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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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Bernie Sanders Campaign Office Opens in Downtown Durham

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 12:41 PM

The rather thorough clobbering Bernie Sanders received in South Carolina on Saturday may well be the beginning of the end of the Vermont senator's inspiring rise from long-shot presidential candidate to "guy Hillary Clinton is legit afraid of stealing the Democratic nomination."  The grim news from South Carolina made for some awkward timing as Sanders' campaign officially opened up its first office in the Triangle over the weekend. Hillary's spot is in Raleigh, but Bernie's posting up in downtown Durham, at 207 N. Church Street. On Sunday night, about a hundred supporters turned up to sign up for phone banking and...

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The Progressive Case for Hillary Clinton

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 10:35 AM

Editor’s note: The author, David Faris, is a professor of political science at Roosevelt University in Chicago. The views expressed herein are his own and not necessarily those of the university. Tomorrow, if all goes to plan, we’ll be publishing a Bob Geary–penned case for Bernie Sanders. The INDY’s endorsements in this and other primary races will be released Wednesday.  —- Since the Iowa caucuses, Democratic primary voters have reminded everyone that the GOP isn’t the only party holding together a political coalition with staples and cardboard. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent initially given Kucinich-level odds to derail the...

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The Morning Roundup: Happy Leap Day, Let’s Make Some Dick Jokes!

Posted By on Mon, Feb 29, 2016 at 8:36 AM

So this was the weekend the GOP presidential race finally, officially went completely off the rails, to the point where you have to wonder if, for someone like Marco Rubio, who fashions himself as the serious candidate, this is a nomination even worth having anymore.  1. Rubio jokes that Donald Trump has a small penis. But hey, look on the bright side: Republicans have forfeited the right to complain that Barack Obama is cheapening the office by putting his feet up on the desk.  Trump, for his part, was busy over the last few days racking up endorsements:...

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Friday, February 26, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Let’s Do Some Unintelligible Yelling!

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2016 at 8:17 AM

The video above is probably the most succinct summation of last night’s forty-third (estimated) Republican debate. There was yelling, there were personal snipes, there was complaining about being interrupted.  And there was basically no policy.  Rubio got some good swipes in, but it’s unlikely to alter the trajectory of the race, despite the establishment’s wishful thinking.  Rubio hit Trump for having been fined years ago for having employed unauthorized workers, which is fine but there's no way he can get to Trump's right on the underlying issue of immigration. Rubio needled Trump about how repetitive and uninterested in policy...

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Cary Town Council Votes to Amend Its Comprehensive Plan

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:33 PM

The Cary Town Council voted 6-1 this evening to amend a portion of its official land-use map from residential to commercial, likely to allow for a Publix grocery store to be built directly adjacent to the Arlington Park subdivision in the northwestern part of the town.  Neighbors have opposed the comprehensive plan amendment, but Council members assured them this evening that the applicant will be made to do a good job with shopping center, via gradual transition and a buffer, a shopping center that provides walk-ability and pedestrian amenities rather than "a big-box sea of asphalt shopping center," as...

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The Morning Roundup: Governor Pat McCrory Cannot Stop Getting Sued

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:05 AM

Good morning everyone! We're not in Kansas anymore but it's still windy out there. Here are your headlines: 1. Yes, it's true: another complaint against McCrory has been filed. This time Progress NC, a "liberal advocacy group," is accusing the Guv of blurring the lines between his reelection campaign committee and a committee he organized to promote the $2 billion statewide bond referendum that will be on the ballot in a couple of weeks. Naturally McCrory is blaming this all on Roy Cooper. Here's the N&O's report: The complaint is about a video released last week of McCrory talking...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Supporters of Wildin Acosta and 'NC7' Demand Release, Plan ICE Protest

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 3:59 PM

On Wednesday, Alerta Migratoria NC released a statement titled "Free the NC 7" in support of WIldin Acosta and six other teens that have been taken and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in recent months. Acosta, a student at Durham's Riverside High School, was grabbed by ICE agents outside his home on January 28, as he was getting ready to drive to school. He is currently detained at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.  In Wednesday's news release, Alerta Migratoria, an advocacy group for immigrants, demanded the release of all North Carolina teenagers facing similar circumstances.  Here's the...

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The Morning Roundup: We love the poorly educated!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 9:38 AM

And away we go.  1. Trump wins the Nevada caucus. That's three states in a row for Trump. In his victory speech, Trump said: "We won the evangelicals," he said. "We won with young. With won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated."  Sometimes, one spontaneous sentence can sum up an entire person's life. Rubio, it was reported this morning, bested Ted Cruz by about 2,000 votes for second place.  2. North Carolina Dems endorse Hillary. From the AP:  Clinton's campaign says 43 of the 61 Democratic legislators have endorsed...

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

UNC Law School's Environmental Center Now Brought To You By Duke Energy

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 2:56 PM

What is currently called the UNC Center for Law, Environment, Adaptation and Resources will soon be renamed the UNC School of Law Center for Climate, Energy, Environment and Economics (CE3).  What's in a name? In this case, a few things. According to director Victor Flatts, the new name "reflects the center’s expanded mission to become the nation’s first law and policy center specifically devoted to the intersection of climate, energy law, environmental law and economic development."  But also: the reorientation of UNC's environmental law center is being funded by Duke Energy, which last year pleaded guilty to several environmental crimes —...

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The Morning Roundup: Charlotte: 7; Homophobes: 4

Posted By on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Good morning, everybody! Would you like to know who’s not having the greatest morning? Tami Fitzgerald and her North Carolina Values Coalition. But that’s OK, because their lives already sucked. How would you like to live constantly obsessed with what other folks do in the bedroom and the bathroom? Pour souls. Anyway, the NCVC and those of like mind in Charlotte, along with Republican state lawmakers are unhappy because … 1. … seven members of the Charlotte City Council stood up to homophobes, and won. Despite dire warnings of hellfire and retribution from Gov. Pat McCrory, the 7-4 majority voted...

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Bathroom Inspector McCrory: It's All About the Peepees and Hoohoos, Y'all

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 3:03 PM

Gov. Pat McCrory promised two members of the Charlotte City Council Sunday that there will be swift and sure consequences if the majority votes to allow people to pee and poo in public restrooms where the Lord hath forbade them by assignment of penis or vagina.  The City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to approve new legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people. Those protections would include allow transgender people to use either men's or women's restrooms, which led to the ordinance being voted down last year.  From the Charlotte Observer: “It is not only the...

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Deah Barakat's Sister Admonishes Trump for Anti-Muslim Remarks

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM

Donald Trump went to South Carolina this weekend and said something gross again. And then he won the Republican primary! The New York Times has a report on Trump's comments during a rally to the effect of him praising an American general who, per unsubstantiated Internet rumor, executed a group of Muslim terrorists by shooting them with bullets dipped in pigs' blood. The story, which has circulated online for years, has been dismissed as unsupported by historical documentation. Mr. Trump used it to illustrate his call to push back with brutal force against both Islamic terrorism and political correctness. “This...

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Friday, February 19, 2016

What Should the New Orange County Slogan Be?

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Per Chapelboro, Orange County is seeking input for a new slogan to be slapped upon the highway sign greeting westbound travelers on Interstate-40 at mile maker 269. The current, damaged sign says "Welcome to Orange County: You'll Be a Fan for Life." Yes, we'd say there's room for improvement.  Last year, the Orange County Board of Commissioners invited the public to dream up some new slogans for the sign. It received almost 900 suggestions. After ideas that either exceeded the six-word limit ("It's Getting Kinda Pricey To Live Here") or contained inappropriate language ("Fuckin' Tar Heels Rule!") were disqualified, the...

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Third Friday Reception: 'Durham Under Development' at Pleiades Gallery

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Kim Wheaton, co-founder of Pleiades Gallery in Downtown Durham, told the small group of people in a presentation room at 21C Museum Hotel last week that her gallery's current exhibit is meant to spur open, honest dialogue about a changing Durham. "We really wanted to elicit reaction from local artists about how they feel about changes that are going on," said Wheaton. "And so many of the pieces are actually making social statements. There are pieces about gentrification. There are pieces about public transportation and the importance of buses in the city. There are pieces about disassociation between different parts of...

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The Morning Roundup: New (But Not Improved) Congressional Maps, Down Goes Judicial Retention, and Tim Moore’s Got Himself a Sweet Deal

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2016 at 8:59 AM

Happy Friday, everyone! We’ll have some pretty terrific weather this weekend, and there’s a ton of cool stuff to do, so get out there an enjoy yourselves, before another Monday rips the joy from your soul. Anyway, on to the headlines:  1. The new congressional district map is nearly complete. Some new wrinkles: under the plan the House is about to pass, the congressional primaries will be delayed until June 7, and there will be no runoff elections. The latter part, it’s worth noting, helps incumbents who are facing multiple primary challengers. (Ahem, Renee Ellmers.) The former means we’ll have...

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About North Carolina’s New Gerrymander

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 5:36 PM

The elections for North Carolina’s congressional districts have already been thrown into chaos by a shotgun court order to redraw the districts, the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and the uncertainty over whether or not state Republicans will be granted a stay. But the effects of the redistricting, should the new map gain final approval from the legislature today, stands to deeply impact the state’s members of Congress—and their challengers. Three members—two of them women—stand to lose the most. Raleigh Republican George Holding, whose 13th district has been completely redrawn, would find himself in Democrat David Price’s...

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The Morning Roundup: Duke Won Again and Democrats Will Probably Lose, Again

Posted By on Thu, Feb 18, 2016 at 8:34 AM

Good morning, everyone. It's important to note here that Thursday is little Friday. News is as follows: 1. Yesterday, Republican lawmakers unveiled a court-ordered, redrawn map of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts, and it is something: Here's the old map, for comparison: So while it looks a little less like the Republicans threw spaghetti at a North Carolina-shaped wall to craft the state's congressional lines this time, the redrawn map is not exactly the improvement Democrats had in mind. Which new district will you be in? How will the proposed new districts affect the Triangle's members of Congress?  From...

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Rep. G.K. Butterfield to Berger, Moore: GOP Redistricting Plan Violates Voting Rights Act

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 4:23 PM

On Wednesday afternoon, Rep G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.-01) publicly released a letter he'd sent to the N.C. Senate president and House Speaker, blasting the the GOP plan to completely eliminate race as a consideration when complying with a federal court order to redraw congressional district maps. Republicans in the Joint Select Committee on Congressional Redistricting included that instruction to hired mapmakers, in response to the Feb. 5 ruling that district maps drawn five years ago by Republicans were invalid, due to racial gerrymandering. From The News & Observer: "The only way to make sure race is not predominant is to make...

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Here Are the Triangle's Biggest Rental Developments in 2015

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 3:29 PM

We've written about how nearly 51 percent of renters in North Carolina are cost-burdened, and about the economic theory that building more luxury high-rises could be a solution to the Triangle's affordable housing shortage.  Let there be no question, however, that thousands of new rental units—whether affordable to the average renter or not—are popping up all over the state's second-largest metro area. Rentcafe.com, a national apartment-listing service, looked at how many new apartment developments of 50 units or more were finished and ready-to-rent across the Triangle in 2015.  Here's what the group found:  A total of 21 rental developments of 50+...

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The Morning Roundup: Basketball, Guns, and Money

Posted By on Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 7:52 AM

Good morning to you. Let's dispense with the pleasantries. On to the news. 1. Duke vs. UNC. First things first: Freshly returned to the bosom of the AP Top 25, the Duke men's basketball team travels to the Dean Dome tonight to face the fifth-ranked Tar Heels. It's the 241st time the teams have matched up against one another. The Sporting News has some thoughts on what to look for in the game. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ESPN will broadcast.  2. Toddler shot in Durham drive-by. Police are investigating a drive-by shooting that left a one-and-a-half-year-old boy injured Tuesday...

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In Durham, the State of the City Is Montell Jordan

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Prior to last night's Durham City Council meeting, Mayor Bill Bell gave his annual State of the City address. He approached it a bit differently this year, sitting in conversation with former GlaxoSmithKline executive (and Durham resident) Bill Shore to discuss issues of rising crime, affordable housing, and transit.  Also different: the 2015 year-in-review video that played prior to Bell's talk. Set to an extended remix of the 1995 Montell Jordan anthem "This Is How We Do It," the four-minute celebration ticked off the city's accomplishments in the past year. Some of these distinctions come from outlets of questionable merit. Something...

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Welcome to the Raleigh City Council Live Blog

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Buenos dias, friends. I hope you've all thawed out from yesterday! Welcome to our bi-monthly City Council live blog. Today's agenda is not very long, though the consent agenda, at 14 pages, is rather lengthy.  Probably the most exciting things we've got coming up today are: an update on a possible bike share program, and a public hearing on the Downtown and Hillsborough Street Municipal Services Districts.  1:10: The meeting's starting, with an agency grantee presentation from the Tammy Lynn Center. MAB is not here today.  1:14: Onto the consent; two items have been pulled and the rest is...

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N.C. Appellate Court Upholds Wake Judge’s Ruling on Modernist Oakwood House

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 12:06 PM

After nearly three years, the saga of Louis Cherry’s and Marsha Gordon’s modernist home on Euclid Street, in Raleigh’s historic Oakwood neighborhood, finally came to an end today. Three N.C. Court of Appeals judges concurred with Wake County Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan’s 2014 decision that allowed Cherry and Gordon to complete construction of their modernist home, which Cherry designed, in the Oakwood Historic District, despite complaints from across-the-street neighbor Gail Wiesner. In August 2013, Cherry and Gordon received a Certificate of Appropriateness to build their design from the Raleigh Historic District Commission. They started building, but, following Wiesner’s...

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The Morning Roundup: Redistricters, Judge Blockers and Bodycam Shockers

Posted By on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 at 8:10 AM

Good morning, especially if the words "messy morning commute," as WRAL meteorologists put it, fill you with that get-up-and-go attitude that gets you through a Tuesday. On the relatively bright side: Rain, not ice, is putting the messy in your morning, so that's a good thing. In fact,  Greg Fishel says ice is history by daybreak, so that's an even better thing.  Still — be careful out there, please. And now, the news: 1. State redistricting hearings got off to the start you'd expect. That's right — angry as hell. First, you should read Jane Porter's excellent report...

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