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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

New Poll: Pat McCrory Is Screwed

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 4:23 PM

It looks like Pat McCrory will become a one-term governor after all—and utter humiliation couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.  The latest Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday shows Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate, nine points ahead of McCrory. Especially good for Cooper? He’s running a good seven points better than Hillary Clinton, who is up two (44–42) in North Carolina over Donald Trump. Even better for Cooper: he’s pulling a majority, 52 percent, compared to McCrory’s 43 percent.  Part of the reason, it seems, is that Cooper is backed by 93 percent of Democrats, while only...

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The Morning Roundup: Lara Trump is from North Carolina and Some Other Things

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 7:14 AM

It's Wednesday. Your morning news:  1. Duke grad students will unionize. The National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that graduate teaching and research assistants at Columbia University are entitled to collective bargaining. This decision is certain to set off a chain of grad-student organizing at private universities across the United States. That includes Duke, whose adjunct faculty also mobilized and voted in favor of union representation earlier this year.   From the News & Observer:  Late Tuesday, a group of Duke University graduate students held a celebration near the Duke Chapel. Their aim is for a union vote at Duke...

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Allegations of Racial Mistreatment in City's Water Management Department Raise Old Concerns

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 11:27 AM

In 2014, allegations of employee mistreatment and racial disparities in  the Durham’s water management department were first brought to light when a group of former employees, who said they were wrongly terminated or disciplined while working for the city, went to the Human Relations Commission. The HRC then spent months investigating the department, including interviewing former employees and having former employees come speak to the commission. In November 2015 the HRC sent nine recommendations to the city council and city manager, which included requiring racial equity training, a review of disciplinary action, and increasing the scope and accessibility of...

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The Morning Roundup: An HB 2 Twist, a UPS Protest, and an Indictment in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Hello. Your news:  1. Texas judge throws wrench into HB 2 process. An Obama administration order advising school districts to allow transgender students to be given access to restrooms based on their gender identity has been blocked by a federal judge in Texas. From WUNC:  U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states. As we've reported, the lawsuit argues that the guidance from the White House would turn schools "into laboratories for a massive social experiment." The preliminary injunction would mean that, until...

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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Big Baby Berger

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Good morning. Let's get to it. 1. I regret to inform you that Phil Berger is at it again. The Senate's top Republican, Phil Berger, is widely considered to be the most powerful politician in the state. In the six years he's been running the Senate, he's helped transform North Carolina politics into the smoldering hellhole we recognize it today, with little opposition from Governor Pat McCrory or his counterparts in the House. Despite all of that power, however, Berger has proved himself to be a gigantic baby, whining incessantly about political correctness while bemoaning the fact that there...

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Pat McCrory Has Some Dumb Thoughts About Iran

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Governor Pat McCrory—a man who is aggressively opaque when it comes to public records requests, a governor who has bumbled his way through television interviews in defense of a law (which he signed immediately) that violated the rights of trans people and workers, an executive whose administration is currently under fire for seemingly telling North Carolinians that it was all right to drink water that they shouldn't (tainted by a company where McCrory worked for twenty-eight years), a guy who seems to be physically incapable of walking without stepping on his own dick and then blaming the media, Roy Cooper,...

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Ex-Provost's Stepson Named in Latest Title IX Suit Against Duke

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 3:50 PM

A lawsuit filed in Durham County—and then shuttled to the North Carolina Middle District— earlier this month alleges the stepson of  former Duke University provost Peter Lange participated in at least one sexual assault of a female student.  The complaint states a former Duke University student was “subjected to a drug-facilitated rape” by two students, including the stepson of Lange, who at the time was provost of the university. Lange is no longer provost, but he is listed as a professor with the university’s Sanford School of Public Policy. After the assault the woman reported it to university officials...

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The Morning Roundup: Money for Fetuses

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Good morning. 1. Hand of Hope is suing the city of Raleigh. A crisis pregnancy center, blocked by the Raleigh City Council in July from rezoning a property directly next to an abortion clinic, has filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court. From our story about it yesterday: "Pregnant women in Raleigh should be allowed to choose Hand of Hopes’ free help and support and should not be limited to an abortion clinic. Those who go to Preferred Women’s Health will not be fully informed about their choices.” Hand of Hope executive director Tonya Baker Nelson said in...

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Breaking: Crisis Pregnancy Center Files Federal Lawsuit Against Raleigh For Denying Zoning Request

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Hand of Hope, the crisis pregnancy center looking to open up a location next to an abortion clinic in Raleigh, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city for denying its zoning request.  "Pregnant women in Raleigh should be allowed to choose Hand of Hopes’ free help and support and should not be limited to an abortion clinic. Those who go to Preferred Women’s Health will not be fully informed about their choices.” Hand of Hope executive director Tonya Baker Nelson said in a statement.  "It’s a clear violation of federal law," attorney Noel Sterett told the INDY. "There’s no...

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Early Voting in Durham County Tops 1,440 Hours Over Seventeen Days

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Update: Here's the full schedule sent to the State Board of Elections on August 18.  The Durham County board of elections enterim director described the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion this month on North Carolina’s voter I.D. law “abrupt,” but the board is doing what it can to make the best of a less-than-desirable situation on its end.  Just weeks after it finalized a twelve site, ten-day early voting plan it had to amend it. Now there is a modified seventeen day schedule. The first week of early voting—October 20 through the 26—voting will be open at...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse Had a Banner Day Yesterday

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 3:41 PM

It's an open secret that North Carolina Republicans really don't like it when Democrats vote, which is why four federal rulings this year alone have found N.C. voting-related laws to be in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  But a coordinated voter suppression effort is something you talk about over the phone, behind closed doors at the General Assembly, or maybe over a nice bowl of mayonnaise with your buddies. That conversation isn't really meant for an email blast that is mistakenly sent to a Democratic activist or can easily be accessed via a public records...

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Durham Judge Moves Custody Hearing Out of County, Appeals Court Returns Case to Durham

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 3:02 PM

Custody hearings can be complicated enough to begin with—but one case in Durham County is especially co mplicated because the children in question could be sent back to El Salvador where their father is alleged to be connected to Mara 18, a "gang that controls many communities and subjects local residents to violence and terror."  The case is an example of how hard it can be for relatives to gain custody of children born outside of the U.S.  Let's breakdown the case a bit— Aurora Zetino-Cruz has been living in North Carolina for fifteen years, and in May 2014 her...

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The Morning Roundup: Early Voting, Chatham Zoning, Wake Schools, Tim Kaine

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Good morning to you. Today's news:  1. Battle for early voting in North Carolina continues. A federal appeals court smacked down North Carolina's racist voter-ID law last month, but that's not the end of the story. Fights over early voting hours and locations are currently playing out in counties across North Carolina. The Nation rounds up the situation:   By virtue of holding the governor’s office, Republicans control a majority of votes on all county election boards and yesterday they voted to cut 238 hours of early voting in Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, the largest in the state. “I’m not a big fan of...

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Trump Names N.C. Senator Facing Lawsuit and Department of Labor Investigation to Advisory Committee

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 5:36 PM

Donald Trump has announced the formation of an "agricultural advisory committee," and one familiar name is on the list: Senator Brent Jackson, a Republican from Sampson County who co-chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.  As we reported last week, Jackson's farm is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division. Jackson, his farm, and his son Rodney are currently being sued in federal court by seven former guest workers who claim that they had wages stolen from them and that they were retaliated against when they brought a lawsuit against Jackson.  Jackson is one of sixty-four...

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Durham Chief Addresses Shootings, Disparities, and Pot During First Crime Report

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:46 PM

The problems that permeated Jose Lopez's tenure as Durham's police chief spilled over in C.J. Davis's time as police chief—and rightly so.  It's been seventy-one days since Davis took her oath of office, and on Monday night, she showed the city council she has the chops to address problems that were placed on her shoulders after years of mistrust between the police and community.  Violent crime in Durham has been on the rise for most of the past two years, but the first six months of 2016 saw a slight (and we're talking slight) drop in violent crime. The less than one...

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Citing N.C., Environmentalists Call For EPA to Set Hexavalent Chromium Levels

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Today, environmental activist Erin Brockovich and the D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group sent a letter to EPA administrator Gina McCarthy asking for federal standards on hexavalent chromium. Hexavalent chromium is the contaminant that caused the "do-not-drink" order from DHHS to nearly 400 well owners who lived near Duke Energy plants, and was the contaminant in the California town where Brockovich helped win a $333 million settlement from an energy company.  State toxicologist Ken Rudo said in a July deposition that DEQ assistant secretary Tom Reeder wanted added language to the do-not-drink orders pointing out that the levels of hexavalent chromium...

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Monday, August 15, 2016

With Leadership in Transition, Where Does the Racial Equity Issue in Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools Stand?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 9:36 AM

In Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, long one of the most well-regarded school districts in North Carolina, 85 percent of African American male students in eighth grade do not pass end-of-grade reading tests. African American students are suspended at a rate seven times other students. The achievement gap—the difference between end-of-grade reading and math scores between white students and students of color—is 50 points.  Those are among the findings of a report issued last year by the Campaign for Racial Equity in Our Schools, a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations in the area. (These outcomes are not substantially different from...

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The Morning Roundup: What Happened At Crabtree?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 8:21 AM

Good morning. This was an eventful weekend. 1. Was there a shooting at Crabtree Mall?  We reported on Saturday's Crabtree Mall shooting. Check out this blog for a detailed account of what was going on that day. Update, 5:59: If you head to our Facebook page, you can watch the press conference live. Here are some of what RPD told us:  Police say they have no one in custody. No one hit by gunshot. Investigation is ongoing.  “Are you looking for multiple suspects?” “We don’t know at this time.”  “Until we can render everything safe,” no one goes into the mall. ...

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Updated: Reports of Shot Fired at Crabtree Mall

Posted By on Sat, Aug 13, 2016 at 3:26 PM

[image-10]Editor’s note, Sunday, 6:30 a.m.: I updated the headline of this post to reflect Raleigh police’s uncertainty about whether there was in fact a shooting, despite multiple witness accounts and several 911 calls.  — Saturday, 3 p.m.: Journalist Kenneth Fine, who is on the scene at the Crabtree Mall, has been told by a Raleigh police officer that there is an active shooter on scene. Per his reports, which he is relaying via text message:  INDY reporter Lauren Horsch, meanwhile, reports that the police scanner “just said there are injuries inside the mall....

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Friday, August 12, 2016

The Morning Roundup: In Which McCrory Blames Clinton for Trump’s Assassination Joke

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 9:20 AM

Good morning. The weekend is nigh. Let’s get to it.  1. Thanks, Hillary Governor McCrory—who was criticized by certain media outlets for his radio silence after Trump suggested that “Second Amendment people” could stop a President Hillary Clinton from appointing liberal judges—has finally broken that silence.  Gov. Pat McCrory said Thursday that he has no problem with Donald Trump’s statement in Wilmington that “Second Amendment people” might do something to stop Hillary Clinton from making judicial nominations. McCrory – who spoke at the Wilmington rally Tuesday before Trump took the stage – did not respond to multiple requests for...

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Durham Ponders Possible Pot Enforcement Priorities with Push From FADE

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 6:34 PM

As some states continue to deprioritize, or even decriminalize marijuana, Thursday the Drug Enforcement Administration denied bids from Rhode Gov. Gina Raimondo, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and a New Mexico nurse practitioner Bryan Krumm to loosen up federal restrictions on marijuana.  Marijuana, as reaffirmed, is a Schedule I drug.  The Controlled Substance Act puts it in the same classification as heroin and LSD.  The North Carolina Controlled Substance Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule VI drug.  Schedule VI drugs are defined as those with "no currently accepted medical use in the United States, or a relatively low potential for abuse." That...

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Durham Co-op Continues to Sell Driscoll's Berries, Tells Customers to "Shop Your Values"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 5:18 PM

After getting questions about whether or not the Durham Co-op would continue to stock Driscoll's berries at the store, the market issued a statement telling shoppers to "shop your values" because in order to keep berries in the store it'd have to keep Driscoll's on the shelf. The Co-op was asked to boycott the berry distributor in light of some not-so-great farm labor practices at two of its partner farms.  "Farm labor is an important issue in the current food market, and it’s one that deserves our attention," the statement read. "However, it is also a very complex issue that...

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Breaking: Federal Court Rules Against NC Legislative Districts

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 2:44 PM

A three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court (not to be confused with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals) has ruled against the North Carolina legislative districts, as they violate the Equal Protection Clause, but the 2016 elections will be allowed to proceed with the unconstitutional districts anyway. This is the third time this year, after February's ruling on Congressional Districts and and July's ruling against the Wake County School Board and Board of Commissioner maps, that a federal court has ruled that a Republican-led NCGA redistricting violates the Equal Protection Clause.   Durham City Council member Charlie Reece points...

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Senator Brent Jackson's Farm Under Investigation by U.S. Department of Labor

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 2:00 PM

The INDY has learned that there is an open investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division into Senator Brent Jackson's farm, the Jackson Farming Company in Autryville. We reported in June on a lawsuit that seven former migrant workers had filed against the Jackson Farming Company alleging wage violations and retaliation. At the time, we submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Labor asking for any reports regarding investigations of the farm; last week, we received a response. The Wage and Hour Division says that there is one investigative case file on the Jackson...

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With Land Purchased, Scrap Exchange Can Move Ahead on Expansion Plans

Posted By on Thu, Aug 11, 2016 at 12:32 PM

The Scrap Exchange's plan to buy all ten acres of land where the Lakewood Shopping Center and expand its reuse empire is one step closer to becoming a reality this week.  This morning the reuse art center announced on its Facebook that the purchase was made—ten acres, 82,000 square feet of leasable space—for $2.5 million.  Two years ago when the Scrap Exchange moved its operations to the old move theater in the shopping center, Ann Woodward—the nonprofits executive director— told the INDY she wanted to create a reuse district, much like on in New Orleans where artists could set up...

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The whole lid needs to be ripped off of each and every CPC. This proves they do not have the …

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