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December, 2014/January, 2015

Latest Statistics Show Chatham Is Out-Aging the State

Based on recently released reports from the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, Chatham County continues to outpace the state with its aging population. At the same time, state and federal funding for senior services has been declining.

As of 2013, nearly three in ten Chatham residents (29 percent) were age 60 or older, as compared to 20 percent statewide. Between 2013 and 2033, Chatham’s older population is projected to grow by 80 percent, compared to North Carolina’s increase of 58 percent. Even more dramatic is the projected growth of the population aged 85 and older, because Chatham is expecting a 152 percent increase compared to 88 percent statewide. Read more...

Coal ash dumps in Chatham and Lee topic of Duke Energy community information events

Duke Energy, in conjunction with ash management contractor Charah Inc., will hold community information events in Lee and Chatham counties next week. The events will provide citizens with updates on Duke Energy’s coal ash management plans and details on beneficial reuse projects proposed in those counties. Experts from both companies will be on hand to share information and answer questions in an informal open-house setting. Read more...

Artist reception kicks off 22nd Annual Chatham Studio Tour
by Deborah R. Meyer

Friday, December 5, 7-9 p.m. is a free artists’ reception at Central Carolina Community College Gallery on the Pittsboro Campus featuring Tour artists and art, finger foods, and local student art. Attendees are invited to vote for the People’s Choice Awards, which will be announced at 8 p.m. The art will be on view December 6 and 7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Each of the 39 artists on the tour will have a piece of art in the exhibit.

Christie Minchew, who is a mixed-media artist with a specialty in felted art, is #12 on this year’s tour. She is also the President of the Chatham Artists Guild.

"Being an artist on the Tour, I am jealous of all those folks who can get all over the county to find the wonderful, creative treasures to be had," Minchew said. "I remember when I wasn't part of the Tour, and I went to stops that were clustered, but there are so many talented artists who live a little farther away from the clusters. I hope folks get a chance to see them too."

Chatham Park, plans open, breaks ground

Plans for Chatham Park, the enormous mixed-use development planned for Pittsboro, is open for revision after the developers put it before the Town Commissioners at the November 25 meeting requesting to add 47 acres and make a a few revisions to the master plan. As planned Chatham Park would encompass more than 7,000 acres and would take more than 40 years to complete. Read more...

New BOC takes office
New Chatham County Board of Commissioners sworn in

On Dec. 1, 2014, Superior Court Judge Carl Fox administered the oath of office to four members of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners who successfully won election or reelection in November. The full board is shown here from left to right: Mike Cross, elected vice chairman; Karen Howard; Jim Crawford, the newly elected chairman; Diana Hales; and Walter Petty.

-- Debra Henzy, Chatham County Government

New Chatham County Schools Board Members Sworn In

Board Members Swearing In At the December 1, 2014 Board of Education meeting, new member Jane Allen Wilson was sworn in to service along with Gary Leonard and Del Turner, returning board members. District Court Judge Beverly Scarlett conducted the ceremony. Afterward, the Board reorganized to reflect the departure of former chair, Karen Howard, who is now a County Commissioner. Gary Leonard was named Chair and Jane Allen Wilson was named Vice Chair.

-- Sarah Campbell, Chatham County Schools

A Medium’s Visions
Tania Thomas – Author, Spiritual Medium,
Motivational Speaker, and Sometimes Comedian

TaniaThomas Within my Facebook fan page, Visions and Voices, I receive an abundance of questions from inquisitive minds regarding what I do for a living. I would like to share with you some of questions that have topped the list as the most unusual and thought provoking, and perhaps you can relate to them too.

Question from Brandy: "Do you ever have spirit contact you and push you to reach out to us? Say if someone is really struggling with a life decision will their loved ones come to you to send them a message or do you only get that when you are in the moment with your clients? Are some loved ones really determined to get messages through?"

Answer: Good question! I sure do. Just as there are those in the physical who will cross boundaries, there are the same in the spirit world. Read more

  • September Board of Commissioners

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    Page 1 - Four Studio Tour artists tell their stories * Reversing osteoporosis with yoga * Need begets a local creative venture - Page 2 - Dispatches & Briefs - Page 3 - Cuddle up with a book for the Holidays * Book Review: This River: An Epic Love Poem - Page 4 - the “Duplin Insurrection” and beyond * discover your roots at the Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market - Page 5 - Insects to liven up winter days - Page 6 - AD HD in dogs * “HOME” for the holidays * Winter Twilight - Page 7 - A Christmas message – finding joy in this world and the next - Page 8 - Finding ways to appreciate all of nature’s treasures * Yoga (cont. from page 1) * Joy (cont. from page 7) - Page 9 - Remembering Connie Sharman, my mum - Page 10 - Tania Thomas — a medium’s visions * Twenty Little Birds * Studio Tour (cont. from page 1) * Venture (cont. from page 1) * Journeys (cont. from page 12) - Page 11 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 12 - Chatham Comunidad - Pedacitos de nuestros caminos: 2 parte * Pieces of our journeys: part 2

    Blue Light Bingo benefits Chatham Social Health Council

    If you enjoy a good game of bingo, or would frequent the bingo parlors with your grandmother, then you will truly enjoy Chatham Social Health Council’s, Blue Light Bingo Fundraising events beginning this January. Blue Light Bingo is a unique fundraising event that not only involves bingo games, but the talents of local drag performers, that will dazzle crowds with their humor, wit and costumes.

    Although Blue Light Bingo, may be new for Chatham Social Health Council as a fundraising event, bingo with Drag Queens in the Triangle has been around for over a decade. Your Blue Light emcee’s, Mary K Mart and Marilyn Merlot and all their Blue Light Beauties, for almost 12 years have helped local AIDS organizations raise in excess of a million dollars, to assist those in our community living with HIV and AIDS. These funds have helped with housing assistance, food pantry, utility bills and medications for those that would otherwise go untreated. In addition, these funds have helped with prevention and educations services that continue to make our communities safe with knowledge on how HIV is spread.

    Our bingo events allow you to help the community in a fun atmosphere and at the same time helping to eliminate the fear and stigma of HIV. We hope that you will support CSHC as we continue our fight to keep our community safe, so please join us as we play B I N G O until this crisis is over. For more information on our organization or upcoming events, please visit us at or you can call us at 919.742.3762.


    Chatham Mills Farmers' Market seeks vendors for 2015 season

    The Chatham Mills Farmers’ Market is pleased to announce the fifth season of our Saturday farmers’ market in downtown Pittsboro. Founded by local farmers with the support of NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham Mills and Chatham Marketplace, the producers-only market will be held Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4 – October 31, 2015 followed by our winter market November 7, 2015 – January 30, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

    The Market is currently accepting vendor applications for the 2015 market season. Interested vendors should read market rules before applying. Market rules and a vendor application are available online. Applications for returning vendors are due January 12, 2015, and for new vendors, January 26, 2015. Producer-run market looking for vendors in all areas. Must be local to Pittsboro, NC; all vendors are also producers. For more details and application, see our website.

    Trot along on the Reindeer Run/Walk

    The Partnership for Children is sponsoring the 10th Annual Reindeer Run/Walk on Saturday, December 13 in Pittsboro and providing financial services for this great community event. Everyone is invited to attend and participate. It is lots of fun.

    There are lots of ways to participate:

    1. You can run the 5k race; it is a sanctioned event OR you can walk the course. Individual and Team registrations are welcome.
    2. You can volunteer to help with the event; Road Elves are needed to serve as cheerleaders along the course and help with other needs as well!

    To volunteer, call Anna Stormzand at 919.845.5445 or email her at

    This year we will also have the Rudolph Family Fun Run. Rudolph will lead kids and families on a fun .75 mile run/walk around the CCCC T.H.A.N.K.S. trail, including three Reindeer Challenges. Santa will also make an appearance. To learn more, visit

    Looking for 9 more tax prep volunteers

    The Orange County RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program is in need of nine more volunteers who want to assist low to middle-income clients with preparing their tax returns, in turn making a difference in their lives. If the volunteer openings are not filled, appointment slots will be closed and fewer people will be assisted with preparing their tax returns. Last year, more than 1,800 residents in Orange and Chatham counties were served by this program.

    VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is a free IRS service for eligible clients offered at sites in Orange and Chatham counties. Individuals interested in learning more about the program should attend this FREE orientation session or contact the RSVP office Thursday, December 4, from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    • IRS-trained and tested volunteers serve as tax preparers to electronically prepare and file tax returns at no charge
    • Telephone operators schedule appointments using software
    • Site support coordinators assist with checking clients in/out
    • Computer assistants handle minor troubleshooting

    RSVP will provide FREE training starting on Monday, January 5, for all VITA volunteer assignments. For more information or to volunteer, please call the RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program at 919.245.4240 or 919.245.4243.

    Save the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm

    Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm As many of you know, we launched an all-or-nothing fundraising campaign to save the Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm in Concord, North Carolina: We need to reach at least $25,000 in order to reach our goal.

    Lomax Farm, which opened in 2009 in response to a county-wide call to support young and beginning farmers, has graduated 10 new farmers since its inception. Located in Cabarrus County, it is the only certified organic incubator farm in the Southeast. The campaign platform we're using to raise $25,000 by December 12, 2014 is Barnraiser, a relatively new crowd-funding tool worth knowing. There are rewards for every level of giving, from our public thanks for a $5 donation, to a CFSA membership, and dinner with Scott Avett for a $1000 pledge and we've just added some new rewards. Please help us do two things: Give any amount you can to help save Lomax Farm and then spread the word among your networks about this project.


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