Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, January 8th, 2020
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Macy's To Close Hanes Mall Store But Not Greensboro Location
The retail chain Macy’s is scaling back, and the Winston-Salem location is among the stores that will close this year.
It’s the second round of closings since 2016 when the chain announced it was shuttering three other North Carolina locations. It’s a potential blow to Hanes Mall, which also lost a Sears last year.
A Macy’s spokeswoman says the store’s non-seasonal employees who can’t be placed at a nearby store will be eligible for severance. The store has about 60 employees.
The Friendly Center location in Greensboro will remain open.
Demolition Begins For Affordable Housing Project In Winston-Salem
The former Budget Inn motel outside of downtown Winston-Salem on the corner of Peters Creek Parkway and W. Academy Street will soon be the site of 72 new affordable housing units.
The project is the work of the Peters Creek Community Initiative which is part of The Shalom Project, a nonprofit that works to alleviate poverty.
Eileen Ayuso is the executive director of the organization. She says to purchase and demolish the $1.2 million site, they received a $600 thousand grant from the City of Winston-Salem, $300 thousand in funds from a private foundation, and negotiated a $600 thousand loan from Forsyth County.
Ayuso says once demolition is complete, they’ll begin working on financing and raising funds for construction. The project is estimated to cost $10 million. The hope is for the housing units to be completed by 2021.
Sen. McKissick Resigns To Take NC Utilities Commission Post
A veteran North Carolina legislator has resigned from the state Senate so he can join the Utilities Commission.
Sen. Floyd McKissick Jr. of Durham tendered his Senate resignation effective Tuesday to fellow Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who had nominated McKissick to the powerful commission back in May. The legislature didn't confirm that choice until late October, but McKissick delayed leaving until now.
Now local Democratic activists must choose someone to fill the remainder of McKissick's term.
Lease Redo Reduces Money Needed For North Carolina Freedom Park
North Carolina's top elected statewide leaders have agreed to rework lease terms on some state property that a group will turn into a park honoring the contributions of African Americans to the state.
The Council of State — comprised of Gov. Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and eight other elected officials — voted on Tuesday to amend the lease. Less money will have to be raised than previously mandated for Freedom Park, which will be located between the Legislative Building and the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.
Hospitals Restrict Visitation Following Rise In Flu Cases
Area health care systems are implementing temporary hospital visitor restrictions due to a rise in flu cases in the region.
Starting Wednesday, children under 12 will be barred from visiting patients at Wake Forest Baptist Health and Novant Health hospitals. People 12 and older are also asked to refrain from visiting if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Wake Forest and Novant are among six regional hospital systems to impose the new rules Wednesday.
Baylor's Matt Rhule Agrees To Become Panthers' Next Coach
Baylor's Matt Rhule has agreed to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
Owner David Tepper visited Rhule at his home in Waco, Texas, and decided he wanted him to succeed Ron Rivera, who was fired with four games remaining in the season.
The 44-year-old Rhule will inherit a Panthers team that hasn't won a playoff game since 2015. Rhule helped turn around programs at Temple and Baylor, leading the Bears to an 11-1 regular-season record this past season before losing to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship and Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.