News Briefs

CN+R STAFF REPORTS
Posted 12/3/20

NEWS BRIEFS, 12-3

CORA Food Pantry will be open on Saturday, Dec. 5

PITTSBORO — While CORA served more than 15,000 individuals over the past year, they estimate there are many more residents …

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Posted

NEWS BRIEFS, 12-3

CORA Food Pantry will be open on Saturday, Dec. 5

PITTSBORO — While CORA served more than 15,000 individuals over the past year, they estimate there are many more residents who would benefit from their services.

So during the holiday season, CORA (the Chatham Outreach Alliance) is opening up for a one day Saturday service on Dec. 5 — from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at 40 Camp Drive, near the Chatham Community Library, in Pittsboro.

The client intake process will take place outside, and clients receive their groceries curbside in a drive-through manner. CORA will distribute pre-packed bags of shelf-stable food including canned fruits and vegetables, rice or pasta, soups, breakfast cereal or cereal bars, and a variety of other nutritious food. They also supplement these staples with fresh produce, bakery items, milk, and eggs when available.

Chatham Outreach Alliance’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 corafoodpantry.org or contact Rebecca Hankins at rebecca@corafoodpantry.org or (919) 491-5896.

Chatham Marketplace selects United Way as December ‘round up’ beneficiary

Chatham Marketplace has selected the United Way of Chatham County as its December beneficiary of its monthly round up campaign. Chatham Marketplace clients will be given the option to round up their total to the next dollar, or, to round up even more in any amount they wish. One hundred percent of all round up funds will be distributed to United Way’s agencies and will stay in Chatham County.

Evan Diamond, the store’s general manager, said Chatham Marketplace is committed to advancing the well-being of each community member and serving as a community hub, and its round up campaign is an easy and effective way to serve and keep the community strong.

“United Way lifts our community up out of poverty and that certainly improves the well-being of those impacted,” Diamond said of United Way of Chatham County.

Focusing on education, health, financial stability and basic needs, United Way works to create an environment of opportunity where thousands of families in our communities can have a chance for a better life.

“We are very thankful for the support that United Way receives from Chatham Marketplace,” said Katie Childs, the United Way’s interim executive director. “With every dollar raised, they are engaging employees and customers in our important work to make sure the people who need help the most receive it during this unprecedented time.”

Chatham Marketplace is a co-operative business owned entirely by members of the community and located in Chatham Mills, 480 Hillsboro St., in Pittsboro. For more information about the United Way of Chatham County and the agencies it serves, visit unitedwayofchathamcounty.org.

— CN+R staff reports

County’s cyber incident still under investigation

PITTSBORO - Chatham County officials said Tuesday that the “cyber incident” which knocked out the county government’s computer, email and phone systems on Oct. 28 is still under investigation.

“While we are making progress, the recovery from an incident such as this takes time,” said Kara Dudley, the county’s public information officer. “A timeline has not been established for full-service restoration; however, we continue to make progress in our ability to communicate with the public.”

Dudley previously told the News + Record that Chatham County has cyber insurance, and that state and federal authorities are leading the incident investigation. Last week, she also said no additional information was available as the investigation was ongoing.

“Most Chatham County office phones are operating again; however, the voicemail system is still being repaired and expected to be restored in the coming days,” Dudley reported last week.

Dudley said Geographic Information Systems (GIS) rebuild is nearing completion and that web applications are becoming available to the public as they come back online systematically. Chatham County will soon be moving to a .gov email domain for county employee email addresses. In the meantime, alternative contact methods have been established and can be found at chathamnc.org/cyberincident.

“Updates on the restoration of services/systems will continue to be provided. We appreciate the community’s continued and support and patience as we continue to work through this situation,” she said.

— CN+R staff reports

Water quality task force bemoans lack of commissioners’ response

PITTSBORO — It has been more than a month since Pittsboro’s water quality task force submitted a report to the board of commissioners outlining its findings from a months-long investigation into the extent of the town’s drinking water contamination.

So far, the Town of Pittsboro has offered little response, according to Haw Riverkeeper Emily Sutton, a member of the 20-person task force.

“This report was submitted in October, and the task force has received no response from the Town of Pittsboro,” Sutton said in a statement last week. “Presentations to discuss the report and recommendations have been delayed for several months.”

The board of commissioners has time allotted to consider a task force presentation in its Dec. 14 meeting, but it is unclear the extent to which it will take steps to address the problem.

Since 2018, experts from Duke University and water quality watch groups have decried the condition of Pittsboro’s drinking water. PFAS — perfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals known as potential carcinogens and contributors to other severe health complications — appear with startling concentration in Pittsboro water samples as compared to those from neighboring towns and across the nation. The difference is that Pittsboro alone draws its drinking water from the Haw River.

“The Haw River (has) high levels of PFAS and 1,4-dioxane from upstream industrial sources,” Sutton said. “The task force was charged with focusing attention on the issues of PFAS and 1,4-dioxane, evaluating alternative supplies, and recommending actions and alternatives for board consideration.”

In its report, the task force recommended a three-fold strategy to stymie PFAS proliferation in the town’s water, including short and long-term solutions. The situation is dire, it reported, and must be taken seriously. Task force members like Sutton, then, are disillusioned with what they interpret as negligence from the town.

Town representatives, however, deny accusations of sluggishness.

“On behalf of the Town of Pittsboro and its board of commissioners, I can categorically state that any delays in disseminating and presenting the Pittsboro Water Quality Task Force final report are not resultant of any inaction of the town or its board of commissioners,” Town Manager Chris Kennedy said. “... The final water quality task force report was to be due back to the board of commissioners in the May/June 2020 time frame; this did not occur. Since I have been here as town manager, since mid-August 2020, I have repeatedly requested the final report and a formal presentation of its findings to the board of commissioners and the public at-large. (In) each successive regular meeting of the board of commissioners since August 24, 2020, the water quality task force has asked for more time to finalize a document and additional time to present the report.”

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