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Friday, June 15, 2018

PTA Thrift Shop to PTA Council: You Can’t Make Us Drop “PTA” From Our Name

Posted By on Fri, Jun 15, 2018 at 9:40 AM

Late last week, the PTA Thrift Shop responded sharply to the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools PTA Council’s claim that the store no longer represents local PTAs and shouldn’t use “PTA” in its name. This came after the CHCCS PTA Council sent the thrift store a letter on June 4 demanding that it “immediately cease and desist the use of PTA in the name of all of its operations,” due to a slowdown in funding that the council says represents a shift in the thrift store’s mission. The store, however, says its mission hasn’t changed, only expanded. When the PTA...

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Monday, June 11, 2018

In County Budget Hearing, Speakers Call for Jail Reform, More Public School Funding And Eviction Diversion

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 at 11:03 PM

The mother of a teenager who died at the Durham County Detention Facility last year was among those who came to lobby county commissioners for reforms at the jail Monday night. Forty-one people lined up at the podium to speak during a public hearing on the proposed county budget, calling for changes to jail services and jail funding, more dollars for public schools and financial help for eviction diversion and homeless services. Julia Graves, the mother of Niecey Fennell, a seventeen-year-old found hanged in her cell last March, didn’t speak, but a lawyer representing her — Ian Mance, with the...

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Friday, June 8, 2018

American Woman: Hate Stormy Daniels All You Want, But Don’t Say Her Work Isn’t Legitimate

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 3:19 PM

I was waiting in line to pay handsomely for a Make America Horny Again t-shirt when I noticed a man at the merch table leaning over, hands on his knees. He was asking Stephanie Clifford (who had just performed under her best-known moniker, Stormy Daniels) to sign his wrinkled, business-casual button-down “as low as possible.” Clifford mustered a weak laugh as she signed her name a few inches above his ass. Jocelyn, a woman I’d just met, was next in line. After the mini-spectacle was over, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “All I have to say about...

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Should Apple and Amazon Ditch the Triangle Because of the General Assembly’s Voter ID Initiative?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 2:09 PM

The advocacy group Color of Change is calling on Amazon and Apple to drop North Carolina from consideration for their new locations in response to a bill introduced by House Republicans on Thursday. The bill proposes to amend the state constitution to require that voters present photo identification at the polls. If it passes, voters will decide in November whether to add the following paragraph to the constitution: “Every person offering to vote in person shall present photo identification before voting in the manner prescribed by law.” The bill does not specify what forms of ID would qualify for voting....

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

One Thousand People Re-Entered the Durham Jail Ten Or More Times Since 2011, And Other Insights from the Durham Innovation Team

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 6:36 PM

Last year, we told you about the Durham Innovation Team, a small team inside City Hall working to understand the economic barriers facing people with criminal records in Durham. On Thursday, that team presented to the City Council what it has learned and the ideas it has generated in that process. The full report is 117 pages, full of data and quotes from justice-involved residents, service providers and law enforcement interviewed by the team. It's worth a read, but we thought we'd pull out some highlights for you. You can also check out the team's abbreviated presentation to the...

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Durham City Council Says Affordable Housing Is Top Priority for Police Department Site

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 5:25 PM

The Durham City Council says affordable housing is its top priority for what to do with a prime four-acre lot currently occupied by the Durham Police Department headquarters. But it will wait to see what ideas developers can come up with for putting that into effect. Housing advocates had rallied outside of the council's Thursday work session asking that a portion of the site be reserved for affordable housing. The council ultimately decided not to subdivide the land, but those in the crowd were pleased the council agreed it also wanted to see at least eighty affordable units on...

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The NCGA Wants to Give Hog Farms Carte Blanche to Spray Pig Crap Wherever They Want, Neighbors Be Damned

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 3:47 PM

Last month, a federal judge ordered Smithfield Foods subsidiary Murphy-Brown to pay $3.25 million in damages following a nuisance suit regarding its use of open cesspools in hog waste disposal. This verdict was itself something of a break for Smithfield, a multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate. The jury had originally awarded the ten plaintiffs in this case, the first of twenty-six lawsuits scheduled to go to trial, more than $50 million, a devastating verdict. The $3.25 million judgment—reduced because of the state’s punitive-damages cap—was much more manageable. Nonetheless, with the second trial currently underway, the industry's allies in the General Assembly are trying...

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A New Bill Would Allow the City Council to See Police Body-Camera Recordings—But Only in Asheville

Posted By on Thu, Jun 7, 2018 at 11:02 AM

A local bill filed in the state House of Representatives yesterday would allow the Asheville City Council to review police body-camera recordings—a right that would not be extended to other city councils or citizens throughout the state. House Bill 1087, sponsored by three Buncombe County Democrats, changes the state’s controversial law governing the release of body-camera footage to allow (though not require) law-enforcement officials to share the footage with city council members in Asheville in a closed session, meaning the public will not be allowed to review the footage and the council members will be required to sign nondisclosure agreements...

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Kids Keep Dying, Politicians Keep Dithering: Notes from Tuesday’s NC Town Hall for School Safety

Posted By on Thu, May 31, 2018 at 7:43 AM

Greear Webb is tired of feeling unsafe at school. On Tuesday evening, the Sanderson High School junior recounted the “intense fear” he felt during the school’s May 14 lockdown to a crowd of seven hundred gathered inside the Raleigh school’s auditorium for a town hall on school safety. "As I was writing this speech,” Webb said, “I had to update and edit it numerous times just to stay current with the number of school shootings that occurred since Parkland.” Webb was the closing speaker at the NC Town Hall for School Safety, a student-organized event featuring panelists from the...

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Civil Rights Groups Sue DMV for Revoking Licenses Over Unpaid Fines

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2018 at 12:24 PM

In a federal lawsuit, civil rights groups say the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles' practice of revoking the driver's licenses of people who cannot pay for traffic tickets is unconstitutional. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of North Carolina, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) filed the suit in U.S. District Court today on behalf of two plaintiffs who have had their licenses revoked. Forty-three states revoke licenses over unpaid fines and fees, but in North Carolina, that revocation is automatic and indefinite. As a result, about 430,000 North Carolinians...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Is the General Assembly About to Kill Light Rail?

Posted By on Tue, May 29, 2018 at 7:07 AM

The budget adjustment Republicans in the General Assembly crafted behind closed doors, unveiled last night, and are expected to pass by a veto-proof supermajority later this week—for the first time in modern history, without an opportunity for lawmakers to offer amendments, because democracy is for suckers—does a lot of things. It keeps the tax cuts coming, lowering the personal income-tax rate to 5.25 percent (from 5.499 percent), cutting the corporate tax rate from 3 percent to 2.5 percent, and throwing a ton of incentive money at major new economic projects (cough Apple cough). It includes an average 6.5 percent raise for...

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Sunday, May 27, 2018

Man Found Dead in Durham County Jail Cell

Posted By on Sun, May 27, 2018 at 4:50 PM

A man being held at the Durham County Detention Facility was found dead in his cell this morning, according to the Sheriff's Office. The man was not identified and a press release included no information about a possible cause of death. The State Bureau of Investigation has been asked to investigate and more information is expected to be released once the man's family is notified. Here's the full statement: This morning, Sunday May 27, just after 8:00 am Durham County EMS was called to the Detention Center regarding an inmate who was found unresponsive in his cell. First responders on...

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Swedish Sadness: Ikea Pulls Out of Cary

Posted By on Wed, May 23, 2018 at 4:28 PM

In a huge blow to Triangle furniture enthusiasts and meatball lovers alike, Swedish powerhouse Ikea will not be setting up shop in Cary as expected, the N&O reported today. The store was expected to open in the Cary Towne Center in 2020 but decided not to pursue the location as part of a broader company strategy to reevaluate the store's expansion projects. In October, the Cary Town Council unanimously voted in favor of the project, which was slated to replace a vacant Sears and Macy's in the mall. In a statement, Ikea told the N&O the U.S. wing of the...

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Support Affordable Housing With Kooley High, Batalá and Blackspace at Durham Community Land Trustees Fundraiser

Posted By on Tue, May 22, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Kooley High, Batalá Durham drummers and Blackspace poets will headline a party benefiting Durham Community Land Trustees on June 1. DCLT is Durham's only community land trust. The nonprofit housing developer builds, renovates, and advocates for permanently affordable housing, managing two hundred and thirty affordable rental properties and fifty single family owned homes in seven Durham neighborhoods. The benefit party will be held in Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., from six to nine p.m. Under the land trust model, homeowners buy DCLT houses and lease the land they sit on from DCLT for a low fee, ensuring the property remains...

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Durham Residents Will Get to Tell the City How to Spend $2.4 Million

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 9:57 PM

The Durham City Council in a split vote decided Monday night to let residents choose how to spend $2.4 million through participatory budgeting. The five-two vote follows weeks of disagreement over how much funding the city should set aside for its first attempt at participatory budgeting, in which Durham residents and students thirteen and older will get to vote on projects they'd like to see the city implement. City staff had recommended $750,000, while Mayor Pro Tem Jillian Johnson, who has advocated for the city to enact participatory budgeting during her time on the council, suggested $2.5 million based on...

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Bigger Budget, No Property Tax Increase Proposed for City of Durham

Posted By on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 9:03 PM

Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield's proposed budget for the upcoming year doesn't include a property tax increase, but does add money for homeless support services, affordable housing, athletic parks, and staffing. Bonfield said the city is able to avoid a property tax increase in part because of higher-than-expected property tax revenues due to new construction. That would be good news for city residents, who saw both a city and county tax increase this fiscal year with another likely increase in county property tax rates for the coming year. "The taxable value for next fiscal year will grow by $1.2 billion,...

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Pearl Berlin, North Carolina LGBTQ Icon, Dies at the Age of Ninety-Two

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 5:41 PM

Pearl Berlin woke up Lennie Gerber every morning for fifty years with “a kiss and a little schmooze.” In 2013, she added two simple words to this morning ritual: “We’re married.” It took over a year for the State of North Carolina to recognize those words as legally true. Berlin, whose fight for marriage equality in North Carolina made her an icon for LGBTQ rights across the country, died Thursday. She was ninety-two years old and just shy of reaching the couple’s anniversary on June 2. Berlin legally married Gerber, eighty-two, in Maine on September 10, 2013, just sixteen months...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Twenty Thousand People Amass in Downtown Raleigh to Demand Better Education Funding

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 3:04 PM

A sea of red swept across the streets of Raleigh this morning as thousands of teachers from across the state marched to advocate for pay raises along with more supplies and resources for public schools. According to the North Carolina Association of Educators, which coordinated the march, there were upward of twenty thousand people in attendance. An energetic and vocal crowd gathered along South Street near the NCAE headquarters and marched through downtown toward the state legislative building. Along the route, onlookers and business owners gawked at the immense size of the crowd, and news helicopters hummed overhead to...

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Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM

This morning, Nancy Errichetti, the head of school at the Montessori School of Raleigh, was arrested at the school by Raleigh police at about ten a.m. and charged with contributing to the delinquency and neglect of a minor and aiding and abetting the taking of indecent liberties with a child under the age of sixteen. Last year, as the INDY has previously reported, a teacher at the school, Nicholas Conlon Smith, was charged with more than twenty counts of statutory rape and the possession of child pornography. A lawsuit filed by the parents of two sisters who attended MSR...

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Durham County Budget Proposal Includes Tax Increase, More Sheriff's Office Positions, Money for Pre-K

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2018 at 9:54 PM

Durham County Manager Wendell Davis’s proposed budget includes a 1.9 cent property tax increase, additional funding for education and new positions in the Sheriff’s Office. Davis presented his $644 million proposal to the Board of Commissioners Monday night. They're slated to approve the spending plan on June 25, after a June 11 public hearing. If approved, the tax increase would come on the heels of a 2.75-cent property tax rate increase approved last June for the current year’s budget. This increase would bring the county property tax rate up from 76.79 cents per hundred dollars of property, to 78.69 cents....

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Joe Van Gogh Cuts Ties with Duke After Controversial Firing of Two Employees

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Earlier this week, we reported a story about a conflict at a coffee shop on Duke's campus that exploded into national news. Two employees, Britni Brown and Kevin Simmons, were fired from Joe Van Gogh's Duke campus location after Larry Moneta, the vice president of student affairs, complained about the language of Young Dolph's "Get Paid," which was playing on Spotify over the shop's PA during a busy service period. The firings sparked a wave of outrage over how Moneta, Duke, and Joe Van Gogh treated the employees. Students protested at Moneta's office, Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts apologized,...

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Duke University President Vincent E. Price Apologizes for Young Dolph-Gate

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 6:04 PM

Duke University President Vincent E. Price released a statement Thursday afternoon addressing a number of recent issues on Duke’s campus that indicate “the absence of respect for others,” he wrote, including the firing of two employees of the Joe Van Gogh coffee shop on campus after Larry Moneta, Duke’s vice president for student affairs, complained to their employers that they were playing an inappropriate song. "I am, in particular, sorry that the words of one of my senior administrators recently resulted in two individuals working for one of our on-campus vendors losing their jobs,” Price wrote. “hile I am...

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Misdemeanor Marijuana Arrests in Durham Are Way Down

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 2:37 PM

The Durham Police Department filed about half as many misdemeanor marijuana charges in 2017 than it did the year before, according to a newly released annual report. In 2017, the DPD filed 498 charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession or possession of drug paraphernalia, across 426 individual arrests. That's down from 854 charges in 2016 and 1,406 in 2013. About 56 percent of the 2017 charges were for possession of drug paraphernalia. The 498 marijuana-related charges accounted for about 5 percent of all charges filed by the DPD in 2017. According to the report, those charges "were distributed throughout the City,...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Protesters at Duke Joe Van Gogh Call on Administration to Condemn Controversial Employee Firing

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 6:03 PM

Dozens of students appeared outside of the Joe Van Gogh on Duke West Campus early this afternoon to protest the termination of two of the coffee shop’s employees. Both baristas were asked to resign after Duke’s vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta, complained that they were playing an explicit rap song. Moneta told Britni Brown, a black woman and a barista at the coffee shop, that the song that was playing, “Get Paid” by Young Dolph, was offensive and inappropriate. Brown immediately, turned off the song, and offered to give Moneta his order free of charge. Moneta and Kevin...

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Joe Van Gogh Owner Robbie Roberts Apologizes for Handling of Duke Officials’ Demand to Fire Baristas

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 12:06 PM

In a statement posted on the company’s website this morning, Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts apologized for how his company handled a demand from Duke administrators to fire two baristas over a song that university vice president of student affairs Larry Moneta found offensive. His statement: Joe Van Gogh apologizes to our employees, customers and community for how we handled a situation involving our Duke University store. As you have read, it is true that Joe Van Gogh is a contractor to Duke. We attempted to understand Duke’s position in this case, but we should have taken a different...

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Good for the State! No more wasting my tax dollars, both Federal and State, for something only a fraction of …

by Daniel Edwards on Is the General Assembly About to Kill Light Rail? (News)

My problem with Durham house public housing authority is The disrespect the no respect from the neighbors their are following …

by Lashonda Mcneil on DHA Breaks Ground on First Public Housing Redevelopment Projects (News)

Yes, since the parents are paying tuition that pays the bills at the school, there should be transparency. I don't …

by Kay Bonquiqui on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

Some things the Staff and Parent community may want to ask the Board:

Q: Have there been amendments to …

by ToWhomItMayConcern on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

WHY is your state so backward? For decades I've been following it.

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by Nadine Mesnard Alldridge on Believe in God? No? N.C. constitution says you can't hold public office (News)

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Good for the State! No more wasting my tax dollars, both Federal and State, for something only a fraction of …

by Daniel Edwards on Is the General Assembly About to Kill Light Rail? (News)

My problem with Durham house public housing authority is The disrespect the no respect from the neighbors their are following …

by Lashonda Mcneil on DHA Breaks Ground on First Public Housing Redevelopment Projects (News)

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