by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Occupy Winston-Salem ends negotiations over campsite

The members of Occupy Winston-Salem, an independent, nonviolent, leaderless movement, have decided to end all negotiations with city officials regarding the location of campsite in the downtown area.

“Over two months of our civil and lawful attempts to work with our city officials have passed us,” Andrew Hobbs, an Occupy spokesman, stated in an e-mail. “Occupy Winston- Salem and the City of Winston-Salem were not able to come to an agreement on a site for citizens to exercise their first amendment rights, [24] hours a day.”

Hobbs said Occupy Winston-Salem remains steadfast in its struggle against a corrupt socioeconomic political system and welcomes new members. Two weeks ago, Hobbs, along with Occupy members Ethan Smith and Sally Hirsh, met with Assistant City Manager Greg Turner to propose seven potential locations for a campsite in the downtown area. Last month, the city’s Public Safety Committee approved a campsite near the intersection of 7th and Marshall streets, but Occupy members rejected the city’s proposal, expressing a number of concerns including the site’s proximity to a daycare facility. Smith, Hobbs and Hirsh said they had proposed establishing a campsite at either Corpening Plaza or Civic Plaza, but met with resistance from city officials. — KTB

Accrediting agency puts college on probation

Greensboro College was placed on probation on Tuesday by its accrediting agency, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. President Lawrence D. Czarda said in a prepared statement that the action had been expected and that it resulted from financial problems that emerged in 2009. Czarda took office in April 2010, replacing former President Craven Williams, who retired after the financial problems came to light. Czarda said the college’s leadership has known that recovery would take several years, and said Greensboro College has taken significant steps to turn the institution around, including increasing enrollment, raising $4 million in a capital campaign, renovating the dining hall through a partnership with food-service vendor Sodexo, selling off excess real estate and restructuring finances. Founded in 1838, Greensboro College enrolls 1,250 students from 32 states. — JG

Womble remains in critical condition

NC Rep. Larry Womble (D-Forsyth) remained in critical condition Monday afternoon after sustaining multiple injuries in a head-on collision on Dec. 2. Womble’s Acura sedan collided with David Carmichael’s Chrysler convertible on Reynolds Park Road just after 11 p.m.

Carmichael, 54, died at the scene after sustaining multiple injuries.

On Monday, Womble’s vital signs were stable and he was responding to stimuli, said Dr. Russell Howerton, chief medical officer at Baptist Hospital, where Womble is being treated. Womble, a nine-term member of the NC House, suffered a number of broken bones but reportedly can recognize family members and is responding to their voices, Howerton said in a prepared statement. An investigation by Winston-Salem police has concluded that Womble’s vehicle crossed the centerline of Reynolds Park Road and collided head-on with Carmichael’s vehicle. Police determined that Womble’s vehicle was traveling 50 mph — five miles above the speed limit — and he was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. Police determined that Carmichael’s vehicle was traveling 45 mph, but have not determined if he was wearing his seatbelt. The investigation has also concluded that neither excessive speed nor

“impairing substances” led to the crash, but the investigation is ongoing.

Rep. Earline Parmon (D-Forsyth) issued a statement on behalf of Womble’s family on Monday, thanking everyone for their prayers and support and extending those prayers to the family of David Carmichael.

“The Womble and Carmichael families have been close over the years and this is an extremely trying time for both families,” Parmon stated. “We would also like to thank the paramedics who responded so swiftly as well as the doctors, nurses, emergency room and hospital staff who have cared for Rep. Womble. They have been extraordinary to him and to us.” — KTB