Tuesday News: Under investigation

PROSECUTOR REFERS SPEAKER TIM MOORE'S BUSINESS DEALINGS TO SBI FOR PROBE: Two years after then-House Rules Chairman Tim Moore’s legislation rescued a controversial south Durham mixed-use land project and boosted a high-end residential community next door, one of the developers took him on as his lawyer. And two years after that, the same developer, Neal Hunter, gave Moore a legal services contract for a Durham-based pharmaceutical company Hunter had recently co-founded, paying him $40,000 for four months of work largely related to how federal tax law treated such startups. Moore, a Cleveland County Republican who became House speaker in 2015, disclosed those details in an interview Friday about his private legal work. He was adamant he never mixed that work with his legislative duties. But a state prosecutor told The News & Observer she has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into concerns about Moore’s work for Hunter and a separate case where Moore’s private legal work preceded controversial state legislation involving bail agents.

SOME REPUBLICANS SKEPTICAL OF GIVING FARMERS MONEY FOR FLORENCE: "How will you be able to follow up to make sure this money was actually spent on farming?" asked Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford. "You'll be able to check and make sure fields are planted again or buildings are put back together?" "Are we going to make sure that every farmer that gets a payment stays in the business? We can't," Troxler replied. "I can't swear that what we do is going to keep every farmer in business, but if you look at it in general, I think it will be enough to help them get financing. That's what we're looking for." Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, said the recovery program creates a slippery slope of the state setting aside a pile of money to dole out after natural disasters without any parameters. "What about all those small-business people of all natures that are out there that are in the same situation?" McGrady asked. "We'll be setting sort of a precedent here with this sort of program."

GOVERNOR COOPER ALLOCATES $25 MILLION FROM LOTTERY TO REPAIR DAMAGED SCHOOLS: Florence damaged schools across the state last month, with Cooper saying Monday that several school districts remain closed, keeping more than 130 schools serving nearly 90,000 out of class. Cooper said the lottery funds will help because affected school districts have used up most of their contingency funds and need immediate help to repair roofs, flooring and electrical wiring, to eradicate mold and mildew and to replace furniture to get schools reopened. “Students need to get back to learning and educators need to get back to teaching, but many school districts can’t afford the repairs schools need,” Cooper said in a news release. “The lives of thousands of students, teachers and families are on hold and they need our help to recover.”

SILENT SAM PROTESTERS FACE CHARGES IN COURT TODAY: Eleven people charged in recent protests over "Silent Sam" monument protests at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were expected to appear Tuesday in court. Organizers are asking supporters to go inside the courthouse when the appearances start and sit behind the defendants in a show of solidarity. University leaders were asked to decide by Nov. 15 on what course of action to take with the statue. Chancellor Carol Folt has previously released a statement about the incident, condemning the act of toppling the statue but admitting that the statue has been a point of controversy. "The monument has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community," Folt's staement said.

CDC SAYS CLIMATE CHANGE IS MENTALLY STRESSFUL, ALSO: The study outlines three separate ways that hotter and more extreme weather stand to undermine the mental well-being of the people forced to experience it. The effects will be most pronounced for women and for low-income Americans, the findings indicate. “Ultimately, if observed relationships from the recent past persist, added climate change may amplify the society-wide mental health burden,” the study authors wrote Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team — led by Nick Obradovich, a data scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab who examines climate change and human behavior — was guided by the real-life experience of a diverse group of people from 263 cities across the country. All of them took part in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a health survey that’s been operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1984.