BlueNC's blog

Wednesday News: Take your shot

AS VACCINE SUPPLY INCREASES, EVERYBODY 16 AND OLDER NOW ELIGIBLE: More than 391,000 doses arrived in the state this week, up from 326,780 the week before and 223,120 at this time last month, The News & Observer reported Tuesday. The latest uptick was mostly due to a rise in shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires one shot. Since December, the state has been offering the vaccine to people in certain groups most at risk from getting seriously sick from COVID-19. But vaccine eligibility is expanding to everyone ages 16 and older on Wednesday. “Because of the hard work of providers and commitment of North Carolinians to take their shot, we’re getting people vaccinated more quickly than we predicted,” Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters Tuesday. “This will help us turn the corner on the pandemic even sooner.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article250467196.html

Tuesday News: Tarheel Taliban

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RALPH HISE WANTS TO BAN TRANSGENDER TREATMENT FOR 21 AND UNDER: The legislation follows a nationwide trend of GOP-controlled state legislatures looking to limit treatments for transgender adolescents. Unlike other states, however, North Carolina would classify adults between the ages of 18 and 21 as minors under the “Youth Health Protection Act.” Medical professionals who facilitate a transgender person's desire to present themselves or appear in a way that is inconsistent with their biological sex could have their license revoked and face civil fines of up to $1,000 per occurrence. The measure bars doctors from providing gender confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery. Senate Bill 514 would also compel state employees to immediately notify parents in writing if their child displays “gender nonconformity” or expresses a desire to be treated in a way that is incompatible with the gender they were assigned at birth. LGBTQ advocates fear the bill would out people under 21 who tell state workers that they may be transgender.
https://www.wral.com/n-c-bill-would-ban-treatment-for-trans-people-under-21/19611758/

Monday News: Twelve thousand, one hundred thirty six

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POSITIVE TEST RATE FOR CORONAVIRUS IN NC STILL UNDER 5%: At least 916,159 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,136 have died since last March, according to state health officials. At least 985 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Thursday, an increase from 957 on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, the latest day for which data are available, 4.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. More than 1.9 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated. For the first time since North Carolina introduced its COVID-19 county alert system, no counties were red. Parents who haven’t received a $335 COVID-19 relief check from the government to offset the cost of remote learning have until May 31 to apply.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article250424576.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BIDEN'S OFFSHORE WIND PLAN A BOOST FOR NC: President Joseph Biden announced a plan to generate 30-gigawatts of east coast offshore wind power by the end of the decade. That would be enough to power more than 10 million homes. He will speed up permitting, provide low-interest loans, fund improvements to ports and pump more money into research and development resulting in the creation of “thousands of jobs.” This announcement comes a month after the state Department of Commerce released details of a study that showed the state was in a strong position to capture a good bit of the more than $100 billion that is expected to be invested in developing offshore wind over the next 15 years. Not only is there the potential from developing prime wind energy resources off the state’s coast, but North Carolina hosts researchers, manufacturers, equipment installers and others poised to address supply chain to developers throughout the east coast.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-biden-s-offshore-wind-plan-a-boost-for-nc/19603085/

Saturday News: Every five minutes

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MASS SHOOTING AT WILMINGTON HOUSE PARTY LEAVES 3 DEAD: Seven people have been shot in a mass shooting at 7th and Kidder Streets in Wilmington. N.C, according to Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams. The shootings happened around midnight. “There was a house party that was taking place inside of a house,” Williams said. “At least seven people inside were shot and three are deceased. They are not being identified until the next of kin has been notified.” Williams says they do not have a motive for the shooting. “We do not feel the general public is in any danger at this time and we are working to get suspects identified,” Williams said. Until we get better background checks in place and red flag laws passed, of course the general public is in danger. Which is good for gun sales, ironically.
https://www.wect.com/2021/04/03/mass-shooting-wilmington-seven-people-shot-three-dead/

Friday News: Erosion of choice

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GOP BILL WOULD BAN WOMEN FROM TERMINATING PREGNANCY OVER DOWN SYNDROME: “It’s time to face the issue head-on and ensure that every little North Carolinian is protected from discrimination before and after birth,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Pat McElraft, R-Carteret. Rep. Dean Arp, R-Union, said he sees the issue as one of discrimination — foreshadowing what’s likely to be an emotional and bitter floor debate. “Abortion bans based on the reason behind a person’s decision have never been about promoting equality or ending discrimination,” said Tara Romano, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “Instead, these types of arbitrary bans are part of a larger campaign to stigmatize abortion care, and make it more difficult for people to access the care they need.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article250364361.html

Thursday News: Anti-Union Union?

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EX-TEACHER FORMS CONSERVATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO NCAE: “We support America, we support patriotism and we want protection for the teachers who want to focus on academic content,” Marshall said in an interview Tuesday with The News & Observer. “If a teacher is harassed for not teaching something political or (for not teaching) critical race theory, we want to support the teacher.” Carolina Teachers Alliance has aligned itself with Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who recently announced the formation of a a task force to collect complaints from parents, students and teachers about “indoctrination” in the classroom. Robinson charges that the “radical left” wants to indoctrinate students. “Our Teachers need to have the freedom to teach patriotism and love of country, and should not be forced to deliver biased political indoctrination,” the group says in its “about us” section.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article250313834.html

Wednesday News: Selling the drama

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RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL STILL AT WAR WITH DISBANDED CACS: At a March 2021 meeting, Johnson denounced the “slimy way (the council) plotted” against the CACs. “You’re all complicit in this denial of basic democracy to the people of Raleigh,” he said. “No wonder so many big money builders and developers and their gray-money PACs supported you. They’re certainly getting their money’s worth from you while the people of Raleigh are short-changed by your entitled arrogance.” While personal, Baldwin said the public comments are not interfering with city business. “We know what we need to do, and we are moving forward,” she said. “We know what we were elected to do.” Still, the COVID-19 pandemic has put people especially on edge, Baldwin said. “When we are hearing from some CACs you realize you are getting the perspective of white adult homeowners and not necessarily the perspective of others in the community,” Fearn said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article250286480.html

Tuesday News: Re-hooked on Phonics?

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BERGER AND TRUITT PUSH BILL TO SHIFT READING INSTRUCTION: North Carolina Senate Republican leaders want schools to emphasize the use of phonics to help deal with how many young children are having challenges learning to read. The Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021, which was filed on Monday, requires Pre-K and elementary school teachers to be trained in the “science of reading,” a method of reading instruction that stresses phonics. The legislation comes as reading scores have dropped in the state despite the efforts of the Read To Achieve program to improve early childhood literacy. “Training teachers in the science of reading is a crucial strategy for literacy improvement,” Senate leader Phil Berger, one of the bill’s primary sponsors, said at a news conference Monday.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article250290305.html

Monday News: Twelve thousand twenty eight

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1.6 MILLION HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED IN NORTH CAROLINA: At least 905,528 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,028 have died since last March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services did not update its COVID-19 dashboard Saturday or Sunday. The department reported 2,154 new coronavirus cases on Friday, up from 2,112 reported the day before. At least 933 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, down from 952 reported on Thursday. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data are available, 4.3% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. More than 1.6 million people in the state have been fully vaccinated as of Friday. That’s about one in five adults.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article250276585.html

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