News Briefs | The Chatham News + Record



Chatham County Public Libraries Release Final Needs Assessment Report

PITTSBORO – The results of the 2020 Chatham County Public Library Needs Assessment Survey are now available online for public review at

The assessment process, which began in July 2020, was led by Karen Dash Consulting.

The needs assessment was funded by grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the North Carolina State Library, a division of the Ministry of Natural and Cultural Resources.

With over 800 survey respondents, the final report includes data on the assessment methodology, community feedback and priorities, and potential actions or recommendations for the future of Chatham County public libraries.

“We appreciate all of the valuable feedback from Chatham County residents who took the time to complete the needs assessment survey,” said Linda Clarke, Director of Chatham County Public Libraries. “The results of the final report will be used to develop targeted strategic planning for libraries over the next three to five years, which will be critical as our county continues to grow. “

Originally designed to be conducted in a variety of forums and in-person locations, the onset of COVID-19 forced all needs assessment-related activity to take place virtually. Additionally, the scope of the assessment was broadened to collect data on pre-COVID services as well as those needed during the pandemic.

For questions or comments on the final report, residents can contact Clarke [email protected]

City of Siler City is looking for volunteers for Council and Committees

SILER CITY – The Town of Siler City has vacancies on the following boards and committees:

Airport Authority

The Airport Authority will have a vacant position for a member with no residential requirement effective July 1, 2021. The Airport Authority serves as an advisory board to the Council of Commissioners regarding the operation, regulation and promotion of Siler Municipal Airport City and to establish a framework to be used to coordinate local, state and federal efforts to this end. The focus will be on providing the basic facilities essential to attract and encourage healthy growth of Siler City Municipal Airport, as a tool for overall economic growth. The authority meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the airport.

Parks and Recreation Committee

The Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has a vacancy for a member with no residential requirements. The committee makes recommendations to the Council of Commissioners for the establishment of a supervised recreation system for the city.

All positions are advisory in nature and are unpaid.

Interested persons should submit a letter of interest to City Clerk Jenifer Johnson Town of Siler City, Post Office Box 769, Siler City, NC, 311 N. Second Avenue, or [email protected] no later than July 31.

The letter of interest should include: home address, phone number, email address, education, current job, civic engagement, reasons you want to serve and any other information that you think is relevant.

– CN + R staff reports

Cárdenas to share experiences

Dr Virginia Cárdenas will discuss her personal journey as a Latin American teacher, principal and administrator of public schools in a virtual conference at 6 p.m. Friday.

Entitled “Tracing the Latino Experience in Chatham County Schools: The Personal Journey of a Latina Educator,” the presentation will cover the successes, failures, barriers to equivalent education, and lessons learned enabling Chatham and other counties to improve educational opportunities for Latino students.

Cárdenas began her career as a teacher in Chatham County schools, then was director of the Magnet School Assistance Program for Wake County Public Schools. As a teacher, principal and school administrator, she has strived to provide all children with a quality education that lays the foundation for success and global citizenship.

Cárdenas is now a retired educator with a master’s degree in educational administration and a doctorate in school management from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is chair of the UNC alumni committee on racial and ethnic diversity and past chair of the ACRED Latina / o subcommittee.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required and is available at

RAFI-USA announces ‘Come To The Table’ speakers

PITTSBORO – The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) has announced that Natalie Baszile and Dr Norbert Wilson will deliver keynote addresses at the Come to the Table (CTTT) 2022 conference.

With financial support from The Duke Endowment, the conference will be held March 15-16 in Greenville, NC at the Greenville Convention Center. In addition to presentations by Baszile and Norbert Wilson, the conference will include workshops, panels, networking sessions and a farmers market.

Edna Rodriguez, Executive Director of RAFI-USA, said that for nearly 15 years, Come to the Table has brought together religious leaders, farmers and food system advocates to learn together and inspire each other to action.

“We are excited about the perspectives that Natalie Baszile and Dr. Norbert Wilson will bring to the CTTT community at this upcoming conference,” she said.

Baszile is the award-winning author of “We Are Each Other’s Harvest” and “Queen Sugar”, the latter of which was adapted for television and was produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay. Her non-fiction work has appeared in The Bitter Southerner, Lenny Letter, The Best Women’s Travel Writing, and other anthologies. The Southern California native is also a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Cave.

Wilson is a professor of food, economics, and community at Duke Divinity School and is an ordained professional deacon in the Episcopal Church of the United States. His research focuses on issues of food waste, access and choice, and his work has been featured in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Public Health, among other publications. Prior to joining Duke, Wilson was Professor of Agricultural Economics at Auburn University from 1999 to 2016.

The theme of the 2022 conference is “Spirit, Power and Connection: Own Our Food Future”. Throughout the conference, participants will explore the role of connection and agency as crucial steps in building a just and sustainable food system. The conference strives to bring together a diverse set of religious and lay leaders, farmers and agricultural market managers, as well as community organizers and advocates.

Registration for the conference will open on Wednesday December 1 and a request for workshop proposals will be announced on Wednesday July 14. To receive future announcements regarding the CTTT 2022 conference, join our mailing list at / JoinEmailCTTT.

Chatham County 4-H offers virtual summer camps

PITTSBORO – Chatham County 4-H is offering two free virtual programs for kids this summer. The first event, Food Around the World, will be held July 6-10. The next event, Cloverbud Puppet Masters, will take place on August 4th.

Food Around the World is a virtual camp designed for kids in Kindergarten to Grade 12 to learn about foods and cultures from around the world. Young people with intermediate cooking experience will be able to visit Greece, India, South America, Japan and Italy virtually from the comfort of their own kitchen.

Cloverbud Puppet Masters is a virtual camp for 5-7 year olds. Campers will need duct tape, glue, scissors, markers, pencils, pencils and pens for this activity. All other materials will be provided to participants so that they can make their own puppet. Participants must wear clothes that they do not hesitate to wear. Web cameras must be on to verify an adult is present, and those who do not meet the requirements will be removed from the activity.

Adult supervision is required for both programs. To register for these events, individuals can register online at Those who have questions or need assistance can contact Liz Mauney at 919-542-8257 or [email protected]

4-H is the largest youth development organization in North Carolina, educating hundreds of thousands of young people each year. NC Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program develops the next generation of leaders and equips young people with the skills to succeed.

Mexican restaurant Compadres to meet with Franklin Gomez Flores on Tuesday

SILER CITY – The Hispanic Liaison plans to offer “Latinxs” the opportunity to meet Chatham County’s first Latino Commissioner at Mexican restaurant Compadres on Tuesday, June 29.

The event – or “Latinx Social Network” gathering – will begin at 6 pm. Free aperitifs will be provided to those who attend. The Compadres Mexican Restaurant is located at 115 Siler Crossing.

“Come meet other Latinx who have made their home in Siler City and Chatham County,” staff wrote on the Hispanic Liaison Facebook page in an article on the event. “Getting together is a great way to build your network and build our community. Invite your friends over and come hang out with other members of the Latinx community.

The rally is also the “perfect opportunity” to learn more about the influence of county commissioners’ decisions on the lives of residents, staff wrote. Chatham’s first Latino Commissioner Franklin Gomez Flores will be in attendance. Juror last December, Gomez Flores represents District 5, which includes part of Siler City.

“Don’t feel intimidated that he’s a commissioner,” the staff wrote. “He’s just a member of the Latino community who grew up in Siler City!”

The event will be held outdoors, although the liaison advises all attendees to follow CDC guidelines. For more information, call the Hispanic Liaison at 919-742-1448 and ask for Maria Gomez Flores, the association’s advocacy and civic engagement program manager.

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