News Briefs

CN+R Staff Report
Posted 2/15/19

RALEIGH — Woodland owners in 52 counties, including Chatham County, impacted by Hurricane Florence and recognized as federally-declared disaster areas can now apply for cost-share funding for …

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News Briefs

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Applications being accepted for Florence reforestation fund

RALEIGH — Woodland owners in 52 counties, including Chatham County, impacted by Hurricane Florence and recognized as federally-declared disaster areas can now apply for cost-share funding for reforestation efforts. The North Carolina General Assembly approved $2.5 million in time-limited funding for reforestation efforts that will be administered by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the N.C. Forest Service.

Requests considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Get the full details about this program on Cooperative Extension’s Growing Small Farms website at

Horton Middle teacher wins state award

Horton Middle School took to Twitter Feb. 7 to announce one of its own had won a state award.

Michael McMillan, a seventh-grade science teacher at Horton Middle, was a recipient of the 2019 North Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Teaching Excellence Award. McMillan received the award during the NCASCD’s annual conference Feb. 6-8 in Pinehurst.

Horton Middle’s Twitter account posted a photo of McMillan with the certificate and wrote that it was “a well deserved award for a hardworking teacher who always puts his students first.”

The NCASCD is the state chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, a nonprofit educational organization made up of educators around the world that, according to its website, “is dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.”

Historical museum hosting exhibit on Siler City family

The Chatham Historical Museum is in the midst of celebrating Black History Month by hosting an exhibit honoring an African-American family from Siler City.

First opening in January, the “Crossing Racial Lines” exhibit on the Tod R. Edwards family will stay at the museum until March. The Edwards family operated a successful jewelry store from 1905 to 1961. According to the museum, friends and members of the family have loaned artifacts to help tell the story.

The museum is in the historic Chatham County Courthouse in downtown Pittsboro and is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. For more info, visit

“Scene X Scene” announces students in JM’s first-ever acting intensive

SILER CITY — “Scene X Scene,” the first acting intensive ever offered at Jordan-Matthews High School, has accepted 21 students to participate in a series of after-school workshops culminating in a free community performance.

Applicants admitted to “Scene X Scene” are Gisselle Aleman Moreno, Lindley Andrew, Laci Burt, Jackie Carrillo, Ivanol Chay-Perez, Corrine Collison, Litzy Garcia Santos, David Gonzalez, Andrea Lopez, Mia Lopez-Calvo, Zy’kiuh Marsh, Alana May, Kayli McIntosh, July Ramos Corona, Hannah Redding, Natalie Santiago, Conrad Suits, Sydney Suits, Jennifer Trejo Benitez, Jackie Vasquez and Samantha Zarate.

“Scene X Scene” is offered by JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, to help aspiring actors build their skills by working on dramatic scenes in two-hour, weekly workshops. The focus on working “scene by scene” gives the acting intensive its name.

Participants will offer a free showcase performance on May 2 at 7 p.m. in the Jordan-Matthews High School Auditorium, followed by a reception for the actors and audience in the JM Media Center.

Jessica Nunn, founder and director of The Phoenix Theatre Company, is leading the acting intensive as workshop clinician and director of the showcase performance. She believes this focus on acting is a great opportunity for all of the students. “Each student has an opportunity to improve their skills set, beyond just character choices for the musical,” Nunn said. “Also, it’s a great chance for each student to be a lead character!”

“Scene X Scene” is offered free to students thanks to support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, through the Chatham Arts Council.

Siler City requests NCDOT input on Third Street closure

SILER CITY — Siler City Mayor John Grimes, on behalf of the Siler City Board of Commissioners, has sent a letter to the N.C. Dept. of Transportation seeking assistance as the town moves forward with a review of Mountaire’s request to permanently close E. Third Street.

The street had been closed for most of last year to facilitate the construction of Mountaire’s $170 million 255,000 square foot poultry processing facility. Late last year, Mountaire requested the permanent closure of the street, citing safety and traffic flow concerns.

“While I believe the request to close this portion of East Third Street is made by Mountaire in an effort to enhance efficiency and productivity of its operations, we have concerns over the adverse impacts that this closure would to to existing businesses in the area,” the letter read.

The Board of Commissioners decided late last year to wait to consider Mountaire’s request until the plant is up and running. The board determined it felt it best to study the traffic patterns and impacts over a period of several months once the plant is moving at full steam. According to Grimes, that review period would be no less than 90 days.

“Through my communications with members of the Siler City Board of Commissioners, we are convinced that the request for a partial closure...will be unsuccessful and unsupported on the local level unless it connectivity to US Hwy 64 is preserved,” the letter read, noting the substantive project the NCDOT is planning for the Hwy. 64 corridor.

The letter notes that assistance from NCDOT would be “advantageous to all parties concerned.”

Chatham Community Library to host author event with Andrew Reynolds

Chatham Community Library will host a local author event featuring Andrew Reynolds, author of “The Children of Harvey Milk: How LGBTQ Politicians Changed the World,” from 1-3 p.m. on March 2.

Reynolds is a professor, writer, and activist, originally from London. He has been a professor of political science at UNC-Chapel Hill since 2001. He founded and directs the UNC LGBTQ Representation and Rights Research Initiative, the leading global think tank focused on LGBTQ politics. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, New Statesman, and widely online. His 12 non-fiction books range from African politics to the Arab Spring, elections to the future of democracy. For 25 years he has been an advisor on democratic design in the world’s most dangerous places, including South Africa, Somalia, Afghanistan, Libya, Burma, Ukraine and many others.

Part political thriller, part meditation on social change, part love story, “The Children of Harvey Milk” tells the epic stories of courageous men and women around the world who came forward to make their voices heard during the struggle for equal rights. Featuring LGBTQ icons from America to Ireland, Britain to New Zealand, Reynolds documents their successes and failures, stories of acceptance and stories of ostracism, demonstrating the ways in which an individual can change the views and voting behaviors of those around them. The book also includes rare vignettes of LGBTQ leaders in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean who continue to fight for equality in spite of threats, violence, and homophobia.

This event is free and open to the public.

Siler City’s Clark makes Charleston Southern’s Dean’s List

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Charleston Southern University has named Holly Marie Clark of Siler City to the Dean’s List for the fall 2018 semester. Clark is a senior majoring in Physical Education: Teacher Certificate.

Students named to Charleston Southern’s Dean’s List earned a 3.5 GPA or better and earned 12 or more credit hours for the semester.

Pittsboro’s Nona named to Dean’s List at Mars Hill University

MARS HILL -- Emily Michea Nona of Pittsboro is one of 313 students named on the Honor Roll of the Academic Dean at Mars Hill University at the end of the fall 2018 semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must earn a grade-point average of 3.5 on a minimum of 12 semester hours, and carry no grade below a C.

Application/reporting dates extended for FSA program, crop reports

PITTSBORO — The application period for Farm Service Agency’s Market Facilitation Program has been extended to Feb. 14. Additional information and instructions are provided at 

Chatham County farm producers may be eligible for payments for 2018 cotton, corn, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybean, and wheat production that have been significantly impacted by actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of traditional exports. The MFP is established under the statutory authority of the Commodity Credit Corporation CCC Charter Act and is under the administration of Farm Service Agency. Applicants must have an average adjusted gross income for tax years 2014, 2015, and 2016 of less than $900,000. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations and have a timely filed crop acreage report for 2018. If the crop acreage report has not been filed timely by July 15, 2018, a $46/farm late fee must be paid. Applications may be completed at the Chatham County FSA office or submitted electronically either by scanning, emailing, or faxing. Producers of the listed crops should call the Chatham County FSA Office at 919-542-2244, ext. 2, to schedule an appointment to apply for the MFP program or for any questions they may have.

The Farm Service Agency says the crop report date for all fall planted crops (barley, oats, rye, and wheat), has been extended to Feb. 14.

If the crop has not been planted by Feb. 14, then the acreage must be reported no later than 15 calendar days after planting is completed, according to FSA officials. Producers should also report crop acreage they intended to plant, but due to adverse weather conditions, were prevented from planting.  Contact the county office at 919-542-2244, ext. 2, to schedule an appointment to report crop acreages.   

High Point Halal Meats voluntarily recalls product produced without the benefit of inspection

RALEIGH — High Point Halal Meats in High Point is voluntarily recalling all production lots of chicken, lamb and beef products because they were produced without benefit of required inspections.

“Inspectors with the N.C. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Meat and Poultry Inspection Division discovered uninspected meat and poultry products in commerce,” said Dr. Beth Yongue, director of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Division. “This is a Class I recall where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death. Customers who purchased these products are urged not to consume them.”

Subject to recall were all chicken, lamb and beef products bearing a “High Point Halal Meats” label

These items were shipped to retail stores within North Carolina. These products bear an NCDA inspection legend with the establishment number P-318. Throw away these products or return them to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions about High Point Halal Meats products can call the facility at 336-802-0620 during business hours.

Extension offers industrial hemp workshop

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension will offer an Industrial Hemp Workshop as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series from 4-9 p.m. on Feb. 28 at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro.

North Carolina State University Hemp Specialists and Researchers will be joined by hemp growers and other stakeholders for an evening of education, networking, and fellowship.

The workshop will include exhibitors and a locally sourced dinner catered by Angelina’s Kitchen.

Topics include rules and regulations of hemp production, CBD production, hemp diseases, research updates, and general hemp production. The workshop will feature presentations as well as a panel of hemp stakeholders.

Advance registration by Feb. 22 is required. For more details and to register, visit the Cooperative Extension website at Call the Chatham County Center of NC Cooperative Extension at 919-542-8244 if you have any questions.

DHHS Receives $10 million grant to promote integration of primary and behavioral health care

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently received a five-year, $10-million federal grant to improve the health and well-being of adults and children with challenging mental health issues who live in high need communities.

The grant, from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will fund an integrated approach to primary and behavioral health care to improve the overall wellness and physical and behavioral health of adults with serious mental illness (SMI), children with serious emotional disturbance (SED), adults and children with substance use disorders (SUD) and/or co-occurring disorders (COD).

The grant will be administered by DHHS and will serve an estimated 2,150 individuals, with an initial focus on families and individuals in two sites in the southeast coastal and western regions. Plans call for future expansion to communities in the state’s Piedmont and Sandhills areas.

123 Art Studios’ March event features Emma Skurnick and students

PITTSBORO — 123 Art Studios is featuring the original paintings and drawings of North Carolina artist, Emma Skurnick, along with her students of The Open Studios Group.

Skurnick will join artistic forces with her dozen plus students, featuring works in a diversity of styles and media. She received her undergraduate degree in Fine Art from Binghamton University in New York and her graduate certification in Science Illustration from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her paintings have been exhibited nationally and published internationally.

Those who visit can ride the creative waves of more than 20 local artists, wondrously varied in media, personality, and artistic process. This bi-annual show features painters, sculptors, wood workers, and a few media in between. Meet these artists and delight in their works from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 23 and 24 at 123 Beech Forest Way in Pittsboro. Light refreshments will be served.


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