News Briefs

Posted 9/18/20


Friday Night Flicks continue at Bray Park

SILER CITY — Grab your blankets and chairs and enjoy a free family friendly movie under the stars this Fall at the Friday Night Flicks. …

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Friday Night Flicks continue at Bray Park

SILER CITY — Grab your blankets and chairs and enjoy a free family friendly movie under the stars this Fall at the Friday Night Flicks. Friday Night Flicks is a popular movie in the park series traditionally organized by the Town of Siler City Parks and Recreation Department in the park each year. Out of an abundance of caution, and to ensure compliance with both state and federal COVID-19 guidelines, the 2020 series of events are continually modified to offer a memorable event for the community to enjoy.

The remaining movie nights will take place on the fourth Friday of September and October at the Bray Park Sports Complex in Siler City. “Onward,” a 2020 animated film, will premier on the big screen on Friday, Sept. 25. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of park patrons and community members is a top priority.

The event is free and no tickets are required. To adhere to state COVID-19 mass gathering guidelines, space is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis. Attendees will socially distance in designated spaces on various fields to view the movie.

The Bray Park Sports Complex is located at 200 Bray Park Complex Drive, Siler City.

For more information, please contact the Siler City Parks and Recreation Department at 919-742-2699.

Chatham’s household hazardous waste event set for Sept. 19

Chatham County’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) event of 2020 will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Solid Waste & Recycling main facility, located at 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 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.

Duke Energy conducts routine vegetation maintenance in Chatham County

Duke Energy crews are conducting routine vegetation maintenance on a circuit that originates in Pittsboro and ends in the county. Crews are initially working in unmaintained/off road areas and moving to roadside/maintained areas using bucket crews in the coming weeks.

The work is occurring over more than 40 miles that originates in the town of Pittsboro and follows north on U.S. Hwy. 15-501 to the Haw River with branches along Russell Chapel Road to Old N.C. 87.

Customers who have planned work on their property can expect to receive a door hanger prior to work. The maintenance project is expected to be complete in November.

– CN+R staff reports

CORA hosting October food drive to meet spike in demand

PITTSBORO — Nearly 20,000 individuals in Chatham County face food insecurity, meaning they lack regular access to the nutritious food they need. So far this year, CORA has experienced a 50% increase in pantry participation, a number expecting to grow in the months to come.

Join CORA in building a community without hunger by participating in the CORA Hunger Heroes food drive. During the month of October, CORA will be partnering with local businesses and community groups to collect food for the pantry. As many families face a loss of income due to COVID-19 and current families face uncertainty, the demand for their services has increased dramatically. Your support is essential and will strengthen CORA’s ability to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors get the food they need.

Items most needed:

• Canned Salmon

• Canned Pineapple

• Maseca

• Chef Boyardee

• Canned Green Beans

• Cereal Bars

• Olive Oil

• Canned Peas

• Spam

To learn more about this month long event, please visit

CORA’s mission is to provide food to individuals and families within our community who are in need during difficult personal economic periods. For more information, please visit or contact Rebecca Hankins at or 919-491-5896.

NAACP hosts candidate forum on Sept. 21

The Chatham Community NAACP Branch #5377 will host a political forum on the Zoom videoconferencing platform on Sept. 21 beginning at 2 p.m.

Those attending must register to get the information on how to join. Space will be limited to 100 participants / devices and the NAACP will be recording the meetings in case there are people who wanted to see it but could not get in or had a time conflict.

To register for the Sept. 21 forum, go to

If you’re having problems, please text 919-200-1970 and mention you want help with Zoom for the NAACP forums.

– CN+R staff reports

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.

– CN+R staff reports

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 For more information, contact Mark Reif, Mountaire’s community relations manager, at

State Board of Elections launches absentee ballot tracking service

RALEIGH — North Carolina voters who vote by mail can now track the status of their absentee ballot with a new online service called BallotTrax.

It’s one of three ways voters who cast their ballot by mail in North Carolina can ensure their ballot has been received by the county board of elections, without leaving their homes.

The BallotTrax service launched Sept. 11 and is available through links on the State Board of Elections’ website,

“BallotTrax allows North Carolina voters to keep tabs on their mail-in absentee ballot from the comfort of their home,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “By tracking their ballot, the voter can have peace of mind that their ballot was received by their county board of elections.”

BallotTrax allows voters with valid absentee ballot requests to create an account. (Note: Voters who do not vote by mail will not be able to use BallotTrax.) With an account, voters will be able to:

• Log in to view the status of their absentee by-mail request and ballot. This includes confirmation that the county board of elections has received the request, that the ballot has been mailed to the voter and that the completed ballot has been received by the county board of elections.

• Learn if their ballot cannot be accepted because of issues such as a missing signature or witness information. If this occurs, the county board of elections will provide information to the voter on how to correct the issue.

• Sign up for email, text, and/or voice alerts for status updates.

By-mail voters who do not use BallotTrax may also determine the status of their ballot by:

• Using the State Board’s Voter Search Tool, which will display when the ballot is accepted by the county board of elections; or

• Contacting their county board of elections to ask about the status of a ballot.

Requesting a Ballot

To request a ballot, eligible voters may use the Online Absentee Ballot Request Portal or complete an Absentee Ballot Request Form and mail, email, fax, or hand deliver the form to their county board of elections.

Important Tips About Voting by Mail:

No special circumstance or reason is needed to request, receive, and vote an absentee ballot. Any North Carolina registered voter may request and receive a mail-in absentee ballot for the 2020 general election.

Although the request deadline is 5 p.m., Oct. 27, the State Board encourages voters who wish to vote by mail to request a ballot as soon as possible.

Your county board of elections began sending ballots on Sept. 4 to those who requested them. If you have already requested a ballot and do not receive it by Sept. 20, email or call your county board of elections to ask about the status of your request.

As always, North Carolina voters have three options for voting: mail-in absentee, in-person during the early voting period, and in-person on Election Day. Significant health safeguards will be in place for voters who cast their ballot in person.

– CN+R staff reports

Chatham County reports untreated wastewater discharge

PITTSBORO — Chatham County Public Utilities experienced a discharge of untreated wastewater on September 11, 2020. At 1:45 p.m., county staff discovered the discharge at a manhole located along Renaissance Drive in Pittsboro, south of the Chatham County Detention Center.

The discharge of approximately 3,000 gallons was abated at 2:45 p.m. The cause of the discharge was due to a pipe failure inside the manhole that overflowed. Utilities crews immediately worked to repair the pipe and remediate the spill area. That work is now complete. The untreated wastewater from this pipe failure discharged into a tributary of Harlands Creek.

The N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Quality Raleigh Regional Office was notified of the event within the 24 hour requirement. For more information, please contact Chatham County Utilities Director Larry Bridges at 919-542-8238.

Chatham County residents encouraged to complete statewide broadband survey

PITTSBORO — Chatham County joins the Secretary of N.C. Dept. of Information Technology and State Chief Information Officer Tracy S. Doaks in urging the public to participate in the new North Carolina Broadband Survey, recently launched by the NCDIT’s Broadband Infrastructure Office.

“Ensuring that all Chatham County residents have access to reliable internet service is our top legislative goal, and we have been working for several years to overcome obstacles including some state laws and the power of the big service providers,” said Chatham County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “This survey will help gather valuable data as county leaders continue to pursue promising broadband expansion options.”

The five-minute survey was created in collaboration with the Friday Institute at N.C. State University. The survey can be taken online for users with internet access and by phone for users without service and is available in both English and Spanish.

“Reliable internet access is crucial for getting North Carolina back on its feet so that students can learn, teachers can teach, businesses can grow and communities can connect,” said Secretary Doaks. “As communities begin to survey their citizens, we will gain a better understanding of North Carolina’s internet speeds and need, which is critical for building strategies to achieve affordable broadband access for all.”

Information gathered using the survey will be used to provide context to the state’s broadband picture, guiding funding opportunities through North Carolina’s Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) grant program, informing research and policy recommendations, and supporting strategic targeting of additional funding channels.

“Every community has different challenges and unique needs,” added Doaks. “Without the data to understand what those are, designing strategies and implementing plans to expand affordable broadband access will always be a challenge.”

This project is an extension of NCDIT’s Speed Reporting Tool, which allowed people to report whether they have internet access at their home or business and determine the speeds received at their address.

“Our office is continually looking for new ways to gather the data that will help us better understand and properly portray the real-life stories of students and families who can’t access the internet at home,” said Jeff Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office. “This survey will provide more color to areas that have only been black and white before. That information helps us guide funding strategies and infrastructure expansion efforts across the state.”

To access the online survey, visit: Residents without internet service, but with phones capable of text messaging, can text “internet” to 919-750-0553. Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Residents with land lines or cellphones that do not have texting capability, may call 919-750-0553. The interactive voice response system will guide them through a series of short questions to obtain their address and register it in the database as having no internet capability.

Governor Roy Cooper has made expanding broadband access a priority with the goal of affordable access for all North Carolinians. Executive Order 91 established a task force on connecting North Carolina to help achieve this goal.

– CN+R staff reports


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