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H. Scott Hoffmann /News & Record 

LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam chatting with Hillary Gong during a girls golf clinic at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, NC on July 29, 2019. (H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record)

Brick-and-mortar canvas

Dare Coulter adds paint to her mural on the Rose’s department store at Cone Boulevard and Summit Avenue.

Fayetteville artist Dare Coulter is transforming the side of the Roses department store at Cone Boulevard and Summit Avenue into a 200-foot mural. It’s the latest mural that Greensboro developer Marty Kotis has arranged for his properties.

“She approached me about a wall with a few concepts,” Kotis says. “When I heard her idea for an installation honoring her grandfather and black cowboys in general, I thought it deserved a really big canvas.”

Coulter also is known for providing artwork for the fundraising campaign to restore the childhood home of singer Nina Simone in Tryon.

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PTI airport official: 'We're disgusted' by vandalism to more than 20 vehicles in Greensboro lot

GREENSBORO Finding broken windows and spray paint on your vehicle is the last thing you want after a long flight.

But that’s what greeted several Greensboro travelers last weekend.

Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, someone went into the south long-term parking area, rows 1-5, at Piedmont Triad International Airport and broke windows and spray-painted symbols on more than 20 vehicles.

“We’re disgusted,” said Kevin Baker, the airport’s executive director. “It’s an act of destruction that serves no purpose and is of no benefit to anyone.

“It’s a crying shame that this kind of thing goes on.”

Baker said both airport police and Greensboro’s crime scene investigators are investigating the vandalism.

Baker said the damage to some vehicles was extensive and the spray-painted symbols were “disgusting.” He declined to further describe the images.

“There’s a lot of destruction, and for several vehicles the damage is not insignificant,” Baker said.

But Baker promised he wouldn’t leave his customers to deal with it alone.

Baker has waived parking fees for those customers, has made sure there are rides available to them to get home and is towing each vehicle to the repair shop of their choice at the airport’s expense.

“Those are the kinds of things we can do to be helpful,” Baker said. “Folks shouldn’t be dealing with this negative situation.”

For travelers who have not yet returned to Greensboro, Baker’s team left notes on their windshields about who to contact about the damage, crime scene tape on their driver’s side mirrors and secured tarps on vehicles with broken windows to prevent further damage.

“We’re doing everything we can to mitigate what they’re going through,” Baker said.

It was an airport employee who discovered the damaged vehicles Sunday morning.

Baker said the long-term lot is monitored closely by airport security, including police on bicycles. There also are parking monitors that drive through the lot and shuttle drivers on a constant rotation around the parking area.

But the lot holds thousands of vehicles a day in a large area.

Baker wouldn’t specifically discuss whether the airport had security cameras monitoring the area.

However, he said, that the airport’s board approved a contract three months ago to significantly enhance security.

Baker said he can’t remember anything of this magnitude happening at the airport, and he hopes anyone with knowledge of what happened calls police.

“It’s disgusting, honestly,” Baker said.

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H. Scott Hoffmann /News & Record  

A vandalized car sits in long-term parking lot at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro on Monday.

Greensboro inspectors declare balconies off-limits at apartments after 3 injured in collapse

GREENSBORO Cheryl Rimmer was getting ready to take a seat on her second-story balcony last Thursday night when the concrete collapsed beneath her. She was sent, along with her husband and a friend, crashing onto a patio below.

“It was like concrete icebergs falling everywhere,” said Rimmer, as she limped outside The Morehead Apartment Homes Monday morning and showed off bruises on her knee and elbow.

“My husband fell sitting on his chair. I had a chair and a table on me and I had a slab of concrete on my right knee,” Rimmer recalled. “The only thing left was a shell of the concrete.”

No bones were broken and nobody was seriously injured, although the 39-year-old Rimmer said she is taking the rest of the week off on the advice of her chiropractor.

Now, the city is ordering tenants of the West Market Street apartments to stay off their patios and balconies on the first and second floors — that’s 176 total — until engineers can deem the second-floor balconies are safe.

Troy Powell, the city’s division manager of code compliance, said the balconies are made of concrete slabs suspended by wooden cradles. Termite damage caused the wood in Rimmer’s balcony to rot and collapse under the weight of the concrete.

As he stood in the courtyard between buildings, which were built in the 1970s, Powell pointed out several balconies that may be damaged the same way.

“This is one that’s not collapsed yet, but you’ll notice the rail has a sway in it,” Powell said. “It’s because those anchors at the bottom of the rail are hooked into the floor and the floor’s giving away just a little bit.”

Powell and city inspectors looked at every second-floor balcony of the apartment complex’s 22 buildings. As he was working, a child came out on one of the balconies and sat on a small swingset. Powell asked the child to get a parent so he could tell them about the problem.

Powell said the swingset “really shouldn’t be there because it weighs too much.”

According to Powell, the city is full of older apartments that may have similar situations. However, there’s no inspection process for balconies. He said the city depends on residents to take note of potential damage.

Rimmer, whose family pays $910 a month for their three-bedroom apartment, said she’ll likely stay there until something else becomes available. She feels fortunate that none of her three children were on the balcony when it collapsed.

For now, she, other tenants and Morehead’s owner — a property manager declined to provide their name — will wait to see what city inspectors have to say about the condition of the other balconies.

“Whether you live on the bottom or the top you’re screwed,” Rimmer said.

Special to the News & Record  

Cheryl Rimmer took this photo of broken concrete that used to be her balcony on the second floor of the Morehead Apartment Houses on West Market Street.