See photos from the continuing coverage of the arrest of at least seven Raleigh-area men on terrorism charges.
In less than two months, Raleigh will have its first law school.
Campbell University is putting the final touches on its new law school facility, which is moving from the university's bucolic Buies Creek main campus to the hustle and bustle of the capital city.
The university is spending $15 million to renovate a downtown facility, and classes are expected to start there Sept. 14.
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All those packed houses at Carter-Finley Stadium and the RBC Center apparently haven’t gone unnoticed.
Men’s Health Magazine ranked Raleigh as the No. 18 sports-obsessed city in the United States. The ranking of 100 major U.S. cities appears in the July/August issue of the magazine.
Applications are up 25 percent at Campbell University's law school, and officials there say they have downtown Raleigh to thank for it.
Campbell is moving its law school from Buies Creek to a new headquarters in downtown Raleigh, a new facility opening this fall. Law school officials say the draw of an urban law school experience is leading to far more applicants.
"Today's students want to be in an urban environment where they can gain experience and see the law in action," said Lewis Hutchison, assistant dean for admissions, in this recent news release. "Being within walking distance of the state legislature, appellate courts, state agencies and dozens of law firms and corporate offices means our students will be able to do both."
The law school will be at 225 Hillsborough Street. The 109,000-square-foot building offers 40 percent more space than the previous law school home on the Buies Creek campus.
Michael Slawter, a 34-year-old examiner for the N.C. Secretary of State's office, announced today that he is running for the District C City Council seat currently held by James West.
West has held the seat, which covers Southeast Raleigh, since 1999.
In a release announcing his candidacy, Slawter said he's running because he's worried the city has become stagnant:
“These are tough times economically, socially and I believe we need change. Mr. West has done a great job for Raleigh. However, I believe that more can be done for the Southeastern part of Raleigh and the wonderful folks in my district. We have store fronts that are boarded up, folks shot and left dead in the road, drug deals on corners and folks who are scared to shop at their local grocery store in broad daylight. Now is the time to make changes. To bring about a new era in Raleigh that can move us in the right direction. I hope to be the leader of that movement.”
Slawter, who has lived in Raleigh for the past 16 years, is married with a young daughter. In addition to being an examiner, Slawyer acts as a the corporation's division liaison to professional boards in North Carolina. Slawter previously worked for the city of Raleigh and the sate Social Security Administration.
Slow growth and conservation are forcing town leaders to consider a rate hike.
Among the items on tomorrow's City Council agenda is a proposal that would require new Raleigh water customers to pay a $100 deposit to get service. Raleigh currently does not require customers to put a deposit down before opening a water and sewer account.
But the city’s Public Utilities and Finance departments say the amount of people skipping out on their water bills has risen in recent years, particularly in the last few months as the economy has deteriorated.
City staff is recommending that new residential and commercial customers be required to put down a $100 deposit beginning Dec. 1. That's the date when the city will switch over to tiered-water rates for residential customers and move to monthly billing, two features made possible by new billing software. Existing customers would not be subject to the deposit ordinance unless they have a poor credit history with the city.
Between 1999 and 2008 the annual amount of bills going unpaid to the Utilities Department has increased from $543,371 to $1,226,850. The utility system’s revenues increased from $37.6 million to $89.3 million during that same period.
The city disconnects on average 1,720 accounts per month with an average bill of $100. Over the last year about $30,000 of unpaid utility bills were due to bankruptcies and about $370,000 was due to bad checks or over-drafts, according to the city. In a memo to the City Council, Chief Financial Officer Perry James and Public Utilities Director Dale Crisp said that “the current economic situation only exacerbates the ability to collect on accounts that have gone in to delinquent status.”
Most other utilities in the Triangle do require new customers to put down a deposit. OWASA and Durham charge $50. Cary charges $60 but will soon raise its deposit to $150.
Raleigh already charges new water and sewer customers a $50 new service fee, meaning residents would need $150 to get service hooked up. The city’s proposal would allow for new customers to have the deposit spread over several bills.
The City Council meets at 1 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 222 W. Hargett Street. At 7 p.m the council will hold a public hearing to discuss City Manager Russell Allen's budget proposal.
Local realtor Champ Claris announced today that he is running for one of the two at-large seats on the Raleigh City Council. The two at-large seats are currently held by Russ Stephenson and Mary-Ann Baldwin, both of whom have already said they will seek re-election.
An e-mail announcing Claris’ candidacy says that “Champ believes his fresh perspective on our issues and responsible approach to government spending will greatly benefit the City of Raleigh. He looks forward to leading a renewed focus on common sense priorities such as: strengthening our economy, reducing crime, improving our roads, and protecting our water supply and natural resources.”
Claris also said, if elected, that he would focus on reducing taxes, improving
public safety, and making Raleigh government more efficient.
Claris grew up in eastern North Carolina and has lived in Raleigh for the last 14 years. He attended N.C. State. Since 2003 he has worked for York Simpson
The personal finance magazine Kiplinger's has released its 2009 list of the top cities in the U.S., and Raleigh is ranked 10th. While most cities would likely be happy with a top ten finish, Raleigh ranked second on Kiplinger's 2008 list and has been the Tiger Woods of municipalities when it comes to these sorts of rankings in recent years. (Raleigh's abundance of accolades has been mentioned as a reason why City Manager Russell Allen was recently given a 5 percent raise.)
Why the drop in the Kiplinger's list? It likely has something to do with the Raleigh area's unemployment rate, which has doubled over the last year to 8.6 percent, as Kipplinger's notes.
If there is a connection among many of the cities ranked in the top ten it is that most are state capitals or university towns, meaning they are places with a large number of relatively stable public-sector jobs. The top ten cities, from one to nine, are: Huntsville, Albuquerque, Washington D.C. , Charlottesville, Athens, Olympia, Madison, Austin and Flagstaff. (Huntsville doesn't have a major university and is not the capital, but it is a major center for the missile-defense and aerospace industries.)
The question for Raleigh and the politicians who love citing the city's rankings is whether Kiplinger's is a sign of things to come or an aberation. These things tend to go in cycles, and it could be that the list-makers are looking for some new city to anoint.
Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker presided over a groundbreaking ceremony today for the Hillsborough Street roundabouts project.
The $9.22 million project will convert the stretch of Hillsborough between Garner Street and Oberlin Road to a two-lane, median-divided road with on-street parking on both sides. The Hillsborough Street and Pullen Road traffic signal will be replaced with a dual-lane roundabout.
During construction, Hillsborough Street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic, with one lane in each direction.
Most of the improvements are expected to be completed by June 2010.