News | Indy Week
News
INDY Week's news blog

Archives | RSS

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Federal judge questions N.C. voting reforms

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Opponents of controversial voting reforms in North Carolina may have cause for optimism. As reported on left-leaning Think Progress Monday, the panel of three federal appeals court judges that will hear the case for and against last year's voting law includes two Obama appointees and one Clinton appointee. Think Progress noted at least one of those judges, Judge James Wynn (a North Carolina native), seemed especially critical. "Why does the state of North Carolina not want people to vote?" Wynn reportedly asked when discussing a key provision tossing ballots if voters show up at the wrong precinct. Among its other...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Two new dismissals reported following inmate's death

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 12:02 PM

The Indy has learned of two additional dismissals in the ongoing fallout from a North Carolina inmate's death in March. N.C. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Walker confirmed this week that Roger Moose, assistant superintendent for custody and operations at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, and John Monguillot, assister director of mental health in DPS' Western Region, have been fired. Moose was let go on July 10, and Monguillot was dismissed on Sept. 3. The investigation is ongoing into the death of 53-year-old Michael Anthony Kerr, who had spent nearly a month in solitary confinement. Kerr was being transferred...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Monday, September 29, 2014

100 more condos planned for downtown Durham

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 3:36 PM

501 Realty is working with a developer on a new condo project in downtown Durham, according to an email sent to businesses at American Underground at Main. The INDY offices are in the same building as AU at Main. The project will bring 100 new condos ranging from $230,000 to $900,000. The email asked workers for feedback about amenities, prices and other quality of life questions. "Great live/work opportunity, and a great addition to downtown living opportunities," the email read, "as there aren't many condos currently available in Durham."  Tammi Brooks of 501 Realty said the details, including the developer's...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Forty new charter schools could open in N.C. in 2016

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 2:56 PM

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction announced Monday that it has received application filings from 40 non-profits across the state to open public charter schools in August of 2016. Seven of the proposed charters would be located in Wake County; one would be located in Durham.  An additional 14 charter schools are on track to open in August of 2015, which will bring the total number of charters in the state up to 162 by the end of next year. “These new applications represent an opportunity to expand on the choices available to North Carolina students and parents,” said...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, September 26, 2014

N.C. fracking rules commenting period to close Tuesday

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Updated: Amy Pickle, Mining and Energy Commission chairwoman and lead hearing officer in charge of producing the final hearing report, said the MEC will consider all comments submitted as part of the rule making. "As with most state rule makings, we will review and collate the comments in order to develop a hearing officer's report," Pickle wrote in an email Friday afternoon. "The report will include recommendations on response to the comments and any recommended changes to the rules. The Mining and Energy Commission will make decisions on whether to approve or amend the draft rules in accordance with the Administrative...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Governor McCrory: Too many journalists

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 11:06 AM

That Pat, what a hoot. Yesterday he told journalists in Greensboro that the state needs fewer ... journalists. The Triad Business Journal has the scoop. The gov's presentation, also attended by business people, launched his workforce development plan. How word of this plan would be disseminated without journalists, McCrory did not say.  We need more truck drivers, HVAC workers and information technology, McCrory said. A lot of newspapers and magazines, by the way, are delivered by truck. The INDY, for example, is printed in Fayetteville—by the Fayetteville Observer, which is full of journalists—and trucked up to Raleigh and Durham. Media...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autopsy blames dehydration for inmate's death

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

After five months of waiting, an autopsy report released Thursday blamed deceased N.C. inmate Michael Anthony Kerr's death on dehydration. However, the report says it's unclear whether Kerr was dehydrated because prison workers did not provide water or because he refused water, leaving his official manner of death "undetermined." Kerr's sister Brenda Liles, said the report only strengthens her belief that the prison is to blame. "When you’ve got a man isolated, how can he get the water and the food if you don’t give it to him?" said Liles. As reported in the Indy in April, Kerr—who had spent...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

New York Times impressed by Hagan's strength in campaign

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Even though Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan isn't particularly popular, she's at least more popular than Republican challenger Thom Tillis. And that may be all it takes for her to win re-election. The New York Times published an interesting analysis of the Hagan-Tillis race today—and mentioned a third-party candidate, although not by his name, Sean Haugh.  Hagan is leading the contest for several reasons: 1)  She's receiving a lot of money from the Democratic Party in order to hold on to her seat. And 2) Tillis has been weakened by his legislative battles, particularly those concerning education. Tossing Haugh...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Durham focuses on affordable housing near the proposed light-rail system

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Some people came because they were afraid of being uprooted from their homes. Others were concerned about local businesses being run out of their neighborhoods. Other people said they just loved trains. Regardless of the reason, about 50 people packed into a mobile classroom at Immaculate Conception Catholic school Tuesday night to tackle an enormous issue facing Durham: Affordable housing and the light rail project. Although the first train on the Durham and Orange counties’ light rail system won’t leave its station for another 10 to 15 years, “We’re seeing changes in neighborhoods now,” said Selina Mack, director of Durham Community...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Toxicology report released for deceased N.C. inmate

Posted By on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 at 2:22 PM

A toxicology report released Monday by the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner offered no insight into the still unexplained death of Michael Anthony Kerr, a 54-year-old North Carolina inmate who died en route to Raleigh's Central Prison in March. Monday's report found no traces of various drugs such as cocaine, opiates and ethanol in Kerr's body. A pending autopsy report is expected to offer greater detail on why Kerr, a felon with a history of mental illness, died after he spent a month in isolation at a prison facility in Taylorsville. Seven prison workers have been dismissed since...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five questions with Senator Kay Hagan

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Senator Kay Hagan was the keynote speaker at the North Carolina AFL-CIO's annual convention last week at the Hilton in North Raleigh. At the event, the union leadership urged the rank-and-file to throw their fundraising weight behind Hagan, who has rebranded herself as "The Most Moderate Senator" in preparation for her race against Thom Tillis. While AFL members and chapters seemed excited about Hagan, the pairing was a bit of an awkward date. Just before Sen. Hagan arrived, Ben Wilkins, an organizer for NC Raise Up!, called for a $15 minimum wage for fast food workers. When Hagan spoke,...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

North Carolinians demand coal ash cleanup

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Kim Brewer’s two daughters were born with serious birth defects and her neighbors have suffered from brain tumors, cancers and respiratory problems. Caroline Armijo has lost countless friends and neighbors to cancer, most recently a ten year-old child. Both women live near Duke Energy coal ash facilities, Brewer near the Buck steam plant in Rowan County and Armijo near the Belews Creek facility in Forsyth County. Neither Buck nor Belews Creek are high priority cleanup sites in the General Assembly’s coal ash bill, which becomes state law today. “I don’t believe it’s a coincidence,” Armijo said. “If coal ash is...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Panel discussions to illustrate the two economic sides of Durham

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 9:17 AM

While government meetings are generally stultifying, there are two community gatherings next week that everyone with an interest in affordable housing and development in Durham should attend. On Tuesday, Sept. 23, The Coalition for Affordable Housing & Transit will host a meeting about development around the proposed light rail station on South Buchanan Boulevard, which is in the up-and-coming West End neighborhood.  The good news about light rail and public transit in general, is that it can open up employment opportunities for  people without cars. It also reduces pollution. The tricky part is that development around the transit stations—which should...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Big changes in protocol pending for Durham Police

Posted By on Thu, Sep 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

In a significant change in protocol, Durham Police will be required to get written consents for vehicle searches, according to final recommendations issued by City Manager Tom Bonfield.  Durham City Council could discuss the report today at its works session. Although the items is not on the agenda, it was mentioned at the regular Council meeting on Monday night that the report could come up today for discussion. Bonfield released his 44 revised recommendations Tuesday afternoon. They were based on extensive feedback from the public, advocacy groups, police, City Council, city police, the Human Relations Commission and the Civilian Police...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fourth Circuit judges to hear NC case about prison contraband

Posted By on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Should a contracted detention officer working for a privately owned prison be considered a high-ranking public official? Is such a detention officer in a decision-making or sensitive position? Those are the questions a panel of judges for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider this Friday in Richmond, VA, when they hear oral arguments stemming from a case out of North Carolina. The defendant, Kenneth Dodd, was a 33-year-old inmate at Rivers Correctional Institution, a private facility in Winton, N.C. After getting caught accepting cell phones and cigarettes smuggled into the prison by a detention officer, Dodd pled guilty to bribing a public official. In his...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Monday, September 15, 2014

Violent crime up 30 percent in Durham over this time last year

Posted By on Mon, Sep 15, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Violent crime in Durham rose 30 percent during the first six months of the year, compared with the same time period in 2013. Up 50 percent, aggravated assaults are the primary driver of that increase, according to Durham Police Deputy Chief of Operations Larry Smith. He presented a six-month crime summary to City Council on Monday night. The most recent aggravated assault occurred just a few hours before the Council meeting. Around 12:30 p.m., police announced someone in a gray Chevy Impala had fired shots in the direction of a Church's Chicken on Fayetteville Street near N.C. Central University. One man...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hagan speaks to state AFL-CIO, avoids talking about labor

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Sen. Kay Hagan spoke at the North Carolina State AFL–CIO’s annual convention Friday morning. While her speech was well received by the crowd, she by and large declined to specifically mention ways she has supported the North Carolina labor movement. “When the interests of North Carolina’s working families are on the line, I will never back down,” Hagan said, citing raising the federal minimum wage as one such interest. Hagan said she supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. This, however, is $4.90 short of the $15 minimum wage that Ben Wilkins, a labor organizer with NC...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Chapel Hill Town Councilman Lee Storrow takes a new title

Posted By on Fri, Sep 12, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Chapel Hill Town Councilman Lee Storrow has a new title. Storrow has been named executive director of the N.C. Aids Action Network, an influential nonprofit that helps to promote advocacy and policy about the disease. At 22 years old, Storrow was the youngest town councilman in two decades when he was elected in Chapel Hill in 2011. He'll assume leadership of an organization that, like many healthcare advocacy organizations in the state, has fought its fair share of legislative battles in recent years. Last year, the organization was one of the loudest in the state in decrying Republican lawmakers' $8...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Judge rules in favor of modern Oakwood home; neighbor says she will appeal

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Louis Cherry and Marsha Gordon, the owners of the unfinished contemporary style house at 516 Euclid Street, may be allowed to continue building their dream home in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood. In a Wednesday memo, city attorney Dorothy Leapley advised the Raleigh City Council of Wake County Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan’s decision to rule in favor of Cherry and Gordon. The ruling will overturn a February decision by the city’s Board of Adjustment, which reversed Cherry’s certificate of appropriateness on the home design; the COA had been awarded by the Raleigh Historic Development Commission last fall.  Gail Wiesner, Cherry’s...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Clay Aiken pledges to stand with workers

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:08 PM

This morning, at North Carolina's annual stateAFL-CIO convention in Raleigh, 2nd district congressional hopeful Clay Aiken said he would stand with workers. "People in Congress do not seem to understand—what's goodfor workers is good for everybody," he said at the endof a 15 minute speech which received an enthusiastic responsefrom union delegates from all over the state. The American Idol star is running against Republican incumbent Renee Ellmers for the 2nd District U.S. Congressional seat. He touted his union credentials (Aiken is a card-carrying member of the North Carolina Association of Educators) and said he knew what it was like to...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hundreds of N.C. voters disenfranchised in 2014 Primary

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

A veteran who had just returned from Afghanistan. A nurse working outside of her county temporarily. A disabled senior who was driven to a friend’s polling place on Election Day. These are three of the 454 North Carolina voters who cast provisional ballots in the May primary elections but whose votes were not counted due to the state’s new election laws— because they couldn’t register to vote on Election Day, or they couldn’t cast ballots outside of their precincts. Bob Hall, the executive director of elections watchdog group Democracy North Carolina, analyzed the 454 provisional ballots cast in this year’s...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Hofmann sellers cut new deal

Posted By on Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

N.C. State University’s College of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it revised the Hofmann Forest sales agreement to “enhance sustainable forestry operations.” Under the new deal, the 80,000-acre forest will be split between two buyers. The original buyer, Hofmann Forest LLC, will purchase 23,000 acres of the property for $9.15 million. Resource Management Services, Inc. (RMS), a privately held timber investment management organization, will buy the remaining 56,000 acres for $130.85 million, bringing the total sale price to $140 million, ten million dollars less than originally negotiated. Mary Watzin, dean of the University’s College of Natural Resources, states in a...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Amtrak hits, kills man near downtown Durham

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 2:20 PM

Amtrak train No. 1859, carrying the Pamlico Sound and Longleaf Pine cars, was headed west when it struck a man near Dillard and Pettigrew streets in Durham, killing him this afternoon.  Around 12:30, bystanders at the nearby Venable building told the INDY that it looked like the train had hit a trash bag, and that the force swept the man into the air. It is unclear whether the man was walking on the tracks, or near them, according to the bystanders. Durham police erected a black cloth privacy curtain and white sheet around the man's body, which had not...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Monday, September 8, 2014

NC Supreme Court hears case debating sex offenders, social networking

Posted By on Mon, Sep 8, 2014 at 3:34 PM

The North Carolina Supreme Court today heard oral arguments from a pair of lawyers debating whether or not a Durham sex offender committed a crime when he logged onto Facebook under a pseudonym and praised Jesus. The man, Lester Packingham Jr., who had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old when he was 21, had been prohibited from accessing any social networking site under a North Carolina law passed in 2008. But in 2010, Packingham, then 29, posted a religious message on his Facebook page after beating a traffic ticket: "Man God is Good! How about I got so much favor they...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Durham City Council's long afternoon: parsing the report on the police department

Posted By on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Mayor Bill Bell’s directives for the Durham Police Department could be distilled into three main points: Don’t bust small-time pot smokers. Get written consent for vehicle searches. Walk, not just drive, the neighborhoods you patrol. This afternoon, Bell and his fellow City Council members are expected to parse the city manager’s 131-page report, which is based on the 34 recommendations from the Human Relations Commission and 10 from the Civilian Police Review Board. Earlier this week, Bell and other Councilmembers hit on these and other recommendations to improve trust and transparency between the community and DPD: such as collecting and...

Continue reading…

  • Pin It

Calendar



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Sessions has already strip mined the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ. Thankfully U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey is …

by growlybear on Senator Cory Booker Asks for the Release of a Department of Justice Memo on Thomas Farr’s Involvement in a Voter-Intimidation Scheme (News)

> Eventually, a claim to the county insurance company showed that $2.333,591.30 in cash had disappeared, almost daily, for nearly …

by xdu on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

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 …

by DoritoReiss on The Problem with N.C.’s Religious Exemption Law (News)

About time some one fixed this.

by Bob Schroeck on Durham Attorney Scott Holmes Challenges N.C. Court Fees as Unconstitutional (News)

Comments

Sessions has already strip mined the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ. Thankfully U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey is …

by growlybear on Senator Cory Booker Asks for the Release of a Department of Justice Memo on Thomas Farr’s Involvement in a Voter-Intimidation Scheme (News)

> Eventually, a claim to the county insurance company showed that $2.333,591.30 in cash had disappeared, almost daily, for nearly …

by xdu on Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615 (News)

Most Read

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation