August 21, 2014
First on CNN: Pro-Democratic group goes up with big buy in key Senate contest: CNN has learned that the Senate Majority PAC will launch a new television commercial Thursday that slams North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis over state education cuts. He’s the Republican Senate nominee who’s challenging first term Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. If the GOP can flip the seat in North Carolina and five others, without losing any ground, they will win control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections. Read more here.
Supreme Court approves Duke Energy rate hike: As the General Assembly debates a coal ash bill that many say lets Duke Energy off the hook, the Supreme Court today approved a rate hike for Duke Energy customers. Read more here.
Judge rules NC school voucher program unconstitutional: A Superior Court judge on Thursday overturned a state law that awards taxpayer-funded vouchers to low-income families who want to send their children to private or religious schools. Read more here.
NAACP leaders in several other states pledge to spread legislative protests begun in NC: Organizers of regular protests at the North Carolina Legislature were joined on a conference call by counterparts in other states to announce the week of demonstrations starting Friday and ending the following Thursday, the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. Read more here.
All of NC has a stake in strong public schools: We all have a stake in making North Carolina’s public schools the best they can be. These schools are essential to building healthy communities, a vibrant democracy and a prosperous economy. Read more here.
Microsoft Ditches ALEC In Latest Blow To Conservative Group: Microsoft joins Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble as some of the major corporations that have severed their relationship with ALEC, according to CNET. Others — like Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo, and Yelp — remain involved with the group. Read more here.
Top Obama advisers tell African American leaders that justice will prevail in Ferguson: In an open letter published on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Web site Tuesday, Holder said his goal was to “ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding — and robust action — aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve.” Read more here.
Militarized Police and the Threat to Democracy: The hard-edged military pose of armored vehicles, heavy duty weaponry, and sound cannons, which can permanently damage hearing, may seem like modern crowd control to some law enforcement officials. But to the people in the community who are on the receiving end, it is an escalation of violence, in real terms and by the law. Read more here.
Oklahoma Gets Hit With 20 Earthquakes In One Day: Oklahoma’s Geology Survey recorded an unprecedented 20 small earthquakes across the state on Tuesday, highlighting the dramatic increase of seismic activity that has occurred there as the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing — otherwise known as fracking — has spread across the state. Read more here.
The Ice Bucket Challenge Has Raised More Than $13 Million — Meanwhile, Medical Research Has Been Cut By Billions: Bill Gates, Lebron James, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker don’t ostensibly have much in common. But they’ve all recently poured buckets of ice on their head in support of ALS research. Yes, members of this motley crew — alongside hundreds of your Facebook friends — have posted viral videos of themselves shivering gleefully in order to raise money for a good cause. And while their videos have been unquestionably successful in terms of raising awareness (1.2 million videos uploaded) and funds ($13.3 million contributed) on behalf of an intractable disease, they have overlooked the most important message of all: vote. Read more here.
“One” portrays controversy surrounding marriage ban: The film portrays homosexual couples throughout the state that had their lives directly affected by the vote, whether it be in child care, insurance or caretaking in assisted living. Read more here.
Brunswick County Schools Dealing With Mass Exodus of Teachers: The Star News reports on a "mass exodus" of teachers leaving Brunswick County over the last year, many for $10,000 raises in South Carolina. Out of a total teacher population of 840, 181 left during the 2013-2014 school year, nearly a fifth of all teachers. Read more here.