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Friday, June 8, 2018

American Woman: Hate Stormy Daniels All You Want, But Don’t Say Her Work Isn’t Legitimate

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 3:19 PM

I was waiting in line to pay handsomely for a Make America Horny Again t-shirt when I noticed a man at the merch table leaning over, hands on his knees. He was asking Stephanie Clifford (who had just performed under her best-known moniker, Stormy Daniels) to sign his wrinkled, business-casual button-down “as low as possible.” Clifford mustered a weak laugh as she signed her name a few inches above his ass. Jocelyn, a woman I’d just met, was next in line. After the mini-spectacle was over, she leaned over and whispered in my ear, “All I have to say about...

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Should Apple and Amazon Ditch the Triangle Because of the General Assembly’s Voter ID Initiative?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 8, 2018 at 2:09 PM

The advocacy group Color of Change is calling on Amazon and Apple to drop North Carolina from consideration for their new locations in response to a bill introduced by House Republicans on Thursday. The bill proposes to amend the state constitution to require that voters present photo identification at the polls. If it passes, voters will decide in November whether to add the following paragraph to the constitution: “Every person offering to vote in person shall present photo identification before voting in the manner prescribed by law.” The bill does not specify what forms of ID would qualify for voting....

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

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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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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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Raleigh's March for Our Lives Draws Ten Thousand Demanding Gun Reform

Posted By on Sat, Mar 24, 2018 at 6:56 PM

As hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of demonstrators called for gun reform at March for Our Lives events across the country and the world today, a huge crowd marched through downtown Raleigh to add their voices to the cause. According to Faisal Khan, one of the event's organizers, about ten thousand enthusiastic protesters marched along Fayetteville Street before gathering at Halifax Mall, near the state legislative building, where state representatives, teachers, veterans, and students rallied the crowd and spoke about their personal experiences with gun violence. The National Rifle Association's grip on American politics was a central theme....

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Friday, March 2, 2018

LGBTQ Activists Ask Jeff Bezos Not to Put Amazon’s HQ2 in North Carolina

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2018 at 2:29 PM

In a letter posted on Medium yesterday, a coalition of more than sixty-five LGBTQ activists, nonprofit leaders, and former government officials sent a letter to Amazon urging the company not to build its second headquarters in a state that lacks antidiscrimination protections for LGBTQ citizens—including North Carolina. “As Amazon continues the evaluation of finalist locations for a new HQ2,” the letter reads, “nine of the states currently under consideration have failed to address a glaring deficit — the lack of comprehensive legal protections for the LGBTQ population.” The Triangle’s bid was one of twenty that Amazon has deemed a finalist...

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Economists Are Begging HQ2 Finalists Not to Offer Amazon Huge Incentives. Fat Chance.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 at 8:52 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. More than anything else, what Amazon’s RFP for HQ2 sites was intended to do was to induce a bidding war, in which cities try to one-up one another to win Jeff Bezos’s favor. With the promise of fifty thousand good jobs in the offing, the world’s richest man was, in essence, asking the “winner” to spot him a few billion bucks in...

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

DRA Report: Downtown Raleigh Is Still Killing It

Posted By on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 8:49 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. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance’s fourth-quarter economic development report (you can find the whole thing at the bottom of this post) is unequivocally good news for downtown Raleigh. Of course, the DRA’s reports are always unequivocally good news for downtown Raleigh—the organization is, more than anything, a booster group—but still, it’s hard not to see the numbers pointing in the right direction. The...

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Amazon Gives Raleigh a Rose, Sends Us to the Next Round of the HQ2 Reality Show

Posted By on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 at 9:09 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’s something surreal about watching cities all over the country prostrate themselves before Amazon, acting like this is some sort of reality show—a high-stakes, corporate The Bachelor, perhaps—offering millions of dollars in incentives in hopes of landing HQ2. Of course, there’s a reason they’re doing so: the second Amazon headquarters could be an economic game-changer that brings some fifty thousand well-paying jobs...

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Raleigh Has Made the Shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2

Posted By on Thu, Jan 18, 2018 at 9:35 AM

As yet, we don’t have much info beyond what’s in the headline: Raleigh is included on a list of twenty cities that made the shortlist for Amazon’s HQ2, according to CNBC Washington correspondent Kayla Tausche. The Triangle region of one of 238 cities in 43 states to submit bids to Amazon last year. And while ours didn’t spell out potential incentives—officials told the INDY that they’d propose an incentive package if they made the first cut, which has apparently happened—many of the others did. According to Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria, county leaders and economic development officials have discussed what an...

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

When you wake up tomorrow, there will be snow on the ground. It’s OK. Everything will be fine. The latest forecast calls for somewhere between one and three inches of the stuff—maybe a little more—by tomorrow morning. It will fall steadily until about noon, with flurries in the afternoon and skies clearing overnight. Much of the Triangle will shut down. There will be a run on milk and bread. Tomorrow, you should stay off the roads if at all possible—not because a couple of inches is inherently a big deal, but because everybody around here forgets how to drive after the...

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Well, That Sucks: The Dalai Lama Is Not Coming to Raleigh Next Year After All

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 12:39 PM

There’s been a change in His Holiness’s schedule. From a press release that just arrived in my inbox.  The following statement is issued to all NC media on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 on behalf of Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the Local Organizing Committee for the Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: His Holiness the Dalai Lama (HHDL) has informed Mayor Nancy McFarlane in a letter that because of a change in his schedule, he has cancelled all travel to the United States in 2018. He left open the possibility of visiting the U.S. next year. In her response,...

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Monday, January 8, 2018

What the Hell Happened to Laura Riddick?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 9:38 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. Andy Specht had an interesting piece in the N&O this weekend that warrants some exploration. It looked former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick, who until last year was a widely respected, longtime public servant, but who now faces embezzlement charges. In short, the people who knew her are trying to figure what the hell happened to the person they knew....

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

New State Law Means Raleigh City Council's Zoning Decisions Could Come Back to Haunt Them

Posted By on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 8:07 PM

Members of the state General Assembly decided in their last session that if Raleigh City Council, or any other local North Carolina governing body, decides to color outside the lines when making a zoning decision, the change will become part of city code. In planning jargon, that means if the council approves a land use that doesn't jibe with the city's comprehensive plan, the change becomes an amendment to the plan. In plainer language, the council can be stuck with a single decision they've made when deciding future cases. One of many examples of the General Assembly's reaching down to...

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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

North Hills Neighborhood's Bid to Lessen Density Will Have Public Hearing, Council Agrees

Posted By on Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 7:17 PM

For years, residents of Raleigh's older neighborhoods have gotten McMansion shock when small houses were scraped off to be replaced by towering edifices. Now, residents of a North Hills neighborhood want the city to do something about it by requiring larger lot sizes and wider frontages for new homes. On Tuesday, city council members set a February 6 public hearing on the change. City planners say it would preserve the area's look and feel but could drive up housing costs. "I am new to the neighborhood. I want to preserve what we have," said a speaker quoted in minutes...

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Indictments in Wake Register of Deeds Scandal Charge Laura Riddick with Embezzling $926,615

Posted By on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 4:51 PM

Former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick faces charges of embezzling nearly a million dollars in six indictments returned by a county grand jury Tuesday. Riddick and three other Register of Deeds employees are charged in sixteen indictments related to money under their control. Riddick faces charges including embezzlement of more than $100,000 by a public official, a class C felony under state law. The indictments state that she converted to her own use money that belonged to the office she formerly headed. A series of six indictments charge Riddick with taking $926,615 from the office. "Clearly these indictments...

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Meet the New, Fractured Raleigh City Council

Posted By on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 at 9:37 AM

The new Raleigh City Council got off to something of a rocky start yesterday, with a council rebellion against Mayor Nancy McFarlane laying the groundwork for what could be a contentious two years. Here’s what happened: As mayors have always, McFarlane submitted a list of committee chairs and assignments for the council to vote on, based on conversations she’d had with members in recent weeks. Standard procedure. But then Russ Stephenson and David Cox submitted their own list of committee assignments, which the council, in a 5–3 vote, choose over McFarlane’s. That vote count comes with an asterisk, though....

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

New Raleigh City Council Begins With a Spat

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 6:46 PM

"Cry 'Havoc!' And let slip the dogs of war!" Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1 OK, maybe the drama at Monday's Raleigh City Council meeting didn't quite rise to Shakespearean levels. But the meeting and aftermath were unusually complicated and contentious and may portend a rocky path ahead for Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the reconfigured City Council. With members Stefanie Mendell and Nicole Stewart on board following their election in October, McFarlane faced a rebellion from incumbent members Russell Stephenson, David Cox and others who voted with them. The first indication was a five-three council vote to bypass the mayor's...

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With the RNC’s Full Embrace of Accused Child Molester Roy Moore, American Politics Has Hit Rock Bottom (Right?)

Posted By on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 at 9:11 AM

Yesterday morning, Donald Trump formally endorsed accused child molester Roy Moore in the Alabama Senate race. Following his lead, the Republican National Committee reversed its previous decision to cut all ties with Moore and will instead cut him a check. “At Mr. Trump’s direct urging, and to the surprise of some Republican Party officials, the national committee, which severed ties to Mr. Moore weeks ago, opened a financial spigot that could help Mr. Moore with voter turnout in the contest’s closing days.” “But even as senior Republicans again coalesced around Mr. Moore, there were reminders that the party’s internal divide...

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Friday, December 1, 2017

Trump Asked Burr to Shut Down the Russia Probe

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2017 at 9:01 AM

Already facing an obstruction-of-justice investigation after asking former FBI director Jim Comey to back off the Russia probe—then firing him when he didn’t—Trump is still at it. As The New York Times reports, the president has been asking Republican senators, including North Carolina’s Richard Burr, the head of the intelligence committee, to wrap up their Russia probes. “President Trump over the summer repeatedly urged senior Senate Republicans, including the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to end the panel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, according to a half dozen lawmakers and aides. Mr. Trump’s requests were a...

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Numerous Issues Await New Raleigh City Council Members as They Are Sworn in Monday

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 7:30 PM

A stack of longstanding issues, and at least one controversial new one, will loom ahead for new Raleigh City Council members when they meet Tuesday for the first time since their election in October. At-large member Nicole Stewart and District E representative Stefanie Mendell will have their shot at debating matters such as Airbnb-style rentals, granny flats, and the evolving Community Engagement Board. Mendell, who defeated long-time council member Bonner Gaylord in October, says she's excited about serving and looks forward to clearing away several years worth of underbrush. "I'm hoping that we'll be able to make some progress...

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Raleigh Loses Out on MLS—and Maybe Affordable Housing, Too

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 8:54 AM

Yesterday, Major League Soccer named its four finalists for two franchise slots that will be awarded this year. North Carolina FC’s wasn’t among them. Instead, the finalists were Sacramento, Cincinnati, Nashville, and Detroit. But that doesn’t the Triangle is altogether out of the running. MLS is planning to name two more franchises next year. And while Cincy, Nashville, and Sacramento are all expected to win bids either this year or next, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Raleigh could overtake Detroit. “Detroit’s bid dropped building a soccer-specific stadium in the burgeoning downtown arena district in favor of...

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Probe Into $2.3M Loss at Wake County Register of Deeds Office Will Last Until the End of 2017

Posted By on Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 2:45 PM

A state-county investigation into the more than $2.3 million found missing from the Wake County Register of Deeds office will stretch through December, with a grand jury impaneled before the end of 2017, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Monday. The office sustained the losses between 2008 and 2017, according to a claim the county submitted to its insurers. The losses amounted to more than $100,000 a year for nine straight years and sparked investigations by the county, Freeman's office, and the State Bureau of Investigation. Officials involved with the investigation had said earlier that a grand jury could...

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