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OCAS provides update on dogs seized during criminal investigation

An investigation by the Orange County Sheriff's Office and Orange County Animal Services (OCAS) resulted in felony animal cruelty charges being filed against two Chapel Hill residents and the seizure of 57 dogs by OCAS.

The dogs are being cared for at the Orange County Animal Shelter, but no decision has been made regarding when or if these dogs will be put up for adoption. Orange County Animal Services Director Bob Marotto says all the dogs have been evaluated by a veterinarian and are receiving loving attention from OCAS staff and medical care as needed.

“Animal protection is a critical component of our operations and mission,” said Marotto
. “Thankfully, all of the seized animals in this case are well-suited to rehoming if and when that becomes possible.”

Because the dogs are part of an ongoing investigation, they have not been surrendered to OCAS and are not available for adoption. If they become available, they will appear at the Available Dogs & Pups page. If you are interested in adopting one of the dogs, please monitor that web page. OCAS will notify the public through the county website, a news release and social media posts when and if the dogs become available for adoption.

The seizure is taxing OCAS resources. Residents can help by adopting a pet from OCAS to clear shelter space. Orange County is running a “Name Your Price” special for all adoptable dogs and puppies during October to celebrate Dog Adoption Month.

If you would like to contribute to the care for these dogs and others housed at the shelter, monetary and material donations are encouraged. Please visit our donations page at Donations may be made in the following ways:
  • Drop off or delivery to Orange County Animal Services at 1601 Eubanks Road, Chapel Hill.
  • Online donations through the Community Giving Fund.
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Orange County Summit brings policymakers together to discuss critical issues

Panelists discussed affordable housing, transportation, economic development, education, workforce development and social justice during the second annual Orange County Summit, which was held Wednesday and broadcast live on WCHL radio. The summit brought together policymakers from the schools, municipalities and Orange County to talk about ways they are addressing these issues and others within the county.

WCHL has posted audio from each of the eight 30-minute segments on its website, and the program will be re-broadcast on the county's government access channel.

The Summit was sponsored by Orange County Economic Development. Aaron Keck served as moderator, and representatives from Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, Orange County Schools, Durham Tech, Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough as well as all Orange County Commissioners participated as panelists. Representatives from community non-profits and county staff also served as speakers.

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Orange County announces changes in hours at Carrboro library locations, effective Oct. 21

Orange County Library Director Lucinda Munger announced Thursday, Oct. 10, that the Carrboro Branch Library located at McDougle Middle School and the Carrboro Cybrary at the Carrboro Century Center will begin new operating schedules on Monday, Oct., 21. The Carrboro Branch Library will open at 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, instead of the current 3:30 p.m. opening. The closing time of 8 p.m. and weekend hours will remain the same.

The change will be offset by an expansion of hours at the Carrboro Cybrary, which will stay open an hour later Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours at the Cybrary will remain the same.

“The library will continue to provide services to Carrboro residents and library patrons from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday,” said Orange County Library Director Lucinda Munger.
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How to get signed (and does it even matter?) discussion for musicians

Every musician dreams of signing with a record label, but the reality may be different. The Orange County Arts Commission presents “How to Get Signed (and does it even matter?) Monday, Oct. 21 at 7pm at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. This panel discussion will include musicians (signed and unsigned) and long-time music industry experts.

What do labels look for when signing an artist? What do artists need to know before signing? Is is possible to make it without a label?

We’ll discuss these questions and others, including an open Q&A session. Free and open to all.

Click here for more info, including profiles of panelists.

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Partnership to End Homelessness seeks volunteers for Project Connect 

Project Connect is a one-day, one-stop event that connects people experiencing or at risk of homelessness with a broad range of short and long-term services. This year's event will be held Oct. 30 at the Hargraves Community Center in Chapel Hill. Services include housing, employment, health and dental care, mental health care, veterans’ and social service benefits, legal services, and more.

Through a unique community-wide partnership, Project Connect involves dozens of businesses, several hundred volunteers, local governments, faith-based communities, and service providers all in an effort to assist fellow community members end homelessness in Orange County. Since 2007, the event has provided services for more than 1,500 community members.

The Partnership to End Homelessness is seeking volunteers and donations to ensure this year's event will be a success.
  • VOLUNTEER: Interested in volunteering at Project Connect? We have open spots the evening of Oct. 29 and all day on Oct. 30 - sign up here
  • DONATE: Cleaning supplies and flexible funding can help people maintain their housing - check out more info on the Help A Neighbor Drive

Department on Aging needs volunteers for VITA program

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is sponsored by the IRS and provides free tax assistance for eligible low and moderate income taxpayers of any age.  More than 70 volunteers completed over 1,500 tax returns from February-April each year at the Seymour Center and Passmore Center.
Volunteers assist in a wide variety of roles, including:

  • Tax Preparers (requires IRS Tax Law training) prepare tax returns for eligible clients.

  • Intake Receptionists greet clients, explain the process, and organize paperwork.
  • Appointment Schedulers answer phones and return voicemails to schedule clients for a specific day and time.
  • Our Computer Support team is responsible for troubleshooting and maintaining our Windows laptops and printers.

Learn more by attending one of our VITA New Volunteer Orientation Sessions:
Passmore Center  
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 1 - 2:30 p.m.
Seymour Center
Thursday, Oct. 24, 6 - 7:30 p.m.
If you are unable to attend an Orientation Session but are interested in volunteering, call Jeanne Chamberlin, VC55+ VITA Administrator (919-245-4240), for more information and/or to register as a VITA Volunteer.

Housing department seeking public comment on FY 2018 CAPER

The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) reports on the progress toward implementing the priorities and activities identified in the Annual Action Plan over the past year. The CAPER also shows how HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program entitlement grants have been expended and highlights the accomplishments and successes in addressing the goals established in the five-year Consolidated Plan.

Residents are encouraged to comment on the FY 2018 CAPER by calling the Orange County Department of Housing and Community Development at 919-245-2490 or email Emila Sutton at The comment period is from Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019 through Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019.
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Rating agencies affirm county's AAA bond ratings

Orange County's bond rating was recently affirmed by the three major rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Investors Service. The ratings affirmations were released as part of Orange County’s planned Series 2019B Limited Obligation Bonds to finance the county’s annual Capital Program, which includes the first phase of the new Northern Campus and refinancing of existing debt to save county taxpayers as much as $630,000.

Orange County is among a few governments in the nation that have achieved a ‘AAA’ rating by all three of the major rating agencies. The three rating agencies rationale and affirmation cited:
  • Very strong economy, with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA)
  • Solid financial position and comprehensive fiscal planning and proactive management
  • Manageable long-term debt burden
"The Board of County Commissioners and County Manager’s vision, leadership and fiscal policies have resulted in the strong financial position," said Orange County Chief Financial Officer Gary Donaldson. "This is indicative by the affirmation of our ‘AAA’ bond rating by all three major rating agencies.”

The strong credit rating allows the county to achieve the lowest possible borrowing cost for a sovereign, state or local government.
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