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Menconi chosen as 2019 Piedmont Laureate

David Menconi, a Raleigh-based writer of creative non-fiction, has been selected as the region's 2019 Piedmont Laureate. During 2019, Menconi 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.

As Piedmont Laureate, Menconi will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. His duties include presenting public readings and workshops, participating at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of writing.

A schedule of the Laureate’s 2019 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website at

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HOME Consortium's application cycle open through Feb. 4

The Orange County HOME Consortium’s application cycle is now open for entities wanting to apply for FY 2019-20 funds under the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.

HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) provides formula grants to states and local communities that (often in partnership with local nonprofit groups) fund a wide range of activities including construction, acquisition, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership, or to provide direct rental assistance to low-income people. It is the largest Federal Block Grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.

Orange County’s HOME funding applications are accepted once a year and are reviewed by the Orange County Home Consortium Committee, known as the Local Government Affordable Housing Collaborative. The Collaborative is comprised of staff and elected officials from the Towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, and Orange County.

The deadline is February 5, 2019 at 4 p.m. For questions, persons may call the Housing and Community Development Department at 919.245.2490.

For more information, visit the Orange County website.

Happenings at the Orange County Senior Centers

Long Road to Freedom: Harriet and Martin's journey on stage

Diane Faison has performed as Harriet Tubman more than 300 times on her struggle for freedom - her own and others. Chuck Fager was a civil rights worker in Selma, Ala., during the 1965 voting rights campaign. He served as unarmed security for Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., who faced daily death threats. Chuck wrote four books, including Eating Dr. King's Dinner, and brings his gripping historic experiences to life for his audience and readers. Books will be available for signing. Refreshments provided by Brookdale Senior Living.

Register by: Thursday, Jan. 10; call 919-968-2070

Featuring: Diane Faison & Chuck Fager


Location: Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill

Date: Thursday, Jan. 17, 1 - 2:30 p.m.

Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrate the legacy and life of Martin Luther King Jr and all that he accomplished through his courage and nonviolent protests. He will forever be remembered. Please join us for our annual program co-sponsored with NCCU Alumni Orange County Chapter as we welcome our guest speaker, Senator Valerie Foushee. She will discuss MLK’s influence on women in politics during troubling times. Refreshments provided by Brookdale Senior Living following the program.

Register by: Friday, Jan. 11. Call 919-245-2015


Location: Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Dr., Hillsborough

Date: Friday, Jan. 18, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Don’t Like Your Medicare Advantage Plan? You May Be Able to Change.

If you missed Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, or if you have had second thoughts, you may still be able to change.  For those with a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan, you can change to another Advantage Plan or return to Original Medicare one time between Jan, 1 and March 31. (Aren’t sure whether you have an Advantage Plan? Check your insurance card. If it says “PPO” or “HMO” anywhere on the card, you do!)

Make an appointment online or call 919-245-4274 to meet with a certified counselor from the NC Department of Insurance.  Appointments available at both the Passmore Center in Hillsborough, and the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill.
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OCAS to host low-cost rabies clinic

Orange County Animal Services will host its next low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, January 19, 2019.
These clinics ensure that cats and dogs are current on their vaccinations, while providing pet owners with substantial savings on rabies vaccinations.

The clinic will offer 1-year and 3-year vaccinations for $10. Pet owners will need to have a previous rabies certificate in hand to receive the 3-year vaccine. A tag alone is not sufficient. This upcoming clinic will take place on the following date:

  • Saturday, January 19th, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Animal Services Center, 1601 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill, NC

Microchips will also be offered at this clinic for $35 each, including registration fees. Owners can choose to have a pet receive only a microchip, only a rabies vaccine, or both. Dogs must be on a leash and cats must be in a carrier.

For more information about Orange County Animal Services, including additional clinic dates and rabies vaccination clinic requirements, please visit or call 919-942-PETS (7387).

South Churton Street widening subject of NCDOT meeting

(NCDOT Press Release) -- The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Town of Hillsborough will hold a public meeting regarding the proposed projects to widen South Churton Street from I-40 to Orange Grove Road (U-5845) and extend Orange Grove Road from existing South Churton Street to U.S. 70A (U-5848) in Hillsborough. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 8, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall Annex, Board Meeting Room located at 105 East Corbin Street in Hillsborough.

A public meeting was previously held for Project U-5848 (Orange Grove Road) in March 2018. After the public meeting, NCDOT reviewed comments received by the Town and members of the community and based on public input and anticipated design and impact concerns, the project team eliminated two of the options (Alternatives 1 and 3). Modifications were made to Alternative 2 based on comments—this new option is called Alternative 4. A map of this option will be at the public meeting. 

The public may drop-in at any time during the meeting hours. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments regarding the project. The opportunity to submit comments will also be provided at the meeting or via phone, email, or mail by Jan. 25, 2019. Comments received will be taken into consideration as the project develops. Please note that no formal presentation will be made.

Project information and materials can be viewed as they become available online.

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