News Briefs: Week of Jan. 27

Posted 1/27/21

News briefs

Library hosts ‘Tahira’ for Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Chatham Community Library will present the virtual performance, Tahira: Storytelling with a …

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News Briefs: Week of Jan. 27

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Library hosts ‘Tahira’ for Black History Month

In celebration of Black History Month, Chatham Community Library will present the virtual performance, Tahira: Storytelling with a Purpose, at 2 p.m. on Feb. 13 via the library’s YouTube channel.

A repeat showing will air at 2 p.m. on Feb. 27.

Tahira is a storyteller, musician, vocalist, songwriter and spoken word artist whose high-energy performances delight listeners of all ages. She delivers unique performances of original works, as well as traditional African and African American folklore. Her programs blend story and music, and are often punctuated by soul-stirring vocals, rhythmic guitar and pulsating drumming.

Tahira is a graduate of Temple University’s School of Communication and Theatre, and a Delaware Division of the Arts Established Professional Fellow in Folk Art: Oral Literature. In addition to schools, libraries, and community organizations, Tahira has performed at World Café Live, the National Association of Black Storytellers Festival and Conference, and the internationally acclaimed festival, PANAFEST.

An advocate of using the arts to bring about social change, Tahira believes that storytelling should inspire and educate. Her mission as an artist is “…to shed light in dark places to reveal the brilliance of the human spirit.”

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. The celebration began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

Please contact the library at for additional information and to obtain a link to the performances.

This program is free and open to the public and is made possible by the generous support of the Friends of the Chatham Community Library.

— CN+R staff reports

School board seeks input on superintendent hiring

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education has launched a survey seeking input on the characteristics, experience and skills desired in the district’s next superintendent. Board members want to hear from students, parents and community members. The survey is available in English and Spanish.

Survey responses are due by Feb. 19. The North Carolina School Boards Association (NCSBA) will compile and present the results March 8 during the 5:30 p.m. Board of Education meeting. The NCSBA is helping to facilitate the Board of Education’s superintendent search process.

Chatham County Schools employees will receive a separate survey.

Local groups and organizations may submit written statements regarding the leadership qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent. Those statements should be mailed to: NCSBA, Attn: CCS Superintendent Search, 7208 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 301, Raleigh, NC 27615; or emailed to The deadline to submit statements is Feb. 19.

The board of education invites community members and staff to participate in sessions for public comment during its 5:30 p.m. meetings on Feb. 8 and March 8. More information about the location of those sessions will be available on the Board of Education’s webpage. All individuals and groups must sign up to speak before the meeting begins and must otherwise comply with applicable board policy.

Hispanic nonprofit offers free business seminar in Spanish to N.C.’s Hispanic business owners

Prospera, a Florida-based Hispanic nonprofit, will offer a free, Spanish-language seminar about business grant programs to North Carolina’s Hispanic small business owners on Feb. 4, according to a news release.

The hour-long seminar, which will start at 6 p.m., will discuss two grant programs offered by NC IDEA, a private, Durham-based foundation dedicated to supporting North Carolina’s entrepreneurs and economic development. NC IDEA MICRO offers a $10,000 project-based grant to entrepreneurs in the process of starting their businesses, while NC IDEA SEED offers a $50,000 grant to young, existing startups looking to speed up their growth.

According to Prospera’s press release, the seminar will outline the application process as well as the documents business owners need to apply to both programs; presenters will also highlight Prospera’s own programs and services for Hispanic business owners. Interested business owners can access the seminar at To register, business owners must call 980-729-8273 or send an email to

Founded in 1991, Prospera is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs looking to establish or expand their businesses.

“In the last five years, Prospera has managed more than $19 million in loans, invested more than $600,000 in grants, trained more than 21,000 entrepreneurs and helped clients create or retain more than 8,000 jobs,” the press release said in Spanish. “Its offices are located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Central, South, and West Coast regions of Florida.”

Prospera first expanded to North Carolina in 2017, when they established an office in Charlotte; since then, they’ve begun serving Hispanic entrepreneurs in Wake County and rural areas across the state.

More information can be found on Prospera’s website at

Chatham Commissioners proclaim February ‘We Love Seniors Month’

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Commissioners recognized the county’s recent retirees and adopted a resolution proclaiming February 2021 as “We Love Seniors Month” at its regular session meeting last Tuesday.

“To all our employees: Chatham County would not be what it is without all of you,” Chairperson Mike Dasher said after recognizing the retirees.

Vice Chairperson Diana Hales then read the board’s resolution regarding seniors, which honored the work of the Chatham County Council on Aging and the perseverance of Chatham’s older population — people 60 and older making up about a third of Chatham residents — in the face of COVID-19.

“February has traditionally been the month when the Chatham County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed clearly and profoundly ‘We Love Seniors,’” Hales read. “The year 2021 is no exception. In fact, this year we wish to say it even more emphatically.”

Central Carolina Community College’s Mark Hall, Chatham County provost, then provided an update on Chatham Promise, which provides two years of free tuition and required fees at CCCC to all eligible Chatham residents who graduate from a public high school, private school or home school 2019-22. Hall asked the board to accept the proposed changes to the MOU, two of which clarified changes in approach and one which was for administration purposes.

The board approved those changes, which clarified a two-year eligibility window and removed references allowing summer classes. Hall said last year Chatham Promise served 160 students, 140 of which completed their first year and around 60 returned — with others transferring.

The board also approved a consistency statement regarding a legislative request by 919 Storage LLC on Parcel No. 3080, located at 72 Marvin Edwards Lane, from R-2 Residential to Conditional Regional Business District (on approximately 7.93 acres out of the 17.64 acre tract) for self storage mini warehouse facility, William’s Township.

— CN+R staff reports


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