Key Question for Supreme Court: Will It Let Gerrymanders Stand? – New York Times

Georgia and last week in Kansas had the feel of the first rounds of an epic battle next year for control of the House of Representatives and the direction of national politics as the Trump presidency unfolds.

But for all the zeal on the ground, none of it may matter as much as a case heading to the Supreme Court, one that could transform political maps from City Hall to Congress — often to Democrats’ benefit.

A bipartisan group of voting rights advocates says the lower house of the Wisconsin Legislature, the State Assembly, was gerrymandered by its Republican majority before the 2012 election — so artfully, in fact, that Democrats won a third fewer Assembly seats than Republicans despite prevailing in the popular vote. In November, in a 2-to-1 ruling, a panel of federal judges agreed. (Read more)

Our View: Keep ethics, elections boards separate – Rocky Mount Telegram

House Republicans last week rushed through legislation that rewrites a law struck down in court as unconstitutional to merge the state ethics and elections boards into a single panel.

The new bill leaves in place an eight-member panel with membership equally divided by the two parties, but the governor would get to make all eight appointments, choosing four from six nominees provided by each chairman of the state Democratic and Republican parties. It would also require the votes of five board members to reach a decision rather than the previous law’s six.

County election boards, which currently have three members, would be evenly divided four-member boards.

Republican legislative leaders retooled the measure to avoid further appeals of the ruling striking down the previous law, one of several enacted in December limiting the then-incoming governor’s powers just weeks before Gov. Roy Cooper assumed office. (Read more)

Our View: Need for storm relief won’t go away – Rocky Mount Telegram

On a national scale, Hurricane Matthew doesn’t prompt quite the response as historic storms like Sandy, Katrina and Andrew. But to North Carolina residents, Matthew was every bit as catastrophic. Even now — six months after the hurricane made landfall — hundreds of people are still living in temporary shelters.

That’s why FEMA and Congress should renew efforts to help North Carolina build back from this horrible disaster, as Gov. Roy Cooper recently requested.

As reported by Telegram staff writer Lindell John Kay, Cooper has asked for almost $1 billion in federal disaster relief funds to help victims of Hurricane Matthew. (Read more)

Some entire NC towns may become vacant memorials to Matthew – News & Observer

The Watch Dog response: For all of my Princeville friends, this thing is real and it ain’t just an issue in Princeville. The town of Princeville need to submit their plan and see what the NC General Assembly and all the resources involved will respond.

FAIR BLUFF

Almost nothing has changed in downtown Fair Bluff since Hurricane Matthew sent the Lumber River out of its banks and three feet deep into the businesses that lined Main Street last October.

A few of the century-old buildings have been emptied out, but dried river mud coats the warped floors and black mold laces the walls. Ruined paint cans and brushes sit on the shelves at Ellis Meares & Son True Value, and in a shop where former mayor Randy Britt once sold women’s Sunday dresses, the chrome racks stand empty. With power still out to most of downtown, even the clock on the post outside what used to be Elvington Pharmacy is frozen in time.

“I do worry about the future of Fair Bluff,” said Micheal Green, who had MikeMike’s Computers at 1122 Main St. before the flood and has been unable to reopen. “I worry about it a lot.”

State and local officials are worried about Fair Bluff too, along with other towns and business districts in Eastern North Carolina that were hit hard by flooding from Hurricane Matthew at perhaps the most vulnerable time in their civic lives. Much of rural Eastern North Carolina had suffered huge losses when manufacturing jobs left the state in the 1980s and ’90s. That was followed by the devastation of Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and, starting in 2007, the Great Recession. (Read more)

Cooper vetoes court, elections bills – WRAL

Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday issued the second and third vetoes of his administration, rejecting bills that would cut the size of the state Court of Appeals and would combine the state boards that oversee elections and ethics complaints.

Lawmakers last week approved legislation that would reduce the Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12 in the next couple of years as three older judges hit the mandatory retirement age. Normally, Cooper would be able to name replacements to serve out the remainder of the judges’ terms. (Read more)

Homegoing Celebration For Steven Dillard Thornhill Sr. Raleigh NC

My condolences goes out to Mary Ann McNair Thornhill and the entire family of the late Steven Dillard Thornhill Sr. formerly of Lynchburg Va.

I just met Steven last month at Sheriff James Knight retirement dinner that was held by South Edgecombe Class of 1977.

I was shocked to learn a couple of days ago that he had expired.

Script.: Read Eccles. 3 and know, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

Song: Your Grace & Mercy – Mississippi Mass Choir

Viewing: 12 Noon – 8 PM, Friday at the funeral home Raleigh.
11 AM – 12 Noon, Saturday, April 22, 2017, prior to the Service, at the Church Lynchburg VA.

Funeral Service: 12 Noon, Saturday, April 22, 2017, 5th Street Baptist Church, 1007 5th Street, Lynchburg, VA.

Body Entrusted to: Steven L. Lyons Funeral Home Inc. Raleigh NC

Princeville NC – Do You Get It Or Do You Need To Keep Hearing?

Congressman G.K. Butterfield listened to the folk today however only a couple of folk spoke up.

Facts:

The Town of Princeville got to have a plan.

So what is the plan?

If you had insurance and your insurance states what they are to cover, if they don’t then you have a legal issue.

Congress along with President T. says they are going to do something with infrastructure and Congressman Butterfield said he was going to request monies for infrastructure in his district.

But do ya’ll not understand that in 1999 the Democrats were in control? Do you not know that in North Carolina and in Washington DC that the Republicans are in control? So to keep talking about what happened in 1999 vs 2016 is null and void because as you see things are totally different.

The best thing folk can do is to be true to themselves. Think about what they are saying because whether one like it or not insurance companies, FEMA and others that you are dealing with have guidelines so it is what it is. More than likely they are not going to change them in the middle of the game in your favor so you will have to accept what they offer because it is what it is.

Now before you get it twisted I was a flood victim in 1999 and in 2016.