Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Stranger in a Strange Land" rests at visitors center

"Stranger in a Strange Land," a piece by Hillsborough native Charles Pilkey, will sit outside the Hillsborough/Orange County Visitors Center, 150 E. King St., until Sept. 30 as part of the town's sculpture tour.
The piece, crafted from machine parts, ponders the age-old science fiction question of what will happen to our world if nature is overtaken by machines. Inside the globe, the figure of a man raises his arms upward.
Pilkey said he drew the idea from a 1950s novel, "He Who Shrank," and hopes people who visit will think about how their world, even right here in Hillsborough, has seen a slow encroachment of the man-made over the natural.
The sculpture tour, featuring six pieces within walking distance of downtown Hillsborough, invites community participation. Folks who pick up a brochure from the Hillsborough/Orange County Visitors Center can vote for the people's choice by submitting the ballot on the last page of the pamphlet.
You can also enter into a drawing for a Alliance for Historic Hillsborough prize package by taking a photo with each sculpture and posting them on the alliance's Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #HsboST.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sculpture tour: "Out of Nature" at police station

Hanna Jubran will display his piece "Out of Nature" at the Hillsborough Police Station, 127 N. Churton St., as part of Hillsborough Art Council's 2011 sculpture tour. The piece will remain on display until Sept. 30.
"Out of Nature," fashioned from painted steel, represents the landscape of the rolling mountains and hills where Jubran grew up in Israel. The orange against the black depicts how city lights reflect against a deep velvety night sky.
Jubran said he typically creates sculptures based off of the four elements and following a geographical landscape.
The sculpture tour, featuring six pieces within walking distance of downtown Hillsborough, invites community participation. Folks who pick up a brochure from the Hillsborough/Orange County Visitors Center can vote for the people's choice by submitting the ballot on the last page of the pamphlet.
You can also enter into a drawing for a Alliance for Historic Hillsborough prize package by taking a photo with each sculpture and posting them on the alliance's Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #HsboST.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Earth Day at Children's Learning Center

The Children's Learning Center on Nash Street held a celebration of their new outdoor learning and playing environment the day before Earth Day on Thursday, April 21. About a year ago, the center received grant money to transform the space; last Thursday represented the beginning of year two in a three-year grant process. Scotts Miracle-Gro Company and Lowes Home Improvement stores in northern Durham and Chapel Hill donated product to the project.

Breaking ground on UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus!

Officials and community members gathered at the site of UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus for a ground breaking on Wednesday, April 20. The hospital will be located in the Waterstone development right off of I-40.
The hospital will be a two-phase, $200 million project. Construction on the first phase will begin in early May and will include a 60,000 square-foot physician office building, which is set to open in 2013.
Phase two should begin in 2012 and includes the hospital itself, complete with 50 acute care beds, 18 intensive care beds, six operating rooms, two procedure rooms and an emergency department. The entire project is set for completion in 2015.
For more information, see the Wednesday, April 27, edition of the News of Orange.
First picture: Bill Roper, left, CEO of UNC Health Care, with Rep. David Price (D-NC).
Second picture: Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens with state Rep. Bill Faison.

Last Fridays begin Friday

It is time again for Hillsborough’s terrific warm weather festival, Last Fridays, held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. This year, 2011, marks the 13th season of this successful event that runs from April through September. Each month, a different band headlines the fiesta with a free performance on the lawn of the historic 1844 Old Courthouse. The festival features music, art vendors, an art walk, a pie contest and much more.


New for this year, all the musicians are featured at the new Reverberation Site Read about the bands and hear samples of their music at
For April, we are proud to present the Lizzy Ross Band as the main musician at the Old Courthouse lawn.

Bringing a fresh, new attitude with original tunes that hearken back to the era of rock and roll, the Lizzy Ross Band fuses jazz and folk music with dirty blues and rock. Ross’ commanding, versatile, and expressive voice has been compared to Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Grace Potter. The band’s tight arrangements are tasteful and unique, ranging from subtly complimentary to virtuously explosive.

Local artists and the Art Walk

Artist vendors at May's Last Fridays will be located at the old Courthouse in downtown Hillsborough.

April's Art Walk, in its sixth year as a Last Fridays activity, showcases the talents of local artists in studios and galleries in downtown Hillsborough. Many venues will have artist and opening receptions on April 29 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Brochures with a map of the Last Fridays Art Walk are available at any of the participating venues or at

Pie contest

This marks the pie contest’s third year as a part of Last Fridays. Celebrity judges will judge the pies, featuring a different theme each month. April’s theme is chocolate, with judging at 6 p.m. at Cup A Joe and awards announced at the band’s break. Pies must be at Cup A Joe no later than 5 p.m. to be considered.

Pie pieces will be sold at Cup A Joe after the winners are announced. Proceeds benefit the Hillsborough Arts Council. Entry forms and future pie themes can be found online at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

66th annual Central Piedmont Junior Livestock Show and Sale

The Central Piedmont Livestock Show was held April 13 and 14 in Hillsborough. The show provides a venue for youth of Orange, Durham, Person, Johnston, Guilford, Alamance, Chatham, Wake and Granville Counties to show market hogs, market steer, heifers, dairy goats, meat goats and lambs. During the two-day event, kids agse 5 through 18 will competed for class awards based on the overall finish and health of an animal and showmanship, the ability to properly handle and show livestock.
Over several months, animals have been cared for and maintained by youth from 4-H clubs or High School FFA groups. Some of the youth raise animals at home and other youth keep their animals as part of a school project or shared ownership. Each youth is responsible for maintaining records and maintaining the health of their livestock project.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We've come this far by faith

The Fairview community finally cut the ribbon on its new park Saturday, April 9, at a ceremony at 2 p.m. Orange County commissioners, Hillsborough town board members and folks from the community gathered together to celebrate and echo how long a journey it had been. After decades of waiting, the park finally came to fruition and includes new play equipment, a baseball field, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts and walking trails.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ladies, take your hats off to spring!

Have a favorite hat, but nowhere to wear it?
Well, Downtown Hillsborough says put on that hat and come downtown for Ladies’ Night Out: Hats Off To Spring on Thursday, April 28, from 6 to 9 p.m.
As you enter the historic district, start your evening by stopping by one of our four greeting stations:
S. Churton Street in front of Weaver Street Market
N. Churton Street in front of the Hillsborough Police Station
E. King Street in front of Vintage Revival Shops
W. King Street in front of Carolina Game & Fish
Here local dignitaries will hand you a menu of events and specials available throughout the evening at participating downtown merchants. Shops throughout downtown Hillsborough will have tastings, pampering, specials, music and fun for the ladies centered on the flowering beauty of spring. Many merchants will also have Mother’s Day wish lists and items perfect for graduation gifts. Lantern luminaries will mark participating downtown businesses.
At 7:15 p.m., ladies who want to enter the hat contest should go to the contest table located on the Old County Courthouse grounds at the corner of East King and Churton streets. There, ladies can register for the hat contest and show off their hat to the distinguished judges, which will include Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens in his own favorite Derby hat. At 8 p.m., winners in three hat categories—best vintage hat; most creative hat; and fanciest hat—will be announced and each awarded a wonderful gift basket from Downtown Hillsborough Merchants. The News of Orange will also be on hand to take pictures of the hats for those who wish.
For more information about Ladies’ Night Out, call 732-7741 or go online to

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Burwell School hosts speaker on slavery and the civil war

The Burwell School Historic Site, N. Churton St., will host Katherine Mellen Charron, Ph.D., for a lecture titled “William Henry Singleton’s Recollections of My Slavery Days: a North Carolina Slave’s View of the Civil War and Its Legacies” on Wednesday, April 20, at 7 p.m.
Admission to this programs is free and is open to the public with reception to follow. For more information, contact the Burwell School at 732-7451 or email This program is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In 1922, the former slave and Union Army veteran William Henry Singleton published an autobiography that provided a fascinating glimpse of life in a North Carolina coastal city and rural neighborhood. His Recollections of My Slavery Days vividly reminds us how slavery impacted black and white families, the church and the marketplace in the antebellum South as well as the upheaval that accompanied the Civil War. The talk explores what Singleton’s narrative revealed about a place and the people in it, about slavery and freedom, and the bridge between the two.
For Singleton, that bridge was built in the crucible of the Civil War and rested on the militant black political self-assertion that emerged early in the war in coastal North Carolina. Considering the 57 years between the war’s end and Singleton’s writing, this talk also considers the question of memory, of what we choose to remember, how we remember it and why that matters.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Program to help raise awareness on Melanoma

Melanoma is one of the only forms of cancer that is still on the rise and is the most common form of cancer in young adults. The incidence of melanoma in women under age 30 has increased more than 50 percent since 1980.
“When melanoma is diagnosed early, the prognosis is good. However, once it spreads, it is very difficult to treat,” noted David Ollila, MD, co-director of UNC’s multidisciplinary melanoma program and a surgical oncologist.
That’s why UNC Cancer Care and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center are sponsoring a program that reaches out to hair stylists and barbers to provide them with the information they need to help detect clients’ skin cancers on their scalp or neck and to counsel them about cancer prevention.
“I have personally cared for several patients with melanoma and other skin malignancies whose cancer on was first noted by their hair stylist or barber,” Ollila says. “Stylists have a unique role and point of view from behind the chair and, armed with information, they can save lives.”
The free program will be held at the N.C. Cancer Hospital’s Conference Room #1, on the ground floor, on Monday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The program includes information on melanoma and other skin cancers and demonstrations of how to recognize them, tips on prevention and advice on how to care for clients who might be undergoing treatment for skin cancer.
To register, please call (919) 843-0680 or e-mail Beth Fogel, RN at Lunch will be provided to program participants.

Friday, April 15, 2011

a second chance for Grady Brown

The students at Grady A. Brown Elementary School are getting a second chance at a grant that would increase the quality of their third- through fifth-grade playground. The school has a shot at a $25,000 Pepsi grant—look for details on how to vote in Wednesday's paper. But the PTA's fundraising efforts don't stop there. Vinny's in Churton Grove is donating 10 percent of its sales Monday to the playground endeavor. You must print out a coupon (go here and scroll down to "Future Fundraisers" to get the coupon) to have the funds applied to Grady Brown. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Keep the community clean!

The N.C. Department of Transportation is seeking volunteers to help remove litter from local roads during this year’s spring litter sweep event, held April 16 to 30. Volunteers played an integral role in removing more than 4.2 million pounds of roadside litter during the 2010 spring and fall litter sweeps.
“The department’s spring litter sweep is a great opportunity for all of us to pitch in to revitalize the beauty of North Carolina’s roads,” said Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. “By improving safety and appearance, we can ensure we provide visitors with a positive impression of our scenic state.”
Interested litter sweep volunteers may contact their local NCDOT county maintenance office to obtain cleanup supplies. Children between the ages of 12 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Participants are required to watch a safety video and wear safety gear. Everyone is reminded to warm up by stretching before picking up litter and to drink plenty of water during the cleanup.
NCDOT maintenance crews, Adopt-A-Highway groups, N.C. Department of Correction inmate crews and community service workers will also take to the highways to pick up roadside litter during spring litter sweep.
Additionally, the N.C. State Highway Patrol will be on alert and policing the roadways for motorists with unsecured loads and others that intentionally and unintentionally litter. Littering is an illegal, fineable offense. Upon conviction, the defendant can be fined up to $2,000, receive a point on their driver's license and be sentenced to community service work. Fines can double upon a second conviction.
The bi-annual litter sweeps are administered by the NCDOT Office of Beautification Programs. For more information, call (800) 331-5864 or visit the Office of Beautification Programs website and click on “Litter Sweep.” Volunteers can also receive information and updates by following NCDOT on Twitter, visiting the department’s Facebook page or viewing videos about litter sweep on YouTube.

The 2011 fall Litter Sweep is scheduled for Sept. 17-Oct. 1.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Central Piedmont Livestock Show to be held April 13 and 14

The Central Piedmont Livestock Show begins April 13 in Hillsborough. The livestock show is a venue for youth of Orange, Durham, Person, Johnston, Guilford, Alamance, Chatham, Wake and Granville Counties to show market hogs, market steer, heifers, dairy and meat goats, and lambs. During the two-day event, youth ages 5 through 18 years will compete for class awards based on the overall finish and health of an animal and showmanship, the ability to properly handle and show livestock.

Over several months, animals have been cared for and maintained by youth from 4-H clubs or High School FFA groups. Some of the youth raise animals at home and others keep their animals as part of a school project or shared ownership. Each youth is responsible for maintaining records and maintaining the health of their livestock project.

Youth who show animals comprise home-school, private school, and public school systems in Central NC. The event is well attended by local and state political leaders. There will be several hundred livestock shown and sold over the two-day event.

The show begins at 1 p.m. with market hogs on April 13 followed by lamb and the steer show beginning at 7 p.m. On April 14, the show begins at 8:45 a.m. followed by a community BBQ supper at 5 p.m., and the livestock awards and sale start at 6 p.m.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Orange County to host job fair

Orange County will host a Job and Resource Fair benefiting local employers and job seekers on Wednesday, April 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The job fair will be held at the Social Services Department, located at 113 Mayo St., and is open to the public.

More than 30 local businesses with a variety of staffing needs are attending the fair. Participating local businesses include Duke University, Duke Medical Center, Durham Technical Community College, Lowes Home Improvement, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Time Warner Cable, UNC Hospital, Weaver Street Market and Sports Endeavors.

The Job and Resource Fair is an excellent opportunity for qualified employees to meet potential employers. All job seekers are welcome. Positions are available for individuals with a variety of skill sets, from entry-level to experienced professionals.

Job seekers are encouraged to bring resumes and dress professionally.

For a full list of participating businesses or to see how businesses can get involved, contact Randy Haynes at (919) 245-2821.

Take a behind-the-scenes peak at 911 operations!

National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week will be observed the week of April 10 to 16. During this week each year, the nation recognizes the dedication and outstanding efforts of the individuals who make the 911 system work every day.
Telecommunicators in the Orange County 911 center are public servants who answer more than 600 calls for service per day, handling 21 phone lines and 35 radio channels. They give up family times, holidays and weekends to staff the center 24-hours a day, 7-days a week. Telecommunicators deal with stress levels that are second only to the stress levels endured by air traffic controllers.
To properly honor and recognize the outstanding work and dedication of local 911 telecommunicators, Orange County Communications will open its doors to the public to provide a behind the scenes look at what happens during a 911 call.
The tour is a rare opportunity to meet 911 telecommunicators face-to-face and to see the vital service they offer to the public as the first line of defense against crime, sickness and disaster when they answer your calls for help.
The Open House will be held on Tuesday, April 12, and Thursday, April 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. The 911 center is located in the Orange County Emergency Services building, 510 Meadowlands Drive.
When you spot a fire truck, ambulance or a law enforcement vehicle responding to an emergency with lights and siren, know that a telecommunicator is working behind the scenes to get help to the crisis at hand.
For additional information, contact Instructor/Telecommunicator, Rodney Cates at or call 245-6100.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Singles dinners at Saratoga Grill

Saratoga Grill will hold singles dinners every third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the bar. The next night is April 19. Come out and have dinner and a drink with other singles in the area! The idea of the night is to talk, have a good time and get to know other people. There is no fee other than the cost of food and drink, and participants aren't required to order anything.
For more information, see the April 6 edition of the News of Orange.

In the picture: (from left) Pam Shaffer, Ellie Shaffer, 10, Max Shaffer, 12, Jake Harris, 11 and Luke Harris, 7, celebrate the birthday of Pat Amey (back right) at Saratoga Grill. The two families have a long history of friendship, stretching back 50 years.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sculpture tour—"Anhinga at Burwell School"

Harry McDaniel's "Anhinga," an abstract piece constructed of aluminum, sits at the Burwell School Historic Site, 319 N. Churton St., as part of Hillsborough Sculpture Tour 2011. Though the tour officially opens Saturday, April 16, McDaniel set up his piece a few weeks early. The tour runs through Sept. 30, and includes five other sculptures within walking distance of downtown Hillsborough.
McDaniel has been sculpting for more than 30 years, beginning with a few teenage dabbles in wood. He has since moved to outdoor art, preferring the more natural setting as opposed to a gallery.
For more information on "Anhinga," McDaniel and the art tour, see the Wednesday, April 13, edition of the News of Orange.

April declared Public Health Month

While local health departments work diligently year round to protect the community from health threats, many people are unaware of this resource and how it benefits their quality of life. To raise awareness of the value of public health, the Orange County Health Department will celebrate North Carolina Public Health Month throughout April.
“The Orange County Health Department has many reasons to celebrate Public Health Month this year,” said Dr. Rosemary Summers, Orange County Health Director.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its 2011 County Health Rankings report on March 30, naming Orange County as the second healthiest county in the state. In February, Orange County Board of Commissioners approved the bid award for renovating the lower level of Whitted Human Services Center in Hillsborough to expand clinical facilities. Renovations will serve health and dental clinic needs and provide additional space for support staff. Construction began in late February with a completion date set for June.
“We are excited about the renovated facility and anticipate that our clients will receive more efficient services with updated equipment in more pleasant surroundings,” Summers said.
The Health Department will use Public Health Month to promote its motto “Prevent, Promote, Protect… Partnering for the Public’s Health” and the services offered to carry out these functions. The health director will release the department’s fiscal year 2009-2010 annual report, Highlighting Health, which presents financial and program outcomes. Staff will participate in a variety of events, including the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day on April 16, which will include Healthy Carolinians of Orange County’s Real Men Rock educational display to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome.
The North Carolina Division of Public Health began sponsoring NC Public Health Month in 1978. Local health departments are encouraged to implement activities that build off the national Public Health Week observance (April 4 through 10) and raise awareness of local public health efforts.
The Orange County Health Department has served residents’ public health needs for more than 30 years by offering affordable programs and services through its Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough offices. For more information about Public Health Month in Orange County, visit the health department’s Public Health Month website.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hagan supports paying soldiers during a government shutdown

U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) cosponsored the bipartisan Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011, S. 724, on April 6 to ensure that military personnel continue to be paid in the event of a federal government shutdown.
“I am working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to prevent an irresponsible government shutdown,” said Hagan, Chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. “The American people elected us to solve problems—not to shut down the government. No matter what happens, partisan bickering cannot be allowed to jeopardize the financial stability of our service members and their families."
Any government shutdown would affect military personnel. There are currently 90,000 troops in Afghanistan and more than 45,000 in Iraq. North Carolina has more than 120,000 active duty troops, thousands of whom are currently deployed abroad.
The Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011, sponsored by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), would prevent an interruption in pay for members of the military if there is a funding gap resulting from a government shutdown.
View the legislation here.

Living history—coins from the town's past

Alex Armstrong, local photographer and coin enthusiast, donated seven half-pennies and one penny from the 1700s to the Town of Hillsborough. The pennies all date from the time surrounding Orange County's and Hillsborough's origin and actually circulated in the area. Mayor Tom Stevens said many of the coins will probably wind up in the Orange County Historical Museum, but he also said he hopes to bring some with him on school visits to allow students to hold a piece of the town's history.
For more information, see the April 6 edition of the News of Orange.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hillsborough to hold first ever sculpture tour

Hillsborough Arts Council will host the town's first ever outdoor sculpture tour opening April 16 and spanning until September 30. Six pieces were chosen and will be placed at different sites, all within walking distance of downtown. Visitors will be able to vote for a people's choice, to be announced at the end of the tour, via ballots on the maps available at the Visitors Center, 150 E. King St.
For more information, see the April 13 edition of the News of Orange.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Agricultural Summit comes to Orange County

The 25th annual North Carolina A&T Small Farms Week came to Orange County for its 2011 anniversary from Monday, March 21, to Wednesday, March 23, combining with the agriculture celebration the county has held for the past 13 years. The collaborated event not only commemorated farmers across the state and region through informative workshops and lectures but also honored the 2010 Small Farmer of the Year: Cedar Grove prawn farmer, Joe Thompson.

The summit included a tour of the prawn farm and Tiny Farm in Hillsborough, which grows greens year-round in solar-heated greenhouses.

The summit originally began as a way to pool ideas on agricultural tips, practices and options when tobacco was rapidly falling out of governmental favor. Now, farmers still use the event as a way to keep up with the latest trends, such as organic and local farming.