Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


FACTS & FIXES TO REALLY HELP NC'S UNEMPLOYED: A look at the fine print in the law, says any change in the number of weeks for benefits to be paid will be based on “the average of the seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for the state for the preceding months of January, February and March” for the change that would be made on July 1. With that standard, state law allows for NO change in the number of weeks benefits are paid. Why? Because – and here’s the math – the January unemployment rate was 3.6%. The February unemployment rate was 3.6% and the March unemployment rate was 4.4%. That comes to an average of 3.9% -- well below the 5.6% needed to add even another week – let alone the maximum to add an additional 8 weeks when the rate exceeds 9%. So, thanks to the clever bill authors in 2013, even though there’s likely to continue to be high unemployment rates – it won’t be until January 2021 that there’s any hope of increasing the number of weeks benefits are offered.

Saturday News: Right to live


JUDGE ORDERS NC PRISONS TO EXPLAIN COVID 19 PROTECTIONS FOR INMATES: A state judge on Friday demanded that North Carolina's prison system provide detailed information about how it's trying prevent the spread of the new coronavirus among offenders. “It is impossible for the court to determine whether specific practices and procedures undertaken at each of North Carolina's incarceration facilities comply with defendants' statutory and constitutional obligations,” Rozier wrote. He is seeking the information by May 8, after which he'll hold a hearing. Several prisoners and civil rights groups, which include the state NAACP and Disability Rights North Carolina, filed a petition three weeks ago with the state Supreme Court asking the justices to act. The Supreme Court dismissed the case but left open the door for the matter to be refiled in another court, Disability Rights attorney Susan Pollitt said Friday.

Sovereign Citizen Nutters Join Up With #ReOpenNC Nutters

Some of the Facebook groups I’m on have been monitoring the #ReopenNC Facebook pages and the pages of individuals associated with the movement. Besides the talk about violent threats, which have caused a split in the movement and led to near riots at the Michigan legislature and the NC Governor’s mansion, it looks like the extremist vortex of gun rights psychos, antivaxxer conspiracy theorists, evangelical zealots, and Karens who have to get their tips frosted during a worldwide health crisis have been joined by deranged Sovereign Citizens.

Friday News: Monumental screwup


AUTHOR OF REVISION TO NC SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM STILL A MYSTERY: DPI is distancing itself from the monument recommendation for third-grade students. Lori Carlin, DPI section chief for K-12 social studies and arts education, noted that students already learn about monuments in 4th- and 7th grades and in high school. “We were pleased with the objective in draft one and are unsure as to where or why the writing team determined a more specific focus was necessary for the 3rd grade,” Carlin said in an email. “At this time, we are recommending that draft 3 revert to the original language from draft 1.” Scioli, a social studies teacher at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, said they’ve been unable to find out how the changes were included because the teachers on the writing teams signed a confidentiality notice. “I think the lack of transparency in the process prevents us from feeling great about the process,” she said.


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