Morning News Briefs: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Morning News Briefs: Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

5:56am May 15, 2018

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Nearly 50 Protesters Cited In Raleigh Protest, Barber Arrested In Washington

A rally across from the North Carolina Legislative Building ended with nearly 50 demonstrators being cited by police for protesting in the middle of the street.

The national Poor People's Campaign held a gathering Monday afternoon in Raleigh — one of 30 locations nationwide where the organization began six weeks of nonviolent direct action.

More than 200 people attended the rally, which focused on the needs of women, people with disabilities, children living in poverty and LGBT community members.

Two leaders of the Poor People’s Campaign were arrested at a protest in Washington, D.C. The Rev. William Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, its two co-chairmen, were arrested outside the U.S. Capitol.

NC Teacher Rally Organizers Expect 'Sea Of Red' at Capitol Wednesday

Thousands of North Carolina teachers will converge on the legislative building in Raleigh Wednesday to lobby state lawmakers for better working conditions. 

Nearly 40 districts have cancelled classes, including Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Educators say they’re taking a personal day to attend the 'March for Students and Rally for Respect'.

“We will paint Raleigh ‘Red with Ed,’” says Mark Jewell, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators, which is hosting the event.

Organizers say they’ll also meet with state lawmakers about several issues, including better pay, more money for building improvements and school safety.

State officials estimate the school closings will affect more than 900,000 students across the state. Many school districts say they will still have scheduled testing and provide meals at several sites. Childcare services will also be available in some communities.

After Teachers Leave, North Carolina Session Likely To Be Quick

The annual session of the North Carolina General Assembly begins as thousands of teachers descend on the Legislative Building for a school funding rally.

That should slow down formal lawmaking activity on the first day Wednesday, but all signs point to the session ending before July 4, with approving adjustments to the second year of the two-year budget the primary task of the Republican majority.

There could be another showdown between Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and GOP leaders on the budget. Cooper vetoed the budget last year because he said it needlessly cut taxes for the rich and corporations when schools need more money. He still wants to block the cuts, but Republicans won't support that.

School and prison safety, judicial redistricting and constitutional amendments also should be big topics.

Democrats Unveil "Our Carolina Promise" Agenda

North Carolina Democrats say they're committed to expanding Medicaid to more of the working poor, raising teacher pay to the national average and transferring redistricting powers to a special commission if they take control of the General Assembly in the November elections.

House and Senate Democrats held simultaneous news conferences Monday to unveil their platform for the legislative elections. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson of Wake County says voters want to know what Democrats support, not just what they oppose. He says that's why they created the "Our Carolina Promise" agenda.

Deal For Crossnore Tract Will Preserve Key Farmland In Winston-Salem

Nearly 100 acres of green space in the heart of Winston-Salem is getting protection from development in a deal that could mean more public access to the land.

It’s an area known simply as “The Farm” - mostly rolling open fields along Reynolda Road that have served The Children’s Home, which merged with Crossnore last year, for more than 100 years.

The agreement allows Piedmont Land Conservancy to buy the development rights to the land, which is not far from downtown.

Kevin Redding, the conservation group’s executive director, says the deal means the land will remain as open green space and will remove any temptation the school might have had to sell it.

It will remain in its natural state to be used for education and to heal children who come to the school in crisis. Crossnore is a residential foster-care program.

Copyright 2018 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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