by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Forsyth commissioners approve cell tower at tanglewood

The Forsyth County Commission unanimously approved the construction of a 160-foot cell phone tower at Tanglewood Park during the commissioners’ regular meeting on Monday. American Tower will construct the communications tower for AT&T and lease the 60-foot by 60-foot piece of property from the county for $48,000 a year with an annual increase of 3 percent per year. American Tower will also install a fiber network at the county park as part of the deal. The value of the fiber network is estimated at $150,000. In other business, the county commissioners authorized $7.9 million in school bonds; $2.0 million in community college bonds; $4.0 million in parks and recreation bonds; and $356,250 in public facilities bonds during Monday’s meeting. The county commission also approved a resolution that allocates $713,108 for its community-based juvenile delinquency, substance abuse and gang prevention plan. Commissioners approved the application of a grant from the Us Department of Justice’s secure Our schools program for $174,616. The funds will be used to upgrade digital camera systems at four schools in the county. Also, commissioners allocated $50,702 to reinstate a deferred payment program at the Forsyth County Hall of Justice to help reduce the jail population. The commissioners approved a contract for $103,150 to purchase 170 bulletproof vests for the Forsyth County sheriff’s Office as well as a revised agreement with the city of Winston-salem that allows for the annual negotiation of the disbursement of federal funds for law enforcement agencies. — KTB’­

Triad runoff election roundup

Phil Wadsworth pulled out a big win in the Democratic runoff for Guilford County sheriff, besting CB Goins by a 12.4-percent margin, on June 22.

Goins led the early voting tally, having staked out the Greensboro early-voting station for several days, but Wadsworth prevailed by targeting voters who participated in Guilford County’s 2006 runoff election with phone calls and by fielding campaign workers at the county’s 15 most active polling places on the official runoff election day.

A retired member of the state Highway Patrol, Wadsworth seemed to come out of nowhere to lead balloting in the May 4 primary, considering that Democratic opponent Harlon Costner had been campaigning since last year and had been more critical of incumbent Republican BJ Barnes. Goins’ second-place finish had been even more of a surprise. With 2.9 percent turnout on June 22 and only modest enthusiasm among the Democratic electorate, the Wadsworth-Goins matchup was hardly a foregone conclusion.

After the final results came in Wadsworth accepted the well wishes of Guilford County Commission Kay Cashion, took some congratulatory phone calls, had his picture made with supporters and pivoted to November.

“BJ has done a good job; I’m going to do better,” he said. “A lot of citizens are ready for a change. I’ve had several people including Republicans call me and say they’re going to vote for me because BJ said he wanted to get reelected to build the jail. I’m not trying to get elected to build the jail. I’m trying to get elected to make Guilford County a better place.”

In other runoff contests on the ballot for Triad voters, Bill Randall’s decisive showing against Bernie Reeves in Guilford County in the Republican contest for North Carolina’s 13 th Congressional District roughly mirrored the statewide outcome, while Winston-salem resident Scott Cumbie carried both Forsyth and Guilford counties in the Republican runoff for the 12 th Congressional District but lost overall to Greg Dority of Washington, NC.

In Forsyth County, Bill Whiteheart defeated Jonathan Mark Corts in the Republican runoff for Forsyth County Commission. The result was hardly surprising considering that Corts had announced his withdrawal from the race in the midst of the campaign. Whiteheart faces Democratic incumbent Ted Kaplan in the November general election. — JG