Orange County home page


News Releases

Orange County, North Carolina


Media Contact: Carla Banks, Director of Public Affairs, 919.245.2302. 

Click here to receive e-mail notifications when a news release is posted.


December 2014


Solid Waste News Releases

Health Department News Releases


Orange County News Release - Archive

County Identifies Inactive Voters

Media Contact:

Tracy Reams, Director

Board of Elections

Phone: 919.245.2350





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 19, 2014)—The Orange County Board of Elections will begin mailing no-contact address confirmation voter cards on Monday, December 29.

These cards will be sent to a total of 12,992 registered voters who have made no contact, since the last two federal general elections. The cards will help to identify those persons who have moved outside of the county and who may no longer be eligible to vote using their existing voter registration record. 

To ensure an accurate and current voter registration roll, it is vital the voter card not be discarded should you receive a card in the name of a person who does not live at the address listed on the card.  Simply write “not at this address” and return it. No postage is required. 

In accordance with N.C. General Statute 163-82.14, List Maintenance is conducted each year, following a federal general election to identify those active registered voters who have had no contact with the county board office, since the registration cut-off of the federal general election prior to the last federal general election, which is October 12, 2012.

The address confirmation card includes a postage paid return card and requires a response from the voter.  If the address confirmation card is returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable, or the return card is not returned at all within 30 days of the date the card was sent, the registrant will be listed as inactive. 

Inactive voters whose address is not verifiable using the U.S. Postal Service, will remain on the list of registered voters for a period scanning two federal general elections.  If there is no contact from the inactive registrant during the inactive period through two federal elections, the registrant is removed from the list of registered voters.


CERT Training Spring 2015

Media Contact:

Josh Hollingsworth

Orange County Emergency Services

Phone: 919.245.6138





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 18, 2014)—Orange County Emergency Services reminds residents that the next disaster cannot be predicted, but being prepared is the key! 

All neighborhoods should be ready. Emergency Services is hosting a comprehensive Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Basic Training Course.  The nine week training will take place on Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., beginning on March 3, 2015. The registration deadline is February 23, 2015.

The course is offered free of charge to those who live in Orange County, and course materials will be provided.  The training will be held at the Orange County Emergency Services office located at 510 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough. All residents are encouraged to participate, but those younger than 18-years-old, must obtain parental or guardian permission to attend this important and valuable training.

The Orange County CERT program teaches residents basic skills on how to deliver emergency response in their neighborhood for the first 72-hours following a disaster. These residents are encouraged to form a community-based team that will be able to work together in times of disaster. 

Topics covered in the CERT Basic Course include:  disaster preparedness, fire safety, basic disaster medical operations, along with several other important modules designed to assist communities in disasters.  Anyone who lives in Orange County is encouraged to become part of the Orange County CERT program.

Along with acquiring valuable skills to use in local communities, team members will also have the option to participate in volunteer opportunities around Orange County. Following the basic course, additional training will be made available to those who want to advance their skills. CERT members also have opportunities to participate in meetings, disaster simulations and drills with others in the community.

The course will be open to the first 25 registrants on a first-come, first serve basis, as space is limited.  Participants are encouraged to register on the North Carolina Training and Exercise Management System (TERMS) by February 23, 2015, to ensure classroom space and materials will be available. 

For more information about this training, please visit and click on the CERT Program link to view the training calendar and a link to the registration page.


Christmas Hours

Media Contact:

Carla Banks, Director of Public Affairs

Phone: 919.245.2302      

Mobile: 919.475.6650





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 16, 2014)—Orange County will close its administrative offices from Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26, in observance of the Christmas holiday.

The County offices will re-open and all employees will return on Monday, December 29, and resume regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The County offices will close again on Thursday, January 1, in observance of New Year’s Day. Employees will return on Friday, January 2, and resume regular business hours from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Animal Services

The Animal Services facility will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26, and will also be closed on New Year’s Day.  All 9-1-1 calls for emergency animal control services will be answered on dates the Animal Services Center is closed. The after-hours drop location will also be open and checked daily throughout the holidays.


Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Center will be closed on December 24, 25, 26, and January 1. The center will be open all other days during the weeks of December 22 and 29, including Saturday, December 27, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, January 3, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


Health Department

The Orange County Health Department will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Regular clinic hours and administrative functioning will resume on Monday, December 29. Meantime, please call 919.245.2400 to learn whom to contact in case of an emergency or to report a communicable disease.


The Main Library, the Carrboro Branch Library and the Cybrary will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26. However, the Main Library, Carrboro McDougle and Cybrary will reopen on Saturday, December 27, during regular weekend hours. The Main Library and Carrboro Branch Library will close early at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, and all three locations will remain closed on Thursday, January 1.


Orange Public Transportation (OPT)

OPT administrative and dispatch offices will be closed on Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26, and again on Thursday, January 1. 

OPT will operate only Carolina Dialysis, the in-county dialysis route, on Wednesday, December 24, Friday, December 26, and Thursday, January 1. Full service will operate Monday, December 29 – Wednesday, December 31, and on Friday, January 2.

Advance notice is required to schedule trips; therefore requests for Monday, December 30, must be received by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, December 22. Requests for Tuesday, December 30, must be received by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 23.

Requests for Friday, January 2, must be received by 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 30. Requests for Monday, January 5, must be received by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 31.



Little River Park is closed on December 24 and 25. The Central Recreation Center is also closed from Wednesday, December 24 – Friday, December 26, and on New Year’s Day.

The Central Recreation Open Gym will not host Basketball and Badminton on Friday, December 19.  However, the movie Frozen will be shown on that day at 6:30 p.m. Tae Kwon Do classes and the preschool holiday party will also take place on the same day.

Senior Centers

The Central Orange Senior Center will be closed from December 24 - December 27. The center will close at 5:00 p.m. on December 30 and 31. The facility will also be closed on New Year’s Day.

The Seymour Center will be closed from December 24 – 26, and on January 1.

Solid Waste

Christmas Schedule
Curbside recycling is cancelled for Thursday, December 25.  The make-up day for Christmas Day only will be on Saturday, December 27.  Please place recycling bins at the curb by 7:00 a.m. 

Solid Waste Convenience Centers will be closed on Thursday, December 25. Regular hours will resume on Friday, December 26.

Orange County Landfill and all associated services, such as mulch will be closed from Wednesday, December 24 - Friday, December 26. Regular hours will resume on Saturday, December 27.

Solid Waste Administrative Offices will be closed Wednesday, December 24 - Friday, December 26. Regular hours will resume on Monday, December 29.


New Year’s Schedule

Curbside recycling is cancelled for Thursday, January 1. The make-up day for New Year’s Day will be on Saturday, January 3. Please place recycling bins at the curb by 7:00 a.m. 


Orange County Landfill, Solid Waste Convenience Centers, and the Administrative Office will be closed on Thursday, January 1. Regular hours will resume on Friday, January 2. 

Change of schedule related to inclement weather events are posted on the Solid Waste Web page at and telephone recorded message at 919.968.2788.


Waste Reduction

Media Contact:

Gayle Wilson, Director

Orange County Solid Waste Management

Phone: 919.968.2788  




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 11, 2014)—The State of North Carolina reported the amount of waste landfilled per person that originated in Orange County was measured at 0.49 tons per person in fiscal year 2013-14.

This is a 64% reduction when compared with the base year of 1991-92 tonnage of 1.36 tons per person. For the first time, this exceeds the 61% reduction goal, set in 1997 as part of the state-required Solid Waste Plan. This measurement includes all types of solid waste from all sources within Orange County, regardless of landfill destination.

“When the 61% goal was established, many considered it overly ambitious compared to the state’s 40% statutory goal, plus no other county set a goal higher than that,” said Gayle Wilson, director of Orange County Solid Waste.

“The County and its three towns set the goal based on the amount of recyclables contained in the waste stream at that time and also increased the goal further to compensate for prior reductions that had taken place not due to County actions. Over the years the governments have re-affirmed the goal and continued to work on it together.”

Waste reduction rates in neighboring counties include: Alamance = 23%, Chatham = 41%, Durham = 13%, and Wake = 29%. 

“This achievement is a credit to all the residents and businesses of Orange County who recycle so much so diligently and constantly.  For many years, our elected boards have invested in and supported waste reduction and recycling because it’s in line with the values of this County and something the public wants,” said Commissioner Chair Earl McKee.

“Our staff and contractors do a great job picking up and processing the thousands of tons of materials set out each year. Each ton we recycle is a ton that is not landfilled and that ton is one we don’t pay to dispose of.”

To view the full report of all NC counties’ current and past waste reduction rates, please visit


Sportsplex Holiday Events

Media Contact:

Robin Zwilling

Marketing and Membership Director

Phone: 919.644.0339






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 10, 2014)—The Orange County Sportsplex invites the community to  enjoy the holiday cheer as skaters young and old take to the ice in The Nutcracker on Ice.

Performance dates are on Friday, December 19, at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, December 20, at 12:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the front desk or at


Skating with Santa

For those who want to catch a glimpse of the jolly white-haired man in the bright red suit, rumor has it he will be on the ice at the SportsPlex on Sunday, December 21, from 12:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Enjoy Skating with Santa and be sure to share any last minute requests with Saint Nick.

Slap Shots at Santa

The SportsPlex is also hosting two public skating session. Slap Shots at Santa will take place on Saturday, December 20, from 5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, December 21, from 2:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Take a shot at scoring a goal, while Santa plays goalie. This is open to all ages and prizes will be awarded.

Public Skate Admission

Adults = $6.50

Child Admission (12 and younger) = $5.50

1 Free skate rental, during the holiday season

12 Days of Fitness

Stay healthy and fit during your holiday celebrations. The Orange County SportsPlex fitness department is hosting a free fitness event. The 12 Days of Fitness is sure to keep you focused on staying fit throughout the holidays. For more information or to sign up, please call Susan Clayton at 919.644.0339.

For more information about these and other events taking place at the SportsPlex, please call Robin Zwilling at 919.644.0339.


PLANT Workshops

Media Contact:

Michael Lanier

Agricultural Economic Development Agent

Cooperative Extension – Orange County Center

Phone: 919.245.2063




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 4, 2014)—The Orange County Cooperative Extension will host its 8th annual PLANT (People Learning Agriculture Now for Tomorrow) workshop series.

The workshop begins on Wednesday, January 14, 2015, and consists of eight (3) hour classes taught by local, experienced direct market farmers, as well as Extension Specialists and Field Faculty. The series will focus on topics, such as marketing, business plans, recordkeeping, and production. 

The workshops will take place each Wednesday from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. until March 4, meeting at the Cooperative Extension Office at 306-E Revere Road in Hillsborough.

This series is geared toward young people with limited resources who are interested in farming, but anyone is welcome to attend. Participation is not limited to Orange County residents.

For more information or to register, please visit and click on the 2015 PLANT@Breeze Registration link located under the NEWS heading.  Please submit checks to the address listed on that page.

Persons with disabilities or with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Mike Lanier at least 90 days prior to the event, at 919.245.2063 or send an e-mail to or fax 919.644.3067, or in person at the County Extension Office.

Civil Rights Statement
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran’s status.  In addition, the two universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.




Media Contact:

Donna S. Baker, Clerk to the Board-Orange County Board of Commissioners






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 4, 2014)— Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, NCGS § 143-318.12, the Orange County Board of Commissioners provides notice of the following special meeting.  A majority of the Orange County Commissioners may attend this meeting making the event subject to open meetings laws.

A planning meeting has been scheduled for the 2015 Agricultural Summit.  The planning group will meet on Monday, December 8, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the Cooperative Extension Food Lab in the Environment and Agricultural Center, 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough.  A majority of the Orange County Board of Commissioners may attend this event.


County Launches OC Alerts

Media Contact:

Kirby Saunders

Orange County Emergency Services

Phone: 919.245.6135




Community Encouraged to Register for OC Alerts

ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 3, 2014)—Orange County is partnering with the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and the Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) to introduce OC Alerts, a new community notification system.

OC Alerts, powered by Everbridge, will be used to communicate with businesses and residents who opt into the system. They will be alerted within minutes of an emergency or non-emergency event as well as receiving life-saving public service announcements.

The public can register for OC Alerts beginning today. Residents who register by Friday, December 5, will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a free National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio.

With the OC Alerts system, messages can be sent via cell phone, landline phone, e-mail, text messaging, fax, pager, etc. Residents can register to be alerted about severe weather, fires, floods, toxic spills, violent crimes, road closures and OWASA’s water/sewer notices.

Residents and businesses currently listed in the Orange County 9-1-1 database will be automatically subscribed to receive OC Alerts by landline, although anyone can register, provide additional contact information or opt out.

Citizens are strongly encouraged to register, so they can receive OC Alerts by cell phone, texts, e-mail, etc. as well as by landlines.

“OC Alerts is much more robust and flexible than Code Red, our previous mass communication tool,” said Kirby Saunders, emergency management coordinator for Orange County. “Residents can control what notifications they want to receive, how they want to receive them and when they want to be notified.”

Residents who create a free account can utilize a free Android or iPhone application that will allow for two-way communication with emergency managers.

“We are committed to protecting our residents and visitors from danger that threatens our community. The ability to quickly reach as many people as possible in order to warn them and provide guidance is critical to upholding that commitment,” added Saunders.

For more information or to register for OC Alerts, please visit or visit and click on the OC Alerts link.



Media Contact:

Donna S. Baker, Clerk to the Board-Orange County Board of Commissioners

Phone: 919.245.2130





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (December 2, 2014)— On Monday, December 1, 2014, during the annual Board organizational meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners elected Earl McKee as Chair of the Board of Commissioners for the year 2015.  Immediately afterwards, Bernadette Pelissier was elected Vice-Chair.   

Chair McKee was elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in 2010 and served as Vice-Chair in 2013 and 2014.  Vice-Chair Pelissier was elected to the Board in 2008 and served as Chair in 2011 and 2012.  

Prior to the organizational meeting vote, Mia Burroughs was sworn in as a new Orange County Commissioner filling the seat vacated by Alice Gordon.  Re-elected Commissioners Barry Jacobs and Earl McKee were also sworn in. 

Commissioners Mark Dorosin, Renee Price and Penny Rich continue to serve on the Board. 

Additional information on the Board is available on the Orange County website.

All Board members may be reached using the single email address, .