RABON PUTS FUNDING FOR START-UP RELIGIOUS COLLEGE IN GOP BUDGET: The provision first surfaced in the conference committee budget and doesn’t appear in the original House or Senate spending plans. Senate Rules Chairman Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, represents Pender and requested the funding. Mt. Calvary is founded by Jimmy Tate, a former president of Roanoke-Chowan Community College and former Pender County commissioner. The university’s website says its goal is to “ensure the development of a well-prepared religious workforce, equipped to study, research, and enter professions with unshakable Christian principles and foundations.” Tate said the program is open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, and it will “let them know what the attributes of Christianity teach as it relates to leadership.” A total of 18 people signed up for the inaugural class in May, but Tate hopes to serve 200 more students by next year.
TRUMP FINALLY GIVES UP ON THOMAS FARR, PUTS UNC PROFESSOR IN JUDGE'S SEAT: President Donald Trump on Wednesday nominated Richard Myers, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law, to a vacancy on the federal bench. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Myers would fill a seat in the federal Eastern District of North Carolina that has been open for almost 14 years, when Judge Malcolm Howard took senior status, a form of semi-retirement accorded federal judges. The move ends Trump's earlier push to appoint Raleigh attorney Thomas Farr to the judgeship. Hid bid sank last November when U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone black Republican in the Senate, joined with Senate Democrats to oppose the nomination. Farr has been the go-to guy for Republican legislative leaders in recent years to fend off challenges to their actions.
MARK JOHNSON BOUGHT MORE IPADS EVEN THOUGH 2,400 WERE SITTING IN WAREHOUSE UNUSED: North Carolina's schools superintendent says more than 3,200 iPads sitting in a state warehouse will be delivered during the upcoming school year. WRAL reports some 2,400 of the devices have been sitting in the warehouse for more than a year. Johnson bought 24,000 iPads for North Carolina's K-3 teachers last year, but schools returned about 2,400 of them because they preferred other devices. Last month, Johnson bought 800 more iPads with his superintendent's budget. He said on Wednesday he decided to buy more iPads and hold onto those that were returned as part of "extensive, strategic work" his office is doing to help K-3 students. Johnson said the 2,400 iPads have been in the warehouse longer than expected because of Hurricane Florence and the impact of its aftermath on schools.
WHAT THAT "INVERTED YIELD CURVE" IS ALL ABOUT: Wednesday’s sharp sell-off was caused by an unusual development in the bond market, called an “inverted yield curve,” that often foreshadows a recession. For the first time since the run-up to the Great Recession, the yields — or returns — on short-term U.S. bonds eclipsed those of long-term bonds. Normally, the government needs to pay out higher rates to attract investors for its long-term bonds. But with so many losing confidence in the near-term prospects of the economy and rushing to buy longer-term bonds, the U.S. government now is paying more to attract buyers to its 2-year bond than its 10-year note. This phenomenon, which suggests investor faith in the economy is faltering, has preceded every recession in the past 50 years. “The stars are aligned across the curve that the economy is headed for a big fall,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. “The yield curves are all crying timber that a recession is almost a reality, and investors are tripping over themselves to get out of the way.”
NEWARK IS THE NEW FLINT: AGING LEAD PIPES HAVE CONTAMINATED THE DRINKING WATER: A growing crisis over lead contamination in drinking water gripped Newark on Wednesday as tens of thousands of residents were told to drink only bottled water, the culmination of years of neglect that has pushed New Jersey’s largest city to the forefront of an environmental problem afflicting urban areas across the nation. Urgent new warnings from federal environmental officials about contamination in drinking water from aging lead pipes spread anxiety and fear across much of Newark, but the municipal government’s makeshift efforts to set up distribution centers to hand out bottled water were hampered by confusion and frustration. State and local officials said they were making free water available to 15,000 of the city’s 95,000 households, and hundreds of people waited in long lines in the summer heat to pick up cases of water. But officials had to halt the distribution temporarily after discovering that some of the water exceeded its best-by date.