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Monday, April 30, 2012

Lee charter school unlikely to open this year, applies for 2013

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The Howard and Lillian Lee Scholars Charter School is a long shot to open in August. Its founders are struggling to find a suitable temporary location for the school as they navigating the zoning approval process for a permanent site. Amid opposition from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools board and the local NAACP, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved fast-track status for the Lee School in February, clearing the way for the group to open later this year. But now, as a backup plan, they say, the school’s brass has submitted a request to the state to open...

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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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Early voting up in Durham, Wake, falling short in Orange

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Early voting turnout in Durham and Wake counties is expected to meet or exceed the 2008 numbers. Early voting ends Saturday, May 5. Election Day is Tuesday, May 8. In Durham County, about 20,000 people voted in the 2008 May primary with the bulk (12,000) casting ballots during the final week of the primaries, said Durham Board of Elections Director Michael Perry. This year, 12,500 people have voted so far in Durham County, with most votes expected to be cast this week. Of the early voters, 62.7 percent are registered Democrats, 11.5 percent are Republicans, 0.3 percent Libertarians and 25.5...

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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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N.C. Attorney General's Office releases draft report on fracking, consumer protection

Posted By on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 at 1:32 PM

The N.C. Department of Justice's Consumer Protection Division released its draft report today on the impacts of fracking on landowners. In a word: If you're a landowner in North Carolina and you've signed away your mineral rights—or have been liberated of them by a homebuilder—you could be in trouble. The report was presented at a meeting of the Environmental Review Commission, which is composed of 18 state legislators. You can read it here: Oil_and_Gas_Study.pdf Some key points of the DOJ's presentation include: Strong landowner protections are needed before the state moves forward on legalizing fracking. There is no requirement in...

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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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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

D.R. Horton do-over: Homebuilder returns mineral rights

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

We were out of the office yesterday when D.R. Horton began returning mineral rights to homeowners in the Triangle. A quick update in case you missed it: The deed corrections are being issued—47 and counting in Durham County alone. The one attached here includes the language that the rights "were inadvertently saved, excepted and reserved" by D.R. Horton. (Our emphasis.) unfracking.deed.pdf It's incredulous that D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, "inadvertently" granted mineral rights to 426 Triangle properties to its subsidiary, DRH Energy, but that's how the deed correction reads. Another deed correction, however, does not include that...

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Jay Bakker to lead anti-Amendment 1 rally in Durham

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Jay Bakker, son of evangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, will come to Durham Sunday, April 22, at 1 p.m. to lead a rally against Amendment 1. The event is slated for the Trotter Building, 410 W. Geer St. Bakker is the co-founder of Revolution Church and preaches in New York City. He is the subject of the 2006 documentary One Punk Under God. Here is the press release: The "Faith in Action: Get Out the Vote" ... will focus on the harms of a constitutional amendment on the May 8, 2012, North Carolina primary ballot that would threaten...

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D.R. Horton responds to mineral rights inquiry

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 10:41 AM

We received an email today from D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, explaining its disclosure policy about mineral rights. NC_Retention_of_Mineral_Rights_Fact_Sheet_1_.pdf "D.R. Horton requires that its mineral rights reservation be disclosed to prospective homebuyers multiple times throughout their purchase experience," the document reads in part. "D.R. Horton also currently requires closing attorneys paid by D.R. Horton to conduct closings to provide a separate written disclosure for the buyers, discuss the disclosure with them and have the buyer sign the disclosure prior to closing." As the Indy reported April 4, D.R. Horton has granted the mineral rights to at least...

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Friday, April 13, 2012

N.C. voters: What's fracking?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Half of North Carolina voters have no opinion on fracking, according to a recent survey of 975 people by Public Policy Polling. "The reaction for a plurality of North Carolinians, when asked about it, is 'huh?'" PPP stated in a press release. Of those who did have an opinion, 27 percent oppose the controversial energy drilling practice, while 24 percent approve. "The party lines on the issue are pretty predictable," PPP stated. "Republicans support it; Democrats and independents are opposed." The automated telephone poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.14 percent....

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N.C. Attorney General's office to D.R. Horton: More info, please

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:05 AM

The N.C. Attorney General's office sent a letter yesterday to lawyers for D.R. Horton about how the homebuilder notified prospective buyers that their properties would not include the mineral rights. As the Indy reported on April 4, D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, assigned the mineral rights of at least 425 properties in the Triangle to its energy subsidiary, DRH Energy. By stripping the properties of the mineral rights, homeowners cannot control the mining, drilling or fracking activities beneath their properties. In addition, many banks and financial lenders, including the State Employees' Credit Union, Freddie Mac and Fannie...

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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA ends formal discussions with YMCA of the Triangle

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Young man (and other concerned parties), there's no need to feel down. The Chapel Hill Carrboro YMCA announced Friday that it ended its pursuit of a formal relationship with the YMCA of the Triangle. Talk of teaming up, including a possible merger, riled the community for 18 months. The Raleigh-based YMCA of the Triangle, which runs a dozen Piedmont-area YMCAs, does not list sexual orientation as a protected class in employment materials. Jennifer Trapani, president of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA Board of Directors, said the decision to no longer seek a partnership was mutual. The controversy played a part in...

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