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Posts published by “Cathy Clabby”

Best of 2020: Reporting

Reporters with The 9th Street Journal had plenty to cover this year and all rose to the occasion.

They published more than 140 articles on the pandemic, demands for racial justice, high-stakes elections and more.

Some articles stood out due to the heft of the subject matter and the depth of the reporting. As 2020 draws to a close, here is some of our best reporting of the year:

Hospital bill collectors

Six months after an intruder raped a Duke University student in her campus apartment, bill collectors started calling her about unpaid Duke University Hospital charges. Victims are not supposed to be charged for sexual assault exams. But rules have loopholes, Cameron Beach reported.

A Durham crisis

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Durham’s oldest public housing community due to unsafe conditions last winter. Housing authorities in other North Carolina cities take better care of their properties, Caroline Petrow-Cohen explained.

Tracking COVID-19

After the pandemic struck, the world learned how important contract tracers are. These public health sleuths encounter suffering that is hidden from most of us, Bella Caracta described.

Once a homicide

After a judge discredited police evidence in the case against a Durham teenager, prosecutors dropped charges accusing him of killing his father. Months later, a medical examiner revised the cause of the man’s death, Ben Leonard disclosed.

Families in the dark

When the new coronavirus started spreading, federal officials banned visitors from nursing homes. Intended to protect the vulnerable, the move isolated residents from family members at a time of great danger, Victoria Eavis documented.

Follow the money

Durham officials boasted of giving aid to small businesses this summer. But for weeks, they did not know who received the funding, Ben Leonard revealed.

What is Swing NC?

Trying to track the origin of a $53,000 donation to a congressional candidate shows how the campaign finance system is a messy tangle, Michaela Towfighi found.

COVID-19 in jail

Darrell Kersey’s death was the second COVID-19 fatality linked to the Durham jail that was not disclosed to the public, Dryden Quigley exposed.

Repairs gone wrong

For months, public housing residents were forced to live with a rodent infestation where their children play outdoors, Charlie Zong reported.

At top: 9th Street Journal reporter Rebecca Torrence interviews a Durham resident during early voting at Duke University’s Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center. Photo by Henry Haggart

Best of 2020: Photography

Ashley Canady, resident council president at McDougald Terrace, and other tenants marched in the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Unity March and Rally in January. They demanded help for tenants moved from unsafe public housing. Photo by Corey Pilson | The 9th Street Journal

None of us will forget the year 2020. How could we?

This is the year global pandemic struck, followed by a national racial-justice reckoning and high-stakes political campaigns. In Durham, a crisis in the city’s largest public housing community swelled too.

Two 9th Street Journal student photojournalists — Corey Pilson in the spring and Henry Haggart in summer and fall — documented all that and more this year.

Here is some of their good work that we love best from 2020.

After unsafe conditions chased hundreds of residents from McDougald Terrace, Shimey Harvey regularly checked on the apartment where she and her son lived. Photo by Corey Pilson | The 9th Street Journal
Durham Public Schools closed classrooms suddenly in March to protect teachers, students and staff from the new coronavirus. In April, volunteers worked to get food to students and families who rely on free and reduced-price meals at Glenn Elementary School. Photo by Corey Pilson I The 9th Street Journal
After George Floyd was killed by police in May, protests swept the country. Downtown Durham businesses boarded up their storefronts in case violence swelled during marches here. In June, artists transformed blocks of plywood with art. Jaguar Perry called his work “Sambo in Wonderland”. Photo by Henry Haggart I The 9th Street Journal
A patient held an umbrella for Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi while she administered a coronavirus test in July. Martinez-Bianchi co-founded Latin-19, a group of clinicians that stepped up to respond to a high rate of COVID-19 among Durham’s Latinx residents. Photo by Henry Haggart | The 9th Street Journal
After Durham police drew guns on a teenager and two children at Rochelle Manor Apartments in August, their families and supporters demanded that city officials release police body-camera footage. After a rally at Durham City Hall, a child examined a sign left behind. Photo by Henry Haggart I The 9th Street Journal
Duke University’s Catholic Center held Mass in a campus parking garage after the pandemic made indoor worship unsafe. A masked participant kneeled on a cement floor during a September service. Photo by Henry Haggart I The 9th Street Journal
Durham public schools offered online instruction only this fall, with most students signing in from home. Several learning centers have popped up since then. Angela Caraway worked with a student at one, Kate’s Korner, in November. Photo by Henry Haggart I The 9th Street Journal
At a September event intended to strengthen ties between city residents and police,  Sgt. Daryl Macaluso throws a football to a kid at the Hoover Road community. Photo by Henry Haggart I The 9th Street Journal
The pandemic brought countless challenges to poll workers during voting this fall. One worker wore double protection while manning a vote tabulator at South Durham Regional Library. Photo by Henry Haggart | The 9th Street Journal
Hundreds of people marched in Durham on Nov. 5, demanding that all ballots cast in that week’s elections be counted. Photo by Henry Haggart | The 9th Street Journal