by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and Beyond, compiled by Jordan Green

Black officers want Sanders tapes

A Guilford County Superior Court judge is expected to hold a hearing sometime this week to determine whether the city of Greensboro should turn over audio recordings and other documents to black Greensboro police officers Brian James and Julius Fulmore for use in their lawsuit against true-crime writer Jerry Bledsoe and The Rhinoceros Times. In July, the NC Court of Appeals upheld a decision by Judge Vance Bradford Long in Guilford County Superior Court to deny James’ and Fulmore the ability to look at Bledsoe’s notes from his reporting for the endless “Cops In Black and White” series in The Rhino. Working on a separate track, the plaintiffs subpoenaed the city in March 2008 to gain access to recordings made by police Detective Scott Sanders from 2003 to the present, referencing themselves, that were seized from the Guilford Building in downtown Greensboro following the resignation of Chief David Wray in early 2006. A superior court judge will consider a motion to compel the city to produce the recordings that was filed by James and Fulmore. “The interesting thing is how long I’ve been asking for them and how they’ve changed their reasoning,” said Amiel Rossabi, the plaintiff’s lawyer. “First of all, they said, ‘Sure you can get them, but it’s going to take a year to transcribe them.’ I’m informed by a source that I can’t name that they’ve already been transcribed. Now they’re saying that they’re protected personnel records.’ Chief Deputy City Attorney Becky Jo Peterson-Buie said the city does not comment on pending litigation. — JG

Little denies giving extra credit to students who voted for Montgomery

Larry Little, a Winston-Salem State University professor, said he did not give extra credit or grades to students as a reward for voting for WSSU senior and city council candidate Derwin Montgomery. Little said Joycelyn Johnson, the 16-year incumbent city councilwoman defeated by Montgomery, has leveled accusations that he exercised undue influence over his students to support Montgomery’s candidacy. Little said he advised Montgomery during his campaign, and encouraged students in his American government class to vote for Montgomery, but never promised a grade or extra credit if they did so. Little, a former Black Panther, formerly served as a Winston-Salem alderman. Nancy Young, the school’s interim director of public relations, said she learned that Johnson had stated she was denied the ability to campaign on campus only after the Sept. 15 primary. Young said Johnson never made a formal request with the school’s administration to campaign on campus. Johnson brought campaign flyers and posters to the campus and they were distributed, Young said. If Johnson had wished to speak to students, she needed to fill out a request form to reserve one of the two “free speech zones” on campus, Young added. Rob Coffman, the Forsyth County director of elections, said Johnson asked the board of elections for information regarding address verification for WSSU students, and clarification about students signing a form after they voted to get a grade in a class. Coffman said there was no evidence that students received a grade in exchange for voting for Montgomery. — KTB

Hardy endorses three at-large candidates

DJ Hardy, a 33-year-old at large candidate for Greensboro City Council did not survive his primary in early October, but said he is considering another run in 2011. In the meantime, he wants to work with young leaders in both major political parties to increase political participation among young voters. Hardy came out of the primary with some political capital to spend, having performed strongly with voters in several southeast Greensboro precincts. Last week, Hardy announced that he is endorsing Danny Thompson, Gary Nixon and Marikay Abuzuaiter, the three on the ballot who are not incumbents or have previously served on council. “When I look at Danny next to [incumbent candidate] Robbie Perkins, Robbie Perkins has been in office awhile,” Hardy said. “As much as he likes to tout east Greensboro, he knows all the players, but they haven’t really accomplished much. I’m thinking his vision of east Greensboro doesn’t go much further than Murrow Boulevard.” Hardy noted that none of the four candidates who are less than 40 years old cleared the primary. “We don’t really have any young representation for the city,” he said. “We haven’t had the right candidates to really rally the 18-44 age range. If we really want to be sitting at the forefront that’s responsive and proactive we’ve really got to have a way for the younger generation and creative people to not have to go through the vetting stage and do an effective job, but not really get the votes to make it through the primary. We have to be able to make it possible for a newcomer to get in there and get the votes. It shouldn’t revolve around money, which at this stage it seems it does.” In District 2, Gordon Hester, who commanded 9.1 percent of the vote in the Oct. 6 primary, announced he is supporting Jim Kee in the general election. “He is truly a hard-working man, and will be great in the years to come,” Hester said. Kee and Nettie Coad are vying for the seat currently held by Goldie Wells, who is retiring from council. — JG

Drug monitoring company to open lab in Greensboro

Pain prescription monitoring company Ameritox will open a new medical monitoring facility in Greensboro next year that will employ 228 workers, the Greensboro Economic Development Alliance announced on Oct. 21. — JG