Items from across the Triad and beyond


Winston-Salem councilman James Taylor Jr. is making an attempt to lessen the penalties for marijuana possession.

On August 20, he posted the following message on his Facebook Profile:

“Question of the day. Should citizens who are found in possession of small amounts of marijuana be arrested and placed in jail, or should they be issued a citation and have to appear in court? Firstly, I am not in any way advocating for decriminalization or for legalization. However, It is important to me that we continuously work on finding ways to address disparities on behalf of all of our citizens. I’m contemplating introducing local legislation that replaces arrests for small amounts of marijuana only, with a written complaint and a summons issuance from the responding police officer, (similar to the way that a traffic citation is handled). This would reduce the burden on our police officers and the overcrowded court system, while saving tax dollars by reserving jails for more violent offenders. What are your thoughts?”

The post received more than 60 comments, most of which were receptive to Taylor’s proposal.

“People were overwhelmingly in support,” he said. “They feel like jails should be reserved for violent offenders and nonviolent offenders should have their day in court and should be dealt with accordingly. I think it’s a waste of tax dollars, and I think there’s a lot of people who feel the way I do.”

Taylor said he hopes to spark a conversation at the local level in order to possibly have it spread to the state level.

“The federal government and the state government work in cohesion to make those laws, however on the local level as city council members I do believe that we have the ability to look at small policy changes such as those,” he said.

Taylor said details of the resolution have yet to be worked out such as the definition of “small amounts,” and whether it would apply only to first offenders or to repeat offenders. He plans to bring it to the Public Safety Committee for review next month.

When asked whether he envisions a day when recreational or medicinal marijuana use becomes legal in Winston-Salem, he said it should be up to voters.

“I can’t say, but I think the people should be able to decide that,” he said.


HopFest in the Boro attracted young and trendy locals to downtown Greensboro like a giant, beer-scented magnet on Saturday. Hundreds flocked to the sold out festival.

The street festival was held on the 100 block of N. Greene Street with live music, food trucks, and plenty of local beer. Local brewers Pig Pounder, Hoots, and Natty Greene’s were there alongside The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery of Charlotte and Mystery Brewing Company and Carolina Brewery from Orange County.

The event was hosted by Create Your City, an organization dedicated to revitalizing the community through collaborative projects, with proceeds benefiting Preservation Greensboro.

In addition to enjoying beer and food, attendees could check out games and visit local vendors at booths. The festival was successful at appealing to the young professionals demographic. While there were a handful of baby boomers in attendance, this was primarily a Generation X and Millennial event.

The event also successfully celebrated the state’s prominence as a craft brewery haven by showcasing a variety of local beers. Live music performances featured Stephen Murray of Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Brave Baby, The Old One Two and Matt Irie.

Despite all that drinking, officers on site at the event reported that the event went smoothly. Even the weather cooperated with mild temperatures from the afternoon into the evening.

Festival organizers are encouraging attendees to submit their best photos from the event to ryan.createyourcity@gmail. com and share them on Facebook for a chance to win 2014 HopFest t-shirts and stickers. !