Confederate Memorial Day - is today and as you might imagine there are plenty voices none too happy about it.
According to the Charleston Post and Courier: Commemorating the soldiers who died defending the Stars and Bars will cost South Carolina taxpayers about $10 million.
That's because Confederate Memorial Day is one of 13 paid holidays for South Carolina's 60,000 employees.
Lenior County, Woodington, N.C. Confederate Memorial Day celebration at Woodington Universalist Church, 1920.
During a challenging budget year that has seen a host of public service cuts, at least one critic called the holiday a waste of public money that would be better used on education, health care or job creation.
"Our taxpayer money is funding a holiday for our oppressors' descendants," said Dot Scott, president of the Charleston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "It's gotta go."
Gov. Nikki Haley, who has made it her administration's mission to root out government waste, disagreed.
"Reopening this debate (will) be a distraction that will not create one job or educate one child," Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey said in a statement.
South Carolina is one of four states in the South to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day in honor of Confederate soldiers who died during the Civil War. The others are Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, which all celebrate on April 25.
Cedar's Take: Well that is just a little incorrect. There are actually 15 states that reconize the day, including North Carolina. The list here.
The Post and Courier story is here, and prior Cedar Post's take on the holiday is here.
Woka Flocka Flame Shooters Get a Free Pass from DA Murray - Mecklenburg District Attorney Andrew Murray dismissed charges against six men arrested after a midday shootout with rapper Waka Flocka Flame's security team back in January.
Get a look a who DA Murray just turned loose on Charlotte's streets here.
The rapper's publicist said the shooting started after several men tried to rob Waka Flocka Flame of his jewelry.
Murray says prosecutors have little to go on, because none of the witnesses identified who was responsible for the shooting. They also said there was no evidence of an attempted robbery.
"We didn't have enough evidence to prosecute any of them," Andrew Murray is quoted as saying. "The defendants are still in custody. That's why we need to dismiss the charges now.
The "Local Paper's" rehash of the events is here.
Cedar's Take: Something is just not right here. First of all why would the Rapper drive a tour bus all the way to Charlotte to do a little "up grade" of a sound system? Second who are the members of Flame's security team. What is their connection if any to Georgia law enforcement? Or was there a Charlotte connection? Was the entire escapade staged? Jeff Taylor's Meck Deck has more from back in February and it's here.
County Manager Harry Jones Run Out Of Birmingham - Word is that Harry Jones dropped out of the Birmingham job search after questions began popping up in earnest about Charlotte' CRVA. While over at the CRVA there is talk of a ever widening scandal.
Yet Charlotte's Mayor Foxx says it's all blown out of proportion.
Middle School Kid Gives Bus Driver Guns - The "Local Paper" is reporting, if you can call is reporting, that a Northeast Middle School student getting off the school bus today handed the driver two guns, at least one of them loaded, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say.
CMS sent this statement shortly after 6 p.m.: "A bus driving home from Northeast Middle School reached its stop at Reedy Creek Road and Harrisburg Road. Upon exiting the bus, a student handed two guns to the bus driver. CMPD has confirmed the guns are real and at least one of them is loaded. They are currently investigating the incident and talking with the student. CMS Police are on their way to the scene and will provide an update."
Further details are not available yet.
I'm not sure why the "Local Paper" didn't get the CMPD email below:
On Monday, May 09, 2011, at approximately 4:58 p.m., CMPD received a call regarding a school bus driver who had received two guns from students on his bus(1341).
Officers responded to the 7600 block of Reedy Creek Rd where the bus driver had stopped.
Officers learned that a student approached the bus driver at the student’s bus stop displaying a handgun and demanded the driver to drive him to another destination. The bus driver talked the suspect into giving him the handgun. The suspect gave the driver the handgun and exited the school bus. After the suspect exited the bus, another student approached the driver and informed him that the suspect had given him a handgun and had asked him to assist him with the incident. The student, who was fearful, took the weapon from the suspect but did not assist him.
Officers and detectives located the suspect and arrested him. Detectives charged the suspect with 8 counts of kidnapping and 2 counts of possession of a weapon on school ground. The suspect will be transported to the regional juvenile detention center.
The school bus came from Northeast Middle School. There were seven students, the bus driver, and the suspect on the bus when the incident occurred.
(Major Props and a hat tip to Kelly over at Crime in Charlotte blog for giving Cedar Posts the heads up.)