Wednesday, February 26, 2020


                                                            SEN. ERICA SMITH
                                                              SEN. THOM TILLIS

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

One of the top black Republican political consultants in Washington, D.C.  has blasted his party, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell specifically, for “playing the race card” in sponsoring campaign ads promoting Democratic senatorial candidate Erica Smith in the upcoming March 3rd North Carolina primary.
Once again Republicans have proven that when the radical liberal Democrats call us a party of racists, there is some merit to the charge,” an outraged Raynard Jackson wrote in his weekly column last week. “…they saw more value and votes with white Southern Democrats, Dixiecrats, than with the Black community.”
Jackson, the president /CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, was blasting recent reports that the Faith and Power PAC [political action committee), a PAC that has been confirmed to be connected to The Senate Leadership Fund, which is a super PAC controlled by Sen. McConnell, reportedly spent $2.4 million to purchase political advertising promoting state Sen. Erica Smith in her primary race against frontrunner Cal Cunningham in next week’s Democratic senatorial primary.
The winner of that primary goes on to face Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis in the Nov. 3rd general election.
The scheme, apparently, wasto either push Smith to win the primary, thus setting up what Republicans perceive to be a week candidate for Tillis  to face, or force Cunningham to spend money against Smith, thus depleting his campaign warchest against Tillis.
The ads also sought to label both Smith and Cunningham as early supporters of national front-running Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Neither has endorsed Sanders.
Raynard Jackson apparently was displeased that McConnell’s super PAC would set up a “throw away “ PAC to spend $2.4 million to set up a “radical liberal” black female Democrat to fail, instead of spend that amount with his company “…to cultivate relationships in the black community.”
“…in their minds, its easier and more cost effective to inject race into an election and further divide a state and country, versus taking their conservative message directly to the Black community and ask them to support their candidate.” Jackson wrote.
“Do you know how much good I could have done with this money to help our Republican candidate in North Carolina?'
  “Blacks account for over 21% of the population in North Carolina and the party and Tillis has little to no meaningful relationship with the Black community,” Raynard Jackson continued. “If Tillis loses his race, more than likely, Trump will lose the state also; thus, making it almost impossible for Trump to be reelection as president.  So, in many ways, Trump and Tillis are tied at the hip.”
Jackson then rhetorically asks the central question many democrat and progressive activists asks when it comes to Republican well-documented attempts to undermine the black vote.
“ff they really believe in a conservative message that can cure the ills of liberalism that has been directed towards the Black community, when will they take their message to the marketplace of ideas within the Black community?,” he asked.
Jackson then urges McConnell “… not only apologize for injecting the worse of racial politics into this election; but [he] should make an affirmative commitment to work with Black operatives to engage with the Black community in senate races across the country and cease and desist from the racial politics that should be in our past.” 
He goes on two suggest that McConnell’s action may have cost Tillis his senate seat in November, because outraged black voters will be sure to line up against Tillis.
For his part, Tillis’ campaign having anything to do with the McConnell super PAC plot.
Sen. Smith wants her supporters to understand that she is not working with Republicans to win the Democratic primary, and has denounced the Faith and Power PAC campaign ads.


[RALEIGH] U.S. public health officials insist it is not a matter of if the deadly coronavirus will hit the United States, but when. Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warned Americans to prepare for  “a significant disruption” to their daily lives as more and more infections become evident. With cases showing up in Italy, Iran, and South Korea - well outside China, the virus’ place of known origin. Thus there are CDC health screenings at North Carolina major airports, and travelers are being checked for where out of the country they have been  to ensure that they are not bring the virus back.

[RALEIGH] A prominent black North Carolina Democrat has come out in support of Democratic presidential candidate  Mike Bloomberg. State Senate minority Leader Dan Blue, along with state House Minority Leader Rep. Darren Jackson, came out with a joint statement this week, saying that Bloomberg was the best choice for president because , as a former mayor of New York, he’s dealt with difficult issues that are plaguing the nation now, before. The North Carolina primary is next Tuesday, March 3rd.

[DURHAM] The black Durham County manager alleges that a white Durham County commissioner, has “an inherent bias” towards him and “people of color in general.” Manager Wendell M. Davis made the charge against Commissioner  Heidi Carter in a Feb. 11th letter to the commission board. Davis alleges that Carter has used racist language in his presence. Commissioner Carter denied the allegation during a public meeting Monday. The board is now investigating.

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

With One Stop Early Voting - Same Day Registration in North Carolina  ending this Saturday, February 29th, and March 3rd Super Tuesday bring primary day across the state, all eyes are on the black vote, and any indication that it will be a deciding factor for Democrats.
Across the state, 21.50% (1,492, 940) of all registered voters are black; 51.87% (3, 601229) are female.
In North Carolina, 36.37% of registered voters are Democrats, 29.91% are Republican, and 33.06% are unaffiliated, according to NCSBE.
As of Monday, February 24th of this week, only 3.94% (273,393) of North Carolina’s 6,942,736 registered voters cast absentee ballots.
267,113 of those were One Stop Early voting ballots, according to the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE).
123,678 of all absentee voters in the state (which includes early voters), were Democrat, while just 76,147 were Republican, and 73,139 were Unaffiliated.
Blacks have cast, thus far, 19.99% of the  early votes cast; females 52.24%.


  On Tuesday, March 3rd, North Carolina will be one of fourteen Super Tuesday states holding primaries to determine party nominees for the November 3rd general elections.
Offices on the local, state and federal levels of government, from county commissioner, to governor, to president of the United States, will be on the ballot.
On Tuesday, when the polls open at 6:30 a.m., voters will NOT be required to show photo identification in order to legally cast their ballots.
Only registered voters in North Carolina will be allowed to vote on Tuesday, March 3rd.

For those voters who need to cast their ballots prior to Tuesday, March 3rd, you have until this Saturday, February 29th to early vote.
Today and Friday, polls open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.. 
Saturday, polls open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 3 p.m.
Again, no photo ID is required.

We hope that all of our readers who are eligible to vote, do so in this crucial primary to chose nominees fo the Nov. 3rd general elections.
Here, for your consideration, are our recommendations for candidates who, upon careful inspection, deserve your support. They are all Democrats.

There’s been a lot of drama this primary season, and a lot of it has involved former Vice President Joe Biden. But at the end of the day, Biden has the deep experience and leadership necessary to pull this nation out of the utter doldrums it’s in.

It is a true shame and disgrace that state Sen. Erica Smith’s run for the U.S. Senate to unseat the worthless Republican incumbent Sen. Them Tillis has been mired by GOP dirty tricks with fake advertising. That aside, Sen. Smith has shown during her time in the legislature a commitment and dedication to the people of the state, and the issues that confront them. Sen. Smith deserves your vote.

May not always agree with him, but  gov. Roy Cooper ha proven to be a steady, thoughtful leader who required, fights for the people of this state. Compared to his weak Republican predecessor, Gov. Cooper is a breath of fresh air.

Former state employee Yvonne Lewis Holley, isn’t interested in getting a new title. She’s interested in using the new title to doing the important work, like addressing the problem of food deserts in poor communities across the state. Her father was black television pioneer J.D. Lewis, so community service is in her blood. Holley deserves your vote. Honorable mention to Hoke County Commissioner Allen Thomas.

Incumbent State Auditor Beth Wood has been keeping a sharp eye on how efficiently state government is being run, and has saved the state millions. Keeping her on the job would be a wise decision.

Those who know Keith Sutton, a wake County School Board member of many years, know him to be a man who fights hard for ALL children. Finding a better nominee for the state’s top education spot is not possible. Keith Sutton should be your man!

We’d never heard of Ronnie Chatterji before now, but once we looked into him, quite frankly, we were impressed. He was a senior economic advisor to President Barack Obama. He’s currently an economist an professor of business and public policy at Duke University. He is a member of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Entrepreneurial Council and NC First Commission. The son of two public school teachers, Ronnie was also once a teacher in Durham Public Schools. Oh…and his Twitter handle is #the NerdWeNeed.  Ronnie is a breath of fresh air. He deserves your vote.

                    JONATHAN BARFIELD, JR.
                    DON BETZ
If your neck is still loose from all the shaking back and forth you did after learning that our county commission board is seriously considering selling our county hospital, we understand. We couldn’t believe it either. And that’s why we need three public servants to serve who know the people they serve, respect the people, and maintain the respect they’ve earned always doing do. Barfield, Betz and Cohen deserve your support on Election Day!

Tuesday, February 18, 2020


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

What a federal judge stopped short of doing weeks ago, a three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals may have now done - put the nail in the coffin of voter photo identification for the rest of 2020, and with it, the November 3rd general elections.
On Tuesday, in a 45-page ruling, that panel of three Democrat appellate judges unanimously ruled that North Carolina’s voter ID law was  deliberately discriminatory towards African American voters. Thus, the judicial panel of Toby Hampson, John Arrowood and Allegra Collins issued a preliminary injunction temporarily shelving the law (Senate Bill 824)  until trial.
Most observers agree that a trial in this matter most likely won’t be scheduled to commence until after the Nov. 3rd general election, meaning that the preliminary injunction will remain in force automatically through then.
It was Dec 31, 2019, when US District Court Judge Loretta Biggs, an Obama appointee, similarly ruled Republican lawmakers in the NC General Assembly had “discriminatory intent” against African Americans when it passed SB 824 a year earlier.  She issued a preliminary injunction against the voter ID, making it ineligible to be enacted per the March 3rd primaries, for which early voting is currently going on. But Judge Biggs injunction was seen as expiring before the November elections.
She also noted that the federal courts had determined the very same discriminatory intent when the GOP-led legislature passed the 2013 voter ID law, which was eventually struck down by a federal court.
GOP lawmakers, after voters ratified a constitutional amendment establishing voter ID in Nov. 2018, then passed the law, saying that majority of North Carolinians had spoken.
But voters were only told what the amendment was, never how it it establish voter ID, and that’s where now two courts - one federal and one state- have both grabbed the Republican-led NC General Assembly by the collar, and legally chastised it for passing a law that was racially discriminatory.
In Tuesday’s unanimous decision, Judge Hampson wrote, “….the evidence shows the General Assembly specifically left out types of IDs that African Americans disproportionately lack. Such a choice speaks more of an intention to target African American voters rather than a desire to comply with the newly created Amendment in a fair and balanced manner. Accordingly, we conclude, on this Record, Defendants have yet to show S.B. 824 would have been enacted in its current form irrespective of any alleged underlying discriminatory intent.”
In both the federal and stat court rulings, the judges indicated that Republican lawmakers were likely to lose their case.
Attorney Irving Joyner, chair of North Carolina Central University School of Law, applauded the appellate decision in the case, Holmes v. Moore.
The Court of Appeals opinion in Holmes v. Moore is just another recognition by a “court of law” that the North Carolina General Assembly acted with continuing racial animus when it enacted the latest Voter ID requirement. The Holmes opinion tracked, in large part, the reasoning that Judge Loretta Biggs recently reached in NC NAACP v. NC Board of Elections when she reached the same conclusion in a similar case in federal court.”
Atty. Joyner continued, “It was instructive that both of these courts acknowledged that the North Carolina General Assembly had made no efforts to correct or even address the racial animus that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had concluded, in a 2016 opinion (of the 2013 voter ID law), existed and was the foundation for legislators previous effort in 2013 to enact a photo ID requirement in North Carolina. Every court which has reviewed the constitutionality of the Voter ID scheme in this State have concluded that its design and intent was to suppress the votes of African Americans and Latinos which violates federal and North Carolina law.”
Republicans couldn’t disagree more.
“North Carolinians know that General Assembly leaders will continue to fight on their behalf for a commonsense voter ID law that they chose to put in our state constitution, and we will not be deterred by judicial attempts to suppress the people’s voice in the democratic process,” said House Speaker Tim Moore, who is named in the case.
Activist Democrat judges are undermining the votes of more than 2 million North Carolinians by throwing out our voter ID law. It’s time to restore the rule of law in North Carolina,” opined Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican candidate for governor.
But atty Joyner has a message for disgruntled GOP’ers.
It is time for this flagrant exhibition of racial animus by the North Carolina General Assembly to end,” he said. “The State should acknowledge its past misconduct and history and immediately cease and desist any further efforts to suppress the vote and political participation by African Americans and Latinos. Shame, Shame Shame!!!


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

There are only seven states in the nation where you can straight-ticket vote in the November 3rd general election.
North Carolina is not one of them.
That has no affect of the One Stop Early Voting/Same Day Registration that started last week, ending on February 29th , or voting in the March 3rd North Carolina and Super Tuesday 15-state primaries. 
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still confusion.
In primary voting, voters are given ballots that list only their registered party’s candidates for particular elective offices. 
There is no straight-party voting during primaries.
       The voter selects from the candidates of their party listed as to whom will be the nominee going into the November 3rd general election, running against the chosen nominee from the opposing political party (s).
The general election is the process by which registered voters from both political parties decide which candidate will prevail in ultimately being elected to office. That is when, traditionally, straight-party voting would normally take place in North Carolina.
That is until 2013, when the Republican-led NC General Assembly passed General Statute 163-165.6  eliminating straight-party voting  in the state, reportedly in an effort to make long candidate ballots daunting for Democratic voters. The GOP then also passed the large voter omnibus law, which, among other things, mandated photo voter identification be used for in-person voting.
That part of the omnibus law was struck down by the courts, but the prohibition against straight-ticket voting remained.
Now, since 2014, if your party has a large number of candidates listed on a presidential year ballot, you, as a registered voter, are required to read through and check each candidate you are voting for, even if you only intended to vote for your party’s entire slate.
One of the reasons why this is of key interest during this presidential election is because until 2013 in North Carolina, straight-party voting in North Carolina meant voting for the president and vice president of the United States as a team separately from all of the other down ballot races,  then the rest as one straight ticket. So voters intending to vote for the president/vice president, and all of the candidates of one party, had to mark two boxes, not one.
This led to a lot of confusion at the polls, however, when many who voted straight-ticket neglected to vote for president/vice president at all, causing ‘undervotes’, or incomplete ballots. 
Reportedly in the 2000 presidential elections, 3.15% of North Carolina ballots submitted did not have votes for president/vice president, or approximately 92,000 ballots.
Thanks to the 2013 voter omnibus law, that problem will no longer exist.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

With the March 3rd North Carolina/Super Tuesday primaries just around the corner, the presidential campaign of former Vice Pres. Joe Biden - seen on the ropes by the national press after his disastrous fourth and fifth place showings in the predominately-white Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries respectively -  is desperately hoping for a triumphant comeback to Democratic presidential campaign dominance with wins in both South Carolina, followed immediately by victory here in the Tar Heel state.
In the race for Democratic Party delegates, Biden, who enjoys significant support from African-American voters, primarily because of his eight years with former Pres. Barack Obama, is losing steam fast, say poll observers. 
According to the latest Post and Courier-Change Research poll of Feb. 2, Biden’s once coming 30-point lead in South Carolina for the Feb. 29th primary, has shrunk to just a five-point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), who is gaining tremendous momentum after strong first and second place finishes in New Hampshire and the Iowa caucuses.
Of particular concern to Biden - how much of the black vote can he hold onto in South Carolina, and North Carolina.
South Carolina is seen as critical because at least 50% of Democratic Party registration in the Palmetto State is African American.
According to recent polls, 30% of African-American Democrats in South Carolina favor Biden; nineteen percent support Sen. Sanders, and surprisingly, another 17 percent support billionaire businessman Tom Steyer, who thus far, has not garnered any notable support elsewhere.
The South Carolina focus for Biden is critical because of the immediate March 3rd North Carolina primary followup, and how the black vote is seen for him here.
According to Public Policy Polling, as of Feb. 6th, Joe Biden was leading the Democratic Party priory field with 25%, followed closely by Sen. Sanders with 16%, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 14%.
Another poll from the same PPP period, the High Point University (HPU) poll, shows Biden’s lead in North Carolina vanishing, with Sen. Sanders leading him 25% to 19%. 
The HPU poll was done before the New Hampshire primary.
Bloomberg is making his first primary entry on March 3rd with all 15 Super Tuesday primaries, including in North Carolina. He is also the only Democratic candidate to show forward movement in the PPP poll, from 8% to 14%. Biden, on the other hand, has dropped six points, while Sanders has dropped 2.
PPP reports that with African American NC voters, Biden is at 39%, followed by 12% for Bloomberg, and 10% for Sanders.


[RALEIGH] With two weeks to go to the March 3rd Super Tuesday primary, a new WRAL-TV/SurveyUSA poll shows former NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders  in a virtual dead heat at 22 percent in the race for Democratic Party primary voters, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 20 percent. Former South Bend., Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was fourth with 11 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 8 percent, and sen. Amy Klobuchar with 5 percent. Eleven percent of those polled were undecided.

[DURHAM] Families of the McDougald Terrace public housing complex began returning to their homes last week, over month after they were evacuated because of discovered carbon monoxide leaks. But when some got back, many found that their apartments had been broken into, and their possessions stolen. According to published reports, nearly two dozen of the 360 apartments evacuated had been broken into, with windows broken. Residents complained to the Durham City Council that the security firm hired to safeguard the properties didn’t do their job. 

[RALEIGH] Republican House representative  Linda Johnson of Cabarrus County has died after it was discovered two weeks ago that she had tumors in her brain. She was originally being treated for a stroke when the discovery by doctors was made. Reportedly, Johnson suffered another stroke Sunday while preparing to undergo radiation therapy. Rep. Johnson seven in the state house for 19 years. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020



[RALEIGH] For the 14th year, demonstrators from across North Carolina came to Raleigh to march and rally during the Historic Thousands on Jones Street moral March and People’s Assembly in front of the State Capitol. Led by NCNAACP President Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, and featuring special remarks by former NCNAACP Pres. Rev. Dr. William Barber, the focus of last Saturday’s event was encouraging people to cast their ballots during One Stop-Early Voting beginning today, Feb. 13th. The theme of the march/rally, “When We Vote, We Win!”

[WILMINGTON] After ten years, Dr. Tim Markley, superintendent of New Hanover County Public School System has resigned. Markley, who was hired in 2010, submitted his resignation on February 7th. After a five hour session behind closed doors, the NHC School Board agreed to pay Dr. Markley $195,000  in severance pay, and $32,966.66 in benefits. Markley’s resignation comes amid a growing scandal in the system where teachers have been charged with sexually abusing students over the years.

[APEX] It was 1952, and a black man named Lynn Council was falsely accused of stealing. Wake County sheriff’s deputies took Council and hung him from a tree to die. Except that Council lived. Today, he is 87 years old. In the past few months once his story was told, both the police chief of Apex and the black sheriff of Wake have apologized to him.  And when word hit that Mr. Council would have to move out of his home because the state is putting a highway through his property, the community started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise the needed funds to move to another house with his daughter. “Everything y’all did, I appreciate it from my heart,” a grateful Mr. Council says, as he looks forward to spending his last years in peace.


By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

At long last, One Stop Early voting in North Carolina for the Super Tuesday March 3rd primary begins today, Feb. 13. By federal district court order, registered voters in North Carolina are not required to show photo identification at the polls between now and Tuesday, March 3rd, Primary Day.
The early voting period in North Carolina will ends on Saturday, February 29th, with most polls opening Monday through Friday at 8 a.m., with some polls will closing at 7:30 p.m. in some counties.
For those counties with Saturday early voting, polls will open at  8 a.m. and close at 3 p.m.. Counties with Sunday voting may open at 12 noon and close at 6 p.m..
All early voting ends on Saturday, February 29th, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Check with your local county Board of Elections at confirm voting dates and times between now and Saturday, February 29th.
Local candidates for office have already begun campaigning with mailers, campaign commercials, and campaign events. Major candidates for president have also begun coming to North Carolina to campaign.
On the Republican side, President Donald Trump came to Charlotte last week, and though it was not officially deemed a reelection campaign stop, it is known that North Carolina is an important state in Trump’s reelection effort, especially with the 2020 Republican National Convention scheduled for August.
Billionaire and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is bringing his campaign for president back to North Carolina today, visiting Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Raleigh today.
Sen. Bernie Sanders is scheduled to be in Durham and Charlotte on Friday. 
Sanders, who is currently leading in the national polls after the disastrous Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, is, like Bloomberg, trying to up his profile in North Carolina and at least 14 other states that are part of the March 3rd Super Tuesday primaries.
Bloomberg has focused his candidacy on winning the lion’s share of those contests in his quest for the Democratic nomination.
                                                        STATE SEN. ERICA SMITH
                                                          U.S. SEN. THOM TILLIS

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

A Republican-connected super political action committee (PAC) out of Washington, D.C. called “Faith and Power,” is spending over $1.6 million in television and radio ads running in four North Carolina television markets promoting state Senator Erica Smith’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate in the 2020.
The goal, many observers are certain of, is to promote Smith’s cash-strapped campaign to the extent that she beats Democratic senatorial opponent Cal Cunningham in the March 3rd Democratic primary, thus pitting the black female Democrat, seen by Republicans as an easier candidate to beat, against first-term incumbent Tillis in November.
Smith, of state Senate District 3 representing Beaufort, Bertie, Martin, Northampton, Vance and Warren counties and her campaign, naturally “disavows and disassociates” the fake ads, even though they promote her as being a true progressive who supports Medicare for All and “The Green New Deal.” 
“We reject the influence of special interest, corporate-PAC and dark money in politics,” Smith said. “I remain unbought, unbossed, and unapologetic in my 17 years of advocating for equity, opportunity, and fairness,” Sen. Smith’s campaign added.
The NC Democratic Party charged that “Republican ‘meddling’ in Democratic primary shows Republicans must be worried about Thom Tillis.”
“Faith and Power PAC” is the producer of the :30 second ad, according to published reports. Though the PAC itself was just created several weeks ago, some connected are listed as supporting Republican Carly Fiorina’s 2016 presidential bid. The only public name associated with the PAC in North Carolina is that of a Republican named Ezekiel Patterson of Monroe.
Trying to choose Tillis’ Democratic November opponent for him is one possibility. Another is to force Cunningham, who reportedly has a deep campaign war chest of $3.3 million on hand, to start spending some of it now to defend whatever lead he believes he has over Smith in the polls. Doing so depletes what he has to spend against Tillis in the fall.
Tillis, who is admittedly a strong supporter of Pres. Trump, is seen as one of the weakest GOP incumbent senators up for reelection in the nation, according to the most recent polls. So the election-year ploy is not a surprising one.
It is illegal for a super PAC to coordinate its activities with a campaign. In small writing at the end of the Faith and Power television ad, it states that it is not authorized by any candidate or political campaign. The TV ads are running up until just before the March 3rd primaries in the Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro markets, as well as online.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020


By Cash Michaels
Staff writer

Led by his family, friends, fellow service people, and even the governor of the state, they all came out to Union Missionary Baptist Church Tuesday to pay they last respects to Spc. Antonio Moore.
       The Wilmington native and Hoggard high School alum died in Syria on duty during a rollover crash.
He was 22.
Known for his dedication to duty and infectious smile, Moore was the pride of his family. Gov. Roy Cooper presented Moore’s mother with an American flag, and paid his personal condolences to the family.
“This is a reminder that freedom isn’t free, and that it has a high cost,” the governor said. “This community of Wilmington rallying around this family is an amazing thing and one of the great things about North Carolina.”
Cooper has had flags flown at half-mast since Spc. Moore’s body was brought back to North Carolina last week.
The NHC Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Monday acknowledging Moore’s sacrifice and service.
“We lift his parents, brothers, sister, grandparents, extended family, and all who knew and loved him in our thoughts during this difficult time and always,” the resolution said. “Further, let it be resolved that, in accordance with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s order, flags in New Hanover County and across the state, will remain at half-staff until sunset on Tuesday, February 4, as a symbol of our gratitude and deepest sympathy.” 
Spc. Moore’s family was grateful for the outpouring of love and respect.
“We would like to extend our family’s heartfelt gratitude for the community’s overwhelming support as we grieve the loss of our beloved son, brother, grandson and friend,” a statement from the family read. “Tony was larger than life, full of love and proud to serve this country. We take comfort in knowing that he was doing what he loved along with the stories and pictures that have been shared from all of those that knew and loved him. The family is deeply appreciative of the continuous outpouring of love from the citizens of this community and ask all of those wishing to make a monetary donation to allow us time to establish a dedicated account in honor Antonio. Details of the established account will be provided at later time.”


Let’s not beat around the bush here.
Donny Williams should NOT be Wilmington’s Interim police chief.
Donny Williams SHOULD  be Wilmington’s police chief, PERIOD!
We know, we know…it is standard practice for the City Council to name the assistant police chief the interim police chief when the retiring police chief finally calls it a career, as former Chief Ralph Evangelous did on Feb. 1st (and we wish him well in his retirement).
But let’s be real….how much time do we need to know that Interim Chief Williams is a good man, strong leader, and top cop.
Even Chief Evangelous thinks do.
“For the past year and a half, I’ve had the pleasure of watching Assistant Chief Williams help to lead the Wilmington Police Department. His hard work and commitment to community policing continues to be an asset to our agency. I’m confident he will continue to move this agency forward, while focusing on the safety and well-being of our citizens.
“I fully support the decision of the city council,” Chief Evangelous concluded.
The only other endorsement that means more is from the community, and as far as we’re concerned, chief Willams already has that.
He’s a Wilmington native with over 29 years of service to the force, and the people. He knows the WPD inside and out, having served in just about every official capacity. 
But beyond being an officer, a police captain, a deputy chief over Special and Criminal Investigations, and overseeing the department’s largest Patrol division, Chief Williams has always made time for our community’s youth, working to expand the Police Activities League (PAL) enrolling over 500 young people per year.
Chief Williams meets all of the requirements of experienced, and educated leadership, with a BA from Mt. Olive College in Management and Organizational Development. He is also a graduate of the Administrative Officer’s Management Program at NC State University.
Williams has also completed the 75th Session of Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police.
And last, but certainly not least, Chief Williams oversaw the design, development,  and completion of the Haynes - Lacewell Police and fire Training Facility.
There really is no need for discussion here. We have an accomplished Wilmington native already at the wheel of our city’s police department, who has knocked down the door of every requirement we could ask.
So Wilmington City Council…we all know you have a thing for the dramatic, but let’s be real here. Chief Williams is just about all you could ask for to ensure that the citizens of the Port City are well protected, and respected.
Let’s not wait six months for doing what we all know is the right thing. Make Donny Williams Wilmington’s PERMANENT police chief as soon as possible!
A better servant of the people you simply will not find!

                              REV. DR. BARBER AND REV. DR. SPEARMAN

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

With 2020 being a crucial election year, it should be no surprise to anyone that the theme for this Saturday’s annual HK on J Moral March/Rally, sponsored by the NC NAACP, Repairers of the Breach, and their coalition partners, is “When we Vote….We Win: Save Our Democracy.”
HK on J (the Historic Thousands on Jones Street) is made up of more than 125 North Carolina NAACP branches, youth councils and college chapters from across the state, and members of over 200 other social justice  organizations.
Few social justice organizations have fought to protect the right to vote in North Carolina harder than the NC NAACP, previously led by Rev. Dr. William Barber, and now Pres. Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman.
“If they marched then,” says Rev. Barber about the courageous demonstrators who were beaten and attacked by Alabama state police during the 1965 Montgomery to Selma march, “…if they fought then, if they pushed the nation forward then, we must resist the nation going backwards now.”
“When this moral fusion coalition comes together, it breaks many kinds of bread,” says Rev. Dr. Spearman. “What matters most is that we break bread together, because the bread we share strengthens the arms that  beat the drum of resistance, and the pushes the rock of reconstruction.”
With the Iowa  caucuses taking place on Monday, and the North Carolina primaries coming on Tuesday, March 3rd as part of Super Tuesday…all of it looking forward to the Nov. 6th fall general elections, there is no more important time for the NCNAACP and others to push voter registration and voter empowerment, especially when it comes to addressing issues like poverty, affordable housing, health care, and education.
The HK on J Mass Moral March on Raleigh and People’s Assembly is scheduled for this Saturday, Feb. 8th. Gathering in front of Shaw University (corner of Wilmington and South streets begins at 8:30 a.m.. pre-rally starts at 9 a.m. there. The march begins at 10 a.m. followed by the rally and People’s Assembly.
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                                                          REV. CURTIS GATEWOOD

By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

A female former staffer of the NC NAACP has filed suit in Durham Superior Court for $15 million, claiming sexual harassment by her former supervisor, the Rev. Curtis Gatewood.
Jazmyme Childs initially made the bombshell allegations late last year just two weeks before the 2019 NC NAACP State Convention in October. Gatewood initially denied her allegations, but later admitting that his actions “…may have been received as sexual.”
Ms. Childs, 27, is also suing the national NAACP, alleging that when she made her complaints about Gatewood in 2017, the national office didn’t immediately act to suspend Gatewood, even after NCNAACP leadership commissioned an investigation proving her allegations, and sending that report to the national office.
“The NAACP “…is liable for the misconduct for Gatewood because the National NAACP ratified [his ] conduct,’ Childs’ suit alleges.
IN 2017, Ms. Childs was the youth and college field secretary for the NCNAACP. Her lawsuit alleges that because of Gatewood’s sexual harassment, she has suffered from depression, anxiety, nervousness an d insomnia. The legal action seeks over $5 million in compensatory damages, and more than $25,000 in punitive damages per battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress charges.
According to published reports, Gatewood was suspended in September 2019 after Ms. Childs made her allegations public. In January,  Gatewood asked to have his membership reinstated.
Neither Ms. Childs, her attorneys, Rev. Gatewood, or officials with the National NAACP were available for comment at press time.
By Cash Michaels
Contributing writer

Did prosecutors deliberately, and illegally, excluded African-American jurors from two recent NC cases because the defendants were also black? That is the question the NC Supreme Court is wrestling with this week, and the High Court’s decision, interestingly, could determine for the first time whether North Carolina officially tolerates racial discrimination in jury selection.
Exempting black jurors from high profile capital cases involving black defendants is nothing new in the state’s legal history. Many will recall how the prosecutor in the infamous Wilmington Ten case in 1972 feigned illness just so that he could ditch the mostly black jury chosen to try the ten civil rights activists, in favor of later choosing a primarily “KKK” jury to guarantee conviction, despite no evidence.
There have been numerous other cases throughout North Carolina’s history of qualified blacks being excluded from jury duty in order to guarantee convictions of black defendants. But white prosecutors have rarely been held accountant for the ploy, known commonly as a preemptory challenge, which allows jurors to be justly excluded for any reason except their race.
In the two cases brought before the seven-member state Supreme Court Monday involving criminally convicted defendants Cory Bennett of Sampson County and Cedric Hobbs of Cumberland County, attorneys argued that African-Americans were excluded from their respective juries only because of their race.
In State v. Bennett, tried in 2016 in Sampson County, prosecutors excluded only two jurors, but both were black. When the defense objected, the judge ignored the challenge and never required the prosecution to explain. But the judge did ask the defense attorney about her strikes against “white Americans.”
Defendant Cory Bennett was convicted of possession and trafficking methamphetamines, and sentenced to 13 years in prison.
In State v. Cedric Hobbs in 2014 in Cumberland County, Hobbs was convicted of first-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison (prosecutors sought the death penalty). The prosecutor used eight preemptory challenges, six of them black. When the defense objected, the prosecutor responded that they were “somehow [saying] we’re just racists in this county.”
According to a press release from the Center for Death Litigation in Durham, “ A statistical study showed the prosecutor’s office in this county has a twenty-year track record of removing black jurors at twice the rate that they remove all other jurors. And the prosecutors in this case questioned black jurors very closely on certain issues but did not closely question white jurors who had the same characteristics.”
Two recent studies show that  qualified black jurors in North Carolina are twice as likely to be excluded from juries than whites, thus denying black defendants truly a jury of their peers. “Research has also found that juries with two or more members of color deliberate longer, discuss a wider range of evidence, and are more accurate in their statements about cases, regardless of the defendant’s race,” said the Center for Death Litigation,  adding. “…[A] recent analysis revealed that North Carolina’s high courts have failed to enforce the law established in Batson v. Kentucky, a 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision that barred racially-motivated jury exclusion. In the thirty years since Batson, more than a hundred North Carolina defendants have raised claims of race discrimination against jurors of color. Yet, the state’s appellate courts have never upheld a single one of those claims.


[RALEIGH] After years of advocacy, and several recent high-profile shootings, the Raleigh City Council Tuesday established a five-person police advisory board to oversee police policies and procedures. Police chief Cassandra Deck-Brown has long opposed the board, but in a statement issued afterwards, said that she an her department will work it. The advisory Board comes after a another fatal Raleigh police shooting last week.

[WILMINGTON] Dr, John Welmers, assistant superintendent of Human Resources for New Hanover county public schools has resigned, effective March 1. He is taking earned leave time until then. No reason was officially given. The resignation comes after a third NHCPS employee was recently charged for sexually assaulting a student.

[FAYETTEVILLE] The father of a 1-year-old child has been charge with negligent child abuse after his one-year-old son overdosed on heroin the father allegedly left around the house. The child was treated with naloxone after he was found not breathing. Cumberland county authorities have charged Luis Castellon, 26, after bags of heroin were found in his home. The child ha recovered. Castellon has been ordered not to have contact with his child.