Whether it be over college basketball, or vying for Google Fiber, there are some folks in the Triangle who just LOVE turning everything into a competition. That said, residents in Chatham County is leaving the rest of the Triangle in the dust when it comes to returning its U.S. Census forms. Durham (cough, cough) is choking on that dust.
Numbers will be updated today at 4 p.m., but as of now, these are how the rankings shake out:
(Percentages of U.S. Census recipients who have mailed them back)
Democracy NC and N.C. Justice Center tell us so. It was going to be tomorrow (Saturday). Now, it's reset for Saturday, Feb. 27. Reason: Bad weather's comin'.
The Chatham County school board appointed Gary Leonard, a retired English teacher, to represent District 4. Leonard replaces Gerald Totten, who died in December.
Leonard, who lives in Bennett, was among six applicants, including two other retired Chatham County teachers, Mary Harris and Trudy Walters.
District 2 school board member David Hamm said for him, Leonard was “a very clear choice.”
"I've known him my whole career. He's always been real active in the community at all levels," Hamm said. “I can sum him up in a couple of words: he's a pure gentlemen who will put kids first.”
Leonard retired from the Chatham County school system in June 2007, and now teaches sixth grade English at Chatham Charter School in Siler City. His wife teaches fifth grade at Bennett Elementary School.
"We are excited to have Gary join the board, said Deb McManus, who also represents District 4. (Due to the number of residents in the district, there are two representatives.) “He is very respected in the county and brings over thirty years of experience in education. We believe he will be a strong asset to us and the school district."
Leonard will be sworn in Monday, Feb. 15.
A dog wash, a beauty shop and a florist are among several northern Chatham County businesses that have been burglarized in the last month, and the method—busting through a window or glass door—is similar to recent break-ins at Chapel Hill stores.
Since early December, several burglaries have occurred at businesses in Cole Park Plaza, Chatham Crossing and Chatham Downs. Max's Dog Wash and Snack Shack, was burglarized Dec. 16, and again Jan. 3. On his or her first trip, the burglar made off with the cash; the second time, the thief took nothing of monetary value—just the owner's sense of security and the out-of-pocket expense of replacing the $320 glass front door.
Over a two-week span, Panda Garden, Farrington Hair Salon, Fancy Nail Spa, Magnolia House Flowers, and The Hop Shop at Carolina Brewery were also burglarized. Three of those businesses ushered in the New Year with a call to police that their business had been busted into.
In Chapel Hill, 21 businesses have been burglarized. Likewise, the intruder breaks through the glass door or window with a crow-bar or rock and heads for the register.
The Chatham County Sheriff's Department has established a task force investigating the burglaries. Chatham County officers have spent most of today visiting northern Chatham County business owners and encouraging them to use the Sheriff Department's "Business Watch Program."
Taking a break from his lunch at Panda Garden, Capt. Charles Gardener said police are investigating a suspect.
“At this time I can not name that suspect, but we are very hard at work on this case,” said Gardener, who recommends small business owners buy a video camera and/or install an alarm system.
“A picture is worth a thousand words,” he said. “Those things are expensive, I know, but it pays off in the long run.”
A nonprofit group’s attempt to hinder a controversial rezoning case near Jordan Lake fell flat Friday, as Durham officials denied the validity of a petition filed by the organization. The petitioner, the Haw River Assembly, did not include signatures of enough landowners around the area to be rezoned, said Durham City-County Planning Director Steve Medlin.
With its petition, the group was hoping to influence the outcome of a vote by Durham County Commissioners, who on Monday will decide whether to redraw boundaries protecting Jordan Lake and its watershed. Shifting the boundaries would allow Southern Durham Development to build a 164-acre mixed-use development, 751 Assemblage, in an area many say should remain undeveloped. (View Monday's agenda here.)
On Monday night, Commissioners need just a simple majority – three affirmative votes – to redraw the boundaries. Had the petition been valid, the rezoning would have required a supermajority, or four affirmative votes, to pass.
The petition is a small piece of a circuitous, four-year-old issue surrounding the rezoning of land around Jordan Lake, a drinking water reservoir that spans Durham and Chatham counties. Most of the disagreement among public officials, developers and other stakeholders is where exactly the critical watershed should be, and which methodology is best to evaluate factors that determine those boundaries. (Read more about the history of this issue here.)
The local NAACP chapter has issued a response to an internal investigation by the Chapel Hill Police Department, which found officers had acting appropriately in detaining a black Chapel Hill barber because he looked similar to a suspect.
A statement from the chapter called the investigation " a strong argument for the immediate establishment of a Citizen Review Board." It also disputes key findings. You can read the full statement below:
Chapel Hill officials found no wrongdoing after investigating a complaint by Charles Brown, the black barber who was confused for another suspect and held by police.
After hearing a closed session report at last night's meeting, the Chapel Hill Town Council released a memorandum today saying that all officers involved should be exonerated.
"This investigation uncovered no evidence to support the claim by Mr. Brown that he was taunted by Chapel Hill Police Officers," it reads. "In all statements provided by officers, there was no indication that any of the officers mistreated Mr. Brown."
The full document, delivered by Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran, may be found here.
Captain Jeff Clark, who completed the internal investigation, recommends that the department place cameras in all of its vehicles and develop a policy of creating written reports after taking anyone into investigative detention.
We'll bring you more details as they develop.
Kevin Wolff has issued a press release claiming he was misquoted in this Monday's N&O and threatening legal action if other reporters "alter any of these facts."
Wolff was responding to this article in which Anne Bleyman, identified as a Mark Kleinschmidt supporter, says she received a push poll phone call from Wolff's campaign that asked if she'd vote for Wolff if she knew he was the only "moral" candidate.
Wolff's campaign manager, Steve Hill, said the word was "mayoral." Hill refused to release the text of the poll to the N&O.
Today's release states that "An article appeared in The News & Observer on Monday, September 21, that implied that Kevin Wolff stated “... he never authorized a poll question about morality.” That is an incorrect statement, Mr. Wolff stated that the campaign has never discussed morality period."
The case against Daniel Boyd and the other Wake County Muslims indicted on terrorism charges by a federal grand jury in Raleigh may turn on what the eighth defendant, who's still at large, has been up to in Pakistan. There's some new reporting on that angle in an excellent overview of the case published last week by the the Guardian, a leading newspaper in Great Britain.
Since the Guardian's piece appeared, the eighth man, Jude Kenan Mohammad, failed to appear for a scheduled September 5 court date in Pakistan on minor charges, according to ABC News.
All's quiet on the Carrboro front. Officers in the Paris of the Piedmont filed 12 incident reports and responded to two traffic accidents Wednesday. No arrests were made.
Among the incidents (police narratives in parentheses):
• an animal call (Complainant states that there is a black snake in front of her front door. On arrival the snake had moved to the bushes in front of the house. I was unable to locate the animal. I advised her to call if it came back.)
• three men attempting to smoke a blunt at the Carrboro-based Chapel Hill Tennis Club (Mr. Powell disposed of the marijuana by opening the piece of bag and emptying it in a large trash can along with the cigar paraphernalia. No charges were filed in the incident. All parties involved were advised they should not return to the business unless during business hours.--no further)
• a parking space dispute (I responded to 310 N Greensboro St in reference to communicating threats. The complainant, Charlotte Livingston, advised that she and a black male, identified as Anthony Paige, had gotten into a verbal altercation over a parking spot. She stated that she pulled into a parking spot in that Paige had been waiting for. She advised that once she pulled in he yelled at her "that`s fucked up." She stated that she then yelled back "kiss my ass." She advised that once inside Harris Teeter, Paige approached her and told her "you don`t know who you're fucking with." She stated that Paige also threatened to hit her in the face. Paige advised that Livingston had cut him off pulling into a parking spot. He advised that he did yell at her and used profanity. He stated that he told her "you don`t know who you`re fucking with." He stated that he did not make any threats to Livingston's safety.
Livingston was referred to the magistrate in reference to the threats. She advised that she did not wish to pursue charges. Both parties left the area. No further assistance needed.)
The Indy has no further at this time.