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Wednesday News: The bell's ringing

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GOVERNOR COOPER SAYS IT'S TIME FOR KIDS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL: Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he is “strongly urging” school districts to provide in-person instruction for all students — with coronavirus safety precautions in place — as pressure increases to reopen schools. “We’ve learned much more about this virus, and now it’s time to get our children back into the classroom,” Cooper said at a press conference. “Students should still have the option of remote learning this school year if that is best for them,” Cooper said. “And teachers who are at risk should be providing that remote instruction. But students who are ready to return to the classrooms should have that chance.” Cooper and Truitt sent a letter to the state’s school board members and superintendents to strongly encourage, but not require school districts to offer in-person instruction.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248944129.html

Tuesday News: The 4th Estate is still alive

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DAILY TAR HEEL WINS SETTLEMENT FROM UNC BOG OVER SILENT SAM FIASCO: The Daily Tar Heel, UNC-Chapel Hill’s student-run newspaper, settled its lawsuit Monday against the UNC System for its handling of the Silent Sam Confederate monument legal agreements. DTH Media Corp., parent company of The Daily Tar Heel, sued the UNC System, its Board of Governors and individual board members over allegations of violating North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law in January 2020. The media group argued that the $2.5 million settlement and additional $74,999 payment between the UNC System and the N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) were “conceived, negotiated, approved and executed in total secrecy,” the lawsuit said. DTH General Manager Erica Perel told The Daily Tar Heel this case showed the accuracy and accountability of DTH’s reporting on the issue.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article248932189.html

Monday News: Nine thousand, three hundred thirty five

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NORTH CAROLINA'S CORONAVIRUS CASE COUNT TOPS 3/4 OF A MILLION: At least 757,526 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 9,335 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 4,899 new COVID-19 cases, down from 6,168 reported the day before. At least 2,782 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday, down from 2,833 reported on Saturday. As of Friday, the latest day for which data are available, 8.5% of coronavirus tests were positive. A mass vaccination event was held over the weekend at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. It was expected to vaccinate 19,000 people.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248910359.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BIDEN WON. IT'S TIME FOR THE DENIERS TO DECLARE IT, TOO: It is time, well past time really, that our members of Congress – particularly those representing North Carolina who have been arguing otherwise – declare that Joe Biden got the most legally cast popular votes and got the most properly assigned Electoral College votes. He is the constitutionally elected president of the United States. No one is asking anyone that they must be happy with the results. No one is asking anyone that they must agree with all the duly elected president stands for or says. Just state simply that Biden won the election fair and square. The theft that is going on – and needs to stop – is how Murphy, Rouzer (along with other fellow Republicans the North Carolina delegation Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx and Richard Hudson) are stealing the nation’s faith in democracy and the integrity of our elections – the cleanest, most transparent and fairest in the world.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-biden-won-time-for-the-deniers-to-declare-it-too/19493525/

Saturday News: It's a river in Egypt

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NC OATH KEEPERS DENY INVOLVEMENT IN CAPITOL ATTACK: “I can promise you that no North Carolina Oath Keepers were involved with what happened at the Capitol building that day," Doug Smith told the Columbus County News this month. "North Carolina Oath Keepers were in Washington to hear President Trump after he put out the invitation to his supporters." The news site describes Smith as a Whiteville resident who leads the state group now formerly known as the N.C. Oath Keepers. Smith told the site that his contingent went to Washington by bus and headed home by 4 p.m. “The men of North Carolina believe that the National leadership (of Oath Keepers) could have stopped this and did nothing," Smith said of the Capitol riot. "The men and myself included can no longer be affiliated with Oath Keepers after this sad event in our nation’s history." According to the FBI, the Oath Keepers are a paramilitary organization that targets military and law enforcement veterans for membership.
https://www.wral.com/indictment-in-us-capitol-attack-teases-nc-connections-training-ground/19499600/

Friday News: Left behind

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RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL REFUSES TO EXPAND NON-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE: The city of Raleigh will wait to expand protections for LGBTQ people, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said, despite other governments expanding their non-discrimination ordinances now that a state ban has ended. “If we are going to pass something that can’t be enforced and isn’t legal, then we are not really accomplishing anything,” Baldwin said. “We are just contributing to the noise." Raleigh City Attorney Robin Tatum said she couldn’t comment on the city’s authority to expand its non-discrimination order based on gender identity, sexuality and military status, citing attorney-client privilege. The School of Government at UNC-Chapel Hill can’t provide a “clear answer” on the legality of the local ordinances, said Rebecca Badgett, a local government legal educator.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article248800005.html

Thursday News: Afraid of the truth

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REPUBLICANS OPPOSE CHANGES TO SOCIAL STUDIES THAT EXPLORE SYSTEMIC RACISM: “The system of government that we have in this nation is not systematically racist,” Robinson said. “In fact, it is not racist at all.” State board member Amy White said North Carolina social studies teachers should be telling students that America is the greatest nation on Earth. She blamed the news media for promoting an anti-American viewpoint. “While I think some of the revisions have been helpful, I still see an agenda that is anti-American, anti-capitalism, anti-democracy,” said White, who was appointed by former GOP Gov. Pat McCrory. She is a former social studies teacher. Wednesday’s debate marks the latest chapter in the struggle over how best to teach the state’s 1.5 million public school students about social studies.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248777855.html

Wednesday News: Profiles in cowardice

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BURR & TILLIS VOTE TO STOP IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF DONALD TRUMP: Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis both voted to acquit Trump in his first impeachment trial in early 2020. Both voted to certify the election results Jan. 6, recognizing Trump’s defeat by Joe Biden. On Tuesday, both were supportive of a Republican motion calling the impeachment trial unconstitutional. Sen. Rand Paul forced a procedural vote in the Senate on the trial’s constitutionality. It was killed by Democrats and five Republicans, but Burr, Tillis and 43 other Republicans backed his view. “This is a civilian now. A charge like this would go to the Justice Department and be referred for prosecution. Unfortunately, that’s not what they’re doing,” Burr told reporters at the Capitol on Monday. Tillis told reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday that “on the broader issue of impeaching a private citizen, I think, is an issue where the Senate needs to create a record that the majority of us are against it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248784240.html

Tuesday News: Mon Capitaine

JEFF JACKSON TO ANNOUNCE RUN FOR 2022 U.S. SENATE RACE: North Carolina state Sen. Jeff Jackson is expected to announce today that he is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, the latest candidate to enter what could be a large field to replace outgoing Sen. Richard Burr. Jackson, a 38-year-old Democrat from Charlotte, is in his fourth term in the state Senate. A former Gaston County prosecutor, Jackson is a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve and an Afghanistan war veteran. Burr, a Republican, announced during his 2016 campaign that he would not seek a fourth term in the Senate. Jackson, whose state Senate district was redrawn into a more competitive seat for 2020, spent the final weeks of his race at out-of-state training with the Army National Guard and off the campaign trail. Marisa took over the campaign for the final week.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article2...

Monday News: Eight thousand, six hundred ninety five

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MASS VACCINATIONS SCHEDULED AS VIRUS RAGES ON IN NC: At least 718,812 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 8,695 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,096 new COVID-19 cases, down from 7,181 reported the day before. On Sunday, 109 coronavirus-related deaths were reported. At least 3,303 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. Many hospitals and local health departments in North Carolina will receive fewer or no new coronavirus vaccine doses from the state this week, forcing them to cancel hundreds of vaccination appointments. A large portion of the state’s 120,000 doses this week will instead go toward mass vaccination events.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248735415.html

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