Consultant: City police problems ‘decades’ in the making

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The California-based Matrix was hired for $47,500 in November to assess problems and recommend changes after an eruption of morale and administrative issues. The report was sent out to department employees with an e-mailed message from City Manager Gary Jackson encouraging police staff to read it. Jackson made a point of praising employees. “It took years, even decades for such an organizational culture to develop in the Asheville Police Department,” the assessment said. “Addressing these perceptions will take time to address. However, with an new interim police chief and a permanent police chief later in the year, the opportunity to address these issues is here.”

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Construction ‘wrap’ violates Asheville sign rules

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The material wrapped around one of downtown’s biggest ongoing construction projects is against the law. More exactly, it’s the stuff printed on the construction wrap that violates Asheville sign rules. City staff have found pictures and words on the wrap around the City Centre construction fence use more space than two 32-square-foot signs, the amount currently allowed by city rules. Rusty Pulliam, a developer of the $45 million project at the intersection of South Charlotte, College and Valley streets, declined to comment Tuesday on the issue. But city development services director Shannon Tuch said project planners had used up a grace period and would now be fined $100 a day.

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Pistol permits could be eliminated in North Carolina

(Fox 8 News)  Pistols permits could be eliminated altogether in North Carolina. This is thanks to a House Bill 562, which would amend multiple firearm laws. However, one portion of it would do away with certain general statutes; those which apply to pistol permits. “I really don’t think the people that sponsor this legislation have a lot of ill intent, I think the problem is that they don’t really understand the significance of what it is they’re trying to do,” said Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson. “The problem with that is that, the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check) system doesn’t include local assaults, including domestic assaults, which are an automatic disqualifier,” Atkinson said. The NICS system is that which is used by store owners to do background checks on potential buyers. Atkinson and several other sheriffs also argued that they know things on the local level that store owners would not be privy to.

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Which woman should replace Andrew Jackson on $20 bill?

(USA Today) A growing movement of Americans wants to replaceAndrew Jackson on the $20 bill with the face of a woman. Now a group of students is joining the “Woman on 20s” campaign after their class project turned into a passion. “I have been assigned Rosa Parks,” said fifth grader Mielka Nziengui Boussengui. “She refused to give up her seat for someone when she already knew they were all equal.” The fifth graders at John Rogers Elementary are putting their two cents in on a national movement called the “Woman on 20s” Campaign, which proposes one of 16 worthy female candidates to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

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Ringling Bros. eliminating elephant acts

(Associated Press) Executives from Feld Entertainment, Ringling’s parent company, said the decision to end the circus’s century-old tradition of showcasing elephants was difficult and debated at length. Elephants have often been featured on Ringling’s posters over the decades. One of the reasons for the decision, company President Kenneth Feld said, was that certain cities and counties have passed “anti-circus” and “anti-elephant” ordinances. The company’s three shows visit 115 cities throughout the year, and Feld said it’s expensive to fight legislation in each jurisdiction. It’s also difficult to plan tours amid constantly changing regulations, he said.

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