• Retired Judge Page Vernon was honored Feb. 3 with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the prestigious gubernatorial award, for 30 years service in Orange and Chatham counties.
Her nomination by the Bench and Bar of Judicial District 15B noted the respect she earned and her quality of citizenship and service, particularly to needs and interests of children.
Vernon began her legal career in 1981 as an assistant district attorney in Judicial District 15B. She subsequently joined the law firm of Barber Bradshaw & Vernon in Pittsboro and served on the Orange-Chatham Juvenile Crime Prevention Council from 1992 through 2002. From 2003 through 2005 she returned to her service in education through the Juvenile Criminal Law Clinic at the UNC School of Law and then the Duke University School of Law’s Children’s Education Law Center.
From 2005 until 2008, when she was elected to the District Court, Vernon concentrated on serving children as a guardian ad litem for minors involved in the court system, rejoining the Orange-Chatham Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, and additionally supervising UNC law students working under the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project.
Her service as a District Court judge from 2008-11 included appointment to the AOC Court Improvement Committee. As stated in the nomination letter to Gov. McCrory from the Bench and Bar:
“Judge Vernon’s contributions throughout her career are characterized by a unique grace and generous heart that dignified and elevated the lives of citizens and the work of her colleagues in public service. She exemplifies those qualities of service recognized by induction into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Over her career Judge Vernon personified the virtues of citizenship, legal professionalism, and judicial service in a manner that inspires all those who have known and worked with her in the administration of justice.”
In an annual Chapel Hill Police Department awards ceremony held Jan. 30, Officer Phil Smith was honored with the 2012 Herman Stone award recipient.
The award is named for Chief Herman Stone, who served from 1977-1987 and was known for his relationship with the community. The characteristics of the award recipient are commitment to service, commitment to the values of fairness and respect for the individual, loyalty to the agency and to the community, and a demonstrated desire to serve people.
Smith, a 20-year veteran of the department, serves as the Court Liaison Officer as well as the Off-Duty and Special Events Coordinator. In addition to these official responsibilities, he is tireless in his efforts as the agency’s primary Special Olympics supporter. The Police Department consistently places as one of the top two or three fundraising departments in the state as a result of his efforts.
“Officer Smith manages his diverse responsibilities with care, attention to detail, and a positive attitude,” Chief Chris Blue said. “His command of the areas for which he is responsible is impressive. Officer Smith has built an extensive professional network of community leaders, public servants, and Town employees. Such networks are invaluable and Officer Smith’s positive and outgoing attitude has enabled him to build an impressive array of friends and colleagues.”
Rosetta Barbee of Chapel Hill turned 100 years old Tuesday.
Barbee told her caregivers at UNC Family Medicine she has outlived her children and her siblings and still feels pretty good.
She believes her longevity can be attributed to her faith in God, her philosophy of being kind to everyone and taking care of those in need of care.
Asked what advice she would give young people, she said her golden rule is to treat older people with respect and to always thank them for their wisdom.
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