Month: December 2019

Morgan Imports celebrates turning 50!

In a corner of the Morgan Imports store is the store’s Christmas room, which is filled with ornaments, trees, figurines and toy houses in wonderlands with names like, “Snow Village” and “Mistletoe Farm.” Standing at the entrance to the room, Peter Bangasser points out carolers to his baby. Bangasser used to live in downtown, and that’s when he started shopping there. “My wife and I get an ornament here every year,” he said. Alice Isard, 6, said her favorite part of the store is Buck, the reindeer who has given probably thousands of kids rides. She was looking at a Christmas tree and then helping her father, Ben Isard, pick out presents. Holding up a coaster, she said, “I like this cup mat.” Isard, humoring her, said, “Cup mat? You want this cup mat?” Morgan Imports in downtown Durham is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and as the holiday season began, long-time customers and new customers alike stopped by to get into the Christmas spirit. Richard Morgan started the store in downtown in 1969. …

What is Save RDU Forest?

The landscape around the 105-acre “Odd Fellows” property is serene during winter. Although it’s right by Interstate 40, a quarry is just feet away, and although construction equipment have begun to move into the area, the landscape is still a healthy forest, with old hardwoods reaching at the sky and ferns underneath. In March, the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority‚Äôs Board leased the property to Knightdale-based Wake Stone Corp. for mining over 25 years for $24 million. The Umstead Coalition and others say the agreement would not be able to generate as much revenue for the airport as projected, and that more alarmingly, a lease for a quarry cannot be a real lease since the land will not be returned in the same condition. The Odd Fellows tract as it is, with all of its trees, water and animals, will cease to exist. “Save RDU Forest” is the ongoing effort by the Umstead Coalition to save the property. “We have been actively involved since 2016,” said Jean Spooner, chairwoman of the Umstead Coalition. The coalition preserves the …