News Briefs

Posted 12/13/19

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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NCDOT seeking new partners for 2020 Watch for Me NC Program

RALEIGH ­— North Carolina communities interested in participating in the 2020 Watch for Me NC safety program may now submit applications to the N.C. Dept. of Transportation.

The nationally-recognized program focuses on bicycle and pedestrian safety, education and enforcement. The 2020 campaign is supported by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation.

“Watch for Me NC provides valuable, hands-on training to law enforcement while educating the public,” said Ed Johnson, Watch for Me NC program manager. “Everyone must be engaged and informed as we work together to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.”

Communities selected to participate will receive free law enforcement training, technical assistance and safety tools provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. In 2020, communities will receive support that is individually customized, helping them plan outreach, share opportunities and troubleshoot challenges.

Watch for Me NC partners will also receive materials with pedestrian and bicycle safety messages to aid in engagement at public events. Communities may also be eligible to receive advertising such as radio and transit ads. Local government applicants should be able to demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies and, if applicable, campus police, plus the capacity to participate fully in the program.

Interested communities are encouraged to register for NCDOT’s webinar at 11 a.m. on Dec. 16 when more information about the program requirements and application process will be provided. Applications are due Jan. 31 and can be submitted online via the Watch for Me NC website.

Grad student seeks interviews in Siler City

Anya Russian of Greensboro, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba (Canada), is seeking interviews with Siler City residents for a class project this semester.

“I would like to learn more about how residents of Siler City experience being part of a community with a significant Latino population,” Russian said.

For the project, Russian is seeking three people (age 18+) who would be interested in being interviewed. These individuals must have lived or worked in Siler City for a minimum of five years between the period of 1990 to the present date. Each interview will be conducted individually by Skype or in person at a mutually agreed upon time and location. The interview will last approximately one hour. Your name or other identifying information will not be shared publicly and will not be used in any written reports.

The interviews will take place between now and Jan. 5.

If you are interested in taking part in this study or if you would like to learn more about it, contact: Russian, Master’s Candidate, Peace and Conflict Studies Program, University of Manitoba,

This study has been approved by the Joint-Faculty Research Ethics Board at the University of Manitoba. If you have any concerns or complaints about this project you may contact any of the above-named persons or contact the Human Ethics Coordinator at 204-474-7122 or

CORA’s annual Empty Bowls fundraiser slated for Feb. 9 at Fearrington

PITTSBORO — CORA’s 10th Empty Bowls charitable fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9, at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington Village in Pittsboro from 5-7:30 p.m.

This year, the event will have two seatings, at 5 and 6:30 p.m. The concept is simple: guests choose a handmade bowl, enjoy delicious soup from local restaurants, home-baked breads and desserts, and go home with a bowl that serves as a reminder that someone’s bowl is always empty and that we need to continue our efforts to end hunger in Chatham County. This popular event is open to the public and tickets will go on sale on Jan. 4 at

At present, CORA has experienced a nearly 60 percent increase in demand for our services due to cuts in Social Service benefits and CORA’s expansion: adding weekend hours, starting a Mobile Market in Siler City, and the closure of a local food pantry. The success of this event is crucial to helping us meet this increased demand. CORA encourages all who are interested to attend and purchase a bowl and supper to support a great cause.

CORA’s Empty Bowls is one of many such events held nationwide and in at least 14 other countries. The concept, now in its 29th year, was first developed by a teacher and his high school students in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and conceived as a way to raise money for hunger relief organizations while providing donors with a tangible reminder of the problem of worldwide hunger.

Interested parties can also sponsor the event. Levels range from $250 to $1,500 and are open to individuals or couples, businesses, civic organizations and faith communities. For more information please visit or contact Rebecca Hankins at 919-491-5896.

‘Barn to Badge’ event to pair farmers, Sheriff’s Office

The N.C. Cooperative Extension and Chatham County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a joint event on December 19 to improve communication and relationships between famers and deputies.

The “Barn to Badge: Farmer Meet and Greet” event will run from 4-6 p.m. at the Chatham County Agricultural & Conference Center in Pittsboro.

Practicing open communication and building positive relationships between law enforcement and the community benefits the safety and protection of Chatham’s agriculture industry, according to a news release. Speakers will include Andrew Branan, Ag Law Extension Specialist, who will give updates on the new gag law, right to farm and basic ag laws that apply to farmers.

Attendees are encouraged to bring questions, concerns and ideas to the table for a fun evening. This event is non-formal and will include light foods and drinks.

The event is free, and attendees are asked to pre-register at

Chatham County government seeking applicants for Environmental Review Advisory Committee

PITTSBORO — Chatham County seeks applicants to fill a new vacancy for its Environmental Review Advisory Committee (ERAC), which advises the Board of Commissioners on environmental policy and related county ordinances and serves on the Chatham County Watershed Review Board. The deadline to apply is by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27.

The ERAC also assists County staff with reviews of state and federal environmental permits in the county and partners with towns and other governmental agencies on mutual environmental concerns.

The board of commissioners especially seeks applicants with environmental expertise or interests.

The vacant seat is appointed by the full board of commissioners. Individuals interested in the position should apply regardless of where they live in the county. The person appointed would serve a partial term ending June 30, 2021 but would be eligible for reappointment to a full three-year term.

A map of commissioner districts and an online application form can be found at If you would like an email or printed copy of the form, contact Lindsay Ray at 919-542-8200 or

The ERAC typically meets four to six times per year on the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at a location in the Pittsboro area. To find out more about the ERAC, visit:

Siler City government seeks members for town committees

The Town of Siler City is seeking members for two of its boards.

The Downtown Advisory Committee has a vacancy for one member with no residential requirements. The committee is for those who have a vested interest in the future of Downtown Siler City or who have particular knowledge, skills, or abilities that serve the interest and intent of the purpose of developing a viable framework to enhance further revitalization and development of downtown and utilizing existing and emerging strengths of this vital central commercial hub of the Siler City community.

The Siler City Planning Board/Board of Adjustments has one vacancy for a resident within the city limits. The Planning Board, in conjunction with the Town Planner, makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on conditional use permit, rezoning, conditional use rezoning and text amendment applications. The Planning Board may also perform comprehensive surveys and studies of existing conditions and probable future developments and prepares such plans for physical and economic growth. The Planning Board promotes the public health, safety, convenience or the general welfare as well as efficiency and economy in the development of the Town. The Planning Board also serves as the Board of Adjustment to review variances, consider appeals from the zoning administrator or building inspector and to issue special use and special exception permits.

With the exception of the Planning Board/Board of Adjustment, all positions are advisory in nature and are unpaid.

Persons interested should submit a letter of interest to: Town Clerk Jenifer Johnson, Town of Siler City, P.O. Box 769, Siler City, N.C., or 311 N. Second Avenue, or no later than Jan. 4.

The letter of interest should include: home address, phone number, email address, educational background, current employment, civic involvement, why you wish to serve, and any other information you feel pertinent.


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