Monday News: Resistance has a leader


JOSH STEIN STANDS UP AGAINST THE WORST OF TRUMP'S AGENDA: During his first 16 months in office, Stein has been on the front lines with a troop of Democratic attorneys general firing off a slew of lawsuits, targeted complaints and other actions against the Trump administration. “To me, it’s not about fighting the Trump administration, it’s about standing up for the people of North Carolina,” Stein said recently. Stein has joined the group to oppose offshore drilling, education policies, a travel ban and the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. At the beginning of the month Stein fought the administration’s plans to try to block a question about citizenship from the 2020 Census questionnaire. Not even a whole week later, he joined other states with Democratic attorneys general in a pushback against a Texas lawsuit attempting to further dismantle the Affordable Care Act, former President Barack Obama's signature health legislation.

NC DOT TESTS SELF-DRIVING CAR ON RALEIGH INTERSTATE BYPASS: Last year, the federal government selected NC-540 in western Wake County as a proving ground for autonomous vehicles. For this test, GM loaned the DOT a Cadillac CT 6 with Super Cruise. That means when it's on the highway, it mostly drives itself. In March, engineers spent a week with the Cadillac, driving 1,000 miles up and down NC-540 in all kinds of conditions -- and officials say it performed exactly as the owners manual said. Why does the DOT need to test this technology? Jernigan says engineers need to know how to design roads for autonomous cars. One of the biggest concerns is that the car's cameras need to see the pavement markings. Jernigan says the DOT is embracing a future with more self-driving cars, and he believes it will make driving safer and cut congestion.

ALAMANCE COUNTY GROUP RAISES CONFEDERATE FLAG IN HILLSBOROUGH: Months of talk, rumor and gossip turned to action this weekend when a Confederate battle flag rose above Orange County. The mammoth flag flies high over U.S. 70 – a well-traveled highway through this liberal county, home to UNC-Chapel Hill, 10 yoga studios, three Weaver Street Market natural food stores and an alpaca farm. Whether the flag will be allowed to remain may be determined by the Orange County Planning Board. The board is set to hear the public's comments regarding proposed changes to sign rules May 15 at the Southern Human Services Center at 2501 Homestead Road in Chapel Hill. "The UDO amendment process being undertaken by the county will ensure that residents' First Amendment protections are upheld while addressing the concerns of many in the community regarding our county continuing to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all people," Hillsborough Town Commissioner Matt Hughes said Sunday.

ALAMANCE NAACP PUSHING TO GET CHARGES DROPPED FOR A DOZEN ACCUSED OF VOTER FRAUD: The president of Alamance NAACP called Saturday, April 28, for District Attorney Pat Nadolski to drop charges against the 12 people who have been charged with voter fraud stemming from the 2016 election. Barrett Brown said during a gathering at the Bynum Educational Center in Burlington that it’s time to “speak truth to power” regarding the “Alamance 12.” He called the situation a case of voter irregularities rather than voter fraud. Late last year, Nadolski announced that a grand jury had returned indictments against 12 people for violating state election law. They allegedly voted in the 2016 general election while still on probation or post-release supervision. Barrett called the charges “peculiar.” “No district attorney in the state has decided to prosecute this many people” on voter fraud charges stemming from the 2016 election, Brown said. Most of those who were charged are minorities, he said.

CONSERVATIVE SNOWFLAKES MELT OVER WH CORRESPONDENT'S DINNER ROAST: President Donald Trump gave a thumbs-down Sunday to the comedian who roasted his chief spokeswoman at the annual White House Correspondents' Association dinner, offending present and past members of his administration, including one who walked out in protest. "Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really 'bombed,'" Trump tweeted Sunday. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, tweeted that he and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, director of strategic communications at the White House, walked out of the dinner. "Enough of elites mocking all of us," he said. As he did last year, Trump flew to a Republican-friendly district to rally supporters in an attempt to counter the dinner. He assured the audience in Washington Township, Michigan, a state he won in 2016, that he'd rather be there than at "that phony Washington White House Correspondents' Dinner."