When a story is too big to completely ignore, but too small for me to bother writing more than a paragraph about, this is where it ends up.
- A Lemur escaped from the Duke Lemur Center and went on a five hour tour around town. Apparently, and I’m not making this up, his birthday party got a little out of hand.
- With the unofficial arrival of summer upon us, Durham Parks and Rec has started opening its water features and outdoor pools. Some locations won’t be fully open until June 13, so check the web site before heading out.
- The council is set to vote on new, long term waste management contracts next Monday, and they’re expected to approve them. The proposal would replace the current garbage contractor, Republic Services, with Waste Industries (which underbid them by a substantial margin) who is seeking a 10 year deal. The recycling contractor, Sonoco, would remain unchanged and receive a 5 year extension. The move is expected to save taxpayers $1.1 million per year.
- Durham Public Schools continues to lose white students, and whites now comprise only 19.3% of DPS attendees down from over 30% a decade ago. Many middle class parents are removing their children from Durham’s underperforming public schools in favor of charter and private schools, which creates a vicious cycle as high ratios of low SES and ESL students drive test scores down even further. Protip for parents: DPS schools aren’t nearly as bad as meta ratings like Great Schools indicate when you compare like to like demographics, so don’t rule them out just based on their overall performance.
- County Manager Mike Ruffin is asking the Durham County Commissioners to raise property taxes by 4 percent, largely to fund construction projects. Bad news for DPS here too, as Ruffin suggests keeping school funding flat rather than increasing the contribution to mitigate state-level education cutbacks.
- The Durham Board of Adjustment has declared that those weird fake-tree cell phone towers are “concealed” as defined by the UDO. Homeowners near such a tower off of 751 disagree, and it’s possible they’ll take this to court.
- Rose’s Meat and Sweet shop got a nod at thedurhamnews.com
- The Cookery is the subject of an article at newsobserver.com
- A sweet old Coca-Cola sign is being recovered from under the plaster of the Durham Health Dept. building at 300 W. Main.
- Bonfield’s proposed $1.50/month trash pickup fee has run into some opposition. I reckon I’d be willing to shell out $18/year for trash pickup, but according to the People’s Alliance this is “regressive.”
- While not technically Durham news, Orange County has now reported 6 rabies cases in 2013, the most recent occurring near Durham’s Eno River Trail.
- The weird legal battle of the noisy church continues.
- A dumbass tried to carry-on a loaded handgun at the RDU airport.
- Duke finished its “upgrades” to Central Campus. As of right now the major overhaul that was derailed by the recession is still on hold; this was mostly a stopgap project to repair existing facilities.
- The West Main St. Bridge demo was delayed again.
And a bonus link from Fayetteville this week!
- A thief was arrested for stealing a ball and some candy from a Fayetteville school, the total value of which is estimated at $3.20. He is being charged with multiple felonies and was being held under a $5000 bond.