Federal Judge Rules North Carolina Lawmakers Do Not Have Blanket Immunity; Must Release Secret Communication on Voter Suppression Bill
DURHAM, NC - A federal judge ruled today that members of the North Carolina General Assembly do not have absolute immunity and protection from releasing crucial emails and other internal documents related to their motivations and rationale for passing what is arguably one of the most restrictive and harmful voter suppression laws in the nation. Attorneys challenging the measure, from the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and Advancement Project, had requested this information several months ago from 13 primary sponsors of the bill - including documents on what data they used in drafting the legislation, whom they consulted with, and what information they may have known about its impact on voters - but state lawmakers had refused to comply. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder agreed with an earlier ruling by Magistrate Judge Joi Peake that lawmakers don't have a blanket privilege from responding to requests for information. Now, if state officials want to withhold any documents, they will have to explain what they want to withhold and why. The court also ordered the state to disclose whether they intend to have any legislators testify in response to a forthcoming motion for preliminary injunction being filed by the NAACP and other plaintiffs in the case.
RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation is taking the next step to implement the Strategic Mobility Formula, a project prioritization process established last year by the Strategic Transportation Investments law. NCDOT today released data for 3,100 projects, based on criteria contained in the new formula. The data includes the original list of highway projects released in March and adds:
Athletes at Northwestern University shocked the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the governing body of college sports, by taking steps to unionize student/athletes. Surprisingly, NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell, former NFL great Jim Brown and Harry Edwards, who organized a human rights protest at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City that culminated in Tommy Smith and John Carlos giving a clenched fist salute when they mounted the winners platform, do not support the idea. It’s not that Bill Russell, Jim Brown or Harry Edwards have mellowed – they have not. Rather, they think there’s a better way to help athletes who generate $500 billion a year to major universities, athletic vendors and others.
May 1 was the first annual Woman-Owned Business Day. Fashionable office supply retailer UrbanGirl.com, a woman-owned small business, founded the holiday. UrbanGirl coordinated the event along with more than 500 other woman-owned businesses across the country and around the world. This event was a true grassroots effort with no businesses paying to participate. The businesses promoted each other in the spirit of collaboration.
EDENTON, N.C. -- A handful of documents changed the character of the United States. The 13th Amendment that formally ended legal slavery in this country is one of them. It will be exhibited by Historic Edenton State Historic Site at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse June 5 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. As part of the observance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War led by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, and in recognition of Juneteenth, June 19, the date many African-Americans observe as when the last of the enslaved in 1865 learned they were free, there will be a tour of North Carolina's copy of the 13th Amendment in June. "The 13th Amendment wasn't just a symbol of freedom; it was indissoluble proof that equality means nothing if it is not meant for all," said Governor Pat McCrory. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of this rare exhibition to view one of the most important documents in our history."
The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Announces 2014 Education Scholarship Event Slated for June 6
The North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus Foundation June 6, 2014 Education Scholarship Event includes: Issues Briefings (Survival of HBCUs, Affordable Care, Learning The New Rules for Voting in NC), a Networking Luncheon, a Memorial Service Honoring Deceased NCLBC Members and The William L. Wainwright Scholarship Banquet with Keynote Speaker U. S. Congressman G. K. Butterfield. Full event information is available at www.NCLBCF.org.
WASHINGTON (NNPA) – March 1 was the last time eight year-old Relisha Rudd was seen, leaving a local hotel here with Kahlil Tatum, a 51-year-old custodian who had been tasked to babysit her. Exactly a month later, Tatum was found dead; Rudd remains missing and the trail has gone cold. The same week Tatum’s death was announced, the body of 30-year-old, first-year medical resident Teleka Patrick was pulled from a lake in Indiana. In the days leading up to her December disappearance, she and others expressed concern over her mental health. The circumstances of her death remain unclear.
Raleigh-- The North Carolina Department of Transportation has launched an innovative office designed to promote and engage students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers. The Office of Education Initiatives works to advance a wide range of programs and activities with K-12, college and post graduate level students in an effort to develop a talented workforce to meet North Carolina’s future transportation demands. “Many students are not aware of the various careers available to them in the transportation industry,” said Director Ashley Goolsby. “With this new office, we hope to provide students with real-world, hands-on experiences that will get them thinking about careers in STEM fields, specifically engineering.” She adds, “In everything we provide for our students whether it is through an internship or job shadowing opportunities, we want to engage those students as early as possible and get them interested in possible career paths with the Department of Transportation.”
Grants to be Used to Increase Organ Donation and Advance Care Planning Education: The License to Give Trust Fund Commission has announced the completion of its 14th grant cycle and awarded grants-in-aid to three North Carolina non-profits: NC Medical Society Foundation of Raleigh, Total Christian Ministries of Greenville and Mount Airy High School Interact Club of Mount Airy. “These grants will be used to encourage more North Carolinians to register as organ donors through the NC Division of Motor Vehicles or online atDonateLifeNC.org, and to educate North Carolinians about Advance Care Planning,” said Chairman Dennis Meyers. “The ultimate goal of these organizations’ efforts is to save the lives of more North Carolinians who are waiting for an organ, eye or tissue transplant.
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