MBB FINAL: UNC 90 – DAV 72 — Click for Recap

OC Sheriff Seeks Two Suspects In Monday AM B&E

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department needs your help identifying two suspects of a residential breaking and entering that occurred late Monday morning.

A home near the intersection of Ivey Road and Old Greensboro Highway in Southwest Orange County was broken into at around 11:00 a.m. Monday. Two black males of medium height and build wearing zip-up hooded sweatshirts were caught on camera and were possibly seen fleeing in a white vehicle.

If anyone has information regarding the incident or can identify the men in the photos, call Sergeant Tim Horne at 919-245-2900 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. You can also email Sgt. Horne at thorne@orangecountync.gov.


The 2014 Inter-City Visit, As Told By Aaron Keck: Tuesday Evening

The second and final day of the 2014 ICV wrapped up Tuesday for nearly 100 Orange County residents, including WCHL’s Aaron Keck, who is making his second-consecutive trip with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s ICV has taken the group to Athens, Georgia, with a stop in Greenville, South Carolina on the way. Athens is a college town much like Chapel Hill-Carrboro with the campus of the University of Georgia abutting the City.

Aaron joined Ran Northam on the WCHL Tuesday Evening News to tell the latest about the trip.

***Listen to the Interview***


Have you missed any of Aaron’s updates from Athens?
Monday Morning | Monday Evening | Tuesday Morning | Tuesday Evening

While in Athens, Aaron has also been writing a column.
Dispatch From Athens: Part I | Part II | Part III


The 2014 Inter-City Visit, As Told By Aaron Keck: Tuesday Morning

The second and final day of the 2014 ICV is already upon the nearly 100 Orange County residents, including WCHL’s Aaron Keck, who is making his second-consecutive trip with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s ICV has taken the group to Athens, Georgia, with a stop in Greenville, South Carolina on the way. Athens is a college town much like Chapel Hill-Carrboro with the campus of the University of Georgia abutting the City.

Aaron joined Ron Stutts on the WCHL Tuesday Morning News to tell the latest about the trip.

***Listen to the Interview***

Have you missed any of Aaron’s updates from Athens?
Monday Morning | Monday Evening | Tuesday Morning | Tuesday Evening

While in Athens, Aaron has also been writing a column.
Dispatch From Athens: Part I | Part II | Part III


OC Home Invasion Leads To 20-Mile Chase, Wanted Suspects

Story originally posted September 5, 2014, 6:33 a.m.

Police agencies from Orange, Durham, and Wake counties continue their search for two men considered armed and dangerous after they fled from a reported home invasion in Orange County early Friday morning.

The Orange County Sheriff’s department released a statement Friday morning that said deputies responded to a home in the eastern part of the county at 4820 Pleasant Green Road near U.S. Highway 70. Two black males reportedly invaded the home holding firearms and demanding money from the occupants. One of the home’s occupants was forced into the residence from the front yard, according to the release. It also states that one person was later forced back out of the home and kicked repeatedly, but no shots were fired and no one else was injured.

When deputies arrived, they reportedly found the men fleeing in a gold-colored vehicle. The vehicle was stopped by officers and the driver and passenger both put their arms out the window, but when officers tried to approach, the driver sped off.

After a 20-mile chase, they ended at a shopping center on Carrington Mills Road in Morrisville. They left the vehicle and ran into a wooded area near the shopping center. Orange County deputies, Durham and Morrisville police officers, and State Troopers–with help from a K-9 unit–all assisted in the unsuccessful attempt to locate the suspects.

Evidence was recovered at the scene where the car was discarded and is being processed while the investigation is ongoing, according to the Orange County Sheriff.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at 919-644-3050, or you may email Sergeant Clark at bclark@orangecountync.gov.


Chatham Residents: Check Your DMV Bills

Chatham County residents should double check your vehicle registration renewal before sticking the check in the mail.

Some residents have received tax bills citing the incorrect county rate. Orange County’s property tax rate is 87.8 cents; Durham County’s is 79.31 cents. However, Chatham County’s rate is much lower at 62.19 cents.

Not only are you overpaying if the bill is incorrect, but the funds are going to the incorrect county.

If you received a bill from the Division of Motor Vehicles that is incorrect, you can call the DMV at 919-814-1779.


Blue Recycling Carts Heading To Rural OC Soon

Additional reporting by Aaron Keck

Almost all the new rolling recycling carts are in use in the municipal sections of Orange County, and rural households should be following closely.

“The commissioners did authorize the purchase of 7,000 carts for the rural area,” says Blair Pollock, a Solid Waste Planner with Orange County Solid Waste Management. “

He says there are roughly 13,700 households on the recycling route in the rural part of the county.

However, he says the big gap between the two numbers may not be a bad thing.

“A: we know that not a lot of people recycle at the curb,” Pollock says. “We know that a lot of people will bring their recyclables to convenience centers. And B: not everyone’s going to want a cart. If you have a long driveway, maybe you’d rather keep your bins. In the rural area, there’s a lot more impediments to everyone using a cart.”

He says, in order to find out how many carts are needed, a survey is being conducted in the next several weeks to ask who wants to opt in to the program.

Once the numbers are tallied, the carts will be ordered and delivered.

“We’ll get the carts ordered by November, and we’ll be able to distribute them next January and start collection around February,” Pollock says.

Pollock says that is a carefully-calculated but soft timeframe but that there are always problems that could arise.

“Can you says, ‘ice storm’,” Pollock says.

Let’s hope not.


Two Local Drug Dealers Caught

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Friend

Two local, repeat-offending drug dealers were recently taken off the streets after separate incidents of selling cocaine near schools.

carrboro policeCarrboro Police arrested 42-year-old Mack James Matthew Cameron Monday after discovering an outstanding warrant during a routine traffic stop. He was charged with being in possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school.

Cameron was first charged in North Carolina with possession of a schedule II substance when he was 23 and was put on probation. However, probation was revoked because he was caught in possession of a schedule II substance again just more than seven months after his first offense on record. For that, he served nearly eight months in jail in Orange County.

Cameron has gone on to serve an additional five years, seven months for multiple drug possession and trafficking arrests.

U.S. Marshals arrested 40-year-old Bobby Lee Davis on Friday in the town of Graham. Chapel Hill police charged him with multiple felonies, including three counts of selling cocaine, three counts of possession of cocaine, and two counts of selling the drug within 1000 feet of a school. Police allege Davis dealt drugs in the Homestead Park area.


OC Ahead Of The State In Overall Child Well-Being?

North Carolina ranks 34th in the nation for overall child well-being, according to the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book. However, Orange County may be just a little bit ahead of the state all together signs of better times approaching.

“Orange County historically has done a little better on a lot of the indicators than [the rest of] the state, partly because we have a lot more programs than some of the low-wealth counties,” says Nancy Coston, the director of Orange County Department of Social Services. “We also are lucky that we live in a community that is very committed to our families.”

The KIDS COUNT Data Book is a product of the Annie E. Casey Foundation that examines 16 measures of child well-being in four categories: economic well-being, education, health, family and community.

North Carolina was one of the worst ranked states for economic well-being at 38 and performed only slightly better for family and community at 36.

The Tar Heel State was ranked at 32 in the health category and received its highest marks for education at 28.

In terms of what needs improvement, Coston says that poverty’s impact on children is something that will always have a lasting affect.

“That’s one of the things that has been really hard to help families with,” Coston stated, “Especially since around 2008, when the recession affected so many. A lot of our families have not been able to rebound from that. One of the problems is, with lower income families, the economic situation can affect them—it’s much harsher than it is for other families in terms of the impact. And the children feel that—they know that they live in a situation where they cannot have the things that other children have.”

A positive aspect to come of these poverty statistics is that the Orange County government is listening, according to Coston.

“Orange County Commissioners recently have started wanting to have additional conversations about our families living in poverty, and we’ve also seen that in some of the towns where they’re trying to address the housing and other needs of low income families. We know that children need to feel secure in their housing; they need to have no food insecurities, which we know that many of our families experience. So finding ways to make sure that all of that can be mitigated is one of the most important things that we can do here in our community.”

With all of this in mind, is Orange County currently on the rise or the decline?

Coston says she believes that, in terms of economics, the former is happening.

“We are starting to see the availability of jobs picking up, so hopefully, that impact will affect some of our low-income families,” Coston stated.

“We’ve been focusing a lot on employment of the parents, making sure their skills are marketable so that those families can get back in the work force because that is an important step for them and for their children, because we do know that children with working parents tend to do better than children without families who are working. So as the economy improves, hopefully some of that will impact.”

Coston also says there’s another positive trend happening in the form of health indicators that have improved recently in the state with Orange County as one of the leaders.

“I think it will be interesting to see, in the towns and the county, what approaches we can come up with that emphasize ways to help our children who are living in less-than-perfect situations,” Coston stated.


CH/OC Visitors Bureau Accredited; CH Town Hall Reopening; SolarBees

Congratulations to the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, just awarded accreditation status from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program.

The Orange County Visitors Bureau first received accreditation in 2010; it’s one of only 150 Convention and Visitors Bureaus in the U.S. to receive that honor.

It’s been more than a year since the big flood of 2013, and Town Hall is still undergoing renovations – but progress is being made, and on August 11 the Town of Chapel Hill is expecting to open some new offices.

Starting on Monday, August 11, the town’s Development Services Division and Revenue Office will be open on the ground floor of Town Hall, with the Business Management Department on the second floor. Cashiering will remain at University Square until August 8, then move back to Town Hall after that.

The renovations are being done in part to repair flood damage, but also to improve customer service. Council Chambers is scheduled to be reopen by September.

In order to reduce the level of algae in Jordan Lake, state officials are installing thirty-six solar-powered water circulators called SolarBees in the lake this month.

Installation began on July 21; it’s expected to take about two weeks. Twelve of the “SolarBees” will be placed in the southern part of the lake by the Haw River; the other 24 will be placed in the northern part of the lake by Morgan Creek.


Orange County Early Voting Meeting; Compass Center Volunteers

Now that the primaries are done, it’s time to start planning for the general election in November – and that means figuring out where to locate early voting sites.

The Orange County Board of Elections is holding a public meeting on Tuesday, July 22, to hear from the public on the hours and locations for the 2014 general election. Head to the meet and let officials know where you want to see early-voting sites – and when you want them open.

The meeting will take place at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday at the Board of Elections office at 208 S. Cameron Street in Hillsborough.

If you’re looking to do good in your community, consider volunteering for the Compass Center for Women and Families.

The Compass Center is accepting applications now for people interested in working their 24-hour domestic violence hotline, being First Responders for individuals who walk into the center’s office, or being Community Educators and representing the Compass Center at events and presentations around town.

For more information, you can email resources@compassctr.org – or visit them online at CompassCTR.org for more details.