When will public transportation and rideshare availability in Chatham improve? 🚍

When will public transportation and rideshare availability in Chatham improve? 🚍One of RTP’s counties lacks access to one resource considered by many to be essential to progress: transportation. View this email in your browser

“Connecting the curious across the county”
March 8, 2019

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Will public transportation in Chatham get an upgrade? 

Image by sarangib on Pixabay

By: Brooklynn CooperThanks to Jon Darling for asking this week’s question — “Could you do a story on the availability and planning for expanding rural and small urban mobility and transportation solutions for residents in Chatham County? And how Uber, Lyft, Go Go Grandparent. etc. might fit into such plans?” 
Most people consider Research Triangle Park one of the most innovative locations in the state—arguably in the nation.

🌲 Tree coverage: Does Chatham Park have enough?

🌲 Tree coverage: Does Chatham Park have enough?Public outcry has been at an all-time high in Pittsboro over Chatham Park’s Tree Protection Plan. 

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“Connecting the curious across the county”
March 1, 2019

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Will Chatham Park’s tree coverage plans change? Corrina Hill, 7, marches alongside her father during the “Procession of Trees” protest Feb. 15 at the historic Pittsboro, N.C. courthouse. The Haw River Assembly recently organized the protest after the Chatham Park development released a statement about tree protection to the Pittsboro Town Board. According to protestors, the proposal does not protect enough trees in Chatham County.

Does Siler City Elementary need more ESL teachers?

Tucked away in the hills of rural North Carolina is Siler City Elementary, a dual-language school in which students spend half of their day learning in Spanish and the other half learning in English. And yet, the school only has seven English Second Language (ESL) teachers — educators that specialize in teaching English to students that are non-native English speakers. 
Out of 673 total students in the school, 418 are Latino, and 268 are ESL students. The ESL teacher-to-student ratio is 1-to-38. ESL Teacher Angelica Binkowsky instructs all fourth-grade students in the program. In addition, she works with multiple grade levels for SCE’s intervention program, which involves dividing classrooms into small groups in order to provide a personalized learning experience.

What’s up with impact fees in Chatham County?

What’s up with impact fees in Chatham County?Chatham is the only county in the state with school impact fees — fees that generate an estimated $2.8 million in school revenue each year. 

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“Connecting the curious across the county”
February 2, 2019

What’s up with impact fees in Chatham County? By: Ari Sen
Some of our astute readers likely noticed in November when Interim County Manager Dan LaMontagne made alarming comments about impact fees during the presentation of the Capital Improvements Plan. “We’re very worried,” he said. “We are not real interested in the magnifying glass being on our back.”

At the time, we noted impact fees are a big deal, but I wanted to keep digging. So I took a deep dive into the fees and why they matter.

How can we solve Chatham County’s affordable housing crisis?

How can we solve Chatham County’s affordable housing crisis?Chatham’s housing crisis has been exacerbated by the influx of workers who have begun to arrive at Mountaire Farm’s new chicken plant in Siler City. View this email in your browser

“Connecting the curious across the county”
January 18, 2019

Chatham County’s affordable housing connundrum

Eva Ellenburg, a student journalist at UNC, writes for Our Chatham that the county’s housing crisis has been exacerbated by the influx of workers who have begun to arrive at Mountaire Farm’s new chicken plant in Siler City. The expected influx of immigrant workers at the plant, which is slated to be fully operational soon, will test the county “in bigger ways than we’ve seen in a while,” Ilana Dubester, director of the nonprofit immigrant advocacy group Hispanic Liaison, told Eva. 
The eviction of more than two dozen families from a mobile home bought by Mountaire Farms near the new chicken plant  — and most of those families’ inability to stay in Chatham County — points to an issue city and county officials say they want to solve. 
Why isn’t there enough affordable housing in Chatham County? What are city and county officials going to do to solve the problem? Eva spent time with a woman who navigated the housing shortage after being evicted, and spoke with policymakers and city and county offiicals to find out.

Chatham County’s 2019 outlook: what to keep your eyes on 👀

Chatham County’s 2019 outlook: what to keep your eyes on 👀Two UNC-Chapel Hill students, Eva Ellenburg and Diane Adame, share their insights on the next big news in Chatham. 

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“Connecting the curious across the county”
January 11, 2019

What should we look forward to in 2019 in Chatham County? 

Happy New Year, Chathamites! We thought to kick things off, we’d pull back the curtain on how reporters think about stories and their work — which, incidentally, helps anyone looking to keep up with events locally understand and keep tabs on their community. We also find that sometimes journalists’ work is shrouded in mystery, when really we want to pursue the questions and topics that matter and will impact you most.  
Two UNC-Chapel Hill students, Eva Ellenburg and Diane Adame, took on Chatham County news as part of a journalism class last semester. We asked them to share part of their year-end impressions that they left for the next class of journalists looking to dive into Chatham County — and we think you’ll be interested in their insights. 

Eva Ellenburg is a junior studying journalism and political science:
At the beginning of the semester, I covered a story on how Chatham County votes for its Board of Commissioners.

Which restaurants have the worst health inspection scores in Chatham County? 🍔

Which restaurants have the worst health inspection scores in Chatham County? 🍔Fearrington House joins Waffle House on the list of worst sanitation marks in the county this year. View this email in your browser

November 21, 2018

Which restaurants have the worst health inspection scores in Chatham County? By: Alexis AllstonChatham County has a variety of restaurants, some that have been established in the community for years. We decided to dig into the health inspection records of all food-serving establishments in Chatham County — out of almost 300 restaurants, the average inspection score of 2018 is 97.74. Of course, there are always a few outliers, which is why we’ve curated this list of the worst health inspection scores in Chatham.

Curious about development and water qualty? You Asked. We Answered.🔍

Fearrington resident Dianne Birch has walked along a creek near her house for years and said she noticed the creek’s banks eroding quickly and waters becoming murky. Dianne asked us to look into who is monitoring the erosion and water quality of these waterways, and if the clear-cutting of trees for the Briar Chapel construction sites off route 15-501 have anything to do with these ecological changes.