Saturday News: Indiscriminate

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ICE ROUND-UPS OF NON-CRIMINAL IMMIGRANTS SKYROCKET IN SOUTHEAST: “ICE continues to focus its enforcement efforts on criminal offenders,” ICE spokesman Bryan Cox said in a statement to the Observer this week. “Claims of any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement by this agency are not accurate.” But in the Southeast, ICE has steadily been arresting more immigrants who lack a criminal record, according to an Observer analysis of data released by the agency last week. The Atlanta office for the agency, which oversees Georgia and the Carolinas, has not changed the number of people it detains each year across the region in the current administration: Since at least fall 2017, it apprehended about 1,230 immigrants each month. (Arrest numbers, however, are down from the early 2010s under President Obama.) In the past year and a half, though, the percentage of those arrested who lack criminal convictions or pending charges has been rising steadily, up almost 50% in the past two years for the Atlanta field office, from 7.75% to over 11.5%.
https://www.newsobserver.com/article232503812.html

Florida company retaliates against renters featured in AP story

Taking advantage of hurricane victims is as low as you can get:

Two mobile home residents in North Carolina were hit with eviction notices Thursday, shortly after complaining to The Associated Press about spikes in their monthly lot rental. The notices from Florida-based company Time Out Communities were delivered two days after the residents were prominently featured in an AP story on those living in hurricane-ravaged Robeson County.

Time Out said it had begun working on the paperwork for both eviction notices prior to the article's publication. They also said many other eviction notices were filed on the same day.

Just one more group of people crucified on the altar of the Free Market. Affordable housing will never be properly addressed until municipal governments crack down and pass rent control ordinances. That goes for county governments as well as town/city ones. These folks saw their lot rents tripled in less than two years, and that should be a crime. Instead, they are the ones headed to court:

Friday News: Harm Reduction

NC LEGISLATURE PASSES BILL ALLOWING GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGES: The Opioid Epidemic Response Act, which passed the state Senate, was ratified by the House this week and now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper, will allow syringe exchanges to use state funding. It also will decriminalize drug-testing equipment and reduce restrictions for prescribing buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction. Jesse Bennett is the statewide overdose-prevention coordinator for the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, a nonprofit that works on issues like injection drug use through activities like advocacy and connecting people to the care they need. In the three years since syringe exchanges became legal, Bennett said they have gone from distributing a few thousand syringes a year to nearly a million. And the syringes are one of the most expensive pieces of the job. “That’s where we’re we struggle the most,” Bennett said. He said they have to be conservative with how many they can give out at times. “It’s scary sometimes, especially when you have hepatitis or HIV outbreaks,” Bennett said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article232543287.html

Offshore drilling opponents on the coast get boost from Asheville

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Would that all NC's major cities show the same support:

Since the spring of 2017 when a shift in policy by the Trump administration caused the prospect of offshore oil and gas exploration off the North Carolina coast to reemerge as real possibility, local governments from Currituck to Calabash have steadily weighed in, passing resolutions in opposition and in some cases multiple times. About 40 of the coastal region’s municipalities and all but two coastal county boards — Carteret and Brunswick — have put their opposition to paper.

One of the latest additions to that list, however, could be a sign that other parts of the state are lining up against new leases as well. In late April, the Asheville City Council unanimously passed a resolution against both offshore drilling and seismic testing.

Aside from Lousiana's Mississippi Delta region, I'm not sure there is another state whose coastal area is as vulnerable to toxic spills as North Carolina's. Spilled oil could (and would) easily migrate deep into our tidal wetlands, and there's no fixing that. It would be devastating to not only fish and other waterborne species, but also migrating birds. Having Cooper in the Governor's mansion is a huge relief, especially considering McCrory turned his office into the damn headquarters of the drilling effort:

Thursday News: Was ist los mit dir?

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BERGER FLIES OFF TO BERLIN DURING BUDGET STANDOFF: Just hours after Gov. Roy Cooper and Democratic legislative leaders delivered a new budget proposal to Republican legislative leaders, two of them were on their way out of the country. Senate leader Phil Berger of Rockingham County and Sen. Harry Brown of Onslow County, who is the Senate majority leader and a budget writer, were on their way to attend the Senate Presidents’ Forum summer 2019 conference in Berlin. According to the group’s website, there will be sessions on recent trade tariffs, Brexit and nationalist trends, and an update on the Middle East. The conference runs through July 14. The trip comes weeks after Republicans criticized Cooper for leaving the state for non-state business while attempting to set up budget negotiation meetings.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article232512972.html

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