Items from across the Triad and beyond


At its meeting Monday night, the Winston-Salem city council voted to move to rezoning petitions that have been on the agenda since October to a meeting on May 4, citing an impending verdict from the North Carolina Supreme Court.

“They have asked us what our position is, and we’ve told them we’re waiting to hear from the Supreme Court; and if that petition is either denied or not certified, then you know, we’ll anticipate they’ll receive some notification letting them know they’ll need to shut down,” city attorney Angela Carmon said at the meeting.

The Supreme Court is considering a petition to overturn a ruling made in the Court of Appeals in the case State V. Spruill on Nov. 18. The case found that two sweepstakes operators in Edgecombe County were in violation of state statutes that banned “pre-reveal” software.

“I think everybody believes they’ll deny the petition, and not certify it,” Carmon said.

That would mean more than 20 sweepstakes businesses would begin receiving notifications that they must shut down.

Currently Winston-Salem allows sweepstakes to operate in areas of the city known as highway business, or HB zone classifications. Carmon said that if the Supreme Court reverses the prior ruling, the city’s current laws would apply. This would mean that seven sweepstakes businesses would need to relocate by June 30 or be forced to close. Sweepstakes have been a subject of controversy for many residents who are concerned that the businesses usher in crime and make neighborhoods less attractive.


Last week Downtown Greensboro Inc. (DGI) was on the receiving end of a cease and desist letter from a law firm that represents Eric Robert and his company QUB.

The letter was sent to DGI because Robert felt that DGI’s current and proposed use of the images lacked the production value expected from his company.

Immediately after the last board meeting, Cyndy Hayworth sent the current DGI board a proposed ad for the international concourses at the airport to be placed ahead of the Furniture Market. The Hayworth ad included a skyline of Greensboro, complete with the old Wachovia tower (which has become Centerpointe). In the updated proposed ad, the skyline was replaced with a more current version.

Robert’s company,Qub, provided branding and marketing services for many wellknow organizations, including New York fashion week, VF Corp, Hanesbrands and Guess?, among others.

Robert served on DGI’s board until he was removed in controversial fashion early this year. Robert confirmed that a cease and desist order was sent to DGI.

Robert believes that legal action was needed because DGI Interim President Cyndy Hayworth refused to communicate with Robert about the use of the images. Robert initially asked DGI to send out another press release stating that he and his company no longer were responsible for DGI’s creative. By Monday afternoon, DGI’s Board Chair Gary Brame wrote Robert’s attorney informing them that DGI would cease using the images.

While on DGI’s board, Robert used his company and other local talents to create a marketing campaign for downtown Greensboro. Robert donated his time and creative vision to the board.

“The individuals involved in the creation of the campaign are all talented professionals,” Robert said. “We evolve in a profession where image is important and where we are often judged by our previous work. DGI’s original campaign was wellthought out and was designed to portray Downtown Greensboro in an aspirational way enviable by other cities. From the day she started Hayworth did not understand that the campaign was not designed to promote DGI but to promote Downtown Greensboro.”

After Robert was removed from DGI’s board, downtown business owner and current DGI board member, Mark Hewett, told media outlets that Robert’s work was good and was very beneficial to DGI. Hewett described Robert as a very positive impact on downtown and noted that Robert was the most creative at DGI. Mayor Nancy Vaughan, who also serves on DGI’s board, has also publicly supported Robert’s work for DGI. !