News Briefs

Posted 10/9/20

News briefs, 10-8-20

State board reminds voters: don’t photograph your ballot

RALEIGH — The State Board of Elections is reminding voters that North Carolina law prohibits taking photographs …

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News Briefs

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News briefs, 10-8-20

State board reminds voters: don’t photograph your ballot

RALEIGH — The State Board of Elections is reminding voters that North Carolina law prohibits taking photographs of or videotaping voted ballots. Please refer to N.C.G.S. § 163-166.3 for more information.

“Voters should not take a picture of their completed ballot, whether they vote in person or by mail,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We respect voters showing their pride in casting a ballot but ask that they do so in another manner.”

The State Board has received multiple complaints of photographed absentee ballots and has been alerted to additional violations on social media in recent weeks. If a voter has taken a picture of their ballot and shared the photo online, the voter should delete the photograph.

When voting in person, voters may have phones or electronic devices with them as long as those devices are not used to photograph or videotape a ballot or communicate with anyone via voice, text, email or any other method.

Photographing a marked ballot is illegal in part because such photographs could be used as proof of a vote for a candidate in a vote-buying scheme. Electronic communication while voting is prohibited because of limits on voter assistance and to prevent disruptions in the voting enclosure.

Voters may bring voting guides, notes and other materials into the voting booth. They also may use electronic devices to access a slate card or candidate information, provided they don’t use the devices to communicate with anyone.

Construction & Demolition Recycling expanding to two Chatham County collection centers

PITTSBORO — Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling is expanding the construction & demolition (C&D) recycling program to two more Collection Centers. During a recent pilot program, C&D was collected for recycling at the Hadley and Goldston Collection Centers. C&D recycling is also now available at the Martha’s Chapel and Pittsboro Collection Centers.

C&D materials can only be accepted from residents with a current decal who are doing the construction or demolition work themselves. Materials accepted include: cabinets, carpet and padding, countertops, doors, flooring, gypsum/drywall, insulation, plumbing fixtures, shingles, siding, tile, windows and wood/lumber. Please visit the C&D page for more details on what can and cannot be accepted along with any special instructions.

Residents may bring a maximum of one pickup truck-sized load in a seven-day period to any of the Collection Centers. Residents with a large load will need to complete a form.

The Martha’s Chapel Collection Center is located at 24 Gardner Rd., Apex. The Pittsboro Collection Center is located at 180 Martin Luther King Jr. Rd., Pittsboro. Visit the website for hours of operations.

Learn more about Solid Waste & Recycling programs at Residents who have questions may contact the Main Office Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (919) 542-5516 or at

Chatham County Libraries encourage public to complete needs assessment survey

PITTSBORO — Chatham County Public Libraries are seeking input from the public in a new Needs Assessment Survey.

As the libraries plan for the next three to five years, staff want to ensure collections, programming, and services meet the needs of the growing community. The libraries hope to receive constructive feedback from residents, government officials, and community partners in order to best serve the people of Chatham County.

The Needs Assessment Survey is brief and takes just a few minutes to complete online at this link:

Anyone with questions about the survey, may contact Karen Dash Consulting at

For more information about collections, services or programming, contact the library at 919-545-8084 or visit

— CN+R staff reports

New Hope Valley Railway is back on track

BOSNAL — The North Carolina Railway Museum, which operates New Hope Valley Railway (NHVR) will reopen to the public and resume train rides on Saturday, Oct. 10, with its popular Track or Treat: Halloween Express trains.

Located at 3900 Bonsal Rd. in New Hill, and nicknamed the Triangle’s Train, NHVR’s family-friendly Halloween trains are planned for four weekends in October — Saturdays on Oct. 10, 17, 24 and 31. Trains will depart at 2:45, 4:00, 5:15, 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. and tickets will only be sold online prior to ride days and not at the railroad on the day-of. Tickets cost $14 for all ages.

Passengers and guests will notice several new safety measures and protocols:

Train capacity will be limited to 30 percent for socially distanced seating in accordance with government mandates. Each passenger car normally holds up to 60 riders. In addition to individual tickets, a private Family Caboose will be available with seating for up to 10 family members.

Face coverings will be required for all guests, passengers and volunteers while in the rail yard and when riding the train. Costumes are encouraged, but Halloween costume masks may not replace proper face coverings.

Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the railway and at each boarding platform.

One person from each reservation party should check-in at the ticket office upon arrival at least 30 minutes before their departure time to pick up train tickets. Only one family will be allowed in the gift shop at a time and only cashless transactions will be accepted.

“The health and safety of the families and train enthusiasts who visit our museum and ride our train, as well as our all-volunteer staff, are our top priorities,” says NHVR Marketing Representative Tom Hutchinson. “Our train rides are an all-outdoor activity and our passenger cars are open-air making our Halloween train rides a fun way for families to enjoy the cooler fall temperatures and celebrate the spooky season.”

Along the tracks, train passengers will see kid-friendly scenes of flying witches, smoking cauldrons and other creatures. Additionally, young riders can play Mummy Mayhem, where from the comfort of their seats children can search for hidden mummies along the train route.

Kid’s activities that are usually setup throughout the rail yard won’t be happening, but families can still take photos with Halloween-themed backdrops and watch model trains zip around the Garden Railway. The Birthday Party caboose, along with museum exhibit cars, will be closed until further notice.

The North Carolina Railway Museum is an educationally focused nonprofit organization operated by volunteers and relies solely on ticket fare revenue and donations. Learn more about the museum, purchase tickets for upcoming train rides or make a contribution at

Chatham 250 extends deadline for our logo contest to Oct. 12

The deadline for the county’s contest to create a logo for Chatham’s 250th anniversary has been extended to Oct. 12.

Submissions should be sent to

— CN+R staff reports

Library offering free classes

Chatham Community Library is offering free classes on digital genealogy, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel in October. While the library is closed, all classes will be presented virtually. Register online to receive a meeting link. A description of each class, including topics covered and prerequisites for attending, can be found at

Going Digital with Genealogy: Oct. 7, Wednesday, 3 p.m.

Microsoft Word: Beyond Basics: Oct. 13, Tuesday, 3 p.m.

Microsoft Excel Basics, Part 1: Oct. 21, Wednesday, 3 p.m.

Microsoft Excel Basics, Part 2: Oct. 28, Wednesday, 3 p.m.

For more information, call 919-545-8086 or email A full list of upcoming programs can be found on the library’s events calendar

‘Operation Crash Reduction’ beginning during deadliest roadway month

RALEIGH — The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP) is reminding all drivers of the importance of safe driving practices this week as COVID-19 restrictions ease around the state.

In years past, during the first weekend in October, thousands of drivers took to the roads in search of their last warm-weather adventure.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), southeastern states have seen a higher numbers of fatal crashes during the first two weeks of October than the holiday periods of Thanksgiving or Memorial Day.

“For several years now, we have had this troubling trend in this East Coast region,” said NHTSA Regional Administrator Stephanie Hancock. “We know that speed, distraction, and impairment are the root causes of most of the crashes in these states. However, seat belt and child safety seat use are your primary sources of protection in crashes caused by a speeding, impaired, or distracted driver.”

GHSP is reminding all drivers of the importance of safe driving practices this week and all month long.

“While there may be less road trips overall as festivals, games and community activities have been canceled or re-imagined due to the impacts of COVID-19, the risk of being involved in a crash is still as present as in previous years,” said GHSP Director Mark Ezzell.

GHSP is working with law enforcement to raise awareness of safe driving through “Operation Crash Reduction” from October 9 through 12.

“While focusing on ‘Operation Crash Reduction’, we will be checking on seat belt use across the state, while educating drivers and passengers on the importance of wearing a seat belt,” said Bill Hollingsed, Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Seat belts save lives, and everyone, front seat and back, child and adult, should remember to buckle up,” Hollingsed concluded.

Since roadway safety is NCDOT’s first priority the agency is providing safety tips all month long on their weekly webcast: NCDOT Now. In addition to information on Operation Crash Reduction, watch online for information on Pedestrian Safety Month, Walk to School Day, National Teen Driver Safety Week, Halloween 2020 Impaired Driving Prevention and more.

NCGHSP asks that you support these efforts by visiting and following @NCGHSP on Facebook and @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram while using the hashtag #BuckleUpNC today!

Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston to manage sales for Chatham Park’s first community

RALEIGH — Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston New Homes & Land, have announced a partnership with Preston Development Company to handle the onsite sales for long-awaited Chatham Park.

Located in Pittsboro, Chatham Park is a 7,000+ acre technological Live, Work, Play, Learn community offering choices in all aspects of life. With close proximity to Research Triangle Park, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and several world class universities, it’s location is a prime spot for the growth of families and their careers.

The Vineyards, the first residential community in Chatham Park, will offer approximately 550 single-family detached homes and townhomes for sale. Among those first offerings will be 28 traditional, custom single-family home sites with prices starting in the mid $600s, along with 30 cottages (850-1,250 square feet) starting from mid $200s. This enclave comprises the heart of the Park and was selected for its walkability to Downtown Pittsboro and its lifestyle assets.

“We have a 25 year working relationship with Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston New Homes & Land — they have successfully helped us sell residential real estate in many of our communities throughout the Triangle metro area,” says Bubba Rawl, Partner in Preston Development Company, the development company spearheading Chatham Park. “We are thrilled that they will be leading the sales effort for our first Chatham Park homes and look forward to continued growth and success.”

Siler City’s Friday Night Flicks series concludes Oct. 23

SILER CITY — Make plans to join Siler City Parks and Recreation for the final Friday Night Flick of the 2020 season series on Friday, Oct. 23.

Do you think your family is weird? Just wait until you meet the mysterious and spooky “The Addams Family,” shown in this 2019 animated film. It will premier on the big screen at dusk at Bray Park. Grab your blankets, chairs and enjoy the final free family friendly movie under the stars.

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 safety of park patrons and community members is a top priority. The event is free; however, space is limited (first come, first serve) to adhere to COVID-19 mass gathering guidelines. Attendees will socially distance in designated spaces on various fields to view the movie. The movie will begin at dusk. In case of inclement weather, the event rain date is Thursday, Oct. 29.

Friday Night Flicks is made possible by the following sponsors: Central Piedmont Urgent Care, Chatham – Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site, Chatham News + Record, Countryside Collectibles, Crossroads Grill, Freedom Family Church of Siler City, Martial Arts A.F.E. Taekwondo Fitness Academy, Mountaire Farms, Rotary Club of Siler City, Sir Pizza of Siler City and Wilson Brothers Trucking.

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, email, or visit us online at

Insurance Commissioner reminds Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans during open enrollment

RALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey reminds Medicare beneficiaries to compare and evaluate their current plans and make necessary changes during the annual Open Enrollment Period. Medicare plans and prices change. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period by contacting local Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors to save money, improve your coverage or both.

The Open Enrollment Period begins on Oct. 15 and runs for eight weeks to give you enough time to review and make changes to your Medicare coverage. Changes must be made by Dec. 7 to guarantee your coverage will begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2021.

It’s important to contact your local SHIIP counselor before making a decision about coverage because you may be able to receive more affordable and better Medicare health and/or drug plan options in your area. For example, even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, there may be another plan in your area that covers your health care and/or drugs at a better price.

SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance and offers free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare Advantage, long-term care insurance and other health insurance issues. In addition to helping Medicare beneficiaries compare and enroll in plans during the Open Enrollment Period, SHIIP counselors can help people find out if they are eligible for Medicare cost savings programs.

• Get one-on-one help from SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program, by calling 1-855-408-1212, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also request in-person assistance in your home county.

• Visit to compare your current coverage with all of the options that are available in your area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.

• Review the Medicare & You handbook. It was mailed to people with Medicare in September.

• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

For more information about SHIIP and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit


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