Morning News Briefs: Thursday, December 19th, 2019
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Trump Ally US Rep. Mark Meadows Won't Seek Reelection
Republican congressman and ally to President Donald Trump Mark Meadows says he won't seek reelection.
In a statement Thursday, the North Carolina congressman says he struggled with the decision and came to it after discussion with his family.
His announcement comes just a day after the U.S. House voted to impeach Trump on charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress. Meadows is one of the most conservative members of the House and is a leader of the House Freedom Caucus.
Mark Johnson Enters Race For Lt. Governor
North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has entered the race for Lieutenant Governor.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Johnson, a former Forsyth County school board member, filed on Wednesday, joining a crowded field for the Republican primary.
Johnson is the ninth Republican to enter the race. Current Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest is a GOP candidate for governor.
The primary will be held on March 3rd, 2020.
Mast General Store Buys Site Of Former Winston-Salem Strip Club
The Mast General Store has purchased the site of a former strip club in downtown Winston-Salem. The site has long been considered a nuisance in the community.
The sale was finalized on Tuesday, according to the realty group that handled the transaction.
Lisa Cooper is Mast’s president and daughter of one of its founders. She tells the Winston-Salem Journal that the company purchased the building “with the intention of enhancing the neighborhood.”
The site near the Benton Convention Center has been home to a number of strip clubs over the years.
The Cherry Street building most recently operated as Nova Lounge. There was a shooting incident outside the club last April that left seven people injured. That led to Nova’s alcohol-beverage permit being suspended.
Driverless Car Research At Three NC Universities
NCDOT funding researchers at three North Carolina universities are getting a financial boost to study driverless cars.
The program is called University Transportation Centers of Excellence. It will be based out of N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and North Carolina A&T.
A&T will have a test track at Gateway Research Park in Greensboro. The school will work with the city to build a road between the campus and downtown that can only be used by autonomous vehicles.
The state Department of Transportation is giving $1 million to each of the teams for the three-year study. The goal is to develop ways to prepare for autonomous vehicles and emerging transportation technologies.
Business 40 Exit Numbers To Change After Christmas
Rainy weather has delayed plans to change the exit numbers on the Business 40 Improvements Project.
The N.C. Department of Transportation had scheduled to begin making the changes on Tuesday and continue through Friday, but an update from the department said the weather forced the delay.
When weather permits, workers will close one lane in either direction of the highway so they can safely change the exit numbers to show those for U.S. 421. The name of the corridor will also change from Business 40 to Salem Parkway.