High School Football Preview: Week 3

This week WCHL will be at Chapel Hill High School cover the game between CHHS and Carrboro. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 o’clock.

Last year Chapel Hill beat Carrboro 41-19.

The Tigers got their first win of the season last week against South Granville 46-29. They were led by QB Conner Stough, who showed off his legs as well as his arm. He threw three touchdown passes and ran for another.

Carrboro is coming off of a close loss to East Chapel Hill last week 30-27. The Jaguars are looking to build off the momentum RB Greyson Magee built; the senior ran for 165 yards and four touchdowns. Despite his strong performance, the Jaguars still fell to 0-2 on the season.

Make sure to tune into WCHL for coverage of the game this weekend.

In other action, Orange travels to Riverside and Northwood travels to Jordan Matthews. Cedar Ridge knocked off East Chapel Hill on Thursday night 29-6.


Lull in Hurricane Season is Time to Prepare

September is North Carolina Preparedness Month.

While it’s been a benign hurricane season so far, National Weather Service Meteorologist Ryan Ellis has a reminder for the Triangle.

“It only takes one system to spin up,” he says. “I think the key is going to be where a system, later this season, forms. Those that are coming all the way across the Atlantic, there’s a lot of real estate to cover there and a lot of hostile environment to go through.

“The ones that tend to cause issues in seasons like this are the ones that may form right off the East Coast or maybe in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The remnants of Hurricane Erika have been causing flooding issues across South Carolina, and now Hurricane Fred is the sixth named storm of the season.

Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Kirby Saunders says that being informed is key during storms and that flooding is our main threat.

“Having a way to be informed of changing conditions such as flooded roadways or water rising in creeks, rivers or streams,” he says, “that’s one of the key things we want to be prepared for.

“We recommend that everyone have a NOAA weather radio. We also have a free program in Orange County called OC Alerts that will inform subscribers of flash-flood warnings or flood warnings in their area.”

You can register for the free alerts from Orange County here.

Saunders says there are precautions you can take to be prepared for a storm to hit.

“We recommend a three-day supply of food and water,” he says. “Include things like a first-aid kit, non-perishable food items, supply of water – recommended one gallon per person per day.

“You may also want to include things such as essentials for pets, if you have pets, [and] any essential medications that you would need.”

Saunders says these preparedness kits can be helpful as we transfer to the winter months as well.

Ellis says during El Nino weather patterns, like we are currently in, activity is much higher in the Pacific Ocean and quiets down in the Atlantic. Regardless, the Atlantic Hurricane season runs through the end of November.

“It’s definitely too early to tell if we could see some remnants of storms,” he says, “but certainly over the next week or two the activity is pretty minimal.”

Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed September as North Carolina Preparedness Month, encouraging all families across the Tar Heel state to be aware and prepare for all types of emergencies.


Weekend Sports Roundup

While the UNC football team has to wait until Thursday to get its season started, several other Carolina teams were in action over the weekend.

On the soccer pitch, the Carolina women’s soccer team continued its impressive stretch to start the season with two more victories over the weekend. The Tar Heels knocked off the Texas Longhorns 2-0 on Friday night and followed that up with a 5-0 win against the University of Texas at San Antonio, on Sunday. UNC has now won its first four matches of the season by a combined score of 17-0.

Meanwhile, the men’s side got into the action for the first time over the weekend. Carolina won twice with victories over Florida International and Santa Clara, by a cumulative 4-0 score.

The North Carolina field hockey team got off to a very strong start to its season, winning twice by a score 2-1, against Michigan on Saturday afternoon followed by a victory over Iowa on Sunday as part of the ACC/Big Ten challenge.

Finally, the UNC volleyball team picked up its first win of the 2015 season with a sweep of Chicago State on Saturday night in Carolina’s final match of the Women of Troy Baden Invitational. The Tar Heels lost to Southern California and BYU in its opening two matches at the tournament before coming into form against Chicago State.

And in high school football, in the game WCHL game of the week, East Chapel Hill knocked off Carrboro at Carrboro High 30-27; Chapel Hill beat South Granville 46-29; Orange High got a comeback victory over Northern Durham 20-13; Charlotte Latin beat Northwood 48-13; and Jordan Matthews got past Cedar Ridge 40-29.


High School Football Preview: Week 2

Football is back across our community again tonight.

WCHL will broadcast the game Friday night between Carrboro High School and East Chapel Hill High School. The game will start at 7:30

East is looking to avenge a 42-12 loss to the Jaguars last year. Both East and Carrboro are coming off of a loss in their first games of the season last week.

Carrboro lost to Cedar Ridge 56-15. The Jaguars were torched by Cedar Ridge QB Peyton Pappas, who went 8-9 for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and RB Shemar Miles, who ran for 161 yards and also scored three touchdowns.

In their first game of the season the Wildcats fell to Northern Vance by a score of 26-15.

As both teams look to right the ship and get back on track with a victory on Friday night, WCHL will have all of the coverage you are looking for.

In other action this week, Chapel Hill travels to South Granville, Cedar Ridge takes on Jordan Matthews, Orange defends their home field against Northern Durham and Northwood is up against Charlotte Latin at home.

You can see the full schedule here.


Light Rail Project Clears Hurdle

The light rail project connecting Chapel Hill and Durham has cleared a major hurdle.

Natalie Murdock is the spokesperson on the project for GoTriangle. She says the Federal Transit Administration signed off on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement last Thursday.

“Essentially, this allows us to go forward and show the public everything that we’ve been working on at a very intense pace,” she says, “taking a four-year process and really trying to whittle that down into two years.”

Murdock says this draft statement focused on potential environmental impacts along the pathway from Chapel Hill to Durham.

“Throughout those 17 miles, we did have a number of environmentally-sensitive areas,” she says. “In this document, you will see our recommendation as to how we can offset some of those environmental impacts.

“And also ways that we can try to avoid impacts to communities and institutions.”

Murdock adds work has narrowed down on the potential path of the tracks.

The funding for the project is coming from local, state, and federal funds. Murdock says that will follow a 25-25-50 format, with 25 percent from the local level through a sales tax increase already approved by Orange and Durham County voters, 25 percent from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and 50 percent to come from the federal government.

A public comment period will open for 45 days after the formal FTA approval, which is expected on Friday.

Murdock says that will set off the next chain of events on the timeline.

“That final document will be finalized around February 2016,” she says. The final environmental-impact document approval will lead to additional authorization being sought from the FTA regarding engineering. “At that time, if the federal government allows us to proceed with the engineering, then in 2019 we will pursue 50 percent funding from the federal government and begin construction in 2019.”

The public comment period will include two public information sessions and two public hearings. The Friday Center will host an information session on September 15 and a public hearing on September 29.

“We need to hear from the public how they think the project will help their community,” Murdock says, “what concerns they have about how it will impact their community; if they think it will impact their access to work; if it will impact the access that customers will have to a business owner’s business.

“Those are the types of comments that we do need to hear from the public.”

You can view the draft proposal here.


Orange County EMS Urges Citizens to Check Emergency Kit Tourniquets

Some devices that are used by emergency responders in life-threatening situations may be counterfeit.

The use of tourniquets by first responders across the country has grown in recent years but now scammers have been selling counterfeit brand-name tourniquets. And the counterfeits are showing up in the United States, according to a recent CBS News investigation.

“The tourniquets are used by our EMS staff and also our law enforcement staff, to include the university public safety,” says Orange County Emergency Services Director Jim Groves. “If something goes wrong with the officer they can have some self protection.

“But they really came into fruition with our active-assailant planning.”

The tourniquets are used as a compression device to control the flow of blood to a specific area of a victim who suffered a traumatic injury.

Groves says tactics have changed in recent years on how to respond to situations where a large number of victims are in a life-threatening incident and use of tourniquets has grown rapidly.

“A lot of the data comes over from our war activity,” he says, “and fighting over in the Middle East.

“They save a lot of soldiers’ lives just by stopping the bleeding.”

It appears the counterfeit tourniquets are being sold through secondary online markets, including e-bay and Amazon. Groves says Orange County Emergency Services purchases tourniquets directly from a reputable manufacturer.

“It’s a very robust tourniquet,” he says. “It’s actually got a metal bar, if you will, versus a plastic or synthetic type of bar.”

Groves adds the devices are “not cheap” and some departments that have faced budget cuts may be looking to save money with the cheaper alternatives.

It is not only first responders that purchase tourniquets. Citizens are allowed to own the potentially life-saving devices for emergency kits. Groves says hunters are a large segment of civilian purchasers.

Groves says, while the emergency services department purchased its tourniquets from the manufacturer, a message has been passed along to everyone in the department to encourage them to ensure any additional devices purchased individually are legitimate.

He says citizens should go through the proper channels of purchasing.

“My suggestion would be, if they choose to do that, to go directly from the manufacturer,” he says, “and not go through a second or third party. Because they can’t guarantee the authenticity of what the device is.

“It’s going to cost you a couple of extra bucks, but you’re going to know it’s going to work when you need it.”

In a joint press release, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin say none of the fake devices have been found in North Carolina at this time. Secretary of State Marshall requests anyone in North Carolina finding a counterfeit tourniquet call her Department’s Trademark Tipline with details so that state law enforcement agents can pursue the matter.


Football Season Is Back!

It’s that time of the year again! As we close out the month of August and kids head back to school that can only mean one thing – high school football season is here.

Check in regularly to WCHL and Chapelboro for all of your local coverage.

For a complete schedule for all local high school teams and to find out which games we will be covering throughout the season, click here.


New WCHL Owner on Station’s Future

Leslie Rudd is a Colorado-based entrepreneur and philanthropist with Chapel Hill ties, who will also be the new owner of WCHL and Chapelboro.com, once the final administrative hurdles are cleared.

WCHL has a history of serving Orange County that dates back to 1953.

READ MORE: New Owner Announced for WCHL and Chapelboro

Rudd says he is excited to continue the work of WCHL and Chapelboro, as one of the few remaining commercial radio stations in the country with a mission of serving the local community.

“We are very excited about owning WCHL and Chapelboro.com in a community that is near and dear to my heart. There have been some questions about the new ownership, and what we plan to do with the station and website, which are unique properties in a vibrant college town. Although we do not officially take over until the FCC license transfer is complete and the actual sale closes, our plans are to continue to serve the community with informative, entertaining and educational programming and content, much like it has in the past.

“Our business model when acquiring an existing company is to keep the operation in place and help the staff get even better at what they are doing as we go along. In some cases, we have brought in partners that make up a local ownership group, and we are exploring that option with WCHL. Of course, we will continue to carry the Tar Heel games and cover high school sports and have Ron Stutts in the morning and Aaron Keck in the afternoon. In my years having a home in Chapel Hill, I met so many wonderful people and still have great friends there. I know how much having their own dedicated radio station means to them, and that is what they will continue to have.”

READ MORE: New Bidders Vie for WCHL


1953 Roland “Sandy” McClamroch begins WCHL as a daytime operation with 1,000 watts at 1360 AM

1958 Jim Heavner joins WCHL as a part time summer announcer

1967 Heavner purchases first interest in WCHL from then Mayor McClamroch

1978 Heavner purchases McClamroch remaining ownership, owns 100%

1993 Curtis Media purchases WCHL

2002 Heavner buys WCHL back from Curtis

2009 Barry Leffler buys controlling interest in WCHL from Heavner

2011 WCHL establishes Chapelboro.com, a community news and feature website

2012 WCHL adds FM translator at 97.9FM

2014 Heavner repurchases Leffler interest when he leaves for Dallas role with Tenet Health Care, places it in VilCom.  WCHL is offered for sale.

2015 Leslie Rudd purchases WCHL


One Killed in I-85 Crash in Orange County

The State Highway Patrol has identified the driver killed in the fatal accident on I-85 Wednesday afternoon as 76-year-old Julius Edward Ellen, of Virginia.

Troopers say law enforcement was dispatched to a two-vehicle collision just before one o’clock. Both vehicles were traveling North on I-85 in the right lane when traffic slowed, reportedly due to a guardrail repair crew working just ahead of the crash which had closed the left lane to perform maintenance work.

The 2011 GMC Terrain driven by Ellen struck the rear end of a 1987 Chevrolet Utility truck, driven by 57-year-old Paul May, of South Carolina.

According to troopers, May was transported to Duke University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.


Get to Know Who is Running for Chapel Hill Town Council

Nine candidates will be on the ballot for four spots on the Chapel Hill Town Council this fall.

Donna Bell, Lee Storrow, and Jim Ward will be running for re-election. Earlier this year, Matt Czajkowski resigned his seat on the Town Council that was up for election this November to work for a non-profit in Rwanda.

WCHL has compiled introductions from each of the Town Council hopefuls.

Jessica Anderson:


Donna Bell:


Adam Jones:


Paul Neebe:


Nancy Oates:


Michael Parker:


David Schwartz:


Lee Storrow:


Jim Ward:


WCHL and Chapelboro will have candidate introductions for Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools and Hillsborough Town Commissioners later this month.

Early voting begins on October 22. Election day is Tuesday, November 3.