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May 2016

Mountaire Farms opening new Siler City facility

Mountaire Farms is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement to acquire the former Townsend processing plant and an adjoining property in Siler City on May 5. Work will begin immediately to renovate and update this facility into a modern state-of-the-art food plant. This expansion will add over 500 jobs and will provide a significant contribution to the local economy. In addition to the permanent full time positions, the renovation process will provide employment opportunities for a multitude of skilled contractors and fabricators.

According to Paul Downes, President and CEO, "Mountaire Farms has a long tradition of producing high quality poultry products for our domestic and international customers. The increasing demand for our products requires us to expand our production and we believe North Carolina is the perfect place for that growth. Mountaire has a deep rooted commitment to quality, service, and value and we look forward to growing our business in North Carolina and strengthening the ties we have with the local communities."

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Duke Energy among Top 3 in solar energy in the nation

Duke Energy is a national leader for the amount of solar energy connected to the grid for its retail customers. In the Top 10 utility solar lists compiled by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), Duke Energy Progress (DEP) was ranked third among all utility companies for bringing on new solar capacity during 2015.

"Our customers are experiencing the benefits of Duke Energy's work to support the growth and expansion of solar generation in this region," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "We are proud to put more and more solar energy to work for our customers in a way that works for everyone."

DEP's 461 megawatts of owned and purchased capacity for customers in 2015 helped it climb to third in the nation after being fourth the previous year. Overall, North Carolina is fourth in the nation for installed solar capacity. You can view the rankings here.

"We saw record installations of solar in 2015 across the United States. Our Top 10 survey results detail the scale of this growth, and the active role an increasing number of utilities are playing in it," said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s President and CEO. "Consumers want solar, and their interest is driving change and innovation at utilities nationwide."

The rankings were announced in April at the organization’s Utility Solar Conference in Denver. The ninth annual survey includes figures from more than 300 utilities across the country. Since 2007, more than 1,000 projects representing more than 5,000 megawatts of generation have sought interconnection in Duke Energy’s North Carolina service territory. To support this growth, Duke Energy has added a Renewable Service Center, a customer call center designed to help with the high volume of residential solar-related interconnection requests. The company has also increased its engineering, support resources and construction crews for solar power.

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Chatham Board of Health offers kudos


The Chatham County Board of Health is pleased to announce the recipients of its annual awards. Each year at its April meeting, the Board of Health recognizes an Employee of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, and Partner of the Year. This year, the honors were given to Jennifer Park and Anna Stormzand as Employees of the Year, Debbie Garrett as Supervisor of the Year, and Chatham Hospital as Community Health Partner of the Year.

Although the Employee of the Year is traditionally awarded to one staff member, the Board decided that two employees, Jennifer Park and Anna Stormzand, were worthy of the honor this year. In their time with the Chatham County Public Health Department, Jennifer and Anna boast numerous individual successes in addition to a major collaborative accomplishment this year: Chatham County’s Tobacco-free Grounds Policy. The two have been instrumental in the planning and implementation of the policy, as well as initiatives that help those looking to quit using tobacco. "Not only do they embody the characteristics of an outstanding employee on a day-to-day basis," the nomination read, "but in this past year Anna and Jennifer accomplished what could be considered one of the biggest undertakings in protecting the health of Chatham residents in recent years -- the passage of the county comprehensive smoking policy, which banned all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on all county-owned and leased property."

At the ceremony, Board of Health Vice-Chair Wanda Fearrington also presented the Supervisor of the Year award to Debbie Garrett. Debbie, who was joined by many members of the clinic staff as she received the award, has dedicated her career to public health and is well-respected by many across the state. Her nomination referred to her as "a wonderful listener," and pointed out that she "handles every situation with patience and kindness, which empowers staff to do their very best each day. She embodies public health, public service, selflessness, and would be a very deserving Supervisor of the Year."

The final award of the evening, the Community Health Partner award, was presented to Chatham Hospital. Throughout its history, Chatham Hospital has served as an important public health partner in the county. Recently, the hospital has taken on an even greater role in seeking avenues beyond its walls to improve and foster health. This has resulted in tremendous opportunities for the health department and Chatham County as a whole, including grants from the Duke Endowment and Blue Cross Blue Shield NC to fund the Chatham Health Alliance. The health department and Chatham Hospital also conducted the 2014 Community Health Assessment as a collaborative effort.

The Chatham County Board of Health and health department would like to congratulate all award recipients and thank them for their service to public health in Chatham County.

Free computer classes at Library in Pittsboro

Chatham Community Library is offering a series of free computer classes in May and June. The names, dates and times of the classes are listed below. You can find a full description of the classes, including topics covered and prerequisites for attending, by visiting http://tinyurl.com/ComputerClassesCCL.

Using the Library's Online Catalog: May 9, Monday, 3– 4:30 p.m.
Drop-in Computer Assistance: May 11, Wednesday, 4 – 5 p.m.
Computer Basics, Part 1: May 18, Tuesday, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Computer Basics, Part 2: May 25, Tuesday, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Drop-in Computer Assistance: June 8, Wednesday, 4 – 5 p.m.
Internet Basics, Part 1: June 14, Tuesday, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Internet Basics, Part 2: June 21, Tuesday, 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Zinio (digital magazines): June 30, Thursday, 3– 4:30 p.m.

The Drop-In Computer Assistance sessions (May 11 and June 8) do not require registration. For all other classes, space is limited and you must register in advance if you wish to attend. Register online at the link above. For more information, call 919.545.8086 or email reference@chathamlibraries.org. All classes take place in the computer lab at Chatham Community Library, 197 NC Hwy 87 N in Pittsboro, on the campus of Central Carolina Community College.

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