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.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s River of Cash

Money in politics is as American as apple pie — or, perhaps, as North Carolina as pulled pork and cheerwine. A wave of money is crashing over the bank accounts of North Carolina’s legislative candidates this year — well over $2 million just as of mid-February. Right now, North Carolina’s corporate PAC network is mobilizing to protect the newly vulnerable Republican legislative majority this fall. Enormous sums are pouring into low-profile legislative races in ways that threaten to distort our elections, and most North Carolina voters remain totally unaware.

Day 73

One of three scenarios will emerge as the dominant race-war narrative over the next few weeks.

1. Violence and destruction is mostly the result of white people trying to stir up a race war.

2. Violence and destruction is mostly the result of black people who are fed up from being terrorized by white people and, especially, police departments.

3. Both sides are equally guilty of causing violence and destruction.

Which do you think it will be?

State Senate Candidate Among List of Politicians Accused of Abusing Power to Benefit from Opportunity Zones

tommy hester, thomas hester, district 3, opportunity zones, vance county, investigation, abuse of power, senate candidate,

Opportunity Zones were created in 2018 to encourage new investment in poor areas by offering huge tax shelters for rich investors. But Vance County officials are crying foul as a county commissioner successfully nominated a small tract that includes his own commercial properties as the county’s only opportunity zone.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


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.

COVID 19 and nursing homes: The perfect storm

As you have probably heard, the City of Burlington has the highest increase in death rates doubling in the entire country. I've seen several folks try to connect this with the Ace Speedway incident, but it really is just an unfortunate coincidence. Burlington's numbers hail almost exclusively from a large nursing home:

White Oak has reported 103 cases in 66 residents and 37 staff members as of May 26, according to data the state released Tuesday. At least 19 people have died, all of them residents. Those 19 account for nearly all of Alamance County’s 24 recorded deaths.

County officials first reported the outbreak May 1, according to the Burlington Times-News. At the time, 120 residents had been tested and 12 were positive. By May 21, WFMY reported White Oak had the largest nursing home outbreak in the Triad with 80 cases and nine deaths.

I have some personal experience with this facility. These stories are rarely uplifting, and this one is no different:

Saturday News: It's a simple question


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.


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