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Ask Us: Can restaurants block off downtown parking?

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to askus@salisburypost.com.

When COVID-19 and ensuing executive orders forced the closure of dine-in restaurants last year, take-out became the most popular solution to keep food flowing and people employed.

Citing an example on South Main Street, one reader asked whether downtown restaurants are still allowed to reserved prime, public parking spaces. The answer, says city Communication Director Linda McElroy, is yes.

“In March 2020, the governor gave the order for restaurants to provide only curbside and delivery services due to COVID-19,” McElroy said in an email. “After hearing the concerns from downtown restaurants, the City of Salisbury wanted to assist local businesses as they navigated pandemic restrictions. The Salisbury Public Works department provided up to four cones to downtown restaurants for the purpose of curbside or takeout service, allowing up to four spaces to be allotted.”

With COVID-19 numbers improving, she said the city plans to revisit the initiative as pandemic restrictions are lifted.

What’s the status of Landis embezzlement case?

Months ago, on July 2, former Landis administrators were first charged with embezzling public money. Since then, there hasn’t been much movement in court for any of the three staff members.

Former Town Manager Reed Linn and former finance officer Ginger Gibson were charged with crimes that included conspiracy and a number of counts of felony embezzlement. Andrew Morgan, the town’s former recreation director, also faces a charge of conspiracy and counts of felony embezzlement. Multiple readers asked where the cases stand.

All three individuals have attorneys. Salisbury attorney James Davis represents Linn, Concord attorney Vernon Russell represents Gibson and Salisbury attorney Mike Adkins represents Morgan. Instead of the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office, a financial prosecutor has been assigned to the case.

Linn’s file has the largest number of items in it, with Davis filing motions asking for more time to review more than 16,000 pages of evidence from the state. In court filings, Davis said he also received a DVD containing audio files and a “voluminous number of emails.” State prosecutors intend to introduce bank records, according to court documents.

In Gibson’s and Morgan’s case file, there isn’t much other than the original documents charging them with the crimes.

This month, jury trials are resuming at the Rowan County Courthouse, but it’s unlikely the Landis embezzlement cases will be among the first cases.

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