Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hagan visits Kannapolis for virtual groundbreaking

U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan (NC) will be in Kannapolis on Friday, Aug. 12, for MCNC’s Statewide Virtual Groundbreaking at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, one of four sites in North Carolina hosting groundbreaking events that will be linked via high-definition video. Larry Strickling, assistant secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce, will also attend the groundbreaking. Senator Hagan will use the event to illustrate how the Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative will benefit some of North Carolina’s most underserved communities.

Since coming to the Senate, Hagan has made securing federal broadband infrastructure grants for North Carolina a priority, and now North Carolina is among the top seven states in federal broadband investment dollars. North Carolina has received 20 major broadband grants—a total of $283 million—taking broadband fiber to the vast majority of rural communities.

Friday’s virtual groundbreaking celebrates the start of construction on the second round of the GLRBI. The total project includes more than 2,000 miles of broadband infrastructure to be outfitted through 69 counties in North Carolina. The project is funded in part by $104 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

The Golden LEAF Rural Broadband Initiative aims to bring high-speed Internet access to rural regions that have historically lacked basic broadband infrastructure.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chapel Hill apartment fire results in casualty

At approximately 7:28 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, the Chapel Hill Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 215 Schultz St. Upon arrival, crews reported a working structure fire at 217 Schultz St. with a reported victim trapped in the unit.

Firefighters initiated a successful search and rescue attempt for the victim in unit 217. The victim was located and transported to UNC Hospitals within two minutes. The victim was later pronounced dead by UNC Hospital staff.

Fire crews reported the fire under control at 8:38 a.m. and the fire completely extinguished at 9:36 a.m.

Fire companies from Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Durham, New Hope and Parkwood responded to the fire. Emergency units from Orange County Emergency Management and South Orange Rescue also responded to the incident. The American Red Cross provided assistance to 11 displaced residents.

Five apartment units were damaged due to fire, smoke and water. The cause of the fire and an estimated damage amount has not been determined.

The apartment unit did contain a working smoke detector but did not have a sprinkler system.

Lane closures outside Walgreens on Franklin Street

Lanes will be closed on E. Franklin Street outside of the Walgreens construction area for installation of brick pavers in the median on E. Franklin Street. The inside lanes on the eastbound and westbound sides will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day through Friday, Aug. 12.

For more information, contact Ernie Rogers at (919) 969-5085 or at

Gold Park dog park closed today and tomorrow

The dog park at the Town of Hillsborough’s Gold Park will be closed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 10 and 11, for mulch replenishment.

As a reminder, dogs are allowed off leash only inside the fenced dog park. Orange County’s leash law still applies at all town parks. Under the ordinance, dogs must be restrained when outside and must be walked with a handheld leash.

Dog walkers also are reminded to pick up after their dogs. Bags are provided at Gold Park, which includes a water fountain as well for dogs. Look for it at the bottom of the fountain near the large picnic shelter. Turnip Patch Park, located at 333 W. King St., has a similar feature on its water fountain.

Gold Park, located at 415 Dimmocks Mill Road, is open daily from 8 a.m. until 30 minutes after dusk.

Chapel Hill Transit adjusts buss routes

To improve the financial sustainability of the transit system, Chapel Hill Transit will be implementing schedule changes on Monday, Aug. 15. CHT makes changes to its schedules twice a year in response to ridership trends, changing traffic patterns, popular destinations and growth in the area. These changes are made in January and August.

For more information, please visit the press release to see a list of the route changes or go to the CHT website. You can also contact Brian M Litchfield, CHT assistant director, at (919) 969-4908 or at

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tour d'Orange raises money for heart transplant

On Saturday, July 30, more than 150 bikers came out to the Cane Creek Baptist Church activities Center on Orange Grove Road—despite scorching heat and high humidity—to race to raise money for the MS Society and National Foundation for Transplants. NFT donated 98% of the funds it received from the event to Glen Newhart, a Durham resident who needs a heart transplant. 
Linda Newhart (pictured scooping Maple View ice cream) said the family hopes to raise $100,000, not to pay for the surgery—which insurance pretty much covers—but to pay for anti-rejection medicine that Glen has to take for the rest of his life. Anti-rejection medicine costs between $1,000 and $1,500 a month.
For more information, see the Wednesday, Aug. 3, edition of the News of Orange.
To help the Newhart family, contact Sylvia Hiller at or make a tax-deductible donation to the National Foundation for Transplants North Carolina Transplant Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38119. Write "In honor of Glen Newhart" in the memo line. Donations can also be made online.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Orange County Movie Makers makes TV!

Movie Makers—a program in Orange County run by Melissa Lozoff that teaches kids how to act, produce, write and film their own movie—will be on "Kate Plus 8" on Monday, Aug. 8, at 9:30 p.m. on TLC!
Melissa drove up to Philadelphia in March to run the eight Gosselin kids through her program—filmed of course for the TV show—and then flew back up at the end of May, beginning of July to show them the finished product.
For more information, see the Wednesday, Aug. 3, edition of the News of Orange. For more information on Movie Makers, visit the website.