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N.C. 54 restaurant can keep giant photos

An N.C. 54 restaurant emerged victorious Wednesday and will keep its larger-than-life photos of UNC coach Dean Smith and basketball superstar Michael Jordan.
Chapel Hill's Public Arts Commission voted unanimously that the window art does not fall under the town’s sign ordinance, land-use management ordinance or Community Design Commission rules.
Commission member Nancy Kitterman said it also doesn’t meet the town’s public art mural guidelines, because the photos are posted inside the Tobacco Road restaurant’s windows.
“If you put a giant sculpture on your front yard, I can see it every day. It’s your property. It’s your business, and basically, if I don’t like it, I don’t have to look at it,” she said.
The town’s review started with a Glen Lennox resident’s letter to the editor. Restaurant owner Brian Amra said the 12-foot by 22-foot vinyl photos block a view of the kitchen and will be there a long time.

Today in The Durham News

Here's a look at today's local headlines:

POLICE OFFICER SHOT: Still no word on the condition of the Durham police officer who was shot in the line of duty yesterday. His name was not released, but he was alert when taken to the hospital. This stiory broke too late for today's DN, but appears online and in the N&O. (Link here)

SOUTHERN DURHAM END RUN: Rebuffed by the City Council, the developers of 751 South are now talking to Chatham County about providing water to their proposed 1,300 home project near Jordan Lake. The irony? The water from Chatham would originate in Durham. Read correspondent Matt Goad's story. (Link here)

ART FOR DIABETES: If you've never done a Third Friday ArtWalk, now's the time. Correspondent Debbie Meyer reports how an exhibit opening Friday at Susan Frosch's Basement gallery on Chapel Hill Street was inspired by a friend's son living with the disease. (Link here.)

Do you drive into Chapel Hill each day? If you take NC 54 you've probably seen the giant window posters of Dean Smith and Michael Jordan. They're raising a ruckus in Chapel Hill (well, mostly a ruckus  of strong support). If you'd like to add your two cents, join the conversation on my Facebook page (link here) and you could see your comments in a future edition of the newspaper.

Today's Durham News also features a special 20 Questions contest. Test your knowledge of the current events of 2012 and you could win $25 worth of free tickets. Two winners will be chosen for most correct answers and one will be selected by random drawing just for entering. You have until Friday. Good luck!

And thanks for reading,


Today in The Chapel Hill News

A look at today's local headlines:

NEWTOWN CONNECTION: Thiscame too late for today's CHN but we report it online and in the N&O. One of the victims of the shootings in Newtown, Conn.,  6-year-old Catherine Violet Hubbard, was the niece of Matt Sullivan, an attorney for the Chapel Hill Police Department. Our condolences to Matt. Find out how you can honor Catherine's memory here.

BINGHAM FACILITY UPDATE: Neighbors of UNC's animal research complex in Bingham Township lost a bid for a public hearing last month. But the state has now given them a victory. Regulators want a lot more information on what contaminants are in the wastewater and have asked the university to consider scaling back the size of the spray fields. (Link here.)

NEW PRESERVATION HEAD: The Preservation Society of Chapel Hill has a new name and a new director. Cheri Szcodronskihas (left) succeeds Ernie Dollar as director of the newly named Preservation Chapel Hill. (Kinda like the name.) Read how she wants to link preservation with economic development. (Link here)

Today's issue also sees the return of a past popular feature, our end of year Current Events Quiz. Play 20 Questions and you could win $25 worth of free movie tickets.

My Facebook page is heating up with comments on those Dean Smith and Michael Jordan pics at East 54.  Tell us what you think on my FB page, here on our blog (with your name if you want your comments published in the CHN), at or by sending your comments to us at 505 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27516.

Thanks to those who have already sent in their Quiz answers (wow, that was fast!). You have until 5 p.m.this Friday. Good luck.

And thanks for reading,


Sunday in The Chapel Hill News

In case you missed it:

BIG MAN OFF CAMPUS: That giant poster of Dean Smith (and one of Michael Jordan) in the new Tobacco Road restaurant at East 54 has gotten the town's attention. Is it a sign? Is it art? Tammy Grubb has our story (repeated in today's N&O for readers who don't get the CHN). (Link here)

ARTSCENTER REBOUNDS: Back in the black, the ArtsCenter's latest financials are good news. But longtime concerts director Tess Ocana Mangum is out of a job after new director Art Menius decided the department had been losing money long enough. We have two stories. (Link here)

FIRE INSURANCE SAVINGS: Residents in the New Hope Fire District got their bonus checks early this year, when improvements in the fire department lowered their homeowners insurance. Find out how much in Tammy's story.  (Link here)

UNC professor Michele Berger joins our My View lineup with a column called "The Queen grows up." Welcome, Michele. The president of the Occoneechee Council says the Boy Scouts makes safety its top priority. And in Sunday's letters, readers sound off on traffic hazards, school redistrcting and whether the Carrboro Board of Aldermen is engaging in social engineering. Hmmm ...

As always, tell us what you think at And, thanks for reading,


Dan Dakich on Michael Jordan: I beat him like a dog and he owes me money

When Indiana and North Carolina play a basketball game, as they will tonight, you can be sure their 1984 NCAA tournament game will be brought up. If you weren’t around for it, you’ve probably heard about it. It’s the game where Dan Dakich, as the legend goes, shut down Michael Jordan in Jordan’s final collegiate game.

Dakich has become known for a lot of things. He’s a college basketball analyst for ESPN, he hosts a radio show in Indianapolis, he coached at both Bowling Green and Indiana. Still, nearly 30 years later, Dakich is perhaps best known as the guy who defended Jordan during Indiana’s 72-68 victory against the top-ranked Tar Heels in the East regional semifinals of the 1984 NCAA tournament.

Six N.C. players among McDonald's top 35

Six former North Carolina high school basketball players are among the list of the Greatest McDonald’s All Americans. The list was released in celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the McDonald’s All American High School Boys Basketball Game.

UNC's Barnes will keep wearing his Kobes

NEWARK, N.J. -- Michael Jordan may not like it, but UNC wing Harrison Barnes is not changing his shoes.

The freshman said Thursday he knows the former Tar Heels star was only teasing when he told Barnes that he needed to get rid of the Kobe Bryant model of shoes he's been wearing, and replace them with Air Jordans. So he'll likely be wearing the same Kobe-syle Nikes when his team takes on Marquette in the NCAA Regional semifinals tonight.

"I know he was only joking ... I'm really comfortable around him,'' Barnes said before the team practiced Thursday.

Michael Jordan buys Charlotte penthouse

Michael Jordan appears to be taking up permanent residence in Charlotte.

The Charlotte Observer reports that the former basketball star and owner of the Bobcats, has bought two penthouses in a downtown Charlotte luxury condo.

Jordan has combined the two residences to create one 7,000-square-foot-home at The Trust, a condominium at 139 South Tryon St. He closed on the $3.15 million property Thursday, reports Charlotte Observer staff writer Ely Portillo.

The condo is about two blocks from Time Warner Cable Arena, where the Bobcats play. 

To read the full story go here.

Michael Jordan helped win over Blue Cross CEO

A late October meeting with Charlotte Bobcats owner and basketball legend Michael Jordan helped seal the deal for Brad Wilson.

Wilson, the CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, announced Friday that the state's largest health insurer has revived a sponsorship deal with the professional basketball team. Financial terms of the one-year deal weren't disclosed.

Wilson talked with Jordan for about 15 minutes when he was in Charlotte on other business and stopped by the Bobcats' offices.

"I didn't go there to negotiate the terms and sign a deal, but my visit certainly validated the alignment of the interests of the two organizations," Wilson said.

Michael Jordan's baseball days revealed in "Jordan Rides the Bus"

It almost seems like a fever dream now, but 17 years ago Michael Jordan quit the Chicago Bulls after three championships and embarked on a career in baseball.

On Tuesday night at 8 on ESPN, "Bull Durham" director Ron Shelton explores that time in the fine documentary "Jordan Rides the Bus," as part of ESPN's stellar "30 for 30" series. (To celebrate the network's 30th anniversary, well-known filmmakers have made documentaries examining key moments in the last 30 years of sports.)

There's been some mystery around Jordan's decision, mostly of the swarmy kind. What's true is that Jordan made the decision after his father's murder in Robeson County (a crime now caught up in the SBI lab scandal); Jordan said then that playing baseball was a dream he and his father shared.

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