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Monday, August 2, 2010

Museum of Life and Science board chimes in on billboard issue

Posted By on Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Courtesy John SchelpNear N.C. 147, East Durham Update Monday afternoon: Barry Van Deman, president and CEO of the Museum of Life and Science, wrote to City Council members today about the museum's position on digital billboards. You can read the letter, but in essence he reiterates the museum "has not taken and does not intend" an official position on the billboard ordinance. museumlettermonday.pdf Tonight's Durham City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. If the main City Council Chambers fills, there is other seating in an overflow area where people can watch the proceedings on TV screens. The meeting will also...

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Permit Issued for controversial Western Wake sewage plant

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

After five years of fighting the placement and construction of a wastewater treatment plant within their town's historic district, the New Hill Community has received a setback. Yesterday the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers' district commander Col. Jefferson M. Ryscavage issued the Corp's Record of Decision (ROD). The ROD gives the Western Wake Partners the necessary permit to begin building their $327 million wastewater plant at Site 14. That site is located on a 237-acre parcel of farmland taken by eminent domain by the Partners for the purpose of building the 62-acre wastewater treatment plant. The location lies adjacent...

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sales tax resolution fails in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 9:59 PM

By a one-vote margin, Durham County Commissioners squelched a resolution Thursday night to hold a public referendum on a quarter-cent sales tax increase this November. Commissioners Michael Page, Ellen Reckhow and Becky Heron voted against the measure; Brenda Howerton and Joe Bowser voted yes. Revenue from the sales tax, estimated at $7.8 million for fiscal year 2011-2012, would have been funneled solely to public schools. Because of decreased state funding, the Durham Public School district needed—and received from county commissioners—an influx of cash for the coming school year to thwart extensive teacher layoffs. Bowser proposed the latest sales tax increase...

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Complaints could bring trouble for Scarborough & Hargett Funeral Home

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Just days after a national announcement honoring Scarborough & Hargett Funeral Home Inc., the 100-year-old, renowned business could be under fire with state authorities and a local widow, whose husband’s body was allegedly allowed to decay at the funeral home. Another unrelated complaint against the funeral home is also pending a hearing on the matter, according to Steve Dirksen, an attorney for the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service. Records also show the funeral home, located at a temporary building at 923 Old Fayetteville St., has been on probation for the past three years because of violations found in...

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Chapel Hill consultant says free parking isn't free, or a good idea

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 5:08 PM

CHAPEL HILL —There’s nowhere to park downtown. It’s too expensive. Chapel Hill has tried to confront these well-worn perceptions for decades. Of late, the town has moved to free parking on Sundays and free valet service, but cries continue for more options. Jeremy LangeDan Douglas of KlingStubbins is crafting a plan for downtown Chapel Hill.But at a Friends of Downtown meeting this morning, the consultant hired to craft a new downtown development plan said free parking costs more than it’s worth. Dan Douglas of KlingStubbins responded with the old, “if I had a nickel for every time I heard that”...

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A license to kill: The U.S. and human execution equipment

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 5:00 PM

This weird tidbit has been sitting in the Triangulator's inbox for a while: Companies that want to export execution equipment including electric chairs, gallows, guillotines, air tight vaults and lethal chemical injection tables must now get a U.S. export license, the trade magazine Government Security News reported earlier this month. The export licenses are issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The new rule became effective July 15. The death penalty is legal in 70 countries, including the U.S., India, Japan and many Middle Eastern and African nations. The equipment could be used not only for products and systems that...

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

UNC announces plans to foster renewable energy internships, jobs

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 5:17 PM

UNC unveiled a program today to help students gain green jobs. Developing Energy Leaders through Action (The DELTA acronym is fitting for obvious reasons) will offer more than 60 internships for undergraduate and graduate students with energy companies, local and state government and within the campus itself. D.L. AndersonUNC's FedEx Global Education Center features a green roof. The campus is hoping to develop future renewable energy leaders with a new program.UNC’s Institute for the Environment will house the program. It is funded by a $325,000 grant from the N.C. Energy Office and $60,000 garnered via the campus student renewable energy...

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Monday, July 26, 2010

County attorney stalls ruling on DOT's land rejection; 751 vote expected Aug. 9

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 11:56 PM

That burning question? Yep, still no answer. After hearing three and a half hours of public views on the contentious 751 South development, Durham's county commissioners stalled a vote on whether to rezone the project's land until their Aug. 9 meeting. The postponement came just before midnight, and added another two weeks to a process that already has stretched more than two years as the public and commissioners have considered the huge mixed-use development proposed for 167 acres in south Durham near Jordan Lake. County Attorney Lowell Siler requested the delay. He said he obtained at 5 p.m. legal...

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Durham commissioners to vote tonight on 751 South

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 3:54 PM

D.L. AndersonSteve Bocckino, an outspoken opponent of 751 South, talks with members of the Durham People's Alliance at a protest the group held against the development on Thursday, June 17, 2010. At tonight’s public hearing county commissioners will decide whether one of the last stretches of rural land in southern Durham should be open to dense development. The vote, expected to happen after extensive public comment, is one of the most anticipated decisions in the last 25 years of Durham politics. The 751 project would be enormous: 167 acres, 1,300 houses, townhomes, apartments and condos, plus as much as 600,000...

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Luebke: N.C. DOT has agreed to reject land that would nullify protest petition

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 3:45 PM

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m. - Rep. Paul Luebke (D-Durham) confirmed that the N.C. DOT plans to announce this afternoon it is rejecting the easement it accepted earlier this month from Southern Durham Development, as not to interfere in the local zoning process. Luebke said he credits the swift action of 751 opponents, who sent hundreds of e-mails to Gov. Bev Perdue and Secretary of Transportation Eugene Conti. "It proves clearly that an involved citizenry can—and did—make a difference," Luebke said. Luebke also said he believes Conti and Durham's DOT staff were not aware of all the ramifications of accepting the...

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Chapel Hill offers reward in on-loan sculpture heist

Posted By on Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM

The Town of Chapel Hill is calling for the safe return of “our missing little girl” after someone pilfered a $16,000 sculpture from the lawn of the Chapel Hill Museum on Franklin Street. Courtesy of the Town of Chapel Hill"Landing," a sculpture by Florida-based artist Cecilia Lueza, went missing from the Chapel Hill Museum earlier this month.Jeff York, Chapel Hill’s public arts administrator, says the town is offering a $250 reward, no questions asked, for the piece, a bright orange and yellow epoxy girl leaping skyward. “We aren’t interested in pressing charges or anything like that,” he says. “We just...

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fish kill reported in Haw River

Posted By on Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Alamance County Parks and Recreation A fish kill has been reported in the upper portion of the Haw River that runs through Alamance County before flowing into Chatham County. Haw River Assembly Riverkeeper Elaine Chiosso says the fish kill involving several hundred fish is likely related to the 1.45 million gallons of untreated wastewater the City of Greensboro spilled on July 14, after a strong storm knocked out power for six and half hours. However, that has not been confirmed by state officials. The untreated sewage entered South Buffalo Creek in the Cape Fear River Basin before flowing into the...

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pedersen: 2010-11 school year will be my last with CHCCS

Posted By on Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 10:21 PM

As expected, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Neil Pedersen announced tonight that his 19th year at the helm will be his last. Pedersen, the longest serving head in the 101-year history of the district, will step down June 30, 2011. Courtesy of CHCCSCHCCS Neil Pedersen will close the book on his tenure in 2011.Pedersen issued a statement two weeks ago, saying he would announce a decision at tonight’s CHCCS Board of Education meeting. “Dr. Pedersen, are there any announcements?” Chairman Mike Kelley asked to start the meeting, inviting the elephant in the room to trumpet. “Yes,” he said, smiling the...

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gov. Perdue signs sweepstakes bill

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Gov. Beverly Perdue signed House Bill 80, which bans sweepstakes parlors in North Carolina. You can read the final ratified version of the bill here: H80v5.pdfThe bill passed on July 7 by a 86-27 vote. Unless the video sweepstakes industry successfully sues the state, which it has threatened to do, the 932 parlors must close when the law goes into effect Dec. 1.There was no public ceremony for the bill signing. You can read the Indy's previous coverage, Feb. 24, June 17 and June 23....

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Hill's campaign finance violations chalked up to human error; corrected reports expected Tuesday

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill Sheriff Worth Hill's re-election campaign treasurer has been asked to submit amended campaign finance reports to Durham's Board of Elections after a Republican group pointed out Hill's past two reports omitted the identities of people who contributed thousands of dollars to his campaign. Donald Baker, Hill's campaign treasurer for the past 16 years, said the errors were due to human oversight when contacted by the Indy early Monday. "This is getting ridiculous," Baker said, when contacted. "I’m trying to correct this report right now, and I’m on the phone with a news reporter." The errors...

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Second chances: Commissioners offer leniency to several nonprofits

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Photo by D.L. AndersonLarry Thomas, a mentor with Durham Companions, talks with X'Zavier McFadden, age 9. In this week’s issue, you’ll see a story about Durham Companions, a nonprofit mentoring program that, despite getting a tongue-lashing a couple weeks ago from county commissioners for poor performance last year, still got funding for the coming year. In one of the toughest budget years in Durham County history, and one in which county employees are going without raises, workers have been laid off and residents will bear a five percent increase in the property tax rate, some have questioned whether it’s the...

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Google humbled by response to fiber program, launches new Web site

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill/Carrboro were among 36 municipalities in North Carolina and almost 1,100 nationally to apply for Google Fiber, the company announced today. Durham residents turned out in droves to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in March to try to woo Google.The tech giant rolled out plans in February to build a fiber-optic network for ultra-fast broadband in one or more communities sized between 50,000 and 500,000 people. The response was much more than they expected. Now Google has launched a site that centralizes their efforts and calls on communities to translate their push for Google Fiber into...

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is Pedersen ready to call it a career in Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools?

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 2:52 PM

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board Chairman Mike Kelley says he’s taking a deep breath. Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate coordinator Graig Meyer is avoiding speaking in the past tense. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public Schools Foundation director Kim Hoke sees a contract that hasn’t been renewed. The schools’ spokesperson isn’t speaking and the superintendent is referring all questions to a prepared statement. Courtesy of CHCCSSuperintendent Neil Pedersen hasn't asked for his contract to be renewed. He will announce his plans on July 22. The signs all point to the school board’s next meeting, July 22, when Superintendent Neil Pedersen will make his future plans...

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751 South protest petition found valid under current and new rules

Posted By on Tue, Jul 13, 2010 at 1:08 PM

County planning staff and the county attorney announced this morning that a petition (PDF) filed by residents near the proposed site for a controversial development is valid. The petition carries sufficient signatures from the required percentages of land around the site, which is south of Stagecoach Road and west of N.C. 751 (see map), said Patrick Young, Durham's assistant planning director. Now the petition will require four of five county commissioners to approve the rezoning of 167 acres of land in south Durham on which a developer wants to build a large mixed-use development called 751 South. The valid...

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Chapel Hill-Carrboro superintendent considering retirement

Posted By on Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Superintendent Neil Pedersen released a statement today addressing recent speculation about his impending retirement, saying he will announce a decision at the school board's July 22 meeting. Courtesy of CHCCSSuperintendent Neil Pedersen is mulling his future.Pedersen has served at the CHCCS helm for 18 years, which makes him the longest tenured superintendent in the state and in the history of the district. His four-year deal is up June 30, 2011 and he is yet to ask for a renewal. He came to the district in 1987 as assistant superintendent for support services, and he has been...

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Justice Center study finds N.C. budget expenditure at lowest point in 14 years

Posted By on Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 1:10 PM

State spending isn’t out of control; it’s actually at its lowest point in since 1996-97, according to a new study from the N.C. Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center. Photo by George A. Hoffman Jr.A replica of Antonio Canova's sculpture of George Washington dressed as a Roman general sits in the North Carolina State Capitol building. The report measures spending per capita in the 2010-11 budget, a $19 billion plan passed June 30, as the lowest in 14 years. It also finds that only 5.8 percent of North Carolinian’s total personal income is being spent compared to 8.2 percent in...

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Civilian police review board hears just five complaints this year, announces two vacancies

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 2:40 PM

File photoDavid Harris Durham's Civilian Police Review Board announced this week it is seeking to fill vacancies left by two exiting members. Long-time member and former board chairman Ethan Hertz is stepping down, as well as member Francine Less, said current board Chairman David Harris. Less has been on the board less than six months. Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 30. This year (July 2009 -June 2010), the board heard five complaints from members of the public against the Durham police, Harris reported. One complaint resulted in a hearing in April, and the officer was exonerated,...

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Comments

What if you'd killed someone, Lee? Disappointing.

by terryboo on Chapel Hill Councilman Lee Storrow arrested for DWI, speeding (News)

Yo Zack,

Stick this in your library.

https://youtu.be/7QvY7juAdQM …

by Jazzman on Paddy O’Beers owners charged with destruction of city property for moving benches (News)

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