Board of County Commissioners
200 South Cameron St.
P.O. Box 8181
North Carolina 27278
(919) 245-2130
Fax: (919) 644-0246

Contact: David Hunt
Information Specialist
(919) 245-2126
Fax: (919) 644-0246

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News Releases

July/August 2006

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Past News Releases




August 29, 2006

Contact: Barry Jacobs, Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners (919) 732-4384
Donna Baker, Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners (919) 245-2130  


Orange County 9-11 Memorial Ceremony

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will host a memorial ceremony at noon on September 11, 2006 in front of the Old Orange County Courthouse on East King Street in downtown Hillsborough. 

The memorial will honor those who lost their lives, and those who suffer still, as a result of the tragedies of September 11, 2001 and of those related to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The event will include the following -

- A Saponi peace prayer offered by John “Blackfeather” Jeffries

- Lighting of commemorative candles

- Lowering the American flag to half-staff

- Taps played by L. Eric Hallman

The event should last approximately 10 minutes. There will be no speeches.

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Human Rights 


August 18, 2006

Contact: James Spivey, Civil Rights Specialist, Orange County Human Rights and Relations (919) 968-2288 

2006 Orange County Women's Agenda Assembly

The Orange County Commission for Women, NC Women United, and a host of other women’s groups have joined together to organize the Orange County 2006 Women’s Agenda Assembly.  Since 1988 Women’s Agenda Assemblies have been organized across North Carolina every other fall.  The assembly gives women the opportunity to express their views, prioritize their issues and in the end to have their voices heard through advocacy in the North Carolina General Assembly. 

The Orange County 2006 Women’s Agenda Assembly will take place October 12, 2006 from 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM at the Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Light Supper will be provided.  REGISTRATION and Light Supper runs from 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

Pre-registration is preferred.  For additional information or to pre-register call 919 960-3875.

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August 9, 2006

Contact: Brenda Stephens, Library Director (919) 245-2525, Donna King, Health Department PIO (919) 245-2449, Sharron Hinton, Director of Community Services (919) 245-2302 

Orange County Public Library Recalls Summer Reading Program Toys

The Orange County Public Library has issued a recall for two animal toys that children received while participating in the “Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales” Summer Reading Program.  The four-inch, bendable cat and dog toys may contain unacceptable amounts of lead.  Parents are urged to return the toys to the Cedar Grove Branch, Carrboro McDougle Branch, or the Main Library in Hillsborough.

“We received notification from the State Library of North Carolina about this issue, and we are taking immediate action to contact all parents,” said Brenda Stephens, Director of Orange County Libraries.  Orange County was one of 28 libraries statewide to purchase the toys for the Summer Reading Program through funding from the State Library of North Carolina.

“We had more than 400 participants in this Summer Reading Program and staff is making every effort to personally communicate with all parents”, said Stephens.  We are advising parents of the necessary precautionary steps, which include:

(1)   Washing the child’s hands and face thoroughly after contact with the toys;

(2)   Consulting with your medical provider; and

(3)   Returning the toys to the library for disposal.

 If families do not have a private medical provider, they are urged to contact Sue Rankin, RN, Orange County Health Department at (919) 245-2461.

The “Paws, Claws, Scales and Tales” program is implemented nationally and toys were purchased by libraries in almost 50% of states in the United States.  The Indiana State Department of Health has referred this matter to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for further investigation and follow-up.

For more information, contact Brenda Stephens, Orange County Library Director, at 245-2525.

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August 7, 2006

Contact: Donna Baker, Clerk to the Orange County Board of Commissioners (919) 245-2130 

Orange County Board of Commissioners Special Meeting Notice

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. at the Purchasing/Central Services Building, 129 East King Street in Hillsborough, North Carolina for the purpose of going into closed session “to consider the qualifications, competence, character, fitness, conditions of appointment, or conditions of initial employment of an individual public officer or employee or prospective public officer or employee,” in accordance with NCGS143-318.11(a)(6). 

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August 4, 2006

Contact: Barry Jacobs, Chair, Orange County Board of Commissioners (919) 732-4384
Rod Visser, Orange County Assistant Manager (919) 245-2308  


Orange County Board of Commissioners Appoints Visser as Interim Manager

The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on July 27, 2006 to appoint Rod Visser as Interim County Manager effective August 31, 2006. 

After 18 years of service, County Manager John Link will retire on the last day of August.  The Board is currently seeking a new County Manager with an anticipated start this fall.  Visser will serve as interim for approximately two months. 

Rod Visser, who is currently the Assistant County Manager, was hired as Orange County’s first Budget Director in October 1989.  In December 1990 he was promoted to Assistant County Manager. 

Visser received a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1978.  In 1985 he received a Master of Public Administration degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. 

On August 1 of this year, Visser received an Honorable Discharge from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after more than 28 years of active and reserve duty. 

“I look forward to working with the Board, department heads, staff, and our community partners over the next few months to focus on the Board’s top priorities and thereby set the table for a highly productive 2007 for Orange County government,” Visser said. 

Barry Jacobs, Chair of the Board of Commissioners said, “We are very fortunate to have someone of Rod’s caliber to fill the breech.  We can expect the same high quality work that Rod has provided the residents of Orange County for all these years.” 

Visser announced earlier this year he would retire by the end of 2006. 

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July 26, 2006

Contact: Eric Griffin, Orange County Emergency Management (919) 968-2050  

Orange County Wants You to Be Prepared

Orange County Emergency Management and the Orange County Board of Commissioners have partnered to encourage the community to prepare for natural disasters. 

Soon after other parts of the country faced catastrophic challenges with the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Orange County officials moved forward to publicize local emergency information.  A quick reference guide describing emergency preparation and sheltering for Orange County was designed and printed.  The entire project was grant funded and both English and Spanish versions of the card are available. 

Multiple groups and organizations have helped spread the message.  Both the Chapel Hill / Carrboro City Schools and Orange County Schools sent the half page orange card home to students and parents with the final report card.  The Carrboro Civic Club is working to distribute cards to each household in Carrboro.  Orange County Emergency Management and the Commissioners’ Office have distributed the cards at community events including Fairview Day in the Park, Hog Day, and the Caldwell Fourth of July Parade. 

Orange County citizens should consider the following actions. 

Be Prepared – The Quick Reference Guide includes key survival information, including a list of essential items to build a 72-hour disaster kit prior to a crisis. 

Stay Informed – Before, during, and after a natural disaster, it is extremely important to be able to monitor emergency updates.  Shelter locations may change or expand and evacuation may be needed.  Keep a battery-powered radio on hand.

Get Involved – Additional reference cards are available for organizations and/or groups of faith to distribute to their respective communities.  If you have a friend, neighbor, or family member in Orange County who has mobility or health challenges, get them a card and maybe even help them build their own 72-hour disaster kit. 

Orange County wants you and your loved ones to be ready. 

Pre-planning saves lives, be prepared. 

For additional information contact Eric Griffin with Orange County Emergency Management at (919) 968-2050. 

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