A good morning to you! News:
1. Golden Belt historic district passes. A marathon Durham City Council meeting ended, after a great deal of public discussion, with the council voting 4-3 to approve the formation of a historic district in Golden Belt. As our own Lauren Horsch reported last week, the plan has been opposed by the Durham Rescue Mission, which sought exemption for the twenty properties it owns in the district. Mayor Bill Bell, Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden, and Councilman Eddie Davis voted against the measure; council members Don Moffitt, Steve Schewel, Charlie Reece, and Jillian Johnson voted in favor.
2. Durham mom charged in three-year-old’s death. The mother of a child who died after being abandoned in a van last week has been arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse and neglect. Rocio Murillo-Estrada is being held at the Durham jail on $50,000 bond.
3. Bill Clinton in Durham. “I Love the ’90s” POTUS Bill Clinton was spotted at the Durham Co-Op yesterday, where he picked up a sixer of Ponysaurus before cruising on to the next town. Stars: sometimes they are not unlike us! Clinton also addressed a crowd of people while here? So says the News & Observer:
Speaking to more than 700 people at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park in Durham, Bill Clinton touched on immigration reform, poking fun at Republican nominee Donald Trump’s recent visit to Mexico.
“These people are making a net-positive contribution to our economy. It’s very interesting that the places in America where the anti-immigration sentiment is strongest are the places where there are the fewest immigrants … They’ve got other problems and they’re looking for somebody to blame.”
Clinton, who was introduced by Congressman G.K. Butterfield, also praised the recent decision in the state’s voting rights case.
4. Zika has arrived at Fort Bragg. In case the presence of killer clowns in North Carolina hasn’t left you feeling sufficiently petrified, there’s more Zika in North Carolina now, too. From WRAL:
Three active duty soldiers and two retirees based at Fort Bragg have contracted the Zika virus, post spokeswoman Elizabeth Gerhart said on Tuesday.
Each of the individuals who contracted the virus were seen by their primary care physician after exhibiting symptoms consistent with Zika. Fort Bragg’s Preventative Medicine Department contacted the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for permission to test for Zika.
Gerheart said that all five cases were contracted while the patients had taken personal trips outside the United States to areas where Zika is known to be present. None of the cases involved pregnant women.
That brings the total reported Zika cases in North Carolina up to forty-eight. Experts say that there’s no danger to the surrounding community. OK, then.
5. Republican-led election boards slash early voting across the state. Here’s some bullshit to send you into your day angry. While most North Carolina county election boards (all one hundred of which are controlled by Republican majorities) have expanded early voting hours from 2012, some are following the directive of N.C. GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse, who issued a memo last month in which he baldly stated that “Republicans can and should make party line changes to early voting”—despite a federal court’s recent ruling to roll back the state’s racist voter ID laws. From the N&O:
Lenoir County’s board of elections voted to cut hours to the minimum permitted by law—a single site in downtown Kinston open only during weekday business hours and on the Saturday morning before the election. That’s less than a quarter of the 443 early voting hours Lenoir had in 2012.
In all, voters in twenty-three North Carolina counties will have fewer opportunities to vote than they did four years ago, the N&O reports.
Enjoy your Wednesday.