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
Communications Specialist
(919) 245-2126
Fax: (919) 644-0246

News Releases

September/October 2001

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July/August, 2001
May/June 2001 | March/April 2001
January/February 2001 | November/December 2000
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Public Health says “Treat yourself to a Safe Halloween”


October 30, 2001

CONTACT: Donna King (919) 245-2449,

The events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax scares are leaving communities and families in a quandary over what to do about Halloween.  Protecting the health and safety of our home, family and community are foremost.  In keeping with normal routines, many are making plans for the upcoming holidays—including Halloween.  The Orange County Health Department is urging parents and communities to pay special attention to injury prevention this year.

Children are more prone to pedestrian/motor vehicle injuries and at increased risk for falls during trick-or-treating.  Parents are encouraged to supervise their children and monitor activities closely. Choose costume materials that are highly visible to motorists and do not interfere with the child’s vision. Flashlights and reflective tape are a good idea. Make-up is better than a mask.  Secure hats so they do not slip over eyes. Materials should be flame-resistant. Costumes should not interfere with walking and shoes should fit properly. Costume props (swords, etc) should be flexible with no sharp tips.  Feed children well before trick-or-treating to avoid snacking on treats. Instruct children not to eat any candy until it is checked at home. When inspecting candy look for small holes, and loose or torn packages—when in doubt throw it out! Consider going with your children this year. Know what older children are planning and whom they are with. Set a return time for trick-or-treaters. 

It is important to discuss the following safety rules with your “ghosts” and “goblins” on Halloween night:

  • Carry a flashlight.

  • Walk, don’t run.

  • Stay on sidewalks…don’t cut across yards or driveways.

  • Watch out for cars….walk on the left side of the street facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.

  • Do not pet any animals you do not know.

  • Visit only houses with the lights on…never enter a stranger’s home.

  • Do not eat anything until it is checked at home.

  • Stay with a parent or group.

  • No pranks…people could get hurt.

Community members can help with safety by making sure yards and sidewalks are free of wet leaves, hoses, toys, and other objects that may trip a child.  Make sure outdoor lights are working properly. Pets should be supervised closely; costumes can be frightening.  Use candles with caution.  Decorations that contain candles should be kept away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.  Think about giving healthy treats like: low-fat snack crackers with peanut butter or cheese, mini boxes of raisins, packages of low-fat popcorn that can be prepared later, and packaged fruit rolls.  Non-food treats like plastic rings, stickers, pencils, and erasers are other alternatives to sweets. 

Parents and community members that may be concerned about the risk of anthrax and other biological hazards can consult one of the following sources for up-to-date information and advisories:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

National Safety Council:

Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Whether your child attends a community event or goes trick-or-treating in the neighborhood think  ‘safety’ and treat yourself to a safe Halloween.

# # #


Orange County Confirms More Rabies Cases


October 26, 2001

CONTACT: John Sauls, Orange County Animal Control Director  (919) 245-2081,

Orange County Animal Control officials have confirmed two cases of rabies this week, bringing the total for the year to eight.  With the exception of one earlier fox attack, all incidences have involved raccoon–dog encounters. 

All of the recent instances occurred in the neighborhoods bordering Eastwood Lake in the Chapel Hill City limits.  In each case, the residents found their dogs barking at or fighting with a raccoon in their yards.  Fortunately, all dogs involved had current valid rabies vaccinations and all received rabies boosters the following day. 

County Animal Control Director, John Sauls said “Cases such as these two are difficult to avoid because the sick raccoons entered the yards where the dogs were confined.”  However, he noted that there are some important precautions to take in any situation where a pet dog has an encounter with a raccoon.  Primary among them are:

§         Call Animal Control or 911 whenever your pet or family member has an encounter with a raccoon, skunk, fox or bat, or unvaccinated dog or cat.

§         Wear waterproof gloves when handling a pet or when handling any object that has been touched, drooled on, or chewed on by a wild or stray animal.

§         Wash your hands with warm water and soap after any unprotected contact with a suspect animal or its bodily fluids.

§         Do not touch, feed or pickup wildlife, stray animals or unfamiliar domestic animals, even if they seem friendly and/or healthy.  Teach children to do the same.

§         Don’t let your pets roam free.  If they are outside during the day, keep them confined to a closed space or on a leash.  Keep pets, especially dogs, indoors at night.

§         Do not attract animals to your house and yard.  Do not store discarded food products in outdoor garbage cans except on the day of pickup.  Repair any places on the exterior of your home where an animal could gain entry to your attic, crawlspace or living area.


One of the best ways to protect your family and pets is to ensure that your pets are properly vaccinated against the rabies virus.  In an effort to promote compliance, the Orange County Health Department offers rabies clinics.  One hundred-fifty people attended last evening’s clinics held in Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.  Another clinic, sponsored by the Animal Protection Society is scheduled for Saturday, November 3, 2001, from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at the Animal Shelter, located at 1081 Airport Road, in Chapel Hill.  The cost is $5.00.


For more information about rabies, contact John Sauls at (919) 245-2081 or visit the Orange County website at

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Human Relations Commission seeks Nominations for Pauli Murray Award


Date: October 26, 2001

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 2001 Pauli Murray Human Relations Award.  The Commission is awarding 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.

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.

Nomination forms and criteria information can be accessed by visiting the Orange County website The nomination information is also available from the Department of Human Rights and Relations; Orange County public libraries; and the Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough town halls.  The deadline for submission of nominations is January 31, 2002.  If additional information is required, please feel free to contact James Spivey at (919) 245-2250.

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EMS and UNC Hospitals to hold Joint Disaster Drill this Saturday


October 25, 2001

Contacts: Kent McKenzie, Orange County EMS, (919) 968-2050 ; Jane Brice, MD, MPH, UNC Hospitals, (919) 966-5643

Orange County Emergency Management Services and UNC Hospitals will hold a joint disaster training exercise on Saturday, October 27, 2001. This exercise was conceived in January as part of the ongoing countywide preparedness training program. An exercise design committee has been working since July to develop the scenario, goals and objectives, and target participants. The purpose of this exercise is to provide Emergency Management and Hospital personnel with multi-casualty event and incident management experience in a controlled environment.

The planned scenario involves the management of multiple trauma and burn patients resulting from a propane tank explosion. Camp New Hope is providing the facilities and location for the exercise. Eagle Scout Candidate Jason Dunn of Boy Scout troop 449 is coordinating approximately 30 scouts to play the role of victims.

Jason is coordinating scout participation as his Eagle project. Orange County Emergency Management telecommunicators and paramedics, Orange EMS and Rescue Squad EMT’s and rescue technicians, Chapel Hill Firefighters and Orange Grove Fire Department First Responders, along with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and UNC Air Care will manage the field event, including transportation of the mock victims to UNC Hospitals.

UNC Hospitals, in compliance with Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals Organization (JCAHO) guidelines, will activate their external disaster plan. This plan involves administrative, clinical, and ancillary personnel and departments. UNC Hospitals and Orange County collaborate extensively in the provision of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and have been actively coordinating the planning of this exercise.

Although the exact timeline of the exercise is flexible and will be dictated by the events of the day, the initial response is scheduled to occur at 6:00 a.m. Media personnel wishing to observe or participate in the exercise should contact Kent McKenzie at (919) 968-2050 for additional information.

# # #


County Hires Agricultural Economic 
Development Coordinator


Date: October 24, 2001

For more information: Dianne Reid, 245-2325,

Promoting local agriculture not only helps farmers and the economy, but it can help win football games, too.

At least that’s one interpretation of the recent decision by Aramark and UNC dining services to serve Maple View Ice Cream at pre-game special dinners. 

County Commissioner Barry Jacobs, long a supporter of local farming, noted at a recent Commissioner meeting that the Tar Heels have gone undefeated since UNC students began enjoying Maple View’s locally produced vanilla and chocolate ice cream.

As part of a continuing effort to help keep farmers farming profitably, Orange County hopes to encourage many more such local win-win situations.  The County has hired a full-time agricultural economic development coordinator, Mike Lanier, who began work on October 15.

“Successes such as encouraging UNC to purchase 100 gallons of ice cream from a local producer every two weeks require groundwork,” Commissioner Jacobs noted.  “UNC doesn’t know what local farmers produce, and local farmers are not accustomed to marketing to large institutions.  There’s a facilitating role that the County can assume, and everyone wins.”

Lanier, whose grandparents were tobacco farmers in eastern North Carolina, has worked in banking and has owned his own small business.  He holds a Masters in Business Administration from East Carolina University.   Lanier will be available to help farmers identify potential new markets, diversify production to include new products and services, and develop business plans to guide their ventures.

Funding for Lanier’s position – new in the County’s 2001-02 budget – is provided equally by the County and by North Carolina A&T State University.  One of his first tasks will be to conduct an inventory of all active farms in the county and their products. 


“Even as a child,” Lanier stated, “I knew that tobacco’s days were numbered.  I look forward to working with Orange County producers to diversify and develop new value-added products.”


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Last Chance for Free Paint! Final Hazardous Household Waste Collection of the Year at Orange County Landfill Saturday, November 3


Date: October 24, 2001

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

On Saturday, November 3, the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department will conduct its last hazardous household waste (HHW) collection of the year. Bring your household hazardous wastes to the Orange County Landfill located on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.  The event is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to residents of Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake Counties. Citizens may bring paints, insecticides, automotive wastes, batteries, fluorescent lights, chemicals and other hazardous materials from their households to the collection. Wastes should not be mixed together but kept in separate, non-leaking containers with the original label when possible. Collection is free, but no business wastes are accepted.

HHW collection will be closed for the months of December, January, and February, so this is the last chance for residents to properly dispose of household chemicals.  Collection will resume in March 2002, and will continue to be held the first Saturday of each month that follows.  This month’s collection is also the last chance for residents to pick up free latex paint from the paint exchange until next April. “ We try to recycle as much material as we can,” said Rob Taylor, Recycling Coordinator for the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department. “Latex paint is by far the most collected material at any HHW Collection event, and often comes to us still in good condition.  Some cans haven’t even been opened yet!”

Mr. Taylor added,  “If you have only a small amount of latex paint to dispose of and no other wastes, you don’t need to come to us to dispose of it.  You can safely dry the paint out at home.  Just be sure that the material is completely dry, as no liquid wastes are permitted in the landfill.”  


Once latex paint is thoroughly dried, residents can dispose of the cans, with the lids removed, in their regular trash. Accelerate the drying process by stirring cat litter or sand into the open can of paint.  If the paint has been completely used up and there is only a thin residue of dried paint left in the container (less than ¼ inch coating in the bottom of the can), it can be recycled at drop-off sites and staffed convenience centers with other steel cans.  Make sure the can is made out of metal and the lid has been removed and discarded.


Taylor had other tips to streamline the Saturday HHW collection. “If you change your own oil in your car, you can bring the used motor oil and oil filter to any of the six County Solid Waste Convenience Centers six days a week.  You don’t have to wait for the HHW collection for that.  You can also bring old automobile and household batteries there,” Taylor added. “Bring all the other hazardous wastes to us.  It’s good to save up materials and bring a full load at one time, or coordinate with friends and neighbors to combine loads.  That would help us reduce traffic, which makes the event run more smoothly for everybody.”


No commercial wastes, infectious wastes, explosives or radioactive wastes are accepted. Call (919) 968-2788 for disposal information on these materials. Both Durham and Wake counties continue to have collection during the winter months. Call (919) 287-8051 or (919) 942-8158 for information about their collection schedules and locations. Information on non-toxic alternatives can also be provided at these numbers in both English and Spanish.


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Assistant Manager Albert Kittrell to Retire



Contact:  John Link, (919) 245-2300,

Orange County Manager John Link announces the retirement of Albert Kittrell, Assistant County Manager.  Kittrell joined Orange County in 1981 and has served as Assistant County Manager for over 16 years since his initial appointment in 1985.

As Assistant County Manager, Kittrell has guided the County’s human services departments through an era of growth and rapid change in human services programs.  The County’s human services departments include Aging, Child Support, Cooperative Extension Service, Health, Housing, Human Rights and Relations, Library, Recreation and Parks, and Social Services.

Link states that:  “Albert is admired by his peers throughout the state as a leader and innovator in the management and coordination of human services.  It has been a professional privilege to have worked with Albert for the last 12 years.  His contributions to Orange County have been very significant and include:

  • Initiating the development of the County’s first Capital Improvements Plan while serving as Interim County Manager from July 1987 to February 1988.  This led to the construction of the Government Services Center in Hillsborough and the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill.

  • Forming a cohesive and effective human services management team among the County’s nine Human Services department heads and the director of Orange, Person, Chatham Mental Health agency.

  • Supporting the formation of the County’s Human Services Advisory Commission that brings together  community non-profit agencies for effective planning, collaboration and coordination of service delivery.  Leading the development and implementation of the Commission’s annual forums on community issues such as welfare reform, managed health care and serving the County’s Latino population.

  • Facilitating and coordinating the provision of services in the community through community based facilities such as the Skills Development Center in Chapel Hill, Efland Cheeks Center and Community School Park in Efland, Northern Human Services Center in Cedar Grove and the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill.

  • Developing an efficient method of reviewing and funding private non-profit agencies by initiating the development of a joint funding application used by the Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Carrboro and Orange County.

  • Coordinating the decentralization of the Hyconeechee Regional Library system, which promoted the creation of county governed and staffed libraries in Person, Caswell and Orange Counties.  The restructuring of the library system facilitated the creation of the Orange County Branch Library in Carrboro.

  • Providing leadership and direction for establishing the County Human Rights and Relations Department, which comprises the Commission for Women and the Human Relations Commission.

  • Serving as County liaison to further strengthen partnerships between the Animal Protection Society and Orange County Health Department.

  • Serving as the County’s Cable Television administrator by monitoring all cable television activities in the unincorporated areas of Orange County and spearheading the cable casting of County Commissioners’ meetings.

Link concluded:  “We wish Albert the very best in all of his future endeavors.”

Kittrell’s retirement is effective January 1, 2002.




Orange County Declares State 3 Water Shortage Alert


October 16, 2001

For more Information: Paul Thames, County Engineer, (919) 245-2300,




I, Stephen Halkiotis, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, having been provided with information that the water level of Lake Orange is more than 37 inches below full do hereby issue this PUBLIC PROCLAMATION declaring to all persons that a stage III water shortage WARNING is now in effect applicable to users of water from the public water system supplied by the Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. and the Town of Hillsborough.  The following mandatory water conservation restrictions are now applicable:

It shall be unlawful to use water from the public water system supplied by the Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. and the Town of Hillsborough and from any raw water supply within Orange County used by the Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. and the Town of Hillsborough for the following purposes:

1. To water lawns, grass, shrubbery, trees, flower and vegetable gardens except between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

2. To fill newly constructed swimming and/or wading pools or refill swimming and/or wading pools which have been drained.  A minimal amount of water may be added to maintain continued operation of pools which are in operation at the time the provisions of a stage III WARNING are placed into effect.

3. To operate water-cooler air conditioners or other equipment that does not recycle cooling water, except when health and safety are adversely affected.

4. To wash automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, airplanes, or any other type of mobile equipment, including commercial washing.

5. To wash down outside areas such as streets, driveways, service station aprons, parking lots, office buildings, exteriors of existing or newly constructed homes or apartments, sidewalks, or patios, or to use water for other similar purposes

6. To operate or introduce water into any ornamental fountain, pool or pond or other structure making similar use of water.

7. To serve drinking water in restaurants, cafeterias, or other food establishment, except upon request.

8. To use water from public or private fire hydrants for any purpose other than fire suppression or other public emergency.

9. To use water for dust control or compacting.

10. To intentionally waste water.  The owner or occupant of any land or building which receives water from the Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. or the Town of Hillsborough and that also utilizes water from a well or supply other than that of Orange-Alamance Water System, Inc. or the Town of Hillsborough shall post and maintain in a prominent place thereon a sign furnished by Orange County giving public notice to the use of the well or other source of supply. 

This proclamation, and the mandatory conservation restrictions imposed pursuant to it, shall be in effect until the Ordinance entitled  "AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE CONSERVATION OF WATER DURING A WATER SHORTAGE, RESTRICTING THE USE OF WATER AND WATER WITHDRAWALS, AND ALLOCATING AUGMENTED STREAMFLOW FROM RESERVOIRS" is amended or repealed or until the Chair by Public Proclamation, declares that the Stage III Water shortage WARNING is over.  By order of Stephen Halkiotis, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, this the 16th day of October, 2001.

Stephen H. Halkiotis, Chair
Orange County Board of Commissioners

County  Departments, Public Safety Agencies, Address Potential Bioterrorist Threats


October 16, 2001

Primary Contact: Orange County Health Director Rosemary Summers, (919) 245-2411

Additional Contacts:
Orange County Emergency Management Director Nick Waters, (919) 968-2050
Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, (919) 644-3050
Orange County Manager’s Office, Assistant Manager Rod Visser, (919) 245-2300
Carrboro Police Department, Detective John Butler, (919) 918-7397
Carrboro Fire Department, Chief Rodney Murray, (919) 968-7715
Chapel Hill Police Department, Joe Jackson, (919) 968-2760
Chapel Hill Fire Department, Deputy Chief Robert Bosworth, (919) 968-2781
UNC Department of Public Safety, Chief Derek Poarch, (919) 843-6160
UNC Hospitals Police, Chief Tom Smith, (919) 966-3686

A joint meeting of the broad Emergency Response Community in Orange County was held on Tuesday, October 16, 2001, to confirm response protocols and procedures that address potential bioterrorist events.

Participants in this coordinated effort included the University of North Carolina Office of Public Safety, UNC Hospitals, Police and Fire Department representatives from the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, the Orange County Manager’s Office, the Orange County Health Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Orange County Department of Emergency Management Services.

Participants affirmed that the threat of or actual dissemination of infectious or chemical agents is a serious federal crime, and will result in prosecution.

Recent media coverage has focused attention on anthrax scares around the country, although it is important to note that of the hundreds of thousands of reported suspicious mail pieces nationwide, less than a handful have been confirmed to contain actual anthrax spores.  At the state level, as of this date there have been no confirmed anthrax exposures or cases in North Carolina.  Exposure to anthrax, or any other infectious material, does not necessarily lead to infection.

The agencies jointly want to emphasize that the general public is not at increased risk of receiving tainted mail.  Agencies recommend an informed response, including the following steps:

  • Scan mail for obviously unusual pieces before taking it inside your home.

  • Discard mail that appears suspicious or is unusual for you to receive.

  • Open your mail above a clean hard surface (like a desk or countertop) away from food preparation areas.

  • If a piece of mail contains any suspicious substance, enclose the mail in a clear plastic bag.  If you don’t have a clear bag, just put the mail down. Leave the room, wash your hands with soap and warm water, and notify 9-1-1.  Do not let anyone enter that room or disturb the mail until advised to do so by proper authorities.

Law enforcement personnel will discuss the incident with you and determine by protocol further steps that will be taken.  Either law enforcement or public health officials will provide appropriate information and guidance for further actions.  In most incidents, no further action will be necessary.

Orange County agencies have a strong history of cooperative planning, and will continue to work together to ensure public health and safety.

 # # #  

Orange County Health Department Anthrax Information Site


County Volunteers: the Spice of Life


Date: October 11, 2001

Contact: Nancy Paciga, (919) 245-2125,

Orange County agencies believe their volunteers have the spice of life regardless of their age. Twenty agencies named five groups and their members along with fifteen other individuals - ages 19-75 - as Orange County Key Volunteers for their community service. Five Orange County Key Volunteers were selected by a panel of judges to join winners from other counties as recipients of the 2001 Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service.

“What type of volunteer opportunities attract people?” Good question . . . endless possibilities. Orange County agencies believe their volunteers have the spice of life, regardless of their age, as shown by volunteers selected for their commitment and impact on the community.

Twenty individuals and groups will be recognized in an awards ceremony on October 16th as “Orange County Key Volunteers.” The  ceremony will  held at the Chapel Hill Senior Center, 400 S. Elliott Road, Chapel Hill, N.C. at 5:00 p.m.  Sponsors of the local event include the Orange County Board of Commissioners, RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), and Volunteer Orange – Triangle United Way.

Five of the 20 Orange County Key Volunteers will receive the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service at a regional reception to be announced later.

2001 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award Winners from Orange County

Mary Frances Eldridge has served as coach with the Special Olympics of Orange County for 12 years. A competitive athlete, she understands what it takes to train and compete. She enhances the athletes’ performance by refining their special talents and tailoring practices to help them achieve success.

Joe Geoghegan serves as a jack-of-all-trades with the Orange County Department on Aging. He helps people navigate hospital billing systems and Medicare through SHIIP, prepares tax returns through RSVP’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), and is a one-man speaker’s bureau giving talks popular with seniors.

Dr. Dan Bradford, M.D., UNC Hospital psychiatrist and volunteer with the Inter-Faith Council, recognizes that many homeless individuals in the community are mentally ill and suffering due to lack of treatment. His efforts include fundraising, recruiting, and training resident psychiatrists who volunteer at the IFC clinic, and helping homeless individuals find employment and housing.

Orange County ESL Tutors have helped improve the quality of life for new residents by offering them ways to develop English-speaking skills and by introducing them to local culture and services. Tutors have helped their students grow from having virtually no English skills to starting their own businesses and teaching their children to speak English.         

The Community Connection Program Volunteers - ARC of Orange County have found new friends in adults with developmental disabilities, who have great need for social involvement. In turn, the adults have made new friendships and been given many chances to participate in community activities from walking to attending sporting events together.

2001 Orange County Key Volunteers - Groups

  • Community Connection Program * Chapel Hill Museum Education Committee

  • Orange County ESL Program *

  • Family Violence Prevention Center Board of Directors

  • Orange County Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee

2001 Orange County Key Volunteers – Individuals

  • Leo Allison, Friends of the Senior Center for Central Orange

  • Diana Bailey, Guardian ad Litem Program

  • Mary Beck and Valerie Fiore, Ronald McDonald House

  • Dr. Dan Bradford, Inter-Faith Council *

  • Neal Cheek, Nature Conservancy-NC

  • Bob Nutter and Schatzie Crowther, Orange County Schools

  • Mary Frances Eldridge, Special Olympics-Orange County *

  • Joe Geoghegan and Martine Mosrie, Orange County Department on Aging *

  • Priscilla Guild, Chapel Hill Day Care Center

  • Brendan Moylan, Orange County Rape Crisis Center

  • Brock Organ, Teaming for TECHnology

  • Ellen Smolker, The Women’s Center

 * Winners of the 2001 Governor’s Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service

 # # #

Orange County Arts Commission Offers
Free Grant-writing Workshop


Date: October 15, 2001

For more information: Jim White, Interim Director, Orange County Arts Commission, (919) 245-2335,

The Orange County Arts Commission will hold a free grant-writing workshop, Wednesday, October 17, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. at the Chapel Hill Public Library.  To register or for more information about grants or the Arts Commission, call (919) 245-2335 or visit the Arts Commission Web site,

The Orange County Arts Commission is calling for grant applications for the fall cycle. As in the past, arts project grants are available to nonprofit organizations and schools.  The categories show the Arts Commission's movement to applicant-specific arts grants:

1)      Arts Program Grant – funds up to $1,500.00 available to non-profit organizations coordinating arts projects benefiting the citizens of Orange County.

2)      Arts in Education Grant – funds up to $1,000.00 available to public or private schools, or parent and teacher organizations in Orange County coordinating arts programs.

3)      Artist Project Grant – funds up to $1,000.00 available to professional artists coordinating arts projects benefiting the citizens of Orange County.

This fall cycle of grants will fund arts activities taking place from January 1, 2002-December 31, 2002.  A spring cycle will be available in early 2002 for the categories above plus the General Arts Support and the Arts in Education Coalition grants, which are available annually.

Applicants may request funds to support a variety of arts programs in the visual, performing, and literary arts.  The Orange County Arts Commission is accepting applications for the categories above for the application deadline of Monday, November 19, 2001.  Applications are available at the Arts Commission office and at all Orange County Public Libraries. 

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Pink Ribbons Serve as Checkup Reminders


October 12, 2001

CONTACT: Donna King (919) 245-2449

The Orange County Health Department is sponsoring a county wide Pink Ribbon campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer.  During the month, places of worship, work places, community groups, and other organizations will be distributing pink ribbons.  Educational materials will be available at the Hillsborough and Chapel Hill libraries.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  All North Carolinians are urged to wear pink ribbons in recognition of breast cancer awareness and in honor of those women who are now courageously fighting the battle with breast cancer.

Approximately 1,100 North Carolina families this year will experience the loss of a woman they love because of breast cancer.  Some of these deaths might have been avoided if the disease had been found early.  Breast cancer can be found early by women getting regular examinations.

The pink ribbon has become a symbol of hope for a cure of breast cancer and a reminder that breast cancer does not have to be fatal.  More than 90 percent of women whose cancer is found in its earliest stages survive breast cancer and go on to lead full and productive lives.  Their loved ones are spared the loss.  Unfortunately, too many North Carolina women are not getting the regular breast checkups that are needed for early detection.  These checkups include clinical breast examination, mammography, and monthly breast self-examination.

“The Orange County Health Department has a special breast and cervical cancer screening program for women, especially those aged 50-64, that have inadequate insurance, no Medicare Part B, no Medicaid, and limited income,” said Kathy Glassock, Clinical Services Nursing Supervisor. 

Women are encouraged to call 245-2400 in Hillsborough or 968-2022 in Chapel Hill for more information on breast cancer screening and assistance for obtaining free or low cost breast examinations and mammograms for eligible persons.  “Early detection is the best protection.  Pink ribbons should remind families to insist the women in their lives get regular breast checkups!” said Glassock.

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Orange County Finance Director Elected to Lead two State Financial Organizations


October 11, 2001

CONTACT: Ken Chavious  (919) 245-2453

Orange County Finance Director, Ken Chavious, has been elected to serve as President of the North Carolina Association of County Finance Officers (NCACFO).  Chavious is the first African American to be elected as an officer of the thirty-year old organization.  This history-making action took place October 4, 2001 at the NCACFO’s annual fall conference held in Asheville, North Carolina.

The NCACFO is a highly recognized statewide organization of county finance officials with membership in excess of 100 professionals. The main goals of the organization are to facilitate the cooperation of all North Carolina counties in investigating, studying, discussing and recommending improvements in County financial operations, to advocate and support legislation beneficial to County governments fiscal affairs, and to provide a forum for the exchange of information by County Finance Officials.

As President, Chavious is responsible for presiding over all Association business meetings and appointing members to the organization’s five standing and special committees.  In addition, he is responsible for representing the Association on various statewide legislative and other special projects committees.

Chavious is also a member of another state organization of finance officers, the North Carolina Government Finance Officer’s Association (NCGFOA).  He is the President-elect of this organization, which consists of both City and County Finance Officers.  The NCGFOA has very similar goals of the NCACFO but has a broader focus concentrating on both county and municipal issues. 

Chavious is expected to be named President of the NCGFOA at their annual spring conference scheduled for March 2002.  This election will also mark history, as Chavious will be the first person to simultaneously lead both organizations.

Chavious, a native of Hillsborough, NC, has 22 years of government finance experience and has served as the Orange County Finance Director for 12 years.  He is the son of Doris Chavious and the late Fred Chavious.

 # # # 

Solid Waste Management Department Wins State Award for Outstanding Services


  Date: October 15, 2001

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

At the August 2001 conference of the North Carolina Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Orange County was recognized for it’s innovation and leadership in developing and implementing an integrated program of solid waste management services. The Orange County Board of Commissioners publicly presented the award, a handsome inscribed plaque, with appreciation, to Solid Waste Management staff at the October 2, 2001 public meeting.

The rigorous application process for this highly competitive award details the achievements of the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department’s two functional divisions – the Orange County Landfill and Orange Community Recycling. All aspects of solid waste management are under the auspices of these divisions, including landfill operations, recycling for residents and businesses, composting, waste reduction, and solid waste planning.

The Landfill Division is responsible for accepting and burying 60,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 30,000 tons of construction and demolition (C&D) waste annually.  Over the last year the division has processed 1,500 tons of scrap tires and white goods, mulched 6,000 tons of yard waste, and salvaged more than 500 tons of scrap metal, pallets, and other usable goods from the C&D Landfill to be recycled instead of landfilled.

Orange Community Recycling provides curbside recycling services through a private contractor to all single-family urban households, nearly 40 percent of rural households, and provides recycling site service for 90 percent of all apartment complexes in Orange County.  Curbside recycling diverted close to 3,800 tons of material from landfill disposal, and apartment complexes recycled an additional 1,410 tons last year.

Close to 6,000 tons of recyclables were collected and processed by Orange Community Recycling staff from the ten drop-off sites and more than 100 local bars and restaurants.  Orange Community Recycling is also responsible for providing residents with nine Household Hazardous Waste collection events each year.  Numerous smaller programs are coordinated with Orange Community Recycling and other county organizations such as a government building recycling program, oil and filter recycling, recycling for special events, and outreach and education services ranging from classroom presentations to landfill tours.

Solid Waste planning efforts have long been an intrinsic part of the Department’s work.  The initial organization in the early 1970’s of the cooperative Landfill Owners Group, which included Carrboro and Chapel Hill’s municipal governments and Orange County government, necessitated planning for success. Active citizen involvement in solid waste management in Orange County has included creation of a citizen-based Landfill Search Committee in 1989, an advisory committee to the comprehensive solid waste planning process conducted in the mid 90s, a C&D Recycling Task Force, and the recent formation of a citizen-based Solid Waste Advisory Board.  All demonstrate examples of the importance, effectiveness, and value of public input and involvement in solid waste decision-making.

Through these planning processes, the County has adopted a solid waste plan that includes aggressive per capita waste reduction goals of 45 percent by the end of 2001 and 61 percent by 2006. Planning efforts over the years have also culminated into, among other things, expansion of recycling programs, a landfill ban on corrugated cardboard, and the recent development of a draft ordinance restricting disposal of recyclable construction and demolition waste.  

No debt or tax has ever been used to finance any of these programs in the more than 29 years of operation of the Solid Waste Management Department.  All activities have been self-funded through the landfill based enterprise fund. 

“It is an honor to receive this award”, said Gayle Wilson, director of the Orange County Solid Waste Management Department. “Thanks go to all the staff that work within the department, to the County Board of Commissioners, and especially to the citizens of Orange County who have made the success of our programs possible.”

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Award reception at SWANA conference.  From Left to Right, Orange County Landfill Manager Paul Spire, Orange County Landfill Engineer Michael Meagher, Orange County Department of Solid Waste Management Director Gayle Wilson, and President of NC-SWANA Larry Carter.

County Commissioners Approve New Emergency Management Specialist Position


Date: October 4, 2001

  For more information: Nick Waters, (919) 968-2050,

Among the many changes in our lives since September 11 has been a heightened awareness of our vulnerability in a time of terrorism.

Recognizing the need for increased attention to public safety, on October 2 the Orange County Board of Commissioners formally approved a new position responsible for developing, coordinating and maintaining County plans for disaster situations. 

The Emergency Management Specialist will enhance ongoing efforts to coordinate emergency planning and response between the County, municipalities, school systems, the University, volunteer agencies and public utility companies. The position will also have primary responsibility for developing and presenting training materials and courses for County departments, other governmental entities and the general public to promote self-sufficiency in preparation for disasters, whether natural or man-made.

The Commissioners first discussed creating this position during budget work sessions in May and June 2001. The BOCC indicated an intent to approve the position later in the 2001-02 fiscal year pending grant funding and a clearer job mission.  The Board was particularly interested in how this position could improve public awareness of potential risks in this area, and in educating citizens to better meet those risks.

This remains a particular concern in light of expanded nuclear fuel storage activity at the nearby Shearon Harris nuclear power plant. 

In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the BOCC decided to move aggressively to enhance local governmental planning for emergencies, including domestic and foreign terrorism.

Board of Commissioners Vice-Chair Barry Jacobs said, "Americans have learned, through much pain, loss and anger, that terrorists can literally bring the battle for freedom to our doorsteps. As officials pledged to protect the public's health, safety and welfare, the Orange County Commissioners are working with local, state and federal folks to anticipate and meet any disasters that might come our way. Filling this new position allows us to improve that effort, and to bolster an already superior Emergency Management Department.”

The position is expected to cost approximately $50,000 - $55,000 per year.  Funding for fiscal year 2001-02 will come entirely from state and federal grants.  Some County funding will likely be needed in future years, although more than $20,000 in annual grant funds will likely recur to help support the position.  Recruitment for the position is expected to begin in the next several weeks.  If recruitment efforts proceed well, the new emergency planner could be on board early in 2002.

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Orange Community Recycling Begins Service in Southern Village


Date: October 4, 2001

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

In early September, Orange Community Recycling initiated weekly curbside recycling service in the Southern Village development.  Southern Village was annexed into the Town of Chapel Hill this past July, and the roughly 600 single family homes there are now receiving publicly-provided recycling collection for the first time.  Multifamily complexes in Southern Village have received recycling since they were constructed.

Susan Venker, vice-president of the Southern Village Homeowners Association said, “We’re very excited to receive weekly household recycling service. We know the residents of our neighborhoods have been waiting a long time and the Homeowners Association hopes everyone will participate as much as they can in this worthwhile effort.”

Rob Taylor, recycling coordinator for Orange Community Recycling, reminds the public that to help the program be more cost effective and efficient, citizens should get their bins out by 7:00 a.m. on their recycling day, put paper products in a brown paper bag, and flatten all plastic bottles to make more room in the recycling trucks’ compartments so they can stay on route longer before filling up.

The weekly service is funded by Orange County Landfill enterprise fund whose revenues are derived primarily from landfill tipping fees. The service includes weekly contract collection at $3.50 per month per house, whether it participates or not, a recycling bin delivered to each house, and a program information packet.  Items for collection include: newspapers, glossy magazines, telephone directories, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, aerosol cans, and all types of plastic bottles.  Based on curbside program tonnage from last year, Orange County expects that each household will divert over 450 pounds of recyclables per year from the landfill.

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Decorative Mulch now Available at Landfill


Date: October 4, 2001

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

Orange County Department of Solid Waste Management introduces another quality product created from organic waste collected in Orange County: colored mulch made from construction wood and pallets.  The colored mulch, in choices of red or black, is now for sale at the Orange County Landfill for $25 per cubic yard on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. - noon (our normal mulch sale hours) while supplies last.

We continue to offer the conventional yard waste mulch at $12 per scoop (3 cubic yards) during those same hours.  The price of yard waste mulch is scheduled to go up to $15 per scoop effective October 31, 2001. Any load leaving the landfill must be tarped to prevent spillage.

The colored mulch is a different product from the yard waste mulch we have offered over the past eight years.  This new product will decompose more slowly and last longer on the site where it is applied because no leaves or green wood are included in its production. Orange County Department of Solid Waste Management has begun producing the colored wood mulch product as a means of diverting waste construction wood and pallets brought to our landfill. The feedstock wood for the mulch does not contain painted or treated wood.  To create the mulch, the feedstock has been double-ground in a tub grinder using a magnet for metal removal, then colored with non-hazardous, colorfast dyes. 

Staff has taken every precaution to ensure that the product is of a high quality, free from contaminants, and will not harm the environment in any way.   Laboratory testing has shown the mulch product to be free of heavy metals and volatile organic compounds.

The colored mulch is an experimental project supported with a grant from the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance as part of the Department of Solid Waste Management’s continued efforts to divert more locally generated waste from being needlessly landfilled and simultaneously provide the public with products they can use at reasonable prices.  Diverting this clean wood from the construction and demolition portion of the landfill will lengthen the life of our landfill, which is currently scheduled to be full in less than one year. 

It also provides value-added locally produced materials from waste, and offers landscapers and citizens another product that can cut down on the need for mechanical or chemical weed removal and watering while providing an attractive and durable ground cover.  A sample plot can be observed at the corner of Old Chapel Hill-Durham Road and Highway 15-50l in Chapel Hill.

Trial samples were initially offered to contractors who purchase the greatest amount of yard waste mulch from the Department of Solid Waste Management as a test for the usability and attractiveness of this product. Ten out of the fifteen contractors contacted took advantage of the trial offer, and the survey results are coming back. The remaining mulch from this trial is now being offered to the public.  Please contact the Department of Solid Waste Management if you have any questions at (919) 968-2788 or

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Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Latex Paint Exchange is this Saturday


Date: October 4, 2001

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

On Saturday October 6, 2001 Orange County Solid Waste Management Department will conduct its monthly hazardous household waste (HHW) collection at the Orange County Landfill located on Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill.  The event is open from 9am to 3pm to residents of Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake Counties.  Citizens may bring paints, pesticides, automotive wastes, batteries, flourescent lights, chemicals and other hazardous materials from their households to the collection. Wastes should not be mixed together but kept in separate, non-leaking containers with the original label when possible. No business wastes are accepted.

Orange County offers this service to help protect our landfill and future generations from potential contamination caused by placing hazardous materials inside our landfill now.  The best way to prevent contamination is to reduce toxicity in the first place.  When shopping for products, avoid those with “Caution!”, “Warning!”, or “Danger!” on the labels.  Use non-toxic alternatives such as citrus, baking soda, borax, or vinegar based cleaning products, organic mulch and compost instead of chemical herbicides and fertilizers.  Use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable whenever possible. Purchasing latex rather than oil based paint can also greatly reduce hazardous waste stored in the home.

Free latex paint is offered to the public at The Paint Exchange. “ We try to recycle as much material as we can,” said Rob Taylor, Recycling Coordinator for Orange County Solid Waste Management Department. “Latex paint is by far the most collected material at any HHW Collection event, so if we can divert the latex paint that is still in good condition from landfill disposal we definitely want to do that.”

Mr. Taylor added,  “If you have only a small amount of latex paint to dispose of and no other wastes, you don’t need to come to us to dispose of it.” You can safely dry the paint out at home.  Just be sure that the material is completely dry, as no liquid wastes are permitted in the landfill.”          

Once latex paint is thoroughly dried, residents can dispose of the cans, with the lids removed, in their regular trash. Accelerate the drying process by stirring kitty litter or sand into the open can of paint.  If the paint has been completely used up and there is only a thin residue of dried paint left in the container(less that a ¼ inch coating in the bottom of the can), it can be recycled at drop-off sites and staffed convenience centers with other steel cans.  Make sure the can is made out of metal and the lid has been removed and discarded.

Taylor had other tips to streamline the Saturday HHW collection, “If you change your own oil in your car,  you can bring the used motor oil and oil filter to any of the six County Solid Waste Convenience Centers six days a week.  You don’t have to wait for the HHW collection for that.  You can also bring old auto batteries and there” Taylor added. “Bring all the other hazardous wastes to us.  It’s good to save up materials and bring a full load at one time, or coordinate with friends and neighbors to combine loads.  That would help us reduce traffic, which makes the event run more smoothly for everybody.”

No commercial wastes, infectious wastes, explosives or radioactive wastes are accepted. Call 968-2788 for disposal information on these materials. The last hazardous waste collection event of the year will be November 3, 2001. HHW collections will resume at the Orange County Landfill in March 2002 and will be regularly scheduled the first Saturday of each month.  Call  287-8051 or 942-8158 for information about collection schedules and locations in Chatham, Durham and Wake Counties. Information on non-toxic alternatives can also be provided at any of these numbers.

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Orange County to hold Remembrance Ceremony and Candlelight Vigil Tuesday, Sept. 18


Date: September 14, 2001

  For more information: Beverly Blythe, (919) 245-2130,

One week after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, Orange County will pause to reflect upon, remember and honor the victims of this horrific national tragedy.

The ceremony will be held Tuesday in the parking area between the Orange County courthouse and Sheriff’s Department on East Margaret Lane, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The program will include the posting of colors by a Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard, singing of the Star-Spangled Banner, words of reflection, encouragement and hope by elected officials and poet Jaki Shelton-Green, lighting of candles, and will conclude with the singing of America the Beautiful.

Those attending the ceremony also will have the opportunity to donate money to the massive relief effort now underway.

 “Since this tragedy began to unfold, we thought it would be appropriate to hold some sort of ceremony to honor the victims and those who lost their lives trying to save them, as well as the many rescue workers working around the clock trying to find survivors,” said Stephen Halkiotis, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners. “We think we have planned the type of ceremony that honors the victims, and celebrates the basic goodness of the human spirit, demonstrated by the multitude of acts of kindness and selflessness demonstrated in New York and near the nation’s capital.”

For more information, call the office of the Clerk to the Board, (919) 245-2130.

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Board of Commissioners Cancels
Tonight’s Meeting


 Date: September 11, 2001

For more information: Beverly Blythe, (919) 245-2130,

Due to the national tragedy unfolding in New York and the nation’s capital, and in respect for the victims of this catastrophe, the Orange County Board of Commissioners has canceled its meeting scheduled for tonight, 7:30 p.m., at the Government Services Center in Hillsborough.

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Public Hearing on Law Enforcement Grant will be held Sept. 18


Date: September 7, 2001

 For more information: Sheriff A. Lindy Pendergrass, (919) 2452900,

The Orange County Board of Commissioners will conduct a public hearing to receive written and oral comments on proposed uses of a $12,271 federal law enforcement grant to the Sheriff’s Department at its regular meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Over the past few years, the Sheriff’s Department has received funds from the U.S. Department of Justice local law enforcement block grant. The grant awards provide local law enforcement agencies with funds to underwrite projects to reduce crime and improve public safety.

The Sheriff’s Department plans to use the grant proceeds to help offset overtime costs.

In addition to the public hearing, recipients of block grant funds must designate an advisory board to discuss proposed uses of the grant funds. Representation on the advisory board must include a member of the Sheriff’s Department, the local prosecutor’s office, the local court system, the local public school system, and a member of a local nonprofit, educational, religious, or community group active in crime prevention, or drug use prevention and treatment.

The Sheriff’s Department Community Watch Advisory Board includes representatives from the required groups and organizations. Therefore, Sheriff Pendergrass has recommended that the Community Watch Advisory Board serve as the advisory board for the local law enforcement block grant as well.

For more information, contact the Sheriff’s Department, (919) 245-2900.

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“Field of Dreams” to be Dedicated Sept. 11


Date: September 7, 2001

For more information: Bob Jones, Recreation & Parks Director, (919) 245-2660,

The Orange County Board of Commissioners and Recreation and Parks Department will celebrate the realization of the dream of many young baseball players with the official dedication of the youth baseball field at Fairview Park, Tuesday, Sept. 11.

The dedication ceremony for the “Field of Dreams” begins at 5:30 p.m. at the park, located on Rainey Avenue north of U.S. 70 (Cornelius Street) in Hillsborough. Light refreshments will follow the ceremony.

The former site of the town of Hillsborough’s municipal landfill was transformed into a recreation facility following an environmental investigation in the summer of 2000 that revealed no significant contamination at the site.

In October 2000, County staff received recommendations for site improvements, including grading, hauling in fill dirt, seeding and installing a backstop, fencing and bleachers. In December 2000, the Board authorized construction to begin at the site.

Construction of the playing field began in February. The Recreation and Parks Department involved neighborhood baseball players in preparation and layout of the field, and other aspects of the project.

For more information, contact the Recreation and Parks Department, (919) 245-2660.

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