News Roundup

On Saturday morning a man armed with an AR-15 style rifle and several handguns killed 11 people and wounded 6 others, including 4 police officers, in an attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  Reports indicate that the perpetrator, Robert D. Bowers, shouted anti-Semitic slurs during the incident and the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement that the shooting was believed to be the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.  Bowers, who was taken into custody after exchanging fire with law enforcement officers, has been charged with numerous federal and state offenses including hate crimes and murder.  Keep reading for more news.

Courtroom Portraits.  The News & Observer reports that the North Carolina Supreme Court has formed a commission to review the portraits that hang inside its courtroom.  The review comes after an N&O op-ed by UNC Law Professor Eric Muller and former Chapel Hill Councilwoman Sally Greene pointed out that a portrait of former Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin hangs above the bench and is the focal point of the courtroom.  Muller and Greene explain that in addition to authoring pro-slavery court opinions, Ruffin owned slaves, was a partner in a slave trading operation, and wrote about an incident where he beat a slave for giving him an “insolent” look.  The portrait of Ruffin is massive and is centered behind the bench.

Attrition Review.  In addition to reviewing the portraits of former members of their court, the North Carolina Supreme Court will review the 2017 law that reduces the number of judges on the Court of Appeals from 15 to 12 as retirements and vacancies occur.  Before the General Assembly overrode Governor Cooper’s veto of that law, former Judge Doug McCullough unexpectedly retired from the Court of Appeals so that his seat would not be eliminated.

School Shooting.  WRAL reports that a fatal shooting at Butler High School in Matthews may have been the result of bullying.  Jatwan Cuffie, who is in the ninth grade at Butler, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Bobby McKeithen, a tenth grader at the school.  The report does not describe the nature of the conflict between the students other than to say that it began with bullying and escalated.

Creighton Plea.  WLOS reports that former Buncombe County assistant manager Jon Creighton pleaded guilty this week to a federal charge arising from his participation with former Buncombe officials Wanda Greene and Mandy Stone in allegedly corrupt schemes while in public office.  The report does not provide significant detail of Creighton’s plea but notes that he will be sentenced at a future hearing.

Bulger Killed.  As the Boston Globe reports, notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a West Virginia federal prison on Monday, soon after arriving there pursuant to a transfer.  Initial reports suggest that the killing may have been the result of a long simmering organized crime grudge, and questions are being raised about the decision to transfer Bulger to the facility where he was killed.

#StolenColon.  The University of Kansas Cancer Center was the victim of an unthinkable crime earlier this month, or at least a crime that nobody wants to think about.  The Cancer Center’s giant inflatable colon, described by reports as a “colonoscopy walking tour,” disappeared after being left unattended ahead of a cancer awareness event.  Eventually the colon was recovered but not before the heist went viral and led to massive success in fund raising for a replacement – with $11,000 dollars raised, the Cancer Center now has money for three inflatable colons.

CLE.  Wake up readers we think we’ve got something to say to you; as Rod Stewart once explained, when it’s early November you really should be back at school.  Luckily, we’ve got an opportunity for you to do just that – come join us on November 16 for Back to School: CLE at SOG.

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