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
e-mail:
btredway@co.orange.nc.us



News Release

September/October 2000

Click on subject to read news release

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


Attend the 2000 Orange County Open Studio Tour –
A New Partnership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 31, 2000

CONTACT: Ann Kaplan, (919) 245-2335

Just imagine enjoying a drive through the countryside of Orange County during the height of the autumn color. You’ll arrive at the studios of local artists to experience the beauty of diverse artwork such as ceramics, sculpture, paintings, and weavings.

The artists themselves will be there for you to have the chance to talk with them about their work at the very place of their artistic creation. At the same time you can do holiday shopping, purchasing one of a kind art and craft pieces that will truly be appreciated.

We invite you to experience all of these wonderful opportunities by attending the Orange County Open Studio Tour, November 4&5 and 11&12, this year a new partnership of the artists and the Orange County Arts Commission.

For more information, contact us at (919) 245-2335 or check out the brochure online at www.artsorange.org. Please plan to attend!

To arrange an interview with the artists, contact Ann Kaplan at (919) 245-2335.

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Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Launches
Revamped Web Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2000

Contacts: Patty Griffin, (919) 968-2060

The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has launched a new and improved web site to better serve visitors and residents in Orange County. The web site address is http://www.chocvb.org.

The revamped site offers new additions such as a searchable calendar of events; the ability to download floor plans of meeting and conference facilities; and a media services section. Visitors to the site can also send a postcard highlighting Chapel Hill, Carrboro or Hillsborough.

The site continues with information on Orange County attractions, accommodations, restaurants, shopping, arts & entertainment, guided tours, sports and recreation, and transportation.

"These web site enhancements are our response to the phenomenal growth in requests from prospective visitors seeking immediate, detailed information about Orange County and its municipalities as travel destinations," said Joe Blake, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. "Likewise, the additions make the site a great resource for area residents as well."

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Winter Promotion Targets Visitors to Chapel Hill &
Orange County, N.C.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 26, 2000

Contacts: Patty Griffin, (919) 968-2060

For the second year, the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is promoting its "Wonderful, Whimsical Winter" campaign, which was created to generate increased travel to Orange County. The winter, especially between mid-November and mid-January, has historically been a slower time for visitors to the area.

To support promotional efforts of the campaign, the Bureau developed a booklet with an extensive calendar of events, attractions listings and special promotional rates for hotels, motels, extended stay properties and bed & breakfast inns. Also, a special section on the Bureau’s Web site and targeted print advertising will be implemented as well.

"We are pleased again this year to showcase the diverse variety of special winter and holiday events so unique to our community," said Joe Blake, Executive Director of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau. "In partnership with our visitor-industry businesses we believe that the Wonderful, Whimsical Winter campaign provides travelers another great destination option as we close the year 2000 and begin 2001."

Visitors and residents alike can choose from and enjoy holiday music concerts, performing arts, gingerbread houses, beautiful decorations, candlelight tours, holiday craft shows, parades, tree lightings and more. Holiday shopping abounds in unique stores, boutiques and art galleries. There are also more than 200 restaurants with a variety of tasteful cuisine choices.

Contact the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau for a free Wonderful, Whimsical Winter brochure or visit the web site at www.chocvb.org.

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County to Add One Hour to Saturday Mulch Sales

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 20, 2000

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

Backyard gardeners and landscapers take heart. You will soon have an hour’s head start on Saturdays to purchase mulch from the Orange County Landfill.

Beginning November 4, the operating hours for mulch sales at the County’s landfill on Eubanks Road will be extended one hour. Mulch sales will begin one hour earlier, at 7:30 each Saturday morning instead of 8:30.

Mulch, made from locally collected yard waste, is sold from the Orange County Landfill for $10 per scoop (~2.5 cubic yards) on Saturday from 7:30 - 12:00 and on Wednesday from 8:00 - 4:00. All loads leaving the landfill must be covered with a tarp.

For further information about mulch sales, composting and compost bins call (919) 968-2788.

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Last Household Hazardous Waste Collection
of the Year is November 4

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 20, 2000

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

If you’ve been putting off getting rid of your old paint and household chemicals, you might want to start cleaning out your garage.

The last Hazardous Household Waste collection day of the year will take place November 4, 2000 from 9am to 3pm at the Orange County Landfill, Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill. The program will reopen March 3, 2001.

Residents of Orange as well as Chatham, Durham, and Wake Counties may use these monthly collection days to safely dispose of paints, pesticides, household batteries, chemicals, and other hazardous materials from homes or apartments.

Free latex paint, as well as a "waste swap," where still-usable household chemicals are free for the taking, also will be available at the Orange County Landfill.

Orange Community Recycling cannot accept business or commercial wastes, radioactive, explosive or infectious materials.

Residents are asked not to bring cans containing very small amounts of paint. Small amounts of usable paint should be combined with other paint of the same type in one can. Please do not mix oil based and water based paints.

Small amounts of non-usable paint should be dried out with cat litter and the can deposited in the regular trash with the lid off. Empty paint cans also be disposed of with the lid off in household trash.

Motor oil, oil filters and auto batteries may be dropped off at any of the six solid waste convenience centers.

For further information about waste reduction and alternatives to use of hazardous wastes, call 968-2788.

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The Place to be on Election Night is
www.co.orange.nc.us

October 23, 2000

For more information: Dick Taylor, Information Systems Director, 245-2276, dtaylor@co.orange.nc.us; Carolyn Thomas, Elections Director, 245-2351, cthomas@co.orange.nc.us

County residents need only go as far as their Internet connection for access to up-to-the-minute results of the November 7 general election.

For the fifth year in a row, Orange County elections officials are using the World Wide Web to post elections results, which will be available in real time at County’s web site, www.co.orange.nc.us.

The vote tallies will be available to anyone with Internet access on election night simply by clicking a link on the County’s home page or "Hot Topics" page. The results may be accessed directly at www.co.orange.nc.us /elect/results2000.htm. (Results posted currently at this site are for testing purposes and do not reflect actual vote totals.)

Results of absentee ballots, one stop and "no excuse" ballots, will be available as soon as the polls close at 7:30 p.m.. As the totals start rolling in Tuesday evening, election returns will be updated every five minutes as ballots from individual precincts are counted and the results entered into the computer system.

For those without internet access on election night, the Board of Elections will provide computer terminals and paper printouts of the election returns at its offices in the Court Street Annex, 110 E. King St., in Hillsborough.

Election returns posted on the County’s Internet site are unofficial. Official returns will be available from the Board of Elections on Friday, November 10.

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County Wins Financial Reporting Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 23, 2000

For more information: Ken Chavious, (919) 245-2450, chavious@co.orange.nc.us; Stephen Gauthier, GFOA, (312) 977-9700

For the 19th straight year, Orange County has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA).

Orange County won the award for its comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2000. The County first won the award in 1982.

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

The County’s comprehensive annual financial report was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the awards program, including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users to read the report, according to the association.

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Awards Ceremony Will Honor Outstanding Volunteers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 18, 2000

For more information: Kathy Porter, (919) 968-2057

Betsy Chamberlin has been reaching out to international women in the Chapel Hill community for over 34 years by opening her home one morning a week, nine months every year to the community’s international women and their pre-school children. By providing a warm home environment for the women and a large playroom for their children, she enables these women to focus on building their English language skills as well as helping in their adjustment to their new community. Betsy saw a need some 34 years ago for a warm and welcoming home environment for this support group and had the vision and fortitude to make a valuable contribution to the community.

Chamberlin is just one of the over 90 volunteers who will be honored this year at the annual local reception for the Governor's Volunteer Awards. The reception will be held tomorrow, October 19 Chapel Hill Senior Center, 400 South Elliot Road in Chapel Hill, beginning at 5 p.m. The award ceremony is a collaboration among the Board of County Commissioners' office, the Mayors of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough, the Triangle United Way, and the Orange County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

Each volunteer contributes his or her time and talent to making Orange County a better place to live and work. The work done by these Orange County citizens ranges from helping middle school children to read to cooking meals for residents at a family care home for people living with AIDS, to assisting individuals age 60 and older with their non-medical care needs so that they can remain in their own homes.

Nominations were submitted to Volunteer Orange!, a service of the Triangle United Way, in May. There were 27 nominations which encompassed individuals and groups. A local judging panel chose eight winners from the 27 nominations. The eight winners were honored at a regional ceremony in Smithfield, North Carolina on September 25, 2000 at which Governor Hunt and his wife personally presented the awards to over 200 eastern North Carolina volunteers that evening.

The local Orange County Awards Reception will honor the eight recipients of the Governor's Awards as well as all of the other Orange County citizens and groups who were nominated this year. Orange County is a better place because of the energy and commitment of these volunteer citizens who in their own way give something back to the community in which they live.

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Protect Yourself Against Rabies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 13, 2000

CONTACT: John Sauls (919) 245-2081

Orange County Animal Control Officers are continuing their efforts to protect citizens and pets against rabies. At the two most recent vaccination clinics, held in August and September, over 300 dogs and cats received rabies vaccinations.

"Both these clinics were extremely successful," stated John Sauls, Orange County Animal Control Director. "The response rate hasn’t been this high since the epidemic in 1996 and ’97. Many pet owners are becoming even more conscientious about ensuring that their pets and families are protected," noted Sauls. "We schedule seven clinic dates each year. And, for each date scheduled, we have clinics at two locations for greater public access, one at the courthouse parking lot in Hillsborough and the other at one of four other outlying locations, including Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Efland and White Cross."

Although there have been fewer reported cases of rabies in the county during the past year, the disease continues to reside in the county’s raccoon population. Most recently, a raccoon was confirmed rabid in the south-central area of the county, near Borland Rd. Two dogs killed the raccoon and later possibly exposed a child and her father when they played with the pets. Both dogs were revaccinated and the father and daughter sought a consultation with their medical provider.

In another unrelated incident, a bat was confirmed to be positive for rabies. In this case, which occurred in Joppa Oaks subdivision, off NC 86 just southeast of Hillsborough, a dog found the bat on the ground about 12:30pm on Friday, September 29, in a fenced backyard. The dog was playing with the bat in the same way a cat plays with a mouse. When the owner discovered the situation, she called off her dog and hit the bat with a garden tool. She then flipped it into an enclosure so the dogs could not get to it and called animal control. Animal Control officers shipped the bat to the state public health lab Friday evening where it was tested for rabies Saturday morning. Meanwhile the dog owner had her two dogs revaccinated, but did not consult a physician because she had no contact with the bat nor did she handle her dogs until sometime later after any residual virus would have died.

The best way to prevent rabies exposure to pets is:

  • be certain your cats and dogs are currently vaccinated against rabies;
  • keep your pets confined to your property so they are less likely to encounter rabid wildlife;
  • use a leash when walking your dog so as to be able to control it if you are to encounter wildlife during your walk; and
  • eliminate attractions to wildlife in your yard such as pet food, bird food (on the ground), unsealed and/or unsecured garbage.

Things you can do to help minimize the possibility that you or your family might be exposed to rabies:

  • make sure there is no way wildlife can enter the
  • attic, chimney, or crawlspace of your home;
  • put screens on all windows and doors that are left open;
  • wear gloves when handling pets that have had an encounter with a rabies suspect until two to four hours have passed;
  • do not attempt to assist injured wildlife but rather call 911; and
  • report any at large, unvaccinated dogs and cats to Animal Control.

Animal Control’s next reduced cost rabies vaccination clinic will be held on Saturday, November 4, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the courthouse parking lot in Hillsborough and at Piedmont Feed and Garden Center, 4805 Hwy. 54 West near White Cross. The clinic will be held rain or shine.

The fee is five dollars per vaccination. Dogs must be on leashes unless they are vaccinated while they remain in the car or truck. Cats must be in carriers or boxes.

For more information about rabies, call John Sauls, Orange County Animal Control Director, at (919) 245-2081 or pager number (919) 216-4500.

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Pneumococcal Vaccine Recommended
to Protect Against Pneumonia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 11, 2000

CONTACT: Rosemary L. Summers, (919) 245-2411

Orange County Health Department is encouraging all residents age 65 and older to receive a Pneumococcal disease vaccination. Statistics reported by the Health Care Financing Administration’s Medicare B claims data show that only 28% of eligible people over 65 have received the vaccination.

Pneumococcal disease is a serious disease that causes much sickness and death. Anyone can get Pneumococcal disease; however some people, particularly those 65 and older, are at increased risk.

Pneumococcal disease is a frequent cause of pneumonia. It can also cause infection in the bloodstream (bacteremia) and infection of the covering of the brain (meningitis). About 1 out of every 20 people who get Pneumococcal pneumonia die.

Pneumococcal vaccine is commonly known as "pneumonia vaccine".

Only one dose of Pneumococcal disease vaccine is needed for persons greater than 65 years old. People who get a dose prior to age 65 may need a booster dose after 5 years.

Pneumococcal vaccine can be received at any time of year. It is not necessary to wait until flu season to receive Pneumococcal vaccine.

Pneumococcal vaccine is available without an appointment at the Orange County Health Department. Hours to receive this vaccine are:

Hillsborough Chapel Hill
Mondays 8-11, 1-4
Wednesdays 1-4
Tuesdays 8-11, 1-4
Fridays 8-11

In addition to the hours listed above, appointments can be made to receive Pneumococcal vaccine along with flu vaccine during scheduled flu clinics. Health Department flu clinics will begin November 13th. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 245-2400 for Hillsborough or 968-2022 for Chapel Hill.

For more information, all Rosemary Summers, Orange County Health Director, at (919) 245-2411.

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Orange County Commissioners Chair Carey
Appointed to National Committee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 5, 2000

Contact: Liz Galewski, 202/942-4220, LGalewsk@naco.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Orange County (N.C.) Commissioner Moses Carey recently was appointed to serve on the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Healthy Families Advisory Committee. NACo Immediate Past President C. Vernon Gray tapped Carey for this position.

"I welcome this opportunity to help strengthen the voice of Orange County at the national level," Carey said. "Helping to bring Healthy Families programs to communities nationwide is an important responsibility. I'm honored by the confidence shown in me by President Hague and the NACo membership."

Child abuse and neglect lead to other social problems, such as homelessness, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, low academic achievement, and mental health problems. Each year, an estimated three million children are reported abused or neglected in the United States. The annual cost of treating child maltreatment is estimated to be at least $9 billion.

Counties play a critical role in supporting children and families through a broad array of health, human services and justice programs. Funded by the Freddie Mac Foundation and in partnership with Prevent Child Abuse America, the NACo Healthy Families project strives to provide information to counties nationwide on child abuse and neglect. Counties are encouraged to establish and enhance Healthy Families America programs of their own.

"Nothing could be more important to the health and well-being of our communities than the health and well-being of our children," said Gray. "The program has been a tremendous asset to give children a better start in life. In short, the Healthy Families America Program helps first-time parents be better parents."

NACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. With its headquarters on Capitol Hill, the Association is a full-service organization that provides legislative, research, technical and public affairs assistance to county governments. NACo acts as counties’ liaison with other levels of government, works to improve the public’s understanding of counties, and serves as their national advocate. NACo also provides counties with the resources they need in order to develop innovative solutions for the challenges they face.

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The National Association of Counties is the only national organization representing county governments in the country. www.naco.org


Senior Vaccination Season Schedule Set

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 4, 2000

For more information: Rosemary Summers, (919) 245-2412

The Orange County Board of Commissioners has proclaimed the months of October and November as Senior Vaccination Season.

The Orange County Health Department, the Department on Aging, and their community partners have scheduled a number of low-cost flu and pneumonia vaccination clinics throughout the county.

This year, the Health Department is encouraging all citizens age 65 or over to be vaccinated against both of these potentially serious illnesses. The pneumonia vaccine requires only one treatment to provide immunity, rather than yearly vaccinations.

The cost of the vaccinations is covered by Medicare Part B. For those without Medicare Part B, the cost for the flu vaccination is $12 and $15 for pneumonia shots.

(Please click here for a schedule of vaccination clinics.)

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Monthly Household Hazardous Waste
Collection is Saturday, October 7

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: October 4, 2000

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

Orange Community Recycling will hold its monthly hazardous household waste collection on Saturday October 7, from 9am to 3pm at the Orange County Landfill, Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.

Residents can take advantage of these monthly collection days to safely dispose of paints, pesticides, household batteries, chemicals, and other hazardous materials from homes or apartments.

Free latex paint, as well as a "waste swap," where still-usable household chemicals are free for the taking, also will be available at the Orange County Landfill.

Orange Community Recycling cannot accept business or commercial wastes, radioactive, explosive or infectious materials.

Residents are asked not to bring cans containing very small amounts of paint. Small amounts of usable paint should be combined with other paint of the same type in one can. Please do not mix oil based and water based paints.

Small amounts of non-usable paint should be dried out with cat litter and the can deposited in the regular trash with the lid off. Empty paint cans also may be disposed of with the lid off in household trash.

Motor oil, oil filters and auto batteries may be dropped off at any of the six solid waste convenience centers.

For further information about waste reduction and alternatives to use of hazardous wastes, call 968-2788.

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Preparing for Bond Referendum is a
Complex Process, Commissioners Say

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: September 29, 2000

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

Their experience with successful bond issues tells Orange County Commissioners that the soonest a bond referendum requested by Chapel Hill-Carrboro school officials could appear on the ballot is November 2001.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro school officials have asked Commissioners to conduct a spring bond referendum for a new elementary school. But County officials point out that all the work necessary to place a bond issue before the voters simply cannot be accomplished by then.

"No one here is debating the need for a new elementary school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school district," said Orange County Board of Commissioners Chair Moses Carey. "This is not simply a schools issue, and County Commissioners are elected to represent the interests of all the citizens.

"Orange County has a number of needs, and any bond referendum should address as many of those needs as possible," Carey said. "It would be unwise to rush into a bond referendum without first considering future school needs and the major issues of school construction, such as project contingencies, student capacity and design standards, among others."

"The success of the 1988, 1992 and 1997 bond referenda was attributable in part to voters’ clear understanding of the schools’ and County’s facility needs," said County Manager John Link. "Our voters deserve a well-articulated, need-driven bond proposal. As we have done in the past, to involve key community representatives in planning and informing the electorate about the next bond will require at least nine months, and perhaps longer, to do it right."

Based on past practice, Commissioners would select a task force to make recommendations on what should be included in the bond package, a process that would take approximately three to six months. Another three months would be required for a voter information campaign.

While the process to prepare a bond referendum could be completed as soon as November 2001, it may be November 2002 before the County could schedule a referendum based on a truly thorough needs assessment, Carey said.

Local governments typically avoid scheduling a bond referendum every year or two because it such a costly, labor-intensive process. Voter information materials, ballot printing, legal work and hiring precinct officials, among many other factors, mean costs for a bond vote would run in the tens of thousands of dollars.

"That’s why we believe it is prudent to ensure that any bond package we present is well designed to address the most pressing capital needs for at least four or five years," Carey said.

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Final Census 2000 Response Rate: 68 Percent of
Housing Units in Orange County Returned a
Census 2000 Questionnaire

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: September 22, 2000

For more information: Craig Benedict, (919) 245-2575

Households in Orange County returned their Census 2000 questionnaires at a higher rate than they did in 1990, according to final response rates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Overall, the nation achieved a final Census 2000 response rate of 67 percent -- two percentage points better than in 1990. Orange County’s response rate was 68 percent – one point above the national response rate and four points above the state response rate of 64 percent. This reverses a three-census decline in response rates.

The final response rates comprise the percentage of housing units that responded to the census by mail, phone, Internet or used a "Be Counted" form obtained from a census questionnaire assistance center. These rates update the "initial response rates" last released in April.

"Well done, America," said Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta, who joined Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt to announce the final rates at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on September 19.

The complete list of final response rates by cities, places, counties and census tracts in North Carolina and Orange County can be accessed at http://www.census.gov.

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Orange County to Hold Rabies
Vaccination Clinics Sept. 28

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: September 22, 2000

For more information: John Sauls, (919) 245-2075

Orange County will hold two low-cost rabies vaccination clinics for dogs and cats on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The clinics will be held at the Orange County Courthouse, 106 E. Margaret Lane in Hillsborough, and Efland-Cheeks Elementary School, 4401 Fuller Rd. in Efland, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The events will be held rain or shine.

Local veterinarians will administer the vaccinations at a reduced rate of $5 for each pet vaccinated. Dogs should be on leashes and cats should be in pet carriers.

The vaccine will provide one or three years of protection depending on the pet’s previous vaccination history.

State law requires all dogs and cats four months of age or older to be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs and cats with blue- or silver-color rabies tags must be revaccinated.

For more information, call Orange County Animal Control at (919) 245-2075.

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Orange County Economic Development Commission
Co-sponsors Triangle-wide Women Business
Owners' Conference

The Orange County Economic Development Commission, along with the Women Business Owners' Networks of Cary and Wake County, Durham Tech Small Business Center and the NC Small Business & Technology Development Center, is sponsoring the Women Business Owners' Third Annual Fall Conference.

The Triangle-wide conference, 2000 and Beyond, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2000 at the Holiday Inn Research Triangle Park. The all-day conference will feature keynote speeches by Edie Raether, change strategist and president of Performance Plus, and Paul Gilster, a freelance writer specializing in computers and technology, as well as 12 workshops, a book fair, tabletop offerings, and networking.

"We are very excited about our third conference," said Economic Development Assistant Margaret Cannell. "Each year we work hard to bring a good series of informative workshops to women business owners in the Triangle and this year will be no exception. We are also very grateful to our corporate sponsors for their support." Corporate sponsors include Southwest Airlines, BellSouth, NC State University Computer Training Unit, and Bank of America.

Registration for 2000 and Beyond is $50; the deadline for registration is October 6, 2000. Register by September 27, 2000 and you could win a free trip from SouthWest Airlines. More information can be obtained by calling the Orange County Economic Development Commission at 919-245-2325 or by visiting their website at www.co.orange.nc.us/ecodev/press. A registration form is available on-line at www.wbon-cary.org/fall.htm.


FRIENDS of Department of Social Services
Schedules Annual Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 11, 2000

CONTACT: Gwen Price (919) 245-2885

The annual meeting of the FRIENDS of the Department of Social Services (DSS) will be held Monday, October 9, 2000, 6:30 p.m. at the Southern Human Services Center, located on Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. Everyone interested in learning more about FRIENDS or volunteering is invited to attend.

FRIENDS is a private, nonprofit, tax exempt organization which provides emergency assistance to staff, and clients of the Orange County Department of Social Services. FRIENDS is not a part of DSS or county government. It is a working board of volunteers that supports DSS.

FRIENDS helps people at risk or in crisis by receiving and dispersing financial and material donations. The support that FRIENDS provides for client needs are not met through any other source.

For more information about FRIENDS, contact Joe Robbins at 929-8374 or Chris Nutter at 929-6397.

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Don't Let the Flu "Bug You"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 5, 2000

CONTACT: Rosemary L. Summers, MPH, DrPh; Judy Butler, RN, (919) 245-2411

Each year influenza (flu) infections account for 20,000 deaths and 110,000 hospitalizations in the United States. Flu season in the United States is November through April. During October and November of each year, thousands of people are immunized to protect them from influenza disease. This year, due to manufacturing difficulties, most flu vaccine availability will be delayed until November.

Flu vaccine is developed each year based on predictions of which flu strains are likely to cause the most infection during that particular flu season. This year’s flu vaccine will contain protection against 3 strains:

1-A/Panama (similar to A/Moscow)
2-A/New Caledonia-like
3-B/Yamanashi (similar to B/Beijing)

Influenza is a viral illness that is spread from person-to-person through nose and throat discharges. Symptoms of flu include fever, cough, chills, sore throat, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms normally persist a few days, but can lead to complications such as pneumonia and even death. These complications are more likely to occur in the elderly and in persons with other health problems.

Some groups of people who are at increased risk of complications from influenza include:

  • People with serious, long-term health problems including heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney disease, anemia, and diabetes
  • People whose immune system is weakened because of HIV/AIDS, long-term steroid treatment or cancer treatment with x-rays and drugs.
  • People 65 years of age and older
  • Anyone 6 months to 18 years of age on long-term aspirin therapy
  • Women who will be past their 3rd month of pregnancy during flu season

Others who should be vaccinated include residents and staff of long-term care facilities (i.e. rest homes, nursing homes) where flu is easily spread if residents/staff become infected. Health care providers who provide care to high-risk groups are also encouraged to obtain vaccine to protect those persons with whom they work.

Due to delayed vaccine availability, most flu clinics will not begin until mid-November. People at high-risk for complications from flu are encouraged to seek vaccine earlier from their primary health care provider. Providers are expected to have some vaccine available prior to mid-November to vaccinate those at highest risk of complications from influenza disease.

There will be plenty of vaccine available for high-risk groups and plenty of time to ensure immunity for these groups. The Orange County Health Department will begin it’s flu clinics in mid-November at a variety of community sites. Appointments can be scheduled after October 1st. The cost of flu vaccinations from the Health Department is $12.00 for non-Medicare B recipients. Medicare B recipients need to bring their Medicare card with them when they come for their appointment.

For an appointment in Hillsborough, call 919-245-2400; for Chapel Hill, call 919-968-2022.

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