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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Hillsborough, NC

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

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percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Hillsborough, NC You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Hillsborough, NC

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Hillsborough, NC

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Hillsborough, NC

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Hillsborough, NC

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Hillsborough, NC

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
phone Call Now
 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Hillsborough, NC

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Hillsborough, NC

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Hillsborough, NC phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Hillsborough, NC phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Hillsborough, NC phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Hillsborough, NC that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Hillsborough, NC

Latest News in Hillsborough, NC

Collecto-Con is Coming to Hillsborough, NC

ORANGE SLICESYou’ve got to hand it to Hillsborough. They may be on the National Register of Historic Places but they’re always coming up with new and engaging ways to stay vibrant and fetching, for visitors and residents alike.Enter Collecto-Con, a two-day extravaganza being produced by the Orange County Historical Museum to complement their Treasure Hunters exhibit. On September 29th and 30th, citizen collectors from around Orange County will present more items from their collections in a variety of entertaining wa...

ORANGE SLICES

You’ve got to hand it to Hillsborough. They may be on the National Register of Historic Places but they’re always coming up with new and engaging ways to stay vibrant and fetching, for visitors and residents alike.

Enter Collecto-Con, a two-day extravaganza being produced by the Orange County Historical Museum to complement their Treasure Hunters exhibit. On September 29th and 30th, citizen collectors from around Orange County will present more items from their collections in a variety of entertaining ways. Activities include Collecto-Couture: a vintage jewelry and fashion show with mocktails; various fascinating presentations; an informal collector Meet-and-Greet, and Collecto-Crawl: a treasure map tour of Hillsborough’s food and beverage establishments.

Friday, September 29

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Adventures in Metal Detecting, with Richard Von Furstenburg

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Collecto-Couture, a Vintage Jewelry and Clothing Fashion Show by collectors Lindsley Bowen and Alyssa Javadi – dress for the occasion!

8:00 pm – Collecto-Crawl, kicking off of the Treasure Map Tour

Saturday, September 30

9:00 am – 10:00 am – One Step at a Time, Wade Allen, Collector of Medieval European Armor

10:30 am – 11:15 am – Making Connections, Nancy Haines, Collector of Quaker Artifacts

11:30 am – 12:15 pm – In the Field, Laurel Kilgore, Collector of Chewa Art of Malawi

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm – Lunch at Local Establishments

1:30 pm – 2:15 pm – The Wealth of the World in Your Hands, Loren Hintz Collector of Rocks, Gems and Minerals

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm – Speed Dating with a Collector, well, not actually dating but a Collector Meet-and-Greet

Jacquelyn Gibbs: “Cruets and Science” Cliff Younger: “Records: the Soundtracks to Life” Nancy Espersen: “ Tempest in a Teapot: How I Ended up Collecting Over 400 Teapots” Tom Jepsen: “More than Dots and Dashes: Telegraphs and Radios” Rachel and Gabi Bergman: “Happy Trails: the Art of Breyer Horses” Richard Fitzpatrick: “Bonzo, the Dog that Made the World Smile” Leandra Bedini: “Keeping it Together: the Allure of Staplers”

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm – “From the Ground Up,” Steven Burke and Randy Campbell, nationally-recognized collectors of American Folk Art Buildings. Includes a tour of their home, nearby on Tryon Street

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Closing Reception at the Museum

Although developed initially for military purposes, so-called “suits of armor” took on different roles in society. Indeed, armor became a staple of social life and came to be viewed as a status symbol.

Except where noted, programs will be held at the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church on West Tryon Street, neighbor to the Museum. Tickets for Collecto-Con are $10 for each day. Registration is not required but strongly suggested. Space is limited. Register at www.orangehitorync.org.

The Orange County Historical Museum presents the rich cultural history of the county. It was founded in 1952 and continues to evolve to meet the needs of the community. Visits to the Museum are always free and open to all. The Museum is located at 201 North Churton Street in Hillsborough. For more information about Collecto-Con or to learn more about the Museum and its offerings, visit www.orangehitorync.org or call (919) 732-2201.

One of Hillsborough’s great virtues — one among many — is its talent for reinvention while fiercely guarding its historical roots.

Laurie Paolicelli is executive director for the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, a position she has held since 2005. Laurie has worked in tourism and marketing for twenty-five years, having served in leadership roles in Houston and California convention and visitor bureaus. She is a native of the Twin Ports of Duluth, MN/Superior Wisconsin. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communications from the University Wisconsin-Superior and graduate certification in Technology In Marketing from the UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media.

Board of Commissioners Meeting Summary

News Jenn Weaver recognized and new board sworn in; cross-connection ordinance updated and FY23 audit presented The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, Dec. 11 at the Town Hall Annex. Following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting is available for view on the town’s ...

News

Jenn Weaver recognized and new board sworn in; cross-connection ordinance updated and FY23 audit presented

The Hillsborough Board of Commissioners met Monday, Dec. 11 at the Town Hall Annex. Following is a brief summary of noteworthy actions. It does not include all actions taken at the meeting and should not be viewed as official minutes. The meeting is available for view on the town’s YouTube channel.

Jenn Weaver was recognized for her 10 years of service on the town board as she concluded her second term as mayor. She expressed gratitude for her colleagues on the board, staff, the community, businesses and organizations; and she expressed confidence in her successor, Mayor Mark Bell. Weaver was presented with a key to the town and received a framed proclamation recognizing her service to the town.

Bell and commissioners Evelyn Lloyd, Matt Hughes and Meaghun Darab took their oaths of office. Bell is commencing his first two-year term as mayor after serving eight years as a commissioner. Hughes is starting his second full term, and Lloyd is starting her ninth term. Darab was elected to her first term in November. Commissioner terms are four years.

The following appointments were made:

The board approved changes to the Hillsborough Code of Ordinances to allow air gaps, a no-cost option, to be an allowable method of backflow prevention between the town’s water supply and water features that are over 24-inches in depth and not directly connected to plumbing.

The board also approved the reimbursement of seven in-ground residential swimming pool owners who had recently installed a backflow assembly on their water service at the requirement of the town prior to the board relaxing the code. The financial impact to the town will be approximately $17,000 and town staff will contact the impacted parties with the requirements for reimbursement.

The board received a favorable audit report for Fiscal Year 2023 from the accounting firm PBMares, as the firm issued the highest level of assurance. One material weakness with internal control was identified: the road improvements made as part of the reservoir expansion project were inadvertently listed as a town asset in 2022. The road was transferred to the North Carolina Department of Transportation without being removed from the capital asset ledger. The auditor stated this has been corrected and is not a cause for ongoing financial concern.

Financial metrics indicate the town is in solid financial condition as of June 30, 2023. The audit was completed before December 1, which is an important deadline set by the Local Government Commission, a regulatory division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer.

When DIY meets medicine: UNC's Hillsborough hospital to get high-tech 'makerspace'

On the fourth floor of UNC’s Hillsborough hospital, there’s a rehab gym. Occupational therapy assistant Evwell Batten calls it the “treehouse,” as floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a blanket of green. Recently, this treehouse has gone high tech with a new room, called the “makerspace.”It’s about the size of a dorm room, and its walls are lined with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and a vacuum forming machine. Various drawers pulled open with a clang reveal numerous tools like wrenches. But on thi...

On the fourth floor of UNC’s Hillsborough hospital, there’s a rehab gym. Occupational therapy assistant Evwell Batten calls it the “treehouse,” as floor-to-ceiling windows overlook a blanket of green. Recently, this treehouse has gone high tech with a new room, called the “makerspace.”

It’s about the size of a dorm room, and its walls are lined with 3D printers, a laser cutter, and a vacuum forming machine. Various drawers pulled open with a clang reveal numerous tools like wrenches. But on this day, Batten is working with the sewing machine, creating modified washcloths for patients who have lost fine motor skills.

This makerspace is a partnership between the hospital and UNC-Chapel Hill's Be A Maker Program, or BeAM. The program is typically for students, who can get training on tools and access makerspaces across UNC campuses. But this new makerspace, called RehaBeAM, is the first of its kind in the UNC hospital system.

“It felt like Christmas combined with my birthday,” Batten said, when he first learned about the new space.

Growing up, he’d been an ambitious fisherman, making improvised rods out of bamboo sticks when his initial fishing rod inevitably broke. A makerspace then seemed like a perfect place to apply out-of-the-box ideas.

“With me making splints – custom splints – oh man,” Batten said. “I could really take this to the next level.”

Practicing medicine: Beyond the science

In the new space, rehabilitation specialists can design and create things like mobility leg straps, custom splints, or special joysticks.

Splints are used to immobilize certain body parts. Batten said the traditional method of creating a hand splint involves outlining a hand onto a sheet of material, cutting the material up, and placing it into a hot water tank so that the material will melt enough to conform to a patient’s hand.

But the makerspace could reduce the number of steps in that process. Splints could be 3D printed, or Batten could scan a patient’s hand and 3D print a replica of it, then design a better fitting splint around the replica. Batten said access to the makerspace then means these items can be more custom, time efficient and potentially cheaper than traditional methods.

“It's a safe space to go and play around and tinker,” said Kelly Fletcher, the rehab unit’s therapies manager. “That's what we need, right? That art and creativity side of medicine.”

Fletcher said there have been talks of creating this kind of space since 2018, with $130,000 initially put towards it. It could still be half a year before the makerspace is fully up and running, but until then, Fletcher said the hospital is training staff on equipment, and getting them excited about it.

“If you have a problem and you can think of a solution, then you can go and make it in this space,” Fletcher said. “So, if somebody has a hard time putting on a certain splint or something for their foot, we can create something in this space that allows them to be more independent doing that. Anytime we can improve patient experience and patient outcomes, that's absolutely what we want.”

Improved Access and Equity

BeAM volunteer and physicist Jeff Olander knows firsthand what he described as the “game-changing” power of makerspaces.

“A lot of times when you have a disability, you're used to forging your own path,” Olander said.

In a locker near UNC-Chapel Hill's Murray Hall makerspace, Olander stores a few items for his power wheelchair. He made some items, like an adjustable cup holder, by reappropriating and combining products bought off Amazon. Other items, he 3D-printed at the space, like small joystick parts.

Olander also brought out a neon green T-Rex that he 3D-printed for someone, which serves as a cable holder.

“If you're going to do it, you might as well make it kind of fun,” Olander remarked.

Olander said UNC’s makerspaces have allowed him to craft shortcuts. If he has an assistive device that breaks, he said obtaining replacement parts requires a costly and lengthy process.

“If you break an arm, you can't use it until it heals,” Olander said. “Well, if I break a joystick, I can’t drive around until it's fixed.”

According to Olander, when a device breaks, the issue must first be assessed. Then, someone has to write a report to order new parts, which is sent to insurance to approve. Once the part is actually ordered, there are wait times for it to come in, followed by more waiting for a repair person to replace the broken piece.

So, Olander said being able to design his own assistive devices can save him money, but even more importantly, time.

“These are things that aren't just desirables,” Olander said. “These are things that are essential to your way of being, your independence, or your health in some cases. So, the more time it takes to get them, the more of a sacrifice it is for you.”

To help shorten assistive device wait times for others, Olander has helped develop an organization called AiM, or Accessibility in Making, along with co-runner Aurorah Arndt. He said understanding the abilities and limitations of makerspace tools is just as important as having access to them. So, Olander said he wants to teach other people with disabilities how to use makerspaces to create devices tailored to individual needs.

He said that technology coming to a hospital is just another way to bring easier access to assistive technology.

“It's important to bring the resource to the person, rather than expect the person to find the resource,” Olander said. “So, if you can bring the resource to the hospital, then it's that much closer to the people that are hopefully going to use it.”

'Joining the MCU'

Once UNC’s Hillsborough hospital’s makerspace is fully operational next year, it's expected to be mainly for staff use. Though, Olander said it's crucial for patients to be heavily involved in developing the assistive devices they’ll be using.

While the first one is still getting off the ground, eventually, the goal is for these spaces to spread to other UNC hospitals too. Until then, occupational therapist Evwell Batten said he can appreciate his hospital being one-of-a-kind.

“You go into the rehab gym and it's like, this looks like something from Marvel Comics,” Batten said. “And then you have this type of equipment that makes you feel even more super, and just on the level of an X-Man.”

And while he may not be Wolverine, the new makerspace may make Batten just a little more unstoppable when it comes to helping patients.

Mysterious 'boom' was a small earthquake that rattled Hillsborough, USGS says

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — The mystery is solved: the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a small earthquake in Hillsborough on Thursday. This comes after Orange County officials received reports of a loud noise and mysterious shaking but couldn't immediately identify the cause.What You Need To Know Around 12 p.m. Thursday, people in the Hillsborough area reported they felt a shaking feeling and heard a "boom" noise. As a precaution, several buildings, including the courthouse downtown, were repor...

ORANGE COUNTY, N.C. — The mystery is solved: the U.S. Geological Survey says there was a small earthquake in Hillsborough on Thursday. This comes after Orange County officials received reports of a loud noise and mysterious shaking but couldn't immediately identify the cause.

What You Need To Know

Around 12 p.m. Thursday, people in the Hillsborough area reported they felt a shaking feeling and heard a "boom" noise. As a precaution, several buildings, including the courthouse downtown, were reportedly evacuated for a short period of time.

Michael Woods, the owner of Dual Supply Co., in downtown Hillsborough told Spectrum News 1 on Thursday about the experience.

"There was just a really loud boom. The ground shook. The windows shook. The merchandise shook. I mean, it was really loud, like a sonic boom, which is maybe what it was. I don't know. But everybody came out of the buildings. Nobody knew what it was," Woods said. "I guess they were looking to see if there was anything on fire or fell or something."

Emergency officials in Orange County on Thursday tried to figure out what caused the sound and shared details online.

"Emergency Services have received reports of a short thunderous boom that was felt in the Hillsborough area," Orange County officials said on social media.

"They have ruled out obvious causes (bombs, explosions, crashes, etc)," the county said. "It is possible that this may have been a small earthquake."

"The noise was so loud the Orange County Courthouse was evacuated and at least one elementary school in Hillsborough hustled their students off the playground and went on a brief lockdown while security personnel attempted to determine the cause," according to a release by Orange County. "OCES and the Orange County Sheriff's Office immediately deployed UAVs to look for plumes of smoke, wreckage or anything else that could have caused the boom but found nothing."

Woods said he's used to military aircraft flying in the area and causing a sonic boom but said Thursday's situation felt different than that.

"We're in the path of where a lot of military helicopters, jets, bombers, the big B-52s, they go over, probably 10 to 12 times a year. There have been times when a fighter jet or something goes over and then they kick it into high and it causes a sonic boom. So I'm familiar with the sonic boom. I just can't remember the ground shaking like it did this time. So it was pretty pretty wild," Woods said.

The USGS's earthquake tracker showed no seismic activity in central North Carolina on Thursday.

But on Friday morning, the USGS website showed details regarding a 2.2-magnitude earthquake that happened at 11:49 a.m. just south of Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.

Woods said things returned to business as usual shortly after the sound, but a lot of customers came into his shop asking him about the situation.

"Said they were at Home Depot, which is on the other side of 85 that felt it and heard it. And people north of town, as far as Roxboro, said they felt it and heard it. I don't know if it was as loud, but they said they heard it," Woods said.

Orange County officials say they haven't received any reports of injuries or damage associated with the earthquake.

Hillsborough is booming and business owners, town leaders work to maintain vibrancy: Boomtowns

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Like much of the Triangle, Hillsborough has seen rapid growth over the past dozen years.Now the goal is to make sure the town's long-standing artistic and historic ethos aren't diminished."I think a lot of the people that move in take on the citizenship part and become part and evolve. I know that Hillsborough has changed., with the inclusion of all the new changes with trying to keep the old part," said Michael Woods, who serves as Junior Vice President of Dual Supply Co. on West King Str...

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Like much of the Triangle, Hillsborough has seen rapid growth over the past dozen years.

Now the goal is to make sure the town's long-standing artistic and historic ethos aren't diminished.

"I think a lot of the people that move in take on the citizenship part and become part and evolve. I know that Hillsborough has changed., with the inclusion of all the new changes with trying to keep the old part," said Michael Woods, who serves as Junior Vice President of Dual Supply Co. on West King Street.

Woods' father has owned the store since 1974, and previously owned other property along the street. The buildings have since been sold, and now house new businesses, a reflection of the town's fast-changing pace.

"We're probably one of the last old businesses that's still surviving," said Woods.

He's acknowledged challenges coming out of the pandemic, noting he and his brother work six days each to run the store.

"We've always been like a service to people, and we're more of helping people figure out how to do things other than just go (and buy a product)," explained Woods.

"I think with a town this size, people really value the personal contact and getting able to being able to meet the artist and see what they create," said Arianna Bara, a jeweler and member of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

The town has long held a reputation as an artists' haven, home to several galleries. The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts features 21 artists who live in the area, who own and operate the studio.

"It's a wonderful artistic scene in all areas of the arts, not just the visual arts. But we have a lot of writers, just people who express themselves in a variety of creative ways," Bara said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town's population has increased from just over 6,000 people in 2010 to approaching 10,000 as of last summer. While the size is still relatively smaller than several neighboring cities and towns, it's also ushered in new development.

"It's a difficult thing. And the call of construction is always there. The town is doing a great job, I think, of trying to keep the feel the way it is. I think it's kind of an uphill battle because people always want to go where things are great," said Bara.

Bara pointed to efforts by the Orange County Arts Commission to provide affordable studio space for artists, a key funding mechanism that helps artists continue their work.

"We want Hillsborough to remain a place where people of all types of incomes can live here and make this their home, start a business here. And that becomes more and more of a challenge the more limited the variety of housing stock is. And so it's really a balancing act that we are having to do with this," explained Mayor Jenn Weaver.

Now in her second term, Weaver moved here fifteen years ago and said the town's growth was apparent even then.

"Our community has the same concerns as all the other towns in the Triangle worried about growth, worried about development. And the truth of the matter is, it's like every nice thing we do for ourselves makes us a place, a more desirable place to live, and these amenities are things that people who live here have asked for and want and are glad to have. What's important for us is to just be really judicious and wise about what we say yes to and to do really good and thoughtful urban planning. We're a small town, but we're an urban community," said Weaver.

Hillsborough has its own water and sewer utility, a service that garners considerable attention as election officials consider proposed development projects. As for region-wide issues, Weaver pointed to the ongoing discussion regarding public transportation as an area where action is required, just one part of addressing affordability concerns.

"We are not keeping up with the transportation needs, our transportation network and overall system. I wouldn't even say we have a system, but the Triangle must have a transportation system so that people can get where they need to go, whether it's to health care, whether it's to work, or getting their kids to school. We cannot continue to rely on single-occupancy vehicles. That is not the network of the future. So really having viable opportunities for expanded mass transit is really, really important and also expanding opportunities for safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities because we want people not to think of that just as recreation," said Weaver.

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