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Unfortunately due to lack of community support, NC Online News will be closing 1/31/17. Specifically we would like to thank our previous affiliates The Washington Post, CNN and Creator Syndicate for all of their support.   We also sincerely thank those individuals and organizations that have stood behind what we were attempting to do for the community.  Our gratitude is extended to all of our wonderful staff members who have put their best work into the company. NCON will be exploring other business ventures so please stay tuned for what’s next on the horizon.

Students Graduate Sheriff’s Office Youth Leadership, G.R.E.A.T. Programs

Great Program

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office wants to congratulate each of the 206 students who successfully completed the Sheriff’s Office Youth Leadership Program and Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program during the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year.

 The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Youth Leadership Program, inspired by Sheriff Mike Roberson, is a program based upon the core values of the Sheriff’s Office, including: Fairness, Integrity, Teamwork, Leadership, Community, and Professionalism. The program emphasizes building strong communication and decision-making skills to help prepare today’s youth for future success. The 14-week program currently targets 7th graders within the Chatham County School System before they reach the prime age range for introduction into gangs and delinquent behavior.

The Youth Leadership Program also incorporates the G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education and Training) Program, which is an effective, evidence-based gang and violence prevention program built around school-based classroom curricula. G.R.E.A.T. is intended as immunization against delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership before they become at-risk. In Chatham County, each Youth Leadership and G.R.E.A.T. class is personally instructed by a Sheriff’s Office deputy, which also helps build positive relationships between students and law enforcement personnel.

 Participating schools include Chatham Charter School, Bonlee Elementary School, Silk Hope Elementary School, J.S. Waters Elementary School, Moncure Elementary School, and Bennett Elementary School.

A New Partnership Brings Joy to Child Victims


For the last 20 years, the North Carolina Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund (NC FFBCF) has been collecting donations on behalf of the children and families served by the NC Jaycee Burn Center. The proceeds earned are used to provide non-medical assistance to child burn victims as well as develop and implement burn prevention programs.

Last month, NC FFBCF and Lee County FFBCF President David Nance reached out to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office with a unique request.

“I asked if Sheriff Roberson would like to donate stress balls for the children to use during physical therapy,” Nance explained. “He immediately arranged a meeting with us.”

“The partnership was meant to be,” said Sheriff Mike Roberson. “David Nance saw us handing out our popular Sheriff’s Office ‘Stress Stars’ at a local Christmas parade and the pieces began falling into place. We are excited to be a part of this outreach.”

Nance’s team visited the NC Jaycee Burn Center the following week to provide a meal for patients, family, and staff. They also delivered donations and sang songs to patients.

“The most rewarding part of it all is seeing the smiling faces of children and their family members who are going through such a hard time,” added Nance. “It means a lot to us that we are able to make their day special.”

Oliver Smithies, Carolina’s First Nobel Laureate, Passes Away At 91

The Nobel Prize medals of Dr. Aziz Sancar (2015, Chemistry) and Dr.Oliver Smithies (2007, Physiology or Medicine) will be on display in the Walter Royal Davis Library  April 13, 2016
Chancellor Carol Folt, Dr. Sancar, Dr. Smithies, and University Librarian Sarah Michalak celebrate the achievements of Carolinaís Nobel Laureates and to inaugurate this special one-year exhibit.
(Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Dr. Oliver Smithies, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s first full-time faculty member to win a Nobel Prize and a world-renowned giant in the field of gene targeting, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 10, at UNC Hospitals after a short illness. He was 91.
Smithies, the School of Medicine’s Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2007 for his development of a technique called homologous recombination that introduced targeted genetic modifications to cells. He shared the prize with Mario Capecchi of the University of Utah’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Sir Martin Evans of the United Kingdom.

Smithies is survived by his wife, Dr. Nobuyo Maeda, Robert H. Wagner Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the School of Medicine. They joined the Carolina faculty in 1988.

“Oliver Smithies was such a loving, wonderful force for all things good in this world,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “Spending time with Oliver and Nobuyo has been one of the highlights of my tenure at Carolina. Every time I saw the two of them together, I was uplifted and inspired by their relationship, joyful attitude to life and generosity of spirit.”

Smithies’ work made possible the creation and use of “knockout mice,” which have contributed significantly to scientists’ understanding of how individual genes work. Knockout mice also have been used to study and model varieties of cancer, obesity, heart diseases and other diseases.  Smithies’ lab at UNC-Chapel Hill created the first animal model of cystic fibrosis in 1992.

Smithies was credited with many notable scientific achievements. Much earlier in his career, while working as a research scientist at the Connaught Medical Research Laboratory in Toronto, Canada, Smithies invented a process called starch gel electrophoresis, the immediate forerunner of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, a method still in use today.

Carolina colleagues praised Smithies’ generous spirit, as well as his remarkable discoveries that have – and will continue to have – beneficial effects on many scientific and medical disciplines.

“Our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Smithies, was a giant and a wonderful human being. The UNC School of Medicine is much the better for his time with us,” said Dr. William L. Roper, dean and Bondurant Professor, School of Medicine, and chief executive officer of UNC Health Care.

“Oliver was a truly remarkable person with a joy for life and science. His brilliance was paired with infectious enthusiasm that inspired everyone around him,” said Dr. J. Charles Jennette, Kenneth M. Brinkhous Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of pathology and laboratory medicine.

In 2015, Smithies helped lead the Carolina community’s celebration of Dr. Aziz Sancar’s Nobel Prize in chemistry. “It was an honor to have Dr. Smithies as my colleague and to have collaborated with him at UNC,” said Sancar, Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics. “He was a true scholar and a gentleman, an inspiration to all of us here and to scientists around the world. I feel especially lucky to have gotten to spend so much time with him over the past year due to our connection as UNC Nobel Prize recipients. I will miss him greatly.”

Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, said Smithies played a critical role in the University’s evolution into a world-leading scientific juggernaut. “While many people contributed to that progress, Oliver was one of the most important, by providing the example of research excellence,” Sharpless said. “His discoveries in gel electrophoresis and gene targeting inspired a generation of biologists, including me.”

Smithies and his fraternal twin brother, Roger, were born on June 23, 1925, in Halifax, England. Smithies’ childhood was happy but uneventful, except for a bout with rheumatic fever at age 7 that left him with a heart murmur. At the time, however, the condition was regarded as serious enough that he was not permitted to play sports until he was a teenager.

Smithies filled his hours by reading, a pastime encouraged by his mother, an English teacher at the local community college, and tinkering, building telescopes and radio sets, and helping his father, an insurance salesman, maintain the family car.

In 1943, he received a scholarship to Oxford University, where he briefly studied medicine before changing the concentration of his studies to physiology. He received his bachelor’s degree in physiology in 1946, and went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate in biochemistry from Oxford in 1951.

Smithies performed postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin before joining the Connaught Medical Research Laboratory, where he worked from 1952 until 1960. It was here that Smithies developed his starch gel electrophoresis technique. The high-resolution gels that Smithies created with his new method allowed researchers to study blood proteins much more effectively. Before this, scientists thought that blood plasma contained five different proteins. Smithies found 25 proteins in all and also determined that all people have very different mixtures of proteins in their blood.

Smithies returned to the University of Wisconsin in 1960, where he was one of the first scientists to physically separate a gene from the rest of the DNA of the human genome. In 1982, Smithies recorded in his notebook an experimental plan to modify specific genes. The method for targeted modifications in genes – gene engineering – that resulted from these experiments has become an indispensable part of the toolbox for experimental genetics, allowing researchers to understand the function of specific genes in physiology and pathology, and playing a key role in the development of new treatments for a variety of diseases.

When Smithies came to Chapel Hill, his research continued to use gene targeting to create animal models to study human diseases in order to better understand their cause and progression, and to help develop new modes of treatment. His most recent research focused on hypertension and kidney disease.

Until his passing, Smithies was still at the lab bench seven days a week, pursuing his research with the same enthusiasm that has animated his scientific career for more than 70 years. He was especially excited about a new project he planned on starting after the new year. In addition to his work, Smithies was an avid pilot and especially fond of gliding.

Last fall, the University launched the Oliver Smithies Research Archive website to make available to the world the 150-plus notebooks where Smithies meticulously recorded his notes daily. Smithies began the habit as a graduate student at Oxford, and his notebooks contain information about his research and other details of his life.

Plans to celebrate Smithies’ life are pending.

UNC-Chapel Hill Awarded $19 Million To Study Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center at Gillings School of Global Public Health’s has been awarded a five-year, $19 million contract from the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to conduct the next phase of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

The 30-year study, led now by Sonia Davis, professor of the practice of biostatistics, offers one of the most comprehensive looks on the causes of atherosclerosis, a growing global public health concern characterized by hardening of the arteries. In addition, the study will continue to look at cardiovascular risk factors, medical care and disease by race, gender, location and date – as well as collect new data.

“With more than three million new cases of atherosclerosis diagnosed every year in this country alone, as well as the life-changing impact of high medical costs that continue to grow, it is essential that researchers continue and expand their research studies,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “This funding will help UNC investigators extend their work that is already producing the high-quality and detailed information essential to better understanding this disease and developing new diagnosis, prevention and treatment regimens.”

In 1987, more than 15,000 participants from four communities – Forsyth County, N.C.; Jackson, Miss.; Minneapolis, Minn. and Washington County, Md. – were selected randomly and enrolled in the study. To date, the project has resulted in more than 1,800 published articles in peer-reviewed journals and continues to be a strong training ground for young investigators.

Over the next 30 years, investigators expanded research goals to characterize stages of heart failure, identify genetic and environmental factors leading to ventricular dysfunction and vascular stiffness and assessing longitudinal changes in pulmonary function, including identifying determinants of its decline.

“It’s impossible to define the center without acknowledging the atherosclerosis risk in communities study front and center,” Davis said. “It has been an honor to be the long-time data coordinating center for this highly impactful study. Now we are excited about the unprecedented opportunity the study provides us to assess prospectively mid-life risk factors of age-related conditions such as dementia.”

The sixth examination of the remaining living participants in the atherosclerosis study is currently underway and the new funding, by the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, supports a seventh examination that will begin in January 2018 and last 18 months.

The funding will allow investigators to collect data and new specimens and fund continued storage of all study specimens at three labs across the country: Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the universities of Minnesota and Texas Health Science Center at Houston. It also provides resources for a pilot study comparing the current manual surveillance process to a computerized process involving extraction of data from electronic health records.

“We’ve been part of valuable research that has continued over a long period and the study is still producing high-quality research, even after all this time,” said David Couper, clinical professor of biostatistics at the Gillings School, deputy director of the center and principal investigator of the coordinating center. “The cohort is such a valuable resource.”

Dates Revealed For Chatham County Training Academy For Residents


Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson has announced official dates for the new Sheriff’s Training Academy for Residents (S.T.A.R.) Program. The STAR Program is a 7-week, interactive program designed for citizens throughout Chatham County to learn more about the daily functions of the Sheriff’s Office. Participants will enjoy hands-on activities and relationship-building opportunities throughout the program.

 Each Tuesday from March 7 to April 18, STAR Program participants will meet in Pittsboro for classes from 6-9PM. Orientation will be held on March 7 at the Chatham County Justice Center located at 40 E Chatham Street, Pittsboro. A graduation ceremony will be held on April 18, 2017.

 “The STAR Program is a great way to meet and connect with Chatham County Sheriff’s Office command staff, unit supervisors, and fellow residents. It is also a window to learn more about the programs and services provided to citizens by the Sheriff’s Office,” says Sheriff Mike Roberson. “Participants will have the opportunity to ride along with a deputy, ask questions, explore law enforcement topics, and gain valuable experience. They will receive behind-the-scenes facility tours as well as practice crime scene processing and scenario-based training exercises in a safe, supportive environment.”

 Applicants must be at least 18 years old, consent to a criminal background check, and be in reasonably good health to take the optional walking tours. Interested individuals may pick up applications at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office during regular business hours or email to receive an electronic version. Downloadable forms are also available online at and

 Each class will consist of no more than 25 participants, so completed applications must be submitted as soon as possible. All applications will undergo a brief screening process and any application received beyond maximum capacity will be added to a waiting list.

 “We are looking forward to working closely with residents during this training program,” adds Sheriff Roberson. “I expect everyone involved to thoroughly enjoy this informative, interactive experience.”


Suspect In Asheboro Double Homicide Found In New Jersey, One Still Missing

Murder scene

On Sunday, January 01, 2017, at approximately 2:00 AM, officers with the Asheboro Police Department responded to 1211 Shana Lane in reference to a shooting. Officers arrived and found two victims at the scene suffering from gunshot wounds. Both victims, Quanta Guan McRae and Tony Lashuan McRae, were pronounced dead. A female also suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound and was treated at Randolph Hospital and released.

Detectives with the Asheboro Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division responded and assumed the investigation. Information gathered during the investigation led detectives to obtain arrest warrants for Rodney Jontae Patterson and Curtis E. Little for the offense of 1st Degree Murder. Both subjects remain at large.

Curtis Little has been arrested by the East Orange Police in New Jersey. There is no further information regarding extradition at this time.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact Det. Lorie Johnson at 336-626-1300, extension 312. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Rodney Patterson or Curtis Little should call 911.

Chatham Charter DECA Student Receives State Recognition

Carrington Tyson

Chatham Charter junior Carrington Tyson has been selected as a North Carolina DECA Diamond Student of the Month. Chatham Charter DECA advisor Ashley Wood nominated Tyson because of her hard work and dedication to the chapter. Tyson is also a chapter officer.

DECA is an association of marketing students that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools around the globe.

“North Carolina DECA is excited to recognize these outstanding members and all that they do for the program,” commented Pamela O’Brien, North Carolina DECA Advisor.

“Carrington has stepped up to the plate by organizing our first annual holiday bazaar. She has stepped out of her comfort zone contacting vendors, attending street fairs seeking vendors, and creating various advertisements to promote the event. Carrington has also encouraged others to join DECA, which has led to an increased membership this year. She is very passionate about DECA and wants everyone around her to know the benefits of DECA,” explained Wood.

Chatham County Couple Arrested for Child Abuse, Sexual Battery


In October 2015, the Chatham County Department of Social Services contacted the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office regarding allegations that Regis Leon Lindsey, 31, of 4112 Bay Doe Street, Ramseur, had sexually assaulted two children under the age of 12. The case was originally closed as unfounded, but new information led to the reopening of the case in 2016.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has since charged Regis Leon Lindsey, 31, of 4112 Bay Doe Street, Ramseur, with two counts of assault on a child under 12, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, and two counts of sexual battery. Investigators have also charged Lindsey’s girlfriend, Thomasine Meshell Taylor, 35, of 13015 NC HWY 902, Bear Creek, with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse.

\Taylor was arrested on December 9, 2016, and given a $5,000 unsecured bond. Lindsey was arrested on December 28, 2016, and given a $2,000 secured bond. They are each scheduled to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on January 23, 2017.


Regis Leon Lindsey, 31


Thomason Meshell Taylor, 35

Deputies Seize Drugs, Weapons, Cash In Siler City

Items Found On Mr Tyson

On January 3, Chatham County Sheriff’s Office personnel conducted a search of 240 Alex Watson Road, Siler City, and subsequently seized 304.3 grams of marijuana, three firearms and $1,497 in US currency. Investigators also collected scales, bags, and other paraphernalia from the residence.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has charged Andre Tyrone Alston, 44, of 240 Alex Watson Road, Siler City, with possession with intent to sell/deliver a schedule VI controlled substance, felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle/dwelling/place for a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Andre Tyrone Alston

Alston has been given a $50,000 secured bond and is scheduled to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on January 27, 2017.

UNC-Chapel Hill Researchers Use Light To Launch Drugs From Red Blood Cells


Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a breakthrough technique that uses light to activate a drug stored in circulating red blood cells so that it is released exactly when and where it is needed.

The work, led by Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor David Lawrence in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has profound implications for the field of drug delivery by using red blood cells to carry drugs and then using light to release them in precise locations. The technique, which overcomes a decades-long scientific hurdle, could drastically reduce the amount of a drug needed to treat disease and thus side effects.

“Using light to treat a disease site has a lot of benefits beyond the isn’t-that-cool factor,” said Lawrence, whose work is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. “Those benefits could include avoiding surgery and the risk of infection, making anesthesia unnecessary and allowing people to treat themselves by shining a light on a problem area, such as an arthritic knee.”

Lawrence and his team attached a drug molecule to vitamin B12 and loaded the compound into red blood cells, which can circulate for up to four months, providing a long-lasting reservoir of medicine that can be tapped as needed. They then demonstrated their ability to overcome a longtime technical hurdle: using long-wavelength light to penetrate deep enough into the body to break molecular bonds; in this case, the drug linked to vitamin B12.

Here’s the rub: Long-wavelength light can penetrate much more deeply into the body, but it doesn’t carry as much energy as short wavelength light, and cannot typically break molecular bonds. To activate the drug with long-wavelength light, Lawrence and his team had to figure out how to do it in a way that required less energy.

“That’s the trick, and that’s where we’ve been successful,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence’s team solved the energy problem by introducing a weak energy bond between vitamin B12 and the drug and then attached a fluorescent molecule to the bond. The fluorescent molecule acts as an antenna, capturing long wavelength light and using it to cut the bond between the drug and the vitamin carrier.

Lawrence pointed to some complex and deadly cancers where physicians might have a better chance of helping the patient if a wide array of anti-cancer agents could be used.

“The problem is when you start using four or five very toxic drugs you’re going to have intolerable side effects,” he said. “However, by focusing powerful drugs at a specific site, it may be possible to significantly reduce or eliminate the side effects that commonly accompany cancer chemotherapy.”

Lawrence has also created a company in partnership with UNC, Iris BioMed, to further develop the technology to be used in humans. Lawrence is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine.

Carolina’s MLK Celebration Week Begins Jan. 15


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, begins on Jan. 15. This year’s event, “Keeping the Faith: A Call to Press On,” features events dedicated to the intersection of diversity, inclusion and social justice, including keynote addresses by journalist and producer Soledad O’Brien and state Senator Valerie Foushee.

The annual MLK University/Community Banquet, MLK Day of Service 5K and the MLK Keynote Lecture and Awards Ceremony kick off the week of activities, which also includes discussions and performances focused on highlighting King’s legacy of service and social justice advocacy.

University/Community MLK Banquet with Senator Foushee

William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

Sunday, Jan. 15 – 5 p.m.

 The week begins with the 32nd annual University/Community Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation, hosted by the MLK University/Community Planning Corporation in partnership with UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. The Corporation is a non-profit group founded in 1993 that raises scholarship funds for high school students in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County and Carolina students who work to improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. Each year, the Corporation also honors citizens in “recognition of enduring service to humanity by word and by deed” through the Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Citizen Awards.

Senator Foushee will give the keynote at this annual banquet. Prior to becoming a North Carolina State Senator in 2013, Foushee was a member of the N.C. House of Representatives, chaired both the Board of Commissioners in Orange County and Board of Education for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School system and served in the Chapel Hill Police Department for 21 years.

Senator Valerie Foushee

 For additional information, contact MLK Celebrations co-coordinator Cameron Congleton at

“The Time is Now” Day of Service 5K Run

Starts at the Old Well (Cameron Avenue)

Monday, Jan. 16 – 7:30 a.m.

 On-site registration for the run begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Campus Y. In keeping with Dr. King’s lifelong commitment to bridge building, all funds raised by the run will be donated to the Faith Danielle Hedgepeth Scholarship, which celebrates and honors the life of this former student. A biology major, Hedgepeth’s goal was to become a pediatrician in the hopes of giving back to her community and the people of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe.

For additional information, contact MLK Celebrations Co-Coordinator Jackie Ceron-Hernandez at

MLK Keynote Lecture and Awards Ceremony with Soledad O’Brien

Memorial Hall

Tuesday, Jan. 17 – 7:30 p.m.

 Recipients of the University’s MLK Scholarship and Unsung Hero Awards will be recognized and a keynote address will be delivered by award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien.

Soledad O'Brien

In 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories. She is the originator of the highly successful documentary series “Black in America” and “Latino in America” and a contributor of programming to CNN, HBO Real Sports and Al Jazeera America. O’Brien and her husband also created the PowHERful Foundation to help provide disadvantaged young women access and success at college.

UNC Catalyst Initiative Aims To Create, Share Tools To Fight Rare Diseases


Freely giving researchers the tools and knowledge to tackle rare and orphaned diseases is the mission of UNC Catalyst, a new endeavor the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched with a $2 million grant from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. UNC Catalyst will provide patient groups and rare-disease organizations with the knowledge and research tools to train scientists to create new treatments.

“Science has cracked the human genome, but translating that knowledge into new medicines has been painfully slow,” said Bob Blouin, director of the Eshelman institute and dean of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “This is especially true for rare diseases, which suffer from a lack of visibility, resources and research expertise. UNC Catalyst will create and freely share the tools and the basic expertise currently missing in the study of many rare conditions.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, a rare or orphan disease in the U.S. affects fewer than 200,000 people. There are more than 6,800 rare diseases. Many are genetic, often caused by a single-gene mutation and include conditions such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease and muscular dystrophy.

Over the past decade, the DNA mutations associated with many rare diseases have been identified, but there has been little success moving from knowledge of the gene to a treatment. Other factors include a lack of high-quality research tools available for these diseases and too few researchers trained to work in the field.

UNC Catalyst will partner with the international Structural Genomics Consortium and rare disease groups, such as the Genetic Alliance, to recruit, train and fund research scientists. These scientists will create tools needed to study the physical effects these genetic mutations have on the body and create a framework for designing a new treatment. To magnify and accelerate the impact of this initiative, researchers across the globe will have unrestricted access to the research tools generated by UNC Catalyst.

“The hundreds of rare disease advocacy organizations in Genetic Alliance’s network will benefit greatly from this partnership,” said Sharon Terry, president and CEO of Genetic Alliance. “We have long worked for an open-science scalable approach to build research tools and support the necessary talent to accelerate solutions to ultimately ameliorate suffering in the millions of individuals affected by rare diseases. This answers that need, and we are delighted to work with these partners.”

Working in partnership with the Structural Genomics Consortium and Genetic Alliance, the UNC Catalyst for Rare Diseases will create a dedicated laboratory and data hub at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Help Needed to Identify At-Large Armed Robbery Suspects


Shortly before 1 PM this afternoon, two suspects entered the Seagroves Supply store located at 8321 HWY 751, Durham, and brandished a handgun while demanding money from the clerk.

The suspects are described as two males between 5’10” and 6’0” tall. They have facial hair and are approximately between 25-35 years old. Both suspects were captured on surveillance video.

The suspects left the store with an undisclosed amount of cash and headed north on HWY 751 in a burgundy, 4-door Ford passenger car. Anyone with information on the location or identity of the suspects should contact Investigator Meyer with the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office by calling 919-542-2911.


Dozens Of Commuters Injured When NYC Train Comes Off Track

A train derailment at Atlantic Terminal in New York City has caused some minor injuries, according to first reports.

A transit train went through a bumper block and came off the track at a New York station during Wednesday’s morning rush hour, the city’s fire department said.

The train had come to the end of the line at the Atlantic Terminal Station in Brooklyn, officials said, but crashed into a small room just beyond the end of the track. It is unclear how fast the train was going.

At least 103 people suffered injuries, the fire department said. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told reporters the person with the most significant injury was a woman with a possible broken leg.

Cuomo described it as a “relatively minor” accident and said it “wasn’t really a derailment.”

Two cars came off the track, and a piece of the rail pierced the bottom of one of those cars, said Dan Donoghue, a deputy assistant chief.

“It could have been quite a bit worse without a doubt,” Donoghue said. “We were fortunate. I don’t believe there was anyone in the room (that was struck).”

He estimated that 600 to 700 people were on the train.

The cause of the incident, on Long Island Rail Road Track 6, was not immediately clear. Fire officials deferred additional questions to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

MTA President Thomas Prendergast said there was some damage at the station but said everything should be running smoothly by afternoon rush hour.

One witness, who only wanted to be identified as Sophie, saw the aftermath of the incident from the platform. She posted a photo of a mangled train door with a window busted.

“I went onto the platform because the train I needed to board was on the track on the other side of the platform,” Sophie said.

“While on my train, I saw teams of firefighters and police rushing in to help. A few people were still on the train, and others who had gotten off were a little bruised but emotionally shaken,” she said. “A few people were crying and calling their loved ones. Dozens were trying to take photos.”

A man told CNN affiliate WCBS-TV he thought the train was going its regular speed but didn’t stop.

“People who were standing up to exit the train all toppled on top of each other,” said the man, identified only as David.

Other witnesses told CNN affiliates they thought the train was going too fast.

A train derailment at Atlantic Terminal in New York City has caused some minor injuries, according to first reports.

A train derailment at Atlantic Terminal in New York City has caused some minor injuries, according to first reports.

“Typically, when you’re coming into Atlantic Terminal, the train goes very slow. Today, I was saying to myself as we were coming in, it was going faster than usual,” an unidentified witness told WABC-TV. “And before you knew it, the impact and people were, like, flying. …”

A woman named Amanda told WCBS: “It was total chaos, there was smoke on the train and we were sitting there in shock.”

Federal Railroad Administration investigators are en route to the Brooklyn station, according to an agency spokesman.

In October, a Long Island Rail Road train derailment left 33 people injured. The first three carriages of the 12-car train derailed about half a mile east of the New Hyde Park station.

In that case, the train derailed after colliding with part of a work train running in the same direction on an adjacent track, Prendergast said.

A piece of equipment from the work train ended up “violating the clearance envelope of the other track,” he said.

A month earlier, a New Jersey Transit train plowed into a major station in Hoboken during the morning commute, killing at least one person and injuring more than 100 others. The cause of the crash remains under federal investigation.

Video Shows North Carolina School Officer Slamming Girl, 15, To Floor


A North Carolina high school is stunned after an 8-second cell phone video showed a school resource officer hoisting a girl into the air and body slamming her onto the floor.

The student, 15-year-old Jasmine Darwin, suffered a concussion, her mother Desiree Harrison told CNN affiliate WRAL

“That’s not how you handle a child,” Harrison said. “She’s only 100 pounds. He could’ve killed her.”

The video does not show what led up to the body slam at Rolesville High School’s cafeteria Tuesday morning, though police later said the officer was responding to two female students fighting.

“I, like many of you, am deeply concerned about what I saw in the video,” principal Dhedra Lassiter said.

The school resource officer, Ruben De Los Santos, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, the town of Rolesville said in a statement.

CNN has not been able to reach the officer for comment. Michelle Archer, president of the state’s Association of School Resource Officers, told CNN she was unaware of the incident and could not comment on it.

There is no standardized training program or manual for the state’s school resource officers, Archer said. She added that there is a training course offered through the North Carolina Justice Academy, but not every school resource officer is required to attend.

“We ask the community and all members involved to be patient while we investigate this matter,” Rolesville police Chief Bobby W. Langston II said Tuesday night, according to WRAL. He said no further information will be released until the investigation is completed.

The Rolesville Police Department has also asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to conduct a third-party review of the incident, the town’s statement said.

Meanwhile, Jasmine said she’s still stunned by the officer’s use of force.

“Every time I look at it, it’s embarrassing,” Jasmine told WRAL. “I didn’t even realize it happened. Like, I was in shock.”

Harrison said she’s also in disbelief.

“When I’m looking at this video, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, this cannot be happening to my child.'”

Staley Resident Caught with Meth, Stolen Property


On December 28, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina Highway Patrol responded to a single-vehicle accident off of Highway 421 near Gulf, NC. The driver, Justus Allred, 38, of 80 Irene Lane, Staley, was seen removing items from the vehicle and transporting them into some nearby woods. Deputies and troopers were able to recover these items from the wood line and seized the following: a stolen Ruger Mini 14 .223-caliber rifle, Ruger SR9c 9mm handgun, approximately 548 grams of Methamphetamine, 105 grams of Marijuana, drug paraphernalia, $3,823 in cash, and 8 cell phones.

Allred also consented to a search of his personal residence which resulted in the recovery of an ATV reported stolen from Randolph County as well as assorted work equipment.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office has charged Allred with: trafficking methamphetamine by transportation, trafficking methamphetamine by possession, possession with intent to sell/deliver methamphetamine, felony possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell/deliver marijuana, felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a vehicle/place/dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and chop shop activity by theft/fraud.


Allred was given a total bond of $280,000 and is scheduled to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on January 23, 2017.

UNC-Chapel Hill Launches Carolina Angel Network

UNC Chapel Hill

Startups are a crucial part of a dynamic economy, creating innovations and jobs, but they struggle to find funding from investors. The newly launched Carolina Angel Network (CAN), will close this gap by connecting alumni, faculty, students, donors and other members of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community with promising affiliated, early-stage, private companies to provide advice, networks and funding.

Carolina’s Office of the Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development spearheaded the initiative to address early-stage funding gaps for startups and to ensure the most promising innovative ideas make it to the marketplace.

A campus-wide effort developed over the last year, the network is also led by the vice chancellor’s office in partnership with Kenan-Flagler Business School and the School of Law, with assistance from the vice chancellors for finance and administration and development. Business and law students will learn how to conduct preliminary due diligence on companies.

“We continuously seek ways to bring greater social and economic benefit to the citizens of North Carolina and beyond and nurturing vital new startups is an important part of our entrepreneurial strategies,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “I am very pleased to see this funding vehicle created to address a major roadblock to building successful companies that will create breakthroughs in how we live our lives.”

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, startups backed by angel investors have a greater chance of survival and success, creating more jobs than other startups without this support system. The Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire reports that in 2015 angel investors committed a total of $24.6 billion to U.S. startups.

“As we accelerate innovation on campus and beyond, it’s our obligation to connect, support and cultivate our entrepreneurial community,” said Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development. “We are thrilled that Carolina Angel Network will serve as a catalyst and channel for empowering innovation and work closely with our other venture service programs, Carolina Kickstart, Launch Chapel Hill, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and the Carolina Research Venture Fund.”

The new network is positioned for success with oversight from key leaders widely known in the entrepreneurial community. Randy Myer, former entrepreneur, current angel investor and Kenan-Flagler professor, will serve as managing director. With more than 30 years experience as an investor and entrepreneur, he will lead a team that will manage deal flows – from pre-screening deals and performing preliminary due diligence to connecting founders and network members.

“The Carolina Angel Network is an amazing opportunity for its members to have a direct impact and influence on the success of UNC-Chapel Hill-affiliated startups,” said Myer. “What better way to harness the power of the entrepreneurial and investment community to vitalize our economy.”

Myer will work closely with a board of directors that includes both University and non-University members, including seasoned angel investors Lauren Whitehurst and Brian Bailey. Steve Lerner, an experienced entrepreneur, Carolina alumnus and former trustee, will serve as chair of the board.

The network expects to recruit more than 200 members over the next three years. To be considered for membership, applicants must be accredited investors and Carolina alumni, faculty, staff, parents or donors. For a company to be eligible for consideration, the venture must be affiliated with UNC, for-profit, meet minimum criteria and go through an extensive vetting process.

Carolina Angel Network anticipates closing a variety of deals in 2017 and beyond. To learn more visit the website or contact Randy Myer.

Suspects Wanted By Asheboro Police For Double Homicide


On Sunday, January 01, 2017, at approximately 2:00 AM, officers with the Asheboro Police Department responded to 1211 Shana Lane in reference to a shooting. Officers arrived and found two victims at the scene suffering from gunshot wounds. Both victims, Quanta Guan McRae and Tony Lashuan McRae, were pronounced dead. A female also suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound and was treated at Randolph Hospital and released.

Detectives with the Asheboro Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division responded and assumed the investigation. Information gathered during the investigation led detectives to obtain arrest warrants for Rodney Jontae Patterson and Curtis E. Little for the offense of 1st Degree Murder. Both subjects remain at large.

Anyone with information concerning this incident is asked to contact Det. Lorie Johnson at 336-626-1300, extension 312. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Rodney Patterson or Curtis Little should call 911.

Siler City Shooting Under Investigation, Man Arrested


On December 26, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a shooting near Summer Drive, Siler City. Investigators responded to speak to the victim, who had received a gunshot wound to the leg but was in stable condition.

Further investigation led to the arrest of Jamie Lamont Yarborough, 38, of 1322 Fairfax Street, Siler City. Yarborough is charged with attempted first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and communicating threats.

Yarborough is being held under a $250,000 secured bond is scheduled to appear in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on January 23, 2017.