News Briefs

Posted 6/14/19

news briefs

Chatham volunteers needed to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault

PITTSBORO — Chatham Family Violence Prevention Services and Second Bloom of Chatham have joined …

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News Briefs

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news briefs

Chatham volunteers needed
to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault

PITTSBORO — Chatham Family Violence Prevention Services and Second Bloom of Chatham have joined forces to empower and educate individuals and families impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. As part of this effort, they seek volunteers to help with prevention and support services.

“We need volunteers for several functions that provide valuable support to victims in time of need,” said Renita Foxx, director of Chatham County Court Programs. “We especially need volunteers to be a welcoming voice of compassion and care on the 24/7 crisis intervention hotline or to accompany victims to court proceedings through our court navigator program. Volunteers also can help with community outreach and various empowerment groups.”

Second Bloom of Chatham, a community group, also needs volunteers to sort boxes of donated clothing for its thrift store in downtown Pittsboro at 10 Sanford Road. Tamsey Hill with Second Bloom said, “Sales at the thrift store help support services for victims and their family members, so it is important to have volunteers to tag items and put them on display for sale.”

Crisis phone line volunteers will complete 24 hours of training related to domestic violence and sexual assault. Training started June 11. Phone line volunteers must be able to commit to one-year of service. The goal is to begin the crisis line operations in July.

For information on volunteer opportunities and training schedule, please contact either:

• Chatham Family Violence Prevention Services: 919-542-1792,

• Second Bloom of Chatham: Tamsey Hill, 919-6321767,

Woods Charter teacher selected for year-long N.C. Energy Literacy Fellows Program

Earlier this year, Sonja Younger, an 8th grade science teacher at Woods Charter School, was selected to participate in the 2019 NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program, a year-long teacher professional development program that combines hands-on STEM investigations with place-based explorations of energy production facilities, energy research facilities and relevant careers. The goal of this program is to provide teachers with up-to-date curriculum-relevant content including STEM-based activities that showcase current energy science, technologies

and careers to promote energy literacy among students while cultivating the energy workforce. This program is conducted by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation.

Younger was selected to participate in this program through a highly competitive application process. Teachers participating in this program acquire at least 30 hours of professional development while learning about topics ranging from electricity generation by conventional and renewable energy sources, including the acquisition, management and use of each energy source, to energy efficiency and energy conservation.

“One goal of the NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program is to cultivate a community of middle and high school science, engineering and technology teachers who become statewide leaders when it comes to energy education,” says Program Director Dana Haine.

A key feature of this program is the many field trips teachers take to energy production and energy research facilities across the state. In March, Fellows visited the Amazon Wind Farm East, the only wind farm in North Carolina, to learn about wind energy. They also toured a utility scale solar farm and visited the Coastal Studies Institute on the East Carolina University Outer Banks Campus in Wanchese to learn about ocean energy technologies.

“By touring these sites in person and meeting the personnel involved in operations, teachers are able to discover the many curriculum connections that can be made by introducing the featured energy technology — from land use implications, to economic considerations, to career connections,” says Haine.

Fellows will convene at UNC-Chapel Hill June 25-27 for a three-day workshop titled “Exploring the Future of the Grid” where they will learn about how the electrical grid works and the challenges it faces as more renewables come online. They will tour Duke Energy’s Distribution Control Center in Raleigh, NC and will receive classroom resources for helping their students understand and visualize the grid.

“I am fascinated by the dynamics surrounding our energy future. I want to learn about the pros and cons of all of our choices and how the voices of all parties are being heard. Are we on the path to the wisest energy choices? How is energy technology evolving? What are the challenges ahead, who are the decisionmakers and are we engaging in the right conversations? What should my children expect in regards to their energy future?” said Younger when asked to reflect on what she hopes to learn by participating in this program.

The NC Energy Literacy Fellows Program is a yearlong teacher professional development experience for grades 8-12 science, engineering and technology teachers sponsored by the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science with funding from the Duke Energy Foundation.

— CN+R Staff Reports

CORA expands hours during summer

Chatham Outreach Alliance will be expanding its pantry hours during the summer months. The new timetable will introduce Saturday hours into the schedule, allowing clients with weekday conflicts to visit the pantry in June and July on a few weekends.

CORA will be open from 10 a.m. to noon, the same hours that CORA will be open for SNACK! distribution. The organization will gauge the demand for these hours and see if this is something that is needed year-round.

FSA seeking nominations

The USDA’s Farm Service Agency will begin accepting nominations for county committee members on June 14. Agricultural producers who participate or cooperate in an FSA program may be nominated for candidacy for the county committee. Individuals may nominate themselves or others as a candidate.

FSA encourages America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest stewards to nominate candidates to lead, serve, and represent their community on their county committee. FSA also encourages diverse representation including underserved producers, which includes beginning, women and minority farmers and ranchers.

Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues.

Nationwide, more than 7,700 dedicated members of the agricultural community serve on FSA county committees. The Chatham County Committee consists of three members and typically meet once a month. Members serve three-year terms. Producers serving on FSA county committees play a critical role in the day-to-day operations of the agency.

Producers should visit the Chatham County FSA office to find out how to get involved in the election and to see if your local administrative area is up for election this year. Organizations, including those representing beginning, women and minority producers, also may nominate candidates.

To be considered, a producer must sign a FSA-669A nomination form. The form and other information about FSA county committee elections are available at All nomination forms for the 2019 election must be postmarked or received in the local FSA office by Aug. 1.

Election ballots will be mailed to eligible voters beginning Nov. 4.

Crossing blitz educates drivers about dangers of not stopping for trains

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to be safe at railroad crossings as part of International Level Crossing Awareness Day, or ILCAD 2019.

NCDOT’s BeRailSafe program hosted a crossing blitz in Gibsonville to educate drivers about the dangers of not stopping for trains. The crossing blitz is like a license check, as drivers will be provided with rail safety driving tips and railroad safety crossing data.

North Carolina reported 57 of the 2,214 collisions nationwide between trains and vehicles in 2018. This year, there have been 22 railroad crossing crashes in the Tar Heel State.

NCDOT’s BeRailSafe program wants drivers to remember the following lifesaving tips when approaching a railroad crossing:

• Always expect a train at every highway-rail intersection;

• Trains always have the right-of-way, even when emergency and law enforcement vehicles are involved;

• Always stop your vehicle when crossing gates are down or lights are flashing. Never try to drive around the gate;

• Never stop your car on railroad tracks. When approaching an intersection at railroad tracks, keep your car safely behind the white lines; and

• Never race a train to a crossing.

Now in its eleventh year, ILCAD aims to prevent collisions between vehicles and trains at railroad crossings, which are referred to outside the U.S. as level crossings.

BeRailSafe works with North Carolina Operation Lifesaver, railroads and other safety stakeholders to educate children, teens and adults on the dangers of trespassing on railroad tracks, property and equipment.

— CN+R Staff Reports


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