Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Plane crashes into North Carolina home, killing 2
HOPE MILLS, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a small plane crashed into a home, killing two people and injuring another.
A release from the State Highway Patrol says the single-engine civilian plane went down shortly before midnight on Thursday in Hope Mills. The pilot and an occupant of the home died at the scene, while another occupant of the residence was hospitalized with serious injuries.
The cause of the crash is under investigation. Troopers and Cumberland County deputies were awaiting federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration around 4 a.m. Friday.
No identities have been released.
The home is in the vicinity of U.S. Highway 301, less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) southwest of the Fayetteville Regional Airport.
High court’s ruling shifts gerrymandering focus to states
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – The battle for political advantage in state capitols is poised to become more intense after the U.S. Supreme Court decision declaring that federal judges have no role in settling disputes over partisan gerrymandering.
Thursday’s ruling could empower Republicans and Democrats who hold full control of state legislatures and governorships to become even more aggressive in drawing districts to their benefit after the 2020 census.
It could shift legal challenges against partisan gerrymandering to state courts. And it could prompt more efforts to reform redistricting procedures through amendments to state constitutions.
Ultimately, it also could mean that voters upset with the party in power must seek change the old-fashioned way – by electing different lawmakers, no matter how difficult that might seem in gerrymandered districts.
Budget proposal get final legislative OK; veto likely next
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Republican-controlled General Assembly is sending its North Carolina government budget agreement to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who is likely to veto it.
The House and Senate gave their final approval on Thursday to a two-year spending plan in separate votes. It received preliminary approval Wednesday following debate in each chamber.
The measure was mostly hammered out by GOP leaders. Cooper and Democratic allies are unhappy that it doesn’t expand Medicaid and it reduces corporate taxes further. And instead of bonds for school construction, the budget uses existing funds. Republican lawmakers pleaded with Democratic colleagues not to let politics over Medicaid expansion get in the way of enacting a budget.
A Cooper veto will be upheld if Democrats largely remain united on future override votes.
SUPREME COURT-REDISTRICTING-NORTH CAROLINA
NC Republicans satisfied with map ruling; another suit soon
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republicans are satisfied and election advocacy groups are disappointed by a key U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case from their state that says federal courts aren’t the proper venue to consider partisan gerrymandering claims.
The 5-4 decision Thursday reversed a lower court ruling that voided state congressional districts due to partisan gerrymandering.
The majority opinion means district lines drawn by the GOP-controlled General Assembly in 2016 for North Carolina’s 13 congressional seats remain in place for the 2020 elections.
GOP state Rep. David Lewis helped draw the map. He called the decision a “complete vindication” of the redistricting process.
Common Cause was among the map’s challengers. State executive director Bob Phillips says he’s hopeful a separate partisan gerrymandering lawsuit in state court will be successful.
Ride-sharing rule changes promoting safety OK’d by NC House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – New rules for drivers of ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft operating in North Carolina have cleared the state House.
The bill approved unanimously on Thursday is considered a safety measure following the March death of a university student in South Carolina who police there say got into the car of an Uber driver impersonator.
The measure now heading to the Senate requires require drivers this fall to display license tag numbers at the front of their vehicles. By next year, they’ll have to have to display their company’s logo so it can be clearly seen day and night.
Impersonating a ride-sharing driver would be a felony. There would also be $500,000 set aside for colleges and universities to create student education campaigns about using these transportation options safely.
FINANCIAL LITERACY EDUCATION REQUIREMENT
North Carolina votes for personal finance classes in schools
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Despite some objections from teachers, a bill requiring North Carolina teachers to teach a full-credit economics and personal finance class cleared the final hurdle in the state’s General Assembly.
The House voted 73-38 on Thursday to approve the bill, sending the measure to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for his signature.
A spokeswoman for Cooper said he will review it before making a decision.
Currently high schoolers must take a full-credit civics and economics course, which splits class time between the two subjects. Students must also take two U.S. history classes to graduate.
Teachers against the bill say that a full-credit personal finance course is unnecessary and takes away instructional time for U.S. history. Bill supporters argue that financial literacy is crucial for student success.
CLIMBING WALL-CHILD KILLED
North Carolina child dies after fall from climbing wall
GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) – A 12-year-old North Carolina boy is dead after falling from a rock climbing wall at a trampoline park.
Gaston County Police told news outlets that 12-year-old Matthew Lu of Gastonia died on June 20 from injuries sustained after falling from the wall at Altitude Trampoline Park the previous day. Matthew was there to celebrate his birthday.
Courtney Wilde, executive vice president of global operations for the Southlake, Texas-based business, said a staff member who checked and outfitted Matthew with his harness was properly trained and certified. Wilde also said a private third party she didn’t identify would handle its internal investigation into the incident.
The park says it is removing the “Clip ‘n Climb” wall, calling the fall “an unfortunate case of human error.”
POLICE CHIEF-ASSAULT CHARGE
North Carolina police chief arrested on assault charge
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police chief has been arrested by state law enforcement agents on an assault charge.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation says in a news release that its agents arrested Biscoe Police Chief Michael Brent Tedder on Thursday on a charge of assault on a female.
According to a news release, the charge stems from an investigation that the SBI began in May at the request of Montgomery County District Attorney T. Lynn Clodfelter. No further details were made available.
The news release says Tedder was taken to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and went before a magistrate, where he signed a written promise to appear.