Chapel Hill

Showhomes, Home Staging
Eric Mennel / WUNC

About a year ago, Cora Blinsman’s mom passed away. Needless to say, it was a really hard on her. She started taking stock of her own life. Cora had been a full-time, stay-at-home mom for 20 years, and she was feeling burnt out. She needed space. So … she got a lot of it.

Chapel Hill bus
bendertj / Flickr/Creative Commons (Image cropped)

There are two informal gatherings this week in which the public is invited to share ideas about the future of downtown Chapel Hill, including the development of Rosemary and Franklin streets. The project is called Chapel Hill Downtown Imagined:

This photo shows the head a figure that might be Alexander the Great. It is from a mosaic scene that is the first non-Biblical mosaic every uncovered in an Israeli synagogue.
James Haberman

Many archaeologists wait their entire career for one big find. UNC-Chapel Hill's Jodi Magness? Well, let's just say that she's having a spectacular time making discovery after discovery.

In 2011, Magness took a team to Israel to identify a dig location. They hoped to find an ancient synagogue.

Sadie Zimet remixing the news at the Chapel Hill Beat Making Lab
Beat Making Lab

Area teens have been listening to radio news stories and remixing them with original hip hop beats. Remixing the News is a partnership between WUNC and the Beat Making Lab

The teens are  from area high schools including Chapel Hill High, East Chapel Hill High, and Research Triangle High. They met regularly after school throughout the spring and then completed a week-long summer workshop.

Jennah Jones is also known as DJ Twice
Beat Making Lab

Chapel Hill, NC teenager Jennah Jones is also known as DJ Twice. She's part of a project in which teens listen to NPR news stories and and create alternate versions, with original hip hop soundtracks.

Sim Bowden has worked this corner in Chapel Hill since 1999.
Carol Jackson

Every weekday, Sim Bowden manages the pedestrians at the intersection outside of Estes Hills Elementary in Chapel Hill. He's there for an hour and fifteen minutes each morning and afternoon, shepherding kids and adults safely across the busy street. Watching him is mesmerizing. His hand is usually in the air -- he waves to everyone, cars, trucks, school buses. And everyone seems to know Sim.

"Hello, cutie," shouts a mom in a silver SUV.

Today is the last day of school in Chapel Hill, and it also marks the end of Sim's fifteenth year working this corner.

A Mystery Tree Grows In Chapel Hill

Jun 10, 2014
redwood
Parth Shah

For most people, taking care of the front yard means cutting the grass every few weeks.

But for Bill Massengale, lawn care involves looking after the lofty California coastal redwood growing in the front yard of his law office on Columbia Street.

“When we bought the place we were told that the only thing we had to do was to make sure nothing happens to the redwood,” Massengale says. “It’s one of my chief duties in life."

KKK Parade and Rally Chapel Hill, NC June 15, 1987
Michael Galinsky

The pictures capture a day that many in Chapel Hill, NC would like to forget. White-hooded figures marching carefree down Franklin Street. It was the day the KKK came to town: June 15, 1987.

About 60 people took part in the march and membership rally. The event started in Durham and then progressed to Chapel Hill. Two thousand people lined the parade route; some to support the participants, others to heckle them. 

Carol Jackson

Last fall, we brought you the story of twin sisters, Bernice Wade and Barbara Stiles. The two live in an historic house in Chapel Hill. The sisters are well known in the community for the beauty of their gardens.

Each fall, their friends and neighbors -- including many children -- gather to help them plant 1,000+ bulbs. This "planting party" is special to the community. The sisters recently had another party, one to celebrate the blooms.

Chapel Hill bus
bendertj / Flickr/Creative Commons (Image cropped)

David Ellis Dickerson is a writer, a storyteller and a teacher. He might be best known for the stories he's told on "This American Life." He also has a book about greeting cards, and an online series of video shorts called "Greeting Card Emergency."

facebook.com/ClockworkKids

 

   

An alternative rock band from Chapel Hill, Clockwork Kids' music combines psychedelic sounds with soft folk and hard rock. The Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill has synchronized a space show inspired by the group's new album, "Rememory". Clockwork Kids will play the album live under the stardome for their album release party on April 3 at 7 pm. 

Valentine's Day
Leoneda Inge

Florists across the state are working overtime to make sure the snow storm doesn’t wipe out Valentine’s Day sales.

A steady stream of customers in Chapel Hill made their way through the slush of melting snow to grab some flowers.

Charles House owns University Florist and Gifts on Franklin Street.  He says the snow and ice couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Mark Kleinschmidt
http://www.townofchapelhill.org/ / Town Of Chapel Hill

  

An artist's rendering of the theater's facade planned for University Mall in Chapel Hill
Madison Marquette Retail Services

Leaders in Chapel Hill say they hope a luxury movie theater moving into a local mall will bring in more shoppers from out of town. 

Silverspot Cinema says it will open the facility with 13 theaters at University Mall in two years. 

The theater will replace Dillard's department store, which has been there since 1973.  Silverspot says it will offer leather chairs in the theaters, a lounge, and special screenings of live events like opera. 

Town of Chapel Hill

Franklin Street in Chapel Hill will be cordoned off again this year for the annual Halloween celebration.

Crowd size has steadily decreased since the peak of 80,000 in 2008. Smaller numbers have turned out since then, following strict town rules that prohibit revelers from bringing  alcohol, glass bottles, and anything that resembles a firearm, whether it be the real thing or part of a costume.

A Chapel Hill group is handing out stickers that look like this to restaurants and bars that want them.
emedco.com

A Chapel Hill group is helping restaurants and bars clarify a new law to patrons.  People with permits to carry concealed handguns can bring their weapon into establishments where alcohol is served. But, while drinking alcohol is prohibited when carrying a firearm, a permit holder can still bring a concealed gun into places that serve it, unless the owner posts signs saying otherwise.  Meg McGurk heads the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and says there's still confusion over the new law so she's handing out "no concealed weapons" stickers to Franklin Street businesses.

The album cover for Superchunk's latest alum,'I Hate Music.'
mergerecords.com

After 24 years together, the Chapel Hill indie-rock group Superchunk is releasing their 10th studio album, I Hate Music.  

Host Frank Stasio talks with band members Mac McCaughan and Jim Wilbur about the quirky album title and the band’s evolution. They will also perform  acoustic versions of their latest songs.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and Mayor-elect Nancy McFarlane
raleighnc.gov

Today was the candidate filing deadline for several area mayoral races. Mayors in Durham, Raleigh and Greensboro will faces challenges in their bids for reelection.

In Durham, current mayor Bill Bell will be running for re-election with challenges from East Durham minister Sylvester Williams and Michael Valentine, a current member of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.

Public Housing in Chapel Hill.
Town of Chapel Hill

Section 8 is a federal subsidy program that bridges the gap between people with low-income and market rentals. But this summer, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Raleigh, all face cuts to their Section 8 Voucher Program.

Jay Bryan speaking at the Carrboro Centennial.
Justin Valas/ Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

The small town of Carrboro was once a prominent mill town in the early to mid-1900s. But after all of the mills closed down and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continued to grow, the town became a haven to students and an evolving arts scene.

Flooding in Chapel Hill on Sunday
Jstn568 / wunderground

Orange County continues to recover from weekend flooding, and officials are trying to secure relief funding for those displaced.

At a news conference today, Chapel Hill officials said close to 130 residences are unlivable due to water damage from weekend rain. It's unclear when, or if, people who lived in those units can go back home.

Several feet of flood waters trap cars on West Franklin St. in Chapel Hill Sunday afternoon.
Bart Smith / Facebook

Residents of Orange and Durham counties are cleaning up after torrential rain led to flood waters several feet deep. 

Officials in Chapel Hill say rescuers evacuated at least 40 people Sunday from flooded homes and vehicles.  They were taken to a Red Cross shelter at Smith Middle School. 

Patricia McAnany researched Mayan ruins in Belize.  The Xunantunich ruins of western Belize are pictured above.
cjuneau via flickr

Patricia McAnany had a moment of clarity when a young girl of Maya descent asked her why all the Maya people had to die. McAnany knew that the ancient Maya civilization collapsed in the 8th and 9th centuries, but she also knew that the Maya people continued to exist right up until the modern day.

Sutton's Drug Store in downtown Chapel Hill.
courtesy of Sutton's Drug Store

Ask any long-time Chapel Hill resident to name a few of the town’s business icons, and Sutton’s Drug Store is likely to come up. Founded in 1923, the old fashioned pharmacy has been open for 90 years and celebrates that fact today with a special deal for its customers: from 11:00 to 4:30, hot dogs, Cokes and French fries will be only a nickel, reflecting the store’s 1923 prices. They’re expecting several hundreds of customers.

A controversial charter school that was approved to open its doors in Chapel Hill this fall has hit a road block. The managing company that was supposed to run the day-to-day operations of the Howard and Lillian Lee Charter School has pulled out.

National Heritage Academies, Inc. runs more than 70 charter schools across the country, including six in North Carolina. The Lee School would have been number seven, but NHA has backed out of the project.

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