River Park Concert Highlights Weekend Of Music In Hillsborough

Local music lovers: this weekend, plan to spend a lot of time in Hillsborough.

The weekend begins on Friday with the monthly Last Fridays event. From 6:30-9:30, enjoy music from Todd Johnson and the Revolvers on the old courthouse lawn, plus more music, art, crafts and food along the sidewalks and special events at shops, restaurants, churches and galleries throughout downtown. On Sunday, the Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce hosts the second round of “Sundays in Hillsborough,” featuring horse-drawn carriage and train rides from 1-4 pm and music on the lawn from the Mason Lovette Acoustic Experience from 2-5 pm. (“Sundays in Hillsborough” runs every week through the end of October.)

But the highlight of the weekend comes in between: on Saturday, August 27, head to downtown Hillsborough for the River Park Concert, an annual, all-day free music event for the whole family. The day begins with a young musicians’ workshop at 11 am (ages 4-10) and yoga for all ages at 11:15 – then live music begins at noon and runs until 7:30. Mel Melton & the Wicked Mojos get things started at noon, followed by the Piedmont Regulators, Raising Caine, Coleslaw, Joe Tullos & the Bold Chorus, and Dr. Bacon.

The band Coleslaw dropped in on Aaron Keck on WCHL last week and played some live songs off their album “Last on Board.”


For more info and a full concert schedule, visit RiverParkConcert.org.


Police Seeking Information After Vandals Damage Historic Hillsborough Tree

A decades-old ornamental street tree in downtown Hillsborough has been vandalized and police want your help tracking down those who did it.

Officials say the approximately 25-foot-tall crepe myrtle, which stands on the west side of Churton Street between Tryon and King Streets, was vandalized by an unknown person.

Police say the suspect sawed through the tree’s bark around the entire base of the trunk, drilled holes into the trunk and applied herbicide. Officials say it appears the vandal or vandals intended to kill the tree.

Police believe the vandalism occurred in “one or more incidents over the past two weeks.”

The tree is valued at $25,000 due to its size and age.

Town officials say trees growing in rights-of-way are town property and cannot be removed or pruned without explicit permission from the Hillsborough Tree Board.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact Hillsborough Police Sergeant Chip White at (919) 732-9381, extension 34.

More information about the street trees can be found by calling staff for the Hillsborough Tree Board at (919) 732-1270, extension 74.


Hillsborough Police Department Parking Lot Temporarily Closed

The Hillsborough Police Department Substation parking lot will be temporarily closed beginning this Thursday for tree removal and paving work.

The parking lot, located on 502 Rainey Ave., will remain closed for approximately two weeks depending on the weather.

The parking lot will be open on August 20, however, only for additional parking for the Fairview Live Community Event.


Areas of Hillsborough to Experience Brief Power Outages

Several areas of Hillsborough will experience brief power outages at the end of the week, due to repairs of electrical infrastructure.

Duke Energy will be repairing failing infrastructure on Thursday and Friday. The repairs will take place between 11:00-11:30 Thursday night and 4:30-5:00 Friday morning. The outages will be rescheduled for Friday and Saturday should there be weather delays. Officials say customers who will be affected by the outages will be called before they occur.

The affected neighborhood is located near Orange High School and northern Hillsborough, bordered by NC-86. A complete list of the areas affected is available on the town of Hillsborough website here.


Cates Creek Parkway Opens in Hillsborough

Cates Creek Parkway in Hillsborough’s Waterstone development is now open.

The Cates Creek Park opened in March but the opening of the roadway was delayed due to a delay in signage being placed on the road by the developer.

A final roundabout sign at the intersection of College Park Road was installed Monday and the road barriers were removed, according to the town.

Officials say the builder will now be required by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to monitor traffic at the intersection with Old NC 86 and Lafayette Drive.

A traffic signal may need to be installed at a later date depending on the traffic flow.

Hillsborough accepted ownership of Cates Creek Parkway and the associated park earlier this year.


Hillsborough Town Manager Named to National Government Influencer List

Hillsborough Town Manager Eric Peterson has been named in a top 100 local government influencer list.

The organization behind the list, ELGL, originally named Emerging Local Government Leaders, was formed for public leaders to connect, communicate and educate about local government topics.

Peterson is 84th on the Chris Traeger List: Top 100 Local Government Influencers, named after a town manager character on the TV show Parks and Recreation.

The list states that “Eric has influenced many local government professionals by showing that you can be successful at work and in your personal life,” and goes on to recognize Peterson’s work in leading Hillsborough’s Slower Is Faster police driver safety program.

The program, which focuses on decision-making behind the wheel, was awarded the Destination Zero 2016 Officer Traffic Safety Award in May from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

“The Town of Hillsborough is immensely fortunate to have Eric Peterson at the helm,” said Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens.

“He’s received particular attention for his efforts in driver safety for law enforcement, but there are many, many ways that the town sets an example for effective local government — for example, multi-year financial planning, performance scorecards, infrastructure maintenance, outreach to citizens. These exist in large measure due to Eric’s leadership.”

Peterson has been Hillsborough town manager since 1997 as well as a management analyst for Kinston, town manager for Tabor City and Topsail Beach, and guest lecturer on budgeting at UNC’s School of Government since 1993.
Along with completing the UNC School of Government’s municipal administration course and Harvard’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government course at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Peterson also has a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master of public administration.

Peterson has 20 years of competitive motor sports experience, including two national championship wins and volunteers as a driving instructor.

Other individuals on the list with North Carolina ties include Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield, UNC School of Government professor Leisha DeHart-Davis, Greensboro Parks Director Wade Walcutt and Ron Carlee, who recently left work with the City of Charlotte.

You can see the full list here.


Four Arrested After 84 Kilos of Cocaine and Heroin Seized from Orange County Home

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit seized 82 kilos of suspected cocaine and two kilos of suspected heroin, along with a firearm on Friday night.

Officials say the investigation was conducted at approximately eight o’clock Friday night at 511 West Hill Avenue Lot B10 in Hillsborough.

The suspected narcotics were concealed in various compartments throughout the residence, according to authorities.

Carlos Salazar, Edi Daniel Salazar-Jiminez, Miguel Angel Robles-Puentes and Jose DeJesus Villanueva-Miranda were arrested and charged with trafficking more than 400 grams of cocaine and trafficking more than 28 grams of heroin.

The four suspects are being held in the Orange County Detention Center under a $500,000 secured bond.


UNC Medical Director Advises Residents on Staying Safe During Heat Wave

This week may be the hottest week of the summer so far with temperatures remaining in the mid-90’s in Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.

Ahbi Mehrotra, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at UNC Hospitals’ Hillsborough campus, has advice on how to stay safe in the extreme heat and avoid dangers like heat exhaustion.

“If you have to be outside, it’s planning ahead, so making sure you have plenty of water to make sure you stay hydrated,” Mehrotra says.

While it’s important to stay hydrated, Mehrotra says to make sure water is the drink of choice when outside in the heat.

“The one thing that people tend to overlook is the importance of the water as hydration and people tend to grab for caffeinated sodas and that can actually make things worse, as well as alcoholic beverages,” Mehrotra said. “They can cause dilation and so you get more heat exposure and so it reverses what you’re actually trying to do.”

Mehrotra also says to try and keep children out of the sun in the peak hours of the day, and to avoid leaving anyone in a turned-off car causing elevation in body temperature.

As for the elderly, Mehrotra says it is best to avoid situations of extreme heat and says having a neighbor check on you periodically is a good idea.

For those who have to work outside, Mehrotra said to always have a partner and to make sure each of you are looking for potential symptoms of heat exhaustion which could lead to a heat stroke.

“For heat exhaustion you’re thinking of headache, dizziness, nausea, those are some of the earlier signs, all the way to heat stroke which you can have seizures, coma, where you can’t tell that you’re at that point,” Mehrotra said. “Your body is starting to shut down, you actually stop perspiring so you’re no longer sweating.”

If someone seems to be experiencing these symptoms, Mehrotra says to first make sure you are safe, and then help the person in need by getting them indoors and hydrated with cool water.

If someone’s symptoms are not improving or they begin to show more signs of heat exhaustion, Mehrotra says to call 911 for professional care.


Hillsborough Police Citing Kids for Bicycle Safety

Officers from the Hillsborough Police Department are patrolling the neighborhoods looking for kids following the law.

The Police Department started a new program called Citation Patrol, which is rewarding kids wearing helmets while riding their bikes with a McDonald’s gift card and enforcing bike safety with providing helmets to those kids they see without them.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said the officers have tried to enforce the importance of bike safety with a new approach.

“This is really really important. We want to make sure that kids not only have bikes but that they really know how to ride them safely,” Stevens said.

Stevens said they are using this program as a new way to get out in the community.

“Police are really a part of the fabric of the community, so, walking down the street we’ll chat with people, we’ll step into a restaurant, and we’ll drive around and chat with folks and the kids. Just be present in the community and start building those relationships and to do that particularly with the young folks seem like a good way to go,” Stevens said.

Stevens supports the new program and the police department for getting involved with the community.

“Right now they want to look for things going right, so, I really applaud this program that they are doing,” Stevens said.

The Citation Patrol has already begun so don’t forget those helmets when riding a bike.


Part of the Riverwalk Set to Be Closed For Construction

A section of the Riverwalk in Hillsborough will be closed this Thursday for erosion-control work.

The work will take place between emergency markers 108 and 109 west of the Stickwork sculpture.

Thursday’s work will not interfere with Friday’s ribbon cutting event for the new bridge connecting Riverwalk to the Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail.

The erosion-control work is part of the town’s effort to improve the water quality of the runoff in the Eno River.