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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thomas Farr's Nomination to Federal Judgeship Goes Before Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 2:16 PM

President Donald Trump's controversial nomination of Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr as a federal district judge in Eastern North Carolina goes before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday. If the committee OKs his nomination, Farr would only require a vote by the full Senate to assume the influential post. North Carolina's U.S. senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, have praised Farr as an expert lawyer and, in Burr's case, as "a good man," a phrase he used before the committee's first consideration of Farr in October.  Emails to Farr, Burr, and Tillis seeking comment were not immediately returned Wednesday. Farr's nomination...

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Are You Enjoying Your Snow Day? These 18 Images from Around the Triangle Say You Should Be.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Want us to add your pic? Send an IG link to jbillman@indyweek.com. [embed-10] [embed-11] [embed-12] [embed-13] [embed-14] [embed-15] [embed-16] [embed-17] [embed-18]...

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Return of Del Burns as Interim Superintendent Recalls Years of Wake School Uproar

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 11:52 AM

The return of Del Burns as interim superintendent of Wake County's public schools recalls the rowdy days of 2009, when a new Republican majority took over the school board. In those days, school board meetings could last for eleven hours, and arrests of protesters, including the Reverend William Barber II, offered a preview of Moral Mondays and other demonstrations. Burns, who began his education career as an Aldert Root Elementary School teacher, started as superintendent in 2006 and resigned in 2010, saying he could no longer "in good conscience" serve the Wake schools.  The school board announced Tuesday that...

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What “Shithole-Gate” Has Wrought: Quite Possibly, a Government Shutdown on Friday

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 8:37 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. In yesterday’s Primer, I talked a bit about how Donald Trump’s racist vulgarity had derailed immigration talks and threatened to shut down the government on Friday. With an immigration deal off the table, and with Republicans not having enough votes to avoid a shutdown without Democratic help, Republicans are now trying to lure Dems to support a short-term funding measure in exchange...

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Happy Snow Day, Everyone!

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 8:27 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. It’s just begun snowing at my house in Durham, but the forecasters seem pretty damn sure as much as five inches is coming. As I wrote yesterday, don’t freak out. Everything will be fine. Even so, last night Governor Cooper took the preemptive step of declaring a state of emergency, and most school districts in the Triangle and Sandhills announced...

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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out.

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 3:02 PM

When you wake up tomorrow, there will be snow on the ground. It’s OK. Everything will be fine. The latest forecast calls for somewhere between one and three inches of the stuff—maybe a little more—by tomorrow morning. It will fall steadily until about noon, with flurries in the afternoon and skies clearing overnight. Much of the Triangle will shut down. There will be a run on milk and bread. Tomorrow, you should stay off the roads if at all possible—not because a couple of inches is inherently a big deal, but because everybody around here forgets how to drive after the...

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The Cooper Administration Wants Work Requirements for Some Medicaid Recipients

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 9:29 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Last week, the Trump administration signaled that it would allow states to impose work requirements on able-bodied recipients of Medicaid, the program that provides health care to the poor, disabled, and children of low-income parents; the administration granted the first waiver to the work-requirement prohibition to Kentucky on Friday. In November, Governor Cooper’s Department of Health and Human Services sought its own...

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The Federal Government Could Shut Down Friday, and You Can Thank Donald Trump’s Racism

Posted By on Tue, Jan 16, 2018 at 9:25 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. The problem with Donald Trump’s racism isn’t just the racism itself, although it’s bad enough for the leader of the free world to be a bigot. (Sorry, but if you’re still claiming he’s not a racist, you’re deluding yourself.) It’s that his racism has real-world consequences. For example: His most recent outburst, in which he called Haiti and countries in Africa “shitholes,”...

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Friday, January 12, 2018

You’ll Soon Be Getting Less News in Your Facebook News Feed

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 8:59 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Yesterday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced big changes to the algorithm Facebook uses to determine what posts you see and what you don’t (a moving target that is a big source of frustration among media organizations). From the NYT: “Facebook has introduced sweeping changes to the kinds of posts, videos and photos that its more than two billion members will see most...

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Donald Trump Is a Stone-Cold Racist, Full Stop

Posted By on Fri, Jan 12, 2018 at 8:52 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Thursday could have been—should have been—a banner day for the Trump administration. Senators were nearing a bipartisan deal to protect Dreamers. Fiat Chrysler, crediting the recently passed corporate tax cut, announced that it was moving jobs back to Michigan from Mexico. Walmart, the nation’s largest employer, announced that it was increasing its minimum wage to $11 an hour (still poverty-level, but...

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Reverend Barber Slams Thomas Farr in Time Magazine; NCGOP Calls It "Race-baiting"

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 6:40 PM

The Rev. William Barber II again took up his campaign against Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr's nomination to a federal court seat Thursday, this time using the pages of Time magazine to criticize as "moral poison" President Donald Trump's choice of Farr. Former state NAACP chair Barber, a Goldsboro pastor, is increasingly operating on a national platform. In late December he appeared on the op-ed page of the New York Times, also to oppose Farr's appointment to a federal  Judgeship in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Barer cited Farr's past association with Sen. Jesse Helms and his advocacy for voting-rights legislation that...

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What Fresh Hell Is This Fayetteville Child Slave Labor Fish Market Story?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 8:59 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. The N&O had an insane story yesterday out of Fayetteville, where police had arrested four (and were seeking six others) on charges that they used child slave labor to run a series of fish markets. “Lt. Sean E. Swain, public information officer for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, said that the department got a report in February 2017 that ‘an alternative religious group’...

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Today’s Big Story: Trump Tells Republicans to “Take Control” of the Russia Investigation

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 8:55 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Yesterday, the president of the United States—whose campaign aides have been indicted, whose family and associates are under investigation for collusion, and who himself is being investigated for possible obstruction of justice in the firing of former FBI director James Comey—took advantage of his Executive Time to get on Twitter and tell Republicans “they should finally take control!” of the investigation. ...

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Two Durham City Council Applicants Bow Out Ahead of Interviews

Posted By on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 at 6:33 AM

A public input meeting on who should fill the vacant Durham City Council seat saw two applicants withdraw their names from consideration in recognition of a tide toward appointing a Latinx council member. The decision by Carl Rist and Shelia Ann Huggins to remove themselves from the running narrows down the field of candidates who will be interviewed by the council Thursday night to five. "This will be a very difficult decision for this council," said Mayor Steve Schewel. "We will do our best." The remaining applicants seeking the at-large seat that opened up when Schewel was elected mayor are...

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

GOP Claims That Fusion GPS’s Research into Trump-Russia Collusion Was a Hit Job Are Falling Apart

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:26 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Last week, Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Charles Grassley made a criminal referral to the FBI, asking the feds to investigate former British spy Christoper Steele, who contracted with Fusion GPS to investigate the Trump camp’s ties to Russia in 2016. Also last week, the former journalists behind Fusion GPS asked the Senate to release the transcript of Fusion founder Glenn Simpson’s...

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Yet Another Court Found N.C.’s Gerrymanders Unconstitutional. We Should Really Do Something About That.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 10, 2018 at 9:15 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Big, big #ncpol news out of Raleigh yesterday. A federal court has struck the congressional districts the General Assembly drew in 2016—to replace congressional districts that had previously been ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders—were themselves unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. A three-judge panel gave the NCGA until January 29 to solve the problem. This decision, of course, comes at a federal court in the Triad...

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Farr's Nomination to Face Judiciary Committee Including Senators Booker, Harris; Consent Decree Against GOP Ballot Security Efforts Lifted

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 5:29 PM

Two events this week—one immediate and one spanning decades—present links to the nomination of Raleigh lawyer Thomas Farr to a federal judiciary seat in Eastern North Carolina. In the newest development, Senator Cory Booker, D–New Jersey, and Senator Kamala Harris, D-California, were named members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, becoming the first African-American members of the powerful panel since the 1990s. The committee retains a GOP majority but adds two voices likely to be raised against Farr's nomination when it again comes before the group. “The Congressional Black Caucus could not be more proud of both of our Senate members...

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A New Committee Will Consider What to Do With Durham's Dismantled Confederate Monument

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:47 PM

A new committee will take on the questions of what to do with Durham's now-dismantled Confederate monument and what monuments in Durham should memorialize going forward. Wendy Jacobs, chairwoman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners, and Durham Mayor Steve Schewel headed up an effort to establish a monument committee after the statue of a Confederate soldier was pulled from its base by protesters this summer. The mangled figure of the soldier is sitting in a county warehouse, while its stone base still stands in front of the former county courthouse on Main Street. The committee will consist of two...

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Triangle Immigration Advocates Condemn Trump Administration's Decision to End TPS for Salvadoran Immigrants

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:42 PM

The Triangle-based advocacy group El Pueblo condemned the Trump administration's decision yesterday to end temporary protected status, or TPS, for Salvadorans living in the United States. The humanitarian program, which shields people fleeing armed conflict and natural disasters from deportation and allows them to obtain work permits, has provided legal protection for nearly two hundred thousand Salvadorans since a devastating pair of earthquakes struck the country in 2001. Now, the decision—effective September 2019—will force Salvadorans here under TPS to return to El Salvador, a country wracked by gang violence and home to one of the most violent cities in the...

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Well, That Sucks: The Dalai Lama Is Not Coming to Raleigh Next Year After All

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 12:39 PM

There’s been a change in His Holiness’s schedule. From a press release that just arrived in my inbox.  The following statement is issued to all NC media on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 on behalf of Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane and the Local Organizing Committee for the Visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama: His Holiness the Dalai Lama (HHDL) has informed Mayor Nancy McFarlane in a letter that because of a change in his schedule, he has cancelled all travel to the United States in 2018. He left open the possibility of visiting the U.S. next year. In her response,...

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People's Alliance Makes Its Durham Council Vacancy Pick

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 12:02 PM

The People's Alliance PAC has endorsed Javiera Caballero for the vacant at-large seat on the Durham City Council. Caballero, who works for an education consulting firm, is one of seven finalists chosen by the council to interview for the job. The council has been down one member since December, when Steve Schewel was sworn in as mayor, leaving open a council seat carrying a term that expires in 2019. Tom Miller, the PAC coordinator, says Caballero received the enforcement by "a very wide margin." "There was a very strong sentiment in the room that this appointment presented a rare and historic...

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Donald Trump Wants to Kick 200,000 Salvadoran Immigrants Out of the Country for No Good Reason

Posted By on Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 8:34 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Yesterday, the Trump administration announced that, come September 2019, it would no longer grant Salvadorans what’s called temporary protected status, a status that allows individuals who fled natural disasters or armed conflicts to stay in the U.S. legally and obtain a work permit. The White House has previously ended TPS for Haitians and will do so soon for Hondurans. This latest decision...

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Don't Let the Cold Front Fool You: North Carolina Just Had its Warmest Year on Record

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 3:51 PM

Yes, it's been dreadfully cold the past few days. But, seriously, don't let the cold snap fool you. North Carolina actually just had its warmest year on record, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, with an average temperature from January–December 2017 of 61.1 degrees, making it 2.6 degrees higher than the state’s twentieth-century average. North Carolina wasn't the only state to see record highs. Across the U.S., this was the third-warmest year since record-keeping began in 1895, and the twenty-first consecutive year that was warmer than average in the U.S. For the third year in...

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What the Hell Happened to Laura Riddick?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 9:38 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. Andy Specht had an interesting piece in the N&O this weekend that warrants some exploration. It looked former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick, who until last year was a widely respected, longtime public servant, but who now faces embezzlement charges. In short, the people who knew her are trying to figure what the hell happened to the person they knew....

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The Very Stable Genius Who Runs the Free World Works Less Than I Do

Posted By on Mon, Jan 8, 2018 at 9:31 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here. This weekend on Twitter, President Trump, responding to a Fox & Friends segment on reporters questioning the president’s mental acuity in light of revelations in Michael Wolff’s salacious Fire & Fury, declared himself “like, really smart” and a “very stable genius,” a proclamation that quickly met with widespread derision. (Wolff’s book says top Trump aides described him as an “idiot,” “dumb as...

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Most Recent Comments

Thanks for not sounding condescending!

by EasyEB on It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out. (News)

Well I think it's for the best. I wouldn't want his Holiness within 500 miles of the snake den that …

by Jim C. on Well, That Sucks: The Dalai Lama Is Not Coming to Raleigh Next Year After All (News)

I don't understand. Your headline says "Warmest Year on Record" but your graphic says that 1990 was equally warm. Shouldn't …

by Jim O'Hara on Don't Let the Cold Front Fool You: North Carolina Just Had its Warmest Year on Record (News)

- if they choose to decide to use rank-order, if majority vote
proves frustrating, thy should only rank their …

by Chris Tiffany on And the Finalists for the Vacant Durham City Council Seat Are ... (News)

Council was reluctant to use rank-order voting;
most opting for an alphabetic listing, although
only Middleton admitted (on …

by Chris Tiffany on And the Finalists for the Vacant Durham City Council Seat Are ... (News)

Comments

Thanks for not sounding condescending!

by EasyEB on It’s Going to Snow. Don’t Freak Out. (News)

Well I think it's for the best. I wouldn't want his Holiness within 500 miles of the snake den that …

by Jim C. on Well, That Sucks: The Dalai Lama Is Not Coming to Raleigh Next Year After All (News)

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