NC TEACHERS MARCH ON RALEIGH TO DEMAND MORE RESOURCES: “I started crying when we were marching,” said Jennifer Collins, testing coordinator at Cleveland High School in Johnston County. “It was so emotional seeing everyone marching together for the same reason.” Teachers came for the event from across the state, united by some of the same concerns. A trio of teachers from Wayne County said they represented many rural counties where some school employees are required to have commercial drivers’ licenses so they can drive school buses when necessary. “I drive a bus at least two times a week,” said Isaac Davenport, who teaches agricultural education and voluntarily drives a bus. Organizers hoped the May 1 “Day of Action” organized by the N.C. Association of Educators would surpass the crowd at last year’s protest and build on the momentum that they credit with helping to mobilize voters in last fall’s election to break Republican supermajorities in the legislature.
TAX CUT FALLOUT: RAISES FOR TEACHERS & STATE EMPLOYEES POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY: Raises for teachers and state workers won't kick in until next year under the House's proposed 2019-20 state budget because the state doesn't have enough money to pay for them just yet. The House is expected to cast votes Thursday and Friday on its $23.9 billion spending plan. "We want to make sure everything is fiscally balanced," Saine said, without elaborating on possible reasons why the proposed budget doesn't include enough money to pay the raises earlier when previous budgets have and the state has seen budget surpluses in recent years. The budget includes raises of 1 percent or $500, whichever is greater, for most state workers, although corrections officers and trial court coordinators would see 5 percent increases.
MEADOWS ENDORSES GREG MURPHY OVER JOAN PERRY IN 3RD DISTRICT GOP RUNOFF: Republican state Rep. Greg Murphy, who topped a 17-way primary Tuesday night for U.S. House in Eastern North Carolina, picked up a key endorsement Wednesday morning ahead of a July 9 primary runoff against Joan Perry. Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus and a staunch ally of President Donald Trump, said he was backing Murphy in the runoff, calling the Greenville urologist “clearly the conservative pick.” Murphy, 56, received 22.5 percent of the vote in unofficial results from the sprawling 3rd Congressional District, which covers all or parts of 17 counties in Eastern North Carolina. He needed at least 30 percent to avoid a runoff with Perry, a Kinston pediatrician and first-time candidate for elected office who finished second with 15.4 percent of the vote in the special election to replace the late Rep. Walter Jones. Meadows represents far western North Carolina.
REMEMBER HIS NAME: RILEY HOWELL TACKLED UNC-CHARLOTTE SHOOTER AND SACRIFICED HIS LIFE IN THE PROCESS: Riley Howell, 21, was among students gathered for end-of-year presentations in an anthropology class at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte when a man with a pistol began shooting. Howell and another student were killed; four others were wounded. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said Howell "took the assailant off his feet," but was fatally wounded. He said Howell did what police train people to do in active shooter situations. "You're either going to run, you're going to hide and shield, or you're going to take the fight to the assailant. Having no place to run and hide, he did the last. But for his work, the assailant may not have been disarmed," Putney said. "Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process. But his sacrifice saved lives." In a statement, Howell's family remembered him as a big-hearted person who was friends with everyone. "He always was able to put others before himself and never hesitated to help anyone who needed it," the statement read.
AFTER BEING SCORCHED IN THE SENATE, ATTORNEY GENERAL REFUSES TO TESTIFY IN HOUSE: At a contentious hearing marked by a deep partisan divide, Mr. Barr denied misrepresenting the investigation’s conclusions despite a newly revealed letter by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, protesting the initial summary of its findings. Mr. Barr dismissed the letter as “a bit snitty” and the controversy over it as “mind-bendingly bizarre.” But in a series of aggressive interrogations, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee expressed indignation and asserted that the attorney general had been “purposely misleading,” engaged in “masterful hairsplitting” and even “lied to Congress.” Several Democrats on the committee, elsewhere in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail called for Mr. Barr’s resignation or even impeachment. The conflict escalated afterward when Mr. Barr announced that he would not show up for a parallel hearing on Thursday before the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee. Mr. Barr objected to the format of questioning, which would have included questioning by staff lawyers, not just lawmakers. Democrats may now opt to subpoena him, setting up a possible showdown in court.