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Wednesday News: Shameless campaigning

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MARK JOHNSON SENT MASS TEXT ATTACKING COMMON CORE: Johnson has periodically sent mass emails about education issues. But in addition to the 800,000 emails he sent Tuesday about the Common Core survey, he also sent 540,000 texts to parents and educators. It marked the first time Johnson sent a mass text. But the texts have drawn complaints from some parents and teachers. “Most people I have spoken to were shocked about getting a text from DPI without opting in or consenting to receiving those,” Andy Fisher, a Union County teacher, told the News & Observer on Tuesday. Abee Boyles, a parent of two Durham students, called the text messages “an example of (Johnson’s) continued shameless self-promotion." “I work in the public sector and feel Mr. Johnson has abused his ability to access my email and phone contact information to promote his own agenda and political aspirations,” Boyles said in an email to the N&O.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article240188227.html

Tuesday News: The New Norm

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MORE FLOODING LIKELY IN TRIANGLE WITH POSSIBLE TORNADOES: Rain on Tuesday morning in the Triangle could make way for severe weather in the afternoon, less than a week after relentless showers, strong winds and tornadoes tore through North Carolina. Isolated storms are expected to hit central North Carolina between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. “A few of these storms could become strong to severe,” the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service said on Twitter. In the Triangle, “the primary hazards will be damaging wind gusts and the possibility for an isolated tornado or two,” according to forecasters. Storm systems are expected to dump 1 to 2 inches of rain on Orange County and other areas to the west, forecasters say. “The additional rain will likely keep creeks, rivers and streams running fast and above normal,” according to the weather service.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/weather-news/article240164238.html

Monday News: Historic Thousands

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VOTING RIGHTS A MAJOR THEME DURING HKonJ MORAL MARCH: “They don’t want us to vote,” Spearman said, “because they know that when we vote, we win.” The Shelby decision also resonated with people in the crowd. Elaine Farrior came to Raleigh from Duplin County with her daughter. Farrior says she has attended every HKonJ march and participated in civil rights marches at N.C. A&T University in the 1960s. The seemingly constant series of lawsuits about voting rights in North Carolina is frustrating, she said. “It hurts,” she said. “And I’m supposed to be a citizen that’s born with the same rights as every other citizen? But yet I’ve still got to keep fighting for the same right to vote?” Farrior also expressed frustration about her efforts to reach out to politicians on both the state and federal level, saying she doesn’t ever receive a personalized response and is added to what she called the officials’ “propaganda list.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article240049573.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BURR AND TILLIS DISAPPOINT: Burr and Tillis, jurors who are sworn to “do impartial justice,” voted NOT to hear any witnesses. We’ve been watching, listening and following the Senate impeachment trial – which really has only been opening and closing statements. REAL trials in the United States include the basics: Calling witnesses who testify and are cross-examined under oath along with the introduction of evidence that seek to prove or exonerate the accused. Do Burr and Tillis believe the president is free to repeat his Ukraine caper? Is it that Trump can do anything he wants? Do they agree with the absurd logic of Alan Dershowitz: "If a president does something which he believes will help him get elected in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment." Burr and Tillis have violated their oaths. This is a trial without evidence. November 2020 cannot come soon enough.​​​​
https://www.wral.com/editorial-burr-and-tillis-disappoint/18929496/

Saturday News: Oh, the irony

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UNC BOG CHAIRMAN "DISAPPOINTED" IN BEHAVIOR OF ECU TRUSTEES: One East Carolina University trustee resigned and another was censured Friday after they were recorded offering to help finance a student body president campaign on the Greenville campus. Phil Lewis, who had been appointed to the ECU Board of Trustees by the UNC System Board of Governors, offered his resignation. It was accepted effective immediately. The UNC board voted to censure ECU trustee Robert Moore. It was the strongest action the board could take against Moore because he was appointed to the ECU trustees by the state legislature. The legislature would have to decide to remove him. “I’m incredibly disappointed,” Board of Governors Chairman Randy Ramsey said during a specially called meeting Friday to address the turmoil among the ECU trustees. “Personally, if I could remove the entire board today, I probably would.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article240037378.html

Friday News: Shameful

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REPUBLICAN DONOR USED MENTALLY CHALLENGED SISTER TO FUNNEL CAMPAIGN CASH: Chad Price says Mako Medical, the fast-growing lab testing company he co-founded in Raleigh, started with frustrations he faced getting his younger sister the medical tests she regularly needed. His sister Jessica, 37, was born with a genetic condition that left her with the mental capacity of a young child. She lives with Price, who is her legal guardian, at his home in Apex. But in campaign filings, Jessica emerges as an administrative employee for Mako and a political donor, contributing $17,500 to five state or federal candidates in four states, including North Carolina. For three of those candidates, Chad Price had made the maximum contributions in his own name. Those contributions are among hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money flowing predominantly to Republican candidates from Chad Price and a small group of people and businesses connected to him over the past five years. During that time, Price developed deep connections with state elected and appointed officials, two of whom joined his businesses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article239289663.html

Thursday News: Master of Innuendo

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TOM FETZER TRIES TO STYMIE ECU TRUSTEE INVESTIGATION: At Wednesday’s committee meeting, Board of Governors member Tom Fetzer opened up the questioning and initially asked Davenport to drop the complaint based on the fact that the student is not currently enrolled at ECU. Davenport denied that request, saying he has an obligation to ECU students and faculty to uphold the policies of the UNC System and state ethics. Fetzer asked Davenport about his knowledge of the meeting between the trustees and Hudson and about his potential role in orchestrating the recording of it. Davenport said he was told that Lewis had requested the meeting but did not know what it was about and did not help facilitate the recording. Fetzer also questioned why Hudson had the conversation with these trustees expressing her interest in the election when she had no intention of being a student this spring. Her attorney was not present to speak on her behalf.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article239963778.html

Wednesday News: The company you keep

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DAN FOREST IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO BRIBERY SCANDAL: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's chief of staff reached out to Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey's office in early August 2017, seeking a meeting for two men who would later be indicted and accused of trying to bribe Causey. At the time, the state Department of Insurance was reviewing three insurance companies Lindberg owned. Within a month of the reach out, more than $50,000 flowed into Forest's campaign coffers from associates of Greg Lindberg and John Gray, at least in part because Lindberg hosted a fundraiser at his home. Lindberg himself donated $400,000 that month to a second political committee that the lieutenant governor controls and that accepts unlimited donations. By the end of that year, Lindberg had deposited $2.4 million in political committees backing Forest's current run for governor. Forest put out a press release at the time, trumpeting his ability to bring in such a haul.
https://www.wral.com/forest-aide-sought-meeting-between-insurance-chief-financier-later-indicted/189...

Tuesday News: Really, UNC?

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KENAN-FLAGLER INVITES ANTI-VACCINE NUT-JOB TO SPEAK ON HER SUCCESS: The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has faced campus-wide controversy and debate after it invited an influencer who has made claims that align with the anti-vaccine movement to come speak on campus. Activist Vani Hari was invited to speak to students because of her entrepreneurial success from the perspective of mobilizing customers for change, Dean Douglas Shackelford of Kenan-Flagler said. The date of the speaker event is still to be determined. In Hari's blog, “Food Babe,” she claims some vaccines, including the flu vaccine, can have harmful effects such as Alzheimer's disease. She has been called a fearmonger by scientists, according to NPR and Business Insider. “Not only has Hari built her business on misinformation, but that misinformation has the great potential to harm people and impact students,” Majdic said. “And that’s where the University needs to draw the line.”
https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2020/02/kenan-flagler-speaker-0204

Monday News: Voter suppression tactics

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NAACP OPPOSES EFFORTS BY GOP TO FORCE VOTER ID IN PRIMARY: It's too late to restore a photo identification requirement to vote in North Carolina for the March primary, attorneys for the state and the NAACP wrote separately on Friday, opposing efforts by Republicans to suspend a judge's order blocking the requirement. The State Board of Elections — a defendant in a lawsuit challenging the 2018 voter ID law — is already appealing U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs' order on Dec. 31 halting the use of photo ID for the time being. But the state Department of Justice, which represents the board, didn't try to overturn her preliminary injunction before the March 3 primary because it said restoring voter ID now would cause confusion. That prompted North Carolina Republican legislative leaders to file a motion Jan. 10 seeking to officially enter the lawsuit and ask the voter ID law to be enforced in the primary.
https://www.wral.com/naacp-nc-lawyers-oppose-gop-attempt-to-restore-voter-id-now/18923128/

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