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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A snooze-a-thon for poll workers: early voting in the Triangle pitiful

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Early voting tally, Day 5 Republican lawmakers led the charge last session to reduce the time citizens can cast ballots at one-stop locations from 17 to 10 days. It’s difficult to determine how that decrease will affect turnout, because in 2012, there was not only a presidential primary but also the vote on Amendment One, the referendum on same-sex marriage. 2013 elections were for municipal contests, and generally not the best barometer to compare with legislative, federal and judicial elections. That said, voter turnout is dreadful so far. Here are the stats, compiled from local and state boards of elections....

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Doster, Diaminah top the money race in Durham school board election

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM

Republican Jimmy Doster  the bow tie-wearing, grip-and-grinner running for Durham school board in District 2, has raised more money than his main opponent, Sendolo Diaminah  but Doster has not received the backing of the leading progressive leaders and educators. Doster has raised $17,000 in campaign contributions—about one-third of it from out-of-state—and spent $12,000 according to reports released this week. Diaminah has raised $9,400—just 8 percent from out-of-state—and spent $5,300. However, Diaminah received $2,500 from the North Carolina Association of Educators, $250 from City Councilman and former school board member Steve Schewel, $100 from current school board member Leigh Bordley and $150 from...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In North Carolina, a third child dies from accidental gun shooting this month

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:54 PM

The Durham Police Department announced this morning that a 9-year-old boy was fatally shot last night inside his North Durham home, and that the shooting was accidental, involving multiple juveniles. If true, that would mark the third accidental shooting this month resulting in the death of a North Carolina child. Last week, Fayetteville police charged the 52-year-old grandfather of a 7-year-old boy with involuntary manslaughter after the boy was accidentally shot by a rifle with the grandfather in the home. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital.  On April 13 a 3-year-old Charlotte boy was shot and killed in...

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

NC Supreme Court: to avoid felony charge, arrestees must cough up drugs voluntarily

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2014 at 12:29 PM

The N.C. Supreme Court has ruled that individuals brought into jails involuntarily are nevertheless responsible for drugs in their possession. The opinion essentially states that law enforcement officers are not required to explicitly warn arrestees that possessing drugs inside jails is a felony.  Last month in our story "A pot to piss in" we reported on the oral arguments for the case of Christopher Barnes, of Wayne County. Barnes was arrested on suspicion of a DWI after failing sobriety tests. Goldsboro police officers took him into custody against his will, in handcuffs. Inside the Wayne County Jail a bag of...

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Durham City Council approves incentives for new skyscraper, renovation of Jack Tar motel, buildings downtown

Posted By on Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 8:32 AM

For about an hour Monday night, the Durham City Council had been discussing whether to grant $3.9 million in economic incentives for an ambitious, even transformative construction project dubbed the City Center—a new 26-story skyscraper at Main and Corcoran streets, plus renovating the former Jack Tar motel and five buildings on Parrish and Main streets. With a matching amount from the county, this public-private partnership would help finance an $85 million project that could permanently change the tenor and appearance of downtown Durham. The city and the developer, Austin-Lawrence Partners East, were nearly to the altar when Mayor Bill...

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Teacher Turnover Increasing in Wake County Schools, Statewide

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Dr. Jacqueline Jordan is the principal of Underwood Elementary in Wake County Public Schools System. At a press conference in her school’s media center this afternoon, she put a face on the issues troubling teachers in North Carolina. Two of her school’s teachers had their homes go into foreclosure. One teacher who moved here from California eleven years ago is still making $20,000 less in teachers’ pay than when she left that state. Another teacher got a job with an insurance company in December. A teacher raising two daughters qualifies for food stops. And then there are the two teachers...

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Downtown Raleigh's Second Renaissance

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Downtown Raleigh is experiencing a a new wave of growth and revitalization, according to a panel of Raleigh-based entrepreneurs and city officials, including planning director Mitchell Silver in his last public presentation before he heads home to New York City. At a gathering hosted by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance at Memorial Auditorium this morning, Silver, Raleigh Economic Development manager James Sauls, managing director of Ipreo O’Hara Macken and CEO of Dominion Realty Andy Andrews told an audience of 500 people how and why the state’s capital is growing exponentially, and what gaps the City needs to fill in order to...

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Frazier Glenn Miller, charged in Kansas killings at Jewish Center, participated in deadly Greensboro confrontation

Posted By on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Frazier Glenn Miller was 39 years old and a leader in the North Carolina white supremacist movement in 1979 when he participated in a deadly confrontation in Greensboro between the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazis on one side and on the other, black and white members of the Communist Party, who were holding an anti-racist rally. Now Miller, 73, has been charged with killing three people at a Jewish Community Center in Kansas. He  is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He formed the Carolina Knights while living in Angier, N.C., in Harnett County, but has been...

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

DPS says top official's resignation unrelated to inmate death investigation

Posted By on Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM

N.C. Department of Public Safety officials say that the resignation of agency Chief Operating Officer Ellis Boyle is unrelated to the ongoing investigation into the unexpected death of an inmate last month. DPS issued a release Wednesday announcing Boyle's replacement, but did not explain why the agency chief was leaving. It comes as the department has fired five workers and accepted the resignation of two workers related to the death of inmate Michael Anthony Kerr, a prisoner who died March 12 en route to Raleigh's Central Prison. Kerr, a Sampson County native with a history of mental illness, spent more...

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Department of Public Safety official Ellis Boyle steps down

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Part of the fallout or not? At this point, the reason for the departure of N.C. Department of Public Safety Chief Operating Officer Ellis Boyle is unclear. But Boyle's resignation—effective Monday, according to a DPS release today—comes as agency officials confirm seven prison officials have lost their jobs in the wake of the death of an Alexander County inmate March 12, first reported in the Indy April 1. According to DPS spokeswoman Pam Walker, five of those workers were fired; two resigned. As of this afternoon, DPS' communications office had not responded to inquiries regarding Boyle's departure, particularly whether the...

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stephen Kraus of GlaxoSmithKline appointed to Durham Civilian Police Review Board

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 5:10 PM

Stephen Kraus, an IT manager at GlaxoSmithKline, has been appointed to the Civilian Police Review Board by Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield. Kraus is filling a vacancy; his term expires in 2015. Nineteen people, a record number, applied to serve on the board. You can read Kraus' application here. The board has come under public scrutiny in the past six months after a spate of officer-related shootings of civilians. Critics, such as members of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and the NAACP, say the board does not exercise enough independence and is too limited in its scope of...

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