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Articles by Lars Dolder
Siler City commissioners initiate road improvements
SILER CITY — Siler City will spend almost $370,000 over the next year to repave sections of 10 major roads — about 23% more than …
Siler City Police Dept. releases details of June murder
SILER CITY — Three men connected to a Siler City murder were indicted by a Grand Jury and arrested last Thursday after a sensitive …
The case for a 4-day work week
Work fills the time alloted for it. As Joe Pinsker wrote for The Atlantic last month: “When we have 40 hours of work a week, we …
Water contaminant levels still decreasing since Greensboro spill
PITTSBORO — Two weeks of samples taken from Pittsboro’s water intake show decreasing concentrations of 1,4-Dioxane in the town’s …
New ordinance could be major step toward Siler City’s revitalization
SILER CITY — For the first time ever, Siler City has created a minimum nonresidential building code, and it could be the deciding …
Pittsboro's Chris Kennedy: Greensboro’s lack of accountability after water contamination ‘is just obnoxious’
In a specially convened meeting Tuesday, Town Manager Chris Kennedy and the board of commissioners publicly demanded the City of …
75 years later, Johnson's is still cooking up the best burgers in town
“We never based our business just on burgers,” she said. “It’s based on quality; top quality meat cut and ground every day. …
Fireworks — fun and philanthropic
Everyone’s seen the fireworks tents that pop up in the week before July 4, but what happens to the take-home-combustibles business …
Checking in with Pittsboro’s new planning director Theresa Thompson
PITTSBORO — Few town employees liaise with residents as often as the planning director. A municipality’s planning department …
Pittsboro's 3DFS: Revolutionizing the energy industry
PITTSBORO — Energy is an imprecise science. Experts generally agree about two-thirds of all electrical energy goes to waste ­— …
Pittsboro water samples suggest additional 1,4-Dioxane contamination from unknown Greensboro source
PITTSBORO — A second round of Pittsboro water analysis released Monday suggests another “slug” of 1,4-Dioxane was illegally …
Pittsboro’s water samples indicate safe drinking water after contamination scare last week
PITTSBORO — Analysis of Pittsboro water samples released Wednesday morning suggests the town’s drinking water is probably safe for …
Got a craving for quinine? Dangerously Good Tonic has you covered
­PITTSBORO — Libation lovers don’t often contemplate their favorite cocktails’ ancillary components. Even the most censorious …
Independent commission improbable for this year’s redistricting, N.C. lawmakers say
RALEIGH — Despite tenuous optimism that North Carolina’s General Assembly might divest itself of unmitigated authority to redraw …
Four 'armed and dangerous' men are captured, NCHP says
PITTSBORO — Each of four of the men who escaped following a chase by the N.C. State Highway Patrol on Saturday is now in custody.
In violation of state order, Greensboro discharges dangerous chemical into the Haw
For the first time in more than a year, Pittsboro’s drinking water could be contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane after the City of …
Chatham’s great inundation continues
Last year, during one of the pandemic’s earlier misleads, economists had a grand revelation: our “new normal” work-from-home …
Town of Pittsboro launches new website
PITTSBORO — Pittsboro has a new website to facilitate smoother community engagement and match town representatives’ commitment to …
After technical difficulties, Pittsboro board discusses big things to come
PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s board of commissioners entertained conversation on several consequential topics in its regular meeting …
Pittsboro's Knight Farm Community Park is ready for play
Pittsboro parks PITTSBORO — Town representatives and Chatham Park Investors have dedicated Pittsboro’s newest park, concluding …
De-frauding a fraudster (and a WhatsApp scam to watch out for)
Some weeks ago, a vacuous scammer temporarily commanded my mother’s WhatsApp account. He picked the wrong son’s mother to swindle; …
Pittsboro board discusses UDO amendments, new planning director and new businesses
Pittsboro Commissioners PITTSBORO — Just a few weeks after the board of commissioners adopted Pittsboro’s Unified Development …
How can Chatham attract new commerce? Incentives.
PROSPECTS FOR GROWTH As real estate development barrels on across the county, commercial growth has seemed to lag behind. But …
Finally: Pittsboro’s traffic circle re-opens
PITTSBORO — The traffic circle in downtown Pittsboro has reopened after months of renovation, but work on the larger road …
Police staff will expand under Siler City’s proposed town budget
SILER CITY — Siler City Police Department’s officer staff stands to grow by more than 25% under the town’s proposed budget for …
Police to crack down on noise violations
SILER CITY — Siler City police will launch a new education and enforcement initiative next week to crack down on excessive noise …
Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club to change planned location
PITTSBORO — Almost eight months after announcing plans to host area youth at Pittsboro’s Kiwanis building on Credle Street, …
Siler City board moves closer to re-routing Third Street near Mountaire
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners moved forward Monday with plans to close three roads near Mountaire Farms’ Siler …
Veteran PBO restaurateurs to open new upscale steakhouse
PITTSBORO — After a crippling year for the restaurant industry, Greg and Maria Lewis — former owners of the defunct Pittsboro …
Senate Bill could alleviate municipal redistricting troubles, postpone 2021 elections
SILER CITY — Municipalities statewide may soon find relief from their redistricting woes through a Senate Bill that would postpone …
Goldston woman’s alleged theft of nearly $1 million one of largest in county’s history
SILER CITY ­— A Chatham businesswoman has been charged with embezzling nearly $1 million from her Siler City employer. Cheryl …
Get ready for fuel (read: everything) to cost a lot more money
Chaos erupted when the Colonial Pipeline shut down last month, temporarily suspending fuel supply on the east coast. But the drama we …
The Plant unveils new Bath House in Pittsboro
PITTSBORO — It’s not often businesses host ribbon-cutting ceremonies for their lavatories, but last Wednesday’s Bath House …
DA’s office initiates extradition of suspected Siler City murderer
SILER CITY — A specialized team of law enforcement agents will retrieve Sergio “Yovani” Rodriguez Pereira — the primary …
‘Tiger King Park’ cats find refuge at Pittsboro’s Carolina Tiger Rescue
PITTSBORO — Carolina Tiger Rescue now counts four celebrity cats among its newest residents: rescued tigers from Tiger King Park, …
Siler City Police Department carries out major drug investigations
SILER CITY — The Siler City Police Department, in partnership with North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, conducted two search and …
Amendments to proposed Pittsboro budget reduce utility rate increases
PITTSBORO — Town Manager Chris Kennedy announced last Monday a substantial revision to the town’s proposed budget for …
Millennials start settling down, but (as always) it’s on their own terms
A nationwide survey of about 7,000 Americans, mostly millennials, suggests that pandemic living has done more than change our living …
Roy Lynch: Bouncing back from Siler City’s pandemic year
SILER CITY — Big things are coming to Siler City as town management and the board of commissioners work to improve the town’s …
NCDOT shifts proposed highway alignment, but neighbors want more
PITTSBORO — After months-long negotiations between the N.C. Dept. of Transportation and property owners in Pittsboro’s North Woods …
Testing the waters: Private sewage system’s shortcomings devalue Briar Chapel homes
Editor’s note: This is the sixth installment in a series investigating Chatham County’s water and sewer infrastructure. Previous …
Pittsboro staff, organizers demands accountability for water contamination
PITTSBORO — Town of Pittsboro staff, the board of commissioners and Clean Haw River — a Pittsboro-based environmental conservation …
Pittsboro board adopts UDO, approves several land development requests
PITTSBORO — After about six years in the making, the board of commissioners voted unanimously to adopt the Town of Pittsboro Unified …
Shooting at Moncure’s ‘Club 51’ and fear of retaliation keep neighbors worried
MONCURE — Dozens of shots were fired during a party at a Moncure home earlier this month, injuring one man and confirming claims …
Siler City taxes, utility rates unlikely to change in 2022
SILER CITY — Siler City’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 recommends keeping taxes and utilities at their current rates while …
Siler City board adopts 5-year economic development plan
SILER CITY — The board of commissioners voted to adopt a 5-year economic development strategy at it regular meeting Monday, enacting …
Chris Kennedy: Insights into Pittsboro's proposed spending plan
The News + Record talked with Kennedy to get some more insight into what town leadership hopes to achieve with the proposed budget, …
PRINCETON: N.C. is the country’s most gerrymandered state
RALEIGH — North Carolina is the country’s most gerrymandered state, and the General Assembly is likely to again promote unjust …
BREAKING: Gov. Roy Cooper loosens mask mandate
RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper announced Friday he would be loosening the statewide mask mandate per the Centers for Disease Control and …
Boys & Girls Club to organize town’s recreational programs, Pittsboro commissioners decide
PITTSBORO — The town’s board of commissioners voted at its regular meeting Monday to endow Pittsboro’s new Boys & Girls Club …
Global waste offers food for thought
Every year, almost 20% of the world’s food is wasted. That’s what the United Nations concluded in its 2021 Food Waste Index …
Pittsboro’s town budget seeks 43% increase in spending
PITTSBORO — As aggressive expansion barrels on in Pittsboro, the cost of running the town’s government is surging. To meet …
Work has slowed, but downtown Pittsboro traffic circle should open by June
PITTSBORO — Downtown’s historic traffic circle is expected to open for regular traffic by month’s end, permitting full access to …
Chatham governing bodies to receive $30 million in federal stimulus funds
Chatham County’s slice of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan stimulus package amounts to more than $30 million, and the county …
20,000 new jobs expected at Triangle Innovation Point megasite
MONCURE — Chatham County’s largest megasite is “re-branding” its image and purpose to attract a host of new businesses, which …
Two Chatham Sheriff’s deputies charged in connection with off-duty shooting
PITTSBORO — The Pittsboro Police Department has concluded its investigation into an April 11 incident involving three off-duty law …
Customers are pining for wood. In Siler City, Carolina Wood Enterprises is filling the need.
In a normal year, Van Culberson would be ramping up production at his saw mill after a mostly fallow winter. Instead, Siler City’s …
Town commissioners again postpone action on Siler City road closures
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners again postponed acting on a petition from Mountaire Farms to close portions of …
Three police officers to be charged for off-duty crimes
PITTSBORO — The Pittsboro Police Department is nearing completion of a month-long investigation involving three Chatham law …
Passion for pith: retired copywriter’s ‘Reality (can be OK, but mostly it) Bites’ compiles 400 original aphorisms
In his latest book, local author Gordon Hutchison explores the gamut of human emotion with 400 original aphorisms — from hysterical …
'We need the community': Siler City murder suspect still on the run
SILER CITY — More than four months after the killing of Ramon Hernandez, Chatham County police have made little progress in locating …
Chatham’s law enforcement community reacts to Chauvin’s murder conviction
In the wake of Chauvin’s historic trial, many police officers have voiced their approval, or rejection, of the outcome. A day after …
Siler City Police work to raise awareness about child abuse
SILER CITY — To promote National Child Abuse Prevention Month and draw attention to local resources for abuse victims, the Siler …
So, what is Pittsboro doing about its water problems?
PITTSBORO — Town leadership, including the board of commissioners and town staff, have worked behind the scenes for more than a year …
Pittsboro medical device manufacturer vaulted to global relevance
Medical device manufacturers have come under intense scrutiny in the last year. Several scrambled at the pandemic’s start to supply …
Adopt-A-Street volunteers work to keep Siler City clean
SILER CITY — Clad in ultra-reflective vests and furnished with official NCDOT-approved “grabber sticks,” Siler City’s business …
Siler City board evaluates 5-year economy improvement plan
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners entertained a presentation on Monday from representatives of the N.C. Main Street & …
Air travel isn’t dead. It’s different.
Of all industries to suffer from pandemic slowdowns, few were as roundly decimated as air travel. At the pandemic’s worst, …
Con artists intensify their telephone scam efforts in pandemic
SILER CITY — Telephone scams have proliferated since the pandemic began, with overseas fraudsters targeting senior citizens. At …
Pittsboro’s new Welcome Center opens arms to visitors
PITTSBORO — Pittsboro’s new Welcome Center is officially open to the public, and its representatives are eager to help newcomers …
Retired ATF agent’s ‘Moonshiners and Revenuers’ aims to paint more accurate picture of the former ‘pillar of southern identity’
In the days before illegal drugs were widely accessible, homemade alcohol was the country’s contraband du jour. Following the …
N.C. cluster data likely underrepresents coronavirus spread
In North Carolina, there have been 936,425 cases of COVID-19 since last spring, according to the state’s dashboard as of Tuesday …
It’s time we make broadband a utility
In the early 1930s, few North Carolinians outside metropolitan areas had electricity. Private companies supplied power to cities and …
Pittsboro board discusses water solutions at Monday's meeting
PITTSBORO — The board of commissioners reviewed Pittsboro’s ongoing water contamination issues in its regular meeting Monday, and …
Testing the waters: Weighing the options for Chatham’s private sewage systems
Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in a series investigating Chatham County’s water and sewer infrastructure. BRIAR …
Pittsboro Boys & Girls Club to open by summer
PITTSBORO — The town’s budding Boys & Girls Club and Pittsboro’s Kiwanis Club hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday to …
Siler City pastor arrested for child sex abuse now faces more than 100 charges
A Siler City pastor was arrested Saturday and charged with more than 30 counts of child sex abuse.
Siler City board grapples with event planning as pandemic wanes
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners deliberated over two potential upcoming events in its regular meeting Monday, …
The taxman cometh
Back in 2017, I had just started working in the finance industry when then-President Donald Trump bushwhacked his way through a …
Reives on Fair Maps Act: give redistricting power to the voters
RALEIGH — Gerrymandering, the illegal practice of manipulating voting districts to favor a political party, has plagued North …
Nationwide study finds Pittsboro’s drinking water among worst in U.S.
PITTSBORO — An expansive nationwide study has confirmed what Chathamites have long suspected: Pittsboro has some of the worst …
New organization hopes to address homeless crisis with permanent shelter
A burgeoning group of local philanthropists and religious leaders are working to establish accessible long-term resources for the …
What Egypt’s shipping disaster means for Chatham
After almost a week lodged in muck and obstructing the entire Suez Canal, the Ever Given — a gargantuan Japanese container ship — …
Siler City leaders haggle over minority assistance agenda
In a recent meeting to discuss their economic development implementation strategy, Siler City’s Economic Development Strategic …
As pandemic wanes, local economist examines long-term ramifications
CHAPEL HILL — With state-imposed restrictions lifting, vaccine distribution hastening and coronavirus deaths lessening, local …
Congressman Ted Budd visits Siler City to honor late mayor John Grimes
Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC), whose district includes western Chatham County, visited Siler City on Thursday to present Cecilia Grimes …
Don’t get too cozy in your at-home office
Isn’t it nice working from home? Less time on the road and more time in your derrière debossed La-Z-Boy. Well, don’t get too …
Pittsboro board talks land use, high school graduation and upcoming events
PITTSBORO — The board of commissioners spent most of its regular meeting Monday evaluating land use requests — zoning amendments …
Want to build a rain garden? Love Creek Watershed Stewards can help.
SILER CITY — Loves Creek Watershed Stewards, in partnership with environmentalists from N.C. State University, will host the first …
Testing the waters: finding private solutions
Editor’s note: In this fourth installment of our water and sewer infrastructure series, the News + Record explores calls for …
SoCo project barrels toward completion
PITTSBORO — Pittsboro is undergoing dramatic change, especially north of U.S. Hwy. 64 where the Chatham Park behemoth is developing …
Siler City’s Commissioners discuss town's improving fiscal health
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners reviewed markers of the town’s fiscal health — how its debt compares to similar …
Traffic circle project hurts some downtown business owners, encourages hope in others
PITTSBORO — The trucks arrived in January: dozers, backhoes, compactors. Soon, they’d stripped the pavement and gutted the …
Testing the waters: Impact of real estate and commercial development in Pittsboro
In the next 20 years, Pittsboro’s population is expected to grow by more than 1,000%, demanding a robust and expansive …
Siler City Police expands leadership staff, seeks more growth
SILER CITY — The town’s police department held a ceremony last Friday to officially recognize two new sergeants. The internal …
What to do with your stimulus check
After some consternation, much deliberation and delayed adjudication, they’re finally here: stimulus checks 3.0. They’re bigger …
State Sen. Jeff Jackson, seeking U.S. Senate seat, holds outdoor town hall in Chatham
About 40 people gathered at Pittsboro’s Kiwanis Park on Monday — shivering in the cold and socially distanced — to hear state …
COVID-19: ONE YEAR LATER
Exactly one year ago, the World Health Organization declared global pandemic in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Since then, more …
Homelessness: a pandemic within a pandemic
SILER CITY — The coronavirus pandemic introduced many challenges for all Chathamites. Perhaps none were more affected than the …
Enterprising Chatham: A new bank is coming to Pittsboro
It’s been a tough year for most businesses. But some, such as Fuquay-Varina-based Fidelity Bank, have thrived — so much so that …
Nightclubs and bars and taverns, oh my! Pittsboro board talks zoning changes
PITTSBORO — It may soon be a lot easier to open a bar in Pittsboro. At its regular meeting on Monday, the Pittsboro board of …
Rev. Dr. Albert Reddick seeks Siler City Mayor’s seat again
SILER CITY — The Rev. Dr. Albert Reddick, a regular on Siler City municipal elections ballots since 2013, is planning another go at …
Chatham’s Kimrey Rhinehardt planning bid for U.S. Senate
Chatham resident Kimrey Rhinehardt has confirmed her intended candidacy for U.S. Senate in an exclusive interview with the News + …
Siler City commissioners approve sweeping ordinance changes to improve town aesthetic
SILER CITY — In a bid to enact frequent calls for the town’s revitalization, Siler City’s board of commissioners authorized …
Loves Creek Watershed Stewards to launch new community program
The Loves Creek Watershed Stewards — a group of local environmentalists committed to improving water quality and drainage issues in …
Committee of local leaders proposes strategy to help Siler City rebuild
The group hopes to redirect Siler City’s economic trajectory and reestablish the town as a leading destination in Chatham County.
Spring Chicken Festival to resume in 2021 — maybe virtually
SILER CITY — The Spring Chicken Festival is coming back, but this year’s iteration won’t look like 2019’s. Two years ago, …
I want Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine
Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine arrives in North Carolina this week, and some experts fear the public will reject …
Breaking: State elections board says postpone municipal elections
RALEIGH — State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell recommended the General Assembly take action to delay the …
Testing the waters: Siler City plans water and sewer expansion projects
Three distinct systems serve Chatham County’s rural areas. But in Siler City, the town government is exclusively responsible for …
Pittsboro board addresses fire truck purchase, microbrewery definition, UDO and more in whirlwind meeting
PITTSBORO — The board of commissioners stepped through several action items in its regular meeting on Monday, voting on land use …
Siler City’s CAM megasite is ready to welcome occupants
SILER CITY — The Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site, a 1,802-acre industrial megasite in western Chatham County, …
What to do if your personal data has been stolen
Attacks on personal data have intensified worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Chatham is no exception. Especially since …
'You have to start somewhere:' Chatham works to address vaccine inequity
As vaccine distribution efforts accelerate across the state and around the world, minority populations remain woefully …
Commissioners talk renovation projects after honoring a lost friend, former member Helen Moody Bucker
SILER CITY — The town’s board of commissioners honored a former member at its Monday meeting before examining potential …
Pittsboro’s RAFI calling out antitrust violations in farming
PITTSBORO — Antitrust legislation has made global headlines in recent months with free market advocates decrying big company …
Pandemic may force major delays in municipal elections, Siler City board advised
SILER CITY — November’s election season was historic and unusual as COVID-19 restrictions forced nationwide protocol …
Testing the waters: Chatham leaders plan utility’s capacity growth
Editor’s note: In this first of a series, the News + Record looks at Chatham’s intricate water utility system — how the county …
Stolen county files reveal severity of breach; manager briefs commissioners on $708K ransomware attack
Stolen Chatham County government files posted online following an Oct. 28 ransomware attack contain personal information — including …
As county manager prepares to report on attack, a look at stolen files reveals severity of the breach
Stolen Chatham County government files posted online following an Oct. 28 ransomware attack contain personal information — including …
Pittsboro board pushes ahead with PFAS filtration system
PITTSBORO — Town leaders are working hard to address Pittsboro’s pervasive water contamination issues, but the price for clean …