Welcome to E-News
The Town of Wake Forest is pleased to present the February 2015 edition of E-News.
You can receive an email notification within minutes of E-News' online publication by clicking on the 'Sign up for E-News' button (shown right), entering your email address and checking the E-News option. When you sign up for E-News, you'll also have the opportunity to sign up to receive a variety of other email announcements on a variety of topics through our E-Notifier subscription service.
Mardi Gras Street Festival Feb. 14
The Town of Wake Forest will showcase its charming downtown on Saturday, Feb. 14, during the Wake Forest Mardi Gras Street Festival. This family-friendly celebration is scheduled from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m. and admission is free.
Promising fun-filled activities for both children and adults, the Mardi Gras Street Festival will include face painters, strolling entertainers, live music, an inflatable playground, special contests and much more. Several participating downtown merchants will also offer special discounts and activities throughout the day.
One of the day’s highlights promises to be the Mardi Gras Walking Parade. The lineup will begin at 12:45 p.m. in town hall’s Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St., and the parade gets underway at 1 p.m. The parade route will extend from town hall, up East Owen Avenue, and north along South White Street before ending at the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St.
The walking parade is open to both children and adults. No pre-registration is required; however, all children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Youngsters are invited to walk, roller skate, ride their bicycles or be pulled along in a wagon. Participation is free, but bicyclists must wear their helmets.
Parade participants are encouraged to flex their creative muscles by decorating their bicycles and wagons, dressing up in their best Mardi Gras garb and wearing a mask. Awards will be presented for “Best Decorated Wagon, Cart, Bicycle or Stroller,” “Best Costume,” and “Most Festive Family.”
Free face painting will be offered in the town hall lobby from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and in the Depot Parking Lot from 2-4 p.m.
Cougar March & Community Celebration Feb. 14
The Town of Wake Forest is inviting area residents to a special community celebration in honor of the 2014 Wake Forest High School football team on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 4 p.m. The event is designed to recognize the team for its consistency on the field and demonstrate the collective sense of pride shared by the Wake Forest community. The occasion will also offer a fitting close to this year’s Mardi Gras Street Festival.
Last season the Cougars advanced to the 4AA state championship game in Winston-Salem. Although the team lost to Charlotte’s Mallard Creek, the team’s championship appearance marked the third time in five seasons the Cougars advanced to the finals as the 4AA eastern regional champions.
The celebration will begin with a “Cougar March” from the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St., to Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St. The Wake Forest High School Marching Band and the Wake Forest High School cheerleaders will lead the procession followed by the members of the football team.
The Wake Forest community, including fans, family members and supporters of the team, are encouraged to line South White Street and Owen Avenue to cheer the squad as it makes its way from the Depot Parking Lot to town hall.
Tickets on Sale for
2015 State of the Town Address & Dinner
Mayor Vivian Jones will deliver her 2015 State of the Town Address on Monday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m., during the Seventh Annual State of the Town Address and Dinner. Presented by the Wake Forest Rotary Club, the event will be held at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.
During her remarks, Mayor Jones will highlight the town’s key accomplishments in 2014 and outline the goals Wake Forest will strive towards in 2015.
All area residents are invited to attend this special event. Tickets are $15 per person in advance and $20 on the day of the event and include a catered meal. Dress for the event is business casual.
Tickets can be purchased online with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card at www.wakeforestnc.gov/state-of-the-town.aspx. Tickets may also be purchased at the Renaissance Centre Box Office with cash, check or credit card. A $2.95 processing fee will be added to the cost of any ticket purchased with a credit card.
Mayor Jones’ State of the Town Address will be recorded and replayed on Wake Forest TV 10 throughout March. It will also be available in streaming video on the town’s website at www.wakeforestnc.gov.
PLEASE NOTE: Anyone not interested in eating dinner is welcome to attend the State of the Town address without purchasing a ticket. However, non-ticket buyers should arrive between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. at the conclusion of the dinner portion of the program. The mayor's address is expected to begin between 6:45 and 7 p.m.
Wake Forest History to be the focus of
Special Writer's Night in the Forest Feb. 26
Wake Forest will celebrate its 106th anniversary in February. Since its founding in 1909, the town has grown from a small college town to a thriving community with over 37,000 residents. On Thursday, Feb. 26, the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre will host a free community event to celebrate the town’s history and recognize the men and women who established the Wake Forest community, as well as its culture and destiny.
The event titled “Writer’s Night in the Forest - Exploring the History of Wake Forest” will feature a panel of guests including Carol Pelosi, author of “Connections: 100 Years of Wake Forest History.” Other panelists will include Ed Morris, Executive Director of the Wake Forest Historical Museum; Chip Russell, Wake Forest Planning Director; Durward Matheny, long-time Wake Forest resident; and Roy Lynam, Mill Village resident.
Suzanne Lucey, host of the Renaissance Centre’s “Writer’s Night in the Forest” series, will moderate the discussion at the Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.
While tracing Wake Forest’s remarkable history from its early beginnings to today, panelists will share interesting trivia and humorous anecdotes about the town and some of its more prominent citizens.
Most people know golfing legend Arnold Palmer attended Wake Forest College when the college was still here in Wake Forest. But Palmer would have never gone on to become one of golf’s all-time greats had he taken the advice of a friend and member of the football team who once told him, “There’s no future in golf, so come play football.”
That’s just one of the many stories that will be discussed, along with many others, including tales about the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, the first cataract surgery performed in the United States - that just so happened to take place in Wake Forest, the fires of the 1930s, the departure of the college in 1956 and much more.
The free event will include a reception and historical exhibit from 6:30-7 p.m. followed by the program from 7-8:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with a short question and answer session and a book signing by Ms. Pelosi.
Wake Forest unveils "Operation Bridge Exchange" website
The N.C. Department of Transportation has scheduled four bridge replacement projects in the Wake Forest area from January 2015 through August 2016. The four bridges are located along the following roads:
The Town of Wake Forest has named the four bridge replacement projects "Operation Bridge Exchange" or OBE. To help keep area drivers informed about these initiatives, the town has created a bridge replacement projects portal on its website. The OBE website is designed to connect area residents with comprehensive information about each of the four projects, including timelines, project maps and detours. By providing all of the information in one convenient location, the town aims to help reduce the impact of these projects on those who live in and travel through the affected areas.
Purnell Road Bridge Replacement
scheduled to begin Feb. 23
Work is scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 23, at 7 a.m. on a N.C. Department of Transportation project to replace the bridge on Purnell Road that spans Horse Creek. A message board announcing the closure will be set up on site beginning Monday, Feb. 9.
The Purnell Road Bridge is considered structurally deficient and functionally obsolete, which means that although the structure remains safe to use, it has required constant repairs and should be replaced. In addition, the bridge was built to design standards that are no longer in use.
The closure, which is expected to last until June or July 2015, will send the motorists who use the bridge onto a signed detour route using Capital Boulevard, Jenkins Road and Thompson Mill Road.
Town Manager Mark Williams announces retirement
After a remarkable three decades of service to the Town of Wake Forest, Town Manager Mark Williams has announced he will retire effective May 1, 2015.
Williams’ retirement will cap a 36-year career in public service, the last 22 as Wake Forest Town Manager.
Williams informed the board of commissioners of his intentions on Dec. 16 and broke the news to town staff the following day.
“Mark is leaving huge shoes to fill,” said Mayor Vivian Jones. “He has earned the respect and admiration of town staff and our entire community. We will all certainly miss him and the steady leadership he has provided.”
A Raleigh native and N.C. State graduate, Williams began his career in public service in 1979 in the Town of Henderson, NC. Four years later he came to work in Wake Forest as the town’s parks and recreation director. In 1987 Williams was named assistant town manager, and in 1993 he was appointed town manager.
In a profession marked by high turnover rates and little job stability (the average tenure is approximately five years), Williams has held the position through three US presidencies, four North Carolina governorships, four Wake Forest mayors and dozens of town commissioners.
Special Needs Valentine Party Feb. 7
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will host a Special Needs Valentine Party on Saturday, Feb. 7, from 6-8 p.m. at the Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Ave. Featuring music, crafts, games, refreshments and prizes, this event will offer exceptional children and their families the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a safe and accepting environment.
The cost is $10 per child but parents and caretakers are admitted free. Pre-registration is required. To register, visit http://wakeforestnc.recdesk.com/. For more information about the Special Needs Valentine Party, contact Recreation Program Superintendent Monica Lileton at 919-435-9563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valentine's Princess Boutique & Ball Feb. 14
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will host two sessions of a “Valentine’s Princess Boutique & Ball” on Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Wake Forest Community House, 133 W. Owen Ave. The programs are scheduled from 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m.
All Wake Forest-area princesses ages 3-7 are invited to celebrate Valentine’s Day with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and come dressed in their favorite princess ball gown. Upon arrival, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty will treat the girls to a mini boutique, including hair, nails and make-up, in preparation for the ball.
Bright Star Touring Theater presents
"George Washington Carver & Friends” Feb. 7
Bright Star Touring Theatre, a national professional touring theatre company based in Asheville, NC, will offer a free performance of “George Washington Carver & Friends” on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Alston-Massenburg Center, 416 N. Taylor St. Showtime is 1 p.m.
All Wake Forest-area youth are invited to attend the performance as George Washington Carver leads the audience on a fast-paced and hilarious introduction to some of the most influential African-Americans of the last 150 years. Booker T. Washington, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall and Madame C.J. Walker are just a few of the inspirational stories brought to life in this empowering production.
Register now for Adult Pickleball
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is pleased to announce the creation of an Adult Pickleball League. Considered one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping pong. The sport is played on a badminton-sized court with a plastic ball and paddle.
Registration for the new league is underway, but space is limited to the first 48 registrants. The entry fee is $35 per person, and the league is limited to participants ages 18 and older. Online registration is available at http://wakeforestnc.recdesk.com/. To register in person, visit the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., or the Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N. White St.
Youth Baseball, Softball & T-Ball registration
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department will accept applications for youth baseball, softball and T-ball for boys ages 5-17 and girls ages 5-15 from Sunday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 28. A participant’s eligibility is determined by his or her age on April 30, 2015, and a birth certificate is required for new participants. The fee is $40 for Wake Forest residents and $80 for non-residents. Online registration will be available beginning Feb. 1 at www.wakeforestnc.gov/youth-athletics.aspx. Team placement and draft information, along with additional registration information and league rules, will also be available online and at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.
Dream League Baseball registration is underway
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department will accept Dream League Baseball applications from special needs children ages five and older from Sunday, Feb. 1, through Saturday, Feb. 28. Designed for both boys and girls, the adaptive baseball league will operate on Saturday mornings from late-April through early-June. All Dream League participants must be at least five years old. A player’s eligibility is determined by his or her age on April 30, 2015, and a birth certificate is required for new participants. The fee is $40 for Wake Forest residents and $80 for non-residents. Online registration will be available beginning Feb. 1 at www.wakeforestnc.gov/dream-league-baseball.aspx. Registration information and league rules will also be available Feb. 1 online and at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St.
Adult Men's Spring Softball League registration
Registration for the Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department’s Adult Men’s Spring Softball League will begin Sunday, Feb. 1, and run through Saturday, Feb. 28. League play is scheduled to begin the week of March 16, and games will be played primarily on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Beginning Feb. 1, registration forms will be available at the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., and online at www.wakeforestnc.gov/adult-athletics.aspx. The entry fee is $550 per team, and the league is limited to Class E teams and lower.
Town & Police partner with Nextdoor
The Town of Wake Forest and the Wake Forest Police Department announced today a partnership with Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), the free and private social network for neighborhoods. The integration with Nextdoor will enable the town and the police department to connect directly with residents in Wake Forest neighborhoods in a collaborative attempt to build safer communities, develop stronger relationships and strengthen virtual neighborhood watch efforts.
Free for both Wake Forest residents and the town, Nextdoor allows neighborhoods to establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor websites. Residents who join their neighborhood websites can share information about neighborhood public safety issues, community events and activities, local services and more. Nextdoor also allows the town and the police department to post news advisories and emergency notifications and announcements about programs, services and special events to Nextdoor websites within Wake Forest.
Urban Forestry Board has openings
You can make a difference in our community by applying to fill one of the vacancies on the Urban Forestry Board (UFB). Residents of Wake Forest and its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) may apply for one of the two openings on the UFB.
The town’s advisory boards were established to give citizens input into what happens in the community and to advise the board of commissioners on matters that affect citizens and their town government. Completed applications are being and may be mailed or delivered to Town Clerk Deeda Harris, Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest, NC 27587 or faxed to 919-435-9419.
Blasting & excavation operations underway on SCSSI Project
The City of Raleigh and Park Construction of NC, Inc., have begun blasting and excavation operations in the vicinity of the Smith Creek Greenway as part of the Smith Creek Interceptor Improvement Project (SCIIP). Residents who live near the Smith Creek Greenway are advised that blasting will continue for several weeks. The blasting operations are expected to produce loud noises, but residents should not be alarmed.
The greenway is situated between Burlington Mills Road and the City of Raleigh Wastewater Treatment Plant - just off Ligon Mill Road.
Lower water & sewer rates now in effect
Nine years after the Town of Wake Forest and the City of Raleigh merged their water and sewer systems, most Wake Forest residents will soon be paying lower water and sewer rates. According to the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Department (CORPUD), the lower rates will take effect Dec. 1 when all the costs related to the 2005 merger are paid off. When that happens, Wake Forest customers will be switched to the same water and sewer rates as Raleigh, Garner and Rolesville customers.
CORPUD officials expect Wake Forest residential water and sewer customers to enjoy a monthly savings of $8 to $15.
To assist customers in preparing their budgets for the new rate schedule, CORPUD has introduced a rate calculator on its website. A link to the calculator is also provided on the town’s website at www.wakeforestnc.gov/water.aspx. The calculator allows customers to input their monthly consumption and meter size and receive an estimate of the amount they can expect to pay once the new rates take effect.
Wake Forest customers will note a few differences between their current rate schedule and the new rates, including a tiered-rate structure for water consumption for single-meter residential customers, an administration fee that increases based on meter size and the addition of a Watershed Protection charge. Non-residential customers with meters larger than 5/8” will likely see an increase in their monthly bill since the administration fee is based on meter size.
Greenway projects underway
Work is underway on two projects that will impact Wake Forest’s greenway system for the foreseeable future. On Nov. 3 the City of Raleigh and Park Construction of NC, Inc., began construction on the Smith Creek Interceptor Improvement Project (SCIIP), while a contractor hired by the town started work repairing the Richland Creek Greenway.
Located entirely within the Town of Wake Forest service area, the SCIIP will install a new 30-inch sewer line of the Smith Creek Sanitary Sewer Interceptor (SCSSI) from the Smith Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant to Lagerfeld Road. The initiative will also install a 24-inch line of the SCSSI from Lagerfeld Road to Heritage Height, and a 16-inch line from Heritage Height to Franklin Street.
The project will affect portions of the Town of Wake Forest Greenway System including the section of the Smith Creek Greenway from Burlington Mills Road to the Neuse River Bridge and Dunn Creek Greenway near Heritage Lake Road. These areas will be closed during periods of construction.
Signs announcing the Smith Creek Greenway closure are posted at the trail’s Burlington Mills entrance and atop the Neuse River Connector. Signage describing the Dunn Creek Greenway closure will be posted at the Smith Creek Soccer Center. Area residents are strongly urged to obey the posted signage and avoid these areas during periods of construction.
According to the current project schedule, the Smith Creek Greenway is expected to reopen in late spring 2015. The City of Raleigh has not announced when work will begin in the area of the Dunn Creek Greenway.
The Richland Creek Greenway, which begins at the Cottage at Olde Mill Stream, 901 Barnford Mill Road, has been closed for over a year due to potential safety risks associated with severe stream bank erosion and greenway undermining.
Since the greenway’s closure Wake Forest has been coordinating with the US Army Corps of Engineers and the NC Division of Water Resources to relocate or repair the greenway.
The current effort to stabilize the stream banks and reopen the trail will involve relocating approximately 250 linear feet of Richland Creek away from the greenway trail and sewer lines. The plan also calls for the addition of log vanes to redirect the water flow as a means of reducing water velocities.
Weather permitting, the trail could re-open as early as mid-December.
Flag-Raising Committee seeks names of deceased Wake Forest veterans
The Town of Wake Forest recently joined with several local veterans’ organizations to introduce a monthly flag-raising ceremony honoring the sacrifices of deceased Wake Forest veterans and their families.The observances began on Oct. 6 with a service honoring Walter Ervin Cole, followed on Nov. 3 with a ceremony in honor of Benny Charles Jackson.
A committee comprised of representatives from American Legion Post 187, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 187, VFW Post 8466, the Wake Forest Purple Heart Foundation, Marine Corps League 1257, the Wake Forest High School JROTC and the Town of Wake Forest is soliciting the names of deceased Wake Forest veterans who may be honored during future flag-raising ceremonies.
To be eligible for consideration, the deceased veteran must meet one of the following criteria: 1) joined active duty in Wake Forest; 2) died in Wake Forest; or 3) was a member of a Wake Forest veterans’ organization.
Friends or family members of deceased veterans who meet at least one of these criteria are urged to contact the Wake Forest Memorial Flag-Raising Committee Chair Dennis Mecum at 919-327-7887.
Two vehicle electric charging stations installed at town hall
The Town of Wake Forest has installed two new charging stations for electric vehicles in the public parking lot in front of town hall, 301 S. Brooks St. The charging stations are available for electric vehicle owners to use at no cost.
Wake Forest obtained the new stations thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) in conjunction with the NC State University Solar Center.
According to Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell, the availability of electric charging stations is especially vital as greater numbers of electric cars take to our streets and highways.
“As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, the accessibility of electric charging stations in public places gives communities an economic and environmental one-two punch,” said O’Donnell. “First, these stations provide drivers an incentive to come into town where they can easily charge up while shopping, sightseeing or dining - and ultimately drive longer distances. Second, because electric cars don’t pollute as much as gas-powered cars, they’re much better for our state’s overall air quality.”
For more information, contact O’Donnell at 919-435-9412 or email@example.com.
Loose leaf collection
The Town of Wake Forest’s annual loose leaf collection program is underway and will continue through mid-March. When preparing leaves for collections, residents are urged to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Rake leaves into piles behind the curb so they do not interfere with traffic or drainage.
- Do not mix sticks, rocks, pine cones, limbs or other debris with loose leaves. The town’s vacuum equipment is only designed to pick up loose leaves. Your cooperation will help prevent mechanical breakdowns and collection delays.
- Place limbs and brush behind the curb in a pile separate from leaves. Limbs and brush larger than one inch but smaller than six inches in diameter must be no longer than six feet. Limbs and logs larger than six inches in diameter must not exceed two feet in length. Logs must not exceed 10 inches in diameter.
- Keep brush away from other objects such as, fences, walls, water meters, utility poles, mailboxes, fire hydrants and cars.
Wake Forest limits the amount of yard waste and leaves it collects weekly at each residence to four cubic yards (approximately one pickup truck load), so residents are urged to plan their cleanup accordingly. The town does not collect stumps or clearing debris from lots and will not pick up debris placed at the curb by private contractors.
Leaf collection is performed weekly according to the town’s yard waste collection schedule, but the schedule may be affected by leaf volume and weather conditions.
Beware of phone scams by IRS impersonators
The Wake Forest Police Department has received reports of attempted fraud committed by persons impersonating IRS investigators. Callers claiming to be from the IRS tell intended victims they owe taxes and must pay using a pre-paid debit card or wire transfer. The scammers threaten those who refuse to pay with arrest, deportation or loss of a business or driver’s license.
Potential phone scam victims may be told they owe money that must be paid immediately to the IRS or they are entitled to big refunds. When unsuccessful the first time, sometimes phone scammers call back trying a new strategy.
It is important for taxpayers to know that the IRS:
- Never asks for credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone.
- Never insists that taxpayers use a specific payment method to pay tax obligations
- Never requests immediate payment over the telephone and will not take enforcement action immediately following a phone conversation. Taxpayers usually receive prior notification of IRS enforcement action involving IRS tax liens or levies.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment, here’s what to do:
- If you owe federal taxes, or think you might owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS workers can help you with your payment questions.
- If you don’t owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484.
- You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments in your complaint.
Be alert for phone and email scams that use the IRS name. The IRS will never request personal or financial information by email, texting or any social media.The IRS also does not ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information for credit card, bank or other financial accounts. Recipients should not open any attachments or click on any links contained in the message. Instead, forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you believe that you are a victim of this type of crime, report it to the Wake Forest Police Department at 919-554-6150.