News: Columnists

Dec. 17, 2013 @ 08:38 PM

Gun violence claims third victim in two days

Durham police on Tuesday were investigating the third fatal shooting in two days.

Desmond Ramario Williams, 28, of Durham was found dead on the road in the 2600 block of East Shoreham Street about 2:21 p.m. after police received a “shots fired” call.

Dec. 15, 2013 @ 08:17 PM

Arguably, my top 10 performances

It’s Top 10 season. Since I only saw three movies during the course of the year, and two of them were “Casablanca” and the third I can’t remember but I don’t think was “Casablanca,” here are my Top 10 performances of the year.

Dec. 13, 2013 @ 03:34 PM

Violence highlights need for change

In the past two weeks, DeWarren K. Langley has faced the prospect of attending two funerals for murder victims he’s known.

The first was for Patrick Danial Holmes, a 24-year-old man who Langley saw at a recent prison summit at a local church, where Holmes had talked about the struggle of a convicted felon trying to find honest work after incarceration.

Dec. 08, 2013 @ 03:10 PM

Just your traditional holiday disaster

At the traditional Thanksgiving Day meal at my house, also known as the traditional Thanksgiving Day disaster, there is always something new you can learn.

One year, I learned that there are more plastic bags inside the turkey than you really think there are. Or should be.

Dec. 07, 2013 @ 03:21 PM

Memories of Christmas in Durham

Christmas in Durham. Tell me about it. How many Christmases have you spent in Durham? At home? At work? Do you buy your Christmas tree from a Durham lot every year? Or you did, until you bought a pink aluminum tree that one year, then back to the green-grown? Remember that white Christmas in Durham? Which one? Did you march in the parade? Did you get the best Christmas present ever in Durham?

Nov. 30, 2013 @ 02:58 PM

I even polished stuff

I got out the china for Thanksgiving dinner. The special occasion, been passed down in the family china. The china that takes up kitchen cabinet space, staking its hereditary territory. Be careful, I warned others right before I almost broke a dish myself.


Nov. 29, 2013 @ 12:48 PM

Crankiness in a week of thanks

I blame it on the Metamucil ad in my Facebook feed.

The fiber supplement showed up the other day, right before Thanksgiving, and I got to thinking about how the advertisements that appear in the feed are most likely inspired by links and the content of status updates shared by users.

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 10:14 AM

For the perfect holiday meal

Here they are, the 11 easy steps to the No. 1 most popular recipe for the four days of Thanksgiving and the year’s worth of recriminations afterward.

Nov. 23, 2013 @ 05:37 PM

If you’re shopping on Thanksgiving, be kind to workers

I’m sure you’ve heard about big box stores opening on Thanksgiving Day rather than waiting for the dark early morning hours of Black Friday to open their doors to shoppers. Maybe you plan to take advantage of the door busting deals after dinner, or maybe you’d rather sit on your couch. Or maybe, just maybe, you’re among those who are encouraging other shoppers to stay home so store workers could stay home, too. But they didn’t make the call, their employers did. And the market.


Nov. 22, 2013 @ 06:48 PM

A long wait for justice

Jesse McBane and Patricia Mann saw a future together.

In 1971, he was an N.C. State student and she attended nursing school at Watts Hospital – now part of the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics campus within blocks of my home. He was 19; she was 20. They planned to marry.

Nov. 16, 2013 @ 06:23 PM

Baumgartner Vaughan column: Parade season on the march

On the way to work this past week, I flipped through the radio stations and heard a Christmas song. It turns out one station has already gone all-Christmas, all-day. Fine with me! I’ll wait until I’m eating Thanksgiving leftovers before decorating, but bring on the music. Holiday parades are getting ready to roll, too.

Nov. 15, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

Waiting for the real work to start

My friend Colin – another adoptive parent - asked over lunch last week whether I felt like a dad now.

“Has it really sunk in?”

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 08:52 PM

Neil Offen: Leaf it to me

This is what I don’t understand. How come a week ago I spent all day carefully blowing, raking, lugging and artistically arranging the leaves on my front lawn and now I have to do it all over again?

Nov. 09, 2013 @ 08:37 PM

Vaughan: Vietnam War widow never remarried

Clora Smith’s brother Sgt. Willie Edward Alston was killed in action in the Vietnam War on May 15, 1968. He was 25 years old and with the 4th Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division. They grew up in Durham and he is buried in Beechwood Cemetery.

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 07:42 PM

Taking this health thing seriously

I’m trying to lose at least a turkey by Thanksgiving.