DOWN - Easley disses Nifong ... in New York — During a speech at New York University, Gov. Mike Easley clumsily attempts to distance himself from Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. Now, we’re no big fans of Nifong, but the governor’s Big Apple tap dance is still a little hard to swallow. Easley says that he intended to appoint Nifong only as an acting district attorney and that Nifong surprised him by (gasp) deciding he wanted to keep the job. Easley also seems to be suggesting that there’s a different standard for acting and permanent DAs. Finally, why would the usually tight-lipped governor finally open up about the case in New York City and not North Carolina?
DOWN - Googled and gouged? — With all due respect to the jobs and the good PR a new Google facility will bring to Caldwell County, the potential state and local incentives package of a whopping $260 million in exchange for no more than 210 jobs seems a bit rich for our taste. Heck, we thought the Dell incentives were over the top, and they involved a total of $280 million for 1,500 promised jobs.
UP - Shock and awe — Saying “what’s been going on has not been working,” Guilford County Schools Superintendent Terry Grier says he will send 84 administrators and 20 school-based curriculum facilitators into struggling schools as “intervention teams.” The central administration’s hearts and minds may be in the right places, but this initiative will succeed only if its substance matches its symbolism.
DOWN - A&T’s books — A team of UNC officials and state auditors is investigating fiscal problems at N.C. A&T that could be serious and could cast the tenure of popular former Chancellor James Renick in an unflattering light. “I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of the faculty, staff and students at North Carolina A&T State University while I was chancellor,” Renick says in a written statement from his office in Washington, where he now is a senior vice president for the American Council on Education. But Interim Chancellor Lloyd Hackley sounds more ominous. “I don’t know that there was any deliberate misfeasance or malfeasance,” he tells the News & Record. “All I know is this institution is off the tracks, and we’re going to put it back on.”