Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT:
Judge won’t restore North Carolina judicial primaries
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina judicial primaries won’t happen this year, based on a federal judge’s ruling favoring Republican legislative leaders who passed a law cancelling those nominee elections for this year only.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles announced Tuesday she would side with the GOP defendants in a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party demanding the primaries for trial and appellate court seats be restored. A one-day trial was held this month.
Eagles did not give her reasons in a two-sentence order, saying a full ruling would come next week. Eagles wrote she announced her decision now because candidate filing for judicial seats began this week.
Democrats had argued their First Amendment right to association was harmed by the cancellations because they use primaries to help rally supporters around favored candidates.
Ex-North Carolina DA convicted of hiring fellow DA’s wife
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two former prosecutors are themselves being prosecuted after allegedly hiring each other’s wives to get around ethics rules in North Carolina.
News outlets reported that one of the former prosecutors pleaded guilty and admitted to the scheme. The other went to trial and has now been convicted. Jurors return Tuesday to consider his sentence.
The jury found Wallace Bradsher guilty on Monday of obtaining property by false pretense, assisting in obtaining property by false pretense, felony and misdemeanor obstruction of justice and failure to properly perform his job.
The former Person and Caswell County district attorney said in his defense that it was just “administrative failure.”
Former Rockingham County District Attorney Craig Blitzer pleaded guilty to failing to properly perform his job and repaid the $48,000 his wife was paid.
3 people die after being pulled from North Carolina pool
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Three people have died after they were pulled from a swimming pool in North Carolina.
Durham police spokesman Wil Glenn told news outlets that officers were called to an apartment complex swimming pool around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
Officers pulled the bodies of two males and one female from the pool. They were taken to the Duke University Medical Center where they were pronounced dead.
The names of the victims have not been released.
Police said there had been four people swimming after normal pool hours. Durham police were talking with the fourth person.
No other details were immediately available.
Republicans look to override vetoes on new parties, maps
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republican legislators are moving to try to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes, this time on legislation limiting candidates for new parties and redrawing judicial districts in North Carolina’s two largest counties.
The state Senate scheduled votes Tuesday on whether to enact the laws over Cooper’s objections announced last Friday. Both the House and Senate must agree to override, and margins in chambers for the bills’ initial passage indicate that could happen.
One measure changes many judicial election districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. The other in part prevents the new Green and Constitution parties from nominating for the fall any losing candidate in primaries for the same office. The Constitution Party nominated candidates over the weekend, some of whom couldn’t run if the “sore loser” provision is upheld.
Candidate begin filing to run in N Carolina judicial races
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The first day candidates can file to run for North Carolina judgeships brought out more than 120 people seeking seats on the bench this November.
Filing began at noon Monday for over 150 District Court or Superior Court seats, along with one spot on the Supreme Court and three on the Court of Appeals. Filing ends June 29.
The legislature pushed back filing this year when deciding there would be no judicial primaries in 2018 while considering changes to judicial election boundaries and how to choose judges. Top vote-getters in each race – no matter how many candidates – will be the winner.
Judicial election district changes in a bill Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed last week and others in another bill on his desk could complicate candidate filing.
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN-NORTH CAROLINA
More arrested in N Carolina’s final week of demonstrations
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than 130 people have been arrested or cited by police at North Carolina’s Legislative Building during six weeks of non-violent action as part of a national civil rights movement seeking largely liberal-leaning demands.
The last batch of arrests for the Poor People’s Campaign in North Carolina occurred Monday, when General Assembly police took away 13 demonstrators chanting in front of the Senate chamber’s doors. Legislative Police Chief Martin Brock said they would be charged with second-degree trespassing.
The campaign began in Raleigh and other state capitals May 14. About 150 people who attended Monday’s rally across from the Legislative Building heard from speakers talking about poverty, religious discrimination and immigration before going inside.
The six-week campaign reaches a climax this Saturday in Washington for a “Stand Against Poverty.”
STOLEN FIRE UNION FUNDS
Ex-firefighter convicted of stealing union funds sentenced
AKRON, Ohio (AP) – The former treasurer of an Ohio firefighters union who was convicted of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in union funds has been sentenced to two years in prison.
A judge in Akron on Monday also ordered 41-year-old Joseph Ruhlin to pay $385,000 in restitution to Akron Fire Fighters Local 330.
Investigators say Ruhlin stole the money from 2011 to 2017. He pleaded guilty in January to charges of theft in office and tampering with records.
Ruhlin was arrested in March 2017 in North Carolina after fleeing the Akron area when charges were filed.
Authorities say he spent the money on items including a down payment on an in-ground pool and tickets to sporting events.
Ruhlin had no comment at his sentencing. A message was left for his attorney Tuesday.
Off-duty officer charged with DWI in North Carolina
BANNER ELK, N.C. (AP) – A police officer in North Carolina has been placed on unpaid leave after troopers say he was driving while impaired in his personal vehicle.
The state Highway Patrol said 44-year-old Tyler Kishpaugh drove his Mazda SUV over the center line on NC Highway 184 in Avery County around 12:50 a.m. Saturday.
Kishpaugh has been an officer for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department since 2001.
Troopers said in a news release that Kishpaugh was arrested and charged with DWI after roadside tests and was taken to the Banner Elk Police Department where he refused to take a blood-alcohol test.
Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney said in a statement he is disappointed with Kishpaugh’s arrest and has placed the officer on leave without pay.
It wasn’t known if Kishpaugh had a lawyer.