Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing to the News + Record – you can do so by clicking here.
Chatham Commissioners hold hearing
The Chatham County Board of Commissioners had the last of two special meetings last Thursday, scheduled with the purpose of hosting public hearings backlogged due to COVID-19 meeting restrictions.
Meeting at the Chatham County Agriculture Center with online access through the GoTo Webinar platform, the board hosted a legislative public hearing for a rezoning request by JNNJ LLC. According to the proposal, the nearly 5-acre site along U.S. Hwy. 15-501 would be used for medical and office spaces. The applicants, Chris and Abayomi Adigun, own Dermatology & Laser Center of Chapel Hill. In their application, they said they wished to move from their current location in Chapelton Court to the 10441 U.S. Hwy. 15-501 N. address due to parking and space constraints. Chairperson Karen Howard closed the hearing and referred it to the planning board.
During the meeting, the new Pittsboro Town Manager, Chris Kennedy, was introduced and the board voted to approve intent to “accept a lease offer and authorize initiation of upset bid process” for the proposal of a consolidated health center in Siler City. Board Clerk Lindsay Ray said county staff is looking for a place to hold the board’s October and November meetings that complies with COVID-19 protocol, as the Agriculture Center will be in use as a polling site.
Grand Trees of Chatham announces 2021 calendar
Grand Trees of Chatham has announced the release of the group’s 2021 calendar, geared toward educating the public about the work of the group and raises funds. This is the sixth year the program has produced a calendar, which can be obtained for a donation of $20.
Grand Trees of Chatham is a local non-profit with the goal of increasing the public understanding and appreciation of Chatham County’s trees. The group is all-volunteer, so proceeds go to support education and understanding of the group’s mission.
The calendar is a professionally printed, full-size calendar with nature photographs that highlight the nature and beauty of Chatham County. Each of the photographs for this year’s calendar were donated by local photographer Gary Simpson from his personal collection of nature shots. Images include a bald eagle, a great blue heron, a great egret and close up photos of local pollinators. There are also shots from the shores of Jordan Lake and the surrounding woodlands.
Sponsors including Hobbs Architects, Katy McReynolds at Chatham Homes Realty, Jamie and Heather Buster at Rosemary House B&B, Louise Barnum at Weaver Street Realty, Lyle Estill at Fair Game Beverage, Rocky River Heritage Foundation, Amanda Robertson at The Farthest Pixel Educational Media Design, Sue and Rouse Wilson and Ann and Dean Westman financially supported the project. In addition, Jones Printing of Sanford and the Chatham County Cooperative Extension also assisted with this project.
Calendars can be obtained by making a $20 donation at several retailers in Pittsboro including Chatham Marketplace, Liquidambar Gallery and Gift, New Horizons West and Fair Game Beverage.
Roper appointed District Court Judge
Gov. Roy Cooper has announced the appointments of North Carolina District Court judges in Forsyth, Mecklenburg and Orange counties. Christopher Todd Roper will serve in Judicial District 15B (Orange and Chatham counties), filling the seat vacated by Joseph Buckner.
Roper has been a partner at Moody, Williams, Roper & Lee, LLP since 1989. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Commerce and Business Administration from the University of Alabama and received his Juris Doctorate from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.
Richard Petty museum re-opens
LEVEL CROSS — The Petty Museum, home to thousands of artifacts honoring the career of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, has re-opened in accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest guidelines for keeping safe during the pandemic.
“We’re really happy to be re-opening the doors of the museum to the public, and proud that we’re doing it safely,” said Sharon Farlow, the executive director of the Petty Museum. “We’re participating in the countonmeNC.org initiative, which recognizes businesses who operate safely, and provide a healthy environment for visitors, residents, and employees.”
The Petty Museum, established in 1988, presents the unparalleled success story of one of the founding families of stock car racing, and their drive for excellence, technical innovation, and ingenuity which made it all possible. The museum also preserves the history of Petty Enterprises and Petty Engineering, which have had a fundamental influence on American motor sports, as well as on automotive design, construction, and safety features. The museum features a collection of Richard Petty’s famed race cars, as well as a variety of other collections that are owned by the Petty family.
“We’re excited to have visitors return to the museum, and we remind everyone to wear a face mask before entering,” Farlow said.
The Petty Museum is located at 309 Branson Mill Road in Level Cross. The historic race shop and birthplace of Petty are currently undergoing renovations, but the museum remains open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Mountaire Farms to host session about East Third Street re-routing
Engineers from Mountaire Farms will discuss the proposed rerouting of East Third Street during public information sessions on Thursday, Sept. 17. Jack Meadows, Siler City’s planning director, will join the discussion. They’ll take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and again from 5 -6:30 p.m.
Mountaire operates a processing plant on East Third Street and U.S. Hwy. 64 in Siler City. The company has proposed rerouting a small portion of East Third Street in front of the plant to allow for better traffic flow and safety concerns for motorists due to trucks entering and leaving the facility. Engineers will discuss the proposed project and show drawings to demonstrate how traffic will flow once the improvements are made. The project is being paid for by Mountaire Farms.
Participants must pre-register to receive the Zoom information and to submit questions in advance. Register at signupgenius.com/go/mountairefarms. For more information, contact Mark Reif, Mountaire’s community relations manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Siler City playgrounds and shelters reopened
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s Executive Order No. 163 allowed for the reopening of playgrounds and shelters owned and operated by the town of Siler City on Sept. 4.
Under the order, gatherings larger than 50 people are prohibited, including at playgrounds, shelters and open green spaces. Siler City Parks and Recreation staff encourages park patrons and community members to follow CDC recommendations to wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet apart and wear a face covering. Park patrons are encouraged to monitor young children when using playgrounds and outdoor amenities.
State board launches Absentee Ballot Request Portal
RALEIGH — North Carolina voters may now request an absentee ballot completely online — another way state election officials are improving the voting process in 2020.
“At the state board, our goal is to ensure all voters can cast a ballot, whether in person or by mail,” said Karen Brinson Bell, the executive director of the State Board of Elections. “The Absentee Ballot Request Portal will streamline voting by mail for voters who choose this voting option.”
The State Board has collaborated with Democracy Live to introduce the online Absentee Ballot Request Portal to assist any North Carolina registered voter in requesting an absentee ballot. The State Board website, NCSBE.gov, includes a link to the portal. The portal also allows military and overseas (UOCAVA) voters to request and return their absentee ballot online.
The Absentee Ballot Request Portal: • Allows registered North Carolina voters to securely request an absentee by-mail ballot completely online. The request may be made by the voter or their near relative or legal guardian. The voter’s county board of elections will mail the ballot to the voter.
• Helps avoid duplicate requests by informing voters of existing absentee requests, and allows users to submit subsequent requests to update information on a previously submitted request.
• Allows military or overseas voters to request and return their ballots through the portal.
Voters who are not registered will be provided a link to learn more about how to register in North Carolina.
To request a ballot through the portal, voters must verify their identity by providing their first and last names, date of birth, county of registration and additional personally identifying information for verification purposes. Voters will sign and submit the form online. If a voter provides their email address, they will receive a confirmation email after the request is submitted through the portal.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 27. However, elections officials strongly encourage voters to request a ballot before then to ensure absentee ballot return deadlines can be met.