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News Releases

Orange County, North Carolina

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

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May / June 2011

Past Orange County News Releases  Solid Waste News

Economic Development


Release Date: June 23, 2011

Contact:  Frank Clifton, Orange County Manager, 919-245-2300

Shope Leaving Economic Development Position with Orange County

HILLSBOROUGH – Orange County Manager Frank Clifton announced that Gary Shope, Interim Economic Development Director for Orange County, will leave his position in mid-July.

“Gary Shope is a true professional.  He has been a great asset to Orange County.  His leadership will be missed, but he deserves this new opportunity in the private sector and no one could expect him to pass it up,” Clifton said. 

As the Interim Economic Development Director, starting February 1, of this year, Shope was responsible for creating and implementing strategies to enhance and promote the economic well-being of Orange County.  Shope had recently agreed to accept a full time position with Orange County and was in the transition process. 

Steve Yuhasz, Vice-Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, stated Shope has been a wonderful leader for the Orange County Economic Development team.  “We will miss Gary’s efforts, but his work has provided a solid foundation for our future Economic Development plans and we will build on the momentum he created.  We wish him great success in his new position,” Yuhasz said.   

Shope generated significant accomplishments for the short time he was with Orange County. 

Last week, AKG of America selected their Mebane site in Orange County over a site in South Dakota for expansion of their manufacturing facilities.  Gary Shope played a major role in coordinating efforts to make this happen.  In addition, Shope has been meeting with many existing Orange County businesses, setting ground work for future opportunities. 

“Gary certainly is to be commended for his role in bringing life to the County’s economic development efforts.  He has been a bright star and his leadership will be missed,” Clifton said.  “Gary has done a great job of establishing Orange County’s emerging role as an economic development ready community,” Clifton added.    

Orange County will continue with a strong commitment to economic development. 

Tuesday night the Board of County Commissioners rezoned several hundred acres along the interstate corridor in the western part of the county to prepare for commercial and office development.  The County continues to move forward with extension of water and sewer lines in the Buckhorn Road area. 


Emergency Services


Release Date: June 21, 2011

Contact:  Darshan Patel, Orange County Emergency Services, 919-245-6100

Smoke Across Orange County

HILLSBOROUGH – The Orange County 9-1-1 Center has received a significant increase in fire investigation calls in the past few hours. 

Current weather conditions have formed a smoky haze in Orange County from the wildfires near the North Carolina coast in Pender and Dare counties.  The public is advised to take this information into consideration before calling 9-1-1. 

Persons at risk from particle air pollution should restrict their outdoor activities if they see or smell smoke. These persons include all children; people with lung or breathing problems including asthma; people with heart problems; older adults; and healthy adults who are frequently active outdoors.

In a true emergency, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. 





Release Date: May 31, 2011

Contact: UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467,

News Services contact: Patric Lane, (919) 962-8596,

Orange Co. Health Dept. contact: Donna King 919-245-2449

Orange County Interim Health Director Named

HILLSBOROUGH – Effective June 1, Dorothy Cilenti, DrPh, has been named Interim Health Director for Orange County until the Orange County Board of Health identifies a permanent health director to replace Dr. Rosemary Summers who retired May 31.

“The Board of Health is pleased to have identified Dorothy Cilenti, a highly qualified public health professional who has experience leading a health department, to serve as interim health director. Dr. Cilenti will manage the daily operations of the health department with the full support of a strong and well-trained health department staff. Having Dr. Cilenti serve as interim health director will enable the Board of Health to focus its attention on identifying a top-notch health director for Orange County,” said Dr. Anissa I. Vines, Chair, Orange County Board of Health.

Cilenti is the deputy director of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, the outreach unit of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, where she is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Maternal and Child Health. 

Prior to joining the Institute, she was health director for both Chatham and Alamance Counties, and was part of the State Health Director’s management team in Raleigh.  She earned her DrPH and her Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at UNC.

 “I am excited about using this unique opportunity to better link academia and public health practice,” said Cilenti.

About the North Carolina Institute for Public Health

The Institute is the University’s bridge between public health practice and academia.  It develops and offers programs that focus on workforce development, accreditation and quality improvement in local health departments, public health preparedness, and healthy environments. 





Release Date: May 20, 2011

Contact: Transportation Manager Al Terry, Orange Public Transportation, 919-245-2002 or

Planning Director Margaret Hauth, Hillsborough Planning Department, 919-732-1270 Ext. 86 or

Save Some Cash, Take the Bus!  In-Town Route to Start in Hillsborough

HILLSBOROUGH – Getting around town will get easier and cheaper come June 6.

That’s when the Town of Hillsborough and Orange County will begin free bus service around town.

A ceremonial kickoff will take place at noon June 2 and will feature a preview of the in-town transit route. County and town commissioners will be invited to ride the Hillsborough Circulator, boarding the bus at the Orange County Courthouse.

Starting June 6, the bus will run four hours in the morning and four hours in the afternoon Monday-Friday. It will connect to Triangle Transit’s 420 bus route to Chapel Hill at Durham Tech’s Orange County campus.

Adjustments likely will be made in the beginning to the circulator’s schedule and route to best align it with the 420 route. Currently, a small gap in service is planned during the middle of the day to allow for the use of one bus and driver and to provide coverage at both ends of a standard eight-hour commute.

Citizens are encouraged to take the bus to get around town for work, shopping, errands and entertainment. Make plans to visit the Orange County Public Library, the post office or bank; get a haircut, go grocery shopping or have lunch. Then take the bus home.

The route will serve various residential areas around Hillsborough, as well as the library; Orange County Courthouse; Social Services Center; the Shops at Daniel Boone area; UNC Family Practice; Durham Tech; the Hampton Pointe and Maxway shopping centers; and the Meadowlands business park.

The in-town service is being provided thanks to a three-year grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program. For the first year, DOT has waived the local match requirement of 20 percent. Hillsborough will provide the local match of about $22,000 for the remaining years, while the county will operate the service at no additional cost to the town. The service is expected to cost about $110,000 annually, not including the cost of the bus.

Throughout the grant period, ridership will be evaluated by the town and county to determine whether and how to continue the service. If continued service is desired, other funding sources will be investigated.

The circulator bus’s route and schedule are posted on the Parking and Transportation page of the About Hillsborough section of the town’s Web site. The information also can be found on the Transportation pages of Orange County’s Web site, Brochures are available at Town Hall, 101 E. Orange St.; the Town Hall Annex, 137 N. Churton St.; and the Hillsborough police substation, 501 Rainey Ave.

Look for a video about the new route on Hillsborough’s government access channel, Channel 18, as well as the town and county’s transportation web pages. Posters on the route also will be posted in areas to be served by the circulator bus.

For more information, contact Orange Public Transportation at 919-245-2008. Direct feedback to Transportation Manager Al Terry at 919-245-2002 or




Release Date: May 19, 2011

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

Orange County Seeking Applicants for Affordable Housing Advisory Board

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – One major way citizens can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to volunteer to serve on the various County advisory boards and commissions.

The Orange County Board of Commissioners is currently recruiting citizen volunteers for the Orange County Affordable Housing Advisory Board

All volunteer members are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners. The Affordable Housing Advisory Board prioritizes affordable housing needs, assesses and monitors project proposals and local housing programs. This Board also explores new funding opportunities and assists with other housing-related items as identified by the Board of County Commissioners.

To learn more about this board, visit the Orange County webpage,  Select "Affordable Housing Advisory Board" under "Boards and Commissions Listing" for additional information or call Donna Baker (919) 245-2130 or Jeanette Jones (919) 245-2125.

Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have an opportunity to influence the way of life in Orange County.




Release Date: May 12, 2011

Contact: Jessica Arnold, Orange County Main Library, (919) 245-2537

Self Publishing to Kindle Class at Orange County Library

HILLSBOROUGH, NC – On Saturday, June 18, 2011, the Orange County Main Library will host the class “Self Publishing to Kindle for Beginners,” in which local author James Maxey will discuss the pros and cons of using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing Platform to self publish novels, story and essay collections, and other works of prose. The class will include a demonstration of uploading a book to Kindle Direct and will show how to use the various sales tracking tools available once a book has been published. The class will also cover basic formatting guidelines that will help writers produce professional looking manuscripts, and address how to best tackle tasks ordinarily left to a publisher like cover design, editing, and marketing. The class will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the library’s first-floor meeting room. 

This class is free and open to the public, but those interested in attending the class will need to preregister by June 11th by visiting the Library’s Reference Desk, or by calling the Information Services department at 919-245-2536.

For additional information, please contact Jessica Arnold (919) 245-2537,




Release Date: May 6, 2011

Contact: Jamie Rohe, Homeless Program Coordinator, (919) 245-2496

Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness Releases 2010 Annual Report

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – The Partnership to End Homelessness is a coalition of service providers, local governments, UNC-CH, faith-based and other community groups, local businesses and concerned residents working together to end homelessness in Orange County.  The group made significant strides last year toward achieving its goals and strategies to end and prevent homelessness in Orange County. 

Highlights of the 2010 Annual Report include:

  • Recruited nearly 100 community members to form work groups to implement the Partnership’s goals and strategies in four main areas: Employment; Access to Services; Housing; and Community Participation.
  • Held the 4th, annual Project Homeless Connect that provided 131 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with over 1,600 contacts with service providers.  Over 50 service providers and several hundred volunteers participated, and dozens of local businesses contributed to the event.
  • Housing for New Hope street outreach workers housed 16 chronically homeless Orange County clients.
  • Carolina Health Net - a collaboration between Piedmont Health Services and UNC to provide a system of care for the uninsured - enrolled 18 homeless patients in Orange County.
  • Received a Continuum of Care grant of nearly $500,000 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities including the homeless.
  • Began full implementation of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program with a $1 million grant from HUD.

See the full report online:

For more information about the work of the Partnership or to find out how you can become involved, email or call 919-245-2496.




Release Date: May 2, 2011

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

Orange County Seeking Applicants for Planning Board

ORANGE COUNTY, NC – One major way citizens can have a positive impact on the future of Orange County is to volunteer to serve on the various County advisory boards and commissions.

Applicants are needed for the Orange County Planning Board in the Eno Township.

The Orange County Planning Board is a 12-member board.  This board:

  • Makes studies of Orange County and surrounding areas;
  • Determines objectives to be sought in the development of Orange County;
  • Proposes and recommends plans for achieving these objectives;
  • Develops and recommends to the Board of Commissioners policies, ordinances, administrative procedures and other means for carrying out plans in a coordinated and efficient manner;
  • Advises the Board of Commissioners concerning the use and amendment of means for carrying out plans;
  • Exercises such functions in the administration and enforcement of various means for carrying out plans as may be assigned by this or other ordinances of the County.

The County is always looking for new applicants for the Planning Board; however, the Board of Commissioners is focusing currently on one vacant seat in the Eno Township. The Board is especially seeking individuals who are interested in planning and development issues.  General planning knowledge is preferred, but not required.  You may apply online at .

Select "Orange County Planning Board" under "Boards and Commissions Listing" for additional information or call Donna Baker (919) 245-2130 or Jeanette Jones (919) 245-2125.

Volunteers appointed by the Board of County Commissioners have an opportunity to influence the way of life in Orange County.