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Courthouse cut-ups

John Atkins, architect for Durham County's new courthouse, remarked that Wednesday's ceremony was the most festive groundbreaking he'd ever attended.

There was a lot of joking going on, some intentional and some inadvertent.

For instance, commissioners' Chairman Michael Page said, "Groundbreaking for the new Durham County courthouse has been a long time coming.

"For centuries ... "

For Durham County, now's time to build (so says financial consultant)

Markets are volatile, the economy is depressed and Durham County expects its tax revenue to come in below expectations.

So, a financial advisor told the county commissioners this morning, the moment is ripe for almost $250 million worth of construction.

"This could be one of the best times for building we have seen in a very long time," said Doug Carter of DEC Associates, the firm that advises Durham County on handling its money.

Close the State Soda shop? Say it ain't so!

The State Soda Shop has been serving the likes of lawyers, judges, police officers, sheriff deputies, probation officers, recently-released jail inmates as well as the other downtown Raleigh denizens for decades.

But it's time on Salisbury Street could be drawing to a close as the county moves to tear down the Lawyers Building at 320 S. Salisbury Street, sandwiched between the Wake County jail and county parking lot. The teardown, expected late this summer, is the first stage of the $214 million plan to build another courthouse on the corner of Salisbury and Martin streets by 2013.

Treva Long has worked at the shop off and on for 18 years and took over when longtime owner Jack Raynor stepped down a year and a half ago. Jack tells us that he thinks the State Soda Shop has been open longer than any other downtown business -- it first showed up on the city records in the late 1920s when it was a concession stand for the State Theater next door. Treva initially tossed out a closing date of late June, but said today it looks like she might be able to stay open a bit longer.

Good news for WakePol, for nothing beats the newspaper deadline blues and a bad case of writer's block like a coffee milkshake from State Soda Shop. Other favorites, for those who haven't had the pleasure, are Treva's chicken salad and egg salad sandwiches, all at prices well below $5. Treva tells us Mayor Charles Meeker is a fan of the chicken salad on whole wheat with lettuce and tomato finished off with a chocolate milkshake. The mayor being a man of habit, Treva starts making it as soon as he walks in the door.

It's open daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Stop by before it's too late. Stay tuned, we'll let you know if Treva settles on a closing date.

Want to share your State Soda Shop memories and tell us your favorite eats there? Drop me a line at sarah.ovaska@newsobserver.com.

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