Accidental Alarm Registration; “Better Back Care”; August Pet Adoption

If you’re in Chapel Hill and you haven’t registered your alarm yet, now is the time to do it.

Chapel Hill’s Accidental Alarm Program went into effect on July 1 – and since then, more than 1600 residents and more than 650 businesses have registered their alarms, as required.

The program is designed to cut down on the costs associated with emergency workers having to respond to false alarms. The town will issue a fine for any unregistered alarm system or any alarm that accidentally activates more than three times in a 12-month period.

There’s no cost to register your alarm. You can do it online by visiting

UNC’s School of Medicine has won a $6 million award from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Innovation Center for a program called “Better Back Care.”

The program is still in development, but the purpose is to create a “medical neighborhood” connecting 60 primary care providers with UNC’s spine program to improve care for people with back pain. It will be directed by Dr. Brian Casazza and Dr. Amy Shaheen.

UNC is one of only 39 awardees nationally – and this is the only spine-care program to be selected as an award recipient.

If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, August might be the perfect time.

As part of a “Back to School” promotion, Orange County Animal Services is reducing adoption fees by nearly 50% for cats and dogs. Cat adoptions will be $50 and dog adoptions will be $60 – and as always, all the animals are fully vaccinated, vet checked, and spayed or neutered.

The Animal Services office is on Eubanks Road in northern Chapel Hill. To see photos of the animals, visit

New OC Economic Development Specialist; Microchips For Pets; Cervical Cancer Screening

CHAPEL HILL - The Orange County Economic Development Department announced Ellen Tai will join the team as the new Economic Development Specialist.

Tai has previous work experience at the NC Department of Commerce where she managed the NC certified Sites Program.  She will be tasked to further economic development by communicating with stakeholders, assisting business retention, developing a County brand moniker, and maintaining information on commercial properties.

Director of Economic Development, Steve Brantley, believes that Tai “will be beneficial for Orange County.”  Tai starts on July 15 and says she’s looking forward to working with Orange County.


Orange County Animal Services will offer a Microchip Clinic for dogs and cats from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. next Thursday.  This clinic will take place at the Animal Services Center on Eubanks Road.

Along with Microchips for your pets, the clinic will offer one-year rabies vaccinations. Rabies vaccinations will cost $10 and include a tag with rabies certificate.  The microchip will cost $25 per pet and includes registration with 24PetWatch’s national database.

For more information you can click here.


Practice of annual cervical-cancer screenings may cause more harm than good. A UNC News release states that in 2009, accumulating scientific evidence led major guideline groups to agree that women should be screened less frequently: every three years rather than annually.

The practice of annual screenings remains popular as many doctors were concerned that patients might not come for annual check-ups unless they include a Pap-test.

The newest cervical-cancer and HPV screening recommendations say women should start at 21 and get screenings every three years and women between 30 and 65 can even wait five years between screenings.