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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Posted By on Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 8:01 AM

1. The Speech If you missed Trump’s RNC acceptance speech last night, you can find the text of the speech here; but really, to get the whole effect, you need to watch the video—seventy-six minutes (that’s six minutes longer than Bill Clinton in 1996 and the longest convention speech in modern history) of an angry old man yelling about how terrible everything is and what a dystopian hellscape America has become and how Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants are going to murder your children while Hillary Clinton watches and cheers.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/politics/donald-trump-rnc-speech.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=span-abc-region®ion=span-abc-region&WT.nav=span-abc-region Americans watching this address tonight have seen the...

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Vigil to Be Held in Raleigh Tonight for Victims of Police Violence; UPDATE: Durham Holding One, Too

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2016 at 11:08 AM

Two days after Philando Castile became the 123rd black person to be killed by police in America in 2016, local community groups are holding a vigil honoring him and others who have died under similar circumstances.  The list is long, but it includes Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed while pinned to the ground on Tuesday in Baton Rouge, and Akiel Denkins, who was killed by police on Bragg Street in southeast Raleigh back in February.  The vigil will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight at Moore Square Park (200 S. Blount, in downtown Raleigh). According to a release, the...

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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Morning Roundup: The End of Days Is Officially Nigh

Posted By on Fri, May 27, 2016 at 8:29 AM

1. The Four Horseman are suiting up. We’ll begin with an item that, while not really being “news,” is nonetheless kind of mind-boggling: Donald Trump—the orange-hued reality-TV insult comic, the animated incarnation of those conspiracy chain emails your aunt sends you—will officially be the Republican Party’s nominee for president. Of the United States.  God help us all.  The New York billionaire shrugged off signs of discord in his party hours after sewing up the number of delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, a feat that completed an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and set the...

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Friday, April 8, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Here’s Some More HB 2 Stupidity, You’re Welcome

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Lots of news to get to on this beautiful Friday morning. But first, a quick reminder: Full Frame is in full swing, and there are lots and lots of flicks worth checking out.  OK, let’s go:  1. Stop fighting, guys!  The Democratic presidential primary has gotten ugly—not ugly on the level of Donald Trump’s hands, but ugly by the standards of what to now has been a mostly high-minded contest. The metrics of the race haven’t changed—Bernie is doing better than anyone thought; Hillary still has a basically insurmountable delegate lead—but the tone has, with the candidates going back and...

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

“Awesome” Turnout at Cameron Village: Election Day in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 4:20 PM

Despite fears that confusion surrounding the state’s new voter ID law would reduce turnout and slow down lines, it appears that voting in at least two Raleigh precincts is going fairly smoothly. At around 1:30 p.m. at the Cameron Village Library, Chief Judge Barbara Abernathy said that around six hundred voters had cast their ballots. “We’ve had an awesome turnout,” she said. Voter Emily McCrary, who named presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and superintendent of public schools candidate Henry Pankey as two candidates she cast ballots for, said the whole process took her five minutes. “I think it’s important,” McCrary said...

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Friday, March 11, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Hillary and Bernie Come to Town, Republicans Play Nice (For Once)

Posted By on Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 8:42 AM

So that Republican debate last night was … civil? Weird. Per POLITICO, GOP insiders generally think Marco Rubio had the debate he needed, but it probably came too late to stop Trump.   Marco Rubio delivered a strong debate performance on Thursday night – but it probably won’t save him in Florida next week against Donald Trump. That’s the verdict rendered by The POLITICO Caucus, a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in key states participating in the presidential primary process this month — including Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, which vote on March 15. A majority of Republican insiders...

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Friday, March 4, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Don’t Worry, Guys, Donald Trump Has a Big Ol’ Penis

Posted By on Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 8:53 AM

Well, here’s a headline you simply don’t see in a major metro daily’s coverage of a presidential race:  Yes, Donald Trump, accused of having small hands—AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS—went into last night’s presidential debate and defended the size of, um, Little Donald.  Trump found himself defending his business record and his conservative credentials on several fronts, lashed out repeatedly at Marco Rubio, and drew groans and gasps when he offered an unsolicited defense of the size of his genitalia. Related:  The debate came just hours after the Republican Party’s 2012 nominee joined a cast of...

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Bishop Darnell Dixon Sr.: “We Just Need to See Policemen Who Look Like Us”

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 10:41 AM

In the aftermath of Akiel Denkins’s death in Southeast Raleigh Monday, Bishop Darnell Dixon Sr. of the Bible Way Temple has been at the forefront of the response from the community. On Wednesday morning, he sat down with the INDY to talk about the unfair perceptions of Southeast Raleigh, the aftermath of Akiel Denkins’s death, and where the community can go from here. INDY: When did you first hear about this happening? Bishop Darnell Dixon Sr.: I heard about this about thirty minutes after it happened. I was working out, and my wife told me it happened up the...

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Southeast Raleigh Community Leaders Demand a “Thorough” and “Transparent” Investigation into Akiel Denkins’s Death

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 7:38 PM

The day after twenty-four-year-old Akiel Denkins was shot and killed by Raleigh police officer D.C. Twiddy, community leaders met in Southeast Raleigh and called for a thorough investigation of Denkins’s death. Alongside the victim’s mother, Rolanda Byrd, North Carolina NAACP head Reverend Dr. William J. Barber spoke Tuesday morning about “historical tensions” that are pervasive in American race relations and pleaded with the media to talk about Akiel Denkins “like a human being.” “A warrant for arrest is not license to kill,” Barber said. “… [The NAACP] will provide the family the counsel and advice that they might need in...

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Scenes from the Aftermath: How Akiel Denkins’s Death Played Out on Bragg Street—and on Social Media

Posted By on Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 10:43 AM

On Monday night, a vigil was held for twenty-four-year-old Akiel Denkins and his family at the intersection of Bragg and Garner Streets in Southeast Raleigh. Denkins was shot and killed yesterday by Raleigh police officers. Police say he had a felony drug charge and a gun was found near the seen, but community members claim that Denkins was unarmed and shot in the back six or seven times. “We were sitting outside, having a nice day, and then we heard a bam! bam! bam! and I went into the house,” neighbor Brenda Jackson told the INDY yesterday. “It’s not right.”...

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Southeast Raleigh Woman Claims a Police Officer Shot Her Son in the Back

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 6:55 PM

In Southeast Raleigh today, a twenty-four-year-old African-American man named Akiel Denkins was shot and killed by a Raleigh police officer. Members of the community have said that Denkins was unarmed—though police say there was a weapon in his vicinity—and shot in the back seven times by a white officer. The shooting happened around noon today outside of PJ’s Grill and Groceries on Bragg Street. Denkins’s mother, Roland Byrd, told ABC11, "He was running away. They couldn't catch him, so they shot at him seven times. Everybody seen it. … They ain't gonna get away with this one, there's at...

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Five Things You Need to Know About Amazon’s New-to-Raleigh Delivery Service, Prime Now

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 4:33 PM

Amazon launched its hyperfast delivery service, Prime Now, late last year. The service promises customers will receive “thousands of items” within a two-hour window of clicking the little yellow “checkout” button on their phones. Prime Now is free for those who hold an Amazon Prime account, which costs $99 per year (expedited one-hour delivery can be purchased for an additional $7.99). Yesterday, Raleigh was added to the roster of 25 major cities serviced by the program, so I decided to try it out. Here are five things I learned: 1. It all begins with an app, which takes...

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The Morning Roundup: Is It Sunday Yet?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 9:05 AM

via GIPHY via GIPHY Greetings, comrades and fellow travelers. Perhaps—but probably not—you, like I, stayed up late (late, at my age, apparently means 11:15) to watch the Democratic tête-à-tête in a little town called Durham … New Hampshire. Who won? you ask. I imagine that depends on which candidate you supported going in. To my mind—which was clouded by the bottle of barley wine I’ll be blogging about later today—Hillary was too aggressive toward the generally likable Bernie, but Bernie came off as a one-trick pony and totally collapsed on foreign policy. And it shouldn’t have taken Hillary 12...

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Report touts benefits for workers and the economy in raising wages for public employees

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 12:54 PM

When Orange County builder Mark Marcoplos told me earlier this month that it's time for a living wage debate, he was on to something.  Orange County's Living Wage Campaign hit the ground running this month, enlisting more than 30 local businesses to agree upfront to pay their employees a "living wage," or about $12.75 per hour in Orange County. Earlier this year, Durham launched its own campaign, guaranteeing workers hourly pay of at least $12.53. And this week, Wake County commissioners agreed to raise the minimum wage for all county workers to a solid $13.50 an hour.  Fittingly, on...

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Judge promises ruling by Thanksgiving in Hallie Turner's case against North Carolina

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 2:19 PM

Hallie Turner sounds tired. Oral arguments are finished in the 13-year-old Raleigh girl's climate change case against North Carolina, and Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan is promising a ruling by Thanksgiving. But Turner seems disappointed that she didn't get a chance to speak during Friday's hearing, even though the judge did acknowledge that he admired Turner for her resolve in pursuing this case. "It's nice to know that my voice was heard, no matter how this turns out," she says. Turner is hoping the judge will force North Carolina to take action on climate change. The teen called on the...

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A 13-year-old takes North Carolina to court over climate change

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 1:19 PM

Here's the newest tactic in approaching errant policymakers: Use very, very smart children to shame them publicly. This Friday in the Wake County Courthouse, oral arguments are scheduled to begin in a lawsuit brought by a 13-year-old from Raleigh named Hallie Turner, a climate change activist since the fourth grade. The teen is asking the state to issue an edict that would require North Carolina to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by at least 4 percent each year. It's an idea that has never caught on with industry leaders or, for that matter, legislators in Raleigh. Here's Hallie's story,...

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

North Carolina's dark money trail goes national

Posted By on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 12:49 PM

Whenever North Carolina politics winds up in the New York Times, it's a good thing, right? Ugh. Here's a fascinating read in the op-ed pages of today's Times. The piece, written by the Center for Responsive Politics' Robert Maguire, questions how the IRS will respond to a recent tax filing from Carolina Rising, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that is not supposed to spend a majority of their cash on political activity and aren't allowed to function to benefit one candidate or group. Carolina Rising, however, did spend $4.7 million on ads in 2014, the filing shows, most praising the...

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Alliance Behavioral Healthcare has imposed sanctions on Family Legacy Mental Health

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Today, we’ve published an in-depth look at a Durham and Raleigh mental health provider, Family Legacy Mental Health Services, that received almost $3 million in Medicaid money over the last two years. Yet, many of its past and present employees say they haven’t been paid regularly since March. A key question here is how this clinic remains a public mental health provider, despite the fact that the organization that oversees public mental health services in Durham and Wake counties, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare, is aware of these allegations. We received an update from Alliance past deadline yesterday, indicating now that they...

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Report touts the housing benefits of inclusionary zoning

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 1:24 PM

We've written extensively in these pages about the Triangle's affordable housing struggles. Chapel Hill is still waiting for the fruits of its 2008 inclusionary zoning ordinance, a policy that requires new developments to include affordable housing components or make a payment in lieu. Durham doesn't seem quite sure how it will approach this issue. Leaders in Raleigh have been cool to the idea of an inclusionary zoning policy from the start. But a recent report from the Massachusetts-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy throws the thinktank's support behind Chapel Hill. The report, released Thursday, argues that the zoning policy has...

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Environmentalists push back against freeze on solar tax credits

Posted By on Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 11:56 AM

With the state's lawmakers considering plans to reduce or eliminate solar tax credits, environmentalists and some legislators are pushing back.  Environment N.C., a statewide nonprofit that focuses on environmental preservation, will release a report Thursday called "Lighting the Way." The report will highlight the state's "progress in solar energy innovation," said Rachel Morales, spokeswoman for the group. The legislative discussion about solar tax credits is particularly compelling today, as the U.S. Environmental Protection agency has ordered North Carolina to reduce its carbon emissions by 36 percent by 2030. This leads to all sorts of grousing about the EPA, which hasn't...

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Updated: State votes to revoke charter for Raleigh's Dynamic Community school

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 2:04 PM

Creative Commons LicenseCiting an "erosion of trust" and "numerous concerns," including concerns for children's safety, the N.C. State Board of Education unanimously voted Thursday to revoke the charter of Dynamic Community Charter, a Wake County school that serves only children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state board followed the recommendation of a smaller panel of board representatives who heard Dynamic's appeal to remain open. Board members initially voted to begin the revocation process in March, pointing to the school's financial troubles, academic irregularities and improper teacher certification. On Thursday, state staff said they appeared close to resolution with the...

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Monday, February 23, 2015

After inmate death, N.C. prisons tout reforms

Posted By on Mon, Feb 23, 2015 at 12:40 PM

Nearly a year after a mentally ill prison inmate died of dehydration following a month-long stay in solitary confinement, North Carolina officials are touting two dozen corrective actions they say will prevent future incidents. The list, presented as an exclusive to the Indy, includes new prison management teams, new policies, expanded crisis intervention training for prison staff and a task force of prison leaders and mental health experts to make recommendations on the use of solitary confinement on mentally ill prisoners. As the Indy reported last year, Michael Anthony Kerr died during a transfer to Raleigh's Central Prison after spending...

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

After teen's death in Raleigh, gun control advocates renew calls for reform

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

After an apparently stray bullet killed a Forsyth County teen in a Raleigh hotel room last week, North Carolina gun control advocates are renewing their calls for firearms reforms. According to ABC News, Nathan Andrew Clark, 13, of Lewisville, died after a bullet discharged in a neighboring hotel room. Police said the bullet passed through the wall and struck Clark in the head. The gun's owner, 42-year-old Randall Louis Vater, was reportedly charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a felon. State records show Vater has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for felony breaking and entering,...

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Federal investigation under way in death of N.C. inmate

Posted By on Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Six months after North Carolina inmate Michael Anthony Kerr died during a transfer to Raleigh’s Central Prison, federal officials have opened a criminal investigation. Indy Week obtained copies Friday of two grand jury subpoenas requesting prison documents from Steve Harrison, the transfer coordinator at Central Prison, and Chris Crawford, administrative services manager at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville. Kerr was held in solitary confinement at Alexander Correctional for roughly a month before his March 12 death. The subpoenas indicated federal officials were investigating a suspected felony. An autopsy report released last week blamed Kerr’s death on dehydration. The report...

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Autopsy blames dehydration for inmate's death

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 2:41 PM

After five months of waiting, an autopsy report released Thursday blamed deceased N.C. inmate Michael Anthony Kerr's death on dehydration. However, the report says it's unclear whether Kerr was dehydrated because prison workers did not provide water or because he refused water, leaving his official manner of death "undetermined." Kerr's sister Brenda Liles, said the report only strengthens her belief that the prison is to blame. "When you’ve got a man isolated, how can he get the water and the food if you don’t give it to him?" said Liles. As reported in the Indy in April, Kerr—who had spent...

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