News Briefs

Posted 11/15/19

News Briefs

Triangle Jazz Orchestra hosting show to benefit Chatham Literacy

A local jazz group is donating proceeds from a performance to a local nonprofit.

The Triangle Jazz Orchestra’s …

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News Briefs

Triangle Jazz Orchestra hosting show to benefit Chatham Literacy

A local jazz group is donating proceeds from a performance to a local nonprofit.

The Triangle Jazz Orchestra’s Nov. 18 performance at Pittsboro Roadhouse will be dedicated to Chatham Literacy, according to a press notice. Proceeds from attendees’ $10 per person cover charge and the group’s tip jar will be donated to the nonprofit, and Pittsboro Roadhouse will give 10 percent of all sales that night.

The show will go from 7-9 p.m. at Pittsboro Roadhouse. There are no ticket pre-sales, but reservations are recommended to ensure seats. Call the Roadhouse at (919) 542-2432 to secure a spot.

For more information or to volunteer for the group, which is dedicated to helping adults acquire the literacy skills to reach their goals, call (919) 930-7284 or email travis@chathamliteracy.ory.

Pittsboro Youth Theater hosting performances of ‘Spellbound’

Performances of the show “Spellbound,” described as “a spin on the classic tale of Snow White,” begin this weekend at the Pittsboro Youth Theater in downtown Pittsboro.

Pittsboro’s Chanah Silver serves as an assistant director and researcher on the project, and Silver’s writing partner Ari Ben-Gideon is credited as the show’s writer. Tammy Matthews will be the play’s director.

“Spellbound” premieres on Saturday at 4 and 6 p.m., with additional shows at 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday. Another cast of actors will perform the show the following weekend — 4 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, and 2 and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Tickets are available online at pittsboroyouththeater.com and at the Center for the Arts, Pittsboro at 18A East Salisbury St. in Pittsboro.

— CN+R staff reports

Sign-up ending soon for 2019 Market Facilitation Program

Sign-up ends Dec. 6 for the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture program administered by FSA to assist farmers who continue to suffer from damages because of unjustified trade retaliation from foreign nations.

MFP payments will be made to producers of certain non-specialty and specialty crops as well as dairy and hog producers. MFP assistance for 2019 crops is based on a single county payment rate multiplied by a farm’s total plantings to the MFP-eligible crops in aggregate in 2019. Those per acre payments are not dependent on which of those crops are planted in 2019. Producers must have reported their crop acreage timely by July 15.

If crops are reported late after July 15: a $46/farm late fee must be paid; a field must be conducted by the county office; and there must be physical evidence of the crop still available during the field visit.

A producer’s total payment-eligible plantings cannot exceed total 2018 plantings. The per acre rate for Chatham County is $33.

Non-Specialty Crops

MFP payments will be made to producers of alfalfa hay, barley, canola, corn, crambe, dried beans, dry peas, extra-long staple cotton, flaxseed, lentils, long grain and medium grain rice, millet, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, rye, safflower, sesame seed, small and large chickpeas, sorghum, soybeans, sunflower seed, temperate japonica rice, triticale, upland cotton and wheat.

Dairy and Hogs

Dairy producers who were in business as of June 1, 2019, will receive a per hundredweight payment on production history, and hog producers will receive a payment based on the number of live hogs owned on a day selected by the producer between April 1 and May 15, 2019.

Specialty Crops

MFP payments will also be made to producers of almonds, cranberries, cultivated ginseng, fresh grapes, fresh sweet cherries, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Each specialty crop will receive a payment based on 2019 acres of fruit or nut bearing plants, or in the case of ginseng, based on harvested acres in 2019.

More Information

MFP payments are limited to a combined $250,000 for non-specialty crops per person or legal entity. MFP payments are also limited to a combined $250,000 for dairy and hog producers and a combined $250,000 for specialty crop producers. However, no applicant can receive more than $500,000. Eligible applicants must also have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017 of less than $900,000, or 75 percent of the person’s or legal entity’s average AGI for those tax years must have been derived from farming and ranching. Applicants must also comply with the provisions of the Highly Erodible Land and Wetland Conservation regulations.

More information can be found on farmers.gov/mfp<https://www.farmers.gov/manage/mfp>. If you would like to apply for the 2019 Market Facilitation Program, please call the Chatham County FSA Office at 919-542-2244 ext.2 to make an appointment.

Alotech wins state manufacturing award for innovation

GOLDSTON — Alotech Inc., a contract manufacturer that provides U.S. inventors, entrepreneurs and product marketeers the ability to create unique, innovative processes and designs with a laser focus on the customer’s return on investment, received the NCMEP 2019 Manufacturing Leadership Award for Innovation on Nov. 6 at mfgCON 2019 in Winston-Salem. 

The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership awards program recognizes manufacturers for their commitment to the North Carolina manufacturing sector, as proven by outstanding performance in the areas of manufacturing excellence, sustainable manufacturing, innovation, workforce development, economic development/developing markets and continuous improvement.

“We are extremely pleased to achieve this recognition from such an esteemed industry organization as NCMEP,” said Tommy Kirk, COO at Alotech.” I want to thank the entire Alotech team for their continued hard work and dedication to innovation as we tackle each engineering and manufacturing challenge that comes our way. Advancements in our technology and our unique Creative Investments platform have brought more and more inventors and product designers to work alongside Alotech Inc. as their contract manufacturer of choice. We are excited for what the future holds for our team and stakeholders.”

Conservation group announces plans to sue city of Burlington for water contamination in Pittsboro, other areas

CHAPEL HILL — The Southern Environmental Law Center announced last week that it would sue the city of Burlington for what the group says is undisclosed and illegal pollution of the Haw River and its tributaries and Jordan Lake.

The river and lake serve as sources of drinking water for Pittsboro and north Chatham County along with Cary and Apex. Testing of the water, the SELC’s press release stated, has shown discharges of chemicals that “can cause serious harm to people’s health.”

“Families in Pittsboro and other downstream communities deserve to know that the water that comes out of their taps is safe.” said Geoff Gisler, senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center. “The Haw River is an incredible resource; stopping this preventable pollution will take us one step closer to making it as clean as it is beautiful.”

The release states that the SELC will officially sue Burlington on behalf of the Haw River Assembly if the city “does not stop its illegal pollution within 60 days.”

“These compounds are known to be harmful to human health,” said Emily Sutton, the Haw Riverkeeper. “Downstream drinking water users have been exposed to contaminated drinking water for years. It’s time to stop the pollution at the source and protect all downstream users and the ecological integrity of the Haw River basin.”

— CN+R staff reports

Siler City P&R seeks input in Bray Park Master Plan

SILER CITY — The Town of Siler City Parks & Recreation Department is seeking input on the Bray Park Master Plan.

The plan will explore opportunities to expand amenities for the entire park including 50 acres of undeveloped land. The town will host three public input meetings to help create a vision for the park, gather input and comments on the different conceptual plans, and to present the final master plan. Anyone who is unable to attend the meetings are welcome to contact Siler City Parks and Recreation at (919) 742-2699 or email recreation@silercity.org with any questions or comments.

Meeting dates:

• 6-8 p.m., Thursday, November 21

• 6-8 p.m., Monday, December 2

• 6-8 p.m., Monday, February 3

Meetings will be held at the Earl B. Fitts Community Center at 111 South Third Ave., Siler City.

“We are excited for the upcoming Master Plan project and look forward to hearing public input and ideas to help shape the vision of Bray Park,” said parks Administrative Support Specialist Daniel Spivey.

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.

—CN+R Staff Reports

Council on Aging now has incontinence 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.

“Incontinence 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.

Incontinence 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.

USDA Farm Service Agency urges Chatham County farmers to vote in county committee elections

The 2019 FSA County Committee Elections began Nov. 4, with the mailing of ballots to eligible voters. The deadline to return the ballots to the Chatham County FSA office is Dec. 2.

FSA County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA. Farmers and producers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs to their respective counties, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.

To be an eligible voter, Chatham County farmers must participate or cooperate in an FSA program. A person who is not of legal voting age, but supervises and conducts the farming operations of an entire farm may also be eligible to vote. Agricultural producers submitted candidate nominations during the nomination period, which ended on Aug. 1.

For 2019, Chatham County will hold the election in Local Administrative Area (LAA) 2. This area includes Center, Gulf, Hadley, and Hickory Mountain townships, roughly the middle part of the county. Eligible voters in this LAA who have not receive ballots can obtain ballots from the Chatham County FSA Office. December 2 is the last day for voters to submit ballots in person to the county office. Ballots returned by mail must also be postmarked no later than December 2. Newly elected committee members and their alternates will take office January 1, 2020.

Close to 7,700 FSA county committee members serve in the 2,124 FSA offices nationwide. Each committee consists of three to 11 members who serve three-year terms. Chatham County’s Committee has 3 members since the county is not combined with any adjoining county. Approximately one-third of county committee seats are up for election each year. More information on county committees, such as the 2019 fact sheet and brochures, can be found on the FSA website at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/county-committee-elections/index or at the Chatham County FSA Office, 1192 Us 64W Business, Pittsboro/919-542-2244 ext 2.

County government receives award for excellence in financial reporting

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Commissioners recognized the County’s Finance Department in October 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.

—CN+R Staff Reports

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 tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/innovative-young-farmer-of-the-year 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.”

— CN+R staff reports

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.

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