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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Size small: Tiny development proposed for area off Alley 26 in Durham

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Pity the mail carrier that tries to find 120 W. Parrish St. The former furniture warehouse—or what's left of it—is wedged behind the former 118 Got Soul restaurant, the Mechanics & Farmers bank building and the Jack Tar motel off Alley 26. Now that vacant space could be redeveloped into a two-story office and courtyard. The Durham Historic Preservation Commission will consider a certificate of appropriateness for the project on Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 8:30 a.m. in the second-floor committee room at Durham City Hall. As the INDY reported in July, Arthur Rogers of Eno Ventures plans...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Modern Oakwood house sees its day in court

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Those on both sides of the fight over a contemporary-style home under construction in the historic Oakwood district made their cases in Wake County Superior Court this week.   Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan’s ruling—to come after a review of the evidence from both sides—will determine whether property owners Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon will be allowed to continue building their house, which is currently around 80 percent done on the outside.  Cherry's lawyer argued that a Board of Adjustment ruling reversing Cherry's Certificate of Appropriateness to build his “dream home” on a vacant lot should not be allowed to...

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New semester at N.C. State begins with Hofmann Forest protest

Posted By on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 at 7:13 AM

Receiving cheers from several onlookers and strange looks from others, about 60 people protested the sale of the Hofmann Forest and marched across the N.C. State campus Monday afternoon. Their destination: Chancellor Randy Woodson’s Office. Shortly after 1 p.m. the group of students, faculty members, alumni and other people enraged by the sale of the forest entered Holladay Hall, the building in which Woodson’s office is located, wielding a petition with more than 11,000 signatures calling for university administrators to stop the sale. “Save the forest! Save the trees! Chancellor Woodson, won’t you please!,” protestors chanted outside of Woodson’s office....

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Should police officers who witness crimes be required to identify suspects through lineups?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:21 AM

In 2007, prompted by a glut of national evidence exposing the limits of witness identification, the North Carolina legislature passed the Eyewitness Identification Reform Act to ensure that police lineups were administered in an unbiased manner. Now, when witnesses are presented with either live or photo lineups, the police administrator is not permitted to know the name of the suspect, nor the details of the case. But what happens when a police officer himself is the eyewitness to a crime? The act didn’t specifically say. Nor did it address the investigation tactic called the “show-up,” which occurs when a suspect,...

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Oak City Outreach Center serving thousands

Posted By on Sun, Aug 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Susan Bulger is wiping down long, plastic picnic tables inside a converted warehouse where minutes before, groups of friends shared breakfasts of biscuits and hash browns.   “I do a little bit of everything here,” Susan says. “I clean up, I do whatever I can. This is such a good place. It’s like going to church. This is my church.” Susan has known hard times. She has been homeless and struggled with illness. But since she came to Raleigh a year and a half ago, she has found a job at a deli and a rooming house to live in....

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Racial profiling trials nears end for Alamance sheriff

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

After several hours of testimony Thursday, Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson seemed to finally be getting annoyed. U.S. Department of Justice attorney Michael Songer questioned Johnson's 30-year career with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation prior to his election as Alamance sheriff, bringing particular attention to his apparently ignominious end as a top coordinator for the SBI's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. As Songer pointed out Thursday, the bureau accused Johnson of filing a false claim, later reporting him to be "insubordinate" and "untruthful" following an investigation. Johnson explained Thursday that the claim stemmed from an incident in which he...

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Helicopters, assault vehicles and more: The federal arsenal in the hands of local law enforcement

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Wake County law enforcement agencies received nine observation helicopters, Orange got two combat assault tactical wheeled vehicles. And in 2013, their counterparts in Harnett County procured extreme cold weather parkas, even though the all-time record low of minus 4 degrees occurred nearly 30 years ago. Long before police used military-style weapons on protesters Ferguson, Missouri—during the Occupy demonstrations, for example—local police and sheriff's departments have used military gear on their citizens. First, the ACLU of North Carolina published a report, based on dozens of public records requests, showing that statewide, local police departments are deploying SWAT teams equipped with military-grade weapons primarily...

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

N.C. residents slam fracking rules in Raleigh

Posted By on Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Not a minute was wasted at the Mining and Energy Commission’s public hearing on fracking at N.C. State University's McKimmon Center today. Hundreds of people showed up for the four-hour-long hearing, and for a protest beforehand hosted by Frack Free North Carolina. A panel of three from the Mining and Energy Commission— Dr. Kenneth Taylor, stumbling through a long list of speakers’ names, a stone- faced Jim Womack and a nauseous looking vice chairwoman, Amy Pickle—heard three-minute-long reams of concerns over hydraulic fracturing, amid eruptions of applause and spontaneous bursts into song from the audience. The messages were clear from more...

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Friday, August 15, 2014

N.C. protestors refuse deal from courts

Posted By on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Deborah Feruccio was arrested during a sit-in at the State Capitol in June, for trespassing. The Warren County environmentalist and ten others, calling themselves the McCrory 11, had just delivered a letter to the Governor requesting measures to stop fracking, clean up coal ash pollution and expand Medicaid. Today, she and three other protestors are being offered a choice to sign an agreement for deferred prosecution—25 hours of community service, payment of court costs and a promise not to be arrested again. Ferrucio refuses to sign. Instead, she will go to trial for the charges and represent herself. “The issues...

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RTP Study: federal homicide stats not fully accurate

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 3:38 PM

A senior researcher at RTP's Research Triangle Institute has published a recent federal report noting slight inaccuracies in the government's homicide data. Titled "The Nation's Two Measures of Homicide," the report outlines the process in which homicide statistics are collected by two agencies: the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which receives its data from state-level law enforcement agencies; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which receives its data from death certificates. Taken together, the measures provide a fairly comprehensive understanding of homicide. But according to criminologist Duren Banks, who co-wrote the report for the U.S. Department of Justice, "Overall,...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Acts 29 founder removed from Acts 29

Posted By on Tue, Aug 12, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Conservative pastor Mark Driscoll and his Seattle church were removed from the Acts 29 church-planting network Driscoll founded in 1998. The network counts more than 500 member churches, with 16 located in North Carolina and five in Raleigh alone. An August 8 message posted to the Acts 29 website confirms that Driscoll and his Mars Hill church were removed from membership. The message alludes to “accusations against Mark” which “make it untenable to keep Mark and Mars Hill in our network.” Psychology professor and specialist in religious issues Warren Throckmorton posted a letter on his blog from the Board of...

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Hofmann Sale Imminent?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 11, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Updated: N.C. State University spokesman Frederick Hartman said this morning that there is no Hofmann Forest closing scheduled for September 23.  The June 30 closing date for the sale of Hofmann Forest has come and gone and the forest’s owners—N.C. State University’s Natural Resources Foundation—are anxious to move forward with the sale of the 80,000-acre property to Illinois agri-businessman Jerry Walker. A lawsuit brought against the Foundation by a coalition of professors, foresters, landowners and wildlife conservationists is scheduled for the North Carolina Court of Appeals for the morning of August 26, after a Wake County Superior Court judge denied...

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Durham development: What's being built where and who can afford it?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Public school teachers, low-level city workers, even journalists can't afford many, if not most, of the 2,400 new apartments and condos being built in central Durham. The Lofts at Southside is only new project that approaches affordability for households earning the area's median income. It is heavily subsidized with public tax dollars and combines housing for low- and middle-income households. We based our estimates of affordability on accepted guidelines that stipulate no more than 30 percent of gross income should be spent on housing. However, given other household expenses, including credit card debt, medical bills and child care, even the...

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Walter Reinhardt trial scheduled for next week

Posted By on Fri, Aug 8, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Four years after charges were brought against Walter Reinhardt, an unlicensed securities trader accused of defrauding at least 16 investors out of more than $1 million, his trial is tentatively scheduled to go forward in Durham next week. Reinhardt, 64, is charged with 55 counts of felony securities fraud, forgery and uttering offenses, including forging his clients' signatures. He is currently housed in the Durham County Jail under a $4 million bond. In 2001 the National Association of Securities Dealers accused Reinhardt of forgery. He was fined $20,000 and barred from the industry. But he continued soliciting investments from 2005 to...

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pittsboro residents sue over Chatham Park

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Chatham Park is happening. But not without a fight. On Wednesday, citizens group Pittsboro Matters and local residents filed a lawsuit challenging the Pittsboro Town Board’s June vote of approval authorizing Chatham Park. The developers’ plans involve the largest mixed-use planned development ever proposed in North Carolina according to a Pittsboro Matters press release. The park is expected to add 55,000 new residents to Pittsboro’s current population of 4,000. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the approval of a 2013 ordinance—crafted by Cary-based Chatham Park investors— designed to guide the approval and implementation of their Chatham Park proposal. It also asks...

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Colonial Inn saved, for now

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 12:25 PM

For the moment, Hillsborough's historic Colonial Inn has been saved. Members of the town's Historic District Commission unanimously voted Wednesday to reject a request to demolish the decaying structure on King Street. The inn's owner, Francis Henry, hasn't spoken to media about his request, but his demolition application to the town indicated he wanted to replace the inn with a grassy lot. The downtown Hillsborough structure, built in 1838, has languished in disrepair since he bought the property in 2001. Since then, town officials have sued Henry, accusing him of attempting the demolish the inn by neglect. Commission Chair Mark...

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Durham Historic Preservation Commission sends Greystone plan back for more work

Posted By on Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 11:53 AM

Note: This story has been corrected regarding the project and its compliance with zoning of the site. As diplomatically yet directly as it could, the Durham Historic Preservation Commission on Tuesday morning dissected Lomax Properties' proposal for 140 new apartments to be built on a 3.6-acre meadow in Morehead Hill. You could almost hear the HPC tell the developer: "Bless your heart." "I would have no idea they even knew we have historic guidelines," said HPC member James Leis. "There was no indication it was on the radar." In its review, the city planning staff listed eight significant items in...

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Apartments slated for meadow next to Greystone Inn in Morehead Hill

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The three-acre, tree-studded meadow next to the Greystone Inn on Morehead Avenue would be clearcut for 140 apartments, according to a proposal that will come before the Durham Historic Preservation Commission this week. Under the proposal, Greensboro developer Lomax Properties would construct three buildings, varying from two to five stories, to house 140 units at 518 Morehead Ave, which is in the Morehead Hill Historic District. Two buildings would face Morehead, while the third would be located toward the back of the land, near the Durham Freeway. The center of the development would be converted to asphalt parking. Plans...

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Charles Duncan to leave Raleigh Public Record

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM

After six years Charles Duncan, the founder of Raleigh Public Record, has decided to move on to greener pastures. Tropical green pastures. Paradise, to be more exact. He's accepted a job as the investigative special projects coordinator at the Cayman Compass, in the Cayman Islands.  Duncan, a Raleigh resident who has commuted to Duke to do a masters degree, started the Raleigh Public Record from nothing and built it into a respected player in the North Carolina media ecosystem. The Public Record, which survives off of grants, independent investors, and monthly subscription will be taken over by a new dual...

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NC health insurance subsidies could go away

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 12:37 PM

After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) barely made it out of the Supreme Court intact, the law could be heading back to the high court, putting affordable health insurance in jeopardy for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. In North Carolina, the loss of these subsidies would be, as Adam Linker, policy analyst for the Heath Action Coalition at the North Carolina Justice Center, put it, devastating to the people and destabilizing to the market. “There’s more than 320,000 people who are getting subsidies through the marketplace in North Carolina. You would basically have immediate premium increases for those people...

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Fine work, Mr. Billman. Your readers are probably aware that most of the NC conservative shenanigans can be laid at …

by growlybear on The Republican Power Plays at the Heart of N.C. Politics (News)

I have very little patience for the empty-headed Pro-poison crowd, which is begging the government to take everyones rights away …

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