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Kernersville woman shot, killed
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TRIAD — A young woman from Kernersville was shot and killed this past weekend in an eastern Wilkes County neighborhood, and a man from Elkin has been arrested.

Stephanie Nicole Hatton, 25, was killed about 4:30 a.m. Sunday at a house northwest of Elkin in the eastern end of Wilkes County, the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office said.

Donald Ray Lassiter, 36, was found Monday morning in Ronda, which is south of where the shooting took place, and charged with murder.

Lassiter’s address is listed in records as the residence on Greenhorn Road where the shooting happened, the Wilkes Journal-Patriot reported.

The sheriff’s office didn’t release any other information Monday, including a motive for the shooting and what the relationship between Hatton and Lassiter was.

The State Bureau of Investigations assisted in the investigation.

Council resumes in-person meetings
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HIGH POINT — The City Council declared Monday that its meetings are back to pre-coronavirus pandemic procedures, with one added feature.

Audio streaming of regular council and committee meetings will continue, but members will no longer vote remotely, as was allowed during the pandemic.

The city began providing public online access to meetings after in-person attendance was barred last year because of COVID-19. Council members said they want the service to continue as a matter of transparency and convenience for the public.

“I’ve heard from many of my constituents who have a new level of engagement with the city because they were able to listen in,” said Councilman Michael Holmes.

A formal vote to approve the streaming policy was set for Aug. 2.

With the COVID-19 state of emergency set to expire July 30, the city will no longer have legal authority to allow remote voting by council members, so this practice will not continue at future meetings.

Also Monday, the council sought to advance the proposed Washington Street cultural arts center by directing staff to undertake title searches and other legal research associated with the city-owned site where advocates want to build the project.

City attorneys will also look into possible performance benchmarks for ultimately donating the land, similar to an incentives agreement for businesses.

Local filmmaker, businesswoman and community historian Phyllis Bridges wants the city to donate 8 acres along Washington Street at the University Parkway bridge for a $32 million arts center.

In other matters, the council granted Elliott Sidewalk Communities a three-month extension for completion of 275 North Elm, a building under construction next to Truist Point stadium that will house a food hall and offices.

The developer must now obtain a certificate of occupancy for the building by Oct. 31 instead of July 31.

It also added Forward High Point’s “Rock the Point” series of downtown concerts to the list of city-sponsored events, which makes them eligible for free “in-kind services,” such as police assistance and traffic control.

pkimbrough@hpenews.com | 336-888-3531

Local coffee entrepreneur to be featured on TV show
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HIGH POINT — Claudia Shivers admits she doesn’t watch a lot of television, especially on Saturday mornings, but she’ll be watching this Saturday.

And drinking coffee.

The 46-year-old High Point woman — owner of the Queen Coffee Bean online coffee company — will be featured on the ABC program “Free Enterprise,” which tells the inspiring stories of former inmates who have started their own businesses after getting released from prison. The 30-minute show will air at 11 a.m. Saturday.

“It was so much fun, a dream come true,” Shivers says.

“You should never go to prison, but if you do, to come home and get followed around by a TV crew because you started your own business is definitely the way to come home. It’s less than a year later (since her release from prison), and I never had time to think about all the negative things associated with being in prison. This was super-fun.”

Shivers launched Queen Coffee Bean in late 2020. After her release last summer from prison — where she had served 10½ months for conspiracy to commit tax fraud — she enrolled in a free eight-week course called “Inmates To Entrepreneurs,” which helped her get her new coffee business off the ground.

This year, when program founder Brian Hamilton decided to feature some of his success stories on the new show “Free Enterprise,” he chose Shivers for one of the episodes.

Her episode originally aired April 15, and Shivers and her family held a “watch party” for the broadcast.

“It was like an out-of-body experience, but not in a creepy way,” Shivers recalls. “You go through all these hard things, and then all of a sudden you’re watching yourself on TV. It’s pretty surreal.”

Saturday’s show will feature clips from the original episode, plus additional commentary from Shivers and Hamilton as they discuss the show.

Meanwhile, good things continue to happen for Shivers and Queen Coffee Bean (queencoffeebean.com) as the business grows. She’s no longer roasting coffee out of her home, for example, having purchased a commercial roaster and moved into a shared warehouse space to fill orders.

Now, she’s on the verge of outgrowing the warehouse space, too.

“Now I need a place for people to come sit and enjoy the coffee, just to hang out for a little bit,” Shivers says. “That’s the next step.”

jtomlin@hpenews.com | 336-888-3579

Calls about gunshots prompt large response
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HIGH POINT — Calls from the public led police to believe there might be a mass shooting episode going on Sunday night, but after officers arrived they realized there had been just one gun and only two cars were damaged, police said.

High Point Communications received several calls shortly after 10 p.m. about shots fired in the parking lot of the Palladium Cinemas on Samet Drive.

“Initial reports from citizens described this incident as an active shooter situation,” the High Point Police Department said in a press release.

This report initiated a large joint law enforcement response from High Point, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and Greensboro Police Department, “but once the officers arrived on scene it was quickly determined that this had not been an active shooter,” the press release said.

It was determined that a firearm had been discharged and damaged two vehicles in the parking lot.

Police searched the area but found no one who was injured.

Businesses within the complex went into lockdown and law enforcement restricted access to the area for approximately 30 minutes until it was deemed safe to reopen.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting were still being investigated and suspect information was still being developed Monday morning.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact the High Point Police Departments Crime Stoppers program at 336-889-4000.