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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Swing State Edition

Posted by on Wed, Jul 6, 2016 at 8:01 AM

click to enlarge Yesterday, in Charlotte.
  • Yesterday, in Charlotte.
Good morning, everyone. It is supposed to be slightly cooler today. Here is some other news you can possibly use: 

1. Presidential candidates descend upon our fair state. Donald Trump was in Raleigh last night. After the INDY's credentials to attend the event were denied, our reporter Paul Blest was able to worm his way in, and you can read his account of the rally on our blog. Among other things, Trump called out the FBI for not going after Hillary Clinton over her emails, and said he stood with the state on HB 2. Sounds about right. 

Earlier in the day, Clinton was in Charlotte, campaigning alongside President Obama. Some 7,000 people attended. From the Charlotte Observer
Clinton called for policies popular among the Democratic base: Paid family leave, a higher minimum wage, gun control and continuation of the Affordable Care Act.

But neither she nor Obama addressed issues that some North Carolina supporters hoped they might: specifically, the new House Bill 2 law that bars local governments from enacting anti-discrimination protections.

Instead, the two politicians spent much of their time bragging on each other. They referenced their contentious primary fight in 2008 and described how they went from rivalry to friendship.

Behind them, a giant wall banner proclaimed the theme: “Stronger together.”
Roy Cooper and Deborah Ross both attended the rally in Charlotte. Pat McCrory and Richard Burr, their opponents for governor and U.S. Senate, respectively, were not present at Mr. Trump's rally in Raleigh. 

2. Raleigh City Council denies rezoning permit for anti-abortion group. As the INDY reported last week, the pro-life group Hand of Hope has sought to relocate to a Jones Franklin Road space in west Raleigh that is next door to Preferred Women’s Health Center, which offers abortion services. After weeks of tension and arguments—including a unanimous recommendation by the city's planning commission to grant Hand of Hope's rezoning request—the Raleigh City Council last night unanimously rejected the request. From the N&O:
Kay Crowder, who represents that area of Raleigh, was the only council member who spoke. The council voted 7-0 shortly after she read a prepared statement, saying the property would better comply with the city’s Future Land Use Map if it were rezoned as part of a larger commercial project that enveloped all of Woodsdale Road, a dead-end street next to the property.

Hand of Hope’s property, if rezoned, would be the only commercial operation on Woodsdale, she noted.

“This coordinated approach would produce a more efficient use of the land,” Crowder said. “In contrast, this lot by lot piecemeal non-residential development will produce small scale offices on small lots.”
Hand of Hope's executive director, Tonya Baker Nelson, told the N&O the organization is "considering legal recourse." 

3. Sampson County deputy fired over racist comment.
There was a big, bizarre brawl at a country club in Sampson County this weekend. One person died and several were wounded. In the aftermath, a deputy piped up with some opinions on social media. From the Sampson Independent
As news of the brawl and subsequent death was reported Sunday, [Charles Patrick] Foreman caused an uproar and sparked screen-shots that soon circulated to media outlets and sheriff’s officials.

“They want (sic) be getting there (sic) deposit back,” one Facebook user said.

“It don’t matter. It was paid for on EBT,” Foreman responded.

The comment, perceived as racially-insensitive for its connotations, drew a collective angry response from numerous others, who chastised the deputy for making it when he works as a civil servant. The comment was deleted and Foreman’s page deactivated a short time later.
The officer was fired yesterday. Officials are still investigating what touched off the fight. 

4. Christian Laettner being pushed into involuntary bankruptcy. The former Duke basketball star has had his share of business troubles since his glory days on the hardwood in Durham. Now, it looks as though five of Laettner's creditors have teamed up and filed an involuntary bankruptcy suit against him. The total debt they allege is $14 million. From the Herald-Leader in Lexington, which is perhaps not an entirely disinterested municipality when it comes to Laettner: 
It’s not clear from the court documents why Laettner owes the creditors.

The creditors and the amounts they say they are owed are:

NSA-SP#3, LLC (National Servicing & Administration), $7,321,230
Ernest Sims, III, $1,482,730
Jonathan Stewart, $3,629,230
Park Lane IBS, LLC, $236,193
D&F DCU, LLC, $1,382,545
Here in Durham, Laettner was part of a real-estate development group responsible for converting old tobacco warehouses into the mixed-use spaces called West Village. Though the project is now a success, Laettner and his former business partners have been tangling in the courts for years over financial losses and alleged mismanagement related to West Village. 

5. Speaking of Duke. Bob Harris is retiring. The voice of the Blue Devils will unplug the microphone after next season. From the N&O
Bob Harris, the play-by-play radio announcer of Duke football and men’s basketball since 1976, will retire following the 2016-17 basketball season, the university announced Tuesday.

Harris enters the coming school year having called 459 consecutive Duke football games, the last 35 years alongside analyst Wes Chesson. On the court, his resume boasts 1,358 career basketball games called, including 10 NCAA championship games. He is the longest-tenured play-by-play announcer in Atlantic Coast Conference history.
All good things must come an end. Like this post. Sort of. Enjoy your day.  

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