Morning Headlines: Monday, November 30, 2015

Morning Headlines: Monday, November 30, 2015

6:11am Nov 30, 2015

Greensboro Police Department Wants To Improve Community Relations

The Greensboro Police Department has created a new division to improve communications with the community. A series of meetings will take place throughout the city in December to explain how it will work.

It’s called the Office of Community Engagement. Its goal is to find meaningful ways to connect with residents and business owners. The division officially launched November 17th. 

“What we want the community to do is trust that we’re here to serve them and you do that by better communication,” says Greensboro police Capt. Nathaniel Davis.

He adds the community meetings in December will give residents a chance to learn more about what they do.

The department has come under scrutiny after a recent New York Times story found significant disparities in how Greensboro police handle race.

Davis says the new division is not a knee-jerk reaction to the article, but has been a topic of discussion for several months. The first community dialogue meeting will take place on December 2 at the Windsor Center.

Business 40 In Winston-Salem To Get New Name After Project

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is taking suggestions for the name that will replace Business 40 for the expressway through downtown Winston-Salem.

Officials say the road will no longer be called Business 40 after a massive four-year renovation project to end confusion.

The DOT is working with Neighborhood Solutions, whose Chief Executive Jumetta Posey told the Winston-Salem Journal that the new name can't be a person or other proper name, because that would make the process too political.

She also wouldn't share any of the 150 suggestions made so far because she didn't want to influence the decision.

The suggestions will be sent to a committee of people from Winston-Salem and Kernersville, who will narrow them down for a public vote next spring.

Candidate Filing Period Begins Today

The candidate filing period in North Carolina begins today, and runs through December 21st.

Candidates traditionally filed their intent to run for office in February.  But the state General Assembly’s decision to move up the primary to March from May created the need for an earlier filing period.

Supporters believe an earlier primary could give the state more influence in determining presidential nominees.

But others say the earlier filing date, combined with new elections laws, will benefit the Republican incumbency.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports that filing for local, state and national races begins at noon today.

Charlotte To Spend Extra $1M On Longer Light Rail Trains

Charlotte will have to spend nearly an additional $1 million to expand light rail line platforms to handle longer trains.

The construction to allow three-car Lynx trains instead of two-car trains was supposed to finish in September. The three-car trains need additional electric power and longer platforms at some stations.

But the city told The Charlotte Observer that additional work, problems with the contractors and insufficient resources delayed the work and added an extra $950,000 in cost.

The two-car Lynx trains are often crowded, especially when the Carolina Panthers or Charlotte Hornets play.

The city still plans to have the platform work finished by the time it opens a $1 billion light rail line extension to UNC-Charlotte by the summer of 2017.

Marines: 1st woman will lead an Engineer Support Battalion

Marine officials say the first woman to lead an engineer support battalion will take over during a change-of-command ceremony at Camp Lejeune.

In an email, officials say Lt. Col. Lauren Edwards will take command Monday of the 8th Engineer Support Battalion. Edwards is replacing Lt. Col. David Morris.

Edwards deployed to Iraq as a company commander and once led more than 150 Marines and several vehicles in defensive maneuvers while taking enemy fire.

The 8th Engineer Support Battalion provides general engineering support to all units with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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