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Thursday News: They learned nothing


PASQUOTANK DEPUTY KILLS ANDREW BROWN WHILE SERVING WARRANT: Tensions were high in a small North Carolina city on Wednesday after a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a Black man. Deputies were executing a search warrant Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City when Andrew Brown Jr. was shot, the Pasquotank County sheriff said. The sheriff, Tommy Wooten, offered few other details about what happened and said the State Bureau of Investigation is taking the lead. Brown was 42 years old, online records show. He was a father of 10, WAVY reported. Brown’s son, Khalil Ferebee, said his father didn’t own guns, according to the The Virginian-Pilot. “He wasn’t a violent person,” Daniel Bowser, who said he and Brown were friends for nearly 30 years, told The News & Observer. “He didn’t mess with guns, he didn’t tote no guns.

Wednesday News: Petty tyrant


TIM MOORE STRIPS JULIA HOWARD OF CHAIRMANSHIP AFTER ETHICS TUSSLE: The move comes after Howard, one of the longest-serving members of North Carolina’s General Assembly, publicly opposed a bill that was backed by Moore and would benefit some North Carolina lawmakers who received federal coronavirus relief money from the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill, if signed into law, would give tax breaks to businesses that received those loans, including dozens of lawmakers’ businesses. By revoking Howard’s chairmanship, Moore acted swiftly to punish a challenge to his control. With the legislature sharply divided along party lines, infighting in the speaker’s party presents a challenge to his ability to advance his, and his party’s, agenda.

Tuesday News: Scam artists


MADISON CAWTHORN JOINS GOP COLLEAGUES IN "RECURRING DONATIONS" TRICK: Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn, an Asheville Republican in the 11th district, is using two pages for his campaign with the boxes automatically checked for monthly recurring donations. One follows his push two weeks ago for turning Trump’s border wall into a national monument, which Cawthorn has dubbed the “Donument.” Cawthorn’s communications director, Micah Bock, referred questions to campaign staff. He only provided an email address for contact. No one responded. He then suggested contacting WinRed, a for-profit company that processes donations for many Republicans. Rep. Richard Hudson, a Concord Republican in the 8th district, has a fundraising page with the opt-in box pre-checked for a monthly contribution. Rep. Dan Bishop, a Charlotte Republican, is raising money off of a webpage set up by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s campaign that has the box checked for monthly contributions, and a second pre-checked box that would draw another donation at the end of this month.

Monday News: Twelve thousand, three hundred eighty seven


NC'S HOSPITALIZATIONS AND POSITIVE TEST RATE INCH UP, DESPITE VACCINATIONS: At least 943,693 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,387 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,475 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 2,434 the day before. At least 1,064 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, up from 1,020 on Thursday. On Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 5.5% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Edgecombe County was the only red county in the state’s tiered COVID-19 county alert system as of Friday, indicating it has the most severe spread. There were no red counties at the last update two weeks ago, The News & Observer reported.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


STOP EFFORTS TO MICRO-MANAGE VOTER TURNOUT: Republicans see advantage to limiting participation – whether it is when polling places are open and voting closes, what it takes for voters to identify themselves or the ways voters can cast their ballots. They’ve even admitted it in court – including during arguments recently before the U.S. Supreme Court. Michael Carvin, a lawyer for the Arizona Republican Party, said the state’s voting restrictions were aimed at giving the GOP an advantage over Democrats. “Politics is a zero-sum game,” he said. Doing away with the state’s restrictive law – limiting out-of-precinct voting – “puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” he confessed. “It’s the difference between winning an election 50-49 and losing an election 51 to 50.” Republicans are pushing legislation that generally sets narrower limits on when those who qualify can register, how and when those voters can cast ballots and get them counted.

Saturday News: Love & Treason?

RANDOLPH COUNTY MAN, TEXAS WOMAN IN CUSTODY FOR CAPITOL BREACH: Bennett was a QAnon devotee from small-town North Carolina, according to court records. She was a musician, lifestyle coach and essential oils guru from San Antonio. In a series of videos and photographs posted real-time from the day, the couple strolled through the Capitol and posed inside the Senate chambers. Williams mugged for the camera both inside the iconic building and outside on its grounds. “TODAY WAS A REVOLUTIONARY MESSAGE,” Bennett roared in an all-caps Facebook mini-manifesto posted that day. “WE WON’T GO AWAY. WE WILL FIND VICTORY.” For now, both must find lawyers. Bennett remained in custody Friday at the Mecklenburg County Jail, where he awaits transfer to the federal courts of Washington, which will prosecute his case. He joins some 420 others facing trial in connection with the Capitol siege. At least 12 are from North Carolina.

Friday News: Sgt. Big Brother


RALEIGH POLICE VIOLATED POLICY WITH FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE: In the months that followed, emails provided by the Raleigh Police Department show, at least 20 people at the department had access to Clearview, a service that trumpeted its “unlimited” power to identify just about anyone in seconds with a single photo. That number far exceeds the three employees authorized to use the service before the department abruptly banned it in February 2020. “I think facial recognition technology, in the long run, has much more potential to change our lives as we know it, and to completely eradicate practical obscurity,” said Jolynn Dellinger, a senior lecturing fellow at the Duke University School of Law and former special counsel for privacy policy and litigation at the N.C. Department of Justice. If anyone can be identified anywhere — at a political protest, church or Alcoholics Anonymous meeting — Webb said authorities gain the “unprecedented power to spy on us wherever we go.”

Thursday News: Wrong, as usual


MCCRORY CALLS DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION OF TRANSGENDER BILLS "CANCEL CULTURE": “There are a lot of issues, including that issue, that need to be allowed to be discussed that doesn’t involve the cancel culture. It needs fair discussions.” Cancel culture has become a broad term used to describe everything from people losing their jobs for their behavior to businesses boycotting states over policies they disagree with. Major League Baseball moved its All-Star Game and several corporations have rebuked Georgia in recent weeks after passage of a package of election laws. “This cancel culture has got to end and the identity politics has gone way too far, especially on the left,” McCrory said. “We’ve got to end the identity politics and cancel culture and we need to be judged by our individual character, heart and souls.”

Wednesday News: Voucher madness continues


NC REPUBLICANS PUSH TO INCREASE ELIGIBILITY AND PAYMENTS FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS: The state House voted 69-49 on Tuesday to approve legislation that would increase the $4,200 annual amount provided to students who receive school vouchers, or Opportunity Scholarships. Senate Bill 671 would increase the income eligibility to 175% of the amount required for a family to be eligible for a free- or reduced-price lunch. That works out to a family income up to $56,400 for a two-person household and up to $85,794 for a family of four. The legislation also would raise the voucher amount to a maximum of $6,500 a year, according to bill sponsors. The bill ties the voucher amount to the average amount spent by the state per student each year. Republicans are expected to try work out a compromise between the two bills to see if it will get enough Democratic support to override a potential veto from Cooper.

Tuesday News: Back in court


NC VOTER ID TRIAL BEGINS, INHERENT RACISM LEADS DEBATE: North Carolina's latest law requiring photo identification to cast ballots went on trial on Monday, with attorneys for voters challenging the mandate by arguing it still disproportionately prevents Black residents from carrying out their constitutional right. A panel of three state Superior Court judges began hearing evidence in the lawsuit filed to overturn a December 2018 law that filled in the details of how a voter ID constitutional amendment approved in a statewide referendum several weeks before would be implemented. Lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature said the new law isn't racially suspect, pointing out they expanded the types of qualifying IDs and made it easier for registered voters without IDs to have their votes counted. The evidence shows the new law, rushed for passage so Republicans could override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto before their power waned during the next legislative session, suffers from the same racial taint and faults as the previous law, said Allison Riggs, a lawyer for the voters who sued.


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