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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


Capstone visit to 100-county tour Oct. 16, 1997

Hooker, Orange officials to tour bus facility, school, alternative dairy farm, emergency center, Indian village

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Tentative schedule:

9:15 - 9:35 a.m. Chapel Hill Transit

1089 Airport Road, Chapel Hill

9:50 - 10:15 a.m., McDougle Middle School

900 Old Fayetteville Road, Carrboro

10:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m., Maple View Farm Milk Co.

3109 Dairyland Road, Hillsborough

11:15 a.m. - 11:35 a.m., Orange County Emergency Management Center

1914 New Hope Church Road, Chapel Hill

11:50 a.m. - 12:10 p.m., Occaneechi Indian Village site

Beside the Eno River near the courthouse complex, Hillsborough

12:20 p.m. - 12:40 p.m., Box lunches at Burwell School

North Churton St., Hillsborough

As a capstone to a successful 100-county tour of North Carolina completed in June, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Michael Hooker will visit six Orange County sites Wednesday (Oct. 22) as the guest of the county commissioners and Chairman Bill Crowther. Media representatives are invited to participate. Current plans include stops at the Chapel Hill Department of Transportation to focus on the relationship between UNC-CH and the transit system; the McDougle Middle School (tentative); the bottling plant and milk tasting operations at Maple View Farm Milk Co. off Dairyland Road; the Orange County Emergency Management Center just outside Chapel Hill; and the Occaneechi Village site, which involves UNC-CH researchers, in Hillsborough.

Crowther and commissioners invited Hooker to take the tour of Orange County sites last July as Hooker completed a yearlong tour of all 100 N.C. counties. The issue-oriented tour took Hooker to speak with civic, business and education groups in dozens of towns and cities. He visited classrooms, teachers, principals and superintendents as well as community colleges. Among the stops were Seymour Johnson

Air Force Base, N.C. Motor Speedway, and high- and low-tech manufacturing facilities. The goals: to reconnect the university with the people and learn first-hand about the economy and educational system. Hooker says the visits gave him a chance to ask for feedback on how UNC-CH can best serve the state. As the tour was winding down Gov. Jim Hunt named Hooker to serve as the state's representative on the 1998 Commission on the Future of the South, which will make recommendations to help guide the region into the 21st century.

Although he has participated in the life of Orange County as a UNC-CH undergraduate and since returning as chancellor in 1995, Hooker, a Virginia native, says he is anxious to learn more about the university's host county. In August, for example, the chancellor arranged for a well-attended “UNC Night” at the Orange County Speedway 14 miles north of Hillsborough on N.C. 57. Hooker rode in the pace car, toured the pit areas and kicked off the races with the traditional, “Gentlemen, start your engines.” Faculty and staff received special discounts on admission and sat in a special section of reserved seats. Next week, Hooker will visit sites determined in consultation with Crowther, the commissioners and other local officials.

At Chapel Hill Transit, transportation director Bob Godding, Town Manager Cal Horton and possibly other Town Council members will attend. The town built the transit headquarters on university property through a long-term, dollar-a-year lease agreement. UNC-CH, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are partners in the system, which relies on UNC-CH students and employees for most of its ridership.

Local public school teachers and UNC-CH education faculty learn together about technology at McDougle Middle School during weeklong SCOUT (Students Constructing their Own Understanding with Technology) camps held in summer months. The school also serves as the home of the Carrboro Public Library. The trip to the Maple View Farm Milk Co. will give Hooker the chance to see a local operation using alternative methods to stay afloat at a time when nearly 10 percent of the state's dairy farms are folding annually. The chancellor and others will taste fresh, hormone-free milk. The stop at the emergency center will allow the chancellor to see a facility considered to be a national model for managing emergency services. It is linked with UNC-CH for emergency calls.

In Hillsborough, Occaneechi-Saponi Chief John Blackfeather Jeffries will join UNC-CH anthropologists Vin Steponaitis, Trawick Ward and Steve Davis in showing Hooker and others the 17th-century Indian site being reconstructed by tribal members of the Occahneechi Band of the Saponi nation. The project combines the research, teaching and public service missions of UNC-CH's department of anthropology. Faculty excavated the original site in the 1980s and now provide technical assistance for the reconstruction. The site is the subject of a CD-ROM soon to the published by UNC Press as well as a teaching tool that anthropology professors have developed with a special technology grant offered by the chancellor. The tour concludes with box lunches at Burwell School, part of the historic district.

Call News Services for more about next week's visit, the 100-county tour or Hooker. Mike McFarland can be reached at (919) 962-2091; e-mail, or 216-2584, pager.

UNC-CH is the county's largest employer, with 9,422 workers. Carolina's 11,467 alumni living in Orange County comprise more than 10 percent of the county population. Other Carolina-Orange County facts are available from News Services and will be distributed on Wednesday.

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