News Briefs

Posted 12/10/20

NEWS BRIEFS

Cyber incident update: County phones working

PITTSBORO — The cyber incident discovered on Oct. 28 that affected Chatham County government’s network is still under investigation, …

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NEWS BRIEFS

Cyber incident update: County phones working

PITTSBORO — The cyber incident discovered on Oct. 28 that affected Chatham County government’s network is still under investigation, according to an update provided by County Manager Dan LaMontagne.

Chatham County’s Management and Information Systems (MIS) Department, along with federal, state, and local partners continue working to restore the affected systems, he said.

“While we are making progress, the recovery from an incident such as this takes time,” LaMontagne said. “A timeline has not been established for full-service restoration; however, we continue to make progress in our ability to communicate with the public.”

He said the county’s office phones are operating again, but the voicemail system is still being repaired and expected to be restored soon. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) rebuild is nearing completion. Web applications are becoming available to the public as they come back online systematically, he said.

Chatham County MIS has been working continuously to repair computers and is beginning to return restored units to departments and individual employees.

In the meantime, Chatham County is transitioning to a .gov email domain for county employee email addresses.

“As we make the move to the .gov domain, emails sent to the previous .org domain will continue to be forwarded for a period of time,” LaMontagne said. “More information will be forthcoming.”

While the county continue to transition to the new email system, alternative contact methods remain in place, such as temporary email addresses and phone numbers for the public to reach us. The web page chathamnc.org/cyberincident includes a central directory for departments’ contact information as well as Frequently Asked Questions. More specific details can be found under each department’s individual web page. The cyber incident web page is also available en Español at chathamnc.org/incidenteciber.

The community is encouraged to monitor chathamnc.org, particularly the web pages mentioned above, and the county’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor) for updates.

“Updates on the restoration of services/systems will continue to be provided,” LaMontagne said. “We appreciate the community’s continued and support and patience as we continue to work through this situation.”

Regional Aging Advisory Council seeks representatives

The Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) has an Advisory Council on Aging that advises its Area Agency on Aging about policies and programs that affect older persons in the seven-county region that includes Chatham.

Each of the seven counties has representatives. Chatham County is seeking to fill a vacancy; the person would be appointed by the Chatham County Board of County Commissioners.

While meetings of the Advisory Council are currently being held virtually because of COVID-19, the Council would normally meet on the third Tuesday of every other month at the TJCOG office in the Research Triangle Park. This is a volunteer position and there is no reimbursement of travel expenses.

Representation from western Chatham County is especially welcomed. If you are interested in being considered for an appointment to the Advisory Council, contact Dennis Streets at 919-542-4512 or email, dennis.streets@chathamcoa.org.

—CN+R staff reports

Lions Club seeks members for Pittsboro Club

Will you consider joining the oldest, the largest, most diverse community service organization in the world? Are you willing to team up with others in your local community to help fill the needs of families, friends, and neighbors who are experiencing challenges with sight, hearing, pediatric cancer, hunger, diabetes, and other issues?

If so, the Siler City Lions Club is interested in you. The club is assisting with an effort by the Association of Lions Clubs International to establish a club in the Pittsboro area. If you are interested in being a part of this effort, please respond to Lion Secretary Barbara Ernst of the Siler City Club with your contact information by calling (919) 545-4729. For additional information about Lions Clubs International check out our website at www.lionsclubs.org/en.

Chatham Marketplace selects United Way as December ‘round up’ beneficiary

PITTSBORO — Chatham Marketplace has selected the United Way of Chatham County as its December beneficiary of its monthly round up campaign. Chatham Marketplace clients will be given the option to round up their total to the next dollar, or, to round up even more in any amount they wish. One hundred percent of all round up funds will be distributed to United Way’s agencies and will stay in Chatham County.

Evan Diamond, the store’s general manager, said Chatham Marketplace is committed to advancing the well-being of each community member and serving as a community hub, and its round up campaign is an easy and effective way to serve and keep the community strong.

“United Way lifts our community up out of poverty and that certainly improves the well-being of those impacted,” Diamond said of United Way of Chatham County.

Focusing on education, health, financial stability and basic needs, United Way works to create an environment of opportunity where thousands of families in our communities can have a chance for a better life.

“We are very thankful for the support that United Way receives from Chatham Marketplace,” said Katie Childs, the United Way’s interim executive director. “With every dollar raised, they are engaging employees and customers in our important work to make sure the people who need help the most receive it during this unprecedented time.”

Chatham Marketplace is a co-operative business owned entirely by members of the community and located in Chatham Mills, 480 Hillsboro St., in Pittsboro. For more information about the United Way of Chatham County and the agencies it serves, visit unitedwayofchathamcounty.org.

—CN+R staff reports

COVID-safe Christmas drive-thru experience to open

PITTSBORO — Art of Motion Events, a worldwide event company headquartered in North Carolina, announces the production of “Holidays in the Hills,” a holiday drive-through experience on the grounds of Shakori Hills Community Arts Center in Pittsboro.

After a successful production of “Haunted Hills Terror Drive” in October, the event group is turning its efforts to a fun and safe drive through experience that will be held on weekends throughout December.

“As a creative event company, we lost all of our business to the cancellation of events worldwide due to COVID,” Art of Motion Events owner Christie Cook said. “This is a way to be creative, while remaining COVID safe, and giving people a fun holiday event.”

The attraction will feature more than 15 scene sets including North Pole, Holidays at the Movies, a drive through the Polar Express Train station, Candyland, Toyland and The Grinch’s Lair, among just a few. Live actors will enhance some of the scenes, and will include Santa and The Grinch.

The event will also be taking non-perishable food donations for the local food pantry CORA, and utilizing local creative artists, also out of work due to COVID.

Tickets will be sold based on specific dates and time ranges in order to keep attendees from waiting in long lines in their car, as well as to manage traffic flow. Tickets are available now at ticketor.com/holidaysinthehills. People are encouraged to like and follow the Facebook page for current information and updates (facebook.com/HolidaysintheHillsNC).

—CN+R staff reports

Governor encourages residents to prepare for winter weather

RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper is encouraging North Carolinians to plan and prepare now, before potentially dangerous winter weather arrives.

“All North Carolinians should be prepared for inclement weather throughout the year,” Cooper said. “This year has shown us just how unpredictable North Carolina’s weather can be.”

Cooper urged residents to monitor changing weather conditions by listening to local media, update their plans and supply kits, and pay close attention to winter weather watches, warnings and advisories.

Remember:

• a Winter Storm Watch is issued when at least three inches of snow and/or ice accumulations of one-quarter inch or more within a 12- to 24-hour period are likely within the next 24 to 48 hours,

• a Winter Storm Warning is issued when at least three inches of snow and/or ice accumulations of one-quarter inch or more are likely within the next 24 hours,

• a Winter Weather Advisory is issued when one to three inches of snow or ice accumulations of less than one-quarter inch are expected within the next 24 hours, causing travel difficulties.

To help ensure you are ready for winter weather, North Carolina Emergency Management officials urge you to:

• always keep at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food in your home.

Keep fresh batteries on hand for weather radios and flashlights.

• dress warmly. Wear multiple layers of thin clothing instead of a single layer of thick clothing.

• properly vent kerosene heaters and ensure any electric generators are operated outside and away from open windows or doors to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Never burn charcoal indoors.

• use a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio or a weather alert app on your phone to monitor changing weather conditions.

• keep alternative heating sources and fire extinguishers on hand. Be sure your family knows how to use them.

• store an emergency kit in your vehicle. Include scraper, jumper cables, tow chain, sand/salt, blankets, flashlight, first-aid kit and road map.

• make an emergency supplies kit for your pet and include medical records, first-aid kit, enough canned/dry food and water for three to seven days and pet travel bag or carrier.

• do not leave pets outside for long periods of time.

• ensure your pet has a well-fitting collar.

• bring pets inside when temperatures drop below freezing.

• move livestock and other animals to a sheltered location with food and water.

If you must travel during bad weather, emergency officials remind motorists to leave plenty of room between you and other vehicles and, if driving on snow- or ice-covered roadways, reduce your speed. If conditions worsen, pull off the highway and remain in your vehicle. Do not set out on foot unless you can see a building close by where you can take shelter.

The Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service work together to help North Carolinians plan and prepare for winter weather by providing accurate weather and safety information.

For more information on how to prepare for winter storms and other hazards that affect North Carolina, visit www.readync.org.

Triangle Community Foundation awards $280,000 to 28 local nonprofits

The Triangle Community Foundation has awarded $280,000 to 28 local nonprofit organizations as part of its Education and Youth Impact Area. Each organization will receive $10,000 in general operating funds to support their work with youth ages 5-24 in the community in 2021.

The Impact Area grant program was specifically focused on nonprofits in the Triangle serving youth ages 5-24, with a focus on youth from low-income backgrounds, youth from low-performing schools, youth with disabilities, youth with limited English proficiency and youth of color. In addition, due to the effects of COVID-19 particularly on this population, organizations selected are addressing four key COVID-19 related concerns: learning loss, access to technology, food insecurity and mental health.

The grantee portfolio represents 10 organizations that serve Chatham County, 15 that serve Durham County, 13 that serve Orange County, 14 that serve Wake County and four that are statewide. In terms of ages of youth, 20 organizations serve elementary-aged children, 21 organizations serve middle school-aged youth, 24 organizations serve high school and 19 organizations post-high school (up to age 24).

Chatham awardees include Communities In Schools of Chatham County, El Futuro, Hispanic Liaison of Chatham County and Neighbor2Neighbor. Awardees were selected by the foundation’s grant advisory committee for Education & Youth, which is itself half made up of youth members.

“We are overjoyed to partner with you in providing critical academic and social/emotional support for many of our community’s most vulnerable youth,” said Elizabeth Thompson, Development Manager, World Relief Durham.

“We know that these nonprofit organizations value youth leadership and involvement as much as we do and have worked hard to adapt as new challenges were thrown at them this year,” said Sarah Battersby, Senior Scholarships & Education Officer. “I’m thrilled to be able to offer general operating support during a time when it is needed most, and to work with these nonprofits and our youth-led grant advisory committee over the coming year as our community continues to address the negative effects of COVID on our youth.”

The Foundation’s Education & Youth Impact area was revamped in 2020, with a concentrated focus on enabling and empowering youth leaders in the aforementioned populations. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region, the Foundation shifted their grantmaking, recognizing that leadership and community involvement was not as possible during this time, and instead focused support on the more immediate needs of students.

Chatham drivers: be alert for traffic shift at U.S. 64/N.C. 751

Overnight lane closures will be in place over the next two weeks while Dominion Energy works to install a gas line along U.S. 64 west of Apex.

While work takes place 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and every night through Dec. 19, crews will close one lane in either direction of U.S. Hwy. 64 at the intersection with N.C. 751 (New Hill Road), and will shift N.C. 751 traffic to the southbound lanes throughout the intersection.

Police will be on location to direct traffic through the intersection.

Drivers should look for special signage alerting them of the traffic shifts, be mindful of the crews and officials at work in this area and follow the direction of law enforcement on site.

For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.

Wildlife Commission seeks public comment on proposed 2021-2022 rule changes

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opened the public comment period for proposed changes to agency regulations related to wildlife management, inland fisheries and game lands for the 2021-2022 seasons. The comment period will be open through Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.

Comments may be submitted online, emailed to regulations@ncwildlife.org (must include name, phone number and mailing address in email) or mailed to: Rule-Making Coordinator, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1700.

The public can also provide comments at one of the public hearings the Commission will conduct in January.

For more information, including the schedule for the upcoming public hearings, visit ncwildlife.org/proposed-regulations.

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