. The legal limit to drive for individuals over 21 years of age in North Carolina is .08.

Police say the accident took place around 9:39 on the night of Thursday, August 25. The vehicle being operated by Mahan was traveling west in the eastbound lane of Raleigh Road and ran into another vehicle.

The other driver was treated for minor injuries at the scene and released, according to police.

In a statement released on the PlayMakers Facebook page following the crash, Mahan was described as “a cherished colleague and champion of theatre throughout North Carolina.”

Mahan was 62 years old.