by Jeff Sykes

Items from across the Triad and beyond


Two Winston-Salem entrepreneurs will be starting a taxi service that uses golf carts to transport people around downtown after they won the 2014 Small Business Plan Competition.

Reid and Kirsten Hinsley will use the $5,000 they won to cover startup costs for their company Camel City Caravans, which will travel between the Arts District, Central Business District and the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.

“We were particularly impressed with the Camel City Caravans plan because it is creative, it complements existing downtown businesses, it serves those who live and work downtown, and it gives downtown visitors easier access to all dining and entertainment options that downtown offers,” Small Business Loan Committee Chairman Doug Atkinson said in a press release.

Reid Hinsley said they will likely use the money they were awarded to purchase two golf carts. He said the service will be able to start once the public safety committee amends the city code to allow golf carts downtown. They are currently in the process of doing this. Once the committee makes these changes, council will need to approve them.

Hinsley said the idea was originally conceived last October.

“It’s taken a year of monthly meetings to get to the point where we’re at,” he said.

The city had received 35 business proposals for the competition in February and 20 were invited to submit a more detailed plan. Only 14 followed through, but the applicants who did not win will still be able to apply for a small business loan or receive guidance on how to improve their business plan.


Community activists are claiming victory after an internal police review panel substantiated a complaint lodged by two men after a police officer confronted them for walking in the street.

Brothers Rufus and Devin Scales of Memphis Street in Greensboro filed a complaint against an officer in August after he confronted them minutes after they left their grandmother’s home headed toward a nearby store.

The incident took place Aug. 4 near Smith Homes. Officer T.B. Cole of the Greensboro Police Department was on patrol in the area and passed by the Scales brothers as they walked along Memphis Street toward Atlanta Street. The residential street is without sidewalks. Cole reportedly yelled from his vehicle for the men to “get out of the street” and then stopped and got out of his car.

A pair of videos captured by Devin Scales shows Cole approaching the men and demanding identification. A later clip shows Cole arresting Rufus Scales after he asked “What’s this bullsh*t about?” A letter from police Capt. Joel Cranford of the Professional Standards Division of the GPD dated Sept. 16 states that “there was evidence to substantiate your complaint against Officer Cole for his actions on August 4, 2014.”

A police spokesperson said earlier this week that the complaint by the Scales brothers had resulted in remedial action taken against Officer Cole. Remedial action falls short of disciplinary action that would be a matter of public record. The department declined to clarify what decisions or actions Cole was criticized for. Examples of remedial action include counseling or additional training.

The department also extended an offer for the Scales brothers to engage in mediation with Officer Cole to further understanding of the incident.

“The goal of mediation is to help participants understand each other’s actions, behavior and motivations and thereby strengthen the relationship between the community and the Police Department,” Cranford wrote.

It is unclear if the Scales brothers intend to accept the offer of further mediation. Rev. Nelson Johnson has mentored the Scales brothers in recent months and has represented their interests following the Aug. 4 incident. In a letter to supporters dated Sept. 25 Johnson said that community action had been effective.

“Your involvement, along with hundreds of others, is what compelled this rare positive outcome from the Police internal review of citizens’ complaints,” Johnson wrote.

A public meeting on police accountability is scheduled for Oct. 16 at Genesis Baptist Church in Greensboro. !