Graduates of the Durham Rescue Mission’s Victory Program should be especially proud today.
The 33 people who earned their special diplomas on Tuesday became the largest graduating class ever for the mission program.
They’re people who have struggled with homelessness, with drug addiction, with alcohol abuse.
And while the mission’s devotion to religious doctrine at its core may not sit well with everyone, its value is obvious for those who commit themselves to the 12-month program and battle their demons down.
Liberty Warehouse might be falling apart, but it managed to bring together Preservation Durham and Chapel Hill developer Roger Perry.
On Monday, The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg reported, the City Council agreed to yank the historic landmark label off the Rigsbee Avenue relic, which suffered a partial roof collapse and has earned a reputation as an eyesore (at least from some vantage points).
The deal, approved 6-0 by council members, means that Greenfire Development – the current property owners – are now on the hook to pay $29,000 in back taxes that they didn’t have to pay previously because of the historic designation. But it also means that Perry no longer needs the blessing of the Historic Preservation Commission to make changes to the exterior.
One thing's for sure: Durham can put on a show. But do we go to enough of them?
Last week, in a report of the nation's Creative Vitality Index, Durham scored above the national average, according to The Herald-Sun's Cliff Bellamy.
The index - created by the Western States Arts Federation - measures people employed in the arts as well as public participation in the arts, through sales of tickets, books and artwork.
“We’re hurting really bad today.”
Those words, spoken to The Herald-Sun’s Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan on Friday, came from Kathryn DuPree. She’s been the administrative assistant at Durham Nativity School for eight years.
The night before, the school’s founder, Dr. Joseph Moylan, had died unexpectedly at age 74.
Is it worth it? Is it wise?
Can a district already so strapped for cash that it has to scrounge to keep teacher assistants on the payroll one more year afford to launch a multi-million dollar experiment to save the boys of Durham?
Perhaps the most touching point of Thursday’s patriotic song-and-speech rally at Hillandale Elementary School is that some of the nearly 100 third graders who performed weren’t born in the United States.
And many of those who were born here came from families that originated elsewhere.
Yet they were among the students who sang the loudest, pouring their hearts into every word – even if they haven’t yet mastered the language.
Finally, it seems like the General Assembly bit off more than it could chew.
Or, perhaps more to the point, lit more than it could smoke.
State senators apparently overbooked themselves in their ongoing efforts to micromanage North Carolina’s municipalities and the clock ran out Thursday on a bill that would have banned local smoking bans that are stricter than state regulations.
So, let’s say we’ve got an office rule to keep the refrigerator clean.
But we hem and haw about who’s going to pay for the spray cleaner and the wash rags. We drag our feet about whether we’re responsible just for our individual lunch sacks. And when it comes time for cleaning, who’s going to do the actual work?
It’s so much hassle.
While we debate, everything in that refrigerator gets old and grows mold. And then we look at the mess and say forget that rule. Let’s wait for something else to fix the problem.
Welcome to the North Carolina Senate, which passed a bill that repeals laws designed to improve water quality in Jordan Lake.
The lake’s a little bigger than an office refrigerator, though. Covering more than 1,600 square miles, the watershed touches several area communities, including Durham and Chapel Hill, and it’s a major source of drinking water for the region.
We can understand a certain amount of reluctance.
Durham County leaders have tried before to battle the chronic problem of disconnected youth, only to have those efforts sputter and die.
So, when County Commissioners on Monday voiced doubts about Alliance Behavior Healthcare’s youth initiative, it wasn’t much of a surprise.
“I’m just a little baffled as to the clarity of what it is we’re doing,” Commissioner Brenda Howerton told administrators, according to an article by The Herald-Sun’s Ray Gronberg. “We want it to be approved tonight, and I’m just not clear on how it’s all working.”
We can’t deny that abortions – especially multiple procedures – may make later pregnancies riskier for young women.
But they’re far from the only risk factor that women should consider and it seems irresponsible to us that our state Senate, on a close voice vote, decided it should tell public schools to specify abortion as a premature birth cause in health class.
The job of curriculum building should fall to our educators and school administrators, not politicians who are trying to push an anti-choice political agenda.
If it’s Monday, chances are, the Rev. William Barber and others standing with the state NAACP are heading back to the capital in Raleigh to risk arrest.
For the past few weeks, Barber – the chapter president – and his supporters have rallied against Republican legislative efforts to limit social programs and restrict voting. Preaching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s philosophy of non-violent, civil disobedience, nearly 50 protesters have been arrested at the General Assembly so far.
An Associated Press article cites some political experts who question how effective – or ineffective – these rallies may be.
In little more than a week, we’ve had six shootings that have left two men dead and a fatal bludgeoning in Durham.
Cynics will argue, unfairly, that this isn’t news.
Although our city does have its share of violent crime, it normally seems less concentrated and rapid fire than this.
It’s especially surprising coming as it does on the heels of a report from Police Chief Jose Lopez that crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault are on the decline.
On Sunday, we celebrate the women who brought us into this world.
For this week’s end, we’ve gathered thoughts from famous sons and daughters that we think are worth sharing.
It would seem David Murdock hasn’t lost the sense of how important it is to give back to the world.
On Wednesday, The Herald-Sun’s Laura Oleniacz reported, the Dole Food Company chairman – a man worth $2.4 billion and ranked by Forbes as the 190th richest person – announced he’s pledging $50 million to fund a namesake research lab at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis.
Just imagine if someone said they planned to reform state nutrition standards by taking food off your plate and giving it to someone much wealthier.
The rich get fatter, while the poor get hungrier.
That’s effectively what Senate Republicans seem to have in mind with their so-called “tax overhaul proposal,” which they rolled out for the media on Tuesday.
It’s not so much an overhaul (which the Depression era system sorely needs) as it is a tax rate cut for the wealthy and an expansion of the sales tax that would put more of the burden on poor and middle-class people, as well as the elderly.