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Local and State News for September 13

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 09:09

Duke Republicans lose charter after harassment of gay chairman


Duke University’s College Republicans have officially lost their funding from the Student Government Association and face de-chartering, a decision to be made by the Student Organizational Finance Committee.  Should the SOFC approve the student senate’s decision with a majority vote, the ruling will remain in place for the next two years.  The decision comes after former chairman of the club, Justin Robinette, and some of his supporters, received threatening emails and discriminatory messages.  Robinette says that he was repeatedly harassed by other members of the club and that the reason for his impeachment was because he is gay.  The emails and messages were presented to the senators in a meeting that lasted for more than four hours.  “De-chartering them down to a recognized group would add an element of justice to this, and up until this point there hasn’t been an element of justice to this group,” said senior Will Passo, a student affairs senator.  The Senate wanted to make it clear that they were not punishing individual members, but rather the club as a whole, and those issues such as these would not be tolerated.  This decision comes as a big win for Robinette who has been receiving these messages for nearly five months.  “I really do feel like it’s a victory for us and the Duke student body and whoever cares about harassment,” Robinette said.

Greensboro women asked to cover up while breastfeeding in coffee shop

A Greensboro woman was asked to cover up if she continued to breastfeed her 3-month-old baby in a local coffee shop, Cup of Serenity.  Becky Lange, a frequent visitor to the coffee shop, says that she has breastfed many times before inside without incident; this was the first time any employee had approached her about covering up.  According to the N.C. Gen. Stat. 14-190.9, a woman is allowed to breastfeed in any private or public area without it being classified as an indecent exposure.  “My whole body is covered. I mean her head is covering whatever is open. I can’t imagine that anyone could see any skin…certainly not as much as what some of the teenagers run around in,” said Lange.  Nancy Garrett, co-owner of the shop and the person who asked Lange to cover herself, said she never meant to cause a scene or embarrass anyone. “I didn’t want to create an issue, which I’ve obviously done,” said Garrett. “I didn’t feel like what I asked her to do was unreasonable. I don’t mind if she breastfeeds. That’s not the issue.” According to Garrett, some of her other customers were the ones who brought to her attention the issue of Lange’s breastfeeding; Lange stated that she was wearing a nursing tank top to hide the feeding as much as possible.  Immediately after being asked to cover up, Lange, a member of Triad Mommies and The Mommies Network, left and says she is not sure her group will come back.

Concord man arrested after threatening to bomb abortion clinic

A Concord man was arrested Tuesday, September 7, and later charged with plans of passing along information about how to create explosives to blow up an NC abortion clinic.  Justin Carl Moose, 26, who self-declared himself to be the “Christian counterpart to Osama bin Laden,” was taped in an undercover sting operation exchanging information with a federal informant.  During the undercover operation, federal authorities say the informant gave Moose information, including the name and location, to the clinic Moose was targeting.  FBI officials are not currently releasing the name of the specific abortion clinic, only saying that it is in North Carolina.  Moose is being charged with providing information related to the manufacture of an explosive, destruction device or weapon of mass destruction to the undercover informant.  FBI agents say that they began investigating Moose back in early August after he posted anti-abortion statements on his personal Facebook page, including photos and videos of other individuals convicted of murder or attempted murder at abortion clinics.  His Facebook posts stated thoughts such as “Save a life, shoot an abortionist.” Moose’s initial attack on the specific clinic was because his best friend’s wife was having her own abortion there.  After having repeated phone conversations about how to build explosives with the undercover informant, Moose was arrested and is currently being held at the Alamance County jail.

Steady increase begins in the American job market

Despite a two-month downturn in job openings over the summer, Americans are now seeing a steady increase in these openings.  This a positive sign that employers could begin hiring over the next few months.  According to the Labor Department, there was a 6.2 percent increase in jobs in July, making 3.04 million new positions for hire.  That also makes for a 30 percent increase in total job openings since July 2009.  But these rising openings have not done as much for the unemployment rate, which stands at 9.6 percent, bringing much concern that those unemployed may not be qualified to fill the openings This also makes it harder for the unemployment rate to come down should employers not be able to find individuals who qualify for the new company positions. With problems like these, companies are forced to hire people who may not have any previous experience in the field, say some analysts.  The same pattern has been seen in previous downturns,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist. “When the economy starts growing again …firms start taking chances on people and training them.”  Other factors include home prices; those who are unemployed have a more difficult time of moving to where jobs are available because of the falling home prices.  A ferocity remains for those fighting to acquire a job, according to a Labor Turnover survey; for every one job, 4.8 unemployed people are competing for the opening in comparison to the 1.8 before the recession.

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