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Orange County, North Carolina


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

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October 2013


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Orange County News Release - Archives


Library Offers Free Resume Services

Media Contact

Anne Pusey, Teen & Adult Programming Services

Orange County Public Library

Phone: 919.245.2534






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2013)— The Orange County Public Library Main Library is pleased to announce a new service to job seekers.

Beginning November 10, 2013, drop-in resume review sessions will be held every other Sunday from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Volunteers will provide tips for improving format, spelling, grammar and effectiveness of resumes.

These free sessions will be held in the Group Study Room on the library’s second floor. All sessions are first-come, first-served.

In addition to this service, the library continues to offer free public computer and Wi-Fi access, low-cost black and white printing services, and free, weekly computer classes.

The OCPL Main Library is located at 137 W. Margaret Lane in downtown Hillsborough. Free parking is available behind the library in the covered parking deck.

For more information on this and other library services, please visit or call 919.245.2525.




Library Presents Barbara Davis

Media Contact

Jessica Arnold, Teen & Adult Programming Coordinator

Orange County Public Library Main Library

Phone: 919.245.2537






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2013)— The Orange County Public Library Main Library in Hillsborough invites the public to meet author Barbara Davis on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

Davis’s debut novel, The Secrets She Carried, was released in October. The story is about a young woman’s homecoming to her grandmother’s North Carolina tobacco plantation and the discovery of shocking family secrets.

The free event is sponsored by the Friends of the Orange County Public Library. Copies of Davis’ novel will be available for purchase at the event courtesy of Purple Crow Books of Hillsborough.  Davis will be signing copies of The Secrets She Carried.


The OCPL Main Library is located at 137 W. Margaret Lane. Free parking is available in the covered deck behind the library.

For more information about this event and other OCPL happenings, please visit or call 919.245.2525.




Agri-Tourism Campaign

Media Contact


Laurie Paolicelli, Executive Director,

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau

Phone: 919.968.2064





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2013)—  The Economic Development Office of Orange County, together with the Orange County Visitors Bureau, have  teamed up to launch a new Agri-tourism campaign. This includes a 2014 colorful wall calendar showcasing 12 area farms; a companion brochure and map for visitors who want easier access to county farms and farm-related events and partnership in a new on-line campaign:, a Web site showcasing the area’s agriculturally-based features that are visitor friendly – part of the growing national trend known as agri-tourism.

The campaign helps make visiting farms and food producers easier. Many of the businesses featured have a strong commitment to using locally produced foods, which is enticing to the region’s growing ‘foodie’ population who seeks to participate and learn more about how food is grown and produced. 

“When people visit a farm, there is almost nothing left to the abstract about where their food comes from,” said Portia McNight, owner of Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill. “That sort of connection to the source makes people more informed and thoughtful consumers, and that’s important for many reasons,” McNight added.  Together with Flo Hawley, she owns 37 acres in Orange County. They operate Chapel Hill Creamery, a small dairy farm and farmstead cheese making facility. All of the milk from their Jersey cows is for cheese making. They also sell whey-fed pork and AW approved veal.

Promotion and marketing are among the top challenges farms face when starting or extending their agri-tourism programs, according to a report from NC State University’s Tourism Extension program. By launching this campaign, Orange County’s goal is to extend the marketing reach of individual agri-tourism attractions to a greater region, which encourages daytrip visits. Additional research shows that many visitors to agri-tourism features also participate in other activities during their visit, indicating the possibility for extending these day trips into longer stays.

Laurie Paolicelli, who heads Orange County’s Visitors Bureau, sees Orange County’s growing demand for local products and a desire among travelers to leave the city and see the back-roads.

“Orange County is unique in many ways: it offers the culture and vibrant business-life of a city, while being surrounded by fields and farms that haven’t changed in a hundred years. In Orange County, the history of our region and its future meet. The greatest example of this is on the farm.  More and more visitors are drawn to the country and our rural surrounding gives our visitors a rich history lesson,” said Paolicelli.    

Steve Brantley, the County’s economic development director said that in addition to marketing, it’s important to help farmers bring their products to market.  “The Piedmont Food and Agricultural Center (PFAP) helps businesses and farms that do not have the resources of national franchises to develop their products,” said Brantley.  “With the news that the Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center is becoming a private nonprofit, Orange County’s initial support for the center can be labeled a successful investment.”  

The juxtaposition of urban and rural features and attractions in Orange County offers a wide range of agri-tourism experiences, which can be accessed and explored through

Comma, a full-service marketing company in Hillsborough, N.C., designed the print pieces for the agri-tourism campaign with yellowDog: Creative. Both companies have offices in historic Hillsborough and both company owners live in rural Orange County. "

For copies of the free wall calendar, brochure and map or for more information about the program, please contact the Orange County Visitors Bureau at or




Holiday Craft Show

Media Contact


Myra Austin, Senior Centers Administrator

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.2020

Terry Colville, Central Orange Senior Center Operations Manager

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.2016






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2013)— Orange County Department on Aging – Friends of the Central Orange Senior Center is hosting a holiday craft fundraiser on Saturday, November 23, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Central Orange Senior Center located at 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough. 

The fundraiser will showcase a variety of holiday crafts including jewelry, pottery, quilts, leather work, wood work, art and more and all for sale!  In addition to crafts, hot dogs and drinks will be for sale.

If you are a crafter, and would like to display and sell your crafts, please contact the Central Orange Senior Center manager, Terry Colville at 919.245.2015, on or before November 9.

The Friends of the Central Orange Senior Center is a volunteer non-profit organization that supports the programs and services provided by the Orange County Department on Aging.




Veterans Appreciation

Media Contact


Myra Austin, Senior Centers Administrator

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.2020

Terry Colville, Central Orange Senior Center Operations Manager

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.2016





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 30, 2013)— Orange County Department on Aging invites veterans to a breakfast given in their honor on Monday, November 11, 2013 at the Central Orange Senior Center from 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The Central Orange Senior Center is located at 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough.

Amedisys Hospice Services, Orange County Department on Aging, and Orange County Department of Social Services are co-sponsoring the free breakfast to show appreciation for veterans’ contribution and service to the United States of America.

To reserve your place, please call 919.245.2015 on or before November 9.






Media Contact

Erin Sapienza

Branch Librarian

Orange County Public Library - Carrboro Branch Library

Phone: 919-969-3006





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 29, 2013)— The community is invited to hear folk tales from around the world on Saturday, November 2 at 10:30 a.m. at the OCPL Carrboro Branch Library.

The free storytelling performance is a special presentation by the UNC Story Squad.  The Story Squad is comprised of graduate students from the University’s School of Library and Information Science program.

The folk tales at the performance are geared toward preschool-age and younger elementary school children, but older children and adults should enjoy them as well.

The mission of the UNC Story Squad is to help young children develop pre-literacy skills and help older children understand story structure, build visual literacy skills and develop imagination.

The OCPL Carrboro Branch Library holds storytimes each Saturday morning at its location in McDougle Middle School at 900 Old Fayetteville Rd. in Chapel Hill.

For more information about this program, please call 919.969.3006 or visit





Media Contact

Donna Baker

Clerk to the Board of Orange County Commissioners

Phone: 919-245-2130





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 21, 2013)— Pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes, the Orange County Board of Commissioners provides notice of the following changes in their 2013 meeting calendar. 

  • The BOCC changed the location of the next regular meeting on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 from the Department of Social Services building to the Central Orange Senior Center, 103 Meadowlands Drive in Hillsborough.  The meeting will start at 7:00 p.m.
  • The BOCC added a joint meeting between the Orange County Board of Commissioners and the Mebane City Council on Thursday, November 14, 2013.  The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Orange County West Campus Office building, 131 W Margaret Lane in Hillsborough. 

The webpage link for the most current BOCC meeting schedule is linked below.

A single page color calendar for 2013 BOCC meetings is linked below.

A single page color calendar for 2014 BOCC meetings is linked below.





County to Consider Possible County Fair

Media Contact

David Stancil, Director

Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation

Phone: 919.245.2510






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 18, 2013)— The Orange County “County Fair Working Group” is hosting a public meeting to gauge interest and discuss the possibilities for an Orange County Fair.

The Board of Orange County Commissioners appointed the Working Group to explore the possibility of organizing a County Fair, likely in 2015. Residents and interested groups or organizations are encouraged to share their ideas and opinions with the Working Group on Wednesday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m.

The meeting will take place at the Solid Waste Operations Center located at 1207 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

The basis of a county fair would celebrate Orange County’s historic, cultural, farming and artistic identity, while providing all residents and their families with an opportunity to celebrate the community.

The event would showcase food, crafts, agricultural activities, games, and local music groups.  


For more information, please call the Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks & Recreation at 919.245.2510.



Cooperative Extension to Holiday Event

Media Contact

Deborah J. Taylor, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences

Cooperative Extension – Orange County Center

Phone: 919.245.2055






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 17, 2013)—Orange County Cooperative Extension will once again host its annual holiday event entitled, “The Spirit of Elegant Holidays 2013: Home and Hearth Throughout the Year.” 

With assistance from a committee of volunteers, the program will take place at two different times on Thursday, October 24, at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at the Hillsborough United Methodist Church, located at 130 W. Tryon Street.  Admission is $8.00.

This year’s program will emphasize food, crafts and decorating ideas for all seasons of the year. Participants will have the opportunity to draw for door prizes; sample easy to prepare healthy foods; view a variety of creative craft, gift, and decorating ideas for all skill levels; see examples of low-cost stocking stuffers; receive a copy of the program booklet or CD with instructions for the recipes, crafts, gifts, and décor.


For more information about the event, please call Deborah Taylor at 919.245.2055.


County Funds Housing Programs Cut by Federal Government

Media Contact

Tara Fikes, Director

Housing, Human Rights and Community Development

Phone: 919.245.2490





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 16, 2013)—The Orange County Housing, Human Rights and Community Development Department is currently responding to the negative impacts resulting from the federal government’s sequester in fiscal year 2013-14. 

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, October 15, the Board of Orange County Commissioners (BOCC) agreed to a fund balance appropriation, from the General Fund, in the amount of $148,439 to offset the budget cuts made on the federal level.

The programs being impacted include the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) and HOME Investment Partnership Programs. The federal government cut $373,133, from the Section 8 HCV Program, which provides program administration and rent subsidies to low-income families and individuals leasing standard housing, in Orange County.

To adjust, the department reduced its operations budget by $95,900, but this did not resolve a funding gap of $141,110. This could be eliminated through a reduction in force, which would require the elimination of at least two staff positions.

The HOME Investment Partnership Program provides funds for housing activity, such as the housing rehabilitation program, new construction partnerships, first-time homebuyers programs, and property acquisition. Sequestration measures reduced this program budget by 13% this year. Income generated from repayments to the program provided some additional funding for projects, however it did not cover all budget needs caused by the sequestration, particularly administrative expenses. This resulted in an outstanding balance of $7,329.

“Providing affordable housing subsidies to low income families has been an ongoing challenge in our community. With the support of the County Commissioners and their willingness to fill this void, current department staff will be able to continue providing housing services to many families in Orange County,” said Tara Fikes, director of Housing, Human Rights and Community Development. 

The fund balance appropriation approved by the BOCC will allow the County to avoid reductions in staff and continue to administer these vital programs.



County DSS Impacted by Government Shutdown

Media Contact

Nancy Coston, Director

Department of Social Services

Phone: 919.245.2800






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 16, 2013)— The Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS) is currently responding to the negative impacts resulting from the federal government shutdown.  The programs being impacted immediately are mostly related to block grants, specifically TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), SSBG (Social Services Block Grant and the CCDF (Child Care Development Fund). 

The County has received notice from the state to stop work on the Adolescent Parenting Program (supported with TANF funds), Work First employment services and the Food and Nutrition Employment program. In addition, the state has indicated that child care reimbursements will be very limited until a federal budget is passed.

Originally DSS suspended services to the 44 children and their adolescent parents in the two school systems and reassigned the two social workers to assist in other areas within the department. 

With the support of the Board of Orange County Commissioners, DSS will be restoring these services.  Although the future of federal funding is unknown until the shutdown is resolved, this program has been very successful in helping teen parents to delay second pregnancies, to graduate from high school and to improve parenting skills. 

“The current problems in Washington are impacting some of the most vulnerable children and families in our community.  We are very appreciative for the support our community and County officials have provided for us during this extremely difficult time for our families and staff,” said Nancy Coston, director of Social Services.


The Work First employment services have been suspended and child care for those participants has also been suspended.  This action is being taken by the state because participants cannot be assured that they will receive their next Work First cash assistance checks on November 1 and North Carolina utilizes pay after performance for cash assistance. 

No additional cash payments can be authorized for applicants for Work First at this time.  All Work First cash recipients will receive notification at the end of this week that they may not receive their November payments.  This would be a serious hardship for about 180 Orange County families who receive cash payments averaging $224 per month. 

“Many of the programs at risk are the lifelines for our seniors, our children and low-income families who are struggling to make ends meet,” added Coston.

At this time, no additional children are being added to the child care subsidy program although Orange County has decided to continue to support the 600 low income children receiving subsidies to support employment of the parents. If reimbursements do not become available in November for October services, this may present a cash flow issue for Orange County.

For more information about the status of these or other DSS programs, please call the Department of Social Services at 919.245.2800.

To share your questions, comments or concerns with the members of Congress who represent Orange County, please refer to the following list of names and phone numbers:

Senator Kay Hagan

Washington, D.C. – 202.224.6342

Raleigh, NC – 919.856.4630

Senator Richard Burr

Washington, D.C. – 202.224.3154

Winston Salem, NC – 336.631.5125

Congressman David Price

Washington, D.C. – 202.225.1784

Chapel Hill, NC – 919.967.7924

Congressman Howard Coble

Washington, D.C. – 202.225.3065
Asheboro, NC – 336.626.3060


County Launches Exercise Campaign

Media Contact

Latonya Brown, Wellness Coordinator

Department on Aging

Phone: 919.245.4270




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 16, 2013)—The Orange County Department on Aging is launching its “Exercise Your Best Life” campaign, designed to improve quality of life through regular and sustained physical activity.

Stop by the Seymour Center for fun activities, prizes and refreshments on Friday, November 1, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. as part of the kick-off for the campaign. The Seymour Center is located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.

“The County’s Wellness Program is committed to enabling and empowering residents to ‘Exercise Your Best Life.’ Research has consistently shown that through physical activity, you can maximize the quality of your life,” said Latonya Brown, wellness coordinator for the Department on Aging.

The “Exercise Your Best Life” campaign will include a 60-Day/60-Mile Walking Challenge at the Seymour Wellness Center, starting in January as well as ongoing education on the physical and emotional benefits of physical activity.

For more information or to register for the “Exercise Your Best Life” Kick-Off event, please call 919.968.2070.



County to Host Spooktacular Event

Media Contact

Beth Young, Communications Manager
Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks, and Recreation
Phone 919.245.2418




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 16, 2013)—The Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation (DEAPR) invites the public to celebrate Halloween by attending the annual Halloween Spooktacular.

The night of fun and fright will take place on Saturday, October 26, from 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Central Recreation Center, located at 302 West Tryon Street in Hillsborough.

Halloween Spooktacular activities will include:  arts and crafts, cake walks, carnival games, face painting, two haunted houses, and inflatable bounces houses.  There will also be a costume contest with cash prizes. Some activities require the purchase of a ticket ranging from fifty cents to $3.00.  Tickets can be purchased at the event.

For more information, please visit and access the Breaking News section or call 919.245.2660.



County Recyles 30 Tons of Oyster Shells

Media Contact

Blair Pollock

Solid Waste Planner

Phone: 919.968.2788





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 15, 2013)—The Orange County Solid Waste Management Department partners with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries to collect and send oyster shells back to the coast for reuse in building oyster beds. This year shells filled four dump truck loads with more than 133,000 oyster shells weighing more than 66,000 pounds.

The shells will be sent back to the coast from the stockpile accumulated at the Orange County Landfill over the past year. This is an increase from the 27 tons collected in 2012. The shells are used to replenish the oyster beds in a State program that started 10 years ago.  

“As long as the Solid Waste Management Department can provide storage space at the landfill for the shells and the State can provide transportation back to the coast, Orange County will continue to accept oyster shells at no cost.  It helps our local business community stay in compliance with the law and the program benefits both the economy and the environment,” said Gayle Wilson director of Orange County Solid Waste.

Most of the shells collected from the landfill this year came from two Orange County restaurants, Huey’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Mebane and Squids Oyster Bar in Chapel Hill.  But any member of the public who lives or owns a business in Orange County may also bring oyster shells or other shells, such as clams and mussels to the landfill for recycling at no charge. The shells can be dropped off during operating hours from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

The State tax credit of a dollar a bushel has been eliminated this year along with the formal oyster shell recycling program and most State support for the project. But it is still illegal to landfill oyster shells and the State Division of Marine Fisheries has found short-term funds to continue to truck shells from public collection sites throughout the state back to the coast.  Local support is strong.

“We are trying to help replenish the oyster population for North Carolina We will keep voluntarily doing it and the elimination of the tax credit will not stop us. We do not get a lot of oysters from North Carolina now and we hope this will help some,” said Gary Huey owner of Hueys’ Restaurant.

“Recycling these shells is just the right thing to do. We have made a commitment to sustainable practices and we will continue regardless of the loss of the tax credits.  We truly appreciate that Orange County Landfill takes part and provides space for us to bring the shells,” said Greg Overbeck, co-owner and Marketing Director of the Chapel Hill Restaurant Group which includes Squids.



County Promotes Energy Star Tax Holiday

Media Contact

Deborah J. Taylor, Extension Agent

Family and Consumer Sciences

Cooperative Extension – Orange County Center

Phone: 919.245.2055






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 15, 2013)—Orange County Cooperative Extension is encouraging Orange County residents to take advantage of the Energy Star Tax Holiday.

The Energy Star tax holiday is taking place from Friday, November 1– Sunday, November 3, 2013, but the program will no longer be funded after this year. 

Energy Star Logo The North Carolina Energy Star tax holiday, introduced in 2008 to encourage the use of more energy efficient products while saving consumers money, will end in 2014. That means that this is the last chance to take advantage of this tax holiday in North Carolina.

The eligible products include: clothes washers, freezers and refrigerators, central air conditioners and room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, and programmable thermostats. This does not apply to the rental of a product or the sale of a product for use in a trade or business.

In addition to saving through the tax holiday, there are many things that you can do to save money and conserve energy every day. The NC Cooperative Extension E-Conservation Program offers helpful materials, workshops and tools to help residents to lower their utility costs by conserving energy. Learn other ways to save energy by visiting the E-Conservation website:

For a list of Energy Star Products, please visit

Use this store locator to find retailers in your area. Because store locations change frequently, please contact the store directly before you travel. 

Click on the following link to learn how a product earns the Energy Star Label:


For more information, please contact Deborah Taylor at 919.245.2055 or send an e-mail to



County to Host Library Halloween Activities

Media Contact

Jessica Arnold, Teen & Adult Programming Coordinator

OCPL Main Library

Phone: 919.245.2537

Debbie Shreve, Head of Youth Services

OCPL Main Library



Erin Sapienza, Branch Librarian

OCPL Carrboro Branch Library






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 14, 2013)—The Orange County Public Library (OCPL) will celebrate Halloween by hosting a variety of fun activities and events for kids, teens and adults.  All events are free and the public is encouraged to participate.  

Countdown to Halloween

Monday, October 21

OCPL Main Library

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Start the countdown to Halloween by watching the world premiere of the Teen Murder Mystery 2013 Film. Stick around for the after-party, which will include a costume contest, zombie mayhem, Halloween trivia and games, prizes and candy!

The movie starts at 6:00 pm. Register for the costume contest before 7:00 p.m. for your chance to win!  This is geared towards age 12 and older. This is hosted by the Teen Advisory Board.

Halloween Family Event

Saturday, October 26

OCPL Main Library

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Join us in your Halloween costumes for a storytime at 10:30 a.m., followed by crafts/activities and trick or treating around the library.  Note: Activities will be geared toward children age eight and younger.


Family-Friendly Monster Movie

Wednesday, October 30

OCPL Main Library

2:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Come watch this monster movie, and take a trip back in time to when your favorite monsters, Mike Wazowski and Sulley, were just two promising young students -- long before they were lurking in closets for a living!  Rated-G. 


Spooky Storytime

Thursday, October 31

OCPL Carrboro Branch Library

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

What better way to celebrate All Hallows' Eve than with spine-tingling Halloween tales?  Costumes are welcome, so be sure to make the Carrboro Branch Library a stop on your trick-or-treating route!  We may even give you a treat...or a'll just have to wait and see! All ages are welcome.

The OCPL Main Library is located at 137 W. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough.

The OCPL Carrboro Branch Library is inside McDougle Middle School at 900 Old Fayetteville Road in Chapel Hill.

For more information about OCPL programs and events, please visit



County to Host Gatsby-Themed Gala

Media Contact

Kathy Porter

Orange County RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program

Phone: 919.245.4240





ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 10, 2013)—The Orange County RSVP 55+ Volunteer Advisory Council and Friends of the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center invite the public to put on glad rags and get dolled up for the Glitz-Glamour-Gatsby Gala.

A “Roaring Twenties” party will take place on Saturday, November 16, from 7:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m. at the Seymour Center, located at 2551 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill.

The putting on the Ritz event will feature heavy hors d’œuvres, wine/beer tastings, entertainment, dancing, a silent auction, and a showcase of vintage cars.

Food vendors will include: Galloway Ridge at Fearrington, Franklin Hotel, Vespa Restorante, Mama Dip’s Kitchen, Mediterranean Deli, and Elmo’s Grill to name a few.  The Jazz Tones will provide live entertainment, which will get everyone on the dance floor showing off their favorite 1920s dance steps. Prepare to have an extraordinary evening filled with glitz and glamour.  It will be the cat’s meow!

Tickets are $40/person and $75/couple. They can be purchased at the Seymour Center in Chapel Hill or the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough.  Call to reserve a ticket for pick up at the door on the night of the event.

Proceeds will benefit RSVP’s annual volunteer recognition program as well as various other programs and services for older adults, funded by the Friends.

RSVP has served as a central source to match people 55+ with volunteer opportunities available at non-profit agencies.

For more information or to volunteer call the RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program at 919.245.4240 or 919.245.4243.


County Reduces 9-1-1 and EMS Response Times

Media Contact

Jim Groves

Emergency Services Director

Phone: 919.245.6140






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 9, 2013)–The Orange County Emergency Services Department is pleased to report improved 9-1-1dispatch times and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) response times. A presentation outlining these findings was presented to the BOCC, during a Work Session with the Fire Departments on October 3.

The 9-1-1 Communications Center has improved from having an average dispatch time of 2:42 during 2011, to 1:25 through the 2nd quarter of 2013.  The average EMS response time has also improved from 10:46 during 2011, to 9:45 through the 2nd quarter of 2013.

The improved times can be attributed to several factors.  The 9-1-1 Communications Center has continued to increase Telecommunicator staff on each shift to effectively handle the call volume. In addition, Quality Audit & Improvement and Training staff positions have been added.  To complement the new staff positions, several process improvements have been implemented within the 9-1-1 Communications Center to enable quicker dispatches.

The EMS response times have been improved by adding additional ambulances, Paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians, co-locating ambulances in partnership with local fire departments to get them closer to their response districts, and the use of Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) devices to help identify and dispatch the closest ambulance to the call.

“With the direction and support of the Orange County Board of County Commissioners who approved our budget request for resources and equipment, Emergency Services has been able to focus on implementing organizational changes that provide enhanced customer service in a much faster timeframe,” said Jim Groves, Director of Orange County Emergency Services.

“I anticipate that the 9-1-1 dispatch and EMS response times will continue to improve as we implement new training and response initiatives, while maturing as a young organization”, Groves added.

To explore a career with Orange County as a Telecommunicator or Paramedic, please visit and click on the Job Opportunities link or call the Human Resources job line at 919.245.2560.



Fire Prevention Week: October 6 - 12

Media Contact

Jason B. Shepherd

Orange County Fire Marshal

Phone: 919.245.6151




ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 3, 2013)—Orange County Emergency Services is inviting the public to participate in Fire Prevention Week from October 6-12. This year’s theme is, ‘Prevent Kitchen Fires.'

Emergency Services personnel will be visiting the elementary schools to make a Fire Safety presentation to grades K - 3 on October 9, which is Fire Prevention Day.

During this year's fire safety campaign, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) will join fire departments in spreading the word about the dangers of kitchen fires--most of which result from unattended cooking—and teaching residents how to prevent kitchen fires from starting in the first place.

According to the latest NFPA research, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. Two of every five home fires begin in the kitchen—more than any other place in the home. Cooking fires are also the leading cause of home fire-related injuries.

"Often when we're called to a fire that started in the kitchen, the residents tell us they only left the kitchen for a few minutes," said Fire Marshal Jason Shepherd.

 "Sadly, that's all it takes for a dangerous fire to start. We hope that Fire Prevention Week will help us to reach folks in the community before they've experienced a damaging lesson."

Among the safety tips that firefighters and safety advocates will be emphasizing: 


  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, broiling, or boiling food
  • If you must leave the room, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove
  • When you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, stay in the home and use a timer as a reminder
  • If you have children, use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
  • When you cook, wear clothing with tight-fitting sleeves
  • Keep potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper and plastic bags, towels, and anything else that can burn, away from your stovetop
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops


Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. Fire Prevention Week is the longest running public health and safety observance on record.

For more information about fire safety, please call Emergency Services at 919.245.6151.



Sheep and Goat Parasite Management Workshop

Media Contact

Lauren Langley

Extension Agent, Area Livestock

Phone: 919.245.2058








ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 3, 2013)—The Orange County NC Cooperative Extension is inviting sheep and goat owners to attend a workshop on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.  Pre-registration is required by October 16, 2013. 

The workshop will take place at the Central Carolina Holstein Barn located on Orange Grove Road (near address marker 6706), in Hillsborough. This workshop is open to anyone in Alamance or Orange Counties as well as any of the surrounding counties. 

The topics of discussion will include internal parasite control and management tips for small ruminants, and FAMACHA© concept and training to name a few.  The presenters will be Lauren Langley, area livestock extension agent for Alamance and Orange Counties, as well as Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, NC State University Extension meat goat specialist.

The workshop will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8:00 p.m., please arrive early for check-in and payment.  The workshop fee is $17.00/person to cover FAMACHA© certification/card and materials.  Space is limited to a first-come, first-serve basis. 

For more information or to register, please call Lauren Langley at 919.245.2058 or send an e-mail to or visit



Temporary 9-1-1 Phone Line Outage

Media Contact

Captain Darshan Patel

Emergency Management Coordinator

Phone: 919.245.6135

Cell: 919.332.3782







ORANGE COUNTY. NC (October 3, 2013)—The Orange County 9-1-1 Center experienced intermittent issues with the 9-1-1 phone lines this afternoon, affecting residents in Carrboro. 

The faulty lines have been rolled over to the working lines, and Carrboro residents are now able to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency. Emergency Services staff is working with the service provider to determine the cause of the outage.  



Pauli Murray Award Nominations

Media Contact

Tara L. Fikes, Director

Housing, Human Rights & Community Development

Phone: 919.245.2490






ORANGE COUNTY, NC (October 3, 2013)—The Orange County Human Relations Commission is accepting nominations for the 2013 Pauli Murray Human Relations Awards.

Each year, the Pauli Murray Award is presented to a youth, adult and business owner in Orange County. Each recipient is recognized for serving the Orange County community with distinction in the pursuit of equality, justice and human rights for all residents.


Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 2013. The nomination form is available online at 


Individual and Youth nominees must reside in Orange County. Business nominees must operate or conduct business within Orange County. Additional criteria are as follows:



Individual Nominees Must:

 Have a record of promoting human rights, diversity and/or equality in the Orange County community. This may include, but not limited to, providing leadership in diffusing racial or other community tensions, promoting diversity and/or equality in community activities and events, or advocating for members of a protected class; and

 Have a history of involvement in the area of human relations in Orange County.


Youth Nominees Must:

 Be a full-time student in grades 6-12 or a college student 18 years old or younger;

 Demonstrate a concern for the rights of all people through acts that may include, but not limited to, encouraging cultural understanding, or promoting human rights, diversity or equality in a school or community setting; and

 Exhibit leadership, citizenship and a positive attitude.


Business Nominees Must:

 Encourage diversity in the workforce and provide leadership and direction for the upward mobility for all employees;

 Provide self-improvement opportunities for employees through such options as educational assistance, in-house training or employee assistance programs; and

 Promote and participate in activities and programs related to human relations affairs.

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.




Adopt a Dog Month

Media Contact

Robert A. Marotto, Director

Orange County Animal Services

Phone: 919.968.2287




Orange County, NC (October 1, 2013)—Orange County Animal Services is inviting the public to participate in Adopt a Shelter Dog Month by taking advantage of reduced adoption fees for select dogs throughout the month of October.   

In celebration of this annual event, Animal Services has reduced the adoption fee for all adult dogs and select puppies by half, making the fee for these fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered and vet checked dogs $60!  Once a dog is selected to be part of the celebration, its adoption fee will remain $60 for the entire month of October!

As an added bonus, Animal Services will host weekly photo contests featuring available dogs on special on its Facebook page at  Winners of the Facebook contest will receive a free professional photo shoot courtesy of Anna Routh Photography! 

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month is a national event created by the American Humane Association that aims to reduce the number of homeless dogs and puppies in shelters by raising awareness about adopting and about dog ownership and care.

Additional October events at Animal Services include a low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on Thursday, October 10, at the Government Annex in Hillsborough, also sign-up for the November spay/day event. 

For more information, please visit the Animal Services Web site at