Tuesday News: It could have been worse?


HURRICANE ISAIAS SPAWNS TORNADOES AND FLOODING ACROSS EASTERN NC: Flooding, power outages and possible tornadoes were reported across Eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Isaias made landfall near Ocean Isle Beach just after 11 p.m. Monday. More than 362,000 power outages were reported across the state early Tuesday morning, including more than 90,000 in coastal New Hanover County and almost 50,000 in Brunswick County. Flash flooding remains a threat along the Interstate 95 corridor, after up to 4 inches of rain fell overnight and an additional inch is expected, according to the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service confirmed one tornado in North Carolina around 2:30 a.m. in Northampton County, near the Virginia state line. Damage in the area was not yet reported. Another tornado was reported in nearby Bertie County, and government officials posted on Facebook that they were investigating. The suspected tornado is believed to have hit up to 20 mobile homes and injured several people in the Windsor area of the county, WRAL reported.

CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST UNC-CH FOR BRINGING STUDENTS BACK TOO SOON: A global pandemic and the looming threat of a tropical storm did not stop the move-in process at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But as new students settled in Monday, professors and staff worked to bring their attention back to the risk being on campus presents. “Our black and brown workers are on the front lines cleaning these dorms. They don’t have the proper equipment,” said Knorek. “It feels like you’re walking on eggshells and you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Harter added. As students move in among all uncertainties, UNC workers said they’re asking for the bare minimum: personal protective equipment, hazard pay and a seat at the table. The workers union wants employee safety to be the priority. Some members are now involved in a class action law suit that was filed against the university.

NC TEACHERS GET $350 BONUS, NOTHING FOR CUSTODIAL STAFF: In an email from DPI, affected teachers were told that “based on recent NCGA legislation, Session Law 2020-45, SB 818, the teacher performance bonus pay has been repurposed for the coming year. The $37.8 million will be used for the $350 bonus for all teachers in the upcoming year.... “ While teachers and instructional assistants will receive the bonuses, the lack of bonuses for support personnel was part of the legislative debate. “I’m really taken aback by the fact that we are not doing anything for our non-certified personnel in this bill,” House Democratic Leader Darren Jackson of Wake County said in June. House Speaker Tim Moore, a Kings Mountain Republican, told The N&O in June that the money was what they believed they could afford. The bill passed both chambers with bipartisan support, though several Democrats said that teachers deserved more money as well as the non-certified personnel.

PROTESTS MOUNT AS CASES SURGE AFTER SCHOOL REOPENINGS: With some public schools reopened and coronavirus cases already being reported, protesters in at least three dozen school districts across the country took to the streets Monday to demand that science and health concerns rule decisions about when and how to resume in-person learning. Late Monday, in what could have been a response, President Trump repeated his call for schools to open by tweeting: “OPEN THE SCHOOLS.” In Georgia’s Gwinnett County, some 260 employees tested positive or had possibly been exposed to the coronavirus a day after teachers returned to work last week and were told to stay home. Alcoa City Schools in Tennessee recently opened, but a few days later a student tested positive for the virus. At Corinth High School in Mississippi, in-person classes started last week and within days three students tested positive for the coronavirus and others went into quarantine as a result of contact tracing, according to a statement by the school district. In New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities across the country on Monday, teachers, students, parents and others protested in car caravans and street marches, demanding that health concerns and scientific findings on the spread of the novel coronavirus dictate when and how schools reopen.

TRUMP IS HAMPERING NEW COVID RELIEF EFFORTS BY PUSHING TAX CUT NONSENSE: Mr. Trump accused Democrats of being focused on getting “bailout money” for states controlled by Democrats, and unconcerned with extending unemployment benefits. Democrats have proposed providing more than $900 billion to strapped states and cities whose budgets have been decimated, but it is Republicans who have proposed slashing the jobless aid. Democrats have refused to do so, cementing the stalemate. Fueling an already complicated impasse, outside advisers are also trying to get the president to bypass Congress and unilaterally impose a temporary payroll tax cut, an idea that Mr. Trump has championed but that his negotiators dropped amid opposition from both parties. Congressional staff and lobbyists who are engaged in discussions said on Monday that the talks between administration officials and Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer had essentially frozen negotiations between top Democrats and Republicans on key committees who would have to hammer out the details of any deal. The Senate is scheduled to take a monthlong recess at the end of the week, but it is unclear if lawmakers will leave Washington without a deal. Tens of millions of Americans have lost crucial unemployment benefits as well as a federal moratorium on evictions, and economists warn that permanent damage could be wrought on the economy without action.



We'll get something before the end of the week

The GOP-led Senate might be stupid and contagious, but they're not stupid enough to take a month off without passing a relief bill.