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

Contact: Donna Baker
Clerk to the Board
(919) 245-2130
Fax: (919) 644-0246

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News Releases

September/October 2004

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Emergency Management


October 21, 2004

Contact: John Link 
Orange County Manager

Jack Ball Appointed Orange County Emergency Management Director

John Link, Orange County Manager, announced today that Jack Ball has been appointed as Emergency Management Director. Ball will begin work Monday, November 29, 2004.

As Emergency Management Director, Ball will oversee the County’s emergency services, including 9-1-1 emergency communications, emergency medical services and fire marshal’s office. His responsibilities include directing Countywide response and recovery in times of disaster.

Ball has over 30 years public safety experience. For the past seven years he has served as Director of Public Safety for Amherst County, Virginia. His responsibilities have included planning for and supervision of emergency communications, emergency medical services and fire.

Ball began his career as a firefighter in Bluefield, West Virginia, progressed to increasingly responsible positions in fire safety, training and management in Chesterfield County Virginia, and then served as Coordinator of Emergency Services for Louisa County, Virginia prior to moving to Amherst County.

County Manager John Link named an Assessment Panel to assist in the selection process. The Panel was made up of Orange County Commissioner Barry Jacobs, former Emergency Medical Director Dr. Tom Griggs, Person County Emergency Management Director Bill Gentry, White Cross Fire Chief Jerry Lloyd, Health Director Dr. Rosemary Summers and Assistant County Manager Rod Visser.

The search process included national recruitment. It yielded 61 candidates.

Link said: “We look forward to Jack Ball’s becoming Orange County’s Emergency Management Director. Jack has demonstrated a breadth of experience and leadership in emergency management that will be key to providing quality emergency services to our citizens now and in the future.”

Visser said: “I'm delighted to have Jack Ball coming on board as Orange County's next Emergency Management Director. He brings a wealth of experience across the emergency management spectrum, and has built operations up from the ground floor in areas that present challenges to Orange County, such as communications interoperability and field verification of addresses for Enhanced 9-1-1. I believe his collaborative, team-oriented approach will empower the outstanding staff with which Orange County Emergency Management is blessed to produce even better results and customer service than the already high standards established by the department.”

Ball said: “I am honored to be chosen as Orange County’s Emergency Management Director. It was a perfect fit with my background. It’s exciting for me to be joining the County’s progressive and visionary emergency management team. I look forward to serving the citizens of Orange County in maintaining the delivery of a high quality, efficient and effective emergency service program.”

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October 6, 2004

Contact: Donna King 
Orange County Health Department

Flu vaccine limited due to lack of availability

HILLSBOROUGH – The Orange County Health Department is responding to yesterday’s news that due to a national shortage, use of the flu vaccine in North Carolina is being targeted only for those people who are most likely to be seriously affected by the flu.  The Health Department will be following CDC recommendations for vaccinations and is urging all community medical providers to follow these same guidelines.

The CDC recommends that the following people get the flu vaccine:

·        Children 6 to 23 months

·        Adults aged 65 and over

·        Persons aged 2 to 64 with underlying chronic medical conditions, like asthma, that may make them more susceptible to flu complications

·        All women who will be pregnant during the flu season

·        Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities

·        Children aged 6 months to 18 years on chronic aspirin therapy

·        Health care workers involved in direct patient care, and

·        Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months of age

Persons that fall into one of these eight groups, should call their primary care provider to check on whether the provider has vaccine available.

For the first time in its history, the CDC is recommending that people outside of those risk groups not get the vaccine.

 “If you aren’t in one of those groups, then unfortunately you need to forego the vaccine,” said Dr. Rosemary Summers, Orange County Health Director. “We need to get the limited amount of vaccine to the people who need it the most.

“The Health Department is assessing the local community supply of vaccine by calling medical providers and pharmacies to determine how much vaccine is currently in stock.  Once that inventory is completed, we will have better information about the potential effect on our community,” said Dr. Summers.

The Orange County Health Department has set-up an Influenza Information Line that can be reached by dialing (919)-245-2479.  The line will offer a recording on the status of the flu vaccine that will be updated daily by 5 PM.  You cannot leave a message or schedule an appointment at this number.  Daily updates are also available on the Orange County website at .  Health authorities will be seeking additional vaccine and will provide daily updates via these channels.


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Human Relations


September 30, 2004

Contact: Milan Pham 
Orange County Commission for Women, Department of Human Rights and Relations

Orange County Women's Agenda Assembly

On October 14, 2004, the “Orange County Women’s Agenda Assembly“ will provide area residents with an opportunity to learn more about the North Carolina Legislature, the issues affecting women, and what women can do to make a difference. 

The Orange County Commission for Women, Department of Human Rights and Relations, and NC Women United will host the Orange County Women's Agenda Assembly on October 14, 2004 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Cedar Ridge High School, 1125 New Grady Brown School Road, Hillsborough.  Residents of Orange, Chatham and surrounding counties are encouraged to attend. 

Ann Johnson, a North Carolina women’s advocate who has been honored for her work on aging, will be the keynote speaker. Caroline Wood, Chair of the Women’s Agenda Assembly Planning Committee, believes that “this event promises to be an informative and inspiring event for the people of Orange County who are concerned about economic and social justice for North Carolina women.  It is an open forum for the people to prioritize key policy issues that affect Orange and Chatham County women and children.  It is our hope that many residents will participate and make their voices heard.”

The Orange County Commission for Women is a volunteer commission of The Orange County Department of Human Rights and Relations.  It serves as a resource to expand knowledge and understanding of women’s issues and to make recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.  NC Women United is a consensus-based coalition of organizations committed to achieving full equality and empowerment of women through grassroots activism, community organizing, legislative advocacy, and engagement in the political process.

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September 27, 2004

Contact: David Stancil 
Orange County Environment & Resource Conservation

Twin Creeks (Moniese Nomp*) Open House

* Tutelo-Saponi for Twin Creeks. Pronounced Mo-nee-ay-say nom-p

Come and join us on Monday, October 4th for an open house to review draft plans for Orange County’s Twin Creeks (Moniese Nomp*) site near Old 86 and Eubanks Road. 

For your convenience, two 60-minute sessions will be held at 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. at the Homestead Community Center, 600 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill. You may drop-in and leave as your time allows. A brief presentation of two possible draft plans and a question and answer session will be followed by an informal opportunity to peruse maps and ask individual questions. Written feedback on the plans can also be submitted at the meeting. 

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Solid Waste


September 21, 2004

Contact: Blair Pollock 
Orange County Solid Waste Management

Orange County Wins National Recycling Award

On August 30, at its annual national congress, the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) gave Orange County the Beth Brown Boettner Award for Outstanding Public Education Recycling Program in the United States. The award is named for an Austin, Texas city employee who developed one of the first major city recycling programs in the nation. This competitive award is given annually along with awards for "Recycler of the Year", "Outstanding Corporate Leadership", "Outstanding Community or Government Program" and seven other categories. 

A panel of expert judges chosen from the recycling field makes the decision.  One of the judges, Meg Morris, of Energy Answers, stated, "Orange County's program covers a lot of territory physically as well as programmatically and its educational materials cover all demographics, which is hard to do. Your all-inclusive programs were far-reaching, covering not just a single town, but the entire county." Another judge, Jerry Powell, editor of Resource Recycling magazine said, "Orange County has an impressive program of broad national interest."  Chair of the NRC Awards Committee and Board Member Lisa Skumatz added, "The judges reviewed a number of excellent programs from around the nation, but they agreed that Orange County's program was outstanding.   We particularly recognized that the County had undertaken a wide range of activities with a focus on really engaging citizens.  We believe this made the program a model for other counties around the country."  

The County's comprehensive education and outreach effort includes the annual newsletter, Waste Matters which is now bilingual, three monthly newspaper columns on waste management, regular print advertising to inform the public of events, holiday schedule changes and new programs, compost demonstration sites, workshops and bin sales, a web site, information boxes and kiosks at all 11 recycling drop-off sites, landfill tours, school programs, special events recycling and information tables and technical assistance to  residential and commercial customers.  Earlier this year, Orange County Solid Waste Management received an award for its outstanding public education program from the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.

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September 9, 2004

Contact: Donna Baker 
Orange County Clerk's Office

Additional Meetings for Orange County Board of Commissioners

The Orange County Board of Commissioners added two meetings for the month of October in addition to previously announced meetings.  A work session will be held on 10/7/04 at the Southern Human Services Center in Chapel Hill at 7:30 p.m.  A dinner meeting has been added at 5:30 p.m. on 10/19/04 with the Department of Social Services Board at the Southern Human Services Center prior to the regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.

The calendar for all Commissioner meetings can be found from the main Orange County website.

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September 1, 2004

Contact: Sharron Hinton 
Orange County Manager's Office

Forum Examines Improving Volunteerism

A Volunteer Defibrillator to Shock Life back into the Heart of your Organization!

The 15th Annual Human Services Advisory Commission Forum is titled, Volunteers - New Answers to the Same Old Questions: “How Do You Get ‘Em? Keep ‘Em? And Rev ‘Em Up?”  The forum will be held on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at the Friday Center in Chapel Hill.  The public is invited. 

Each year, the forum highlights an issue in the community and provides governmental agencies, nonprofit partners, civic groups, business leaders, and individual citizens with an opportunity to share ideas.  This year the forum tackles the challenges of volunteer support. 

Given fiscal challenges across government and non-profit sectors, this year’s forum is especially designed to further an organization’s abilities to actively engage individual citizens in helping improve human and social conditions throughout the community.  Guest panelists will represent multiple groups including; NC Commission on Volunteerism & Community Service, Blue Ribbon Mentors, Ronald McDonald House, and Corporation for National Service. 

A registration fee of $12.50 includes a buffet lunch and all forum materials.

Contact Corinthia Barber in the County Manager’s Office at 245-2300 for additional details. 

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