Tues., Feb. 4

  • Without giving the public—or council member David Cox—any warning, the RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL voted to eliminate its 19 citizen advisory councils, which have advised the city on development decisions for nearly half a century. 
  • WRAL reported that Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest’s chief of staff tried to arrange a meeting between insurance tycoon GREG LINDBERG and Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. Lindberg, later indicted for trying to bribe Causey, donated $2.4 million toward Forest’s political ambitions over the next four months. 
  • Durham Public Schools told the Board of Commissioners it needed $727 MILLION to repair its aging buildings. Saying the county didn’t have that much money, commissioners said they’d come up with a $493 million plan.

Wed., Feb. 5

  • As expected, THOM TILLIS and RICHARD BURR voted to acquit Donald Trump of abuse of office and obstruction of Congress. 
  • CNN reported that a GOP-aligned PAC had made a $1.9 million ad buy on behalf of Democratic Senate candidate ERICA SMITH, who has struggled to match frontrunner Cal Cunningham’s fundraising totals.
  • KANE REALTY submitted plans to redevelop a soon-to-close North Hills JCPenney into five mixed-use buildings of up to 12 stories.

Thurs., Feb. 6

  • Durham prosecutors dropped charges against ALEXANDER BISHOP, the teenager accused of killing his father with a dog leash two years ago, citing insufficient evidence.
  • The same day the federal government’s ban on flavored e-cig pods went into effect, DUKE UNIVERSITY announced a ban on all tobacco products on campus beginning in July.  
  • A PUBLIC POLICY POLLING survey found that Joe Biden’s lead in North Carolina was eroding, Mike Bloomberg had surged into third place, and almost no one knew who the down-ballot Democrats were. 

Fri., Feb. 7

  • SUPERINTENDENT MARK JOHNSON, who is running for lieutenant governor, called for ending Common Core standards. 
  • DURHAM POLICE CHIEF C.J. DAVIS asked the city council for more police officers—either nine to form a new gang unit or six patrol officers to support the existing gang unit.
  • Wake County staffers suggested that commissioners hold off on a SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION BOND until 2022, pointing out that Raleigh will already have parks and affordable housing bonds on the ballot.  

Sat., Feb. 8

  • Thousands gathered in downtown Raleigh for the 13th HKonJ rally and march, which this year emphasized the importance of participation and voting.
  • With a small assist from the referees, Duke defeated UNC with an OVERTIME BUZZER-BEATER.

Mon., Feb. 10

  • Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson announced that he would return all campaign contributions—$20,600—associated with Mako Medical CEO CHAD PRICE, who had inflated his resume and been appointed to the Wake Tech board in 2014. Hutchinson initially told The News & Observer that lying on a resume was no reason to boot Price from that board. Price resigned on Friday.

Contact editor in chief Jeffrey C. Billman at jbillman@indyweek.com. 

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