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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Durham PD's 5-Day Report on Frank Clark Shooting Contradicts Eyewitness Reports

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 7:37 AM

It doesn't mesh with what several eyewitnesses told the INDY less than an hour after Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark was killed. And it leaves many questions unanswered. But here is the Durham Police Department's 5-Day Report on the incident that saw a city officer gun down a thirty-four-year-old black man in McDougald Terrace last week. We will continue to report on this story as more details emerge....

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Residents: Meeting on DPD Shooting Accomplished Nothing

Posted By on Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 11:17 PM

It was five shots. Or was it four? There was a struggle. Or was he running away from police when he was gunned down? He fired at officers. Or did a shot even ring out before bullets left the chamber of a Durham Police Department-issued gun? Those who showed up to a community meeting at T.A. Grady Recreation Center this evening—a gathering designed to bring city police and residents of McDougald Terrance together in the aftermath of the fatal shooting, by the DPD, of Frank “Scooter Bug” Clark—did not get the answers to those questions. Of course, we don’t know...

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Police, Witnesses Have Different Accounts of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Less than twenty-four hours after the Durham City Council voted 5-2 to spend $1.4 million dollars on hundreds of body cameras to be worn by its police officers, eyewitnesses and city cops are at odds over just how an officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Frank “Scooter Bug” Clark unfolded this afternoon in McDougald Terrace. One witness said it started when an unmarked police car was seen “circling the block”—prompting “everyone who was out here to take to running.” But one man, Clark, remained—walking away slowly until he “locked eyes” with an officer he knew. The man, the witness...

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Breaking: Police-Involved Shooting at Durham’s McDougald Terrace

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 1:56 PM

At 1:02 p.m., the Durham Police Department confirmed an officer-involved shooting that happened in McDougald Terrace at twelve thirty. While the police haven’t yet released any details, the INDY’s Ken Fine, who is on the scene, has been told by eyewitnesses that the perpetrator—believed to be a thirty-three- or thirty-four-year-old African-American man (whose identity has not yet been confirmed)—was fleeing from police when he turned and fired a shot. An officer, the witnesses say, was shot in the leg. (Update: The police say there was a gunshot and an officer sustained a leg injury, but no officer was shot.) Another...

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Friday, November 18, 2016

Sorry, Pat. Board of Elections Says 'No' to Recount in Durham.

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Pat McCrory was dealt another blow on Friday, as the Durham County Board of Elections voted unanimously to dismiss an election protest filed by attorney Thomas Stark to recount 94,159 ballots. Stark, the general counsel for the NCGOP, filed his protest a week ago, claiming malfeasance impacted the results—the late vote counts were due to an error reading the electronic card that keeps a record of the votes in the tabulator machines. As explained by a business systems analyst from the North Carolina State Board of Elections and the company behind the software used across the state, the error...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Report Claims Charlotte Cops Shot Scott in Back

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 8:19 AM

It's the one-week anniversary of the apocalypse and we're still here. Let's mark that achievement with a quick look at the headlines, shall we? 1) President Obama tries to calm NATO, Europe down. It's a tall order, having to explain to world leaders what to expect from a Donald Trump White House. But President Barack Obama is overseas doing just that. From CNN: "In my conversation with the President-elect, he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships," Obama said. "And so one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Apocalypse … Now? The INDY’s Election Day Live Blog, Part 2

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Welcome to the INDY’s Election Day live blog, part 2! There are, as of this writing, approximately 240 minutes until polls close in North Carolina and our long national nightmare finally (hopefully?) comes to an end. Throughout the day, the INDY will have a team of reporters out of the streets of the Triangle, talking to voters, looking into reports of election weirdness, and generally being on the lookout for any news that breaks. As they report in, I’ll be updating this blog. (And with more frequency later in the day, after we put this week’s newspaper to bed;...

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Apocalypse … Now? The INDY’s Election Day Live Blog

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Welcome to the INDY’s Election Day live blog! There are, as of this writing, approximately 630 minutes until polls close in North Carolina and our long national nightmare finally (hopefully?) comes to an end. Throughout the day, the INDY will have a team of reporters out of the streets of the Triangle, talking to voters, looking into reports of election weirdness, and generally being on the lookout for any news that breaks. As they report in, I’ll be updating this blog. (And with more frequency later in the day, after we put this week’s newspaper to bed; one of the...

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Monday, November 7, 2016

New Allegations of Racism at the Durham County Jail Brought to County Commissioners

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 11:03 AM

On Monday morning during the Durham County Board of County Commissioners' meeting, members of the Inside-Outside Alliance brought new allegations of racism at the Durham County Jail forward—including a petition with forty-four signatures on it (all inmates at the facility). Greg Williams, with the IOA, read the petition to the commissioners; Officer Faulkner and Sgt. Coleman denied inmates their soccer time after their 30 minutes of basketball. Officer Faulkner at 10:15 a.m. approximately made a highly offensive racial slur towards all African-American inmates, saying: 'If you’re not Mexican, you can’t play soccer, and Mexicans can’t play basketball.' This was after the...

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Expanded Early Voting Hours Begin Today and More Clown News

Posted By on Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 8:10 AM

Happy Thursday, folks here's some of today's headlines:  1. Early voting locations expand throughout the state today. As the second week of early voting (also known as one-stop voting) begins, counties are adding more locations for early voting. In Durham, it's ballooning from five locations to thirteen. Other counties like Forsyth County, which only had one location for the first week, will finally allow voting at satellite locations. By opening other locations many counties will have the opportunity to help solve the problem of congestion and long wait times, but the hope is to all bring in more voters. WRAL has...

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Another Solis Apartment Complex Planned for Brightleaf ... About a Mile Away From Current Complex

Posted By on Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 1:26 PM

In the latest installment of "Who Wants to Pay an Arm and a Leg to Live Downtown?" we present Solis Brightleaf Apartments.  Wait, doesn't Solis sound familiar? Yes. It does. That's because just more than a mile away from the proposed Solis Brightleaf is Solis Ninth Street, where you can pay up to $1,375 for a less-than-600-square-foot studio apartment. And, according to plans on the city of Durham's website, Solis Brightleaf would have similar floor plans.  The plans show roughly 200 residential units, a parking garage for 247 spaces and seven on-street spots on the 1000 block of West Main Street—where...

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Monday, October 24, 2016

RTI International Refutes IACP Claims of "Material Flaw" in Durham Police Studies

Posted By on Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 4:22 PM

On October 6, Mitchell Weinzetl, a hired consultant from the International Associations of Chiefs of Police, had no interest in sugarcoating it—he believed the racial disparity studies concerning the Durham Police Department had "material flaws."  At the time, that assertion, however, did not sit well with many members of the Durham City Council. Councilwoman Jillian Johnson questioned Weinzetl's assessment of the studies—a task conducted by the former chief of police of a small city in Minnesota for $91,323.  Weinzetl told Johnson and the rest of the council he "wasn't in a position to say [racially biased practices] aren't occurring," but instead...

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Friday, October 21, 2016

City Council Modifies the Durham Innovation District’s Incentive Agreement, Worries About Its Cost

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 3:10 PM

Incentives for the first phase of the Durham Innovation District were, again, discussed by the city council on Monday night, and several council members said they were concerned about how the city uses public dollars for private development. By Thursday, however, those concerns had been assuaged—at least enough for the project to pass.  Last September, the council voted to approve a $5.25 million incentive agreement for Durham ID Phase I Developers LLC, which is set to redevelop properties at 224, 301, and 302 Morris Street in downtown. But now, as the developers ramp up and construction begins, they want to...

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The Morning Roundup: Trump Gets Booed by Charity Crowd

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Well, it's Friday. We made it. Of course, some of us—cough, cough, Donald Trump—had a tougher time getting here than others. Let's dive in: 1) Trump marks another first, gets heckled at Catholic charity event. Tradition? Throw it out the window. Who needs tradition when you can just wing it and, again, be a giant dick? That, apparently, was Donald Trump's mantra as he used a Catholic charity event as an opportunity to attack Hillary Clinton. Here is a tidbit, courtesy of CNN: "I wasn't really sure if Hillary was going to be here tonight because, I guess, you didn't...

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hours into Early Voting, Polling Places Are Facing Long Lines

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 12:34 PM

We're about three hours into early voting, and we're already seeing long lines at polling places across the Triangle. In some places, such as the Board of Elections office in Durham, people were lined up well before voting opened at 9 a.m.. And within the first hour, votes numbered in the hundreds and wait times were growing.  If you're planning to vote today, you'll most likely be waiting a bit, but that’s probably better than the alternative.  Since it started in 2000, early voting has become an increasingly popular option for North Carolina voters. In the 2012 presidential election,...

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Two Former Carolina Theatre Employees Appeal Firings

Posted By on Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Looks like there's more trouble for the Carolina Theatre after two women who were fired from their positions are appealing the actions with the city, which owns the theater.  The appeals are just another chapter in an ongoing saga that has left a lot of people asking, "What the heck is going on?" In December 2015, then-CEO Bob Nocek reported that the theater—after an accounting mix-up—was more than a million dollars in debt, after announcing revenues had doubled in previous years. Then, two months later, the theater was also said to have turned a profit. After asking—and being denied—to have...

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Investigation Into March Primary in Durham Now in the Hands of the District Attorney

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 2:15 PM

The saga of the March 15, 2016, primary election continues as the North Carolina State Board of Elections has concluded its investigation and handed over its findings to Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols to determine if any charges should be filed.  The investigation has been ongoing since April, when the state board was alerted of discrepancies and conducted an audit. The investigation was announced in May and, at the time, the public was clued into the fact there were missing votes in the election that saw two incumbent members of the Board of County Commissioners losing their seats. In...

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Hit By a Property Tax Change? Durham County Hopes New Revaluation Schedule Can Alleviate Future Problems

Posted By on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 1:47 PM

It's no secret that Durham County tax administrator Kim Simpson isn't a fan of the county’s eight-year property-reappraisal schedule. If it was up to her, the county would be doing it yearly. That’s not on the table. But this is: following in the footsteps of other urban counties, Durham is considering a four-year schedule instead.  Simpson has been toying with the proposal for a while, but earlier this month she formally proposed it to county commissioners. If her plan goes through, Durham County property owners won't have to wait long for the next revaluation—the next one in 2019 and every four...

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Durham Council Members Unanimously Voted to Tweak the Comprehensive Plan, But They’re Not Happy About It

Posted By on Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 9:30 AM

On Monday night, the Durham City Council approved a land use change for nearly 55.9 acres—just east of South Miami Boulevard and south of Stirrup Creek Drive, dubbed Patriot Business Park—from the compact neighborhood tier to the suburban tier.  The change was for just a portion of a 101.57-acre site. Laura Woods, with the City-County Planning Department, told the council the change would be consistent with other portions of the site and is a prime site for industrial uses—which is what the developer wants to use it for. While the council voted unanimously to change the land designation in the comprehensive...

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Durham Sheriff Hopeful New Grant Will Provide Needed Improvements for Mental Health Treatment

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 5:41 PM

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is hopeful to have its mental health detainee pod up and running by the end of the first quarter of 2017. With the help of a three-year, $228,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and an additional $55,205 in matching funds from the county, the jail will be able to provide better care for detainees suffering from mental illness. According to the sheriff’s office, at least 20 percent of the inmates in the jail receive some form of mental health services, including medication. So the sheriff’s office, along with the county’s Criminal Justice...

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pharmaceutical Company Pulls Incentive Agreement with Durham, Will Still Build $31 Million Facility

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 3:00 PM

The generic drugmaker Aurobindo Pharma U.S.A. Inc. will not longer be pursuing $200,000 in incentives through the city of Durham. The city was alerted to the agreement termination in a letter from the company on September 6. The city council was told today in an email from city manager Tom Bonfield.  The letter, from Ninad Deshpanday, the North Carolina president of research and development for Aurobindo, says the company still plans to "hire and invest" in Durham, but "some of the compliance requirements related to the agreement are not able to be met by us from a practicality standpoint or...

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Durham County Could Be Next to Offer $15 Minimum Wage

Posted By on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 at 2:30 PM

In June, the Durham City Council approved a plan to have all full-time city employees make a $15-an-hour minimum wage by 2019. Now the Durham County Board of Commissioners looks poised to follow suit.  On October 4, during the board's work session, a resolution amending the county's minimum wage will be presented to the board. The $15-an-hour wage would apply to all "full and part-time employees of the County, including seasonal and employees in the job placement program with the County.”  The $15 figure is determined by a "Minimum Living Wage" equation—which places the wage at least 7.5 percent...

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

South Durham Continued to See Growth in 2015. Northern Durham, Not So Much.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 28, 2016 at 5:15 PM

The maps presented to the Durham County Board of Commissioners on Monday illustrated a point that many in Durham had an inkling about—development south of Interstate 85 in Durham continues to boom, while development north of I-85 is lagging behind.  The Durham City-County Planning Department, as part of its annual report to the county commissioners, on Monday showed maps of rezoning and land-use plan changes throughout the year. The red dots tell the tale. In 2014 and 2015, the changes focused in the southern portion of the county. Commissioner Wendy Jacobs says seeing where the zoning and plan amendment changes are...

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Who Wants to be the Next Durham School Board Member? One of These Eleven People

Posted By on Tue, Sep 27, 2016 at 10:45 AM

With the resignation of Sendolo Diaminah in August the Durham Public Schools Board of Education must fill a vacant position, and there's no lack of interest with thirteen applicants vying for the spots. However, two of the applicants—Florida DeVaul Dudley an Shonda Wilson—were removed from consideration because they do no live within District 2.  Diaminah resigned after his attendance at meetings was called into question (he'd reportedly missed at least nine out of sixteen meetings). Now, the board is charged with appointing someone by October 24—sixty days after Diaminah resigned.  The eleven candidates include two familiar faces—Frederick Davis, who Diaminah was...

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Donald Trump Jr. Tastes the Rainbow and a Poll That Makes You Go Hmmm

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 8:40 AM

Good morning, everybody. Let's get going. 1) Donald Trump Jr. hates Skittles ... and refugees. Remember when you were a kid and people warned you to stay away from red M&Ms? Well, Donald Trump Jr. apparently didn't understand the difference between fact and urban legend. Or maybe, this explains more than we think. I mean, we all remember Ronald Reagan's affection for jellybeans. Perhaps, the former president was simply picturing things he didn't like before sending them down the hatch. "Umm. Those kids smoking pot are the red ones. I LOVE the red ones. Wait. This sugar high is giving...

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