by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Wachovia to add 150 Winston-Salem jobs

Wachovia plans to add 150 jobs to its Winston-Salem operations over the next two years as part of its merger with Wells Fargo & Co. The bank announced last week that it would retain its 3,400 employees in Winston-Salem and add new positions to the bank’s trust center and specialized service group, Mayor Allen Joines said. After Wells Fargo merged with Wachovia last October, the city put together a task force aimed at retaining jobs at the homegrown bank.

Joines said the group put together a business strategy and presented it to CEO John Stumpf to keep the bank’s trust operations centered here.

“This is great news for Winston-Salem’s economy,” Joines said. The company will begin recruiting for positions this week, spokeswoman Christine Shaw said. — JG

Upcoming candidate forumCandidates for the Greensboro CityCouncil at-large race, District 2 andDistrict 5 will appear at the GreensboroHistorical Museum at 6 p.m. on Sept.22 at a forum hosted by the GuilfordCounty Unity Effort. All 11 at-largecandidates have confirmed that theywill attend: Marikay Abuzuaiter, MaxBenbassat, Jorge Cornell, SandraAnderson Groat, DJ Hardy, JulieLapham, Gary Nixon, Robbie Perkins,Ryan Shell, Danny Thompson andNancy Vaughan. All four District 2candidates have likewise promised toattend: Nettie Coad, Gordon Hester,Dan Fischer and Jim Kee. A notableabsence is District 5 incumbent TrudyWade, who first committed to attendand then withdrew. The only candidatefor District 5 will be challenger ArtBoyett. Asking questions will be NC A&TUniversity sociology professor RobertDavis, YES! Weekly reporter JordanGreen, Carolina Peacemaker reporterYasmine Regester and News & Recordreporter Amanda Lehmert. — JGNC Court of Appeals denies Smith’smotionA three-judge panel of the NC Courtof Appeals denied Kalvin MichaelSmith’s appeal of the denial of hisrequest for a new trial on Monday.Attorney David Pishko filed the appealafter Judge Richard Doughton deniedthe request for a new trial in January.Duke law professor James Coleman,who heads up the DUke InnocenceProject, has worked on Smith’s case forthe past five years. Coleman said Pishkofiled Smith’s 586-page petition on Sept.1, and questioned if the three-judgepanel could have conceivably read anddigested the material in seven businessdays. Coleman pointed out thatDoughton ruled against Smith withoutoffering any explanation for his decision,and adopted the state attorneygeneral’s written decision to explain hisdenial. Forsyth District Attorney TomKeith handed over the state’s defense ofSmith’s prosecution to the NC AttorneyGeneral’s Office for the January pleahearing. Coleman also pointed out thatDoughton ruled that “the state’s failureto disclose to Smith that the police hadshown Jill Marker photo lineups thatincluded Smith’s photograph and thatshe did not identify him was not a Bradyviolation.” The ruling is contrary to anadmission by Keith that the informationwas not disclosed to Smith’s defense andthe failure to do so constituted a Bradyviolation. “I am left speechless that anappellate court would not even formallyreview the decision,” Coleman stated.Smith’s defense team plans to appealthe decision to a higher court. — KTBShuttered nursing homes crimpGreensboro’ growt
The Greensboro Planning Departmentannounced on Monday that the city’spopulation estimate slightly decreasedby 0.26 percent from July 1, 2008 toJuly 1, 2009, from 258,671 to 257,997.The department attributes the decreaseto several factors, including the recentclosure of several group homes and achange in methodology to count grouphomes located within the city limits. Also,the annual count of the city’s homelesspopulation was used this year but notlast year. A specious factor included inthe city’s press release is that “significantlyfewer people were annexed intothe city this year versus last year.” KarenMarkovics with the planning departmentelaborated on the most tangiblefactor: “One very large nursing homeclosed down. Evergreen is about toclose down. Their population is abouthalf what it was. Whether these residentare being absorbed in other facilities inGreensboro, we don’t know that.” — JG !