The Morning Roundup: An Early Spring, an Underwater Theater, and Some Serious-Sounding Weapons in Chatham County | News
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Morning Roundup: An Early Spring, an Underwater Theater, and Some Serious-Sounding Weapons in Chatham County

Posted by on Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

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It's Wednesday. Here are your headlines.

1. Don't mess with me, Pork Chop. Sir Walter Wally, official groundhog of Raleigh, did not see his shadow. Nor did Punxsutawney Phil. An early spring, then. Feels like it already. 

2. Full Art of Cool lineup announced. Additions include Anderson .Paak, J*Davey, Tennyson, The Hot at Nights.

3. Situation at Carolina Theatre still a big mess. You may be aware that the city-owned Carolina Theatre recently discovered it had racked up about $1.1 million in debt due to a mysterious "accounting error." The nonprofit had previously represented that it was in the black. CEO Bob Nocek and COO Aaron Bare have since resigned, and Durham leaders are now attempting to sort out how to move forward. The News and Observer reports that a meeting between Durham city manager Tom Bonfield and the nonprofit did not generate much in the way of good news:
Bonfield estimated the venue’s current debt at about $1.3 million and said by year’s end the theater could be anywhere from $800,000 to $1.6 million in the hole.

A plan former CEO Bob Nocek proposed to begin paying off the debt is off the table, he added.

The city pays the nonprofit $654,000 a year to run the downtown theater. Nocek had asked for $600,000, or a $75,000 advance for each of the remaining years on the contract, which runs through 2024.

“The solution – just give us $600,000 and everything will be fine – is not even close to being realistic,” Bonfield said. “I think that’s pretty much shelved.”

4. Whole bunch of arrests in Durham. Last month, Mayor Bill Bell, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews, and interim Durham Police Chief Larry Smith held a press conference at DPD headquarters to announce a commitment to addressing the rise of violent crime in Durham. (Last year saw 42 homicides in Durham, compared to 22 in 2014.) Yesterday, the DPD announced eight arrests of violent criminals, with charges ranging from failure to appear in court up to murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, according to a release. Full list of those charged is here

5. Weapon of mass destruction found in Chatham County? A meth bust in Siler City on Monday yielded an unlikely charge: 

Michael McCurdy, age 28, and Gabrielle Dowdy, age 20, are facing several charges including felony manufacturing methamphetamine, possessing methamphetamine, possessing/distributing methamphetamine precursor, maintaining a dwelling/vehicle/place for controlled substances, and possessing a weapon of mass destruction. [emphasis ours]

McCurdy and Dowdy were also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Authorities did not specify what the weapon of mass destruction was.
That's that for now. See you tomorrow. 

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