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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Judge to consider Cline's removal, or dismissal of case based on free speech

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 3:25 PM

pool photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & ObserverAttorney James Van Camp represents Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline. For live coverage of Cline's hearing, follow @indyweek and #TraceyCline on Twitter. Attorneys for suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline renewed a request Wednesday that a judge dismiss a petition calling for Cline’s removal from elected office. When Cline filed court documents last fall criticizing the rulings of a Durham judge, her speech was protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one of Cline’s attorneys argued. Cline was defending criticism of the District Attorney's office, argued Patrick Mincey, an attorney with Van Camp...

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Was your home once a meth lab?

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Ooh, what's that smell? Has there been more than mac 'n' cheese cooking on your stove? The problem with meth labs—in addition to their tendency to explode—is that they leave hazardous chemical residue in the home. Unsuspecting new tenants or homeowners may live in the house with contaminants in the walls, appliances, plumbing, etc. Common household chemicals used in meth recipes are methanol, ether, benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethane and toluene. Exposure to benzene, for example, increases your risk of leukemia. To find out if your home is a former methamphetamine lab, check the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Clandestine Laboratory...

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Judge could rule by Friday on whether Durham DA keeps job

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

pool photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & ObserverLawyer Stephen Lindsay, left, questions suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline on the witness stand. For live updates during Cline's removal hearing, follow @indyweek on Twitter and join the conversation using #TraceyCline. Updates will resume beginning at 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 29. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood expects to rule by Friday on whether suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline should keep her job, he said. Cline and others, including a Durham lawyer, a judge and the chief of police, testified in her defense in court Monday. Cline could lose her job because of actions...

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Duke students, faculty rally against Amendment 1

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Jacob Tobia was just one of many enraged activists at the Duke Against Amendment One rally last Friday that spoke against Wake County Commissioners’ recent endorsement of the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Although same-sex marriage is already prohibited in North Carolina, the amendment would codify it in the state constitution. The West Campus Union Building is an early voting site for the primary election; students can vote—and register to vote the same day—from April 19 through May 5. Among the bustling crowd of students, Tobia, chair of Duke Against Constitutional Discrimination (DACD) lightheartedly called them out, emphasizing the...

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Durham DA Cline defends actions, if not word choice

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 6:36 PM

pool photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & ObserverSuspended District Attorney Tracey Cline testified in her own defense Friday Suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline took the witness stand in her own defense Friday, as she testified in a hearing that will determine whether she may stay in office. Last fall, Cline wrote several long court filings accusing Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson of judicial misconduct. She said he was acting on a personal agenda against her instead of working in the interest of victims of crime and the justice system. On Friday, the fourth day of hearings on her removal,...

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Raleigh charter school applicant arrested for missing traffic court date

Posted By on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Wake County City/ County Bureau of IdentificationKenan Gundogdu An N.C. State University professor who wants to start a new charter school in Raleigh was arrested earlier this month for failing to appear in court on earlier charges. Kenan Gundogdu, 34, has applied to start the Triangle Math and Science Academy, which would be a spinoff of the Triad Math and Science Academy in Greensboro. The physics professor serves on the Greensboro school's board. According to court records, a Raleigh police officer cited Gundogdu on Dec. 3, 2011, for driving without insurance and for driving with a canceled, revoked or suspended...

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Witness: Other lawyers regard Cline as "out of control"

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Three Triangle-area attorneys testified in a Durham courtroom Monday that the actions and media coverage of embattled District Attorney Tracey Cline have caused them to lose confidence in Durham's justice system. Lawyers across the state are talking about the public accusations Cline has made against Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson, said Staples Hughes, the N.C. Appellate Defender. “Pretty much anywhere I go … if the subject of Durham comes up, the conversation focuses on Ms. Cline’s filing these motions and the extraordinary and singular character of those motions,” Hughes said. Cline’s behavior is the subject of discussion among...

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Friday, February 17, 2012

Delay denied, Cline inquiry to go forward Monday

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Pool Photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & ObserverAttorney James Van Camp argues unsuccessfully for a second delay in the Tracey Cline inquiry as she (right) takes notes. Durham defense attorney Kerry Sutton (left), who filed the affidavit in the matter, looks on. The inquiry on whether to terminate embattled Durham County District Attorney Tracey Cline will proceed Monday, Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ruled Friday afternoon at a special hearing. Also during the 30-minute session, Cline’s legal team, hired Wednesday, released all of the standing subpoenas, including three seeking information from The (Raleigh) News & Observer staff members. They reserve the right...

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Attorneys for Cline to appear in emergency hearing, 3 p.m. today

Posted By on Fri, Feb 17, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Attorneys for suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline are scheduled to appear at 3 p.m. today to ask a superior court judge for more time to prepare for a hearing that could result in her removal from office. A Durham defense attorney filed a petition with the courts last month that Cline lose her job because her conduct in a highly publicized conflict with Judge Orlando Hudson has brought the court system into disrepute. Because she was recovering from pneumonia, and because of the nature of the case, Cline was unable to secure a lawyer to represent her, she said...

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mike Woodard, Kerry Sutton running for Durham state senate seat

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 8:23 AM

This post was updated at 8:23 a.m. on Feb. 16 with comments from Mike Woodard. Durham City Councilman Mike Woodard and Durham attorney Kerry Sutton, both Democrats, have filed to run in State Senate District 22. The new district, which, according to state documents is 54 percent Democratic voters and 21 percent Republican, includes parts of Durham, Person and Caswell counties. The district is predominantly white. Woodard was elected to Durham City Council in 2005 and is in his third term; it expires in 2013. Sutton ran for Durham District Judge in 2010. I know the range of issues the...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Durham officials: Greenfire Development must repair Liberty Warehouse by October

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

City of DurhamThis photo, included in a city report released Wednesday, shows the roof of Durham's Liberty Warehouse. A portion of the roof collapsed in a rainstorm last May, and has not been repaired. Greenfire Development, owner of the Liberty Warehouse near Durham Central Park, must fix the decaying structure by October, according to a ruling (PDF) Wednesday from Durham's planning director, Steve Medlin. According to city ordinances, damage caused by neglect has essentially demolished the historic landmark, Medlin ruled. The former tobacco auction warehouse actually comprises two separate buildings at 611 and 613 Rigsbee Ave. It's the portion at...

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Citing pneumonia and need for lawyer, Cline gets more time

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Pool Photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & Observer Suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline packs her files after an hour-long hearing on whether she should be removed from office. A judge granted Cline, who is recovering from pneumonia, a continuance to Feb. 20. Her voice cracking and swerving in pitch due to illness, suspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline persuaded a judge Monday to give her another week to prepare for a hearing on whether she should be stripped of her title. Cline was recovering from pneumonia, she said, and also had yet to find an attorney to represent her who wouldn't...

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Durham council to consider granting 751 South utilities at Feb. 20 meeting

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 4:57 PM

Wikimedia Commons This post has been modified from its original form. See deletions and italicized phrases below. Despite initial plans to wait until a civil lawsuit was over, Durham's City Council has now decided it will consider at a meeting Feb. 20 whether to grant utilities to Southern Durham Development. The company wants to build 751 South, a large mixed-use project in southwest Durham controversial in part because of its proximity to Jordan Lake. The council met during a closed session Thursday with City Attorney Patrick Baker to consider a request from SDD to grant water lines and the use...

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

In "Carrboro Commune" CVS takeover, no arrests, no SWAT team, plenty of controversy

Posted By on Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 1:39 AM

A group of 20 anti-capitalist protesters occupied CVS-owned in property in downtown Carrboro for three hours Saturday night before walking out at the strong encouragement of town police and Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton, who each told them they would be charged with breaking and entering if they did not leave. The demonstration concerned a forthcoming rezoning application from CVS to build a two-story, 24,000 square foot building at 201 N. Greensboro St., to house a 24-hour drug store and office space. The anarchist demonstrators, who call themselves "Carrboro Commune" and align with "Occupy Everything," would rather the site be used...

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Breaking: Anti-capitalist occupiers say they've taken new Carrboro CVS

Posted By on Sat, Feb 4, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Press release below. More to come, I'm sure....

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Liberty Warehouse repairs unfinished; city could set new conditions, deadline next week

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 5:25 PM

file photo by D.L. AndersonIn 2008, actors used a portion of the Liberty Warehouse as a rehearsal space. Durham’s planning department held a public meeting Thursday to determine whether Greenfire Development, which owns more than 25 properties downtown, neglected its historic Liberty Warehouse property on Rigsbee Avenue. Part of the roof over one of the two adjoining warehouses at 611 and 613 Rigsbee Avenue collapsed in heavy rains last May, displacing several artists and art nonprofits. (See a map on all Greenfire Development properties) The incident also generated questions about the management of Greenfire’s historic properties, and whether the local...

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Bowles skipping race for governor

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Erskine Bowles announced today that he won’t run for governor. The former UNC-system president who served as chief of staff in the Clinton Administration and twice ran for U.S. Senate and said there are other ways besides serving in Raleigh to make a difference. Bowles’s name recognition and status as a successful investment banker and co-chairman of a President Obama’s bipartisan budget deficit commission made him an obvious choice for the position once Gov. Bev Perdue made her announcement last week that she won’t seek a second term. In a poll released earlier this week, Public Policy Polling found Bowles...

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Number of dropouts declines statewide and in Wake, Durham, Orange

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction released reports today on school discipline and high school dropouts. The rate of dropouts decreased statewide and in Durham, Orange, Wake and Chatham counties. The rate increased slightly in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools. Statewide, the numbers of suspensions and expulsions of students decreased, as well, according to a statement from N.C. DPI....

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Hackney won't seek re-election; clears path for Insko

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 10:45 AM

N.C. House Minority Leader Joe Hackney announced his retirement this morning, opting not to wage a re-election campaign against long-time colleague Rep. Verla Insko, D-Orange. The two veteran legislators were drawn into the same district, the 56th, by the Republican-produced new maps last year. Hackney will stay in office until his tenure ends in January. Hackney has served 16 terms, 32 years, in the General Assembly representing the 54th district, which includes Orange, Chatham and Moore counties. He was elected Speaker of the House in 2007 following Jim Black’s removal. He severed as president of the National Conference of State...

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