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Today in the Chapel Hill News

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Here's a look at today's local headlines:

SANTA'S ELVES DELIVER: The Chapel Hill Service League works hard all year to make Christmas happen for less lucky kids in our area. This year the volunteer organization collected gifts for nearly 800 children. Tammy Grubb tells how they do it.

COLLINS CROSSINGS UPDATE: The board has approved that $5,000 fee we reported here first several weeks ago. The money will make long needed repairs at the complex. But as we report today some owners say they need more time to come up with the cash.

OUT OF TRAGEDY, OLD TIES RENEWED: In 2006, Harry Alston was riding his bicycle down N.C. 54 when a bus carrying the Boston College basketball team clipped him, ending his life at 39. That could have been the too-sudden end of the story but for the reunion of old neighbors Alston's death brought about. Correspondent Memet Walker has our story.

We've lost our links due to a technical problem, but you can find all these stories and more on our website -- www.chapelhillnews.com. We have the latest on those Dean Smith/Roy Williams/Michael Jordan posters at East 54 (plus what folks are saying about them on Twitter and Facebook.

New County Commissioner Mark Dorosin says the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school board needs to put diversity first when reassigning students for the new elementary school in Northside.

And just four days until our special 2012 Year in Photos issue, an issue we're pretty darn proud of and one we hope you will hang on to for a while. Thanks to staff photog Harry Lynch and Jim Kenny, ace sports photographer, and designer Robin Johnston who helped make it happen.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading.

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About the blogger

Mark Schultz is the editor of The Chapel Hill News and The Durham News.