Kelly Fahey

NC-54 West Corridor Study Completed

A presentation on the NC-54 West study was recently given to the Carrboro Board of Aldermen and Orange County Board of Commissioners. The study was mostly funded by the local Metropolitan Planning Organization and was in response to a 2015 proposal to enlarge the corridor to a four-lane, median-divided road. The study showed that according to demographics and traffic growth patterns, there may be a need to widen the road in the future. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle says that while the presentation was informative, local officials still need to think long and hard about widening the corridor. “We’ll need...

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Orange County Asking Barn of Chapel Hill Complaints be Consolidated

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has issued a statement on court cases involving the Barn of Chapel Hill. There are currently four similar appeals pending before the Orange County Superior Court regarding the barn operating as an event space brought on by neighbors of the property, according to the county. The board has requested that the county attorney file a motion to consolidate the four appeals into one case to make, as chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners Mark Dorosin calls it, an expedited decision. “Until we get a definitive ruling from the court, this is...

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Halloween ‘Booze it & Lose It’ Campaign Kicks Off in Chapel Hill

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program kicked off its annual Halloween Booze It & Lose It Campaign last Thursday in downtown Chapel Hill. The campaign consists of a three-pronged approach of strong policies, increased communications and publicity and stepped up law enforcement to minimize impaired driving. Director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program Mark Ezzell says that the program has seen some success. “We’ve seen our numbers of impaired driving deaths down over 20 percent from last year,” Ezzell says, “but that’s not enough. We’ve got to do so much more to address the issue of impaired driving.”...

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UNC’s Blue Sky Scholars Program Seeks to Assist Middle-Income Students

UNC announced its launch of a $20 million scholarship initiative earlier this month called the Blue Sky Scholars program, which is aimed at assisting middle-income undergraduate students from North Carolina. The Blue Sky Scholars program is meant, in partnership with the Carolina Covenant program, to make studying at UNC a realistic goal for all North Carolinians, regardless of their financial situation. Vice Provost for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions Steve Farmer says the university is seeking to lessen the sacrifices students’ parents or other family members are forced to make to help send them to college. “The more we talked...

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UNC Students Living in Carrboro: Perception Versus Reality

A presentation by university officials to Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen at a meeting earlier this month showed that two-thirds of UNC students living in Carrboro were graduate students. The presentation, given by UNC’s executive director of Off-Campus Student Life Aaron Bachenheimer and director of Housing and Residential Education Allan Blattner, also showed that the number of UNC students living in Carrboro has not changed since the year 2000. Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle says that this information runs contrary to the perception of the town. “There’s a perception that the students are coming, and that we’re tearing down these mill...

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Orange County Rape Crisis Center Sees Spike in Calls

The Orange County Rape Crisis Center saw a 250 percent increase in calls in the two weeks surrounding the sexual assault allegations made against then-nominee to the United States Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh. The center’s executive director Rachel Valentine says the spike is a direct result of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court despite accusations of sexual assault. Valentine says this uptick in survivors of sexual assault coming forward should be viewed as a positive. “For some people, speaking out in a public way is a...

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Chapel Hill Exploring Options for Coal Ash Remediation Plan

The Chapel Hill Town Council voted earlier this month to explore its eligibility for a Brownfields Agreement in regard to the coal ash deposit site at 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. A Brownfields Agreement is a remediation plan that would define activities needed to make the site suitable for reuse. It will be several months until the town finds out if it qualifies, and Mayor Pam Hemminger says it is unclear whether the town would accept a Brownfields Agreement if it was declared eligible. “We want to see if we qualify because it helps us in our deciding...

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NC State Students Bring Solar Vehicle to McDougle Middle School

A group of NC State students are in the process of building a solar-powered car to compete in the World Solar Challenge in Australia next October. Several of those students brought their work-in-progress to McDougle Middle School earlier this month and fielded questions on the car from eager students. One of those from NC State working on the vehicle was Elton Padua, part of the vehicle dynamics team, who says he hopes to work in the automotive industry after college. “To see it all put together, it kind of makes you realize that you are building a solar car,”...

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Few North Carolinians Aware of HIV Medication

A statewide survey earlier this year shows that only nine percent of North Carolinians have heard of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis, or PrEP. PrEP, which was approved by the Center for Disease Control in 2012, is a daily pill that has been shown to prevent HIV transmission when taken consistently. North Carolina AIDS Action Network executive director Lee Storrow says such low awareness of the drug came at a surprise. “When you work in the HIV field, it’s really easy to assume everyone has the same information,” says Storrow. “I assumed that there was a low awareness about PrEP in the...

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2 Durham Tech Students Honored with Prestigious Scholarships

Two Durham Technical Community College students have been named as 2018 Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholars. Edna Sangaka and Brandi Crosson were chosen out of over 1,2000 applicants and will both receive  $1,000 scholarship. Both of the students belong to Beta Tau Phi, the Durham Tech chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, which is the largest honor society for two-year college students. “It has been such a joy to watch these young ladies grow into leadership roles within our chapter,” said Kimberly Boyce, faculty advisor of Beta Tau Phi. The Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise Scholarship Program has a long history...

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