Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy rate increase begins June 1st

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It could have been much worse, but it's still not necessary:

Duke Energy Progress electric rates will increase by an average of 4.7% across all customer groups, effective June 1. The annualized bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per month will increase to $119.83 from the current $113.53 over the next two years.

The specific increase for individual customer groups will vary, depending on the rate they pay. The average rate increase will be 5.3% for residential customers, 4.7% for commercial customers and 3.6% for industrial customers.

Duke Energy pays out about 75% of its earnings in stockholder dividends, and those dividends have grown by almost 10% in the last 3 years. In actual dollars paid to investors, it's now roughly $2.8 Billion, per year. Which makes this almost laughable:

Wednesday News: License to kill

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IMMUNITY FOR NC NURSING HOMES WAS A BIG MISTAKE: In a lawsuit filed last month, Noguera and Talent allege that the staff at Brighton Gardens of Charlotte failed to give Quirindongo medication to help her breathe, ease her pain and quell her anxiety as she died of congestive heart failure — when the heart doesn’t pump blood properly. In her final hours, Quirindongo’s children received little help from staff as they watched their mother claw at her neck and cry for help as her lungs filled with fluid, effectively drowning her, they allege. Still, Noguera and Talent’s lawsuit is expected to be swiftly dismissed by a judge, because of a temporary law passed by North Carolina’s state legislature last year. That measure gives health care providers and facilities sweeping immunity from civil liability during the pandemic.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article251178409.html

Tuesday News: Okay, Lisa

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WHITE WOMAN DRIVES VEHICLE INTO ELIZABETH CITY PROTESTERS, INJURING TWO: A Greenville woman could face hate crime charges after she struck two Black women with her vehicle as they were protesting the April killing of Andrew Brown Jr. by sheriff’s deputies, according to Elizabeth City Police. The two pedestrians were treated for “non life-threatening injuries” at an area hospital and later released, police said. Charges against 41-year-old Lisa Michelle O’Quinn, who is white, include “assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill by the use of a motor vehicle,” careless and reckless driving and unsafe movement, police said. She remained in jail Tuesday under $40,000 bond. The department said it is investigating “potential aggravating factors” that could result in hate crime charges being filed.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article251663748.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And the fact they "took no vote" does not lessen their culpability. It had the effect of a "No" vote, and one they could not justify.

Vaccine mandates for colleges follow political fault lines

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It's red state vs. blue state once again:

As of this weekend, only 34 — roughly 8 percent — are in states that voted for Donald J. Trump, according to a tracker created by The Chronicle of Higher Education. Nine of those were added on Friday, when Indiana University and its satellite campuses became rare public universities in a Republican-controlled state to mandate vaccines.

With many colleges facing falling enrollments and financial pressure, the decision whether to require vaccinations can have huge consequences. Particularly in Republican-controlled states, college presidents are weighing a delicate equation — part safety, part politics, part peer pressure and part economic self-interest.

Only one of those parts should really matter: Safety. Especially considering the clusters we saw on UNC's flagship campus this previous school year, requiring a vaccine is a no-brainer. With the state's premier private school (Duke University) requiring students be vaccinated, the situation with UNC System schools becomes even more absurd. Come on, UNC.

Monday News: Twelve thousand, nine hundred fifty eight

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NEARLY A MILLION NC CITIZENS HAVE CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS: At least 995,754 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,958 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,020 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, down from 1,187 reported on Thursday. At least 763 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, down from 793 the day before. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 3.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. More than 52% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 47.4% are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article251623898.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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POLITICS, MORE THAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS, ARE TRUITT'S PRIORITY: On two occasions, her views were expressed as part of the legislative leadership and partisan caucuses promotional statements. It was through a news release from House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland on May 11, that Truitt said she supported the legislation. “We want to encourage students to think freely and respect differences of opinion while ensuring our classrooms are not promoting ideas contrary to the equality and rights of all,” she said in the GOP release. “There is no room for divisive rhetoric that condones preferential treatment of any one group over another.” Those comments were repeated a day later in a House GOP caucus news release crowing about barring what they called “discriminatory concepts” from classrooms after the bill was passed on a 66-48 partisan vote. Regardless of Truitt’s stand on this legislation, her behavior has demonstrated that she and her office are simply extensions of the dictates of the current legislative leadership.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-politics-more-than-public-schools-and-students-are-truitt-s-priority/...

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