Friday News: It's not Constitutional


GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION BILL: Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a Republican-backed bill Thursday that would force elections officials not to count any mail-in ballots that arrive after polls close. “The legislature ironically named this bill ‘The Election Day Integrity Act’ when it actually does the opposite,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “Election integrity means counting every legal vote, but this bill virtually guarantees that some will go uncounted.” One of the GOP sponsors of the bill, Sen. Paul Newton of Cabarrus County, said in a press release that he believes moving up the deadline would improve voters’ confidence in elections. And again, the only reason voters' confidence was shaken is because Trump and his enablers spread outright lies about his election loss. That grace period was in place even before DeJoy intentionally disrupted mail delivery, forcing an extension of said period, so all of this can be dumped right in their laps.

Thursday News: It's not enough

$6 MILLION AWARDED TO WRONGFULLY-CONVICTED DURHAM MAN: A federal jury awarded a North Carolina man who spent more than 20 years in prison $6 million Wednesday, after finding a detective fabricated evidence and performed an inadequate investigation that led to double murder and arson convictions. The jury found former Durham police detective Darryl Dowdy made up evidence in the case and trial that resulted in Darryl Howard being convicted in 1995 of killing Doris Washington, 29, and her 13-year-old daughter Nishonda in 1991. Howard’s attorneys had sought $48 million in damages: $2 million for each year of the 21 1/2 years he spent in prison and $5 million for the impact on his life after he was released. “It’s a huge number,” Emma Freudenberger, one of Howard’s attorneys, told the jury. “And you know what? It is not nearly enough.” How many times has this happened? How many times has a black man been railroaded into a long prison term, based on manufactured evidence? Way too many times, is the correct answer.

Wednesday News: It's not okay


UNC SCHOOL OF THE ARTS FACES LAWSUIT OVER WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ABUSE: More alumni of North Carolina’s most celebrated arts school have filed a lawsuit saying they were sexually abused while enrolled, with 39 former students now accusing the university of negligence. Newly accused University of North Carolina School of the Arts faculty members include a violinist who recently agreed to plead guilty to federal trafficking charges, a professor who publicly criticized the school’s handling of previous abuse cases, and one of the nation’s most famed ballerinas. An original seven plaintiffs filed a joint complaint earlier this year, accusing school leadership of ignoring evidence that former staff members were sexually abusing students in the 1980s. They described decades of emotional turmoil in the years since, eliciting an apology from current school leaders. Where there's smoke, there's fire, and this fire needs to be put out.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Aw, dang it. I really like her. 18 years is a lot of public service, though. We wish you the best, Susan.

Checking in

I thought I'd take a minute to check in, see how folks are doing. I've been laying low for quite a while for lots of reasons, mostly involving bad health. It's been tough, especially given the daily insults we're facing from the Tarheel Taliban. And with the Uncle Tom Robinson shit-storm brewing, there's no telling how much evil is on the way. Add in a toxic stain of gerrymandering and we seem to be in for the very worst.

Monday News: Eighteen thousand, six hundred seventy six


OVER 1 1/2 MILLION NORTH CAROLINA RESIDENTS HAVE CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: At least 1,524,078 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 18,676 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, Nov. 24, reported 2,318 new COVID-19 cases, up from 1,289 on Tuesday. The state won’t update its case count later this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. At least 1,113 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Nov. 24, including 260 adults being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. As of Nov. 22, the latest date with available information, 5.9% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 72% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and about 68% have been fully vaccinated.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NEW STATE BUDGET IS JUST A START. PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS NEED MUCH MORE: Prior to the Thanksgiving break, North Carolina’s leaders enacted a new state budget for the first time in 3.5 years — at a time when the needs of our state’s 1.5 million public school students are greater than ever. Teacher vacancies and the myriad challenges educators and staff face are significant. Students’ academic, social, and emotional needs are enormous, given a global pandemic that has upended our world order. In spite of these challenges, we continue to have amazing and effective educators, administrators, and staff who give their all every day for students to give them access to a high quality and equitable education. However, we are in the middle of a teacher shortage with a dramatically reduced pipeline; the teaching profession overall has been attacked, and the working conditions of teachers are challenging and dire for many. The serious drop in performance by students due to pandemic measures should have been a wake-up call. Parents are simply not equipped to deal with the challenge, and textbooks and online programs fall short as well. The missing element was the teacher her (or him) self, for which there really is no effective substitute.


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