Thursday News: Saying the quiet part outloud


TIM MOORE SPOKESBOT SEZ TRUSTEES REIGN IN "LIBERAL" COLLEGE TOWNS: North Carolina’s House speaker says there’s no need to change how members are appointed to two of the most influential higher education boards in the state, despite journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ call for a change to the inherently political process. “The UNC Board of Trustees is appointed by the Board of Governors and General Assembly to represent the entire state, not just the wishes of left-wing college towns, students and faculty,” said Moore spokesperson Demi Dowdy. “The current board is composed of accomplished professionals of a variety of backgrounds, and there is no appetite for changing the appointment structure.” After Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, won the 2016 election, Republicans rushed to strip the future governor of his ability to appoint Board of Trustees members at individual universities.

NC JUDGE LOCKS UP NEWSPAPER EDITOR FOR HAVING RECORDING DEVICE IN COURT: A North Carolina Superior Court judge put a small-town newspaper editor behind bars last month after one of his reporters used an audio recorder for note-taking purposes at a murder trial — a punishment the paper and media rights groups consider excessive. Judge Stephan Futrell sentenced Gavin Stone, the news editor of the Richmond County Daily Journal, to five days in jail before having the editor hauled off to jail. Stone was released the next day but still faces the possibility of more time in lockup. Brian Bloom, the paper's publisher, acknowledged that his reporter shouldn’t have had the recorder in court because it was not allowed but criticized the judge’s move to imprison an editor for a minor infraction committed by a colleague. “The penalty does not fit the crime,” he said. “Let’s put this in perspective: You stop a murder trial not once, but twice, because a guy had a tape recorder sitting next to him on a bench at a courtroom. Let’s put our priorities in place here.” Futrell did not respond to a request for comment.

NC MAN DIES IN HOUSE FIRE WHILE MAKING FIREWORKS: An unidentified man was killed in a home explosion in which investigators say someone was trying to make fireworks, officials said. The Stokes County Sheriff’s Office said firefighters were called to a house fire in the town of King on Tuesday evening, news outlets reported. The firefighters found a small fire at the home and extinguished it quickly, but a search of the home found a man who authorities said had died as a result of injuries caused by the fire. The Stokes County fire marshal said investigators found an unknown substance found to be consistent with chemicals used in making fireworks, The Stokes News reported. The fire marshal said the chemicals and other substances were rendered safe and removed from the home for further analysis. Authorities hadn't released the victim's identity as of Wednesday afternoon. There's fine line between "fireworks" and an improvised explosive device. I'm just saying, police assuming he's making the former leads me to believe he was white...

ELON COP CHARGED IN HIS CHILD'S ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING DEATH: A police officer with the Town of Elon Police Department has been charged with a misdemeanor in Guilford County over the accidental shooting death of his child while he was not at home. Orlando Maynard has been on administrative leave since the fatal accidental shooting Wednesday, June 16. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office charged him June 25 with misdemeanor failure to secure a firearm to protect a minor. Deputies served him with a criminal summons at the Elon Police Department, according to a statement Elon Police Chief Kelly Blackwelder released Tuesday, July 6. Deputies and other first responders were called to a home in the 700 block of Nellie Gray Place, Whitsett, at 7:35 a.m., Wednesday, June 16, according to a Guilford County Sheriff’s Office news release. A child had been shot accidentally and died later at a local hospital.

PRESIDENT BIDEN IS GOING AFTER WHITE SUPREMACISTS AND MILITIAS: The 32-page plan highlights a shift in the government’s approach to counterterrorism, which for decades has prioritized fighting foreign terrorists. But violent attacks by American extremists are growing, a problem laid bare by the deadly Capitol riot on Jan. 6. “We cannot ignore this threat or wish it away,” President Biden wrote in the strategy document. “Preventing domestic terrorism and reducing the factors that fuel it demand a multifaceted response across the federal government and beyond.” Mr. Biden ordered the review of how federal agencies addressed domestic extremism soon after coming into office, part of an effort to acknowledge white supremacists and militia groups as top national security threats. The strategy, which aims to coordinate efforts across the government, outlines four priorities: improving information sharing among law enforcement agencies, preventing recruitment by extremists groups, investigating such groups and confronting the longstanding drivers of domestic terrorism: racism and bigotry. “We cannot promise that we will be able to disrupt every plot, defuse every bomb or arrest every co-conspirator before they manage to wreak unspeakable horror, but we can promise that we will do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said on Tuesday in an address at the Justice Department’s Great Hall.