MASS SHOOTING AT WILMINGTON HOUSE PARTY LEAVES 3 DEAD: Seven people have been shot in a mass shooting at 7th and Kidder Streets in Wilmington. N.C, according to Wilmington Police Chief Donny Williams. The shootings happened around midnight. “There was a house party that was taking place inside of a house,” Williams said. “At least seven people inside were shot and three are deceased. They are not being identified until the next of kin has been notified.” Williams says they do not have a motive for the shooting. “We do not feel the general public is in any danger at this time and we are working to get suspects identified,” Williams said. Until we get better background checks in place and red flag laws passed, of course the general public is in danger. Which is good for gun sales, ironically.
30 DAYS OF SUMMER SCHOOL AHEAD FOR MANY NC STUDENTS: The “Summer Learning Choice for NC Families” bill requires school districts to offer students at least 150 hours or 30 days of summer in-person instruction, along with enrichment activities such as sports, music and arts. The program is geared toward at-risk students, but attendance is voluntary and is open to any student, space permitting. Supporters say the summer program is needed because of how students have received little in-person instruction for the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The legislation goes to Gov. Roy Cooper. A veto would be unlikely given the lack of opposition in the General Assembly. The new summer program was approved the same day that lawmakers also passed legislation making changes to the annual summer reading camps. Both programs will be held this year. The new COVID-related program is for this summer only and covers all grade levels. The existing summer camps are for early elementary school grades.
SCIENCE PAC WANTS TO RECRUIT FORMER ASTRONAUT TO RUN FOR BURR'S SEAT: An advocacy group plans to spend millions next year to elect more doctors, scientists and other professionals to office, arguing the pandemic and Donald Trump's handling of it have powerfully underscored a need to bring people with scientific backgrounds into policymaking. The organization says it is preparing to spend millions in 2022 in Ohio supporting a potential candidate who rose to prominence during the pandemic. It also aims to help maintain and expand a Democratic Senate majority through independent expenditures and direct donations to candidates in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Josh Morrow, 314 Action's executive director, is trying to recruit Joan Higginbotham, the third Black woman to go into space. She lives in Charlotte and has never run for public office. He wants Higginbotham to join a growing field of Democratic candidates vying to fill a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina being vacated by Republican Richard Burr. Trump's election prompted an April 2017 March for Science event, which 314 Action used as a recruiting opportunity. It launched a year earlier with minimal attention but has since trained several hundred interested candidates through a subcontractor.
MATT GAETZ IS A PERVERTED IDIOT, SHOWING PEOPLE PICTURES OF NAKED TEENAGE GIRLS: Rep. Matt Gaetz repeatedly boasted to people involved in Florida politics about women he met through a county tax collector who has since been charged by federal authorities with sex trafficking of a minor, according to two people who heard his comments directly. They said the Republican congressman, first elected in 2016, also showed them videos on his phone of naked or topless women on multiple occasions, including at parties with Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector for Seminole County. The women appeared to be adults, and could be seen dancing, hanging out by a pool and, in one case, using a hula hoop without clothing, the people said. The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz, whose loyalty to former president Donald Trump and frequent cable news appearances has endeared him to many conservatives, paid for sex with a number of women in violation of federal sex-trafficking laws, a person familiar with the matter said. The investigation began while Trump was in office and proceeded with the approval of his attorney general. Federal law enforcement officials suspect that Greenberg procured a number of women for Gaetz and are exploring whether they sometimes shared sexual partners, including at least one girl who was 17 years old at the time of the alleged encounter, a person familiar with the matter said. CNN reported Thursday that Gaetz had used his phone to show fellow lawmakers similar photos and videos of nude women, including while on the House floor. One of the videos showed a naked woman with a hula hoop, the network reported. Neither Gaetz nor his spokesman responded to CNN’s questions about the allegations.
MLB SPANKS GEORGIA OVER VOTER SUPPRESSION LAW, MOVES ALL-STAR GAME OUT OF THE STATE: Major League Baseball sent a warning shot on Friday to Republicans considering new laws to restrict voting, pulling its summer All-Star game out of suburban Atlanta in a rebuke to Georgia’s new election rules that will make it harder to vote in the state’s urban areas. The announcement by the baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, came after days of lobbying from civil rights groups and discussions with stakeholders like the Major League Baseball Players Association. The action is likely to put additional pressure on other organizations and corporations to consider pulling business out of Georgia, a move that both Republicans and Democrats in the state oppose despite fiercely disagreeing about the new voting law. The law in Georgia, signed last week by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, was the first major bill of voting restrictions to be passed in a battleground state since the 2020 election. It added new identification requirements for absentee voting, limited the use of drop boxes, granted more authority over elections to the legislature and made it a misdemeanor for groups to offer food or water to voters waiting in line near polling places. While the National Basketball Association and the N.C.A.A., which governs college sports, have taken some progressive stands in the past — both groups moved major events out of North Carolina after Republicans there enacted a “bathroom ban” on transgender people — baseball has rarely made a political statement as significant as moving its midsummer classic out of Georgia. Many of Major League Baseball’s owners are conservative donors, the league has had a reputation for being slow-moving and traditional, and the majority of its players are white, with Black players now filling only 8 percent of roster spots. The Associated Press in 2017 estimated that North Carolina would have lost more than $3.7 billion over 12 years had it not repealed its law. Once state lawmakers repealed it, the N.B.A. awarded Charlotte its 2019 All-Star Game.