Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
ELECTION 2019-NORTH CAROLINA-3RD DISTRICT
Voters choosing nominees to succeed late NC Rep. Jones
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – More than two dozen candidates seeking to succeed the late North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones Jr. first must win their parties’ nominations.
Voters go to the polls Tuesday in the 3rd Congressional District primaries. Seventeen Republicans, six Democrats and two Libertarians are on ballots. Democratic and GOP party runoffs are possible in July if leading candidates fail to get over 30% of the vote.
Jones died in February after serving 24 years in the House as a Republican in the eastern North Carolina district. The GOP field includes three state legislators. Current and former mayors and a retired Marine colonel are among the Democrats.
Nearly 4% of qualified voters cast early ballots in person or by mail.
A Constitution Party candidate already advanced to the general election.
North Carolina conservatives urge override for abortion bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Anti-abortion groups say North Carolina legislators will be on history’s right side if they override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of a measure they say ensures newborns delivered during unsuccessful abortions are cared for like any other baby.
Leaders of socially conservative organizations spoke Monday outside the Legislative Building for the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors” bill, which Cooper vetoed this month. They also announced a rally next week for the measure and other anti-abortion legislation.
The Republican-controlled Senate plans an override vote on Tuesday. Several Democrats from the House and Senate combined would have to join GOP legislators to complete the override.
Cooper said the “born-alive” bill is unnecessary because other laws already protect newborns. Bill supporters describe stories of children born alive after botched abortions and otherwise left to die.
NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION-THE LATEST
The Latest: Republicans discount lawsuit over GOP benefits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A spokesman for North Carolina’s Republican Party is discounting a lawsuit by a congressional candidate barred from GOP debates and access to internal party data.
State GOP spokesman Jeff Hauser said Monday that candidate Chris Anglin’s lawsuit seeking access to the party’s resources is nothing more than a publicity stunt.
Anglin’s state lawsuit seeks to force the state GOP to give him access to benefits provided nine others in the 9th congressional district field.
Republicans call him a Democratic plant. Anglin was a registered Democrat until weeks before running for state Supreme Court as a Republican. The incumbent Republican lost that court seat to a Democrat last year.
The May 14 congressional primary was ordered after an operative working for the Republican who appeared to win last year’s election was accused of illegally handling mail-in ballots.
Bill making casino nights for charities lawful gets final OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A bill heading to North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk makes clear charities aren’t breaking the law by holding occasional casino “game nights” as fundraisers as long as they follow new restrictions.
The House agreed 95-17 on Monday to changes the Senate made on legislation making legal what some nonprofits already have been doing.
Bill supporters say enforcement of the current ban on these events has been uneven, and it would be better to allow nonprofits and some employers and trade associations to hold them, with alcoholic drinks permitted and prizes awarded by raffle. The bill still only applies east of Interstate 26 to comply with Cherokee casino agreements.
Cooper vetoed a casino night measure in 2017, worried it could attract video poker. Lawmakers say those concerns have been addressed.
Bill to prevent future rape kit delays OK’d by House panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – New processes to test thousands of sexual assault kits held by local North Carolina law enforcement agencies are advancing in the House.
A bill approved by the House judiciary committee on Monday seeks to prevent future backlogs of sometimes-forgotten rape kits held in police storage lockers around the state.
The measure directs police and sheriff departments starting this summer to submit new, completed kits for testing to the State Crime Lab, an approved third-party lab or the Department of Public Safety within 45 days of receiving them. It also directs local law enforcement to create panels that review sexual assault kits and prioritize which should be tested first.
The House budget is expected to contain $3 million to help pay for outside lab testing of the outstanding kits.
LINVILLE GORGE FIRE
Fire blamed on abandoned campfire reported in Linville Gorge
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) – Forestry officials say an abandoned campfire is the suspected cause of a wildfire in Linville Gorge in North Carolina.
The U.S. Forest Service tells news outlets that the Brushy Ridge Fire was reported Sunday afternoon and is in a remote area near the Linville River at the end of the Brushy Ridge Trail on the northeast side of the gorge.
Forest service spokeswoman Lisa Jennings says firefighters hiked into the area on April 27 after the fire was first reported to assess the fire and determine how to put it out.
Jennings said effort to fight the fire is ground-based, but she said air support will be brought in if necessary.
Visitors to Linville Gorge are asked to use caution because firefighters will be using local roads to launch operations.
Police identify man whose body washed ashore at beach
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have identified a man whose body washed ashore last week and was discovered by a bystander.
News outlets report the Carolina Beach Police Department says the body of 69-year-old Thomas James Dickerson of Chapel Hill was found in the surf last Thursday night. Emergency personnel said Dickerson showed no signs of life when they arrived in response to a call.
The N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is still working to determine a cause of death. Police have said that foul play is not suspected, and add that an investigation is ongoing.
3 killed in same day in shootings in North Carolina city
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in a North Carolina city say three people, two of them women, were shot to death and two other people were wounded in the same day.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say five people were shot at three different locations on Sunday.
In one incident, police responding to a call found a man and woman both shot. The woman, 21-year-old Shalecia Shav’ea Williams was pronounced dead at Atrium Health’s Carolina’s Medical Center. The man, whose name hasn’t been released, is being treated for non-life threatening wounds.
Authorities say another man and woman were found with gunshot wounds at a hotel near Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Police said 30-year-old Tyrena Inman was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, there have been arrests in two of the cases, including Inman’s death.