BLOOMBERG OPENS CAMPAIGN HEADQUARTERS IN CHARLOTTE: “It’s one of those states that nobody else goes to,” he said of North Carolina. Other candidates, he added, “are all focused on the early four (states) . . . You’re going to have to win the whole country to get the opportunity to take on Donald Trump.” A CBS News poll Sunday showed Bloomberg in fifth place among Democratic candidates behind former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. The former New York mayor drew nearly 200 people to the opening on North Tryon Street. The crowd included U.S. Rep. Alma Adams as well as as state lawmakers, members of Charlotte’s city council and Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, a national co-chair of the presidential campaign. Bloomberg was welcomed by council member James Mitchell, his North Carolina campaign director, and Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles.
A DECADE OF CUTS TO NC'S ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOG REVEALED IN REPORT: North Carolina's environmental watchdog agency took some of the biggest budget cuts in the country over the last 10 years, according to a state-by-state look at pollution control funding. State officials take issue with some of the report's findings, but no one disputes that the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality saw significant cuts in the last decade. The issue has been discussed for years, most recently as lawmakers debated the state's response to chemical releases in the Cape Fear River. There was an agreement to increase DEQ funding earlier this year, though not nearly to the extent Gov. Roy Cooper requested. That plan fell apart as part of a larger budget fight. Authors of "The Thin Green Line" report said the cuts, in North Carolina and around the country, came as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's own budget for pollution control and science dropped by 16 percent when adjusted for inflation. They also noted President Donald Trump's administration's ongoing push to reduce federal oversight, leaving more responsibility for the states.
DEPUTY PUT ON LEAVE AFTER SLAMMING MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT TO THE GROUND: School district officials reported the officer to authorities Thursday. Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said he asked the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to probe the situation at Vance County Middle School, which is about 45 miles (70 kilometers) north of Raleigh. “I was stunned and shocked because I have eight grandchildren, four between the ages of 8 and 13,” Brame said Friday. “To see a child that small reminded me of one of my grandchildren.” Brame said the student is under the age of 12. The video shows the student and officer walking side by side. The officer then stops, lifts the student against a wall, flips him head-down and slams him to the ground. The officer grabs the student again and drops him a second time. Vance County District Attorney Mike Waters said the extent of the boy's injuries could determine potential charges.
SCHUMER PLANS TO SUBPOENA WITNESSES WHO DODGED HOUSE TESTIMONY: Schumer pressed his case Monday to subpoena several senior Trump administration officials who did not testify in the House’s impeachment probe as witnesses for Trump’s expected trial next month in the Senate. “To not have them is to engage in a cover-up,” the Senate minority leader said during an appearance on MSNBC’S “Morning Joe.” “These witnesses are vital to determining exactly what has happened.” In a letter Sunday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Schumer outlined a number of procedural demands that Democrats say would make the Senate trial fair and able to be completed “within a reasonable period of time.” That includes subpoenas issued by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. for acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney; Robert Blair, a senior adviser to Mulvaney; former national security adviser John Bolton; and Michael Duffey, a top official at the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney, Blair and Duffey had been subpoenaed by the House committees and defied the summons; Bolton has not been subpoenaed but indicated he would fight one in court.
DONALD TRUMP HAS A MIDWEST PROBLEM THANKS TO TRADE WAR: President Trump campaigned in 2016 on a pledge to restore jobs — manufacturing jobs, specifically — to long-struggling Midwestern communities, and he has made the economy a centerpiece of his re-election campaign. But job growth has slowed sharply this year in Michigan, Pennsylvania and other states that were critical to Mr. Trump’s victory in 2016, as well as in states like Minnesota that he narrowly lost. The states are struggling in part because they depend heavily on manufacturing and agriculture, two sectors that have been hit especially hard by Mr. Trump’s trade war. Tariffs have driven up prices for imported parts and materials, and pushed down demand for American goods abroad. “Apart from agriculture and manufacturing, everything’s going OK,” said Ernie Goss, an economist at Creighton University in Omaha who publishes an economic index that tracks nine states from Minnesota to Arkansas. “Well, in this part of the country that’s not comforting. Those are the two industries we depend on.” “We do believe that manufacturing is in a recession,” said Sarah Crane, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “That is almost always going to have a disproportionately large impact on the Midwest.”