News Briefs: Week of April 28

Posted 4/29/21

News Briefs

Central Carolina Promise/K14 program to hold virtual information sessions

From Central Carolina Community College

SANFORD — Pre-register now to attend a virtual information …

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News Briefs: Week of April 28

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Central Carolina Promise/K14 program to hold virtual information sessions

From Central Carolina Community College

SANFORD — Pre-register now to attend a virtual information session for the Central Carolina Promise/K14 program.

The program provides free tuition at Central Carolina Community College to qualifying high school graduates who live in Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties.

Learn more about the Promise/K14 program by attending one of these virtual information sessions:

• Chatham County Promise, 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 4

• Harnett County Promise, 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 5

• Lee County Promise, 6 p.m. Thursday, May 6

Register at:

The same content will be covered in each session, so students may register for any session that fits their schedule. A recording will also be available after the sessions conclude for anyone who cannot attend.

Priority deadline for the program is Thursday, July 1. The first step is to complete the Central Carolina Promise/K14 interest form on the Promise website at

Those with questions can email to:, or call (919) 718-7542.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College — which is dedicated to providing pathways to achievable dreams — visit

Siler City indoor walking

Siler City Parks and Recreation invites you to lace up your shoes and get ready to walk into better health! Start your day off right with a few laps at the Indoor Walking Program each weekday morning from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. beginning Monday, April 26, 2021. The program is held at the Ernest Ramsey Gymnasium Indoor Walking Track at 512 East 6th Street, Siler City.

This program is free and no pre-registration is required. Operations are subject to COVID-19 guidelines and mask are required indoors.

For more information, visit, contact Siler City Parks and Recreation at (919) 742-2699 or email

— CN+R staff reports

AABE hosts ‘clean energy’ session

The American Association of Blacks in Energy will host a clean energy session from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 3.

AABE is a national organization and its mission dates back to 1977 when the country was in an oil crisis. Its founders wanted to be sure all Americans had a voice at the table on energy matters. This national organization is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit professional organization committed to ensuring the input of African Americans and other minorities into energy and environment discussions, and development of energy policy regulations and research and development technologies. Through strong membership, AABE continues to grow and provide networks and professional relationships that benefit members and the companies they represent throughout the country.

The North Carolina chapter of AABE focuses on educating North Carolina communities about energy-related matters, developing diverse energy professionals and increasing student awareness of energy-related career opportunities. In addition, the chapter awards scholarships to students pursuing higher education in STEM. To date, it has awarded more than 100 scholarships and held high school events in the Triangle at N.C. Central University and other venues.

Learn more about AABE national at

Dominion conducting controlled burns

Dominion Energy will be conducting natural gas system inspections beginning this week at 13804 U.S. Hwy. 64 in Siler City near the Walmart Supercenter. As part of that process, motorists will see a vertical flame off U.S. Hw.y 64. Related work will take place several times a week and the flame may be visible for approximately three to six hours each day. There will be road signs to remind the community that the flame is a controlled burn activity.

These activities are overseen by Dominion Energy and other qualified personnel in cooperation with local fire department officials. If residents smell a rotten egg odor and have concerns there may be a leak in or around their home, they should call 911 and Dominion Energy at 1-877-776-2427 from a safe place.

— CN+R staff reports

Chatham Literacy’s Interesting Virtual Event a Success

Why Goats?

That question was answered last Tuesday during a Chatham Literacy first virtual spring author’s event.

The life of goats, the essence of life on a farm and the beauty of nature elevated to deeper inspiration were topics discussed at this fundraising event by noted author Jill McCorkle and documentarian and photographer Tom Rankin.

The couple’s presentation of home resonated with more than the 100 participants watching Chatham Literacy’s first virtual fundraising event. The discussion was both inspiring and often quite amusing and included Rankin’s lush, documentary-style photographs. The event raised over $15,000 for the nonprofit’s adult, literacy-based services.

“While we all miss getting together Jill and Tom did a fantastic job inviting us into their home and engaging us in their world. You did not feel as if you were alone at your computer,” said Vicki Newell, Chatham Literacy Executive Director. “In-person programs are preferable; but I would do another virtual event in a heart-beat and hope that the community will join us again if that needs to happen for our major fall author event.”

The lunchtime event included live discussions with the couple about their recently acclaimed book, Goat Light, showcasing vivid photography and reflective stories about their rural Piedmont lifestyle. The lush text and photography has won accolades from buyers and critics alike.

The program also featured moving testimony from a Chatham Literacy tutoring team Christie Minchew and Janet Ramirez. With the support of her employer, Hispanic Liaison, Janet is working on her professional writing and communication skills through the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program.

“At first the reason I joined Chatham Literacy in 2019 was because my boss requested I do it,” Janet told participants. “But after a couple of tutoring sessions, I realized that I really wanted this improvement for myself so I could grow as an individual. After meeting Chatham Literacy’s staff members, I felt extremely encouraged that I could better myself and that Chatham Literacy actually cared about my learning.”

— CN+R staff reports

Chatham County Parks and Recreation to host outdoor film festival

PITTSBORO — The Chatham County community is invited to spend a night under the stars at the Chatham County Parks and Recreation Department’s Outdoor Film Festival. The event is from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 7, at The Park at Briar Chapel, located at 1015 Andrews Store Road in Pittsboro.

This free event will showcase multiple short films that are all focused on outdoor recreation. Themes include paddling, climbing, biking and more. Films will be shown using an outdoor projector and large movie screen. Due to COVID-19, spectators will be asked to physically distance from other family units while watching the films. There is space for 100 people on the field, and there are 17 parking spots for people who wish to watch the films from their cars. Space is limited, and this event is first-come, first-served. It is recommended that attendees arrive early to secure their spots.

The Outdoor Film Festival is included in the Chatham 250 Passport Experience, which is part of Chatham County’s 250th anniversary celebration. The film festival is one of many activities that residents can experience with the Natural Environment Passport.

“We’re enthusiastic about the Outdoor Film Festival, and I hope residents participating in the Chatham 250 Passport Experience will join us,” said Chatham County Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Burnett. “This event will give the residents a chance to get outdoors and enjoy recreation-themed short films while social distancing.”

For more information, residents may visit the Outdoor Film Festival Facebook event:, or contact Mallory Peterson at 919-545-8553 or at More details on the Chatham 250 Passport Experience and other Chatham 250 activities can be found at

Chatham County Permitting and Development Services unveil online portal

PITTSBORO — Chatham County announces that a new, online portal is available to serve the public with services from several departments: Central Permitting and Inspections, Planning, Environmental Health and Watershed Protection. The online services portal is located at and is available 24 hours a day.

The portal enables residents, property owners, contractors, designers and others to request various permits and approvals online without having to leave their home or office. Individuals may apply for permits, receive comments, ask questions, obtain documents and approvals, schedule inspections and make payments with a credit card. Even more services will become available online as staff continue to add them to the portal. The additional services are expected to be incorporated throughout the remainder of the year.

“In addition to its convenience, the portal enhances our ability to provide customer service to the public by streamlining the various steps to our processes, facilitating communication between staff and applicants through emails, online notifications and other features and improving our efficiency,” said Chatham County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “As Chatham County continues to grow, the online portal will help us process our residential and commercial development needs.”

Individuals must create an online account in order to use the portal. Their individualized dashboard allows them to track multiple permits easily and review records of past permits. By using the online portal, applicants are likely to receive their permits faster and without the need to fill out paper applications and additional copies.

For more information, or to contact someone in Central Permitting, visit

Chatham Charter students participate in Earth Day 2021

Several classes at Chatham Charter participated in Earth Day 2021 through classroom study and campus projects.

Kindergarten students made Earth Day hats and searched the playground for trash during play time to help in keeping the campus as clean as possible. In the same spirit, students in a high school English II class picked up trash on campus after finishing a test.

First grade students in Jennifer Clark’s and Lisa Osborne’s classes planted rose salvia perennial plants in planters at the playground.

“The commitment by the students to digging the holes themselves in small groups proved to be challenging because their spades were plastic and the ground was pretty hard, but their hearts were completely in it,” said Dr. John Eldridge, head of school.

In high school Earth Science, 9th grade students and their teacher, Gary Oakley, had a lab that focused on identifying minerals. They also had the state reptile, an eastern box turtle, as well as samples of flowering shrubs, one invasive and one native, as discussion items. Oakley brought three ferns and a spice bush to plant on the school’s cross country trail in honor of Earth Day 2021. He encouraged the students to use phone apps to assist in identifying plants, shrubs, trees and wildflowers as part of their curriculum study.

High school Spanish students learned about the island of Guna in Central America, the indigenious homeland of their teacher, Mery Rojas, through a short film entitled Olugwuadule (translated Mother Earth). With narration in the indigenious language and subtitles in Spanish, the students learned about the connection the people have with water/sea, sky, land and animals.

“Nosotros vimos en el video que la tierra es muy importante y muy bonita. La tierra representa vida,” said 10th grader Kyllian Coble. Translation: We saw in the video that the land was very important and beautiful. The land represents life.

N.C. House backs bill to end twice-a-year time changes

RALEIGH — The N.C. House of Representatives has approved a measure that could pave the way for ending the state’s twice-a-year ritual of setting clocks forward and back.

After less than five minutes of discussion, House members voted 99-16 Thursday to approve House Bill 307, which could lead to the end of spring and fall time changes within the state.

“The standard time of the State and its political subdivisions is the time designated by the United States Department of Transportation pursuant to the Uniform Time Act of 1966,” the bill says. “If authorized by Congress, the State and its political subdivisions shall observe daylight-saving time … at all times throughout the year.”

Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) has led the legislative charge to keep daylight-saving time all year long in North Carolina.

“It simply asks Congress to pick a time — in this bill, it’s daylight-saving time — and use that as our standard time so that we don’t go forward or backward twice a year,” Saine explained to colleagues. “As I’ve told folks in committee, this is probably the most popular bill we’ve ever run through this body.”

If H.B. 307 becomes law, the permanent time change still would require federal action. “It’s simply asking Congress to act,” Saine said. “I realize that may be a tall order, but you do have to start somewhere. Some of our U.S. senators have acknowledged in the press that they are willing to support such a move.”

Saine acknowledged one criticism of the proposal: School buses could be picking up children in darkness during part of the year. “It’s certainly a concern,” he said. “It’s not something we want to make light of. But it is something that I think we can adjust to as well.”

House Bill 307 now heads to the Senate, where a similar measure died in 2019.

Economic momentum, alignment on display in the Carolina Core

More than 100 members of the region’s civic, business and elected leadership gathered virtually last week for a briefing highlighting momentum in the Carolina Core and a display of local, regional and state alignment with remarks from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders.

“In the Carolina Core, we know that economic development is a team sport,” said Stan Kelly, President and CEO of the Piedmont Triad Partnership. “I am proud that collaboration within the region is stronger than ever before. We have engaged economic development partners, business leaders, state leaders and elected officials on this shared vision for the future and there is tremendous alignment around key economic development strategies supported by communications and relationships that are strong and demonstrate a ‘Can Do’ spirit.”

This collaboration and teamwork resulted in more than 16,600 new jobs announced collectively in the Carolina Core since 2018, representing billions of dollars in investment. Despite the pandemic, the Carolina Core has continued to see major capital investment from new and expanding industries.

Downtowns in particular have undergone significant upgrades with new construction in office space, public spaces and other amenities, including Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem, Congdon Yards in High Point and 400 Bellemeade and the Gateway Building in Greensboro.

Kelly also discussed the construction of facilities and new program offerings at our region’s colleges and universities that will be vital to our future economic growth, including Forsyth Technical Community College’s new aviation technology lab, new engineering buildings at NC A&T State University and Elon University, a nursing and instructional building at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a new arena and conference center at High Point University.

Building on the themes of momentum and teamwork, Governor Roy Cooper provided an economic update from the state perspective, discussing how North Carolina and the Carolina Core are well-positioned to emerge from the pandemic.

“North Carolina is well-positioned to transform its economy in the post-pandemic recovery,” said Cooper. “The Triad Area and Central Core of our state are ready to roar because of a well-trained work force, transportation, megasites for new manufacturing, and quality of life.”

The Carolina Core is a 120+ mile stretch of central North Carolina from west of Winston-Salem to Fayetteville and encompassing Greensboro and High Point, the Carolina Core is defined by assets that make the region a globally competitive market — a smart and growing talent pool of more than 2 million people, access to 30+ colleges and universities, multiple airports, four megasites totaling 7,200 acres of certified land, industrial and urban research parks and more. Purpose and vision are at the Core, with public and private leadership highly engaged on a vision for the future and more innovative companies locating and expanding in the Carolina Core every day. Learn more at


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