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Orange County announces closings for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day

Orange County administrative offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.
  • Curbside recycling will be collected as normally scheduled on Monday. Please have carts out by 7 a.m. All Solid Waste Facilities will be closed.
  • Orange County Public Transportation will operate limited service serving the in-county dialysis route only (Carolina Dialysis). All other routes will not run on Monday.
  • Orange County Animal Services will be closed, but the after-hours drop box will be available and checked during the day. Any animal control emergencies should be reported by calling 9-1-1.
The county will resume normal operating schedules on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Partnership to End Homelessness seeking volunteers

The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness (OCPEH) is working on back-to-back events at the end of January and is seeking volunteers to help people experiencing homelessness.
On Wednesday, Jan. 29, OCEPH is coordinating the Point-in-Time count of people experiencing homelessness in our community.

On Thursday, Jan. 30, Project Connect returns! This one-day event has a new location the United Church of Chapel Hill at 1321 MLK Blvd – and has many different services available under one roof.
  • VOLUNTEER: Volunteer slots are available the afternoon of Jan. 29 and all day on Jan. 30 – sign up here
  • DONATE: We are soliciting household goods, cleaning products, toiletry items and clothing to be distributed at Project Connect. These items will be available at the event for people to take what they need. Please drop off donated items on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at the United Church of Chapel Hill between noon – 4 p.m. Project Connect typically serves between 100-200 guests.
  • More info on Project Connect:
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Photo of Southern States staff donating dog food to Orange County Animal Shelter.

Southern States Cooperative donates 7,500 pounds of pet food to Orange County Animal Shelter

Santa and his reindeer may be in the past, but there is one more large delivery to Orange County Animal Services this week as Southern States Cooperative and its customers continue the giving spirit. Furry friends at the shelter will have a great start to the new year and beyond. thanks to a significant donation of dog food from Southern States. The Richmond-based agricultural company is donating 7,500 pounds of pet food to Orange County Animal Services to help ring in the new year.

Puppy Paw campaign nets big results

The donation is a result of the annual Puppy Paw Campaign held at participating Southern States retail locations. The Puppy Paw Campaign encourages customers to contribute a $1 donation to the pet food campaign. For each Puppy Pal Paw purchased, Southern States makes a matching donation.  Each participating Southern States retail location donates its contributions to the local charity of its choice. The Richmond SPCA was chosen as the recipient of this year’s donation.

“Wow!” says Bob Marotto, Animal Services Director for Orange County. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of Southern States and their customers. This donation will be essential in helping provide suitable nutrition for the animals in our care. We are beyond grateful.”

Rodney White, Store Manager of Southern States, says, “We are happy to partner with the Orange County Animal Shelter. They are one of our customers, and we have a long-standing partnership with them. We are thankful to our customers for their caring generosity in helping us provide this contribution to an organization that does so much good within our community.”
  • Click here for more information.
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Why the Census matters to Orange County

This spring residents of Orange County will be asked to participate in the 2020 Census. It is important for all residents to complete the census, because the framers of the Constitution of the United States chose population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land.

The census asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each home, and the sex, age and race of each person. The data collected determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (a process called apportionment). Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors.

Responding to the census helps your community get its fair share of more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.

For more information about the census, please visit

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Documentary addresses impacts of mental health from black male perspective

"I’m Good Bro: Unmasking Black Male Depression" is a riveting documentary about mental health and its struggles from the black male perspective. The Orange County Department on Aging will present a free screening and dinner on Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Passmore Center in Hillsborough (103 Meadowlands Drive).

The free event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a complimentary dinner. Pre-registration is required by Wednesday, Jan. 29. Call (919) 245-2015 for information and to register.

This film addresses the historical impact of depression in its many forms, from the roots of slavery, those who were formally incarcerated, the impact on day-to-day personal and professional relationships, and the effects on and from the church. This documentary follows the journey of individuals with firsthand experience dealing with depression from the perspective of those who have personally dealt with or who have been diagnosed with the disease. This film also provides professional insight from counselors, licensed professional therapists and spiritual advisers.

Please join us for the showing and an in depth Q&A session with the producers of the film, 4C Visuals Group, immediately following.

In case of inclement weather, the makeup date is Thursday, Feb. 13.

Photo of Tamara Kissane

Kissane chosen as 2020 Piedmont Laureate

Tamara Kissane, a Durham-based dramatist and audio fiction writer, has been selected as the region’s 2020 Piedmont Laureate. During 2020, Kissane will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing. Co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, the Piedmont Laureate program’s mission is to “promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region.”

The program focuses on a different literary form each year, including poetry, novels, creative non-fiction, drama/screenwriting, children’s literature, short fiction, speculative fiction, and mystery fiction.

“Tamara Kissane is a flexible artist who wears many hats – actor, director, theatre producer – but it is quite clear that writing is her true artistic gift and calling,” says NC State University Theatre Production Director Rachel Klem. “Her true super-power lies in her use of rhythm. She is masterful in creating theatre that is dramatic and immersive as well as an exceptional experience for the listener.”

As Piedmont Laureate, Kissane will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. Her duties will include presenting public readings and workshops, participating at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of the work of dramatists in literature.

A schedule of the Laureate’s 2020 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website at

  • Click here for more information.

Orange County announces successful recruitment of sheet metal fabricator

The Orange County Board of Commissioners, County Manager’s Office and the Economic Development Department announce the successful recruitment of Piedmont Metalworks LLC, which will relocate its Durham manufacturing site to western Orange County. The Board officially approved Orange County’s local performance-based incentive offer to the company, valued at up to $86,261, in a special public hearing on Nov. 19, 2019.

The company chose Orange County following a review of competing real estate options and related business costs and advantages that were available between the Durham and Burlington regions of the State.

Over the next five years, the company will invest an estimated $4.15 million in Orange County to build approximately 40,000 square feet of new metal fabrication space. This operation will include the relocation of 12 existing positions and create 30 new jobs, which will pay an average salary of $41,236 per year (equal to $19.83 per hour) plus provide full health, educational and 401k match retirement benefits.

“Although there were numerous factors involved in the decision, two items pushed us to this site,” said Piedmont Metalworks owner Richie Richmond. “The incentive package of tax rebates was very much a plus but the business friendly climate that we have experienced from Orange County so far has been great. I would also extend a gracious thanks to the County Manager and the Orange County Commissioners for helping us build another great employer for the people in this community.”

Penny Rich, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, thanked Piedmont Metalworks’ management for this decision. “On behalf of Orange County, we welcome your new operation and sincerely appreciate the new skilled jobs you will bring to our community,” she said. “The Board is delighted to welcome your move here.”
  • Click here for more information.
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