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Friday News: Feeling the Bern?


SANDERS SWINGS SOUTH FOR THE WEEKEND, ASHEVILLE AND CHARLOTTE INCLUDED: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is making his first public appearances in North Carolina for his 2020 presidential bid as part of a long weekend traveling through the South. Sanders' campaign says the Vermont senator will hold outdoor rallies at midday Friday in Asheville and late in the afternoon in Charlotte. The Asheville event will be held at the Salvage Station venue and the Charlotte event will be on the Central Piedmont Community College campus. Sanders' campaign says he'll talk about the need to restore voting rights, reform K-12 education, eliminate poverty and address environmental racism. Sanders' weekend tour also will take him to South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

Thursday News: Striving for equity


AFRICAN-AMERICAN LAWMAKERS PUSH MORE FUNDING FOR HBCU'S: Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, noted that each UNC campus that has a doctoral-level research program is supposed to get an extra $10 million a year for faculty and equipment, but N.C. A&T gets only $2.5 million – and even that has been a recent improvement. Republican leadership has promised to include another $7.5 million in this year's state budget, she said, but the inequity shouldn't have existed for so long. "This is not about HBCUs versus non-HBCUs. This is about equity, and this is about parity," said Rep. Raymond Smith Jr., D-Wayne. Smith fought during the debate over the House budget to shift some of the $100 million earmarked for agricultural research and cooperative extension at North Carolina State University to N.C. A&T, which he said got nothing, even though the two land-grant universities have a similar focus.

Wednesday News: Dan vs. Dan


BISHOP WINS 9TH DISTRICT REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY: Bishop will face Democrat Dan McCready and two third-party candidates on Sept. 10 in what’s expected to be the nation’s most closely watched special election. With 93% of votes in, Bishop defeated Union County Commissioner Stony Rushing 48% to 20%. Among 10 candidates, former Mecklenburg County Commissioer Matthew Ridenhour was the only other one in double figures, with 17%. As he had throughout the campaign, Bishop decried the “liberal crazy clowns” in Washington. He described their agenda as “socialism, open borders (and) infanticide.” In a statement, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee signaled its own attacks against Bishop: As the architect of House Bill 2, the so-called “bathroom bill,” and the heir to what it called Republican election fraud.

Tuesday News: Flip-flop pays off


PENCE TO THROW BIG-MONEY FUNDRAISER FOR TILLIS IN GREENSBORO: Vice President Mike Pence will attend a fundraising dinner with Sen. Thom Tillis in Greensboro on May 22, an important sign of support from the administration for Tillis, who faces a primary challenge in 2020. Tillis, from has faced criticism from some North Carolina Republicans for not sufficiently backing Trump on immigration issues, notably Trump’s national emergency declaration. Tillis, who wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post explaining his rationale for voting against the emergency declaration, voted with the president after the backlash. Tucker, in his first television ad, hit Tillis for his “flip flop” on the issue. Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and the party’s national deputy finance chair Louis DeJoy — the former CEO of New Breed Logistics and a Republican mega donor — will also attend the event. DeJoy hosted a fundraiser for President Donald Trump at his home in 2017. The event has giving levels from $2,800 to $35,000.

Monday News: Justice, delayed


MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUALLY ABUSING MINOR IN THE 1980'S: A woman who chose years ago not to pursue prosecution of the North Carolina man who sexually abused her says she supports the plea agreement that gave the abuser a one-year prison term. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 63-year-old Arnold Ray Lasseter pleaded guilty on May 6 to six counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. He received the one-year active sentence and a six-year suspended sentence. He must register as a sex offender for 30 years. Assistant District Attorney Pansy Glanton says the woman told Forsyth County authorities in September 2016 that Lasseter sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. Her father reported the abuse at the time, but the victim decided not to pursue prosecution. She changed her mind after years of counseling.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NC EDUCATION "TRANSPARENCY" DASHBOARD MISLEADS, IS FATALLY FLAWED: Johnson uses statewide “average” public school teacher pay (a troublesome number to begin with and we’ll get to that) and then compares it to “median” household income and wages. The figures are then repeated in similarly misleading fashion for every county in the state. So, Johnson wants us to compare 2018-2019 “average” teacher pay of $53,975 with the “median” 2017 household income of $50,320. But, as North Carolina 6th graders are taught, that’s all wrong. The proper comparison would be either between the “average” teacher pay and “average” household income or “median” teacher pay and “median” household income. Here’s the truth. Instead of teacher pay running ahead of household income, it is REALLY running way behind. Johnson’s rosy picture of teacher pay wilts – with a $15,548 deficit (average household income is $70,523).

Saturday News: Out of control

RALEIGH OFFICERS SAY K-9 ATTACK WAS NOT CALLED FOR: Three Raleigh police officers said Friday that they didn't view a delirious man in the street last year as a threat before a Wake County deputy showed up and unleashed a police dog on the man to take him down. Deputy Cameron Broadwell, who commanded the K-9 to go after Kyron Hinton during the April 3, 2018, encounter, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, assault inflicting serious injury and willfully failing to discharge duties in connection with the incident. Broadwell is accused of hitting Hinton in the head several times, while former Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Blake is also accused of striking Hinton and of ordering former Trooper Tabithia Davis to hit Hinton with her flashlight. Blake and Davis were fired last June and face charges of felony assault and willfully failing to discharge duties.

Friday News: She's back!

JANET COWELL HAS HER EYE ON THOM TILLIS' U.S. SENATE SEAT: Multiple sources tell WRAL News they expect former State Treasurer Janet Cowell to jump into the Democratic primary for the 2020 U.S. Senate race. Should she win, she would likely challenge Sen. Thom Tillis in the fall. Cowell won two statewide elections for treasurer, serving from 2009 until she stepped down in 2016. Before that, she served on the Raleigh City Council and in the state Senate. Cowell is expected to make a final decision in the coming days.

Thursday News: Virtually useless


FAILING ONLINE CHARTER SCHOOLS IN NC GIVEN GREEN LIGHT BY GOP: Senate Bill 522, which passed on a 25-18 vote, also would eliminate an enrollment cap for the state's two online charter schools, Connections Academy and North Carolina Virtual Academy. Neither of the schools is within 100 students of the 2,592-student cap put in place four years ago when they opened. The State Board of Education also could remove a 20 percent limit on annual enrollment growth. Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, said the measure should be dubbed the "Rewarding Failure Act," noting that both of the virtual schools have received "D" grades on the state's annual school performance report cards in their first three years of operation and that students taking online classes through them haven't met growth expectations.

Wednesday News: Public funds, private profits


BILL WOULD GIVE CHARTERS LOCAL (TAX) MONEY TO BUY BUILDINGS: Senate Bill 522 makes a number of changes to state charter school regulations. The biggest may be that it would waive a prohibition on local tax dollars being used to buy buildings or other facilities. This has been a major priority for charter schools for years and a concern for traditional K-12 schools worried they'll lose money for their own construction needs. Sen. Jerry Tillman, R-Randolph, the bill sponsor, said it's not fair to treat charters differently than traditional schools because both are public schools, both are funded by the same taxpayers and both are open to the same children. "The kids are the kids," Tillman said. Last year, lawmakers allowed municipalities to operate their own charter schools for the first time, although no such school has opened yet.


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