New Arts Magnet?: An intriguing article in the H-S by Matt Milliken today on DPS super Eric Becoats' plan to turn the new north Durham elementary school under construction on Old Oxford Rd. into an arts magnet -- with a priority zone favoring attendance by students at a mix of high-poverty (Glenn, Holt) and relatively balanced or higher wealth (Mangum, Easley, Hillandale, others) elementaries. It's the same priority zone concept used in close-in distances around DPS' Watts and Morehead Montessori schools, but with a much larger catchment zone, and described by Becoats as designed to avoid creating a high-poverty school out of the chute where it's hard to recruit top teachers and leaders. This is a big story to watch in the coming weeks. (Herald-Sun)
Pavin' Delayin': Cold weather and one contractor's possible bankruptcy have slowed completion of paving efforts on NC 751 (Cameron Blvd.) near Duke and T.W. Alexander near Cornwallis. NCDOT says the Alexander work is halted pending a new contractor, while near-term warm-ups may mean a temporary surface on Alexander, but that'll need another look come spring. Paving operations halt in winter due to cold weather. (N&O)
More on 54: The NC 54 plan -- which has some Durhamites grousing about too much density and a seemingly Chapel Hill focus -- will take months to reconstitute based on citizen and elected official complaints, it seems. (Herald-Sun)
Dalton in Durham: Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton was in the Bull City yesterday, talking economic development and seeing points of economic renewal, from Joe's Diner to American Tobacco to Golden Belt (Herald-Sun); at a mid-day roundtable, he discussed programs to help small business subcontractors with better parity and an ability to get paid when working for larger firms on state contracts.
Sweepstakes Ban Enforcement Pause: Law enforcement agents are waiting for court battles over the Dec. 1 ban of sweepstakes cafes before moving forward with shutting them down; some outlets claim they've adjusted their gaming software to comport with the new law. (Herald-Sun)