Saturday News: Here we go again


HURRICANE ISAIAS ON TRACK TO HIT NC MONDAY: Category 1 Hurricane Isaias’ winds strengthened overnight to 85 mph as the storm continued on track to be “near or over” North Carolina early next week, the National Hurricane Center says. Forecasters remain divided on whether the storm will make landfall as it reaches the East Coast, but the storm’s track appears to be shifting “a bit more west,” forecasters said. The eastern half of North Carolina is now forecast to see tropical storm force winds starting around 8 a.m. Monday. Up to four inches of rain are possible through Monday, while a few southeastern coastal counties could see as much as six inches, the National Hurricane Center says.

JUDGE ORDERS RELEASE OF VIDEO SHOWING FORSYTH COUNTY PRISONER'S DEATH BY OFFICERS: Two videos showing a jailed North Carolina man restrained in what reports described as a “hog-tie" position before his death last year should be released publicly, a judge ruled Friday. Forsyth County Superior Court Judge R. Gregory Horne said in a five-page ruling that releasing the video of John Neville, a 56-year-old Black man from Greensboro, “is necessary to advance a compelling public interest.” The videos — with limited redactions — won’t be publicly available until midday Wednesday, Horne ruled. One video runs nearly 20 minutes and is from the body camera of one of the five former detention officers charged with involuntary manslaughter in the case. Another video is nearly 26 minutes. Neville's family issued a statement thanking Horne for his decision and calling for calm from protesters who had urged the release of the video.

TV STATIONS PULL GOP ATTACK AD AGAINST CUNNINGHAM OVER INACCURACY: Television stations in Raleigh and Charlotte have pulled a Republican attack ad against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham off the air after complaints from the Cunningham campaign that the ad was not truthful. The National Republican Senatorial Committee paid for the TV spot, which ties Cunningham to a Paycheck Protection Program loan obtained by his former employer, Waste Zero. It has been airing in the Raleigh and Charlotte television markets since July 28. WRAL and WRAZ, both owned by Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh, have taken the ad off the air. So, too, has WSOC in Charlotte, according to emails from the station. The Cunningham campaign called it “a blatantly false advertisement” in a July 30 letter to the stations. “Senator Tillis and his allies are lying about Cal, and the ad is so false that TV stations refuse to air it. They have nothing good to say about Senator Tillis’ record so they’ve resorted to these desperate attacks,” Cunningham campaign manager Devan Barber said in a statement to McClatchy.

JUDGE RULES IN FAVOR OF CITY OF GRAHAM IN ALAMANCE PROTESTING CASE: “(T)here are two groups of protestors who often appear when protests occur around the confederate monument,” according to the county’s motion filed in federal court, Thursday July 30. “If one group of protestors has access to the monument and courthouse grounds, the other side will demand access. It is this competition for access to the monument which escalates conflicts and leads to emotional reactions….” The lawsuit filed by the Alamance County Branch of the NAACP prompted the city council to repeal Graham’s restrictive protest ordinance in mid-July. That opened downtown to protesters, but the Sheriff’s Office has surrounded the courthouse and monument during protests and arrested those who got close to the statue. Friday afternoon, the Alamance County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page that it would designate "free-speech zones" accessible to demonstrators on the northeast and northwest sidewalks on the courthouse grounds. The steps and monument will still be off limits to all but law enforcement. Judge Catherine Eagles is still considering the county’s arguments for keeping protesters off the courthouse grounds in the middle of Court Square even though there have been many demonstrations on the courthouse steps in the past.

FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT BOOST EXPIRED LAST NIGHT, NEW RELIEF BILL IN LIMBO: Democrats wanted to extend the $600 weekly payments through the end of the year, as part of an expansive $3 trillion aid package that would also help state and local governments. Republicans, worried that the $600 benefit left some people with more money than when they were working, sought to scale it back to $200 per week as part of a $1 trillion proposal. At a White House news conference, Mark Meadows, President Trump’s chief of staff, accused Democrats of playing “politics as usual.” At the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, declared that administration officials “do not understand the gravity of the situation.” Both said they planned to continue discussions, possibly into the weekend. As the deadline neared, Republicans proposed continuing the $600 benefit for one week while talks continue. Democrats rejected the short-term extension. “When you have a six-day, one-week extension on a provision, it is usually — has always been — to accommodate a legislative topic if you’re on the verge of having an agreement,” Ms. Pelosi said. “Why don’t we just get the job done? Why don’t we just get the job done?”