News Briefs

Posted 9/13/19

Dorian scams, sheriff's community appreciation night and more.

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News Briefs

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NCDOI: Be on the lookout for Dorian scams

RALEIGH — North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey warned North Carolinians recovering from Hurricane Dorian to use extra caution when approached by public adjusters offering to help with insurance claims.

“While public adjusters can be helpful with some large, complicated claims, unfortunately there are unscrupulous fraud artists out there who prey on victims following natural disasters,” Causey said. “Following a few simple tips can keep people impacted by Hurricane Dorian from becoming a victim a second time.”

Public adjusters do not work for your insurance company. Instead, a public adjuster is hired by and works for the person filing the insurance claim to help with the filing, negotiation, and settlement of a claim. The public adjuster charges a fee for his or her services, often a percentage of the final settlement amount.

In addition, some dishonest and unqualified individuals might pose as public adjusters, pressure you to sign a contract, or try to take advantage of you in other ways.

Commissioner Causey offered the following tips for people considering hiring a public adjuster:

• Make sure the public adjuster is licensed in North Carolina. Ask to see the public adjuster’s license and write down the full name and license number. You can check the license status by calling the N.C. Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.

• Find out the public adjuster’s permanent address. Sometimes after a large-scale natural disaster, out-of-state public adjusters come to North Carolina. Once again, make sure an out-of-state public adjuster is licensed in North Carolina.

• Make sure you understand the public adjuster’s fee, which is usually a percentage of the insurance settlement. If a claim is due to a catastrophic incident, the maximum fee allowed under state law is 10 percent of the settlement amount.

• Ask the public adjuster for references in your local area and check them out. You may also contact the N.C. Department of Insurance about the public adjuster’s complaint history.

• Do not pay any money up-front. The amount you pay the public adjuster is based on a percentage of your settlement. 

• Make sure insurance settlement checks are payable to both you and the public adjuster.

• Ask the public adjuster how long it will take to settle your claim and ask for updates on the status of your claim.

• Carefully read any contract that you are given by the public adjuster. Do not sign the contract until you understand and agree to the contract terms. Make sure you understand the total fee you will owe, when the payments to the public adjuster are due, and if you can cancel the contract.

You may also call your insurance company or the N.C. Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212 before you sign your contract, or even after you sign it if you have questions about it.

Sheriff’s office hosting 4th annual Community Appreciation Night Friday

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office will host its 4th Annual Community Appreciation Night from 5-8 p.m. Friday.

The event will be held on the Sheriff’s Office lawn at 295 West Street, Pittsboro, and will give residents the opportunity to get to know the Sheriff’s Office team in a fun, family-friendly environment. In previous years, the event has attracted an average crowd of 1,500 visitors. Deputies say they expect this number to continue to grow.

“This event is about celebrating our community,” says Sheriff Mike Roberson. “The people we serve aren’t just ordinary residents, they’re family—and we want visitors to feel welcome at our office.”

Roberson dreamed for years of organizing a Community Appreciation Night for residents after seeing them routinely send food, flowers, and cards thanking deputies and showing their support for law enforcement. He also noted how local churches invited deputies to worship services and prayer vigils, children delivered handmade artwork and community members regularly stopped by to share their thanks. 

Roberson says these acts of kindness have not gone unnoticed or unappreciated by members of his office. One of his first acts as sheriff was to set his vision of a Community Appreciation Night into motion.

“You’ve shown your support and gratitude. Now it’s our turn,” Roberson said. “We owe everything to our citizens, and this special event is our way of saying thanks to community members for their support.” 

Everyone is invited to join the Sheriff’s Office for a fun-filled night of games, food and fellowship. All meals, activities, prizes and services are free while supplies last. For more information, or if you would like to get involved or help sponsor the event, visit the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page at for more details or call Lt. Jessica Norton at 919-545-8127.

Pittsboro child care home first in state to achieve ‘breastfeeding friendly’ designation

PITTSBORO — Little Sweet Potatoes, a family child care home in Pittsboro, was the first in North Carolina to receive a special designation.

The home was designated a “Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Environment” in July by the North Carolina Division of Public Health. Breastfeeding provides health benefits for both infants and mothers, including a reduced risk for asthma, obesity, SIDS and ear infections for infants and a reduced risk for high blood pressure, type II diabetes, ovarian and breast cancers for mothers. 

Little Sweet Potatoes is owned and operated by Carly Pedrotty, who has supported parents with their children’s feeding plans for over five years. Pedrotty’s program earned the highest level within the designation by achieving all five standards, which include implementing a policy that reflects a commitment to promoting and supporting breastfeeding, offering community resources and information about continued breastfeeding in the child care setting, receiving training on skills for promoting breastfeeding and supporting family feeding choices, providing a breastfeeding friendly environment and providing interactive and developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that normalize breastfeeding for children in the program. 

Wilder Horner, a parent of two children who attend Little Sweet Potatoes said, “Carly makes this daycare a really comfortable environment for all parents and their different feeding choices. I think it’s important that she receive this official designation for work she has already been doing for years.”

Commenting on Pedrotty’s designation, Jessica Bridgman, Coordinator of the NC Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care Designation program at the Nutrition Branch said, “Family Child Care Homes have a unique opportunity to support the families they serve in a most familiar setting, the home environment. Achievement of the North Carolina Breastfeeding-Friendly Child Care Designation (NC BFCCD) exhibits a superior dedication and commitment from Early Care Educators to support their community and the feeding goals of all families. This type of support can have a life-long impact for families, which Early Care Educators recognize.  Achievement of the NC BFFCD also aligns with statewide strategies outlined in the North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan to encourage breastfeeding-friendly policies across all communities.”    

Any licensed child care facility in the state can apply to receive the designation through the North Carolina Nutrition Branch’s Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care program. Parents and child care staff who would like to learn more about how to support breastfeeding in child care environments in Chatham County can contact Dorothy Rawleigh, the Child Care Health Consultant at the Chatham County Public Health Department at 

New Taco Bell coming to Siler City

SILER CITY — Construction on a new Taco Bell in the SuperWalmart Shopping Center in Siler City is set to begin. A representative for L4 Carolina Properties, which purchased the outparcel in the SuperWalmart Center for the project. requested a voluntary annexation of the property to Siler City as per requirements in the Siler City Unified Development Ordinance.

The owners of the proposed Taco Bell are also the owners of the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell combination establishment on U.S. Hwy. 64 in Siler City. It was noted to the Siler City Board of Commissioners that the Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell location would also be remodeled and become a standalone Kentucky Fried Chicken.

The next step for the annexation request is for the town to request additional information from the owners about the project and set a public hearing date which is anticipated to be in November. Construction on the new Taco Bell can progress prior to the public hearing and annexation. The Taco Bell is anticipated to be complete in December. No date for the completion of the Kentucky Fried Chicken remodeling was given.

Fall book sale at Chatham Community Library set for Sept. 26-28

The Friends of the Chatham Community Library will hold its Fall Book Sale Sept. 26, 27 and 28 at the library on the campus of Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro. Hours of the sale are Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the book sale, more than 18,000 hardbound and softbound books, audio books and more will be available for purchase, plus audio-visual items such as DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs, LPs and audio books. Each sale offers a completely new assortment of titles in very good to excellent condition, and all are organized by category, subject or format.

Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking, plus volunteers to assist with carrying out and loading books.

On Thursday, the first day of the sale, purchases of $200 or more are entitled to a 20 per cent discount; on Friday, all books and materials are half price; and on Saturday, customers may fill grocery bags (or their own totes) with books and other materials for $5 each, with no limit to the number of bags they fill. Bags are available free, compliments of local food stores.

Cash, checks and major credit cards are accepted at the book sale. Members of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library receive discount cards worth $3 each, including all those who join at the book sale. This discount may be used on any day of the sale.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to benefit the library for underwriting various programs; purchasing needed books, materials and equipment; and improving its technology and services.

The Chatham Community Library is located at 197 NC Highway 87 in Pittsboro, about a half mile north of US Highway 64 Business (West Street).

More information about the book sale, including membership in the Friends and volunteer opportunities, may be found on the Friends Website at

Haw River Assembly, Sierra Club host forum

PITTSBORO — A forum for candidates in the upcoming Town of Pittsboro elections will be held at 7 p.m. Monday at Central Carolina Community College.

All seven candidates running for the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners have been invited. Candidates will respond to questions about our environment, development, water quality and other important town issues. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions as well.

The forum will be held in the multi-purpose Room, Building 2, in Pittsboro and is being hosted by the Orange-Chatham Group of Sierra Club and the Haw River Assembly.

For more information contact Elaine Chiosso, executive director, Haw River Assembly, at 919-542-5790 or, or Judith Ferster of the Orange Chatham Group of the Sierra Club at (919) 929-6648 or

Next Household Hazardous Waste event scheduled for Sept. 21

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 Sept. 21, 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.

Chatham Cooperative Extension hosting pollinator event on Sept. 23

Chatham County Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos will be giving a tour of the N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Pollinator Paradise Demonstration Garden at Chatham Mills later this month.

The tour, which starts at 10 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 23, is free with no registration required. The garden was designed to provide forage habitat for pollinators such as honey bees, native bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, plus other pollinators and beneficial insects. It features over 215 unique species of plants, 85 percent of which are native to North Carolina. These plants were all procured from local nurseries.

Attendees are asked to meet on the lawn in front of Chatham Marketplace a few minutes before the start of the tour, rain or shine.

Hispanic Liaison to host 24th anniversary celebration

SILER CITY — The Hispanic Liaison will host its 24th anniversary and cultural celebration on from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Peppercorn Café, located at 138 N. Chatham Ave., in Siler City. The Celebration is in place of the annual Hispanic Heritage Fiesta, which will return in 2020.

The Anniversary Celebration will feature live music by Encuesta Norteña, a delicious dinner, dancing and raffle. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, The Liaison is also hosting an art exhibit by Puerto Rican artist Rafael Osuba, which is on display at Peppercorn through early October. The three Siler City mayoral candidates were invited to share a few words at the Celebration and the nonprofit organization You Can Vote will be on hand to register voters.

“When we founded The Hispanic Liaison in 1995, Hispanic immigrants were just beginning to grow roots in our region,” said Ilana Dubester, founder and executive director. “For 24 years, we have been helping immigrants and their families adjust to life in the US, engage in our democracy and affirm their rights. We are proud of our many successes and the power and resiliency of our community.”

In the past year, The Liaison helped 921 adults and children, organized a Legal Fair with 225 participants, hosted a Hispanic Heritage Fiesta with 1,000 attendees, and won a $285,000 financial settlement for the 28 families evicted from a mobile home park in Siler City. The Liaison’s Orgullo Latinx Pride Youth Program empowered 27 Latinx high school students to stay in school, develop leadership skills, pursue a higher education and give back to the community. Collectively, the youth contributed 750 hours of volunteer service in Chatham County.

The celebration is a fundraiser for The Hispanic Liaison’s efforts to protect and advance the rights of the Hispanic community. Donations are requested to enjoy the event and dinner: $10 for adults and $6 for children ages 5 to 9, and free for children under 5 years old. Deserts and other items will be on sale for $1 each.

The anniversary raffle drawing will take place at the Celebration; you don’t need to be present to win. Prizes include $100 in cash, a chocoflan cake for 20 people by Chef Elena Gonzalez, four day-passes to Shakori Hills Music Festival this October, a handcrafted hammock and a large box full of new toys for kids.

For more information, contact Dubester at 919-742-1448, email or visit

Wake Forest nonprofit offers free college admissions help for students, families affected by cancer

WAKE FOREST — For many high school students and their families, the college admissions process can be intimidating, confusing and overwhelming. Adding a cancer diagnosis to the mix can bring more stress and anxiety when applying for college.

College Consultants Care is the first nonprofit in the nation to provide free college admissions assistance for high school students recently diagnosed with cancer or who have a parent with cancer. The new 501(c)3 organization was founded by Wendy Briley, an Independent Educational Consultant offering comprehensive college application services to high schoolers since 2017. She lives and works in Wake Forest.

Independent Educational Consultants objectively guide students and help them meet application deadlines, plan for college visits, create a standardized testing plan, develop college application strategies, consider possible majors and search for financial aid/scholarships.

Consultants typically begin working with students during their junior year of high school but can assist students at any time during the college application process. The cost for a typical comprehensive package for a rising junior ranges from $2,500-$6,000 and application packages for rising seniors can cost between $1,000-$5,000. College application fees are not paid by College Consultants Care and are the responsibility of the student/parent.

The nonprofit enables Independent Educational Consultants across the country to give their services to students and families who have bigger cancer concerns to focus upon.

“To keep the process from overwhelming students and parents who are already dealing with so much, we break it down into smaller, manageable tasks,” said Briley, executive director of College Consultants Care.  “As a parent who has gone through the college application process with my own children, I truly understand the challenges and rewards that come along with this journey.”

Amanda Cochrane, 54, is the mother of twin daughters who are high school seniors at Wake Forest High School. The girls are the first to receive the services of Briley through the new nonprofit. After being diagnosed with colon cancer earlier this year, Cochrane had surgery and is receiving chemotherapy for the next six months.

“A cancer diagnosis is a lot to deal with and a big struggle. While my family doesn’t want it to dictate our lives, it can be a distraction and time constraint. It’s such a relief to receive the free services of College Consultants Care to help my daughters with their college application process,” said Cochrane.

College Consultants Care has 20 consultants representing 10 states across the country with more being added monthly. As a member of a professional organization consisting of more than 2000 Independent Educational Consultants, Briley hopes the nonprofit will eventually grow to have at least one consultant available in each state.

Additionally, Briley says she would like College Consultants Care to work more closely with Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) oncology groups for referrals and partnerships.

“If college consultants like me can use our skills and expertise to help students affected by cancer, then it will bring me great joy and reaffirm the reason I founded College Consultants Care,” said Briley.

Anyone can nominate a high school student or parent of a high schooler recently diagnosed with cancer as a candidate to be considered for free college admissions assistance from College Consultants Care by visiting and completing the online form. To be considered, candidates will be asked to provide documentation from their physician and other information.

CARE dog walk scheduled for Sept. 21

PITTSBORO — Walk and wag at the Woof-A-Palooza dog walk benefiting Chatham Animal Rescue and Education, Inc. (CARE).  

This furry fun-raising event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 21 at Briar Chapel’s Great Meadow Park, 161 Salt Cedar Lane, Chapel Hill. Participants can walk for one-half mile or one mile — your choice — around the beautiful Great Meadow to raise funds for CARE. Enjoy the activities, food trucks, and visit with our vendors. Activities include a Teach-A-Trick dog training booth, dog agility and drug detection demonstrations, music, and contests. 

Entrance fee for adults is $35, including an event t-shirt. Kids age 6-15 are $15; children under 5 are free.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals or businesses that want to reach the lucrative community of North Carolina animal lovers. Vendor booths are also available.

Learn more, register, sponsor, or apply as a vendor at


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