Tues., Jan. 7

  • The Raleigh City Council amended its rules of decorum to allow residents to address council members and city staffers by name. 
  • The Chinese company EHang conducted the first public demonstration of a pilotless air taxi at the State Highway Patrol’s test track south of Raleigh, because the rich obviously need more toys.   
  • State Superintendent Mark Johnson told school districts that the Department of Public Instruction had made a $928,000 “emergency purchase” of Istation, a controversial computer program that tests children’s reading ability, after a judge blocked Istation from getting a new contract. 

Wed., Jan. 8

Thurs., Jan. 9

  • The State Office of the Medical Examiner said that three recent infant deaths at McDougald Terrace did not stem from carbon monoxide poisoning. The office did not say what the causes of death were. 
  • According to the Durham Police Department, the city saw 37 criminal homicides in 2019—up from 32 in 2018, but down from 42 in 2016. Throughout 2019, Durham had 652 criminal shooting incidents that led to 190 gunshot wounds. 

Fri., Jan. 10

  • The Daily Tar Heel reported that the North Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has violated tax laws and illegally routed money to its political action committee. 
  • Republicans in the General Assembly sought an emergency stay of a federal judge’s injunction of the state’s voter ID law, arguing that it would cause “irreparable harm” to let people vote without showing identification in the March primary. 
  • The state’s chief procurement officer said the state might reject Superintendent Johnson’s “emergency purchase” of Istation because the DPI “has not provided adequate justification.”

Sat., Jan. 11

  • Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer, a hedge fund manager worth an estimated $1.6 billion, visited McDougald Terrace and said conditions there reveal “cruelty” to the poor. Steyer has so far spent at least $119 million to garner about 2 percent in national polling. 
  • Nine days after Beer Study announced that Al’s Burger Shack would be part of its Durham expansion, the bottle shop said on Facebook that it was no longer in business with Al Bowers. The news came a week after Al’s filed for bankruptcy and a day after the Orange County Rape Crisis Center severed ties with Bowers, citing allegations of sexual harassment. 

Sun., Jan. 12

  • Durham Democrats nominated former state representative Mickey Michaux Jr. to replace Senator Floyd McKissick, who resigned to take a position on the Utilities Commission. Michaux will resign after the March primary, with the winner filling out the rest of the term. 

Comment on this story at backtalk@indyweek.com. 

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.