Daily dose: Jailbreak edition

It looks like the legislature took advantage of putting 151 good citizens in handcuffs so they could continue their wicked ways. The world is watching.

Much misery below the fold.

Fort Bragg workers voice frustration over furloughs (WRAL-TV) -- Hoping to answer questions and offer support, leaders at Fort Bragg hosted two town-hall meetings Monday to talk to civilian workers who will be hit next month with unpaid furloughs.

Fort Bragg may cut 41 jobs from garrison workforce because of federal budget cuts (Fayetteville Observer) -- Fort Bragg might cut 41 jobs from its garrison workforce on Nov. 15 because of federal budget reductions, officials said Monday.

NAACP protest against NC GOP policies draws 1000 (AP) -- More than 100 people were arrested Monday at the largest demonstration yet of the North Carolina NAACP's weeks-long protest of the conservative policies of the Republican-led General Assembly.

More than 150 arrested at 'Mega Moral Monday' protest (WRAL-TV) -- A growing group of protesters converged on the state legislature Monday, in what some are calling "Mega Moral Monday," to protest the agenda of the Republican-led General Assembly.

More than 150 arrested at NC legislature during Monday protests (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Authorities arrested 151 people in the rotunda between the NC legislative chambers during the latest “Moral Monday” protest – the largest mass arrest since the NC NAACP began organizing the weekly civil disobedience events in late April.

About 140 arrested at protest that drew area residents (Greensboro News & Record) -- The protest movement is called “Moral Mondays,” and participants say they want to bring attention to the consequences of budget cuts and policy changes proposed by the GOP majority.

Wilmington residents join 'Moral Monday' protests at legislature (Wilmington Star-News) -- Several dozen Wilmington residents joined some 1,600 others from around the state Monday night in Raleigh.

'Ready for a Revolution?' (Wilson Times) -- A young boy stood on the platform in front of hundreds on Monday holding up his sign — the U.S. Constitution.

Will Democratic gubernatorial candidates in cuffs become the new litmus test? (Raleigh News & Observer) -- James Protzman, the founder of the blog BlueNC and a Democratic candidate for governor in 2016, plans to get arrested as part of the “Moral Monday'' protests at the Legislative Building. “Everyone comes to Moral Monday with a unique set of concerns and demands,' Protzman said in a statement. “Mine are very specific. Republicans in North Carolina have rigged our elections through extreme gerrymandering, to the point that our government cannot be considered legitimate. To restore our democracy, lawmakers must redraw our legislative districts in time for the 2014 election cycle. Once we have new districts, members of the General Assembly must resign and stand for new elections.''

NC tax overhaul proposal gets House panel hearing (AP) -- A bill written by House Republicans that would take incremental steps toward overhauling North Carolina's tax code is getting more debate a few days after receiving a sign of support from Gov. Pat McCrory.

Advocates for NC poor send anti-tax plan mailers (AP) — An advocacy group for the poor wants residents to speak out against a North Carolina House Republican proposal in the chamber to lower tax rates while expanding slightly the scope of the sales tax to cover more services.

House Speaker gives budget timeline (WRAL-TV) -- House Speaker Thom Tillis announced Monday night that the House will vote on its version of the budget next week.

NC redistricting maps subject of 2-day trial (AP) -- Issues of race while drawing North Carolina's current legislative and congressional districts will be front and center in a brief trial involving pending redistricting litigation.

NC hospital land deal heading to panel for fix (AP) -- The future of a deal between the state of North Carolina and the city of Raleigh over land where a mental hospital stood for more than 150 years likely will now be settled between House and Senate negotiators.

NC House to debate Charlotte Airport authority (AP) -- The North Carolina House is set to take up a bill transferring control of Charlotte Douglas International Airport from the city to an independent board.

Former Rep. Martin returns to House (WRAL-TV) -- Former state Rep. Grier Martin officially returned to his old post in the House of Representatives on Monday after Gov. Pat McCrory appointed him to fill the vacant 34th District seat.

Holloway 'done with' fashion blog story (WRAL-TV) -- Despite a long and growing list of highly improbable coincidences, Rep. Bryan Holloway is standing by his claim that he's not the writer of menswear blog "WASP 101."

Ads target House tax reform plan (WRAL-TV) –
New mailers being sent out by the NC Justice Center in ten House districts are taking aim at House tax reform proposal H998.

State House budget details expected; bill to de-annex Asheville airport to be heard (Carolina Public Press) -- The de-annexation bill, which includes removing the WNC Agricultural Center from Asheville’s jurisdiction, is one of several bills from the region’s legislatures scheduled to be discussed this week.

RAND Corp. says not expanding Medicaid comes with a cost (Raleigh News & Observer) -- States that don't expand Medicaid will take a fiscal hit, according to a RAND Corporation study released Monday. The legislature passed a bill earlier this year to not expand Medicaid, which Gov. Pat McCrory signed. The RAND study did not look at North Carolina on its own, but analyzed the fiscal impact on 14 states that aren't expanding Medicaid under the federal health care law. Those states will spend $1 billion more on uncompensated care in 2016 than they would if Medicaid is expanded, the report said. Additionally, the states are giving up $8.4 billion in annual federal payments, the report said.

Public financing for judges popular according to poll by GOP firm (Raleigh News & Observer) -- A Republican-leaning polling firm has found strong support continuing public financing of judicial races in North Carolina. Sixty-eight percent of those interviewed said they would be less likely to support a state legislator who “supported an electorate system where money would have a greater role in judicial elections,'' according to a survey by The Tarrance Group, which has worked for numerous GOP candidates including Sen. Jesse Helms. The poll found that 70 percent were more likely to support public financing of judicial elections when they learn that it “has allowed women and minorities who don't have access to rich donors to compete and win seats on the court. In particular, 67 percent of GOP women were more likely to support the message, according to the poll. The survey found that 61 percent were more likely to be supportive of public financing when they hear that “the current system should remain in place because even the hint of bribery is too much in in our judicial system.''

Prosecution rests in Stephen LaRoque's trial (NEWS14-TV) -- Stephen LaRoque walked out of the Federal Courthouse in Greenville Monday without saying a word. Federal prosecutors charge the former state representative with stealing money from economic development non-profit organizations, and then tried to conceal how he did it. Prosecutors called dozens of witnesses during the last two weeks, including those who sat on the board of the East Carolina Development Company with LaRoque, and a certified public accountant who audited the non-profit.

Auditor confirms 1999 LaRoque contract (Kinston Free Press) -- The contract exists. Or, at least, it did at one time. Often fought over in the fraud trial of former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque is a contract allegedly entered into in 1999 that set his rate of compensation from the East Carolina Development Company. That contract entitled him to 3 percent of the amount of assets managed, or the amount of loans managed, depending on whose narrative you believe.

Obama to visit Mooresville school for NC stop (AP) -- President Obama's trip to North Carolina has him scheduled to visit a middle school north of Charlotte. The White House released more details Monday about the president's trip to the Charlotte area Thursday afternoon. The Obama administration says the president will visit Mooresville Middle School to make remarks and see what it calls the school's cutting-edge curriculum that promotes digital learning. The school is part of the Mooresville Graded School District, where Mark Edwards was named superintendent of the year by the American Association of School Administrators.

Obama visit to highlight digital learning at Mooresville Middle School (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The White House released details Monday about President Barack Obama's visit to North Carolina this week. He'll go to Mooresville Middle School on Thursday to see what the White House calls "the school's cutting edge curriculum that maximizes the benefits of technology and digital learning." He's getting there just in time, too. School's out for summer on Friday. Mooresville Middle is known nationally for its digital learning. Every child from grades 4 through high school gets a MacBook for use at school and at home, and the laptops are collected at the end of the year.

Hagan to Question Military Leaders on Sexual Assault (N.C. Political News) — On Tuesday U.S. Senator Kay Hagan (NC) will question top military leaders of each service branch on what is being done to address the sexual assault in the military. Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey will be appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, as well as the service chiefs and lawyers from each branch of the military.

EDC changes proposed (Washington Daily News) -- After listening to a senior advisor to Gov. Pat McCrory, one local official still has concerns for the state’s economic development plans. Bob Heuts, executive director of the Beaufort County Economic Development, said the plan would most likely cut funding for economic development, with the expectation that business and industry leaders would contribute. Heuts joined business and government leaders in New Bern to learn more about the plan from Tony Almeida, senior advisor to McCrory. The meeting was arranged by NC-20, a partnership of local governments and businesses from 20 coastal counties, including Beaufort.

NC man told to stop taking money to restore cars (AP) — State officials are trying to put the brakes on a North Carolina man who they say took more than $2 million from people all over the world to restore Pontiac Trans Ams but did not deliver the cars or return the customers' money.

Analytics company to locate center in Wake County (AP) -- A company that provides custom professional research and analytics services to clients around the world says it will establish a U.S. center in Wake County, creating 400 new jobs by the end of 2017. Gov. Pat McCrory's office announced Monday that Evalueserve also plans to invest more than $5.9 million in its Wake County location. Evalueserve analyzes, improves and executes knowledge-intensive processes. It works with Fortune 500 companies, professional services firms, financial services companies, life sciences and health care organizations, and several manufacturing and service industries. The company employs more than 2,600 professionals in its research centers around the world.

Research and Analytics Company to Create 400 Jobs in Wake County (N.C. Political News) – Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced Evalueserve, a global company that provides custom professional research and analytics services to clients around the world, will establish a U.S. Center in Wake County. The company plans to create 400 new jobs in North Carolina by the end of 2017 and invest more than $5.9 million in its Wake County location.

Analytics company to open Wake County center, create 400 jobs (WRAL-TV) -- Evalueserve, a global research and analytics company, announced Monday it will establish a Wake County and create 400 jobs by the end of 2017. The company could earn nearly $3 million in incentives from the state.

Analytics company to open center in Wake and create 400 jobs (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Evalueserve, a research and analytics company, will open a U.S. center in Wake County and create 400 jobs over the next four years.

Brad Miller joins DC think tank (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former Rep. Brad Miller will join the Washington-based Center for American Progress as a senior fellow for economic policy. Miller, a Raleigh Democrat, will work with the housing finance and policy team on foreclosure prevention, neighborhood stabilization, and housing-finance reform, as well as on broader financial-services issues and systemic risk concerns. “His vast experience shaping the policy debate will play a valuable role in our efforts to strengthen the middle class and grow the economy by ensuring that more Americans have access to stable and affordable housing,” said Neera Tanden, the center's president and a former staffer in the Clinton and Obama administrations. The center is a liberal think tank formed in 2003 to be a counterweight to the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Area keeps wary eye on feared base realignment (New Bern Sun Journal) -- Whether there will be a Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2015 is anybody’s guess. But if it does occur, the results are likely to be severe in some defense communities.

Hurricane season arrives (Winston-Salem Chronicle) -- U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan is urging North Carolinians, especially those living in coastal communities, to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. National Hurricane Preparedness Week began Sunday, May 26 and continues through Saturday, June 1 to coincide with the beginning of hurricane season. “As hurricane season officially begins this week, I urge all North Carolinians to prepare for storms that could affect our state by creating an emergency supply kit, learning evacuation routes and having a plan to communicate with loved ones during and after an emergency,” Hagan said. “While North Carolina was spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy last year, the storm caused significant damage in some coastal communities. I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues to secure funds for afflicted areas that will allow our parks, refuges and beaches to rebuild and support our coastal economy. As hurricane season begins, we must prepare for the worst to keep our families, friends and loved ones safe.”

Panel pitches changes to make NC county fair safer (AP) — A study commission has issued recommendations on how to make the Cleveland County Fair safer after an E.coil outbreak last year resulted in 106 cases, including the death of a 2-year-old.

Cooper on Supreme Court decision upholding collection of DNA samples from arrestees (N.C. Political News) -- N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper released the following statement following the Court’s decision: “It’s important that the Supreme Court has confirmed that DNA is the twenty-first century fingerprint. Collecting DNA samples from arrestees pinpoints suspects quickly, gets criminals off the streets sooner, saves tax dollars and investigative resources, and clears suspects who have been wrongly accused.”

Meadows Appointed to Congressional-Executive Commission on China (N.C. Political News) – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) released the following statement after Speaker of the House John Boehner appointed him to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. This bipartisan delegation of nine Congressmen, nine Senators, and five senior administration officials monitors human rights abuses and the development of the rule of law in China and submits a report to the President and Congress every year.

Division of Aviation to Sponsor Free Wildlife Hazard Training Session (N.C. Political News – While their presence may be welcome elsewhere, wildlife can wreak havoc at an airport. Birds and other animals can damage planes on the ground or cause accidents by flying into the engines or roaming on airport grounds. To increase awareness of these concerns and to improve safety for all, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation will offer a free training session at Asheville Regional Airport on June 28.

Big raise for DHHS budget manager (Raleigh News & Observer) -- On March 8, Gov. Pat McCrory sent a memo to state agencies telling them to hold off giving raises because the state needed money to pay for Medicaid. About five weeks later, the budget director at Department of Health and Human Services received a $30,660 raise. Jim Slate's salary jumped to $144,000 a year. The reason for the raise was "career progression."

Large ‘life sciences’ employer considering Wilmington says head of entrepreneurship program (Port City Daily) -- The newly recruited head of UNCW’s entrepreneur-boosting program boasts he brings a “blue-collar work ethic in a white-collar industry,” an energy blend he says is right

Hope Mills officials vote for all members to attend workplace training (Fayetteville Observer) -- The Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 Monday night to require all members and Mayor Jackie Warner to attend training on the issues of workplace sexual harassment and other matters.

UNC rallies for a 12-11 over Florida Atlantic in 13 innings (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Heartbreak turned to jubilation for North Carolina on Monday night, and then turned back into heartbreak and back into jubilation again. Monday night turned into Tuesday morning. Things changed in an instant: Momentum, the direction of a season. One ended and one survived. Finally. “Baseball’s a crazy sport,” Chaz Frank, the Tar Heels senior, said earlier this week. UNC and Florida Atlantic provided testimony to that on Monday night and Tuesday morning in a game that had to be among the craziest of them all. It ended after 13 innings with UNC’s 12-11 victory.

After 13 innings, UNC advances, edges Fla. Atlantic 12-11 (WRAL-TV) -- North Carolina coach Mike Fox sat in stunned disbelief, searching for words after his No. 1-seeded Tar Heels barely avoided a stunning upset in the NCAA tournament.

Eve Carson’s murder Lovette: 'I'm not the monster y'all made me out to be' (WRAL-TV) -- "You know, people make mistakes. Nobody's perfect. I'm not the monster that y'all made me out to be," Laurence Lovette Jr. said prior to Judge Allen Baddour's sentence Monday afternoon.

Dogfight operators guilty, may face life (Elizabeth City Daily Advance) -- Two Elizabeth City men could receive life sentences after pleading guilty to federal charges of peddling crack cocaine and then using the proceeds to finance a dogfighting operation.

'Homeland' puts Raleigh in TV spotlight (WRAL-TV) -- The Emmy Award-winning series "Homeland," which usually shoots scenes in Charlotte, changed scenery this week and brought the full crew to the state capital. Along East Morgan Street outside the N.C. Supreme Court Building, fans clustered for a glimpse of the production.

‘Homeland’ films scenes in N.C. Supreme Court building (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The cast and crew of Showtime’s award-winning drama “Homeland” set up camp in downtown Raleigh, filming inside the N.C. Supreme Court Building. Filming will resume Tuesday outside the State Capitol.

St. Paul’s College to close June 30 (Winston-Salem Journal) -- The decision by St. Paul's College in Lawrenceville,Va., to close came after the historically black college battled for years to keep its accreditation amid crushing debt and an acquisition bid was abandoned. The chairman of St. Paul's board of trustees informed the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission last week that it will close on June 30. The decision was announced weeks after St. Augustine's University in Raleigh said an acquisition of St. Paul's would have challenged its own "fiscal stability."

GE Aviation could expand in Durham, Wilmington and beyond (Triangle Business Journal) -- GE Aviation is possibly on the brink of another big round of investments at its aircraft engine plants in Durham, Wilmington, Asheville

UNCSA’s School of Drama ranked seventh in the world (Winston-Salem Journal) -- Drama students at UNC School of the Arts are red carpet-ready, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s recent ranking of the top 25 drama schools in the world. UNCSA’s School of Drama was ranked seventh on the list, which was published in the magazine’s June 7 edition. “It’s always nice to get recognition for all the work we do,” said Carl Forsman, dean of the drama school. “I hope what it means is that we’re continuing on the right path.”

NCDOT pulls the plug on car chargers after taxpayers run a 31 cents per car tab (Raleigh News & Observer) -- “History was made today,” the state Department of Transportation proclaimed on Jan. 11, 2012, when it installed charging stations for plug-in electric cars at four interstate highway rest stops in Johnston and Alamance counties. Fourteen months later, the chargers were history. DOT quietly pulled them out of the ground and trucked them to a warehouse. In their place today are four blue signs memorializing the end Feb. 28 of an “EV charging station pilot project.” In 14 months, only 146 vehicles plugged into the four chargers, most of them at the twin Alamance County stops flanking I-85. The other two were on I-40 near Benson. These 146 cars sucked up 446.9 kilowatt-hours of electricity. They soaked North Carolina taxpayers for a grand total of $44.69 – about 31 cents per car. The DOT spent more than that to make those pilot-project signs and install them.

Electric cars are getting as cheap as gasoline rivals (LA Times) -- The Times test drives the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e and Honda Fit EV to see how they stack up in the race to go green.

Power plant expansion behind Duke rate hike (Charlotte Observer) -- To find this rural crossroads a 75-minute drive west of Charlotte, look for the water vapor boiling out of a 555-foot-high smokestack. It’s a landmark in more ways than one.

Duke Energy offers tour of latest NC coal plant (Charlotte Business Journal) -- Duke Energy Carolinas opened its recently completed $1.8 billion Cliffside Steam Station expansion to a media tour Monday to make the case that plant construction

Illinois DNR must adopt 'fracking' rules, hire experts before drilling begins (AP) -- High-volume oil and gas extraction probably won’t begin in earnest in Illinois until next year because the state first must adopt rules and hire dozens of new employees to help regulate an industry eagerly pushing into new territory. Gov. Pat Quinn promised a quick signature on a measure the Legislature approved last week that would impose the nation’s strictest regulations on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which he says would create thousands of sorely needed jobs in southern Illinois.

Bringing Fresh Seafood to the Triangle (Coastal Review) -- Moore Square in Raleigh will come alive Saturday as the N.C. Coastal Federation and the Hills to Holy Water Music Arts Tour come together for N.C. Fresh Catch, a daylong celebration of commercial fishing, clean water, arts and sustainable living.

Jones’ bill to protect Corolla wild horses passes House (N.C. Political News) -- Congressman Walter B. Jones’ (R,NC-3) bill to protect Corolla wild horses – H.R. 126 – passed the House on a voice vote with unanimous consent. The Corolla Wild Horses Protection Act would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of North Carolina, Currituck County and the Corolla Wild Horse Fund to craft a new management plan to care for the wild horses that inhabit the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The plan would allow the herd to grow to the size found by equine scientists to be necessary to maintain genetic viability – between 110 and 130 horses. A small number of horses from Shackleford Bank would be introduced to improve genetic diversity. Because the bill specifies that the non-profit Corolla Wild Horse Fund would continue to pay for the horses’ care and management, the herd would be protected at no cost to taxpayers. H.R. 126 will now move to the Senate for further consideration.

Some NC beach renourishment funds expire next year (AP) — Officials in Carolina Beach worry that a federal beach renourishment program is scheduled to expire next year.

Vacant N.C. eco park spurs interest after 2 years (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- After two years on the market, a vacant green business park on U.S. 17, 2 miles south of Chesapeake in Camden County, is attracting new interest - including an industry that could bring 400 jobs.

USF&WS seeks input on GMC issue (Washington Daily News) -- Many people don’t know that crops are grown on some land at some national wildlife refuges.

Legislators can rescue $780 million for N.C. (Charlotte Observer) --We can think of 780 million reasons the legislature should slightly delay changes to North Carolina’s unemployment insurance program. Nina Davis can think of one: She doesn’t want to get evicted.

Why force cursive writing? (Wilson Times) -- A bill awaiting Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature may have good intentions in requiring that North Carolina public schools teach cursive writing, but it is mostly an exercise in sentimentality.

NC lawmakers perched to upend a delicate car-coast balance (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- A new bill in the Senate (S486) rescinds a carefully balanced plan that allows responsible off-road vehicle use while protecting the needs of families, pedestrians and beach-nesting wildlife.

Raleigh’s assault on east (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Allen Thomas’ campaign for mayor two years ago prominently featured a plan for Greenville to boost its economic development efforts through the creation of an entity working solely on the city’s behalf.

NC has the tools on the table to fashion a grand Medicaid bargain (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- By reversing its earlier decision and accepting expanded Medicaid, the General Assembly will provide a compelling reason for the Obama administration to expedite federal permission to implement the Medicaid HMO program.

Even in the digital age, public libraries provide an important service (Wilmington Star-News) -- The public library is a great equalizer, making information, job-search help, and media of varied formats available to all people.

Eastern Region is a proven recruiting agency (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- In significant, steady ways, a relatively small investment that began in 1993 continues to pay economic dividends 20 years later in the Twin Counties.

North Carolina's safety net grows yet another hole (Fayetteville Observer) -- Call it the day the music died. Or call it the day we see the consequences of an exceptionally bad decision.