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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Durham Councilwoman: Why Are Cops Involved in Frank Clark Shooting Still on Force?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 at 7:21 PM

The allegations made by residents in the McDougald Terrace community during a Monday evening press conference have made Durham City Councilwoman Jillian Johnson question why the three officers involved in the fatal shooting of thirty-four-year-old Frank Clark are still employed by the city. Johnson sent this email to City Manager Tom Bonfield today and said she was "struggling to understand" why Master Officer C.S. Barkley, Officer M.D. Southerland and Officer C.Q. Goss remained on the beat after a 2014 incident that saw an internal investigation into the men's policing practices unfold—and was concerned that "these officers aren't the only ones...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

McDougald Terrace Residents Want Officer Who Fatally Shot Frank Clark Off Streets

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 10:08 PM

Jasmine Lloyd said he has been harassing her since she was twelve years old—the Durham police officer who gunned down her boyfriend, Frank “Scooter Bug” Clark, November 22 in McDougald Terrace. He even threatened her when she was pregnant with a child who became fatherless the moment Master Officer C.S. Barkley fired a fatal shot that shook the city’s black community to its core, she said. So when, at the tail end of a press conference called by the lawyers representing the Clark family in the aftermath of an officer-involved shooting that eyewitnesses claim was unjust, the floor was opened...

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Local Lawyer: Officer Who Fired Fatal Shot Has a History ...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:54 PM

An email sent from a local attorney to members of the Durham City Council this morning notes that Master Officer C.S. Barkley, the man who fired the shots that killed thirty-four-year-old Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark last week in McDougald Terrace, has been accused of use of excessive force on numerous occasions. From Ian Mance, a staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice: It is also worth noting that Mance is not the only person to claim that Barkley has a history of less-than-professional interactions with city residents. Several people interviewed by the INDY have made similar claims—from some who allege...

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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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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

With a $1.2 Million Grant, Durham City Council Helps Save Deficit-Burdened Housing Authority

Posted By on Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 1:51 PM

The Durham City Council is helping to ensure the Durham Housing Authority and its non-profit, real estate development partner Development Ventures Incorporated can continue to provide affordable housing for Durham residents. DHA requested a nearly $1.2 million grant from the city in order to help fund four months of administrative overhead for DVI and to help “replenish public housing reserves” at the housing authority. The money would be split between the two entities—with $389,783 going to DVI for “administrative and predevelopment expenses,” and $805,430 for DHA to help eliminate operating deficits. The first chunk of money will come out...

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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

To Keep Track of Trees, Durham Branches Out to Develop Inventory, Assessment

Posted By on Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 3:18 PM

Durham takes its trees seriously. In neighborhoods on the west side of town residents take pride in their huge willow oaks—the sprawling branches provide shade in the summer and plenty of leaves to play in during the fall. But those trees are in danger, and will likely die within the next decade. There’s also an equity problem in terms of urban forestry—the neighborhoods on the east side of Durham have few trees. The city has been working to address both problems—the pending death of many of the street trees and the inequity of trees in the city. On Thursday,...

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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

Following a Federal Settlement, Duke Energy Is Funding Solar Schools across N.C.—Including in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 9:41 AM

NC Green Power, a Raleigh nonprofit, is partnering with Duke Energy to provide 100 percent of the cost of solar for ten schools in the Duke Energy Carolinas territory—essentially, from Durham to west of Charlotte along I-85. The program stems from a September 2015 settlement between Duke and the federal government over the energy giant’s alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. Duke will invest $300,000 in solar photovoltaic systems for schools—which must apply by December 2—as part of a $4.4 million settlement that commits Duke to funding environmental projects. Duke will base its solar PV project on NC Green...

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

See Where Your City Ranks on the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index...It Might Be Lower Than You Think

Posted By on Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 12:46 PM

With House Bill 2 still looming over North Carolina, the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index means a lot this year. As protections for LGBTQ individuals have been rolled back, it's clear that while some cities in the state are working to create a safe and equal environment for LGBTQ residents, others have a lot of work to do.  This is the fifth MEI report conducted by the HRC looking into "how inclusive municipal laws, policies,  and services are of the LGBTQ people who live and work there." It rates 506 cities, including ten in North Carolina. Here's how each of the...

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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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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ever Dream of Becoming a Durham Cop? Now’s Your Chance. The Police Department Is Offering New Incentives to Attract Candidates.

Posted By on Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 5:29 PM

This afternoon the Durham Police Department announced new incentives for men and women to join the police force.  The incentives come as the city council prepares to hear from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which conducted a staffing study for the department after former chief Jose Lopez requested additional funding to hire fifteen new investigators and fifty-six patrol officers.  Lopez wasn't successful at convincing the city council back in 2015. Since then, former interim chief Larry Smith has continued championing the need for additional officers, saying that the DPD is losing about sixty officers a year—nearly five a month....

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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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