Daily dose

Tuesday News: Major demographic shift

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AS NC RURAL POPULATIONS DWINDLE, CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING WILL RADICALLY CHANGE: But as the biggest cities boom, 43 counties — mostly in rural areas — actually shrank between 2010 and 2018, according to census data. Many mid-sized cities are also struggling. The Rocky Mount area has been hardest-hit, losing several thousand people. And the home counties of places like Goldsboro, Wilson, Asheboro, Shelby, Wilkesboro and Morganton have experienced below-average population growth. But all of those population changes of the last decade — the urban booms and the rural losses — have been ignored when lawmakers have redrawn the political maps after the lawsuits in recent years. The law required that even the new congressional maps drawn just last month had to use population data from 2010. So the maps drawn in 2021 with new data could represent a sudden political jolt, in places large and small.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article237546444.html

Monday News: Code Yellow

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THREATS MADE TO FAYETTEVILLE HIGH SCHOOL OVER THE WEEKEND: Terry Sanford High School Principal Thomas Hatch informed parents and students of the threat in an automated message sent Sunday, according to The Fayetteville Observer. ″Law enforcement has been notified and is investigating the situation,” Hatch said. School officials are cooperating with law enforcement officials, Cumberland County Schools spokesman Lindsay Whitley said Sunday night. “We take any threat very seriously,” Whitley said. “School officials learned of the threat earlier (Sunday) evening and notified law enforcement immediately.” Whitley said, depending on the investigation, Terry Sanford High School could operate under a “code yellow,” status Monday morning, meaning there would be additional investigation and security at the school.
https://www.wral.com/threat-against-terry-sanford-high-school-in-fayetteville-could-affect-classes-m...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHY DID UNC GIVE MILLIONS TO A NEO-CONFEDERATE GROUP?: After years of protest, Silent Sam was pulled off its pedestal during a rally in August 2018. Since then, the university has hidden the statue in a secret location. The Daughters of the Confederacy recently handed over ownership to the North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans, which made clear that it intended to sue the university for control of the statue. Before it could, several members of the university system’s board, each appointed by the conservative state legislature, announced that not only would the group get the statue, but it would also get access to $2.5 million to be placed in a trust for the “care and preservation of the monument.” The board, and the university, claim that the settlement avoids a nasty legal battle and ensures that Silent Sam will no longer sit on school grounds. But legal details aside, how do you make a deal with a group that valorizes something so morally abhorrent as the Confederacy?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/03/opinion/unc-silent-sam.html

Saturday News: Lipstick on a pig

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UNC INTERIM CHANCELLOR PENS LETTER JUSTIFYING SAM SETTLEMENT: In a letter to the campus community, Guskiewicz explained that members of the Board of Governors negotiated and approved the settlement, which included a $2.5 million payment for the SCV to preserve and display the Confederate statue, through its governance committee. That committee met in private to discuss the solution before the lawsuit was filed. “The settlement ensures the monument will never return to campus, but issues of racism and injustice persist, and the University must confront them,” Guskiewicz said. “I now want to focus on our shared values of diversity, equity and inclusion, and I will continue to reject and condemn those individuals or groups who seek to divide us. We have a lot of work to do to thoroughly address and reconcile with our past.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article238118594.html

Friday News: A sign of progress

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CHRISTMAS PARADES AND CONFEDERATE FLAGS DON'T MIX: On Wednesday, Wake Forest became the second Wake County town in a week to cancel its Christmas parade over safety fears. Santa Claus was planning to come to town on Dec. 14, but Wake Forest officials canceled the parade for what is though to be the first time since it started more than 71 years ago. Town officials said they had received credible information that “extremist” groups on both sides of the issue of how — and whether — to preserve and interpret symbols of the Confederacy were making plans online to attend the parade. Crabtree said no one from either side made any threats, but the fear was that that dozens of people from the different groups would clash at the parade and that the situation could get out of hand. Because the town is a sponsor of the Christmas parade, Crabtree said, it can’t shut out a particular group from participating. In the future, he said, turning over the parade entirely to a private organization or a nonprofit community group would allow for closer scrutiny of who is allowed to join the parade.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article238067469.html

Thursday News: Rising tide of outrage

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UNC STUDENT GROUPS PLAN PROTEST OF SILENT SAM DEAL: De’Ivyion Drew, a sophomore at UNC who’s been active in the Silent Sam protests and a member of the campus safety commission, said the money is “way worse” than the statue being put back up. “There’s a lack of perspective from a person of color, particularly black people, who would prefer to have the statue back up than to have the Sons of Confederates or any white supremacy group get $2.5 million dollars,” Drew said at the meeting. Student activist groups, including the UNC Black Congress and the Black Student Movement, have planned a campus protest for Thursday afternoon on the theme that “‘Silent Sam is not ‘Resolved.’” The protest is about “UNC negotiating with and investing in white supremacy,” the group said on its Facebook page.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article238038574.html

Wednesday News: Take notes...

UNC PROFESSOR WILL TESTIFY ON CONSTITUTIONALITY OF IMPEACHMENT: Michael Gerhardt, a distinguished professor at the UNC School of Law, recently published “Impeachment: What Everyone Needs to Know.” He will testify Wednesday as the House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the constitutional grounds for impeaching President Trump. House Democrats, led by Adam Schiff, chairman of the Intelligence Committee, have been investigating Trump and his actions with Ukraine. The president denies what he did was improper. But Gerhardt won’t be on Capitol Hill to talk about what Trump said or didn’t say. He’s an expert on constitutional law and will be joined by three other law professors to discuss what the Constitution says about impeachment.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article238001664.html

Tuesday News: And they're off...

3-JUDGE PANEL APPROVES USE OF NEW CONGRESSIONAL MAP: North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t time to scrutinize the boundaries further for any left-over extreme partisan bias. The three-judge panel agreed it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps. “There's simply not sufficient time to fully develop the factual record necessary to decide the constitutional challenges to the new congressional districts without significantly delaying the primary elections,” Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway said from the bench. “It is time for the citizens to vote.”
https://www.wral.com/new-north-carolina-congress-map-up-for-state-judges-review/18806211/

Monday News: Because Freedom

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ORANGE COUNTY CHURCH SETS UP BAIL FUND FOR THE POOR: People have been incarcerated before trial after being accused of littering, trespassing and stealing a a rotisserie chicken from a grocery store. Some have pleaded guilty without due process so they could go home and go about their lives, according to a new group Orange County Bail/Bond Justice. The group is the latest organization in the Triangle area trying to change that by establishing a rotating $50,000 bail fund. Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill launched the project in January 2019. The bail fund will post a maximum bail of $3,000 for those who cannot afford to pay it. When these people show up for their court dates, the money will be returned to the fund for other people to use. The fund will only cover Orange County residents charged with crimes in Orange County, and the nonprofit will consider previous failures to appear in court when deciding whether or not to fund a person’s bail.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/orange-county/article237628324.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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BURR'S COMMITTEE WORK WASN'T A HOAX; HE NEEDS TO SAY SO: As a loyal and partisan Republican, Burr may want to stand with the president on the question of impeachment. But loyalty should not be blind. Burr needs to stand up for the work of his committee – one that he has proudly pointed to as a bipartisan effort to find and tell the truth about Russia’s efforts to manipulate U.S. politics and elections. Burr needs to set Reps. Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and Trump’s other reflexive defenders straight. He needs to call out the president, as well. Russian meddling is no hoax. It is, to paraphrase a witness from an impeachment inquiry long ago, a cancer on American politics that can’t be ignored and is wrong to deny. Richard Burr, for the sake of the nation, stand up for your work; the efforts of your committee; and most important THE TRUTH it uncovered.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-burr-s-committee-work-wasn-t-a-hoax-he-needs-to-say-so/18796565/

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