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Items from across the Triad and beyond

HIGH POINT PUSHING FOR TRADER JOES

There is a grassroots effort being made in the city of High Point to bring a Trader Joes store to the city. A Facebook group entitled “Bring a Trader Joe’s to High Point” was started about a month ago and has now amassed more than 3,000 followers. The only Trader Joes currently located in the Triad is in Winston-Salem. Greensboro was set to receive a Trader Joes last year but the company changed its mind after residents there protested.

There are also Trader Joes locations in Charlotte and the Triangle region.

High Point Mayor Bill Bencini said there are currently no formal plans by the city to reach out to Trader Joes, but the city has attempted to add a Fresh Market in the past.

“We’re under-retailed in High Point, and the reason that we are is that we’re so close to two larger retail markets,” he said. “If you go to a smaller town like Hickory, North Carolina, which is less than half the size of High Point, they have retail opportunities way beyond what we have but they don’t have Winston-Salem and Greensboro at their back door.”

GREENSBORO TO BAN SWEEPSTAKES

A ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals in November 2014 that “pre-reveal” sweepstakes machines are subject to criminal prosecution has provided Greensboro officials with greater clarity on how to enforce the laws.

Beginning March 1, Greensboro police will begin fully enforcing the statute that makes it illegal to conduct or promote sweepstakes through the use of an entertaining display. Prior to the Court of Appeals ruling, “pre-reveal” technology was a confusing issue for trial courts around the state, resulting in unequal enforcement in different jurisdictions. The court found no distinction between a “pre-reveal” game and a “post-reveal” game, finding that a game of chance took place no matter when the prize was revealed.

Owners of sweepstakes cafes have been mailed a letter from Interim Chief of Police Anita Holder advising them of the change in interpretation of law, and giving owners 60 days to voluntarily comply with the statue by ceasing operation of the machines.

“Given the confusion surrounding the law, we think it’s only fair that sweepstakes machine owners be afforded an opportunity to voluntary comply with the most recent interpretation of the statute,” said Holder. “Most owners are not the criminal type. They are business owners who went through proper channels for licensing.”

More than 70 business owners believed to operate sweepstakes machines have been mailed the letters. However, the City does not have visibility over businesses with stand-alone machines. These owners must also comply with the ‘cease operation’ edit, or face criminal action.

CITY RECOGNIZED FOR NATIONAL NIGHT OUT

The National Association of Town Watch selected the city of Greensboro as a National Award Winner for its participation in the 30th Annual National Night Out.

On August 5, 2014 approximately 149 neighborhoods celebrated National Night Out through an assortment of activities including; cook outs, musical repertoires, public safety displays, block parties, and events for kids. The State Attorney General for North Carolina, Roy Cooper, spent several hours visiting neighborhoods throughout the city.

“The events hosted by our residents sent a strong message to criminals,” said Interim Chief of Police Anita Holder. “You told them that you are working together to reduce crime and make our city safer.”

Founded in 1984 by the National Association of Town Watch, National Night Out is celebrated nationwide and in Canada the first Tuesday in August. This marks the twentieth year that the police department and city residents have been recognized for their participation in National Night Out.

Year-long Community Watch programs have been proven effective in reducing crime and improving quality of life in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Community Watch programs enlist the active participation of citizens in partnership with the police to get something done about an immediate problem, and problem-solve on future goals. !

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