Tuesday, December 17, 2019



[HENDERSON] A former Vance County deputy recently fired for twice slamming a middle school student to the grown twice on video will only be charged with three misdemeanors - assault on a child under 12; misdemeanor child abuse and failure to discharge duties. The former officer, Warren Durham, faces ninety days in jail. The Vance county district Attorney announced Tuesday that he will not charge Durham with felonies because the injuries to the child did not warrant such. According to state law, the child’s injuries did not bing about the risk of death, extreme pain or disfigurement. The child’s parents are not pleased with the light sentence.

[GREENSBORO] Sixth District Congressman Mark Walker has decided he will not challenge U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) for re-election in 2020, and will instead wait until 2022 to run for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s seat when its becomes open. Burr has announced that he is not running for reelection. Walker, is decided not to run for re-election when his Sixth District was redrawn to lean Democrat, says he has secured a 2022 endorsement from Pres. Trump.

[CHARLOTTE] Former Gov. Pat McCrory has until this Friday at 12 noon to decide if he’ll run to unseat current NC Gov. Roy Cooper, the man who unseated him four years ago. McCrory has made no announcement about his political future, but is expected to say something before the close of candidate filing Friday, especially since he is leading in the Civitas poll for the seat. McCrory served one term before Cooper unseated him.

                                      REP. ALMA ADAMS (D-NC-12)

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

For almost two months, it looked the U.S. Senate was going to allow Rep. Alma Adams’ FUTURE Act bill  - established in 2008,  which reauthorizes “…$255 million in critical funding for “Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) for the next two years, including $85 million for HBCUs -  to go the way of other measures passed by the U.S. House this term that crossed over to the Senate.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, stopped the measure from proceeding after it crossed over from the , saying that he preferred “a long-term solution.”
At first, Rep. Adams, who is co-chair of the Congressional Bi-partisan HBCU Caucus and cosponsor of the bill along with Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC-6) , expressed concern over Sen. Alexander’s action. But ultimately, the Republican was able to garner enough support for the long-term solution he originally sought, passing a stronger version in the Senate, and sending it back to the House, where Rep. Adams and others gladly ratified it last week, changes and all.
The amended FUTURE Act has been now sent over to the White House for Pres. Trump’s approval.
“Know that when Congress makes a promise for [our students’] future, we mean what we say, “ Rep. Adams said on the House floor before it ratified FUTURE Act 2.0., 319 -96.
After the House passed the new measure, Rep. Adams thanked , “…all of the HBCU advocates who help3d pass this bill; HBCU students, graduates, faculty, and staff; Divine nine members….” and those “who sent tens of thousands of letters to Congress….”
Rep. Adams also thanked several Democratic candidates for president, who have “…released the most ambitious campaign plans for HBCUs in history.”
"I’m glad the House passed Rep. Adams' FUTURE Act to permanently fund historically black colleges and universities, and other minority-serving institutions. As president, I’ll invest $70 billion in these institutions to improve affordability, build new facilities, and support student success,” said former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions play a central role in creating pathways to opportunity and empowering Black communities, it’s because of their power that I’m here today,” said Senator Cory Booker. “I’m proud to be working with Congresswoman Adams and my colleagues in the Senate to pass the FUTURE Act to ensure that these institutions are well-funded, affordable, and continue uplifting Black and Brown Americans.”
"I applaud the tireless efforts of Congresswoman Alma Adams as well as her co-sponsors in leading the House in passing the FUTURE Act, which provides dedicated funding to our nation’s historically Black colleges and universities," said Mayor Pete Buttigieg. "For too long, HBCUs have built the Black middle class in this country with little support from our federal government. They deserve to be supported, and it starts with critical legislation like the FUTURE Act. When I’m president, my administration will invest $50 billion in historically Black colleges and universities to end disparities in critical professions and work to connect graduates with opportunities to serve in areas that need it most. It’s not just the right thing to do. It’s the smart thing to do to ensure a brighter, stronger future for this country."
Rep. Walker - whose wife got her nursing degree from Winston-Salem State University - also applauded the heard-fought for victory.
The legislation reauthorizes minority-serving institution (MSI) funding – including for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) like North Carolina A&T State University – within the Higher Education Act permanently,” his office said in a press release.
“In North Carolina, HBCUs are 16 percent of the four-year institutions but enroll 45 percent of all black undergraduates and award 43 percent of all black bachelor’s degrees in the state. North Carolina’s ten HBCUs generate $1.7 billion in total economic impact and 15,663 jobs for our local and regional economy.”
Rep. Adams, in thanking her supporters, concluded by saying, “This is one of the proudest days of my career as your Congresswoman, and I'm honored to have you on my team.”

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

The Trump Administration made it final on Dec. 5th.
As of April 2020, if you are a non-disabled food stamp recipient without children, and not gainfully employed even part-time, you will eventually be disqualified from receiving government aid.
Nearly 700,000 low-income American citizens are scheduled to be hit with the first of an oncoming three-stage reality for the nearly 4 million who currently qualify for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Right now, able-bodied, childless adults between 18 - 49 can only receive three months of SNAP benefits out of a 36-month period if they’re not working at least 20 hours a week. States currently have the option to waive that requirement.
But as of April 2020, states could only wave the work requirement if a city or county has a 6% unemployment rate or higher, and those waivers, with the governor’s support,  are only good for one year.
The Trump Administration insists  that the new program will move low-income SNAP recipients “from welfare to work.”
Critics counter that the change will simply impoverish more people and tighten the poverty vise around them.
So what will the impact here in North Carolina?
Across the state, SNAP benefits are available to North Carolina families with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or roughly 1.2 million citizens as of last August.
According to the online publication, The Center Square, as of last August, the number of North Carolinians not receiving food assistance has dropped over 5.6%, or 70,000 recipients, since August 2018. The Trump Administration had already warned that a 9% cut was forthcoming to the SNAP program by that time. 
A report released in September by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projected approximately 150,000 North Carolina SNAP recipients could lose benefits, with about nine percent of those being children, and 15 percent being elderly.
The cut in SNAP benefits could amount to approximately $59.00 a month, the report added.
According to Mathematica.org, eleven percent of 750,493 SNAP households in North Carolina, or 79,260, would lose benefits. 
In terms of placing restrictions on low-income, unemployed North Carolinians when it comes to granting work waivers, former Gov. Pat McCrory and the Republican-led NC General Assembly jumped the gun when 2015, they passed House Bill 318 , which “…Except for waivers for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program sought for an area that has received a Presidential disaster declaration of Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department [of Health and Human Services]  shall not seek waivers to time limits established by federal law for food and nutrition benefits for able-bodied adults without dependents required to fulfill work requirements to qualify for those benefits." 
It is estimated that at leas 100,000 eligible North Carolinians lost their SNAP benefits as a result.
NC Attorney General Josh Stein joined AGs from other affected states in a protest letter to U.S. Agriculture Dept. Secretary Sonny Perdue saying, ““Hunger makes doing the most basic things harder – it’s harder for kids to learn, harder for adults to work, harder for seniors to stay healthy. These changes to our SNAP program would harm some of our most vulnerable neighbors. I urge the federal government to rescind this proposed rule, which is cruel and unnecessary.”
According to Lindsay Haynes-Maslow, PhD, an assistant professor and Extension Specialist at NC State University’s Dept. of Agricultural and Human Sciences, “Some barriers include people whose disability applications have not been approved yet, veterans seeking jobs, youth aging out of the foster care system, and underemployed workers who want to work, but cannot find more hours.”
The Trump Administration says it will save over $5 billion over the next five years with the planned cuts.

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