Discover more from This Week in the Triangle
Political arsonist caught | Durham ADA interfering in subordinate's DWI? | CON rent-seekers in court
No. 34 — Aug. 20-Aug. 26, 2023
For anyone new to the publication, in addition to the stories I investigate and write on in article format, I send out this “Weekly Roundup”, with a paragraph or two on a handful of local stories that I have been paying attention in the prior week. Often it’s stories that are being reported in more detail in other publications (I always appreciate the opportunity to refer y’all to other local non-legacy media when I can), but occasionally it’s a couple notes on an exclusive(ish) story which I didn’t have enough on to separate out into a whole article.
I know we got a lot of new subscribers from coverage as the Trump sign arson case developed, but here’s a quick summary for anyone not in the loop:
Trump sign arsonist identified, caught, and charged
It was an eventful weekend for registered Democrat James D. White Jr.;
Friday: a video of White setting fire to Trump signs was shared on X by John Kane with a $1000 reward for his identification
Saturday: the video went viral with media figures like Tim Pool and Benny Johnson adding to the reward pool
Sunday: a sleuth claimed the reward after discovering White’s Strava account, where he had shared evidence of his crimes
Monday: White was named as defendant in a civil lawsuit by the sign’s owner, and he was also cited by the police on two misdemeanor counts of “Injury to Real Property”
If you haven’t already, you can find more of the details in the three articles I have already published on this story:
I won’t begrudge the local MSM who picked up on the story (though I will note that they did not do so until the culprit had already been caught…):
Man charged after 'Trump won' sign burned in Raleigh yard - WRAL
Man seen on video lighting ‘Trump Won’ yard sign on fire will be charged, Wake DA says - N&O
I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated as the criminal and civil case progress.
Report: Durham ADA showed up at scene of coworker’s arrest, demanded to speak to officers - N&O
Would your supervisor show up at the scene of your DWI to “condescendingly” question demand an explanation from the law enforcement officers on the scene? That’s exactly what Durham County Assistant District Attorney Monica Burnette did when her legal assistant Josiah Lavell Wilkerson was being arrested after causing a multi-car crash with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit, according to the Durham Deputies’ reports on the incident (as obtained by the News & Observer).
Wilkerson’s case has been referred to the Orange-Chatham District Attorney’s Office.
State Appeals Court to tackle Duke, UNC battle over Durham County CON - Carolina Journal
In a new episode of Seeking Government Solutions to Government Created Problems, Duke Health is at the state’s Court of Appeals over a “Certificate of Need” awarded in September 2021 for a new 40-bed hospital in southern Durham County. Duke Health’s case is opposed by the state, as well the monopolistic beneficiary of the awarded certificate, UNC Health.
North Carolina’s Certificate of Need law is an explicit rejection of free-market economics in healthcare; instead positing the idea that strict government regulation in the creation of new healthcare facilities is necessary to “control costs”. Despite supermajority control of both houses of the NC legislature by the party of the free market, efforts to repeal or reform this rent-seeking statute have so far been unsuccessful.
History rhymes? Cary Town Council candidate shares statement on her own vandalized sign
Indian American woman running for Cary Town Council has campaign sign defaced - N&O
Cary Town Council candidate's campaign sign vandalized - WRAL
Sarika Bansal, a Cary Town Council candidate for District D in the upcoming election, shared a statement and photo regarding one of her campaign signs in the Highcroft Village neighborhood, on which the image her head had been replaced by that of a young black boy:
If this was an act intended to send a specific message, it was a failure. As noted at the beginning of Bansal’s statement: “Our campaign team is still trying to figure out the intent and the message, but we all know it was not meant to be positive.” Was this intended as a joke? Or was it intended as an instance of the anti-Asian hate the media has been speaking about for the past three years? We’ll likely never know…
(for an interesting video fact-checking the mainstream narratives on anti-Asian “hate crimes”: The Real Face Of Asian Hate)
Additional Headlines of Interest:
A self-driving car company is expanding to Raleigh - Axios
Duke Graduate Students Vote to Unionize, Bargain Collectively With the University - INDY
From George Floyd to Pauli Murray: Read their words at new NC Freedom Park - N&O
Durham fences off park stream due to potential contamination, strong odors - N&O
Final report shows Walltown, East Durham parks most affected by lead contamination in soil - NC Newsline
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