by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Emergency shelter to open in Winston-Salem on Wednesday

First Baptist Church on Fifth in downtown Winston-Salem will begin providing emergency overnight shelter on nights when the temperature is predicted to dip below 40 degrees beginning Wednesday and continuing through the end of February. The service will be operated by First Baptist and Anthony’s Plot, a Moravian social outreach organization.

“We have learned that there is a real and immediate need for an alternative, primary, coldweather shelter for people who are still on the streets during these freezing nights,” Anthony’s Plot announced in an e-mail on Jan. 25, two days after temperatures in Winston-Salem hit a low of 19 degrees.

First Baptist Church and Anthony’s Plot are seeking volunteers to staff the shelter, which requires three people per night. E-mail info@ to sign up.

The Anthony’s Plot e-mail stated, “This is not a duplication of current service — there is no other space in the city currently permitted or being used as a cold-weather shelter.”

The Bethesda Center for the Homeless, located at 930 N. Patterson St., identifies itself as “the largest emergency shelter for the homeless in Forsyth County” on its website. Calls to Executive Director Peggy Galloway were not returned on Monday.

Duke Energy pushes back against Greensboro tree lovers

Residents of Westerwood and other Greensboro neighborhoods recently affected by tree trimming have been pushing for a commitment by Duke Energy to give notification in the future before proceeding with vegetation management.

Duke officials noted in letters to Mayor Robbie Perkins and City Attorney Mujeeb Shah-Khan that they are not inclined to make that concession.

Senior Vice President Jeffrey Corbett thanked Perkins in a Jan. 23 letter for allowing the utility company to have representation on a working team set up to address concerns with its treetrimming activities, and requested that recommendations by the working team be incorporated in the city’s modified tree ordinance. Corbett noted that Duke voluntarily agreed on Dec. 21 to suspend tree trimming around its transmission and distribution lines.

Corbett and utility Associate General Counsel Kendrick C. Fentress told city officials that Duke planned to begin tree-trimming work around transmission lines on Monday.

Fentress told Shah-Khan that NC Utilities Commission regulations do “not mandate Duke produce a written easement in advance of its maintenance work on distribution lines.

“I also note that Duke is obligated to restore power after a storm or other emergency,” Fentress wrote. “Therefore, it could not accept a requirement to produce a written easement prior to performing such work in an emergency, nor does it believe that it should have to produce a written easement if a customer has requested trimming or if Duke has identified a tree that requires removal because it was the source of a previous outage.”

Striking Winston-Salem tobacco workers to be honored with historic marker

The Forsyth County Historic Resources Commission has approved a historic marker commemorating labor strikes in 1943 and 1947 by predominantly African-American tobacco workers at Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Winston-Salem.

The commission unanimously approved the marker in December, Historic Resource Officer LeAnn Pegram said. The marker will be placed in front of Factory Complex 64 at 500 E. 5th St. Pegram said a developer who recently purchased the complex has agreed to pay for the marker, but wants to wait until the building is rehabbed to unveil it. “The 1943 strike occurred when a factory employee died while working, after requesting permission to leave due to illness,” Pegram wrote in a recent PowerPoint. “Several hundred female stemmers began an immediate strike that spread throughout most of the facilities.”