Daily dose

Wednesday News: Whatever, Dude

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TRUMP TWEETS HE IS MOVING RNC FROM CHARLOTTE: “Because of @NC_Governor, we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.” Cooper responded on Twitter with a similar message that he had delivered throughout the day. “We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and it’s unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority,” Cooper tweeted Tuesday night. Cooper said Tuesday that he could not guarantee the “full convention” envisioned by Trump and convention organizers that included 19,000 people in attendance at the Spectrum Center and nearby bars and restaurants operating at capacity. Cooper said it was “very unlikely” that Republicans could have the convention they had envisioned and offered to work on a scaled-down version.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243221171.html

Tuesday News: Peace out

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RALEIGH PROTESTERS DISPERSE AS CURFEW DESCENDS: As the 8 p.m. curfew approached, police began demanding that protesters leave. “You are ordered to disperse immediately and return to your homes,” a police vehicle blared. “Failure to comply will result in your arrest.“ Most of the protesters departed, some on bikes and skateboards. A couple dozen remained at the capitol building, kneeling with their hands up. One man paced in front of officers wearing neon vests and guardsmen in fatigues. But shortly after 9 p.m., even they were gone, leaving only some water bottles behind. The curfew, which applies to the entire city, will run from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily until it is rescinded. It requires people to stay home except for medical emergencies and a few other exempt employees.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article243162591.html

Monday News: Tinderbox

NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYS TO RALEIGH DURING SECOND NIGHT OF UNREST: Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Wake County Courthouse on Sunday; more filled the streets around the Capitol. Confrontations between police and protesters began early in the evening as police fired tear gas to scatter a crowd, and continued until well after midnight. At almost 12:30 a.m. Monday, the Raleigh Police Department announced that the National Guard had been deployed. From 7 p.m. until midnight, downtown Raleigh was a running series of confrontations between protesters and police that eventually deteriorated into widespread vandalism and street fires. Around downtown, windows were broken at more offices and businesses — at least a few of the same ones that had been broken into on Saturday. Several young men broke in to the Reliable Jewelry and Loan shop on Wilmington Street. Throughout the evening, protesters diffused confrontations and de-escalated situations among themselves. Some protesters knocked down a metal barrier outside the governor’s mansion, others put it back upright.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article243145206.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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TWO BILLS ADDRESS CRITICAL NEEDS TO HELP SCHOOLS REOPEN: One proposal calls for $480 million to school districts to hire more counselors, social workers and psychologists – where schools are already chronically understaffed -- to address trauma caused or exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. The other would provide $102 million to make sure there is at least one nurse in each of the state’s public schools. There are great concerns, and rightly so, about the academic status of students. They’ve been away from the classroom since mid-March. While efforts to use broadband to bring the classroom to student homes have been laudable, too many students lack access. But the time away has surely taken an emotional and psychological toll on many students. There is the money. Legislators have boasted about their multi-billion-dollar rainy day fund. There are also federal funds that can be used. This is what North Carolina schools and children need now. No excuses.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/editorial-two-bills-address-critical-needs-to-help-schools-reopen/1...

Saturday News: It's a simple question

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COHEN ASKS RNC ABOUT CROWD SIZE EXPECTED AT CHARLOTTE CONVENTION: Facing a looming deadline, North Carolina health officials Friday pressed Republican leaders for more detail on how they’d keep visitors and the city safe at this summer’s GOP National Convention. Among other things, state Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen asked convention officials how many people were expected each night of the convention in Charlotte’s Spectrum Center and whether they would be socially distanced. She also asked whether they have a plan for masks, social distancing and other safety measures at the hundreds of parties and events surrounding the convention. The Republican response could determine whether the convention, two years in the planning, will stay in Charlotte or go elsewhere. For now it’s scheduled to begin Aug. 24 at the Spectrum Center. Organizers plan to start a major renovation of the arena in mid-July.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243084126.html

Friday News: Planned outbreak

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RNC LETTER TO COOPER DOES NOT MENTION MASKS OR SOCIAL DISTANCING: Cooper’s office said Thursday evening that the letter doesn’t constitute a plan. “We are still waiting for a plan from the RNC, but our office will work with state health officials to review the letter and share a response tomorrow,” said Sadie Weiner, Cooper’s communications director. Convention organizers are asking Cooper to approve several preliminary safety protocols, including daily online health care questionnaires, pre-travel healthy surveys, thermal scans of all mandatory attendees prior to boarding sanitized, pre-arranged transportation and health checks before attendees can enter the arena. It does not mention social distancing or face coverings, which have been used to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. With Cooper’s approval, RNC officials will further develop a detailed plan for the convention.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article243064246.html

Thursday News: It rolls uphill, sometimes

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LEADERSHIP SHAKEUP AT DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY: Gov. Roy Cooper's administration changed out the top leader in the state's unemployment office Wednesday in a surprise announcement. Assistant Secretary for the Division of Employment Security Lockhart Taylor, a career employee at DES, is out. Pryor Gibson, a former lawmaker who had been directing a rural development program for the administration, is the new assistant secretary, effective immediately. Taylor will "assume a different role at the Department of Commerce with separate duties and responsibilities," Secretary of Commerce Tony Copeland said in a news release announcing the change. WRAL News is seeking more information on what precipitated the move. All the governor's press office had to say on the matter Wednesday was that "the governor has directed the Department of Commerce to take actions necessary to address this unprecedented crisis and get more unemployment benefits faster to people who need help now."
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/head-of-nc-unemployment-office-replaced-in-surprise-announcement/19...

Wednesday News: Here we go again

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GYM OWNERS TO FILE LAWSUIT SO THEY CAN REOPEN: Local gym owners plan to file a lawsuit against Gov. Roy Cooper on Wednesday. Many gym owners say being kept closed is unconstitutional and harmful, not helpful. Robin Gardner-Smith and Ed Smith, who own about a dozen Fit4Life health clubs across the state, are among the plaintiffs in the pending lawsuit. They maintain that the state's restrictions are unconstitutional, violating their right to earn a living. Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen said they’re trying to prevent a spike in the number of cases, but gym owners say it's not fair to pick and choose which businesses can open. Regardless of the outcome of the gym lawsuit, Smith and his wife said they plan to reopen Fit4Life next Monday. Other gym owners have already reopened, based on videos and statements posted on social media.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/we-re-smart-people-gym-owners-to-file-lawsuit-against-phase-2-restr...

Tuesday News: Blowhard

TRUMP'S THREAT TO MOVE RNC QUESTIONED BY CHARLOTTE REPUBLICAN: President Donald Trump threatened Monday morning to move August’s Republican National Convention from Charlotte if the state is not able to commit to “full attendance” at the convention. Charlotte City Council member Ed Driggs, a Republican, questioned Trump’s authority to pull the convention himself. Charlotte’s contract is with the GOP’s Committee on Arrangements. He said he doubted that any other city could put together a convention now given the two-year process Charlotte has undertaken, including arranging a venue, hotel space and related contracts. Driggs noted that the City Council already accepted a $50 million federal security grant for the convention in April. “I think this is the kind of thing that happens in politics, where, and particularly the president is known for dramatic gestures,” Driggs said. “I don’t know whether that tweet by him is supported by the Republican Party and all the people with whom we have been in negotiation for a couple of years.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article242977161.html

Monday News: Clear and present danger

HUSBAND OF REOPENC LEADER ASKS IF GROUP IS READY TO KILL IN VIDEO: With the ReOpenNC group planning protests in five North Carolina cities on Memorial Day, the husband of one of the group’s founders published a Facebook video that says violence shouldn’t be ruled out. “Are we willing to kill people? Are we willing to lay our lives down? We have to say yes,” Adam Smith said in a Facebook Live video posted on Friday. Later in the 17-minute video, he said, “If you bring force, we’re gonna bring force. If you bring guns, we’re gonna bring guns. If you’re armed with this, we’re gonna be armed with this.” Ashley Smith said her husband is an ex-Marine who remains “willing to die for all of you too,” as he was when he was enlisted. Adam Smith was also present along with other armed Blue Igloo demonstrators in downtown Raleigh on May 16. Blue Igloo is likely a play on the word “Boogaloo,” which the Anti-Defamation League describes as a slang term for a coming civil war.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article242971806.html

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