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Local News Archives for 2021-03

Downtown Graham Easter Egg Hunt This Weekend

It's Easter Weekend, and there are 3 chances for an easter egg hunt in downtown Graham Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It is for kids 2-11 and it is not a competitive event. It's just for fun. Friday 6-9pm. Saturday all day and Sunday 1-6.

One Suspect Still At Large After Car Chase From Alamance To Orange Counties

 

A car chase that started in Alamance County this week ended in Orange County. But deputies tell us one of the suspects is still at large. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says deputies pulled over a gray 4 door Mazda, but the 2 people inside refused to get out of the car, and the driver took off down Highway 54 past Swepsonville. They say deputies used what is called the pit maneuver to disable the getaway car just before it crossed the county line. Orange County deputies took the passenger into custody, but they say they are still looking for the driver. They say he is 27 year old Corey Montrell Moore of Siler City. The passenger in custody is identified as 23year old Alexxa McKnight of Burlington.   

Covid Cases Continue In Alamance Coiunty

The Alamance County Health Department says there are 406 active confirmed cases of Covid19 in isolation right now. 7 of those are in the hospital while the rest are pretty much on the honor system. The Health Department says since this all started more than a year ago, Alamance County has seen 257 deaths the health department attributes in some way to coronavirus.

Elon MDA and Law School Named Among Best In USA

A couple more honors for Elon University. The MBA program at the Alamance County school has been named one of the top 100 in the country. The US News and World Report ranking also includes 4 other North Carolina Colleges in the top 100. UNC-Greensboro, UNC Charlotte, Wake Forest and NC State.

In addition to that, the Elon Law School has been ranked among the top 20 percent for legal writing. US News and World Report says Elon tied with Duke for teaching legal writing. Elon Law also ranked among the best for legal advocacy.

NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Alamance County Commissioners

Look for more activity in downtown Graham in the coming weeks and months. The State Chapter of the NAACP has officially filed a lawsuit against the Alamance County Commissioners. They say the monument to the Confederate war dead is racist, a threat to public safety and a violation of state law. They name the Alamance County Commissioners as the defendants in the lawsuit that was filed Tuesday.

Another Sewer Spill At Boyd Creek Lift Station

Yet another sewer spill reported in Graham over the weekend. Once again, it came from the old Boyd Creek Lift Station. Heavy rain caused the spill there on Ingold Drive in Graham. Graham officials say they know the facility is old and worn out. It was built in 1959. They say they have been trying to put together the 2 and a half million dollars it will take to replace it. 

Sock Puppets Release 2021 Schedule

The Burlington Sock Puppets have released their official schedule for this season. As we have known, the first game for the year will be an away game on June 3rd against Princeton. The first home game will be June 5th against Danville. The Sock Puppets will be playing 27 home games and 27 away games. The entire season will be sponsored by Visit Alamance, and all the home games will be at Burlington Athletic Stadium.  

Gibsonville Man Killed On Interstate In Greensboro

A Gibsonville man shut down interstate 85 Friday morning, when he was struck and killed just south of Groometown Rd in Greensboro. They tell us 34 year old William Curtis Walker had just had a single car wreck, but was okay, and was walking away from the wreck crossing the interstate. He was hit by a big rig northbound as he crossed the interstate. They tell us no charges are being filed. 

Alamance County Commissioners To Tour Schools Wednesday

Alamance County Commissioners will be taking a road trip this week. They say they will meet on Wednesday, to take a tour of Alamance Community College, ABSS and the Dillingham Center. The idea is just to get a look, not to take any votes or conduct any other business. They say the tour will start at 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. 

Town Of Elon Still More Restrictive Than Governor Calls For

This weekend Alamance County businesses had their first shot at fewer restrictions from the Governor. Business appeared brisk and traffic was fairly heavy for the weekend. The Town of Elon has also echoed the lifting of their more restrictive measures. Town officials immediately increased limits of 25 people inside and 50 outside. That is still more restrictive than what the Governor issued. His orders are for 50 inside and 100 outside. That of course is twice the Elon edict. According to Governor Roy Cooper, towns can impose stricter limits, but not more lenient limits. 

21 Year Old Alamance County Man Charged With Abduction

An Alamance County man is facing charges, after a 17 year old girl went missing, and her family called the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies say it turns out she had been taken by 21 year old Elvis Reyes-Morales. Investigators say Reyes-Morales lives on Swepsonville-Saxapahaw Rd and has been charged with abduction of a child. They gave him a $25,000 secured bond.

New Barrier Built To Protect Graham Monument

Something new is being added to the Alamance County monument to local soldiers who died in the American Civil War. Officials say they are putting up an extra layer of protection. Another barrier to prevent anyone from tearing it down. The monument has been a focal point for protesters airing a variety of issues, including what they see as inherent racism and unfair treatment by society. There had been some concern when workers first started on the new barrier, with some folks thinking the workers might be there to take down the monument.  

LabCorp Steps Up For At-Home Testing

Burlington based LabCorp is once again being called upon to handle the coronavirus pandemic. This time LabCorp will be in charge of a program for the state health people, to make at-home test kits available for people on welfare or otherwise unable to get to a test facility. The program will start with 35 thousand test kits, provided free to anyone receiving Food and Nutrition Services or disabled, or facing what are called barriers to getting tested.  

 

 

Burlington Starts Project To Identify and Preserve Historic Buildings

The city of Burlington is launching a campaign to find, list and preserve historic sites within the city. They have hired what they call a cultural resources consulting company to head up the project. They say they will start in the neighborhood around S Church, Tarleton Ave and W Webb Ave. The idea is to identify houses and other buildings that can be restored using federal tax dollars and getting them on the register of historic places. There will be a zoom meeting about all this coming up next month.

Burlington Starts Project To Identify and Preserve Historic Buildings

The city of Burlington is launching a campaign to find, list and preserve historic sites within the city. They have hired what they call a cultural resources consulting company to head up the project. They say they will start in the neighborhood around S Church, Tarleton Ave and W Webb Ave. The idea is to identify houses and other buildings that can be restored using federal tax dollars and getting them on the register of historic places. There will be a zoom meeting about all this coming up next month.

Shredding Event In Gibsonville Over The Weekend

We’ve been talking a lot about identity theft recently and about scams a lot of folks are falling for. This Saturday there is an event that could help you avoid becoming a victim. It’s a shredding event in Gibsonville. It will be Saturday at Eastern Guilford Middle School, and has been set up by the McLeansville Fire Department. In case you have never been involved in one of these. You bring your old documents, the ones that have personal information like your social security number. They will shred them for you. Security experts have long said we should all have personal shredders in our homes, where we can destroy our bank statements and such. Again, this will be Saturday at Eastern Guilford Middle School in Gibsonville. It will run from 10am to 2pm, and will be hosted by the McLeansville Fire Department. 

Elon and ACC Team Up For Community Service For Students

Alamance County College says it is teaming up with Elon University this year, in what are called “service learning” opportunities. Service Learning is what we used to call community service, but educators have been working to make it more structured. For instance, before the service they ask the student why they chose that community service. Afterward, they ask them what they have learned. This collaboration between ACC and Elon will mean a job for a coordinator, a 10 hour a week work schedule, and 10-25 student volunteers. 

CDC Changes Guidelines For Return To School

Kids in Alamance Burlington Schools are already back a few days each week. In a few weeks, all of them are expected back to traditional days and hours. The Centers For Disease Control says it has come across studies that show the coronavirus has very little chance of spreading in our schools, and has issued new guidelines. Some of those include the idea that the kids do not have to stay 6 feet apart. Now, they can be 3 feet apart, as long as they are wearing masks. As of next month, all public schools in North Carolina have been told to go back to the traditional way of doing things. Private and charter schools of course have mostly been back to normal for most of this entire year, with no problems reported. Several medical organizations have been saying all along that it is worse to keep kids away from schools than it is to isolate them at home. 

Elon Offers Alternative To Spring Break

A lot of colleges and universities across the country are trying to get their kids to not go wild for Spring Break this year. At Elon University, officials are offering an alternative. Stick around and do community service. Actually Elon does this every year, with 5 programs students can sign up for that last a week, and are as much as 8 hours away from Alamance County. This year, the Elon Spring Break community service programs are just for the weekend, and are only in Burlington, Greensboro and Chapel Hill. 

General Assembly Considers Bill To Prevent Boys From Playing On Girls Teams

There is a bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would ban boys from playing on a sports team designated for girls. 30 states across the country have similar bills in their local legislatures, and 2 other states - Idaho and Mississippi - have already passed them. Opponents of the bill say it is based on what they say are “out-dated generalizations about male and female bodies.“




 

Alamance County Included In Military Exercise Out Of Ft Bragg

It happens each year, and even with the pandemic, it will be happening again this year. It’s the Robin Sage military training, and it will be in at least 24 North Carolina counties in the coming weeks, including here in Alamance County. Robin Sage is the name given the military exercise out of Ft Bragg, where soldiers will be conducting covert operations as if they are in hostile territory. Most of it will be out of your sight, but if you do come across a bunch of camouflage soldiers in your woods or your fields, just keep moving. 

Burlington Testing Fire Hydrants

The city of Burlington will be testing fire hydrants this week. Several Alamance County cities have been doing that the past few weeks. I only mention it because your water could have a nasty color if you are in a neighborhood where the hydrants are being flushed. They do this to make sure there is enough water pressure at each hydrant. It’s just something they have to do occasionally.

Another Job Fair For Alamance County This Week

No excuses for not having a job in Alamance County these days. Yet another job fair is now set. It is tomorrow from 2 to 4pm at the NCWorks facility. That is technically 2640 Columbine Lane in Burlington in case you want to put it in your GPS. Physically, that's the facility behind the Food Lion and the DMV office there off Mebane St. According to the press release, they say they will have representatives from AKG, Allied Security, GKN, the WalMart Distribution Center and several temporary staffing companies. Again that is tomorrow from 2 to 4 at the NCWorks facility off Mebane St behind Food Lion and the DMV office in Burlington.

Alamance County Deputy Hit By Suspect's Car

A Greensboro man has been charged with trying to run down an Alamance County Deputy. They say 39 year old Dean Peters backed over the deputy when lawmen were walking toward his car in the Lowe's Parking lot Friday night. They say he then took off. Alamance County Deputies chased him down the interstate until they reached Guilford County where they stopped. They say Greensboro police then found Peter’s car at an apartment complex there and took him into custody. Here is a partial list of charges he is facing: felony assault on a government official, felony fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, injury to personal property, resisting delaying and obstructing an investigation, hit and run with failure to stop with property damage, driving while license revoked, displaying a fictitious registration plate, reckless driving and speeding. Those are the start of the charges. More could be coming. And that does not count the charges he is facing from Greensboro police. 

Highway 119 In Caswell County Closed For Repairs To Pipe

A heads up this morning. Highway 119 in Caswell County is closed this morning. There has been a pipe failure on the road between Highway 158 and Osmond Rd. DOT says it will likely be April 2nd before they cane get everything fixed and reopened. Until then, traffic will be detoured onto Osmond Rd to Solomon Lea Rd and on to 158.

Krispy Kreme Giving Free Donut A Day For Covid Shots

 

Well, here’s an incentive for you to get that covid shot. Krispy Kreme says they will give you a free donut every day this year, when you show them your covid card, showing you have had the jab. That’s an original glazed donut, not just any donut you decide you want. They say they are also going to deliver free donuts to health care workers at various locations across the country. Krispy Kreme of course is based in Winston Salem. 

NC Wildlife Resources Hold Virtual Tournaments

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will be holding virtual tournaments this year, for the Youth Hunter Education Skills classes. The tournaments typically involve rifle, shotgun, archery, orienteering and a written hunting skills exam. The Commission says the objective is to promote the safe sport of hunting and shooting and to provide a platform of rules to ensure maximum fairness in competition. Alamance County is in the Northern Piedmont District.

 

Wolf Attacks Worker at Conservators Center

An employee of the Conservators Center in Caswell County was attacked over the weekend by a wolf. Investigators say the woman was bitten on both arms, but they also say she is going to be okay. You might remember back in 2018 an intern who had just started working there was attacked and killed by a lion. Officials with the Conservators Center say they immediately contacted Caswell County Animal Control, and the juvenile wolves have been quarantined. They say the animals will remain in quarantine for at least 10 days. That is the same procedure they use for dogs that attack people. 

Graham Zoning Commission Asked To Make Change Along Cherry Lane

Zoning commissions in Alamance County seem to have weekly discussions on what does and does not follow previous decisions on what we want built and where to build them. Previous decisions for what to build on Cherry Lane in Graham have focused on housing, but now one property owner says they think their land would be more appropriately used for industry. The property is fairly close to the area where UPS, WalMart and Lidl are building distribution centers.

Covid19 Shots Available In Alamance County

A reminder if you are still wanting to get your covid 19 shots here in Alamance County. There are now 2 ways to make an appointment. You can go online to vaccinatealamance.com or you can wait for the announcement that they are taking new appointments, and call the phone number 336.290.0650. Remember though, they will not be answering that number unless there are available appointments for the latest batch of shots. 

And a quick update for you, the Alamance County Health Department says they have 260 active cases in isolation right now, with 4 of those in the hospital. Since March 20th of last year, they say they have recorded 255 deaths they attribute to the coronavirus.

NC Teachers Tops In National Certification

A new report says North Carolina teachers are tops when it comes to national accreditation. The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards says more than 23 thousand North Carolina teachers hold a national accreditation. That is about a quarter of all our teachers and it is the highest in the country. They say North Carolina teachers account for nearly 20 percent of all teachers in the country with the certification. By the way, North Carolina teachers with that certification automatically get a 12 percent pay increase. 

Burlington Police Warn Of Latest Scam

Burlington police have posted a warning about a scam going around right now. It is actually the old trick of someone claiming to be a police officer, demanding you send him or her a payment or give your social security number. They say it is about a court case you did not know you were involved in, but it is vital you send money or identify yourself with your social security number so they can determine if they have the right person. The best advice: hang up. No police officer anywhere in the known universe is going to demand you send them money or give them your social security number. 

Eastern Alamance High School Football Team Hit By Covid

 

The football team at Eastern Alamance High School had to put their schedule on-hold Friday. They postponed the game with Rockingham County, apparently due to an issue with Covid19. That game will be played March 30th. That is a Tuesday. The game against Eden Morehead this coming Friday night has been canceled and will not be made up. The Eastern game against Western Alamance that had been set for April 2nd will now be played Saturday April 3rd. 

EF 1 Tornado Confirmed In Alamance County

It is official, Whitsett, Burlington and Elon all had a tornado last Thursday afternoon. The National Weather Service has entered it into the record books as an EF1 tornado, meaning it had winds of around 100 to 110 mph. Damage from an EF 1 includes vehicles flipped over and roofs torn off houses among other things.They also say the twister that hit Orange County was also an EF 1.

Alamance County Avoids Computer Ransomware So Far

You might remember we told you last year about a computer attack on GTCC, where cyber criminals shut down the system at the school, demanding ransom be paid before they would unlock the computers. Several other schools and county governments had the same problems last year as well. The State Attorney general’s Office says there were at least 17 ransomware attacks throughout North Carolina last year, including Chatham and Orange counties, as well as the one at Guilford County Community College. They tell us 6 counties, 3 cities, one town, 5 public school districts and 3 colleges and universities were hit last year. 

Elon University Reinstates Fall Events for Alumni And Families

Officials at Elon University have some good news for Alamance County businesses. The University announced this week they will hold Family Weekend, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend this year. They say Family Weekend will be held September 24 through 26th, and Homecoming and Reunion Weekend will be November 5-7th. All of these of course were not held last year, due to the government imposed shutdown. Both weekends bring a lot of money to local businesses as parents and alumni need places to stay, and places to go out for entertainment. 

Elon University Reinstates Fall Events for Alumni And Families

Officials at Elon University have some good news for Alamance County businesses. The University announced this week they will hold Family Weekend, Homecoming and Reunion Weekend this year. They say Family Weekend will be held September 24 through 26th, and Homecoming and Reunion Weekend will be November 5-7th. All of these of course were not held last year, due to the government imposed shutdown. Both weekends bring a lot of money to local businesses as parents and alumni need places to stay, and places to go out for entertainment. 

Alamance County Events Planned for North Carolina Arbor Day This Friday

National Arbor Day is coming up on April 30th, but here in North Carolina, Arbor Day has been designated the first Friday after March 15th. That would mean this Friday, March 19th. Lots of things are planned for Alamance County. Thursday morning at 10 the Alamance County Cooperative Extension Service will be doing an online walk through what are called the healing gardens. Also on Thursday, an event at Beth Schmitt Park. They have arbor day kits you can pick up starting at 10am. The event at Beth Schmitt is sponsored by Alamance County 4-H, the county cooperative extension, the Alamance County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Burlington Bird Club, the North Carolina Forest Service and of course Elon Recreation and Parks.  

Gibsonville Completes Easement Access For Future Development

The town of Gibsonville is working to prepare for more developments along Highway 61 and Highway 70. In the most recent news, they have finally gotten easement access from all the houses along that route, so they can expand water and sewer down along 61 to 70 and back up to Dew Sharpe Rd. Reports are that the project is going to cost around 1 and a half million dollars. 

 

Caterpillar Adoption Kits Still Available Through Alamance County Children's Museum

And here’s something else for you this morning. The Alamance County Children’s Museum says the Caterpillar Care Carnival is sold out this year, but you can still get a caterpillar adoption kit. They are 5 dollars and include 2 caterpillars, their food, and instruction manual and a screen you can put over their box. You can buy more than one, but there is no discount if you do buy more than one and you will need to make sure they have enough before you go promising anyone anything. You can get them by calling the Children’s Museum, going by the museum in Graham or by checking out the website at childrensmuseumofalamance.org

Lego Buddies At Alamance Library This Week

If the kids are bored, the Alamance County Libraries might have something to keep their attention for a bit. The next Lego Buddies program is scheduled for Thursday evening from 6 to 7pm. What the kids do is build something with their lego’s, then show them off to other kids on Zoom. They can also trade stories about what they built. The deadline for this week’s Lego Buddies is today though. You can do it by sending an email to shunter@alamancelibraries.org.

General Assembly Considers Keeping Daylight Saving Time Year-Round

The North Carolina General Assembly has heard you. They are now considering a bill to stop changing the clocks twice a year. But rather than getting rid of Daylight Saving Time, this bill would actually make Daylight Saving Time a permanent thing. Several studies over the years have shown the twice a year switch does not actually save any money toward energy use. In fact, studies have actually shown the time changing twice a year though has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, car crashes, seasonal affective disorder and other mental and physical health issues. 15 states have already passed similar laws to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, but they have to get congressional approval. 

74 Year Old Burlington Man Charged By Sheriff's Office

Another arrest for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office Human Exploitation Team. They say they got a tip over the weekend that an adult had sent an obscene image to a minor in Alamance County. They say they tracked it down to 74 year old Jerry Douglas Hicks of Burlington. He has been charged with a couple of things, including Dissemination of Harmful Material to a Minor. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing.

Two Felony Charges Dropped Against Drumwright

It looks like felony charges have been dropped against Greg Drumwright. One of those charges was for assault on a law enforcement officer. That is where Drumwright was seen pushing a female deputy to her back at the old courthouse. The deputy landed on a metal rod sticking up from the ground, and only avoided serious injury or death because of her protective equipment. Despite the evidence, a grand jury voted not to indict Drumwright, who was the organizer of the protest. According to a story in the Alamance News, Alamance County DA Sean Boone says he is exploring options on how to proceed. 

 

ABSS Could Be Getting Another $70 Million In Covid Relief

Alamance County’s public schools could be getting another 70 million dollars in covid relief money. That would be in addition to the 35 million they have already been promised. According to state education officials, the second round of funding is supposed to be double the first round, which in this case would be 70 million. ABSS spokesmen have reportedly told the Alamance News they will use the money for improvements to the school buildings, to hire more instructors and for a summer learning program among other things.

High Point 17 Year Old Gang Member To Be Tried As An Adult For Murder Of Alamance County Man

A teenager from High Point will be facing trial as an adult, for killing an Alamance County man in January. 17 year old Rendretius Jyheim Green will stand trial for the murder of 25 year old William Gene Williams. Witnesses say Williams had advertised a gun online, and Green and 2 other gang members from High Point responded to his ad. When they got there they asked for ammo. One of them then loaded the pistol and shot Williams several times.  Green is charged under a North Carolina law that says anyone with a person that commits a felony is just as guilty as the person who committed the crime. 

NCHSAA Sets High School Conferences

It is official. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association says Eastern High School, Western and Williams are all in the same conference. Officials say this will make things a lot easier as far as travel goes, and keeping Eastern, Western and Williams in the same conference will help keep the rivalries going. You might remember, the Association made a lot of changes to the conferences this year.

In case you missed it, Eastern won their game over Northern Guilford this weekend in a come from behind drive 28-24. Western also won their game over Roxboro Person 37-21. Southern Alamance lost their game against SE Guilford 33-7. Cummings also lost. That was a loss to Bartlett Yancey 62-36. And the big news, Graham won their first game since 2017, beating Carrboro 24-7. This Friday nights High School game of the week will be Southern Alamance against High Point Central.

ABSS Cuts Request For 17 New SRO's To Four

The Alamance Burlington School Board has cut back on its request for 17 more SRO’s in our public schools. They had been asking for a little more than 1 million dollars for that. Now they say, they can get by with 4 more SRO’s for next school year. Those 17 they had originally been asking for would have put a School Resource Officer in every public school in Alamance County. The school Board is still asking for around 50 million dollars for next year. The Alamance County Commissioners of course determine how much of our tax dollars go to the public schools.

Burlington Considers Postponing or Eliminating Primary Election This year

Some state officials say we should probably postpone our primary elections this year. They say it's still not safe for people to go to the voting booth. You might remember the same argument was used in the last election, while people were jammed cheek to jowl at Lowes and WalMart, they decided it was not safe to be in line to vote. The Burlington City Council is considering postponing the primary, or possibly even eliminating it altogether this year. Burlington Mayor Ian Baltutis has told the City Council he thinks they should follow the state lead, Baltutis of course is up for re-election this year. He has even suggested they should eliminate the primary altogether.

Criminal Court Reopens For Alamance County

 

The JB Allen courthouse should be open today, after closing last week for 3 days. The closure was because of some covid 19 positive tests. County officials say the likely cause is the fact that prisoners come and go in the courthouse and there have been positive test results among inmates. The solution is to limit inmate traffic in the courthouse, and handling it though online cameras.

Alamance County Criminal Court Cases On Hold Until Next Week

Just as we were starting to see court cases being heard once again in downtown Graham, criminal courts have once again been canceled at the JB Allen courthouse due to confirmed cases of the coronavirus among the staff. No criminal cases will be heard today, Thursday or Friday. This will not affect civil court operations, since those are not usually held in the JB Allen Courthouse.

 

On a side note, there are now apparently more than 70 confirmed cases reported at the Alamance County jail, which is adjacent to the courthouse. County wide, the Alamance County Health Department says right now they have 337 confirmed cases in isolation, with 6 of those bad enough to be in the hospital. The Health Department also says here have been 240 deaths in Alamance County related in some way to the virus since March 20th of last year.

Leases Being Signed For New Green Level Training Center

Officials at Alamance Community College say they have started signing the leases for the land Martin Marietta is letting them lease for the new public safety training center in Green Level. We have been keeping you updated on the progress there. We approved the money as part of that bond referendum back in 2018. Martin Marietta agreed to lease more than 50 acres for the training center. Now that the leases are signed, ACC can start building the facility and related structures. It is expected it will be used as a training site for surrounding states as well, so we expect extra income from that to help pay for it all.

Rick Gunn To Reportedly Settle Out Of Court

There are media reports this week that Rick Gunn is going to settle out of court, with a Raleigh man who claims Gunn stole his wife. Gunn of course was our state senator for many years, but did not run for reelection last year. Arthur Johns has claimed Gunn undermined him so he could have an affair with Johns wife. Word now is, Gunn has agreed to make an out of court settlement to end the matter. 

Daylight Saving Time Begins This Weekend

A reminder this weekend will be time to change your clocks. Move your clock up at 2am on Sunday morning for the start of daylight saving time. And another reminder, spring starts March 20th. As always, all the fire departments in Alamance County are suggesting you take this opportunity to change the batteries in your smoke alarms.

Town Of Elon Looking For Ways To Raise Revenue

 

We have talked already about how the town of Elon is considering a property tax increase. Much of the town is made up of nonprofits, including the college.  Since nonprofits do not pay property taxes, that leaves sales taxes as the only way to raise enough money to pay for all the services the town is expected to provide. One option the Elon Board of Aldermen talked about briefly was getting students to chip in. Maybe an extra charge the kids would pay the university, then the university would pass it along to the town. Alderman Emily Sharpe was the one to bring that idea up. She admits she did come in for criticism, but she says everyone she has talked to about that seems to be agreeing with her now. 

Burlington City Council Votes To Stay With Local Auditor

Burlington’s Mayor has warned the City Council they need to start sharing the wealth when it comes to auditors. Mayor Ian Baltutis recently suggested the city get someone new to audit the books, saying the state auditor has suggested cities rotate auditors. The council however voted the idea down, saying everyone is happy with the way Stout, Stewart, McGowen and King have been auditing Burlingon’s books over the years, and see no reason to change. 

 

 

ABSS In Person Classes Resume

As of today, all public school students in Alamance County have the option of in person learning. Last Monday the lower grades started back. Today the rest of them do. State education officials now say they want public schools to offer a makeup or catch up semester. They are suggesting school systems offer a summer school of 150 hours of class for kids who have fallen behind, or who want to make sure they do not fall behind. Originally, it was proposed that public schools offer 150 days of makeup, but that has been dropped to 150 hours.

 

Here in Alamance County, public school officials say they are considering a virtual academy this fall. Under the proposal, students who want to could keep going online, without any in person classes. They would still have to take all the standardized tests. ABSS officials are also considering allowing regular students to take extra credit courses online as part of the regular curriculum. 

Elon University Amendment To Mutual Assistance Agreement Fails

Officials with Elon University have lost their attempt to amend the Alamance County law enforcement mutual aid agreement. The university tried to add an amendment they said would allow any member to opt out from helping, if they decided helping enforce the law and protecting the community went against the school’s interpretation of social justice. The problem is, Elon University came under criticism last year, for helping enforce the law during some of the protests in downtown Graham. The other members of the mutual aid agreement refused to go along with the Elon amendment. As for those calling on Elon University to simply opt out of the mutual aid agreement, school officials say they might actually need help in the future so they cannot do that. Law enforcement agencies in the mutual aid agreement include Mebane, Haw River, Gibsonville, Graham, Burlington, the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, Alamance County Community College, the Town of Elon and Elon University.

Arrest Made In Theft Of Catalytic Converters

Burlington police have issued a warrant for a local man they say is responsible for some of the thefts of catalytic converters in Alamance County. They tell us 32 year old Robert Michael St. George was caught on video outside Haterz Athletics on Anthony Rd. They say they already had an outstanding warrant on him, so they picked him up for that and found a catalytic converter in his vehicle. He was released on $500 dollars bond. But then police say they found additional video linking him to more catalytic converter thefts, so now they are trying to find him for those charges. 

Local law enforcement recently alerted us there have been several catalytic converter thefts in Alamance County, especially around car lots. There is also a rash of such thefts in Guilford and in Orange counties.

Burlington City Council To Hold Hearing On Chickens

You remember we told you the city of Burlington was thinking about allowing residents to own chickens again? They banned the birds within the city limits a few years ago after getting complaints from non-chicken owners of the smell and noise. Now though, a lot of folks say the way things have gone downhill with the Governor's lockdown of the economy, they should be allowed so some folks can have the option of making their own eggs and Sunday dinner. The Burlington City Council asked the staff to put together an ordinance. Next month, the council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the idea. Right now, it looks like chicken coops would have to have at least 3 feet of space for each bird and there would have to be a covered space available. The proposed ordinance would also outlaw roosters and turkeys and other birds so forget the peacock or the penguin.

Burlington Woman Faces Felony Charges

A Burlington woman has been charged with taking out a car insurance policy in the name of her dead sister. 57 year old Tammie Kelley is looking at 2 counts of felony insurance fraud and 1 count of felony obtaining property by false pretense. In addition to getting the policy, she is also accused of filing claims on the policy.

Friday Night Football In Alamance County

We all know the Governor is starting to ease up on some of his random restrictions he started last year. One of those is to allow more people at High School football stadiums. There will be 30 percent capacity for fans, not counting all the other folks who will be there working in the press box and elsewhere. ABSS officials say they will be doing screening at the entrances, making sure everyone is wearing a mask, physically distancing and doing plenty of good old fashioned handwashing. Tickets will be reserved for family members of athletes, band members and cheerleaders.

 

Those attendance limits for area high school stadiums are as follows:

 

Cummings High Shool - 930

Eastern Alamance - 740

Graham - 791

Southern Alamance - 802

Western Alamance - 702

Williams High School - 2,400

State Fair Is On, Got To Be NC Festival is Canceled

State Agriculture Commissioner Steven Troxler says the North Carolina State Fair is a go this year, but he says this year’s Got To Be NC Festival has been canceled. Troxler says the festival planned for May is simply too soon. But he says by the time October gets here, things should be open enough to allow the state fair. The Got To Be NC Festival is strictly agricultural and agribusiness oriented, like the state fair used to be. 

Liberty Antiques Festival Could Happen In April

A festival a lot of folks look forward to in Liberty is still in the air. The Liberty Antiques Festival has been called the best antiques festival in the mid-atlantic region. Ordinarily, it is held twice a year and the next one is scheduled for late April. Right now though, they say they’re still not sure if it will be allowed to happen. Organizers say they might be able to do it with strict protocols for masking and distancing and such.

New Website For Vaccine Appointments In Alamance County

A reminder that if you want to make an appointment for a Covid 19 vaccine, there is now a new website: vaccinatealamance.com, in addition to the same phone number 290.0650. The phone line opens at 8:30 each morning and will be answered as long as there are available appointments. If no one answers, that means all the appointments for that period have been taken. vaccinatealamance.com is all one word and all lower case. 

Additional Vaccine Supply Coming To Alamance County

A new phase of vaccinations is getting underway today in Alamance County. Governor Roy Cooper says all of group 3 can now get their shots. That includes essential works, like grocery store employees, restaurant workers, police, firefighters, teachers and child care workers are all now eligible. The Governor says the vaccine supply has increased significantly, and now the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine is headed to North Carolina. 80 thousand doses of the J&J vaccine should arrive today. The Governor says this also means group 4 is closer. That group will include folks like plumbers and retail workers and adults with underlying conditions. 

Catalytic Converter Thefts Continue In Area Counties

The theft of catalytic converters continues in and around Alamance County. Orange County has been reporting a spike, and now Guilford County officials say they have had more than 300 catalytic converter thefts in the past 6 months. We had been reporting similar numbers from here in Alamance County since then as well. Law enforcement spokesmen say the converters are a target because they are relatively easy to steal, they have no markings so cannot be tracked, and the precious metals inside are extremely valuable. Until and unless car manufacturers change some of that, the converters will continue to be a popular target for thieves.  

Mebane Looking For Volunteers To Help Plan For Current and Future Growth

We have talked several times over the years, about how the town of Mebane is growing. It is of course, the fastest growing town in Alamance County. It has doubled in size in just a few short years. On the down side, home prices in Mebane have increased more than 40% in the past 10 years. Estimates are that about 30% of all housing in Mebane is now apartments. There is a new high school coming for eastern Alamance County to handle some of the growth. If you would like to help come up with the rules for future growth, you need to check with Mebane officials for any openings in boards and commissions that might be open or coming open.

More Apartments Approved For St Mark's Church Rd

Another round of apartments could be coming to St Mark’s Church Rd in Burlington. The city planning board has approved a 200 apartment proposal just south of Joe Davidson Park on the other side of the road between the Park and the edge of Alamance Crossing. Several other apartment complexes have already been built or are being built along St Mark’s Church Rd near Joe Davidson Park. 

ABSS Needs School Bus Drivers

If you are still looking for a part time job, Alamance Burlington Schools might be able to help with that. They are looking for school bus drivers. You can get an application by going to the abss website at abss.k12.nc.us or call them at the ABSS Transportation Department 438.4000. You have to do the application, and if it is accepted, you take a bus driver training course, and they are only offered once a month for if you want to get on the one in March you need to get moving. 

Get Involved With Your City Government

City governments in Alamance County are inviting you to join their local boards, committees and commissions. The city of Mebane has been looking for people to serve on the committee that works on bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Graham of course has had so many people apply for their volunteer boards and commissions that some are a bit irritated they didn’t get the positions they wanted. Now Burlington has issued a call for applications. Now remember, these are all volunteer committees and boards so we are not talking about any compensation, except the satisfaction you have contributed. 

Burlington Police Advisory Committee Still Looking For Members

The new Burlington citizens police advisory committee has its first 16 members. The Burlington City Council approved those members last week. You might remember we told you they had a lot of applications, but they say they still need one more person to represent the legal community, one more representing teachers and two more representing the under 18 community. They will be accepting applications from those groups now. 

 

Grab The Tissues: Allergy Season Underway

Just a heads up. It is allergy season. Pollen from Maple, Alder and Juniper is leading out of the gate. Today the pollen count will be medium/high. Tomorrow should be back down to medium low, but by Thursday we expect the pollen levels to be high. Might want to call your doctor or go by the drug store for some allergy meds.

More Filings Opposing Snow Camp Stone Quarry

The stone quarry in Snow Camp is still far from a done deal. Yet another lawsuit has been filed in the dispute, this time from a group called The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League. According to a story in the Alamance News, the group says the proposed quarry would be too close to the Colonial Pipeline as well as several Duke Energy transmission lines. They also say it could be harmful to the water supply in southern Alamance County. The biggest problem with this latest filing is that it comes more than 2 months after the deadline to file opposition to the quarry. 

Tree Seedlings Now Available For Pickup

You can now go by and pick up those tree seedlings from the Alamance County Soil and Water Conservation District, at last count, they have a few persimmons left, and some bundles of Loblolly Pine and a few White Oak seedlings. You can still reserve your seedlings by calling them at 290-0380. A reminder, you can now go by and pick up whatever you have reserved, and payment is due when you pick them up.

Outgoing Police Chief Hoping Local Governments Step Up To Help With Community Mental Health Issues

The retiring Burlington Police Chief has a few words of wisdom for the city council and all local governments. In an interview with the Burlington Times News last week, Chief Jeffrey Smythe mentioned something near and dear to my heart. He talked about how, several years ago,  the federal government closed down all the psychiatric hospitals, forcing folks back into the community instead of the protective environment of the hospital. Local governments never picked up the slack to handle those folks, and it was left to the police to deal with. That is why we have seen so much criticism of police handling such situations. Chief Smythe pointed out that police are trained in law enforcement, not in mental health counseling, and they should not be forced into trying to be both.    

Burlington PD Community Police Academy Application Deadline Is Today

The Burlington Police Department says it is once again accepting applications for the citizen’s police academy. It is now called the Community Police Academy, and naturally it will be online for spring 2021. You’ll get a virtual tour of all the departments, meet some of the officers, and be able to ask questions. Here’s the catch though: today is the deadline for getting your application in. The virtual classes start tomorrow. Just go to the Burlington Police Department website.

Link Transit Now Has Free Ride To Vaccination Clinic

A reminder that Link Transit is now offering a free ride to the vaccination clinic. When you get on the bus, just tell the driver that’s where you are headed. They will drop you off at the hub on Worth St and you can catch the shuttle directly to the vaccination clinic. The Alamance County Transportation Authority has been doing the same for a while, but with them, you need to call and make a reservation at least 2 days in advance. You can make your appointment for that shot by going to vaccinatealamance.com or call 336.290.0650. 

Another Covid19 Scam Hits Alamance County

You might remember we told you a few months ago about one of the coronavirus scams going around. Now, it turns out an Alamance County woman is one of the victims. This one's for people looking for a pet. As we told you then, you see a posting online for a dog or cat or other animal. Used to be, the first clue was they were asking way too little. Now though, the scammers asking price is closer to the market rate. They count on the lockdown keeping you from traveling to pick it up. Instead they say, they will take care of shipping it to you. Once you have paid though, you get a phone call from someone claiming to be the shipper, demanding a lot of money to build a special crate, and possibly the original seller demanding even more money. An Alamance County woman says she fell victim to just such a scam, but she says she quickly called her bank and was able to get all her money back. 

Another honor for Alamance Community College

Alamance Community College has once again been named as one of the most military friendly schools in the country. This is the 12th consecutive year for that honor. And for the second time in a row, ACC has been named a military spouse friendly school. The list includes only 747 colleges from all those in the United States. Just a few of the things Alamance Community College does: they give military students top priority in signing up for classes. There are special parking spaces for military personnel. A mobile Veteran Center comes to campus once a month for counseling and general questions. And there is a Veterans Association Club at ACC that provides a network of support for veterans, active military and military spouses.

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