News Roundup

A suspected suicide bombing that killed twenty-two people at a concert in Manchester, England, is the major news story of the week.  BBC News has an overview of the situation here.  A 22-year-old Manchester man, Salman Abedi, has been named as the suspected bomber, and seven other men, some of whom are related to Abedi, had been arrested in connection with the attack at the time of writing.  The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bombing, and the U.K. has raised its terror threat level from “severe” to “critical,” meaning that another attack may be imminent.  Keep reading for more news.

Gotta Travel On.  Memorial Day weekend has arrived and more than a million North Carolinians plan to take to the roads during the long weekend, according to the News & Observer.  The NC DOT plans to suspend most construction projects along major roadways over the weekend, but a list of exceptions is available here.  You can get real-time travel information at  The State Highway Patrol would appreciate it if you would slow down while driving over the weekend – they investigated 7 fatal collisions and 342 injury related collisions last Memorial Day.  Don’t drink and drive, it’s dangerous and illegal – North Carolina law enforcement agencies will be aggressively enforcing impaired driving and boating laws.

What Not to Say.  When the police knock on your door, it’s probably not a good idea to greet them by announcing: “I guess you’re here for the opium.”  There’s a chance, as was the case in Claremont earlier this week, that they may, in fact, be paying you a visit for reasons unrelated to the acre of opium poppy plants growing out back.  You never know.

Price of Prisons.  The Vera Institute of Justice recently released a new report entitled The Price of Prison that takes a look at current state prison spending nationally and how spending has changed as the overall state prison population has declined since 2009.  According to the report, the North Carolina prison population decreased by 8% between 2010 and 2015, and prison spending decreased by 6% over the same period of time.

Stranger Danger.  Anthony Weiner, once known to some by the nom de plume “Carlos Danger,” pleaded guilty this week to a federal felony based upon “a series of sexually explicit pictures and messages that [he] sent last year to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina.”  The New York Times says that the plea “capped the long, tortured downfall of Mr. Weiner, who ruined a once-promising career in Congress and then spoiled various attempts at resurrecting his reputation, all through his uncontrolled habit of using social media and texts to send explicit pictures to women.”  That about sums it up.

Then it Got Weird.  Police in Taunton, Massachusetts, responded to an impaired driving wreck last week that, according to the driver, wasn’t particularly serious and could be easily sorted out with the aid of a tow truck.  Amy Rebello-McCarthy was drunk and speeding when she drove off the road, destroying six mailboxes and a water well on her way to wedging her car between two trees with all of its airbags deployed and tires flat.  Her passenger, Marvin Kyewalyanga, forgot his name for a time due to his own inebriation and was carrying an airsoft gun, but was otherwise uninjured and calmed himself with a cigarette as the nearby car leaked gasoline.  It was just a run-of-the-mill case – until Rebello-McCarthy revealed that an innocent bearded dragon lizard had endured the ordeal hidden in her bra.  Taunton Animal Control now has custody of the lizard.

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