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Dudley’s season wiped out

Forget for a moment being banished from the playoffs—as the No. 1 seed no less —- now we learned Greensboro Dudley High School’s entire football season has been wiped out.

Dudley will forfeit all 10 regular season games for dressing JV players, which is the offense that got the Panthers kicked out of the playoffs. Dudley was one of seven Guilford County Schools to be fined and reprimanded by the NCHSAA, among them High Point Andrews, which was “fined $4,500 for failing to complete pre-game or post-game paperwork” and now will forfeit nine games.

Update: Excellent explanation of NCHSAA’s complicated eight-quareter rule that allows freshman and sophomores to move up to varsity, but not juniors—which is what got Dudley in hot water.

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Gboro downtown research campus scaled back

Guilford County Commissioners get heartburn –as the N&R puts it — and scale back funding for the proposed downtown Greensboro Union Square Campus.

This means two things — the building that will make up the first phase of the campus will be three stories instead of four and will be built on Arlington and Lee Streets instead South Elm and Lee.

Union Square organizer and former city manager Ed Kitchen shrugs off the changes, saying they are “not any big deal.” But given the hopes Gboro officials have for Union Square’s promise to finally—finally—rehab the corner of Lee and South Elm, I’d say it’s a pretty big deal.

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Elon’s ‘freshman’ controversy goes national

After news that Elon University banned the term freshman goes national, the university’s VP of communications steps in and clarifies:

Elon University has not banned the word “freshman,” and there is no university policy against using the word, according to Vice-President of University Communications Dan Anderson.

….In The College Fix article, published Nov. 19, Stancy interviews Elon’s Inclusive Community Well-Being Director Leigh-Anne Royster, who, according to the article, says “The term (freshman) has often been felt to refer to the vulnerableness of young women in college for the first time.” The article goes on to say “this change will positively impact future students at Elon and foster progress in inclusivity related to gender.”

Anderson says there was never a change.

“We use the word ‘freshman’ interchangeably,” Anderson said.

Burlington Times-News picks up on the story and the narrative there is the story has been “sensationalized,” i.e. right-wing media were eager to pounce on academic political correctness before checking their facts.

Sure that happens, but the lede in Diana Stancy’s College Fix story reads the university “has dropped the term ‘freshman’ from its vocabulary and replaced it with ‘first-year,’ a move made official this fall and implemented in everything from its website to orientation workshops.”

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Testy redistricting debate

WFDD’s Paul Garber makes the case that Republican landslides in 2014 General Assembly races were the result of gerrymandered districts, but Sen. Bob Rucho –who chaired the Senate redistricting committee– was having none of it.

Interesting interview— listen here.

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Elon U. has officially lost it

Elon University has officially dropped the term freshman, replacing it with “first year student.”

Maybe –just maybe –I can understand that ‘freshman’ is an outdated term, as Elon’s ‘director of inclusivity’ Leigh-Anne Royster explains. But she couldn’t just stop there:

Royster stated the word “freshman” naturally insinuates a hierarchy among students on campus. She said she believes that students are viewed as younger and less experienced when referred to as “freshman.” With that, Royster stated “freshman” may contribute to sexual violence on campus because it labels the youngest students, causing them to be targets.

“The term has often been felt to refer to the vulnerableness of young women in college for the first time,” Royster said. “Given the rates of sexual violence perpetrated against women on college campuses, it is useful to examine any use of a term that suggests that a group of people just entering college might be targets for such violence in any way.”

Lots of money —parents’ money, that is —passing through Elon. And this is how they utilize it.

Via Carolina Plott Hound.

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Re: Gboro mayor proposes civil rights museum bailout

Lots of reaction to Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan’s motion that the city take over operation of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum during a testy museum board meeting on Monday.

No surprise that Vaughan and board member Earl Jones have differing views of the museum’s financials:

In fact, Jones said, the museum staff told board members Monday that it had raised $540,000 toward the $1.5 million forgivable loan.

When asked Monday if the museum is in good shape financially, Vaughan said: “Not by any accounting standard I’m aware of.”

Personally I think it’s great to see Vaughan call out Jones and his buddies Skip Alston and Deena Hayes-Greene. It will also be interesting to see how Vaughan reacts to the racial politics considering the sensitivity she showed to the LGBT community following the alleged murder of a gay male by a city employee, which many were quick to speculate was a hate crime. She’s obviously concerned about “inclusivity,” but she’ll where that gets her when takes on Jones, Alston and company.

There are indeed many important questions for the mayor–the museum’s financials are complicated —including staggering debt.

N&R letters to the editor lately have been running hard against more taxpayer money for the museum —and guess what —taking over operation would mean more taxpayer money, with a downtown performing arts center coming on line in a couple of years. I’m not sure the average voter wants to take out Jones and Alston that bad.

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Natural gas trucks—so good yet so bad

N&R front-pager on Epes Transport System’s five natural gas trucks and the potential effect on air quality:

For years, the Triad has struggled with poor air quality. Our sprawling topography is partly to blame — it forces commuters and commercial vehicles to travel longer distances, which increases air pollution.

In 2013, the Greensboro-High Point-Winston-Salem area ranked as the 42nd most polluted in the nation, according to a study performed by the American Lung Association.

That same study said the Charlotte-Gastonia-Salisbury area ranked 19th.

And from 2009 to 2011, Forsyth County reported 18 code-orange days. Code orange means ozone levels reach unhealthy levels for active children and adults and people with lung diseases.

Enter the natural-gas trucks. Because the Triad and Charlotte areas don’t meet Environmental Protection Agency air quality standards, the N.C. State program — called the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center — has asked Epes to drive the trucks only in Guilford, Mecklenburg and a cluster of surrounding counties to see if it makes a difference.

“The EPA is constantly pressuring us to reduce our greenhouse gas and carbon footprint and each ensuing year seems to bring a new set of rules,” said Paul Huffman, senior vice president of maintenance for Epes.

“So, we’re trying to learn about it to get ahead of the curve.”

Hey, kudos to Epes for innovating. But a question for environmentalists and the mainstream media — how do we acquire natural gas? You guessed it— and it seems to me they don’t that here in N.C.

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Dudley’s championship run over before it starts

Greensboro Dudley High School has lost its second appeal with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, ending its quest for a second straight state title before it begins. Dudley was the top seed in the state 4A playoffs and was scheduled to take on 16th-seeded Jamestown Ragsdale tonight.

As disconcerting as it is that during the appeal process Dudley coach Steven Davis revealed other instances of using ineligible JV players aside from last Friday’s victory over Southeast Guilford, it is heartening to see Davis, Principal Jesse Pratt and athletics director Joe Goddette take full responsibility for the violations and —most thankfully — avoid the temptation of taking legal action to keep the players on the field.

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Civil rights museum getting desperate

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stranger down at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, board chair Deena Hayes Greene pulls another card out of her sleeve. If you guessed it’s the race card, you would be right —but then again, what would we expect from Hayes-Greene based on he years serving on the Guilford County Board of Education?

With questions still swirling around in the wake of this week’s dismissal of executive director Lacy Ward, Hayes-Greene called a private meeting involving 60 “community leaders” to discuss Ward’s dismissal and the museum’s status. Among those receiving invitations were a couple of first-class race baiters: the Rev. Nelson Johnson and the Rev. William Barber.

The Rhino’s John Hammer specualtes —not unreasonably —that the museum is simply out of money for operations. With Mayor Nancy Vaughan —who voted not to fire Ward —publicly stating that the museum will get no more money from the city (other that what’s already been approved by the City Council) it appears as though Hayes-Greene has turned to outside influences to somehow keep the museum afloat, though exactly how that will happen is unclear pretty much to everyone.

The N&R reports Hayes-Greene didn’t include museum board members —including Mayor Vaughan — in the invitation. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it’s assumed board members are invited. If not, the board should call a meeting and vote to fire Hayes-Greene immediately. But somehow I don’t think that will happen.

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Re: Gay couple’s complaint against Green Street Methodist Church

Winston-Salem Journal’s write-up made the point, but it needs to be emphasized: Green Street United Methodist Church pastor Rev. Kelly Carpenter believes gay couples should be married in the Methodist church.

That belief was put into action when in 2013 the Green Street “announced that it would not conduct marriages for heterosexual couples until the denomination allows pastors to conduct same-sex marriages.”

And what does Rev. Carpenter’s support get him? A gay going going over his head to his boss and filing a complaint. Question is how far behind is legal action?

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