Monday News: Eighteen thousand, two hundred fifty one


NC'S POSITIVE TEST RATE CONTINUES BELOW 5%: At least 1,489,653 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 18,251 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday reported 1,997 new coronavirus cases, down from 2,201 on Thursday. At least 1,144 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 340 adults who are patients in intensive care units, health officials said. On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 4% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. The State Board of Education approved a change to its attendance policy on Nov. 4 that allows for excused absences for students who have to quarantine or isolate from the coronavirus.

NASCAR DOESN'T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH "LET'S GO, BRANDON" CONSERVATIVE NONSENSE: Brandon Brown won his first career NASCAR race in October in Alabama, and the Talladega Superspeedway crowd at the Xfinity Series race chanted “F--- Joe Biden" during Brown's interview. It was not clear if NBC Sports reporter Kelli Stavast, who was wearing a headset, could hear what the crowd was saying during the interview, and she incorrectly told Brown the fans were cheering “Let's go, Brandon.” The phrase has become a rallying cry for Biden's critics, and “Let’s go, Brandon” is now conservative code for the original vulgar chant. Retired baseball star Lenny Dykstra posted a photo on Twitter this week of a man eating breakfast at a New Jersey hotel wearing a black “Let's go, Brandon” shirt alongside NASCAR's trademarked color bars. “We will pursue whoever (is using logos) and get that stuff,” Phelps said. “That's not OK. It's not OK that you're using our trademarks illegally, regardless of whether we agree with what the position is.” Little f**king children, every one of them.

NC REPUBLICANS FACE SECOND LAWSUIT OVER GERRYMANDERED MAPS: Barely 24 hours after their passage, North Carolina's newly drawn maps are facing another legal complaint that will likely determine how much Republicans can expand their political clout over the coming decade in a state that is slowly becoming more blue. An organization formed by Marc Elias, a prominent Democratic lawyer, announced Friday that a group of voters who successfully challenged previous North Carolina maps will now make a similar appeal in state court contesting the latest congressional maps. They will argue that the boundaries approved by Republicans on Thursday were drawn for political gain in a way that violates several provisions of the North Carolina Constitution. The stakes are high, as Republicans currently hold an 8-5 edge over Democrats in the U.S. House and would likely expand their advantages substantially if the maps prevail. During a virtual event on Twitter, Elias, founder of Democracy Docket, called North Carolina's maps “a grotesque partisan gerrymander” and “indefensible.” Hopefully this won't take 3-4 years to settle...

5 MOBILE CLASSROOMS (TRAILERS) DESTROYED IN CHATHAM COUNTY FIRE: Five mobile classrooms were burned in a fire at North Chatham Elementary School. A Chatham County Schools official said no one was injured. The main school building was not impacted. Photos appeared to show some of the units had partially collapsed. Classes will be conducted as usual Monday with some moving to a different space in the main building. CCS said the fire damage won't impact day-to-day learning this week. This is a prime example of just how poorly we are funding schools in our state. When these started showing up at school campuses, they were classified as "temporary" until new structures could be built. But that morphed into a permanent solution, thanks tightwads at the state and local level. These "mobile" classrooms are impossible to cool or heat properly, and they burn like kindling. Come on, folks. We can do much better.

WILMINGTON SET TO HONOR BLACK UNION SOLDIERS OF THE CIVIL WAR: The U.S. Colored Troops, 80 percent of whom were formerly enslaved men from the South, accounted for over half of the more than 2,000 Union casualties in the battles for Wilmington — one of which had taken place on the museum’s grounds. Yet there was no monument honoring them. “These men fought for their freedom, here, where the museum stands, and this is vitally important to who we are as a community,” Wilson says. “I want children to stand at the sculpture and look up and be inspired by the proud face of the soldiers and think: That could be me. That man looks like me.” And so, while the nation continues to take down Civil War monuments — including the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, which was removed in September, and the two statues in Wilmington, which were removed last year — the museum is installing a new memorial that recognizes the sacrifices of Black soldiers in the Union Army. “Boundless,” by North Carolina artist Stephen Hayes, will be unveiled this month — and it aims to put forward a new story line about African Americans during the Civil War. “As a Black man in America, you see the imagery of a Black person in chains, being whipped, begging, kneeling and helpless,” Hayes told StarNews, a local media outlet. “This project is important to me because, as a creator, I get to change that narrative — by giving Black soldiers a sense of honor and pride.” Never forget Wyatt Outlaw, who escaped slavery and fought for the Union. And was later lynched in downtown Graham, NC.