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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Congressman G.K. Butterfield, Congresswoman Alma Adams Will Boycott Inauguration; Price Still Not Sure

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM

Congressman G.K. Butterfield told the INDY moments ago that he has too many concerns about President-elect Donald Trump to participate in Friday's inauguration. Here is Butterfield's entire statement, sent exclusively to the INDY: Moments after this story broke, Congresswoman Alma Adams (the INDY requested information about her intentions re: the inauguration this morning, also) released a statement, saying she, too, would boycott. Congressman David Price, however, won't yet commit one way or another. Here is his statement: "Congressman Price has attended every Inauguration since he was first elected to Congress in 1986, but he shares the sense of many of his...

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The Morning Roundup: Polls Show Little Confidence in Trump

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 9:02 AM

Good morning everyone. Let's dive in. 1) More great news for Trump. Well, we're sure he'll find a way to spin it that way. According to the latest CNN/ORC Poll, the president-elect (still feels a bit surreal calling him that) broke a record. He's got to love that, right? Well ... maybe not. Donald Trump will become president Friday with an approval rating of just 40%, according to a new CNN/ORC Poll, the lowest of any recent president and 44 points below that of President Barack Obama, the 44th president. Following a tumultuous transition period, approval ratings for Trump's handling...

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cooper Picks Commerce and Administration Secretaries

Posted By and on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 1:05 PM

Governor Cooper announced two more cabinet picks today: Machelle Sanders to head the Department of Administration and Anthony Copeland to run the Department of Commerce.  Sanders, who has no previous experience in government, was previously a vice president at Biogen in Research Triangle Park. "When it comes to Department of Administration, we want someone who can help government run smoothly and can help government run effectively and efficiently," Cooper said during a press conference at the Executive Mansion. "And what we want to do is for taxpayer money to be invested wisely. Michelle will come exclusively from work in the private...

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Pennies on the Dollar: A Tour of the North Carolina’s Gender-Wage Gap

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 2:17 PM

Yesterday, the N.C. Budget & Tax Center released new data on the gender wage gap in North Carolina—throwing more cold water on former governor Pat McCrory and the General Assembly’s much-touted “Carolina Comeback.” The data provides a statewide breakdown of North Carolina’s gender wage gap by race and ethnicity, outlining pay data for black women, white women, Asian-American women, Native American women, and Latinas. The results? Not great. Although women in the state already make less on average than their male counterparts (collecting 86 cents for every dollar that men make), women of color earn considerably less. Black women, for...

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Bonfield Will Not Release Officers' Personnel Files

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 6:17 PM

Despite calls from the community and members of the Durham City Council to release personnel files associated with the three members of the Durham Police Department involved in the November 22 shooting death of Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark, City Manager Tom Bonfield said early this evening that he would not request that the City Council authorize him to do so. Charles Barkley, Monte Sutherland, and Christopher Goss remain on administrative leave as an SBI investigation (one the council has asked Governor Roy Cooper to expedite) into their actions that day in McDougald Terrace continues. Bonfield said that he wanted to allow...

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Friday, December 30, 2016

NCDHHS Employee Called Elizabeth Warren a "Dike!!!!" [sic] in State Email

Posted By on Fri, Dec 30, 2016 at 12:09 PM

Ever wonder what McCrory administration employees do on taxpayer time? Well, here's an email from July in which a Trump-loving N.C. Department of Health and Human Services project manager named Janet Hensel sounded off on the Democratic National Convention ... and a certain senator from Massachusetts, an allegedly insufficient quantity of American flags on the DNC stage, and the presence of Paul Simon, Eva Longoria, and Susan Sarandon, the latter two whose names Janet misspelled. (This email was sent to the INDY as part of a batch of emails released in response to an unrelated public records request.) In case...

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

What the Hell Happened at the General Assembly Yesterday?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 22, 2016 at 9:45 AM

The fifth special session of the year adjourned with no repeal of HB 2 Wednesday evening, after, earlier that day, the city of Charlotte fully repealed the nondiscrimination ordinance it passed back in February (after having repealed part of it Monday). For Republicans, it's a missed opportunity to shed the constant monkey on their back; for Charlotte and Governor-elect Roy Cooper, who helped broker the deal, it's a failure that leaves them with no ordinance and no opportunity for other cities to protect their marginalized populations from discrimination. At the beginning of the day, crowds—most of them on the anti-HB...

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Resident: Durham City Council Ignoring Fatal Shooting of Frank Clark; Council to Cooper: Expedite Investigation

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 11:08 PM

Umar Muhammad characterized it as a slap in the face—the Durham City Council’s consideration of purchasing eighty cars to add to the police department’s fleet. So when the board opened the floor for discussion of the matter during their meeting this evening, he spoke his mind. Frank Clark, he said, is still dead—killed November 22 by DPD Master Officer Charles Barkley, a man Muhammad said “we told you” about. So in his view, any discussion about the police should center around the investigation into the thirty-four-year-old’s untimely death and not about putting more cop cars into neighborhoods like McDougald Terrace....

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Breaking: Charlotte Repeals Nondiscrimination Ordinance That Prompted HB 2, Legislature Reportedly to Repeal HB 2 Wednesday*

Posted By on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 at 10:40 AM

In a shocking and sudden move, the Charlotte City Council has repealed the nondiscrimination ordinance providing protections for transgender people, in exchange for what Mayor Jennifer Roberts calls a promise from the legislature to fully repeal HB 2 by the end of this year.  From The Charlotte Observer: Mayor Jennifer Roberts said this is the first concrete opportunity to repeal HB2. The law, which limits LGBT rights, has been cited as the reason for millions in lost economic development and boycotts by the NCAA and others. There was no advance notice that the ordinance would be discussed. WBTV, the Observer’s...

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Special Session Update: McCrory Signs SB 4, HB 17 Passes

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 5:00 PM

The General Assembly's fourth special session of the year ended Friday as the House passed the SB 4, an electoral and judicial reform bill. The Senate also ratified SB 6 and SB 7, nominations to the Special Superior Court of Adam Conrad and Drew Heath, McCrory's budget director, and the nomination of Yolanda Stith, wife of McCrory chief of staff Thomas Stith, to serve on the Industrial Commission. Here's the NC Democratic Party's statement: Meanwhile, the legislature also passed HB 17, which would require Senate approval of all cabinet appointments and transfer significant authority over education to the Superintendent of Public...

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The Morning Roundup: This Is How Democracy Dies

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 9:08 AM

Happy Friday/Rogue One day, everyone. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s pretty cold out there. We’ll begin at the legislature, where there are shenanigans afoot. Here’s a quick recap, courtesy of our own Paul Blest, who’s spent the last couple of days down at the legislature and posted some thoughts earlier this morning. On Thursday, the House and the Senate (many of their members unconstitutionally elected in illegally gerrymandered districts, according to a federal court) began the process of ramming through a series of bills—introduced Wednesday when the fourth special session of the year was suddenly dropped on everyone who...

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It's Time for North Carolina Democrats to Fight Fire with Fire

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 7:56 AM

Near the end of a marathon day at the General Assembly on Thursday, Representative Grier Martin, D-Wake, asked a question about why the doors to the House floor were still locked to the public. Well after the hundreds of protesters who had previously occupied the House balcony had dispersed following threats from police, and after two dozen protesters (and one NC Policy Watch reporter) had been arrested, Speaker Tim Moore got riled up. Moore called a personal point of privilege and then proceeded to drill into the now-dispersed protesters, calling them "lawbreakers" who wanted to disrespect the institution and...

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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Godspeed, John Glenn

Posted By on Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 8:29 AM

Happy Friday, everyone. It’s cold out there, so pour yourself a cup of Joe and join us for your morning primer. 1. John Glenn, American hero, RIP. The first man to orbit the Earth—not to mentioned a Marine Corps combat vet, U.S. senator from Ohio, and 1984 presidential candidate—died yesterday at the age of ninety-five. From The New York Times obit, which is worth reading in its entirety: In just five hours on Feb. 20, 1962, Mr. Glenn joined a select roster of Americans whose feats have seized the country’s imagination and come to embody a moment in its history, figures...

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Local Lawyer: Officer Who Fired Fatal Shot Has a History ...

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 1:54 PM

An email sent from a local attorney to members of the Durham City Council this morning notes that Master Officer C.S. Barkley, the man who fired the shots that killed thirty-four-year-old Frank "Scooter Bug" Clark last week in McDougald Terrace, has been accused of use of excessive force on numerous occasions. From Ian Mance, a staff attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice: It is also worth noting that Mance is not the only person to claim that Barkley has a history of less-than-professional interactions with city residents. Several people interviewed by the INDY have made similar claims—from some who allege...

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Durham PD Holds Media-Free Meeting,

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 8:41 AM

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Let's jump in: 1) The Durham Police Department meets with residents to "discuss" Frank Clark shooting. Less than a week after an officer (or officers) shot and killed a Durham man in McDougald Terrace, local residents, law enforcement and a member of the City Council converged on the T.A. Grady Recreation Center to talk about the incident. Well, except, that didn't really happen. From the INDY: It was five shots. Or was it four? There was a struggle. Or was he running away from police when he was gunned down? He fired at officers. Or did a...

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Police, Witnesses Have Different Accounts of Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 9:24 PM

Less than twenty-four hours after the Durham City Council voted 5-2 to spend $1.4 million dollars on hundreds of body cameras to be worn by its police officers, eyewitnesses and city cops are at odds over just how an officer-involved shooting that claimed the life of Frank “Scooter Bug” Clark unfolded this afternoon in McDougald Terrace. One witness said it started when an unmarked police car was seen “circling the block”—prompting “everyone who was out here to take to running.” But one man, Clark, remained—walking away slowly until he “locked eyes” with an officer he knew. The man, the witness...

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Governor McCrory Formally Asks for a Recount

Posted By on Tue, Nov 22, 2016 at 4:17 PM

Governor Pat McCrory has filed a request with the State Board of Elections asking for a recount, the same day the board met in Raleigh to provide guidance to counties on the rash of Republican-backed election protests and told the counties to keep counting votes despite those ongoing protests. A written order is coming later today to clarify the full directions offered by the state board. With news of the recount, it's all but certain that we won't have a certified winner of the election until next month—at the earliest. During the meeting, Secretary Rhonda Amoroso, a Wilmington Republican, also...

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Friday, November 18, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Trump’s Making Stuff Up Again, Must Be a Day That Ends in Y

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 9:12 AM

1. Last night, the president-elect, having nothing better to do with his time, took to Twitter to announce that he had personally intervened to dissuade Ford from relocating a plant from Kentucky to Mexico. One problem with that: Ford, however, said it neither planned to close the Louisville plant nor reduce jobs there. The company said it had considered moving Lincoln production to Mexico to increase production of the Ford Escape in Louisville. … Meanwhile Ford said in a statement to NPR, "Today, we confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly...

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Election Protests Filed in 12 Counties, Wildfires Continue to Burn, and Michael Jordan Gets a Medal

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 8:23 AM

Happy Thursday, everyone! Here's a look at some of today's top headlines in North Carolina: 1. Election protests continue as Gov. Pat McCrory's re-election campaign formally files paperwork in eleven more counties. This comes the same day that the Durham County Board of Elections voted to have a second hearing concerning its results and handling of 94,159 votes that were manually entered. OK, but back to the other protets—According to the N&O  the protests were filed because his "re-election campaign alleges fraudulent absentee voting may have benefited Democratic candidates in more counties." Here's more: “These voter fraud concerns must be...

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Report Claims Charlotte Cops Shot Scott in Back

Posted By on Tue, Nov 15, 2016 at 8:19 AM

It's the one-week anniversary of the apocalypse and we're still here. Let's mark that achievement with a quick look at the headlines, shall we? 1) President Obama tries to calm NATO, Europe down. It's a tall order, having to explain to world leaders what to expect from a Donald Trump White House. But President Barack Obama is overseas doing just that. From CNN: "In my conversation with the President-elect, he expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships," Obama said. "And so one of the messages I will be able to deliver is his commitment to NATO and...

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Republicans Rumored to Be Considering Packing the N.C. Supreme Court In December Special Session

Posted By on Fri, Nov 11, 2016 at 7:48 AM

One of the few bright spots of these unbelievably awful past few days is that, in the race for the N.C. Supreme Court, Mike Morgan soundly defeated conservative Bob Edmunds. This gives Democrats four out of seven seats on the state Supreme Court; if Roy Cooper's lead in the governor's race holds, these two positions will be crucial for Democrats to stem the flow of right-wing policies the legislature has enacted over the past six years. But, according to a Democratic legislative staffer, the Republicans are considering circumventing that by packing the Supreme Court with an extra two justices, both...

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Apocalypse … Now? The INDY’s Election Day Live Blog, Part 2

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 3:26 PM

Welcome to the INDY’s Election Day live blog, part 2! There are, as of this writing, approximately 240 minutes until polls close in North Carolina and our long national nightmare finally (hopefully?) comes to an end. Throughout the day, the INDY will have a team of reporters out of the streets of the Triangle, talking to voters, looking into reports of election weirdness, and generally being on the lookout for any news that breaks. As they report in, I’ll be updating this blog. (And with more frequency later in the day, after we put this week’s newspaper to bed;...

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Apocalypse … Now? The INDY’s Election Day Live Blog

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Welcome to the INDY’s Election Day live blog! There are, as of this writing, approximately 630 minutes until polls close in North Carolina and our long national nightmare finally (hopefully?) comes to an end. Throughout the day, the INDY will have a team of reporters out of the streets of the Triangle, talking to voters, looking into reports of election weirdness, and generally being on the lookout for any news that breaks. As they report in, I’ll be updating this blog. (And with more frequency later in the day, after we put this week’s newspaper to bed; one of the...

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The Morning Roundup: Today, We End This

Posted By on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 7:58 AM

Good morning, guys and gals. The great American nightmare that has seen the rise of the worst presidential candidate in history is almost over. And in the interest of time—because instead of reading this, we would rather you were voting—we're going to keep this short and sweet. Let's dive in. 1) Trump showed up in Raleigh yesterday, lied within thirty seconds of taking stage. According to the Donald, there were thousands of people still waiting to pack into Dorton Arena when his speech began. THOUSANDS! Well, we checked. There were less than 100—and a handful of them were the men...

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Monday, November 7, 2016

Undercover at North Carolina's Final Gathering of Trump's Army

Posted By on Mon, Nov 7, 2016 at 9:19 PM

The first thing that struck me was the parking lot—how a nearly silent stretch of pavement could speak so loudly through vitriolic bumper stickers (including, many times over, the ever-popular slogan “Hillary for Prison”) and derogatory messages (most about President Barack Obama) painted on car windows. I mean, these vehicles, for the most part, weren’t even carrying messages of support for the man set to speak hours later inside the arena located a few hundred yards away. And as I walked toward the venue, I found more of the same in the T-shirts, hats and buttons being hawked by those...

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Based on experience with public events across North Carolina, the crowd estimate for the Raleigh, NC #WomensMarch is a minimum …

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Will be interested to see what symbol for solidarity with John Lewis looks like ...maybe we at home could wear …

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Re: "... women in the state already make less on average than their male counterparts...."

Most women's advocates seem …

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"Furthermore, laws that mandate special workplace benefits to pregnant women are sexist towards men and biased against single people.."

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Based on experience with public events across North Carolina, the crowd estimate for the Raleigh, NC #WomensMarch is a minimum …

by Robert B Butler on Women's March on Raleigh Draws 17,000 Supporters (News)

Show off your hatred of the patriarchy with this anti-Trump inspired, feminist, pro- woman's rights, feminist symbol shirt! Join the …

by Carmen Wilson on Women's March on Raleigh Draws 17,000 Supporters (News)

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