Man Charged with Rape in Chapel Hill

Alexander Hernandez, a 25 year old male, was arrested on charges of second-degree rape Thursday.

The arrest was made at 12 Audley Lane in Chapel Hill early on Thursday morning.

Hernandez was armed with “personal weapons” when he was arrested, according to the Chapel Hill Police Report.

Hernandez is being held in the Orange County Jail with a $50,000 secured bond and is expected to appear in court in Hillsborough on Friday.

No other details were immediately available.

Folt Announces Launch of UNC’s Ethics and Integrity Website

After moving at what Chancellor Carol Folt called “rocket speed,” UNC has launched a new Ethics and Integrity website to help offer guidance to members of the Carolina community.

“It’s a tool that will consolidate all of the information that we have on resources, programs and policies that deal with ethics and integrity,” Folt said at the Board of Trustees meeting last Thursday.

Folt said the goal of the website was to streamline understanding of the many policies that govern different facets of the university and to allow for a one-stop shop of sorts for any faculty members with concerns.

“One of the goals is to consolidate those [university policies] too and to eliminate redundancies,” Folt said, “make it easier and make it more effective for people.”

Folt announced in February that the university would be creating a new position, Chief Integrity and Policy Officer. She followed that by announcing the intention to launch the new website at the board’s meeting in March.

Folt said she was pleased with steps the university is continuing to take following the visit from SACS, the school’s accrediting body, last month.

“We continue to do everything that we possibly can to make [UNC] a strong place,” Folt said. “I think part of the SACS visit was a good opportunity for us to continue to look at what we’re doing, assess it [and] prepare ourselves for questions.

“That gives you a chance to do self reflection.”

UNC has been on probation with SACS over the last year following the Wainstein Report’s investigation into the long-running paper-class scandal at the university.

“We just keep doing all of those things and answering all of the questions and feel pretty strong about what we are and how we’re going about our business,” Folt said when asked about the university’s positioning with SACS.

The SACS board will gather next month for its semiannual meeting. At that time, the board is expected to vote on UNC’s standing. SACS could restore the university’s status, keep the school on probation or revoke its accreditation – although a full removal does not seem to be expected.

UNC Men’s Tennis Loses in NCAA Quarterfinals

The UNC men’s tennis season came to an end on Sunday.

The Tar Heels were facing Georgia in the NCAA Quarterfinals attempting to become the second team in ACC history to reach an NCAA Final Four.

But the Bulldogs were too much for Carolina. Georgia took the opening doubles point and then won the first three singles matches for the overall victory.

While Carolina was serving for wins on two courts, it wasn’t enough as Georgia was able to secure the victory.

It was one of the most successful seasons in UNC history as Carolina won the Indoor National Championship earlier this year.

Civil Rights Activist Patt Derian Passes Away in Chapel Hill

Patt Derian passed away early Friday morning at her home in Chapel Hill with family by her side.

Derian served as the deputy director of the Jimmy Carter presidential campaign in 1976. After Carter won that election, Derian served in his administration as the assistant secretary of state for Human Right and Humanitarian Affairs.

Derian married Hodding Carter in 1978, who was assistant secretary of state for Public Affairs in the Carter administration. The couple came to Chapel Hill as Carter was most recently university professor at the UNC School of Leadership and Policy.

President Barack Obama spoke of work done Derian while he was traveling to Argentina in late March to visit a memorial honoring the victims of that country’s military dictatorship.

A March article posted in The Nation described Derian as “the wonderfully feisty activist and Mississippi civil-rights hero.”

Derian was 86.

Weather Delays Opening of Hollow Rock Park

Potential thunderstorms have delayed the grand opening of the Hollow Rock Nature Park.

The 75-acre park located on Erwin Road in Durham was scheduled to open Saturday, May 21st.

The City of Durham, Durham County, Orange County and the Town of Chapel Hill have all collaborated to put this project together.

The grand opening will be rescheduled to Sunday, June 5th at 2:00 p.m.

In the interim, the park will be available for public use beginning Monday, May 23.

Five Tar Heels Named Women’s Lax All-Americans

Five members of the UNC women’s lacrosse team have been named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America teams, which were announced Wednesday.

Molly Hendrick and Marie McCool earned first-team honors. Mallory Frysinger, Aly Messinger and Sammy Jo Tracy were named to the second-team.

UNC was tied with Maryland, the top-ranked team in the country throughout the season, with the most players named All-American.

Third-seeded UNC is preparing to host No. 6 Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

Chapel Hill Home of James Taylor Up for Auction

For the first time ever, the public will have an opportunity to tour the house where James Taylor spent his childhood years in Chapel Hill.

George Smart, the executive director of North Carolina Modernist Houses, calls the home a “great example of midcentury modernism.” The home was built in 1952 and was designed by award-winning architects George Matsumoto and John Latimer.

The house sits nestled in the woods on 23 acres off of Fordham Boulevard, near where the appropriately named James Taylor Bridge brings travelers into Chapel Hill.

Smart said he viewed the home last weekend and that visitors will likely be surprised with how small the house is where the Taylors brought up James and his four siblings.

Smart said as Taylor and his brothers and sisters were growing up and harnessing their musical talents, the Taylors ran into a problem many parents face.

“One of the issues was that the kids were playing music all the time and the parents couldn’t stand it,” Smart said. “So they built a two-bedroom guest house to the side where the kids could play music in the evenings and on the weekends.”

"JT" initials at childhood home of James Taylor. Photo via

“JT” initials at childhood home of James Taylor. Photo via

Smart said being able to say ‘This is where James Taylor grew up’ certainly adds to the “cachet” of the house, as it does with other celebrities, but there is an even stronger connection with this home and its famous former resident.

“I think what makes it special to Chapel Hill is that a number of James Taylor songs would reference Chapel Hill,” Smart said.

Smart said his organization has showings like this across the state for those who appreciate the midcentury-modern architecture, but he’s also hoping this showing will transplant James Taylor fans back to Copperline.

The open house will run from 10 o’clock until 2:30 on Saturday, June 4. Smart said they are expecting to sell out of tickets with around 500 guests coming through the home at staggered times. Tickets can be purchased here.

The home and 23 acres will then be going to auction later in June.

UNC Names Interim Dean for School of Dentistry

UNC has named Dr. Ken May as the interim dean at the UNC School of Dentistry.

May joined the UNC School of Dentistry in 1976, according to the university, after earning his undergraduate degree and doctorate at UNC.

UNC Provost Jim Dean said in the release:

“Dr. May will provide excellent leadership, as he has with his numerous appointments at the School. We will provide him with every form of support as we search for a permanent dean.”

A release says a nationwide search for a permanent replacement is already underway with the goal of having the position filled starting in January 2017, which is when May is planning to retire.

Dr. Jane Weintraub announced in December she would be stepping down from dean, a position she held for five years, in order to return to teaching and research.

May has served as interim dean once before.

Report: Colin Moran Receives Big League Call Up

Former UNC third baseman Colin Moran is reportedly making the jump from AAA to Major League Baseball on Tuesday night to join the Houston Astros.

Longtime MLB journalist, and Tar Heel in his own right, Peter Gammons first reported the news on Tuesday morning.

Moran played for UNC form 2011 – 2013. He was selected with the number six overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft by the Miami Marlins and the traded to the Astros’ organization the next year.

Moran was named the ACC Freshman of the Year, Baseball America Freshman of the Year, National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-American and a Baseball America All-American – the only freshman on the team – after his first year in a Carolina uniform.

Injuries slowed down Moran’s sophomore season, but he finished his junior campaign as one of the nation’s leading hitters.

The left-handed hitting third baseman was hitting .288 with a .747 OPS in AAA so far this season.

Chapel Hill Running Out Of Cemetery Spaces

Those who want to be buried in Chapel Hill may soon find themselves looking for a different eternal resting place.

“The town maintains four cemeteries, but only the Legion Road Cemetery has plots left,” Jane Slater of the Chapel Hill Cemeteries Advisory Board said.

Slater said the town has approximately 30 spaces left and Chapel Hill expects to run out this year if it doesn’t expand.

There are also 60 spots available for burial urns, but those looking to be buried in a traditional manner might be searching elsewhere for a plot.

“What we really don’t want to have happen is that people have a loved one die and they realize at that point, already a stressful point for them and their families, that they cannot bury their loved one with the rest of the family here in town,” Slater said.

The committee unanimously approved a petition in their meeting at the beginning of the month to ask the town to consider purchasing land to create another cemetery.

Slater said ideally the town could turn that land into a greenspace that could be part cemetery, part park. They made a similar petition in 2013 that the town did not respond to.

“One of the reasons why were at this point is because some additional land adjacent to Memorial Cemetery that was intended for cemetery use, was taken from the town for low-income housing,” she said.

That was done without any exchange of land in another part of town.

But the issue of cemetery space may be even greater in the future, as Chapel Hill’s population continues to age.

“This used to be a little village,” Slater said. “It’s now attracting people who are retiring and wanting to stay. We need to face the situation that we do not have enough space.”

Slater said she’s hopeful that last year’s change in government will also mean new land could be on the way for Chapel Hill cemeteries.