News Briefs

Posted 11/1/19

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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CCCC hosting inaugural Creative Writing Expo

Central Carolina Community College will hosting its first Creative Writing Expo from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 at its Pittsboro campus.

Attendees will be able to sample a free flash essay class led by author Ashley Memory, meet instructors and students in the Creative Writing Program and more. The event is free and open to the public, and while registration is not required, potential attendees are asked to RSVP by calling the college’s Continuing Education Office at 919-545-8044.

The event will take place on the Pittsboro’s campus Building 2 in the multi-purpose room.

Chatham County honors family caregivers through November

PITTSBORO — November is proclaimed as Family Caregivers Month and also as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Chatham County. This local recognition, designated by the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, is in concert with North Carolina and the nation.

This year’s national theme for Family Caregivers Month — “Caregiving around the Clock” — speaks to the all-encompassing tasks of caregiving for loved ones, including those with Alzheimer’s disease and children with special needs.

“On a day-to-day basis, the duties of a caregiver can range from shopping, meal preparation, household chores, transportation and companionship — to managing medications and finances, providing personal care, performing complex medical procedures and much more,” said Susan Hardy, family caregiver specialist at the Chatham County Council on Aging.

“In an effort to help family caregivers, the council offers a wide array of services and supports,” added Hardy. These include in-home caregiver respite, a support group at both of the Council’s centers, caregiver training and options counseling. In addition, many of the Council’s other services — such as Meals on Wheels, in-home personal care, incontinence supplies and loaning of assistive equipment — can help relieve the caregiver.

The Council on Aging will hold its annual Candlelight Reflection Ceremony in honor of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 at its Western Center in Siler City,.

A recent AARP survey found that more than half of North Carolinians aged 40 and older are current or former caregivers. An even higher percent of respondents said they would likely be providing care in the future. This is not surprising given the aging of North Carolina’s population. 

For further information about the work of the Council on Aging in support of family caregivers, contact Beth Moran at the Western Center at 919-742-3975,; or Susan Hardy at the Eastern Center at 919-542-4512,

Chatham artists win at Senior Games Finals

Artists from Chatham County won medals in the 2019 North Carolina Senior Games Finals held in Raleigh. The Artists qualified at the Annual 2019 Chatham County Senior Games this past spring.

• Nansi Greger-Holt placed second in Quilting (Machine Stitched)

• Mark Herboth took second place in Woodturning

• Patricia Reid won first place with her Stained Glass

• Ruth Slates took second place in Instrumental Solo with her original piano composition.

Chatham County Senior Games is one of 53 local programs sanctioned by North Carolina Senior Games, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing year-round health promotion and education for adults 50 years of age and better. Senior Games is sponsored statewide by the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services.

NCSG offers Silver Arts, which is a statewide heritage, visual, literary, and performing arts program. NCSG also offers Silver Liners, a senior line dancing program, and Silver Striders, a national award-winning walking program.

For more information on Chatham County Senior Games, please contact Liz Lahti at 919-542-4512, or

Library hosting Native American Heritage Month event

Chatham Community Library is hosting a free event in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, celebrating the rich and diverse cultures, traditions, histories and important contributions of 3 million Native people representing nearly 570 tribes.

The event, which takes place at 1 p.m. Saturday, will feature Dr. Marty Richardson, a citizen of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe who has shared his knowledge of tribal language, customs, history, and singing at workshops, presentations and festivals throughout North America.

Dr. Richardson will be joined by other members of the Haliwa-Saponi Nation who will give a demonstration of Native American singing. Light refreshments will be served.  

This event is made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.

 Silk Hope Ruritans plan Christmas shopping event

The Silk Hope Ruritan Club is planning its first Christmas Magic Holiday Shopping Event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 1.

The event, featuring numerous vendors, food and fun activities, will be held at the Farm Heritage Community Building, 4221 Silk Hope Rd., Siler City.

Santa will also be there.

The Silk Hope Ruritan Club is a non profit organization-and the funds the club raises through this and other events is returned to the community through a variety of charitable donations.

For more information, call 919-663-0331.

Original Formula to perform twice at Oasis

SILER CITY — Original Formula — a bluegrass band comprised of Al Elliot of Lexington and Rob Perkins of Asheboro — have scheduled three upcoming performances in the area, including two dates in downtown Siler City.

Original Formula has appeared regularly on WBRF in Galax, Va. and WPAQ in Mount Airy. They have also appeared on the True Bluegrass show on WKXR-AM in Asheboro. The duo also have their own recording label, Melody Man Records, through which they recorded and released their album, “Radio-Active,”

They will bring their repertoire of traditional tunes as well as some original compositions to the Oasis Fresh Market and Deli, 117 S. Chatham Ave., from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 3 and Sunday, November 17.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Original Formula will also be performing at Brightside Gallery, 170 Worth Street, downtown Asheboro, from 1 to 4 p.m. on November 9.

Facility housing Chatham Trades, food pantry and Salvation Army ribbon-cutting set for Nov. 7

The Chatham Chamber of Commerce invites you to celebrate with Chatham Trades, West Chatham Food Pantry and the Salvation Army on their new location. 

These three organizations are now jointly located at 2535 Old U.S. Hwy. 421 North in Siler City. Ribbon cuttings for all three organizations will take place at 1 p.m. on Nov. 7. An open house will follow and end by 3 p.m. 

Since 1980, Chatham Trades has been providing vocational and developmental services for Chatham adults with developmental disabilities. These individuals develop their social skills and works habits, and if they choose, continue their academic training. Participants accomplish all of these things while performing meaningful work and earning wages for the work that they perform. As participants increase their work skills, Chatham Trades helps work ready individuals find jobs.

West Chatham Food Pantry opened in 2007 with the mission of obtaining and distributing free food to the hungry of Chatham County, primarily in the western portion of the county. They collaborate with similar food programs of other community-based organizations such as the Interfaith Food Shuttle and Central and Eastern NC Food Bank. The Pantry also provides a backpack program for elementary students who qualify and operates solely by volunteers.

The Salvation Army Chatham County Crisis Assistance Program is a social service agency that assists individuals and families in various capacities to prevent homelessness and address the client’s basic needs that lead to self-sufficiency such as: food, clothing, hotel vouchers, rental, and utility assistance. The Salvation Army understands the importance of addressing individual transformations that occur for people to move them from poverty to economic independence.

Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards nomination forms now available

United Way of Chatham County is accepting nominations for the Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards.

If you know a volunteer who selflessly gives their time, talent and expertise to benefit Chatham residents, please consider nominating them for this special recognition. Nomination forms must be submitted online at by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 3. Individuals may be nominated for volunteer service in the following categories: Verteran/Military Families, Youth, Disaster, Animals, NC Preservation, Environment and Health & Human Services.

Every day in Chatham County hundreds of volunteers donate their time and talent through nonprofit organizations, churches and schools.

“The amount of hours served by volunteers of United Way and its member agencies totaled an astonishing 81,179 last year,” said Alane Coore, United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator. “This results in over $2 million saved in salaries. It is important to recognize volunteers for their efforts because they help nonprofit agencies to provide a level of service that they otherwise may not be able to provide.”

Chatham County community members make up the local advisory committee that reviews the nomination forms, selects the honorees and plans local recognition activities. All nominees selected by the advisory committee will be recognized at the 2020 Chatham County Outstanding Volunteer Awards Ceremony, which is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, 2020.

The local advisory committee will also select Chatham County nominees to be considered for recognition on the state level. The United Way of Chatham County Volunteer Center coordinates this effort with the NC Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. Those selected will receive recognition from the Governor, in addition to being considered for the Governor’s Medallion Award. The Governor’s Office honors only twenty volunteers with the Medallion Award statewide and selects from nominees submitted by 100 counties. A minimum of one year of volunteer service is required to be eligible to receive the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

For more information about the Volunteer Recognition Program, please contact United Way Volunteer Center Coordinator Alane Coore by phone at (919) 542-1110 or by email at alane@unitedwayofchathamcounty.

GTOC 2020 Nature Calendar now available

Grand Trees of Chatham (GTOC) has completed work on its 2020 nature calendar and is making it available at several retailers throughout Chatham County. This marks the fifth consecutive year that GTOC has produced a professionally printed full-size calendar with nature photographs that highlight Chatham County’s natural beauty.

As in prior editions, local photographer Gary Simpson took all of the photos on a volunteer basis. This year’s nature shots include a cover photo of the iconic belted cows at Fearrington Village, as well as a spooky full moon on a cloudy night, a longleaf pine seedling, an Eastern box turtle, a field of Daffodils, and raging flood waters on Robeson Creek.

Included as a special feature of the 2020 calendar are photos of Chatham County’s State Champion White Oak tree, along with a detailed explanation of how GTOC goes about measuring the trees that are nominated by local property owners for special recognition. Remarkably, the Champion White Oak measures out at 112 feet tall, with a trunk that is over 23 feet in circumference.

The support of the following local sponsors made this year’s calendar possible: Hobbs Architects, Jamie and Heather Buster at Rosemary House B&B, Katy McReynolds and Lonnie West at Chatham Homes Realty, Louise Barnum at Weaver Street Realty, Pittsboro Parks, Rocky River Heritage Foundation, Sara Donaldson at State Farm Insurance, Sue and Rouse Wilson, Ann and Dean Westman, and Amanda Robertson at The Farthest Pixel Educational Media Design. Jones Printing of Sanford and the Chatham County Cooperative Extension also assisted with the project.

This year’s GTOC calendar can be obtained for a $20 donation at the following retailers: Chatham Marketplace, Liquidambar Gallery and Gifts, New Horizons West, The Joyful Jewel, and Southern Supreme.

GTOC is a local, non-profit, volunteer organization with the mission of increasing public understanding and appreciation of Chatham County’s valuable and irreplaceable trees.

Library hosting 2nd annual Veterans Day event

Chatham Community Library will host the 2nd annual Veterans Day meet & mingle at 2 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the Holmes Meeting Room. Featured speakers will be local author and decorated veteran Wes J. Bryant and Army veteran Rusty Edmister, Founder of the North Carolina Military Veterans Oral History Project.

Bryant retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2018 at the rank of Master Sergeant after twenty years of active duty service. Embedded with Special Forces teams under a Navy SEAL task force, he was the tactical lead for a contingent of special operations JTACs to first set foot in Iraq to stop ISIS. As the senior enlisted JTAC, Bryant coordinated and controlled the first airstrikes against ISIS in the Baghdad region. He later deployed as the senior Special Tactics JTAC for special operations task forces hunting ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan. 

Bryant is the co-author of “Hunting the Caliphate,” in which he gives a vivid first-person account of fighting ISIS and the war on terrorism in the years following 9-11.

Army Veteran Edmister has recorded 486 oral history interviews. He will give a short presentation about his work and how other veterans can have their stories preserved for future generations.

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on Nov. 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces (and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. 

This event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Funding is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.

County government receives award for excellence in financial reporting

PITTSBORO — On Oct. 21, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners recognized the County’s Finance Department for receiving the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report.

Vicki McConnell, Chatham County deputy county manager and finance director, received the Certificate of Achievement, which is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting. According to GFOA, its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

“This is Chatham County’s 29th consecutive year to receive this notable recognition, and I couldn’t be more proud of the integrity demonstrated by Vicki and her staff,” said Chatham County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “We hope that our Finance team’s example will encourage other governments in their efforts to achieve and maintain a high standard of excellence in financial reporting.”

According to GFOA, the CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

Chatham Habitat offering online truck pickup requests

Chatham Habitat for Humanity is now making available for community members its ReStore truck for pickups through an online portal. Community members can visit and schedule a time to pick up donations for free. Messages can also be left on the Direct Donation Hotline at 919-548-6910.

The organization says because of “the generosity of individuals like you” its stores “are able to provide quality, used home-improvement items and materials to the public at low cost.”

NCDOT focusing on protecting pedestrians during Halloween week

GARNER — This week began the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Programs’ latest anti-drunk driving initiative, but this year the focus is not just on roadway traffic but on foot traffic as well.

This latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that more pedestrians and bicyclists have been killed over the last year than any previous year since 1990. The director of the NCGHSP says it’s a numbers game.

“In every county, city and town there are a host of collision point opportunities due to population clusters where vehicles and pedestrians are coming in contact with each other, and Halloween increases those chances because so many people are out and about on one day,” said GHSP Director Mark Ezzell.

The “Booze It & Lose It” Halloween campaign partners with state and local law enforcement to target impaired drivers through enforcement and education.

“In addition to agencies running sobriety checkpoints in all 100 counties from Oct. 28 through Nov. 3, we are asking our partners in law enforcement, education and urban and rural community planners, to help raise awareness this Halloween of how to be a safer driver, bicyclist, and pedestrian,” Ezzell concluded.

Show off how you travel safe this Halloween by snapping a photo of yourself walking or traveling safely in your vehicle and tag @NC_GHSP on Instagram, Twitter and @NCGHSP on Facebook. Use hashtags #NCGHSP #WatchForMe and #KeysFreeNC and we’ll “Like” your picture!

Many vehicle-pedestrian crashes occur in similar places in a similar manner. Transportation officials leave pedestrians and bicyclist with these useful safety tips:


• Look for cars in all directions before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.

• Enhance your visibility at night, walk only in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight or wear something reflective.

• Avoid distraction when crossing streets, put down the phone.

• Watch for cars backing up.

• Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.

• Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.


• Wear a helmet. It could save your life.

• Use a light and reflex mirrors or reflective clothing when bicycling at night and be as visible as possible.

• Ride in the direction of traffic.

• Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones or answering phones when riding.

GHSP funds efforts to reduce traffic crashes in North Carolina and promotes highway safety awareness through a variety of grants and safe-driving initiatives like Click It or Ticket, Booze It & Lose It, BikeSafe NC, Watch For Me NC and Speed a Little. Lose a Lot. 

Original Formula to perform twice at Oasis

SILER CITY — Original Formula — a bluegrass band comprised of Al Elliot of Lexington and Rob Perkins of Asheboro — have scheduled three upcoming performances in the area, including two dates in downtown Siler City.

Original Formula has appeared regularly on WBRF in Galax, Va. and WPAQ in Mount Airy. They have also appeared on the True Bluegrass show on WKXR-AM in Asheboro. The duo also have their own recording label, Melody Man Records, through which they recorded and released their album, “Radio-Active,”

They will bring their repertoire of traditional tunes as well as some original compositions to the Oasis Fresh Market and Deli, 117 S. Chatham Ave., from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, November 3 and Sunday, November 17.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Original Formula will also be performing at Brightside Gallery, 170 Worth Street, downtown Asheboro, from 1 to 4 p.m. on November 9.

Chatham library offering Microsoft Excel classes

The Chatham Community Library is offering Microsoft Excel Basics classes at 3 p.m. on November 6 and 20 in Pittsboro. 

Attendees can learn how to use the popular spreadsheet program to store, organize, and manipulate data. Participants must be comfortable operating a computer. Learn more and register at, or call 919-545-8086.


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