by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond 

GSO City Council moves to reopen White Street Landfill

A majority on the Greensboro City Council had indicated support for reopening the White Street Landfill to municipal solid waste. By an informal straw poll in a work session on Tuesday afternoon, the council voted 4 to 2 to short-list three companies that are proposing to reopen the landfill: Advanced Disposal, Gate City Waste Services and Waste Industries. The decision will have to be ratified during an official meeting with public advertisement. Voting for the measure were Mayor Bill Knight, at-large Coincilman

Danny Thompson, District 4 Councilwoman Mary Rakestraw and District 5 COuncilwoman Trudy Wade. Voting against were District 1 Councilwoman Dianne Bellamy-Small and District 2 Councilman Jim Kee.

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Vaughan has recused herself from discussions about the city’s solid waste options because her husband Don Vaughan, a lawyer, represents Waste Industries. City Attorney Rita Danish was researching on Tuesday afternoon whether at-large Councilman Robbie Perkins and District 3 Councilman Zack Matheny have a conflict of interest and should recuse themselves from the vote. Perkins’ commercial real estate company, NAI Piedmont Triad, is representing property for DH Griffin, part of the Gate City Waste Services group, near its headquarters on Hilltop Road. Matheny’s company, Bell Partners, has an investment partnership with DH Griffin in Atlanta. — JG

Info-war between the chairman and sheriff

A conspicuous request from Guilford County Commission Chairman Skip Alston seeks detailed information from Sheriff BJ Barnes about staffing for the Greensboro Jail, High Point Jail and the prison farm in Gibsonville, along with information about staffing at the new detention facility under construction in downtown Greensboro. Included is a request for salary amounts budgeted for the coming budget year. The county commission is considering closing the High Point Jail and the prison farm. The sheriff’s office is exploring the option of contracting beds in the old jail out to the federal government once the new jail is open.

Alston said he would like to have the information by Monday.

Barnes responded by e-mail that the sheriff’s office probably won’t meet the chairman’s deadline, and in any case he couldn’t predict the county’s staffing needs for its detention facilities without knowing the commission’s plans.

“Without knowing which scenario of the three presented is picked it would be impossible to respond to your request for where the officers will be placed and how many there will be,” he said. — JG

Forsyth school board member Brown resigns

Geneva Brown, who served as a member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board for more than 18 years, announced her retirement on April 20. According to a press release, Brown’s made her decision in part because of health concerns. “It is time for some younger person to serve,” Brown said. “It’s just time.” Brown previously served as a teacher and principal for 38 years in the school system. She served as principal at Mebane Elementary School from 1967 to 1971. Brown opened Moore Experimental School in 1971, the school system’s first countywide magnet school. Brown also served as the director of research, development and planning from 1990 until 1992.

“What Geneva Brown has done for this community is unparalleled,” said Donny Lambeth, chairman of the school board. “She always did what was right, and she always worked to do what was best for the children she served.” David Fitzpatrick, retired principal of Kernersville Elementary School, worked with Brown at Moore Experimental School. He praised Brown for her commitment throughout her 56-year career in education. “What she was brilliant at was getting and retaining the best teachers,” Fitzpatrick said. “That was a valuable lesson. That’s the name of the game as a principal — you surround yourself with the best.”

School board policy stipulates the board must appoint a replacement for Brown. The school board was scheduled to discuss the appointment during its regular meeting on Tuesday.


Warrants issued for former Parkland teacher

Arrest warrants were issued for Terry Jones, a former music teacher at Parkland High School in Winston-Salem, on April 22 related to numerous counts involving inappropriate conduct with a student, according to a press release issued by the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Jones was hired in August 2006 and resigned in November 2008. “I am shocked and saddened by these charges,” Superintendent Donald L. Martin said in a statement. “If they are true, they completely contradict what we expect of all our employees. Although Mr. Jones no longer works for our school system, we will assist the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and the NC Department of Public Instruction in any way we can as they complete their investigations.” — KTB

Winston-Salem agency receives grant for aging services

Family Services of Winston-Salem announced last week that it has received a $3,000 grant from the Alliance for Children and Families. The money will be spent to study ways to provide effective aging services as the populous babyboom generation transitions into retirement.

Family Services’ mission is described as promoting “the school readiness of children, the wellbeing of adults and families and the safety of those in the community impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault.” — JG