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At least 4 inches of snow, and possibly a foot, predicted for the Triad.

A winter storm moving into the Triad for the holiday weekend will bring heavy snow along with some sleet and freezing rain, according to forecasters.

Snow is expected to move into the area Saturday night and continue into Sunday before shifting to sleet in the late afternoon and freezing rain in the evening, said Phil Badgett, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Raleigh Office.

Snowfall of 4-5 inches is expected in the Triad, although some weather models are predicting as much as a foot of snow, Badgett added.

Wind gusts of 20-30 mph could snap tree branches and bring down power lines coated by snow or ice, leading to sometimes prolonged power outages, the weather service warned in an advisory Thursday.

Allison Lee Isley, Journal 

Melrose Johnson cleans the snow off her car Jan. 3 in Winston-Salem’s first significant snowfall this winter. Snowfall of 4-5 inches is expected in the Triad this weekend, although some weather models are predicting as much as a foot.

The storm system is expected to plunge from the west coast of Canada through the U.S. Plains and into the Deep South before turning northward and barreling through the Carolinas.

As the system moves into the Triad, light rain and snow are possible Saturday evening, with temperatures dropping into the low 20s overnight. Heavy snow is expected to start Sunday morning and continue throughout the day before changing to sleet and freezing rain in the evening. High temperatures Sunday are expected to remain below freezing.

The changeover to sleet and freezing rain likely will come earlier in eastern portions of the Triad, including Greensboro, while longer periods of snowfall are expected in the Winston-Salem area, Badgett said.

The weather service says the storm will move out of the area by around 7 p.m. Sunday, giving way to a sunny Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday with high temperatures near 40.


Education
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Gene editing among the winter classes for high school freshmen and sophomores at Salem Academy

Lola Larsen has long wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

Up until a few days ago, she thought she might want to work with patients, possibly as a surgeon.

But after three days of fluffing DNA and incubating enzymes, Lola, a ninth-grader at Salem Academy, is entertaining other ideas.

“Now, I’m more open to the lab environment,” she said Thursday.

Lola is one of eight freshmen and sophomores at the Academy who spent most of this week learning about gene editing from scientists at ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute. Based in Delaware, the institute teaches gene editing with an educational tool known as CRISPR in a Box.

Invented in 2009, CRISPR is a cutting-edge technology that scientists use to edit genes.

According to the National Human Genome Research Institute, gene editing allows scientists to change the DNA of many organisms, including plants, bacteria and animals. By identifying faulty genes, scientists may be able to use targeted therapy to treat such diseases as cancer, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

The Gene Editing Institute devised a kit to introduce students to the basics of gene editing. Usually, the scientists there teach students on their campus in Delaware.

Salem Academy trustee Lossie Freeman spearheaded the effort to bring a team of women scientists from the gene institute to the Academy during a period on the Salem calendar known as “Jan Term.” It’s a two-week period in January that gives Salem students the chance to take short-term classes, serve in the community or take an internship.

The Academy is emphasizing its STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) curriculum, so partnering with the institute was a natural fit, said Summer McGee, the president of Salem Academy and College.

The gene institute’s staff is made up of mostly of women.

“The decision (to focus on STEAM) came from looking at trends in education and the interests of young women, and obviously the need for diversity in the sciences. Science and robotics have always been a strength, but we’re really doubling down by doing partnerships like this,” McGee said.

Four women from the gene institute spent the last three days working with the students at Salem.

“Women are usually a minority in science,” said Amanda Hewes, the education program manger for the gene institute. “We’re teaching the next generation of scientists and leaders and encouraging them to explore the potential of going into a science career like we did.”

Lola Larsen already had the science bug. After a week learning cutting-edge science from four women, her commitment to the field has deepened.

“Working with this groundbreaking technology has been really appealing at such a young age,” she said.


Crime-and-courts
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Motion: Prosecutors did not turn over information about alleged deal in 2018 fatal shooting in Kernersville with purported getaway driver.

The attorney for a Charlotte man charged with first-degree murder in a 2018 killing in Kernersville is asking Forsyth County prosecutors to turn over information about an alleged deal with the purported getaway driver, who is now the DJ for popular rapper DaBaby, according to court papers filed Wednesday.

Julie Boyer is the attorney for Sajae Charles Woodley, 21. Woodley has been indicted for first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and other charges in connection with the June 23, 2018, fatal shooting of Kenneth Daniel Kelly, 41. Two other men — Justin Norey Noland, 22, of Winston-Salem and Jacob Michael Townsend, 23, of Durham — are facing similar charges. Townsend was arrested in New York on unrelated gun charges and has not been extradited to North Carolina.

Boyer filed a motion to reveal deals or concessions on Wednesday in Forsyth Superior Court. She included email correspondence from Dec. 20, 2021, between Assistant District Attorney Belinda Foster and Gary Mundy of the Kernersville Police Department. Mundy included a copy of an email message he received that same day from Det. J.L. Redden, one of the lead investigators in Kelly’s death.

Redden mentions a man identified as Dejuane Malachi Dunwood in search warrants for the case.

“The driver (Dunwood) was gave (sic) a deal by Jennifer Martin and his attorney Mr. Simpson (who is now disbarred),” Redden writes to Mundy. “We were told not tp (sic) charge Dunwood.”

Jennifer Martin is the Chief Assistant District Attorney. Dunwood’s attorney was identified in search warrants as Travis Simpson, who was a criminal defense attorney at the time. Simpson was not disbarred but the N.C. State Bar did suspend Simpson’s law license in June 2019 over allegations that he mishandled two clients’ cases.

“Based upon the email exchange, the plea deal had not been disclosed to Assistant District Belinda Foster, assigned to prosecute this matter,” Boyer said in the motion. “This arrangement was not disclosed in any police report or supplement submitted as discovery by Detective Redden until direct inquiry was made by Assistant District Attorney Belinda Foster.”

Boyer said she found out about the alleged deal when she received the email exchange in discovery on Jan. 7.

Paul James, Noland’s attorney, filed a motion Jan. 7 seeking information about an alleged deal but did not provide specifics in court papers. In an email Thursday, James said his motion was triggered by late discovery “indicating there was a deal with a witness” of which the prosecutor was recently made aware. James referred additional questions to Foster, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Martin said Thursday that she could not comment on pending criminal cases. Dunwood did not respond to a message sent through his Facebook page. Redden no longer works for the Kernersville Police Department, a dispatcher said Thursday. Details on when he left the department and why were not immediately available Thursday.

At the time of the shooting, search warrants said, Dunwood attended UNC Greensboro, where he was known as DJ DEDE. Through Instagram, detectives were able to link Dunwood to Noland, Townsend and Woodley, the search warrants said.

Dunwood is now known as DJ K.i.D. and has produced a number of songs for DaBaby and has performed as the rapper’s DJ, according to media reports.

According to search warrants, Kernersville police detectives interviewed Dunwood three separate times. In the first interview, Dunwood denied any involvement, but in the next two interviews, accompanied by Simpson, Dunwood gave full statements in which he said he drove Woodley, Townsend and Noland to Kelly’s apartment.

He told detectives that he knew the three men were planning a robbery but had no idea that they were going to shoot anyone. Dunwood also told detectives that he dropped the men off at the apartment complex twice, seeing them go in and picking them up later. The second time he picked them up that day, Townsend had blood on one of his hands and Townsend wiped his hand on the passenger seat, Dunwood told detectives, according to search warrants.

Detectives seized Dunwood’s vehicle, a black Chevrolet Equinox, and found blood on the passenger seat where Townsend sat, the search warrants said.

Dunwood was never charged in the case. Boyer said in the motion that since June 2018, prosecutors have not turned over any information indicating that Dunwood was offered a deal in exchange for possible testimony.

Kelly was shot twice on the afternoon of June 23, 2018 — once in the torso and once in the right thigh, according to an autopsy report. He later died at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Search warrants that Redden filed allege that three men were seen on video surveillance casing the apartment complex the day before the shooting. Kelly’s daughter, Diana Kelly, told detectives that she saw one of the three men go to the back of the apartment with her father. She heard screaming and then gunshots. She and her stepmother were in the kitchen, and when Diana Kelly said she tried to move, one of the other men pointed a gun at her and told her to stay where she was, the search warrants said.

A hearing on the motions has not yet been set.


Local
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Inmate’s death blamed on tumor

An inmate at the Forsyth County Jail died Dec. 31 because of a tumor on the man’s left lung resulting in internal bleeding, authorities said.

Christopher Wiley Crisp, 52, of Walkertown, died from natural causes, said Dr. Jerri McLemore, an associate professor of pathology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine.

The tumor eroded into a large vessel and an airway and caused the bleeding, McLemore said.

Crisp, a smoker, also had heart disease, resulting in a hardening and narrowing of the arteries of the heart, and he suffered from emphysema, said McLemore, the medical director of the autopsy service at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Crisp’s surviving family members met Thursday with Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. and officials with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office to get answers about the circumstances surrounding Crisp’s death.

The meeting came after a Jan. 6 Journal story that outlined how the family, particularly Crisp’s parents and sister, said they had gotten little information about Crisp’s death from the sheriff’s office. Thursday’s meeting included Kimbrough, some of his staff and Crisp’s family members.

Titania Wiseman, Crisp’s sister who lives near Kernersville, said she and her father, Donald Crisp, are generally satisfied with their meeting with Kimbrough and his staff members.

Kimbrough answered all of her father’s questions about his son’s death, Wiseman said.

“He was super genuine,” Wiseman said of Kimbrough.

Earlier on Dec. 31, Crisp had been walking in the jail’s common area when he told a detention officer that he wasn’t feeling good, Kimbrough said. At that time, a nurse gave Crisp some medicine, and detention officers escorted Crisp back to his cell about 8:20 a.m., where he started to vomit, according to the sheriff and Wiseman.

The detention officer then radioed for medical help, and paramedics at the jail and Naphcare medical providers responded to the scene, Kimbrough said. Emergency medical technicians were taking Crisp to a local hospital when Crisp was pronounced dead at 9:23 a.m.

“My brother didn’t know that he had a tumor,” Wiseman said.

Kimbrough expressed his condolences to Crisp’s family.

“I understand that people are grieving,” Kimbrough said. “We understand the loss of a loved one is a very painful situation.”

However, Crisp’s death “had nothing to do with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office,” Kimbrough said.

A doctor with Naphcare Inc., the jail’s medical provider, initially suggested that Crisp’s cause of death was from gastrointestinal bleeding due to a pre-existing health condition.

McLemore completed an autopsy on Crisp’s body on Jan. 6.

Crisp had been in the jail since Dec. 6, following his arrest on the charge of misdemeanor assault on a female, the sheriff’s office said. He was scheduled to be released on Jan. 4.

Wiseman said she is satisfied that Crisp received proper medical care before his death.

The State Bureau of Investigation and the sheriff’s office’s professional standards division are investigating the case.

The sheriff’s office’s notification of Crisp’s family about his death became a point of controversy between Crisp’s relatives and the sheriff’s office.

Immediately following Crisp’s death on Dec. 31, Kimbrough directed a detention officer and the jail chaplain to visit and notify Peggy Crisp, the estranged wife of Christopher Wiley Crisp, about his death, Kimbrough said.

Peggy Crisp was listed as Christopher Crisp’s emergency contact person, the sheriff said.

Kimbrough left several voicemail messages for Peggy Crisp regarding the matter as well, he said.

“We have nothing to hide,” Kimbrough said.

Contacting Peggy Crisp was inappropriate because she and Crisp had been separated for several years, Wiseman said.

Wiseman added that her family was troubled that other administrators with the sheriff’s office didn’t immediately speak with them about Crisp’s death.

On Thursday, Kimbrough told Wiseman and Donald Crisp that he would look into the contacts between sheriff’s office’s administrators and Crisp family members.

“The communication could have been better,” Wiseman said.

Communication is necessarily limited from the sheriff’s office’s professional standards division when an investigation is active, said Christina Howell, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

“It is our standard procedure that once the internal and external investigations are completed, that members of our professional standards division, (jail administrators) and the (Forsyth) County Attorney’s Office meet with members of the immediate family to answer questions,” Howell said.

“While this may not seem to occur in a timely fashion, it is necessary to wait until all investigations are concluded in order to ensure that all facts are gathered, and the information provided to the family is accurate and verified in its entirety,” Howell said.


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