Victor Lewis

Retired Hillsborough K9 Officer Talon Dies

Talon, a German shepherd who served as a K9 officer for the Hillsborough Police Department, died peacefully at his home this past Saturday. Talon was retired from police duty, and passed surrounded by four-footed and two-footed family alike at his favorite spot in the woods, close by a creek he loved. Talon was 14 years old, and served the town for eight years before retiring from service in 2015. “It was truly a pleasure being Talon’s handler,” said Senior Cpl. Scott Foster. “I know for certain that he truly loved serving and protecting the citizens of Hillsborough.” Foster worked...

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Local Lore: Occoneechee Speedway

NASCAR may have grew up in Daytona, but it was born in North Carolina. From bootleggers in the Appalachian mountains to modern racing legends, North Carolina is home to storied NASCAR history and some of the biggest family dynasties in racing. Junior Johnson tore up back roads delivering illicit liquor, and proud family names like the Jarretts,  Earnhardts and Pettys all saw their start here. While Charlotte is the place to go in North Carolina for big-time races, one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open was right here in Hillsborough. Stock car racing got its start inadvertently,...

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Local Lore: Gimghoul Castle

A French-style castle built at the end of Gimghoul Road on the eastern portion of UNC’s campus has been capturing imaginations and enduring curious trespassers for decades. The ominous structure is host to two legends: one of love and bloody death, and another of a secret society hidden from prying eyes. In 1915, after acquiring 2.12 acres on which to build, the Order of the Gimghoul — listed as a non-profit organization on official records — hired a group of stonemasons descended from castle-builders of old in southern France and Italy to construct their castle from 1,300 tons of...

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Local Lore: The Chapel On The Hill

Names often serve a purpose outside of initial identification of a place or a person. A name can also show history — families with last names like “Smith” or “Baker” likely have an ancestor who held an important position in their own, “Bald Head Island” indicates an easily-spotted lack of vegetation and “Hickory” is the name of a town founded around a log building constructed from hickory wood. Chapel Hill is no different, having been aptly named for a hilltop chapel. In 1752, the Church of England approved a “chapel of ease” at a hilltop crossroads. The location was...

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Not-So-Hidden Valley: Inside America’s Favorite Dressing

Whether you prefer it as a dip or a dressing, Ranch smothers vegetables and chicken wings alike across America every day. Today is no exception, as March 10 is officially designated as “Ranch Dressing Day” by Hidden Valley itself. Recipes for buttermilk-based dressing date back as far as the 1930s, with most examples coming from dairy farms in Texas and the Midwest, but it was an Alaskan plumber who put Ranch as we know it on the map. Steve Henson worked as a plumbing contractor in the Alaskan bush in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, and he made...

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Wakanda Forever: How ‘Black Panther’ Upholds a Revolutionary Legacy

Money talks in Hollywood, and the chorus is still rising in favor of Marvel’s “Black Panther.” Sweeping success wasn’t exactly unexpected, however. Much like its titular hero, if it was to survive, “Black Panther” had no alternative to greatness. The top two all-time opening weekend winners in terms of box office numbers are both Star Wars movies (“The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” with more than $247 and $220 million respectively). Third is “Jurassic World,” fourth is Marvel’s “The Avengers” and fifth is “Black Panther,” closing a record-smashing first weekend with over $200 million in the United States...

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Civil Rights in Chapel Hill: Silence is Subjugation

Chapel Hill has earned a reputation as an island driving social change amidst an ocean of suppression and prejudice over the years, but that by no means indicates an idyllic community — whether you’re examining the civil rights movement of the ’60s or the troubles of today. Occasionally referred to as “the second Civil War,” the struggle for civil rights represents a time of turmoil and turbulence in our nation’s history. Deep-rooted battles for and against changes in American society, culture and politics were being fought across the nation, and forces spanning generational and cultural divides pushed forward through...

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Local Lore: The Bunker Beneath UNC

With the successful testing of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy and a Tesla roadster currently on a path towards – and eventually beyond – Mars, there’s no better time to talk about the Space Race. In August of 1957, the former USSR launched the first successful intercontinental ballistic missile. In October of that same year, the first man-made object to orbit Earth – Sputnik – appeared in skies across the globe as a small, bright light. The Soviets were beating the United States in the new frontier, and the tension between superpowers was reaching critical mass. The well-documented contest between nations...

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Local Lore: Hinton James

Hinton James Hall is traditionally home to Carolina first-years, housing almost a thousand students each semester. HoJo is more than just an old building with a bustling interior, however, and the dorm home to first-years is fittingly named after the first student to attend UNC. Hinton James arrived in early February, back in 1795. He reported to campus, which then consisted of just one building, and began his classes – which he attended alone for nearly two weeks. James was from what is now Pender County, in the Eastern part of North Carolina. He was born in 1776, and...

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