Saturday News: Culture of disrespect


TWO HIGH-LEVEL DPI STAFFERS SQUEEZED OUT BY MARK JOHNSON: Adam Levinson was made CFO by the State Board of Education in March 2017 following former CFO Philip Price’s departure back in February of 2017. State Superintendent Mark Johnson was opposed to his hiring, according to an affidavit filed as part of a now-resolved lawsuit between the State Board and Johnson. Stacey Wilson-Norman, who previously worked as deputy superintendent of academics at Durham Public Schools, was made chief academic officer of DPI in September of 2017. At the time of her hiring, Johnson opposed the Board making any new high-level hires until the lawsuit between he and the Board was resolved. Both Wilson-Norman and Levinson were effectively demoted as part of Johnson’s recent reorganization, with Levinson retaining his role but with less authority and Wilson-Norman being reassigned to the lower-level role of division director of curriculum and instruction.

SOME VOTER REGISTRATION GROUPS IN NC UNDER SCRUTINY FOR GIVING MISLEADING INFORMATION: North Carolina election investigators are looking into alleged misconduct involving voter registration drives in several counties. The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement said Friday it had received reports that individuals were wrongly telling voters in New Hanover, Pitt and Robeson counties that they had to register again to cast ballots in November. The board says that's not necessary unless a person has moved or changed their name or party affiliation, and that individuals can go online to check their registration. A board release also says they've heard about people falsely identifying themselves as county or state election workers going to homes and businesses. And the agency investigated in recent months allegedly falsified registration documents delivered to county elections offices.

BIPARTISAN FORMER NC GOVERNORS SCHEDULE PRESS CONFERENCE OPPOSING AMENDMENTS: All five of North Carolina's living former governors will gather Monday to campaign against a pair of proposed constitutional amendments that would shift power from the governor to the legislature. Former Gov. Jim Martin, the only North Carolina Republican to serve two terms in the office, is organizing the event. The group will gather for a press conference in the old House chambers at the State Capitol Building, then huddle for a private strategy session, Martin said Friday. Former Govs. Pat McCrory, Bev Perdue, Mike Easley and Jim Hunt will join Martin at the event. Current Gov. Roy Cooper's administration has sued to keep the two targeted amendments off the ballot this November, uniting the current and former governors on the matter. Martin and McCrory are Republicans, the rest are Democrats.This battle is one of several in recent years over the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. Martin and Hunt similarly sided with McCrory in a lawsuit he filed against the General Assembly over appointments to a state board overseeing the cleanup of coal ash pits across the state.

OMAROSA TELL-ALL BOOK ON TRUMP DETAILS EXTENSIVE RACIAL EPITHETS HE USED: President Donald Trump casually dropped the “N-word” during his time as the star of “The Apprentice” and regularly uses racist epithets in the White House, according to reality TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman. Manigault Newman is releasing a book next week containing an “explosive” account of her brief tenure in the Trump administration and detailing her reasons for heading for the exit. The Guardian reported on Friday that the tell-all memoir — dubbed “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House” — repeats the popular claim that a tape exists featuring Trump using the N-word during outtakes for his NBC reality show, on which Manigault Newman was a contestant. Manigault Newman claims the realization that Trump was an unrepentant racist helped her decide to jump ship last December. At the time, she writes, she felt a “growing realization that Donald Trump was indeed a racist, a bigot and a misogynist. My certainty about the N-word tape and his frequent uses of that word were the top of a high mountain of truly appalling things I’d experienced with him, during the last two years in particular.”

UN BEGINS INVESTIGATION OF US-BACKED SAUDI BOMBING OF YEMENI SCHOOLBUS: Yemen's Houthi rebels have backed the United Nations' call for an independent investigation into a Saudi-attack on a bus full of school children on Thursday. The Houthis say at least 50 people were killed in the attack in Saada province, and over 70 were wounded. The Saudi-led coalition insists it was striking at legitimate targets. The Saudi-led coalition has been criticised repeatedly for targeting civilian areas in their attacks, but the images of children covered in blood still appear to have shocked the world. **Editor's note: There is a video attached to this article with some extremely disturbing footage of injured children who survived (some have probably since died of their wounds). It's a hard thing to see, but since we (the U.S.) are at least partly responsible for this and other attacks, we should also be responsible enough to witness the results.