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Friday, March 31, 2017

ACC: North Carolina, Thanks to HB 2 Deal, Will Be Considered for Tournaments

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 7:10 PM

The NCAA has yet to rule on whether or not the HB 2 repeal deal signed by Governor Roy Cooper Thursday is good enough to satisfy the basketball gods, but the Atlantic Coast Conference took little time to put North Carolina back in the competition for hosting rights to championship events. From the ACC: That's not exactly an official confirmation of games to be played in the Old North State, but it seems like the Atlantic Coast Conference is satisfied. The NCAA ruling could be a bit trickier. From the INDY: (Whether this deal actually satisfies the NCAA is another...

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Wake County Register of Deeds Office Under SBI Investigation

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 5:59 PM

The State Bureau of Investigation has started a criminal investigation into possible financial irregularities in the Wake County Register of Deeds office, after Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman and county manager Jim Hartmann put the agency on notice of problems there. Meanwhile, Register of Deeds Laura Riddick, who’s held the elected office since 1996, announced her retirement effective Saturday. In a Friday afternoon press conference, Freeman and Hartmann said Riddick’s retirement was the result of health problems, not the newly initiated investigation. Freeman cautioned against attaching too much significance to the timing of Riddick’s departure and the investigation. At...

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Pat McCrory Celebrates the HB 2 Compromise: It Means the “Human Rights Campaign Lost the Battle”

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 5:13 PM

Yesterday, former governor Pat McCrory—who is likely not residing in the Execution Mansion right now because he signed HB 2—went on a Family Research Council podcast with known crazy person Tony Perkins to talk about HB 2’s repeal and replacement with HB 142. And wouldn’t you know it? McCrory, the guy who made bathroom birth certificates the hill he chose to die on, thought that it was just rad how Governor Cooper and the liberals got played. You can listen to the whole thing above. But if you don’t feel the need to torture yourself, here are some of the...

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Raleigh State Representative Duane Hall Defends His Vote for HB 142: “This Was the Toughest Vote I've Ever Had”

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 4:51 PM

After two long and dysfunctional days inside the legislature, the HB 2 debacle is finally over. Now we're left with HB 142, a bill that's far from the clean repeal Cooper promised. The new bill has incensed activists and advocacy groups that have been fighting for HB 2's repeal since the day it passed last March. On Twitter a few days ago, the influential Human Rights Campaign—which former governor Pat McCrory still believes is more powerful than the NRA—vowed to hold the lawmakers who green-lighted the legislation accountable. While many progressives and activists are angry, some Democrats argue that Governor...

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Kenneth Bailey’s Family Did Their Own Report on His Shooting, And It Tells a Very Different Story Than the Durham Police’s Narrative

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 4:20 PM

The family of Kenneth Bailey Jr., who was shot by Durham police last month in the Club Boulevard neighborhood, has completed their own review of what happened on February 15, and it paints a much different picture than the narrative put out by the Durham Police Department.  Here's the full statement as released by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, chair of Walltown Neighborhood Ministries, on behalf Bailey's mother, Louise Pratt, and his family. On the afternoon of February 15th, a Durham Police Department Selective Enforcement Team (SET) was deployed to the Bluefield community. They arrived in an unmarked car, dressed in blue jeans and t-shirts, with...

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Family, Friends Demand a Full Investigation into Durham Teen's Jail Death, Call Her a “Young Lady Full of Life”

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 3:51 PM

On Friday afternoon, outside the Durham County Detention Center, chants of “shut it down” and “no justice, no peace” echoed against the jail’s stark white exterior. Orange blurs pressed against the building’s barred windows and waved. Down below, the family and friends of Uniece Fennell, who just eight days ago was also behind those bars, waved backed. Fennell, who was seventeen, was found dead at Durham County jail on March 23. The Sheriff’s Office says she committed suicide by hanging herself with a sheet tied to a bar on the window in her cell. Her family, recalling a “goofy,” “full...

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The Morning Roundup: HB 2 Deal Passes, Michael Flynn Wants Immunity for Russia Testimony

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 10:18 AM

Well, yesterday was interesting. Let's get to it. 1) HB 2 is gone, but the governor is being called a sellout (and not just by us). Who knew that the same people who protested Pat McCrory would be back outside the Executive Mansion to protest a man who won because he said he’d repeal the damn thing? It happened. From the INDY: As the music died down, the crowd began to chant, “Only full repeal of HB 2! Only full repeal of HB 2!” As the chanting subsided, Angela Bridgman grabbed the megaphone and aimed it directly at the Executive...

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“Hey, Roy! I Trusted You. You Let Me Down! You Failed Me”

Posted By on Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 7:22 AM

Governor Cooper was the audience for a special, one-off performance of the Air Horn Orchestra, the group that so annoyed former governor Pat McCrory for eight months last year, after McCrory signed HB 2. Yesterday, Cooper signed a repeal of HB 2 that critics—including at the INDY—have derided as not much of a repeal at all. And so the AHO was back in action. By six p.m. Thursday, the crew had assembled in front of the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, permit in hand, featuring more than just air horns: saxophones, drums, megaphones, and a shofar created a melodious “welcome home”...

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Roy Cooper Announces He’s Signed Fake HB 2 Repeal, Get Your Air Horns Ready

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 4:24 PM

For the record, this will neither begin to end discrimination nor repair the state’s reputation. And the governor knows that. More on this story later....

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Democracy in Crisis: Trump Taking Cues from Russian Propaganda

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:43 PM

The Senate Intelligence Committee questioned three experts on Russian active measures, or propaganda, campaigns Thursday morning. One of them, Clint Watts, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute and George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, made it clear that the propaganda campaign was successful because of Trump’s use of similar tactics. When asked why these cyber propaganda techniques work, Watts said “Because Trump embraces them.” "Part of the reason active measures works is because they [Trump team] parrot the same line," he said again. Talking with reporters after the hearing, Watts was more specific, saying that a vast...

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Forest Hills Apartments Residents Speak, People in Power Respond.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:14 PM

Residents of Forest Hills Apartments in Garner appeared March 20 with little fanfare to tell Wake County commissioners their story: they’d received short notice that they’d have to pay much higher rents and/or move out of the place that had long been home to many of them. By Wednesday night, ten days later, dozens of Forest Hills residents, led by community activist Octavia Rainey, drew a notable crowd to a meeting in a Garner church on the issue. And action at the federal and local level was underway to help residents who had been dismayed by their imminent removal. “To...

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All Eyes on Roy: The House Passes the Fake HB 2 Repeal, Sends It to Governor Cooper, Who Has Promised to Sign

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 1:43 PM

Following the Senate’s lead, the N.C. House of Representatives passed the bill to repeal HB 2 and replace it with something that looks a whole lot like HB 2 but will hopefully appease the basketball gods, passed 70–48.  The INDY called the NCAA to see how this bill’s passage would affect its decision about hosting championships in North Carolina. A spokeswoman said that the NCAA did not have a statement prepared yet. Cooper reportedly told the Democratic caucus, however, that the NCAA, ACC, and NBA had all signed off. Meanwhile, House Speaker Tim Moore’s office is taking a victory...

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The Bogus HB 2 Repeal Just Passed the Senate and the Air Horn Orchestra Is Back in Action

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 12:26 PM

A few minutes ago, this sham of an HB 2 repeal "deal," which has the blessing of both Governor Cooper and the man he beat in November, passed the Senate on a 32–16 vote. If you’re having trouble making that out, the Democratic noes were: Jay Chaudhuri of Wake; Don Davis of Greene, Lenoir, Pitt, and Wayne; Valerie Foushee of Chatham and Orange; Jeff Jackson of Mecklenburg; Floyd McKissick of Durham and Granville; and Mike Woodard of Durham, Caswell, and Person. The other Democrats, like Cooper, seem to have misplaced their spines—if they ever had spines to begin with....

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Durham Man Detained By ICE Has Been Moved Out of State

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Edwin Reyes-Guillen, an undocumented immigrant detained in Durham Tuesday while law enforcement was looking for a different man near his brother's apartment, has been moved to a South Carolina jail. Reyes-Guillen, twenty-six, was being held at the Forsyth County Detention Facility until Wednesday, when he was moved to the York County Detention Center in York, South Carolina. Jail records show he was booked there at about three-thirty p.m., and a jail employee confirmed this morning that he was still there. Reyes-Guillen was taken into custody at Duke Manor apartments early Tuesday morning by a U.S. Marshals Task Force, which...

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This HB 2 Repeal Is Bullshit and Roy Cooper Is Selling Us Out

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 9:00 AM

First, read HB 142 for yourself. It’s short. I’ll wait.  Here are the key takeaways of this “reset”: 1) HB 2’s prohibition on local governments and state agencies regulating bathroom access remains, although HB 2’s unenforceable requirement that people use public facilities that conform to their gender identity is gone. 2) HB 2’s preemptions of local nondiscrimination and living wage ordinances are still there, at least until December 2020, although the sixteen NDOs that existed before HB 2 will go back into effect. In addition, local governments’ ability to require their contractors to not discriminate has been restored. How is...

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Bill Would Protect Hog Farmers From Lawsuits; Activists and Neighbors Aren’t Pleased

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 7:43 AM

State Representative Jimmy Dixon, R-Wayne and Duplin, the first to speak during a packed committee hearing inside the legislature Wednesday, kicked things off with a rather strange request. “I want to take us back a few years, to 1859, when soon-to-be President Abraham Lincoln addressed the opening day of the Wisconsin Agriculture Fair,” he said. “I will use that as a springboard in explaining this bill.” It’s an apt metaphor for the state Republican Party these days: Why go forward when you could go 150 years back? The irony didn't go unnoticed. “I was hoping that you would...

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Berger: HB 2 Deal Reached. Debate Scheduled for Thursday Morning.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 11:05 PM

After an up and down day (and night) that seemingly saw the death of an HB 2 repeal, state Senate leader Phil Berger tweeted this: The announcement? A deal has been reached. Here is what we’re hearing it looks like: In short, it’s not much of a compromise at all, and it’s not entirely clear that this would satisfy the NCAA. The bathroom provision of HB 2 remains intact. So too does the preemption of local nondiscrimination or wage ordinances, at least until December 2020. It’s basically HB 2 with another name. According to Berger, this should all...

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Family of Durham Man Detained Tuesday by ICE Despite Not Having a Deportation Order Talk About His Controversial Arrest

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 6:26 PM

Mario Ramon-Reyes’s little brother was snatched away before his eyes. Sitting in his living room Wednesday, he says he’d feel better if he’d been the one abruptly taken away by a U.S. Marshals task force and sent to the Forsyth County Detention Facility. Ramon-Reyes is the brother of Edwin Reyes-Guillen, who is now facing deportation after officers detained him instead of the wanted murderer they were looking for at Duke Manor apartments Tuesday morning. It was Reyes-Guillen’s first encounter with Immigration and Customs Enforcement since he came to North Carolina from Honduras four years ago. He has no known criminal...

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ICE’s Explanation for Rounding Up Immigrant at Duke Manor Tuesday: He Was There

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 1:56 PM

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has given the INDY an explanation for why an undocumented immigrant with no deportation order or outstanding criminal charges or warrants in Durham was detained at Duke Manor apartments Tuesday morning: he was there. ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed Wednesday that Edwin Leonel Reyes-Guillen was taken into custody Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force, of which ICE is a member. It was Reyes-Guillen's first encounter with ICE, Cox said. Here's the full statement provided by Cox (emphasis and link added): “The U.S. Marshals Joint Fugitive Task Force, of which ICE is a member,...

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Alerta Migratoria: Immigrant 'Violently' Detained at Durham Apartment

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 10:24 AM

An immigrant advocacy group says law enforcement "violently" detained a man at Duke Manor apartments in Durham early Tuesday morning. Alerta Migratoria posted a video of officers wearing vests marked "Police" and "U.S. Marshal" detaining a man the group identified as Edwin Leonel Reyes. Here is a video of the encounter, according to the group: Jail records show that Reyes, twenty-six, was booked into the Forsyth County jail Tuesday as an "INS inmate." As of nine forty-five this morning, he was still in custody, a Detention Facility employee confirmed. The video shows Reyes lying on the ground on his back outside...

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The Morning Roundup: Raleigh Father of Seven Faces Deportation, the Never-Ending HB 2 Saga Continues

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 8:58 AM

The week is halfway home. Let's dig in. 1) NCAA makes threat re: HB 2. GOP agrees to "deal." Governor says there was no deal. The NCAA threw down the gauntlet Tuesday morning—telling the legislature it had forty-eight hours to kill HB 2 unless it wanted to lose hosting rights to all NCAA championships through 2022. Things got pretty crazy after that. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore held a press conference to announce they agreed, "in principle," with a compromise offered by Governor Cooper. There's just one catch. Cooper denies ever formally offering a deal. Here's...

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Tonight: Vigil for Raleigh Father of Seven Facing Deportation

Posted By on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 at 8:27 AM

Community members will host a vigil tonight for Vicente Marcial Noyola, a local father of seven U.S. citizen children who is currently being held at the Wake County Detention Center. Noyola was detained on March 7 after failing to appear in court for driving with a revoked license, according to the advocacy group Alerta Migratoria. Although they say Noyola didn't know he was supposed to go to court, police nabbed him in front of his children before they headed to school that morning, armed with a warrant for his arrest. "We saw all of it, me and my brothers, we...

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Another Bizarre Chapter in the HB 2 Saga

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 8:57 PM

When the NCAA put the legislature on the clock today—demanding a repeal of HB 2 under threat of pulling all sports championships from North Carolina through 2022 should the law not be killed within forty-eight hours—nobody could have guessed (OK, some of you probably did) that the state would find itself in another boondoggle by this evening. But it happened. And it's bizarre. So let's navigate this thing together, shall we? It started with a press conference—Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore agreeing "in principle" to a "deal" they say was proposed by Governor Roy Cooper. Essentially,...

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Two Detention Officers Fired After a Man Dies Inside the Wake County Jail

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 3:35 PM

An inmate at Wake County jail died Friday after being found unresponsive in his cell two days earlier, sheriff's officials said. Two employees at the Hammond Road jail have been fired in the wake of the incident, but Sheriff Donnie Harrison says he’s still looking for answers about how the young man died. Eighteen-year-old Jose Humberto Lara-Pineda was taken to the Wake County Detention Center March 21 after being charged with murder in connection with the strangulation death of Fredys Odilo Del Cid Ramos, twenty-eight, Raleigh police officials said. Harrison terminated master detention officers Steven McKoy and Jowanna Mitchell after...

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Alleging Retaliation and Discrimination, a Former Durham County Deputy Manager Is Suing After Her Pay Was Cut in Half

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 2:13 PM

A former Durham County deputy manager is suing the county, saying the current manager, Wendell Davis, demoted her and cut her pay inhalf as retaliation after the two competed for the county manager role. Marqueta Welton worked for Durham County in different roles from September 19, 2005, until her resignation on December 28, 2016. Welton filed a civil suit on Thursday, naming the county, the Board of Commissioners, Davis, and human resources director Kathy Everett-Perry as defendants. In the suit, Welton says her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated, and she is seeking damages for the pay cut,...

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