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News Releases

Orange County, North Carolina


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

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October 2014


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Orange County News Release - Archive



Media Contact:

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

(919) 245-2130 or

Thom Freeman (919) 245-2125





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2014)— One major way citizens can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to volunteer to serve on the various advisory boards and commissions.    Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have an opportunity to influence the way of life in Orange County.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting for a pharmacist position on the Orange County Board of Health.  Applicants must reside in Orange County. 

The Board of Health is the primary policy making, rule-making, and adjudicatory body for the Health Department and is charged to protect and promote the public health of Orange County.  This function may include allocating resources, planning programs, enacting public health-related polices and advising the health director on health needs.

The Board of Health typically meets on the fourth Monday of each month from 7 to 9 pm.  There are also occasional ad-hoc meetings that average less than two hours per month.  An appointment is for three years, and a board member can serve two terms.

If interested, apply at

For additional information, call Dr. Colleen Bridger, Orange County Health director, at 919-245-2412.


Student Essay and Poster Contest

Media Contact:

James Davis, Interim Director

Housing, Human Rights & Community Development

Phone: 919.245.2488






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 15, 2014)—The Orange County Human Relations Commission is accepting essays and poster submissions from students throughout the County. 

The poster contest is open to all students in grades K-5, based on the theme “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”©. The theme for the 2014 essay contest is gender equity and the contest is open to middle and high school students.  Additional information is available online at

The Commission is also accepting nominations for the 2014 Pauli Murray Human Relations Awards in the youth category for middle and high school students. The deadline for nominations is 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 21, 2014. The nomination form is available online at 

Each year, the Human Relations Commission extends opportunities for youth to participate in activities that promote civil rights and social justice. 

The poster and essay contest winners will be recognized during the Pauli Murray Awards ceremony in February, 2015. Pauli Murray Award recipients will receive a special accolade for serving the Orange County community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice and human rights for all residents.


For more information, please contact the Human Relations Commission at 919.245.2487.

About Pauli Murray

Established in 1990, the Pauli Murray Award commemorates the remarkable life of the late Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray (1910-1985), a distinguished and trail blazing woman who confronted discrimination, racism and sexism in her own life.


EMS Prepare for Ebola

Media Contact:

Jim Groves, Director

Orange County Emergency Services

Phone: 919.245.6100




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 15, 2014)— Orange County Emergency Services wants to assure the community that first responders are better preparing to answer calls about the Ebola virus.

In light of recent cases, residents may start hearing news reports regarding how different Emergency Services and 9-1-1/Emergency Responders are handling medical calls related to symptoms and travel.

The Orange County 9-1-1 Communication Center is currently reviewing recommended practices by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch and following the direction of the Orange County Medical Director.

Individuals who call 9-1-1 will be asked additional questions when certain flu-like symptoms are presented. For example: Have you travelled to any of the Ebola affected areas, such as certain West Africa countries?

Orange County Emergency Services encourages all people to follow guidance from Orange County Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Orange County Emergency Services will be hosting a 9-1-1 User Group Meeting next week to collaborate with all of its partners to further develop and refine an integrated community emergency response to Emerging Infectious Diseases.

For more information about Ebola, please visit


Spooktacular Event

Media Contact:

Beth Young

Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation

Phone: 919.245.2518





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 14, 2014)— The Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation will host the annual Halloween Spooktacular event on Saturday, October 25.

The ghoulish activities will take place from 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Central Recreation Center, 302 West Tryon Street in Hillsborough.   

Halloween costumes are encouraged.  Free activities include a Costume Contest, with cash prizes and arts and crafts for the kids. Other activities require a ticket.

Ticket prices range from fifty cents to $4.00.  Face painting, carnival games, cake walks, pumpkin bingo, and bounce houses are just a few of the activities for the entire family to enjoy. 

Hot dogs, popcorn and drinks will also be available to purchase.     

Ticket sheets and wristbands can be purchased in advance online at a discounted rate until October 17 and in person at the Central Recreation Center until October 24.  Full priced tickets will be sold at the event.     

For more information and ticket pricing please visit:



Same-Sex Marriage License

Media Contact:

Deborah Brooks, Register of Deeds

Phone: 919.245.2675




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 13, 2014)—The Orange County Register of Deeds signed and issued the County’s first same-sex marriage license at 8:30 this morning.

The Register of Deeds Office is prepared to assist couples seeking a same-sex marriage license as a result of an order that came from the federal district court in Charlotte at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, October 10.

According to the court order, “The issue before this court is neither a political issue nor a moral issue. It is a legal issue and it is clear as a matter of what is now settled law in the Fourth Circuit that North Carolina laws prohibiting same sex marriage, refusing to recognize same sex marriages originating elsewhere, and/or threating to penalize those who would solemnize such marriages, are unconstitutional.”

“In response to this court order our office has modified the marriage application to reflect Applicant 1 and Applicant 2. We are prepared to uphold the law as it relates to this matter no differently than we do for any other matter,” said Register of Deeds Deborah Brooks.



Application Day

Media Contact:

Robert Gilmore

Human Services Supervisor

Orange County Dept. of Social Services

Phone: 919.245.2847





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 8, 2014)—The Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS) is hosting two Application Days for The Fresh Market.

The company is bringing another of its old-world, European-style specialty grocery stores to Durham. They are looking for individuals to help create a special shopping adventure for their customers.

The Fresh Market is now accepting applications in advance of an Interview Day. Interested applicants who would like assistance applying online prior to the Interview Day, can visit the Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS).

DSS staff will be holding Application Days on the following dates for that purpose:

Hillsborough Location

Monday, October 20, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Orange County Department of Social Services

113 Mayo Street, Hillsborough, NC 27278

Chapel Hill Location

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Orange County Joblink/Career  Center

503 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Applications are being accepted for the following positions:

_ Assistant Deli Manager

_ Assistant Front End Manager

_ Assistant Grocery Specialist

_ Assistant Produce Manager

_ Baker

_ Bulk Specialist

_ Candy / Coffee Specialist

_ Cheese Specialist

_ Gift / Floral Specialist

_ Grocery Specialist

_ Meat Cutter

_ Seafood Specialist

The Application Day is open to everyone. Please bring a copy of your resume to upload to the application. Proper attire is required.

Applicants who cannot attend the Application Day, may apply online at and search jobs using keyword 205.


Artist Reception

Media Contact

Erin Sapienza, Branch Librarian

Orange County Public Library – Carrboro Branch

Phone: 919.969.3006




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 8, 2014)—The Orange County Public Library (OCPL) Carrboro Branch will host a reception to meet the artists behind “Our Identity.”

This is a ceramic arts exhibit featuring the work of Chapel Hill High School (CHHS) students.  The reception will be held at the Carrboro Branch Library from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 19.

This show, the third of four in the library gallery’s 2014 exhibition calendar, features senior-year student artists whose two and three-dimensional ceramic pieces explore their various cultural and ethnic identities.

Through the medium of clay, CHHS ceramics teacher Hollie Novak Taylor has helped many of her students to explore their cultures. This exhibition will also contain some of her art work.

“Our Identity” is made possible by a grant from the Friends of the Carrboro Branch Library and the Orange County Arts Commission.

The reception to meet the artists will be held at the OCPL Carrboro Branch located at 900 Old Fayetteville Road, Chapel Hill, inside McDougle Middle School.  This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information, please contact Nerys Levy, the Friends of the Carrboro Branch Library art committee chairperson, at

The Orange County Public Library is committed to supporting the arts, sharing ideas and strengthening the Orange County community through the regular exhibition of local artwork.

For more information about arts in the Carrboro Branch Library, please visit


Little Free Library

Media Contact

Lucinda Munger, Director

Orange County Public Library

Phone: 919.245.2525





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 8, 2014)—The Orange County Public Library (OCPL) and Department of Environment, Agriculture and Parks and Recreation (DEAPR) hosted a dedication ceremony to mark the unveiling of the County’s first “Little Free Library.”

This library was donated to the Cedar Grove Park by Mrs. Arthrelle Sanders, a longtime 82-year-old northern Orange County resident, whose love for reading began at age five. Mrs. Sanders’ daughter sent her the library kit two years ago as a birthday gift. The staff from DEAPR assembled and painted the library, prior to installing it at the park.

“The concept of a Little Free Library is a ‘take a book, return a book’ gathering place, where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where residents are encouraged to stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share,” said Lucinda Munger, director of OCPL. 

On hand to share remarks about the significance of this project was Board of Orange County Commissioners Chair Barry Jacobs, Commissioner Earl McKee, Commissioner Renee Price, and State Senator Valerie Foushee.

For more information about Little Free Libraries, please visit



Literary Hall of Fame

Media Contact

Martha Shannon

Orange County Arts Commission

Phone: 919. 968.2011





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 7, 2014)—The Orange County Arts Commission is pleased to announce Orange County resident Jaki Shelton Green will be inducted into the 2014 North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame (NCLHOF). She is the 2009 Piedmont Laureate, and lives in Mebane.

The induction will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 12, at the Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities in Southern Pines. Ms. Green is one of four poets (including Betty Adcock, Ronald H. Bayes and Shelby Stephenson) to be honored.  They will join the 53 inductees currently enshrined.

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame celebrates and promotes the state’s rich literary heritage by commemorating its leading authors and encouraging the continued flourishing of great literature. Inductions are held every other year. A list of inductees, as well as samples of their work and video clips of past inductions, can be found online at

Jaki Shelton Green is a writer and activist. She received the North Carolina Award for Poetry in 2003. She has published four books of poetry through Carolina Wren Press: Dead on Arrival (1977, and reprinted in 1983 and 1996), Conjure Blues (1996), singing a tree into dance (2003), and Breath of the Song: New and Selected Poems (2005).

Her works have been choreographed and performed by many renowned dance companies. She is a lifelong human services advocate; she has worked with Legal Services on issues such as domestic violence. She is an advocate for women, children and the mentally ill. Additionally, Green has used poetry and art as a healing and empowerment tool for disenfranchised populations, such as the homeless, the newly literate and incarcerated women.

About the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame

The North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame was founded in 1996, under the leadership of poet laureate Sam Ragan, and is a program of the North Carolina Writer’s Network. Since 2008, the Network and the Weymouth Center collaborate with the North Carolina Center for the Book, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the North Carolina Collection of the Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill to host the induction ceremony and to promote the NCLHOF and North Carolina’s literary heritage.


Fire Prevention Week

Smoke Alarms… an Inexpensive Lifesaver
By: Jason Shepherd, Orange County Fire Marshal

Fire Prevention Week: October 5, 2014 – October 11, 2014

The history of fire prevention dates back to October 9, 1871, sparked by the Great Chicago Fire. That tragedy burned more than three square miles, displaced 100,000 people and resulted in 300 deaths.

Several years later, the National Fire Protection Association’s membership of the Fire Marshals Association of North America sponsored the first full week of fire prevention as a reminder to the public about its importance.

Sponsored by the President in 1925 through a proclamation and continued annually each year, the first week of October is always recognized as National Fire Prevention Week.  Although the campaign is nationally recognized by the U.S. government for one week, in contrast, fire prevention is the focus of the Orange County Fire Marshal’s Office and the local fire departments on a daily basis.

The 2014 theme selected by the National Fire Protection Association is, “Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives, Test Yours Every Month.” Every house should have a home escape plan and working smoke alarms.

The following checklist is recommended for homeowners with smoke alarms:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom, sleeping area, on every level of the home and in the basement
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10-years-old


As Orange County Fire Marshal, I encourage you all to participate in this campaign, develop a home fire safety plan and practice it.

For assistance with developing a plan, please visit



Nominations for Governor's Service Awards

Media Contact

Janice Tyler, Director

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.4255




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 2, 2014)—The Orange County Department on Aging encourages the public to recognize an outstanding volunteer (including volunteer board members) with an award nomination for the Governor's Award and the Key Volunteer of the Year Award.

Qualifying nominees must have volunteered for the organization for at least one year. 

Both the Governor's Award and the Key Volunteer of the Year Awards use the same nomination form. The Volunteer of the Week, featured in the Herald Sun, is selected from these nominations.

Multiple nominations are encouraged; however, please do NOT nominate more than one volunteer in any one category. Through a selection process, 10 nominees from each NC county will be recognized at the Governor’s Awards event and one volunteer from all nominees will be selected for their outstanding community service.

The deadline for submitting nomination forms is on Friday, October 31, 2014. 

Nomination forms can be mailed to the attention of Lenore Donaldson at the Volunteer Center, P.O. Box 3374, Durham, NC 27702. 

For more information or to request or submit a nomination form, please contact Lenore at or call 919.613.4515.



Breast Cancer Awareness Event

Media Contact

Carla Banks, Director of Public Affairs

Phone: 919.245.2302      

Mobile: 919.475.6650




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 3, 2014)—The Orange County Health Department, and the Orange County Department on Aging are partnering with the North Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Branch to host “Living longer, Living Stronger.”

This breast cancer awareness event will take place from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 17, at the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough.

In addition to wearing varying shades of pink, women who have triumphed over their battle with breast cancer will share their message of hope and inspiration. This will also be an opportunity to learn about advancements in treatments, exams and resources available for those who have been diagnosed.

Admission is free and the community is encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided. A special welcome will be delivered by Mayor Tom Stevens.

For more information about this event, please refer to the flyer or visit


Early Voting Locations

Media Contact

Tracy Reams, Director

Orange County Board of Elections

Phone: 919.245.2350






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 2, 2014)—The Orange County Board of Elections is preparing for the General Election. Orange County residents who wish to vote early in the November 4, 2014, General Election may choose from one of five sites. 

The sites include: Carrboro Town Hall, Master’s Garden Preschool (former St. Mary’s School), N.C. Hillel, Seymour Senior Center, and the Board of Elections office.

The Board of Elections office located at 208 S. Cameron Street in Hillsborough will be open Thursday, October 23 - Saturday, November 1, from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, and 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1.

Carrboro Town Hall: 301 W. Main Street, Carrboro

Master’s Garden Preschool (former St. Mary’s School):
7500 Schley Road, Hillsborough

N.C. Hillel located at 210 W. Cameron Avenue, Chapel Hill

Seymour Senior Center: 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill

These locations will be open Thursday, October 23 - Saturday, November 1, as follows:

Monday - Thursdays: 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Fridays: 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday – October 25: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Saturday – November 1: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The registration deadline to vote at a one-stop site and on Election Day is on Friday, October 10, 2014

On Election Day, November 4, all polling sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.

For sample ballots, candidate lists and other election information, please visit\elect or call 919.245.2350.



Cybrary to Temporarily Close

Media Contact

Lucinda Munger, Director

Orange County Public Library

Phone: 919.245.2525




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 1, 2014)—The Orange County Public Library Cybrary location will temporarily close on Wednesday, October 15, to allow for a software upgrade on all computers. 

Once upgrades are complete, customers will experience a new and improved reservation and printing system.  The Cybrary will re-open at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 16.

Public computers at the Carrboro Branch Library, located in McDougle Middle School at 900 Old Fayetteville Road in Chapel Hill, will not be affected by this work and will be available to all OCPL customers from 3:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15.

OCPL is always open online at Browse the library’s extensive catalog of books, E-books, movies, music, and more. Place holds and renewals, and access numerous databases with your library card.


County to Host Environmental Summit

Media Contact

Beth Young, Communications Manager

Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation

Phone: 919.245.2518





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 1, 2014)—The Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation (DEAPR) is inviting the public to attend the 2014 Environmental Summit.

The FREE event is hosted by the Orange County Commission for the Environment and will take place from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 11, at Maple View Agricultural Education Center, located at 3501 Dairyland Road, northwest of Carrboro.

The Keynote Address will be delivered by Norm Christensen, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Dean Emeritus of the Nicholas School of the Environment (Duke University).  His topic is entitled, “Environmental Sustainability in a World of Change: Lessons from the Land.”

The summit will also feature the following presentations

  • Orange County’s 2014 State of the Environment Report
  • The Future of Jordan Lake, Donald Francisco, PhD
  • Controlling Invasive Plants: Working Smarter – Not Harder, Johnny Randall, PhD
  • Closing Remarks, Barry Jacobs, Chair Orange County Commissioner


The summit will feature the release of the County’s fifth State of the Environment report since 2000. The report uses a set of key environmental indicators to evaluate the status of the natural environment and offers recommendations for helping Orange County implement more effective environmental policies.   

The Commission for the Environment advises the Orange County Board of County Commissioners on matters affecting the natural environment. This responsibility generally includes: advising on environmental policy, making recommendations on environmental initiatives, promoting education of the public and local officials on environmental issues, and conducting special environmental studies and projects.

Refreshments will be available along with a tour of the Maple View Agricultural Education Center.  

The Commission for the Environment is a citizen advisory board comprised of 15 members, appointed by the Board of Orange County Commissioners. To obtain an application, please visit

For more information about the 2014 Environmental Summit, please call DEAPR at 919.245.2510 or visit