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News Releases

Orange County, North Carolina

For additional information contact David Hunt, Information Specialist, (919) 245-2126. 


July/August 2009



Past Orange County News Releases  Solid Waste News



Release Date: August 27, 2009

Contact: MaraBeth Carr , Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation (919) 960-3880

  Stephanie Trueblood , Planner, Town of Hillsborough (919) 732-1270 Ext. 74

$500K Grant Awarded for Fairview Park


HILLSBOROUGH - The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority has awarded $500,000 from the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) for continued development of Fairview Park in Hillsborough.  

The grant was one of 21 awarded from an available $8.4 million to local governments for parks and recreational projects. Eighty-five applications were considered for the dollar-for-dollar matching grants. The Fairview Park application was a joint project of Orange County and the Town of Hillsborough. Hillsborough also was awarded $392,000 from PARTF for land acquisition for the next phase of Riverwalk along the Eno River.

Fairview Park will feature active and low-impact recreational facilities, including basketball courts, baseball field, volleyball court, horseshoes, picnic shelter, walking track, playground and hiking trails.  The facilities were selected based on a survey of community needs and on residents’ participation in the master plan. The park will be located with the Hillsborough police substation, which already is used for community meetings. Fairview Park will be an easy walk for many Fairview residents and within easy biking distance from downtown Hillsborough. It also will help implement the Hillsborough Parks and Recreation Master Plan that was adopted in 2007. 

The estimated cost for completing Phase I construction is $1,213,500. The PARTF grant will be matched with county bond funds budgeted specifically for Fairview Park development. 

County and town commissioners have identified Fairview Park construction as a high priority.  Phase I construction of the park is expected to begin in October of this year with completion projected for 2010. 

For more information about the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Authority, visit:


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Release Date: August 27, 2009

Contact: Jamie Rohe, Orange County Homelessness Program Coordinator, (919) 245-2496

Orange County Community Discusion on Homelessness


Orange County’s Partnership to End Homelessness invites the public to participate in a “Community Read” of the book The Soloist by Steve Lopez.  The event is the first in a series of community education activities that will explore the issues of homelessness. 

The Soloist is the true story of the friendship between Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles reporter, and Nathaniel Ayers, a gifted musician and mentally ill homeless man.  The book was made into a movie starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. that recently was released in DVD.

Community Read participants will read the book (or see the movie) and can post comments to the blog,  Books are available at Orange County, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro public libraries.

Discussion groups will be held around the county in September and will include mental health and homelessness professionals.  We hope to have a diverse group of Community Read participants including people who have experienced homelessness.  The discussion groups will be held in the following locations:

  • -  Carrboro Cybrary (100 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro):   Mon, Sept 14th, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • -  Orange County Main Library (300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough):  Tues, Sept 15th, 6:30-8:00 pm
  • -  UNC Campus Y (180A Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill):  Tues, Sept 15th, 7:00-8:30 pm
  • -  Chapel Hill Public Library (100 Library Dr., Chapel Hill):     Thurs, Sept 17th, 7:00-8:30 pm

In addition to learning about the issues of homelessness and mental illness, the discussion groups will offer an opportunity for the community to learn about how they can become involved in helping to end homelessness.

For more information about the Community Read, please contact Jamie Rohe, Orange County Homelessness Program Coordinator,  To learn more about the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness and the Community Read, go to the website:

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Release Date: August 24, 2009

Contact: David Stancil , Director - Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation (919) 245-2590

Orange County State of the Environment Report and Summit


The Orange County Commission for the Environment has released its latest State of the Environment Report for Orange County.  The report uses 23 environmental indicators to describe the current status of the county’s air, water and land-based natural resources.  The report also highlights major environmental challenges facing the county and recommends actions to confront those challenges.  Previous assessments of the county’s environment were produced in 2000, 2002 and 2004. 

The State of the Environment 2009 is available for viewing and downloading from the following website:  Printed copies of the report are available for viewing at county libraries and the Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation Department in Hillsborough.

The Commission for the Environment will hold its third Orange County Environmental Summit on Saturday, September 12, 2009. The summit will be held from 10:00 a.m. until Noon at the Education Center for the North Carolina Botanical Garden.  The Botanical Garden is located at 100 Old Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill.  The event is open to the public and interested citizens are welcome to attend.

The summit will feature keynote speaker Dr. Larry Band, who will discuss storm water sustainability in Orange County watersheds.  Dr. Band is the Director of the UNC Institute for the Environment and a Voit Gilmore Distinguished Professor in the Geography Department.  There will also be a panel of experts who will discuss issues pertaining to the quality and quantity of water resources in the County followed by questions from the audience. 

Following the summit there will be an optional tour of the Botanical Garden’s brand new Education Center.  This will be the first public event held at the Center, which was built using a variety of “green building” technologies intended to achieve LEED-Platinum certification.

For more information, contact the Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation Department at 245-2590 or


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Release Date: August 19, 2009

Contact: Tracy Reams, Director - Orange County Board of Elections (919) 245-2351

Orange County Board of Elections Members Take Oath of Office


The appointed members of the Orange County Board of Elections took their oath of office and organized on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at the Board of Elections office in Hillsborough.  The North Carolina State Board of Elections appointed Billie J. Cox, Chair; Brian Crawford, Secretary and Katherine Knight, Member, to serve a two year term.

The Board of Elections in each county has three members, two of whom are nominated by the party controlling the governor’s office and one from the opposing party.

Both the Orange County Democratic and Republican parties submit names of potential local board members to the North Carolina State Board of Elections.  The State Board then appoints members to the Orange County Board of Elections from the names submitted.  Cox and Crawford represent the Democratic Party and Knight is the Republican representative. 

For more information contact the Orange County Board of Elections at 919-245-2350 or visit the Board of Elections website


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Emergency Services  


Release Date: August 11, 2009 - 4:05 p.m.

Contact: Dinah Jeffries , Orange County Emergency Services (919) 245-6100

Orange County 9-1-1 Services Fixed


All Orange County 9-1-1 phone services are fully functional. 

For any emergency in Orange County call 9-1-1. 

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Emergency Services  


Release Date: August 11, 2009 - 3:00 p.m.

Contact: Dinah Jeffries , Orange County Emergency Services(919) 245-6100

Orange County 9-1-1 Services Unavailable


This is an alert from Orange County Emergency Services.  9-1-1 telephone service is down across Orange County.   

The workaround phone number for 9-1-1 emergency calls in Orange County is 919 732 5856.  

A CodeRED message has also been sent to impacted residents. 

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Release Date: August 11, 2009

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

Orange County Board of Commissioners Special Meeting Notice and Calendar Updates


The Orange County Board of Commissioners' scheduled Closed Session for Thursday, August 20, at 5:30 p.m. has been canceled. 

The Board of County Commissioners is scheduled to meet on Thursday, August 20, 2009 for a 7:00 p.m. Work Session.  The location for this meeting has been changed and this meeting will now take place at Southern Human Services Center, 2501 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. 

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 24, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Orange Senior Center in Hillsborough, N.C, (prior to the Quarterly Public Hearing at 7:00 p.m.) 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,” NCGS § 143-318.11(a)(6).

The Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Orange County Emergency Services, 510 Meadowlands Dr. in Hillsborough (off of Hwy 70-A near the SportsPlex) 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,” NCGS § 143-318.11(a)(6).

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Solid Waste 


Release Date: July 16, 2009

Contact: Gayle Wilson, Orange County Solid Waste Director (919) 968-2788

Bradshaw Quarry Convenience Center Closing


The Bradshaw Quarry Solid Waste Convenience Center will shut its gates for the last time on Sunday, September 20 at 5:00 pm and will be permanently closed as of Monday, September 21, 2009.

County residents may use any of the other four centers for collection of household waste, bulky items, vegetative waste and recyclables:

●  1514 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill

●  1616 Ferguson Road, Chapel Hill

●  7001 High Rock Road, Efland

●  3695 Walnut Grove Church Road, Hillsborough

Due to the Bradshaw Quarry center’s small size, not all available programs such as yard waste collection are available on site.  Bradshaw Quarry currently collects the lowest volume of garbage and recyclables of any other center in the County.  The small size of the Bradshaw Quarry Center limits expansion for new programs that may be initiated at the other centers as well. 

The Orange County Solid Waste Management Department regrets any inconvenience this closure causes residents.

Please see the map of locations of other Solid Waste Convenience Centers and 24-hour Recycling Drop-off Sites for centers located throughout the county.

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Emergency Services 


Release Date: July 2, 2009

Contact: Mike Tapp, Orange County Fire Marshal, (919) 245-6100

Public Safety Tips for Independence Day


Every year families and friends gather for Fourth of July events.  In celebration of our nation’s independence, some activities may include the use of fireworks.

Statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission reveal that over 30,000 fires and 9,500 injuries are caused by fireworks each year.  Around 92% of the fireworks injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involve fireworks that are allowable by law for regular consumer use. 

Legal fireworks in North Carolina are labeled as Class C consumer fireworks, UN0336 and/or Safe-Sane on the packaging and include the following: snake and glow worms, smoke devices consisting of a tube and mixture that produces white or colored smoke, party poppers, string poppers, wire sparklers or other sparkling devices which emit showers of sparks and/or whistling or crackling effects and fireworks that are handheld or ground based.  Class C consumer fireworks are also regulated as to the amount of explosive mixtures that are contained in the fireworks.

Consumer fireworks that are not legal are ones that detonate or explode, that spin or propel themselves through the air.  Bottle rockets, firecrackers, and M-80’s are the most common illegal fireworks.  These fireworks are typically sold out of state and transported into North Carolina.   It is illegal to sell, transport, possess or discharge these types of fireworks in North Carolina. 

The sale of fireworks to persons under the age of 16 is also prohibited.

Mike Tapp, Orange County Fire Marshal, is concerned about the dangers of fireworks to the public.  “Calls to local fire departments increase around the Fourth of July, especially if the weather has been dry,” Tapp said.  “Over the years, I have seen more than one young person with burns to their hands and face from fireworks,” Tapp added. 

Fireworks injuries often occur by fireworks flying into the face causing facial and eye injuries.  Burns caused by sparklers and other handheld fireworks can ignite clothing.  Hand and body injuries and burns are associated with fire crackers and other exploding fireworks. Homemade fireworks or the use of a combination of fireworks can lead to dangerous and unpredictable explosions.  Serious injuries and burns associated with fireworks can lead to complications, infections and even death.

The best way to protect your family from injuries is to attend a public fireworks display and leave the fireworks to the professionals.  If you must use fireworks, use only Class C consumer fireworks that are allowed by law. Fireworks that are sold at grocery stores and retail establishments are generally considered to be legal for consumer use.

Never let children play with fireworks and never bend over to of pick up fireworks that failed to operate.

Also, think of your pets during the use of fireworks.  Pets have sensitive ears and can become extremely frightened or stressed when fireworks are used.  Pets can become confused and may get loose and risk of injury to your pets is possible. 

For more information on fireworks, feel free to contact the Orange County Emergency Services Fire Marshal’s Office at 919-245-6100.  Additional information is also available from the US Fire Administration at .

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Emergency Services 


Release Date: July 1, 2009

Contact: Jamie Joseph, Orange County Emergency Services, (919) 245-6100

Summer Grilling Safety


Orange County Emergency Services would like to remind backyard chefs to grill safely over the summer months. 

Fire departments in the United States responded to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues per year between 2005 and 2008. 

Grill related fires caused an average of 2,900 structure fires and 5,000 outside fires. On an annual average, these 7,900 fires caused 10 civilian deaths, 120 reported injuries and $80 million in direct property damage.

Although gas grills are used roughly 1.5 times as often as charcoal grills, they were involved in five times as many fires.  One-third of the home structure fires involving grills started on an exterior balcony or unenclosed porch.

Lieutenant Jamie Joseph in the Orange County Fire Marshal’s Office advises all summer chefs to grill with an eye for safety.  “No one wants the backyard cookout to end with a visit from the local fire department,” Joseph said.  “Grills usually rust some over the winter and need a thorough inspection before cooking that first hot dog or steak for the summer.  Especially on gas grills, check connections for possible leaks,” he added. 

Here are a few safety tips to consider when enjoying your grill this summer.

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Charcoal grills

  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids after lighting the charcoal.

  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.

  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.

  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Propane grills

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill. If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department. If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.

If you have any questions concerning safe grilling or other summer fire safety tips, please contact you local fire department or Orange County Emergency Services at 919-245-6100.

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