News Briefs

Posted 9/20/19


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News Briefs

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Chatham Council on Aging online auction continues

PITTSBORO — From framed art and Disney merchandise to costume jewelry and golf tickets, there is a gift for everyone at a special online auction that benefits the Chatham County Council on Aging.

Interested bidders may go to the Council on Aging website at for the auction link, check out all available items and start bidding. Bids will be accepted through Sept. 30.

Proceeds from the auction will help the Chatham County Council on Aging keep its centers safe and looking good. Funds will go toward a variety of items including facility maintenance, equipment and other resources to continue providing quality programs and services to all Chatham seniors and their families.

Individuals who wish to make a donation without participating in the auction may visit

– CN+R staff reports

Chatham celebrates National Senior Center Month

PITTSBORO — To celebrate National Senior Center Month, participants of both the Western and Eastern Senior Centers of the Chatham County Council on Aging are speaking of the centers’ value and what they enjoy most about them. Here is a sample of what they are saying: “Just being with people and talking and having fun;” “woodcarving and exercising;” “I like the delicious meals, activities and games;” “I learn about nutrition and love the classes;“ “I enjoy volunteering as well as the Senior Games and SilverArts program;” and “the information to help me stay healthy.”  

Other participants added comments about the atmosphere of the centers and the passion of those who are there: “The staff members are so wonderful and kind;” “it is a sanctuary for me;” “it makes it easier for my family for me to spend time at the center;” “These wonderful people have given me a lot of joy and friendship!” One participant summed up what the senior center means to her with the succinct statement: “I don’t know what I would do without it. It is a real blessing to me.”    

Wesley Harris, a participant at the Western Chatham Senior Center, says the exercise program has made a tremendous impact on his life. 

“Before I started taking the fitness classes and using the equipment, I used a cane, had high blood pressure and some painful arthritis,” said Harris. “After a few months of daily exercise at the center, I was able to put my cane down, and started moving on my own again.”

Joining these Chatham participants, state and county leaders have recognized the importance of senior centers in proclaiming September as Senior Center Month. Governor Roy Cooper noted that North Carolina’s 171 senior centers are “focal points for the provision and coordination of a broad spectrum of services and activities for older adults.”

“North Carolina recognizes the tremendous contributions that senior centers make towards our communities,” Cooper said, “and the outstanding effort of the staff and volunteers who work every day to enhance the well-being of the older members of our community.”

Similarly, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners has called upon the people of Chatham County to observe Senior Center month by supporting the work of the Council on Aging and its centers throughout the year in its service to Chatham’s growing population of older adults. 

In their resolution passed Monday, the Commissioners said that “Chatham County has much to celebrate with its two Senior Centers — the Eastern Center in Pittsboro and the Western Center in Siler City — both of which are State-certified ‘Senior Centers of Excellence.’”

In adopting the national theme for 2019 — Senior Centers: The Key to Aging Well — the commissioners shared that “while ‘aging well’ can mean different things to different people, senior centers hold the key to enhancing varied experiences and meeting varied needs and interests that are fundamental to aging well.” 

“As we celebrate our 45th anniversary of service this year, our two centers remain vital to all we do to serve seniors and their families across the county,” said Dennis Streets, director of the Chatham County Council on Aging. “We appreciate all that the community does to support our work.”    

As part of the council’s celebration of Senior Center Month, both of its centers are inviting all Chatham residents aged 90 and older to attend a special event to honor them. The event takes place at each center at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

For information about this event and the overall activities of Chatham’s two senior centers, individuals are encouraged to visit the Eastern Center in Pittsboro and the Western Center in Siler City. They may also call 919-542-4512 or 919-742-3975, or visit the website of the Council on Aging at   

Chatham Arts Council hosting fundraiser featuring Chatham Rabbits, Bluegrass Experience, Diali Cissokho

Pittsboro — Chatham County has music running through its veins. But it’s not often that you can hear Chatham Rabbits, Tommy Edwards and The Bluegrass Experience (on their 48th anniversary!), Diali Cissokho, special guest students, and more all on one stage.

The Chatham Arts Council is here to change that with The Chatham Experience: Benefit Concert for Chatham Arts Council’s Artists-in-Schools Initiative, sponsored by Opus Financial Advisors. This cross-generational concert will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29, in a venue as unique as the event itself: the Chatham Beverage District.

“We are still pinching ourselves at the thought of these incredible musicians sharing one stage — and welcoming students up to play with them,” said Cheryl Chamblee, Executive Director of the Chatham Arts Council (CAC). “These folks have touring schedules that make your head spin, and they’re all coming together for this one special evening in this one-of-a-kind place — because they love Chatham County, because they want you to know about Artists-in-Schools, and because it’s just going to be really fun.”

The Chatham Experience boasts one-of-a-kind performances as young and distinguished musicians collaborate to create amazing music live on-stage. This includes traditional songs, folk music, tried and true bluegrass, West African folk music (with the kora) and even young local students who will sit in and play with these well-known musicians.

“It’s great to be able to learn from people with other musical and artistic backgrounds — like The Bluegrass Experience and Diali Cissokho,” said Sarah McCombie of the Chatham Rabbits. “The fact that we’re all in Chatham County is pretty cool and interesting. We can learn so much from these musicians, in the same way that students can learn from the artists as part of the Artists-in-Schools Initiative.”

Smelt Art Gallery will also host a special show featuring Chatham County artists highlighted in the CAC’s “Meet This Artist” series, along with art from Chatham County Schools students.

The Chatham Experience will take place at The Chatham Beverage District; doors open at 4 p.m., the concert begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at Local food, cider, mead and spirits will be available at The Chatham Beverage District for purchase.

Health Department encourages vaccines, hygiene as flu
season arrives

Flu season is upon us, and it is important to get vaccinated, according to the Chatham County Health Department.

Last season, more than 200 North Carolinians died from the flu. The best way to protect yourself, your family, your classmates, and your co-workers against the flu is to get the annual flu vaccination. With many local options available, including pharmacies and drug stores, getting vaccinated is more convenient than ever. 

It is recommended that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine. For people who are high risk, the flu can be especially dangerous. This includes infants under six months of age, people over 65 years old, and those with chronic medical conditions. If you are a parent, caregiver, or family member of someone who is high risk, it is also very important that you are vaccinated. If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine, have had Guillain-Barré Syndrome, or are not feeling well, please let your doctor or the person who gives the vaccine know beforehand to determine what is best for you. 

Also, remember that personal hygiene habits, such as frequent hand washing with soap, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, covering coughs and sneezes with tissue or sleeve, and staying home when ill, help to prevent the spread of the flu.

The Chatham County Public Health Department continues to offer home visits to administer the seasonal influenza vaccine to Chatham County residents who are unable to leave their homes to get vaccinated.  If you or someone you know is homebound due to medical or physical disabilities and would like to receive the influenza vaccine, please contact Bonnie Dukeman at the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-742-5641.

In addition to outreach efforts to the homebound, the Chatham County Public Health Department will give flu vaccine at its Siler City clinic location. Please call 919-742-5641 to schedule your appointment.

Most insurance is accepted, and the cost without insurance is $40 for the shot.

For additional information, please visit

Library hosting
sci-fi film series
during October

Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro is hosting a four-part science fiction film series during the month of October beginning on Oct. 3, from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays in the Holmes Meeting Room. 

Films in the series include:

• 10/3: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (1978). When seeds drift to earth from space, mysterious pods begin to grow and invade a small town, replicating the residents one body at a time. The film was nominated for Best Science Fiction Film by the 1979 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

• 10/10: “Children of Men” (2006). In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea. In 2007 this film was up for three Oscar nominations; Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography and Best Achievement in Film Editing.

• 10/17: “Blade Runner” (1982). A blade runner must pursue and terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space, and have returned to Earth to find their creator. This film was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration and Best Effects, Visual Effects at the 1983 Academy Awards.

• 10/24: “District 9” (2009): An extraterrestrial race, forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth, suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a South African government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. In 2010, District 9 had four Oscar nominations for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

These events are free and open to the public. For additional information please call the Library at 919-545-8084.

‘Gazing into the Past’ offers rare look
at night sky

SANFORD — Years ago, farmers used the phases of the moon as a calendar to help them prepare and harvest their crops. Today, the sky still shines as bright as it did over 200 years ago at the House in the Horseshoe.

Come and learn more about what the night sky can tell us at “Gazing into the Past” from 8-10 p.m. on September 20. This free, family friendly event is co-hosted by Morehead Planetarium.

Staff from Morehead Planetarium will be leading the stargazing session. The night promises to bring entertainment for all ages and a few surprises. Morehead staff will bring all telescopes for viewing stars and constellations and will be using a green laser to conduct a sky tour as well. The general public is welcome to bring their own telescopes, but due to the nature of the event they should be prepared to let other visitors use them. All activities are weather permitting and may change without notice.

Admission and parking are free. Donations are welcome to support future programming at the site. Parking will be located next to the site office. Visitors should expect to walk distances in the dark. Flashlights are welcome, but their use should be limited in the stargazing area.

The circa 1770 Alston house will also be open for tours. This event offers a rare chance to see the home dimly lit by candlelight, as it may have been during the American Revolution.

Located at 288 Alston House Rd., Sanford, House in the Horseshoe is 16 miles west of Sanford off N.C. 42 and 10 miles north of Carthage on the Carbonton-Carthage Road. The house was built in 1772 by Philip Alston. During the American Revolution Alston proved a fiery leader for the Whig cause.

In 1781 the Alston house was the site of militia skirmish between the owner, Whig Col. Philip Alston, and Loyalist Col. David Fanning. The house still bears some the scars from this engagement. From 1798 to 1814 the House in the Horseshoe, under the name Retreat, was home to another Patriot leader and four-time North Carolina governor, Benjamin Williams.

House in the Horseshoe is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Pittsboro library hosting author event with Ruth Moose

The Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro will host local author and Chatham resident Ruth Moose at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 5, in the Holmes Meeting Room. Ruth will be reading from her latest collection of short stories, “Going to Graceland.”

Moose was a member of the Creative Writing faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill for 15 years. She’s published four collections of short stories: “The Wreath Ribbon Quilt,” “Dreaming in Color,” “Neighbors and Other Strangers” and “Going to Graceland” (2019). She’s also published stories in “The Atlantic,” the “Alaska Quarterly Review,” the “North American Review,” the “Southern California Review” and other publications based in Holland, South Africa, England and Denmark. 

Moose has published six collections of poetry, most recently, “The Librarian and Other Poems and Tea.” She’s received a MacDowell Fellowship, a North Carolina Artist Fellowship and the prestigious Chapman Award for Teaching. Her first novel, “Doing it at the Dixie Dew,” won the Malice Domestic prize and was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2014. Its sequel, “Wedding Bell Blues,” was published in 2016. Ruth lives in Pittsboro.

This event is free and open to the public.

– CN+R staff reports


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