News Briefs: Week of March 31

Posted 4/1/21

News briefs

Chatham health department policy ‘backfires’

A measure Chatham’s health department put in place to prevent endless appointment emails and robocalls from bothering vaccinated …

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News Briefs: Week of March 31

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Chatham health department policy ‘backfires’

A measure Chatham’s health department put in place to prevent endless appointment emails and robocalls from bothering vaccinated residents has ended up bothering them anyway.

“Sometimes we hear people who said, ‘I just want to let you know I got in your database in January, and I got the vaccine somewhere else and I still haven’t heard from you,’” said Mike Zelek, Chatham’s public health director. “That was an intentional effort from our staff that they wouldn’t be bugged.”

Once people register with the department’s vaccine database, staff can check to see if residents have been vaccinated elsewhere — and if so, remove their names.

Logistically, that helps the department track their numbers and see how many residents in a certain group have yet to be vaccinated. That way, Zelek said, they could “tweak” the process by which they open up appointments to other groups. Practically, he added, regularly cleansing the database prevents residents from receiving endless calls and emails from the CCPHD after they’d already gotten vaccinated with other providers.

At least, that was the idea.

“It’s backfired because I guess it’s too-good customer service,” he said, laughing. “... It’s not that you aren’t getting contacted because we don’t want you to get vaccinated. It’s that we know you got vaccinated, so we figured you don’t need our vaccination anymore.”

Chatham Community Library to Host N.C. Poet Laureate Jaki Shelton Green

PITTSBORO — Chatham Community Library will commemorate National Poetry Month in April with a presentation by NC Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green. The virtual event entitled “An Evening with the North Carolina Poet Laureate,” will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 24.

Jaki Shelton Green is the first African American and third woman to be appointed as the North Carolina Poet Laureate. She is a 2019 Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow, 2014 N.C. Literary Hall of Fame Inductee, 2009 N.C. Piedmont Laureate appointee, and 2003 recipient of the North Carolina Award for Literature. Green, a professor of Documentary Poetry at Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, has been named the 2021 Frank B. Hanes Writer in Residence at UNC Chapel Hill.

Her publications include Dead on Arrival, Masks, Dead on Arrival and New Poems, Conjure Blues, singing a tree into dance, breath of the song, Feeding the Light, and i want to undie you. On Juneteenth 2020, she released her first LP, poetry album, The River Speaks of Thirst.

Owner of SistaWRITE, Green provides retreats for women writers in Sedona, Arizona; Martha’s Vineyard; Ocracoke, N.C.; Northern Morocco; and Tullamore, Ireland.

National Poetry Month was introduced in 1996 and was inspired by the success of Black History Month, held each February, and Women’s History Month, held in March. In 1995, the Academy of American Poets convened a group of publishers, booksellers, librarians, literary organizations, poets, and teachers to discuss the need and usefulness of a similar monthlong holiday to celebrate poetry.

To register for this event and to receive virtual meeting instructions, individuals may contact Chatham Community Library Branch Manager Rita Van Duinen at

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

— CN+R staff reports

Tiana Brooks selected to exhibit work at 2021 Emerging Artists Invitational

SILER CITY — Tiana Brooks, a senior at Jordan-Matthews High School and JMArts Scholar, was one of 35 high school artists statewide chosen to exhibit work at The 2021 Emerging Artists Invitational, an annual exhibition for high school artists sponsored by the Sechrest Gallery of Art and the High Point University School of Art and Design.

Her mixed media work, “Say Their Names,” is appearing now in the exhibition being held online this spring due to the pandemic. In past years, the event has taken place in the art gallery and has culminated with a daylong special program for students featuring workshops, tours of High Point art facilities and a special reception to honor the works on exhibition.

This year’s virtual exhibition runs through April 19. It can be viewed at by scrolling through the slide show and clicking on any image for a larger view of the work. During the exhibition, the Sechrest Gallery will announce special prizes and feature each work on its Instagram feed.

“This piece was created for the sole purpose of remembering the Black women who lost their lives in the hands of police officers,” Brooks said of her work. “We must remember these women and fight for their rights and justice.”

Themes of compassion, understanding and justice run through much of Brooks’ work, one reason among many that JM art teacher Rahkie Mateen-Mason has developed such respect for the young artist. “We often hear that life imitates art, but art also imitates life,” Mateen-Mason said. “In Tiana’s piece, ‘Say their Names’, Tiana tackled a really tough subject. I think what I admire most about Tiana is that her art is so personal that it often becomes universal.”

Brooks received first place in “Path to the Woods,” a 2019 juried art show at Jordan-Matthews held in conjunction with the high school’s stage production of “Into the Woods.” She has exhibited at other shows in the area including the 2019 Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour Student Show, received her school’s 2020 Young Artist Award and was named a 2020 JMArts Scholar, an annual honor awarding scholarships for intensive study over the summer at weeklong, residential workshops offered on university campuses.

More information about JMArts, including a schedule of upcoming arts events and information on membership, is available online at

Lee & Associates to lease Mosaic, mixed-use gateway to Chatham Park

Lee & Associates Raleigh-Durham, the regional office of the national commercial real estate firm Lee & Associates, announced it has been appointed to manage all leasing coordination for the new 44-acre mixed-use development, MOSAIC at Chatham Park.

This development serves as the gateway to Chatham Park, a 7,100-acre live-work-play-learn community in the heart of Pittsboro. MOSAIC is the first commercial center of Chatham Park and offers 750,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office, medical, service and educational space for lease.

“MOSAIC will easily become the standard for mixed-use development throughout North Carolina,” said Moss Withers, CEO & President of Lee & Associates Raleigh-Durham. “The development team’s vision, master plan and merchandise mix, as well as growing populations in nearby Raleigh and Chapel Hill, position this project for incredible success. New businesses have already committed to 60% of the available space which shows the pent-up demand within the state of North Carolina’s third-fastest growing county.”

With the first building set to open May, Phase I includes 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and 88,000 square feet of office space, alongside a Hampton Inn & Suites, The Guild apartment homes, Tessera at MOSAIC luxury condos and entertainment venues. Future phases include additional residential homes, office and retail. This project is led by MOSAIC developer, Kirk Bradley, CEO & President, Lee-Moore Capital, along with Chatham Park developers, Bubba Rawl and Tim Smith.

Furthermore, Lee & Associates Raleigh-Durham will manage the land brokerage of Northwood Landing, a 92-acre site that includes a Lowes Foods-anchored shopping center and 312 multifamily units across from the MOSAIC property. Outparcels, ranging in size from 0.85 to 2.0 acres, are available for retail, restaurant, bank and medical.

“We are excited to partner with Lee & Associates,” says Bradley. “To have such a reputable firm represent MOSAIC at Chatham Park is certainly a win for our mixed-use community. We are confident the Lee & Associates team will assist in bringing our vision to life with a unique balanced merchandise mix, serving the needs and desires of the local community and beyond.”

Hunter Stewart, MBA, Vice President, will lead the leasing team; for all inquiries, please call 919-576- 2507. Additional leasing team members include Moss Withers, SIOR, MBA, CEO & Principal, Brian Farmer, Managing Director & Vice President, Jenn Olevitch-Roberson, Vice President, and Christina Coffey, Vice President.

— CN+R staff reports

NCDMV allows for state-issued ID card renewal

RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles expanded its online services and now customers can renew state-issued identification cards.

Individuals with a state-issued ID can skip making an office appointment and renew online by going to and follow the instructions. State-issued IDs can be renewed up to six months before they expire. The price to renew an ID is $14, plus the $3 online convenience fee. However, there are also ID holders who can renew for free. That information can be found at under No-Fee ID Cards.

Obtaining an initial state-issued ID still requires a visit to a driver license office. Information on obtaining an ID card can be found on the DMV website.

NCDMV already offers online access for many services, including driver license renewals, ordering duplicate licenses and ID cards, driving record requests, driver license office appointments, registration renewals, vehicle property tax payments, duplicate registration cards, ordering personalized and specialty plates, payment of insurance lapse fines, and applying for voter registration.


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