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Monday News: Ten thousand, four hundred ninety one


NC'S POSITIVE TESTS FOR CORONAVIRUS ARE DOWN TO 6.5%: At least 821,894 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 10,491 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 3,170 new COVID-19 cases, down from 4,130 reported the day before. As of Sunday, 1,989 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus, down by 112 from the day before. As of Friday, the latest date for which data are available, 6.5% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Health officials say the percentage should be about 5% or lower to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The state reports more than 1.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


RESOURCES FOR SCHOOL HEALTH, SAFETY MUST BE PART OF IN-PERSON MANDATE: North Carolina’s school students and teachers are better off when learning and instruction are going on in a classroom. But, amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, the State Senate legislation mandating it for most public schools (public charter schools are NOT included) lacks the funding for the necessary additional instructional staff to assure effective learning. There aren’t the appropriate health safeguards to assure schools aren’t hazardous and dangerous. No one should be required to risk their lives – and that is NO exaggeration – to fulfill some legislators’ political agenda. If it’s more than political posturing, there should be the money in the legislation to do things right. Opening schools takes more than waving some paper in the legislature and passing a mandate that lacks backing to get the job done.

Saturday News: Betrayal of trust


TEACHER AT ONE OF BOB LUDDY'S PRIVATE SCHOOLS CHARGED WITH INDECENT LIBERTIES: A former physical education teacher has been charged with four counts of indecent liberties with a child. Paula Stinson, 30, taught at Thales Academy in Rolesville. Thales Academy says that Stinson is no longer employed with them. "Mrs. Stinson has been terminated as an employee of Thales Academy, effective immediately. Thales Leadership is actively communicating with the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and cooperating with their investigation," the school said in a statement. Stinson is in custody with a $75,000 bond. Note: although NCDPI does not require background checks, most NC school systems do, including Wake County.

Friday News: Whitewashed

1898 WILMINGTON COUP NEEDS TO BE TAUGHT IN SCHOOLS, STUDENTS SAY: Some teachers, deVille said, also are worried about parents complaining that the coup is being taught. “There’s also a hesitation of will it make the phone ring?” Reagan Razon, 17, a senior at Enloe High School in Raleigh, is among the students who say the coup was never mentioned in their social studies classes, even though they discussed other events from the 1890s. Razon said she learned about the coup during last year’s nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd and other Black people by police officers. “It’s skipped over,” Razon, an executive at large with the Wake County Black Student Coalition, said in an interview. “It’s just so weird to me. You can pick and choose which things to talk about from the same year.” Some Black students say what they learn about Black history in social studies is a whitewashed, simplistic version.

Thursday News: You can run, but you can't hide


SIDNEY POWELL TRIED TO EVADE LAWSUIT SERVER IN $1.3 BILLION DEFAMATION SUIT: After evading attempts for weeks by a civil process server that included being “pursued over state lines,” ex-Donald Trump lawyer Sidney Powell was served with a $1.3 billion lawsuit at her Biltmore Forest home, near Asheville, according to recently filed court papers by Dominion Voting Systems. Dominion filed the defamation lawsuit against Powell Jan. 8 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. But attempts to officially serve the Texas-based attorney with the summons took until Jan. 28, said attorneys for the company. “Powell evaded service of process for weeks, forcing Dominion to incur unnecessary expenses for extraordinary measures to effect service, including hiring private investigators and pursuing Powell across state lines,” according to a Feb. 9 answer to Powell’s request for more time to respond to the complaint.

Wednesday News: Back to school


NC SENATE PASSES BILL FORCING CLASSROOMS TO REOPEN: The state Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a measure that would force school districts across North Carolina to reopen their doors to students who want the option of in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic. With the 29-15 vote – two Democrats joined Senate Republicans in supporting the measure – Senate Bill 37 now heads to the House. It's scheduled to go through two committees on Wednesday before a Thursday floor vote, meaning it could be on Gov. Roy Cooper's desk by the end of the week. Cooper has expressed reservations about the bill, saying decisions about reopening should be left up to local school boards. Still, he urged districts last week to get more students in classrooms.

Tuesday News: Essentially flawed

NCAE AT ODDS WITH GOVERNOR OVER TEACHER VACCINATIONS: “As teachers across the state return to the classroom, it is essential that they receive the vaccine as soon as possible,” NCAE says in an online petition that has received more than 20,000 signatures. Still, the state is sticking with federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations to vaccinate frontline health workers and people who are age 65 and older before moving to “frontline essential workers” such as teachers. State leaders say they’re prioritizing the limited supply of doses they have on those who are most at risk. “We want to get people 65 and older vaccinated because that’s where we’re seeing 83% of the deaths right now in North Carolina from COVID-19,” Cooper said at a news conference last week.

Monday News: Nine thousand, nine hundred eighty three


HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR COVID 19 IN NC HAVE DROPPED LAST 13 DAYS: At least 796,195 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and 9,983 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 4,674 new COVID-19 cases, up from 4,172 reported the day before. At least 2,378 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday, down 90 from the day before. The number has steadily dropped over the past 13 days. As of Friday, the latest day for which data are available, 7.4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


BURR, TILLIS VOTES SAY TRUMP IS ABOVE THE LAW, CONSTITUTION SAYS OPPOSITE: North Carolina’s two senators have concluded that Donald Trump is above the law. That’s a dangerous conclusion and not merely as a partisan matter. The convenience of playing to partisan fealty to Trump, who like Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, is a Republican, sets a precedent for every president to follow – Republican or Democrat. Are they absent moral and ethical principles? The practical implication of what they’ve said and done, in objecting to the impeachment trial of Trump now pending before the Senate, is that presidents are untouchable, not accountable for their actions – particularly anything they might do near the close of their term in office. As Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote last summer in a 7-2 decision that determined a president can be investigated, indicted and subject to trial in state courts: “As (Chief Justice John) Marshall explained, a king is born to power and can ‘do no wrong.’ … The President, by contrast, is ‘of the people’ and subject to the law.”

Saturday News: Persistent delusion


2/3 OF REPUBLICANS STILL BELIEVE TRUMP'S NUTTY ELECTION FRAUD CLAIMS: About two-thirds of Republicans say Joe Biden was not legitimately elected president, according to a new poll conducted barely two weeks after he was inaugurated. The poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 33% of Republicans say Biden was legitimately elected as the 46th president of the United States, while 65% say he was not. Overall, roughly two-thirds of Americans say Biden was legitimately elected; nearly all Democrats say so. Former President Donald Trump and his allies disputed the outcome of the 2020 election for months, arguing without evidence that it was stolen and that there was fraudulent voting in pivotal states. Courts dismissed those allegations in lawsuits. State and local election officials verified — and, in some cases, reverified — that voting was fair and secure. Trump's own attorney general said there was no evidence of widespread fraud.


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