Tuesday News: Road Worriers

STORMS AND LAWSUITS HAVE DRAINED NC DOT'S OPERATING CAPABILITIES: A draft of the STIP released last winter already proposed delays to a dozen highway projects in the Triangle, including the conversion of Capital Boulevard into a freeway between Raleigh and Wake Forest. At the time, NCDOT officials cited several reasons for the changes, including rising prices for materials and labor and faulty estimates that didn’t accurately reflect the cost of buying land in urban areas like the Triangle. Since then, NCDOT’s financial picture has gotten worse. The department has spent nearly $300 million in the last year on cleanup and repairs following storms, including Hurricane Florence, which hit just two years after Hurricane Matthew. Meanwhile, NCDOT has spent more than $300 million settling lawsuits related to the Map Act, a law the state used to reserve land for future roads without actually buying it. The state Supreme Court found the law unconstitutional, and NCDOT says the cost to settle individual lawsuits could top $1 billion.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The real value Twitter can bring to the table:

As opposed to the robotic posting of multiple hourly Tweets with the same message...

Marching against hate: A tale of two NC communities

Hillsborough has become a battleground against bigotry:

Hillsborough gathered together Saturday afternoon as part of the March Against White Supremacy. Hundreds of people participated by walking through downtown. They gathered at the Old Slave Cemetery to get ready to march. Without knowing exactly what to expect a crowd of about 700 began the walk from the Cemetery to the Courthouse.

The rally comes a week after members of the KKK came to the town while Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris was in Durham to speak at an event. Officials in Hillsborough said the KKK's presence wasn't expected and there was no documentation filed to gather and protest. People from all walks of life came together to show solidarity.

Several people I know were involved in this march, and it has to have been one of the largest gatherings downtown Hillsborough has ever seen. My Facebook feed was inundated with updates and photos of the march, but then I noticed something else happening. Some of my friends are also in Eastern North Carolina, and in Greenville there was another march taking place in defense of The Squad:

Monday News: Here we go again...


GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES WARNING ABOUT HURRICANE DORIAN: Gov. Roy Cooper on Sunday said all North Carolina residents should be prepared to take action as Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 5 storm, could threaten the Carolinas later this week. "We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst," he said during a Sunday session with reporters. "Right now, it's fierce storm and North Carolina will likely see heavy rains, winds and flooding. I urge everyone to take it seriously. The time to prepare is now." Dorian slammed into the Bahamas around midday Sunday with sustained winds near 180 mph, the strongest on record to hit the northwestern archipelago, leaving residents scrambling to find shelter as they braced for rising waters and torrential rains.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


EXPAND MEDICAID, SPARE US THE SONG AND DANCE: Senate leader Phil Berger and his partner House Speaker Tim Moore have hatched a scheme to work their will with the state budget. They are taking Johnny Cash’s advice to build it “one piece at a time.” If they want to get it all through with little dissent, the first item needs to be expanding Medicaid. They’ll find much of the rest, a breeze to put together. But the unfortunate reality is that Berger and Moore will do almost anything to avoid confronting the issue that demands their immediate attention. They’d rather have rank-and-file legislators twiddle their $42,000-a-day thumbs or jet off to conferences – than discuss expanding Medicaid coverage to more than a half-million working North Carolinians whose families today lack health coverage.


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