Kelly Fahey

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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Chapel Hill Holding Focus Group on 140 West Plaza, Exhale Sculpture

The Town of Chapel Hill will hold a focus group on the 140 West Plaza and the Exhale sculpture Tuesday at the Chapel Hill Public Library. The focus group’s primary tasks are to explore ideas for activating the 140 West Plaza and discuss the possibility of relocating the Exhale sculpture. The session is expected to last an hour and will be divided into four guided activities meant to engage stakeholders. This is the last stakeholder meeting before the focus group will report back to the Town Council in November. More information can be found on the town’s...

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Hillsborough Tweaks Sidewalk Seating Ordinance

Hillsborough’s Board of Commissioners made a few changes to the sidewalk seating ordinance at a recent meeting. According to Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens, these changes were mostly meant to clear up some things that were not made clear in the initial ordinance, such as seating delineators and specifics on outdoor furniture. “There [weren’t] any major changes, but there were important tweaks,” says Stevens. “A lot of it had to do with the descriptions of the barriers or the delineators, and, again, didn’t change things so much, but clarified.” Stevens says the board plans to continue meeting with downtown stakeholders,...

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Orange County Hosting Annual Project Connect Wednesday

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness is hosting its 12th annual Project Connect on Wednesday at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill. Project Connect is a one-day event that connects those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness with a wealth of services that can help them find employment, healthcare and housing. Orange County Homeless Programs coordinator Corey Root says one thing they worked on this year was simply making the event more enjoyable. “It’s really meant to be a joyous community event where we’re all there together sharing something to eat and getting things that...

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‘Public Spaces & Collective Memories’ Forum on Monday

A public forum seeking to expand the conversation about how public spaces represent historical memories and cultural values is taking place Monday night at the Chapel of the Cross. The forum is called Public Spaces & Collective Memories, and it will bring together a range of faculty, students, church leaders and activists with different ideals from UNC and the larger Chapel Hill community. One of the panelists is former UNC Chancellor James Moeser, who says civility is of the utmost importance in today’s divisive political climate. “We’re all Americans,” says Moeser. “We’re also all North Carolinians, and yes there...

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Chapel Hill Revisiting Potential Sale of Flood-Prone Condos to FEMA

Camelot Village, located off South Estes Drive in Chapel Hill, was one of the portions of Orange County hit hardest by flooding during Hurricane Florence. In fact, since the apartment complex was built in 1967, the area has seen major flooding repeatedly, since it sits between two floodplains and borders a portion of Bolin Creek that overflows its banks during heavy rains. According to Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, the town attempted to broker a deal with FEMA to purchase the complex in past years due to flooding but those negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful. “Those units are either individually...

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