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Thursday, April 5, 2018

“Hysterical, Cowardly, Inhumane, Deranged”: Let’s Send Some Troops to the Border!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:20 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. His border wall temper tantrums not having produced the desired effect, President Trump is now moving to address what he claims, without any available evidence aside from the fever dreams of Ann Coulter, is a clear and present danger to the United States: he wants to militarize the southern border. Of course, he can’t actually do that with the military; that would...

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Lots of N.C. Teachers Are Playing Hooky These Days

Posted By on Thu, Apr 5, 2018 at 9:12 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Nearly 23 percent of North Carolina teachers are “chronically absent,” meaning they’ve used ten or more non-consecutive sick days, according to a new state report. This is in addition to the ten days of annual leave all teachers receive each year, a little more than one per each month school is in session—though annual leave days cannot be used when class is...

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

POTUS Is Under Criminal Investigation, and He Thinks That’s Good News

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 10:08 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Last night, The Washington Post broke its latest scoop in the Trump-Russia saga, this one appearing on the surface to be good tidings for the president. Or, at least, he seems to believe so. Last month, the Post reports, Mueller told President Trump’s lawyers that the president was not currently a “target” of his investigation, but he was a “subject” of the...

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Here’s Some Good News for Proponents of the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 9:50 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Yesterday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation released an evaluation of seventy-seven Statewide Mobility projects that are seeking state funds***. And while you have to play around with the Excel link a bit to suss this out, the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit project was given the highest Regional Impact Quantitative Score among transit projects, a 53.33 out of a possible 70. Carrboro...

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Opening Statements Begin in the First Case Against Pork Giant Murphy-Brown

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2018 at 8:24 AM

Opening statements kicked off yesterday in the nuisance trial against Murphy-Brown LLC, the pork-producing subsidiary of the global food giant Smithfield Fields. The trial is part of twenty-six federal lawsuits filed by more than five hundred plaintiffs living near hog farms in Eastern North Carolina. The plaintiffs say that the farms' waste-management systems, which consist of storing excess hog waste in open-air pits and then liquifying and spraying the remains onto nearby fields, has created viscous smells that negatively impact their health and quality of life. The first lawsuit involves ten plaintiffs who live near Kinlaw Farm in Bladen County....

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency Has Zero Interest in Protecting the Environment

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 8:55 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. In any normal administration, the myriad scandals surrounding EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt—especially the cozy deal he struck with a fossil fuel lobbyist for a DC condo—would have led to his ouster. Indeed, the Trump administration has considered giving Pruitt the well-deserved boot, though more for being a headache than being an utterly corrupt scoundrel totally in the pocket of the fossil fuel...

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Let’s Try (and Fail) to Make Sense of Durham’s Latest Crime Stats

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2018 at 8:51 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Back in November, we put together an infographic looking at what the Durham Police Department’s third-quarter crime report told us about whether the Bull City was becoming safer. It was, as these things tend to be, a mixed bag. Homicides were down, but rapes, and violent crimes generally, were up. Burglaries were down, but robberies and vehicle thefts were up. And so...

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Monday, April 2, 2018

Durham County Launches a Safe-Syringe Program and Will Offer Free Narcan Kits to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 4:21 PM

Free sterile needles and safe methods of disposal are part of a new Durham County Department of Public Health program aimed at the opioid drug epidemic. Starting today, kits containing clean syringes, containers for used needles, and printed material on relevant health services are available through the Public Health Pharmacy, located at 414 East Main Street in Durham. Durham County’s program joins twenty-six others across North Carolina, following a July 2016 law allowing nongovernment and government organizations to start safe-syringe programs that follow state guidelines. Data collected by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services shows a steady increase...

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Uncle Joe Biden Is Coming to DPAC

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Joe Biden—the former vice president and, if you believe The Onion, the president of vice—has just added a stop at the Durham Performing Arts Center this June as part of his American Promise Tour. Charlotte is also included on the new leg of the tour, which aims to promote the former veep's new book and address issues spanning his entire political career. Although Biden is known for his free-wheeling antics and off-the-cuff behavior, his latest tour offers a glimpse at his private life and reflections on some of the definitive moments in his forty-five years of public service. The conversation...

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Trump’s Trade War With China Is Heating Up. What Will It Mean for North Carolina?

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 8:51 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. This was as predictable as sunrise, but it’s worth discussing anyway. Yesterday, the Chinese government announced plans to impose tariffs on 128 U.S. products, including pork and some fruits, in response to President Trump’s tariffs on some Chinese goods. As WaPo notes: “If U.S. goods become more expensive in China, Chinese buyers could opt to purchase products from Europe, South America or...

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North Carolina Regulates Acupuncturists More Than Birthing Centers. That Might Be a Problem.

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2018 at 8:47 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. A couple of weeks back, I mentioned that Baby+Co., the natural birthing company that had moved into Cary in 2014, had stopped deliveries after three babies died in six years. Now, state Representative Nelson Dollar, a suburban Wake County Republican considered one of the year’s most endangered incumbents, is calling for a state investigation. From the N&O: “Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Republican...

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Friday, March 30, 2018

People's Alliance PAC Makes Primary Candidate Endorsements, Including Durham Sheriff and District Attorney

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2018 at 12:16 PM

In an hours-long meeting Thursday night, the People's Alliance PAC chose which candidates it will endorse in the upcoming primary elections. The PAC endorsed candidates in local, state and federal races. Tom Miller, a PAC coordinator, said about two to three hundred people participated in the meeting, including many new members attending their first endorsement meeting. Miller said the debate, especially when it came to endorsements for sheriff and DA, "was very spirited with many speakers." "Sometimes the choices between candidates was a choice between genuinely progressive people each with strong support among PA members," Miller said. "In these contests,...

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Durham DA Candidate Denies Copying and Pasting But Says She'll Edit Her Website After Plagiarism Accusation

Posted By on Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 11:27 AM

Following accusations that she plagiarized from Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who has been lauded by criminal justice reformers, a candidate for district attorney in Durham County says she'll amend her campaign website. In an interview, Satana Deberry says she wrote the language herself but admits that she did "borrow heavily" from Krasner. She says she’s been "up front" that she looks to Krasner, as well as the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, as a model for how progressive prosecutors can reform the system. "I give all credit to Krasner for being who I follow on this stuff," she told the...

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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

State of the County Address Covers Education, Infrastructure, and Equity

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 9:28 PM

The annual State of the County address, delivered Monday by Wendy Jacobs, chair of Durham County Board of Commissioners, covered  early childhood education, overdose prevention and infrastructure. “Our greatest resource is the potential talent of each person and when this talent is supported and flourishes, we all prosper,” Jacobs said. Jacobs spent much of the annual address applauding the county’s unemployment rate and job growth, and detailed each the five goals that make up the county's Strategic Plan: Community empowerment and enrichment, health and well being for all, safe community, environmental stewardship and community prosperity, and accountable, efficient and visionary government....

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In Which Dallas Woodhouse Brags About How Terrible He Is to Troll the Libs

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 3:02 PM

The progressive group Progress NC Action has put out this March Madness-style bracket seeking votes to determine who is the worst politician in North Carolina. As might be expected, just about all of the original entrants—all but two (Senator Joel Ford and Representative Duane Hall), to be exact—were Republicans. Yesterday saw voting in the “Foul Four” (see the bracket below). Today, voting is taking place for the finals: And Dallas Woodhouse, the executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, really, really wants to be declared Worst Politician in North Carolina, judging by his Twitter feed. ...

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Siler City Mobile Home Park Residents Being Evicted by Mountaire Farms Reach Compensation Deal

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 9:24 PM

More than one hundred people being evicted from a Siler City mobile home park after Mountaire Farms purchased the property last year have reached a compensation agreement with the poultry company. The residents of Johnson's Mobile Home Park have known since November that they would have to move, but have joined together to push back their eviction and seek compensation from Mountaire Farms, which is building a processing plant next door. Today, the company agreed to give each household $8,300 if they move out by July 31. The company is also not collecting lot rent for November through July,...

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Under Pressure, NC Prisons Revise Policy on Restraining Pregnant Detainees

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 5:51 PM

Amid a statewide campaign to ensure pregnant inmates are not restrained during birth and postpartum recovery, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety has updated its policies. Before the update, DPS policy said no inmate should be restrained “during delivery” but didn’t define “delivery.” The revised language states that any detainee in labor —beginning with contractions — “should not be placed in any restraints, including wrist restraints, unless there are reasonable grounds to believe the offender presents an immediate, serious threat of hurting herself, staff, or others, including her fetus or child, or that she presents an immediate, credible risk...

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Can Religion and Gay Rights Get Along in North Carolina? A Dialogue at UNC Seeks Common Ground

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 2:16 PM

The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law hosted a panel of speakers on Thursday as part of a series of conversations by the pro-LGBTQ group Tolerance Means. The panelists, called “dialogue catalysts,” gave their take on the series title—“Religion and Gay Rights: Do They Have to Be at Odds?” “I’m afraid most of the breakdown is not hearing each other’s stories. We’ve got to have a dialogue and not make the perfect the enemy of the good, or even of the achievable,” said Robin Fretwell Wilson, a dialogue catalyst and law professor at the University of Illinois College of Law. Tolerance Means...

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Thom Tillis and the NCGOP Need to Get Their Stories Straight on Cambridge Analytica

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2018 at 8:20 AM

On Friday, NBC News—and then last night, The Washington Post—reported that, in 2014, the controversial firm Cambridge Analytica had dispatched foreign nationals to assist with Republican campaigns in Colorado, Oregon, and North Carolina, possibly running afoul of a federal law that prohibits foreign agents from “directly or indirectly participat in the decision-making process” of a political campaign. The Post quotes former CA workers saying they worried “the company was giving its foreign employees potentially inaccurate immigration documents to provide upon entering the United States, showing that they were not there to work when they had arrived for the purpose of advising campaigns.”...

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Raleigh's March for Our Lives Draws Ten Thousand Demanding Gun Reform

Posted By on Sat, Mar 24, 2018 at 6:56 PM

As hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of demonstrators called for gun reform at March for Our Lives events across the country and the world today, a huge crowd marched through downtown Raleigh to add their voices to the cause. According to Faisal Khan, one of the event's organizers, about ten thousand enthusiastic protesters marched along Fayetteville Street before gathering at Halifax Mall, near the state legislative building, where state representatives, teachers, veterans, and students rallied the crowd and spoke about their personal experiences with gun violence. The National Rifle Association's grip on American politics was a central theme....

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Donald Trump Is Going to Get Us All Killed

Posted By on Fri, Mar 23, 2018 at 9:58 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. I found this tweet from Richard Haas, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, particularly incisive. He wrote: “.@realDonaldTrump is now set for war on 3 fronts: political vs Bob Mueller, economic vs China/others on trade, and actual vs. Iran and/or North Korea. This is the most perilous moment in modern American history—and it has been largely brought about by ourselves, not...

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Grant Could Mean More Affordable Housing Near Durham Station

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 4:00 PM

Funding from Duke University and the A.J. Fletcher Foundation could allow for more affordable housing on a prime downtown Durham site. Last year, the City Council approved a concept for the site, adjacent to Durham Station, that included affordable housing, parking, retail and office space. The grant — in the amount of $2.5 to $3 million — could alleviate the need for office space, which had been factored into the plans to maximize use of the property and bring in revenue to help cover the gap between the cost to build affordable housing and the rent it generates. According to city...

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Oh, Wonderful, Another Long Debate on Removing Confederate Monuments from the State Capitol. We Went So You Didn’t Have To.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 3:53 PM

"These monuments represent sacred history to a vast majority of North Carolinians. Leave them where they are." That was pretty much the takeaway at a public hearing yesterday concerning the relocation of Raleigh's Confederate monuments. The meeting, hosted by the North Carolina Historical Commission, asked for the public's remarks on a semi-recent petition from Governor Cooper to remove said monuments from the Capitol grounds. Even the question of removing the three statues—the Confederate Women's Monument, Confederate Soldiers Monument, and the Henry Lawson Wyatt Monument—elicited comparisons to terrorists, communists, and George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984. The proposal came from Cooper following...

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Felipe Molina Mendoza, Durham Resident Set for Deportation Last Year, Gets Another Shot at Asylum

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Two years ago, an immigration judge denied Felipe Molina Mendoza's application for asylum in the U.S., unconvinced of the persecution Molina Mendoza said he would endure as an openly gay man if he was forced to return to Mexico. Now, an appeals court has vacated that decision, and Molina Mendoza is hoping for a new hearing. He's relieved. The ruling resets his asylum case, sparing the twenty-six-year-old—at least for now—from deportation. But it has also brought into stark view just how different the outcome could have been. "Can you imagine if I didn't have the resources to pay for the appeal...

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Congress’s Omnibus Spending Bill Could Potentially Mean Good News for Downtown Durham

Posted By on Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 3:01 PM

The $1.3 trillion spending bill being rushed through Congress ahead of tomorrow’s deadline is a complex, multifaceted thing, some twenty-two hundred pages long, with countless goodies tucked into its nooks and crannies. As we reported this morning, it lifts a prohibition—or, depending on whom you ask, a quasi-prohibition—on federal funding for gun-violence research, something local congressman David Price has been seeking for years. It is also the military-industrial complex’s dream come true, and it throws just enough money at border security to let President Trump beat his chest about the dumb wall. But the more time we have to dig into...

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You might want to check your reporting here. Council actually approved 6 of 8 affordable housing projects at this week's …

by FONCitizen on The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED (News)

Very thorough coverage. Agree with the previous commenter - thank you!!

by elladavis on Responding to Activists, the Durham City Council Rejects Police Exchanges With Israel (News)

What a biased, uninformative headline. Bravo to Durham City Council for taking a principled stand and shame on Indy Week …

by elladavis on Drawing Accusations of Anti-Semitism, Durham City Council Passes Statement on Police Exchanges (News)

You forgot to mention anti-Semitic Deborah Friedman. Remember your talking points.

by Zane Kuseybi on Durham Activists Want the City to Become the First in the U.S. to Condemn Exchanges Between Local Cops and Israeli Security Forces (News)

Unbelievable. No justice for either woman he murdered.

by Urth Creature on No Plans Friday? Michael Peterson is Talking to Dateline NBC (News)

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You might want to check your reporting here. Council actually approved 6 of 8 affordable housing projects at this week's …

by FONCitizen on The Raleigh City Council Punts on Affordable Housing Decisions and I AM SHOCKED (News)

Very thorough coverage. Agree with the previous commenter - thank you!!

by elladavis on Responding to Activists, the Durham City Council Rejects Police Exchanges With Israel (News)

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