Krispy Kreme Names New CEO

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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., based out of Winston-Salem, will have a new president and CEO.
Anthony N. Thompson will begin his new role as the company’s CEO beginning on June 1. Thompson is replacing James H. Morgan, but Morgan will still stay with the company as executive chairman.
Morgan, 66, was appointed Krispy Kreme’s CEO in 2008.
Anthony “Tony” Thompson, 47, was most recently the president and chief operating officer of Papa John’s International Inc.
Thompson, a native of Baltimore, received his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Louisiana State University in 1995. After receiving his degree, he began climbing ladders in the business world.

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Thompson began working for Papa John’s International Inc. in 2006. Before he became the company’s chief operating officer, Thompson held various positions for the company, each one increasing his responsibility.
Thompson was also president of PJ’s Food Service Inc., and he has had leadership roles at other well-known companies such as Coca-Cola and Scott’s Miracle-Gro.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts’ revenue has been on the rise as of late thanks, in part, to the addition of their beverage menu. According to a recent report, their fiscal fourth quarter profit more than tripled.

Winston-Salem Water and Sewer Bills Will Increase

According to a recent press release by the Winston-Salem Utility Commission, an increase in water and sewer rates, utility service base charges and disposal rates at yard waste facilities have been approved.

The increase will be effective as of October 1.

Water rates will be increased by 4.5 percent and sewer rates will be increased by 6.7 percent. The monthly base charges for water and sewer service will increase by $1.24.

The average household in Winston-Salem uses 4,500 gallons of water per month, which equals a bill of roughly $36.48. The increase in water and sewer rates will equal a monthly bill of about $39.44-a $2.96 increase per household.

Even with the increase, residents in Winston-Salem will still be paying less for their water and sewer bill than residents of other larger cities.

The average rate for a household in Greensboro that uses 4,500 gallons of water per month is currently $56.90. The average in Durham is $51.44, and the average in Charlotte is $49.66.

According to Winston-Salem Utilities Director, Ron Hargrove, the increase is necessary to cover the cost of improvements in maintaining the utilities system.

“This rate increase is driven by our need to generate sufficient revenues to fund all operating expenses and debt service coverage. Increasing rates to our customers is never an easy decision; yet, it is a decision that is required to provide a long-term, safe, reliable and environmentally sound water and sewer system,” Hargrove said via press release.

Winston-Salem Introduces New Notification System

The Winston-Salem Police Department has installed a new notification system that allows residents to receive both emergency and non-emergency notifications via text, email or voicemail.

Residents are encouraged to visit CityofWS.org and click on the “Citizen Notification” link on the site. The new system requires that citizens give their address so that notifications can be sent based on where an individual resides.

Once an address is given, a map will appear on the screen that will require the individual to verify that the address that they gave is correct.

Winston-Salem’s previous system, Reverse911, was only able to reach citizens via landline telephones. This system, which allows citizens to register up to four telephone numbers, is able to send texts, emails or voicemails based on the individual preference. It also gives citizens the option to receive notifications about special meetings, notices, news and reminders when garbage collection is postponed by a holiday or disrupted by a winter storm.

“Emergency notifications provide an important means of alerting citizens of missing persons, criminal activity or hazardous conditions, such as flooding, fires, a chemical spill or a water main break in their neighborhoods,” Conley said. “As more and more citizens give up their landlines, finding a way to reach people who only have cellphones has become an important public safety issue. The new system gives us that ability and more – but we need our citizens to register.” (via press release)

Once registered, citizens can change notification preference or address at any time.

“We have structured this so citizens have control over their information and how it is used,” Conley said. “We urge everyone in Winston-Salem to sign up for the Citizen Notification System.”

Forsyth County Commissioner’s Forum

On Tuesday evening, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce held the 2014 Candidate Forum downtown. Four of the five candidates running for seats in the Forsyth County Commissioner’s race attended the forum.

District A Candidates
Current Commissioner Everette Witherspoon and opposing candidate Donald Scales attended the forum to speak to the public about the issues that were most important to them. Commissioner Walter Marshall, the third candidate running District A, did not attend.
Scales, a lifelong resident of Forsyth County, admits that he doesn’t have as much political experience as his opposition, but he is passionate about Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Scales pointed out that he is an active volunteer in the community, and he thinks he is the best candidate because he is committed to the people.
“I am committed to listening, and I am committed to studying,” Scales said.
Scales believes that Forsyth County’s biggest issues that need to be addressed are property taxes and affordable homes.
“If we can bring more people in, we will see things like more revenue,” Scales said.
Scales also mentioned that he believes in collaboration and conversing with the people.
“More people should get involved,” Scales said. “More people means bringing more ideas.”
Commissioner Witherspoon believes that the future of Forsyth County relies on job creation, education and health care. Unlike Scales, Witherspoon doesn’t believe that taxes trump everything else.
“Having the lowest tax rate doesn’t necessarily mean having the lowest poverty or unemployment rate,” Witherspoon said.
Witherspoon openly named himself a liberal, and said that the Board of Commissioners is currently too conservative with money.
“We are very conservative right now,” Witherspoon said. “We have to invest.”
Some of the investments that Witherspoon mentioned have to do with the education system. He pointed out that when businesses look to branch out to different parts of the country, they will look at the area’s education system as one of the deciding factors. Witherspoon then mentioned that perhaps developing an early college or a middle college would be a wise investment for the county.
Witherspoon also said that he was an advocate of the Nurse-Family Partnership due to the high infant mortality rate in Forsyth County.
“I am a fighter,” Witherspoon said.
Both candidates believe that more funding should be given to the Sheriff’s Department, but when asked if the Sheriff’s Department and the Winston-Salem Police Department should join forces, they slightly disagreed.
Scales, an advocate of collaborative efforts, thinks that it could be a good idea. Witherspoon said he wasn’t sure of how efficient that would be.

District B Candidates
“This is a job interview,” Commissioner Mark Baker said.
Commissioner Baker believes that the top priority should be making Forsyth County a “business-friendly county.”
His approach to helping businesses is to make sure that the government isn’t in their way.
“We have to ask ourselves ‘what is the ultimate goal of the government in business?’”, Baker said. “And then we have to ask what the County is doing to get in their way.”
While Baker believes in a more “hands-off” approach, opposing candidate and former superintendent of the Forsyth County School System, Don Martin, thinks it is important for the government to invest in business.
Martin believes that more money should be invested into programs such as Winston-Salem Business Inc. so that new businesses will be more inclined to choose Forsyth County as a home.
“We should use incentives while we have to,” Martin said.
While Martin is more interested in bringing new business into Forsyth County, Baker is more interested in doing more with the businesses that already occupy the county.
Both men have been important figures in the Forsyth County Education system for many years, so it is no surprise that they are passionate about education. During their time in the school system, they both say that they have learned to “ask good questions.”
Martin was quick to point out that the schools need efficient technology. Currently only 22 schools in the county are equipped with the right technology, and 58 schools are lacking the right technology.
When the issue of timeliness in regards to the Commissioners moving forth with projects, Baker defended the commissioners.
“Commissioner Linville always lets everyone have their say.” Baker said.
He also said that it was important to be conservative and that the board takes their time with issues because they don’t want to make a mistake with people’s money.
Martin brought up the library project, and said that it was “inexcusable” that the project has taken so long.
“It was passed four years ago, and we just now selected an architect,” Martin said.

Proposed Project to Improve U.S. 421/Business 40 in Winston-Salem

According to a new press release given by The North Carolina Department of Transportation, a project is in the works to improve the conditions of a 1.2-mile stretch of road on U.S. 421/Business 40 in downtown Winston-Salem. The project will take place east of Church Street and will stretch to west of Fourth Street. The downtown area that will be affected is shown in the following link:
http://www.business40nc.com/en-us/Pages/Mapping.aspx

The existing pavement will be replaced with new, concrete pavement, and the entrance and exit ramps will be modernized. Most of the bridges on and over U.S. 421/Business 40 will also be replaced. According to the Bridge Inspection Reports, ten of the bridges were declared “Structurally Deficient.”

The Federal Environmental Assessment (EA) for this project has been completed, and it is available for public view online: http://www.business40nc.com/en-us/Pages/Environmental-Assessment.aspx

The public can also view the EA at the following locations:

Winston-Salem Forsyth UA MPO
City of Winston-Salem – Bryce A. Stuart Municipal Building
100 East First Street, Suite 307
Winston-Salem

NCDOT Division Office
375 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem

Forsyth County Public Library
Central Library – North Carolina Room
660 West Fifth Street
Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem State University
C.G. O’Kelly Library – Main Circulation Desk
601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Winston-Salem

According to the EA, the downtown project proposes to improve interchange spacing by reducing the number of interchanges from six to three. The six existing interchanges do not meet FWHA design standards. The standards state that there should be a one-mile spacing between interchanges, and the distance between this 1.2 mile segment ranges from .13 miles to .28 miles. The short distance between interchanges results in weaving spacing at 150 ft. to 300 ft. when the recommended spacing is 2,000 ft. This will reduce the number of “conflict points” on this stretch of road.

The purpose of this project is to better ensure the safety of drivers and to reduce congestion. A public hearing on this project will be held during the summer, and the time and date of this hearing will be announced in the coming weeks.

Last Chance for Health Care Enrollment

Thanks to the success of the City Council sponsored ACA enrollment event over the weekend, participating members of Winston-Salem City Council will hold another on March 31.

Council Members Denise Adams, Dan Besse, Molly Leight, Jeff MacIntosh, Derwin Montgomery and James Taylor will be participating in the “Last Chance Monday” event at Forsyth Democratic Headquarters, located at 1128 Burke Street. The last day to enroll for the Affordable Care Act is March 31, so citizens who need help and are not yet enrolled are encouraged to come to the event.

The citizens who attend should bring the following information to ensure a speedy process:

-Social Security Numbers or legal immigrant documentation numbers

-Estimated income information for 2014 (such as a recent pay-stub or W2)

-Employer information, including name and address

If you are unable to attend the event but still need help with the enrollment process, please visit www.healthcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596.

The Jammin’ Pig BBQ Music Festival

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Spring is in the air, and barbeque season is upon us. Get your stomachs ready, Winston-Salem.

On April 11-13, The Winston-Salem fairgrounds will play host to The Jammin’ Pig BBQ Music Festival co-sponsored by Bib’s downtown restaurant.

Bib’s downtown is owned by Mark Little, Robert Moreau and Ricky Seamon (pictured below). It is located at 675 W. Fifth Street. The name “Bib’s” was partially inspired by the idea that customers of the restaurant would have to wear bibs to enjoy the tasty barbeque.

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The festival will have more than just barbeque. It will also feature live bands and fair rides for kids.

The barbeque competition is sponsored by the Kansas City Barbeque society, and the winner will receive $10,000.