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Rendering of future veterans memorial

Ranger Up Grappling Classic III on Saturday

Rep. Price to speak at Veterans Day Ceremony at Orange County Veterans Memorial

Rep. David Price will be the guest speaker at a Veterans Day ceremony at the Orange County Veterans Memorial on Monday, Nov. 11. The event begins at 11 a.m. The site is located on the grounds of the Southern Human Services Center (2501 Homestead Drive, Chapel Hill).

The Orange County Veterans Memorial will be erected to honor the memory of veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The idea for the memorial was re-formed in 2013 when the Chapel Hill Town Council approved the re-petition of our Veterans Memorial at Chapel Hill. Orange County Government became involved In May 2015. The Board of County Commissioners approved a prominent  site for the memorial at the Southern Orange County Human Services Complex campus on Homestead Road.

Since then, the Orange County Veterans Memorial Committee, a group of veterans and community volunteers, have worked to raise funds to make the memorial a reality.
  • Click here to learn about the different ways you can make a monetary donation.
In addition to the Veterans Day ceremony, Ranger Up will host the Ranger Up Grappling Classic III on Saturday, Nov. 9, at Chapel Hill High School. All proceeds go to the Veterans Memorial.

The tournament will feature Youth Gi & Nogi Divisions and Adult Gi & Nogi Divisions. Entry into Absolute Divisions is included.

Participants can weigh in the evening before or morning of the competition. Friday night weigh ins will take place between 6-9 p.m. in the gymnasium at Chapel Hill High School. Doors open Saturday at 7 a.m. All weigh-ins must occur before 10 a.m. To register for the tournament, click here.

For more info about the memorial, visit
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Orange County to host low-cost rabies clinic on Nov. 14

Orange County Animal Services will host its next low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on Thursday, Nov. 14.  
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 Nov. 14, from 3-5 p.m., at the Animal Services Center (1601 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill).

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). 
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Commissioner Sally Greene during exercise

Exercise brings home challenges faced by individuals transitioning from prison

Getting released from prison often brings more challenges than freedoms. Many formerly incarcerated people struggle to navigate a complex system that is supposed to help them assimilate into society but often sends them back to prison.

The Orange County Local Reentry Council sponsored a Reentry Simulation on Friday, Nov. 8, at the Southern Human Services Center Board Room. The exercise brought together stakeholders in the criminal justice system, service providers and community volunteers to learn about the obstacles these individuals face.

During the exercise, parolees must figure out where they are going to live, how will they get food, how can they support themselves—the basic challenges of life that are made more difficult for former prisoners without family support systems—while also meeting their post-release obligations.

Dozens of people played the role of released inmates transitioning from incarceration to society, including Orange County Commissioner Sally Greene. She learned the hard way how easy it is for these individuals to run afoul of the system.

“I needed an ID card, and that was a difficult thing to do,” she said. “When I got to the front of the line, the place was closed. So I had to come back the next day. It cost $15 to get an ID and I only had $20. Without an ID card, I could not collect my disability, I could not get food, there were many things I couldn’t do without the card, and no one told me that.”

Without an ID card, Greene was unable to make her appointment with her probation officer, and she wound up going back to jail.

“There are terrible consequences for not being able to figure out the system,” she said. “The system is very complicated, and if you don’t have someone to navigate you through it you are likely to make a wrong turn.”

Robert Lang, Assistant United States Attorney from the Middle District of North Carolina, facilitated the simulation.

“The purpose is to have people know what it’s like for somebody coming out of prison, the problems that they face, all the things that are required of them for post-release supervision,” he said. “We want them to know how difficult it is. Transportation, housing, even getting food. A lot of the service providers, it sort of changes attitudes to understand what the person coming home from prison is going through.”

Lang said it is important for a community to have infrastructure in place that supports the individuals coming back into society—half-way houses, job assistance, drug treatment and not drug testing, transportation options and counseling services are all needed.

“This is smart business,” Lang said. “Ninety-five percent of the people in prison are coming home. We have to be prepared for them. We need them as fathers and sons and neighbors. We need them to be home.”

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NC Supreme Court celebrates bicentennial by holding court session in Orange County in November

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is commemorating its 200th anniversary this year. As part of the celebration, the Court will hold a special session at the Whitted Building in Hillsborough on Nov. 19, 2019. Under state law, the Supreme Court can meet in only two cities outside of Raleigh - Edenton and Morganton. As a way to bring the court to the people, the General Assembly granted the Supreme Court's request to allow the justices to convene in different cities across the state during the Court's 2018-2020 bicentennial celebration.

“The legal community and everyone serving at the Orange County Courthouse are thrilled to be welcoming the Court to Hillsborough," said Orange County Clerk of Superior Court Mark Kleinschmidt, who leads the local committee planning logistics for the historic visit. "It is fitting that as part of its bicentennial celebration, the Court would visit us. We have served as North Carolina’s capital and have held court here since colonial times. Orange County’s contributions to our state’s history literally cover the courthouse walls in the Mural Courtroom on the main level of our courthouse.”

The Supreme Court of North Carolina is the state’s highest court. There is no further appeal from its decisions on matters of state law. It comprises the Chief Justice, who also serves as the head of the Judicial Branch, and six associate justices, each serving eight-year terms.

Chief Justice Cheri Beasley will preside over oral arguments. The Supreme Court will hear two cases. The first session will convene at 10 a.m.; the case addresses a defendant’s right to counsel for a post-conviction motion requesting DNA testing in a murder case. Following a 30-minute break, a second session will convene at 11:30 a.m. The second case concerns the classification of funds received in a 2000 settlement agreement reached with Smithfield Farms regarding hog-waste.

"When the (Board of County Commissioners) voted to renovate the Whitted building to create a meeting space for the commissioners and the community, we never imagined that the North Carolina Supreme Court would hold session there," said Penny Rich, Chair of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, "We are truly honored and welcome the Justices to Orange County."

Due to limited seating, admission to these sessions of court is by ticket only. To make this historic event accessible to more people, Orange County has joined with the Hillsborough-Orange County Chamber of Commerce to facilitate a public viewing party in the Battle Courtroom at the county courthouse. Additionally, the proceedings will be available via live streaming video at and Orange County Gov-TV on channels 1301 or 97.6 (Spectrum Cable).
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