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Thursday, December 20, 2012

DOJ sues Alamance County sheriff

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

A much-anticipated civil rights lawsuit for Alamance County's embattled sheriff is upon us. In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice said it has officially filed a civil suit against Sheriff Terry Johnson, three months after accusing Johnson's office of racially profiling Latinos. Following a two-year investigation of Johnson's office, DOJ officials alleged in September that Alamance deputies target Latinos for traffic stops, install checkpoints in Latino neighborhoods and vary enforcement activity based on a driver's ethnicity. The DOJ statement came weeks after an Indy analysis of traffic stop data found Latinos were twice as likely as non-Latinos to...

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No smoke: Pope selected as McCrory's deputy budget director

Posted By on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM

There was no white smoke flowing from Gov.-elect Pat McCrory's chimney to indicate he had selected Art Pope, one of the most powerful people in North Carolina politics, to be his new budget director. But a h/t to WRAL, which reported that the conservative millionaire will be the No. 2 man in charge of crafting the state's financial priorities. Our predictions: • Higher ed? See ya. Pope and his many think tanks and foundations have long advocated for cutting funding to the state university system. (Earlier this year, Pope expanded his power base when he was named to UNC's Advisory...

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Governor Perdue Announces Plan To Keep Group Homes Temporarily Open

Posted By on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

The fix is only temporary, but a just announced plan from Governor Bev Perdue could keep group homes for the low income disabled open through the end of January. A one time injection of $1 million in idle rental-assistance funds will help pay the expenses for nearly 1,400 developmentally and mentally disabled group home residents. Problems remain, however. Recent changes to Medicaid policy have lowered the payments made to reimburse group caregivers for round-the-clock services like dressing and eating assistance. Faced with decreased payments, group home operators are worried they'll either have to evict residents or shut down altogether. As...

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Thomas Stith Has a New Job

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Thomas Stith, Chief of Staff for Pat McCrory? Thomas Stith, Chief of Staff for Pat McCrory. After heading up the McCrory's transition team, Stith, a former Durham City Councilman and one-time candidate for Lieutenant Governor, has been tasked with running the governor-elect's administration. McCrory made the announcement in a Thursday press conference introducing Stith, along with two other senior members of his new administration. Followers of Durham politics will remember Stith as the lone conservative voice on what remains a left-leaning city council. After serving for seven years, he lost a 2007 mayoral bid to Bill Bell. As noted by...

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fracking board chair promises "substantive" meeting next week

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Thus far, the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission's meetings have been primarily organizational in nature, with members debating such things as pre-meeting prayers and committee assignments. But commission Chair Jim Womack told members of the N.C. General Assembly's Environmental Review Commission Thursday morning that the group expects its first "substantive" discussion of fracking regulations next week. "It'll be the first time that we actually start tackling the issues," Womack said. The mining commission includes drilling industry reps, geologists, a handful of conservationists and local government leaders like Womack—a county commissioner in the likely drilling hub of Lee County. The commission...

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Meth lab busts on the rise

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 11:47 AM

The number of methamphetamine labs found in North Carolina reached a record high this year. That's just one of the takeaways from yesterday's meeting of the General Assembly's committee on methamphetamine abuse. State legislators on Wednesday gathered to hear a final report from investigators of just how bad the problem of meth abuse has become. Among the findings: investigators have identified a total of 446 meth operations so far this year. In 2011, they busted just 344. The new figures place North Carolina in the top 10 states where meth production sites are being identified. Van Shaw, Deputy Director of...

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wake's "new" assignment plan not really new

Posted By on Wed, Dec 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Read the headlines and stories from every major TV station as well as The N&O and you’ll see that the Wake school board passed a “new” student assignment plan Tuesday night. NBC-17: “Wake Co. school board adopts 3rd assignment plan in 3 years” But the plan’s not really new, which would make it more like the second assignment plan in three years. Give or take a few details, the plan is a return to the same base assignment structure that was in place in the 2011-12 school year. Students’ addresses will again be tied to a particular school, based on...

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Latino arrest rate still high in Alamance

Posted By on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM

If the Sept. 18 U.S. Department of Justice allegations of racial profiling have had any impact on the Alamance County Sheriff's Office, it doesn't show in recent traffic stop data. September and October reports to the N.C. Department of Justice show Latino drivers were more than four times as likely as non-Latinos to be arrested during traffic stops by Alamance County deputies. In that time frame, 18.7 percent of Latinos pulled over were arrested, compared to 4.5 percent of non-Latinos. Traffic stop data can fluctuate greatly between months, but the September and October numbers mirror earlier trends. An Indy analysis...

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Sessions has already strip mined the Civil Rights Division of the DoJ. Thankfully U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey is …

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> Eventually, a claim to the county insurance company showed that $2.333,591.30 in cash had disappeared, almost daily, for nearly …

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