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Paige removed from reparations board

HIGH POINT — The City Council on Monday unanimously approved a request to remove Dawn Paige from the One High Point Commission.

The action, which came without the vote of Councilman Victor Jones, who was absent, was based on a recommendation from the selection committee that appointed the commissioners in May.

That group met Monday afternoon to hear a request from representatives of the High Point NAACP branch that Paige be removed because of “a pattern of behavior that did not accurately represent the commission and prevented the work of the commission from being done efficiently,” said city Managing Director Jeron Hollis.

Paige has been a controversial figure on the commission, which is studying slavery reparations for Black residents.

She was arrested for disrupting a council meeting last month and has been a strong critic of commission Chairman Joe Alston and of the overall direction and pace of the group’s work.

She said Monday night that she’s proud of the work she did on the commission, in particular her research into lineage-based reparations, and was not surprised by council’s action to remove her because of her clashes with city and NAACP representatives.

“I think it’s indicative of the lack of integrity in the process,” Paige said. “My conscience is clear. I feel like I have done nothing but my duty since I arrived, because of my love for my community and wanting to see them finally have an opportunity not only to have their story told and acknowledged, but to reverse policies that have been put in place by the city and state with restorative policies to repair Black Americans.”

The selection committee, made up of Hollis, Councilman Wesley Hudson, city Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Jelani Biggs and Bernita Sims, Elma Hairston and Brad Lilley representing the NAACP branch, voted unanimously to recommend Paige’s removal.

Hollis said Sims made the case to the selection committee for Paige’s removal. He said the reparations board is structured in such a way that its members serve at the pleasure of the council, which doesn’t have to give a reason for removing a member.

He said public incidents like Paige’s arrest were cited by the NAACP.

“There were also concerns brought up about other interactions this commissioner had within the community,” Hollis said. “With any commission, you’re not going to have unanimous opinions on everything. But when an individual can disrupt the effectiveness, the morale, the reputation of the group, the consensus of the stakeholders was, this was the best course of action.”

The council approved Brenda Deets to take Paige’s place on the commission.

Also Monday, the council unanimously approved a request from High Point University to rezone an area where it has recently expanded its campus.

The change makes the former Sechrest Funeral Home parcel, which HPU acquired last year for academic programs and parking, part of a 10.7-acre area north of E. Lexington Avenue between N. University Parkway and Meadowlawn Avenue that’s now a conditional zoning institutional district.

Most of the site serves as parking for the Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena and Conference Center across the street.

The rezoning includes conditions that require HPU to install a pedestrian connection from the parking lot through the former funeral home property, and to install a sidewalk and landscaping buffers along E. Lexington Avenue by the end of 2023.

In a separate case, the council unanimously approved a rezoning request from Shugart Homes to support a planned expansion of the Meadow Valley subdivision on 47 acres off Dilworth Road, comprising 57 single-family lots and 62 twinhomes.

Two charged in break-in, confrontation with officers
  • Updated

GUILFORD COUNTY — A Kernersville Police Department officer fired his weapon at a car driving toward another officer after a reported break-in to a business early Sunday.

Guilford County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Kernersville Police Department officers were investigating a break-in at Colfax Gun and Ammo in the 9000 block of W. Market Street that was reported about 1 a.m. when two Kernersville officers saw a vehicle parked on Ira Drive, the sheriff’s office said. The vehicle accelerated toward the officers, but after one officer fired at the vehicle, it stopped and the two men in it were arrested.

No one was injured.

Ahmodd Rasheed Brown, 21 of Greensboro was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony possession of a stolen firearm, felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and two counts of misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun. Bond was set at $500,000 secured.

Joshua Elisha King, 22, of Greensboro was charged with felony breaking and entering, felony possession of a stolen firearm, felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and two counts of misdemeanor carrying a concealed gun. King was being held with no bond allowed.

NC flu cases among highest in US
  • Updated

Cases of the flu throughout North Carolina have increased by more than 1,800% over the past month.

Early October saw as few as 148 positive cases of influenza, but November numbers which currently show more than 2,920 cases, DHHS said in a prepared statement.

“In North Carolina, flu infections are most common from late fall to early spring with activity usually peaking in January or February. However, we are experiencing increased levels of influenza this year compared to the same time in recent previous years,” the statement said.

The spike in North Carolina is similar to trends observed throughout the country, DHHS said.

Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that North Carolina joins surrounding states Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia in experiencing the highest rates of influenza-like illness on the agency’s scale.

DHHS said hospitals around the state are experiencing “strain” but did not disclose on how many flu-related hospitalizations have been reported.

Within the past month, 12 adult deaths and one pediatric death have been reported in connection to influenza, according to DHHS. Eight of the adult deaths were in patients over 65 and four were aged 50 to 64. The one pediatric death was a child in the 5 to 17 age group.

Data from the DHHS also shows that the percentage of emergency department visits related to influenza-like illness is up more than 6.3% this year. Historically, that figure usually lands around 1% or 1.5%.

To help combat the spike in cases, DHHS is urging residents to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

“Those at high risk for serious flu complications include older people, young children, people with certain health conditions or compromised immune systems,” the agency stated. “The best defense against serious illness from flu is the annual vaccine, available for everyone six months and older.”

According to the agency, vaccines can reduce the risk of death by nearly half in pediatric subjects with high-risk conditions. For healthy children, that risk is reduced by nearly two-thirds.

Symptoms are also made much milder for those who are vaccinated, DHHS said.


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