Four NC Cities Make WalletHub’s Most ‘Driver-Friendly’ List

Daily rush-hour commuters may be surprised to learn they’re living in one of the top 10 driver-friendly cities – but four North Carolina cities have earned that honor.

The personal finance website WalletHub just released a list called “2015’s Best and Worst Cities to Be a Driver,” and Greensboro is the top-rated North Carolina city, at number four.

Durham is rated at number four among U.S. cities, while Winston-Salem is ranked at number nine, and Raleigh is number 10.

WalletHub’s rankings are based on average gas prices, average annual traffic delays, rates of car theft and car clubs per capita.

The number one city for driving, according to WalletHub, is Lubbock, TX.

Ranking lowest among the list of one hundred most populated cities is good old New York, NY.

http://chapelboro.com/news/national/four-nc-cities-make-wallethubs-most-driver-friendly-list/

Durham Officer Shoots Robbery Suspect in Face

Durham Police are investigating an officer-involved shooting at a McDonald’s at 3117 Tower Boulevard.

A Durham officer shot a suspect in the face after responding to a robbery in progress at the restaurant shortly before four o’clock this morning.

The suspect had his arm around a female employee’s neck, according to police. The preliminary investigation shows that the suspect repeatedly threatened to kill the employee.

The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of serious injuries but was conscious and alert, according to law enforcement.

The State Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting, per normal procedure following an officer-involved shooting.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/durham-officer-shoots-robbery-suspect-in-face/

Durham Police Search for Missing Teen

Durham law enforcement authorities are looking for 16-year-old Lucedid Apolonio, who has been missing since March 2.

The teenager was wearing a white dress, gray jacket, and sandals at Jordan High School, the last place she was seen. She also was carrying a bookbag.

Apolonio is described as 5’ 4” tall with a medium build. She has black hair and brown eyes.

If you have any information regarding her disappearance, you are asked to call Durham Police at (919) 560-4427.

http://chapelboro.com/news/safety/durham-police-search-for-missing-teen/

Durham Man Charged in Fatal 3-Car Crash

A Durham man has been charged with DWI and driving with while his license was revoked in connection with a fatal crash.

The three-vehicle accident occurred on Fayetteville Road near Cook Road just before 8 o’clock Wednesday night.

41-year-old Daryl Brooks has been charged in the incident where he allegedly hit the back of 53-year-old Kelwin Biggs’ vehicle, causing that to then collide with an oncoming car.

Biggs was pronounced dead at the scene by authorities. Brooks, along with the driver and passenger from the third vehicle were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries that do not appear to be life threatening.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/durham-man-charged-in-fatal-3-car-crash/

Durham DA to Seek Death Penalty Against Hicks

The Durham County District Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty against 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, WCHL has confirmed.

Hicks is accused of shooting and killing three Muslim college students – 23-year-old Deah Barakat, his 21-year-old wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha – on February 10 in the Finley Forest Condominiums in Chapel Hill.

Candy Clark, Administrative Assistant with the Durham County DA’s Office, says the notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Hicks was filed February 25. She adds the Rule 24 hearing will likely be held the week of April 6.

Preliminary investigations from Chapel Hill Police point to an ongoing parking dispute as the motive of the shooting.

There is some belief that the shooting was motivated by religious tensions between Hicks and the three students.

The FBI has opened a parallel inquiry into the incident to determine if the shooting was a hate crime.

No inmates have been executed in the state of North Carolina since August of 2008.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/durham-da-to-seek-death-penalty-against-hicks/

Shots Fired at Durham PD Vehicle

Shots were fired at a Durham police investigator around noon on Wednesday, and CrimeStoppers is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest in the incident.

Police say an investigator was driving an unmarked police vehicle on South Street when numerous shots were fired from a car on Bond Street. One bullet struck the officer’s car, but the officer was not injured.

Investigators believe the shots were fired from an older model gray sedan with tinted windows. The vehicle was possibly a Nissan. The vehicle was occupied by two black males wearing blue and black jackets. Investigators believe both occupants fired shots during the incident.

It appears that the unmarked car was deliberately targeted, according to investigators.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator K. Emanuel at (919) 560-4415, ext. 29306 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/shots-fired-durham-pd-vehicle/

Carrboro PD Arrest Man Charged with Murder

The Carrboro Police Department arrested a man, on Tuesday, who is wanted in connection with a death in Durham.

The Durham Police Department announced the arrest of 30-year-old Andrew Koko Scheper, by the Carrboro PD. Scheper is wanted in connection with the death of 38-year-old Trinity James Wilkins, also known as Trinity Smith.

Wilkins’ body was found on January 19 in a body of water near East Club Boulevard in Durham.

Wilkins and Scheper knew each other and the homicide did not appear to be random, according to investigators.

Scheper, of Durham, has been charged with one count of murder.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/carrboro-pd-arrest-man-charged-murder/

Durham Police Invesitgating Bank Robbery

Durham police are investigating a bank robbery from late Tuesday morning. Officials say a male entered the BB&T at 1107 NC Highway 54 shortly before 11 o’clock and demanded money.

The robber implied he had a weapon, but one was not seen. The suspect fled with cash and no injuries were reported.

Durham police described the suspect as a white male, approximately 40 years old, 5’ 11” tall, with a thin build. He was described as having light-colored hair and scruffy facial hair. The suspect was wearing a thin black headband, a black coat, and yellow tinted glasses.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator S. Wheeler at (919) 560-4583, ext. 29370 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

http://chapelboro.com/news/crime/durham-police-invesitgating-bank-robbery/

Friday’s Homicide Investigation Continues

Story originally posted 2:02 p.m., June 2, 2014

Questions remain in Friday’s homicide in Southeast Chapel Hill as the investigation rolls on.

Chapel Hill Police Public Information Lt. Josh Mecimore confirmed Monday afternoon that no new information was available. When the first reports came in of the shooting, a few details were reported that are still unclear. The incident was initially reported as a break-in, but Lt. Mecimore said neither the victim nor the suspect were residents of the home where it took place at 102 S. Christopher Road. He said the dispatcher might have first used that description when there was little information.

South Christopher Road runs parallel to 15-501, Fordham Boulevard, and the home is next to the onramp from NC-54.

Lew Hahn Hood, 33, of Chapel Hill was pronounced dead at the scene on Friday afternoon, after police officers responded to a report of a shooting. Police say Hood had multiple gunshot wounds.

Bartholomew Romidas Scott, 35, of Durham was arrested and charged with first degree murder. He’s being held without bond in Orange County Jail, and had his first appearance in court Monday.

The Chapel Hill News reports that Scott’s attorney, Matt Suczynski, told the court Monday that it was Scott who called 911 to summon police to the scene. While the investigation is ongoing, Orange and Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall said police believe, “at this time”, Scott is responsible for killing Hood.

Woodall also said police are trying to figure out if anyone else was involved.

Alert Carolina reported Friday that there were two black male suspects. UNC Department of Public Safety spokesperson, Randy Young said that was the early report released by Chapel Hill Police, that two black males were involved. Lt. Mecimore said Chapel Hill Police were not looking for a second suspect.

A June 12 probable cause hearing is now scheduled for Scott to determine whether police have enough evidence to hold him on the murder charge.

http://chapelboro.com/news/unc/fridays-homicide-investigation-continues/

Fiber Internet In 2014?

Your days of waiting for videos to buffer or uploading attachments may be over soon as competition is growing for which data provider is going to offer internet speeds up to 100 times faster than your current provider.

AT&T announced Thursday that it would join Google and Time Warner Cable in providing cities in the Triangle and Winston-Salem one-gigabit speeds through their fiber-optic internet services.

“AT&T already has a large fiber footprint in the region—that’s one of the reasons it made it such an attractive partner,” says Marc Hoit, the Vice Chancellor for Information Technology at N.C. State and a spokesperson for the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN). “With that, they have the ability to jump start and do things faster. We’re hoping some of those connections start before the end of this year.”

The towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro along with UNC agreed in January of last year to join four other municipalities and three other major universities to ratify NCNGN. According to its website, NCNGN is a “regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation broadband networks in North Carolina.” It’s also comprised of Durham, Cary, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; Duke and Wake Forest round out the group.

gizmodo_internet_speeds

Courtesy of Gizmodo

According to Gizmodo, a design and technology blog, the Triangle averages internet speeds between 10.9 and 14.6 megabits per second. The ultra-high-speed internet option of one-gigabit per second would be 70-100 times greater than those averages.

“If you think of how long it takes to download a movie or if you’re doing education content with the university and doing streaming, some of the things that you want to do with offsite stuff like Google Apps and Documents and Microsoft SkyDrive and download music and your save your music up in the cloud, if you have a one gig file and you’re up at a gig, it takes a second,” Hoit says.

Hoit says NCNGN sees ultra-high-speed internet changing the world of medicine.

“We’re hoping to see things like medical diagnostics live, hi-resolution video used for medical services or for other types of services that you can do diagnostics and use that high-speed stream,” Hoit says.

Another positive aspect of fiber-optic internet is downloading and uploading speeds are the same. With Google fiber or AT&T U-verse with GigaPower, you could receive or send files big and small in almost no time. For example, you could download a full-length, high-definition movie in about 30 seconds.

“The symmetric version is really important from our standpoint, because as you want to work with all these new services that people are doing and putting your music in the cloud; if somebody’s in a studio and creating music and then wants to put it up and to be served somewhere else, you need that upload speed just as much,” Hoit says.

Google offered its first fiber-optic internet service in Kansas City, Missouri in 2012. It later expanded to Provo, Utah and Austin, Texas. In mid-February, the internet giant announced it was considering Triangle cities as places to expand the ultra-high-speed option.

Time Warner Cable said last year that it plans to extend the next level of service sometime in the near future.

Of course, the prices for these ultra-high speed options could be higher. Google fiber in Kansas City is selling its product at $70 per month for internet alone. It is, however, currently waiving its $300 construction fee to customers who sign up.

“Our expectation is to be priced similar to what you’re seeing in Kansas City and in Austin,” Hoit says. “The price depends on the costs and other things, but it should be very close to that same price.”

The next step for the municipalities and universities within NCNGN is to review the terms and agreements of the plan to continue the process.

Carrboro elected officials will likely vote in mid-May on the plan; Chapel Hill leaders have not decided on a date when they will vote on the plan. However, Hoit says the next step should be fairly seamless.

“It’s been a two, two-and-a-half year process of which the municipalities and the universities have been working together through this whole time,” Hoit says. “It will hopefully not come as a surprise. The municipal lawyers have all been involved, so there’s been a lot of collaboration that we’re hoping everything goes smoothly.”

http://chapelboro.com/news/development/fiber-internet-2014/