RALEIGH'S PLANNING COMMISSION AND CITY COUNCIL AT ODDS OVER GRANNY FLATS: Some members of the city’s planning board say the Raleigh City Council is ramming through rules for backyard cottages and granny flats that are so “overly complex” few people will ever build them. Several Planning Commission members feel their hands were tied after the council instructed them not to consider alternatives to proposed rules for accessory dwelling units, also known as backyard cottages and granny flats. The advisory commission debated the proposed rules last week before deciding to send them to a committee for more discussion. At least one planning commissioner was prepared to vote for the recommendations though he acknowledged he might be the only one. “I think a site-specific rezoning would be preferable, but we’re not at the beginning [of the discussion],” Planning Commissioner Bob Geary said, noting the more than five years the city has already spent on the issue. “We are well along, and the proposal sent to us by City Council is the one they intend to adopt. I think.”
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR NC CHARTER SCHOOL PRINCIPLE ACCUSED OF RAPING 12 YEAR-OLD: Administrators at a Goldsboro charter school will meet with parents Monday after the principal was accused of raping a 12-year-old. Goldsboro police are still searching for Richard Omar Knight, 35, of Smithfield, a former principal at Dillard Academy who is charged with raping a 12-year-old student on campus. Knight, 35 faces charges of statutory rape, a sex act with a student and indecent liberties with a student. Police responded to a report of sexual assault Thursday, and a warrant was secured Friday. According to his LinkedIn page, Knight had been at the school for more than two years. On LinkedIn, Knight describes himself as "a very enthusiastic teacher" with experience in elementary and middle school. Police say Knight has been suspended as principal and is not allowed on campus. School leaders are cooperating with their investigation and asked for help from the public to track Knight down.
TRUMP DEFENDS SAUDI CROWN PRINCE ACCUSED OF ORDERING JOURNALIST'S KILLING: The CIA has concluded with "high confidence" that the crown prince authorized last month's premeditated killing of the 59-year-old writer, according to multiple news reports. The president previously accused the Saudis of "one of the worst cover-ups" in the death of Khashoggi, a Virginia resident who wrote opinion columns for The Washington Post. But in recent days he has swung back to defending the kingdom's rulers, suggesting that the evidence did not definitely establish the crown prince's culpability. "Will anybody really know?" Trump asked in the Fox News interview. He said the crown prince had personally told him "maybe five times ... as recently as a few days ago," that he played no role in the killing and that he has "many people now that say he had no knowledge." He did not specify who those individuals were. The Khashoggi episode, and Trump's refusal to cast public suspicion on the crown prince, has once again spotlighted his reluctance to accept intelligence findings that conflict with his political or personal agenda.
TRUMP'S PROMISE TO "HELP" FARMERS HURT BY HIS TRADE WARS IS DOING VERY LITTLE: America’s farmers have been shut out of foreign markets, hit with retaliatory tariffs and lost lucrative contracts in the face of President Trump’s trade war. But a $12 billion bailout program Mr. Trump created to “make it up” to farmers has done little to cushion the blow, with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far. According to the Department of Agriculture, just $838 million has been paid out to farmers since the first $6 billion pot of money was made available in September. Another pool of up to $6 billion is expected to become available next month. The government is unlikely to offer additional money beyond the $12 billion, according to Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary. The program’s limitations are beginning to test farmers’ patience. The trade war shows no signs of easing, with China and the United States locked in a stalemate that has reduced American farmers’ access to a critical market for soybeans, farm equipment and other products.
WEALTHY TIJUANA RESIDENTS PROTEST "MESSY, UNGRATEFUL" MIGRANT CARAVAN: Hundreds of Tijuana residents congregated around a monument in an affluent section of the city south of California on Sunday to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived via caravan in hopes of a new life in the U.S. On Sunday, displeased Tijuana residents waved Mexican flags, sang the Mexican national anthem and chanted “Out! Out!” in front of a statue of the Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc, 1 mile from the U.S. border. They accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana. They also complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.” And they voiced worries that their taxes might be spent to care for the group. “We don’t want them in Tijuana,” protesters shouted. A woman who gave her name as Paloma lambasted the migrants, who she said came to Mexico in search of handouts. “Let their government take care of them,” she told video reporters covering the protest.