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Local News Archives for 2020-08

Alamance County Athletes Invited to Join Flag Football League

Alamance County high school athletes are being invited to join a flag football league being started in Guilford County. It’s being called a 7 on 7 flag football, and the group handling it is called North Carolina Triad Fusion if you want to google it. Organizers say it will give football players an outlet during the government imposed lockdown. You will have to drive to Greensboro to take part, since there are no games scheduled for Alamance County right now. Organizers say there will be three 25 minute flag football games each night, either at Greensboro’s Smith Soccer Complex or at BB&T field in Winston Salem. By the way, the Program Director for the flag football league is Mitch Mitchner, who used to play at Western Alamance and then coached at Eastern Guilford.

ABSS Orders More HotSpots

If you are one of the many Alamance County residents having a hard time logging your kid on to the internet for classes, there could be some help on the way. Alamance Burlington Schools say they have ordered another 2000 hotspots to hand out. Hotspots are where you can use a smart phone to create a wifi connection for your kid’s chromebook. The only issue is how long it is going to take to get those hotspots in, and then get them out to parents. They are getting them from Verizon, and Verizon says they are backlogged.

 

Alamance County Courthouse Closed for Covid Investigation

If you have business at the Alamance County Courthouse today, you might want to make a phone call first. The old courthouse is closed today and tomorrow, so is the J.B. Allen Courthouse as well as the civil courthouse. It’s all because of the corona virus. You might remember we told you someone apparently went to the courthouse for business, and later tested positive. Back at that time, officials say they deep cleaned everywhere they knew that person had been, but apparently there have been new cases. They are telling us today and tomorrow should give them plenty of time to investigate who came in contact with whom, and clean every nook and cranny, and that the courthouses should reopen by Wednesday.

State Senator Rick Gunn Being Sued

Alamance County’s Rick Gunn is under the gun today. The retiring state senator is the focus of a lawsuit brought by the former husband of one of his legislative assistants. Arthur Johns says Gunn had an affair with Karen Johns. As you might know from previous similar cases, North Carolina is one of just a few states that recognize alienation of affection. That law says you can sue someone for knowingly coming between you and your spouse. Opponents to the law say it is sexist, since it presupposes that the person involved has no free will.

Fall Furniture Market is on for October

A lot of folks in Alamance County make money twice a year, during the High Point Furniture Market. We missed out on that when the Spring Market was cancelled. Now, the organizers say they do plan to go ahead with the Fall Market. If you need to make some plans, or ask for some time off, the Fall Market is scheduled for October 13-21st. If you are new to Alamance County, some folks here take vacation and go work at the Market. Others rent out their homes to market goers. Market goers who stay in Alamance County avoid the higher prices for hotel rooms and restaurants in High Point and Greensboro during the Market.

ACC Biotech Center To Start Construction Next Year

Spokesmen for Alamance Community College say the new Biotechnology Center will be built starting next year and will be ready for classes in the fall of 2022. The 15 million dollar building will be a 3 story, 30 thousand square foot building. Several other local colleges have already asked if they can collaborate with ACC in using the biotch facility. That includes Duke and UNC, NC State, App State, Wake Forest and NC Central. Those schools will be offering internships among other things. Burlington based LabCorp of course is one of the movers behind getting the biotech center built. By the way, thanks to the presence of LabCorp, Burlington is listed as the #1 small metro area in the entire country for health diagnostics and testing. 

UPS Joins Call For Monument To Be Removed

The folks from UPS say they think the confederate statue at the old courthouse in Graham needs to go. UPS corporate released a statement yesterday, saying it is time for it to go. UPS of course, is looking at Alamance County as a location for a new facility, bringing more than 450 new jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue.

100% Passing Rate for ACC Nursing Students

Here’s something you don’t see too often. Every single person taking a test, passes that test. But we have that result here in Alamance County. 100 percent of the nursing students from Alamance Community College have passed the state certification exam. All 24 of them. That is pretty much unheard of, unless you are talking about ACC. The state average for passing the exam is 84 percent. Just another reason why Alamance Community College has such a great reputation. 

 

Another Housing Development for Mebane

The Town of Mebane is looking at yet another housing development. The Mebane Planning Board has approved an 85 unit townhome community. This time on Arrowhead Blvd. If that sounds familiar, it is part of the Tanger Outlet Center, where the old Arrowhead Golf Course used to be. One issue is that Tanger Outlets uses the land right now for overflow parking. Opponents say it will be a traffic mess at least a couple of times a year. The developers say there is plenty of room for everyone. Now that it has the blessing of the Planning Board, the Mebane City Council will vote on it. Mebane of course is the fastest growing town in Alamance County and the 6th fastest growing town in North Carolina, and the only one of those six that is not a suburb of Charlotte or Raleigh. 

AMTRAK Resumes Service in Alamance County

AMTRAK says it has resumed service in Alamance County. This will be the first time in quite a while that both the Piedmont and the Carolinian have been operating at the same time. The Piedmont runs between Raleigh and Charlotte. The Carolinian does that, but also keeps going to New York. AMTRAK officials say they stopped the service for a while simply because no one was taking the train anywhere, so there was no point. Now, you can once again catch the train at the Burlington depot. You can check the schedule at the AMTRAK website or the North Carolina Department of Transportation website.

New Online Access to Application Process for Burlington Residents

If you need to get a permit or a license in the city of Burlington, there is a new option for you. Burlington City officials say they have launched an online application process. You can submit and track inspection permits, planning and zoning applications, beer and wine permits and such. Just go to the city website burlington nc dot gov, and then add forward slash burlington smart.

Drive-Thru Property Tax Payments for Alamance County

Alamance County officials have set up a drive through property tax payment site. They are renting out the old Medicap Pharmacy on Harden Street to handle the traffic. Starting yesterday, you will be able to drive in, pay your property taxes, and drive off without ever getting out of your car. They say the site will accept cash or checks, and if you are willing to pay a 2 and a half percent fee, you can pay by credit or debit card. And please note, you can still pay in person at the Alamance County tax office on Elm Street in Graham.

 

 

UPS incentives package a step closer to reality

Alamance County Commissioners last night voted to kick in a little more than a million dollars, to help convince UPS to build a facility here. That will be added to the money the town of Graham has already agreed to. This million dollars from the county will be paid out over five years, and is based on the promise from UPS that they will bring more than 450 jobs. The facility is also expected to generate around a million dollars a year in taxes. The town of Mebane will see what they can come up with in their meeting next week.

Clock Ticking Down to Election

Another reminder that early voting in Alamance County will start October 15th, but absentee voting starts September 4th. You can request a ballot online, call or go in person to the Board of Elections on Maple St in Graham. Then, starting September 4th, you can mail it back in or take it to the elections board yourself, or wait until election day and drop it off. And by the way, you can ask for an absentee ballot, and if you change your mind, just tear it up and go to the polls in person. Just don’t try to do both, since that would cause confusion and might invalidate your vote. 2 extra polling places will also be available to early voters this year. 

First Day of School Shows Flaws in Online Learning Plan

Today is the first day of school for Alamance Burlington students. Of course, everything is upside down this year. Shortages of laptops and hot spots, confusion over who is doing what and when and where. Teachers still learning how to use zoom and other cyber equipment. And as you know, many parts of the Alamance county do not have internet access, so we are still dealing with that.

 

And now: Power school is down across the state. Their website shows widespread outages in the Triangle and the Triad as well as Charlotte. That includes canvas.

Rally To Show Support for Alamance County Law Enforcement

Despite the nasty weather, folks turned out this weekend for a rally in support of our local law enforcement community. The rally was put on by Straightway Baptist Church. There was a crowd on the square near the old courthouse, lots of people all around the square with some marching around holding signs and Bibles. The church’s pastor says the rally was not meant to be political and had nothing to do with the confederate monument there at the old courthouse. He says they simply wanted local law enforcement to know they have the support of the community.

Burlington Childcare Kids & Staff Test Positive

Another cluster of covid 19 has reportedly been found in Alamance County. The Growing Years Learning Center on Bonnar Bridge Rd near Lake MacIntosh has been closed. The Health Department says 3 children and 4 staff members diagnosed positive last week. Spokesmen for the school say they immediately closed down when they got the news, and started deep cleaning.

Alamance County Farmers Asked To Take A Survey

Farmers in Alamance County are being asked to take a survey, telling the US Department of Agriculture what they think about 3 of their agencies. It’s the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency. A press release says some 28 thousand producers will be getting the survey over the next few weeks, but even if you don’t, you can go to farmers dot gov slash survey. You’ve got at least 6 weeks, but they say as soon as they get a 30 percent response rate, they are closing the survey.

Burlington Water Bills Coming Due

Burlington residents will start having to pay their water bills next month. Since late March, the city has been allowing folks to miss their payments, but no longer. Burlington utilities folks say even though they have been letting you slide, you still owe the money. They say they will waive penalties and interest, but you do need to make arrangements.

Alamance County Farmers Get Payment Deferral

Alamance County farmers are getting a break from the government. The US Department of Agriculture says Farm Storage Facility loan borrowers can get a one time annual installment payment deferral. No fees or prepayment penalties would apply. Spokesmen for the Department of Agriculture say the deferral is available for three year, five year, seven or ten year loans, but not for 12 year loans.

Watch For Phone Scams

It looks like the phone scammers are still at it in Alamance County. The Graham Police Department is out with yet another warning. It looks like what the caller is doing is telling you they are from Social Security, and they need to verify your social security number, either to get you your stimulus check or for some other reason. As always, remember, Social Security will never ever call you.

Graham & NAACP Told To Work Something Out

A federal judge says she is holding off on issuing a temporary restraining order against the town of Graham and Alamance County. Judge Catherine Eagles says she wants the city and county to prove to her that they are not violating the civil rights of protesters who want to tear down the confederate monument at the old courthouse. Local officials have said they will allow protesters onto the courthouse sidewalks, but not around the monument itself. The judge also has given the NAACP until tomorrow to explain to her why they are refusing to meet with city and county officials to try and work out an arrangement.

Glen Raven Is Booming!

It looks like Glen Raven is booming. According to a story in the Mebane Enterprise, the mega company with headquarters here in Alamance County, has just announced eight executives have just been promoted to new positions. Everyone of them focused on growing their business. They say they are especially focused on GlenGuard. That is the fire resistant fabric Glen Raven developed several years ago, that is catching on in making a lot of products.

New Charter School?

Parents might have another charter school to consider for the fall. We told you about Alamance Community School, planning to build out near Trollinger Rd. Now they are asking permission to use the old Crosslink Community Church in Mebane for a temporary  facility, so they will have enough space for the forced physical distancing requirements.

Elon Students Call For Shut Down

A group of students at Elon University is calling for the school to shut down the campus for the fall semester. They say opening any classes will show the school is more interested in making money than educating students. It’s not clear yet if school administrators will fall for it though. 

Potential New UPS Facility

A lot of folks watching, as the towns of Graham and Mebane put together an incentives package, intended to bring that UPS facility to Alamance County. Plans call for it to be built in Hawfields, in the development that already has a WalMart warehouse and a Lidl center. The UPS facility would dwarf both of those. 

WalMart says it is hiring around 450 people, with an average salary of 35 thousand a year. Lidl says it will be hiring 200 people at around 80 thousand a year. UPS says it would be looking for 400 employees at an average salary of around 60 thousand. Mebane and Graham are expected to make their incentives offer sometime this week or next week.

Outskirts of Isaias

Duke Energy reported more than a hundred power outages in Alamance County from the storm. One group was in the MacIntosh neighborhood and a much larger outage in Haw River. Another near Swepsonville and another outside Pleasant Grove They say everyone should be back online by 10 o’clock this morning.

 

Otherwise, Alamance County came out pretty good. Down along the coast there is massive destruction. 

Drive Thru Taxes?

Alamance County residents might be able to pay taxes in a drive through later this year. According to a story in this week’s Alamance News, that is one of the options the county is looking at. We are getting some money from Congress to handle some of the issues caused by the government’s response to the pandemic. The money is supposed to be used for things that would not ordinarily have to be dealt with. Alamance County officials say this fits that description. Folks will not be able to line up to pay their property taxes this year, so a drive through payment set up might be one solution.

Cops Are NOT On The Way (Scam Call)

Another scam for you this morning. Burlington police say someone is calling people, telling them the cops are on the way to arrest them. They say it is a courtesy call, to make sure the target of the scam is the person they are looking for. So they tell them they need their social security number to run a check. Burlington Police say they will never call you to let you know they are coming to arrest you.

Too Hot To Keep Pets In Car

Burlington Animal Services say they had 3 animals die in hot cars in the last 2 weeks, as we saw so many days with the heat index well into the hundreds. Alamance County officials say in spite of all the publicity that has been getting out there over the years, some dog owners still leave their animals in a locked car while they go inside a store to shop. Or even leaving them in the back yard without shade or water. One of the victims last week was a dog left in the car at WalMart while the owner went inside to buy a tv. Another was in the backyard when he died. At that time, the dog’s owner says she was in the process of putting up a tarp to provide him shade. But it was too late. You can be cited for animal cruelty if such cases.

Monument Is Still Standing

A federal judge has ruled the town of Graham can continue to take steps to prevent folks from tearing down the confederate monument. The NAACP and the ACLU had argued the city could not declare a state of emergency or a curfew, simply because of the opinions or intentions of the protesters. They argued the city would have to wait until the protesters actually put a ladder up to the monument. A judge Friday denied the request for a temporary restraining order against the city. The city also argued that the NAACP and ACLU were trying to make the city look bad by asking the judge to demand the city sit down with them to work out their differences. This after the groups had already refused the offer by the city to sit down and talk about it. 

 

The city has set up areas for protesters around the courthouse square, but that does not include the land the monument is actually on.

Tropical Storm Isaias

Tropical Storm E-sah-e-ahs is still headed toward North Carolina, but the latest numbers show it has slowed down and weakened. 

 

For us here in Alamance County, that means any effects will be slower in getting here. Most of the computer models show the rain and windy conditions will start this afternoon, rather than earlier today. We are still expected to get between 1 and 4 inches of rain, and we are still under a Flood Watch from this afternoon until Tuesday.

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