Rachel Nash

Kleinschmidt: Hands-Free Phone Option While Driving Should Be Considered

CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt championed the ruling of the state Court of Appeals Tuesday that reversed a previous lower court ruling to strike down Chapel Hill’s ordinances on regulating towing companies. Kleinschmidt says the court gave the proper authority back to the town regarding towing regulations—but a part of the ruling was also upholding the Town’s total ban on the use of cell phones while driving, which Kleinschmidt said was too restrictive. He himself voted against a complete ban, electing for a hands free option to be allowed while driving. “I was on the wrong side of that vote and I think there are others on the council who wonder whether banning hands free is appropriate. I predict it will be revisited in the short term,”  he said. Chapel Hill was the first town in the country to enact a complete ban on the use of cell phones while driving. The town originally adopted the cell phone ban in March 2012. “But the good news is that for folks that it is a secondary offense—which means people will not get pulled over for driving while talking on the phone,” he explained. Kleinschmidt says the cell phone ban and towing regulations are almost certain to go into affect by June 24. Court procedure is to issue a mandate 20 days after a ruling in a case,...

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Gearing Up For High School Graduation Weekend

ORANGE COUNTY – High school graduation weekend kicks-off Friday—first up is Orange County Schools. Orange High School and Cedar Ridge High School are celebrating their commencement ceremonies in the Dean Dome. Partnership Academy is holding its ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in the A.L. Stanback Auditorium. More than 800 graduates of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will turn their tassels Saturday in the Dean Dome as well. Also in the CHCCS family, Phoenix Academy’s commencement is taking place Friday evening at the school, which is located off Merritt Mill Road. Northwood High School of Chatham County Schools is celebrating Saturday in...

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Sexual Assault Policy Task Force Update

Pictured: Christy Lambden CHAPEL HILL – UNC’s recently assembled Title IX task force, charged with re-designing the University’s sexual assault policy, met Wednesday for the group’s third meeting so far. Student Body President Christy Lambden is a member of the group that is dealing with sensitive, and at times, uncomfortable issues. He says they are making headway, though. “We’re really starting to delve into what we want the policy to look like in the future,” Lambden said. Lambden is serving along side 21 others from the UNC community, including LGBTQ Director Terri Phoenix, Deputy Chief of the Department of Public Safety, George Hare, and Director of Counseling and Wellness Services, Allen O’Barr. Christi Hurt, UNC’s new Interim Title IX Coordinator, is the chair of the task force; she’s currently on leave as director of the Carolina Women’s Center. “It’s a great group to be working with. It’s a diverse group with diverse opinions—but I think that’s exactly what this process needs,” Lambden said. Gina Smith, a former prosecutor whom Chancellor Holden Thorp recruited in January, is also working with the task force. She’s helping the University sort through the sexual misconduct investigations. The necessity to review the University’s policies came about after students and faculty members filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights this year. They claimed that the University underreported sexual assault cases,...

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