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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Durham Police Department hands out tickets for "good" behavior

Posted By on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 at 12:28 PM

After a really dismal couple of years, brimming with allegations of racial profiling, controversial shootings and a police chief being forced out, it seems the Durham Police Department is looking to put out a few good vibes for the moment.  Per Durham Magazine, we learned that city police officers were handing out tickets for "good" behavior on Thursday, in an operation at the pedestrian crosswalk at Geer and Foster streets.  If you were spotted using the crosswalk properly, officers would hand out a coupon for a free cup of coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon.  Kammie Michael, spokeswoman for the Durham Police...

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Report touts benefits for workers and the economy in raising wages for public employees

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:54 PM

When Orange County builder Mark Marcoplos told me earlier this month that it's time for a living wage debate, he was on to something.  Orange County's Living Wage Campaign hit the ground running this month, enlisting more than 30 local businesses to agree upfront to pay their employees a "living wage," or about $12.75 per hour in Orange County. Earlier this year, Durham launched its own campaign, guaranteeing workers hourly pay of at least $12.53. And this week, Wake County commissioners agreed to raise the minimum wage for all county workers to a solid $13.50 an hour.  Fittingly, on...

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Less than a year in, the Durham Co-op Market stirs up controversy

Posted By on Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 10:16 AM

It didn't take long for the Durham Co-op Market to find itself some controversy.  About seven months after opening, members of the market's board of directors will consider a vote Sunday to nix the worker-owner shares currently allowed in the co-op's bylaws. Modeled after Orange County's Weaver Street Market, the bylaws grant workers the ability to purchase a separate class of worker shares in the business, which would allow employees who buy in to leverage about 10 percent ownership of the business. The model also guarantees worker representation on the board. The proposed revision would allow workers to purchase...

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare has imposed sanctions on Family Legacy Mental Health

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Today, we’ve published an in-depth look at a Durham and Raleigh mental health provider, Family Legacy Mental Health Services, that received almost $3 million in Medicaid money over the last two years. Yet, many of its past and present employees say they haven’t been paid regularly since March. A key question here is how this clinic remains a public mental health provider, despite the fact that the organization that oversees public mental health services in Durham and Wake counties, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, is aware of these allegations. We received an update from Alliance past deadline yesterday, indicating now that they...

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Durham Chamber of Commerce lauds SCOTUS gay marriage decision

Posted By on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 11:55 AM

Creative Commons LicenseBack in 2012, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce was the first North Carolina business group to declare its opposition to Amendment One, a short-lived, voter-approved ban on gay marriage. Fittingly in 2015, the group is celebrating the Supreme Court's epic decision last week to order that gay marriage be permitted across the country. On Tuesday, Chamber Chairman Bill Brian described discriminatory policies such as Amendment One as "obstructions to talent attraction." The chairman's statement echoed those of major business leaders such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Coca-Cola, all of which officially stated their support for marriage equality...

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Walker, Price and Butterfield winning in Congressional races

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Early results in Congress races showed mixed results for both parties Tuesday night. As expected, longtime U.S. Rep. David Price was on course to easily best his opponent Tuesday, picking up 75 percent of the vote in heavily left-leaning U.S. House District 4 with most precincts reporting. His underdog opponent, Republican Paul Wright, had mustered just 24 percent of the vote. Incumbent Democrat G.K. Butterfield, a voting rights attorney from Wilson, appeared bound for victory against his GOP challenger, Sampson County accountant Arthur Rich, in the race for U.S. House District 1. With more than half of precincts reporting, Butterfield...

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Insko, Foushee and Meyer in state races in Orange County

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 9:23 PM

This is an easy call early on. Democrats may be bound for hard times in Tuesday's midterm, but in Orange County, the bubble remains. There were no close races between N.C. Senate District 23 and N.C. House 56, where Democratic incumbents Valerie Foushee and Verla Insko hold apparently insurmountable leads in their bid for re-election. Foushee and Insko will beat Republican challengers Mary Lopez-Carter and Dave Carter, respectively. In N.C. House 50, which includes portions of Orange and Durham counties, Democrat Graig Meyer also appears bound for victory, earning a 28-percentage point lead at press time over Republican Rod Chaney....

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On Election Day, North Carolina precincts overwhelmed

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2014 at 7:40 PM

Polls are closing now, and the word is turnout. All over the state, there are reports of presidential election-type turnout, perhaps a reflection of just how bitter this year's midterm campaign has been in North Carolina. Meanwhile, Mark Dorosin, managing attorney for the UNC Center for Civil Rights, says the nonpartisan center's Election Day hotline has been besieged with higher than normal call volume for a midterm. Dorosin compared the calls to a presidential election year, noting many seem spurred by this year's election law changes, even though voter ID provisions do not take effect until 2016. "A lot of...

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DOJ to would-be Meadowmont and Durham frackers: Cease and desist

Posted By on Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 2:25 PM

It would appear the Pennsylvania company behind a number of bizarre mineral rights leasing offers in Durham and Chapel Hill has gotten on N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper's bad side. In a sharply worded letter mailed Monday, Cooper's office ordered Crimson Holdings Corporation—and its affiliated real estate firm Campbell Development LLC—to stop offering oil and gas leases in North Carolina. DOJ also demanded the prospective drillers, who sought to buy the mineral rights for nature preserves in Durham and the park at Meadowmont in Chapel Hill, reject and return any accepted lease offers from landowners. "Until you can demonstrate that...

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fracking company makes offers in Durham

Posted By on Tue, Jul 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Almost two months after fracking was legalized in North Carolina, a Pennsylvania company is offering to buy mineral rights from landowners in Durham. And since the company’s agent has not registered with state officials, he could be breaking the law. Leaders of the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, a conservationist nonprofit in Durham, say they recently have received offers from Crimson Holdings Corporation, a company based in Pittsburgh, seeking to buy mineral rights on multiple tracts. The association owns 340 acres and four public nature preserves in Durham. Crimson Holdings has also approached at least one other landowner near Falls Lake...

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Plan calls for faster mental health service in Durham, Wake

Posted By on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Access to care and crisis intervention training for law enforcement officers top the business plan for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, the state-funded agency charged with disbursing public mental health dollars in Wake and Durham counties. Durham County Commissioners Michael PageBoth were among the top local initiatives for the agency’s 2014-2016 plan as presented to Durham and Wake county commissioners Monday. Read a copy of the plan on the Durham commissioners' website here. The plan, which identifies service gaps and lays out strategies for addressing those gaps, requires review by county officials before Alliance can submit it to the N.C. Department of...

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Bo Lozoff killed in motorcycle crash in Hawai'i

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 8:16 PM

(Update, 9:03 p.m.: The Indy independently confirmed Lozoff's death through a musician and friend of his in Hawaii.) Bo Lozoff, who ran Kindness House, an intentional community near Durham for ex-offenders and spiritual seekers, was killed yesterday in a motorcycle crash in Hawai'i, where he lived, according to news reports. Lozoff, 65, died after his 2003 Suzuki motorcycle was struck by a 1999 Lexus SUV whose driver failed to yield the right of way and pulled in front of him. Neither the driver of the car nor the passenger were seriously hurt. News reports quoted police as saying Lozoff was...

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Is Aqua North Carolina in bed with 751 developers?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:07 PM

The private water company Aqua North Carolina has asked to buy water from Chatham County that could be used for the 751 South project. Chatham County Commissioners voted 4-1 to direct staff to draft a contract that would allow Aqua North Carolina to buy 850,000 gallons per day from the county. Sally Kost was the lone no vote at the Nov. 19 meeting—the Monday before Thanksgiving. Kost told the Indy tonight that she specifically asked an Aqua representative if the the water allocation had anything to do with 751. Kost said the Aqua representative responded, "We've talked with them," adding...

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Lincoln Apartments residents petition Durham County Commissioners over evictions

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 8:30 PM

This is the story of Lincoln Apartments as Southern Real Estate Management & Consultants tells it: The majority of the 50-plus households at the low-income housing community don't pay rent, or if they do, it's late. And without rent collections, the real estate company can't pay its bills and must evict all the residents, effective Oct. 31. But residents of Lincoln Apartments told Durham County Commissioners a much different version of events Monday night. And the residents' comments raise questions about the company's financial practices and overall management of the property. "We are not here to hand over our...

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Monday, May 7, 2012

State elections board clears Durham Partnership for Progress

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 10:12 AM

The N.C. Board of Elections has ruled that the mailers produced by the Durham Partnership for Progress were not coordinated with any candidates supported by the local SuperPAC. As the Indy reported last week, several complaints had been filed with the Durham Board of Elections, which forwarded them to the state level, alleging that the Partnership was working in concert with Durham commissioner candidates Michael Page, Brenda Howerton, Joe Bowser and Rickey Padgett. The Partnership has received more than $54,000 from Southern Durham Development, which is supporting the four candidates because of their stance on the 751 South project. The...

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Woodard: Election paperwork was sent, but not received

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Mike WoodardDurham City Councilman Mike Woodard, a candidate for N.C. Senate District 22, responded today to claims from competitor Kerry Sutton that he has not filed appropriate forms with the N.C. Ethics Commission and State Board of Elections. Woodard says he learned Friday that the stack of forms he says he sent Feb. 22, within the required 10-day period, had not been received by those offices. "I mailed them. They didn't receive them. It's my responsibility to get them in, and I'm going to take care of that today," Woodard said. The commission needs a Statement of Economic Interest and...

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Southern Durham Development gives $50K to developer's Super PAC

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

Southern Durham Development, which is behind the proposed 751 South development, has contributed more than $50,000 to The Durham Partnership for Progress, a Super PAC. Here is the campaign finance filing, due today: Partnership_for_Progress_30April2012.pdf As the Indy reported last week, DPP has ties to Southern Durham Development through Tyler Morris. He is a majority shareholder in Southern Durham Development and assistant treasurer of Durham Partnership for Progress. DPP is behind a mailer supporting Durham County Commission candidates Joe Bowser, Brenda Howerton, Rickey Padgett and Michael Page. Bowser, Howerton and Page all voted to approve the controversial rezoning of 751 South,...

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Durham's first Super PAC has ties to Southern Durham Development

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM

If you’re a Durham County resident, you may have received campaign mailers supporting the slate of Michael Page, Brenda Howerton, Joe Bowser and Rickey Padgett for county commissioner. Here's the mailer: mailer_no_address.pdf That mailer was paid for by the innocuously named Durham Partnership for Progress. But innocuous it is not: DPP is actually an independent expenditure political committee—commonly known as a Super PAC—organized by developer Tyler Morris, a majority shareholder in Southern Durham Development. And not coincidentally, DPP is bankrolled, so far, by Southern Durham Development, which plans to build the controversial 751 South project in the sensitive Jordan Lake...

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Study: Durham voters have reason to be confused

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Durham County voters have reason to be confused this election season, according to a new metric trotted out Thursday by Democracy NC. The Voter Confusion Index, which measures the total number of split precincts in each county for the General Assembly and U.S. Congressional seats, lists Durham as the third worst. Wake County is 16th. Orange is 81st. Cumberland and Wayne, respectively, top Durham....

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Judge to announce decision on Cline Friday morning

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 4:21 PM

file pool photo/Chuck Liddy/The News & ObserverSuspended Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline For live coverage of Cline's hearing, follow @indyweek and #TraceyCline on Twitter. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood will announce a decision Friday morning on whether suspended Durham District Attorney should keep her job. The hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3 on the fifth floor of the Durham County Courthouse. Hobgood will consider whether the state should remove Cline, 48, from the elected office she has held for three years, or whether her rights to free speech apply in claims she made against Durham Judge...

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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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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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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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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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Jim Anthony, who owns the property through an LLC, says above “I figured [the Durham GOP] would take responsibility for …

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