For Tenth Year, Local Realtors “Fix A Home”

For the tenth year, local realtors are coming together to “fix a home” for a Chapel Hill family.

The Orange Chatham Association of REALTORS launched the Fix-A-Home project back in 2007. Each year, OCHAR selects a home in the Chapel Hill area – identifying homeowners who are physically or financially unable to make repairs on their own – and renovate it from the ground up, using all volunteer labor and donated materials. This year, about 75 volunteers and more than 20 sponsors are involved – including architects and tradesmen as well as manual laborers.

This year’s recipients are Paul and Belinda Caldwell – both longtime UNC employees and Northside residents who have lived in the same home for more than 40 years (and raised seven children there). Fix-A-Home organizers say this is their biggest project yet: the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems will all be upgraded and every room in the house will undergo renovations.

Anne Hoole is the Fix-A-Home committee chair; Jackie Tanner is a Fix-A-Home co-organizer. They spoke with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


This year’s Fix-A-Home project got underway on September 8. The reveal date is tentatively scheduled for October 7.

Realtors’ “Day Of Service” At Chapel Hill HS

This Monday, April 11, dozens of local realtors will head to Chapel Hill High School for a “Realtor Day of Service,” performing maintenance work to spruce up the campus from 9 am to noon.

They’re with the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors, working with the CHCCS volunteer office. According to a district spokesperson, they’ll be tackling a variety of projects, including:

– Cleaning up, reorganizing and staging the trophy cases in the commons area between the cafeteria and the main gym, and down the hall to the lower gym;
– Painting the exterior wall of the main gym concession stand with spirited gold and black paint;
– Weeding, cleaning out and mulching the gardens in front of Hanes Auditorium;
– Weeding, cleaning out and mulching the memorial gardens near the front parking lot.

Orange Chatham Association of Realtors CEO Cub Berrian, CHCCS Volunteer Coordinator Julie Hennis, and Laura Malinchock of the Chapel Hill High School PTA joined Aaron Keck on WCHL to discuss the “Day of Service.”

Big Reveal Friday For CH Realtors’ “Fix-A-Home”

This Friday – hurricane or no hurricane! – local residents and businesses will come together to help make one local family’s dream come true.

Each year, the Greater Chapel Hill Association of REALTORS heads up a project called “Fix-A-Home.” They choose one local home every year and provide needed repairs and upgrades for the homeowner – targeting homeowners who are physically or financially unable to make the repairs themselves.

This year’s Fix-A-Home recipient is Jewel Francis, who lives in the Northside neighborhood at 306 Brooks Street, in a home built for her parents 41 years ago. She shares the home with her goddaughter Anita Wilson and Anita’s two children, Lillie-Marie and Elijah – sleeping on the couch so the others can have their own bedrooms.

The project got under way last Thursday. Since then, volunteers have been braving the steady rain and working around the clock to make repairs, install carpet, repaint the walls, and add a new bedroom – for starters. Local businesses have chipped in with supplies, expert assistance, and lodging and food for the family.

Project co-chairs Anne Hoole and Jackie Tanner stopped by WCHL Wednesday and spoke with Aaron Keck.


The big reveal will take place at 3 pm Friday, October 2 – with volunteers, realtors, and Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt on hand. Everyone’s welcome to attend.

Local Realtors “Fix A Home” – And You Can Help

The Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors has launched its annual “Fix-A-Home” project, and they’re asking for your support this weekend.

The GCHAR will host a food truck rodeo and silent auction on Sunday, June 1, from 3-7 p.m. at Carrboro Town Commons, with proceeds going to the project. Food trucks include Parlez-Vous Crepe, Chirba Chirba Dumplings, Pie Pushers, Steel String Brewery, Captain Poncho’s Taco Truck, MaMa Duke’s, and Tar Heel Creamery.

Bidding is underway now online for the silent auction; click here to see a list of items and place a bid.

The event will benefit the annual Fix-A-Home project, launched in 2007 to help local homeowners who are physically or financially unable to repair or maintain their homes. This year’s recipient is Barbara Foggie, a founding member of EmPOWERment, Inc., and a retired Certified Nursing Assistant at UNC Hospitals who’s lived at 307 Sunset Drive since 1968. (The house that’s currently on the site was built in 1981.) Volunteers will fix the home’s heating system, install new appliances, and make the home handicap-accessible, among other things.

Anne Hoole of Fathom Realty is the chair 0f this year’s Fix-A-Home project. She stopped by WCHL this week to talk with Aaron Keck.

Hoole says last year’s project cost about $35,000, and they’re expecting a similar cost this year. Visit to learn more – and if you’d like to support or sponsor Fix-A-Home this year, contact Hoole at 919-414-1681 or

Biking! Drinking! Recycling! Driving! Housing! Reporting! Dancing!

The newest restaurant in Chapel Hill’s 140 West is celebrating its grand opening on Thursday, March 20.

Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom will mark its grand opening on March 20 with a ribbon cutting at 11:00 a.m.

Old Chicago got its start back in 1976 – and to honor that, the company will offer free pizza for a year for the first 76 customers in line. There will also be a free throw shooting contest outside on the 140 West plaza – and Old Chicago will donate $76 to Farmer Foodshare for each free throw that gets made. (Show the Tar Heels how it’s done!)

Listen to Aaron Keck’s conversation on the Wednesday afternoon news with Old Chicago’s Chris Beckler.

Click here.


For the next two months, the Town of Chapel Hill is inviting you to give your feedback on the latest draft of its Bike Plan.

You can find the plan and a comment form online at

There will be a public forum to discuss the plan on Monday, April 28.


Chatham County officials say drinking water in some parts of the county might have a musty taste and odor for the next month or so – but it’s still safe to drink.

Chatham Water Utilities found higher-than-usual levels of compounds in water recently sampled from Jordan Lake Reservoir, causing the slight difference in taste. Director Leonard McBryde says this is a seasonal issue that’s “not uncommon for water systems that draw raw water from lakes.”

Since it’s seasonal, county officials say it should only last about a month – but in the meantime, residents can minimize the taste difference by refrigerating water in a pitcher, or using a carbon filter.


Orange County will be holding a second public hearing in April to discuss the proposed new solid waste service tax district for unincorporated areas of the county.

The district is being proposed as a way to continue funding the county’s recycling program. The program had been funded with an annual fee attached to residents’ property tax bill, but that fee has been discontinued.

The public hearing takes place on Tuesday, April 1, also at 6:00 p.m. at the Social Services Center at Hillsborough Commons on Mayo Street in Hillsborough.


Chapel Hill-Carrboro’s three high schools are holding “mock crash” events this spring to raise awareness of the dangers of impaired and distracted driving.

The events will begin with an assembly, followed by a crash reenactment in the footbal stadium. A UNC Air Care helicopter will land in the stadium as well, to simulate transport of an injured victim.

The mock crashes will take place at Carrboro High School on Friday, March 21; at East Chapel Hill High on Wednesday, April 9; and at Chapel Hill High on Friday, May 2 during the school day.


The Greater Chapel Hill Association of REALTORS has earned a grant to promote affordable housing in the local community.

The grant comes from the Housing Opportunity Program of the National Association of REALTORS; the Greater Chapel Hill branch will use the funds to produce a housing expo in Chatham County.


Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Amanda Bennett will be on campus Thursday, March 20, speaking as part of UNC’s Women in Media Leadership Series.

Working for the Wall Street Journal, Bennett won the Pulitzer in 1997 for her coverage of the AIDS crisis, and a second Pulitzer with The Oregonian for an expose of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She’s also the author of “The Cost of Hope,” a book about confronting death in the context of the U.S. healthcare system.

Bennett’s talk will begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 20 in the Freedom Forum Conference Center in Carroll Hall. It’s free and open to the public.


This weekend, a nationally-recognized dance choreographer will be in the Triangle to support arts education in local schools.

Jacques d’Amboise is the principal dancer-choreographer for the NYC Ballet. He’s in town from Thursday through Saturday, March 20-22, to support NC Arts in Action – which provides in-school and afterschool dance programs for kids, based on a model d’Amboise developed back in the 1970s.

On Thursday d’Amboise will be in Chapel Hill, meeting with fourth-graders at Northside Elementary School.

DMV Online Services Shutdown; Tar Heel Express; REALTOR Award

CHAPEL HILL – Online services for the N.C. DMV will be unavailable Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Maintenance on the Internet server hosting applications for the state Division of Motor Vehicles will shut down systems hosting sites and Department of Transportation’s sites.

Some of the services that will be unavailable include duplicate driver’s license and ID cards, driving records, personalized plates, and registration renewal.  The maintenance is expected to be completed by 5:00 p.m.


Chapel Hill Transit will provide Tar Heel Express shuttle service on Sunday for the North Carolina men’s basketball game against Belmont at 4:00 p.m.

Shuttles will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will run continuously every 10-15 minutes.  The Tar Heel Express will pick up from the park and ride lots at Jones Ferry, the Friday Center, Southern Village, and University Mall, and will also provide service from the Carolina Coffee Shop.

Tickets are $3 for one-way and $5 for round-trip.

For more information you can click here.


Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors awarded Realtor of the Year honors to Mark Zimmerman, broker/owner of REMAX Winning Edge.

This award is given to a member who exhibits exceptional service that directly impacts the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors.

Zimmerman received the prestigious Regional Service Award this September for his contributions to the local association. He also previously served as President of the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors.

Chapel Hill Realtors Perform 7th Fix-A-Home

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill’s Association of Realtors revealed the latest house in their Fix-A-Home community service project on Friday.

This year, Fix-A-Home helped homeowner Susan Prytherch, a disabled single mother, to remodel her house and fix problems like rotting wood. Prytherch said it’s like a new home.

“I love every bit of it,” Prytherch said. “They just totally transformed the house.”

The Fix-A-Home service project has been helping people in the community for seven years.  All the work done is through volunteers and materials donated from local stores and businesses, free to the homeowner.  Project chair Anne Hoole says she began working with Prytherch on what to change in the house after they made the selection in February.

“It’s been an ongoing process since the selection was made,” Hoole says. “And the homeowner is really very much a partner in the process as well–and so she made all of the selections as far as flooring and cabinet, and paint colors. All of those things are her choices–it’s her home, she’s going to live in it.”

Prytherch says one of the most astounding changes was the colors in the house.

“I mean, you can’t imagine when you’ve seen little colors on 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper and then you see it in real life,” Prytherch said. “You know I’ve been a little nervous–like, did I get it too crazy with colors–but no, it’s gorgeous, just perfect.”

For Prytherch’s house, more than 40 people volunteered to work on the house and 22 skilled tradesmen and vendors donated time and supplies.  Next year Fix-A-Home will accept applications for another house in the area to help repair.

Fix-A-Home gave special thanks this year to Horizon Custom Builders for serving as their general contractor and guidance.

For information on the application and to view other projects by the Fix-A-Home project you can click here.