News Briefs

Posted 7/19/19

News Briefs

Siler City annual audit comes back clean

SILER CITY — The Town of Siler City received a clean audit report Monday for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Chad Cook, a CPA with Dixon …

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Siler City annual audit comes back clean

SILER CITY — The Town of Siler City received a clean audit report Monday for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Chad Cook, a CPA with Dixon Huges Goodman who performed the audit, told the town board at its meeting that the town’s audit of its overall finances was “clean,” as was the audit of the PARTF funds, the grant money that helped build the Bray Park Aquatic Center.

Cook noted that the town’s fund balance, a sort of reserve account towns use to demonstrate fiscal strength — which also serves as a safety net for town finances — has been increasing over the past five years. The overall increase during that time was 114 percent, from $2,413,611 in fiscal year 2013-2014 to $5,177,358 in the last fiscal year. This increase was significant, Cook said, because the town has been in “recovery” mode following the economic downturn that began in 2008 coupled with the loss of the Townsend chicken processing plant in 2011.

The audit notes that the town’s revenues increased by 1.6 percent over the previous years while expenses decreased by the exact same percentage. Cook said that his firm identified several deficits on certain capital projects, most of which were related to timing because of the timetable related to distribution of grant revenues.

Every municipality in North Carolina is audited each year by law.

Pittsboro dentist receives statewide recognition

PITTSBORO — The North Carolina Dental Society recognized local dentist Dr. L. Hutchens as the 2019 recipient of its Distinguished Service Scroll. Dr. Hutchens was presented the award at a ceremony held during the163rd NCDS Annual Session in Myrtle Beach. This is the North Carolina Dental Society’s most prestigious award, honoring a dentist, auxiliary or lay person who demonstrates outstanding service, leadership and dedication to the profession of dentistry and the improvement of health for the people of North Carolina.

Dr. Hutchens’ path began when completed his undergraduate degree at Davidson College. After four years of dental school, he graduated from UNC School of Dentistry. With an affinity for periodontics, he enrolled at the University of Washington to complete his residency.

He later joined the faculty at UNC School of Dentistry, where he taught and practiced for more than 30 years, dedicating his career to the students and school. During his tenure, Dr. Hutchens remained committed to dentistry, from research to publications, and lectures, he made his mark as dentistry professional and educator.

Even as a retired dental professional, Dr. Hutchens remains engaged to dentistry and service, chairing a successful Missions of Mercy clinic, and working with Craven County MERCI Clinic to ensure its success and longevity. He has continuously served as a tireless volunteer for his community.

United Way of Chatham County begins “Build A Backpack” campaign

The United Way of Chatham County is conducting its annual back-to-school supply drive now through August 2.

Community members are asked to donate school supplies for children in need. Items may be dropped off at the United Way office at 72 Hillsboro Street in Pittsboro.

United Way coordinates the drive and distributes materials collected to Chatham County Schools, Chatham County Department of Social Services and Communities in Schools. These organizations identify students in need of basic school supplies and work with United Way to meet that need.

According to the Kids Count Data Center, 53 percent of Chatham County school children receive free or reduced cost lunches, and the percentages in some schools are much higher. In addition, almost 16 percent of Chatham’s school children are living in poverty.

“The primary need is for backpacks, especially laptop backpacks for the high school children,” said Rosemarie Rovito, Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools, “There is also a great need for composition notebooks, pocket folders, large three-ring binders, subject dividers, notebook paper, crayons, colored pencils, pens, pencils, glue sticks, highlighters, hand sanitizer, rulers, scientific calculators, pencil pouches, pencil sharpeners and erasers.”

Monetary donations can be mailed to the United Way of Chatham County at P.O. Box 1066, Pittsboro, N.C., 27312. Checks should be made out to United Way, with “Build a Backpack” in the memo portion. One hundred percent of donations will be used to buy school supplies.

“Last year, the back-to-school supply drive provided school supplies for over 300 children in need,” said United Way of Chatham County Director Dina Reynolds. “Education for our children is the greatest investment a community can make.”

Those in need of school supplies should contact their child’s school guidance counselor. They will contact the Basic Needs Coordinator for Chatham County Schools to make arrangements for your child to receive the supplies that are required by their teacher.

For more information about donating schools supplies, contact “Build A Backpack” Coordinator Alane Coore at the United Way of Chatham County office by phone at 542-1110 or by e-mail at uwayadmn@emji.net.

Chatham 4Hers win gold, silver at District Activity Day

PITTSBORO — Five Chatham County 4-H members competed at the North Central District 4-H Activity Day in Orange County on June 21, with each winning medals for their work.

Zva Rodriguez, Celene Mendoza-Villegas, Abigail Molina-Bacho, Avery Wright and Santos Vazquez-Quiquiuix — all members of the Clover Creators 4-H Club from Siler City — earned distinctions in various categories. Rodriguez and Mendoza-Villegas won gold in Citizenship/Community Service for their age group, Molina-Bacho and Write earned gold in their age group’s Environmental Science category and Vazquez-Quiquiuix won silver in Entomology for his age group.

The five competitors will compete in the N.C. State 4-H Presentations contest on Saturday at N.C. State University in Raleigh. Four of the five were first-time presenters as they competed alongisde youths from 19 surrounding counties.

For more on the 4-H program in Chatham County, please contact Victoria Brewer at victoria.brewer@chathamnc.org or Liz Mauney at liz.mauney@chathamnc.org.

Wren Library to close for a month for repairs

SILER CITY — The Wren Memorial Library Branch in Siler City will be closed for extensive maintenance work in the ceiling and roof areas starting on July 29. The library is expected to reopen on August 26, but the target date may have to be revised depending on the progress of construction.

While the library is closed, patrons can visit either the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro or Goldston branch for library services.

“We know that this will be very inconvenient for our Siler City area patrons, but the contractors made it clear that the library must be closed to staff and the public while work is underway,” said Linda Clarke, director of Chatham County Libraries. “We are very thankful to the Town of Siler City for providing funds for renovation work. These improvements are greatly appreciated.”

While the library is closed, the public should know the following:

• The outside book drop will not be available and no books should be dropped off anywhere at this location. No staff will be around to handle materials left anywhere on the property.

• The parking lot will not be accessible.

• Any items checked out that are due when the library is closed will not incur any late fines during that period, but you also can return items to the other two branches.

• An alternative is to use the library’s online resources to check out e-books that can be read on e-reader devices.

• Patrons can place holds on materials online to pick up at the other two branches.

• No children’s programming normally offered at Wren Library will be available during this time, but some limited programming off-site may be scheduled.

Wren has been hosting the CORA Food Pantry SNACK distribution during the summer, but distributions at this location will end on July 23 in preparation for the maintenance work.

Those with questions should contact Wren Memorial Library before July 29 at 919-742-2016 or call the main library branch in Pittsboro at 919-545-8084 after July 29.

Salvation Army of Chatham County to conduct school supplies drive

With back-to-school time approaching, the Salvation Army of Chatham County is gearing up for its annual “Stuff the Bus” event.

The nonprofit says the weeks leading up to school’s resumption sees the second-highest rate of need, behind Christmas.

Salvation Army and the Siler City Walmart will host the event from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 3. The store is located at 14215 U.S. Hwy. 64. Chatham residents can also bring items to the Chapel Hill Walmart, located at 12500 U.S. Hwy. 15/501 North during the same time period as part of “Stuff the Bus.”

Chatham Community Library hosting children’s music performer

PITTSBORO — Alina Celeste, an early childhood educator and children’s music performer, will play for attendees from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday at the Chatham Community Library.

Celeste has toured internationally and performed in both Spanish and English. The Parents’ Choice Foundation gave her its Gold Award in Spring 2018.

“Skilled musician, experienced early childhood music educator, and master of facial expressions, Celeste is quirky, offbeat and totally in tune,” the nonprofit said. “Her clever interpretations, keen understanding of a child’s sense of music and humor, add delicious layer after layer to nursery rhymes and songs.”

The live event is appropriate for people of all ages and abilities. The library is located at 197 N.C. Hwy. 87 North in Pittsboro. For more information, contact Youth Services at 919-545-8085.

Chatham Education Foundation earns $200K grant from Duke Energy Foundation

PITTSBORO — The Chatham Education Foundation recently received a $200,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to fund multiple literacy projects in Chatham County.

“As a bedroom community, with very few large businesses to support local nonprofits, the Chatham Education Foundation is grateful for the continued support of Duke Energy to boost our students’ literacy success,” said Jaime Detzi, Executive Director of the Chatham Education Foundation.

The grant will support three projects: providing books for Chatham County Schools’ kindergarten readiness camp; funding the Books on Break program, which provides books for low-income students during the summer; and connected students with teachers that will serve as tutors during the summer.

The funds came through the Duke Energy Foundation’s Powerful Communities Program, which annually funds more than $30 million to communities in the company’s service area.

“Duke Energy values the importance of equal accessibility to academic resources,” said Indira Everett, manager of government and community relations for Duke Energy. “By providing students with summer reading opportunities we aim to improve the literacy quality in young students, helping them maintain their skills outside of the classroom.”

House in the Horseshoe to celebrate 238th anniversary with re-enactment

SANFORD — “We will surrender, Sir, on condition that no one shall be injured; otherwise we will make the best defense we can....”

Temperance Alston’s words to David Fanning ended the fight between opposing militia forces of the Loyalists and the Patriots.

The patriot woman bravely stepped onto the porch of her home amid a hail of bullets, carrying a flag of truce. The scars of this personal and complicated war can still be seen on the Alston House. Come experience the American Revolution during the 238th anniversary of the House in the Horseshoe Battle Re-enactment Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3-4.

The re-enactment commemorates the 1781 skirmish between patriot Philip Alston and British loyalist David Fanning. Attendees can learn about the two leaders and experience musket and cannon-firing demonstrations, Revolutionary War militia camps and a wreath-laying ceremony by the Sons of the American Revolution. Many 18th century trades will be highlighted, including physicians, fiber processors, wig makers and more.

Saturday hours at 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday hours are 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The battle re-enactment will take place at 2 p.m. both days. Attendees can also take advantage of food trucks on-site and tours of the Alston House. The program is free, while parking costs $5.

The House in the Horseshoe is located at 288 Alston House Road in Sanford. The location is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Hiroshima program scheduled for Chatham County Library next month

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Library will host Chatham resident and military historian Kenneth Samuelson and a special guest as Samuelson presents “Hiroshima: The Accidental Witness,” at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, in the Holmes Meeting Room.

Samuelson will be joined by Asheboro native Sgt. John McGlohon, who was present on August 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, as part of the U.S.’ effort to end World War II. Three aircraft were on the primary mission to drop the bomb, while McGlohan served as the photographer on a fourth plane with the mission of flying over Hiroshima’s docks shortly after the explosion.

The event next month will feature Samuelson’s story of proving McGlohan’s aircraft was accidentally in harm’s way and survived that day. “Hiroshima: The Accidental Witness” is free and open to the public.

Author and screenwriter to visit McIntyre’s Books for reading, discussion

PITTSBORO —Triad-based author and screenwriter Timothy Reinhardt will be visiting McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village next month to discuss his new book.

Reinhardt will be reading from and talking about “Jesus’s Brother James,” his newest outing from Mascot Books, starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 18. The book follows four people whom fate seems to pull together through their hilarious struggles to find meaning in a chaotic world.

Reinhardt’s previous novel, “Crackers,” was made into a film starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Brenda Vaccaro. He is currently working on a movie adaptation of “Jesus’ Brother James.”

The free event will include a reading, book discussion and a conversation about turning a novel into a screenplay. McIntyre’s Books is located at 240 Market Street in Pittsboro.

Town of Siler City seeking applicants to numerous boards

SILER CITY — The Town of Siler City and Siler City Board of Commissioners are seeking volunteers to represent the town on various boards and committees.

The Airport Authority has a vacancy for one member with no residential requirements. The Airport Authority serves as an advisory board to the Board of Commissioners concerning operating, regulating, and promoting the Siler City Municipal Airport and to establish a framework to be utilized in coordinating local, state, and federal efforts toward this end.

The Downtown Advisory Committee has two vacancies with no residential requirements. The committee is for those who have a vested interest in the future of Downtown Siler City or who have particular knowledge, skills, or abilities that serve the interest and intent of the purpose of developing a viable framework to enhance further revitalization and development of downtown, utilizing existing and emerging strengths of this vital central commercial hub of the Siler City community.

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has two vacancies with no residential requirements. The committee makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for the establishment of a system of supervised recreation for the town.

The Siler City Planning Board/ Board of Adjustments has one vacancy for a resident of the City Limits. The Planning Board, in conjunction with the Town Planner, makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on conditional use permit, rezoning, conditional use rezoning, and text amendment applications, among other duties. The Planning Board also serves as the Board of Adjustment to review variances, consider appeals from the zoning administrator or building inspector, and to issue special use and special exception permits.

With the exception of the ABC Board and the Planning Board/Board of Adjustment, all positions are advisory in nature and are unpaid.

Persons interested should submit a letter of interest to the Town Clerk Jenifer Johnson Town of Siler City, Post Office Box 769, Siler City, N.C., or at 311 N. Second Avenue, or jjohnson@silercity.org no later than July 31.

The letter of interest should include: home address, phone number, email address, educational background, current employment, civic involvement, why you wish to serve, and any other information you feel pertinent.

Date change for homeowners’ insurance rate increase hearing

RALEIGH — The hearing scheduled for the insurance industry’s proposed statewide average 17.4 percent homeowners’ insurance rate increase has been extended one month from Sept. 4, to Wednesday, Oct. 2. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey says he needs the additional time to review the documents filed by the North Carolina Rate Bureau or NCRB.

“There is a pervasive lack of documentation, explanation, and justification of both the data used, as well as the procedures and methodologies utilized in the filing,” Commissioner Causey said. “The proposed rates appear to be excessive and unfairly discriminatory and I want more time to study the data to ensure our consumers are treated fairly.”

The hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in the Second Floor Hearing Room in the Albemarle Building, 325 N. Salisbury St., Raleigh.

The hearing will be held unless the N.C. Department of Insurance and NCRB are able to negotiate a settlement before that date. The Department of Insurance and NCRB can settle the proposed rate increase at any time during litigation.

State aims for 2 million postsecondary degrees by 2030

RALEIGH — A bill N.C. lawmakers passed in late June aims to help 2 million residents get a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030.

The state’s workforce will lag if North Carolina doesn’t boost education opportunities for residents, show findings from myFutureNC, a statewide organization for educational attainment. By 2020, 67 percent of the state’s jobs will require a postsecondary degree or credential. Today, 49 percent of North Carolinians 25 to 44 have such an education.

House Bill 664, myFutureNC/Postsecondary Attainment Goal, seeks to close the gap.

Rep. John Fraley, R-Iredell, who is also a member of the myFutureNC Commission, sponsored the bill.

“Once you get into the workforce and start raising a family, if you lose your job due to automation and you’re not properly educated or trained or ready to go back to school, it could have a huge impact on your life and your ability to make a living,” Fraley said.

The bill passed the House 114-1; the Senate, 46-0. The first edition of the bill included a joint legislative task force, which was later eliminated and replaced with a requirement that the myFutureNC Commission report annually to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee and the General Assembly about its progress toward the 2030 goal.

Fraley said representatives from the House, Senate, and governor’s office will collaborate with members of the commission to examine which of the state’s education programs are working.

“It’s too early to tell exactly how that’s going to work. My sense is that ultimately there’s going to be a task force that is developed to work on those items, and they will be in charge of what they want to report to the myFutureNC Commission.”

Fraley said he believes it is “quite urgent” that the state begin making progress on the initiative, and that it will ultimately benefit North Carolina’s economic vitality.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law.

FirstHealth of the Carolinas Nursing Leadership Academy grads honored

PINEHURST — Ten graduates of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas 2019 Nursing Leadership Academy were honored during a graduation ceremony hosted by The Foundation of FirstHealth at the Clara McLean House in Pinehurst on June 28, 2019.

Graduates of the 2019 Leadership Academy are Genny Baucom, R.N., Colleen Brown, R.N., Megan Lill, R.N., Shannon O’Neal, R.N., Judi Russell, R.N., Melissa Stewart, R.N., Kristine Thomas, R.N., Krystle Walsh, R.N., Cornelia Winters, R.N., and Courtney Wise, R.N.

The academy, which is a year-long program, was created by FirstHealth nursing leadership to prepare charge/staff nurses for nursing leadership roles.

“The ever-changing health care industry can be challenging for frontline nurse managers,” says Deana Kearns, MSN, R.N., administrative director for clinical practice and corporate education at FirstHealth. “The Nursing Leadership Academy was developed for staff who aspire to leadership positions to gain the knowledge, skill and abilities needed to lead in a complex health care environment.”
The academy provides instruction on topics such as transformational leadership, managing fiscal and human resources, leading during change, and quality. These topics are presented over five classroom days throughout the program.

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