Wednesday News: Every little bit helps

CITY OF RALEIGH IS BUYING HOTEL FOR THOSE IN NEED: The city of Raleigh has bought a 113-room hotel to shelter people in need. The three-story extended stay hotel, built in 1987, will be paid for with $8 million of the city’s federal American Rescue Plan Act money. The Raleigh City Council will begin searching for a nonprofit partner to manage it. People facing evictions or other barriers to stable housing sometimes stay in hotels for weeks and months at a time, but there aren’t good methods of counting them. Wake County has about 400 beds for those with emergency shelter needs across a handful of shelters, but more than 500 people on the waiting list. Another $10 million will go toward “large-scale” proposals to tackle community health initiatives around mental health, food security and those “disproportionally impacted by the pandemic.” We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

THESE SCHOOL BOARD BULLIES NEED TO SHUT THE HELL UP: More than two dozen Triangle public and private schools are reporting COVID-19 clusters, as children continue to account for some of the highest rates of new cases in North Carolina. Twenty-six schools have active COVID-19 clusters, according to the latest state Department of Health and Human Services’ report released Tuesday. The report lists clusters at 12 schools in Wake County, five in Durham and two schools each in Franklin, Granville and Orange counties. Chatham, Harnett and Johnston counties each had one active cluster listed. In the Wake County school system, clusters were reported at Athens Drive High, Holly Grove Elementary, Lake Myra Elementary, Knightdale High, Neuse River Middle, Sanderson High, Southeast Raleigh High and Vandora Springs Elementary. All ages are vulnerable with the Delta variant raging.

WHY IS LOUIS DEJOY STILL RUNNING THE POSTAL SERVICE?: Arrival times could take longer for mail you use a stamp to send, as well as packages and magazines. The new changes will go into effect at United States Postal Service offices starting Friday, Oct. 1. Service that’s been a 1 to 3 day guarantee could now take five days. Officials with the postal office said that mail traveling long distances will be affected, and said most customers won't see a difference in their local deliveries. These new changes are a result of the post office's effort to rely less on planes to transport mail and more on trucks. The postal office says it will work to keep costs at "reasonable levels" and help "keep postage rates affordable," as well as improve service reliability and increase efficiency. Bottom line: if a bill or card needs to arrive by a certain date, get it out earlier. That might work if you're not living from paycheck to paycheck...

NC BEACH COP CHARGED WITH PAWNING GUNS OUT OF EVIDENCE LOCK-UP: A former North Carolina police officer has been accused of stealing guns from the police department where he worked, authorities said Tuesday. In a news release, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation said former North Topsail Beach police officer Mark William Ray Jr., 41, is charged with 15 counts of obtaining property by false pretense, embezzlement, and felony conversion, according to an agency news release. The SBI said the North Topsail police chief asked the agency in March to investigate suspected thefts of several firearms being held as evidence at the police department. Agents determined that the guns were sold or pawned at local pawn shops. Ray turned himself in at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. on Monday, the SBI said. He was given a $75,000 unsecured bond and his status couldn't be determined on Tuesday, including whether he has an attorney. Bolding mine, because that's bullshit. He didn't have to post bail, or give a bail bondsman 10% ($7,500) to get his ass out of jail. Grrr.

MAN WHO KILLED JOURNALISTS GETS LIFE SENTENCE, WITHOUT PAROLE: Jarrod Ramos, the gunman who attacked the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis in 2018, will serve five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for the murders of Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith and John McNamara. Judge Michael Wachs sentenced Ramos to a sixth life sentence for the attempted murder of one shooting survivor, and hundreds more years in prison on other gun and assault charges. After nearly two hours of emotional impact statements from the loved ones of those killed in the shooting and those who survived Ramos’s rampage, Wachs told the courtroom that Ramos’s sentence was what he “deserves and has earned.” The sentence in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in Annapolis on Tuesday marks an end to the grueling legal battle that started on June 28, 2018, when Ramos stormed the Annapolis newsroom with the intention of killing as many people as possible. During the weeks-long trial in July, survivors of the shooting relived their worst days to testify before the jury. The family members of those who were killed sat in the courtroom and watched video footage of their loved one’s last breaths. They should take away his blanket and give him nothing but the sheets of Gazette papers to keep him warm.