Daily dose

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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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).
https://www.wral.com/editorial-n-c-education-transparency-dashboard-misleads-is-fatally-flawed/18367...

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.
https://www.wral.com/raleigh-officers-man-didnt-pose-threat-before-wake-deputy-unleashed-k-9/18378623/

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.
https://www.wral.com/cowell-considering-senate-run/18376851/

Thursday News: Virtually useless

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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.
https://www.wral.com/senate-lowers-performance-standards-for-charter-schools-eliminates-enrollment-c...

Wednesday News: Public funds, private profits

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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.
https://www.wral.com/education-bills-moving-through-senate/18370987/

Tuesday News: Criminal negligence

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32 YEAR-OLD INMATE DIES FROM SODIUM DEFICIENCY IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: A 32-year-old man died early Saturday in the custody of the N.C. Department of Public Safety, and his family fears his death was the result of inadequate medical care while he was in solitary confinement. Marsik, her daughter, Christina, and her two other sons, William and Justin, went to Duke on Friday to see Jedlica. They were told he was brain-dead, and had been so since he was picked up by ambulance from the prison. He was shackled to the bed by his left wrist and right ankle. Family members said two prison guards remained in the room at all times. Marsik and her children said a Duke doctor who worked on Jedlica told them his brain was severely swollen and that it was likely the result of extremely low sodium levels found in his blood. The family said the doctor told them there were no signs of head injury that would explain the brain swelling.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article230093449.html

Monday News: You win, you lose

TWO MEN SHOT AFTER WINNING IN RALEIGH SWEEPSTAKES PARLOR: Two men were shot early Monday after winning money at a Raleigh sweepstakes parlor. According to officials, the two victims were shot while sitting inside their car in the parking lot of The Palace, a sweepstakes parlor off Capital Boulevard. The two men had just won money, and the shooting was fueled by a robbery, officials said. The victims were able to get away. They got help when they spotted police officers near New Bern Avenue and Corporation Parkway. The men were taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the arm and leg. They were released by 5 a.m.
https://www.wral.com/men-shot-over-winnings-in-parking-lot-of-raleigh-sweepstakes-parlor/18367679/

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC CEOS: NOW'S THE TIME TO EXPAND MEDICAID: As business leaders in the State of North Carolina, we know firsthand that a strong workforce is essential to North Carolina’s economy. We also know that employee health is a big contributor to the strength of our workforce. A big contributor to good health is having insurance. People with health insurance are more likely to see a doctor when they get sick and have better overall health. And healthier employees are more productive and absent less. Unfortunately, 13 percent of North Carolinians under 65 are uninsured. These are our neighbors - they are construction workers, retail employees, restaurant workers, veterans and farmers; they are the bedrock of our communities. Currently, a family of four with working parents cannot earn more than $9,000 to qualify for Medicaid. But they earn too little to qualify for federal subsidies to buy their own insurance. They fall into a coverage gap.
https://www.wral.com/n-c-ceos-now-s-the-time-to-expand-medicaid/18355440/

Saturday News: GOP War on Women continues

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HOUSE BUDGET GIVES $1.2 MILLION TO ANTI-ABORTION ORGANIZATION: Under Health and Human Services’ budget, an anti-abortion nonprofit called the Human Coalition would receive $1.2 million to expand a pilot program statewide. Money would be used to “encourage healthy childbirth, support childbirth as an alternative to abortion, promote family formation, assist in establishing successful parenting techniques, and increase the economic self-sufficiency of families.” When the budget came through committee, Rep. Gale Adcock and Rep. Julie Von Haefen, both Wake County Democrats, raised questions. Von Haefen wanted to know who would oversee spending for the group, which would provide “crisis pregnancy” services.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229940729.html

Friday News: An ill wind blows in Raleigh

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HARRY BROWN'S NEWEST ATTACK ON WIND ENERGY SURVIVES COMMITTEE: The bill’s main proponent, Republican Sen. Harry Brown of Jacksonville, said the wind turbine ban is needed to protect airspace for military test flights and to keep military installations in the state. Critics said the bill is unnecessary because the Department of Defense already makes sure that planned wind facilities won’t interfere with military flights. An 18-month moratorium on new wind turbines in the state, which Brown pushed two years ago, stalled a wind project that a Charlottesville, Va., company called Apex Clean Energy is planning in Chowan County. All of Chowan is in the restricted zone, and a ban could kill the project. Senate Bill 377 cleared the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee on a close voice vote. The committee chairman did not ask for an exact tally, and one of the Republican members said later that he did not vote.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229953299.html

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