News Briefs

Posted 1/17/20

News Briefs

Author scheduled to appear at Chatham Literacy event

Known for her humor and honesty, author Cassandra King Conroy, wife of former Southern literary icon Pat Conroy, will speak at …

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News Briefs

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News Briefs

Author scheduled to appear at Chatham Literacy event

Known for her humor and honesty, author Cassandra King Conroy, wife of former Southern literary icon Pat Conroy, will speak at the Governor’s Club April 29 for Chatham Literacy’s Fall for Literacy event.

Conroy’s latest book, “Tell Me a Story,” focuses on her relationship with her late husband. Her other works include “Making Waves,” “The Sunday Wife” and “Moonrise.” Conroy is a New York Times best-selling writer.

Conroy will discuss “Tell Me a Story” at the event, for which interested persons can get tickets at

Triangle author, nonprofit speaker announces upcoming reading at McIntyre’s Books

PITTSBORO – Local author and nonprofit speaker Rachael Brooks announced an upcoming reading and book signing at McIntyre’s Books at 2 p.m. on Saturday, January 18.

Brooks will be reading from her new memoir, “Beads: A Memoir About Falling Apart and Putting Yourself Back Together Again.” Beads shares Brooks’ journey from sexual assault victim to survivor, and was published by Koehler Books on November 26, 2019.

“It’s seldom one has the opportunity to read a book with painfully raw details written with such candor and vulnerability,” Dee Stribling, a writer and poet and Hillsborough’s 2018-2020 Poet Laureate, said of the book. “Yet Rachael Brooks writes her memoir Beads in a way that makes this terrible trauma accessible, meaningful, and memorable. We hear and watch news accounts of #MeToo stories. But Brooks’ book ensures you deeply feel what it’s like to be a victim of sexual assault. There is much to learn from her story. I highly recommend this book, it will stay within you as a stark reminder of the reality of these events, frustrating aftermath, and the bravery and perseverance involved in ‘putting yourself back together again.’”

Brooks currently lives in Raleigh with her husband and two children. She has spoken on sexual assault panels for several universities statewide, including Campbell University and NC State University. She is on the Board of Directors for InterAct of Wake County, a nonprofit focused on giving survivors a voice.  

Beads is available for purchase ahead of the event both online or in-store at McIntyre’s Books. The event is free to attend. 

— CN+R staff reports

Chatham Community Library hosting month-long Black History Month celebration

The Chatham Community Library will host a month-long observance of Black History Month on five consecutive Saturdays during February 2020. 

The event will kick-off at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, with a screening of the documentary “February One: the Story of the Greensboro Four” (2003).  This film includes first-hand accounts and rare footage of the volatile winter in Greensboro that challenged public accommodation laws in North Carolina and served as a blueprint for a wave of non-violent civil rights protests that swept across the nation during the 1960s. 

At 2 p.m. on February 8, Dr. Charles Johnson, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Public History Program at North Carolina Central University, will discuss “Black Chatham: Its People and Institutions.” Dr. Johnson was a guest speaker at the 2018 and 2019 Chatham County Juneteenth observances, where his engaging and informative discussions were always favorites with the audiences. 

At 2 p.m. on February 15, Dr. Freddie Parker, Professor Emeritus and former chair of North Carolina Central University’s History Department, will give a lecture titled “Enslaved Runaways in North Carolina: 1775 – 1840” and will include information on Maroon societies of the Great Dismal Swamp and other communities of former slaves. Dr. Parker is a recipient of the UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award, a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society and the Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in the Social Sciences. He is also a member of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association. 

The Library will pull out the stops from 1-4 p.m. on February 22 with a jubilant celebration of Mardi Gras Nouvelle Orleans. Join us for classic Fat Tuesday music, food, and light hearted fun. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (known as Shrove Tuesday). Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

The Black History Month observance will culminate at 2 p.m. on February 29 with a performance by the North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers.  The organization promotes and perpetuates Black storytelling as an art form that embodies the histories and cultures of Africans and African-Americans, especially those in North Carolina.  Enjoyed by audiences of all ages, these storytellers weave tales of humor, home and hearth in ways that transport and delight. 

The library is located at 197 N.C. Highway 87 North in Pittsboro.  All events take place in the Holmes Meeting Room and are free and open to the public.

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed unofficially in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. 

For more information, call (919) 545-8084.  Funding for this programing is made available through the support of the Friends of Chatham Community Library.

— CN+R staff reports

Preservation work to begin on U.S. Highway 64 bridges over Jordan Lake

CHATHAM COUNTY – State transportation contractors are set to begin work this week on a project to prolong the lives of the bridges that carry U.S. 64 traffic over Jordan Lake.

The bridges are 49 years old and nearing the end of their useful lives. Repairing the decks and structural elements is expected to extend the use of the bridges by 25 years.

American Contracting and Services Inc. is scheduled to begin the $1.6 million project on Jan. 16. The anticipated completion date is Sept. 1, 2020.

The work will require shifting traffic to one lane in both directions throughout the work zone, which will span about 1,100 feet. Drivers should be prepared to slow down when approaching the lake on U.S. 64 and be cautious while crews work in this area.

— CN+R staff reports

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

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

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.

TSWDB holds awards banquet

LILLINGTON — The 8th Annual Triangle South Workforce Development Board (TSWDB) Awards Banquet was held Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019, at the Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Harnett Health Sciences Center in Lillington.

The following awards were presented:

• Outstanding Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) In-School Youth Award: Alexis Anders (Sampson County).

• Outstanding WIOA Out of School Youth Award: Patience Burgess (Chatham County).

• Outstanding WIOA Adult Award: Shaneshia Dawkins (Harnett County).

• Outstanding WIOA Dislocated Worker Award: Chanda Nettles (Chatham County).

• Outstanding Employer Award: Mountaire Farms (Chatham County).

• Outstanding NCWorks Career Center Staff Award: Drew Long (Lee County).

• Outstanding Board Member Award: Edward Timmons (Sampson County).

• NCWorks Career Center Certifications were presented to TSWDB Career Center Managers.

• Rosalind Cross, TSWDB Director, was presented with the 2019 Team Member of the Year Award. This award was a complete surprise to Cross as she usually selects a member of her team to receive this award each year. Members of the TSWDB staff highlighted several of the TSWDB Director’s leadership accomplishments and thanked Cross for her service and unwaivering support of workforce development efforts.

Rosalind Cross was Master of Ceremonies. Welcome/acknowledgments were by Russell Hieb, TSWDB Chair, and Dr. Marcie Dishman, CCCC Associate Vice President of Marketing and External Relations. Gordon Springle, TSWDB Chief Elected Official from Harnett County, presented program accomplishments.

The Triangle South Workforce Development Board is responsible for planning, policy guidance, and oversight of the workforce investment system in Chatham, Harnett, Lee and Sampson Counties. Its goal is to combine area employment, training and supportive services and programs into a consumer-based, market-driven system that meets the needs of job seekers and employers.

The TSWDB oversees the One-Stop Career Center System, which is the delivery mechanism for comprehensive services for workforce investment system customers. Through planning, data collection, and continuous improvement of programs and services, TSWDB seeks to maximize the efficiency of the local labor market, surpass customers’ expectations, and exceed federally required and state determined performance standards.

— CN+R staff reports

Woodland stewards webinar series coming next month

PITTSBORO – Managing woodlands is an important aspect to being a responsible landowner. Woodland landowners throughout the region are invited to learn how to better care for their land and grow healthy forests through a special webinar series offered by the Chatham County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension.

The series will take place from 7-8:30 p.m. on each Thursday in February at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center, hosted by the Chatham County Center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension.

This webinar series is being offered free of charge, but advanced registration is required. To register, participants should contact Ginger Cunningham at 919-542-8202 or with the following information:

• First Name

• Last Name

• Email Address

• Webinar Attendance Date(s):  Feb. 6, 13, 20 and/or 27

For more information regarding each webinar topic, session descriptions are below:

• February 6, 2020: 7-8:30 p.m. “Woodland Management: What is Right for You and Your Woodland?” Managing woodlands to grow healthy forests and produce revenue depends on making the right choices for each landowner’s location. This session will help woodland owners to understand how stand dynamics and market considerations are used in the application of management.

• February 13, 2020: 7-8:30 p.m. “Understanding the Financial Aspects of Woodland Management.” This session provides an overview of financial factors that affect woodland management such as when to re-plant, when to thin, when to harvest, when to use cost-share programs and more.

• February 20, 2020: 7-8:30 p.m. “More than Timber: Income Opportunities from Non-timber Forest Products.” There are a range of possibilities to generate income from woodlands that depend on location, forest type, and more, in addition to timber management compatibility, too. In this session, participants will learn more about the opportunities to generate income from woodlands.

• February 27, 2020: 7-8:30 p.m. “Your Woodland Legacy: Intact, In Forest, and In Family Ownership.” Most woodland owners cite legacy as one of their main reasons for owning land, and a large majority express concern over their ability to keep the land intact. This session is designed to help landowners find the best way to pass this legacy intact to their heirs.


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