Wednesday News: Resegregation


GOP LEADERS PONDER BREAKING UP SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO COURT SUBURBAN VOTERS: State lawmakers will begin studying next week how to break up North Carolina school districts, potentially paving the way for splitting large school systems like Wake County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Supporters said the state should look at what’s the most effective size for school districts while opponents said it could lead to resegregation of schools. Brawley, Bradford and Malone also represent counties where there’s been support from some suburban residents to break up their school districts. Many transplants to North Carolina are used to individual towns running their own small school systems. In contrast, most school systems in North Carolina are county-based.

DEQ ISSUES NEW VIOLATION ORDERS TO CHEMOURS FOR CONTINUED CONTAMINATION: State environmental regulators issued new orders against Chemours Monday, requiring the chemical firm to cut air emissions and other sources of GenX and other unregulated compounds contaminating ground- and surface water near its Bladen County plant. The notice of violation sent this week from the state Department of Environmental Quality directs the company to take additional steps to halt ongoing contamination regulators have seen in nearby wells and in river water following heavy rainfall. That includes the reduction or elimination of air emissions, the cleaning of contaminated equipment, the treatment of stormwater ditches and the removal of "other known sources such that they are no longer ongoing sources of contamination."

GOVERNOR COOPER VENTS FRUSTRATION OVER LEGISLATURE'S FAILURE TO FUND ANTI-POLLUTION EFFORTS: State lawmakers’ disagreements on how – or whether – to spend more money now or in the future fighting pollution were apparently too tough to deal with for now. So they decided Tuesday to leave the issue alone for at least another three months. Gov. Roy Cooper was not pleased, calling the legislature’s delay “unconscionable.” In January, the North Carolina House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would give extra money to the state’s environmental regulators to address a chemical called GenX. But Senate leadership didn’t allow an immediate vote on it. The Senate then made several major changes, passed the bill over Democratic objections, and sent it back to the House. But on Tuesday the House adjourned without voting on the new version.

NETANYAHU CHANNELS TRUMP WITH ATTACK ON POLICE INVESTIGATION INTO CORRUPTION: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday shrugged off police recommendations that he be charged with corruption, calling the allegations "biased, extreme: and "full of holes, like Swiss cheese" and vowing to remain in office. Opposition politicians, meanwhile, called for Netanyahu to resign and urged his coalition allies to abandon his government. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay said that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Education Minister Naftali Bennett — leaders of two of the larger parties in Netanyahu's coalition — need to choose between supporting the prime minister and upholding the rule of law. "I think it's clear here that this government needs to go to elections. It can't be that this government continues as is," Gabbay told Israel's Army Radio. "A prime minister that busies himself with attacking his police and law enforcement is simply attacking himself, attacking the country."

ANOTHER TRUMP DISTRICT WON HANDILY BY A DEMOCRAT IN FLORIDA HOUSE RACE: Democrats seized the national spotlight with another victory in a legislative district that President Donald Trump carried and added more momentum to their midterm election ambitions by propelling Siesta Key attorney Margaret Good to an upset win Tuesday in Florida’s state House District 72 race. Good beat Republican James Buchanan and Libertarian Alison Foxall in race that morphed from a sleepy special election for a relatively low-profile legislative seat into a national bellwether, one that attracted attention from high-profile political figures and likely broke the voter turnout record for similar Florida elections. The final results weren’t even close, adding to the narrative that Democrats are on a roll nationwide. Good won by seven percentage points, claiming 52.2 percent of the vote compared with 44.8 percent for Buchanan and 3 percent for Foxall. That’s a huge swing from 2016 when Trump won the District by 4.4 percentage points.