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Spartans offer 3-star North Carolina DE Donovan Darden

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Spartans offer 3-star North Carolina DE Donovan Darden


Michigan State football has extended an offer to a three-star edge rusher from North Carolina.

Donovan Darden of Havelock, N.C. announced on Monday that he’s received an offer from the Spartans. Darden is a three-star prospect in the 2025 class.

Darden ranks as the No. 43 edge rusher in 247Sports’ rankings for the 2025 class. He’s also listed as the No. 16 player from North Carolina in the class.

Michigan State is one of more than 10 schools to extend an offer to Darden, according to 247Sports. Other notable programs to offer Darden includes Illinois, NC State, Pitt, South Carolina, Boston College, Missouri and West Virginia.

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Contact/Follow us @The SpartansWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Michigan state news, notes, and opinion. You can also follow Robert Bondy on Twitter @RobertBondy5.





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North Carolina

North Carolina Legislators Build Regulations for Hemp-Derived Consumables

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North Carolina Legislators Build Regulations for Hemp-Derived Consumables


On June 12, the North Carolina House Judiciary Committee discussed House Bill 563, which would implement a new law banning the sale of hemp-derived consumables to anyone under 17 years of age (unless consent is offered by a parent or guardian).

One of the bill’s primary sponsors, Rep. Jeff McNeely, told the committee how his bill has progressed since he first introduced it. “When I started naively, I thought I just wanted to make sure that a 10-year-old kid can’t walk into a smoke shop and buy some of these products,” McNeely said. Now the bill spans 17 pages, with numerous inclusions to regulate hemp-derived products for youth. “Research is suggesting that around three-fourths of our youth are finding their way to marijuana by ways of these type products that are in smoke shops and convenience stores,” he added.

According to NC News Line, if passed the bill would require that both manufacturers and distributors would be required to apply for a state license in order to start selling by July 1. Lab testing would also be required under the bill. More restrictions would implement a ban on edibles that are shaped similarly to animals or cartoon characters. It would also require manufacturers to create child-proof packaging and a label with information about included ingredients and allergens. Additionally, a warning label would be required to inform the consumer that they shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery while consuming.

North Carolina Retail Merchants Association senior director, Elizabeth Robinson, expressed support on behalf of her association. “We appreciate the framework for legitimate businesses to continue to operate responsibly and at the same time regulate those bad actors that, as he said, unfortunately have some of these products getting in the hands of our youth,” Robinson said.

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Recently, the bill was amended on June 12 as well, which would require that both public and charter schools write policies that ban both tobacco and hemp-derived consumables from being present on school campuses or any related events.

This bill has developed in part because of the rise in youth gaining access to psychoactive cannabis consumables. In December 2023, seven middle school kids were taken to the hospital due to consuming an infused rice krispy treat. Two other students were arrested for supplying THC-infused edibles along with psilocybin mushrooms, which was later confirmed to be a “planned” activity by the group of kids.

McNeely answered questions at the most recent hearing from other representatives such as Rep. Marcia Morey. “Are the penalties consistent with what it is for small amounts of marijuana?” Morey inquired.

“No ma’am, they’re really not,” McNeely said in response. “I kind of look at this product like non-alcoholic beer. If it’s made right, there’s really nothing there that’s criminal or wrong. It’s when it’s not made right that we have our issue.”

McNeely is pushing for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture to take up responsibility for proper testing. “Department of Ag says they don’t have the abilities, the time, the people to be able to do this,” McNeely said. “So, the only way I knew to rope this in for a smaller amount of money was to put harsh enforcement on the backside, hoping that the players in the game will play by the rules and clean up whatever it’s not doing right.”

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Rep. David Willis also asked McNeely about how the testing process works and who would pay for it. Currently, the manufacturer of the cannabis product would test the products before it can be distributed. After that, it is the responsibility of the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE).

McNeely added that the bill would give $500,000 to ALE in order to cover the testing costs. Willis also asked if there was a way to have the cannabis industry pay for that instead of taxpayers, which McNeely confirmed is a hopeful outcome. “We’re hoping that the industry will end up being able to fund these agents and the sampling, and all once this bill gets going,” McNeely explained. “But we had to have some start money to get it going.”

ALE will publish its first annual report to the General Assembly starting in January 2025, which will include “enforcement efforts,” according to NC News Line.

If passed, HB-563 would take effect starting in July 2024. “I understand that there’s stuff in the pipeline. We’re not asking anybody to go just rip everything off the shelf,” McNeely said. “We’re giving them time to do that.” The bill will be considered by the House Appropriations committee next.

While North Carolina legislators are working toward protecting children from hemp-derived consumables, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) recently opened the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary in April. Medical cannabis is currently not legalized in North Carolina otherwise, but EBCI now allows medical cannabis cardholders to purchase medical cannabis on tribal land.

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North Carolina braces for hot week with power grid ready

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North Carolina braces for hot week with power grid ready


As heatwaves grip North Carolina, power companies are prepared for the strain on the system.

Substations distribute electricity throughout neighborhoods, and Duke Energy crews work hard to prevent outages through maintenance and monitoring.

High temperatures above 90 degrees are expected all week.

“Try to stay hydrated and out of the sun as much as possible,” Lori Hatlen, Lives in Raleigh, said.

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Raleigh residents Lori and Roger Hatlen are taking precautions, keeping their thermostat set at a cool 74 degrees.

“We usually have ours set on 74 -I’m usually pretty cool,” Lori Hatlen, Lives in Raleigh, said.

This increased air conditioner use can stress power grids, but Duke Energy assures residents they have measures.

“We’re not anticipating any problems meeting customer demand,” Jeff Brooks of Duke Energy said.

At new energy control centers, they utilize “demand response technology” and “self-healing” technology to automatically reroute power in case of outages.

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“This the time of year we tend to use our demand response technology more. so ac control things like that could happen during this time period. been using already,” Jeff Brooks, Duke Energy said.

The Hatlens, living in a new energy-efficient home, hope their bills won’t spike too much during this hot week.

“We haven’t had any outrageous bills it’s a new build and hopefully it’ll be reasonably efficient,” Roger Hatlen said.



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'Smoking-Gun' Data on North Carolina ACT Scores — Minding The Campus

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'Smoking-Gun' Data on North Carolina ACT Scores — Minding The Campus


Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal on June 6, 2024. It is crossposted here with permission.


Earlier this year, the UNC Board of Governors approved a new system-wide admissions policy requiring standardized tests only for students whose high school GPAs are less than 2.8. This comes after years of testing waivers that began in 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the limited availability of tests.

The new policy provides an important additional metric for many schools in the UNC System. But it is meaningless at the two most competitive public institutions. I wrote at the time:

[T]he new policy would make the System’s most competitive schools—UNC-Chapel Hill and [NC State]—effectively test optional. This would make it harder for admissions officers to make distinctions between the thousands of students whose GPAs qualify them for admission. At UNC-Chapel Hill, for example, 95 percent of freshmen admitted in fall 2022 had a GPA of 4.0 or higher. None had a GPA of less than 2.99. Admissions officers would be forced to rely on more subjective and less reliable admission criteria such as personal essays and letters of recommendation.

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New data confirm that the policy is indeed inadequate.

During the pandemic-era test-optional period, many students who attended public high schools in North Carolina still took the ACT during their junior years, as required by North Carolina law. This set up an interesting natural experiment since the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction collected these ACT scores from high schools and shared them with the UNC System. Therefore, we know the ACT scores of all public university students who applied to UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State during the test-waiver period, regardless of whether they submitted those scores for use in the admissions process.


Photo by lexiconimages — Adobe Stock — Asset ID#: 308563662

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