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Garden City Telegram

Sons of Confederate Veterans sue North Carolina Department of Transporation for removing battle flag from license plates

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans is suing the state Department of Transportation over its decision to stop issuing or renewing license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag.

The Confederate organization says the move discriminates against its members who pay for a specialty license plate bearing the group’s logo, which includes an image of the red banner with crossed blue stripes flecked with stars.

More than 2,500 of the group’s specialty plates were in circulation at the start of the year, according to the Division of Motor Vehicles. As people go to renew their license this year, the DMV is notifying them that they cannot keep the plate with the Confederate emblem, said spokesman Steve Abbott. They are then offered a standard plate or a different specialty plate, Abbott said.

The DMV made the decision after determining the plates containing the Confederate flag “have the potential to offend those who view them.” Because license plates are owned by the state, the agency says it has the discretion to not issue one with the flag.

But R. Kevin Stone, commander of the state Sons of Confederate Veterans, says the battle flag is not offensive to everyone.

“The Confederate Battle Flag is a symbol of our heritage,” Stone wrote in a statement released Monday. “Symbols can often have more than one meaning. To assume the Confederate Battle Flag is uniquely offensive is to validate only one viewpoint and thereby discriminate against others.”

Stone also accused NCDOT of dealing in bad faith with his organization. The department said in January that it had worked with the group to develop artwork for its specialty plate that did not contain the Confederate flag.

But Stone said NCDOT had not not “contacted me regarding any change in our organization’s official logo” until January, when it had already decided to stop issuing or renewing the plates.

Abbott, the DMV spokesman, said NCDOT does not comment on ongoing litigation. The suit was filed in Lee County Superior Court. - The News & Observer

‘Run Herschel, run!’ Trump wants Walker to rush for Senate in 2022

ATLANTA - Georgia Republicans have buzzed for weeks over talk that UGA football legend Herschel Walker could run for the U.S. Senate. On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump joined the crowd urging the former running back to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Trump said in a statement issued by his super PAC.

“He would be unstoppable, just like he was when he played for the Georgia Bulldogs, and in the NFL. He is also a GREAT person. Run Herschel, run!”

It wasn’t an endorsement from Trump, the twice-impeached former president who remains wildly popular among Georgia Republicans. But it might as well have been.

Trump is set to play a leading role in the race to challenge Warnock, who is up for a full six-year term in 2022 after narrowly winning a special election runoff in January.

And the statement set off a ripple effect among other Republicans eyeing the race, including former U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and former U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, both among a dozen potential high-profile challengers to Warnock.

Both would jockey for Trump’s support should they enter the race - and neither are likely to launch a 2022 campaign if the former president is already pledged to a rival.

Walker and Trump have a longstanding relationship that dates to the early 1980s. The retired NFL star played in Trump’s short-lived United States Football League and was one of his earliest – and most outspoken - supporters during the 2016 campaign.

He’s emerged as a voice for far-right conservative causes during Trump’s term and spoke up for him at last year’s Republican National Convention. He’s also been a key backer of Loeffler - he cut an ad for her last year - and Kemp. And he has iconic status across much of Bulldog Nation. - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UC Davis offers to pay students $75 to stay put for spring break

No caravans of college students in Miami or beach parties in Malibu during a pandemic, please.

UC Davis is offering a sure-fire incentive to keep students from traveling during spring break and potentially spreading the coronavirus: money.

Students who agree to stay on campus during the break can receive $75 gift cards to spend locally, according to the university's spring break grant program announcement last week.

About 50% of the student body is living either on campus or in the Davis area, she said. To receive the gift cards, students must apply for the grant by giving a basic description of their spring break plans. They must pledge to stay in town for their weeklong spring break, beginning March 22, and complete a COVID-19 test.

"As per state guidance, all nonessential travel should be avoided, and staying local is a good way to do your part in slowing the spread of COVID-19," the Facebook announcement for the program read. - Los Angeles Times

Man robbed same Detroit dollar store twice in 2 days, police say

DETROIT - Detroit police have released surveillance images of a suspect wanted in connection with two armed robberies reported last week on the city's west side.

The man approached the counter at a dollar store located in the 9300 block of Greenfield at about 8:30 a.m. March 3, set items down "then produced a weapon and demanded money," investigators said in a statement.

He fled on foot; authorities believe he returned to the same store the next day, "produced a weapon and demanded money," according to the release.

The man allegedly stole an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

He is described as in his 30s or 40s, 5-foot-6, with a medium complexion and stocky build. - The Detroit News