Hillsborough’s National Night Out

Hillsborough police are inviting residents to come together on August 5 for the 31st annual “National Night Out.”

Sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out is designed to bring neighbors together – the better to prevent neighborhood crime. From 6-9 p.m., residents are invited to turn on their outside lights, lock their doors, and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police officers.

For more on National Night Out in Hillsborough or to organize a neighborhood party, contact community services officers Tereasa King or Tashia Mayo at 919-732-2441, ext. 26.


Carrboro Police To Citizens; Orangetheory Fitness; Hillsborough Tractor Supply

The Carrboro Police Department has launched a new online service that lets you see incident reports, arrest reports, and traffic crash reports.

It’s called “Police to Citizen,” or P2C. Chapel Hill Police have a P2C program in place as well.

To see it for yourself, head online and visit P2C.TownOfCarrboro.org.

A new fitness program called “Orangetheory Fitness” is coming to Meadowmont this fall as part of a nationwide expansion.

“Orangetheory Fitness” is a “group interval fitness concept” that focuses on interval training and short bursts of exercise; advocates say that focus enables the body to keep burning calories for up to 36 hours after the workout.

The program opened its first North Carolina location in Morrisville earlier this year; the Meadowmont location will be the Triangle’s second. Visit OrangeTheoryFitness.com to learn more.

Hillsborough mayor Tom Stevens will be on hand Saturday, July 26, to cut the ribbon on Hillsborough’s new Tractor Supply Company store on NC-86.

The store actually opens on Saturday, July 19, but the grand opening celebration on the 26th. It’s the 64th Tractor Supply store in North Carolina, employing 15 people.

The store is located at 1701 NC-86 South, just north of the I-85 bridge. The ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. on the 26th.


Early Voting For Sheriff Concludes

Early voting is closed for Orange County’s next sheriff as 298 residents cast their ballots on Friday, and 282 voted on Saturday taking the total to 1,519 for early voting.

Saturday, Orange County Commissioner Mark Dorosin told WCHL that he organized about 100 citizens to join him in voting early, and led the caravan from Chapel Hill to Hillsborough.

Charles Blackwood and David Caldwell are in the runoff for the position after the two were separated by just more than 60 votes in the May 6 Primary. Since neither received more than 40 percent of the vote, the second-place finisher—Caldwell—was able to call for the runoff.

Only the Board of Elections Headquarters took votes in the early voting process because of the historically low turnout for runoffs. However, all 44 precincts open on Election Day, Tuesday, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Candidate Profiles

Charles Blackwood

David Caldwell


Early Voting Thursday Check-In

Voting numbers remained flat Thursday as 156 Orange County residents cast their ballots early for the next sheriff.

Charles Blackwood and David Caldwell are in a runoff for the position after the two were separated by just more than 60 votes in the May 6 Primary. Since neither received more than 40 percent of the vote, the second-place finisher—Caldwell—was able to call for the runoff.

Only the Board of Elections Headquarters is taking votes in the early voting process because of the historically low turnout for runoffs. All 44 precincts will be open on Election Day, July 15.

The polls open each day this week from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Election Day is July 15, and all the polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Orange County Board of Elections is located at 208 South Cameron Street in Hillsborough next to Orange County Financial Services.


Hillsborough Mayor Is Featured Artist

Perhaps best known these days as Hillsborough’s mayor, Tom Stevens is also an accomplished artist – and it’s in that vein that he’s being featured this month at Hillsborough’s Cup-A-Joe coffee shop.

Through the end of July, the Cup-A-Joe will be displaying “Around the Corner,” a collection of landscapes by Stevens. The title, “Around the Corner,” is meant to be taken literally: all the paintings depict locations in Hillsborough, within a couple blocks of the Cup-A-Joe itself.

On Monday, Stevens joined Aaron Keck on the WCHL Afternoon News to discuss the exhibit – as well as the state of the arts in Hillsborough generally.

On Wednesday, July 9, there will be an artist’s reception from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Everyone’s welcome to attend.

Cup-A-Joe is located at 120 W. King Street in downtown Hillsborough.

See more of Stevens’ art here, including pieces from “Around the Corner.”


Black Bear Sightings In Hillsborough

A number of black bear sightings in Hillsborough have Orange County Emergency Services on alert.

ABC11 reports sightings have been reported at Lawrence Road and US 70, Churton Street and US 70, and Churton Street and Mayo. Dispatchers began receiving calls Monday evening.

Officials say they aren’t sure if the sightings have been of one bear or multiple bears.

Anyone who sees a bear should not approach it and should call 911 immediately.


Hillsborough Mayor Talks Town Budget, Town Future

At its meeting on Monday, June 9, the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015.

The proposed budget includes no property tax or water rate increase, but does include an 8.8 percent increase in sewer rates to help pay for the $19.8 million upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant. Other highlights of the proposal include $600,000 budgeted for design work on the Phase II expansion of the West Fork Reservoir and $176,520 for debt payment on Phases II and III of Riverwalk.

Hillsborough mayor Tom Stevens joined Aaron Keck on the WCHL Afternoon News this week to talk about the budget and long-term plans for the town of Hillsborough.

The board’s meeting will begin at 7:00 on Monday evening, in the Town Barn at 101 E. Orange Street.


UNCC Student From Hillsborough Dies From Fall

A UNC Charlotte student who died early Sunday morning has been identified as 18-year-old Joshua Robert Helm of Hillsborough.

Helm was a graduate of Northern High School in Durham and was in his freshman year. According to the News and Observer, police say Helm fell from a seventh-floor window of the 12-story Moore residence hall.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is still investigating the incident and hasn’t ruled out whether it was an accident, suicide, or something else.

The Charlotte Observer spoke with someone who lived on the same floor as Helm who said, “If anything bothered him, you couldn’t tell.”


Health, Safety, Schools, Libraries, And Hillsborough

If you still haven’t signed up for health insurance, the Chapel Hill Public Library is holding an all-day Affordable Care Act enrollment session on Monday, March 24, from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

The library is holding the session in partnership with UNC Healthcare, the League of Women Voters, Planned Parenthood, and UNC’s Student Health Action Coalition.

The deadline to sign up for health insurance in 2014 is March 31.

For more information or to reserve a time, call the Chapel Hill Public Library at 919-968-2780.


Are you a veteran or connected to the military? Orange County’s Department of Social Services is inviting you to a new event called “Military Monday,” geared especially toward veterans to make sure they have access to benefits and other federal, state, and local resources.

The first Military Monday event will take place on March 24, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at Hillsborough Commons on Mayo Street. It will be a Career/Resource Fair, with benefit assistance, career assessments, education resources, the Mobile Vet Center and more.

For more information, contact Betsy Corbett at 919-245-2890.


Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens will deliver his annual State of the Town address on Monday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. in the Orange County Public Library.

Among other things, the address will include an update on the town’s Riverwalk project as well as a discussion of Hillsborough’s future population boom. The town is expected to grow by 31 percent in the next four years.

Members of the public are invited to attend. Before the speech, from 5:30-6:30, planning staff will host a public information meeting on the status of downtown access improvements.


If you’re a parent in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and you’d like more information on the district’s dual language program, the district is offering four information sessions this spring, beginning later this month and running through May.

The Dual Language program gives students the chance to become proficient in two languages, English and either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. The district says Dual Language students, on average, outperform their peers on standardized tests and other student growth measures.

The first information session will be for the Spanish program on Thursday, March 20, at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School. The session will be offered in Spanish from 6-7 p.m. and in English from 7-8 p.m. Two more sessions on the Spanish program will take place—at the same times of day—on Thursday, April 24 at Carrboro Elementary and on Thursday, May 22, again at FPG.

There will also be an info session on the Mandarin Chinese program on Tuesday, March 25, from 6-7 p.m. at Glenwood Elementary.


Are you excited about the proposed new Southern Branch Library in Carrboro? What do you want to see there? What do you NOT want to see there?

If you have thoughts and ideas about the library, come out to a Community Engagement Meeting hosted by Orange County. The county is actually holding two meetings: the first is Tuesday, March 25, at 6:00 at Hickory Tavern; the second is on Saturday, April 12, at noon in Carrboro Town Hall. The first 50 participants at the March 25 meeting will receive gift certificates to Hickory Tavern.


The Hillsborough Arts Council has announced a partnership with a new charter school coming to Hillsborough this August.

The Expedition School will be taking part in the Art Council’s ArtCycle program, a program that collects new and used art supplies to be used in local schools.

The Expedition School is scheduled to open its doors in August. It’s a STEM-focused school for grades K-8.


Driving around this month, you might see some new signs on the road – all part of a local campaign to remind people to pull over if they see emergency vehicles coming their way.

The campaign is called “See the Light, Pull to the Right.” The idea came from a town employee, Fire Equipment Operator Luis Rodrigues. Six new signs are being installed near major intersections in Chapel Hill.

If an emergency vehicle is approaching you from behind, take your foot off the accelerator, merge to the outside lane if possible, and pull off the side of the road to allow the vehicle to pass.



Preview: Hillsborough Mayor’s State of the Town Address

On Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m., Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens will deliver his State of the Town Address at the Orange County Public Library

In his eighth year in office, Stevens is declaring that The State of the Town is strong.

First of all, there’s the upcoming completion of Riverwalk, a 1.8 mile greenway along the Eno River corridor, with pedestrian connections that include Gold Park, Occonneechee Mountain, and Downtown.

“We’re making the connection from Gold Park to the downtown,” he says. “The bridges just came in – were delivered. We think, next Tuesday, they might be getting the cranes back in to lift and place the bridge.”

Stevens says that town planners have really emphasized making Hillsborough a walkable community.

“Certainly, with any new neighborhoods, we are trying to make sure that we have good connectivity, and good sidewalks,” he says. “We’re trying to infill where we can.”

He says the small-town, connected feel not only benefits Hillsborough residents who enjoy its unique character; It’s also welcoming and inclusive for anybody, whether they live in the heart of Historic Downtown, or just outside of it.

“When you live in Kenion Grove, or Churton Grove, which is actually outside the town limits, or in Cornwallis Hills, or in West End, or in Fairview, you know, you really also feel like, ‘I’m part of Hillsborough.’”

Stevens estimates it’ll be late summer by the time the trails are open to the public. Expect a big community celebration when that happens.

The population of Hillsborough has grown by about 1,000 people for each of the last three decades.

Instead of seeing a big growth in the number of people, the town enjoyed a significant growth in the number of businesses.

But now says Stevens, housing is about to catch up. Between 400 and 500 new homes will be built in Hillsborough over the next four years, which will bring in between 1,000 and 2,000 new residents. That’s a 30 percent increase in population.

Stevens says he’s excited about the prospect. After all, a town known for its architecture, restaurants and art community didn’t just spring up magically.

“I think that’s the heart of what’s special,” he says. “You can take all the parts – we have this historic architecture that’s in Hillsborough. We have this history and this narrative about how Hillsborough’s touched history.

“But all these things don’t make it,” says Stevens. “All these things contribute to it. It really is the people. And it’s the diversity of the folks that we have.”