Saturday News: Two different worlds


REPORT SAYS NC CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE WORSENING SCHOOL SEGREGATION: In 72 percent of the counties where there's at least one charter school, the report said that charter schools increase the degree of racial segregation in the district. The report found that charter schools "tend to skew whiter than other schools in the same county." Nordstrom cites examples such as how 80 percent of the students in the four charter schools in Franklin and Granville counties are white while fewer than 50 percent of the students in those two districts are white. Charter schools used to be required to "reasonably reflect the racial and ethnic composition" of the population in the district where they were located. A 2013 law dropped the diversity mandate and diluted the language so charters must "make efforts" to reflect the local school district's demographics.

COOPER PANS FRANCIS DE LUCA WHEN APPOINTING STATE ELECTION BOARD: The two main parties forwarded six names each to the governor, and he picked four from each party. Francis Deluca, a former director of the conservative Civitas Institute, didn't make the cut for Republicans, and neither did Cherie Poucher, the retired elections director for Wake County. The governor named the following Republicans to the board: Stacy "Four" Eggers IV, an attorney in Boone and a former member of the Watauga County Board of Elections. John Randolph Hemphill, an attorney in Raleigh. John Malachi Lewis of Mount Pleasant, deputy counsel for the North Carolina Republican Party. Ken Raymond of Winston-Salem, the owner of Triad Notary Service and the chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Elections. Cooper named the following Democrats: Andy Penry, Joshua Dale Malcolm, Valerie Johnson, Stella Anderson.

ANDREW MCCABE GIVES BLISTERING REBUTTAL AFTER BEING FIRED TWO DAYS SHORT OF RETIREMENT: "It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day," he added, referring to Robert Mueller's ongoing probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. "Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel's work." McCabe also asserted that he was being singled out because of the "role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey." Mueller is investigating whether Trump's actions, including firing Comey as FBI director last May, constitute obstruction of justice, and McCabe, a close Comey confidant, could be an important witness. McCabe said the release of the findings against him was accelerated after he told congressional officials that he could corroborate Comey's accounts of his conversations with the president.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION CHAOS MAY BE AN INTENTIONAL EFFORT TO GIVE HIM PUBLICITY: Kelly has told confidants that he believes he can weather the current storm. But he has grown increasingly frustrated with the constant turmoil in the West Wing, believing at times that Trump intentionally fuels the chaos to keep his staff on its toes and his name in headlines, according to a person familiar with Kelly's thinking. This account of the tensions in the White House is based on conversations with more than a dozen officials inside the White House and familiar with West Wing deliberations, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal matters. After more than 14 months in office, Trump is reshaping his administration, seeking people more likely to fall in line with his policies and tolerate his moods. The factionalism that defined the early days of his tenure has faded, and he has lost some of the close aides who could manage his volatile impulses.

ENGINEER LEFT A VOICEMAIL(?!) ABOUT CRACKS IN FLORIDA PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE DAYS BEFORE IT COLLAPSED: An engineer left a voicemail two days before a catastrophic bridge failure in Miami to say some cracking had been found at one end of the concrete span, but the voicemail wasn’t picked up until after the collapse, Florida Department of Transportation officials said Friday. The voicemail left on a landline wasn’t heard by a state DOT employee until Friday because the employee was out of the office on an assignment, the agency said in an email. At a news conference Friday night, officials from the National Transportation Safety Board said they have just begun their investigation, and cannot yet say whether that cracking contributed to the collapse. They also said workers were trying to strengthen a diagonal member on the pedestrian bridge at Florida International University when it collapsed. Robert Accetta, the investigator-in-charge for the NTSB, said crews were applying post-tensioning force, but investigators aren’t sure if that’s what caused the bridge to fall. The bridge collapsed Thursday, killing at least six people. Authorities are slowly removing the debris, looking for more victims.