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Background on Greenfire Development

Here is a link to the Liberty Warehouse's nomination to the National Register of Historic Places:

Have you seen 'The Help'? Let's talk about it it

Have you seen 'The Help'? If you have, and especially if you know people who worked as maids during the civil rights era, the movie may have raised issues for you.

We asked several people before the movie came out last week if they would consider sharing their thoughts with our readers. We called the Durham County Library, which has done programming around the wildly successful book the movie is based on. They agreed to contribute essays for The Chapel Hill News and The Durham News.

Now we'd like to invite you to consider joining the conversation. If you've seen the movie or plan to see it this weekend, we invite you to send us up to 500 words on what you thought about it and any issues it raised for you. We'll print submissions or excerpts from submissions in upcoming issues of the two local papers.

Please send your essay, along with a jpeg photo of yourself, to by Monday, Aug. 22. Thank you,

Mark Schultz


Today in The Durham News

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

But first, go to for Matt Caulder's story on the opening of the Festival for the Eno and for photojournalist Ethan Hyman's gallery of pictures.

In today's Durham News:

COUNTY HOLDS LINE ON TAXES:  The county board did not raise your taxes this year. But you can -- when the county asks you to approve two new sales tax increases for schools and regional transit this fall. Virginia Bridges has the story.

CELEBRATING DURHAM TECH'S 50TH: Emily Weinstein is at it again. The prolific local artist (and cat rescuer) is putting the finishing touches on a huge mural honoring our community college. Staff writer Lana Douglas looked over her shoulder.  

LAWYER SEEKS DISMISSAL IN BONES CASE: Should the medical examiner's office have returned a missing woman's bones to her family? A lawyer for the man accused of murdering her says no. Lana reports on why that decision could now get the charges tossed.

Editorial page writer Bob Wilson says 751 doesn't add up, East Durham activist Aidil Ortiz Collins says Self-Help messed up, and Flo Johnston reports on a local church that serves up communion bufet style.

Happy Fourth, and thanks for reading,


Today in The Durham News

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

REDUCING CLASS SIZE: DPS already ties class size to a school's percentage of kids on free and reduced meals. Now the school district is fine-tuning the plan to give poorer community schools even more attention. Read Virginia Bridges story for the details.

BOARD KEEPS START TIMES: Experts say high school kids need more sleep, so it made sense  to start the school day for them later. But one bus fleet does not fit all. Virginia also reports today how DPS has tabled, for now, a plan to change start times.

CITY WEIGHS NEGLECT CASE:  The city is building its case against Greenfire Development, which increasingly looks like it may have taken on more properties than it could manage. Read Jim Wise's report on a hearing next week to determine if the real estate firm is negligent in the recent roof collapse at Liberty Warehouse.

We have a rundown on local high school graduations, Frank Hyman says vote for higher taxes in today's My View (not sure everyone will agree with that; tell us what you think at and modern dance masters Pilobolus (that's them at right, of course) is coming to the 78th annual American Dance Festival, opening tomorrow at DPAC.   

Thanks for reading,


Today in The Chapel Hill News

Our story about bullying at Phillips Middle School has already drawn one reader's letter, which will appear in Sunday's print edition. Here is an excerpt:

The concerns being raised have caused some parents to suggest that such issues should not be discussed outside of the school for fear of tarnishing the reputation of the school or district.
It is important to note that it is the actions, or lack thereof, that have occurred that have tarnished the reputation of Phillips, not the process of shedding light on the problems and seeking their solutions.
We, in Chapel Hill, need to bring our great resources to bear on problems, not suppress or conceal them behind a façade for the sake of reputation.

Here is a look at some other local headlines in today's Chapel Hill News edition:

ROAD PROJECT HURTING BUSINESS: The Spotted Dog owner says the restaurant may close because of a 50 percent drop in business during the East Weaver Street Road project. Maple View Ine Cream owner Bob Nutter is meeting with his landlord and suppliers to see if he can stay open. Read Tammy Grubb's story for more on the project.

HILLSBOROUGH SCULPTURE TOUR:  In this month's Brush Strokes column on the visual arts, correspondent Deborah Meyer reports on the Hillsborough Arts Council's first ever sculpture tour. Read Debbie's story and check out the 2nd Friday Art Walk this week in downtown Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Summer is a great time to stoll through our local galleries.

We have a rundown on this week's local high school graduations, seven letters on the editorial page and two pages of local sports in today's edition. Check it out.

Thanks for reading,


Today in The Durham News

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

DEACON MURDER: Testimony began Tuesday in the murder trial of Tory Nelson, who was just 18 when authorities say he brutally stabbed 89-year-old church deacon Charles Davis and stole his car. Jesse James DeConto has the story in today's N&O.  

In today's Durham News:

CRIME PREDICTIONS REBUFFED: Sheriff's Maj. Paul Martin (left) predicts a race war in Durham and crime spreading to the suburbs. The problem? The stats don't back it up, and even people who follow crime say "there's a disconnect." Jesse has that story too.

BUSES TO BIKES: You know the old bus station just off the downtown loop? (It was replaced by the fine Freelon-designs transit hub off Pettigrew.) Randolph Lawrence of Durham thinks the city should turn it into a bike shelter, complete with showers and changing rooms. (Tell us what you want to see happen to the old bus station at Jim Wise reports.    

GOT A FEELING? The Rhine center studies things that go bump in the night and then some.  This Friday night the sort of Duke affiliated paranormal research center honors a former FBI agent who made a career following hunches and intuition. Jim has that story too.

Vianey Martinez wonders how well the Durham schools are preparing her for college. Alex O'Connell reports a construction program for girls at Southern High is spreading out of state. D.G. Martin misses Reynolds Price and Lisa Price says the Arizona shooting present a new opportunity for sensible gun control. A jam-packed issue. Tell us what's on your mind on these and any other issues with a letter to the editor at

And thanks for reading,

Mark Schultz


Coming Sunday: Favorite photos of 2010


Photos are a big part of The Durham News. Some of the best come from you readers. This Sunday we rerun some of our favorite pictures of 2010, including this Best Shot submission from Michelle Dubow, who photographed audience members attending an ADF performance at DPAC.  Stunning. By the way, we got several pictures of last weekend's snow. To see a gallery of photos from Durham and Orange County readers please go here.

Coming Wednesday in The Durham News

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

But first read tomorrow's N&O for Jesse DeConto's story on the investigation into a suspicious death at Duke Hospital. That story broke today, too late for tomorrow's Durham News.

And in the Durham News:

KIDZNOTES CONCERT: The East Durham program teaching inner-city kids had its first public performace Saturday. Ace correspondent Virginia Bridges was there for the cheers ... and the tears.

BENNETT UPDATE: The small business loan debacle was one of the Durham's biggest scandals a few years ago when it was discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars went to companies that didn't exist. Anita Bennett, who ran the program, has fallen behind on making good.  Jesse James DeConto has our update.

COUNTRY CLASSIC: You know the old store that used to sit on the east side of old Erwin Road? (Old's not really part of the name, but my former boss Bill Stagg used to call it that, so if it was good enough for him ...). Jim Wise reports the store is coming back as part of the new park under way on the Durham-Orange border. We've got pictures too.

Jackie Wagstaff's out of jail. Reyn Bowman says walkable communities are more trusting communities. Dave Hart runs down the top picks in entertainment in ArtsWeek. And Bonitta Best reports on the latest accolades a former Jordan athlete is receiving for his accomplishments off the field. 

It's been a difficult year. I want to thank those of you who stopped to ask how we were doing or offered encouragement as you read of our industry's struggles in the recession. Your support means a lot. Look for our special Readers Writes issue next Wednesday (the reader response has been awesome). And check out our special look back and look ahead issue with some of our favorite photos of the year Jan. 2.

Thanks for reading,


In today's Durham News

I'll post later today on last night's InterNeighborhood Council meeting. There was an interesting presentation by Sue Dayton of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League on neighborhoods polluted by Perc, a dry cleaning solvent now known to be a likely carcinogen and cause other serious health problems. 

That happened too late to get into this morning's Durham News (we go to press Monday nights). Here are some other local headlines:

UP THE CREEK: A plan to restore Ellerbe Creek as it flows through Northgate Park is pitting water safety against public safety. Staff writer Jim Wise reports on what happens when good intentions have unanticipated consequences.

THRILLER IN THE PARK: Personally, I don't think the woman in the Michael Jackson jacket on our front page got MJ's hair right (and I heard on the radio this morning his new movie is expected to make $250 million its first week!). Virginia Bridges has our story on the attempt to set a world record Saturday night in Durham Central Park.

CONNECTING THE DOTS: So I took a walk with Marcia Owen last week. The director of the Religious Coalition for a Non-Violent Durham spoke with me about restorative justice. I explain it for those who don't know what it means in today's Editor's Desk column.

Lots more, including Bonitta Best on sports, Alan Teasley on music and Simon Woodrup on dogs.

As always, thanks for reading,




Coming tomorrow in The Durham News

Here's a look at tomorow's headlines:

TALE OF TWO STREET FAIRS: That would be CenterFest, of course. We speak with people who feel the annual arts festival has lost some pizzazz in its Foster Street parking lot and with others who say the site works. What do you think? Did you go this year? Tell us here  or at If we get enough responses we'll print them Saturday.

GREAT SCOTT!: Bonitta Best writes on this past weekend's historic Duke-NCCU matchup. Three former Hillside High Hornets started the big game, she reports, with Duke freshman Desmond Scott leading the Blue Devils to their 49-14 victory.

PRIMARY COUNTDOWN: The races for the Ward 1 and 2 primaries are winding down, with Tuesday's primary to winnow the fields to two candidates each for the general election in November. Jim Wise has part 1 of a 2-part look at issues the city will face in the next four years and how the candidates say they would respond.

NEW CHEF IN TOWN: Phil McLaughlin is new to Durham's Six Plates, but he's a veteran of the Triangle dining scene, having worked at Il Palio and Elaine's. Check out this month's Morsel column by Elizabeth Shestak to get the latest on the local food and restaurant scene. 

We've got pics from the Pride Parade, a letter (pro-hunting this time) on the deer hunt in Duke Forest and columns by Brenda James and A.J. "TENs" Donaldson ('cause he's from Tennessee and he's intense, he says). Plus a look at this week in the local arts.

Hope you're having a good week, and thanks for reading.



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