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UNCG sympatico w/ Mizzou

Given last week’s black student protests at Guilford College to show sympathy with similar protests at the University of Missouri, I wondered how long it would be before we’d see protests at my alma mater UNCG.

Not long:

There wasn’t one major incident that prompted UNC-Greensboro students on Monday to demand an end to what they called racist and unequal practices.

There were many.

At a demonstration outside the campus center, students stood alongside their peers at the University of Missouri and elsewhere and asked for the university to do better.

“What happened at the University of Missouri is not a singular occurrence,” said Carly Springs, a junior who’s majoring in psychology. “Campuses all over the U.S. refuse to recognize the experiences of marginalized students and continue to uphold white supremacy.”

Of course the irony here is UNCG chancellor Franklin Gilliam—on the job barely a few months—is not only African-American but has built his academic career around the concept of social justice:

Gilliam has launched new campaigns to elevate the School of Public Affairs’ mission of public service, which comprises graduate programs in public policy, social welfare, and urban planning; an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in public affairs (one of UCLA’s most popular); and active research centers, including the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Institute for Transportation Studies, the Center for Policy Research on Aging, and the Luskin Center for Innovation.

Under his leadership, the school has begun major initiatives to spotlight and disseminate the research of faculty and students on pressing issues such as immigration, drug policy, prison reform, low-income families and youth, health care financing, transportation and the environment, national security, and economic development.

Gosh I wonder how many students were aware of that when they took the streets on Monday afternoon. For what it’s worth, Gilliam really stuck it to them when students demanded UNCG hurry up and rename Aycock Auditorium, considering the namesake was one of the key figures in the state’s white supremacy movement of the late 19th century.

“We’re a university. We have to do our own due diligence,” Gilliam responded.

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Re: Guilford sheriff charges animal shelter director

In case you missed it, N&R reported last week that Guilford County Sheriff BJ Barnes has filed misdemeanor animal cruelty charges against the former director of the county animal shelter, just days after Guilford’s district attorney announced there was insufficient evidence to file charges.

District Attorney Doug Henderson said he would review the charges and decide whether or not to prosecute. Barnes also requested that the case be transferred to Davidson County, where former animals shelter director Marsha Williams and and two other former employees face felony animal cruelty charges.

Barnes said it made sense to combine the cases, but it would also remove any conflict of interest questions due to ties both Barnes and Henderson have with the United Animal Coalition, the nonprofit that took over shelter operations in 1998.

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Gboro community policing II

in a Sunday front-pager, N&R rehashes NYT numbers on racial disparities in Gboro police traffic stops and does a little research on its own.

Straight to the money pull quote regarding Police Chief Wayne Scott’s just-announced policy of no longer initiating traffic stops for minor infractions:

Scott’s decision to temporarily suspend those stops is uncharted territory for Greensboro. Even Scott acknowledges he doesn’t know where the experiment will lead or what his department will do with the findings.

I would have to say this is the epitome of what Triad Conservative describes as a “novel application” that the “weak minded and venal” in Greensboro will continue to pursue.

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Heads up Margaret Spellings

The real problem at the University of Missouri? Former president Tim Wolfe wasn’t an academic— he only had a bachelor’s degree for goodness sake.

As the controversy at Mizzou continues to evolve, Inside Higher Ed says:

Our hope is that the Board of Curators will pick new administrators who see the University of Missouri as a public institution to which we have entrusted our children and our society’s future rather than as a corporation that puts money and skyboxes first.

Making this happen will be difficult. State governors appoint the boards, and the boards appoint the presidents and chancellors. Such a system, as we have seen recently at Purdue, Iowa, the University of North Carolina, and Florida State as well as at Missouri, has led to the appointments of businesspeople, bureaucrats, lobbyists, and politicians as university presidents. Such appointments do not bode well — but students, faculty, and staff at the University of Missouri have demanded something different.

We cannot thank them enough.

Heads up, newly appointed UNC system president Margaret Spellings. No doubt there’s a perceived offense brewing somewhere on campus, kinda like the one brewing at Ithaca College.

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Gboro ‘community policing’ at work….

Surely by now you’ve read that Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott has announced officers will no longer initiate traffic stops “for minor infractions such as broken headlights or tail lights, one of a host of changes being implemented to address racial disparities in the city’s dealings with the public,” as the N&R puts it.

I guess my reaction is if only the New York Times had analyzed racial disparity in Gboro police traffic stops 30-plus years ago (maybe they did) when I started driving it would have saved me a lot of time, aggravation and money.

And if that’s not enough ‘community policing’ for you, Chief Scott is asking at least 1,000 Gboro residents to sign a pledge of nonviolence this Saturday and turn in any unwanted firearms—handguns, shotguns, rifles and ammo. GPD emphasizes “this is not a buyback.”

For its part, our local paper of record–after pondering the idea for a moment— concludes maybe asking residents to turn in guns “isn’t such a bad idea after all.”

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McCrory on ‘Special Report’

Gov. Pat McCrory—a plaintiff along with the governors of 25 other states in the lawsuit against the Obama administration’s executive orders on immigration–discussed the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in plaintiffs’ favor on Special Report with Brett Baier.

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Forsyth County commissioners: one ballpark incentive at a time

Winston-Salem Journal reports Forsyth County commissioners delayed a vote on a $450,000 per year incentive for a parking deck that would service a proposed $53 million mixed-use development next to BB&T Ballpark.

But before commissioners vote on that incentive, they want a signed document releasing the county from an earlier incentive agreement for the ballpark area:

The county wants to be released from a 2007 incentive agreement with Brookstown Development Partners and Sports Menagerie, which was also for the ballpark area. The agreement was never executed, county staff said. The resolution gave developers until Dec. 31, 2017, to invest at least $50 million. County staffers are working with developers to get a signed release.

County Manager Dudley Watts said the release would clarify that the parking deck project is not on top of other incentives for the ballpark area.

For its part, the Winston-Salem City Council has agreed to buy a roughly 510-space parking deck that Brand would build for the development. The deck would be financed over 20 years.

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Berger-McCrory prison contract showdown

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger tells the N&O* he had no idea the FBI was investigating the state’s private prison maintenance contracts when he and House Speaker Tim Moore removed a provision banning such contracts ” in the waning days of their budget negotiations, spending no more than three minutes discussing it.”

As you’ve probably read, the issue of prison maintenance contracts comes to light after the N&O reported last week that Gov. Pat McCrory met with a donor seeking the contract to maintain all of the state’s 57 prisons. Charlotte businessman Graeme Keith allegedly said in front of McCrory and prison officials during a 2014 meeting he ““had given a lot of money to candidates running for public office, and it was now time for him to get something in return.”

Berger says he “would not have eliminated the budget provision had he known of the inquiry and ethical concerns,” and in his discussions with prison officials they “preferred that the General Assembly not tie their hands.” And while for their part prison officials protested expanding Keith’s existing contracts with three prisons —-much less give him the contract for the entire prison system— Berger claims they never said anything about an FBI investigation.

Berger said the legislature will conduct hearings into the prison maintenance contracts on Nov. 18, a meeting that “promises an unusual set of proceedings: a Republican General Assembly confronting top officials of the Republican-led executive branch.” Good.

*P.S.–Is it me or does the N&O website really suck not prove to be very user friendly?

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Look who’s last in ACC football graduation rates

Three guesses and the first two don’t count.

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No charges in Guilford County animal shelter investigation

Guilford County’s district attorney will not file charges against former employees of the county animal shelter:

The investigation of the shelter, launched in July by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the DA, dug into allegations of animal cruelty, potential drug violations and financial misappropriation at the shelter.

“As far as the animal cruelty charges, there’s just no evidence to support any charges,” said Howard Neumann, the county’s assistant district attorney. “There’s no way to connect any specific act to any specific person out there.”

Three animal shelter employees—director Marsha Williams, her daughter Dana Williams-King and Marissa Studivent, a veterinary technician—were indicted on charges of animal cruelty by a Davidson County grand jury. The three were employees of the United Animal Coalition, which managed the shelters in Davidson and Guilford counties.

Anyone who reads this blog knows I hardly ever agree with N&R columnist Susan Ladd—but she’s right when she writes “if there is anything more sickening than what investigators found at the Guilford County Animal Shelter, it’s the fact that no one will be held accountable for those atrocities.

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