Fundraising Effort for Orange County Veterans Memorial Increasing

The site has been chosen, plans are underway and the Veterans Memorial Fundraising Committee has begun efforts to raise money for the new memorial.

The memorial will be built off of Homestead Road, in the field adjacent to the Southern Human Services Center.

Renee Price is an Orange County Commissioner and committee member. She says she has backed the memorial from the beginning, and now that everything else has been decided, it’s time to start raising money.

“I think once people know that something is happening; the momentum is there; it’s real, then they’ll start giving.”

The committee presented renderings at the walk-through to show board and community members what the finished memorial could look like. The memorial plan will have four different sections, or rooms. Each will have a different theme such as: family, freedom or sacrifice. There will also be a spot with an American flag toward the middle.

“That will have somewhat of a formal design around it. The rest of this is very informal and natural. But around the flagpole it will have kind of ordered and regimented, if you will, design elements,” said David Swanson – the landscape architect for the memorial.

He says, while the design for the project was important, it was also important to incorporate preservation into the project.

“The scale of this is, as we say, it’s four outdoor rooms, but they’re all set into a natural grove of trees which is these beautiful, I would say 100 year old trees.”

But before these outdoor rooms can be built around the trees, Fundraising Chairman Lee Heavlin says it’s going to take a lot of community effort.

“Anyone who wants to participate in raising money, it’s going to take a lot of people and their energy to build what we need – which is about $250,000 to $300,000.”

But Price says she thinks Orange County residents will realize the importance of the memorial, and will want to help.

“A lot of people may think of veteran’s memorial; they think military; they think war. But this is about—yes indeed, wars occur – but nonetheless, we do have to celebrate our freedoms and this is one way of doing that.”

The fundraising committee says they are hoping to work with church groups, schools and veterans groups to make the Orange County Veterans Memorial a reality.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/fundraising-effort-for-orange-county-veterans-memorial-increasing

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)

Carrboro:

  • 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

Hillsborough:

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

 

Pittsboro:

  • 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.

Carrboro:

  •  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

 

Hillsborough:

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

 

Pittsboro:

  • 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.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/gas-shortage-causing-long-lines-and-angst-for-motorists

Orange County Hosting Job Fair at University Place Wednesday

University Place is scheduled to host a job fair Wednesday being put on by the Orange County Department of Social Services.

Officials say more than 75 employers will be participating in the job fair.

The event is billed as a chance for employers to meet potential employees with a variety of skill sets.

The Mobile Vet Center is scheduled to be on site for the event to meet with veterans seeking employment. The center’s representatives will work to help veterans identify jobs targeted specifically for them.

The job fair is scheduled to run from 10 o’clock Wednesday morning until two o’clock in the afternoon at University Place.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/orange-county-hosting-job-fair-university-place-wednesday

Mountains to Sea Trail Public Information Meeting Set for Monday Night

Orange County residents can get more information regarding the planned Mountains-to-Sea Trail that will cross the county at a public information meeting Monday night.

Monday’s event will focus of the segment of the trail that will run from Hillsborough to the Haw River.

Officials say the meeting will allow an opportunity for interested residents to learn more about the proposed trail by asking staff about topics or issues of concern.

The trail has received tentative approval to pass through land owned by Orange Water and Sewer Authority.

Monday’s meeting is scheduled to be at seven o’clock Monday night at the Maple View Agricultural Education Center on Dairyland Road in Hillsborough.

More information is available here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/mountains-sea-trail-public-information-meeting-set-monday-night

Solar Farm Plan Moving Forward in Orange County

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is moving forward with a plan that will allow a solar farm to be built on a 52-acre patch of land off of Highway 70 West.

The plan was made by solar energy companies Calvert Energy and ESA Renewables. Calvert Energy CEO Brian Quinlan presented the plan to the board Monday night. Quinlan says the companies need approval of a special permit to allow for the zoning of the solar panels.

“It’s been reviewed fairly extensively by both the clearing house at the state level with a variety of different departments here at the county level.”

Quinlan also says the 52-acres of land are the perfect type to develop this type of solar project.

“The site is surrounded by a lot of wetlands and water features, which makes it a difficult development from a higher-intensity perspective. But for lower intensity development, like a solar project, it works very well.”

But even though the land is good for the solar panels, Commissioner Barry Jacobs asked at the hearing whether the solar panels would be bad for animals already living on the land.

Chris Sandifer is an engineering consultant for solar farm siting. He attended the hearing to answer questions and provide testimony. He says nothing would be harmed.

“No sir. I’m not aware of any study that shows that it causes wildlife a problem.”

Sandifer also says the panels won’t harm people either.

“There’s no smell; there’s no dust; there’s no radiation; these panels use no nuclear radiation.”

Quinlan says the point of the solar farm is to do good and not bad to all who live in Orange County.

“Solar projects are safe for the community. They develop their power at a low-voltage level. All of the wiring and components are underwriter laboratory approved, the design is approved by the county, we have to get a construction permit to make sure that we’re meeting all the local codes.”

If approved, nce the design and construction process are started, the plan is expected to take about six months to install once the design and construction process has started.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/solar-farm-plan-moving-forward-orange-county

Passenger Killed in Orange County I-85 Wreck Identified

The State Highway Patrol has released the name of the passenger who was killed in a three-vehicle collision on I-85 in Orange County on Tuesday.

Authorities say 35-year-old Lisa Nicole Parker, of Mebane, died when the vehicle she was riding in lost control and struck two other vehicles.

A Graham man has been charged with six offenses related to the crash.

Authorities have charged 40-year-old Robert Jason Mace with felony death by a motor vehicle, felony serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, failure to maintain lane control and improper passing.

Authorities say Parker was a passenger in a van being driven by Mace that was traveling south on I-85 near mile-marker 165 on Tuesday afternoon. The van traveled off the right shoulder and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer, which was stationary at the time. The vehicle then collided into a Toyota pickup truck, which caused the Toyota to overturn.

Authorities say the investigation shows that Mace was driving in a careless and reckless manner prior to the collision and passing other vehicles on the right emergency shoulder of I-85.

Investigators say they believe alcohol was a factor.

Additional charges could be brought against Mace as the investigation continues.

The interstate was closed for more than seven hours on Tuesday to allow for the preliminary investigation.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/passenger-killed-in-orange-county-i-85-wreck-identified

Judicial Forum Set for Thursday Night at Orange County Courthouse

The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce and Orange County Bar Association are holding a judicial candidate forum Thursday to give you a chance to interact with this year’s candidates.

This will be the first judicial candidate forum held in Orange County to date. The forum is scheduled for the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough from six o’clock until eight o’clock on Thursday night.

Attorney Hathaway Pendergrass is assisting the chamber and the Bar Association to promote the event and says this will be a great opportunity to hear from the candidates firsthand.

“That’s a lot of names and a lot of positions and so, to help the folks, especially in Orange and Chatham Counties, we wanted people to meet some of these candidates,” Pendergrass said.

Since this forum is new to the area, Pendergrass gave some advice on what to look for in a candidate you may vote for.

“It’s different than just saying, ‘I’m going to vote for this person just because maybe of their party affiliation.’ You look for experience. Sometimes judges will hint at the way that they feel, whether they interpret the Constitution a certain way or not,” Pendergrass said. “But, you can also look at their record, maybe as an attorney.”

Pendergrass said it’s especially important to come out and listen to the District Court Judges because they handle so many issues locally.

“Come out and listen to them and find out what their views are on, especially the District Court Judges, about the community,” Pendergrass said.

If you are interested in attending this Forum, make sure to go to the Mural Court Room at the Orange County Courthouse at six o’clock on Thursday.

You can find more information on who will be attending this forum visit the Hillsborough Chamber website.

http://chapelboro.com/news/election/judicial-forum-set-thursday-night-orange-county-courthouse

Orange County Animal Services Announces New Grant Program

A new program has been created by Orange County Animal Services to support animal welfare initiatives and projects in the county.

The program is known as The Pat Sanford Animal Welfare Grant and has been created through a donation from Friends of Orange County Animal Shelter.

The grant can be used for a wide range of pilot or seed projects, according to a release. The funding could also be used to supplement other programs or projects.

Officials say the funds must be used to aid animal welfare efforts in the county.

The 2016 award is limited to a maximum of $500 and applications must be received by November 7.

The program is named after Pat Sanford, the former executive director of the animal protection society of Orange County. Sanford served that organization for 17 years, where she pushed for spay/neuter to combat the county’s pet overpopulation and created a wildlife rehabilitation component. Sanford retired in 2002.

Officials say the initial donation will sustain the program for a 10-year period and additional donations are welcome.

You can get more information here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-town/orange-county-animal-services-announces-new-grant-program

Driver in Fatal I-85 Crash in Orange County Charged with DWI

A Graham man has been charged with six charges following a fatal three-vehicle collision on I-85 in Orange County Tuesday evening.

Officials with the North Carolina Highway Patrol have charged 40-year-old Robert Jason Mace, of Graham, with felony death by a motor vehicle, felony serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, failure to maintain lane control and improper passing.

Authorities say a passenger van driven by Mace traveling south on I-85 near mile-marker 165 traveled off the right shoulder and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer, which was stationary at the time. The van then collided with a Toyota pickup truck, which caused the Toyota to overturn.

The female passenger in the van driven by Mace died at the scene, according to law enforcement.

Authorities say the investigation shows that Mace was driving in a careless and reckless manner prior to the collision and passing other vehicles on the right emergency shoulder of I-85.

Investigators say they believe alcohol was a factor.

Additional charges could be brought against Mace as the investigation continues.

Mace and the driver of the Toyota were taken to Duke for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.

I-85 was shut down for several hours Tuesday while the preliminary investigation was conducted.

http://chapelboro.com/featured/driver-in-fatal-i-85-crash-in-orange-county-charged-with-dwi

One Dead in Tuesday Wreck on I-85 in Orange County

One passenger was killed in a wreck that shut down I-85 in Orange County for several hours Tuesday evening.

North Carolina Highway Patrol officials say the fatality occurred as part of a three-vehicle collision on I-85 near mile-marker 165 when a passenger van ran off the right shoulder and struck the rear of a tractor-trailer, which was stationary at the time.

Authorities say the van then collided into a Toyota pickup truck, which caused the truck to overturn.

Officials say the front passenger of the van died as part of the crash. The driver of the van and pickup were transported to Duke with non-life-threatening injuries.

Troopers also say that witnesses described the operator of the van as driving careless and reckless prior to the collision. Investigators say they believe that alcohol was a factor in the case.

Robert Mace, the driver of the van, has been charged with felony death by a motor vehicle, felony serious injury by a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, careless and reckless driving, failure to maintain lane control and improper passing.

Troopers say the investigation is ongoing.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/one-dead-in-tuesday-wreck-on-i-85-in-orange-county