News Briefs

Posted 3/13/20

News briefs

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News Briefs

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Chatham Habitat welcomes students on alternative spring break

SILER CITY — Chatham Habitat for Humanity is hosting students from the University of Virginia, University of New Hampshire, Hamilton College and Husson University as part of its 2020 Collegiate Challenge.

The event, which occurs annually, will take place through March 20, as students volunteer on Habitat construction sites in Siler City and lodge with community partner organizations.

The students, who are choosing to forgo traditional spring break plans to volunteer, will spend four days in a row building on site. They will also have the chance to explore the local community, and are given the opportunity to meet and work with members of the surrounding neighborhoods. The students’ universities have made financial contributions to aid with the building process.

Working with the students will be eight “Care-A-Vanners.” These volunteers have made cross-country treks in their RVs to participate in the building blitz. Care-A-Vanners travel to Chatham Habitat twice a year, once during the fall and once during the spring Collegiate Challenge. They join the students in building homes, learning about affordable housing and getting to know the community partners.

Chatham Habitat holds a variety of special events throughout the year, in addition to Collegiate Challenge. In Spring 2020, from April 30 to May 2, they will host the annual Women Build, which saw 90 women come together to build houses and learn about the local community in 2019. Chatham Habitat also organizes home dedications, in which partner families are able to celebrate the completion of their Habitat homes. To learn more about Chatham Habitat and affordable housing, visit the Chatham Habitat for Humanity website.

Red Cross urges healthy individuals to give blood amid virus concerns

Low donor turnout could hurt U.S. blood supply

DURHAM — The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood or platelets to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, rise in the U.S.

Cold and flu season has already impacted the nation’s ability to maintain its blood supply. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further.

“We’re asking the American people to help keep the blood supply stable during this challenging time. As communities across the country prepare for this public health emergency, it’s critical that plans include a readily available blood supply for hospital patients,” said Chris Hrouda, president, Red Cross Blood Services. “As fears of coronavirus rise, low donor participation could harm blood availability at hospitals, and the last thing a patient should worry about is whether lifesaving blood will be on the shelf when they need it most.”

Please make an appointment to donate blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood donors with type O blood and platelet donors are especially needed right now.

Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus, including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

The Red Cross only collects blood from individuals who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation – and who meet other eligibility requirements, available at At each blood drive and donation center, Red Cross employees follow thorough safety protocols including wearing gloves, routinely wiping down donor-touched areas, using sterile collection sets for every donation, and preparing the arm for donation with an aseptic scrub. These mitigation measures will help ensure blood recipient safety, as well as staff and donor safety in reducing contact with those who may potentially have this respiratory infection.

Red Cross committed to blood supply safety

The top priority of the Red Cross is the safety of valued staff, blood donors and blood recipients, and is committed to transparency with the American public during this evolving public health emergency. There are no data or evidence that this coronavirus can be transmissible by blood transfusion, and there have been no reported cases worldwide of transmissions for any respiratory virus including this coronavirus, from a transfusion.

Nonetheless, the Red Cross has implemented new blood donation deferrals out of an abundance of caution. Individuals are asked to postpone their donation for 28 days following:

• Travel to China and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea;

• Diagnosis of COVID-19, contact with a person who has or is suspected to have the virus.

As the situation evolves, the Red Cross will continue to evaluate all emerging risks in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and industry partners to determine if additional intervention strategies are needed.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities, March 10-31:

Siler City: Mar. 13: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Jordan Matthews High School, 910 E Cardinal St

Chapel Hill:

Mar. 16: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Newman Catholic Student Center, 216 Pittsboro St.

Mar. 17.: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Univ of NC-CH Student Union, South Road

Mar. 18: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Univ of NC-CH Student Union, South Road

Mar. 24: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont, 100 Sprunt Street

Mar. 31: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Carolina Square, 133 West Franklin Street, Suite 100


Mar. 13: 2:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Life Springs Church, 3215 Keller Andrews Rd.

Mar. 25: 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m., Central Carolina Hospital, 1135 Carthage St.

Mar. 27: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Jonesboro Presbyterian Church, 2200 Woodland Ave.


Mar. 19: 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 224 N. Fayetteville St.

Mar. 19: 2:30 p.m. - 7 p.m., Cross Road Retirement Center, 1302 Old Cox Rd

Mar. 31: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Asheboro Friends Meeting - Asheboro, 230 E. Kivett St.

Blood donation process

A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Household waste event set for March 21

PITTSBORO — Chatham’s first Household Hazardous Waste event of the year is set for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, at the Solid Waste & Recycling Main Facility, 28 County Services Rd. in Pittsboro.

HHW events are a way for residents to dispose of hazardous materials safely. Decals are not required, but residents will need to show their N.C. Driver’s License with their current address. HHW is only for households; no hazardous waste from businesses will be accepted.

At HHW events, the county accepts such items as oil based paints, solvents, stains, bleach, aerosols, cleaners, pesticides, brake fluid, fluorescent light bulbs, propane tanks, etc. For a complete list, please visit the Household Hazardous Waste webpage or contact the Solid Waste & Recycling Division at 919-542-5516.

HHW events are held the third Saturday of each month, March through November.

Chatham County seeks applicants for vacancy on Appearance Commission

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Appearance Commission has a vacant seat and seeks applicants for the open slot. The commission especially needs members with expertise in plant knowledge, landscaping and landscape design. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. March 27.

The Appearance Commission establishes and oversees programs to enhance the appearance of the county. The commission also reviews and comments on non-residential site plans for Business, Industrial, Conditional Zoning Districts and Conditional Use Permits. It typically meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month in Pittsboro at 6 p.m.

The person appointed by the Board of Commissioners to fill the vacancy would serve until June 30, 2022, but would be eligible for reappointment for a full three years. All appointees must live in Chatham County.

The online application form can be found at Interested applicants may also contact Lindsay Ray at 919-542-8302 or to have a copy mailed or emailed to them.

Council on Aging Offers ‘Conversations On Grief’ support group

PITTSBORO — Struggling after the death of a family member or friend? Conversations on Grief offers compassionate support and helpful information.

The Chatham County Council on Aging invites you to join Haven Parrott, from Transitions GriefCare, for Conversations on Grief from 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesdays from April 15 through May 6 in the conference room at the Eastern Chatham Senior Center located at 365 Hwy. N.C. 87 North in Pittsboro.

Each conversation offers education on a different aspect of grief and grieving.

Registration is required by April 9th. Contact Transitions GriefCare at 919-719-7199 or Susan Hardy at Chatham County Council on Aging at 919-542-4512, ext. 231

Friends’ book sale April 2-4 at Chatham Community Library

The Friends of the Chatham Community Library will hold its Spring Book Sale April 2-4 at the library on the campus of Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro. Hours of the sale are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

At the book sale, more than 18,000 hardbound and softbound books, audio books and more will be available for purchase, plus audio-visual items such as DVDs, CDs, LPs and audio books. Each sale offers a completely new assortment of titles in very good to excellent condition, all organized by category, subject or format.

Admission is free and there is plenty of free parking, plus volunteers to assist with carrying out and loading books.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to benefit the library for underwriting various programs; purchasing needed books, materials and equipment; and improving its technology and services.

The Chatham Community Library is located at 197 NC Highway 87 in Pittsboro, about a half mile north of US Highway 64 Business (West Street).

More information about the book sale, including membership in the Friends and volunteer opportunities, may be found on the organization’s Website at

Library program centered around conversations on death and dying

Chatham Community Library will host a discussion-focused program surrounding death, dying, sorrow and grief on Saturday, March 28, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Holmes Meeting Room.

“Death and Cupcakes: Coffee, Cake, and Conversation” will be facilitated by the clinical director of heart2heart, Cathy “Brooksie” Edwards, with music by Amy Durso and Sheila Fleming. The mission of heart2heart is to support individuals, families and communities as they navigate the living path during the dying time and beyond. heart2heart connects professional healers and musicians to individuals, families and communities seeking support and guidance as they navigate the living path of an illness or diagnosis. Together, participants and heart2heart develop a treatment plan that assist and encourages integration of body, spirit and imagination.

This “Death Cafe” style conversation is open ended, free flowing, and organic. From Advance Directives to honoring our ancestors, to home funerals and green burials to artistic expressions of grief, this program will offer a safe space to gather as a community and delve deeper into the topic of death, grief and all of its facets. Death Cafes are directed discussions of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session.

Coffee, tea and cupcakes will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Support for this program is made possible by the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.

Classes now offered at CCCC Chatham Health Sciences Center

The following classes are being offered at the new CCCC Chatham Health Sciences Center. To learn more or to register, contact Kelly Brucker at or by telephone at 919-545-8656.

Cardiovascular Monitoring Tech

5:30-9:30 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

March 24-July 21

Instructor: Erica (Jade) Mashburn

Nurse Aide I

8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

March 17-May 6

Instructor: Barbara Kassman

Nurse Aide I

5:30-9:30 p.m.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

March 17-Oct. 6

Instructor: Irene Salley


9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

April 27-Aug. 10

Instructor: Mea McGhee


5:30-9:30 p.m.

Mondays and Tuesdays

May 11-Oct. 19

Instructor: Mea McGhee


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