Fake City of Durham e-mail: not funny, city says | News

Fake City of Durham e-mail: not funny, city says

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This map was included in a fake e-mail about the addition of new traffic circles on Woodcroft Parkway
  • This map was included in a fake e-mail about the addition of new traffic circles on Woodcroft Parkway

UPDATE: The jokester apparently has sent flowers to City Hall to apologize.

An apparent April Fool's Day jokester distributed an e-mail this morning made to look like a press release from the City of Durham. And apparently, it wasn't well received by the city.

The message, originally sent to about 30 people, indicated that because of the successful installation of a traffic circle on Woodcroft Parkway, eight more would be built in a project funded by a No Child Left Behind grant (a federal education program).

The e-mail was made to look like it came from Amy Blahlock, a spin on the name of real-life city spokeswoman Amy Blalock, who frequently sends out real news releases on real city projects.

Though it was intended for just a few people, the e-mail apparently made it onto two e-mail lists for Partners Against Crime groups.

The jokester included a fake name, but a real phone number. Reached this afternoon by the Indy, the distributor declined to give his name (it is NOT Greg Knuckleheim, as indicated on the e-mail) and said that a city representative called him this morning.

"I think I got someone at the city in trouble," he said. He sent the e-mail only to friends, one of whom works for the City of Durham, he said. "I do not want to be famous for this," he added.

Beverly Thompson, the city's director of public affairs, sent an e-mail this morning to Mayor Bill Bell, the City Council and department heads, to let them know that the e-mail was fake. She included the following statement:

"Please note this news release was NOT issued by the City of Durham, and the information contained in the release is fictitious. Apparently, it was the sender’s failed attempt at an April Fool’s joke."

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