High Profile NYC Wrongful Conviction Case Has Parallels With John Robert Hayes’ Case

“Under the rules of ethics, prosecutors only have one mission, which is to do justice. They represent the people of the state of New York. The people of the state of New York win when the right man is convicted, and they win when the wrong man is released or acquitted.”                 – Jonathan Edelstein, Steven Odiase’s attorney, Democracy Now, 4/19/2017

 

Monday, Steven Odiase was released from jail after serving six years for a crime that he didn’t commit. He has consistently maintained his innocent.

Winston-Salem City Council Refuses To Support Undocumented Immigrants

It looked like last night’s Winston-Salem City Council meeting would finally see Council Member Dan Besse’s Welcoming City resolution come to a vote. But that wasn’t the case. In a surprise move, Besse removed his resolution from the city council’s agenda without any opposition or debate. Besse stated that he wasn’t giving up on his Welcoming City resolution. Rather, he was working on a compromise that the city council could endorse.

Will Ziggy’s Ever Reopen?

It was two years ago today that Snoop Dogg came to Winston. It was the crowning achievement of Ziggy’s reopening in Downtown Winston. Thousands of fans gathered to see a member of hip-hop royalty perform on an outdoor stage that Ziggy’s built for the show. It was a bold attempt to put Ziggy’s back on the map. It certainly created a buzz for Winston’s largest live music venue.

City Won’t Add Additional Needle Exchange Regulations-For Now

Monday afternoon, the Public Safety Committee of the Winston-Salem City Council failed to pass a resolution restricting the location of needle exchanges in Winston. The North Carolina General Assembly legalized needle exchanges last year. But the General Assembly prohibited needle exchanges operating in North Carolina from receiving any government funding. Thus needle exchanges like Twin City Harm Reduction Collective don’t have the funding to operate in a commercial areas. Council Member John Larson has been pushing for the city to adopt zoning regulations that could push the city’s only needle exchange program out of its location at Green Street Methodist and potentially out of existence.

The Winston-Salem Journal’s Coverage of Kalvin Michael Smith Is Cockamamie

The Winston-Salem Journal is in a tough spot. Our community’s newspaper of record announced layoffs earlier this month. The Journal has been cutting staff and reducing the amount of content it offers for years. WFDD argues that the Journal and other newspapers are continuing to adjust to digitization. Pre-internet the newspaper was king, today’s information age has newspapers scrambling to re-invent themselves.

After Ignoring Smith’s Supporters For Years, Roy Cooper Ignores The LGBTQ Community

It’s Holy Week, the most important week of the year in the Christian calendar. Even if you don’t believe in the Easter narrative, it’s still a moving story of suffering, injustice and redemption, that should move us from inaction to action. Last year this time the North Carolina NAACP went to our state’s capital to personally appeal to then Attorney General Roy Cooper, and then Governor Pat McCrory to reconsider the wrongful convictions of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith. This Holy Week I have decided to write a series of articles highlighting the injustice that Kalvin Michael Smith suffered at the hands of the WSPD and Forsyth County D.A.’s Office. For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about the so-called repeal of HB2 and Kalvin Michael Smith.

Needle Exchanges: Approved By NCGA, But Scrutinized By W-S City Council?

If you haven’t read much about Winston’s needle exchange collective, now is a good time to catch-up on the subject. Perhaps your ignorance is attributable to the Winston-Salem Journal’s failure to adequately cover the topic. While our local paper of record has snoozed, Triad City Beat has given Winston’s needle exchange extensive coverage. On March 1, Jonathan Michel wrote an in-depth article on The Twin City Harm Reduction Collective, a needle exchange program founded by Colin Miller and Erica Mishoe. TCB’s Jordan Green has written two follow-up pieces (1+2) on the Public Safety Committee’s suggestion at Monday’s meeting, that the location of needle exchanges should be regulated by the city.

Indivisible Town Hall Loves Muslims, Hates Putin And Embraces The ACA

Last Thursday, Indivisible Piedmont N.C. organized at town hall meeting at Green Street Methodist. For an organization that formed just a couple of months ago, it was a very well ran event. Attendance was good, speakers were competent. Green Street’s sanctuary was two-thirds full. But, Indivisible Piedmont’s focus was completely misplaced.

Kickin’ Butts At The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds

As you may or may not know, March 15th is Kick Butts Day. If you live in Winston, but weren’t at the Winston-Salem Fairground’s Education Building today then you probably have never heard about Kick Butts Day. Kick Butts Day is a national,youth-centered anti-smoking initiative promoted by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. It’s basically a youth version of the Great American Smokeout. But Kick Butts Day’s aim is to keep young people from ever starting to smoke in the first place.

Tom Keith’s New Appointment Invites Renewed Scrutiny

Former Forsyth County D.A. Tom Keith has been named acting Rockingham County District Attorney by Governor Roy Cooper. Rockingham County’s elected D.A., Craig Blitzer is currently under investigation by the SBI. It appears that Blitzer and another D.A. hired their wives for work that they didn’t actually perform. Tom Keith told the Journal that he will serve as long as he’s needed, perhaps until the people of Rockingham County elect a new district attorney in November, 2018. The Winston-Salem Journal reported that Keith, expressed a willingness to adapt his style to suit a county more rural and less urban than Forsyth County.