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Tuesday News: It could have been worse?


HURRICANE ISAIAS SPAWNS TORNADOES AND FLOODING ACROSS EASTERN NC: Flooding, power outages and possible tornadoes were reported across Eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach just after 11 p.m. Monday. More than 362,000 power outages were reported across the state early Tuesday morning, including more than 90,000 in coastal New Hanover County and almost 50,000 in Brunswick County. Flash flooding remains a threat along the Interstate 95 corridor, after up to 4 inches of rain fell overnight and an additional inch is expected, according to the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service confirmed one tornado in North Carolina around 2:30 a.m. in Northampton County, near the Virginia state line. Damage in the area was not yet reported. Another tornado was reported in nearby Bertie County, and government officials posted on Facebook that they were investigating. The suspected tornado is believed to have hit up to 20 mobile homes and injured several people in the Windsor area of the county, WRAL reported.

Monday News: What balance of powers?


AFTER SENATE REJECTION, TRUMP PUTS TATA AT PENTAGON ANYWAY: Just days after a Senate committee canceled his nomination hearing, former North Carolina state official Tony Tata has been placed in a top Department of Defense position. Tata, a former Wake County schools superintendent and NC Department of Transportation chief, had been nominated by President Donald Trump for the No. 3 post in Defense. “Our system of checks and balances exists for a reason and the Senate’s role in the confirmation process for administration appointees ensures individuals at the highest levels of government are highly qualified,” said Rep. Adam Smith, a Washington state Democrat. “If an appointee cannot gain the support of the Senate, as is clearly the case with Tata, then the President should not put that person into an identical temporary role. This evasion of scrutiny makes our government less accountable and prioritizes loyalty over competence.”

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DON'T SHAME THE UNEMPLOYED, BENEFITS MUST SUSTAIN FAMILIES: This week more than 825,000 North Carolinians will see their unemployment benefits evaporate from an average $877 to just $277. This week landlords will demand rent. Lenders want mortgage payments. Monthly utility bills must be paid. This week marks the end of state-ordered moratoriums on evictions and utility cutoffs for nonpayment. In days, how many of those 825,000 will be without roofs over their families’ heads? How many will face temperatures near 100 without utilities? In the U.S. Senate, where help should be on the way, North Carolina’s Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have not acted. Why don’t we hear their voices? Why aren’t they demanding action, a Senate bill, or even a vote on the plan the U.S. House delivered two months ago?

Saturday News: Here we go again


HURRICANE ISAIAS ON TRACK TO HIT NC MONDAY: Category 1 Hurricane Isaias’ winds strengthened overnight to 85 mph as the storm continued on track to be “near or over” North Carolina early next week, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters remain divided on whether the storm will make landfall as it reaches the East Coast, but the storm’s track appears to be shifting “a bit more west,” forecasters said. The eastern half of North Carolina is now forecast to see tropical storm force winds starting around 8 a.m. Monday. Up to four inches of rain are possible through Monday, while a few southeastern coastal counties could see as much as six inches, the National Hurricane Center says.

Friday News: Environmental injustice

MASSIVE GROWTH IN POULTRY FARMS PLAGUE NC'S MINORITY COMMUNITIES: Environmental groups that mapped poultry operations in the state found the quickest growth in poultry operations from 2012 to 2019 was in counties with substantial Black, Latino and Native American populations. A report released Thursday by the Environmental Working Group and the Waterkeeper Alliance estimates that numbers of chickens and turkeys in Robeson, Sampson, and Duplin counties grew 36%, from 83 million to 113 million, with the fastest growth in Robeson. Excluding those three counties, the number of chickens and turkeys grown on industrial farms grew 17%, the report said. The environmental groups called for more oversight of poultry operations, starting with how they manage the millions of tons of waste produced each year.

Thursday News: Shedding racist icons


UNC-CHAPEL HILL TO RENAME THREE BUILDINGS CURRENTLY NAMED AFTER SLAVERS: UNC-Chapel Hill is removing the names from three campus buildings that honor individuals who are tied to white supremacy and racism. A fourth building will keep its name, but signs will clarify which members of a family it honors. The campus Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to remove the names of Charles B. Aycock, Julian S. Carr and Josephus Daniels from their respective buildings. The name of Thomas Ruffin Sr. will be stripped from that residence hall, but it will still honor his son, Thomas Ruffin Jr. These men “occupied high positions of influence and public trust” and used that power against Black people, according to the university’s Commission on History, Race & A Way Forward, which made the recommendation to remove the names.

Wednesday News: Hit those high notes


CUNNINGHAM PUSHES HARD FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION: Cunningham and Democratic interest groups have begun attacking Tillis' record as a state lawmaker and speaker of the North Carolina House, where he and other Republicans have, for years, blocked all efforts to expand Medicaid to tens of thousands of low-income adults. In the middle of a public health crisis and an economy in which millions have lost their jobs – and employer-provided health coverage – Medicaid should be available as an option for more people, Cunningham said. "There are a lot people who are sick and hurt and financially in dire straits right now," he said. "We need to make sure all of our people have quality, affordable health care in the midst of this pandemic." Cunningham also is pressing for a more coherent national strategy to battle coronavirus, including more investment in testing and contact tracing, saying he hears "very deep anxieties" from families and business owners "who just don't know what tomorrow may bring."

Tuesday News: Two wrongs = really wrong


MIKE PENCE TO VISIT BOB LUDDY'S PRIVATE SCHOOL WEDNESDAY: Vice President Mike Pence is expected to visit the Triangle on Wednesday, two days after President Donald Trump toured a local facility involved with manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a letter sent to families of Thales Academy. Bob Luddy, founder of the Thales Academy private schools, sent a letter to families at the Apex campus to say that Pence would make a “short visit” to the school, according to the letter provided by ABC11, The News & Observer’s newsgathering partner. “The U.S. Department of Education is promoting school choice in every way possible. Vice President Mike Pence has long been an advocate of school choice, which he promoted as governor in his home state of Indiana,” Luddy wrote. Thursday, the Raleigh campus of Thales Academy was informed that a visiting staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, The N&O reported.

Monday News: 112,713 infected


DEATH TOLL FROM PANDEMIC IN NC REACHES 1,785: A total of 1,785 have died from COVID-19 complications, up seven from the day before. The number of completed COVID-19 tests increased by 34,343 Sunday to 1,613,385. Sunday marks the third highest one-day total for new tests. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,621 new COVID-19 cases across the state Sunday, bringing the total up to 112,713. The percentage of positive cases from daily testing increased to 9% Saturday, the latest date available, up from 7% the day before. The number of those in the state hospitalized for COVID-19 increased by two on Saturday to 1,170.


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