News Briefs

10/25/2013 12:48 PM

10/25/2013 12:01 PM

Crowder takes another leave to battle cancer

City Councilman Thomas Crowder is taking another three-month break as he continues to battle testicular cancer.

Crowder, who won another term representing Southwest Raleigh’s District D this month, was first diagnosed this spring. He returned in July but has missed a few meetings recently.

Mayor Nancy McFarlane read a statement updating his condition during last week’s council meeting.

McFarlane said Crowder has begun a second round of treatments and will be excused from meetings until January.

“His prognosis remains positive and curable,” she said. “He wishes to thank you all for your continued support.”

In an email to council members, Crowder said he’ll continue to monitor emails and city business during his treatment. He’s asked the council’s assistants to forward requests from constituents to the relevant city departments to make sure all concerns get addressed. Colin Campbell

Neighbor upset about loud church service

City leaders plan to hire a professional mediator to settle a dispute between a Glascock Street church and a next-door neighbor who says its worship services are too loud.

John Seitz lives next to the Glorious Church in the Oakwood neighborhood, and he and neighbors have repeatedly called police with noise complaints. Officers told a city council committee Tuesday that they’ve used a decibel meter and determined that the sound level violates the city’s noise ordinance. But police haven’t issued any citations.

“I’m sympathetic to the right to worship, but the main problem is stuff that’s amplified,” Seitz told council members. “All they have to do is turn down the volume and it would make a world of difference. ... This is a violation, and I don’t see how City Council members can overlook that.”

But Councilman John Odom said he’s hesitant to restrict how people worship on Sunday mornings. The City Council first took up the complaints last year and called for the two sides to meet to discuss a solution. At one point, neighborhood leaders were considering a fundraiser to soundproof the sanctuary, but that effort fizzled.

“This was very controversial at the time, very heated,” Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin said.

The full council will vote Tuesday on hiring a mediator, and police will continue to monitor noise levels during Sunday services. The council committee will review the issue again in two months. Colin Campbell

Baldwin wants to appoint former opponent

City Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin is backing her election opponent for a seat on the city’s appointed Human Relations Commission.

Jason Spriggs ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat against Baldwin and Russ Stephenson earlier this month. Spriggs is a registered Republican; Baldwin and Stephenson are Democrats.

“I did get to know him during the campaign,” Baldwin said. “He was very sincere about his interest in human rights and human relations. … He talks about having been homeless. He put himself through Wake Tech. That’s a different set of eyes and ears, and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Spriggs isn’t the only former council candidate seeking the commission seat. District B candidate Brian Fitzsimmons, who ran unsuccessfully against incumbent John Odom, has been nominated by District E Councilman Bonner Gaylord.

The Human Relations Commission – which advises the city on human rights and human services issues and recommends grant recipients – will soon review a proposal from Fitzsimmons to update the city’s nondiscrimination policy.

The council could vote on the appointment as early as Tuesday. Colin Campbell

Feds announce probe of YMCA discrimination

Federal investigators will probe allegations of discrimination by the YMCA of the Triangle over its refusal to provide emergency injections to diabetic children in its after-school programs.

The U.S. Justice Department notified the YMCA last week that it was opening an investigation into the civil rights complaint filed by the Raleigh father of a child with diabetes. Bruce Hatcher contends that the YMCA is violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The only shot that YMCA staff will provide are EpiPen injections for children going through anaphylactic shock. This rule excludes emergency insulin or glucagon injections that diabetic children might need.

Hatcher’s 5-year-old son goes to a school with an after-school program is operated by the YMCA. The Wake County school board had rejected Hatcher’s transfer request for a school near a program that is prepared to provide emergency injections.

Jennifer Nelson, a YMCA spokeswoman, said Monday the group had received a letter from the Department of Justice regarding the complaint and will respond in a timely manner.

Nelson has previously said the YMCA is reviewing how it meets the emergency medical issues of children with Type 1 diabetes. From staff reports

City to observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11

The city of Raleigh’s administrative offices will be closed Monday, Nov. 11, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday. Emergency police, fire and rescue services may be reached by calling 911.

Because no collections are scheduled on Mondays, the regular schedule for garbage, recycling and yard waste will not be affected by the holiday. These items will be picked up as normal the rest of the week. The city’s Yard Waste Center will be closed on Veterans Day but will operate on a regular schedule the remainder of the week.

Capital Area Transit and Triangle Transit will operate normal schedules on Veterans Day. From staff reports

Traffic-calming projects head for public hearing

During its Oct. 1 meeting the Raleigh City Council authorized the Public Works Department to seek public input on the design aspects of seven traffic-calming projects scheduled for completion in the spring. The council will receive public input during its Nov. 5 meeting. Each project is included in the project list approved by the council in September 2012.

The streets involved are:

• Delany Drive from Milburnie Road to Glascock Street;
• Carlton Drive from Fox Road to Bentley Circle;
• North King Charles Road – south, from the traffic circle to Milburnie Road;
• Cardinal Grove Boulevard – north, from the Cardinal Grove Home Owners Association to Kyle Drive;
• Cranbrook Road from Shelley Road to Six Forks Road;
• Bennett Street from Glascock Street to Dennis Avenue; and,
• Whitehall Avenue from Brockton Drive to East Millbrook Road.

The process set forth in the city’s Neighborhood Traffic Management Program has been completed for each street. The process includes: submission of a petition of support signed by the owners of at least 75 percent of the properties listed, a public workshop, a preliminary design review and comment period, and a second public workshop during which the final changes are adopted. From staff reports

Groups, governments work to preserve lake

Nonprofits and local governments have teamed up to preserve 214 undeveloped acres in southern Granville County that drain into Falls Lake, Wake County’s largest source of drinking water.

Tar River Land Conservancy will keep the land largely as is, with plans for hiking and biking trails. The land, once part of the estate of the late Ann Summers Jordan, will be managed “to safeguard drinking water” for the half-million people in Wake County who get their water from Falls Lake, according to the group.

Tar River Land Conservancy made the purchase in September with funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the cities of Raleigh and Creedmoor, and Granville County. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina will hold a conservation easement preventing development of the land.

The land conservancy announced the purchase Monday but did not disclose the price.

The wooded, steeply sloped land runs for a mile along Ledge Creek and a half-mile along Holman Creek, roughly 30 miles north of Raleigh. From staff reports

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