President Donald Trump waves after speaking at a campaign rally Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, in Mesa, Ariz. Trump is in Arizona stumping for Senate candidate Martha McSally. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 — A round up of opinion, commentary and analysis on: Trump to campaign in Charlotte for N.C. congressional candidate, Guilford’s numbers looking good in early voting, 2 detention officers accused of assaulting jail inmate, Wright Brothers visitor center to reopen after renovations, local nurse ready to serve as first male president of American Nurses Association, reducing the school-to-prison pipeline and more.
ANDREW DeMILLO and JOHN HANNA: N.C.-based PAC won’t end ad saying black men will face rape accusations (AP reports) — A N.C.-based political action committee said it won’t pull radio ads in hotly contested races in Arkansas and Missouri that suggest African American men will face rape accusations if Democrats win midterm elections. An ad fromVernon Robinson’s Black Americans for the President’s Agenda in an Arkansas congressional race features a woman saying "white Democrats will be lynching black folk again." Both the Republican incumbent and his Democratic challenger have condemned it, and the Arkansas GOP filed a state ethics complaint over it.
WESLEY YOUNG: "Lynching" ad from Vernon Robinson group stirs controversy in Arkansas (Winston-Salem Journal reports) — Erstwhile Winston-Salem City Council member Vernon Robinson is stirring the political pot again with a radio advertisement in which a woman says “white Democrats will be lynching black folk again” if they gain the upper hand politically.
ROB SCHOFIELD: Lack of support for power-grabbing amendments speaks volumes (Greensboro News & Record column) — There are a lot of strange — even downright bizarre — aspects to the ongoing effort by North Carolina Republican legislators to pass a slate of six constitutional amendments during this fall’s election.
LAURA LESLIE: Trump to campaign in Charlotte for NC congressional candidate (WRAL-TV reports) — President Donald Trump will campaign in Charlotte next week for Republican 9th Congressional District candidate Mark Harris, a senior state GOP official said.
WILL DORAN: Democrats think they can flip a key seat on the NC Supreme Court. Here are the candidates (Charlotte Observer reports) — While justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have a lifetime tenure, North Carolina voters get to decide every few years who serves on the N.C. Supreme Court. And this November, one seat on the state’s highest court is up for election.
TAFT WIREBACK: Guilford’s numbers looking good in early voting (Greensboro News & Record reports) — Early voting in Guilford County got off to a start this week that could be on track to set a turnout record. By the cutoff at 7 p.m. Friday, 18,018 voters had cast ballots in the first three days of early voting, said Charlie Collicutt, Guilford’s elections director.
JOHN HENDERSON: Rep. John Lewis at Fayetteville State to ‘Get out the Vote’ (Fayetteville Observer reports) — Renowned civil rights leader John Lewis stopped in Fayetteville on Friday for a “Get Out the Vote” rally. “We have an opportunity to change America and set our country on the right path,” Lewis said. “There are forces in Washington today trying to take us back. We’ve come too far. We’re not going back. We’re going forward.”
DAVID SINCLAIR: McInnis, Mills Vie for State Senate Seat (Southern Pines Pilot report) — The state Senate race in the 25th District between Republican Sen. Tom McInnis and Democratic challenger Helen Probst Mills has lived up to its billing as a hotly contested race. Redrawn to now include Moore County, the 25th District is one several key General Assembly races in which Democrats think they can defeat a Republican incumbent. The district also includes Richmond, Scotland and Anson counties.
POLICY & POLITICS
2 detention officers accused of assaulting jail inmate (AP reports) — Durham County officials say two detention officers have been accused of assaulting an inmate last month. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said 25-year-old Joseph Harris is charged with misdemeanor assault, and 26-year-old Austin Taylor is charged with accessory to assault. The men were fired from their jobs.
RICHARD CRAVER: N.C. jobless rate slides to 18-year low; Hurricane Florence has impact on leisure, hospitality sector (Greensboro News & Record reports) — The unemployment rate in North Carolina reached an 18-year low of 3.8 percent during September, the N.C. Department of Commerce reported Friday. However, economists say the recovery from the wind and flooding damage caused by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael likely will affect the economies and job markets of southeast North Carolina and other areas for several months.
JUSTIN PERRY: It’s time to man up about women (Charlotte Observer column) — As others parroted the president’s worries about young men, I wondered how many of them did so when it came to the deaths of black youth like Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and Mike Brown?
Wright Brothers visitor center to reopen after renovations (AP reports) — Fourth-graders will be the first to experience the renovated Wright Brothers National Memorial visitor center when it reopens two years after it closed for renovations.
ALEX GRANADOS: What community colleges are up against (EdNC reports) — Peter Hans, the president of the N.C. Community College system, kicked off the State Board’s annual planning session by saying that the system has done a lot of good, but that the Board needs to have a solid grasp on reality.
MARY DUNLEVY: 100s inspired to read by Heels’ classroom visits (WRAL-TV reports) — 65 UNC student-athletes from 20 different sports read to a total of 41 classrooms at 11 elementary schools. More than 900 children had the opportunity to meet Tar Heel athletes.
WILL MICHAELS: Graham County Schools End Corporal Punishment (WUNC-FM reports) — The last school district that practiced corporal punishment in North Carolina has voted to ban it. Board members voted unanimously to end paddling on October 2, the day of their most recent meeting, according to Graham County Schools Superintendent Angie Knight. The move effectively bans the practice across the state.
Valerie Glass: We can reduce the school-to-prison-pipeline (Winston-Salem Journal column) — The recent and disturbing video footage of a student being aggressively handcuffed at Hanes Magnet Middle School is sparking a much-needed and overdue conversation in our community about the relationship between our schools and our justice system.
DOUGLAS BELKIN: Colleges Try to Stop Spread of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (Wall Street Journal reports) — At Mars Hill University, a four-year private Christian school in North Carolina, there have been 15 cases. Students who have been diagnosed are asked to stay in their rooms and not attend classes or extracurricular activities. The school has been delivering their food to them so they don’t have to go out in the general public, said Mike Thornhill, the school’s spokesman.
MANDY MITCHELL: Local nurse ready to serve as first male president of American Nurses Association (WRAL-TV reports) — A nurse from North Carolina’s Jaycee Burn Center at UNC hospital will make history when he takes over as the president of the American Nurses Association in January. He is the first man to ever hold the position.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
MAT GENDLE: To preserve our beaches, N.C. must rethink coastal real estate policies (Greensboro News & Record column) — Like many Carolinians, the ocean is in my blood. Nothing delights me more than spending a day on the sand hunting for shells, on a board out in the churning waves or in a boat exploring twisting tidal creeks, emerald green with spartina grass.
Here’s how to add hurricane resiliency (Fayetteville Observer) — The photo is remarkable. The wide-angle shot of the beachfront destruction in Mexico Beach, Florida, shows little but flattened rubble where hundreds of homes once stood. Except for one building: a big, solid structure that looks completely unscathed. It’s a monument to the kind of “resiliency” that Gov. Roy Cooper has made his goal for North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence.
CHRISTA GALA: She brought new technology to the construction industry, ruled by ‘a bunch of old men’ (Durham-Herald Sun reports) — When Mikki Paradis graduated from N.C. State University 13 years ago, she didn’t know what kind of career to pursue. She started her own business, PDI Drywall, and figured out how to make a name for herself in a male-dominated industry. Now Paradis, 36, builds affordable housing in Raleigh and encourages other women through an organization called Chicks in Construction.