Public records requests have revealed that on at least four occasions, the Raleigh-Durham police obtained warrants forcing Google to reveal the identities of every mobile user within acres of a crime scene, sweeping up the personal information of thousands of people in a quest to locate a single perp.
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Built in the 1920s as High Point, North Carolina's "Bureau of Information," this 36-foot-tall The Goddard-Townsend style dresser/building represents the area's furniture and hosiery industries (note the socks).
It is considered the world's largest freestanding chest of drawers, though down the street an 80-foot-tall bureau was created a few years back as a building's facade.
Now, for a mere $235K, this unusual High Point icon -- a commercial property -- could be yours.
(Pee-wee Herman, Old House Dreams)
first image via Google, second photo by Laurie Hlywa Read the rest
North Carolina is one of several Republican-held states whose legislatures have created bizarre, misshapen and fundamentally, provably unfair electoral maps that ensure that the votes of Democrats in their states almost never result in representation by Democratic lawmakers.
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We just bought a house here in Burbank and I was delighted to learn that my new home office -- part of a business incorporated in the state of California -- would be sitting directly on one of the scorching-fast fiber optic lines that the city of Burbank maintains to wire up Disney, Warners and the other major businesses in town. Finally, an end to my long nightmare of slow, balky internet from Charter/Spectrum, my local cable monopolist!
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On Monday, anti-racist protesters in Durham, North Carolina pulled down a statue dedicated to the "unknown soldiers" who fought to defend slavery, which was adorned with "a seal engraved with ‘The Confederate States of America’" and the words, "In memory of the boys who wore gray." Read the rest
Zachary Smith writes, "Almost 30 years before Hulu's take on Margaret Atwood's feminist classic, a less-successful adaptation was filmed in Durham, NC. Here's a well-researched look at the making of that film, and its strange parallels to the community." Read the rest
NC Republicans and Democrats have collaborated on a "compromise" version of HB2, the state's notorious job-killing, boycott-raising, shamefully discriminatory bathroom bill. The compromise makes some cosmetic changes at the margins, but it's still a piece of shit that will embarrass the state on the national stage, and does not address any of the concerns raised by those who've announced boycotts of NC, meaning it will still cost the state billions. Read the rest
Barry White, Jr teaches fifth grade English at Charlotte, NC's Ashley Park School. Every day, he greets every one of his students with an amazing, personalized handshake, to "bring them excitement and pump them up for a high-energy class." Read the rest
Thomas writes, "Shortly after closing a post-election special session to fund relief for counties afflicted by flooding from Hurricane Matthew or mountain wildfires, North Carolina GOP legislative leaders announced a second special session to begin the same day with an open agenda. The docket was filled with 21 House bills, some of which stripped Democratic Governor Elect Roy Cooper of substantial control over the executive branch. This is a coup attempt, an effort to undermine the results of a highly scrutinized election." Read the rest
North Carolina is one of many states in which telcoms lobbyists have gotten the state house to ban towns and cities from selling high-speed internet to the public -- even in places where the cable/phone duopoly refuses to supply broadband. Read the rest
Wired's Emma Grey Ellis runs the numbers on HB2, the anti-transgender North Carolina law that requires bearded blokes to use the womens' bathroom because they have an F on their birth certificate. "It’s North Carolinians, most of whom don’t even support the legislation," Emma writes, "who get stuck with the bill. "
Adding all that up, the total cost to North Carolinians so far from HB2 protests is slightly more than $395 million. That’s more than the GDP of Micronesia. And the bulk of it is from sporting organizations, who even five years ago would likely not have waded into political territory like this. But experts aren’t that surprised that the NBA, NCAA, and ACC have taken this step now. “They’re not out on a limb here,” Durso says. “They’re in line with their base.” The near unanimous outcry against HB2 and in support of the NCAA and ACC confirms that. Legislating discrimination has become an expensive bad habit.
The sports-media business often imposes audience consensus upon local authorities. If usually a bad thing--think "taxpayers hooked into building private stadiums"--there are silver linings. Read the rest
The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has invalidated parts of North Carolina's voter suppression laws, ruling that the requirement to show photo ID was enacted "with racially discriminatory intent." Read the rest
House Bill 972, signed into law by NC governor Pat McCrory [R] on Tuesday, makes police dashcam and bodycam footage off-limits to public records requests, off-limits to anyone who isn't personally pictured in the footage, and then only by request, which can be turned down, forcing subjects to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Read the rest
A town meeting in Woodland, North Carolina heard public comments on a proposed solar farm in which citizens, including a retired science teacher called Jane Mann spoke out against the proposal. Read the rest
Fisherman Donnie Griggs captured the scene at North Carolina's Cape Lookout National Seashore. Below is a similar frenzy in the Bahamas. Read the rest
Chapel Hill police sent a heavily armed swat team to evict and arrest a group of some 80 Occupy Chapel Hill protesters who'd taken over a long vacant used car dealership (they also arrested members of the press covering the action). The police claimed the force was necessary because they'd been briefed that anarchist squatters use man-traps, and they believed this would be the case because the protesters had put banners in the windows and sited "strategic lookouts" on the roof. In other news: Chapel Hill police are credulous, dangerous dolts who set out to believe boogie-man stories about "anarchists" and seized on any rubric, no matter how farcical, they could find to support this a priori belief.
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The brick and cinderblock building with large windows fronting the sidewalk is owned by out-of-town businessman Joe Riddle and has stood empty for many years. One demonstrator said they were acting in the tradition of working-class squatters' movements around the world that some say inspired the Occupy Wall Street movement and its offshoots across the United States.
The group printed a flier that proposed a possible new use for the space that would include a free clinic, kitchen, child care, library and dormitories, among other uses. The flier acknowledged they were breaking the law by entering the building.
"Make no mistake: this occupation is illegal," it said, "as are most of the other occupations taking place around the U.S., as were many of the other acts of defiance that won the little freedom and equality we appreciate today."
In Rolling Stone, Jeff Tietz has an investigative piece on how Smithfield Foods, America's largest hog slaughterer, circumvents law, pollutes like crazy, and creates antibiotic and vaccine-laden pork products that feed our country. Read the rest