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Saturday News: Profiting from bigotry?


MIKE ADAMS GRIFTS HALF A MILLION FROM UNCW: In an email sent to faculty, staff and students, UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli on Thursday announced that Mike Adams, a sociology and criminology professor at UNCW, would receive $504,702 for lost salary and lost retirement benefits. The payment was approved by N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein and the UNC Board of Governors, according to Sartarelli. Sartarelli said the school was faced with three choices, including retaining Adams as a faculty member and accepting the ongoing disruption while hurting the UNCW community and the school itself. Another choice was to attempt to fire Adams and face a lengthy legal process six years after the professor won a First Amendment lawsuit in 2014 that cost the school approximately $700,000, Sartarelli said.

Friday News: The adult in the room


GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES 8 POLITICAL STUNTS: On Thursday, he vetoed bills that would have reopened bowling alleys, skating rinks, amusement parks, event venues and other businesses, as well as another attempt to get gyms operating again. He also vetoed a measure that would have prevented cities from using the pandemic as a reason to halt any local Fourth of July parades or fireworks shows sponsored by private groups. A fifth vetoed bill would have prohibited any governor from extending a state of emergency for more than 30 days without the approval of the Council of State, a group of 10 statewide elected officials. Likewise, the Council of State would have to sign off on any effort to shut down an entire business segment. "The Emergency Management Act clearly provides the Governor with statutory authority to direct the state’s response to a public health emergency that could affect the entire state’s population," Cooper wrote in his veto message.

Thursday News: Homeless during a pandemic


10,000 EVICTIONS ARE WAITING TO BE SERVED ON NC RENTERS: As legal protections ended last month for renters facing evictions, affordable housing advocates and legal experts predict that North Carolina could see a wave of evictions in the coming months. Over 10,000 eviction cases are on file in North Carolina courts. Since the state eviction moratorium ended on June 21, hearings are being scheduled this month in Durham and Wake counties, said Peter Gilbert, lead attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina for the Eviction Diversion Program in Durham. “Now that the courts are reopened, I suspect that we’re going to see perhaps record numbers of filings,” Gilbert said. In April, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley halted court proceedings, including eviction hearings, until June 1. In late May, Gov. Roy Cooper extended the moratorium until June 20 by executive order.

Wednesday News: Let the sunshine in


LAW THAT SHIELDS POLICE DEATH INVESTIGATIONS TO BE REVISED: “It may not have been anticipated by some, but SB 168 appears to invite less transparency into death investigations by Medical Examiners instead of more,” said Mike Tadych, a Raleigh attorney who frequently represents news organizations on public records issues. “It’s clear that our society is demanding greater access to information about deaths occurring while people are in police custody. Thus, it’s hard to reconcile making this change now.” If an unnatural or unexpected death is deemed to be under medical examiner jurisdiction, related records are then passed to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Such records include death investigations by law enforcement. When those investigative records, which are exempt from public records law, leave law enforcement hands they become public. SB 168 would change that, mandating death investigation records remain confidential when they reach the medical examiner.

Tuesday News: Hasta la Vista, dirtbag

UNCW IS FINALLY ABLE TO GET RID OF NUTTY PROFESSOR MIKE ADAMS: Mike Adams, 55, will retire from the university effective Aug. 1, UNC announced in a statement Monday afternoon. It said the decision came after a discussion between Adams and UNCW Chancellor Jose Sartarelli. “Over the past several weeks, many of you have inquired about the status of a UNCW faculty member, Dr. Mike Adams, in light of the public attention generated by comments he made on his personal social media channels,” the university’s statement said. “We can now share the update that after a discussion with Chancellor Sartarelli, Dr. Adams has decided to retire from UNCW, effective August 1, 2020. We will have no further comment on this matter at this time, but we plan to share an update later this week regarding how we hope to move forward as a university community.”

Monday News: One thousand three hundred twenty two


NC'S CORONAVIRUS TESTING PERSISTS AT 10% POSITIVE RATE: At least 62,142 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 1,322 have died, according to state and county health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported an additional 1,605 cases of the virus, down from 1,719 on Saturday. Four deaths were reported. At least 890 North Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19 Sunday, up slightly from 888 on Saturday. On Sunday, 78% of hospitals reported data to the state, compared to 90% Saturday. Health officials on Sunday reported completing an additional 16,774 coronavirus tests, for a total of 871,905. The percentage of positive tests Sunday was 10%. It was the third consecutive day in which the percentage of positive tests was 10%, according to state data.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


AMERICA DIDN'T GIVE UP ON COVID 19, REPUBLICANS DID: At the beginning of this year Donald Trump’s reelection message was all about economic triumphalism: Unemployment was low, stocks were up, and he was counting on good numbers to carry him through November. He and his officials wasted crucial weeks refusing to acknowledge the viral threat because they didn’t want to hear any bad news. And they pushed for premature reopening because they wanted things to return to what they seemed to be back in February. Indeed, just a few days ago the same Trump officials who initially assured us that COVID-19 was no big deal were out there dismissing the risks of a second wave. I’d suggest, however, that the GOP’s coronavirus denial also has roots that go beyond Trump and his electoral prospects. The key point, I’d argue, is that COVID-19 is like climate change: It isn’t the kind of menace the party wants to acknowledge. It’s not that the right is averse to fearmongering. But it doesn’t want you to fear impersonal threats that require an effective policy response, not to mention inconveniences like wearing face masks; it wants you to be afraid of people you can hate — people of a different race or supercilious liberals.

Saturday News: It's time to party?


RALEIGH BARS OPEN THEIR DOORS DESPITE GOVERNOR'S ORDER: On Friday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper ordered bars to remain closed during the pandemic, citing an upward trend of coronavirus cases in the state. But this weekend, some downtown Raleigh bars were reopening on Friday anyway. Bar owners who spoke to WRAL News said it's the first time they've been open since the shutdown in March. Initially, bars would not be allowed to open until Phase 3 of Cooper's plan to reopen the state amid the pandemic. However, Cooper delayed that reopening because of worrisome upward trends in coronavirus cases in North Carolina. As of Saturday, about 10% of coronavirus tests done by the state are expected to come back positive. Texas and Florida had to also clamp down on bars due to coronavirus infections reaching an all-time daily high. In one day, Florida saw nearly 9,000 new cases. Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has been critiqued for not shutting down more businesses -- particularly bars -- in Florida. That changed after cases surged this week.

Friday News: Posturing Dandy


FOREST PLANS TO SUE GOVERNOR COOPER OVER EXECUTIVE ORDERS: “Today, I notified Governor Cooper that, as a member of the Council of State, I will be suing his administration for violating the Emergency Management Act,” the post said. “The Governor has repeatedly ignored the law, enacting mandates that selectively target the businesses and citizens of North Carolina without concurrence from a majority of the Council of State.” During a press conference on Wednesday, Cooper announced he is extending Phase Two of the state’s reopening until July 17. It was scheduled to expire on June 26. Cooper also issued a statewide mandate requiring the use of masks or face coverings. There were 1,009 new cases reported Thursday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services after it reported 1,721 cases on Wednesday, which was the second-highest total during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday News: Phase Two, continued

GOVERNOR REQUIRES FACE COVERINGS TO SLOW VIRUS SPREAD: A concerned North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday the state will remain in Phase Two for another three weeks while making face coverings mandatory in public. The order that moved the state into Phase 2 on May 22 was scheduled to expire on Friday. It has been extended until July 17. The mask requirement takes effect Friday at 5 p.m. “We know next week we’ve got another important announcement about schools and how we’ll open those up,” Cooper said during a press briefing. “We are hopeful that July 17 we can move even further on restrictions and we can have our kids in school this fall.” Cooper said the state needs to stay in Phase Two for three more weeks to give experts enough time to analyze data and trends.


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