DOUGHMAN gears up for another foodie race through the Bull City
American Tobacco Trail next-phase cost grows -- and turns to sidewalk bond, MPO dollars to move forward

BCR's Mega-Fishwrap Special Catchup Edition

It's been a busy last few days in BCR-ville, what with house duties, company in from Illinois, and some weekend time in the good ol' day job office. Heck, surprise work obligations during a half-day vacation even scuttled the Friday Fishwrap edition. So what's left to do but wrap up the past few days' news into one roundup, dear readers?

DPS Budget Woes, Discussions Continue: BOCC'ers and legislators met with the Hillside-based "Umbrella Coalition" and other concerned students, parents and citizens Friday to discuss responses to the DPS funding challenges. Officialdom explained why some of the advocates' ideas for fixing the hole in the school budget -- like blowing away the hard-to-obtain AAA debt rating for Durham County by spending "rainy day" dollars that really aren't supposed to be spent -- would be bad long-run decisions. On the plus side, Durham legislator and House budget strongman Mickey Michaux noted, the state will be allowing lottery funds to go into operations as well as capital this year. But bad news came amidst the meeting, as dejected lawmakers learned the US House had put the kibosh on extra Medicaid funding, including a half-billion dollars for NC... which means there's a big hole blown back into the state's budget, again. (Herald-Sun #1#2, Indy)

Warrant Program Support?: It's not just the schools that are seeing big wins from lobbying activity. So too the warrant control program, whose possible shuttering was felt to be (ahem) warrantless by County poobahs. A confab of elected and appointed officials shed more light on how the program does or doesn't work, though it also turned up the wrinkle that there are multiple databases receiving warrant data... and that the backlogged warrants being digitized go into a system different than the one used on-the-ground by D.P.D. officers in their vehicles. (Herald-Sun)

More City Budget News: City Council members took a sparse turn on non-city agency grants, cutting back $179k in recommendations to just a few recipients instead (The People's Channel, Ellerbe Creek Watershed Assn., and eight contracts in their last year eligible for funds), just $50k total. But add-backs in support for supporting domestic violence court funding and the warrant control program will mean City Manager Tom Bonfield must do some more digging to make the numbers work. And there's little to no appetite for more tax increases in the City this year, pols say. (N&O, Herald-Sun)

LAX Title: Duke's men's lacrosse team won the NCAA championship yesterday, marking the first time for Duke and the first time two Duke teams have won titles in the same year. The team included a number of players who had been part of the LAX scandal-cancelled 2006 season, some of whom were granted an extra year of eligibility due to the unusual circumstances. (Herald-Sun, N&O)

500 Nortel Workers Have New Home: About 500 VoIP and applications solutions workers at Nortel's RTP offices have gotten transferred in to Genband, a Texas-based firm that grew sixfold when bringing in a total of 2,500 Nortel workers cleaved off as part of the firm's bankruptcy. (N&O)

50 Years of Integration: A guest column by Charmaine McKissick-Melton is an important remembrance of the half-century mark since Durham's racially integrated schools saw its first black students graduate from formerly all-white Durham High. An important read. (Herald-Sun)

Unemployment Dips: Durham County's unemployment rate dipped slightly to 7.4% in April, from 8% the month before. That's below the Triangle regional rate of 8.1%. Question marks abound as to the economic impact of the end of stimulus programs that have provided some economic boosts, though the Research Triangle Regional Partnership noted that despite rising layoffs in the 13-county region, the Triangle still saw $1.9 billion in new corporate investment declarations, translating to a possible 10,000 additional jobs. (Herald-Sun #1, #2)

DHA -- Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: The Durham Housing Authority has hired a new director for its programs; he replaces Harrison Shannon, who resigned at the end of 2009 and has been working pending a replacement. The H-S notes that Parks once ran the KCMO affordable housing program and most recently spent six years in a similar role in Trenton, New Jersey, where he retired suddenly five months into a new three-year contract -- but has been seeking new full-time work since aught-seven, having been passed over for the slot in Ohio's Queen City, Cincinnati, last year. Over-under, anyone? (Herald-Sun)

Food Truck Scene: Durham's food trucks keep garnering more and more attention, and that's seen a latest turn in the N&O, which this weekend had a feature on the truck scene, including a nice photo gallery. This is ahead of a planned "Food Truck Feast" this Sunday, June 6 from 11:30am to 3pm at (where else?) Sam's Quik Shop on Erwin Rd. (N&O story, gallery)

Coach K, Duke Hoops Get White House Visit: The Durham-Obama administration connections continue (and hey, Arne Duncan's in town this week), this time in recognition for the Duke men's basketball team winning the national championship -- leading to a fair bit of ribbing by the commander-in-chief of his body man, former Duke hoopster Reggie Love. The N&O blog post is worth a read. And, the 4,000 or so hits on the Herald-Sun's coverage seems to this observer like a record for a single story. Sorry, Ray and Matt, people don't read the political stuff here at BCR in big numbers either. (N&O, Herald-Sun)

DFM Turns Ten: And no, we don't mean the Durham Farmers' Market, which recently hit that milestone. No, Duke's Farmers' Market at the hospital, the first of its kind at a US hospital and now a model for such programs nationwide. Such a shame the U can't move the DuFM from the inside wards of campus to a visible slot along Erwin Rd. and shunt the eyesore designated-smoking area off the frontage. (Herald-Sun)

Catsburg_ftl Sandy Ridge Elementary?: Durham's school board found time to pick a new name for its latest elementary school, choosing the nice, sanitized appellation "Sandy Ridge" for the new school, coming on the heels of such original choices as "Creekside" and "Spring Valley." Among the rejects: Catsburg, which would have reflected the geographic location as well as perhaps the most awesome building in Durham County. A construction contract for the new middle school on Snow Hill Rd. by Treyburn was let to a Mt. Airy company. (Herald-Sun; Catsburg background and photo from Wikipedia)

Auld Sings His Lang Syne: We're not sure what more there is to say on the sudden, surprising resignation of Skip Auld from the Durham County Library, but Jim Wise works a few more color details into his feach for The Durham News this week. (N&O)

MiLB Comes to Bat: We can all grumble over the WBF/Blues Fest mess, but kudos to Minor League Baseball for stepping up to pinch hit for a cancelled Parks & Rec baseball league in North-East Central Durham, a victim of City budget cuts. It's the pilot site for MiLB's "Long Ball" program, which helps to fund baseball leagues in underserved communities -- with the caveat that grades matter and kids with academic needs get academic tutoring, too. (N&O)



I hope the city recognizes the achievement of the Duke Lacrosse Team the same way they recognized the basketball team and the Durham Bulls. On, the other hand, people in this city and its government can be WAY too spineless to do the right thing, because it might hurt someone's feelings...Once again, we revert to the least common denominator.


I wonder how long it takes Genband to realize they are located in Durham County and surrounded by the City of Durham. Where is Reyn Bowman when you need him? :-)


The proper celebration would be a public apology from the city, a settling of the lawsuit (WITHOUT an increase in my property taxes), and the resurrection of the blue ribbon committee established to investigate DPD wrongdoing in the lax hoax.

Unfortunately, the city's insurance carrier nixed the last one when they realised its findings would become fodder during the discovery phase. This is still no excuse for public servants; police corruption affects rich as well as poor, and all deserve an end to police brutality. Oh, and Go Duke!

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