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The latest...

Here’s what’s happening now:

The top three candidates to lead the Raleigh Police Department were announced Wednesday.

The candidates will participate in a virtual candidates forum at 6 p.m. Thursday (today).

View the forum on the City of Raleigh YouTube channel,, or RTN TV11. Spanish interpretation available here. Questions from the public were received in advance, as mentioned in earlier newsletters.

The candidates are, in alphabetical order: Robert Lowe, Darryl McSwain and Estella Patterson.

Read short bios here: []

What else to know:

In election news, the Raleigh City Council could ask state lawmakers to move city elections to even-numbered years. [INDY Week]
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3 floral interpretations of art

The North Carolina Museum of Art‘s annual festival of art and flowers is back after a pandemic-necessitated break in 2020. Now, as the NCMA readies for its second weekend of Art in Bloom, we got an early look at some of the designs in progress. 

Here’s how it works: Designers randomly draw art pieces from the museum’s collection. Then, they create interpretations of that artwork using floral materials. 

The two-weekend event has some overlapping artists, but new floral interpretations of art will be revealed this Thursday-Sunday. 

We talked to Raleigh area artists about three designs as they began assembling the floral works Wednesday. [

IBMA World of Bluegrass will return
Sept. 28-Oct. 2 to Downtown Raleigh as a "mostly in-person event," though some virtual programming will be available.

IBMA Bluegrass Live! performers at Red Hat Amphitheatre will include Béla Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart featuring Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Schatz and Bryan Sutton; The Del McCoury Band; Steep Canyon Rangers; Yonder Mountain String Band; Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer & Odessa Settles; Sister Sadie and The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys. More will be announced.

The IBMA Bluegrass Live! event will be fully ticketed, and go on sale for non-members of IBMA or PineCone at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

A Southeast Raleigh "entrepreneurial hub" will break ground soon near Southeast Raleigh High School. Montague Plaza already has several businesses that intend to open in the location, from a STEM program to a Jamaican restaurant. [Triangle Tribune]

The Merchant NC, a new cocktail bar, is now open at 126 S. Salisbury Street, 5 p.m.-12 a.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays and 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. Try the To All the Ones I've Loved Before, with mezcal and an on-brand skeleton leaf. [@themerchantnc]

Dix Park sunflowers are on track for a mid-to-late-July bloom, the "sunflower specialists" say. [@dixpark]
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