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Friday, May 18, 2018

Pearl Berlin, North Carolina LGBTQ Icon, Dies at the Age of Ninety-Two

Posted By on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 5:41 PM

Pearl Berlin woke up Lennie Gerber every morning for fifty years with “a kiss and a little schmooze.” In 2013, she added two simple words to this morning ritual: “We’re married.” It took over a year for the State of North Carolina to recognize those words as legally true. Berlin, whose fight for marriage equality in North Carolina made her an icon for LGBTQ rights across the country, died Thursday. She was ninety-two years old and just shy of reaching the couple’s anniversary on June 2. Berlin legally married Gerber, eighty-two, in Maine on September 10, 2013, just sixteen months...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Twenty Thousand People Amass in Downtown Raleigh to Demand Better Education Funding

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 3:04 PM

A sea of red swept across the streets of Raleigh this morning as thousands of teachers from across the state marched to advocate for pay raises along with more supplies and resources for public schools. According to the North Carolina Association of Educators, which coordinated the march, there were upward of twenty thousand people in attendance. An energetic and vocal crowd gathered along South Street near the NCAE headquarters and marched through downtown toward the state legislative building. Along the route, onlookers and business owners gawked at the immense size of the crowd, and news helicopters hummed overhead to...

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Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2018 at 11:30 AM

This morning, Nancy Errichetti, the head of school at the Montessori School of Raleigh, was arrested at the school by Raleigh police at about ten a.m. and charged with contributing to the delinquency and neglect of a minor and aiding and abetting the taking of indecent liberties with a child under the age of sixteen. Last year, as the INDY has previously reported, a teacher at the school, Nicholas Conlon Smith, was charged with more than twenty counts of statutory rape and the possession of child pornography. A lawsuit filed by the parents of two sisters who attended MSR...

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Joe Van Gogh Cuts Ties with Duke After Controversial Firing of Two Employees

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Earlier this week, we reported a story about a conflict at a coffee shop on Duke's campus that exploded into national news. Two employees, Britni Brown and Kevin Simmons, were fired from Joe Van Gogh's Duke campus location after Larry Moneta, the vice president of student affairs, complained about the language of Young Dolph's "Get Paid," which was playing on Spotify over the shop's PA during a busy service period. The firings sparked a wave of outrage over how Moneta, Duke, and Joe Van Gogh treated the employees. Students protested at Moneta's office, Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts apologized,...

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Duke University President Vincent E. Price Apologizes for Young Dolph-Gate

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2018 at 6:04 PM

Duke University President Vincent E. Price released a statement Thursday afternoon addressing a number of recent issues on Duke’s campus that indicate “the absence of respect for others,” he wrote, including the firing of two employees of the Joe Van Gogh coffee shop on campus after Larry Moneta, Duke’s vice president for student affairs, complained to their employers that they were playing an inappropriate song. "I am, in particular, sorry that the words of one of my senior administrators recently resulted in two individuals working for one of our on-campus vendors losing their jobs,” Price wrote. “hile I am...

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Protesters at Duke Joe Van Gogh Call on Administration to Condemn Controversial Employee Firing

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 6:03 PM

Dozens of students appeared outside of the Joe Van Gogh on Duke West Campus early this afternoon to protest the termination of two of the coffee shop’s employees. Both baristas were asked to resign after Duke’s vice president for student affairs, Larry Moneta, complained that they were playing an explicit rap song. Moneta told Britni Brown, a black woman and a barista at the coffee shop, that the song that was playing, “Get Paid” by Young Dolph, was offensive and inappropriate. Brown immediately, turned off the song, and offered to give Moneta his order free of charge. Moneta and Kevin...

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Joe Van Gogh Owner Robbie Roberts Apologizes for Handling of Duke Officials’ Demand to Fire Baristas

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2018 at 12:06 PM

In a statement posted on the company’s website this morning, Joe Van Gogh owner Robbie Roberts apologized for how his company handled a demand from Duke administrators to fire two baristas over a song that university vice president of student affairs Larry Moneta found offensive. His statement: Joe Van Gogh apologizes to our employees, customers and community for how we handled a situation involving our Duke University store. As you have read, it is true that Joe Van Gogh is a contractor to Duke. We attempted to understand Duke’s position in this case, but we should have taken a different...

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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Duke University VP Walked Into the Campus Joe Van Gogh, Heard a Rap Song, Demanded That the Employees Be Fired

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 4:32 PM

On Monday, two employees of Duke University’s Joe Van Gogh location had their contracts terminated after vice president for student affairs Larry Moneta and executive director of dining services Robert Coffey demanded that the local coffee chain fire them. Their offense? While he was in the store Friday, Moneta heard a rap song that he found offensive. The incident highlights the precarious relationship between the university and its contracted employees, who are not afforded the same benefits and protections as Duke’s full-time employees, but whose employers are not in a position to defend them out of fear of losing business...

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Durham Sheriff Mike Andrews Denies Saying “Amen” to a Racist Facebook Comment

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 11:16 AM

This morning, Durham City Council member Jillian Johnson posted the following on her personal Facebook page: In that post, which circulated widely among politically active members of Durham’s Facebook community this morning, someone from Sheriff Mike Andrews’s re-election Facebook page appears to say “Amen, Bobby!” to a comment from a man warning people not to “apathetically sit home on your tails … as city block voters immigrants and minorities will FLOCK to the polls.” (In context, “block voters” could mean “black voters.”) He continues: “THEN the city special interests will vote out the old… and man … you won’t like the...

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Durham City Council Unanimously Approves Contentious Zoning Regulations in Old West Durham

Posted By on Tue, May 8, 2018 at 8:17 AM

The Durham council chamber, nearly packed to capacity, was awash with yellow “No” and lime-green “Yes” signs on Monday night in anticipation of the city council’s precedent-setting decision regarding a set of citizen-led zoning regulations in Old West Durham. In the end, the culmination of years of contentious debate among the neighborhood’s residents, the council unanimously approved the regulations for a neighborhood on the cusp of rapid change. The new set of rules, known as a neighborhood protection overlay, or NPO, aims to reduce teardowns and limit the size of new construction in the area. The NPO was created to...

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Monday, May 7, 2018

Judge Britt Reduces Murphy-Brown’s Punitive Damages to $3.25 Million

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2018 at 3:29 PM

The punitive damages for the ten plaintiffs who recently won their case against pork giant Murphy-Brown have been reduced from $50 million to $3.25 million, according to a decision filed today by U.S. District Court Judge Earl Britt. The decision means that each plaintiff involved in the litigation will now receive $325,0000, a small fraction of the original $5.075 million judgment handed down to each plaintiff by the jury several weeks ago. Britt's decision to impose a cap on punitive damages came after a jury handed down a landmark verdict to the ten plaintiffs suing Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. The...

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Friday, May 4, 2018

Hey, Big Spender: See Who’s Giving the Big Bucks to Candidates for Wake County Commissioner

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2018 at 5:57 PM

Earlier today, a Raleigh voter named David Bland filed a complaint with the Wake County Board of Elections alleging that liberal activists Dean and Sesha Debnam and Ann and John Campbell have “violated state laws barring excessive contributions and contributions in the name of another.” The claim is based on the fact that Ann Campbell and Dean Debnam each have PACs supporting (mostly) the same candidates, and the Campbells and Debnams have supported each other’s PAC in addition to these candidates and their own PAC. I’d be surprised if this complaint has legs. Still, there’s no denying Debnam and Campbell...

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lawsuit Claims the Montessori School of Raleigh Refused to Act on Allegations That a Teacher Sexually Abused Students

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 5:01 PM

In a lawsuit filed in Wake County Superior Court in January that has so far gone unreported, the parents of two sisters—identified in court documents as Jane Doe I and Jane Doe II—who were allegedly sexually assaulted by a teacher at the Montessori School of Raleigh have accused the school and its leader, Nancy Errichetti, of failing to protect the girls from their abuser and responding their parents’ discovery of the abuse by at first denying it and and then refusing “to take any action with respect to their complaint.” This afternoon, a spokeswoman for the school’s Board of Trustees...

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Monday, April 23, 2018

The Opportunity Zone Tax Incentive Is Supposed to Help Distressed Areas. See Which Parts of Durham Are Up for It.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 11:32 AM

Seven Durham census tracts are being nominated for designation as opportunity zones under a buried provision in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designed to encourage investment in low-income areas. The seven Durham tracts were among 252 statewide recommended by Governor Cooper on Friday to the U.S. Treasury Department, which is expected to rubberstamp the nominations. "The City is excited that seven of our community’s recommendations were selected, especially in those areas and census tracts that need a catalyst for investment and job creation," says Andre Pettigrew, director of the city of Durham's Office of Economic and Workforce Development. "Our submission was indeed...

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Friday, April 20, 2018

Local Activists Condemn the Detention of Up to Twenty-Five Undocumented Immigrants Across the Triangle

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:34 PM

On Friday morning, the activist group El Centro Hispano and officials from around North Carolina denounced a spate of ICE raids across the Triangle that have led to the detention of up to twenty-five local undocumented immigrants over the past several weeks. At a press conference, U.S. Representative David Price spoke about his work to protect undocumented families in North Carolina. Price said that he spoke with ICE officials last week and called on them to be honest and transparent about what initiated the raids. However, he said, they offered little new information about their policies and practices. Price said he believes...

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Durham Feels the Bern: The Vermont Senator Stopped By Duke to Chat With Reverend Barber About a “Moral Economy”

Posted By on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Back in October 2015, when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were still battling it out for the Democratic primary, Saturday Night Live took a jab at the Vermont senator during a mock presidential debate. "How are you?" a faux Anderson Cooper asked comedian Larry David, playing Sanders. "I'm good," David replied, nonplussed. "I'm hungry, but I'm good. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to dial it right up to a ten. We're doomed!" It didn't take long for (the real) Sanders to dial it up to a ten last night, as he spoke with the Reverend William J. Barber at the...

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 9:02 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. The Raleigh City Council is known for taking its sweet time to do just about anything. This is a body, after all, that hasn’t quite figured out Airbnb after, what, three years? And, my god, earlier this month and again this week the council punted on a decision over a boutique hotel in Glenwood South—Glenwood South! The heart of the damn city!—because some condo-dwellers were worried that a rooftop event space might ruin their view. This is also the same city...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Everything Is Awesome! Notes on the State of Downtown Raleigh and Durham, According to Their Professional Boosters

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 9:10 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. There are people who get excited about urban planning, and then there is Joe Minicozzi, the principal at Asheville’s Urban3 LLC and a former executive director of the Asheville Downtown Association. Yesterday afternoon, he was the keynote speaker at the first annual State of Downtown Durham event, hosted by Downtown Durham Inc. Unlike the same State of Downtown Raleigh event earlier on Tuesday—which I didn’t attend but have in years past—this was a more laid-back affair at the Rickhouse, with beer...

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Downtown Raleigh Still Booming, According to Downtown Raleigh Alliance

Posted By on Tue, Apr 17, 2018 at 10:14 AM

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance's annual State of Downtown Raleigh report is hot off the presses and continues to highlight historic growth for the center of the City of Oaks. Since 2005, per the report, more than $3 billion in development has been constructed or completed in downtown Raleigh, providing residents with new places to eat, live, work, and play. That growth continued in 2017 and will likely sustain itself in the years to come. Between 2008 and 2016, property values downtown increased 31 percent. Here are some key takeaways: 1) More humans. Downtown Raleigh’s population has grown 179 percent since...

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Monday, April 16, 2018

James Comey Came Out Swinging, But He’s No Hero of Mine

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:43 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. If James Comey’s media strategy is simply to say things that get under President Trump’s skin, thus prompting the president to rage-tweet, thus generating media attention, thus generating book sales, thus driving profits, well, it all seems to be working. Last night, ahead of the launch of the former FBI director’s book A Higher Loyalty tomorrow, ABC aired an hourlong interview with Comey. (I didn’t stay up to watch; here’s a transcript). This morning, USA Today published its own interview, in...

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Friday, April 13, 2018

Farmworker Advocates Call for a Boycott of VUSE E-Cigs Until R.J. Reynolds Guarantees the Right to Unionize

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 5:23 PM

At its convention last September, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee voted to approve a boycott of VUSE e-cigarettes until their manufacturer, the Winston-Salem-based R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, agreed to allow all the workers in its supply chain to unionize. On April 9, the boycott began in earnest. Baldemar Velasquez, president of the FLOC, says protests will be held outside of convenience stores across the country in an effort to convince them to stop carrying VUSE e-cigarettes. In Durham, just over thirty protestors gathered outside of a Circle K on Highway 54 last week to join in this demand. Velasquez...

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ICE Raids in Orange and Chatham Counties Swept Up Ten People This Week—Including Immigrant Rights Organizer Maria Peralta’s Stepfather

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 at 7:33 AM

Members of Siembra NC, an immigration justice group based in Greensboro, offered support for undocumented families in Chapel Hill last night after a stream of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids led to the detention of a reported ten people across Orange and Chatham counties this week. For the activist organization, the raids hit close to home. One of its most active members, Maria Peralta, a student at Guilford College, discovered that her stepfather was among those detained on April 9 in Chapel Hill. In an interview with the INDY, Peralta explained that her stepfather was taking out the trash when...

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Paul Ryan Is a Damned Fraud Who Needs to Go Away

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 9:20 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. There are probably two Republican politicians who annoy the center-left intelligentsia more than any other, and for the same reason: Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. This is because both are often held up in the media as examples of a thinking man’s conservative—intellectuals, truth-tellers even—when in fact the entire record of their time in office suggests that just the opposite: they are...

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A Horrible, No Good, Very Bad NCGA Idea Has Died (for Now)

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2018 at 9:14 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Earlier this year, Republicans in the state legislature convened a committee to look at breaking up large school districts into smaller ones. While they claimed they weren’t targeting any particular district, they were responding to some suburban parents in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Wake, by far the state’s two largest districts, who argued for more local control. The biggest problem, though, is that doing...

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A GOP Operative Says Trump Is “Losing His Sh*t.” Is He About to Fire Mueller?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 at 9:31 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. This is the big parlor game in DC right now—will there be a constitutional crisis? On Monday, of course, the FBI raided President Trump’s lawyer’s office. The president freaked out, rage-tweeting about the WITCH HUNT! and how ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE IS DEAD! Let’s survey the playing field: CNN: The president is considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein so that a lackey could...

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Most Recent Comments

Middleton and Schewel were right to vote no. We elected the city council to make decisions on the budget - …

by Durham451 on Durham Residents Will Get to Tell the City How to Spend $2.4 Million (News)

I agree with all the comments. The board is and has been controlling everything. Nancy has been a puppet. She …

by Kay Bonquiqui on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

I agree with Momof6. I know some of the teachers that did not have their contracts renewed and they absolutely …

by shocked on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

I dont know what to say about this school. To be fair they do have many caring teachers. Unfortunately, the …

by Momof6 on Breaking: Nancy Errichetti, Head of the Montessori School of Raleigh, Arrested for Allegedly Aiding and Abetting Sexual Abuse (News)

Comments

Middleton and Schewel were right to vote no. We elected the city council to make decisions on the budget - …

by Durham451 on Durham Residents Will Get to Tell the City How to Spend $2.4 Million (News)

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