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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Paper delay due to inclement weather

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Due to inclement weather, the Wednesday, January 29 edition of INDY Week will be delivered on Thursday, January 30. You can expect to see papers in Triangle-area paper boxes and racks starting late morning. Our website will be updated as usual and new content will be available online at 7:30 am Wednesday morning. Stay warm and safe! ...

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Liberty Warehouse developers roll out plans

Posted By on Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Roughly 150 or so Durham residents craned forward to look Thursday night as Liberty Warehouse's prospective developers unveiled their site plan at the Durham County Public Library. The verdict? Not much surprise and a somewhat mixed reaction. During a community meeting convened by Preservation Durham, builders from Chapel Hill-based East West Partners explained their intentions to convert the historic tobacco warehouse near Durham's Central Park into a 320,000 square-foot, mixed-use complex. Highlights include 246 apartments, 24,000 square feet of retail space and a 391-space parking deck at the project's center. At its tallest, the building will stand five stories....

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

McCrory Press Conference Leaves Something to be Desired

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 6:50 PM

Governor McCrory’s press conference today, attended by his full cabinet, was an olive branch to a weary press corps that gets to speak with the Governor on a less than regular basis. And while there were some good things to come out of the hour-long presser—banning puppy mills, for example, has strong bi-partisan support— the Governor made it clear he is pushing forward with an energy plan that embraces seismic testing, offshore drilling and fracking. How he’ll handle the rest—retaining teachers, Medicaid reform, the nightmare that is the DHHS— is anybody’s guess. Here’s a round-up of the Good, the Bad...

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Monday, January 20, 2014

A peaceful vigil in Durham to remember the life of Jesus Huerta

Posted By on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 at 9:57 AM

A photo of Jesus Huerta was placed on a stand near the altar of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, where he received the Sacrament of Confirmation several years ago. Jesus, a smiling teenager wearing oversized glasses, whose life ended on Nov. 19 in the back of a police car. Jesus, 17, whose memory has been publicly defined by a singular incident, not the innumerable small moments—the laughter and comfort he brought his family, his favorite music, the way he told his mother he loved her every day—that make up a life, no matter how short. Father Bill McIntyre led a bilingual service...

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Government claims state secrets on Cary man accused of trying to join Syrian resistance

Posted By on Sat, Jan 18, 2014 at 1:59 PM

On Friday morning at the federal courthouse in downtown Raleigh, Hudge Terrence Boyle presided over a hearing with prosecutors to determine what was to be done with Basit Sheikh. The 29-year-old Cary man, a Pakistani citizen, was ushered into the courtroom in his red-and-white prison garb. Sheikh was indicted on Nov. 5, 2013, while attempting to board a plane from RDU International Airport to go fight alongside the militia Jabat Al-Nusrah in the Syrian Civil War. The Al-Nusrah Front are considered the most serious and committed fighters in the Syrian Resistance against Bashar al-Assad. They are also considered the...

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Friday, January 17, 2014

In Durham, a 9-year-old murder victim is laid to rest

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Hundreds of family, friends, community members and mourners honored the life of Jaeden Sharpe, 9, during his funeral at Monument of Faith Church in Durham. Sharpe, a third-grader at W.G. Pearson Magnet Elementary School, was shot Jan. 4 on Lucas Drive; he died Jan. 9. Jaeden's murder was the first of the year in Durham. His 31-year-old mother, Lakeisha Holloway, was also shot but was released from the hospital and attended the funeral. Rev. Clarence Laney Jr. delivered a rousing sermon titled "Lessons From Jaeden" with a simple message that echoed Martin Luther King, Jr: "We must learn to...

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Record number of applicants for Durham Civilian Police Review Board

Posted By on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Nineteen people have applied for a vacancy on Durham's Civilian Police Review Board, an unprecedented number, according to the city clerk's office. There is increased interest in the board because of tumult within the department, including two officer-related shootings and an in-custody death of a suspect in the past year.    The nine-member board is appointed by the city manager. Each member serves staggered four-year terms. It hears appeals of complaints submitted by citizens concerning actions taken by Durham police officers. The Durham Police Department’s Professional Standards Division initially investigates these complaints. If a complainant is not satisfied with the...

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

An urban exploration of Raleigh's most forgotten waterway (and future river walk)

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Earlier this week, I reported that the city of Raleigh and Sasaki Associates both hope their ten-year master "Downtown Plan" will have a "huge water element" like a river walk. Raleigh is one of only three state capitals that was not built along a major body of water; the other two cities are Carson City, Nev. and Helena, Mont. Silver expressed interest in incorporating not one, but two "river walks" into downtown through a process called"daylighting"—uncovering and restoring diminished streams and creeks. There isn't much to choose from,so the two most likely candidates would be the Pigeon House Branch Creek on Capital and...

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mining commission finalizes chemical disclosure rules for fracking

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Mining and Energy Commission Chairman Jim Womack"Our objective is to get as full a disclosure as we can, in consideration of trade secret laws. That means we'll probably lean more to the most expansive set of standards that we can find in any other state." That was Jim Womack, chairman of the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, speaking to the Indy in December 2012. Depending on who you ask, Womack—a county commissioner in the fracking heartland of Lee County—either delivered on his statement or failed in that goal when his commission unanimously approved a set of chemical disclosure rules Tuesday....

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Will Obama's "Public-private innovation institute" at NCSU make Raleigh the new Silicon Valley?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Explainer video from the Department of Energy about why the "wide bandgap semiconductors" that Raleigh's new "innovation institute" will produce are important. This morning, as the Triangle lay draped in fog, Obama announced the first of his three new public-private "manufacturing innovation institutes" would be created on NC State's Centennial Campus with the help of $70 million from the Department of Energy and another $70 million matched from non-federal sources. The awkwardly named "Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute" (what does it even mean?) will partner companies like John Deere, Delphi, Monolith Semiconductor, and IQE with research universities like NC State, UNC, as well...

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WCPSS will not make students retake CTE Exams

Posted By on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Following a technology failure Monday in the statewide Career and Technology Education (CTE) testing hardware, high school students in Wake County whose exams were interrupted by the glitch will not have to retake the test, but may choose to if they want. Public relations director for Wake County Public Schools Renee McCoy confirmed that WCPSS students were affected by a malfunction in the hardware that caused the program to time out while students were in the middle of taking the exam. “WCPSS will use other performance measures to evaluate students’ over-all skill level,” McCoy said in a statement, adding that...

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Durham DA: No charges will be filed in Huerta case

Posted By on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 2:25 PM

This afternoon Durham District Attorney Leon A. Stanback released a statement announcing his office will not issue criminal charges in the case of Jesus Huerta, the 17-year-old who shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser last November. Stanback’s announcement comes after his office reviewed the State Bureau of Investigation’s preliminary report. Last Friday, the Durham Police Department publicly released its own Professional Standards Division report. Following is Stanback’s statement: On November 19th, 2013, 17 year-old Jesus Huerta Fernandez died of a close range gunshot wound which grazed his lower lip and perforated his skull while in...

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Durham Police chatter reveals what officers knew about Jesus Huerta's mental state

Posted By on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Durham Police knew that Jesus Huerta may have been mentally unstable when Officer Samuel Duncan picked him up at the corner of Washington and Trinity streets on Nov. 19, according to recordings released to City Council late yesterday afternoon. However, at a press conference on Friday, the department released results of an internal investigation indicating that officers did not know of his mental state, including previous attempts to commit suicide. The N&O reported this information earlier this morning. At the Friday press conference, James T. Soukup, director of Durham Emergency Communications Center said while Huerta's sister advised dispatchers that her...

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Starkweather bows out of state House bid

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 2:54 PM

As it turns out, Jeff Starkweather, a civil rights attorney and former newspaper publisher from Pittsboro, will not be seeking the Democratic party nomination for the vacant District 54 seat in the N.C. House of Representatives. As reported in INDY Week last week, party leaders had indicated Starkweather would be seeking to replace Deb McManus, a first-term lawmaker who stepped down in December after state revenue officials accused her of embezzling more than $47,000 in state tax revenues. But in a statement delivered to party leaders Thursday, Starkweather—who ran against McManus for the party nomination in 2012—said he would instead...

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Troubled man breaks windows in former Jack Tarr motel in downtown Durham

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 9:02 AM

People heading downtown this morning may have heard the sound of broken glass falling from the top floor of the former Jack Tarr motel, after a man began yelling, breaking his windows and throwing his belongings to the sidewalk below. According to a parking garage attendant, the man, whom he described as "quiet and humble," had lived at the motel for "quite a while."  The attendant said he heard the man yelling at around 5 this morning. Then, the attendant said, he broke the windows to his room.  The sidewalk below was littered with glass, clothing and shoes....

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Durham Police investigation: Huerta shot self in patrol car

Posted By on Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 4:56 PM

From the moment of the 9-1-1 call reporting Jesus Huerta as a runaway, to his death 44 minutes later in the back of Durham Police Car No. 225, law enforcement made several pivotal decisions. Any one of them, in retrospect, could have changed the arc of a boy's life, a family's grief and the fate of a rookie police officer. At a press conference this afternoon, Durham police released findings of an internal department investigation into Huerta's death at just before 3 in the morning on Nov. 19.  This is what happened, according to the investigation into police protocol and...

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

More tumult at natural sciences museum

Posted By on Tue, Jan 7, 2014 at 4:15 PM

There have been more seismic shifts at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. Brian Rosborough, founder of Earthwatch, one of the earliest environmental groups, has resigned as the head of the museum’s 24-member Citizen Science Council, the INDY confirmed Tuesday. Five other council members also reportedly resigned, although the INDY is not listing their names until they can be confirmed. The Citizen Science Council is charged with providing science advisers for the museum. It meets twice a year and invites outside speakers to discuss scientific trends. Rosborough, who lives in Concord, Mass., told the INDY by phone that after two...

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