Wednesday News: Slap on the wrist


NO CHARGES WILL BE FILED IN ANDREW BROWN'S EXECUTION: The district attorney for Pasquotank County will not bring criminal charges against sheriff’s deputies who shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr. in Elizabeth City — a move that led to increased tension and protest over police violence. District Attorney Andrew Womble announced the news while discussing the state’s investigation at a news conference in the county’s public safety building Tuesday. Womble said Brown’s death “while tragic, was justified” because his actions caused three deputies to “reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.” Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten, in a video statement posted on Facebook, said the three deputies involved will keep their jobs, but be “disciplined and retrained.”

Tuesday News: Secret Satan


TRUMP'S NC GOP CONVENTION SPEECHES WITHHELD FROM PUBLIC: Trump's speech will be closed to the media, and journalists won't be able to view it via livestream or alternate forms, said Livy Polen, a spokeswoman for the NC GOP. Trump has kept a relatively low public profile since leaving office. His last significant public speech was in February at the CPAC convention. He's still banned from Twitter and Facebook, and his public comments have largely come in the form of written statements and calling into right-leaning news outlets. The state party hopes Trump can help Republicans retake control of the U.S. House in the upcoming midterms. Whatley, a staunch Trump ally who also served as one of the former president's 13 North Carolina electors in 2020, wants Trump to play an active role in North Carolina politics. How "active" is that "role" if nobody can see or hear him?

Elliot Management buys large stake in Duke Energy


Hopefully ratepayers won't get bitten in the process:

Elliott has not yet released any letters or presentations on the company, but based on past investments in this area and the level of engagement, we expect that they have a $1B+ investment in Duke. With the annual meeting recently passing, director nominations for next year are not due until January 2022, so management has time to prove itself.

However, we do not expect Elliott to sit by quietly during that time. We expect them to become vocal and engaged shareholders putting pressure on management to create value. The right plan could create tens of billions of dollars of value for shareholders.

I'm not even going to try to analyze this just yet, no amount or strength of coffee will aid me in interpreting Stock Talk. But that "creating value" thing has the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. That being said, this could also signal a quicker end to coal-burning power plants and a more aggressive move to renewables:

Monday News: Twelve thousand, eight hundred sixty two


NC COVID METRICS CONTINUE DOWNWARD TREND, LESS THAN 1,000 HOSPITALIZED: At least 989,338 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,862 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,501 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from 1,394 reported the day before. At least 926 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday, a slight increase from 925 the day before. As of Wednesday, the latest day for which data is available, 3.8% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 51% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine and 45.9% are fully vaccinated as of Thursday.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


THE PUBLIC SHOULD KNOW WHO GETS TAX BREAKS FOR CHARITABLE DONATIONS: The identity of those who promote causes – and those paying for it and getting tax breaks – should be known. This is the kind of transparency that makes democracy work. Nonprofits that qualify for tax-deductible donations are NOT permitted to endorse candidates but can promote and comment on causes and issues. If an organization is essentially going to be a mouthpiece for its donors, the public deserves to know, and should know, who is bankrolling the megaphone. Nonprofits, as a matter of pride and identity, should be anxious to reveal their donors. Those who are giving the money should want people to know of their commitment and concern. Note: the Federal bill Republicans are trying to undermine with this legislation only tracks donations of $10,000 or above.

Saturday News: Justice, finally


HENRY MCCOLLUM AND LEON BROWN AWARDED $84 MILLION FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT: An eight-person jury awarded McCollum and Brown $31 million each in compensatory damages — $1 million for every year they spent in prison after they were wrongfully convicted, twice, of the 1983 rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl in Red Springs. McCollum and Brown, both intellectually-disabled with IQs in the 50s, were teenagers when they were charged after they signed confessions they insisted they didn’t understand. The jury also awarded them $13 million in punitive damages after the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, one of the defendants named in the civil suit, settled its part of the case earlier on Friday for $9 million. The judgment on Friday came against former SBI agents Leroy Allen and Kenneth Snead, both of whom were part of the original investigation in 1983 that led to McCollum and Brown’s convictions.


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