GOP BILL AIMS TO TRAIN TEACHERS AS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS: A trio of Republican legislators want to set aside $9 million for the "School Security Act of 2018," which would offer a 5 percent salary boost to up to 3,000 teachers who complete the state's training programs and become school resource officers. A school resource officer is a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school or a set of schools. If the teacher qualifies and successfully completes training to become a "teacher resource officer," he or she "shall have the same powers as municipal and county police officers to make arrests for both felonies and misdemeanors and to charge for infractions." Schools could determine whether their teacher-resource officers would carry firearms. And a teacher's identity as a school resource officer would be confidential under state law, meaning the public wouldn't know which teachers doubled as officers.
UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS ELECTS ALLEGEDLY CORRUPT CHAIRMAN: Smith was the only candidate for the position, despite the recent revelation that he }pressed a student housing deal he could have profited from at East Carolina University and despite a a lawsuit filed in April accusing him and another Board of Governors member of trying to steer a North Carolina Central University housing contract to a business partner. After Thursday's vote, several of Smith's fellow board members praised his hands-on approach at the system, which oversees North Carolina's 16 public universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, a residential high school for academically gifted students. "I don't think he did anything illegal," board member David Powers said. "I don't think he did anything unethical. ... Governor Smith tried to introduce some new potential players into the business, which I think would benefit us."
GAY NC REPUBLICANS FACE UPHILL BATTLE WITH THEIR PARTY: It's not easy being a gay Republican living in the Bible Belt, Justin Banks told a room full of Republicans and Libertarians at Republican Party headquarters this week. But making the GOP more accepting of LGBT rights is essential to its future, he said. "I've met a lot of resistance, about why I am Republican and I am also gay," said Banks, a 19-year-old from Havelock. He wants the party to reach out to gay people who share the principles of smaller government and lower taxes. "If you do not reach out to us, you will lose us," he said. The party that wins future presidential elections, Banks said, is "going to have the bigger tent." The Triangle Urban Republican Network — or TURN — a group that fosters discussions on issues such as clean energy and marijuana legalization, organized the forum on LGBT rights, what the group's founder Matthew Hebb called "a very difficult topic within the Republican Party."
WAKE DEPUTY TRIES TO DEFEND BEATING OF UNARMED RALEIGH MAN: Hinton said he suffered a broken eye socket, broken nose, multiple cuts on his head, "probably 20 bite marks" and memory loss after several officers pushed him up against a patrol car and beat him up while a Wake County Sheriff's Office K-9 bit him on his right arm, side and head. "Upon being approached by law enforcement, Mr. Hinton refused to comply with lawful and reasonable commands. His refusal to comply with law enforcement's lawful commands, his threatening manner, and the report that he possessed a firearm resulted in a response by law enforcement, including Deputy Broadwell, to neutralize any and all threats to the safety of the public and the responding officers," the court filing states. No gun was found on Hinton that night.
TRUMP LAWYER CRASHES CLASSIFIED BRIEFING ON RUSSIA PROBE: Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Thursday huddled in classified briefings about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a highly unusual series of meetings prompted by partisan allegations that the bureau spied on the Trump campaign. Initially offered only to Republicans, the briefings were the latest piece of stagecraft meant to publicize and bolster such claims. But they also highlighted the degree to which the president and his allies have used the levers of the federal government — in this case, intelligence agencies — to aide in Trump’s personal and political defense. Under direct pressure from the president, Justice Department officials agreed to grant Republicans’ request for the briefing, and only later opened a second briefing to a bipartisan group. The invite list evolved up until hours before the meeting — a reflection of the partisan distrust and the political wrangling. A White House lawyer, Emmet Flood, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly showed up for both briefings, although the White House had earlier said it would keep a distance.