Tuesday News: "Person Three"

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UNIDENTIFIED NC MAN WAS A COORDINATOR FOR OATH KEEPERS JAN 6: On Friday, the same day a grand jury approved the new indictment, Department of Justice prosecutors were describing in court filings what else they've learned about the group's so-called Quick Reaction Force, an effort to allegedly bring guns to a Northern Virginia Comfort Inn as backup for the siege. The Friday filing described whom prosecutors believe to be the organizer of the QRF, a person from North Carolina identified as "Person Three." The anonymized name means the person may not be arrested and charged at this time -- and Person Three is not among the four new charged defendants. Previously, prosecutors had described how the Oath Keepers gathered and stashed weapons at the Comfort Inn, and how defendant Thomas Caldwell of Virginia allegedly had floated an idea of ferrying weapons across the Potomac River to assist with the Capitol siege.
https://www.wral.com/court-filings-nc-man-who-was-a-part-of-the-oath-keepers-organized-quick-reactio...

NC PARK OFFICIALS ARE UNDERFUNDED, NOT PREPARED FOR TOURIST SEASON: Park officials say there has been a record-number of visitors attending state parks. Most of the parks are seeing a 50% increase in visitation compared to 2019, officials said. Officials are concerned that parks will be overcrowded and they won't be able to provide people with the experience they are looking for. "We were short staffed to begin with, at this point in time, we are completely overwhelmed," Greenwood said. Officials said the more people that come to visit the parks, the more money it will take to maintain the facilities and staff the parks. "We really are going to have a difficult time keeping up funding to maintain the facilities," said Greenwood. Please remember this when you see people complaining about overflowing trash receptacles and "nasty" bathrooms. Those things don't magically get cleaned up, it takes funding.
https://www.wral.com/nc-parks-and-recreation-start-off-busy-summer-season-understaffed-underfunded/1...

ADVOCATES FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING WANT MORE ANNUAL FUNDING FROM NC LEGISLATURE: In 2007, $22 million dollars was allocated to the Housing Trust Fund, but contribution in the years since has decreased. In fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13, the fund was allocated $7.8 million, followed by $7 million in 2013-14, according to data provided by Riddell. Contributions hit a low of $6.8 million in fiscal year 2014-15. In 2015-16, the fund received a boost of $27.6 million, which included $20 million for disaster recovery funds after Hurricane Matthew. Annual contributions have remained at $7.6 million in all the years since, except in fiscal year 2018-19 when an additional $10 million was put in the fund for disaster recovery expenses after Hurricane Florence. According to Ripley, the North Carolina Justice Center and other advocates ask lawmakers to increase the funding every year. As of early May, Pamela Atwood with the North Carolina Housing Coalition said that fund was sitting at $6-7 million, even though it was originally funded at $20 million at its inception. “As you can imagine $6-7 million does not really go a long way across the state. For comparison's sake, in Virginia, their annual trust fund allocation is $55 million,” Atwood said. “We would like to see that, at the very least, bumped up to $20 million, which is the amount that it was originally funded at and see some increases over time.”
https://www.thetimesnews.com/story/news/local/2021/06/01/alamance-lawmakers-address-affordable-housi...

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR "SHRINKFLATION," SMALLER VOLUME FOR THE SAME PRICE: Consumers are paying more for a growing range of household staples in ways that don’t show up on receipts — thinner rolls, lighter bags, smaller cans — as companies look to offset rising labor and materials costs without scaring off customers. It’s a form of retail camouflage known as “shrinkflation,” and economists and consumer advocates who track packaging expect it to become more pronounced as inflation ratchets up, taking hold of such everyday items such as paper towels, potato chips and diapers. “Consumers check the price every time they buy, but they don’t check the net weight,” said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate and former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, who has been tracking product sizes for more than 30 years. “When the price of raw materials, like coffee beans or paper pulp goes up, manufacturers are faced with a choice: Do we raise the price knowing consumers will see it and grumble about it? Or do we give them a little bit less and accomplish the same thing? Often it’s easier to do the latter.” Slimmed-down product sizes are reflected in government inflation data to some extent, according to Jonathan Church, an economist with the consumer price index program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the bureau’s ability to weigh items has been limited during the pandemic because of restrictions on in-person data collection, he said there has been a marked shift toward smaller packages of chips and other snack foods. Walmart’s Great Value paper towels, for example, went from 168 2-ply sheets per roll to 120. The price, at $14.97, remained the same for a dozen rolls despite the nearly 30 percent drop in product. Both versions remained listed on the retailer’s site until last week.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/06/01/package-sizes-shrink-inflation/

UNCLE JOE HEADS TO TULSA TO MEET WITH SURVIVORS OF RACE MASSACRE: President Biden will meet privately on Tuesday with surviving members of the 1921 massacre in Greenwood, the African-American community in Tulsa, Okla., that was destroyed by a white mob 100 years ago, helping to shine a spotlight on one of the worst outbreaks of racist violence in American history as he strives to make racial equity and justice central themes of his presidency. In remarks during his visit, Mr. Biden is expected to highlight steps his administration is taking to help financially struggling minority communities and to begin to close the wealth gap between Black and white people in the United States, according to administration officials. The president’s announcements — timed to underscore the legacy of anti-Black sentiment that fueled the mob in Greenwood — will include efforts to direct more federal spending to small and minority-owned business, fair housing enhancements, and programs that are intended to repair the damage to neighborhoods divided by transportation projects. Mr. Biden will be the first president to visit Tulsa to commemorate the massacre. The survivors he will meet with — each between the ages of 101 and 107 — lived through the events of May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when angry whites descended on Greenwood, a prosperous part of Tulsa known as Black Wall Street, killing as many as 300 people and destroying more than 1,250 homes. The violent and searing episode was rarely mentioned in history books. Mr. Biden’s visit is part of an effort to lift the silence. In addition to meeting with the aging survivors, the president will tour the Greenwood Cultural Center and deliver remarks commemorating the victims on the anniversary of the massacre.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/01/us/politics/biden-tulsa-massacre.html?action=click&module=Top%20S...

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