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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Durham Rescue Mission Will Not Waver in Attempt to Be Removed from Proposed Historic District

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 7:24 PM

Gathered under the shade of two large, looming trees on empty lots on Worth Street, Ernie Mills Sr. and his son, Ernie Mills Jr., again argued that a portion of the lots the Durham Rescue Mission owns east of Alston Avenue should be removed so the mission can build its community center—and reiterated that if those twenty properties are included in the historic district, the cost of construction would make their plan nearly impossible to pull off. “They say ‘Yes, it can be built.’ It’s with astronomical added cost,” Mills Sr., the founder and CEO of the Rescue Mission said,...

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U.S. Supreme Court Rejects McCrory's Appeal for a Stay in Voter ID Case

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 4:35 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Governor Pat McCrory's appeal for a stay in the voter ID case today, with a 4–4 deadlock once again leaving a lower court decision in place. The July decision made by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to rule the state's voter ID law unconstitutional will stand. The decision was a 4-4 deadlock, with Clarence Thomas voting to grant a stay to all of the provisions of the law, and the other three conservatives—Anthony Kennedy, John Roberts, and Samuel Alito—opting to grant the stay to all provisions except for preregistration, which means sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds can once again...

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Deborah Ross Criticizes Richard Burr’s 2012 Vote Against the STOCK Act, Which Banned Insider Trading for Members of Congress

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Deborah Ross's campaign is attacking Senator Richard Burr for a 2012 vote that Burr made against a bill banning insider trading for top federal employees and requiring that financial disclosures of members of Congress and their employees be made readily available online—all while he owned hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock in natural gas companies and authored legislation helpful to the natural gas industry.  Burr was one of just three senators, along with Democrat Jeff Bingaman and Republican Tom Coburn, who voted against the passage of the STOCK Act. (The final vote for the Senate was 96–3; in the...

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The Morning Roundup: New Republican Leadership, a Big Tropical Storm, and Creepy Clowns Lurking in the Woods

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 8:04 AM

Hello, everyone. Your Wednesday news:  1. N.C. House Republicans select new majority leader, whip. Representative Mike Hager's surprise resignation earlier this month opened up the spot of majority leader in the N.C. House of Representatives. It has officially been filled as of yesterday. Representative John Bell, of Goldsboro, will replace Hager in the position. Bell was previously the majority whip, a role that Representative Dean Arp, of Monroe, will now take on. From the News & Observer:   Republicans currently hold 75 seats in the 120-member House, but Democrats hope to cut into that margin in November and eliminate the...

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Durham Hotel Ejects an Asian Man from Its Rooftop Bar, Is Accused of Racism, Blames “Mistaken Identity”

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 3:25 PM

The Durham Hotel's rooftop bar is known for its gorgeous views of the downtown skyline (and steadily increasing number of cranes), but over the weekend, at least on Yelp and Facebook, it became known for something else: kicking out a sober patron because he allegedly made another guest feel “uncomfortable.”   Michael Cho, a Duke radiology resident, detailed his experience on The Durham's Facebook review page:  Here’s the whole message:  #TheDurhamHotel and its rooftop bar are so committed to providing their clientele a retro mid to late 20th century experience that they go beyond the decor and...

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Durham Is Getting a New Dog Park

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 9:37 AM

Rejoice, ye dogs of Durham! (Or, maybe don’t. Read on.) The city’s Parks and Recreation Department received a $25,000 grant this month to build a new and much-needed off-leash dog park at Duke Park. The grant is one of twenty-five given by PetSafe, a company that sells pet-behavior products, as part of its “Bark for Your Park” program. Right now, the city has three dog parks: a postage stamp in downtown Durham, a former Little League field in Northgate Park, and the way-out-in-the-burbs Piney Wood. The Northgate park lies in a floodplain and, whenever it rains, devolves into a muddy...

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The Morning Roundup: To Help African-Americans Learn to Love Trump, a Surrogate Depicts Hillary in Blackface

Posted By on Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Good morning, everyone. In case you've missed it, the Donald Trump campaign is still living in a fantasy world in which black voters will actually decide the Republican nominee is their guy. Let's jump right in: 1. Trump continues to sell the "African-Americans love me" schtick, despite poll numbers that suggest he's lost his mind. Monday, he gave the Twitterverse this gem: They do? Wait a second. Let's take a look at the Aug. 29 numbers from the Monmouth University Poll. So that's 14 percent of people who are NOT white and non-Hispanic, meaning these numbers include the...

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Durham Pool Closing Leaves Swimmers Looking for Alternative Facilities Months Before the Season Starts

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 12:49 PM

UPDATE: Durham Parks and Recreation Department reached out to the INDY saying it is working with all of the displaced teams to find practice space and will be updating us when that happens. With the Summer Olympics behind us, you’d think pools would be eager to accommodate swimmers who want to go for gold or train for their college team. But the already-limited indoor public pool space in Durham will drastically decrease this fall, as the city’s Parks and Recreation Department has decided to close the Edison Johnson Aquatics Center on Murray Avenue on November 7 for repairs. Assistant director of...

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The Morning Roundup: HB 2 Is Doomed

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Good morning, everyone. 1. Federal judge issues injunction preventing UNC from enforcing HB 2 Late Friday afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Schroeder granted an injunction against HB 2. Our own Lily Carollo reports:  “It is important to emphasize that this injunction returns the parties to the status quo ante as it existed in Title IX facilities prior to Part I’s passage in March 2016,” Judge Schroeder wrote in his ruling. “On the current record, there is no reason to believe that a return to the status quo ante pending a trial on the merits will compromise the important State...

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Federal Judge Issues an Injunction Against HB 2

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 7:19 PM

Judge Thomas Schroeder, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a limited preliminary injunction against the transgender-bathroom provision of House Bill 2 late Friday. Noting that the transgender plaintiffs in the lawsuit “made a clear showing” that they will “suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief,” the court order prevented the University of North Carolina system from enforcing the law. “It is important to emphasize that this injunction returns the parties to the status quo ante as it existed in Title IX facilities prior to Part I’s passage in March 2016,” Judge Schroeder wrote in his ruling. “On...

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Meet the Latest Media Start-up: The Daily Tar Heel

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 2:01 PM

North Carolina’s newest newspaper start-up is the 123-year-old Daily Tar Heel. Yep, you read that right. The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill's student newspaper is rebranding itself in response to continued financial losses. Betsy O’Donovan, the DTH’s general manager, said the paper has been operating at a deficit since 2011. “In recent years, the annual deficit has hovered north of $200,000. When I was hired earlier this month, our investment accounts were just below $400,000,” O’Donovan wrote on Medium.  So the solution to that deficit? Do what the DTH has always done, but do it differently (but also ask...

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The Morning Roundup: Hillary Shot a Campaign in Reno Just to Watch It Die

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 8:46 AM

Good morning! I didn’t come up with that headline, but damn if it doesn’t fit.  Let’s dig in:  1. Behold the evisceration.  In Reno yesterday, Clinton laid into the Trump’s campaign’s alliance with what’s known as the alt-right, which is a polite term for white supremacists, including the hiring of Breitbart CEO/alleged wife beater Stephen Bannon.  Watch it below; the good stuff starts around the eight-minute mark. Or read a transcript here.   State regulators fined one of Trump’s casinos for repeatedly removing black dealers from the floor. No wonder the turn-over rate for his minority employees was way...

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

In a New Ad, Richard Burr Loves (the Wrong) Black People

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 4:46 PM

Close your eyes and picture a campaign ad that screams, “I love black people.” Can you see the African-American preacher? How about the wide-eyed black schoolchildren in bright clothing and clean, spacious classrooms? Splice in a few quotes from said preacher about how Burr is, “genuinely interested” in the black community — how he has worked tirelessly to “narrow the education gap.” Sounds downright touching, doesn’t it? Here, take a look.  Maybe Senator Richard Burr really gets it. Wait. What’s that you say, Talking Points Memo? Two pieces of the footage from Getty’s iStock catalogue that were used in the video are...

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The Morning Roundup: Duke Sues Estate, Pence Talks Trade, and an Indecisive Orange County Board of Elections

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Well folks, it’s Thursday, and the weekend is almost upon us. Here are some of the finest headlines for your reading pleasure.  1. Duke is going after the estate of an alum months after his death. The Wall Street Journal had quite an interesting article about Duke University suing the estate of Aubrey McClendon’s for almost $10 million following his death in March.  McClendon, co-founder of the Chesapeake Energy Corp., donated about $18.75 million to the school for athletic funds, scholarships, and more in recent years, according to the WSJ. Take it away, WSJ:  Lawyers for Mr. McClendon’s creditors have...

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

'Transgenderism' Is a 'Feeling,' Explains Dan Forest, Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Confused by all this talk lately about "transgender" people in North Carolina? Don't even bother trying to figure it out for yourself. Just ask Dan Forest, a straight, white, Christian, conservative man who somehow ended up being elected lieutenant governor of the ninth largest state in the country. Sure, Dan's got weird beliefs on most topics. But on transgender issues, the guy is a true progressive. Why, back in April he came out and declared that HB 2 was discriminatory. How many Republicans in the state have the guts to say something like that?  Actually, strike that. Forest said the Charlotte ordinance...

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New Poll: Pat McCrory Is Screwed

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 4:23 PM

It looks like Pat McCrory will become a one-term governor after all—and utter humiliation couldn’t happen to a more deserving fellow.  The latest Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday shows Attorney General Roy Cooper, the Democratic candidate, nine points ahead of McCrory. Especially good for Cooper? He’s running a good seven points better than Hillary Clinton, who is up two (44–42) in North Carolina over Donald Trump. Even better for Cooper: he’s pulling a majority, 52 percent, compared to McCrory’s 43 percent.  Part of the reason, it seems, is that Cooper is backed by 93 percent of Democrats, while only...

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The Morning Roundup: Lara Trump is from North Carolina and Some Other Things

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 7:14 AM

It's Wednesday. Your morning news:  1. Duke grad students will unionize. The National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that graduate teaching and research assistants at Columbia University are entitled to collective bargaining. This decision is certain to set off a chain of grad-student organizing at private universities across the United States. That includes Duke, whose adjunct faculty also mobilized and voted in favor of union representation earlier this year.   From the News & Observer:  Late Tuesday, a group of Duke University graduate students held a celebration near the Duke Chapel. Their aim is for a union vote at Duke...

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New Allegations of Racial Mistreatment in City's Water Management Department Raise Old Concerns

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 11:27 AM

In 2014, allegations of employee mistreatment and racial disparities in  the Durham’s water management department were first brought to light when a group of former employees, who said they were wrongly terminated or disciplined while working for the city, went to the Human Relations Commission. The HRC then spent months investigating the department, including interviewing former employees and having former employees come speak to the commission. In November 2015 the HRC sent nine recommendations to the city council and city manager, which included requiring racial equity training, a review of disciplinary action, and increasing the scope and accessibility of...

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The Morning Roundup: An HB 2 Twist, a UPS Protest, and an Indictment in Raleigh

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 9:43 AM

Hello. Your news:  1. Texas judge throws wrench into HB 2 process. An Obama administration order advising school districts to allow transgender students to be given access to restrooms based on their gender identity has been blocked by a federal judge in Texas. From WUNC:  U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has granted a preliminary, nationwide injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and a number of other states. As we've reported, the lawsuit argues that the guidance from the White House would turn schools "into laboratories for a massive social experiment." The preliminary injunction would mean that, until...

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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Big Baby Berger

Posted By on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Good morning. Let's get to it. 1. I regret to inform you that Phil Berger is at it again. The Senate's top Republican, Phil Berger, is widely considered to be the most powerful politician in the state. In the six years he's been running the Senate, he's helped transform North Carolina politics into the smoldering hellhole we recognize it today, with little opposition from Governor Pat McCrory or his counterparts in the House. Despite all of that power, however, Berger has proved himself to be a gigantic baby, whining incessantly about political correctness while bemoaning the fact that there...

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Pat McCrory Has Some Dumb Thoughts About Iran

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Governor Pat McCrory—a man who is aggressively opaque when it comes to public records requests, a governor who has bumbled his way through television interviews in defense of a law (which he signed immediately) that violated the rights of trans people and workers, an executive whose administration is currently under fire for seemingly telling North Carolinians that it was all right to drink water that they shouldn't (tainted by a company where McCrory worked for twenty-eight years), a guy who seems to be physically incapable of walking without stepping on his own dick and then blaming the media, Roy Cooper,...

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Ex-Provost's Stepson Named in Latest Title IX Suit Against Duke

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 3:50 PM

A lawsuit filed in Durham County—and then shuttled to the North Carolina Middle District— earlier this month alleges the stepson of  former Duke University provost Peter Lange participated in at least one sexual assault of a female student.  The complaint states a former Duke University student was “subjected to a drug-facilitated rape” by two students, including the stepson of Lange, who at the time was provost of the university. Lange is no longer provost, but he is listed as a professor with the university’s Sanford School of Public Policy. After the assault the woman reported it to university officials...

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The Morning Roundup: Money for Fetuses

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 8:55 AM

Good morning. 1. Hand of Hope is suing the city of Raleigh. A crisis pregnancy center, blocked by the Raleigh City Council in July from rezoning a property directly next to an abortion clinic, has filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court. From our story about it yesterday: "Pregnant women in Raleigh should be allowed to choose Hand of Hopes’ free help and support and should not be limited to an abortion clinic. Those who go to Preferred Women’s Health will not be fully informed about their choices.” Hand of Hope executive director Tonya Baker Nelson said in...

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Breaking: Crisis Pregnancy Center Files Federal Lawsuit Against Raleigh For Denying Zoning Request

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:46 AM

Hand of Hope, the crisis pregnancy center looking to open up a location next to an abortion clinic in Raleigh, has filed a federal lawsuit against the city for denying its zoning request.  "Pregnant women in Raleigh should be allowed to choose Hand of Hopes’ free help and support and should not be limited to an abortion clinic. Those who go to Preferred Women’s Health will not be fully informed about their choices.” Hand of Hope executive director Tonya Baker Nelson said in a statement.  "It’s a clear violation of federal law," attorney Noel Sterett told the INDY. "There’s no...

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Early Voting in Durham County Tops 1,440 Hours Over Seventeen Days

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:20 AM

Update: Here's the full schedule sent to the State Board of Elections on August 18.  The Durham County board of elections enterim director described the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion this month on North Carolina’s voter I.D. law “abrupt,” but the board is doing what it can to make the best of a less-than-desirable situation on its end.  Just weeks after it finalized a twelve site, ten-day early voting plan it had to amend it. Now there is a modified seventeen day schedule. The first week of early voting—October 20 through the 26—voting will be open at...

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