Chatham County Line - Where all voices are heard

October 2018

Retiring Chatham County Manager Wins NC's top honor

Chatham County Manager Renee Paschal, who retired on October 1, 2018 with 30 years of public service, received several unexpected honors at her last meeting with the Board of Commissioners on September 24. Among them was earning the state’s top honor, The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

"I was overwhelmed with Monday night's presentations," said Paschal. "In truth, my career here has been successful because of amazing partners like the school system, amazing mentors and leaders, and, most of all, because of our incredible employees who everyday provide great service to our residents. I appreciate the faith the Board of Commissioners put in me by appointing me manager three years ago. It has been very rewarding to be able to finish my career by leading this great organization."


The Duplin Story and Other Legacies, Part I

The Duplin Story: An Historical Play With Music, was apparently the idea of Robert (“Bob”) Grady, founder and Editor of The Duplin Times. He persuaded a friend, Broadway actor Sam Byrd, born 1908 in Mount Olive, to write an outdoor drama comparable to the works of Paul Green. (The Roanoke Island Historical Association of Manteo lent the lighting equipment.) It was sponsored by The Duplin County Historical Association to celebrate the Bicentennial of the County (1749-1949), originally part of New Hanover County, and was staged in the Kenansville Amphitheatre 22-24 September, 1949, and performed again in 1950. Heralded in the media as “a miracle in a cornfield,” it brought attendees from across the state and beyond.

The frame of The Duplin Story is a London park where "Johnny Lambert, Naval Chief Petty Officer" (Byrd) tells the story of his County to English youths Jennifer and Tony Carrington. It covers Duplin from its birth through "Victory Sunday Morning . . . , August 19, 1945." Included along the way are scenes with Henry McCulloch, who brought in the first Scotch-Irish (1736) with land granted to him by the British Crown; the command post of Col. James Kenan at Rockfish Creek in the American Revolution; the Duplin Rifles in the War Between the States; Liberty Hall (1865), home of the Kenan family; a political rally at John W. Gresham’s General Merchandise Store in Beulaville (1908); graduation at James Sprunt Institute (1910); and leave-taking for WWI at the Warsaw Railroad Station (1917). Scenes of local life (e.g., a tobacco field) are interspersed.



Duke Energy Leaders Made Hurricane Florence Worse
by Jim Warren

The latest in a string of monster storms of recent years, Hurricane Florence punctuates the fact that the cost of climate pollution is accelerating.

Duke Energy executives bear much of the blame for Hurricane Florence's devastation. The Charlotte-based corporation is one of the world’s largest climate polluters, it's been aggressively expanding its use of climate-wrecking fracked gas (methane), opposing requirements to curb methane venting and leakage, impeding the cheaper, clean-energy solutions that are ready to replace fossil-fueled electricity, and suppressing attention to these interrelated factors.

In short, Duke's Energy's "natural" gas expansion is amplifying global heating at the worst possible time:

1. There is scientific consensus that global emissions of methane – which is 100 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping atmospheric heat in the critical short term – have soared for 12 years and become a key driver of global heating.


Commissioner Walter Petty (R)
Incumbent District Five (running unopposed)

Who are you?

My name is Walter Petty. Eight years ago I was asked to run as County Commissioner to represent the citizens of Chatham. I did not have any experience and have never had any political aspirations. However, I have participated and volunteered in a lot of other things because I enjoy serving others.

Why are you running?

I agreed to run with only my experience in business and experience in serving others to draw from. I continue to serve because of the encouragement of others and satisfaction gotten from serving others.

What will you do for the people if elected?

My goal is to serve in a capacity that brings good stewardship with the tax dollars of our citizens. And provide opportunities for a good education and employment within Chatham. All of which can be achieved by developing a county that supports new and existing businesses.

Visit our advertisers

Betty W. Phillips, Ph.D., Psychologist
Carolina Brewery
Chapel Hill Christian Church
Collins Mountain Grading
French Connections
Glass and Window Warehouse
Home Performance NC
Pam Herndon, State Farm Insurance
Rosemary House B&B
Southern Village Pediatric Dentistry
Stillpoint Acupuncture
Work From Home
Solarize NC
SKW Insurance

Page 1 - Where’s Walker? * Hurricanes Grow Ever More Worrisome * The Monument, Part 1: The Project - Page 2 - Chatham County Line embarks on a dynamic future * Chatham County, we seek your support * Mead Day Fills Pittsboro's Beverage District * Back In My Home Town * The Bucket - Page 3 - If I Had a Prostate - Page 4 - Make Sure to Vote in NO-vember - Page 5 - Six amendments to the NC Constitution are on the ballot in November. All are unnecessary, unprecedented, & politically motivated. - Page 6 - Q & A WITH COUNTY COMMISSIONER CANDIDATES - Page 7 - We are the party of the New Deal. Not the raw deal... - Page 8 - North Carolina K9 Emergency Rescue Team * What’s Happening at Chatham Park? - Page 9 - 2018: The State of Chatham County Report - Page 10 - Vote for Brian Bock * Monument (cont. from page 1) - Page 11 - Bock & Lindley for Commissioner - Page 12 - Hackberry Trees and Butterflies * Walker (cont. from page 1) * Hurricanes (cont. from page 1) - Page 13 - VOTER GUIDE TO RE-ELECT YOUR STATE REPS - Page 14 - Crawford vs Crawford - Page 15 - Chatham Opinion Line - Page 16 - Chatham Comunidad: ¿Dónde está Walker? Candidatos al Congreso responden—y no responden—a preguntas sobre la inmigración

Kudos to Chatham Reads for supporting early literacy

The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has recognized Chatham Reads as a Bright Spot Community for 2018.

Since its inception, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading has recognized Bright Spots as the most inspiring and promising work being done in communities, schools and programs across the country. Chatham Reads is thrilled to be recognized as a 2018 Bright Spot nationally.

Bright Spots are designed to enable communities to "steal shamelessly and share seamlessly" with colleagues across the country who are generating solutions to similar challenges. This year’s Bright Spots focused on highlighting innovative approaches and promising strategies for achieving bigger outcomes, larger impact and more sustainable scale.

Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading stated, "We applaud them for taking up the challenge to increase reading proficiency and improve the overall academic achievement of children in low-income families through innovative means."

"We are so proud of the work happening at Chatham Reads to raise literacy skills for children across Chatham," said Mandy White, Chatham Reads' Program Manager. "Our volunteers, staff, and parents deserve all the credit for this recognition. With a goal of increasing 3rd grade Reading proficiency to 80% by 2022, being recognized as a Bright Spot by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is an honor." Chatham Reads knows students who have not mastered reading by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely to dropout of high school and struggle throughout their lives.

In 2017, Chatham Reads began supporting a bookmobile staffed by Chatham County School System Media Specialists near two of our most economically disadvantaged elementary schools (>90% free and reduced lunch). The Media Specialists from each school drive the vehicle once a week into neighborhoods where their students live. Students are able to check out books using their school ID which provides data on the impact of the effort.

Chatham Reads was able to secure grants from the Women of Fearrington, Mary and George Morris, and Mike Dasher to purchase new books for the Bookmobile so they could upgrade their collections to include high-interest, bilingual, and books in Spanish.

In addition, one of Chatham Reads partner organizations, Communities In Schools of Chatham County, provides their Student Support Specialist, Jazmin Mendoza Sosa, time to ride along on the bookmobile. Jazmin served to engage families along the stops and encourages the parents and caregivers to come aboard the vehicle and learn about community events and the importance of reading daily Jazmin's presence allows parents to ask questions about their children’s education and learn about resources available in the community.

About Chatham Reads

Chatham Reads is a county-wide collaborative led by two backbone organizations: the Chatham County Public School System and the Chatham Education Foundation. The mission of Chatham Reads is to foster community partnerships that are dedicated to ensuring that literacy and reading resources are accessible to all Chatham County residents. The collaborative includes a wonderful and diverse coalition of community partners including Chatham Literacy, Communities In Schools of Chatham County, Chatham County Partnership for Children, YMCA of the Triangle, Chatham County Health Department, Reach Out and Read, Uplift Chatham, the Chatham County Library, The Learning Trail and other organizations. Visit us online at and follow us on twitter and facebook.

About the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Launched in 2010 the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. Since its launch, the GLR Campaign has grown to include more than 300 communities, representing 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada — with 4,100 local organizations and more than 520 state and local funders (including 191 United Ways). To learn more, visit and follow the movement on Twitter @readingby3rd.

Fire Prevention Education at Bennett Elementary School

Safe Kids Chatham County and Bennett Volunteer Fire Department will host a Fire Prevention Week event on Friday October 12 for elementary school children of Bennett Elementary. Students will have an opportunity to tour the "Smokehouse" fire simulation vehicle and will receive NFPA Fire Safety Week official educational packets to take home that promote this year's Fire Prevention Week theme, Look.Listen.Learn!

Bennett Volunteer Fire Department’s firefighters will help students through the fire house aka "Smokehouse" simulation vehicle. The simulation helps children practice getting out of a home that is on fire. Safe Kids Chatham County is providing educational packets for students to take home to parents. Safe Kids Chatham County has also provided the packets to Silk Hope Fire Department and Bonlee Fire Department to pass out at their Fire Prevention Week events.

So far in North Carolina in 2018 there have been 113 fire deaths. In recognition of 2018 Fire Prevention Week, which runs from October 7 – 13 Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is encouraging Safe Kids coalitions and local fire departments to work together to uphold this year’s campaign theme of "Look. Listen.Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere."

LOOK: Look for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN: Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN: Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

About Safe Kids Chatham County

Safe Kids Chatham County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include law enforcement, public health, fire safety, social services and other community organizations. Safe Kids Chatham County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. For more information, visit

Chatham Arts Council Awards Grassroots Arts Grants
Seven Local Arts Organizations Awarded Funds to Do Great Things in Chatham County

The Chatham Arts Council is excited to announce the winners of the annual Grassroots Arts Grants, a program aimed to help organizations do amazing work through the arts.

Seven organizations will be awarded a portion of the more than $12,000 in total funding available, which will help with operational support and the hiring of local artists to implement arts programming. This year's award winners are: Chatham Artists Guild, Chatham County Partnership for Children, Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, Shakori Hills Roots in Schools, Sisters' Voices, Sprott Center for Youth (Moncure), and NC Arts Incubator. Since 2000, Chatham Arts Council (CAC) has awarded more than $117,000 to nonprofits, who in turn, use the money to carry the arts into every corner of the county.

"We were so pleased with the diverse applications we received for the grant this year," expressed Cheryl Chamblee, Executive Director of the CAC. "Chatham is full of creativity and our hope is that this funding will help arts organizations enrich the county with meaningful artistic experiences."

"Each winning organization had compelling needs and incredible program ideas," said Sue Szary, Chair of the Grassroots Arts Grants Panel and CAC Board Member. "We’re so proud of the arts organizations in our county – all of which are dedicated to elevating art as a priority in Chatham."


The Chatham Arts Council nurtures creative thinkers in Chatham County. We do this in two ways: (1) We invest in artists. And (2) We educate kids through the arts. In its thirty-fifth year as a nonprofit arts agency, Chatham Arts Council’s flagship programs include Meet This Artist, Go See This, Grassroots Arts Grants, and the Chatham Artists-in-Schools Initiative—serving more than 2,500 children this year. Chatham Arts Council is proud to partner with the NC Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, Chatham County Schools, and numerous Chatham arts organizations, human resource nonprofits, and local businesses. For more information on the CAC, visit


Click to download the October 2018 Edition of Chatham County Line
Click for October 2018
Edition of Chatham County Line

We now accept payments online!

P.O. BOX 1357 · CARRBORO, NC 27510 · 919.740.5231 ·

web design by
uniqueorn enterprises

Pam Herndon