Daily dose

Wednesday News: Insidious


DR. FAUCI ISSUES WARNING ABOUT NC'S INCREASE IN COVID 19 POSITIVES: “When you have those kinds of increases, you must implement on the ground as effectively as possible the manpower, the system, the tests to do identification, isolation and contact tracing to try and blunt that surge of cases,” he said. “Hopefully that will be successful in the blunting of those cases, because if not, then you have the danger of having a gradual, insidious increase in community spread, which will be much more difficult to contain as the community spread amplifies itself.” There were 848 new cases of COVID-19 reported Tuesday by DHHS. The positive rate of tests for the virus was 10%, DHHS reported. The death total from coronavirus in the state was 1,251, according to DHHS, with 28 new deaths.

Tuesday News: Petty retribution

ANGRY ABOUT CONFEDERATE STATUE REMOVALS, REPUBLICANS HOLD AFRICAN-AMERICAN MONUMENT HOSTAGE: Over the weekend, protesters brought down two Confederate statues on the grounds of the North Carolina Capitol building in downtown Raleigh and Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the rest of the Confederate statues at the Capitol removed as well. On Monday in the state legislature, Republicans put a pause on discussion of funding monuments to African Americans on the Capitol grounds and another block downtown. A week after $4 million in funding for the proposed monuments passed the Senate easily in a surprise vote, the money was set to be discussed in a House committee Monday, but was pulled from the agenda. “I do disagree with mob violence. I do disagree with simply relinquishing control of state property regardless of what’s on the property, to be destroyed. It’s going to be a greater discussion,” Saine said. Saine said it’s not up to him to decide how long that “pause” will be.

Monday News: Cleaning house


GOVERNOR COOPER REMOVES ALL CONFEDERATE STATUES FROM CAPITOL GROUNDS: Raleigh’s tallest Confederate monument began coming down early Sunday, a gesture aimed at healing more than a century of racial division. Crews brought a crane, cherry picker and flatbed to disassemble the 75-foot obelisk on the Capitol lawn, which has stood for 125 years. As they worked, a crowd gathered on Hillsborough Street, cheering and giving thumbs-ups to the workmen. Crews removed the Wyatt Monument and the Women of the Confederacy statues Saturday morning. “Monuments to white supremacy don’t belong in places of allegiance, and it’s past time that these painful memorials be moved in a legal, safe way,” Cooper said in his statement.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


PROTESTS' CALL FOR CHANGE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED WITH ACTION: Four hundred years of institutionalized racism has allowed our governments bureaucracies to treat black and brown communities as less entitled – subjecting them disproportionately to the ravages of natural disasters and the impacts of pandemics, such as the COVID-19 crisis we are in the midst of now. The time to end this discrimination is now. Theirs is a call for action. There is no magic to this. It is only a matter of will and the commitment to EVERYONE, regardless of race, color, religion, sex and national origin, for an opportunity to a quality life. We allow police to use too much force and turn it on racial minorities while enacting laws that disproportionately send more black and brown people to prison. End brutal police practices and reform our judicial system and prison policies. Failure now will be addressed at the polls in November. Voting has never been more important.

Saturday News: Take them all down

PROTESTERS PULL DOWN TWO CONFEDERATE STATUES IN RALEIGH: Protesters pulled down the bronze soldiers on the 75-foot Confederate monument at the state Capitol Friday night, then hung the statue of a cavalryman by its neck from a streetlight. The other statue, an artilleryman, was dragged through the streets to the Wake County courthouse, and later carried away by police in a golf cart. At one point, a protester pressed a knee into the neck of the statue at the courthouse, a reference to George Floyd, who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer took the same position for more than eight minutes. Protesters put a Black Lives Matter sign listing the names of black people killed by police on the statue’s chest. Earlier in the day, groups convened in Raleigh and Durham to celebrate Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, and to remind politicians that demands for true equality for African Americans remain unmet.

Friday News: Feckless endangerment


REPUBLICANS WANT TO BLOCK NC MUNICIPALITIES FROM BANNING PARADES: “If we’re going to allow parades to protest what people are unhappy about in our country, we ought to allow parades to celebrate what people love about this country,” Daniel said, referring to recent Black Lives Matter protests and marches against police brutality. Sen. Jim Burgin, a Harnett County Republican who presented the new version of House Bill 686, said he thinks the events can be held safely. “Folks, I trust the people of North Carolina,” he said. “These events are outside, people can social distance. We’ve got to get back to our traditions that make this country great.” Raleigh and many other Triangle towns have already canceled Fourth of July festivals and fireworks displays.

Thursday News: Cruel and unusual


SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCK RULES TO EASE BURDENS ON INMATES: North Carolina State Rep. Sarah Stevens introduced an amendment Wednesday that would block new rules from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services aimed at making jails safer. The amendment, which was adopted into a Senate bill containing a package of regulatory changes, strikes two of the 33 proposed DHHS rules. One is intended to prevent jails from holding more inmates than their designated capacity, and another would require jails to have both indoor and outdoor recreation spaces for inmates. The amendment comes on the heels of a rising number of suicides and deaths in North Carolina jails over recent years, and is part of a package of rules that DHHS officials and activists have said would make conditions safer and more humane for inmates.

Wednesday News: Where is the Censure?


LARRY PITTMAN TELLS LAW ENFORCEMENT TO SHOOT BLM ACTIVISTS: “This is war,” he wrote on Facebook Monday. “Our people have a right to expect our leaders to be on our side, not surrender to the lawless, godless mob.” Pittman, a pastor, declined to comment Tuesday. “Sorry, I don’t do interviews,” he said in an email. On Facebook, he said if he were in charge he would order police to take back their cities, arrest “these domestic terrorists,” and “If they resist and attack you, shoot them.” “Law and order must be restored,” he wrote. “Innocent citizens have a right to expect elected officials and law enforcement officers to protect them and their property. They also have a right to defend themselves with deadly force if they are able.”

Tuesday News: Just retire, already


CRANKY OLD WINDBAG WHINES ABOUT EDUCATION FUNDING: “There’s been no evaluation of how $30 billion in hardworking taxpayer money has been spent,” said North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, the ranking member of the House Education and Labor Committee. “Yet here we are with Democrats pushing those same taxpayers to dole out more of their hard earned money at a time when many Americans are being forced to tighten their belts.” Foxx, of Banner Elk, repeatedly cautioned against federal spending, even pointing to the Constitution to suggest education was not a responsibility of the federal government. “I’m a student of the Constitution, and I’ve read it many times,” she said. “And I’ve failed to find the word ‘education’ in there.” But people who testified before the committee talked at length of the additional aid they felt was needed, even with CARES Act funding.

Monday News: The first of many


ACE SPEEDWAY CREW MEMBER TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID 19: A crew member for one of the racing teams that participated in last week’s event at Ace Speedway has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Short Track Scene’s Matt Weaver. Weaver, the website’s founder, said CARS Tour series operator Jack McNelly gave competitors the news Saturday afternoon before this week’s series event at Hickory Motor Speedway in Newton. According to Weaver, McNelly said the CARS Tour was notified of the positive coronavirus test in the days after the June 6 event in Alamance County. McNelly did not give the name of the person who tested positive, but Weaver said CARS series officials told him it was one of the racing team’s crew members. On each of the past three Saturdays (May 23rd and 30th and June 6th) Ace Speedway had racing, with the stands nearly full of spectators, few of them wearing masks. A reporter at last week’s event estimated there were at least 2,000 fans in attendance.


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