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3 teens were shot while playing ball in Winston-Salem. An 18-year-old is now indicted on assault charges.

An 18-year-old man has been indicted on charges that he shot three teens who were playing basketball at a mobile home park this past August.

Eduardo Ozuna of Greene Cross Drive in Winston-Salem was indicted Monday on three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury. The shooting happened Aug. 22.

Ozuna is accused of shooting the three teens with a handgun.

According to police and arrest warrants, Eduardo Salingan-Calleja, 19, was one of the teenagers shot at the mobile home park. Luis Saligan-Calleja and Brian Chiman were the other two teenagers. Police never released their ages.

A woman who lived at the mobile home park and who did not want her name published said that a group of boys were playing basketball near her house when a car drove into the mobile home park. One of the car’s occupants began shooting at the boys.

A basketball goal sits on one side of the road about 100 yards from the woman’s house, and children’s bicycles were lying on the ground near it after the shooting.

The woman said she heard about 25 shots. She also said that her home-security system’s camera caught the violence on video. Police seized her video and her video equipment.

Court records say Ozuna is a certified gang member who was on probation at the time of the shooting. Winston-Salem police have not said whether the shooting was gang-related.

Ozuna is in the Forsyth County Jail on a $75,000 bond.


Crime
Winston-Salem man indicted in shooting that left woman dead, half-brother injured

A Winston-Salem man is facing a first-degree murder charge on allegations that he fired his gun into a car, killing a woman and seriously wounding the driver, who is his half-brother.

Jashawn Arnez Summers, 27, of the 5000 block of Kaybrook Drive, was also indicted Monday on attempted first-degree murder, two counts of discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle while in operation and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

The indictments are in connection to the fatal shooting on Feb. 22, 2018 of Tenisha Jenel Mills. Mills was shot in the neck and the head while she was in the front passenger seat of a Kia sedan. She died four days later on Feb. 26, 2018, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The shooting happened in the 500 block of East 25th Street. Christopher Grooms, the driver, was shot as well and was injured by broken glass, according to search warrants and Winston-Salem police.

Summers is in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond allowed on the murder charge.

According to search warrants, Grooms told Winston-Salem police that he and Mills went to Hot Dog City restaurant on North Patterson Avenue to get something to eat. When they got there, Grooms said he saw Summers. Grooms told police that he and Summers are half-brothers. Summers and Grooms’ sister also have a child together, according to the search warrant. Grooms said there was a history of violence between Summers and his sister. Grooms also said he owed Summers $500, the search warrant said.

Hoping to avoid a confrontation, Grooms and Mills left. But according to Grooms, Summers and several other people got into a white 2017 Nissan Pathfinder, which police later found out had been reported stolen from Modern Nissan on University Parkway. Grooms said the Pathfinder followed them.

Near the intersection of East 25th Street and Blum Park, Grooms told police that the Pathfinder pulled up to the left side of his car, on the wrong side of the road. Grooms said a man named Armando Nicolas Pagan was behind the wheel. Summers was in the rear passenger seat.

Grooms told police that Summers and another man fired multiple shots into his vehicle. Then the Pathfinder drove away, and Grooms drove his car to the Winston-Salem Police Department and called 911.

The search warrant said that Hot Dog City’s surveillance cameras showed Summers, Pagan and another man, who has not been charged, came into the restaurant at 9:12 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2018. The men ordered food, but left suddenly without getting anything. Two minutes later, Grooms called 911.

In March 2018, U.S. Marshals picked up Summers in Albuquerque, N.M. Winston-Salem police interviewed Summers, who admitted that he had gone to Hot Dog City, but denied being with Pagan or the other men. He also denied that he was in the car with the men and said he wasn’t involved in the murder, the search warrant said.

Pagan, 24, of Kernersville, has been charged with accessory after the fact to murder. He is scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court on Nov. 7. He is in the Forsyth County Jail with bond set at $250,800.

Officers with the Albuquerque Police Department found the Nissan Pathfinder two days before Summers’ arrest, the search warrant said. The other man Grooms said also fired shots into the car gave police a false name and denied involvement. Pagan admitted that he was in the car and said that Summers fired the gun. Pagan said he wasn’t driving.

When Summers was 19, he entered what is known as an Alford plea to charges that he fired a gun three times into a car stopped at a light at Carver School Road. The driver of the car, Donte Marquee Felders, was hit twice and seriously injured, Assistant District Attorney Matt Breeding said at a hearing in 2012. An Alford plea means that Summers did not admit guilt but acknowledged that Forsyth County prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him if the case had gone to trial.

That shooting happened on Sept. 14, 2011. Breeding said that the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Felder and Summers’ brother Javon over a mutual ex-girlfriend.

Judge Edwin Wilson of Forsyth Superior Court sentenced Summers to a maximum of six years and six months in prison. He was released from prison in 2016.


Z-no-digital
New tower at Baptist hospital, new institute in downtown Winston-Salem among plans forming with Atrium Health

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Atrium Health will build a multi-faceted tower and an eye institute in Winston-Salem, the not-for-profit systems said Monday.

The tower would house the emergency department, operating rooms and intensive care unit services and will be built on the main Ardmore campus atop an existing parking deck. It will feature new operating rooms with adult intensive care units, along with radiology, pathology and other related services.

The eye institute would be built in the southern district of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter with sites under evaluation. The southern district is anchored primarily by the Center for Design Innovation.

The facility plan requires Federal Trade Commission approval.

Wake Forest Baptist did not disclose a start date or a cost estimate for either project. The eye institute “will be funded through philanthropic gifts, which will be matched by funds provided by the proposed strategic combination,” Wake Forest Baptist said.

Formal agreement steps

The projects were disclosed after the systems reported to their bondholders Thursday that they had taken a formal step toward jointly “creating a next-generation academic health-care system.”

The systems announced April 10 they had signed a memorandum of understanding. On Thursday, they executed an agreement they called “one more step in a series of milestones.”

The systems said in the bondholders’ notice that their proposed strategic combination is projected to be complete by March 31.

Monday’s news release provided guidance that the regulatory review process “is expected to be complete by or before early 2020.” The goal is to debut the Charlotte medical school campus in 2021 or 2022.

Wake Forest Baptist estimates the emergency department had nearly 230,000 patient visits in 2018.

The tower will “modernize and fulfill a long-term need for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center as the primary referral center in western North Carolina for trauma and burn patients,” according to the joint statement.

The eye institute is geared toward enhancing services by its ophthalmology department. Wake Forest Baptist will move existing from the main campus to the institute.

Terry Williams, chief strategy officer for Wake Forest Baptist, said Wake Forest Baptist’s current eye services “are the largest and most advanced referral center in western North Carolina with 95,000 annual patient visits.”

System officials have already started to discuss parking issues that will come with tearing down the parking deck, Williams said.

“I think naturally that would be an issue we would need to address before construction on the tower begins,” Williams said. “Parking and ease of access for our patients is always top of mind. We’re actually in the process of converting the space on Cloverdale across from Walgreen’s into staff parking. And keep in mind that shifting 95,000 patient visits from the Winston-Campus to the new Eye Institute in Innovation Quarter will help.”

The systems said in a question-and-answer post April 10 “the goal is that, upon signing a definitive agreement together, Atrium Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Wake Forest University will immediately convene a team to start the work of bringing a modern, innovative, cost-effective and sustainable top-20 school of medicine to the Charlotte area.”

However, they have not ruled out a much larger collaboration during their period of exclusive negotiations. Williams said that “exact decisions about co-located services or buildings have not yet been determined.”

Medical school in Charlotte

The commitment to a second Wake Forest School of Medicine campus would fulfill a long-sought goal of Atrium officials and Charlotte civic and elected officials: to have a medical school in Charlotte.

“We have a bold vision to combine our respective talents and create the nation’s leading modern academic healthcare system,” Eugene Woods, Atrium’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

“We have now taken a giant step forward in bringing that collective vision to life. Our teams cannot wait to initiate planning for the second campus of the Wake Forest School of Medicine in Charlotte in 2020, while making new investments in the research and innovation core in Winston-Salem.”

Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, said the goal “has been to come together to create a new model for world-class academic healthcare in our country. I believe our strategic combination has set this worthy undertaking in motion.”

The systems said in April that among their goals with their collaboration are: educating nearly 3,200 total healthcare learners across more than 100 specialized training programs each year and investing in the Translational Research and Population Health Center in Winston-Salem that will gain access to thousands of clinical trials across the region at Atrium Health’s 39 locations.

Wake Forest Baptist has said that the medical school board and management would remain in place and that the medical school and main campus would remain in Winston-Salem.

The systems have been negotiating quietly since the announcement — though the potential partnership was put in the spotlight when Atrium executives took a tour of Wake Forest Baptist facilities, including in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, on Aug. 14.

The open-ended nature of negotiating a potential medical partnership between Wake Forest University and Atrium has raised concerns about the future of Wake Forest Baptist and its medical school in Winston-Salem.

The local concern about the Charlotte campus is that it could eventually draw resources from the Winston-Salem campus or even lure the medical school itself from Winston-Salem. Wake Forest Baptist is the largest employer in Forsyth County with more than 13,000 workers.

Baptist officials have said such scenarios were speculative and not based in fact.

Dr. Julie Ann Freischlag, chief executive of Wake Forest Baptist and medical school dean, said April 10 that she and the majority of the existing medical school faculty would remain in Winston-Salem and that the Charlotte medical school would gain new faculty and utilize providers within the Atrium hospital system.


Z-no-digital
Truliant wins access to Burke Mill Road

The Winston-Salem City Council approved a rezoning request by Truliant Federal Credit Union on Monday that will allow the company to double its headquarters size and employment, and to create a new entry to the site from Burke Mill Road.

And closer to downtown, the city approved a site plan for a 300-unit apartment complex called The Easley that will be in sight of BB&T Ballpark. The plan calls for closing a section of Brookstown Avenue.

In both cases, South Ward Council Member John Larson cast the sole dissenting vote on the council, voicing the concern that the city hasn’t done enough to ease fears that both projects will cause road network disruptions.

“This is not about the quality and contribution made to this city by Truliant,” Larson said, explaining his objection to the Truliant rezoning. “This is about roads.”

The council vote on Truliant came only a couple weeks after Larson had derailed an earlier vote by using a parliamentary maneuver that postponed the vote until Monday night.

Larson once more attempted to delay the Truliant decision during Monday’s meeting. He said that residents should have the full benefit of a traffic study that is still in its draft form. The portion of the study relevant to the Truliant entrance had been fast-forwarded to completion in what city officials said was a demonstration that the Truliant proposal would not cripple traffic.

Larson made a substitute motion to delay the Truliant rezoning for the full traffic-study results, saying it would cause “at most ... a two-month delay.” But Larson could get no second, and the council then voted 7-1 to approve the Truliant rezoning.

Nobody has opposed the company’s expansion plans, but plenty of people who live in the neighborhoods along Burke Mill Road have expressed worries that the new entrance to the company site will only make traffic problems on their overburdened street worse.

Those people didn’t seem evident in any number Monday, but dozens of Truliant employees packed several rows in the city council’s meeting chamber.

Truliant has agreed to limit access on the new entry to 25 percent of its work force, and architects say the traffic signal where the new entry would join Burke Mill Road would actually improve traffic flow.

The new entry will be across from where Stonewood Drive now intersects Burke Mill. Planners say a traffic signal at that point will create gaps in the traffic flow that drivers can use to enter Burke Mill from side streets and driveways.

The company now has some 450 employees working in an office with 122,000 square feet, accessed from an entry drive located off Hanes Mall Boulevard.

The company has proposed expanding that space to nearly double and doubling the work force over some seven years or so. The expansion would be a $40 million investment and include a new parking deck on the site.

The back end of the site is off Burke Mill Road, which at present has no access to the Truliant property.

During negotiations with concerned neighbors, the company agreed to limit access from Burke Mill Road to employees only, and to only 25% of the company work force at that.

During Monday’s meeting, Larson said Truliant’s contribution of $15,000 toward the traffic study had tainted its objectivity in the minds of people who live in the neighborhood. He suggested it wasn’t fair for Truliant to get advance consideration when the people in the neighborhood are still waiting for traffic-study results.

After the meeting, Southwest Ward Council Member Dan Besse, a supporter of the rezoning, said the study was nonetheless done only for the city. The city had commissioned the traffic study at a cost of $150,000. Besse said Truliant’s contribution had been made only to prevent having to do a separate study because of the company’s proposed new entrance.

Meanwhile, the council’s approval of the site plan for a 300-unit apartment complex north of BB&T Ballpark will bring to completion a part of the greater ballpark development that Winston-Salem residents were promised more than 10 years ago, city leaders were saying Monday night.

That’s true even if the project does involve closing the section of Brookstown Avenue between Broad and Second streets, Northwest Ward Council Member Jeff MacIntosh said.

“The traffic situation is going to change when Business 40 opens and First and Second streets are two-way,” MacIntosh said. “Everyone is going to have to learn a new traffic pattern whether Brookstown is closed or not.”

MacIntosh said it is already dangerous to try to drive across Broad Street on Brookstown Avenue today, and said the area would be safer after the work is done.

The developers plan to create a small park on the north end of the site that would have a bike path going across it.

During a public hearing, James Snow, owner of Snow Electric Co. Inc. complained that business owners on his section of Brookstown Avenue had not been told about the planned closure.

Snow’s business is at 428 Brookstown Ave., which is south of Business 40 on a section of Brookstown that is cut off from the rest of the avenue temporarily because of the Business 40 upgrade under way.

“We have been in business since 1925 and travel up and down Brookstown Avenue,” he said. “Brookstown has had its share of closures ... and it has been a challenge to keep up with it.”

City officials said that while all property owners within 500 feet of the proposed apartments were notified of the site plan change, Snow and others outside that radius were not given notice.

Larson objected to closing the road without wider notice.

“I don’t know if any other council member would want a road bifurcated without any explanation,” Larson said. “Will alternate routes be signed? How are people going to get there?”

Brookstown crosses through parts of both Northwest and South wards.

The site plan approval doesn’t actually close the street, an action that has to be done separately. Although Larson objected to approving the site plan before closing the street, city officials said that happens fairly often. If the street closure is turned down, the site plan would no longer be in force, they said.

Several speakers said they like the plans for the new apartments. The developer, DPL Residential LLC of Charlotte, was also a developer of the nearby West End Station apartment complex. Graphic depictions of the new complex suggest it would be similar in appearance to West End Station.

“I am excited to see finally see something moving and to have some progress in that area,” said Keith Stone, who lives on West End Boulevard and spoke during the public hearing. “I walk through that area two or three times a week.”