County ponders future of emergency servicesHILLSBOROUGH -- The Orange County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 7 will consider soliciting a consultant to evaluate emergency and fire services as part of its ongoing effort to see what role the Orange County Rescue Squad might play in the provision of emergency services in the county.Barry Jacobs, chairman of the commissioners, said county leaders have sought such a study for more than two years.Frank Montes de Oca Jr., the county's emergency services director, suspended the Hillsborough-based Rescue Squad June 27, citing "unsafe and unprofessional practices." The squad is one of two private, volunteer squads in Orange County and had specialized in rescuing accident victims trapped in vehicles.The commissioners recently decided the rescue squad did not get sufficient, written notice to fix any problems before the "stand-down" order. They told De Oca to come back with a timeline for deciding whether the squad would be reinstated and in what capacity. The study could help determine what role a reinstated squad might play. Rescue Squad Chief Brian Matthews said he has sent a letter to the commissioners refuting the allegations as "mostly untrue."
-- From staff reports
CHAPEL HILL -- Facing a meeting room overflowing with opponents, the Orange County commissioners hinted strongly Tuesday evening that they would disqualify Eubanks Road as a possible site for a new solid waste transfer station.But county leaders stopped short of actually doing so, saying they'll wait until next month to whittle down the list of 10 potential sites.The existing landfill is on Eubanks Road, and many nearby residents said Tuesday they've endured the odors, scavenging varmints and rumbling truck traffic long enough. "We cannot turn back the clock on the devastating impact that the Orange County Regional Landfill has had on this community," said the Rev. Robert Campbell, a resident of the Rogers Road neighborhood.Commissioner Barry Jacobs told the crowd he thought residents "would be pleased" once consultants apply "community-specific" criteria that include whether the transfer station would "have a potentially cumulative environmental impact on a specific community or neighborhood."Hillsborough residents also expressed worry that their town would become the new home of the station, expected to open about 2011. Two sites near N.C. 86 and Interstate 40 near Hillsborough ranked high on the consultants' list of possible sites.
County may exclude Eubanks site from list
-- Matt Dees, 956-2433; email@example.com
CHAPEL HILL -- The unusual saga of Chapel Hill's Courtyard complex continued Tuesday when the owner appeared late for a foreclosure hearing, minutes after it was postponed.Wachovia Bank wants to sell the property on West Franklin Street, saying owner Spencer Young has defaulted on a $2.6 million loan he got in 2005 to buy it.A Wachovia representative at the hearing said the bank hadn't received a mortgage payment since February. Young declined to speak to a reporter, simply turning away.His lawyer, former Raleigh City Council member Kieran J. Shanahan, said Young was working on a plan to deal with the creditors and wants to keep the property.During the hearing, Elizabeth Harrison, a lawyer for Wachovia, told Orange County Clerk of Superior Court James C. Stanford that Young hadn't signed for certified mail notifying him of the hearing, but that the sheriff's department had posted a notice at an address listed to him, and that notice was sent to Shanahan. Stanford said the property itself should be posted, and that one remedy for not having clearly notified Young could be to also serve the N.C. Secretary of State.Harrison asked Stanford for a continuance on the hearing for at least 30 days to do additional notification, and he agreed.
Courtyard foreclosure hearing delayed 30 days
-- Jay Price, 829-4526; firstname.lastname@example.org