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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, June 18, 2015, Image 1

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THE CHRONICLE 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 same location. Members of Davenport, an engineering, design and consulting firm based in Winston-Salem, were present to answer questions that residents had during the formal presentation. "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 approval. 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 Chronicle 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 race. 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 by police. "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 tW-UfoWUt 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 McCrory makes pilch for bond plan that backs WSSII project 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 vO if n , 1 ? | | w First Fairground Fridays draws almost 900 for summer fun BY TODD LUCK THE CHRONICLE ? 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 Fairground's Education Building, where there was a selection of free play arcade games, a fully stocked con cession stand and restrooms. Bowman "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 ra ASSURED STORAGE of Winston-Salem. LLC mmmm* mmmmn m *

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