REPUBLICAN MARK BRODY RANTS ABOUT "TEACHER UNION THUGS" ON FACEBOOK: State Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican from Union County near Charlotte, posted a letter on his Facebook page Friday criticizing teachers who plan to march on May 16 instead of teach. "Let's call this what it is, Teacher Union thugs want to control the education process!" he posted. "I am speaking up because I don't want Union County schools, and for that matter all NC school systems, to turn into Chicago. Let the Union thugs get their way now and we are half way there." Mark Jewell, NCAE president, said Brody's post is offensive to teachers who have been given permission to take the day off by their districts to raise awareness about their work conditions. "It's another example of the disrespect educators are getting from some legislators in the General Assembly," Jewell said, adding "It's the state's responsibility to fund public schools. We're $2,600 below the national average in per pupil funding."
MAY 16 TEACHER RALLY IS NOW PROJECTED TO BE IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS: President Mark Jewell said planning for the May 16 Rally for Respect started last winter. “It will probably be one of the biggest events if not the biggest event that Raleigh has ever seen,” Jewell said. With tens of thousands of people expected in downtown Raleigh, he said no detail can be overlooked. The application for the NCAE to use Bicentennial Mall was approved on April 19. At the time, it was indicated that only around 500 people were expected to attend. Since then, 35 school districts in the state have announced they'll close schools that day. As result, Jewell says participation numbers have ballooned. Jewell said the organization is in touch with law enforcement about the logistics. “We obviously are going to march up the sidewalks,” he said. “The city police are going to escort us up.”
ANOTHER SENTENCING IN BALTIMORE POLICE CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION: The disgraced leader of a rogue Baltimore police unit was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to nine robberies while on the force. Former Sgt. Thomas Allers is the first member of the brazenly corrupt Gun Trace Task Force to head to prison. He pleaded guilty to nine robberies during his time leading the since disbanded unit. A jury found two task force detectives guilty of robbery and racketeering earlier this year. The explosive federal investigation has seen six law enforcers plead guilty. Several cooperated with the government. Allers did not. While the rogue detectives admitted to lying for years to cover their tracks, it's an open question as to whether the force's command structure had enough integrity to expose them. It was a federal investigation that brought them down.
ICE WANTS TO CONSTRUCT SEVERAL IMMIGRANT DETENTION FACILITIES IN MIDWEST: Companies and local governments have proposed building new immigration detention centers in Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana, responding to a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials stepping up arrests in the center of the country. The proposals, most by for-profit corrections contractors, were submitted to ICE after it put out a request in October for detention sites near Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City and St. Paul, Minnesota. ICE disclosed the proposals in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Immigrant Justice Center, which provided the information to The Associated Press. ICE pays private companies to hold about two-thirds of those detained for being in the country illegally, with the largest part of that business contracted to CoreCivic and GEO.
TENNESSEE PRIMARY ELECTION HACKED BY IP ADDRESS ORIGINATING IN THE UKRAINE: Investigators found evidence of a “malicious intrusion” into a Tennessee county’s elections website from a computer in Ukraine during a concerted cyberattack, which likely caused the site to crash just as it was reporting vote totals in this month’s primary. Cyber-security experts hired by Knox County to analyze the so-called “denial of service” cyberattack, said Friday that “a suspiciously large number of foreign countries” accessed the site as votes were being reported on May 1. Joyce McCants, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Knoxville, said Knox County has not reached out to the FBI in relation to the website crash. Election security experts have raised concerns that foreign state actors could use such attacks to erode public confidence in the democratic process. Projects like Defend Digital Democracy at Harvard University have been urging elections officials across the country to prepare for exactly such scenarios.