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Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BIDEN TALKS OF WHAT'S WORTH BATTLING FOR, NOT FIGHTING AGAINST: Trump’s “America first” was about fear and isolation. Instead of looking to confront and bully those who opposed him in the election, Biden reached out and promised respect for those who disagree and to seek consensus. “To those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy,” he said. “Disagreement must not lead to disunion,” he continued. “I pledge you this. I will be president for all Americans. I will fight as hard for those of you who did not support me as for those who did.” Biden aptly noted the nation seems to be engaged in an “uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.” The resolution was in opening “our souls instead of hardening our hearts.”
https://www.wral.com/editorial-biden-talks-of-what-s-worth-battling-for-not-fighting-against/19483215/

Saturday News: Flagship floundering

UNC-CHAPEL HILL REPORTS 343 STUDENTS AND STAFF TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS: UNC-Chapel Hill reported 112 students tested positive for COVID-19 before they returned to campus or to the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area for the spring semester. Last week, UNC also reported its first cluster of six coronavirus cases among students who’d been living in the Carmichael residence hall over winter break. About 260 students and 83 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far this month, according to UNC’s COVID-19 dashboard. All undergraduate students were required to submit a negative test before moving into dorms or starting classes, which began Tuesday. But the university delayed in-person classes for three weeks because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across North Carolina.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article248700260.html

Friday News: Long overdue

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PUSH TO RATIFY EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT IN NC GAINS STEAM: Equal Rights Amendment supporters said Thursday it's still important for the North Carolina legislature to ratify the proposal for the sake of fair treatment for all women, even as ERA's future is being weighed by a court. General Assembly lawmakers and state and national ERA activists announced in an online news conference their redoubled efforts to bring ratification up for debate and votes this year. Democratic legislators said they plan to introduce such resolutions in the legislative session that begins in earnest next week. Republicans in charge of the General Assembly have been cool to acting on past such resolutions, but one expected bill sponsor said efforts to enshrine equal rights for women in the U.S. Constitution should be bipartisan. “It is time to guarantee equal pay, equal access and equal opportunity to everyone,” said Sen. Valerie Foushee, an Orange County Democrat.
https://www.wral.com/north-carolina-legislators-press-again-for-era-ratification/19484447/

Thursday News: Torchlight shines again

PRESIDENT BIDEN IMMEDIATELY ACTS ON IMMIGRATION REFORM: Biden’s proposed bill would let many undocumented immigrants become citizens after eight years, if they were present in the country at the beginning of this year. The immigrants could apply for a green card after five years if they pass background checks and pay their taxes, according to the proposal, and three years later could apply for citizenship. Biden’s executive orders, meanwhile, halted the so-called “Muslim ban,” which restricted travel from several primarily Muslim countries, paused construction of Trump’s border wall, and formally reinstated Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. “We need a complete overhaul that protects the American people but is also consistent with our values,” a White House official said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248648595.html

Wednesday News: Bribery & Corruption? No big deal

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TRUMP PARDONS FORMER NC GOP CHAIRMAN ROBIN HAYES: Former Republican Congressman Robin Hayes, swept up in one of North Carolina’s worst political corruption scandals, received a late-night pardon Tuesday from President Donald Trump. Hayes, who has completed his probation, was one of three former Republican congressman who received pardons shortly after midnight from Trump’s at the beginning of the president’s last day in office. The others, Rick Renzi of Arizona and Duke Cunningham of California, had finished prison terms tied to corruption convictions. Trump also pardoned former adviser Steve Bannon, the rapper Lil Wayne, and former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, imprisoned for 28 years on a corruption charge, according to the Washington Post.
https://www.newsobserver.com/article248626550.html

Tuesday News: 75% Turnout

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NC VOTING INCREASED DURING 2020 ELECTION, IN SPITE OF PANDEMIC: Despite the coronavirus pandemic, voter turnout in North Carolina increased in the 2020 elections compared to the 2016 election. More than 75% of registered voters cast a ballot, setting a new record. More Republicans voted. More Democrats voted. More independents voted. More young people, middle-age people and older people voted. More white people voted, and so did more Black, Hispanic and Asian-American people. Black voter turnout in North Carolina increased 4.1 points over 2016. But it wasn’t enough for Democrats to flip the state for Biden over Trump. In the end, 68.4% of North Carolina’s Black voters cast a ballot in the 2020 elections, compared to 78.8% of white voters. In total statewide, Democrats added 98,996 voters from 2016 to 2020 and Republicans added 251,107. But the ranks of unaffiliated voters grew by more than both parties combined, as they cast 409,416 more votes than they did in 2016.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article248157910.html

Monday News: Eight thousand eighty three

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CORONAVIRUS CONTINUES TO RAVAGE NC, POSITIVE TESTING RATE 10%: At least 674,637 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 8,083 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,911 new COVID-19 cases, down from 7,986 reported the day before. Sixty-seven additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Sunday. At least 3,862 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. As of Friday, the latest date for which data are available, 10% of coronavirus tests came back positive. Health officials say the number should be about 5% to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248569615.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ROY COOPER: NORTH CAROLINA IS STRONG, RESILIENT, AND READY: As we enter 2021, we carry the imprint of our people’s frustration and loss as well as our determination and resilience. This new year and this new term as Governor is more than just turning the page of a calendar. The lessons we’ve all learned must usher in a new era. An era where we can acknowledge and work around our differences while refusing to sacrifice truth and facts at the altar of ideology. Where the dangerous events that took place at our nation’s capitol can never be justified. So let’s reach together – to find ways all North Carolinians can afford to see a doctor. To get a quality education and a good paying job. To reform our systems that hurt people of color and to live and work in an economy that leaves no one behind, no matter who they are or where they live. I am humbled by the trust that you, the people of North Carolina have placed in me to serve again as your Governor.
https://www.wral.com/roy-cooper-north-carolina-is-strong-resilient-and-ready/19467632/

Saturday News: NC's culture of racism

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BLACK HENDERSONVILLE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE THREATENED WITH "50 LASHINGS": When Jackson wore her hair naturally to the office, the complaint says a white colleague asked her “oh my god why would you wear your hair like that?” “God made me this way,” Jackson reportedly responded. Jackson told her supervisor, but she said nothing was done about it. Instead, on two separate occasions, her supervisor threatened her with “50 lashings” if she didn’t perform her job duties as mail room manager correctly, the lawsuit said. When Jackson told the company’s CEO, the complaint alleges her supervisor began retaliating against her by rifling through her belongings “looking for something to try and accuse plaintiff of wrongdoing.” Jackson is seeking a jury trial, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article248538895.html

Friday News: State-wide campaign

EFFORT TO BRING EQUITY TO COUNTY VACCINE DISTRIBUTION HAS SLOWED NC ROLLOUT: As the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services ramped up its vaccine distribution, Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen put an emphasis on equity. She wanted to make sure at least some doses got to all 100 counties in the state. But not all health departments have the same capacity to carry out the final step. As a result, some counties told DHHS they would be OK taking smaller shipments, while other counties will see their allotments increase. Cohen acknowledged the emphasis on geographic equity contributed to the delay. Now, the state will push for speed. “There is a tension between speed and equity,” Cohen said. “And we were trying to find that right middle ground.” State health officials announced this week they were setting up 10 “high-throughput” sites around the state which will receive a combined allocation of 45,000 doses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248501115.html

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