News: Local


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 05:11 PM

Durham firefighter who helped integrate department dies

Velton Thompson, one of the first black firefighters hired by the city of Durham, died Monday after a long illness. He was 81.

Mr. Thompson was one of 10 blacks hired as a group who integrated the Fire Department after a history of exclusion and racial segregation.


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 04:27 PM

Forums on superintendent search slated for next week

The search firm hired to help guide the school district’s search for a new superintendent will hold two public forums next week to give residents a chance to share the qualities they want to see in the next schools chief.


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 04:17 PM

Police log

Durham man charged in attempted abduction


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 04:12 PM

School board divided over next super’s salary

When the school board adopted an aggressive timeline for selecting a superintendent last week, the vote was a unanimous one.
But public records from that April 9 meeting show a wide divide over the $225,000 advertised salary the board eventually approved.


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 03:49 PM

Listen to the stories

Tim Duffy and Captain Luke Mayer walked out of the StoryCorps mobile recording booth and performed a brief concert in the American Tobacco
courtyard Thursday. The captain’s fluid bass voice treated the crowd and passers-by to his versions of “I’m a King Bee,” “Polk Salad Annie” and other blues and folk songs while Duffy played guitar.


Apr. 17, 2014 @ 02:48 PM

Cousteau: Good people can work together for environment

In 2009, Alexandra Cousteau used a grant from Coca-Cola to travel the developing world for 100 days exploring water conservation issues.

But it wasn’t until a year later, when she spent 150 days traveling around North America, especially the United States, that she came to grips with the real problems.


Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:56 PM

Local officials join push for gun safety

On May 21, Joslin Simms will mark the ninth anniversary of the death of her son, Rayburn, fatally shot after his car was rear-ended at a Durham intersection.


Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:24 PM

Admission tickets required for DPS graduation ceremonies

In a major shift, Durham Public Schools will require admission tickets to attend graduations at Duke and N.C. Central universities in June.
Officials said the universities made the request in an effort to beef up security and better control graduation ceremonies in the wake of increasing acts of random violence, such as the bombing attack that took place during the Boston Marathon a year ago.


Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:17 PM

Organic Transit, in new Durham headquarters, eyes growth

Outside Organic Transit’s headquarters on West Corporation Street on a recent Friday morning, green and orange solar-and-pedal-powered trikes were parked in rows.

An employee was test-driving some of them, and at one point, a small orange trike could be seen in the distance climbing a hill toward the office.


Apr. 16, 2014 @ 06:15 PM

Durham resident looks back on life in Panama Canal Zone

With a full career in dentistry under his belt, Dr. Guillermo Evers Airall has turned his talents to writing.

The now-author examines his Panamanian roots and time in the military in his upcoming book “Silver and Gold: Untold Stories of the Immigrant Life in the Panama Canal Zone” Airall reflects on his early life and what life was like growing up while the Panama Canal was being built.


Apr. 16, 2014 @ 05:08 PM

Police log

  • Truck strikes police car, drives onto Tobacco Trail

Apr. 15, 2014 @ 10:31 PM

Steinem: Society's not post-feminist

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem spoke to a packed 1,600-seat Duke Chapel on a rainy Tuesday night. She talked about connections and how “we are linked, we are not ranked.”

Steinem recently turned 80 and told the audience that life is long and we are like Russian dolls. The original self doesn’t go away, she said, but stays the same and builds and builds.


Apr. 15, 2014 @ 08:09 PM

Durham Public Works: Most failed-development problems cleared up

So far the city’s only had to spend $35,000 to $40,000 of its own money to secure the completion of streets and other infrastructure in the “failed and struggling developments” left behind by 2008’s market crash.

That’s a small amount compared to the $8½ million or so in private-sector spending that’s gone into street and drainage work in 30 or so subdivisions the crash left in danger of going unfinished, Public Works Department and other city officials say.

But an estimated $5 million in work in 23 neighborhoods remains, and a pending court case is likely to play a big role in determining how much of that bill lands on the public’s shoulders.


Apr. 15, 2014 @ 05:34 PM

City worker loses appeal on driving record

N.C. Court of Appeals judges have declined a city trash-truck driver’s request that they order his bosses to clear his driving record of a report that he’d failed to show up for a random drug test.
Tuesday’s ruling went against Christopher Benjamin, who lost his job with the Solid Waste Management department just before Thanksgiving 2009 only to be reinstated about two weeks later.