Yo, all you black and brown people

Just in case you were thinking, "Hey, I'm proud to be a citizen of North Carolina," you can stop that thinking right now. Because even though you may be a descendant of slaves brought here 300 years ago, you're not what Thom Tillis calls part of our "traditional population." Meaning, of course, that you're not white and privileged.

The traditional population of North Carolina and the United States is more or less stable. It's not growing. The African American population is roughly growing but the Hispanic population and the other immigrant populations are growing in significant numbers. We've got to resonate with those future voters.

This was Tillis back in 2012, before he was a slick politician. Now he doesn't say anything he can be held accountable for, which means he doesn't say anything ... unless it's asking for money.

Senate coal ash plan: Too little, too late, too risky

If all read is the headlines, you'd think North Carolina was at the forefront in dealing with festering coal as problems. But if you read the actual substance of the Senate bill, you'll see that it's just another version of the old shell game.

High-risk locations would have to be cleaned up on the same timeline as the Dan River and three other high-priority locations. Duke would have to remove the ash from intermediate-risk ponds by August 2024, but the bill would allow Duke to drain the water from low-risk ponds and either remove it or "cap" the location, essentially sealing in the ash, by August 2029.

The Tillisberger police arrest more people

The Capitol Police undoubtedly believe they're fighting a losing battle. They spend their days in court to get random rulings of convictions or acquittal for people they arrested last year. They probably would like to just do their job and keep people in and around the State Capitol safe.

But Tillisberger keeps telling them to arrest people. Most recently, they passed new rules intended to infringe on people's First Amendment rights. Despite the fact that a judge issued a restraining order saying the new rules can't be enforced, Tillisberger told their enforcers to arrest people again.

Phil really hates music. Except for his violin solo played while North Carolina burns.

Majority of approved charter schools not ready for upcoming school year

Racing to the starting line:

Nineteen of the 25 charter schools approved to open across North Carolina in August must do more to show state officials they have the students, classrooms and plans in place to pull it off, according to a report being presented to a state advisory panel Monday.

Charlotte was also home to the troubled StudentFirst Academy, which opened in August 2013 and closed in April. The state approved its charter despite noting shortcomings in the application. By November, the state was investigating reports of mismanagement and academic problems. Details about undocumented expenses, inflated administrator salaries, unpaid bills and middle school students napping during the school day emerged in later legal documents.

You know what they say: build it and they will come. And then they will take a nap.


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