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 – or visit them online at for more details.

White Cross Volunteer Fire Department Set To Expand

CARRBORO – The White Cross Volunteer Fire Department is expanding to better provide safety to the houses in its district.

Currently White Cross plans to renovate its current facility on Old Greensboro Rd. and build a new station on Neville Road.

White Cross Board of Directors president, Tony Blake explains the reason for the expansion.

“We’re out of space and we needed to expand our building, now, we realized that years ago and decided to take advantage of USDA funds at a very low rate” Blake commented.

Blake says White Cross plans to use U.S. Department of Agriculture loans only to renovate their current station, and will use the amount the county allots for building the new station on Neville Road.

On June 4, White Cross had a meeting with the CountyCommissioners to discuss the plans to build the new fire station and hear concerns from people in the area.

“Yes, we believe that it falls within the budget, and that was what we went to talk with the County Commissioners, and showed them our figures; but we believe that there is a good value for the residents here” Blake said.

Some people have expressed concerns over building the new fire station in a residential area. Blake says the White Cross Fire Department heard several of these concerns at the Commissioners’ meeting and responded to the people and commissioners with a letter answering many questions.

He says White Cross plans to hold a community meeting when time permits to address any additional concerns.

The location for the new building took a couple years to find, and Blake says will have positive benefits for more than 500 houses in the White Cross district.

“We looked at several parcels of lands over two years and none of them met the criteria, and so the Neville Road location was by far the best location we could find” Blake said.

One of the benefits for 500 houses in the White Cross district is a lower insurance rating. In North Carolina, houses receive insurance ratings based on how far they are from a fire station, and more than five miles away receives a much higher rate. By building the new station on Neville Road, several houses in the eastern region of their district will now be within five miles and get lower insurance rates.

The new station will hold a tanker that the fire station does not currently have and will allow for its staff to better protect the area.  The current White Cross facility uses an outdoor shed to store some vehicles in winter, making it difficult to use them in an emergency. Also, after building the new facility, White Cross wants to hire two more paid staff members to assist the current single paid staff member for the station.

White Cross is always looking for volunteers to help its cause and assist in any way.  Not all volunteers need to be firefighters; Blake says the station has a need for volunteers with any professional or support services like bookkeeping, electricians, plumbers, legal, and web page maintenance.

“Who ever would like to help us ad contribute, that’s what keeps the cost low and makes it work” Blake says.

For more information, you can visit the White Cross website by clicking here.

The letter that White Cross sent to the Commissioners answers questions that people asked during the meeting is also available click here to view.