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Local News Archives for 2021-01

Reserve Your Tree Seedling Now For Pick-up In March

With only around 50 days left until Spring, a reminder that you can still reserve some tree seedlings for now, as long as they last. According to the Alamance County Soil and Water Conservation District, they have around 150 persimmons left, around 30 bundles of Loblolly Pine and less than a dozen White Oak seedlings. You can reserve your seedlings by calling them at 290-0380. A reminder, you reserve them now for pick up on March 1st, and payment is due when you pick them up.

Alamance County Dodges Snow Problems Once More

Not much to say about the cold front that came through overnight. Alamance County got shorted on snow, with just a dusting for most of us, and less than an inch of accumulation. Just watch the bridges and overpasses if you are out and about.

There were some traffic issues in Orange County overnight. They had more isolated heavy snow in spots and some reports of some big rigs getting into trouble along the interstate. One there at the weigh station and one at the 15/501 exit (exit 270). The issue now is the possibility of a refreeze on the roads overnight.

HondaJet Market Expands To Russia

Alamance County’s HondaJet now holds 13 type certifications around the world. That means they are allowed to enter the airspace in the United States, Europe, Mexico, Brazil, India, Japan and many other countries, including the latest one, Russia. The Russian certification came last week. The HondaJet facility near the airport in Burlington focuses on the engines. The planes are assembled at PTI airport.

Caswell County Man Facing Serious Charges

A Caswell County man pulled over for a lane violation, ends up facing drug charges. The Alamance County Sheriff's Office says a deputy pulled over 33 year old Maurice Dontae Shofner Saturday night. When the deputy started talking about driving while impaired, he says Shofner attacked him and took off on foot. The deputy caught him, and by that time, a K-9 was on the scene. Deputies say they found cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and ended up arresting Shofner for felony assault on a police officer along with a list of other charges. 

Anti-Discrimination Laws Passed In Orange and Guilford County Cities

Several cities and counties around Alamance County have now passed new rules and regulations they say will protect members of the homosexual and transgender community. Orange County, Hillsborough, Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Durham and Greensboro have all passed similar regulations. All of them pretty much say if a homosexual or transgener person is the victim of a crime, that will now be considered a hate crime. Greensboro and Durham have even added protection in how people wear their hair. They say they have been told some black folk claim they have been discriminated against for the way they wear their hair. At this point, none of the towns in Alamance County have said they will consider such a new law.

Racing Fans To Get New Series Based In North Carolina

A new racing series developed by Tony Stewart and Ray Evernham will be launching this summer. The former NASCAR driver and former crew chief are setting it up similar to the old IROC series from back in the day. It will be called The Superstar Racing Experience, or SRX Racing. The series will be based in Mooresville, near the Mooresville Dragway. Evernham is designing the cars and Tony Stewart will test drive the cars this spring. Right now, the courses include Stafford Motor Speedway, Knoxville Raceway, Eldora Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway, Slinger Speedway, and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. The first race is scheduled for June 12th. Most of the tracks around Alamance County are not considered big enough to handle the new SRX Racing. 

Major Shelton Brown Retires From Alamance County Sheriff's Office

48 years on any job is quite an accomplishment. In law enforcement it is nothing short of amazing. Major Shelton Brown has just announced he is retiring from the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. Brown started off with the Burlington Police Department where he worked for 4 years. Then went to the North Carolina Highway Patrol where he served for 25 years. When he retired from the Highway Patrol he went to work with the Sheriff’s Office and has been there since. No word yet on when Major Brown’s last day will be. 

Burlington Baseball Team To Announce New Name

If you have been wondering what’s going on with the minor league baseball team formerly known as the Burlington Royals, it looks like we are about to get an answer. You might remember we have been telling you here on the Maverick, that the team owners have been working on a new name for the team. They even opened it up for the community to suggest a new name. Spokesmen there now say they are ready to tell us what they have come up with. They say they ended up going to someone who makes a living thinking up names for sports teams. They say they will reveal the new name on Monday on Youtube at 10am.

Gibsonville Police Investigate Explosive Device Found By Resident

A lot of folks in Gibsonville have been asking about some loud explosions they say they have been hearing north of downtown. Now, police say they might have an answer. Someone found what they are calling a homemade explosive device in that area. They picked it up and brought it to the Gibsonville Police Department. The area was immediately evacuated and the bomb squad from Greensboro was called in. Now, they are working to see how that might tie in to reports of several explosions reported around Wood Street the past several weeks.

Alamance County Received Double Dose of Vaccine

The Alamance County Health Department has just gotten a double dose of vaccine in our last shipment from the state. Health officials say that is because our people are doing such a good job. You might have seen on national news that some health professionals are able to get extra doses from each vial. That is apparently true here in Alamance County. Health officials say for every 5 vials, our folks have been able to get 6 doses. According to the County Health Department, around 5,000 doses have been administered so far. Most of those to front line health care and folks 75 and older. 

MVP Southgate Pipeline Might Still Be Built In Alamance County

Could the MVP Southgate pipeline be getting another shot? A story in this week’s Mebane Enterprise says state officials have agreed to hear from the company, on why they should not have been denied a permit to build that pipeline into Alamance County. That hearing could come within the next 3 months. 

Court Cases Resume In Alamance County

Court cases are once again being handled at the courthouses in Graham. The chief judge has ordered folks to get back to it, but he is also saying there are some restrictions. He says unless you absolutely have to be there in person, continue to stay away. If at all possible, take care of your business over the phone or internet. And if you do have to be in court, you are going to have to wear a mask. If you have had a case waiting, you might want to check with your attorney. 

Recycling Stations Remain Closed Due To Personnel Shortage

Two recycling stations in northern Alamance County are still closed. Officials say it is still because of staffing shortages. The station at Pleasant Grove Rec Center and the one at Danielly Waterwheel Rd are both closed for the time being. The Landfill near Saxapahaw is still open. County officials say one problem is all the extra work employees have to do at those 2 stations. They say when folks do not separate the recycling, it means more work for them, and again, with the coronavirus, they do not have enough staff to cover all three. Some folks have complained that the 2 stations are not manned anyway. But personnel from the landfill have to come up and tend the other ones. And that is in addition to their duties at the landfill. 

Apartment Complex Approved For Graham

Another new development being considered by the town of Graham. This would be off Jimmie Kerr Rd north of the interstate. Plans call for more than 1,000 apartments. About half of them would be 2 bedroom, a quarter of them 1 bedroom and a quarter of them 3 bedroom.  The Graham Planning Board has approved the plan, and the rezoning that would have to go along with it. Now the proposal goes to the Graham City Council. 

Housing Development Approved For Graham

We told you last week that the Graham Council has approved a new single family home development along Lacy Holt, Rock Creek near Monroe Holt. It would be around 200 houses. The Graham City Council has also approved a plan to build around 100 townhouses off Cheeks Lane. That’s to the east of River Mill Academy.

ACC Hopes To Encourage Girls To Become Engineers

Alamance Community College says it has received a nearly $100,000 grant, to try and convince more girls to go into the field of engineering. The money comes from the National Science Foundation. It is called WIND, which they say stands for Women In a Network of Discovery. Studies of community colleges show men earn 6 times more Associate Degrees in Engineering than do women. The folks at ACC say they will work with the folks at ABSS starting in the 3rd grade, to encourage girls to go into engineering.

 

Speaking of Alamance Community College, Burlington City Councilman Jim Butler has been named to the ACC Board of Trustees. Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement last week. 

Burlington Man Charged With Shooting Woman

Here in Alamance County, a man was arrested for shooting a woman on Tillman St in Burlington yesterday morning. Alamance County Deputies say they arrested a 32 year old man, Bryan Lamar Gwynn, and have charged him with a long list including felony assault with intent to kill, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession of drugs and intent to sell drugs. All that along with misdemeanor sexual battery.  Gywnn’s bond is more than $100,000. The victim in the shooting is okay. Investigators say she was apparently not the intended target.

Alamance County Animal Services Special Ends January 31st

Only a couple more weeks now, to take advantage of the latest deal going on at Burlington Animal Services. The county shelter is offering another adoption special $20 for a dog or a cat. That is usually $90 for dogs. The deal will last only until January 31st though. The $20 includes spay/neuter and all shots.

Graham City Council To Discuss Possible Name Change For Sesquicentennial Park

The next Graham City Council meeting could be an interesting one. A group led by the Alamance County NAACP has asked the council to change the name of Sesquicentennial to Wyatt Outlaw Park. Once again, what seems like a simple thing could turnout to be very involved and complicated. The Park was created and funded to honor the 150th anniversary of the founding of Alamance County. Orange County was split twice. Once to create Durham County and again to create Alamance County. The people who contributed money to the effort were told it would always be there as a memorial to the creation of Alamance County. It is also a combined effort of the City of Graham and the County of Alamance. That means both the city and the county governments would have to agree to any change. There is also the possibility that anyone who contributed to the creation of the park could sue if the name or purpose is changed. But again, the Graham City Council will reportedly have it on the agenda at their meeting on February 2nd. 

Alamance Republican Party Meets This Evening to Choose Replacement for Amy Galey

The Alamance County Republican Party is expected to vote this evening on who they will pick to replace Amy Galey on the Alamance County Commission. The virtual meeting will be held at 7 o’clock this evening. There is a long list of Republican Party candidates who have expressed an interest

New 4-Way Stop At Elmira and Durham Streets

If you have not been down Elmira Street in Burlington, there is a change at the intersection with Durham Street. That intersection is now a 4 way stop. Until yesterday, only the traffic on Durham St had to stop. Today, traffic on Elmira also has a stop sign. A reminder, if two cars come to a 4 way stop at the same time, the car on the right has the right of way.

Alamance County Sheriff Office Releases Annual Report

The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office has released its annual report, letting us know what they have been doing and how much it costs. Lots of interesting information. Just for instance, in 2019 there were about 1,500 applications for pistol permits in Alamance County. Last year that jumped to more than 3,600. There were more than 7,600 pistol permits issued, and more than 2,000 concealed carry applications. Those are just a few of the tidbits in the Sheriff’s report. There is a whole lot more. You can find it at the Alamance County website: alamance-nc.com 

Alamance County Health Department Taking Appointments For Covid Vaccine

Alamance County Health officials say they will start accepting more calls for appointments, for the Covid19 vaccine. This is still for folks over 75 or for health care workers. Some counties around us have moved on to people 65 and older, but not here in Alamance County. Again, as soon as the appointment slots are filled, they will stop taking calls. The number is 336-290-0650, and the phone lines will be open from 8:30am to 4pm or until all the appointments are taken. These appointments are for Thursday through January 26th, next Tuesday.

 

According to the Alamance County Health Department, there are now 1,364 active cases in isolation here, with 64 of those in the hospital. They say they have officially recorded 198 deaths they attribute to the virus. This is all since March 20th of last year.

Mt Airy Man Sentenced To 20 Years For Sex Crimes In Alamance County

Another conviction for the Alamance County human trafficking folks. A Mt Airy man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison plus 15 years of surveillance when that term is finished. 44 year old Walter Clifton Wood had pled guilty, after apparently sending some porn video to an Alamance County Sheriff Deputy, but Wood thought it was a 13 year old girl. This is just the latest in several such arrests and convictions by the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office.

Another Human Trafficking Arrest In Alamance County

There has been another arrest in a child trafficking case in Alamance County. Jose Issac Flores-Angel has been accused of human trafficking a child and involuntary servitude of a child. Now, Gloria Arely Garcia has also been charged. Word is they took in a relative their family had sent up from Mexico, but instead of helping him, they gave him a fake ID and put him to work and kept his paycheck for themselves. 

Alamance County GOP To Name Replacement For Amy Galey

Amy Galey is now a North Carolina state senator, and her post as Chair of the Alamance County Commissioners has been filled by John Paisley. But Galey’s job on the Commission itself has not been filled. Tomorrow evening, the Alamance County Republican Party will meet in virtual session, to decide who will fill her unexpired term. The way the law reads, since she ran as a Republican, that party gets to pick her replacement. That meeting will start at 7 o’clock Thursday evening.  

North Carolina National Guard Called Up For Raleigh and Washington

300 North Carolina National Guardsmen are headed to Washington DC, to help with the inauguration of Joe Binden tomorrow. Ironically, the North Carolina guardsmen have already had training in such things. They were being trained last year when the Republican National Convention was scheduled to be held in Charlotte. 

 

Reports are that 350 more North Carolina National Guardsmen have been called up to protect Raleigh. During the BLM riots last year, the Raleigh Police Chief said she would not use her officers to protect property owners and small businesses.  

Drugs Bound For Alamance Area Seized In Drug Bust In South Carolina

A drug bust across the line in South Carolina could be a bummer for meth addicts in Alamance County. Law enforcement sources say they found more than 500 pounds of methamphetamine in Blacksburg South Carolina over the weekend. They say the drugs were on their way to Charlotte and Greensboro. They say the street value of all the drugs they found come to about 8 million dollars.  

Burlington Officials To Place Luminaries To Hone Covd19 Victims

This evening, you might notice luminaries on the front lawn of the Burlington Municipal Building. Burlington officials say they plan to put nearly 200 of them out there, in honor of the local residents that the health department says have died from the coronavirus. City officials are also asking everyone else to turn on their porch lights from 5:30 to 8pm tonight, and asking store owners who are still in business, to turn on their storefront lights. Again, this will be from 5:30 until 8pm tonight. 

 

The latest numbers from the Alamance County Health Department. 1,536 active confirmed cases of covid 19, with 76 of those bad enough to be in the hospital. The health department has recorded 194 deaths they say are covid related. Out of nearly 170 thousand residents in Alamance County, they say 13,500 have been affected by the virus. 

Another Human Trafficking Arrest For Alamance County

Yet another arrest for human trafficking in Alamance County. This time it’s a man named Jose Issac Flores-Angel. Burlington police yesterday told us he Flores-Angel has been charged with human trafficking of a child and involuntary servitude of a child. He is in the Alamance County jail, and will be until and unless he can come up with a $65,000 secure bond.

Group Calling Itself "Occupy Graham" Announces Protests For January

Protesters say they plan to be out in Graham every afternoon between now and January 20th, when Joe Biden is scheduled to become our 46th President. They are now calling themselves “Occupy Graham” and they say they will be protesting around the old courthouse starting around 5:30 or 6 each afternoon. Today (Wednesday) they say, they will start around 5, to give themselves time to march to Ted Budd’s Graham office. They say they are upset Congressman Budd had questions about the validity of Joe Biden’s win in the Presidential election.

Coronavirus Vaccine In Alamance County Still Available To 75+ year olds

Alamance County Health Department is currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations to persons age 75 and over, by appointment only. Beginning today (Wednesday) multi-day appointments can be made for Thursday, January 14 through Tuesday, January 19. Callers will be assigned a specific day and time. Interested persons should call 336-290-0650 to make an appointment. The COVID19 vaccine appointment line is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm or until all appointment slots are full. Expect high call volumes and wait times. Please exercise patience.

ABSS Votes To Delay Bringing Students Back To The Classroom

A change of heart at the Alamance Burlington School Board. Yesterday, the Board decided to hold off bringing the kids back to the classroom. Instead of February 1st, the plan now is to start March 1st for Kindergarten through 5th grade, and March 8th for 6th through 12th grade. Superintendent Dr Bruce Benson says the delay will help more staff to be vaccinated before the kids come back in-person. At one point, the ABSS Board considered a motion to remain on remote learning the rest of the school year, but that motion was quickly voted down.  

Several Covid 19 Positive Test Results in Alamance County This Week

Alamance County health officials say they have an outbreak of covid cases at Southern High School this week. They say 3 students and 3 staff tested positive. They say there is also an outbreak at Positive Attitudes Youth Center in Burlington, where 6 children and 2 staff members tested positive. On top of that, the health department says they found 15 cases at a long-term health care facility. 13 of them among patients at Brookdale Senior Center in Burlington and 2 from staff members. 

Burlington City Council Wish List for 2021

The Burlington City Council has come up with a wish list for 2021. Among other things, they say they want the federal government to start sending covid relief money directly to cities, instead of to the state governments for them to decide who gets what. They also say they want the General Assembly to give them leeway to find more things to tax, instead of having to rely on property taxes. The Burlington Police Chief says he wants some traffic cameras too.

Alamance County Gets Money To Help Feed The Hungry

A National Board overseen by Homeland Security has donated more than $60,000 to Alamance County. The board is made up of folks from several national charities, including the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Under the terms of the grant, the money will be going to Alamance County non-profits that have shown they can do the job of getting food out to local people.

More Housing Developments Coming To Alamance County

Word on a couple more housing developments either  proposed or approved here in Alamance County. We told you yesterday that Elon has okayed a plan for 200 more houses along Gibsonville Ossippee Rd. Now, the Graham Planning Board has approved a plan for 200 houses on nearly 60 acres along Monroe Holt between Lacy Holt Rd and Rockwood Drive. The developer says the single family houses would be 2,400 to 2,800 square feet and sell for around $300,000. They say they will call it Colonial Heights. Now that the Planning Board has approved it, the plan will go before the Graham City Council at their next meeting. If you travel that area you know there is already another housing development underway along Lacy Holt. 

Alamance County Convicted Rapist Will Not Have To Wear Ankle Monitor For Life

The North Carolina State Court of Appeals has ruled a convicted rapist will not have to wear an ankle monitor for the rest of his life, once he gets out of prison. 34 year old Juan Antonio Perez went to prison for a series of violent rapes in Alamance County. The Appeals Court says the prosecutor did not prove that lifetime ankle monitoring keeps violent offenders from committing more violent offences, and therefore it was unconstitutional. Perez is due to be released in 2025.

Writers Club Contest Opens

The Burlington Writers Club says it is accepting entries for the next contest. The 65th Annual Spring Adult writers contest. It is open to all adult writers from Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Durham, Guilford, Orange, Randolph and Rockingham counties. There are 8 categories, and you can get all the rules at any area library or at their website burlingtonwritersclub.org

Plans for A 40 Acre park In Mebane

Folks in Mebane might soon have a park similar to Springwood in Burlington. This one though, would be entirely paid for by the community. It would be nearly 40 acres right there near Bushy Cook and West Ten Rd in Efland, near the middle school. Plans call for at least 6 softball fields, pavilions for large gatherings, a gym slash community center, walking trails and more. The planners right now are calling it Patriots Park. They are still working up the official plan. Once that is done they will submit it to the Orange County Planning Board since it is right over the Alamance County line. 

Burlington Leaders Have Funding For Two More Murals Downtown

Grab that paint can. The Burlington downtown Corporation is looking for artists interested in creating more of those murals. As you might know, these downtown murals are pretty popular right now. Graham has them, so does Gibsonville, and Mebane has actually created a committee to handle more murals. Now, Burlington is looking for a second and third mural. The downtown corporation actually got a $10,000 dollar grant for 3 murals, but the artist who did the first one used up all the money. Now though, they have raised 11,000 more. The Burlington mural is on the back of Bella’s House. The next one will go at Walkerdance Ballet on Front St and then one at McCauley Family Learning Center on Spring St. The concept of the mural is entirely up to the artist.

Covid Vaccine Now Appointment Only In Alamance County

There is a new way to get that coronavirus vaccine here in Alamance County. You have to call for an appointment rather than show up to a first come first served line. Just call 336-290-0650 for an appointment. But remember, this first batch is only for people 75 years old and older.

Elon Aldermen Approve Another Housing Development

The second fastest growing city in Alamance County has just approved another housing development. The Elon Aldermen  okayed plans for a 200 house development at the intersection of Manning and Gibsonville-Ossippee Rd. Its a little more than 80 acres, and the developer originally wanted to put 230 houses there, but that was cut back. It looks like the plans are for 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. No word yet on the price.

Elon Aldermen Approve Another Housing Development

The second fastest growing city in Alamance County has just approved another housing development. The Elon Aldermen  okayed plans for a 200 house development at the intersection of Manning and Gibsonville-Ossippee Rd. Its a little more than 80 acres, and the developer originally wanted to put 230 houses there, but that was cut back. It looks like the plans are for 2,000 to 3,000 square feet. No word yet on the price.

Shirley "Red" Wilson Dies At 95 Years Old

As you might have heard over the weekend, former Elon football coach Red Wilson has died. The Burlington resident passed away at the age of 95. He was better known outside Alamance County as the former football coach for Duke University. Red Wilson was the winningest football coach in Elon history. His Duke teams struggled for the first year, but did end up with winning seasons in his last 2 years there. His final game for Duke was a win over UNC. Wilson’s wife Katie just died last month, the day after Christmas. They had been married for 72 years.

ABSS Enrollment Drops

Record numbers of parents are pulling their kids out of the Alamance Burlington School system. According to a story in this week’s Alamance News, there are more than 1,000 fewer students now than there was last year. A 15 year low in ABSS enrollment.

 

Alamance Burlington Schools have been growing every year. 15 years of growth has ended, with more than a thousand parents pulling their kids out of ABSS and choosing instead to home school or send them to private school. 

Tinted Windows Lead To Drug Arrest In Burlington

Burlington Police and Alamance County Sheriff Deputies say they arrested a man this weekend, and ended up filing several drug charges against him. Burlington PD says they originally tried to pull him over for having windows that were too dark. But they say he refused to stop. That was around Sharpe Rd near Lakeside. Eventually Deputies got him to stop there on Lakeside. Turns out they say, he was carrying a load of marijuana and more than $17,000 in cash. 29 year old Jamaul Dontae Vinson is in the Alamance County jail this morning. 

Alamance County Students Struggle With Online Learning

So how well did your kids do with online learning? A report from ABSS Superintendent Bruce Benson says more than half our middle school students failed at least one course - 55%.

34% of our high school students failed at least one course this fall. 

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