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Thursday News: $2.5 Million for racists


JUDGE GIVES SILENT SAM STATUE TO CONFEDERATE GROUP, ALONG WITH A HEFTY BONUS: Silent Sam, the Confederate statue that stood on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus before it was torn down by protesters in 2018, is now in the hands of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. And the organization will have access to up to $2.5 million to transport and preserve the monument through a charitable trust set up by the UNC System. The allowed expenses could also include a facility to house and display the monument. The money is coming from accruing interest from the UNC System’s endowment that’s built through donations, not tax-payer money. The agreement came when a judge entered a consent judgment Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. against the UNC System and the UNC Board of Governors over the monument’s placement.

Wednesday News: Deadly milestone


TEENAGER BECOMES CHARLOTTE'S 100TH HOMICIDE VICTIM: The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say 19-year-old Nathaniel Lee Isenhour died at a Charlotte hospital on Tuesday after he was shot near a shopping center on Monday. According to police, someone called 911 to report shots fired. When officers arrived, they found neither a victim nor a shooter. Soon after, staffers at a local hospital notified police of a gunshot wound victim. Police said Isenhour was transferred from Atrium Health University City Hospital to Carolinas Medical Center Atrium Health with life-threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The newspaper says Charlotte last reported 100 homicides in 1993. There have been no arrests in the case thus far.

Tuesday News: Wolf in the fold

TRUMP'S ACTING HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF BRINGS ANTI-IMMIGRANT BIAS TO RALEIGH: President Donald Trump’s top immigration official met Republican officials Monday in Raleigh to talk about how the sheriffs of some of North Carolina’s largest counties are no longer cooperating with federal immigration agents. Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, is in charge of federal agencies like ICE, TSA and FEMA. It was the immigration side of the job that brought him to North Carolina, where he and several conservative politicians criticized Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for vetoing a bill that would have forced sheriffs to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “There are a handful of sheriffs in North Carolina who have chosen for political reasons — purely political reasons — to shirk their responsibility as law enforcement officers of upholding the law,” said Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican, who is planning on running against Cooper for the governor’s office next year.

Monday News: False accusations on trial


MCCRORY TEAM FACING LAWSUIT OVER VOTER FRAUD CLAIMS: The lawsuit targets the Washington, D.C., law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky and its lawyers who worked on McCrory’s post-election push. Also being sued are McCrory’s legal defense fund — which records show has just $2,000 left in the bank — that allowed him to raise and spend money on the complaints separately from his campaign fund, and William Clark Porter IV, a Republican official from Guilford County where most of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit also live. The voters have said they will leave it up to a trial to determine exactly how much money they should be paid by the various defendants, but they believe it should be more than $25,000. Meanwhile, their accusers say there’s no proof they committed libel or engaged in any sort of conspiracy.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


COOPER'S VETO PEN THWARTS LEGISLATIVE WRECKING CREW: For Cooper, his achievements came most in the wreckage he stopped than any show-piece victories. But don’t think it is without significance. Legislative leaders are unrelenting in their efforts to slash away at state government’s revenue base and leaving it unable to meet its fiduciary responsibility to ALL its citizens – not just corporate taxpayers. That responsibility includes access to a quality education for EVERY child; access to basic health care for EVERY family; a clean and healthy environment for ALL residents and the opportunity for good quality of life for all citizens. Cooper blocked further efforts to slash business taxes – this time reducing and even eliminating – the franchise tax that would have cut state revenues $1 billion over five years.

Saturday News: It's Super Tuesday, not Black Friday

BLOOMBERG SPENDING MILLIONS ON NC CAMPAIGN ADS: After weeks on the sidelines of the Democratic race, the billionaire businessman filed federal campaign paperwork Thursday, and he's already spending millions on TV ads in North Carolina and other states holding March 3 "Super Tuesday" primaries. "To put not too fine a point on it, I think he’s lighting his money on fire," Steve Greene, a political science professor at North Carolina State University, said Friday. "I think he has virtually no chance." Greene said Bloomberg isn’t adding anything new to the Democratic slate aside from his almost bottomless pockets. "You just cannot buy yourself an election, especially in primaries," he said. Bloomberg appears to be skipping the early primary states entirely, Greene says, hoping that a money bomb in Super Tuesday states could net him enough Democratic delegates – 40 percent of total delegates are up for grabs in 14 primaries from Maine to California – to make him a serious contender.

Friday News: Authoritarianism


SECRET SERVICE INVESTIGATES NC HIGH SCHOOL IMPROV JOKE ABOUT TRUMP? A complaint about a North Carolina student’s joke went all the way to the Secret Service, officials say. A high school improv club was performing when a student made “inappropriate comments,” Surry County Schools said. “The improvisation was not rehearsed, pre-planned, or meant to be taken seriously, however, the joke was in poor taste,” the school district said in a statement. The comment was forwarded to the Surry County Sheriff’s Office, which teamed up with the Secret Service to review the case, according to the post. Capt. Scott Hudson said his department had received “several complaints” about the performance, the Winston-Salem Journal reported last week. “We will take any appropriate disciplinary action once we have all of the facts,” the district said earlier this week.

Thursday News: Hold up, Gerry


JUDGES DELAY CANDIDATE FILING IN NC CONGRESSIONAL RACES: Candidates wanting to run in North Carolina’s newly redrawn U.S. House districts may have to wait a bit longer than they thought to file for office. The filing period for candidates running for statewide office in 2020 opens Dec. 2 at noon. But a panel of state court judges will meet that day at 9 a.m. to consider the next steps for North Carolina’s congressional map. The court said Wednesday evening that no one can file to run for U.S. House until the court says so. The state’s primary election is scheduled for March 3. Republicans hold 10 of the state’s 13 seats in the U.S. House. Under the new map, Democrats are expected to gain two additional seats, making an 8-5 split. But challengers in the court case indicated immediately after the maps were passed that they would challenge them again.

Wednesday News: Another one bites the dust


PITTSBORO CONFEDERATE STATUE TAKEN DOWN OVERNIGHT: The Confederate monument outside the Chatham County courthouse was taken down overnight, with crews removing the base early Wednesday. About 50 people who supported and opposed the monument gathered in downtown Pittsboro as the work began Tuesday night. The statue was taken off its base around 2 a.m. Wednesday, and the base was removed around 5:30 a.m. “It’s heartbreaking,” Robert Butler, a supporter of the monument, said as crews worked overnight. “A statue’s never hurt a soul, just like a grave memorial. Do they hurt anybody?” Anderson Ritter disagreed. “It represents stuff that never really should have happened, and it kind of memorializes and makes it seem good,” Ritter said. “I and other people don’t agree with that.”

Monday News: Escalation

VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT IN PITTSBORO OVER CONFEDERATE STATUE: The arrests began late Saturday morning, when police took away two men in handcuffs after a fight on East Street next to the traffic circle that surrounds the statue and the Chatham County Historic Courthouse at the center of town. Chatham County sheriff’s deputies and Pittsboro police shut down that section of the street to traffic for roughly 30 minutes. Allan Wayne Hall, 52, was charged with inciting a riot and simple affray, while Calvin James Megginson, 29, was charged with simple assault, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. A third man, Robert Butler, 63, was also arrested and charged with inciting a riot, the sheriff’s office said. All three men live in Pittsboro.


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