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Blind North Carolina woman stranded by Uber driver at wrong location

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Blind North Carolina woman stranded by Uber driver at wrong location


RALEIGH, N.C. — (WRAL) — A blind North Carolina woman was put in a frightening situation this weekend after an Uber driver dropped her off at the wrong location — and left her there.

WRAL-TV’s Shaun Gallagher spoke with the woman Monday, and she said it has her questioning everything.

Raleigh resident Kamille Richardson said she was trying to go to a Verizon store to get a new phone. But when the Uber driver stopped, she could tell something wasn’t right.

As a blind woman, it’s important for Richardson to be able to do things on her own. Blind since birth, she has handled everything life has thrown her way… with one exception.

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“I always said the only thing I cannot do is drive,” Richardson said. For that, she relies on ride sharing services like Uber.

Sunday afternoon, she requested an Uber to drive her to the Verizon store. Richardson said she has a note in her profile that she’s blind.

“Also I have a white cane, so it also lets people know that I am blind,” she said. The driver walked her to a door, but she said she knew something wasn’t right.

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“He says ‘oh, okay, we’re here. We’re at Verizon store,’” Richardson said. “So we get out, and we’re walking. And I say, ‘sir, are you sure? I don’t think we’re at the Verizon store.’”

Instead of being dropped off at the Verizon store, Richardson was at an apartment complex, more than a mile north of the store.

“And I say ‘this is not the right place,’ and he says, ‘well, I have somebody I gotta pick up at the airport,’ and he takes off and runs away,” Richardson said.

Richardson was left all alone at the wrong location – essentially, in the dark.

“I couldn’t even tell you what I was near,” she said. “I didn’t know the vicinity. He just dropped me and ran away. Now mind you, I’m still standing here at this random door. I have no idea where I am. And so I walk away from the door as fast as I can because again, I don’t I don’t know where I am. And this guy just left me standing there stranded, terrified.”

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She said she ended up calling 911 for help. By the time police officers got to her, she said she was in tears.

“I had no idea where I was. And so the trauma of it all was a lot for me,” Richardson said. “And thank thank goodness for the police. They found me and they helped me get where I was trying to go, which was to that Verizon store.”

Richardson said when the police officers were driving her, they said she was a good five minutes away from the Verizon store.

“That is one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through,” she said. “How could you just abandon somebody like that knowing good and well that I was not in the right spot?

“I never felt as alone and as vulnerable as I did yesterday. It’s the first time where I really felt like my life can be in danger because I’m blind.”

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Richardson said she trusts that people, like her Uber driver, will be honest with her.

“I’m putting my trust in someone, and I’m trusting that you’re going to tell me exactly where I am,” she said. “I’m trusting that you are not going to lie to me and insist that I’m somewhere that I know I’m not. I’m trusting you to have the decency and the humanity to help me out of the situation.”

Richardson, who is a business owner, said she’s always trying to spread awareness.

“I’m all about teaching about inclusion and how to create inclusive environments,” she said. “So I always am spreading awareness being that advocate for the blind or visually impaired and really people with disabilities in general.

“It happens to people all the time who are blind who have a disability. It happens to us all the time… my story is not the only story, and that’s why I’m doing this because I want to bring awareness to this issue. And I want Uber to take some sort of accountability.”

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Aviance Brown, a local attorney, said she and Richardson want to hold Uber accountable so this doesn’t continue to happen.

“This is not the first time where folks with disabilities have been placed in a vulnerable situation,” Brown said. “It happens every day.”

Brown said they’re looking for Uber to make changes so people with disabilities are not put in vulnerable positions.

WRAL reached out to Uber for comment on this situation, and a spokesperson provided the following response:

“Kamille’s experience is frustrating and we are continuing to investigate. We have been in contact with her and issued a refund for the trip.”

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Richardson said she had plans to go out of town Monday, but this whole incident has her so shaken up that she pushed her plans back. She said she doesn’t feel comfortable hopping back into an Uber just yet.

The CNN Wire & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.



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North Carolina

NC legislators continue to ignore teacher vacancy crisis • NC Newsline

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NC legislators continue to ignore teacher vacancy crisis • NC Newsline


In 2023 state policymakers were confronted with alarming data: teacher vacancies had hit record highs. Not only did 1 in every 18 classrooms lack a licensed teacher, but districts serving the greatest share of Black students and students from families with low incomes faced the greatest shortages. In other words, the teacher shortage had reached crisis levels, demanding a dramatic response from lawmakers.

Sadly, that response never came. Now the teacher vacancy problem has gotten worse.

At the 40th day of the 2023-24 school year, 6,006 classroom teaching positions were vacant, smashing the prior year record by 18 percent. This year, more than 1 in every 16 lacked a licensed teacher over a month into the school year.

These vacancies continue to be associated with the demographics of the district. Districts with more students from families with low incomes and districts with more Black students tend to experience higher teacher vacancy rates. The association has grown even more stark this year. 

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As a result, it’s disproportionately Black students and economically disadvantaged students who pay the price for lawmakers’ unwillingness to make the necessary investments to attract and retain certified teachers in every classroom.

Of course, all students suffer from teacher vacancies. And it’s not just the students assigned to an unlicensed teacher.

Teacher vacancies increase the demands on the teachers who have persisted in spite of state policymakers’ efforts to drive them from the classroom. Vacancies create larger class sizes. They require experienced teachers to assist untrained, novice teachers and to fill in when substitutes are nowhere to be found. This leaves our best teachers with less time to lesson plan, individualize instruction, assist less experienced colleagues, or to find regular opportunities to decompress from an increasingly difficult, stressful job.

As vacancies rise year after year, an increasing number of teachers are taking on more responsibilities to fill in the holes.

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It should come as no surprise that North Carolina’s teacher vacancy problem has worsened. The 2023 budget failed to include any meaningful efforts to reverse the ongoing war on the teaching profession. In spite of the teacher shortage crisis, legislators cut public school budgets and provided meager pay raises of only 3.6 percent, barely keeping pace with inflation. Average teacher pay is 23 percent below the national average. Our schools remain among the worst-funded in America and our teachers continue to earn salaries that dramatically trail their peers in other industries.

Legislators know that teachers remain the most important in-school factor for boosting academic achievement. Yet they have instead chosen to prioritize a massive expansion of the state’s private school voucher program to benefit wealthy families already enrolled in private schools. While investments in teachers have been shown to boost academic performance, statewide voucher programs have produced unprecedented drops in test scores for voucher students

The voucher expansion also sends a clear message to public school teachers: state leaders would rather subsidize their wealthy donors than provide teachers with competitive salaries, repair dilapidated school buildings, or give teachers adequate support staff such as teacher assistants, nurses, and school psychologists.

Legislators’ failure to support teachers and improve their working conditions is at the heart of the long-running Leandro court case which requires that all children have access to highly qualified teachers. The case has spurred a detailed, research-based, multi-year plan to increase investments in educators and students in order to provide the basic level of schooling promised under our state constitution. Unfortunately, legislative leaders have fought tooth and nail to get the plan thrown out by the courts, sending educators (and students) another clear message: they’re uninterested in making things better.

The legislature has further conveyed their contempt for teachers by continuing to meddle in how teachers can do their jobs. The Parents Bill of Rights creates purposefully ambiguous restrictions on how teachers approach subjects related to sexual identity and limits their ability to support trans students or others exploring their gender identity. The bill also allows bad actors to file frivolous information requests and objections to instructional materials, chilling instruction on controversial subjects while also wasting teachers’ limited time and resources.

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Other bills targeting teachers’ instructional practices could be revived this year. For example, HB 187, which seeks to create a chilling effect around an honest teaching of history and current events, is awaiting action in the state senate. Additionally, a major candidate for Governor has conducted his own witch hunt of teachers – seeking and failing to find “indoctrination” – and has referred to educators as “wicked people.”

Is it any wonder that teacher vacancies continue to rise?

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are several obvious steps that the legislature could take to attract and retain excellent, well-trained professionals in every classroom:

  • Large, across-the-board pay raises 
  • Proper staffing levels for support staff such as teacher assistants, psychologists, nurses, counselors, and social workers
  • Capital improvements to ensure each school offers a healthy, inviting learning environment
  • Restoration of professional development and early career mentoring funds

Not coincidentally, these are all elements of the Leandro Plan.

If legislators want to address the teacher vacancy crisis, they can implement these evidence-based policies. But if they’d rather erect barriers to make academic success more difficult for Black students and students from families with low incomes, then they can continue their current strategy of undermining and alienating educators.

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At North Carolina's GOP convention, governor candidate Robinson energizes Republicans for election – WWAYTV3

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At North Carolina's GOP convention, governor candidate Robinson energizes Republicans for election – WWAYTV3


Josh Stein and Mark Robinson (Photos:WWAY/NRA Youtubs/MGN)

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — Before Mark Robinson, North Carolina’s GOP candidate for governor, even stepped on stage at the state party’s convention Saturday, several state candidates took time in their own speeches to energize the crowd by vouching for Robinson’s gubernatorial bid.

When the state’s lieutenant governor did take to the stage more than an hour and a half into the NCGOP Convention’s Old North State Dinner in Greensboro, Robinson started off his fiery speech denouncing the media for focusing too much on Donald Trump’s ongoing criminal and civil trials and not the “failures of the Democratic Party.” He also shared his vision for the state, which he said centers around improving the economy and education.

“Trust me, there are enough people in this state who are talented enough and share the vision that we have that we can make this a reality, folks,” Robinson said during his speech, which was livestreamed by Triad television outlet WGHP.

The 55-year-old Republican is embroiled in one of the most hotly contested gubernatorial races of the 2024 election against his Democratic opponent and state Attorney General Josh Stein. Robinson’s brash political style has intrigued Trump supporters, as well as the former president himself, who formally endorsed Robinson in March at a Greensboro rally and called him “Martin Luther King on steroids.”

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Robinson has also caught the attention of critics who say his rhetoric on the LGBTQ community and restricting abortion access should be a cause for concern. The Greensboro native has previously defended his past remarks by saying he can separate his religious views from public office and wants to make North Carolina a “destination state for life.”

Calling himself “part of the winning team” during his speech, Robinson credited Republican policies with the state’s economic success and stressed the role of the governor’s office — under his leadership — to preserve that success.

“North Carolina is literally on the cusp of exploding economically,” Robinson said. “It’s time for us to direct that explosion in the right way and cause this state to be something better than it already is.”

Education in North Carolina is another priority for Robinson, who said the state’s education system is “in shambles.” But the state of education isn’t at the fault of teachers, Robinson said, adding that he puts schoolteachers in the same category as police officers.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also was a keynote speaker at Saturday’s dinner, where he started off his speech calling Robinson the state’s next governor. He also reiterated sentiments from Republican National Committee co-chair Lara Trump and her husband, Eric Trump, who both spoke at the convention Friday, that North Carolina will be an important state in 2024 that could “determine the actual direction of our entire country.”

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Lovely North Carolina City Was Just Crowned America's Safest Place To Retire

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Lovely North Carolina City Was Just Crowned America's Safest Place To Retire


When the time comes to retire, there’s a number of factors to consider, not the least of which is safety. So, it’s helpful to see guidance pointing us to America’s safest place to retire.

America’s Safest Place To Retire And Why

And, according to a study discussed in Travel+Leisure, America’s



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