Kelly Fahey

Orange County Piloting Rural Broadband Project

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has approved a contract to develop broadband infrastructure for unserved or underserved residents in rural areas. Open Broadband, LLC will be servicing the 36-month pilot project, which will serve almost 5,000 resident address points in the county. Many residents of rural Orange County still rely on DSL for internet, which chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners Mark Dorosin calls a huge impediment for businesses, economic development and education. “It’s really impossible to understate what a critical element of our modern infrastructure broadband internet is,” says Dorosin. “If you live in one...

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Carrboro Holding Public Engagement Session to Discuss 203 Project

The Town of Carrboro hosted a public hearing on September 4 to discuss the basic schematics for the planned public library, arts center and more that will be constructed at 203 S Greensboro St. Perkins + Will, the architecture firm tasked with designing the 203 Project, presented three different schematics, including one that seemed to draw support from the Board of Alderman entitled “The Commons.” Carrboro Mayor Lydia Lavelle said this particular design received positive feedback from attendees of the hearing as well. “I don’t think anyone disagreed with the idea that ‘The Commons’ seemed to be the best...

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Governor Cooper Touts New Community College Student Grants in Pittsboro

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program in July, $7 million dollars  in federal money intended to help community college students who face unforeseen financial emergencies stay in school. The funds will help students pay for course materials, housing, medical needs, dependent care or other financial struggles faced through no fault of their own. The Finish Line program is directed at students who are close to graduation but might fall short due to financial hardships, and Governor Cooper said at a recent visit to Central Carolina Community College’s Pittsboro campus that he believes it will...

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Grant Allowing Chapel Hill Transit to Purchase 2 Electric Buses

Chapel Hill Transit has been awarded a federal grant that will allow the transit organization to introduce electric buses into its fleet. The $1.382 million grant will go toward the purchase of two electric buses and comes from the Low or No Emissions program. Chapel Hill Transit director Brian Litchfield said the buses will help the town further meet its sustainability goals. “We’ve been looking at testing electric vehicles for some time and actually had some funds set aside in our current budget to move forward with potentially leasing a vehicle, but this will allow us to purchase two...

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Former Olympian, UNC Student Aims to Promote Mental Health Among Athletes

With the fall semester starting last week at UNC, former world-class figure skater Rachael Flatt began pursuing her Ph.D. in clinical psychology on the Chapel Hill campus. Flatt, who calls her seventh place finish at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver the highlight of her athletic career, retired from figure skating in 2015 after suffering various injuries and struggling to balance sports and her studies at Stanford. Now, she wants to use her studies to help ease the transition many athletes struggle with after leaving sports behind. “One of the goals that I have is to eventually provide resources to...

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Orange County Schools to Monitor Social Media for Safety Threats

Students in traditional calendar public schools are heading back to school this week for the start of another academic year, and school district officials are looking for new ways to ensure the safety of those students. Orange County Schools has hired a third party firm to monitor social media activity for threats against schools. They announced via Facebook this summer that the service, called Social Sentinel, would scan publicly posted social media content, flag anything that could be interpreted as a threat and report that information back to Orange County Schools. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said during a...

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Compass Center to Expand Services for Domestic Violence Survivors

Chapel Hill’s Compass Center for Women and Families is expanding its services to include housing and mental health support to victims of domestic violence and their children. Thanks to a $350,000 grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission along with a cash match of nearly $16,000 from a Cardinal Innovations grant, the Compass Center will help fill the lack of a domestic violence shelter in Orange County. Executive Director of the Compass Center Cordelia Heaney says that nearly 99 percent of survivors of domestic abuse experience what is called “financial abuse.” “That can be their partner refusing to let them...

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State Officials Offer Safety Warning After Teen Injured in Fall at Eno Quarry

A 15-year-old girl sustained minor injuries after slipping and falling into the water at the Eno River Rock Quarry recently. The girl was taken to Duke Hospital in good condition after the fall. There is a large cliff at the location near the Orange County line where the park continues into Durham County. Visitors have used that cliff to jump into the water for years. North Carolina Parks and Recreation assistant director Don Reuter reminds Eno River State Park visitors that despite its popularity, the rock quarry is not an approved swimming area. “It’s not a good idea to...

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UNC Professor Leading New Public Health Initiative

Imagine every time you buy a nutritious, frozen meal at a grocery store, that same meal is made more affordable to someone in need. That’s the idea behind Good Bowls, a new public health initiative lead by nutrition professor at UNC Alice Ammerman: a healthy, locally sourced, frozen meal that is offered at a sliding scale. Consumers willing to pay a few dollars more for the listed price at one location make Good Bowls more affordable for those with less means. “Because healthy, locally sourced food is appealing to both high-income and low-income consumers, we’re making the same product...

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Chapel Hill Charity Awards Grant for Durham Tech English as a Second Language Courses

Chapel Hill-based charitable foundation Strowd Roses, Inc. has granted $4,000 to Durham Tech Community College to support English as a Second Language, or ESL, courses in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The funding will go toward purchasing school supplies and books for students in need, along with instructional materials, according to a release. “We are honored to partner with Strowd Roses to serve and assist students in achieving their academic and professional goals and become active members of the larger community,” Durham Tech Foundation executive director Melissa Chappell said in a release. More than 50 ESL classes are offered in...

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