the county news
National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 through Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 through Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Mitchell Community College to Honor Veterans Nov. 11, 2019
Veterans Day

By FRAN FARRER

Fran Farrer
Farrer

STATESVILLE, NC – Rev. William “Bill” Bates will serve as guest speaker for Mitchell Community College’s Annual Veterans Day Ceremony Monday, November 11, 2019 at 11am on the Circle of Statesville Campus. Bates is the pastor at Love Valley Presbyterian Church, is Mitchell Community College’s Student Ambassador, second-year student, and is also a United States Air Force veteran.

All veterans, students, faculty, staff and community are invited to attend. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held in Shearer Hall located in the Main Building on the Statesville Campus.

Mitchell Community College serves 9,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area.

For more information, visit www.mitchellcc.edu or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus). More ↠

Lenoir-Rhyne University Teaching Scholars Program Prepares Future Educators and Offers Scholarships

By LISA CRAWFORD

HICKORY, N.C. – To recruit and educate high-quality teachers, Lenoir-Rhyne University is accepting applications for its Teaching Scholars Program through Jan. 15, 2020.

LR’s Teaching Scholars Program provides scholarships of up to $5,500 per year for four years to incoming first-year students. These funds are offered in addition to the federal, state, and LR financial assistance for which the student is qualified, but cannot be combined to exceed the cost of tuition or combined with other top merit awards. The average LR student eligible for this program receives approximately $16,000 per year in scholarships and grants from the institution. More ↠

Legislative “Long” Session isn’t over yet
By CASH MICHAELS
Cash Michaels
Michaels

As you read this, the NC House and Senate sessions, which began on Jan. 9th, have adjourned.

But that doesn’t mean the 2019 long session of the NC General Assembly is over. In fact, according to a joint resolution, legislators are expected back on Nov. 13th, reportedly to work on redrawing congressional redistricting maps, as ordered by a three-judge Wake Superior Court panel.

That is now creating a continuing hardship on Democratic state senators, particularly African American Senate lawmakers, who may have to jettison holiday plans with family.

“The sad thing is you can’t predict any of the times we’re going to be there such that we can plan for family stuff,” a Democratic senator opined. “My kids are grown, but I really feel bad for younger legislators who didn’t get a chance to spend their summer with their kids.”

“And now we’re approaching fall and winter holidays, and heck, we don’t know when we’re going to adjourn.”

Most people forget that the “short” session of the NC General Assembly did not adjourn for good until December 29th, 2018, and that’s because Republicans called one of several special sessions to deal with the four of six constitutional amendments that were passed in the midterm elections.

Legislative Session
There is no hard and fast deadline for completing the maps, and yet, the December 2 filing for the March 2020 primaries is literally right around the corner, meaning that the court may have to push the primaries back some to accommodate the legislative redistricting and approval process. No one knows how long state lawmakers may take once they come back late next week.

“They don’t care,” a frustrated Democratic senator said of the Republican majority.

But once they do finish this year, the 2019 long session of the NC General Assembly will come to an end…right?

Wrong. State lawmakers have been told that they must come back Tuesday, January 14th to finish any “outstanding” business from this session.

In fact, among the reasons cited in the recent joint resolution to extend the 2019 regular session More ↠
NCNAACP Argued Legislature Court Ruling was Illegal

By CASH MICHAELS

It was last February when Wake Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins delivered perhaps one of the most shocking rulings in recent state history:

“An illegally constituted General Assembly does not represent the people of North Carolina and is therefore not empowered to pass legislation that would amend the state’s constitution,” he ruled when he threw out the 2018 ratified voter ID, and cap on state income tax amendments that had been passed in the 2018 midterm elections.

The ruling was music to the ears of plaintiffs, the NCNAACP, which had sued to stop the amendments. The civil rights organization had effectively argued North Carolina’s 2017 legislative maps were illegal because they had been drawn by an unconstitutional racially gerrymandered NC legislature, which did not have the authority, the NCNAACP said, to place the amendments on the ballot.

In effect, does a constitutionally illegal state legislature have the right to rewrite the NC Constitution?
Outraged Republican legislative leaders - feeling that Judge Collins had no right to rule on their constitutional legitimacy - appealed the ruling to a three-judge panel of the state Appellate Court, and last week, both sides argued their respective side.

An attorney for Republican lawmakers maintained that it would be impractical to undo every law state law makers passed subsequent to being ruled racially gerrymandered by a federal court, and doing so would open a floodgate of litigation against other legislation passed by the GOP supermajority at that time.

But an attorney representing the NCNAACP countered that they are not targeting every law passed, but rather just the legislature’s right to place the six constitutional amendments on the 2018 ballot for ratification by voters, four of which passed, and two of which were being challenged.

While Republicans argued that if the federal court which ruled the legislature unconstitutionally elected wanted new elections, it could have ordered new More ↠