Durham (City of)

Durham, Black Banking, Cicely Mitchell, Art of Cool
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

From Atlanta to Chicago, black-owned banks in big cities across the country have reported a rise in new accounts during the past month. One of the oldest black-owned banks in the country is based in Durham, where bank officials report a rise in new accounts and in a new movement to keep the momentum going.

LaVare Leith Foundation

 

An organization in Durham is running what is believed to be the only sober living center for LGBT people in the South. 

LaVare's House, which was established by the LaVare Leith Foundation in 2014, has nine beds for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

photo of Wildin Acosta
Courtesy of the Acosta family

Attorneys for a Durham teenager who is being held at an immigration detention center in Georgia say they expect him to be released soon. 

Depression-Era Redlining Leaves Parts Of Durham Less Green

Jun 10, 2016
National Archives

A new study from Duke University shows how maps from a Depression-era loan program that discriminated against predominantly black neighborhoods resulted in inequities that still linger, even down to the number of trees on a city block.

City Of Durham Fends Off "Ransomware" Attacks

Feb 24, 2016
Marcie Casas / Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Durham withstood two computer viruses in the last week that try to lock files and hold them for ransom.

Hackers used "ransomware" in the attacks, and the virus is a growing concern in cyber security.

“It’s still not super common, but once you’ve got it, there’s not a whole lot of recourse for getting your data back except for paying the ransom unfortunately,” said Pam Guidry-Vollers, a software specialist at The Computer Cellar.

RDU
www.rdu.com

Public and private funds are now all accounted for to guarantee the new RDU to Paris flight takes off on time.

The Carolina Theatre today
Josh Hofer / The Carolina Theatre

The Carolina Theatre of Durham has been celebrating record attendance and revenue—up 42% in the past two years—from $3.5 million to $5 million.

But theater administrators revealed yesterday that because of accounting "errors and omissions," they are actually more than $1 million dollars in debt.

The theater receives an annual $650,000 subsidy from the city of Durham, and City Manager Tom Bonfield is trying to understand the magnitude of the problem.

A picture of a young couple.
Kelly Boone / Wikipedia

The nonprofit SHIFT NC has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to help health centers coordinate and improve services for teens in Durham.

The Bull City's pregnancy rate is above the state average.

Minimum Wage, Home Care Workers
Leoneda Inge

From California to New York, a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour is becoming more of a reality.  Durham workers rallied Thursday in support.

Most of the people rallying outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Downtown Durham were longtime home care and child care workers, like Tolanda Barnette.   Barnette says after more than a decade of working in child care in North Carolina, she still only makes $10 an hour.

“We do the hardest and the most work in the child care center and we are the least and most underpaid," said Barnette.

Lucille Ervin, Durham, St. Mark AME Zion
Leoneda Inge

There was a special birthday celebration for one of Durham’s long-time residents Tuesday.

Lucille Ervin turned 108 years old.  About 30 people gathered on the lawn of St. Mark AME Zion Church to wish her well and sing "Happy Birthday".

Ervin moved to North Carolina from South Carolina 80 years ago.  And she’s been here ever since.  She was born in Charleston and raised by an Aunt and Uncle who lived on land handed down by their slave owners, according to Dorothy Fuller, Ervin's cousin.

Collage Dance Company
Jerri Dorsey-Hall

The Collage Dance Company has wowed audiences for decades with its authentic African costumes, precise foot-work and exquisite drumming.  And some of the performers are as young as ten years old!

Tonight, the Durham-based company is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with a performance at the Carolina Theatre featuring more than one generation on stage.

Black Panthers
www.theblackpanthers.com

Documentary lovers are in downtown Durham today through Sunday for the 18th annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

This year features three Center Frame documentaries, selected by a special committee.  One of this year’s featured films is “3 1/2 Minutes," by Director Marc Silver. 

Kehinde Wiley, 21c Museum
Leoneda Inge

Downtown Durham has been the home of one hotel for a long time - the Marriott.  But now there are two.  A second hotel held a ribbon-cutting this week in a very historic spot.

The new boutique hotel is called 21c Museum Hotel Durham.  It stands in what folks call the old CCB or Sun Trust Building.  The 18-story hotel was designed by the same architects who designed the Empire State Building.   

Sylvan Esso
the artists

It's been a big year for the band Sylvan Esso, the Durham-based duo of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn.  Earlier this month Paste Magazine named their song "Coffee" its Song of the Year.

Sylvan Esso’s music comes with a certain digital reality. It’s devoid of the oft-shallow feel of some electro-pop songs that are just about parties or typical relationship fodder. This maintains an earthiness that it takes a band from North Carolina to possess.

A new scavenger hunt will make sleuths and stars of Durhamites this Saturday. In this first-of-its-kind fundraiser in Durham, teams will solve riddles, and then head scatter across town to videotape short scenes from movies. For example, here's a clue:

"Durham’s most famous romance unfolded at an 1880s James Manning-designed house. Shoot a short scene inspired by this iconic silver-screen couple on the porch."

Here's how that clue might play out in the contest:

crime scene tape
Ian Britton / Flickr/Creative Commons

There have been 17 murders in Durham so far this year, a number that is pretty average for the past five years or so in the city.  But the Durham Police Department isn't just focusing on investigations that are current, they are also making an effort to investigate more than 150 murders that are still unsolved. 

Sergeant David Piatt, with the Homicide Investigation Unit is keenly aware that the families of those victims are still waiting for answers,.

"I don't think you can say one person is more important than the other.  They all deserve closure,"  he says.

Longfellow Real Estate
Leoneda Inge

Downtown Durham has undergone a major transformation over the past decade.  And economic development projects are not slowing down with new hotels, office space and housing under construction.

Yesterday, community stakeholders came together to announce the latest big project.  It’s called the Durham Innovation District or "Durham ID," for short.

The Durham Innovation District or Durham ID will stretch from North Duke Street all the way to the Durham Farmer’s Market when it’s all finished. 

A state police car stopping a motorist
Cindy Cornett Seigle / Flickr/Creative Commons

On Thursday, the Durham City Manager will present the City Council with a recommendation that police officers be required to get consent in writing before searching a vehicle. This is part of a response to months of debate over reports of racial bias in the Durham police department.

Durham Deputy Police Chief Larry Smith would have to implement such a process. Smith recently presented to the city council two examples of how a consent form works now and how a search would work if an officer were required to get consent in writing. 

Emmanuel Johnson worked as a teen reporter during the summer of 2014 at WUNC.
Carol Jackson

Emmanuel Johnson is a senior at Riverside High School in Durham. As a part of WUNC's Youth Radio Project, he reports on a changing neighborhood in his hometown.

I've lived in Durham, NC my whole life and I always walk past this park on the corner of Oakwood Avenue and Holloway Street. It's downtown, near the public library.

Durham City Council hears recommendations from City Manager on how to improve police and community relations (photo of city council).
Jorge Valencia

  The Durham Police Department has been accused of racial profiling, which led the Human Relations Commission to recommend changes in policy and procedure in May.

Photo: Rows of people, the Durham City Council and Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield
Jorge Valencia

The Durham city manager presented the city council recommendations in a packed hearing on Thursday to improve the relationship between the police and minority groups.

It's a long-awaited response to an investigation by the city's Human Relations Commission on claims that the police targets minorities. In his report, city manager Tom Bonfield had some clear findings.

"Our review and the data tells us in some areas, unexplained racial disparities do exist," Bonfield said to the council.

A picture of curbside recycling carts in Durham.
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikipedia

Durham's Solid Waste Department is cutting four jobs to make up for a $1.1 million budget shortfall.

Director Donald Long said his department is very expensive to run. Its $16 million budget is about the same size as last year, and Long said one of the only places to cut costs is personnel.

Full Frame Theater at ATHD
Gurnal Scott

Documentary film enthusiasts are in downtown Durham today through Sunday for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  City leaders like the business. 

There could easily be an extra 12,000 to 13,000 people packed in a few city blocks because of Full Frame.

“And they’ll be laughing and smiling and talking about the films that they’ve seen.  It’s really a great, great event.”

City of Durham/Durhamnc.gov

    

Two local advocacy groups released documents showing the Durham Police Department made payments to informants in criminal matters.

Carl Whisenton
Leoneda Inge

Fifty years ago, when African Americans wanted to watch a movie at the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, they had to climb 97 steps up to the second floor balcony.

Today, there’s a new Civil Rights exhibit on display outside that second floor balcony to honor the fight to desegregate the theater.

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