by YES! Weekly staff

Items from across the Triad and beyond


The $17.5 million renovation of the Benton Convention Center achieved another milestone when the Winston- Salem City Council reviewed the architectural design plans presented at the Special Meeting of the Winston- Salem City Council last night.

Slated to begin January 2016 with completion by May 2017, the multi-phased renovation project includes significant structural, design and technological upgrades to the interior and exterior of the 100,000-square-foot building. Key design elements will create more open, flexible meeting space and incorporate architectural nods to Winston- Salem’s historic arts, tobacco and textile roots. The plans also include filling in the sunken garden, extending the front façade closer to 5th Street to repurpose the area into more practical, pre-function space. More windows and skylights will be added to give the Convention Center a more contemporary, open and inviting aesthetic.

Mayor Allen Joines said that the updated convention center will be catalyst for economic growth. “The additional conventions and events that come to Winston- Salem as a result of this modernization will bring more business to area hotels and restaurants, increase visitor spending, create jobs and grow our tax base,” said Mayor Joines.

“Combined with other downtown development initiatives, the Benton Convention Center renovation project enables Winston-Salem to more effectively compete for meeting and convention business,” said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem.

The City of Winston-Salem along with Visit Winston- Salem, Twin City Quarter and the architectural/design firms are developing a comprehensive, multi-phased renovation program so that the Benton Convention Center remains operational during all phases of the renovation. “We will continue to work closely with our customers and clients to keep them involved and up-to-date on this important project. We value their business and are working diligently to minimize the impact of the renovation to their events,” said Geiger.

“There is certain infrastructure that requires updating and renovating. Our Convention Center is that type of infrastructure. The renovation will remake a city landmark into a new venue that will attract new tourism dollars to our city and show groups and organizations that our Convention Center facilities are in line or better than other facilities in the southeast, ” said Denise D. Adams, Winston-Salem City Council Member, North Ward.


Brian “B Daht” McLaughlin, host of the 102 Jamz morning show, “3 Live Crew,” and cast member on MTV2’s Nick Cannon presents: “Wild ‘N Out,” recently teamed up with the Greensboro Police Department and became a cop for the day.

Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott invited the radio personality to be the first citizen to undergo an abbreviated police training session and ride along with Officer Scott Davis to patrol the local community.

“Being exposed to a mere fraction of the situations police officers encounter daily was eye opening,” said B Daht.

“Officers have about half of a second to make a decision that could alter the lives of themselves, a perpetrator, and local citizens. In addition to their obligation to protect and serve the community, they have an obligation to their families to get home safely. It’s a tough job, but I appreciate them for putting their lives on the line daily.”

“The Greensboro Police Department thoroughly enjoyed hosting B Daht as our ‘Officer for a Day’,” said Police Chief Wayne Scott. “Like many of our great citizens, he quickly learned about the many challenges police face every day as they serve the community. He was an excellent student and a fast learner. We are honored to have him join our ranks.”

Chief Scott also appeared on the 102 Jamz morning show, “3 Live Crew,” to discuss the ride along in more detail and respond to listeners who called in with a variety of questions from how extensive background checks are for being an officer to protocol for being pulled over.

Both Chief Scott and Brian “B Daht” McLaughlin hope to partner on future events that will continue to bridge the gap between the Greensboro Police Department and its community. !