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Kidzu Children's Museum is making efforts to reach out to the Latino community.As part of a new program funded by community organizations the museum has hired a bilingual outreach coordinator to make Kidzu more accessible to Latinos and low-income families said Executive Director Cathy Maris.The museum has hired Carol Osorio-Flores Hodgman for the new position. Hodgman is a native of Tegucigalpa Honduras. She said that Kidzu is a perfect match for her.Hodgman will serve as a liaison between Kidzu and partner organizations. She will host free events on Sundays for low-income families. She will also inform the Orange County community of the new services.The current exhibit at Kidzu" ""Kidzoom: The Power of Creativity"" is already presented in English and Spanish.The exhibit was created by professional and local designers, Maris said. The objective of the exhibit is to celebrate the community.Having free admission on Sundays is absolutely wonderful"" Terri Colburn said.Colburn traveled from Wake Forest on Sunday to bring her 4-year-old daughter to Kidzu.She said she chose to come to the museum on the free day as an alternative to the N.C. State Fair, because of the poor economy.Hodgman will also help to bring extra programs to the museum as a part of the free Sundays.Maris said this will be a good addition to the learning objectives of the museum.This is a good opportunity to combine play and learning" which is the essence of what we do at Kidzu" Maris said.This month, Kidzu offered free dental screenings and advice on raising healthy children, an event sponsored by the Orange County Partnership for Young Children.Hodgman has been living in the United States for six years, during which she has worked with various children's organizations.Free admission on Sundays is part of the grant proposal of the Early Learning Partners, funded by Durham Regional Hospital.We're really thrilled to have funding from the state"" Maris said.In November, the museum is going to host a program, again supported by Orange County Partnership for Young Children, that will offer information about looking for and affording childcare.What Kidzu learns from this new program will help it grow its services, Maris said.To be the best children's museum possible"" we need to make sure that we effectively are reaching all members of the community.""Contact La Colina desk email@example.com.
No new details from police on Friday armed robberies Chapel Hill police have not released any additional information about the two armed robberies that took place early Friday.The University's Emergency Warning Committee alerted the UNC community Friday afternoon about the two robberies which took place between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m.The e-mail was sent at about 5:30 p.m.One incident involved a student on Vance Street who was struck in the face and had a wallet cell phone and cash taken from him by two assailants. The other occurred on West Cameron Avenue where two students were robbed at gunpoint by one assailant.None of the students were seriously injured according to the e-mail.Town Council to discuss land applications Wallace DeckThe Chapel Hill Town Council will hold its regular business meeting at 7 p.m. at the at Chapel Hill Town Hall.Items on the council's agenda include:
Chapel Hill will hold the last event in the Locally Grown entertainment series tonight.
The Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and the Parks and Recreation Department presented the event twice already this summer. The event features local entertainment and family friendly activities.
"Locally Grown helps us promote downtown and gives people the chance to enjoy our businesses and everything the town has to offer," said Meg McGurk, assistant director of the Downtown Partnership.
Fire at Carrboro apartments causes property damage
A fire late Wednesday at a Carrboro independent living facility caused about $45,000 worth of damage.
A single sprinkler extinguished the bedroom fire at Carolina Springs Apartments on West Poplar Avenue, according to a press release from the Carrboro Fire-Rescue Department.
Crews evacuated the retirement home but later allowed everyone back into the building at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, except the occupants of the involved apartment and the apartment below it.
A downtown Chapel Hill parking deck could someday house Kidzu Children's Museum.
A study, recommended by the Chapel Hill Town Council and presented to a committee formed by Mayor Kevin Foy, indicated that building an addition atop East Rosemary Street's Wallace Deck could provide a permanent facility for the Franklin Street museum.
"The mayor's committee saw the first draft of our report on the structural soundness and feasibility of the Wallace Deck as a site for Kidzu and gave a very positive response," Kidzu Executive Director Cathy Maris said.
The growing pains are finished for Franklin Street's Kidzu Children's Museum.
After two years of renting other children's museums' exhibits while raising the money to create its own, Kidzu unveiled its first original exhibit July 11.
"This is a really momentous time for us as a children's museum," Kidzu Executive Director Cathy Maris said. "The rented children's exhibits really didn't reflect and show our community or our creativity."
Elegant decor in cyan and chocolate, walls accented with oval mirrors and a baby-grand piano adorn the lobby, bar and entrance to the Franklin Hotel.
And last month this 18-month-old addition to Franklin Street won the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce's 2007 Business Newcomer of the Year Award.
The award is given to a chamber-member business that is less than three years old and shows innovation, creativity and contribution to the community.
The Chapel Hill Town Council gave Kidzu Children's Museum encouragement Monday night when it rejected the staff recommendation to prevent its expansion to the Franklin Street post office.
The council instead voted to form a committee that will work with Kidzu officials to assess relocation possibilities.
Many of the council members expressed support for bringing Kidzu to the post office, rejecting the idea that the space could be better utilized by town offices and facilities.
Two-year-old Ivan Krivacka from Hillsborough had his first Kidzu Children's Museum experience Wednesday morning.
After an arts and crafts session and pressing different buttons to make Herald - the inflatable dragon - come to life, Ivan played with fire.
"I cooking apples!" he exclaimed to his grandmother, Joan Witt.
He threw a red plastic fruit into a bucket sitting atop the flickering pseudo-flame of an open stove.
"Yes, you are such a good cook," Witt replied with a smile as she helped him turn the handle of the nearby play rotisserie.
Shimmies, hip bumps, snake arms and temple arms were among the belly-dancing techniques five young girls and their instructor taught to a group of parents and visitors at Kidzu Children's Museum on Saturday.
The girls, ages 3 to 11, performed for about 25 audience members alongside instructor Terri Allred, stage name Sadiya, as part of Happy Hips Youth Oriental Dance Troupe.
Sadiya means "Happy" or "Lucky," Allred said.
Two downtown establishments designed to allow children to get creative are considering sharing a location in the future.
Leaders of Kidzu Museum and the Carrboro ArtsCenter have tentatively discussed pairing up in a building, but executive directors from both organizations emphasize that nothing is anywhere near being set in stone.
"The No. 1 priority of the ArtsCenter is to build a new ArtsCenter," Executive Director Jon Wilner said, adding that if the two nonprofits ultimately ended up housed together, it would be "the icing on the cake."
Sustainability was the focus of discussion at Wednesday's Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership Board of Directors meeting.
Board members discussed the importance of a mixed-use sustainable downtown, the partnership's main concern, as well as the growth of environmentally sustainable technology, or "green" technology.
"We really want to make sure we're strategically placing the right business in the right location for downtown growth," partnership Executive Director Liz Parham said.
Parents and their children took a walk through the colorful and magical world of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood on Tuesday for the first time at Kidzu Children's Museum on Franklin Street.
The Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood exhibit, based on the set of the children's television show, will be open to the public until the end of April.
The exhibit includes life-size versions of King Friday's castle, the show's iconic trolley and a stoplight and a fish tank resembling those in Mr. Rogers' living room.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, this story incorrectly states the size of the Kidzu space. It is 2,700 square feet. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.
With a Starbucks, Goodfellas and Qdoba lining the block, Franklin Street will never be short of college co-eds.
Now Kidzu Children's Museum is working to make sure it never wants for three- and four-year-olds, either.
Kidzu, which opened March 7, since has become a downtown staple and an overnight success.
Tom Tucker, chairman of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership, said he hears concerns everyday from downtown business owners about panhandling.
He said panhandling is also an issue for first-time visitors to Chapel Hill.
"They get a cup of coffee, they go get some ice cream, they buy a T-shirt," Tucker said.
"The very next experience they have is a panhandling experience."
Panhandling was the main topic of a safety forum presented by the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership on Tuesday, which also discussed homelessness, signage and lighting.
Four-year-old Bennett Barnes smiled as he marched in step with the parade.
As he held a traditional Vietnamese lantern in his hand, his feet marched to the beat of the music playing in the background.
Meanwhile Vietnamese-American Carol Nguyen read the lyrics to a festival folk song.
"Walk around with lanterns lit. Take them all across the town, singing to the autumn moon. Take my lantern to the sky, take my lantern to the moon," she sang.
More than 50 people gathered Wednesday to recognize the opening of Greenbridge Development's design center in Chapel Hill.
The local business community saw its fair share of change this year.
The issue of turnover is a common one for the downtown business community, and this year was no different.
"The changes have been good," said Liz Parham, the executive director of the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership.
Besides the perennial shift in eateries, the downtown welcomed a new children's museum called Kidzu. The museum opened in early March at 105 E. Franklin St., the former home of the Laughing Turtle Home store.
A man was arrested Wednesday on charges of second degree trespassing in the Student Union, according to University police reports.
Leamon Gerald Tapp Jr., 36, was arrested March 10 on similar charges, and he told police he was released from jail Monday, reports state.
According to reports, Tapp's bail was set for $250 before he was transported to the Orange County Jail.
His court date is set for April 4, reports state.
Kidzu Children's Museum at 105 E. Franklin St. was the victim of a breaking and entering that was reported Tuesday, Chapel Hill police reports state.
Fresh young faces
Representatives from Kidzu Children's Museum met with the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership on Wednesday asking for support.
Jonathan Mills, co-founder of Kidzu and president of the board of directors, explained the benefits of the museum's placement in downtown Chapel Hill.
Located at 105 E. Franklin St., the museum will open on March 7 with a "Where the Wild Things Are" exhibit.
Mills said Kidzu would attract a greater number of families to the downtown area.