Wednesday News: Unacceptable, but not unexpected

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AUDIT OF NC'S UNEMPLOYMENT PAYOUTS REVEALS UNNECESSARY PANDEMIC SUFFERING: State Auditor Beth Wood's office found only 60% of the 3.67 million initial payments across eight programs valued at $1.2 billion were sent within the federal government's standards for timeliness. And 32% of the first payments — totaling $342 million — were not issued within 30 days, the report said. In all, $11.6 billion in unemployment benefits were issued during the 15-month period reviewed. Coronavirus lockdowns began in March 2020. Despite the “unprecedented" rise in benefit claims during the pandemic, the division wasn't “prepared for economic downturns that will inevitably occur,” auditors wrote. We covered this pretty regularly at the time, so it's not a big surprise. And considering $11,600 million was payed out over the whole period, that $342 million shakes out to be about 3%. It shouldn't have happened, but we shouldn't be freaking out about it, either.
https://www.wral.com/nc-audit-438m-in-benefits-failed-to-reach-workers-quickly/20186971/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And before the right-wing nutters start flailing around about Liberal reporters, Travis is one of the most objective and fair journalists around these days. And this *is* a legitimate question. How about an answer?

Monday News: Twenty two thousand, nine hundred twenty two

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COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS IN NC DROP BELOW 1,000: At least 2,606,754 coronavirus cases have been reported in North Carolina, and at least 22,922 people have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday, March 11, reported 1,849 new COVID-19 cases, up from 1,783 the day before. An additional 30 coronavirus-related deaths were added to the total. At least 960 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of March 11, a drop from 1,012 the day before. The last time fewer than 1,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 was July 25, 2021. 182 adults were being treated in intensive care units as of March 10, health officials said. As of March 8, the latest date with available information, 3% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. A lot of good developments, but I can't help but wonder when the next viral shoe will drop.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article259306579.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BLACK WOMEN ARE NOT ANGRY. THEY JUST WANT YOU TO LISTEN: Listening is an important communication skill with the power to build deep and meaningful human connections. It is valuable when working with marginalized communities, particularly those that have been historically excluded from adequate healthcare. I like the Merriam Webster definition of listening as an intransitive verb: "to hear something with thoughtful attention." To hear and understand Black patients requires listening with thoughtful attention. This allows for the building of trust and stronger relationships, which is important for a population with a high historical level of mistrust in the healthcare system. By listening thoughtfully, a healthcare worker demonstrates respect to the patient. It creates a safe space that empowers patients to share without fear of judgment or neglect. Listening with thoughtful attention makes room for empathy and a better understanding of the context in which those words are shared. It helps us act according to the needs of our patients. It makes room for cultural humility and combats the harmful stereotypes that Black women are angry, crazy, or aggressive. And considering pregnant Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die (than white women) from complications related to their pregnancy in the U.S., their concerns are justified.
https://www.wral.com/chinemerem-nwosu-black-women-are-not-angry-they-just-want-you-to-listen/20172160/

Saturday News: First in Racism

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BLACK STUDENTS IN NC SEE SPIKE IN HARASSMENT FROM WHITES: In February, extra police were stationed at East Wake High School in Wendell after a threat on social media used the N-word and said they’d “discuss how to get rid of all blacks at east wake.” In February, a social media post showed four Black basketball players from Knightdale High School in the target of a sniper’s cross hairs, and one player hanging from a noose. It led to the cancellation of a basketball game between Knightdale and Raleigh’s Millbrook High. In December 2021, the Johnston County school system announced that its law firm would investigate allegations that Black students were bullied at Princeton High School. Some Black students have publicly talked about white classmates calling them the N-word, telling them to pick cotton and threatening to beat them up. But the Confederate flag is not about racism, it's about heritage! Bullshit.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article259314849.html

Thursday News: Driving without a brain...

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MADDY CAWTHORN BUSTED FOR DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE: The North Carolina State Highway Patrol charged U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn last week with driving while his license was revoked. Cawthorn faces the charge after a traffic stop in Cleveland County on March 3, according to Sgt. Chris Knox, a patrol spokesman. Around 10:26 p.m., a trooper saw a 2019 Toyota drive left of center on U.S. 74B and pulled the vehicle over, Knox said in a written statement to McClatchy. Knox told McClatchy that he can’t comment on why Cawthorn’s license has been revoked because that information is protected under a federal law, the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. That doesn't seem to stop right-wingers from obtaining criminal/traffic information about black people shot by cops. But PWBs (Privileged White Boys) are different, I guess.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article259230705.html

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