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Latest Durham news and campaign updates.

Monday, October 30, 2017 6:00 AM

Vote Nov. 7 for a Durham we can all believe in!


“Those closest to the problem are closest to the solution, but furthest from resources and power.”
– Glenn E. Martin, founder and president of JustLeadershipUSA

Wherever I go, across this city, I am asked very plainly, “Why are you running for the Durham City Council?”

My response is not complicated: I am running to ensure that Durham is a city that represents all residents, especially those that have been overlooked and underserved.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:38 PM

Cooper: ‘Transgender people are not prevented from the use of public facilities’

North Carolina’s legislature passed a law that prevents transgender people from using government-run bathrooms corresponding to the gender with which they identify. The law — House Bill 2 (HB2) — has incited a state-wide civil liberties battle. Here is the timeline of the so-called "bathroom bill."


Wednesday, October 18, 2017 11:06 AM

Durham Applies for a Federal Grant to Two-Way the Loop, and It’s About Damn Time

This morning, the city of Durham announced that it had applied for a $12 million U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER Grant to convert the hated downtown loop into a two-way street. If the city wins the grant—part of a $500 million discretionary pool of money that the feds use for infrastructure projects—it would use it to change pavement markings, modify traffic signals, and construct roundabouts.


Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:00 AM

Who’s running for Durham mayor and city council?

Durham voters will choose their next mayor and three city council members on Nov. 7. The October primary narrowed the field of candidates to eight – two for mayor and two in each of the Durham City Council ward races. Council terms are four years and the mayoral term is two years.

Candidates run for the ward seat where they live, but voters do not need to live in that ward and can vote for a candidate in each ward. Here are the candidates on the ballot to become the city’s new leaders:


Wednesday, October 18, 2017 12:00 AM

Durham Approves an Affordable Housing Plan in Downtown, But It Will Need $10 Million in Tax Credits

Affordable housing and retail and office space are slated for a two-acre site adjacent to Durham Station.

Durham City Council members and staffers, along with a development team composed of Self-Help Ventures Fund and DHIC Inc., have been contemplating how best to use the city-owned site for about a year. On Monday, the council unanimously approved a concept that includes eighty units of affordable housing, sixty-two thousand square feet of office space, parking, and twelve thousand square feet of commercial space. The housing will allow for twenty housing vouchers, which are administered by the Durham Housing Authority and subsidize low-income tenants' rents.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017 4:57 PM

Triangle asks Amazon to look at seven sites for its new headquarters

With just two days to go, Triangle economic development officials on Tuesday mailed their pitch to Amazon to build its second headquarters here.

 

States and local leaders across the country have scrambled to put together proposals that would convince the online retail giant to deliver a massive economic investment. Amazon gave the hopefuls until Thursday, and said it would make its choice known next year.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:00 AM

Proposal submitted to build affordable housing for public school teachers


Tuesday, October 17, 2017 12:00 AM

'I've been homeless:'

Some public school teachers say it's hard to do their job to the best of their ability when they're worrying about how to afford a roof over their heads. A progressive proposal in Durham asks to build affordable apartments reserved for the city’s public school teachers.

With starting pay for teachers around $35,000 a year and little opportunity to increase their salaries, many say it is difficult to find anything affordable that is safe and comfortable.


Monday, October 16, 2017 12:00 AM

Durham is fighting the potential takeover of one of its elementary schools by a charter organization

A wealthy retired businessman from Oregon says his "significant economic resources" helped get passed a state law that will have charter operators over up to five low-performing elementary schools.


Monday, October 2, 2017 2:18 PM

Equality NC Public Announcement

My name is John Rooks Jr and I am one of your candidates for Ward 2 in Durham's ongoing City Council Elections.

On August 7th, I submitted responses to Equality NC'S candidate questionnaire. The responses I submitted were not my views and the leader I hope to be for the city of Durham, and I would like to address these concerns publicly.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017 12:00 AM

Violent crime up, property crime down in 2016.

DURHAM
The City of Medicine’s crime rates are in line with national trends.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released its nationwide, accumulative crime statistics for 2016 this week. The figures showed an increase in violent crime for a second straight year across the United States. For the 14th year in a row, U.S. property crime numbers decreased.

In Durham, violent crime increased and property crime decreased.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017 7:00 AM

Durham recreation centers, pools free for youth starting June 1

DURHAM
Just as schools get ready to set thousands of kids free for summer vacation, the city is nixing its recreation center and pool fees for kids 18 and under.

Beginning Thursday, June 1, Durham youth will be able to use the city’s recreation centers and pools for free.


Monday, May 22, 2017 10:30 AM

Supreme Court strikes down North Carolina congressional district maps

(CNN)The Supreme Court struck down two congressional district maps in North Carolina Monday, holding that the state had engaged in an unconstitutional gerrymander.

The ruling is a victory for the black North Carolina voters who had argued the plans packed African-Americans in districts that already had a high percentage of African-Americans, thus diluting their presence in other districts.

Two districts were at issue and the court split differently on its votes. The vote was 8-0 to strike down the District 1 map, and 5-3 to strike down the District 12 map.


Monday, May 22, 2017 7:10 AM

Durham County commissioners vote 4-1 on county manager’s raise

DURHAM
Durham County commissioners voted to give County Manager Wendell Davis a raise, but not everyone was on board.

The commissioners voted 4-1 to give Davis a 3 percent raise – $6,321 – bringing his annual salary to $217,030. The raise is retroactive to April 14, 2017.

Commissioners Chairwoman Heidi Carter opposed the increase.


Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:07 AM

Shooting at Durham complex causes flooding, displaces 6

DURHAM, N.C. — A shooting early Sunday morning at an apartment complex in Durham displaced six residents.

Officials responded to an apartment building near McDougald Terrace, located on E. Lawson Street, in response to a shooting.

No one was injured, police said, but the bullet hit pipes and caused the building to flood. Six people were in the apartment at the time, and the Red Cross relocated them to a temporary overnight location.


Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:03 AM

Durham City Council to vote on $4.2 million grant for Fayette Place purchase

The Durham City Council is moving ahead with giving the Durham Housing Authority $4.2 million to buy 20 acres of crumbling foundations for future affordable housing.

The council plans to vote on the grant to Development Ventures Inc., (DVI) a development arm of the Durham Housing Authority, at its June 5 meeting.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017 5:31 PM

Thief takes food, school supplies from McDougald Terrace community

A food pantry being started by McDougald Terrace residents was broken into and ransacked last weekend.

“It really did break my heart,” said Ashley Canady, 30, president of the resident council and a mother of four. “I was at the point of giving up.”

The council is seeking nonperishable food and school supplies so they can still open the pantry and will be accepting donations at 10 a.m. Tuesdays at 51 Ridgeway Avenue unit B.


Monday, May 15, 2017 10:18 PM

Durham city budget proposal includes tax hike

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A proposed property tax increase in Durham would be used to assist in affordable housing.

At Monday night’s council meeting, City Manager Tom Bonfield proposed a 1.79 cent tax increase for next year’s budget.

This would be roughly $32 more per year for a home valued at $180,000.


Friday, May 5, 2017 9:24 PM

Press Release

PRESS RELEASE

 

Durham Engineer, Community Advocate to Announce Bid for Ward 2 City Council Seat

John Rooks, a 30-year Durham resident, will seek election on a platform that champions citizen empowerment coupled with transparency in leadership – and, yes, he’s got an app for that.


Monday, May 1, 2017 4:30 PM

Durham leaders OK funding for more bike lanes and sidewalks

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — More bike lanes and sidewalks are coming to Durham.

Monday night the Durham City Council approved an additional $1.3 million for the $9 million project on Old Chapel Hill Road.

As things are now, bikers and pedestrians say they don’t feel safe.

Cyclists are only a few inches from cars flying past them along Old Chapel Hill Road.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017 7:00 AM

McDougald Terrace residents, police bridge divide over lunch

DURHAM
For an afternoon, 12-year-old Jamaya Currie wasn’t scared of police.

Until recently, Jamaya said, she feared the officers who visited McDougald Terrace public housing complex, where she used to live and visits her grandmother often.

“I am scared,” said the seventh-grader. “Just (officers) shooting somebody or shooting me in general, or just basically hurting someone. I felt that all time. Every time I come up in here.”


Tuesday, February 14, 2017 11:08 PM

Durham planning commission votes against zoning for city’s first Publix

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — There’s now a potential road block for a proposed Publix store in Durham.

Tuesday night a planning commission voted 11-2 against supporting the zoning change, now leaving the decision up to city council.

The proposed store would go at the intersection of Guess and Latta roads, which is currently zoned for housing.

The Publix would be the first in the Bull City, but it’s getting push back.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017 4:58 PM

Durham Council Considers Ending Primaries, Citywide Elections for Ward Representatives

The Durham City Council has again revived talks of eliminating primary elections for council seats and instead holding a runoff if the general election doesn't produce a clear winner. But residents who spoke during a public hearing on the issue Monday seem more interested in overhauling the city's ward system.

According to city attorney Patrick Baker, state law mandates that ward representatives should be elected only by voters in their ward. Durham's system, in which ward members are elected citywide, was approved as an exception to the law. Baker said the city would need to amend its charter to get rid of primaries and may need permission from the General Assembly to rework the ward system.

Durham’s council includes three ward representatives, who are required to live in the ward they represent, and three at-large members.


Monday, February 6, 2017 7:32 AM

Durham City Council OKs pay raises for first responders

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham police and firefighters received pay raises Monday night when the Durham City Council approved a plan to increase their salary.

The last time city leaders raised the starting salary for police officers and firefighters in Durham was 2008.

City councilors approved the city’s recommendation to increase the starting salary for police officers by $4,000 and bumping the starting salary for firefighters by $1,000.


Saturday, August 13, 2016 12:00 AM

Grit Award: John Rooks Jr. and Delbert Garmon

Earlier this week, we editorially extolled the “Community, Cops, Coffee and Conversation” event at the Kupcakery on Miami Boulevard.

It was an effort to help bridge the gap, through candid discussion, between police and community.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016 12:00 AM

Police, residents meet to bridge gap

DURHAM -- With cupcakes adding a sweet twist, Durham police and more than 100 residents met Monday night to share thoughts and to narrow a chasm between them.

The event, called "Community, Cops, Coffee and Conversation," was designed to let people speak freely about the state of affairs between law enforcement and citizens. It was held at The Kupcakery on Miami Boulevard.


Paid for by
the Committee to Elect John Rooks Jr.
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