Daily dose

Tuesday News: Criminal negligence


32 YEAR-OLD INMATE DIES FROM SODIUM DEFICIENCY IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: A 32-year-old man died early Saturday in the custody of the N.C. Department of Public Safety, and his family fears his death was the result of inadequate medical care while he was in solitary confinement. Marsik, her daughter, Christina, and her two other sons, William and Justin, went to Duke on Friday to see Jedlica. They were told he was brain-dead, and had been so since he was picked up by ambulance from the prison. He was shackled to the bed by his left wrist and right ankle. Family members said two prison guards remained in the room at all times. Marsik and her children said a Duke doctor who worked on Jedlica told them his brain was severely swollen and that it was likely the result of extremely low sodium levels found in his blood. The family said the doctor told them there were no signs of head injury that would explain the brain swelling.

Monday News: You win, you lose

TWO MEN SHOT AFTER WINNING IN RALEIGH SWEEPSTAKES PARLOR: Two men were shot early Monday after winning money at a Raleigh sweepstakes parlor. According to officials, the two victims were shot while sitting inside their car in the parking lot of The Palace, a sweepstakes parlor off Capital Boulevard. The two men had just won money, and the shooting was fueled by a robbery, officials said. The victims were able to get away. They got help when they spotted police officers near New Bern Avenue and Corporation Parkway. The men were taken to WakeMed with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the arm and leg. They were released by 5 a.m.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


NC CEOS: NOW'S THE TIME TO EXPAND MEDICAID: As business leaders in the State of North Carolina, we know firsthand that a strong workforce is essential to North Carolina’s economy. We also know that employee health is a big contributor to the strength of our workforce. A big contributor to good health is having insurance. People with health insurance are more likely to see a doctor when they get sick and have better overall health. And healthier employees are more productive and absent less. Unfortunately, 13 percent of North Carolinians under 65 are uninsured. These are our neighbors - they are construction workers, retail employees, restaurant workers, veterans and farmers; they are the bedrock of our communities. Currently, a family of four with working parents cannot earn more than $9,000 to qualify for Medicaid. But they earn too little to qualify for federal subsidies to buy their own insurance. They fall into a coverage gap.

Saturday News: GOP War on Women continues


HOUSE BUDGET GIVES $1.2 MILLION TO ANTI-ABORTION ORGANIZATION: Under Health and Human Services’ budget, an anti-abortion nonprofit called the Human Coalition would receive $1.2 million to expand a pilot program statewide. Money would be used to “encourage healthy childbirth, support childbirth as an alternative to abortion, promote family formation, assist in establishing successful parenting techniques, and increase the economic self-sufficiency of families.” When the budget came through committee, Rep. Gale Adcock and Rep. Julie Von Haefen, both Wake County Democrats, raised questions. Von Haefen wanted to know who would oversee spending for the group, which would provide “crisis pregnancy” services.

Friday News: An ill wind blows in Raleigh


HARRY BROWN'S NEWEST ATTACK ON WIND ENERGY SURVIVES COMMITTEE: The bill’s main proponent, Republican Sen. Harry Brown of Jacksonville, said the wind turbine ban is needed to protect airspace for military test flights and to keep military installations in the state. Critics said the bill is unnecessary because the Department of Defense already makes sure that planned wind facilities won’t interfere with military flights. An 18-month moratorium on new wind turbines in the state, which Brown pushed two years ago, stalled a wind project that a Charlottesville, Va., company called Apex Clean Energy is planning in Chowan County. All of Chowan is in the restricted zone, and a ban could kill the project. Senate Bill 377 cleared the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee on a close voice vote. The committee chairman did not ask for an exact tally, and one of the Republican members said later that he did not vote.

Thursday News: May Day is a call for help

NC TEACHERS MARCH ON RALEIGH TO DEMAND MORE RESOURCES: “I started crying when we were marching,” said Jennifer Collins, testing coordinator at Cleveland High School in Johnston County. “It was so emotional seeing everyone marching together for the same reason.” Teachers came for the event from across the state, united by some of the same concerns. A trio of teachers from Wayne County said they represented many rural counties where some school employees are required to have commercial drivers’ licenses so they can drive school buses when necessary. “I drive a bus at least two times a week,” said Isaac Davenport, who teaches agricultural education and voluntarily drives a bus. Organizers hoped the May 1 “Day of Action” organized by the N.C. Association of Educators would surpass the crowd at last year’s protest and build on the momentum that they credit with helping to mobilize voters in last fall’s election to break Republican supermajorities in the legislature.

Wednesday News: Strike one...

DON DAVIS JOINS REPUBLICAN SENATORS IN VETO OVERRIDE: “We don’t need to create this law because it feeds a false narrative, of these incidents occurring,” Sen. Floyd McKissick, a Durham Democrat, said Tuesday in a speech in the Senate debate. In his original veto message, Cooper wrote that babies are already protected by existing laws and called the bill “an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients.” The bill originally passed the Senate 28-19, with several Republicans absent that day. All but two Democrats voted no originally — Sen. Ben Clark of Hoke County and Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County. But on Tuesday, all the Republicans were present for the vote. And even though Clark switched on Tuesday to side with Cooper, Davis provided the final vote that Republicans needed to override the veto.

Tuesday News: Protecting the gun?


REPUBLICANS BLOCK AMENDMENT GIVING JUDGES MORE DISCRETION TO REMOVE GUNS IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES: Morey, a former judge, wanted to add a fifth factor that would allow a judge to consider all evidence presented in court in determining whether the continued access to firearms would pose a threat in a domestic violence case. "We're trying to protect families. We're trying to protect victims," she said, adding that the surrender of firearms is temporary and that defendants can petition to reclaim their firearms. But Rep. Sarah Stevens, R-Surry, said Morey's proposal was too broad and would allow judges to "take someone's guns away" for practically any reason. Rep. Allen McNeill, R-Randolph, agreed the amendment would give judges "carte blanche to seize" firearms. Rep. Robert Reives, D-Chatham, noted that judges have discretion to remove children from a home if a domestic violence situation poses a threat, and it would be ridiculous not to give them the same discretion when it comes to removing firearms.

Monday News: Pay attention to the teachers


NCAE HAS RELEASED LIST OF DEMANDS BEFORE MAY 1 RALLY: Looking forward, the NCAE has identified the following priorities for this year's rally on May 1: Provide enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals to meet national professional-to-student standards. Provide a $15 minimum wage for all school personnel, a 5 percent raise for all ESPs (non-certified staff), teachers, administrators, and a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. Expand Medicaid. Reinstate state retiree health benefits eliminated by the General Assembly in 2017. Restore advanced degree compensation stripped by the General Assembly in 2013.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


DEAF TO TEACHERS? LEGISLATORS POISED TO SHORT--CHANGE PUBLIC EDUCATION: A House appropriations subcommittee unveils details today of a skimpy education budget. It offers up less than a 1-percent boost next year for North Carolina’s public schools, community colleges and universities. The constitutional requirement for access to quality education – a “right” in our state – is not being met and it is the General Assembly’s failure. Per-student spending ranks among the lowest in the South and the nation. Teacher pay, when adjusted for inflation, is less today than it was in 2009. While the legislature scrimps its constitutional duties, it finds plenty of money to spend on unnecessary tax breaks for corporations. The latest is a proposed $140 million annual cut in the franchise tax. That’s on top of $2.5 billion in corporate tax cutting that has already been enacted over the last five years. All that comes at a cost of meeting the VERY BASIC needs of North Carolinians.


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