Daily dose

Wednesday News: Not nearly enough

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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.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article219360290.html

Tuesday News: Time to de-escalate

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CHAPEL HILL POLICE CHIEF CONCERNED OVER TACTICS USED ON PROTESTERS: Chapel Hill’s police chief says he is greatly concerned by some of the tactics that law enforcement officers have used against protesters on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. In remarks to the Orange County Human Relations Commission and to reporters Monday night, Chief Chris Blue said he is “particularly saddened” that Chapel Hill police and some other departments committed to social justice “in many ways wound up in the middle of a very complex situation.” Blue suggested it all could have been avoided. “We predicted a year or so ago that the issues around Silent Sam would escalate to where they wound up,” he said. “It’s clear that some tactics have been employed that are unique for this community, and that have not been seen before in this community, and that causes me great concern,” he said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article219347220.html

Monday News: Birds of a feather

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WOODHOUSE GOES AFTER 3RD KAVANAUGH ACCUSER IN TWITTER RANT: “This woman is a criminal,” N.C. Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse tweeted on Sunday, referring to Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse Kavanaugh of inappropriate behavior. “One way or another,” he wrote. “She either was a part of some massive criminal conspiracy to facilitate child rape, as an adult. Or more likely, she lied to Congress and her attorney knew it. She should go to prison, period.” Swetnick said in the statement that she saw Kavanaugh at least 10 times “at parties where women were verbally abused, inappropriately touched, made ‘disoriented’ with alcohol or drugs and ‘gang raped,’” according to The New York TImes. Swetnick said in the statement that she remembered seeing boys, including Kavanaugh, “lining up outside a bedroom where ‘numerous boys’ were ‘waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,’’ among other accusations. The Times was not able to independently corroborate Swenick’s claims.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article219281075.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD'S PROFILE IN COURAGE: About this there can be no debate: Christine Blasey Ford emerged from her ordeal before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday as a REAL American hero. Her measured but firm and detailed recollection of an assault at a gathering of high schoolers captured the focus of the nation. She displayed the kind of courage and selflessness that are the stuff of REAL role models. It is a unique and indelible occasion that regardless of Brett Kavanaugh’s fate will have an impact – from the halls of Congress halls to parent-child conversations at the dinner table. Blasey Ford didn’t spend a morning literally in the national spotlight because there was something in it for her. She came to Washington to tell her story, to tell her truth. She said it was her duty to bring information she felt the committee – and the nation – needed to know.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-christine-blasey-ford-s-profile-in-courage-/17882924/

Saturday News: The Kavanaugh Effect

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IN WAKE OF SUPREME COURT HEARING, MORE WOMEN ARE TELLING THEIR OWN STORIES: The hearings about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for Supreme Court are prompting more sexual assault survivors to step forward. One group rallied on the Bicentennial Mall in Raleigh on Friday, not only to speak out against sexual abuse and assault but also to share personal stories. Jennifer Condrey said it's her first time sharing her story publicly. “In my 46 years of life, I have been sexually harassed, touched or threatened more times than I care to count,” she told the crowd. She said she was raped in college. Her attacker was an acquaintance, she said, and her experience is one reason she decided to join the group Friday. The rally was organized by the Carolina Peace Center. Condrey and other attendees said they’ve been following Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing.
https://www.wral.com/after-kavanaugh-testimony-sexual-assault-survivors-share-stories-in-raleigh/178...

Friday News: The company you keep

NC REPUBLICANS WHO SUPPORT KAVANAUGH ENTER HALL OF SHAME: North Carolina Democrats and activists went on the offensive against Republicans for not opposing U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The state Democratic party launched online ads Thursday targeting GOP state legislators who signed an open letter last month supporting Kavanaugh. The ads target suburban districts seen as vulnerable in November's legislative elections. During a U.S. Senate hearing, Kavanaugh again denied he sexually assaulted a woman while they were high school students. The North Carolina chapter of the National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice NC and other advocacy groups led demonstrations against the state's two Republican U.S. senators through rallies in three different cities.
https://www.wral.com/democrats-activists-hit-n-carolina-gop-on-kavanaugh/17878082/

Thursday News: Frat boys stick together

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IGNORING THE VICTIMS, RICHARD BURR PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR KAVANAUGH: "Democrats made it clear they would stop at nothing to block President Trump’s Supreme Court pick before Judge Kavanaugh was even chosen as the nominee. President Trump has every right to nominate the individual of his choosing to the Supreme Court, and the Senate should go through the normal advice-and-consent process, as it has done for the last 12 weeks," Burr said in a statement. "Immediately following the conclusion of Thursday’s hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee should vote up or down on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. I intend to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination when it comes before the full Senate." WRAL News asked Burr spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll whether his support could change if unfavorable evidence against Kavanaugh were to come out in the committee hearing. "He intends to support Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination in the full Senate," Carroll responded.
https://www.wral.com/burr-tillis-take-positions-on-kavanaugh-hearing/17874676/

Wednesday News: Highly reprehensible

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LUMBERTON RESIDENTS SEEK CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST RAILROAD COMPANY CSX: If they succeed in getting their class certified by the federal judge, that would kick off a class action lawsuit open to anyone who owns property in Lumberton that was damaged during Florence. That could include anything from real estate to a car. It would also include any local business with a claim that it lost income due to flooding from the CSX site. The residents claimed Tuesday in court that that nearly all of the Hurricane Florence flooding in town could’ve been prevented — saving nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in damages to the town and its residents — if only CSX had taken action. Matt Lee is a Raleigh attorney for the Whitfield, Bryson and Mason law firm that’s filing the complaint. He said Lumberton has “a levee system that was designed to prevent this kind of flooding and the one open spot was where CSX had train tracks running underneath I-95. CSX knew about that, and they didn’t do it. They wouldn’t even have had to pay for it.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article219005520.html

Tuesday News: Pay-to-play Tim

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GOP SPEAKER HAS QUESTIONS TO ANSWER ON CONTRACTS, LEGISLATION, AND CAMPAIGN DONATIONS: Whitaker said KNOW Bio’s co-founder and board chairman Neal Hunter had given Moore the contract. What Whitaker, who left the company in April, said she didn’t know is that four years earlier, Moore as the powerful Rules Committee chairman had helped Hunter with a controversial development that was in danger of failing. Moore ran legislation that forced the city of Durham to provide water and sewer for the 751 South project, which will place 1,300 residences and 600,000 square feet of offices and shops on 166 acres near Jordan Lake. Mitchell is a friend and campaign supporter of Moore’s. In 2015, when Moore became speaker, the House voted Mitchell to the UNC Board of Governors. State election records show since 2013, Mitchell and his wife have contributed $30,300 to Moore’s campaign fund; Hunter and his wife have given $33,300.
https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/article218576350.html

Monday News: Implausible denialism

DUKE ENERGY SEZ COAL ASH YOU'RE SEEING IS NOT REALLY THERE: Nearby, a gray film floated around the banks of the river, which Matt Butler, a program director for Sound Rivers, a nonprofit that monitors the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico River Basins, identified as the lighter parts of coal ash. The heavier components, he said, sink to the bottom or are suspended in the water. “I think this is a very significant spill,” Kemp Burdette, the Cape Fear riverkeeper, said in an interview Saturday. “There were numerous breaches that have all contributed to this ... given the aerial photography and the satellite imagery that we have seen it looks like a lot of coal ash was kind of pulled down to those breaches and out to the Cape Fear River. That is certainly what we saw yesterday when we were on the water.” But Duke Energy disagreed that ash is contaminating the water, suggesting that Burdette may have seen nontoxic byproducts floating in the water.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article218870635.html

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