Kelly Fahey

Temporary Closure, New Connection Coming for Part of Chapel Hill’s Trail System

Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation Department made several announcements late last week, including temporary closures and new trail openings. The bridge on Fan Branch Trail closest to Edgewater Circle will be closing on Wednesday, May 2, for repairs. Construction of the Bolin Creek Trail near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is set to resume shortly and will likely wrap up late this summer. This trail features a mural painted by Chapel Hill High School students led by local artist Daniel LeClair. The department also set a date for a grand opening ceremony for the newly expanded Tanyard Branch trail, which...

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UNC Receives $10M Commitment from Pope Foundation

UNC announced Monday that it would be receiving a $10 million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation. The donation will be split between the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program, the track and field program and the UNC Horizons program, which provides an outreach service to the state to treat pregnant and parenting women with substance-use disorders. Chancellor Carol Folt thanked the Pope family, not only for this gift but for a long history of donations to the university. “This gift embraces, in every way we can imagine, UNC’s commitment to our multi-pronged mission,...

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N.C. Supreme Court Hears Case Regarding Funding Inequalities in Halifax County Schools

Parents and students in rural Halifax County brought a case to the Supreme Court of North Carolina earlier this month regarding school districts and funding. Halifax County, which contains about 6,000 students, is split up into three districts: Halifax County Public Schools, Weldon City Schools and Roanoke Rapids Graded School District. Mark Dorosin, co-director of the Julius Chambers Center for Civil Rights which represented the Halifax County parents and students, says that the way these districts are split up is where the root of the problem lies. “Two of the districts are overwhelmingly African-American, one of the districts is...

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UNC Studying Link Between Obesity and Cancer

Researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center are looking into the links between obesity and cancer. While it is common knowledge that things like smoking and exposure to sun can put you at risk for cancer, Professor in the Department of Nutrition at UNC Dr. Stephen Hursting says obesity is a lesser known risk factor. “It might surprise [people] that obesity increases the risk of many cancers,” said Hursting. “In fact, an estimated one of every four cancer deaths can be attributed to overweight and obesity. This includes some of the leading cancer killers such as breast, colon,...

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OC Sheriff’s Office Named MADD 2017 Agency of the Year

Mothers Against Drunk Driving named the Orange County Sheriff’s Office the 2017 Agency of the Year for North Carolina earlier this month. The North Carolina chapter of MADD awards a sheriff’s office with this designation each year, along with Police Officer of the Year, Deputy Sheriff of the Year, DWI Team of the Year and others. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood called the award an honor. “This award recognizes the significant strides taken by the Sheriff’s Office in the last four years to prioritize safety on all public vehicular areas throughout the County. I am proud of these accomplishments...

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New Leadership at Several Orange County Schools

Orange County Schools announced several promotions of staff members to administrative roles. These promotions are the results of professional development implemented by the school system, which officials say seeks to support leadership growth of its staff. Among those promoted was Kiley Brown, who is now Executive Director of Curriculum for OCS. She was formerly the Principal at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School. “I am grateful to the Orange County Board of Education and Superintendent Wirt for the opportunity to serve the district in this role,” said Brown. “It will be difficult to leave the wonderful students, staff, and parents who make...

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Chapel Hill Collecting Civil Rights Stories

The Town of Chapel Hill is collecting the stories of people who lived in Chapel Hill during the 1960s and experienced the Civil Rights Movement. The Historic Civil Rights Commemorative Task Force, created by Mayor Pam Hemminger in 2017, is seeking to create a timeline that identifies people, places and events that should be remembered for their part in the African-American struggle for civil rights in Chapel Hill. “We are trying to document our civil rights history and then be able to display it and capture it in a way that resonates with folks,” said Hemminger. “I don’t know...

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Hongbin Gu to Speak at March for Science

The annual March for Science is taking place this Saturday in downtown Raleigh’s Halifax Mall. Chapel Hill Town Council Member Hongbin Gu, who will be speaking at the march, said that such a strong showing of support for the scientific community is especially important at a time like this. “I think that people are feeling that the rhetoric from our politicians intentionally downplay the role of fact and evidence in our policy making,” said Gu. “We can see that in their policies regarding climate change, gun safety issues and healthcare.” Gu received her PhD in Mathematical Psychology and is...

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NC Policy Collaboratory to Fund GenX Research

The North Carolina Policy Collaboratory at UNC recently announced $430,000 in grants for three research projects regarding contaminants in water supplies in North Carolina, including GenX – a potentially toxic industrial compound that has been detected in the Cape Fear River. The collaboratory, which has been funded by the state legislature for two years, exclusively sponsors projects that focus on environmental issues and natural resources. The bulk of the nearly half-million dollars in grants will go toward evaluating emerging contaminants, such as GenX, in private wells. Collaboratory executive director Brad Ives says the danger of these contaminants remains unknown....

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NC Seeing Continued Growth But in New Areas

Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau counts and takes statistics on residents living in the U.S. These numbers are important because, among other things, they dictate how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and how federal money is distributed. Director of Carolina Demography at the Carolina Population Center Rebecca Tippett says that as the 2020 Census approaches, she is seeing North Carolina’s population grow in ways that are new to her. “For the first four and a half years of my job, this was a pretty straight-forward story,” says Tippett. “It was...

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