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Volume41,Number40 ? WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. THURSDAY, June 18, 2015
Downtown traffic projects move closer to reality
N.C. DOT, consultant give
more info on what's ahead
BY TORI PITTMAN
FOR THE CHRONICLE
Traffic flow in Winston-Salem will be hectic at some
point as road projects take shape for downtown.
The N.C. Department of Transportation and the
Davenport company had their drop-in session on the
Downtown Study and the Interstate 40 Business Project on
Tuesday, June 16, at the Old Salem Visitor's Center. This
session was a follow-up from the May 28 meeting at the
Members of Davenport, an engineering, design and
consulting firm based in Winston-Salem, were present to
answer questions that residents had during the formal
"I think overall, people are pretty happy about the
potential of turning downtown into two-way traffic and
additional parking," said John Davenport Jr., president of
Davenport, the company. "The process is working. People
are coming out and giving feedback. We're going back and
analyzing, making modifications. So what we anticipate is
at the end of this process, we will have something embed
ded by the public so that City Council can move forward."
John Davenport further explained that his company
has been working closely with N.C. DOT to make sure
they approve of any more work that needs to be done on
the project itself before taking it to City Council for
The downtown study will proceed as soon as the
Business 40 project is completed, which is scheduled to
begin in 2016. According to a news release from N.C.
DOT on Oct. 6, 2014, the Business 40 Improvement
Project will overhaul U.S. 421/Business 40 from west of
Fourth Street to east of Church Street in downtown
Winston-Salem. This includes removing and replacing the
See Projects on A10
pfcotos by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle
The Mandela Society of Parkland Magnet High School joined the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College in
performing the final song of the evening on March 14, at the Parkland Magnet High School Auditorium in
Winston-Salem. The students, part of Parkland High School Gospel Choir, gave repeated acknowledgment
? and thanks to Tripp Jeffers (not pictured), the Parkland sponsor of the Mandela Society who guided the stu
dents' efforts in making possible such a special night. Photos by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem
Parkland High's Mandela
Society takes on racial issues
BY TODD LUCK
THE CHRONICLE '
Parkland Magnet High School's
Mandela Society is teaching students
to talk about the difficult topic of
The club originated when student
Nonnie Egbuna wanted to start a club
to focus on race and social issues
after the events in Ferguson,
Missouri, where residents rioted after
an unarmed black teen was shot dead
"I realized that there were so
many students who were passionate
about issues involving social justice
and racial awareness," she said. "I
realized there really wasn't a safe
A Nelson Mandela quote is on
the back of the club's shirts.
place or a really open place to really
talk about these things."
She approached Teacher Tripp
Jeffers with the idea last December.
Her concerns also covered interna
tional issues, such as the terrorist
group Boko Haram in Nigeria. Jeffers
said it made him think of Nelson
Mandela, the late South African pres
ident. Mandela, a former political
prisoner of the white Apartheid
regime, was known for uniting his
country after Apartheid ended.
"And then I thought how powerful
Mandela himself would be as a sym
bol of struggle, of overcoming
oppression, and the officers and oth
ers seemed to like it, and we've run
from there," he said.
The club's first meeting was in
See Mandela on A2
pilch for bond
plan that backs
BY DONNA ROGERS
THE CHRONICLE '
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) stands to
receive $53.9 million for a new, larger sciences building if
Gov. Pat McCrory's bond referendum proposal gets on the
ballot later this year and is approved by voters.
McCrory visited WSSU on Thursday, June 11, to urge
administrators, educators, students and the public to con
tact lawmakers in the General Assembly to make sure they
vote to put his $2.85 billion Connect NC bond proposal on
the ballot this year. He said any measure putting the gen
eral obligation bond proposal on the ballot must be
approved by June 30.
"They're just not hearing from you," the governor said
when asked what the holdup is on getting the bond pro
posal on the ballot.
Also as part of the Connect NC bond proposal,
McCrory has proposed money for road projects in the
Winston-Salem area, including the proposed loop that will
go around the city and hook up with ??
McCrory brought Budget Director Lee Roberts and
Transportation Director Tony Tatum with him to give
specifics of the bond referendum proposal.
Connect NC consists of plans for two bonds of about
$1.5 billion each. One would target roads and the other
would target infrastructure, such as the WSSU building.
Voters would cast ballots for or against the bond pro
posal probably in November if the General Assembly
passes a measure approving the ballot vote.
Over $200 million is included in the infrastructure
bond proposal for major improvement plans at facilities of
all five of the state's public historically black universities.
Besides WSSU, the other historically black universities
would receive the following:
* North Carolina A&T University would receive $99.2
million for a new College of Engineering building.
?Fayetteville State University would receive $10.6
million for renovations to the Lyons Science building.
*North Carolina Central University would receive $34
million for a new School of Business building.
?Elizabeth City State University would receive $4 mil
lion for campus-wide repairs and renovations.
WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson said when
speaking to the media after the governor's presentation
that the new sciences building is needed to train students
in the 21st century.
WSSU printed material says the building will be "a
hub of innovation, discovery and application that will
attract and support faculty and students with diverse aca
demic interests," such as biology, chemistry, physics and
See Bonds on A8
1 ? | |
First Fairground Fridays draws almost 900 for summer fun
BY TODD LUCK
This first of this summer's Fairground Fridays
drew a large crowd of teens to the Winston-Salem
Fairgrounds on Friday, June 12.
The event drew 866 teens to the fairgrounds
that evening. Fairground Fridays is the Winston
Salem Recreation and Parks current attempt to
give teens something to due on Friday nights dur
ing the summer.
The music that pumped through speakers on
the outside stage was occa
sionally interrupted by radio
and TV personality Busta
Brown, the emcee of the
event, holding karaoke and
dance contests. Teens looking
to go inside could go into the
Building, where there was a
selection of free play arcade
games, a fully stocked con
cession stand and restrooms.
"Teenagers can come and have fun, a safe
place to just hang out with their peers, and that's
all teenagers want to do: hang out. talk, dance a lit
tle bit, have fun, but knowing that when their par
ents drop them off, that their parents know that
their child will still be safe when they come and
pick them back up," said Emerald Bowman, the
Recreation and Parks community educator who
organizes the event.
Safety is prime concern. Whether teens take
advantage of the ample free parking there or are
Sec Fridays on A2
of Winston-Salem. LLC