Daily dose

Friday News: Who's on the fringe, Tim?

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LAWSUIT GOES AFTER ANTI-ABORTION LAWS IN NC: The lawsuit targets a number of state laws, including: A 72-hour waiting period, which starts counting down after a woman gets mandatory counseling. A licensing program that the groups say "arbitrarily singles out abortion providers with medically unnecessary" requirements. A ban on physician assistants, nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners providing abortions. A ban on using telehealth for medication abortions. A requirement that providers deliver "biased counseling with no medical benefit to their patients" before performing an abortion. Moore spokesman Joseph Kyzer said in an email that legislative leaders "will vigorously defend" the state's abortion laws "against another attempt by the radical left to use the courts to overcome voters’ rejection of their fringe agenda."
https://www.wral.com/abortion-providers-sue-over-nc-waiting-period-other-restrictions/19268626/

Thursday News: Agenda-driven lawmaking

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BERGER'S "RELIEF" PACKAGE RAISES INCOME ELIGIBILITY FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS: Senate leader Phil Berger, an Eden Republican, said parents are at “their wit’s end.” The checks, which are being called “extra credit grants,” would be given to parents who filed taxes. For those who didn’t file, they would be able to apply for the grant, which is a flat amount regardless of how many children are in the household. $335 checks would be issued by Dec. 15. Part of the proposed bill also includes raising income-eligibility caps for opportunity scholarships, which are vouchers for private school. Republican leaders have said private schools opening for all-in-person learning this school year are an important school choice for parents. The state reopened in Plan B, which allows local school systems to decide how to operate with remote or a mix of remote and in-person learning with restrictions.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article245416500.html

Wednesday News: Education mandate

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LEANDRO JUDGE BACKS $427 MILLION FUNDING PLAN: A North Carolina judge has approved a plan that calls for spending $427 million this year to improve the state’s public education system. But it’s questionable whether the money will be provided. The $427 million action plan developed by the State Board of Education and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration includes pay raises for teachers, increasing funding for at-risk students and expanding early childhood education programs. “We are constitutionally mandated to move these issues forward, and I’m as committed as ever to complying with that constitutional mandate without anybody getting in the way,” said Lee, who is in charge of overseeing the long-running Leandro school funding lawsuit.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article245385185.html

Tuesday News: Out of the frying pan...

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FITNESS CENTERS OPEN IN DEFIANCE OF PHASE 2 RESTRICTIONS: Planet Fitness is reopening some gyms in North Carolina this week, despite a coronavirus executive order that keeps gyms closed. Crunch Fitness is also reopening gyms, ABC11, The News & Observer’s news partner, reported. And O2 Fitness says on its website that several locations in North Carolina are open as of Aug. 28. A spokesperson for Gov. Roy Cooper, Dory MacMillan, said in an email that Cooper would talk Tuesday about the next phase of easing restrictions on businesses, which would take effect later this week. The changes would come a week earlier than previously announced. A state Justice Department letter in June said indoor gyms should be open to people who use them as part of a medical treatment plan. Planet Fitness told members it will not require members to show documentation of medical need.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245378940.html

Monday News: Two thousand, six hundred ninety two

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NC COVID 19 CASES SURPASS 166,000, LESS THAN 1,000 HOSPITALIZED: At least 166,127 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 2,692 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 1,051 new COVID-19 cases, down from 2,585 the day before. The health department said the Saturday’s new cases included about 1,000 positive tests from early August that LabCorp had just reported. As of Saturday, the latest date available, health officials said nearly 9% of tests were positive. State health officials have said that number should be 5% or lower. At least 917 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday, down from 965 on Saturday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article245368740.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC LEADERS SHOULD BE MODELS OF PUBLIC TRUST, NOT RULE DODGERS: It is past time that North Carolina move away from the notion that government service was an opportunity, with access to insider information, to exploit it for personal and partisan gain. Lewis said he wanted to “put an unfortunate chapter behind me.” He apologized for his mistakes. But his statement didn’t apologize for abusing the privileged role he’d been granted by voters for the more than 17 years he served in the legislature. He should apologize to those voters for failing the trust they placed in him and for abusing his office and campaign to help himself. The General Assembly in particular and more broadly state government, needs a thorough examination of ethics standards for legislators, all other elected and appointed state and local officials. Citizens must be assured that the only interest of public officials is the betterment of the state and its people NOT their personal political and economic enrichment.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-n-c-leaders-should-be-models-of-public-trust-not-rule-dodgers/19250498/

Saturday News: Immoral majority

RICK GUNN FACES ALIENATION OF AFFECTION LAWSUIT OVER AFFAIR WITH EMPLOYEE: A lawsuit accuses a North Carolina state senator of breaking up a marriage by having an affair with his legislative assistant. Arthur Johns’ lawsuit accuses Sen. Rick Gunn of having an affair with Johns’ wife, Karen, leading to their divorce. The five-term senator, a Burlington Republican, is not seeking re-election. He announced that decision in November 2019, four months after the Johnses divorced. The lawsuit says Gunn employed Karen Johns until recently. She has worked in the legislature as a legislative assistant since 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile. As Gunn’s legislative assistant, she was encouraged to spend time with the senator outside his working hours, respond to his constant communication immediately and travel alone with him, the lawsuit alleges.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article244881977.html

Friday News: Free at last

RONNIE LONG RELEASED AFTER BEING WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED FOR 44 YEARS: In the mid-1970s, Long was a 20-year-old Black man living in Concord when he was accused of raping a white woman. He was convicted in 1976 by an all-white jury that included members who had connections to the victim — the 54-year-old widow of a former textile executive at Cannon Mills, the town’s biggest employer. Long was sentenced to 80 years in prison. His release comes as the country — and Long’s home state — find themselves engaged in a renewed debate over how Black men and women are treated by police and the courts. Long’s attorneys have said that more than 40 fingerprints collected from the rape scene were never shared and did not match Long’s. Semen samples also were never disclosed to the defense. They later disappeared.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article245291955.html

Thursday News: Short-term solutions

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$300 BOOST TO UNEMPLOYMENT CHECKS WILL ONLY LAST 3 WEEKS: Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that he expects North Carolinians on unemployment will see the $300 federal boost in their checks next week. "We're hoping that's when that's going to happen," Cooper said Wednesday afternoon, during a news conference on his new budget proposal. That money won't last long. So far, the federal government has approved only enough money to cover three weeks of payments, all of which have already passed. The benefits will be paid retroactively. Congress may eventually approve more funding, and it's possible that the North Carolina General Assembly will increase state-funded benefits when they gather for another legislative session next week. A $600-a-week unemployment boost, also funded by the federal government, ran out in late July.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-nc-unemployment-checks-could-include-extra-money-as-soon-as-next-week/19...

Wednesday News: Cut from the team

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TILLIS NOT INVITED TO SPEAK AT RNC, SAYS CRAZY GUN COUPLE "EVERYDAY PEOPLE": Some of his fellow senators are speaking, portions of the convention were held not far from Tillis’ home in the Charlotte suburb of Cornelius, and he’s facing a close re-election campaign this fall against Democratic former state legislator Cal Cunningham. But Tillis said he has no hard feelings over not being given time to address an audience of conservatives around the country. He referenced some of the non-politicians who are speaking, like the St. Louis couple who made national news for drawing guns on protesters who came into their neighborhood, and said he’s glad the RNC is putting “everyday people” on screen and “not just a stream of politicians with all these prepared statements.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article245224710.html

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