Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
After another court ruling, NC House back to redistricting
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House is starting another round of redistricting demanded by judges who declared Republicans unnecessarily redrew a handful of districts in 2017.
The House Redistricting Committee scheduled a meeting for Thursday to discuss remapping of Wake County lines, but planned no votes.
There’s a June 30 deadline to approve new House districts for Wake in light of a November court ruling. A panel of state judges found GOP legislators went beyond what federal judges directed to redraw lines to fix racial bias in nearly 30 House and Senate districts.
The North Carolina Constitution prohibits mid-decade redistricting. There are exceptions when a court orders otherwise.
Civil rights groups and Democrats have challenged in court for most of this decade legislative districts originally drawn in 2011 by Republicans.
WINNING LOTTERY TICKET-GIFT
NC woman gets $1 lottery ticket for Mother’s Day, wins $1.3M
AUTRYVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina woman was gifted a $1 lottery ticket for Mother’s Day that turned out to be worth $1.3 million.
News outlets report Vielka Roman, of Sampson County, won the third-largest jackpot ever in the Carolina Cash 5 game on Sunday. The state Education Lottery says Roman will be taking home about $958,000 after taxes. A state Education Lottery release says Roman was gifted the ticket by her sister, Neris, who bought it in Fayetteville.
The release says Roman wants to put her winnings toward her home and car. Roman says her family just moved to the area and bought a home, so “it will be nice to have room to breathe.”
The release says Carolina Cash 5 and other games annually raise more than $650 million for education.
COLLEGE CAMPUS SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Slain North Carolina college student awarded police honor
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department has honored a college student who was killed when a gunman opened fire inside a classroom.
News outlets report the family of UNC Charlotte student Riley Howell was awarded the Civilian Medal of Valor posthumously on Wednesday from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Howell’s parents, siblings and girlfriend accepted the award on his behalf and received a standing ovation.
The 21-year-old Howell was shot while tackling the shooter who is accused of killing him. Howell’s move is credited with saving lives. Also killed in the April 30 attack was 19-year-old student Ellis R. Parlier. Four other students were wounded.
Police charged 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell with two counts of first-degree murder, four counts of first-degree attempted murder and other offenses in the shooting.
NORTH CAROLINA-DISPUTED ELECTION-THE LATEST
The Latest: NC candidates on the attack in election redo
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Democrat running for Congress in a redo election prompted by ballot fraud says he learned in the Marine Corps to work for solutions across the country’s political divide.
Dan McCready said Wednesday that if he’s elected in September’s special election he’ll focus on making health care affordable and public schools better.
McCready said he doesn’t support expanding the taxpayer-supported Medicare program to all Americans, as some Democrats propose. McCready said it is feasible to fix the cost and coverage problems affecting millions of people by updating the federal health care law passed under former President Barack Obama.
McCready refused to pledge not to run for U.S. Senate next year. Republican challenger Dan Bishop said McCready is using the congressional election to angle for a shot against Republican Senate incumbent Thom Tillis.
E-CIGARETTE LAWSUIT-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina sues e-cigarette maker JUUL over marketing
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a popular e-cigarette maker, asking a court to limit what flavors it can sell and ensure underage teens can’t buy it.
Josh Stein is the top law enforcement official in the traditional tobacco-producing state and in announcing his lawsuit Wednesday says he’s the first state attorney general to take the maker of Juul to court. The Massachusetts attorney general also announced an investigation last year into JUUL’s sales and marketing.
Stein said JUUL’s marketing practices have caused an “epidemic” among young people. He said in a news release: “JUUL targeted young people as customers.”
A spokesman for JUUL Labs said in an emailed statement that the company is also concerned about youth vaping and is already working to reduce the practice.
NC governor speaks with physicians on Medicaid expansion
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper keeps trying to build pressure upon state legislators to approve Medicaid expansion in North Carolina through another public meeting with those in the health care profession supporting it.
Cooper held a round-table discussion on Wednesday at the Executive Mansion with obstetricians and pediatricians who later visited lawmakers. He said in a news release that providing more coverage to women in their child-bearing years can reduce infant mortality and improve the health of babies. Cooper’s office says North Carolina ranks low among states in women’s access to health insurance.
The governor held a similar meeting pushing expansion at the Mansion last month with rural hospital executives. He’s also visited hospitals on recent travels to discuss expansion.
Wednesday’s public event marked Cooper’s first since undergoing back surgery last week.
Man, boy are dead after being pulled from Atlantic Ocean
ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities on the North Carolina coast say a man and a boy have died after they were pulled from the Atlantic Ocean.
WITN-TV in Greenville reports Lt. Nate Nelson with the Atlantic Beach Fire Department says a man and a boy were pulled from the waters west of the Oceanana Pier by a rescue swimmer and a jet ski sent to assist.
Atlantic Beach Police Chief Jeff Harvey said the man who was in his early to mid-20s and the boy who was about 5 or 6 years old died late Tuesday at a local hospital.
Firefighters say yellow flags were up for most of Atlantic Beach, but red flags were flying where the two were taken out of the water.
The identities of the two victims haven’t been released.
TOWN SPENDING AUDIT
Investigation: Town had over $64K in undocumented spending
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A state auditor’s investigation has revealed that the small town of Robbinsville in western North Carolina spent over $64,000 of taxpayer money on gas, restaurant meals and other expenses without adequate documentation.
The May report examines $34,343 in credit card charges between July 2016 and Feb. 2018 and $30,660 of fuel purchases made between July 2016 and Nov. 2017.
The same investigation found that town officials and employees received over $15,900 in fringe benefits that weren’t reported as taxable income.
Robbinsville mayor Steve Hooper said most of the credit card charges and his share of the fuel purchases were used for town purposes. He said he wasn’t fully aware of the requirements for using town money, but that after the investigation, town officials are now abiding by the rules.