WRAL Listens to Residents in Orange County

WRAL Listens to Residents in Orange County

WRAListens Orange County
WRAListens Orange County will air on WRAL-TV on Wednesday, June 8th at 7:30pm.

WRAL-TV recently visited Orange County to give viewers a chance to talk to station representatives about the issues and concerns in their community. The latest in the WRAListens tour, the stop in Orange County, was recorded in Hillsborough on Wednesday, May 25, 2005, at the historic Burwell School.

Host and former WRAL-TV Anchor Charlie Gaddy interviewed the Editor of the Chapel Hill News, a community volunteer, a co-director of Empowerment, Inc. which helps people buy property, start businesses and not get squeezed out by commercial building. Also on the panel was a Special Projects Planner for Orange County, the executive director of Orange Community Housing and Land Trust, a founding member of El Centro Latino, and an Orange County farmer.

WRAListens Orange County
Participants talked about issues from property values to tax revenue to the school systems.

Burwell School
WRAL taped the Orange County WRAListens at the Burwell School in Hillsborough.

Farmer Bob Strayhorn told Gaddy that farming is fast disappearing in the county, and as political power gets more centralized in Chapel Hill-Carrboro, the concerns of rural residents are going unheard. Strayhorn said 60% of the voters in the county live in Chapel Hill.

Property values are going through the roof, making it much harder for lower and middle income families to buy homes in the area, commented panelists. There is also a lot of pressure on the rental market from students at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The panelists also discussed the perception that it is difficult for business to develop in the county because of an effort to slow growth and protect the environment. This means a lot of the county’s tax revenue is coming from homeowners, rather than commercial property.

WRAListens Orange County
A variety of panelists representing Orange County came to the Burwell School for the taping.
WRAListens Orange County
Panelists discussed a variety of issues with WRAL-TV’s Charlie Gaddy as moderator.

And they focused on the concern that there are two different school systems, with the Orange County schools not getting the funding Chapel Hill-Carrboro does. The panelists say more needs to be done to put more resources in county schools.

WRAListens to Orange County will air Wednesday, June 8th at 7:30pm on WRAL-TV. The half-hour program will also air on WRAL-FM at 6:30am on Sunday, June 12th.

Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Clarence Williams & NCNN’s Ellen Reinhardt for the information in this capcom story & to WRAL-TV’s Bill Burch for these capcom photos.

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