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RACIAL INJUSTICE-BLM BILLBOARD
Black Lives Matter billboard placed next to Confederate flag
A group in North Carolina has erected a Black Lives Matter billboard to counter a Confederate flag that stands along a road in the state. An official with a group that supported the project says the sign was unveiled in Pittsboro and funded by residents in the city. A GoFundMe page to raise money for the sign said the billboard was a way to show Confederate flags “do NOT represent” Pittsboro. Sam White had been leasing the billboard on his property to an outdoor advertising company. He says he told the company he didn’t want a Black Lives Matter sign on his property. He says he wants the sign down when the company’s lease expires at the end of August.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-RACIST RANTS-DEATH
Woman recorded making racist rants is hit by truck and dies
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman whose racist rants and attacks on a Black teenager and a woman in a hijab attracted international attention has died after being struck by a fire truck. News outlets reports 41-year-old Rachel Dawn Ruit of Henderson County suffered mortal injuries after she was hit by an Asheville Fire Department pickup truck on July 13. Asheville Police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse confirmed that Ruit died on July 14. Ruit had been arrested on July 4 after she was accused of ripping off a woman’s religious garment. She gained attention when she was captured on video using racial epithets and making threats.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
Face mask requirement begins in N.C. courts as cases grow
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new face-covering requirement in North Carolina’s courts will attempt to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced this and other additional emergency directives for the court system on Thursday. She says the delay of jury trials will continue through at least the end of September. Judicial and law enforcement leaders in each county need to come up with a jury trial resumption safety plan by Sept. 1. The number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started in North Carolina is now well over 94,000, and more than 1,100 people with the virus are in the hospital.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-POLICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEE
Police department employee on leave after George Floyd post
MOCKSVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An employee at a North Carolina police department has been placed on administrative leave following a post to her social media account which referred to George Floyd. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Mocksville Police Department records specialist Christy Wikes-Jones shared a post depicting Floyd in a drawing holding a gun in his right hand and his left arm wrapped around the neck of a pregnant woman. Wikes-Jones also suggested Floyd raped the woman. The police department said in a statement that it’s conducting an investigation into the the employee’s post.
ELECTION 2020-TRUMP CAMPAIGN
After Trump campaign swap, questions – and Kushner – remain
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump campaign shakeup was probably more symbol than substance. President Donald Trump’s campaign changes are unlikely to do much to alter the day-to-day operations, which are run by Jared Kushner. Trump demoted Brad Parscale from campaign manager in favor of longtime GOP operative Bill Stepien. Kushner will continue to be the driving force behind the operation. Parscale’s ouster reflects Trump’s willingness to shake things up as the coronavirus blocks him from holding rallies and as he grapples with polls showing him trailing Democrat Joe Biden. That’s according to some of the seven campaign officials and Republicans who discussed the shakeup on condition of anonymity.
ELECTION 2020-KENTUCKY SENATE
McGrath outpaces McConnell in fundraising for Senate seat
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Democrat Amy McGrath continued her blistering fundraising pace in the spring. She outdistanced Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for another quarter in their free-spending campaign in Kentucky. Despite her prodigious pace, McGrath ended the quarter with slightly less money in the bank after spending heavily at the end of her bumpier-than-expected primary battle against state Rep. Charles Booker. McGrath raised $17.4 million in the April-through-June period. The retired Marine combat pilot has raised $47 million since entering the race about a year ago. McConnell raised $12.2 million in the most recent quarter, lifting his total to nearly $38 million for the campaign cycle.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Democrat outraises N. Carolina senator nearly 3-to-1 in Q2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Campaign finance reports show that North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis was outraised nearly 3-to-1 by his Democratic challenger in the last quarter. The news that Cal Cunningham’s campaign raised $7.4 million for the three months ending June 30 and that Tillis raised $2.6 million signals a more precarious reelection bid for the incumbent. The two campaigns were essentially tied with cash in their coffers starting July 1. Tillis is one of a handful of Senate Republicans considered vulnerable this fall. Democrats need to win three or four additional seats to retake the majority in the chamber.
Asheville among tiny number of cities to back reparations
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The western North Carolina city of Asheville has joined a tiny number of American cities that have voted to provide reparations for their histories of racism and discrimination. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Thursday that Asheville joined cities such as Chicago and Evanston, Illinois, which have also passed plans to provide reparations. Asheville’s City Council voted Tuesday to approve reparations that do not require direct payments but will mandate investments in areas where Black residents face disparities. Priorities could include efforts to increase minority home ownership and access to affordable housing. The resolution also mentions strategies to close the gaps in health care, education and pay.