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


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

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News Releases

March/April 2005

Click on subject to read news release

Past News Releases

EMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 16, 2005

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

Orange County Emergency Responders Prepare for Terrorism

April 16, 2005 (Hillsborough)- Today, Orange County emergency response agencies responded to a simulated explosion at New Hope Elementary School. In the training scenario terrorists detonated a bomb in the cafeteria creating a multitude of simulated “victims.”

The primary response agencies that participated in the exercise included Orange Rural Volunteer Fire Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Orange County Emergency Management. Also involved were New Hope Volunteer Fire Department, Eno Volunteer Fire Department, Hillsborough Police Department, and the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Orange Grove and Efland volunteer fire departments were called for support operations. The UNC HealthCare system and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Student Health Services practiced accepting and treating victims. Boy Scouts from Troop 821 and Cub Scouts from Pack 821 participated as victims.

“We are training, practicing, and planning for events that we desperately hope will never happen, but if it does, this training experience will make us better prepared,” said Eric Griffin, Emergency Management Specialist with Orange County Emergency Management. Griffin, who coordinated the event, also said, “We have had excellent participation from all involved in this event.”

The incident began with a series of calls to 9-1-1 after the simulated explosion of a bomb. From there, responders were dispatched to a call of an explosion at the school and events escalated from there. Law enforcement practiced securing the scene and protecting other emergency responders. The fire departments rescued and evacuated victims from the building. Emergency Medical Services treated and transported victims to the medical facilities. The hospital and Student Health Services treated the mock victims and released them back to EMS who returned them to the school.

“Anytime we can practice for an event that exceeds our normal response allows us to learn. The training keeps our skills sharp for those times when we have a large incident,” stated Jack Ball, Director of Orange County Emergency Management. “The times in which we live require us to work together and communicate with one another to prepare for large problems before they occur.”

The challenge initially reported during the incident was the antiquated communication technology currently in use by responders in the county. Emergency officials say they have plans to upgrade the communication technology in the county and have already been awarded grant funding to pay for a large portion of the project. Officials said that they hope funding to complete the communication project will be approved. The upgrades would assist in remedying the communication difficulties before the next large emergency occurs.

Positive outcomes from this exercise included improved working relationships among response agencies and “hands-on” incident command and control by participating agencies.

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AGRICULTURE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 14, 2005

Contact: Karen McAdams 
Agricultural Extension Agent - Cooperative Extension Service, Orange County 
(919)
245-2050

Central Piedmont Jr. Livestock Show

60 Years Supporting Youth and Agriculture

The Central Piedmont Jr. Livestock Show and Sale will be held on April 20 – 21, 2005 at the Central Carolina Holstein Barn in the Orange Grove Community southwest of Hillsborough. 

The show will feature youngsters, age 5-18, and the farm animals (hogs, steers, lambs, beef heifers, and goats) they raised as a 4-H or FFA project.

The 2005 show will be the 60th annual show.  The show started in Durham just after the end of World War II and for 43 years was sponsored by the Durham Kiwanis Club.  The show moved to Orange Grove in 1988. 

Over the course of the two-day event youngsters from Orange, Durham, Person, Alamance, Wake, Guilford, Chatham, Randolph and Caswell counties will show and compete. 

Wednesday afternoon young people will show hogs, lambs, and steers.  Thursday they will show goats and steers, along with a  judging contest by area civic clubs.  Awards will be presented Thursday evening followed by the sale by auction of the hogs, lambs, and steers. 

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ENVIRONMENTAL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 11, 2005

Contact: David Stancil 
Orange County ERCD Director
(919)
245-2590

Commission for the Environment to hold 2nd Orange County Environmental Summit on Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Orange County Commission for the Environment will hold its second biennial Orange County Environmental Summit on Saturday, April 23. The summit will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the Carrboro Century Center on Greensboro Street at Weaver Street, Carrboro. The event, which concludes at noon, is open to the public and interested citizens are welcome to attend. A light brunch will be served.

The summit will feature keynote speaker Robbie Cox of the Sierra Club, remarks from County Commissioner Chair Moses Carey, Commissioner Barry Jacobs, Commissioner  Alice Gordon, and Commission for the Environment co-chair Annette Jurgelski. The State of the Environment 2004 report, as compiled by the Commission for the Environment, will also be presented.

Area environmental groups will have exhibits available for viewing, and there is an optional nature hike through the Adams Tract trails following the summit.

For more information, contact Carol Melton with the Orange County Environment and Resource Conservation Department at 245-2590 or cmelton@co.orange.nc.us.

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HOUSING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 8, 2005

Contact: Milan Pham 
Orange County Human Rights and Relations Director
(919)
960-3877

Orange County Hosts Affordable Housing Fair

The Department of Human Rights and Relations with the assistance of the Department of Housing and Community Development will host a “Fair and Affordable Housing Fair” at University Mall Saturday April 23, 2005 from 10a.m. – 2:00p.m. 

Over 35 banks and community based organizations offering fair and affordable housing products and services have been invited to participate in the fair.  Organizations will offer information on services from land trust homes to individual development accounts, which are designed to assist individuals in saving for a downpayment on a home. 

Several studies have identified that lack of information on programs supporting fair housing is a significant barrier to residents accessing affordable housing programs.  Assistant County Manager, Gwen Harvey, supports increasing public knowledge of existing resources, "Orange County and our community partners have a myriad of great products and services which help make fair and affordable housing in Orange County a reality.  This Fair will provide current and potential residents from a range of economic circumstances with an opportunity to learn how they can exercise true housing choice."

Another barrier to accessing affordable housing programs is the myth that an individual qualifies for assistance if and only if they have extremely low income.  An individual with an income as high as $39,950.00 can qualify for affordable housing assistance and families of four can earn as much as $57,050.00 and still qualify.  The Director of Human Rights and Relations, Milan Pham, believes that education about options for fair and affordable housing will improve access to affordable housing for people who are the backbone of the community, “Affordable housing programs are programs which can and should be used by the people who are the foundation of our community; police officers, teachers, and civil servants at the state and local level.”

The fair will be the first of its type in Orange County.  If the fair is successful, organizers will consider hosting it again next year. 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2005

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

ORANGE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

EMERGENCY MEETING NOTICE

April 7, 2005

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will meet for an emergency meeting on Thursday, April 7, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. in the large conference room at the Government Services Center in Hillsborough, North Carolina. 

The purpose of this meeting will be for the Commissioners:

“To discuss the County’s position and to instruct the County Manager and County Attorney on the negotiating position regarding the terms of a contract to purchase real property owned by Duke University and located on Erwin Road for the purposes of Parks and Recreation/Open Space.”

At least part of the meeting will be in closed session pursuant to NCGS § 143-318.11(a)(5).

Commissioners will attend either in person or via conference call. 

The conference room will be equipped with a means whereby members of the public attending the meeting may listen to the portion of the meeting not in closed session. 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 6, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Orange County Hosts Listening Session #4

Orange County Commissioners are hosting a series of “listening sessions” during 2005.

The next session will be on Monday, April 18, 2005 at 7:00 pm, at the Pleasant Green Community Center on Pleasant Green Community Center Road, east of Hillsborough.   

The sessions provide an informal and relaxed opportunity for residents to share their concerns and thoughts related to county government. 

Residents who do not feel comfortable making a presentation to the Board in a public meeting may feel free to share their issues in a more casual setting near local neighborhoods.  Whether the topics are operations, programs, or services, here is a chance to share your thoughts with the Chair and one other Commissioner. 

Any county resident may attend any meeting. 

Results of the sessions will be shared with members of the Board and Orange County Staff. 

 

Remaining 2005 Orange County Listening Sessions

All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. 

April 18 – Pleasant Green Community Center

May 16 – Northern Orange Human Services

August 10 – Carrboro Century Center

September 15 – Efland Community Center

October 5 – Government Services Center

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2005

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

Meeting Updates for the Orange County Board of Commissioners 

The Joint Planning Area (JPA) public hearing scheduled for April 4, 2005 was not needed and has been canceled. 

The Board of County Commissioners added a 5:30 pm Closed Session on April 20 at the Government Services Center, prior to the 7:30 pm Work Session at the same location.  

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Citizens Appointed to Boards and Commissions 

At its March 31, 2005 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Name

Board Expiration Date

James Stroud

Chapel Hill Planning Board

6/30/2008

Pamela J. Davis

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Janet Sparks

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

William Crowther

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Margaret Brown

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Lee F. Butzin

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Thomas H. Heffner

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

John Timothy Kepley

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Jerry L. Kruter

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Reginald Morgan

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Paul Snow

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Claire G. Williams

Equalization and Review Board

8/30/2005

Tommy Sikes

Hillsborough Board of Adjustment

6/30/2006

Annie Lux

Recreation and  Parks Advisory Council

3/31/2008

Patricia Schmidt

Recreation and  Parks Advisory Council

3/31/2007

At its March 31, 2005 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners reappointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions.

Name

Board Expiration Date

Craufurd D. Goodwin

Orange County Planning Board

3/31/2008

Timothy Webb

Orange County Planning Board

3/31/2008

Sandra Johnson Quinn

Orange County Planning Board

3/31/2008

Renee A. Iman Price

Orange County Planning Board

3/31/2008

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Personnel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 31, 2005

Contact: Dianne Reid 
Orange County
Economic Development
(919)
245-2326

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Director René Campbell Dies

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Director René Campbell died unexpectedly last Sunday morning, March 27, in Lexington, North Carolina.  René had served as Visitors Bureau Director since May 2004. 

For 10 years prior to joining the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, René was Executive Director for the Convention and Visitors Bureau in Columbus, Indiana. She started her career as Director of Marketing for the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival in High Point and went on to serve as director of marketing with Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as marketing consultant with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington, DC, and as Executive Director for the Appalachian Tourism Research and Development Center in Athens, West Virginia.

A native of Lexington, North Carolina, René held a Bachelor's degree in speech and theatre arts from Wake Forest University and Master's and Doctoral degrees in theatre history and film from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

County Manager John Link said:  We’ve lost a valued colleague and friend.  René brought an exceptional combination of talent, enthusiasm, and dedication to Orange County and to visitor services.  She will be greatly missed by all of her County colleagues and friends.

A memorial service will be held for René Campbell on Saturday, April 2, at 2 pm at the First Reformed United Church of Christ in Lexington, North Carolina.  Visitation with family and friends will follow the service at the church.

Funeral arrangements are being made by the Davidson Funeral Home at 24 East Third Street; Lexington, NC 27292.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Francis Academy, P.O. Box 1340, Salina, KS 67402. 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 29, 2005

Contact: David Hunt 
Orange County Deputy
Clerk/Information Specialist
(919)
245-2126

Nuclear Safety - Acting Locally, Impacts Nationally 

The Washington Post ran a front-page article yesterday on the risks of spent fuel rod storage. 

These are essentially the same concerns raised by Orange County in a 1998-2002 legal challenge to the licensing of a CP&L (now Progress Energy) plan to expand the spent fuel storage pools at the Shearon Harris nuclear power plant in Wake County. 

The Post cites a classified report from the National Academy of Science to the US Congress "challenging the decision by federal regulators to allow commercial nuclear facilities to store large quantities of radioactive spent fuel in pools of water". 

The article, “Storage of Nuclear Spent Fuel Criticized”, by Shankar Vedantam, on Monday, March 28, 2005, brings to light safety issues raised by nuclear experts assembled by the National Academy of Sciences. 

The Washington Post article notes, "the report concluded that the government does not fully understand the risks that a terrorist attack could pose to the pools and ought to expedite the removal of the fuel to dry storage casks that are more resilient to attack". 

In a letter to the Orange County Commissioners on Monday, Diane Curran, a nationally recognized expert in the field of nuclear safety law and a participant in the local struggle made the following comments about the Washington Post story. 

“I think we should all feel very proud of the role we played in getting this issue into the public eye.  The spent fuel pool issue would never have risen to this level of public consciousness were it not for Gordon's [Thompson] brilliant scientific work in the Shearon Harris license amendment case, our legal success in getting a contention admitted, and most importantly, Orange County's and NC WARN's courage and tenacity in seeking a hearing before the NRC on the hazards of pool storage of spent fuel.” 

            - Dianne Curran

Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs is only too familiar with the challenge of local nuclear safety issues.  “Government secrecy and industry self-interest can only mask the truth for so long.  Storing high-level nuclear waste in a pool in the midst of the Triangle, or any populace area, is dangerous.  The NAS report is further proof that while Progress Energy executives get handsome bonuses, our citizens are enriched only as targets for accidents and terrorism,” Jacobs said. 

Orange County Commissioner Stephen Halkiotis was pleased to hear of the NAS report and noted, “I was proud to be one of the five Orange County Commissioners and a member of a group of other elected officials from Chapel Hill and Carrboro who had the courage to stand up to CP&L (now Progress Energy) and the NRC when it came to the safety and well being of all our citizens across Orange County and the entire state of North Carolina.” 

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 28, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Citizens Appointed to Boards and Commissions 

In official action at the March 24, 2005 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed the following citizen volunteers to County Advisory Boards and Commissions:  

Board

Volunteer Name

Term Expiration

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Artie Franklin

9/30/2005

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Gary Gaddy

9/30/2007

Affordable Housing Advisory Board

Betty Tom Davidson

9/30/2006

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board

Passion Jones

6/30/2006

Arts Commission

Lauri Alexander

3/31/2007

Arts Commission

Tammy Lambert

3/31/2007

Arts Commission

Randy Owen

3/31/2007

Arts Commission

Katherine Poulos

3/31/2007

Arts Commission

Tyler Dockery

3/31/2007

Chapel Hill Board of Adjustment

Peter Strongoli

6/30/2007

Chapel Hill Planning Board

Margaret Campion

6/30/2006

Human Relations Commission

Artie Franklin

6/30/2007

Human Relations Commission

Augustin (Yves) Gnamien

9/30/2007

Human Relations Commission

Sabrina Covington-Farrar

6/30/2007

Human Relations Commission

Steven Clemens

9/30/2006

Human Relations Commission

Randee Haven-O'Donnell

9/30/2006

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Solid Waste

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2005

Contact: Muriel Williman 
Orange County Solid Waste Management
(919)
968-2788

Compost Bin Sale

Orange County Solid Waste Management presents the annual Compost Bin Sale on Saturday April 9, 2005 from 9:00am-3:00pm, or while supplies last.  The sale will be held at the Park & Ride Lot on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

Back by popular demand, the sale will feature “Home Composters” for $39 each (tax included).  Sale-goers will also have the opportunity to purchase compost claws for $10.00 each, and counter top collectors for $5.00.  All are being sold for considerable savings compared to on-line or catalog sources.  There will be experienced composters and master gardeners on hand to dish the dirt on composting.

“Home Composters” are round units about two feet in diameter and three feet tall.  They come in two halves for easy loading in just about any vehicle, and easy assembly.  The two halves are clipped together on the vertical axis to form a cylinder with a lid that snap-locks shut to complete the tidy looking bin.  The unit is open at the bottom so that worms and other decomposing organisms can come up through the soil to help accelerate the composting process, and to allow drainage of liquid from the composting material.  These bins can be used to compost yard waste and vegetable or fruit scraps from the kitchen.

Composting at home can divert close to 20% of waste being needlessly landfilled. Compost creates a rich, all natural soil amendment that landscapes, gardens, and houseplants love.  Compost improves nutrient content of the soil, enhances soils’ ability to retain moisture, and can reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers.  Make every day Earthday, compost!

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Solid Waste

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 17, 2005

Contact: Muriel Williman 
Orange County Solid Waste Management
(919)
968-2788

No Change in Recycling for Good Friday

Curbside recycling will be collected according to the regular schedule on Good Friday.  If your recycling day falls on Friday, March 25, 2005 be sure to have your bin out to the curb by 7:00 am or bring it out the evening prior to collection as usual. 

The Orange County Landfill on Eubanks Road, and all associated services such as the electronics collection and mulch sales will also maintain normal business hours, 7:00 am-4:00 pm on Friday, March 25.

Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers will also be open as usual on Friday, March 25 from 7am-7pm, closed from 12noon-1pm for lunch.  However, the Centers will be closed on Easter Sunday, March 27.

Questions? Call Orange County Solid Waste Management at 968-2788 or email recycling@co.orange.nc.us

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 14, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Orange County Hosts Listening Session #3

Orange County Commissioners are hosting a series of “listening sessions” during 2005.

The next session will be on Monday, March 21, 2005 at 7:00 pm, at the Orange Grove Community Center/Cane Creek Activity Center on Orange Grove Road, southwest of Hillsborough.   

The sessions provide an informal and relaxed opportunity for residents to share their concerns and thoughts related to county government. 

Residents who do not feel comfortable making a presentation to the Board in a public meeting may feel free to share their issues in a more casual setting near local neighborhoods.  Whether the topics are operations, programs, or services, here is a chance to share your thoughts with the Chair and one other Commissioner. 

Any county resident may attend any meeting. 

Results of the sessions will be shared with members of the Board and Orange County Staff. 

 

Remaining 2005 Orange County Listening Sessions

All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and last until 8:00 pm. 

March 21 – Orange Grove Community Center

April 18 – Pleasant Green Community Center

May 16 – Northern Orange Human Services

August 10 – Carrboro Century Center

September 15 – Efland Community Center

October 5 – Government Services Center

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 7, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Outstanding Volunteer Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2005 North Carolina Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service. Nomination forms are available in the Orange County Board of Commissioners Office. Nomination forms can also be mailed, faxed or emailed to you. Please contact Monica C. Evans, Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners with all requests and/or questions at the number listed below. Please return completed forms to Orange County Board of Commissioners Office, P.O. Box 8181 Hillsborough, NC 27278 no later than Friday, May 13, 2005.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the Governor’s volunteer program that showcases North Carolina’s most dedicated residents. Through the years, North Carolinians have proven their concern and compassion for their neighbors by volunteering in their local communities. Last year, 347 awards were presented to recipients statewide.

Last year’s Orange County winners were Leo Allison, Arthur Charles Cleary, Stacy Rader, Dut and Pat Stoy and the Work First Family Partnership Team at University United Methodist Church.

This year's N.C. Governor’s Award Winners will be notified in June, and Governor Easley will recognize new N.C. Governor’s Award Winners, statewide, at a fall event. All Orange County nominees will be honored as Orange County Key Volunteers at a local event, also in the fall.

This is an excellent opportunity to recognize volunteers for their special efforts and to give your organization some well-deserved media coverage. We encourage you to use this opportunity to recognize your outstanding volunteers. If you have any questions or requests, please call Monica Evans at 245-2125 or email her at mevans@co.orange.nc.us.

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Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 4, 2005

Contact: Renee Kemske 
Orange County Health Department
(919)
968-2022, ext 309

"Get a Taste for Nutrition" - National Nutrition Month 2005

Chapel Hill--During National Nutrition Month and beyond, staying healthy with a taste for nutrition means making smart choices about the foods you eat and realizing that a healthy lifestyle is the key to looking good, feeling great and being your best at everything you do. Nutrition is a key component for good health. Here are a few tips for good health:

· Be adventurous and expand your horizons. Variety is the “spice of life” in your food choices and is key to good nutrition and health. Choose foods based on flavor, texture and colors that are tasty and healthy. Explore the wide world of nutrition by trying a variety of foods.

· Treat your taste buds. You decide how much and how often. Choose foods sensibly by looking at the big picture; it’s what you eat over several days, not just one meal or day that counts. So enjoy all your favorite foods, just try eating them in moderate amounts.

· Balance food choices with your lifestyle. Choosing the right balance of foods helps you get the right combination of nutrients. So balance your food choices with your physical activities to achieve and maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

· Be active. Be creative and enjoy a variety of ways to stay active to feel your best. There’s no need for expensive equipment or complicated fitness programs. Start by making a list of physical activities that fit into your lifestyle and schedule one every day.

The Orange County Health Department is promoting National Nutrition Month by

· A promotion in clinics with displays and educational materials for clients and staff.

· Partnering with the Department on Aging to provide nutrition education classes for older adults.

· Providing taste testing with Chapel Hill Carrboro City School’s Headstart programs.

· Promoting healthy eating and the Winner’s Circle program in the Chapel Hill Carrboro City School’s after school program.

Residents with questions about this article or in need of nutritional counseling are encouraged to call the health department’s Registered Dietitians: Renee Kemske, Chapel Hill office 968-2022, ext 309 and Nan Pardington, Hillsborough office 245-2381.

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BOCC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2005

Contact: Monica Evans 
Assistant to the Clerk of the Board of Orange County Commissioners
(919)
245-2125

Citizens reappointed to Boards and Commissions 

In official action at its March 1, 2005 meeting, the Orange County Board of Commissioners reappointed the following people to Citizen Boards and Commissions:

Name

Board

Ms Frances Kovens

Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee

Ms. Jerry Ann Gregory

Adult Care Home Community Advisory Committee

Ms. Gloria Jennings Shanklin

Hyconeechee Regional Library Board of Directors

Ms. Jane Sparks

Information Technology Advisory Committee

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