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

Contact: Buck Tredway
Information Specialist
(919) 245-2126
Fax: (919) 644-0246

News Release

November/December 2000

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September/October 2000 | July/August 2000 | May/June 2000
March/April 2000 | January/February 2000 | December 1999

Orange County will Appeal NRC Ruling on
CP&L Expansion Proposal


Date: December 21, 2000

For more information: Paul Thames, (919) 245-2300

Orange County will appeal today’s decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to grant a Carolina Power and Light Company (CP&L) request to expand its capacity to store spent nuclear fuel at its Shearon Harris facility in Wake County.

Today’s ruling did not surprise county officials. The NRC staff signaled its intent to issue a ruling of "no significant hazard" in conjunction with the proposed project in January 1999. That decision allowed the NRC to grant a license amendment to CP&L at any time, subject to revocation based on the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) rulings on Orange County’s intervention efforts.

Orange County Commissioners authorized their attorneys to appeal any such decision at the time the NRC issued its "no significant hazard" finding.

"We are surprised at neither the timing nor the decision," said Barry Jacobs, Vice Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. "But it is disappointing that the NRC did not allow its own process to play out before allowing CP&L to move forward."

"We have been following federal guidelines and working in good faith with the NRC in order to help protect the health and welfare of the community," said County Commissioner Margaret Brown. "The NRC staff decision to move forward without a ruling from the ASLB not only is an example of acting in bad faith, it is an insult to the people of Orange County and the Triangle."

The future of the proposed expansion is still in the hands of the ASLB, which has not yet ruled on Orange County’s contention that a full environmental impact statement is needed before the project may proceed. Both Orange County and CP&L presented evidence to the ASLB at a hearing December 7 in Raleigh.

"This is a sad day for the people of the Triangle," Steve Halkiotis, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, said of today’s ruling. "It is unfortunate that the NRC would issue a license amendment before the ASLB makes a decision on the County’s environmental contentions."

# # #

County Offices to Close for Christmas
and New Years Holidays


Date: December 21, 2000

For more information: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788

Most Orange County offices will be closed for the Christmas holiday Friday, Dec. 22, Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26. Offices also will close for the New Years Day holiday on Monday, Jan. 1, 2001.

The Orange County landfill and Orange Community Recycling offices also will be closed Dec. 22, 25 and 26, and Jan. 1, 2001. The County’s solid waste convenience centers will close at 3 p.m. on Dec. 23 and will be closed Jan. 1, 2001.

There will be no curbside recycling on Christmas Day. Collections scheduled for Monday, Jan. 1, 2001, will be made Tuesday, Jan. 2. Tuesday collections will be made on Wednesday, Wednesday collections will be made Thursday, Thursday collections will be made Friday, and Friday collections will be made Saturday, Jan. 6, 2001.

For more information, contact Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788.

# # #

Orange County Seeks Grant to help Protect Farmland
in Cedar Grove Area

December 11, 2000


Contacts: David Stancil 245-2590, Rich Shaw 245-2591 (FPTF contact: Chuck Roe 919/828-4199)

Orange County has submitted a grant application to the state’s Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to assist with the first farmland conservation easement for the County’s Lands Legacy program. The farmland, 70 acres of a larger tract, is owned by Victor C. Walters of Cedar Grove Township. The 92-year-old Walters, named Orange County Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1953, has farmed in Orange County since the 1920’s, and on this land since 1942.

The County has requested $107,000 in state funds to help purchase the easement, which would preserve the property for agricultural uses. The total cost of the easement is expected to be about $215,000. Although Mr. Walters has declared his intent to convey the easement, the specific terms have not yet been finalized. The County anticipates finalizing an agreement by February 2001.

The entire Walters farm is comprised of 277 acres, all of which is within the County’s Voluntary Agricultural District program. Most of the 70 acres proposed for the easement is in pasture, used for growing hay and raising mixed breed dairy cows and Angus beef cattle. The land proposed for easement also includes a farm pond and a barn.

Conservation easements place voluntary restrictions on the future use of private property. Land that has a conservation easement remains in private ownership, but limits certain kinds of intensive development while protecting important conservation values, such as productive farmland and/or natural areas.

County Commission Chair Steve Halkiotis states that "Agriculture has been a key component of the County’s way of life and rural character for centuries, and we trust that this initial farmland easement will help us ensure that our best farmlands will continue to be in production for many years to come."

County Commissioner Barry Jacobs noted, "From leadership in creating Voluntary Ag Districts to holding annual Agriculture Summits, Orange County is recognized statewide for its efforts to help keep farmers farming. Now we've added another important tool by funding a program to voluntarily acquire easements. This approach can provide farmers with needed income, even as it preserves their ability to work their land and prevents its long-term conversion to higher density uses that disrupt our rural communities and our environment. We hope this first step will encourage other Orange County farmers to consider protecting their properties under their own able stewardship, a practice popular in many states throughout the country."

County Commissioner Alice Gordon added: "This is our first agricultural conservation easement. We hope that, with the assistance of the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, this easement will achieve two important objectives - protecting water quality in a water supply watershed, and keeping prime farmland in production."

The easement is a pilot farmland preservation project for the county’s Lands Legacy program, established by the commissioners in April 2000. The program, which is administered by the Environment and Resource Conservation Department, seeks to protect the county’s high-priority natural and cultural resources through purely voluntary means.

The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund was established by the General Assembly in 1997, and provides matching funds to local governments and non-profit land trusts for "protecting rural lands, principally used for agricultural purposes and particularly in the vicinities of urban growth areas, and near high-priority waterways and other environmentally sensitive areas." A total of $1.5 million in grants is available this year from the Fund. Awards from the Trust Fund will be announced by February 2001.

The funds are administered by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina on behalf of the NC Department of Agriculture. The Conservation Trust is dedicated to conserving land resources throughout North Carolina through direct action and by helping communities, private land trusts and landowners protect lands most important for their natural resources.

# # #

Holiday Operational Hours – Orange County Solid Waste Convenience Centers


December 8, 2000

For more information: Terry Campbell, Solid Waste Manager Telephone: 919-245-2637


Saturday, December 23
Sábado 23 de diciembre
Open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closing at 3 p.m. for holiday
Abierto de 7 a.m. a 3 p.m.
Hora de cierre a las 3 p.m.
Christmas Eve
Sunday, December 24
Domingo 24 de diciembre
Closed all day
Cerrado todo el día
Christmas Day
Día de Navidad
Monday, December 25
Lunes 25 de diciembre
Closed all day
Cerrado todo el día
Tuesday, December 26
Martes 26 de diciembre
Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed 12 noon to 1 p.m. for lunch
Abierto de 7 a.m. a 7 p.m.
Cerrado durante la hora de almuerzo, de 12 a 1 p.m.
New Years Day
El Día de Año
Monday, January 1, 2001
Lunes 1 de enero
Closed all day
Cerrado todo el día

# # #

Orange County Seeking Nominations
for Pauli Murray Award


Date: November 29, 2000

For more information: James E. Spivey, 245-2250,

The Orange County Human Relations Commission is inviting members of the Orange County Community to submit nominations for the 2000 Pauli Murray Human Relations Award. The Commission will present the Pauli Murray Human Relations Award in three categories: the youth category, the adult category, and the business category. This award honors individuals who have a significant history of promoting and fostering better human relations among the diverse residents of Orange County.

Nomination materials are available from the Department of Human Rights and Relations; Orange County public libraries; and the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough town halls. The application is also available at the County’s web site.

The deadline for submission of nominations is January 31, 2001. For additional information, please feel free to contact the Department of Human Rights and Relations at (919) 245-2250.

Originally established in 1990, the Pauli Murray Human Relations Award commemorates the life and achievements of the late Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray. Dr. Murray’s family had deep roots in Orange County, where her grandmother was a slave and her great-grandfather was a slaveowner.

With its solicitation for nominations for the Pauli Murray Award, the Human Relations Commission hopes that it causes the citizenry of Orange County to really consider its collective efforts to "build bridges from tolerance to acceptance" in regards to our multi-faceted diversity.

# # #

Tomorrow is Moving Day for
University Mall Recycling Drop-off Site


November 16, 2000

Contact: Orange Community Recycling, (919) 968-2788;

Tomorrow, Friday November 17, the recycling site at University Mall will move approximately 300 yards from its current location next to Binkley Baptist Church, to a larger, more efficient site in the southeast corner of University Mall behind Pantry/Zip Mart convenience store. All recycling operations will remain the same and the site should be open for business by Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Recycling field operations manager, Joe Clayton said, "To better serve the public, University Mall and Orange County Solid Waste Management Department have created a new recycling site. The new site should allow safer traffic movement and has more space between containers. As recycling has grown, we have outgrown the old site"

University Mall is constructing a new building on the location of the current recycling site. "We are grateful to University Mall for ongoing cooperation with our community in allowing the use of this, the most popular recycling site in Orange County," said Orange County Solid Waste Management director Gayle Wilson.

# # #

Orange County to Demonstrate "Posi-Shell"
Landfill Cover Thursday


Date: November 14, 2000

For more information: Solid Waste Management, 919-968-2788;

On Thursday, November 16, landfill operators from across North Carolina and the southeast will be at the Orange County landfill to view a demonstration of the facility’s alternative daily cover system.

Alternate daily cover (ADC) is used as a soil substitute in landfill operations. State law requires that waste be covered with 6 inches of soil, or an approved alternative, at the end of each day. The daily cover is required to control blowing materials, discourage birds, vermin and other vectors from feeding on the waste, reduce odors, and prevent fires. It is also used where there is a deficit of local soil, where soil must be purchased and hauled from off-site.

The Orange County Landfill has utilized an ADC called Posi-Shell Cover System for about 6 years. The product is a mixture of cement kiln dust, water, and shredded newspaper and polyester fibers. It is mixed into slurry and sprayed onto the waste at the end of the day. It dries into a cement mortar crust, about ¼ inch thick.

With space at a premium in today’s expensive landfills, the Posi-Shell ADC has the added benefit of providing a ¼ inch cover versus 6 inches, which saves about $2,000 of space each day. The Posi-Shell applicator can also be used as a hydroseeder, allowing the landfill to reduce expenditures on the purchase of seeding services. Finally, the Posi-Shell system slurry product serves erosion control functions better than soil.

The Orange County Landfill is pleased to host the demonstration to landfill operators and contribute to progressive landfill management practices throughout the southeast.

For more information please contact Gayle Wilson, 919-968-2788,

# # #

Public Comment Period for Draft FY 2002-2008
Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program
Ends January 16, 2000
Public Hearing is December 14


November 10, 2000

For more information: Karen Lincoln, (919) 245-2575,

The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization (DCHC MPO) has released the Draft FY 2002-2008 Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP) for public review and comment. The MTIP is the seven year funding and scheduling document for transportation improvement projects (highway, bicycle, pedestrian, and transit capital and operating assistance) using State and federal funds.

Copies of the Draft MTIP are available for review at the City of Durham Transportation Division, the Durham City-County Planning Department, the Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough, Chatham County, and Orange County Planning Departments, as well as at the Durham, Orange, and Chatham County Public Libraries.

The public comment period will end on Tuesday, January 16, 2001. A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 14, 2000 at 6:30 pm in the Durham City Council Chambers. Written comments may be mailed to the City of Durham Transportation Division, 101 City Hall Plaza, Durham, NC 27701 Attn: Phil Conrad or e-mailed to: For further information, please contact Phil Conrad or Tim Saunders @ 560-4366.

** Persons with disabilities will be accommodated. Provisions will be made if notified 48 hours in advance of the meeting. **

# # #

Funeral Arrangements Set for Marti Pryor-Cook


Date: November 9, 2000

For more information: John Link, County Manager, (919) 245-2300;

Funeral arrangements have been set for Orange County Social Services Director Marti Pryor-Cook, who died earlier today following an extended illness.

The family will receive visitors Sunday afternoon, November 12, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Mount Bright Baptist Church at 212 West Union Street in Hillsborough.

A memorial service will be held Monday afternoon, November 13 at 1:00 p.m., also at Mount Bright Baptist Church in Hillsborough. Prior to the memorial service there will be viewing at the church from 12:00 p.m. until 12:50 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Orange County Friends of the Department of Social Services, Heusner Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 1272, Hillsborough, NC 27278.

Pryor-Cook will be buried in her hometown of Maplesville, Ala.

# # #

Orange County Social Services
Director Succumbs


Date: November 9, 2000

For more information: John Link, County Manager, (919) 245-2300;

Martha Pryor-Cook, Orange County’s social services director for the past 13 years, died early this morning following an extended illness. She was 54.

Pryor-Cook joined the County as social services director in 1987. She was formerly a services representative for the south-central regional office of the North Carolina Department of Human Services, Division of Social Services, in Fayetteville.

A native of Maplesville, Ala., Pryor-Cook earned her undergraduate degree in sociology and history at Alabama State University. She also held a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed post-graduate work in public policy analysis and administration.

"Marti had a talent for reaching out to the community and building strong working relationships," said Board of County Commissioners Chair Moses Carey. "Her sensitivity to her clients, her strong work ethic and her ability to get things done, were a gift to the citizens of Orange County. We will miss her deeply."

"Marti’s passing is a tragic loss for Orange County and the entire state of North Carolina," said Board of Commissioners Vice-Chair Steve Halkiotis. "She was a very dedicated public servant, a wonderful human being and a compassionate director of social services, who will be sorely missed."

"Marti was a compassionate and visionary leader who devoted her life to helping others," said County Commissioner Barry Jacobs. "Those in public service aspire to make government responsive and responsible, and to breaking down barriers that hinder the weak or disadvantaged. Marti truly achieved those goals, and in doing so, set an example for us all."

"Marti had an exemplary career, "said County Commissioner Alice Gordon. "We will always be indebted to her for her marvelous service to the citizens of Orange County."

"Marti was an exceptional person and all Orange County citizens have lost a friend and an advocate," said County Commissioner and Board of Social Services member Margaret Brown. "We are all very sad at her passing."

"Marti was a strong advocate for insuring that the services for vulnerable families in this county would be exemplary," said Board of Social Services chair Dee Gamble, also speaking on behalf of her fellow board members Leo Allison, Mary Bowe, Margaret Brown and Rosetta Moore. The Board of Social Services appointed Pryor-Cook to the director’s position and directly supervised her work.

"She created a very capable and dedicated staff to make that possible. She provided leadership on every social issue in the community, but especially for child protection, learning and employment opportunities for adults, and adequate care for the elderly," Gamble said. "Marti will be sadly missed by all her colleagues in this county."

"Marti had a great ability to reach out to all facets of the community and build strong working relationships to address the needs of our citizens", said County Manager John Link. "Though we will miss her deeply, we are comforted in knowing that Marti’s efforts will endure with a system of social services more responsive to those citizens who are economically disadvantaged or in need of protection from abuse or neglect."

"Marti clearly emerged as our leader during the selection process for a new social services director in late 1986," said Chris Nutter, former chair of the Board of Social Services. "She never wavered in her basic belief that families held the key to our future.

"Her translation of this belief into practice in Orange County has enriched us all," Nutter said. "Her most promising and productive years were devoted to serving the people of Orange County. Most of all though, I shall miss her as a friend."

Pryor-Cook began her 30-year career in the human services field as supervisor and resident counselor for the RCA Keystone Job Corps Center in Pennsylvania. She also served as a group counselor for the Association of Jewish Children and juvenile planner for the Philadelphia Regional Planning Council of the Pennsylvania Governor’s Justice Commission.

During her tenure with the Cumberland County Department of Social Services, Pryor-Cook served as a protective services social worker, group care social worker and supervisor, and supervisor of the Foster Home Finding Program.

While with the North Carolina Department of Human Services, she served as a permanency planning program consultant for 27 North Carolina counties. She also served as a social worker for the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Fayetteville.

As Orange County’s social services director, Pryor-Cook served as an inspirational leader to her staff and the community. Her accomplishments include facilitating the development of the "Friends of DSS," the opening of the County’s Skills Development Center in January 1999, and working with the County’s health director to develop and implement the children’s health insurance program to help insure medical care for the county’s low-income children.

She successfully steered the County through welfare reform, including the initiation of the Work First Program to move welfare recipients into employment. She secured community financial support and created the Heusner Endowment for Education and Training for Orange County foster children and the DeGrange Scholarship Fund for graduates of the Orange County Adolescent Parenting Program.

Pryor-Cook is survived by her husband, Keith Cook, chair of the Orange County School Board.

At this time, funeral arrangements are incomplete.

# # #

Career Highlights
Marti Pryor-Cook

Community Affiliations

  • Chair, Community Assessment Committee, Triangle United Way Board of Directors, Durham, Orange and Wake Counties.
  • Member, Orange County United Way, Executive Committee and Board of Directors
  • Member, Carol Woods Continuing Care Retirement Community Board of Directors
  • Member, Freedom House Residential Substance Abuse Program Board of Directors
  • Secretary, Orange County Partnership for Young Children
  • Founding Member, Orange County Communities-in-Schools Board
  • Co-founder of "Blossoms" mentoring group for young African-American girls at Orange County High School.
  • Volunteer, Orange Congregations in Mission, an emergency service agency supported by the churches in Northern Orange County.
  • Executive Committee, Orange Congregations in Mission Capital Campaign
  • Chair, Community Service Committee, English as a Second Language Task Force, Chapel Hill-Carrboro School System
  • Chair, Troubled Adolescents Task Force
  • Co-Chair with Health Director, Orange County CHIP Outreach Council Chair, Orange County Human Services Assessment Steering Committee
  • Founding Member, Hillsborough Kiwanis Club


  • National Award for Excellence for American Public Welfare Association
  • Excellence Award from UNC-School of Social Work for model developed to investigate child abuse/neglect referrals in Child Day Care Centers
  • J.C. Penney Award for mentoring program for adolescent parents
  • J.C. Penney Award for "Friends of DSS’ (non-profit, incorporated volunteer group developed to support the unmet needs of agency customers)
  • National Association of County Commissioners Awards for Friends of Black Children Adoption program and ACES (Adults and Children Empowered through Support) program
  • A.J. Fletcher Award for Excellence for an employment/training program for AFDC customers
  • Hall of Fame Inductee, Department of Social, Work, N.C. A&T State University
  • NAACP Outstanding Achievement Award for Community Service

This is the Last Weekend for the Orange County
Open Studio Tour!


November 6, 2000

Contact: Ann Kaplan, (919) 245-2335

This weekend, November 11 & 12, is the last this year to experience the Orange County Open Studio Tour.

The 2000 Orange County Open Studio Tour highlights twenty-five local artists displaying their finest works. This year the tour highlights some of Orange County’s best, including Emily Weinstein, Carmen Elliot and Nancy Marple. The artworks are from diverse artistic disciplines such as paintings, ceramics, fiber arts, sculpture, and others. The artists themselves will be welcoming visitors to their studio exhibits.

We invite you to experience all of these wonderful opportunities by attending the last weekend of the Orange County Open Studio Tour, 11 and 12, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., this year a new partnership of the artists and the Orange County Arts Commission.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact us at (919) 245-2335, check out the brochure online at, or pick one up at the Chapel Hill, Carrboro, or Hillsborough Public Libraries or the Carrboro ArtsCenter.

To set up an interview with an artist, contact Ann Kaplan at (919) 245-2335.

Sue Blaisdell, weaver

"Tabouli"' by Emily Weinstein

# # #

Burning Ban in Effect for all 100 North Carolina Counties


November 3, 2000

Contact: Mike Tapp, Fire Marshal, (919) 968-2050

The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) is initiating a burning ban in all 100 counties of North Carolina due to the hazardous forest fire conditions. This ban includes Orange County.

The burning ban is effective from noon today, Friday, November 3, 2000 until further notice.

Under North Carolina law (G.S. 113-60.25 and 113.60.27), the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was issued.

NCDFR officials decided to issue the burning ban because of dry weather, a possible increase of winds this weekend, and the high number of NCDFR employees already fighting fires across the state.

Persons seeing fires that appear to be out of control are urged to call 911 as these fires may spread extremely fast. Citizens should take precautions in areas where homes are situated near wooded areas. Dead vegetation such as weeds and leaves should be cleared away from structures.

For more information, please call Jerry Wagner, Assistant Fire Marshal, at 968-2050 or Brad Bowling, Orange County Forest Ranger, at 732-8152.

# # #

Recycle Phone Books in Curbside Bins

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 03, 2000

Contact: Orange Community Recycling, 968-2788

For the first time, this year Orange County residents can recycle phone books at the curb in curbside recycling bins. Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Hillsborough and Orange County curbside recycling participants should include their old phone books bagged or stacked together in their bins with other paper recyclables on their regularly scheduled date. Apartment recyclers can put phone books in with newspapers and glossy magazines.

Residents may also recycle outdated phone books with newspaper, not mixed paper, at the recycling drop-off sites. New phone book delivery will begin on November 7, 2000.

Businesses with large numbers of phone books are welcome to use the drop-off sites for recycling phone books, as long as the books are deposited with newspaper.

Phone books are recycled into cellulose insulation, roofing material and facing / backing paper for gypsum board. Phone book recycling is made possible by Orange Community Recycling and BellSouth.


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