Local briefs

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 01:37 PM

Visitors Bureau wins 3 state awards

SOUTHERN PINES -- The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau recently received three Destination Marketing Achievement Awards at the 2013 North Carolina Tourism Leadership Conference, jointly hosted by the North Carolina Travel Industry Association and Destination Marketing Association of North Carolina at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines.
Platinum awards went to the 2013 Chapel Hill Food Lover’s Guide with Carrboro & Hillsborough for “Destination Publications – Best Niche Marketing” and the Visitors Bureau’s newly redesigned website, www.visitchapelhill.org in the “Destination Marketing Initiatives  - Best Web Based” category.  A Gold Award went to Meet at the Edge of the Triangle ad for “Best Print Advertising for the Group Market”. 
“Promoting Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough through compelling promotions is our priority.  We are thrilled that a jury of our peers acknowledged these efforts with these three important awards,” said Laurie Paolicelli, executive director of the Visitors Bureau.

Carrboro selects new poet laureate
CARRBORO -- The town of Carrboro has a new poet laureate. Celisa Steele has been selected by the Art Committee. Steele, a local award-winning poet, will be in her new role until June 30, 2015.
Prior to her appointment, Jay Bryant held the position for a number of years.
One of the main duties of the poet laureate is to engage in activities that enhance bringing the presence of poetry into the social and civic life of Carrboro. Other opportunities for the poet laureate include participating in Carrboro Day, and contributing to the organizing of the annual West End Poetry Festival sponsored by the town of Carrboro.
Steele said she wants to showcase different approaches to poetry as well as different stages in the development of poets. She also hopes to draw both uninitiated members and newcomers to poetry and hone their appreciation of the art.
You can meet and hear her and other local poets at the West End Poetry Festival on Friday and Saturday in Carrboro. Information about the festival is available at www.westendpoetryfestival.com.

Southern Village to host food truck roundup
CHAPEL HILL -- Several of the Triangle’s food trucks will be in attendance at a food truck roundup Oct. 24 in Southern Village, including Parlez Vous Crepe, Captain Pancho’s (Mexican), Great American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba, Big Bundts, plus some surprises.
In addition, the Carolina Brewery brew van will join the fun, selling its signature artisanal beers on tap.
Gary Mitchell, a popular singer-songwriter-guitarist will entertain with live music from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
The event will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Village Green in Southern Village; there will be live music from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations to Farmer Foodshare are welcome.

School to host 'Harvest Hoedown' benefit
HILLSBOROUGH -- Hillsborough Christian Academy, a ministry of Abundant Life Church in Orange County, will host a communitywide event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26.
The “Harvest Hoedown” will raise funds to update the school’s three current playgrounds to all-natural learning environments, which would give the students the opportunity to eat homegrown raw vegetables from their own garden, design and create habitats, and have the opportunity to express themselves creatively in a natural environment.
There will be barbecue pork and barbecue chicken plates for sale, live music featuring the local gospel group Kings of Harmony, a corn hole tournament, hayrides, games for children, a Kid's Consignment table, a silent auction, and much more. 
There will also be raffle tickets available for $20 apiece. The winning ticket will take home a 1969 Triumph Spitfire, which was donated to the school by a member of the congregation. The drawing for the car will be held Dec. 20.

Strowd Roses Foundation awards grants
CHAPEL HILL -- The Strowd Roses Foundation has announced the recipients of its final round of grants to local nonprofits for 2013.  A total of $86,580 in funding was awarded to The Arc of Orange County, The ArtsCenter, Carpe Diem, Chapel Hill Girls Chorus, Church of Reconciliation Neighborhood Tutoring Program, Extraordinary Ventures, Girls on the Run of the Triangle, Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, KidSCope, Kramden Institute, League of Women Voters, North Carolina Arts in Action, NC Children's Hospital, Orange County Artists Guild, Piedmont Health Services, Project Compassion, Refugee Support Center, Sacrificial Poets, Scholars' Latino Initiative (UNC), South Orange Rescue Squad, and Volunteers for Youth.
Information about the work of the foundation and guidelines for submitting grant requests may be found at www.strowdroses.org.

County EMS reports reduced response times

The Orange County Emergency Services Department is pleased to report improved 9-1-1 dispatch times and emergency medical services response times. The 9-1-1 Communications Center has improved from having an average dispatch time of 2:42 during 2011, to 1:25 through the second quarter of 2013.  The average EMS response time has also improved from 10:46 during 2011, to 9:45 through the second quarter of 2013.
The improved times can be attributed to several factors. The 9-1-1 Communications Center has continued to increase staff to effectively handle the call volume. Several process improvements also have been implemented.
The EMS response times have been improved by adding additional ambulances, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians, co-locating ambulances in partnership with local fire departments to get them closer to their response districts, and the use of Automatic Vehicle Location devices to help identify and dispatch the closest ambulance to the call.