News Briefs

Posted 1/10/20

News Briefs

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News Briefs

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Chatham Cooperative Extension hosting tree identification workshops Jan. 21-22

PITTSBORO — Many people are intimidated by the terminology and biology used for accurate tree identification. Fortunately, most woody plants can be readily distinguished by twig, bud and bark characteristics, making winter a great time of year to learn the identity of trees and understory shrubs. The Chatham County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension is making it simple and fun to learn tree identification techniques.

The center will host identical sessions of the Tree Identification in Winter Workshop from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Jan. 21, and from 6-8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center, 1192 US Hwy 64 W. Business, in Pittsboro. The sessions will be led by Extension Horticulture Agent Matt Jones and the Master Gardener volunteers of Chatham County.

This lecture and hands-on workshop on winter botany is for landowners, landscapers, farmers, park managers, naturalists and anyone curious about trees. Participants will learn about the types of tree characters used for identification, as well as how to use free, online tools (such as dichotomous keys) from N.C. State. Participants will gain experience through both guided and individual practice identifying provided native tree samples. The cost is $10 per person.

For more information, including how to register, visit: or contact NC Cooperative Extension – Chatham County Center at 919-542-8202.

Sanford’s Mann Center hosting tribute concert to the Statler Brothers

The Kay Yow Foundation and the Mann Center of North Carolina are presenting a Tribute to the Statler Brothers featuring American Pride at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

American Pride, a Tribute to the Statler Brothers, is show that has performed all over North America. The show back the classic county sound of the Country Music Hall of Fame Statler Brothers, and proceeds from the event benefit the Kay Yow Foundation and their war on Cancer. Tickets for the event are available at

The vision of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund is to be the premier non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovative ways of fighting ALL cancers affecting women and providing support through giving strength, courage, and hope. Battling stage IV cancer, Hall of Fame coach, Kay Yow, gave her final and lasting gift — the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. In the 12 years since its inception, the Fund has served as a catalyst, uniting communities in the fight against cancer. Since the Fund’s inception, $7.53 million has been awarded to scientific research grants and programs that serve the underserved in the fight against all cancers affecting women.

Public hearing scheduled for transfer of Briar Chapel Wastewater System in Pittsboro

A public witness hearing will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the Historic Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro regarding a request by Old North State Water Company (ONSWC)-Chatham North to take over both the Briar Chapel Subdivision and the Fearrington Village wastewater systems.

The N.C. Utilities Commission has scheduled this public hearing for the purpose of receiving testimony from Briar Chapel and Fearrington Village customers. Witnesses must register on a sign-up sheet in the hearing room prior to giving testimony. The presiding commissioner or examiner will outline the procedure and call witnesses by order of registration. Each witness will need to state his or her name and address and the association, if any, that he or she represents at the time of his or her testimony. The presiding commissioner or examiner may limit the scope of the testimony to matters specified in the notice of public hearing and may set an equal amount of time for each testimony.

Customers can also submit a written statement to the commission via email by visiting the website Be sure to include the docket numbers W-1320 Sub 0 and W-1320 Sub 2 in the subject line. Another option is to mail a statement to the commission to: 4325 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4300. In either case, after two or three business days, statements are made part of the official record for the proceeding, and can be viewed on this website via the assigned docket number.

The commission has also scheduled an evidentiary hearing for expert witness testimony which will begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, in Commission Hearing Room, 2115, 430 N Salisbury Street, Raleigh. There will not be an opportunity for public comments at this hearing, but the public is welcome to attend.

Weapons are strictly prohibited at these hearings, and everyone entering the buildings must pass through a metal detector.

Siler City changes water/sewer deposit fees

SILER CITY — The Siler City board of commissioners voted unanimously on Monday to approve an amended fee schedule for deposits on new water and sewer accounts on its system.

The town’s previous schedule included deposit amounts that ranged from $0 up to $100 or $250 based on a credit score. The new fees will be $40 for all new residential accounts in town and $75 for new residential accounts outside of the town limits and for new commercial business accounts. Tina Stroupe, the town’s finance director, noted in her presentation that the change would make accounting easier since it would be able to quote deposits instantly rather than wait for a credit report. In addition, these fees would bring the town “more in line” with fee schedules in surrounding local governments.

“This will be less burdensome on some of our residents and it will be more democratic,” Stroupe said.

The deposits are “non-revenue producing,” since they are returned after a year of an account being paid on time. The cost spread out over all new accounts, without the added cost of a credit check, would basically create no change in the budget.

Several commissioners voiced concerns that the reason the town instituted the credit check based system in the first place was because there were delinquent accounts that were left unpaid when residents moved away. Town Manager Roy Lynch noted that new processes had been put in place that would not allow a delinquent account to continue to grow and workers are “shutting off the water” as soon as due dates pass making the number and amounts in those accounts far less than when the original system had been put in place.

Following the brief discussion, Mayor Pro-Tem Larry Cheek, who chaired Monday’s meeting in Mayor John Grimes’ absence, called for the vote which passed unanimously. The change will go into effect immediately.


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