News Briefs


News Briefs

Chatham library offering Microsoft Excel classes

The Chatham Community Library is offering Microsoft Excel Basics classes at 3 p.m. on November 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.

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.”

— CN + R staff reports

Come experience Christmas at Biltmore with Chatham 4-H

Just in time for the holidays, a Christmas tour of Biltmore House in Asheville is being offered Dec. 13, with all proceeds benefiting Chatham County 4-H’s educational programming.

The trip begins with a 7 a.m. pick-up at the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center. Cost is $180 per person, and includes deluxe motor coach transportation, a ticket to Biltmore Estate and lunch at the on-site Deerpark Restaurant. Optional tickets to the Downton Abbey exhibit are $26.75 and can be purchased at Biltmore.

For more details and to register for this spectacular trip please visit, or call 919-542-8202.

— CN + R staff reports

Council on Aging now has incontinent supplies

Through a new partnership with the Diaper Bank of North Carolina and the support of Carolina Meadows, the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Women and others, the Chatham County Council on Aging now maintains incontinence supplies including pull ups, diapers with tabs, bed pads, wipes, gloves, and personal pads.

“Incontinent supplies can be vital to helping persons remain active in the community and live with dignity at home,” noted Wynne Fields, the Council’s program specialist who coordinates this service.

Incontinent supplies can be a major expense for seniors and their families. “We are glad that we can offer this service to help our growing older population in Chatham,” Fields said.

While donations are always welcomed, these supplies are provided at no expense to the consumer.

For more information, contact the Council’s Eastern Center at 919-542-4512 or its Western Center at 919-742-3975.

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.

Chatham Central’s Fields discovering voice in state honors chorus

BEAR CREEK — The musical footprint of Chatham County Schools expands with Chatham Central High School senior Addie Fields earning a spot in the North Carolina High School Honors Chorus. She’ll lift her voice with the group when it performs Nov. 10 at the North Carolina Music Educators Conference in Winston-Salem.

“It’s been a very long time since Chatham County Schools had representation in this event,” CCS lead arts teacher Sharon Allen said.

“It’s so hard to get in. It’s really hard to get in,” Fields said.

“Not only was Addie selected but her audition score was one of the highest in the state,” Allen said.

“She was the fourth-highest score in the Soprano 2 section,” Chatham Central choral director Megan Clark said. “This is a huge deal.”

It further establishes CCS as a school system where the arts are thriving. During the 2018-19 school year, CCS received a Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation, a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public-service programs. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to school districts demonstrating outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. CCS measured up in terms of funding, graduation requirements, participation in music classes, instructional time, facilities and support for music programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Fields recalled singing with the chorus club at Bonlee School and growing musically in the band there under the direction of David Clark, who oversees music education at the school.

At Chatham Central, Fields said she sang the national anthem during a pep rally, and that led to her singing it before baseball games at the school, then football games, basketball games.

“It helped me a lot,” said Fields, who shared her plan to study music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in order to become a high school chorus teacher.

Jordan appointed to leadership role with national accreditation organization

PITTSBORO — The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) has appointed Chatham County Schools Superintendent Dr. Derrick D. Jordan to its Accreditation Council through June 30, 2022.

CAEP is the oldest accrediting body for educator preparation, and Jordan in his role with the organization’s Accreditation Council will help fellow councilors determine the accreditation status of institutions that train educators.

“Quality assurance and continuous improvement are critically important, and I look forward to serving the education community in this way,” said Jordan, also a part-time clinical associate professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) School of Education. “I’ll be able to draw upon my experience as a P-12 practitioner and couple that with my work in the academy developing educators.”

That is key — Jordan’s simultaneous roles leading a school district and teaching at the university level, according to Dr. Diana B. Lys, an assistant dean in the UNC School of Education.

“The accreditation of educator preparation relies upon input from P-12 practitioners, higher education faculty and researchers,” Lys said. “Through his school leadership and higher-education experience, Dr. Jordan is uniquely positioned to identify the strengths and needs of programs he will review as a member of the Accreditation Council for the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.”

Accreditation is a nongovernmental activity based on peer review that serves the dual functions of assuring quality and promoting improvement, according to CAEP. The organization was created by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council. It is a uniform accreditation system intent on raising the performance of all providers focused on educator preparation. At least 850 providers of educator preparation participate in the CAEP accreditation system. That number includes providers grandfathered into accreditation under former standards.

Jordan has been superintendent of Chatham County Schools since September 2013. He taught both middle and high school after earning his bachelor’s degree in English from North Carolina Central University. His master’s degree in school administration from East Carolina University positioned him as a high school principal. UNC School of Education faculty distinguished Jordan as a Jackson Scholar while he was there earning a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Prior to being appointed superintendent, he oversaw curriculum and instruction at the district level and was an executive director for secondary education before that.

“It’s important that we have as many voices as possible involved in the accreditation process for preparing our P-12 teachers,” CAEP President Dr. Christopher A. Koch said. “Dr. Jordan brings a unique perspective to the council as someone who not only is involved in preparing teachers but also in hiring teachers to serve P-12 students.”

Galloway Ridge wins Beacon Award for ‘Best in Wellness’

PITTSBORO — Galloway Ridge has won the 2019 ICAA NuStep Beacon Award, which recognizes and honors the Top 25 “Best in Wellness” senior living communities in North America.

Galloway Ridge is among those recognized as best-in-class for successfully fostering a wellness-centered environment to benefit all who live and work in their community. The award was created as a joint effort between International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) and NuStep, LLC, a major manufacturer of recumbent cross-trainers used in healthcare, senior living and fitness, already mentioned above. The ICAA is responsible for leading, connecting and defining the active-aging industry. CEO and founder Colin Milner says, “Senior living communities have long been aware of how important wellness is for the health and well-being of their residents, but in recent years, wellness has evolved from being a programming option to becoming a way of life” This evolution, says Milner, is also reflected in a survey recently conducted by the ICAA. The survey found that 59 percent of senior living communities state their business model will be wellness-centered with care services by 2023.

Galloway Ridge has successively partnered with its residents and staff to create relevant, meaningful opportunities and inspire participants to improve their quality of life. Wellness is typically defined by seven key dimensions: emotional, physical, intellectual, social, spiritual, vocational and environmental. When each of these dimensions is equally nurtured and prioritized, it can enhance a sense of well-being among residents. It is this commitment and acknowledgement of how important wellness is for older adults that elevates resident health to new heights.

“At Galloway Ridge we believe that there is wellness in everything that we do,” said Bob Zimmer, Executive Director at Galloway Ridge. “Through the relationships built between residents and staff, the services and programs offered, and the environment in and around our community, it is clear that wellness is at our very core. Our goal is to provide opportunities for each resident and staff member of our community to live their best life and to continue thriving as the unique individual that they are.”

Applications available for Innovative Young Farmer Award

STATESVILLE — The Farm Credit Associations of N.C. are now accepting applications for the 2019 Innovative Young Farmer of the Year Award given by the Tobacco Farm Life Museum and sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of North Carolina.

Eligible nominees must be between the ages of 18 and 40 as of January 1, 2020. Nominees are to either be in school for agriculture/agribusiness or have worked in the agriculture industry for less than ten years. The application process, open until December 6, 2019, enables nominees to discuss means by which they are positively impacting their operation, as well as the greater agricultural community in North Carolina.

The Innovative Young Farmer of the Year Award is presented annually at the Breakfast with the Commissioner held in conjunction with the Southern Farm Show at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Visit the Tobacco Farm Life Museum website at to apply for this award. Applications must be submitted electronically through the link above.

“Agriculture is the number one industry in North Carolina,” said Vance Dalton, CEO of Carolina Farm Credit. “It is imperative to reward young farmers who have a commitment to continuing the great legacy of farmers and rural communities throughout the state. The Farm Credit Associations of NC are proud to support innovative-minded farmers in North Carolina.”