Kelly Fahey

Affordable Housing Bond Could Lead to Updates in Public Housing

Chapel Hill voters passed a $10 million affordable housing bond during the midterm elections last week, which could lead to the construction of 400 homes and the preservation of 300 more. The bond passed by an overwhelming 72 percent majority, and after all the votes are certified it will be approved by the town council. Mayor Pam Hemminger says the $10 million will go into a dedicated debt fund and stretched strategically with several other projects. “The biggest thing in our debt fund right now is a new municipal services building which includes a new police station, and then...

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Report Shows HPV Vaccination Rates Are Up

The President’s Cancer Panel released a new report on HPV vaccination rates, showing they have increased but are still well below target. The report shows that about 43 percent of the nation has received the necessary dosage of HPV vaccination, while the panel’s goal is 80 percent coverage. Professor of Health behavior Noel Brewer served as special advisor to the panel. He says the nation should focus on three important opportunities for increasing HPV vaccination rates. “The first is to reduce missed clinical opportunities to recommend and administer the HPV vaccine,” says Brewer. “Second, providers should increase parent’s acceptance...

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NCDOT Postpones Public Meeting on I-40 Widening

A NCDOT meeting planned for last week in Chapel Hill was postponed until January 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the planned widening of Interstate 40 between the split with I-85 near Hillsborough and the Durham County line, which Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger says is necessary, but wants to make sure it’s done right. “We don’t want just one plan, we want options,” says Hemminger. “So we’re hoping that when they come back they will show us some different options on that too, and our staff now has time to work with them a little...

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UNC Earns Praise for Reducing Drug Waste

The UNC Pharmacy Department has been recognized as one of several forward-thinking cancer program members by the Association of Community Cancer Centers. The department has implemented a drug vial optimization process which has led to significant financial, safety and clinical outcomes. Associate Director of Pharmacy at the UNC Medical Center Lindsey Amerine explains the process as taking drug waste from single-dose vials and, by using a closed-system transfer device, extending it’s sterility up to seven days. “We were able to, through a series of different studies that we’ve performed at UNC, make sure that we utilize that drug waste,...

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UNC Celebrates Creation of Pinnacle Hill, LLC

UNC recently celebrated a new partnership with Deerfield Management, a healthcare investment management firm. Deerfield committed $65 million of targeted funding to create Pinnacle Hill, LLC, a company seeking to discover new therapies for patients with unmet medical needs. Associate Director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation Kay Wagner says Pinnacle Hill will provide yet another avenue for UNC research to make a practical impact on the medical field. “It’s important to understand that it takes many years and a lot of funding to move from a laboratory realization to something that is going to actually practically impact North...

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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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