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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Tense Moments in A Peaceful Protest of UNC's Silent Sam

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 6:48 AM

Two people were arrested in a protest that brought hundreds of people to the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill and saw several tense confrontations between demonstrators and police. The rally began at Silent Sam, a Confederate monument on campus, with speeches from protesters and chants calling for the monument to be town down. When police took a protester into custody, much of the crowd ran after them to Hyde Hall. There, protesters confronted officers, some of whom were wearing riot gear. From there, protesters tried to block a police van carrying the person arrested from turning on to Franklin Street....

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

UNC Readies for Confederate Monument Protest Tonight

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 2:03 PM

While touring the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill on Tuesday afternoon, the Tice family took a detour. "We thought we'd see the statue, since it might not be here," said Deborah Tice, standing about fifteen feet from the first of two rows of metal fencing surrounding Silent Sam, a monument to Confederate soldiers just off Franklin Street. The family, from New York, had heard reports of a protest at the statue planned for seven tonight and decided to check it out for themselves. Their daughter, Maia, is considering applying to the school. As students milled about campus and news stations set...

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Redistricting Committee Releases New Legislative Maps. Critics Say They're Still Gerrymandered

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 12:08 PM

It's been a busy few days in the world of legislative redistricting. Stay tuned, because we're not done yet. Over the weekend, members of the Republican-led joint commission on redistricting released their proposed maps for the state House and Senate districts, after the current ones were determined to be illegally racially gerrymandered earlier this year. Yesterday, the committee released demographic data for the proposed districts, including an area’s past voting patterns. And today, there will be seven public hearings across the state for people to weigh in on the mapmaking process. Much attention has rightfully been paid to the redistricting process...

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Durham Mayor Seeks Guidelines on Social Media Use Following KKK Rally Reports

Posted By on Tue, Aug 22, 2017 at 9:08 AM

Mayor Bill Bell says he'll be asking for a discussion on how city officials use social media after Friday's spontaneous protest in response to reports of a potential KKK rally. "We, as elected officials, have got to be more responsible, in my opinion, in how we use social media when it comes to instances such as this," Bell said during the city council's Monday night meeting. " ... We have got to look at ourselves in terms of what we do on social media and how we spread things, whether they're rumors, facts, whatever." The remarks were made after Chief C.J....

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Monday, August 21, 2017

The N&O’s Performing Arts Correspondent Says the Paper Is Cutting Back on Performing Arts Reviews

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 5:02 PM

The News & Observer will significantly cut back on its performing arts reviews beginning September 1, according to an email sent to people in the Triangle performing arts community from the paper's performing arts correspondent, Roy C. Dicks. According to Dicks's email, the paper's performing arts reviews have low online readership and "therefore are being dropped." However, the N&O’s culture editor, Jessica Banov, told the INDY there "isn't a plan to get rid of reviews outright." "We know how important the performing arts scene is to the Triangle and we will continue to write stories about local theater and the...

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Sheriff's Office Confirms It Started Those “Rumors” About a KKK Rally in Durham

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 6:17 AM

Hundreds of people converged on downtown Durham Friday afternoon, ready to stand up to white supremacists. But as they stood on the street baking in the midday sun, waiting for something to happen, many began to wonder whether the Klan was actually going to show. Throughout the day, government officials, including the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, stressed that there had been no confirmed reports of the KKK coming to town and launched a social media campaign warning people not to spread “rumors.” But information about the white supremacists’ potential arrival began with the Sheriff's Office itself. Friday morning, reports...

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A Lesson from Charlottesville: What Are the Consequences of Misidentifying People On Social Media?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 6:00 AM

The tweet heard 'round the world was posted last Saturday morning at nine a.m. "If you recognize any of the Nazis marching in #Charlottesville," the Twitter user @YesYoureRacist wrote, "send me their names/profiles and I'll make them famous #GoodNightAltRight." The account quickly went viral as shocking images of Saturday's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, made the rounds on the news and social media. Videos showed neo-Nazis and white nationalists donning swastikas, carrying tiki torches, chanting "white lives matter" and the Nazi-era slogan "blood and soil,” and beating counterprotesters. At least nineteen people were injured and thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer was killed when...

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Duke University Removes Robert E. Lee Statue

Posted By on Sat, Aug 19, 2017 at 11:50 AM

Early this morning, Duke president Vincent Price authorized the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue that had stood at the entrance to Duke Chapel. The figure, one of ten that surrounds the entrance to the chapel, had been vandalized Wednesday night amid nationwide calls for the removal of Confederate monuments.  "I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university," Price said in an email to the Duke community. "The removal also...

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Durham City Council Member: White Supremacists Rallying in Durham at Noon

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 10:37 AM

This morning, INDY reporter Sarah Willets was at the Durham County Courthouse, where she heard that Sheriff Mike Andrews had confirmed that a hate group—possibly the Klan—was going to hold a demonstration at noon. A few minutes ago, Durham City Council member Jillian Johnson and Scott Holmes, the attorney representing the eight who were arrested for toppling a Confederate monument Monday, tweeted that it’s happening.  Willets reached out to the Sheriff’s Office for confirmation. Spokeswoman Tamara Gibbs responded with a statement attributed to Andrews: “The Sheriff’s Office is thoroughly researching the potential of several groups with opposing viewpoints holding demonstrations...

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Eight Now Face Charges in Confederate Monument Toppling

Posted By on Fri, Aug 18, 2017 at 6:44 AM

Four more people were arrested Thursday in connection with the removal of a Confederate monument in Durham on Monday, bringing the total number of demonstrators charged to eight. The four people charged yesterday surrendered to authorities as part of a symbolic mass turn-in this morning. They are Taylor Cook, Aaron Caldwell, Raul Jimenez, and Elena Everett. The demonstrators are charged with property damage in excess of $1,500 (a Class H felony), inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (a Class F felony), injury to real property (a misdemeanor), defacing a public monument (a misdemeanor), and injury...

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann Steps Down

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Jim Hartmann, Wake County manager during a period of rapid growth and achievement since 2014, said in a letter to the Board of Commissioners that he will step down today. Hartmann said he is proud of the work he has done in Wake County since arriving here from Florida. During most of this year, he has been involved, along with Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, in an investigation of some $900,000 missing from the county's Register of Deeds office. The probe is not the reason for his departure, he said. "I know some will believe my resignation is connected with recent news...

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Confederate Statue At Duke Chapel “Defaced,” University Says

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 2:19 PM

A statue at Duke Chapel "bearing the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee has been vandalized," the university said in a statement. Damage to the figure's face was discovered Thursday morning—three days after demonstrators pulled down a Confederate monument on Main Street in Durham and as monuments to the Confederacy are being removed and covered up across the country. According to the university's statement, Duke officials are investigating and reviewing video from inside the chapel. Security has been stepped up, the statement says. “Duke Chapel is a place of sanctuary and refuge that belongs to every member of...

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Bree Newsome, Who Pulled Down S.C. Confederate Flag in 2015, Salutes Durham Demonstrators

Posted By on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 1:22 PM

Demonstrators who tore down a Confederate monument in Durham Monday have the support of someone who knows a bit about taking on the symbols of white supremacy: Bree Newsome. Newsome, who was born in Durham, famously removed a Confederate flag flying above the South Carolina state capitol two years ago. Images of Newsome scaling the flagpole with a climber's harness spread like wildfire in the wake of the murder of nine people at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Via Twitter, Newsome has been sending messages of support to the activists who on Monday toppled the Main Street statue dedicated...

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Candlelight Vigil Against Hate and Violence Scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Pullen Church

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 2:23 PM

The images and reminders of Saturday's hate-driven violence in Charlottesville remain imprinted on the nation's consciousness, and work continues in the Triangle to create something positive from those horrific memories. Colleen Sharp, a Raleigh resident who was at the Charlottesville demonstrations, expressed that sentiment at a protest Tuesday at the Federal Building on New Bern Avenue. "These traumas aren't just going to go away," Sharp said. A candlelight vigil in Raleigh at seven p.m. Wednesday has the goal of standing against hate and violence. It will take place at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough Street. Raleigh Mayor...

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Constituents to Congressman George Holding: You Suck

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 2:13 PM

A small group of Triangle activists and constituents gathered in front of U.S. Representative George Holding's office yesterday to deliver a simple message: he's failing. In the form of a fake report card, they gave the Republican representative a bright red "F" for his track record on issues related to health care, the economy, special interests, and Internet privacy. Holding did earn high marks on one category, though: hiding from constituents. For months, constituents from Holding's district, which represents part of Wake County, have been imploring the lawmaker to hold a public town hall. Holding, like many of his Republican...

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Three Demonstrators Charged in Confederate Monument Removal

Posted By on Wed, Aug 16, 2017 at 10:58 AM

The Durham County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday arrested three people in connection with a rally and the removal of a Confederate monument on Main Street. Dante Strobino and Ngoc Loan Tran were taken into custody by deputies during a first court appearance for Takiyah Thompson, who climbed the statue during a rally on Monday and was arrested following a press conference at N.C. Central on Tuesday afternoon. Peter Gilbert was arrested Wednesday afternoon, according to a Sheriff's Office press release.. As Thompson waited for her name to be called in court, deputies began asking quietly asking people to step out...

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Governor Cooper Calls for the Removal of Confederate Monuments

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:45 PM

In a post on Medium this afternoon, Governor Cooper called for the removal of the roughly one hundred Confederate monuments in North Carolina: “Some people cling to the belief that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights,” he wrote. “But history is not on their side. We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down.” What happened in Charlottesville, the governor said, could have happened in any of the North Carolina cities with monuments honoring the Lost Cause. “Charlottesville could have been Raleigh, or...

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Durham Sheriff Identifying Demonstrators, Pursuing Felony Charges

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 3:23 PM

Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said this afternoon that he had considered ordering his deputies to "engage the crowd" last night in a rally that saw a Confederate monument toppled, but he opted instead for "restraint" in order to prevent injuries. Andrews, along with county manager Wendell Davis, spoke Tuesday afternoon in a brief press conference on the demonstration and the removal of the monument. Andrews said his agency had identified some demonstrators and would be pursuing felony charges. "We can all agree yesterday went too far. Yesterday was not the Durham that I know," he said. Monday's rally was...

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Raleigh Demonstrators Call Out White Supremacists in Wake of Charlottesville

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 2:22 PM

Colleen Sharp was there in Charlottesville on Saturday and saw it all—the car out of nowhere crashing into more vehicles, then into a crowd, sending bodies hurtling. Finally, Sharp said Tuesday, she saw the dying body of Heather Heyer on the ground. Sharp, a Duke University student from Raleigh, was one of several witnesses to Saturday's race-driven conflict in Charlottesville who spoke at a Tuesday with Tillis event at the Terry Sanford Federal Building on New Bern Avenue. An Ohio man has been charged with murder in the death of Heyer, thirty-two, whose courage and activism drove much of the...

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Crooked Creek Park Supporters Pack Wake Meeting; Proposal Still Faces Questions

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 6:52 AM

Supporters of turning the former Crooked Creek Golf Course into a county park packed a Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday. The crowd of about three hundred left with a mix of assurances of support from some members and continued questions from others. The work session produced a request to Frank Cope, Wake County community services director, to return to commissioners in September with more information about several aspects of the deal, along with a recommendation on how to proceed.  Ron Nawojczyk, a chief proponent of putting a park on the closed golf course in Fuquay-Varina, made a detailed...

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“Make Racists Afraid Again”: The Scene as Demonstrators Toppled a Confederate Monument in Durham Monday

Posted By on Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 6:20 AM

Chanting "make racists afraid again" and "no cops, no KKK, no fascist USA," demonstrators toppled a ninety-three-year-old Confederate monument in downtown Durham Monday night. After a demonstrator climbed to the top of a ladder and looped a yellow rope around the hollow figure, a crowd gathered outside of the Durham County government building cheered, with a few kicking the statue, which was erected in 1924 "in memory of the boys who wore the gray."  The rally was organized by several groups, including the Workers World Party Durham Branch, in response to the white supremacist Unite the Right rally in...

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Monday, August 14, 2017

Video: Demonstrators Pull Down the Confederate Monument in Front of Durham County Building

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 7:26 PM

More info to come, but INDY staff writer Sarah Willets reports that leftist demonstrators have pulled down the Confederate Monument on Main Street in downtown Durham in protest of the events in Charlottesville. Under a state law passed in 2015, local governments are not allowed to remove Confederate monuments without permission from the legislature. The demonstrators apparently didn’t care. We’ll update this story as more information becomes available....

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Democracy in Crisis: Charlottesville and the Shattering of America

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 7:02 AM

Two middle-aged men, one black and one white, were walking up a street in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia, yelling at each other. It was a moment of relative normalcy in a day otherwise defined by mayhem. Both men use the phrase “born and bred” to define their relationship to the smallish Southern college town, nestled in the hills in the politically contested state of Virginia. The white man, Ed Knight, was wearing a Confederate flag bandana around his head. “You, with that stupid Confederate flag, talking about history,” the black man, George Steppe, said. “You don’t know nothing...

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Why Are Big-Shot Republicans Donating to Democratic Raleigh Mayoral Candidate Charles Francis?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 14, 2017 at 6:00 AM

In late July, the Wake County Democratic Party did something it hadn’t done before: endorse a challenger to Raleigh mayor Nance McFarlane. It backed challenger Charles Francis, a banker and lawyer—and, most important, the first viable Democrat to run against the unaffiliated McFarlane since she took office in 2011. It was less a rebuke to the mayor than an example of blind partisan loyalty. As party chairwoman Rebecca Llewelyn explained to The News & Observer, the party’s “mission should be to elect Democrats to office.” But before Francis received that endorsement, he raked in substantial campaign donations from high-profile North Carolina Republicans,...

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

City Manager: Batalá Durham Can Rehearse at Durham Central Park Monday Night

Posted By on Sat, Aug 12, 2017 at 9:38 AM

In an email to Durham City Council member Charlie Reece yesterday, city manager Tom Bonfield said that Batalá Durham would be allowed to rehearse at Durham Central Park Monday without receiving a citation or being shut down by the police. The samba-reggae percussion ensemble had received permission from Durham Central Park to practice on Monday nights this summer. But on three occasions, complaints from a resident at the Liberty Warehouse Apartments across the street has prompted the police to shut the rehearsals down; on Monday, the Durham Police Department warned Batalá that any further complaints would lead to a citation....

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Wow. So the News and Observer is resigning from supporting local arts. So much for the grant proposals that will …

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According to every report, he mishandled provisional ballots during the 2016 primary in NC, but he had no nefarious reasons …

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