by Keith T. Barber and Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Winston-Salem school board member to run for Congress Winston-Salem/Forsyth County school board member Elisabeth Motsinger launched a Facebook page on Monday declaring her intention to run for Congress. Motsinger, a Democrat, will run for the 5th District seat currently held by Virginia Foxx.

Motsinger filed with the Federal Elections Commission last week to be in compliance with federal law regarding fundraising and reporting campaign contributions, said Carissa Joines, Motsinger’s campaign manager.

“That allows her to begin fundraising so that she can launch a full campaign when she officially files in February,” Joines added.

Motsinger will hold an official press conference to announce her candidacy on Jan. 17. The campaign will release the details of the press conference sometime this week. Motsinger has set up a placeholder campaign website and an account with Act Blue, a PAC that helps Democratic candidates raise money online. Joines said Motsinger’s new and improved campaign website will launch Jan. 17, the day of her official announcement. Motsinger, a physician’s assistant, has served on the school board since 2006. — KTB

Winston-Salem Police Chief: Driver in crash was impaired

Winston-Salem Police Chief Scott Cunningham said during a press conference last week that toxicology test results reveal that David Allen Carmichael, the man who died after colliding head on with a vehicle driven by NC Rep. Larry Womble on Dec. 2, had a blood alcohol level of .29, well above the legal limit of .08. Rep. Larry Womble’s blood alcohol level was .00, Cunningham said. The Winston-Salem Police Department has turned over the results to the Forsyth County District Attorney’s office and the investigation into why the crash occurred is ongoing. Womble survived the accident and remains in serious condition at Baptist Hospital.

“We have yet to be able to speak to Mr. Womble due to his medical condition,” Cunningham said. “We are pleased that he is showing improvement in his condition and hopefully in some near future time we will be able to have a conversation with him about what happened in the crash.”

The test results don’t answer the big question, which is why the accident occurred, Cunningham said.

The police investigation has determined that Womble’s vehicle was traveling east on Reynolds Park Road around 11 p.m. on Dec. 2 and collided with Carmichael’s vehicle.

Womble was not wearing his seatbelt when the accident occurred. — KTB

Plans to ramp up sidewalk construction in Greensboro

Characterizing it as “a more aggressive sidewalk implementation program,” Greensboro Transportation Director Adam Fischer said the city plans to construct more than 100 miles of sidewalks over the next decade, increasing the city’s inventory by 25 percent. Fischer said in a recent memo to interim City Manager Denise Turner Roth that local transportation officials and the NC Department of Transportation have identified $13.6 million in federal funds that will likely be available through 2014 as a match to $3.3 million in local transportation bond funds approved by voters in 2008. Fischer said the federal government has tentatively “programmed” $8.8 million that could be spent on Greensboro sidewalks from 2015 to 2018, matched to $2.4 million in local bond funds.

The city uses three different criteria to decide where to lay new sidewalk. Since the adoption of the BiPed Plan in 2006, the city has begun to prioritize sidewalk projects based on a range of factors, including pedestrian safety, enhancing transit connections and connecting people to destinations such as shopping school, work and higher density housing. Sidewalks are added on either side whenever roadway enhancement or widening takes place. And the city offers a sidewalk petition program for neighborhood streets based on the approval of at least 51 percent of affected property owners. The city has identified 87 miles of sidewalk projects through the BiPed Plan, 33 miles through future roadway enhancement and widening projects, and three miles through the neighborhood petition program. — JG