News Briefs

Posted 8/9/19

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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Chatham Charter kicks off school year this week

SILER CITY — More than 560 students will start their school year this week when Chatham Charter School starts its 2019-2020 classes Thursday.

The Siler City-based public charter school saw staff return on Monday and an open house held Tuesday. A school press release said elementary school teachers will begin implementing additional reading strategies from the Orton-Gillingham Approach this year, and the school will begin a “campus-wide focus” on volunteerism and service. The music program has also expanded into middle and high school.

Chatham Charter will also continue its partnership with Central Carolina Community College and the Career and College Promise program, a state initiative that gives high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn more than 40 college transfer credits while still in secondary education. Those classes will also fulfill high school requirements.

The school’s more than 30 sports teams for middle and high schoolers will also continue competing in the Central Tarheel Conference for high school and Mid-State Conference for middle school. Admission fees are $3 for middle school games and $5 for high school sports. All fall sports will soon be played on campus with the addition of two soccer fields and one softball field.

Chatham near the top in Senior Games participation state-wide

According to the Chatham County Council on Aging, Chatham seniors show up when it comes time to compete.

The county was second in percentage growth among North Carolina’s 52 Senior Games competitions between 2016-2019, with a 65 percent increase in participation in that time period. This past spring, 255 individuals participated in the various Senior Games and SilverArts competitions, with 54 registered for this fall’s State Finals.

“As a participant and long-time supporter of Senior Games, I am very proud of Chatham’s ranking as a leader,” said Dennis Streets, director of the Council on Aging. “Still, I challenge all of us in Chatham who are eligible to engage in this program. This year’s 255 participants is but a drop in the bucket of those who are ’50 and better’ as we like to call it.”

Chatham has also had residents participate on the national level. In the National Senior Games this past June, Ronald Bousquest was 7th in Archery Barebow Recurve and Steve Barrett’s six swimming competitions earned him two third-place, fourth-place and fifth-place finishes each.

The competitions are open to any individual 50 years or older.

“I welcome the opportunity to talk with any individual or group who wants to find out how to participate,” said Liz Lahti, the program’s local coordinator. “For some it may be just competing on one day in one event to show prowess in tennis, pickleball, cornhole, bowling, cycling, running or the many sports that are offered. Others are engaged in our year-round fitness and wellness activities. Still others enjoy the opportunity to express themselves through the many categories of SilverArts.”

Interested individuals can contact either of the Council’s centers at (919) 542-4512 in Pittsboro and (919) 742-3975 in Siler City. For more information about North Carolina Senior Games, visit

CORA receives grant from Duke Energy for child summer meals

PITTSBORO — Last month, a Chatham County nonprofit received a helping hand in its mission to feed the hungry.

CORA was the recipient of a $4,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to support its SNACK! (Summer Nutritional Assistance for Chatham Kids) program that provides seven breakfasts, lunches and dinners, as well as healthy snacks, to children living in poverty in the county.

“We at CORA are so grateful for the ongoing support of the Duke Energy Foundation,” said Melissa Driver Beard, the executive director of CORA.  Their dedication to our partnership — and to working with us to realize a community without hunger — is remarkable. It’s this kind of commitment to the cause that gives us hope that we will one day end hunger.”

According to a CORA, SNACK!’s goal is to provide nutritious meals for students who may not receive adequate meals during the summer months they are not in school. Around 50 percent of public school children receive free or reduced-cost meals during the school year because their family income is at or near the poverty level.

The Duke Energy Foundation has supported CORA many times in the past, including a food drive in Chatham County in May that led to 400 pounds of food collected.

“Duke Energy is committed to serving our communities,” said Indira Everett, a district manager with Duke Energy. “We understand that many food pantries run low after the holiday season and we wanted to re-stock CORA’s shelves this spring.”

Last chance for public input on Park Shopping Center Study

The Love Creek Watershed Stewards will hold a meeting at 9 a.m. August 15 at the Peppercorn located at 138 N. Chatham Ave. in Siler City. The meeting will be the public’s last opportunity to provide public input on the Park Shopping Center Restoration Study.

The Park Shopping Center has been subject to flooding for years but heavy rains from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 left the parking lot severely damaged. In addition, a stream that comes from Boling Lane Park is funneled underneath the lot. Since mid-July, the owners of the shopping center, SMA Enterprises LLC, in Alexandria, Virginia, have assessed a civil penalty of $100 a day for town code violations.

The Loves Creek Watershed Stewards have been conducting a study of the watershed including the Park Shopping Center to identify implementation projects to help reduce flooding.

Several other items will be up for discussion at the meeting including maintenance at Boling Lane Park, stormwater controls around the Piggly Wiggly, and a restoration project on land between Chatham Avenue and Cedar Lane.

Carolina Core leaders: Momentum on display after year one

GREENSBORO — Carolina Core’s leaders are speaking positively about the momentum created by the regional economic development’s partnership one year into the process.

Speaking at the Wyndham Champions Breakfast in Greensboro, the collaborative’s partners last week shared that the area — a corridor which stretches along U.S. 421 from Winston-Salem to Fayetteville in central North Carolina — has announced more than 10,000 new jobs and pursued multiple new job creation opportunities within the last year.

“One year into our long-term, 20-year Carolina Core strategy we are seeing momentum, collaboration and regionalism like never before,” said Stan Kelly, president and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “While we still have a long way to go to reach our goal of adding 50,000 new jobs, the Carolina Core is headed in the right direction. In the coming months and years, we will continue to double down on our strategies around the megasites, aerospace and our talent alignment initiative.”

BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King spoke highly of the work that Carolina Core has done in the last year.

“I am so impressed with the progress that this region has made under the leadership of folks like Bobby Long and Stan Kelly,” King said. “I am proud to have played a part in it and know that more success is to come.”

Two Chatham roads to close for pipe replacements

SILER CITY — Two roads in Chatham County have been closed to replace pipes running under the road, the N.C. Dept. of Transportation announced.

Hamlets Chapel Road, located a half-mile west of U.S. Highway 15-501, and Silk Hope Gum Springs Road, off of Silk Hope Road, will be closed to through traffic until Aug. 23. Drainage pipes damaged by Hurricanes Florence and Michael will be replaced with upgraded culverts that, according to DOT, will be capable of better handling future floodwaters.

A detour for Hamlets Chapel Road will send drivers onto Moore Mountain Road. And traffic will use Silk Hope Lindley Mill Road, Epps Clark Road and White Smith Road to go around the closure on Silk Hope Gum Springs Road. Drivers using these routes should expect delays and watch for detour signs.

Triad-based screenwriter visiting McIntyre’s Books

PITTSBORO — Triad-based author and screenwriter Timothy Reinhardt will be doing a book reading and discussion about his new book, “Jesus’ Brother James,” starting at 2 p.m. on August 18.

The book is the follow-up to Reinhardt’s “Crackers,” which was made into a feature film starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Brenda Vaccaro. According to a press release, “‘Jesus’ Brother James’ is a satire in which fate seems to pull four people together through their hilarious struggles to find meaning in a chaotic world.”

The free event will also include conversation about how to adapt a novel into a feature film. McIntyre’s Books is located in Fearrington Village.

Next Household Hazardous Waste event scheduled for Aug. 17

Residents of Chatham County will have another opportunity this month to dispose of hazardous household materials in a safe manner.

Scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 17, the Household Hazardous Waste event is a monthly opportunity for county resident to dispose of items such as paints, stains, bleach, cleaners, propane tanks, fluorescent light bulbs and more at the county’s Solid Waste & Recycling Main Facility, 28 County Services Road, in Pittsboro.

The events are usually held on the third Saturday of each month from March through November. For a complete list of eligible items, visit the Chatham County Household Hazardous Waste webpage or contact the Solid Waste & Recycling Division at 919-542-5516.

Latex paint can be safely dried out and put in with your regular trash instead of bringing it to the Household Hazardous Waste collection. When dried and solid, latex paint can be taken to any of the 12 Collection Centers (decal required) or put in with your curbside trash. To dry it out, take off the lid and let it sit outside in a covered area. Add kitty litter or sawdust to speed up the drying process. Approximately 60 percent of the material brought to the HHW collection is liquid latex paint. It is the most costly item we collect. To save our budget for handling the more hazardous wastes, we encourage residents to dry it up for disposal.


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