Wednesday News: You don't get to do that.


MCCRORY BACKERS HEADED TO COURT FOR MALIGNING VOTERS: A lawsuit alleging that Republican-affiliated groups falsely accused some North Carolinians of voter fraud is one step closer to going to trial before a jury. The case centers on North Carolina’s 2016 gubernatorial election, when a Republican campaign tried a strategy much like the one former President Donald Trump has employed in claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him. After preliminary results showed then-Gov. Pat McCrory lost the 2016 election, lawyers affiliated with McCrory and other supporters of his campaign accused numerous North Carolina voters, by name, of having committed fraud. Those accusations were quickly proven false, and the voters sued for libel. McCrory himself wasn’t part of the lawsuit, but his supporters have fought it, claiming they’re immune from being sued for their false voter fraud accusations. When you name names, you better have your shit together.

MAYOR BALDWIN QUITS JOB WORKING FOR TRIANGLE DEVELOPER: Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin has left her job at Barnhill Contracting. She said public criticism of her working for developers while serving the city as mayor did not play into her decision. “During COVID many people have been assessing their careers,” Baldwin wrote on LinkedIn on Monday. “I’m no different. Last month, I resigned my business development position at Barnhill and am looking to return to my roots in marketing or in the non-profit sector.” Baldwin was hired as the director of business development for Barnhill Contracting Co.’s Triangle and Streamline Divisions in May 2020. “While I enjoyed my tenure at Barnhill (and all the wonderful people I met), I am excited to find the next opportunity to make a positive difference,” Baldwin wrote on LinkedIn. Baldwin faced criticism for taking the Barnhill job soon after the construction company received a $6.3 million city contract. As well she should. I'm an unpaid volunteer on the Planning Board, and I wouldn't even contemplate taking such a job.

CHATHAM COUNTY APOLOGIZES FOR 1921 LYNCHING: A Black 16-year-old was lynched then shot to death in Chatham County 100 years ago. Now, the county is apologizing for its role in the child's death. In 1921, Eugene Daniel was accused of standing in a white girl's bedroom, watching her while she slept. The case never saw a courtroom. An angry mob of about 50 people took Daniel from his jail cell in Pittsboro with help from the Chatham County Sheriff, a county commissioner, the coroner and the county's jail keeper. "The lynching of Eugene Daniel is a painful part of Chatham County’s history, and while our apology can’t change what happened, we feel it is an important step in helping his family and our entire community heal,” said Chatham County Commissioner Karen Howard. The county held a remembrance ceremony on Sept. 18 to honor Daniel and his family. State records show that county officials gathered bloodhounds from Raeford to chase Daniel down while he was sleeping and put him in jail. He was hanged in an area near Moore's Bridge, which has since become submerged by Jordan Lake. At least 1,000 people came to look at Daniels after he was killed, "all striving to reach the scene to view the body before it could been taken down," local newspapers report. That's almost as bad as the lynching itself. Grrr.

COAST GUARD SCREWED THE POOCH ON CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL: The Coast Guard did not investigate initial reports of an oil spill for nearly 12 hours because it didn't have enough corroborating evidence and was hindered by darkness and a lack of technology, an official told The Associated Press on Tuesday. Rear Admiral Brian Penoyer acknowledged that the Coast Guard was alerted Friday night by a “good Samaritan” that there was a sheen on the water. It put out a broadcast to the many cargo and tanker ships anchored off the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports seeking more information, but it did not receive any supporting reports. Penoyer said it was common to get reports of a sheen near a busy seaport. It would take more than 12 hours after the report before an oil pipeline company reported a spill that could be up to 126,000 gallons (572,807 liters) of heavy crude. “In hindsight, it seems obvious, but they didn’t know that at that time,” Penoyer said. “So putting yourself in the position of what they did know, this is a very normal process." The source of the leak was a 17-mile pipeline that was bent and had a large split in it and had been displaced by 105 feet on the sea floor, Coast Guard Capt. Rebecca Ore said at a news conference. Okay, the Coast Guard has their own fricking boats (vessels, whatever), somebody should have checked it out in person. WTAF.

14% OF THE WORLD'S CORAL REEFS HAVE DIED SINCE 2009, DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate change is wiping out coral reefs and will kill more if oceans keep getting warmer, researchers warned on Tuesday in a new study that spanned much of the globe. The world already lost 14 percent of its coral between 2009 and 2018 — or what amounts to more than all the coral now living in Australia’s reefs — scientists with the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network found. They blamed rising sea surface temperatures: While local factors like too much fishing, pollution and construction on the coast play a role, coral bleaching has done the most harm. That’s what happens when the water becomes so warm that corals evict the algae that they shelter in return for food. The corals turn white if their colorful partners stay away for too long, and over time, they can starve to death. The decline of coral reefs threatens millions of people who rely on them for food, jobs and protection. They are also behind $2.7 trillion a year in goods and services, including $36 billion in tourism, the new report estimated. Around the world, the reefs are home to 25 percent of all marine animals and plants, help limit flooding for 500 million residents, and are a source of fish for many more.