by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green


Guilford County Sheriff’s Office gets 287(g)

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office is among11 agencies added to the US Homeland Security Department’s 287(g) program, the department announced on July 10.

Items from across the Triad and Beyond, compiled by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

The 287(g) program gives local law enforcement officers the authority to enforce immigration law, and allows them to initiate deportation proceedings. The department also announced that it has standardized the

Memorandum of Agreement used to enter into 287(g) partnerships. “To address concerns that individuals may be arrested for minor offenses as a guise to initiate removal proceedings,” the July 10 press release states, “the new agreement explains that participating law enforcement agencies are required to pursue all criminal charges that originally caused the offender to be taken into custody.” The announcement does not address the fact that state prosecutors have the discretion to dismiss criminal charges against a defendant subject to impending deportation. Mark Sills, executive director of FaithAction independent, diverse committee,” that includes citizens who have publicly stated their opposition to the project. He also pointed to language in the resolution regarding potential conflicts of interest. The resolution prohibits committee members from having a “private, personal, or monetary interest — either direct or indirect, in connection with the [downtown ballpark].” In his capacity as president of the Winston-salem Alliance and the millennium Fund, Joines helped Brookstown Development Partners and Dash owner Billy Prim, the ballpark developer, secure at least 38 properties in downtown Winston-salem nearly a year before the city agreed to invest $12 million in

Phase I of the project. — KTB

District 1 ranks last in capital improvement spending

The city of Greensboro has released a tally of capital improvement plan expenditures for the past 20 years sorted by council district. The information was compiled by staff in January in response to a request by District 1 councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small. District 1, whose population is 70.1 percent black — the highest in the city — came out at the bottom of the list, at $228,572. District 4 pulled down the largest number of dollars — $467,871. District 2, the city’s other majority black district, ranked second, with $340,427. District 5, the city’s most racially integrated district, ranked third, with $332,627. And District 3, the city’s most segregated — and most white — district, came in second to last, with $287,306. “As we have grown to the northwest and to the west, we’ve put in more parks and rec, more fire stations, more roads, even water and sewer,” interim Assistant city manager Andy Scott said. “A question might arise from that: should your infrastructure not only follow growth, but encourage growth? That is the question Dianne is raising.” scott added that staff will likely bring a proposal to council to analyze development patterns by both government and the private sector across the city. “one of the issues you have here is people say, ‘We don’t have the stores, we don’t have the doctor’s offices.’ some groups of people, both public and private, are making decisions that affect that. By highlighting some of those, we might point to some opportunities being missed.” — JG

Tdap vaccinations offered by Guilford health department

The Guilford County Public Health Department is administering Tdap vaccinations, which are required by state law for all children entering 6 th grade next month. Appointments are available daily during regular business hours at the department’s Greensboro and High Point locations. special clinics will be held on July 28 at Pleasant Garden Town Hall and at the Greensboro and High Point locations on saturday, Aug. 22. Call 336.641.7777 for more information. — JG

Crowded field vies for Greensboro council seats

City council hopefuls are clogging the ballot for Greensboro’s upcoming municipal election. As of Tuesday, 25 candidates have filed, and every race is contested. Filing for mayor are incumbent Yvonne Johnson and challenger Bill Knight. The at-large contest includes Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Anderson Groat, Marikay Abuzuaiter, Julie Lapham, Max Benbassat, DJ Hardy and Danny Thompson. Incumbent Robbie Perkins and former councilwoman Nancy Vaughan have also said they will run. In District 1, incumbent Dianne Bellamy-Small will be challenged by Ben Holder, Luther T. Falls Jr. and Charles Coffee, Daron R. Sellars and Jeramy Reid. Three people have filed in the open District 2 race: Jim Kee, Ryan Shell and Gordon M. Hester. District 3 incumbent Zack Matheny will be challenged by George Hartzman. Joel Landau, Joseph W. Rahenkamp and William Mike Martin have filed for the open District 4 seat, and Mary Rakestraw, who currently holds an at-large seat, has announced she will also seek the District 4 seat. District 5 will feature a match-up between incumbent Trudy Wade and challenger Art Boyett. — JG

Skip Alston thrust in front of National Action Network state organization The National Action Network headed by the Rev. Al Sharpton will hold a statewide “call to action” at St. James Baptist Church in Greensboro on July 25. Skip Alston, chairman of the Guilford County Commission, joined the organization’s board of directors in April 2008. Alston is the former president of the NC National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and was replaced by the Rev. William Barber II when he lost his reelection bid in 2005. A press release issued by Kimberly Alston (no relation to Skip Alston) indicates that she will be the statewide organization’s executive director. The National Action Network’s office will be located at 1610 E. Market St., a property owned by Alston’s real estate company. “People of color across this state are facing dual crises — the effects of the global economic impact and the longstanding issues that have historically plagued communities of color,” Skip Alston said in a prepared statement. “As the world suffers with an economic headache and the country has caught cold, people of color — especially African Americans — in North Carolina have been struck with a migraine and pneumonia. We must establish more organizations that are dedicated to staying close to these issues on the streets and in the neighborhoods where these problems fester. Our national leader, Rev. Sharpton, has long demonstrated his commitment to street fights on behalf of our communities.” — JG

Bears sited on western outskirts of Winston-Salem

A number of bear sightings were reported to the Winston-Salem Police Department during the July 11 weekend. According to a press release, the sightings near the western edge of the city limits were confirmed by Winston- Salem police officers. Forsyth County Animal Control and the Winston-Salem PD have issued an advisory urging residents to avoid contact with the bears and remove all food sources from the exterior of their homes. The NC Wildlife Resources Commission has been notified. Forsyth County residents are encouraged to visit: and click on the “Coexisting with Wildlife” link. — KTB

Coffey joins District 1 race in Greensboro Charles Coffey, the plant machinist for Industries of the Blind and a businessman who has been active in efforts to revitalize West Lee Street and High Point Road, has filed to run for the District 1 seat on Greensboro City Council. The crowded race already includes incumbent Dianne Bellamy-Small, Ben Holder, Daron R. Sellars and Jeramy Reid. Coffey said at a press conference on Monday that his first priority will be economic development. He said he wants to help small business people by keeping taxes, water rates and licensing fees down. Noting that he has “friends” among the complainants and that he has found police officers interactions with Lee Street business owners to be professional, the candidate said he favors sitting down and talking with the plaintiffs in a discrimination lawsuit against the city and its police department, and seeking a resolution. He said the city has overextended itself through annexation. Coffey reluctantly opposes reopening the White Street Landfill to household waste. And he opposes granting subpoena power to the city’s complaint review committee, which investigates citizen complaints against police officers. “One thing I have been criticized about is I attend meetings, and I’m not overbearing,” Coffey said. “I don’t come in talking about myself. I stay for the whole meeting, and listen to everybody. That’s important. You can’t tell people what to do. You’ve got to listen. And then come up with a plan.” — JG