CHARTER ADVISORY BOARD INSISTS ON FIVE NEW WAKE CHARTERS: The N.C. Charter Schools Advisory Board voted a second time Monday to recommend approval for North Raleigh Charter Academy and Wake Preparatory Academy to open in 2020. The State Board of Education had sent both charters back to the advisory board for further review because of the last-minute concerns raised by Wake schools. North Raleigh Charter Academy is a K-8 charter school that would be managed by Charter Schools USA, a for-profit company that operates several schools in the state, including Cardinal Charter Academy in Cary. Wake Prep would be a K-12 school in Wake Forest that’s managed by a charter school operator who made millions of dollars building, selling and leasing properties to the schools he runs in Arizona. The state board is required under state law to decide by August whether to approve the two new schools. Last week, the board had voted to approve 10 charter schools to open in 2020, including three in Wake.
DUMPING ELECTRONICS IN LANDFILLS REMOVED FROM REGULATORY BILL: The legislature's annual attempt to reduce or alter North Carolina regulations has advanced through the Senate, absent a provision allowing landfills to accept computers and televisions again. The chamber voted 39-5 on Monday for the "Regulatory Reform Act of 2019" after a bill sponsor deleted language that would have repealed the landfill prohibition started in 2011. Supporters of such bans are worried about sheer numbers of TVs and computers and their chemicals. Recycling and disposal programs have declined and markets for such goods have taken a downturn. The measure now heading to the House also alters plumbing codes by increasing the number of people before a drinking fountain or toilet is required in construction. It also eases a monetary matching requirement for Charlotte Motor Speedway to access landfill cleanup funds.
EXPERT WITNESS SAYS 3 MUSLIMS SLAIN AT CONDO COMPLEX DUE TO ETHNICITY & RELIGION: "(W)hile it is impossible to offer definitive conclusions regarding whether and the degree to which Craig Hicks was influenced by intergroup bias," Sommers concluded, there is a reasonable likelihood that the three "were not simply random victims of the violent outburst of a neighbor frustrated over parking, but rather that their ethnic and religious backgrounds played a role in how Hicks perceived them, interacted with them and ultimately shot and killed them." Relatives of the victims said they believe the shootings were a hate crime. The slain women's father, psychiatrist Mohammad Abu-Salha, testified to a congressional hearing on hate crimes in April that Hicks had expressed hateful comments that his daughters were wearing head scarves in observance of their faith. "Three beautiful young Americans were brutally murdered and there is no question in our minds that this tragedy was born of bigotry and hate," Dr. Abu-Salha testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. "And because the climate of bigotry is getting worse, I am gravely worried that more tragedies will happen if action is not taken at all levels of government."
BIG SURPRISE, THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION IS INHERENTLY CORRUPT: Among the revelations that have burst into public view: CEO Wayne LaPierre racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in charges at a Beverly Hills clothing boutique and on foreign travel, invoices show. Oliver North, forced out as president after trying to oust LaPierre, was set to collect millions of dollars in a deal with the NRA’s now-estranged public relations agency, Ackerman McQueen, according to LaPierre. And the NRA’s outside attorney reaped “extraordinary” legal fees that totaled millions of dollars in the past year, according to North. The dueling allegations, coupled with multimillion-dollar shortfalls in recent years and an ongoing investigation by the New York attorney general, threaten the potency of the NRA, long a political juggernaut and a close ally of President Trump. “In 25 years of working in this field, I have never seen a pattern like this,” said Douglas Varley, a Washington attorney at Caplin & Drysdale who specializes in tax-exempt organizations and reviewed the NRA’s federal and state filings from 2016 through 2018 for The Washington Post. “The volume of transactions with insiders and affiliates of insiders is really astonishing.”
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TRIES TO BLOCK CLIMATE TESTIMONY, PURGES CONGRESSIONAL RECORD: The White House tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony this week, internal emails and documents show. The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research declined to make changes to the proposed testimony and the analyst, Rod Schoonover, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, was ultimately allowed to speak before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday. But in a highly unusual move, the White House refused to approve Dr. Schoonover’s written testimony for entry into the permanent Congressional Record. The reasoning, according to a June 4 email seen by The New York Times, was that the science did not match the Trump administration’s views. A White House spokesman said the administration did not comment on internal policy reviews. The National Security Council did not respond to requests for comment, and a spokesman for the State Department referred questions to the White House.