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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.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


WORK TO HEAL THE PANDEMIC OF POVERTY AND CANCER OF RACISM: The pandemic has revealed how essential low-wage jobs have always been. It has revealed a backwards kind of accounting that values corporate executives and Wall Street speculators hundreds of times more than the care-giving work of nursing home aides, the public-health providing work of janitors, the life-saving work of nurse aides, or the sustenance-giving work of farmworkers, food processors and grocery store clerks. We now deem these workers “essential” even as we denigrate them with low wages, lack of sufficient PPE, and health care guarantee. Meanwhile, another of America’s pre-existing conditions has come to the fore. Racism and poverty are chronic illnesses crippling the heart of our nation. In the wake of the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, whose names we say in a list that continues to grow far too long, people of all races have risen up to proclaim that Black Lives Matter and to demand an end to police or vigilante violence targeted at African Americans.

Saturday News: Time for a change

DUKE HISTORIAN SAYS FT. BRAGG NEEDS A NEW NAME: According to the biography, Bragg received an appointment to the academy at age 16 through the political connections of his older brother and graduated fifth in the class of 1837. He served in the Second Seminole War and the Mexican-American War before resigning from the military and moving to Louisiana to buy and run a sugar plantation, which relied on the labor of at least 125 slaves. Bragg rejoined the military to serve in the Civil War, during which the Battlefield Trust says he “won partial victories — at places like Perryville, Stones River, and Chickamauga — but never delivered the finishing blow,” in part because his subordinate officers often hated him and refused to obey his battle orders. “These men were, by definition, traitors who had conducted war against the United States,” said Newcity, deputy director for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies at Duke University.

Friday News: Culture of Racism


NCSU BOOTS TWO STUDENTS FOR BIGOTED COMMENTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: WRAL spoke with several students who said they were disgusted by the comments made by the two individuals. Many of the students also said the university made the right call. “I thought they were disgusting," said Dani Carter, a sophomore at NCSU. "I don’t think anyone should ever say anything like that.” The racist comments that were made quickly circulated social media, sparking an outrage from students. “They think that they are expressing their first amendment right and speak and freedom of speech, and I respect that, but it’s not your first amendment right if you’re expressing hatred, bigotry and racism because that’s not what the US stands for and not what NC State stands for," said NCSU senior Silvana Alfieri.

Thursday News: Good luck, Jacksonville


RNC VOTES FOR SCALED-DOWN CHARLOTTE CONVENTION, TRUMP RALLY ELSEWHERE: An event that once was projected to attract more than 50,000 people to Charlotte — including delegates, party officials, media and others — has been reduced to a bare minimum by the Republican National Committee’s executive committee. A fraction of the expected delegates will now attend the event, which begins Aug. 24. President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech, the centerpiece event, will be moved to another state after N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper said he could not guarantee that the full attendance of 19,000 people would be allowed at the Spectrum Center due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jacksonville, Fla. is the current front-runner to host the speech, RNC chairman Ronna McDaniel said Wednesday morning.

Wednesday News: Turn off your engines


GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES ORDER CLOSING ACE SPEEDWAY: Gov. Roy Cooper ordered an Alamance County speedway that’s violated his executive orders against mass gatherings closed immediately, declaring the venue an imminent hazard. In an order issued Monday night and obtained by The News & Observer, Cooper and Dr. Mandy Cohen said Ace Speedway could open again if it presents a plan to adhere to state guidelines and that plan is approved by the Department of Health and Human Services. “Mass gatherings do spread the virus,” said Cohen, the state’s DHHS secretary who signed the order closing the speedway. “It was irresponsible for them to keep operating in the way they were doing.” The imminent hazard order characterizes Ace Speedway events as “likely to cause an immediate threat to human life, an immediate threat of serious physical injury, an immediate threat of serious adverse health effects.”

Tuesday News: Spiking the Curve


NC FATALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH COVID 19 SURPASS 1,000: At least 36,516 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 1,041 have died, according to state and county health departments. On Monday, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported an additional 938 cases of the virus, up from 921 reported Sunday. The state was averaging about 1,000 daily cases over the last seven days as of Monday, the highest seven-day rolling average reported so far. State health officials on Monday reported completing about 8,800 new COVID-19 tests for a total of 520,113, about 10% of which have come back positive. At least 739 North Carolinians were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday — an all-time daily high since the start of the pandemic. The previous record was 717 hospitalizations reported on Friday.

Monday News: Racing fans matter?


2,000 ATTEND RACE AT ACE SPEEDWAY SATURDAY, SIGN SAYS IT WAS A PROTEST FOR INEQUALITY: On Friday, Sheriff Terry Johnson said his officers would be there to enforce Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order that limits outdoor gatherings to 25 people as part of the state’s efforts to combat the coronavirus. Johnson made it clear he did not agree with the order. It does not look like that happened, though, as a reporter from a Gannett newspaper who was on the scene said there were at least 2,000 people in the stands. Another reporter, Amanda Ferguson from WFMY in Greensboro, tweeted a picture of a sign that had been posted at the Speedway. “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere. — Ace Speedway,” was written on a dry erase board.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


END NO-KNOCK WARRANTS, BAN POLICE NECK HOLDS NOW: This is no time for government paralysis by analysis. It is time for North Carolina’s mayors and municipal leaders to send a message to their communities by taking immediate action. North Carolina’s municipal leaders need to act now and order their police forces to end the use of no-knock warrants and prohibit all neck holds. They need to show they are in command of their communities and they are in touch with the concerns and legitimate demands of their citizens. They need, as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo explained on Monday, a reform agenda and to then implement it. “The protestors are making a point. And most of them are making a smart, sensible point. But you have to add the positive reform agenda that every voice calls for so the government, the politicians know what to do. And there is a positive reform agenda here. There should be a national ban on excessive force by police officers. There should be a national ban on chokeholds.”

Saturday News: Welcome back, RJA


NC SUPREME COURT REINSTATES RACIAL JUSTICE ACT: The NC Supreme Court ruled in favor of two death row inmates Friday, allowing them to continue arguing that their cases were so tainted by race discrimination their sentences should be reduced to life in prison. The Center for Death Penalty Litigation, which has fought the legislature’s decision to close off that legal path, called the court’s move a “landmark” decision that also allows other death-row inmates to file claims. North Carolina’s Racial Justice Act passed in 2009 while Democrats controlled the legislature, allowing death row defendants to seek to reduce their sentences to life in prison if they could show racial bias played a role in their cases. The court’s ruling dropped Friday in the midst of nationwide protests focused on systemic racism in the American justice system.


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