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Tuesday News: The next logical step

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NC TEACHERS FORMING CONGRESS WHICH MAY LEAD TO WALKOUTS: Red4EdNC is asking educators to sign its "Declaration in Defense of North Carolina's Public Schoolchildren," which lists grievances with state legislators such as inadequate school funding. The teachers advocacy group says the declaration will lead to the formation of a "Teachers Congress" that will develop "collective actions" that will be used by teachers if legislators don't agree to their demands. Angie Scioli, founder of Red4EdNC, said the Teachers Congress will look at what's happened in other states, such as Arizona, Kentucky and West Virginia, where teachers used strikes and walkouts to press for changes. She said all options would be on the table. "We’re the teachers on the front lines and in the classrooms. You can fool a lot of people on the degree to which public education is being supported to people who aren’t in classrooms every day, but we are teachers and we know."

Monday News: The other campaign fund


NC REPUBLICANS SLING PORK TO FEED AT-RISK LEGISLATORS: In the state budget this year, legislators handed out millions of dollars in grants to towns, individual schools, county fairs, local libraries, little museums, nonprofit groups, and for-profit companies. These grants are called “member money” in the halls of the legislature. They're also known as pork. Sen. Dan Blue of Raleigh, the Senate's Democratic leader, said budget pork is meant to help Republican legislators vulnerable in the 2018 election. Pork projects "go excessively in areas where their incumbents are at risk," he said. The marquee example of helping endangered Republicans was the $200,000 aimed at 35 schools in Sen. Jeff Tarte's Mecklenburg County district. The money was to be funneled through the charity DonorsChoose, but the earmark was erased after the group said accepting the money would violate its principles.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


LEGISLATORS RUDENESS TO COOPER NOMINEES IS ALSO AN INSULT TO VOTERS: The North Carolina General Assembly is infected with a culture of secrecy, special-interest backroom deals and a disrespectful lack of transparency and candor with the state’s citizens. The blame rests squarely with Senate Leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore. They need to cease and desist. Lest anyone doubt it, look no further than the handling of Gov. Roy Cooper’s nominees for the State Board of Education, the state Industrial Commission and a state Superior Court special judgeship. All were eminently qualified. None had a hint of any concerns in their background that would have made them unfit for service. Senate President Phil Berger, following the session told reporters simply: "We're supposed to be more than a rubber stamp." The reality is that without any discussion, that’s what Berger, Moore and the rest of the majority in the General Assembly amount to –simply thoughtless and reflexive.

Saturday News: Act your age


NC GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE CHASTISED BY JUDGE OVER POOR PARENTING: Steve Von Loor, the Republican nominee challenging Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price, claimed that A.J. Robey was harassing him and making him afraid for his safety. He claims Robey has a collection of "assault knives" and has thrown rocks at his car. Meanwhile, Robey claimed the opposite was true, accusing Von Loor of threatening behavior toward Maria Robey, who divorced Von Loor in 2010. He wanted a court order to keep Von Loor away from his home. Wake County District Judge Dan Nagle threw out both claims, saying they didn't rise to the level of severity the law requires for protective orders. He also gave both men, who have engaged in an acrimonious back-and-forth on social media in recent weeks, and their wives a lecture about their parenting skills, telling them to start acting like adults. "Custody and visitation should be about the children, but now it's turned into something else, and it's having a bad effect on the children," Nagle said.

Friday News: Barefoot and pregnant

GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE MARK HARRIS SAY WOMEN SHOULDN'T TRY TO BE INDEPENDENT: Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris, a former Baptist pastor, once delivered a sermon questioning whether a career was the "healthiest pursuit" for women. n the sermon, Harris, then pastor of Charlotte's First Baptist Church, spoke about "God's plan for biblical womanhood" and barriers to it. "In our culture today, girls are taught from grade school . . . that what is most honorable in life is a career, and their ultimate goal in life is simply to be able to grow up and be independent of anyone or anything," he said. "But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? . . . Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?"

Thursday News: It runs in the family

GOP CLAIMS WHITE SUPREMACIST PRIMARY WINNER CONCEALED HIS BIGOTRY FROM VOTERS: Current and former party officials say Russ Walker's rhetoric on race, religion and white supremacy wasn't part of the campaign. That came out later, when a website called was tied back to him. Walker's pitch during his one joint appearance with fellow candidate John Imbaratto had more to do with the lawsuits he's filed over the years and the health effects of canned soda, Imbaratto said. He didn't mentioned God being a racist or Jews being the "children of Satan," themes he hits heavily online. There were signs, though. Literally. Walker protested The News-Journal, a local newspaper in Raeford, in January with a sign that said "God is a Racist." He had sued the paper over its refusal to print his letters, the newspaper reported Tuesday. Walker's campaign website,, is long and text heavy. It runs about 1,200 words before mentioning "the Jews."

Wednesday News: The bus is empty


TUSSLE CONTINUES BETWEEN BOARD OF EDUCATION AND JOHNSON OVER CONTROL OF DPI: The fight over who is running North Carolina's public schools remains unsettled, with both the State Board of Education and Superintendent Mark Johnson insisting they're in charge. Both sides claimed victory in a state Supreme Court decision released in June that upheld a 2016 state law transferring some of the state board's powers to Johnson. In a statement released Monday night, state board chairman Bill Cobey accused Johnson of overstepping the court decision by working with legislators to pass a new law in June that strips the board of power to oversee the state's public schools. Despite the new law, Cobey says the board will continue to pass rules and regulations that govern Johnson's ability to run the state Department of Public Instruction.

Tuesday News: Pay attention, NCGA

NC "INFLUENCERS" CALL FOR BETTER FUNDING OF NC SCHOOLS: Public schools need to receive adequate funding to ensure the continued health of North Carolina, according to a new survey of some of the state's most influential leaders. A group of 60 North Carolina Influencers — comprised of leaders in the state’s political, business, academic and faith communities — were asked about the importance of 14 different education topics. Nearly all the Influencers listed adequate funding as being very important, saying that taking care of that issue would help solve a variety of other problems affecting the state's K-12 education system. "While many of these issues are very important, adequate funding is the most important," said Pamela Davies, president of Queens University of Charlotte. "If NC was funding K-12 education appropriately, many deficiencies in our system, including teacher pay and Pre-K, could be addressed."

Monday News: The smell of victory


JURY AWARDS $25 MILLION TO HOG FARM NEIGHBORS: A North Carolina jury has awarded more than $25 million to a couple in the eastern part of the state who filed a nuisance lawsuit against Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, for the swarms of flies, stench, rumbling trucks and other downsides of the hog farm next door. The verdict came on Friday after the jury deliberated for three days behind closed doors. It is the second verdict for hog farm neighbors in a series filed against Smithfield Foods. The decision also comes in a week in which North Carolina lawmakers adopted a new Farm Act that restricts when and how neighbors can bring such claims in court in the future. North Carolina has about 9 million hogs on nearly 2,300 hog farm operations. Iowa is the only state with more hogs, showing an inventory of about 21.8 million in 2017.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


VOTERS NEED TO REJECT RUSHED, FATALLY-FLAWED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: The people of North Carolina have learned very little about what is really in the unprecedented bundle of proposed amendments to the State Constitution. It’s not their fault. The little that is known gives every voter good reason to oppose these amendments and reject each one when they go to the polls in November. The fatal flaws are significant and strike at the fundamentals our Constitution is supposed to uphold. The amendments were concocted in secret. There’s been too little time for public examination, distribution of information and debate of changes that carry such permanence. Amendment advocates have been deceitful and dishonest. The Constitution is not a playground for partisan manipulation. Vote against all of the amendments and the legislators who pushed them. November can’t come soon enough.


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