Blake Hodge

State Officials Once Again Tasked with Setting Orange County Early Voting Details

The four members of the Orange County Board of Elections could not agree to unanimously vote on an early voting plan on Tuesday ahead of this year’s elections. That means, as it did in 2016, the state Board of Elections will ultimately establish the early voting hours and locations in Orange County. County Board of Elections chair Jamie Cox said after Tuesday’s meeting that he did not believe the board would be able to come to a unanimous proposal before the approaching deadline. “I think it’s highly unlikely given what my colleagues signaled their priorities and intentions were,” Cox...

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Maurice Jones Named Chapel Hill Town Manager

The Chapel Hill Town Council voted Tuesday night to name Maurice Jones the new town manager, replacing the retiring Roger Stancil. Jones has served as the city manager in Charlottesville, Virginia, since December 2010, according to the town’s website. He served as Charlottesville’s assistant manager prior to that. Jones served as the communications director for Charlottesville in 1999 before moving to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center for Public Affairs  in 2005. Jones is from Dale City, Virginia, and graduated from James Madison University. His hiring as town manager is effective August 20, 2018. His starting salary is $210,000....

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Chatham County Breaking and Entering Suspect Arrested After Sheriff’s Office Facebook Post

A Facebook post from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office asking for help identifying a breaking-and-entering suspect has led to an arrest. Authorities posted photos to the social media site on June 22 after receiving reports of multiple break-ins in Pittsboro. Surveillance video captured images of the suspect and vehicle after the individual had allegedly stolen cash from a safe at one location on June 20. Law enforcement then shared those photos on Facebook, leading some residents to recognize the suspect and share that information with deputies, according to a release. “Our deputies believe in working closely with the community...

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1 Arrested, 1 Sought After Shots Fired Following Apparent Chatham County Drug Deal

Chatham County authorities have arrested one individual and are searching for a second suspect after shots were fired after what was believed to be a drug deal earlier this year. Officials said in a release on Tuesday that deputies were dispatched to Moody Loop Road in Siler City in February in response to a report of shots being fired. The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said that investigators determined the incident started with an argument over a marijuana purchase. “Investigators believe two suspects in a vehicle chased victims in a second vehicle up and down Moody Loop Road while firing...

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National Group Targets Silent Sam for Removal

The Confederate monument on the UNC – Chapel Hill campus known as Silent Sam has been a local flashpoint of protest for decades. Now, that statue is in the crosshairs of The Make It Right Project, which is targeting 10 monuments across the country in an attempt to get them removed. Silent Sam is in the company of monuments from Texas to Illinois on the group of 10. The Make It Right Project has purchased space on two billboards in Raleigh supporting the removal of Silent Sam. The billboards contain a photo of the monument on the Chapel Hill...

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Armed Robbery Reported in Orange County

Orange County authorities are investigating a reported armed robbery at a store in the 1800 block of NC 86, which is just above the roadway’s intersection with I-85. Officials from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in an email that a store clerk was returning from checking the facilities interior restrooms when they reported that a “short black male” was standing behind the counter at the store’s register. The suspect allegedly brandished a “large black handgun and demanded the clerk open the register,” according to the email. The clerk complied and the suspect allegedly removed $200 before fleeing the...

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Sheriff’s Office: Body Found in Orange County

***UPDATE*** The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tweeted on Thursday that they have confirmed the identity of the deceased and will have more information after notifying the next of kin. Local authorities are investigating after a body was reportedly found near Hillsborough. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office tweeted there was police activity on NC 86 related to a body being found just north of the intersection with I-85. The body was reportedly found just inside the wood line across from Tractor Supply. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said on Tuesday afternoon that a “badly decomposed” and “unidentifiable” body was found...

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UNC Police Arrest Suspect in Strong Arm Robbery

A suspect alleged to have struck a female victim in the Dogwood Parking Deck at UNC before fleeing with her purse has been taken into custody. UNC Police said in an Alert Carolina message to the campus community that the strong-arm robbery was reported around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities said the victim reported the incident and that no weapon was reportedly seen. “Within several minutes, UNC Police located and identified the suspect nearby and placed him under arrest,” according to the message. UNC Police are encouraging anyone who might see anything suspicious to call 911. Anyone with information regarding...

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State, Local Officials Team Up for July 4 Safety Reminders

The North Carolina Department of Transportation, State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement are joining forces in an effort to keep residents safe through the July Fourth holiday. The highway patrol launched Operation Firecracker last week stepping up drunk-driving enforcement across the state. Troopers investigated 248 vehicle collisions last year on July Fourth, according to law enforcement, which resulted in 61 injuries and three fatalities. These drunk-driving enforcement efforts extend to recreational areas as well with officers from the Wildlife Resource Commission patrolling waterways across the state. The cautions from law enforcement go beyond warnings against impaired driving to...

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PTA Thrift Shop Entering ‘Period of Due Diligence’ Over Use of PTA in Name

The PTA Thrift Shop will enter a “period of due diligence, beginning in the fall, regarding our organization’s name.” That decision was made by the nonprofit’s Board of Directors during its meeting last week and comes amid tension between the thrift shop and the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools PTA Council. The council sent a request to thrift shop leadership last month asking that the nonprofit remove the PTA lettering from its name. For decades, the council and thrift shop shared a harmonious relationship that led to store revenues being turned into cash disbursements given to the individual...

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