Daily dose

Thursday News: Skip your own meal

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NC AG JOSH STEIN APPEALS TO SUPREME COURT OVER DUKE RATE INCREASE: The state Utilities Commission had approved an increase of about $5.22 a month for residential customers in the eastern half of North Carolina, including much of Wake County. Some of that money would go toward coal ash pond cleanups at Duke plants, which is one of the reasons Stein’s office asked the Supreme Court to take another look at the decision. The Sierra Club has also filed an appeal in the case. The attorney general argues that Duke’s violation of environmental regulations and criminal laws in dealing with coal ash and evidence that the company knew the risks of storing ash in unlined ponds well before the 2014 Dan River spill should have kept the commission from approving the increase.
https://www.wral.com/stein-appeals-duke-energy-rate-increase/17510907/

Wednesday News: "Pour" judgment

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FOUR CANDIDATES FOR LEGISLATURE HAVE DWI CONVICTIONS: Four Triangle candidates for the state legislature have been convicted of driving while impaired since 2000. Three say they had a lapse in judgment. One, Ray Ubinger, a Durham Libertarian, said his arrest was unjust. Ubinger has also faced charges of carrying a concealed gun and resisting a police officer. Two of the four candidates are Libertarian, a party that has not had a candidate elected to the legislature. They are running in districts with a history of electing Democrats. The two Republicans are running in heavily Democratic districts where incumbents are seeking re-election. Ubinger, who is running in Senate District 22, pleaded not guilty in 2001 to the weapon and resisting charges. He argued at a jury trial that the judge and other court officials were not legitimately elected, because the state does not count all write-in votes, and that the roadblock where he was stopped was unconstitutional. He was found guilty of both charges. If elected, Ubinger said, he would work to end random checkpoints.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article209618354.html

Tuesday News: Evidence or trickery?

WOODHOUSE DEPOSITION REVEALS POSSIBILITY OF A "MOLE" WITHIN DEMOCRATIC JUDICIAL CAMPAIGN: Woodhouse provided members of the media with a packet of documents that he said he also turned over to Democrats in answer to their subpoena. It was made up largely of talking points against Anita Earls, a Democrat running for the state Supreme Court. There was also a two-page opposition research to-do list containing Democratic General Assembly candidates and unverified claims against them. "Is he passing the plate around his church for campaign contributions?" one entry asks. "Is he having an extramarital affair?" Another entry reads in part: "Waiting on mole to produce evidence of illegal coordination." The subpoena, which Woodhouse provided to the media Thursday, asked only for documents related to the elimination of judicial primaries.
https://www.wral.com/gop-s-woodhouse-deposed-drops-opposition-research-to-press/17505666/

Monday News: There is no Plan(et) B

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ON EARTH DAY, DURHAM MAYOR STEVE SCHEWEL CONCERNED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING: In the summer of 1969, oily debris in Cleveland’s Cuyahoga burst into flames, searing the scourge of pollution into the public consciousness. “I remember Duke students beginning to talk about the environment in a new way,” Durham Mayor Steve Schewel said. Schewel thinks back to that first Earth Day, when his classmates rallied on the Duke University quad 10 months after the Cuyahoga combusted. “Well, I think we need it a lot more than we did when it began in 1970,” he said. Schewel says a warming world lends urgency to the Earth Day cause. “You and I are going to be fine, but our children and grandchildren, they won’t be unless we can change the way in which we interact with our environment,’ he said.
http://www.wral.com/-we-need-it-a-lot-more-durham-celebrates-significance-of-earth-day/17503822/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DRUG MAKERS HAVE OBLIGATION TO ADDRESS OPIOID EPIDEMIC: In 2016, for the first time, the number of opioid-related deaths in North Carolina (1,518) exceeded the number of people who died in motor vehicle crashes on the state’s roads (1,439). It is a sorry trend that doesn’t yet appear to be changing. That is not acceptable. The companies that make opioids need to be a part of the solution and pay to fix the mess they helped create. This is hardly new or cutting edge. The massive settlement with tobacco companies several years ago has helped pay for smoking cessation programs as well as establish a foundation that’s provided millions of dollars to help tobacco-dependent communities shift and revive their economies. Similar settlements have provided money for energy efficiency and land conservation initiatives. Drug manufacturers should, on their own, recognize their accountability and accept responsibility to fix the deadly mess they in a very large way created. They should work with communities and states like North Carolina to come up with settlements that provide the funding, programs and treatments to stop this deadly epidemic.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-drug-makers-have-obligation-to-address-opioid-epedemic/17498524/

Saturday News: Improbable Cause

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ICE AGENTS USE LIES AND PRETEXT TO ENTER IMMIGRANTS' HOMES: “They give a typically Hispanic name, like Francisco or José, and show a picture,” he said. “And in the course of speaking they ask for identification.” That’s what happened to Edwin Enamorado, one of the two men arrested in Hillsborough last week. His wife, who asked that her name be withheld, said ICE agents tricked her daughter in order to enter her home. The couple’s 18-year-old daughter, who was born in Durham, opened the door, the wife said. Five policemen — only a few with the word ‘ICE’ on their vests — showed her a picture of the man they were looking for. It wasn’t Enamorado. The agents asked to enter the house, promising her they wouldn’t ask for anyone elses's identification. “After verifying and looking in every room, and [realizing] the person they were looking for wasn’t there, they proceeded to ask for documentation of the family and arrested the husband,” Posada said.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article209495499.html

Friday News: Hypocrisy, refined

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WOODHOUSE WAILS ABOUT SUBPOENA, DOESN'T MENTION SUBPOENA OF WAYNE GOODWIN: The North Carolina Democratic Party wants to question the state Republican Party's executive director under oath to find out what he knew and any communications he had with Republican legislative leaders about a law canceling judicial primaries this year. Dallas Woodhouse, the GOP executive director, called a news conference on Thursday to decry the subpoena ordering him to answer questions from attorneys representing the Democratic Party. "This is an unprecedented overreach that could have very dangerous consequences to our political system and our ability to deliver political debate to the people of North Carolina," Woodhouse said with two Republican candidates for office sitting beside him at the party headquarters. At his news conference, Woodhouse failed to mention that Republican lawmakers had subpoenaed the North Carolina Democratic Party executive director as part of the case, too.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article209356399.html

Thursday News: Follow the money

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VOUCHER PROPONENT DARRELL ALLISON NAMED IN NCCU BID-RIGGING LAWSUIT: The lawsuit describes "a series of secret meetings" on N.C. Central's plans to build new on-campus student housing, including a Sunday evening meeting at Akinleye's home in September and an October meeting at Allison's office in downtown Raleigh. At the October meeting, Durant alleges that he told Allison the university needed to run "a fair, open and competitive" contract process. The suit alleges that Allison responded, "In the private sector, we go through those processes too, but we already know the developer we are going to pick up front." Allison denied that. "I know nothing about the vendor process," he said. "I didn't inquire about it. ... I would never reach my hand, or intervene in any way, to manipulate that."
http://www.wral.com/lawsuit-nccu-chancellor-tried-to-steer-housing-contract-bought-suv-with-state-mo...

Wednesday News: Lunatic fringe

LARRY PITTMAN SAYS LAWMAKERS WILL HAVE "BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS" IF THEY DON'T ARM TEACHERS: A North Carolina legislator is warning his colleagues that "blood will be on our hands" if teachers and students die as a result of not letting teachers carry guns at school to deal with potential shooters. In an email sent Monday night to all 170 state lawmakers, Rep. Larry Pittman says arming teachers would "provide such a powerful deterrent to those who wish to do harm." The Cabarrus County Republican added that the presence of armed teachers would lead to "a dramatic reduction, if not elimination, of such incidents." Pittman's email was criticized by Kimberly Reynolds, executive director of the N.C. Democratic Party, who said the solution to gun violence in schools is not more guns. "Representative Pittman’s call to arm teachers is dangerous, unproductive, and shows just how far Republicans will go to avoid seriously addressing gun violence."
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article209108594.html

Tuesday News: Big government nightmare

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TRIANGLE MAYORS PROTEST INTRUSIVE ICE RAIDS TEARING FAMILIES APART: Mayor Steve Schewel has condemned last week's immigration raids that took 25 people into custody in the Triangle, including people in the country illegally who were not the initial targets. "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency made arrests of valued Durham residents, including people who are parents of U.S. citizens," Schewel said in a statement. "As mayor of the City of Durham, I condemn these arrests in the strongest possible terms." Last week's raids also brought condemnation from the mayors of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, who said their towns did not know about the raids ahead of time and their police departments did not assist in them. Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said he also did not have prior knowledge.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/durham-county/article208984369.html

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