Morning Headlines: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Morning Headlines: Tuesday, December 22, 2015

6:17am Dec 22, 2015
One of the iconic towers at the former Bailey Power Plant site in downtown Winston-Salem. (Photo credit: Keri Brown for WFDD)

Aid Approved For Bailey Power Plant Redevelopment; Ballpark-Area Parking Decks

Governing boards for Winston-Salem and Forsyth County have given the financial go-ahead to redeveloping the Bailey Power Plant site in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

The city and county boards unanimously approved $3 million for the project.

The Winston-Salem Journal reports several city council members expressed concern that East Winston residents were not fully benefitting from the development, but have received the assurances they needed to support the project.

Backers of the project envision transforming the former tobacco factory district into a technology-centered work and residential area that would include restaurants, entertainment venues, offices and labs.

The Forsyth Board will reimburse developers up to $2 million dollars for public infrastructure improvements, with another $750,000 set aside for future maintenance of those improvements.

Forsyth commissioners also authorized an agreement to help the city pay for parking decks near development surrounding the BB&T Ballpark, and approved further study into updating the county courthouse.

Elizabeth City State Chancellor Announces Resignation

Elizabeth City State University Chancellor Stacey Franklin Jones has announced plans to resign from the position effective Dec. 31.

A statement from UNC General Administration said Jones informed system President Tom Ross of her decision on Monday. Jones had served as chancellor at the historically black college since October 2014.

Thomas Conway, vice chancellor and chief of staff at Fayetteville State University, will serve as interim chancellor. Ross said Conway begins serving on Jan. 1, 2016.

According to the statement, the UNC Board of Governors is expected to consider electing Conway to the position permanently at its regularly scheduled January meeting.

Poultry, Hog Farms Threaten Cape Fear, Riverkeeper Says

Cape Fear riverkeeper Kemp Burdette says he believes the growing number of poultry farms in an area that already has a concentration of industrial hog operations is a looming threat to the health of the river.

The Fayetteville Observer reports North Carolina farms had millions of hogs and hundreds of millions of chickens and turkeys last year, with large farms in counties that form the Cape Fear River Basin. Burdette says waste runs off into ditches when it rains and eventually makes its way into creeks and streams that flow into the river.

Burdette says about 20 percent of people in the state get their drinking water from the Cape Fear River Basin.

Organizations representing hog and poultry growers say farm owners are careful to handle waste according to permits and state-approved management plans.

Brannon Announces He Will Challenge Burr For Senate GOP Nod

The second-place finisher to Thom Tillis in the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary says he is joining the race against incumbent U.S. Senator Richard Burr.

Greg Brannon of Cary joins a field that already includes two other challengers who are seeking to defeat the Republican incumbent from Winston-Salem who is seeking a third term.

Brannon captured more than a quarter of the votes in the 2014 GOP U.S. Senate primary won by Tillis.

In his announcement Monday, Brannon attacks Burr as a Washington insider backed by the party establishment.

Brannon's announcement came on the last day that candidates could file for the state's March primary.

North Carolina voters will cast ballots in 2016 for president, U.S. Senate, Congress, governor, statewide offices, and scores of other offices.

Mary Lee, The Great White Shark, Pings Off Buxton

 A great white shark named Mary Lee has been tracked in the waters off Buxton.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that last week the shark made famous by the Internet was tracked by Ocearch off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. The tracking site showed that Mary Lee surfaced shortly before 5 a.m. Monday.

For the last few months, the 16-foot shark has been traveling back and forth between the Outer Banks and the New Jersey area.

Since she was tagged at Cape Cod in 2012, the 3,456-pound shark has traveled more than 26,300 miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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