GENERAL ASSEMBLY ONLY DEDICATES $56.6 MILLION OUT OF $2 BILLION FOR FLORENCE: Legislators on Tuesday approved $50 million for immediate disaster relief efforts, plus $6.5 million to pay school employees who are out of work, saying that more will be coming in the future. However, that $50 million is a small percentage of the state’s $2 billion rainy day fund, and activists wanted more. The $2 billion in savings is a record amount, which legislators pushed for after Hurricane Matthew in 2016. “Now, I don’t know where you were,” Resea Willis of Brunswick County said on Tuesday. “But where I was, it rained almost 30 inches on us. So if there is a rainy day fund, I’m here to tell you that it’s already raining. We need your help.” There are legal limits on how much the state can spend from that fund in any given year, but activists like Willis said Tuesday leaders should waive those rules since the need is here and now. Going around the rules to exceed the spending cap would require the approval of two-thirds of lawmakers, The News & Observer has reported.
MAJOR DONOR OF DAN FOREST UNDER INVESTIGATION BY FBI: The subpoena seeks a broad range of documents going back to January 2014, essentially requiring the DOI to produce all of the records it has from the period relating to Lindberg and eight listed companies, including Eli Global and Global Bankers Insurance Group, both main holdings for the wealthy Durham investor. A source who has spoken to investigators said they were told there are multiple subpoenas in the case, and the investigation appears to span multiple states. Some of the companies listed on the DOI subpoena are based out of state. Lindberg is Lt. Gov. Dan Forest's largest donor as Forest heads into an assumed 2020 run for governor, giving $2.4 million to a pair of political groups that support Forest and can take unlimited donations. Forest said Tuesday that he'd heard an investigation existed and that Lindberg's name had been mentioned in connection with it. "Whether he's under investigation, I have no idea," Forest said. "Right now, I don't know anything about it.” Forest's office and his campaign said investigators have not reached out to them.
WAVE OF NEW CHARTER SCHOOLS COMING IN 2020: As many as 35 new charter schools want to open in North Carolina in 2020, including eight in Wake County and five in Mecklenburg County. The State Office of Charter School announced Tuesday that 35 schools in 19 counties had met this year’s application deadline to try to open in the 2020-21 school year. The deadline had been extended from Friday to Monday to give more time to applicants affected by Hurricane Florence. Charter schools are taxpayer-funded schools that are exempt from some of the rules that traditional public schools must follow, such as providing school meals and bus service. Supporters say charter schools provide families with more education options. But critics say charters siphon money away from traditional public schools and increase school segregation.
4 WHITE SUPREMACISTS ARRESTED FOR VIOLENCE DURING CHARLOTTESVILLE RALLY: Four members of a militant white supremacist group from California were arrested on charges they traveled to Virginia last year to incite a riot and attack counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally that turned deadly, federal authorities said Tuesday. The defendants — Benjamin Drake Daley, Michael Paul Miselis, Thomas Walter Gillen and Cole Evan White — are part of the Rise Above Movement, which espouses anti-Semitic views and meets regularly in public parks to train in boxing and other fighting techniques, according to an affidavit written by an FBI agent. The affidavit alleges the four were "among the most violent individuals present in Charlottesville" in August 2017 during a torch-lit march on the University of Virginia campus and a larger rally in downtown the following day. It says photos and video footage shows they attacked counter-protesters, "which in some cases resulted in serious injuries."
TRUMP MAY HAVE JUST LOST JEFF FLAKE'S VOTE AFTER MOCKING CHRISTINE FORD DURING RALLY: Speaking at a campaign rally Tuesday night, Trump cast doubt on Ford's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee by mocking her for not knowing the answers to questions such as how she had gotten to the high school party where she says Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, an allegation he has repeatedly denied. "There's no time and no place for remarks like that. To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. It's just not right. I wish he hadn't had done it," Flake told NBC's Savannah Guthrie on "Today," adding, "It's kind of appalling." he Arizona Republican has played a key role in Kavanaugh's confirmation process. On Friday, he voted to move the nominee out of committee but called for an FBI investigation into allegations made against Kavanaugh in order to gain more clarity on the matter before the full Senate votes on his nomination.