Monday News: Exporting bigotry


HERE'S HOW BILLS IN N.C. AND TEXAS MEASURE UP (Texas Tribune) -- Since Texas Republicans unveiled their so-called “bathroom bill” in early January, supporters have described the bill as similar to a law passed by North Carolina yet different in important ways. "We're doing what North Carolina did — we're fighting back," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Family Research Council that also featured North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. "Our bill is a little bit different than their bill, but our objective is the same. That's to provide common sense, common decency, privacy and public safety to women."

LEGISLATORS WANT HIGHER PAY TO HANDLE FINANCIAL STRESS OF THE JOB (Duke Chronicle) -- Are state legislators underpaid? They say they are, and they want a raise. In a bill initially co-sponsored by one Democratic and three Republican senators, legislators are asking to be paid $60 more per day when the General Assembly is in session. If the bill passes, the changes would take effect in 2019 and primarily change stipends for mileage, food and lodging. Mike Woodard, a state senator from Durham County and business analyst at Duke, agreed that pay raises could be necessary.

UNC-CHARLOTTE QB KEVIN OLSEN ARRESTED ON RAPE CHARGES (WRAL-TV) -- UNC-Charlotte student-athlete Kevin Olsen, the younger brother of Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, was arrested Sunday on rape and sexual assault charges. Kevin Olsen, of Wayne, N.J., is charged with three counts of second-degree forcible rape and one count each of cyberstalking, second-degree forcible sex offense and assault on a female. UNC-Charlotte's head coach, Brad Lambert, said Sunday that the athletic department is aware of Olsen's arrest, according to a report from WCNC.

COAL ASH DUMP DEVELOPER VISTAGREEN SEEKS TO ENGAGE PUBLIC (Roanoke Rapids Daily Herald) -- After withdrawing its application for a special-use permit in Northampton County, developer VistaGreen pulled back to regroup and examine its strategy. Now, VistaGreen President Clarence Mann and his son, C.J., have returned to Northampton County to dispel what they see as misinformation about the High Bridge Park project. The two men seek to do this through community outreach while simultaneously showing the community that VistaGreen is a family business, not a large conglomerate. Among the key pieces of information the men wish to convey to the community is the safety of lined coal ash pits compared to their more dated counterparts, which are unlined.

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