Securing Your Home During The Holidays

CHAPEL HILL - The Chapel Hill Police Department is stepping up patrol over the holiday season and warning homeowners and renters to make sure your possessions are secure.

Public Information Sgt. Bryan Walker says it’s even more important now to make sure all doors and windows are locked. And, he says having alarms and signs in the yard can be a major deterrent.

“Alarm systems, even if they aren’t connected to a central alarm company, can deter theft or can deter someone from breaking into your house, they don’t necessarily prevent it, but just seeing the alarm sign in front of the house, some criminals will move on” Walker states.

Toward the end of the holiday season as you take out your trash and recycling, Sgt. Walker says you should be cautious about advertising what new items you have.

“A bad guy can ride by your house, or walk by your house, and see the empty cardboard boxes that you’ve left out in recycling and know the types of items that you have just gotten for Christmas and that are sitting there in your house waiting to be stolen” Walker states.

Some of the ways to hide what new items are in the house are to turn the cardboard boxes inside out or take them to a recycling drop-off.

For more information on ways to keep your home safe in the Holiday Season click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/staying-safe-holidays-homes-students/

McDougle Elementary Has New Friday Ritual

CHAPEL HILL – Students and parents at McDougle Elementary have started beginning every Friday with dancing.

McDougle principal Patrenia McDowell says the students dance from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. to start their day.

“(I) thought it would be a great way to end the week,” she says, “and it’s just a way to get the heart-rate up first thing in the morning.”

McDougle Elementary began having dancing before school on Friday at the end of last school year.  McDowell says now several of the parents join in for the fun.

“We have some parents that just join right in,” she says. “It puts smiles on everyone’s faces, so it works.”

As a way for students to get some smiles and energy before beginning the school day, McDowell says the dancing is getting good feedback.

“I don’t know how (parents) felt about it (at first), but now (there are) smiles on everyone’s faces,” she says. “Parents are smiling, kids are smiling–so it works for us.”

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/mcdougle-elementary-has-new-friday-ritual/

New Semester And More Alcohol Violations

CHAPEL HILL - Local law enforcement says it wants you safe in public and out on the roads and recently stepped up its alcohol violation enforcement. Over the weekend there were a large number of underage drinking arrests with the start of the fall semester at UNC.

Public Information Sergeant for the Chapel Hill Police Department, Brian Walker, says police were looking for violations this weekend with the return of students.

“We do notice an increase in alcohol violations when the students return to town, so this past weekend we conducted an operation with our ALERT team, Alcohol Law Enforcement Response Team” Walker said.

With many students returning to school, he says it isn’t abnormal for alcohol violations to spike and that throughout the year the number of alcohol violations and arrests can range.  Sgt. Walker says enforcement of alcohol laws is consistent, but that police keep an eye out to address increases in violations.

“We enforce alcohol laws pretty consistently throughout the year,” Walker said “we do see more violations of the ordinances and statutes at certain times of the year based on the students being in town, so we conduct some operations specifically to address that.”

While the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Police Departments may be enforcing the laws and making some arrests, Sgt. Walker says education is one of their goals.

He says letting people know what a violation is of alcohol laws, like having an open container even if over-age, is important for students to avoid confrontations with the police.  On the Chapel Hill Police Department’s website you can view the number of arrests and violations that occurred; Sgt. Walker breaks down the charges handed out starting Thursday.

“Cited 12 people for open containers, 25 for underage possession, and then they also had a public urination and a couple of other related charges” Walker stated.

For more information on the Chapel Hill Police Department click here.

To view a list of the people charged with alcohol violations, you can view the police blotter by clicking here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/new-semester-and-more-alcohol-violations/

Chapel Hill Welcomes Students New And Old

Photo by Jennifer Lund

CHAPEL HILL – By Sunday, nearly 4,000 new faces will be settled into their new homes at UNC adding up to the total population of the University of more than 29,000 students, and the Town of Chapel Hill is once again hustling and bustling.

Executive Director of the Downtown Partnership, Meg McGurk, says local businesses and organizations are teaming together to make the transition for newcomers and their families as smooth as possible.

“We just produced a brand new downtown business guide and map that just came in last week that we’ve been distributing throughout the community,” McGurk says. “(We’re) giving it to all our visitors’ centers and all our businesses.”

That’s just one of the many things available to students and newcomers to the community.

And, she says move-in weekend doesn’t just benefit freshmen and transfer students. There are benefits for everyone returning to the Southern Part of Heaven.

“Businesses can offer discounts to students that show their ID,” McGurk says. “We’ve got the Good Neighbor Initiative kicking off next Monday where it’s a wonderful partnership that we welcome all of the students to the neighborhood throughout Downtown. We actually walk door-to-door.”

The Week of Welcome is meant to make the shock to the Town’s system a manageable one. Safety is a top priority, and McGurk says the Good Neighbor Initiative is a process to ensure that everyone in the community is taken care of.

McGurk says planning for this weekend started just as soon as the students left last year.

“Graduation weekend, when everyone leaves, we all kind of let out a sigh, and then we get right back into it,” McGurk says. “There isn’t much downtime for prepping for the next year, because that’s the cycle of our community as a college town. That’s what we do.”

And she says she this is one of her favorite times of year.

“It’s the weekend of graduation when the town kind of settles into the summer and it kind of goes back into the year-round residents kind of owning (their) own community,” McGurk says. “And then this weekend when the students come back and all of the energy and all of the vitality and all of the kind of enthusiasm of the new school year and new live just breathes back into our community, and I absolutely love it.”

For more information on the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, click here.

For more information on Week of Welcome, click here.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/chapel-hill-welcomes-students-new-and-old/

Papperhand Puppets Begining; Students Returning; Host A Foreign Student

CHAPEL HILL - Beginning this Friday and Saturday, the Summer Puppet Festival begins shows at the Forest Theater on Country Club Road.  The show features a mix of giant puppets, masks, stilts, painted flats, and paper-cut shadows.  Paperhand Puppet creates an evening of exploration, enchantment, and ancient creatures you are sure to love.

Shows begin at 7:00 p.m. with a different pre-show each night at 6:20 p.m.  Suggested donations are $12 for adults and $8 for children

For more information on the show click here.

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In the next two weeks, roughly 18,000 undergraduates will come to Chapel Hill from 50 states and 100 countries.  Move in weekend begins August 16 and classes begin August 20.

During the first week, the school is coordinating a Week of Welcome with several of the restaurants, and stores in “The Feel of Franklin Street” meant to welcome in new students.  Students and parents are welcome to enjoy the week long promotions to receive free or reduced prices on the menu.

From August 16 to August 25 expect Franklin Street to be back at it’s busiest with new students and parents learning the area.

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A local coordinator for International Experience – USA is looking for local families willing to open their homes and hearts to European teenagers.  Host families share their homes with one or two high school students from another country who wants to experience America.

All of these students have great academic achievement, exemplary character, good use of English, their own spending money, and health insurance.

Almost anyone can host one of these students; if interested in hosting you can find more information by clicking here, or contacting Liz Priestley at 919-968-1736.

http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/papperhand-puppets-begining-students-returning-host-a-foreign-student/