NORTH CAROLINA BUDGET
In unexpected vote, NC House agrees to override budget veto
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republicans dominating a half-empty North Carolina House chamber have voted to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state’s two-year budget.
The unexpected vote Wednesday morning came without dozens of Democrats on the House floor. Republican leaders tried for months to locate enough votes to meet the threshold for an override, largely through winning over enough Democrats. They finally got what they wanted because Democrats opposed to the budget weren’t at their seats.
The override isn’t complete — the Senate still must hold a vote on the issue, but Republicans would only need one Democrat there to secure victory.
Wednesday’s vote came as lawmakers have focused this week on redrawing legislative maps following a court ruling striking down dozens of districts due to extreme partisan bias.
The Latest: GOP’s Bishop wins N Carolina special election
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Conservative Republican Dan Bishop has won a special election for an open House seat in North Carolina, averting a demoralizing Democratic capture of a district the GOP has held for nearly six decades.
But Bishop’s narrow victory over centrist Democrat Dan McCready didn’t erase questions about whether President Donald Trump and his party’s congressional candidates face troubling headwinds approaching 2020.
Bishop is a state senator best known for a North Carolina law dictating which public bathrooms transgender people can use. He tied himself tightly to Trump, who staged an election-eve rally for him, and Tuesday’s voting seemed no less than a referendum on the president.
Trump quickly took credit for the triumph, proclaiming a “BIG NIGHT FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY” on Twitter.
2 found guilty of vandalizing monument to black workers
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — Two people accused of vandalizing a memorial to enslaved and free black workers who built UNC-Chapel Hill have been ordered to pay fine and perform community service.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports 31-year-old Ryan Francis Barnett of Sanford and 50-year-old Nancy Rushton McCorkle of Newberry, South Carolina, were found guilty of injury to real property and larceny, both misdemeanors.
An Orange County judge sentenced Barnett and McCorkle to 200 hours of community service, 18 months of unsupervised probation and a $500 fine.
The two were accused of marking the Unsung Founders Memorial in March with what the school’s interim chancellor said was “racist language.”
The memorial is in a central plaza that also featured a statue of a Confederate soldier before protesters tore it down in August.
NC man charged in shooting by child who kicked his holster
(Information from: The Hickory Daily Record, http://www.hickoryrecord.com)
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has been charged in a shooting by his child who kicked his gun holster and wounded the child’s mother.
The Hickory Daily Record reports 23-year-old A-Duan Namon Walker is charged with carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in the Sept. 5 shooting at Valley Hills Mall in Hickory.
Police Chief Thurman Whisnant said Tuesday that the child kicked the holster while being picked up by Walker, shooting the woman in both feet with a single bullet.
The police chief says the shooting was apparently accidental and the woman was treated.
Two spent shell casings were recovered from the scene. Whisnant says authorities don’t know why there were two shell casings, as security video and witness accounts led police to determine only one shot was fired.
9-year-old drowns in North Carolina retention pond
GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say a 9-year-old has died after drowning in a retention pond near his home.
The Goldsboro Police Department said Monday on Facebook that Jaylen Suggs went under water and didn’t come back to the surface over the weekend.
Emergency officials responded to the possible drowning and pulled the boy out of the water. Investigators say he was airlifted to a hospital where he was listed in critical condition, but later died from his injuries.
News outlets report officers are investigating the death and the department’s Criminal Investigations Division went to the pond.
Court strikes down Montana law barring political robocalls
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A federal appeals court says a Montana law that restricts automated telephone calls about political campaigns violates the First Amendment’s free-speech protections.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that so-called robocalls can’t be regulated based on the content of their messages.
The ruling that strikes down the 1991 Montana law barring political robocalls also applies to the eight other Western states within the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction.
The judges say the court has previously upheld state laws that regulate robocalls, such as those that aim to protect consumers from scams.
But they say restricting a robocall based on its content is a different matter. The opinion written by Judge Richard Paez says “prohibiting political robocalls strikes at the heart of the First Amendment.”
Remap transparency order means live video, lottery machine
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A court-ordered directive for more openness in North Carolina redistricting is leading to actions directed at improving public access and transparency.
The state House and Senate redistricting committees on Tuesday started live-streaming their meetings, where they are working to meet a Sept. 18 deadline that state judges set to enact new boundaries. The judges last week declared district maps approved in 2017 violated the state constitution by injecting boundaries with extreme partisan bias to favor Republicans. They ordered the remapping must be conducted “in full public view.”
The livestreams have aired spreadsheets and voices of legislative staff workers as they crunch numbers involving potential replacement maps.
The Senate also has brought in a state lottery machine with pingpong balls inside to pick certain maps at random, in keeping with transparency.
HOUSE FIRE-SISTERS KILLED
Sheriff: Kitchen stove to blame for house fire that killed 2
RICHLANDS, N.C. (AP) — Investigators in North Carolina say a kitchen stove is to blame for a weekend house fire that killed two sisters.
The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies responding to a fire near Jacksonville on Saturday found 63-year-old Phyllis Moore outside the home and unresponsive. Phyllis Moore was taken to a local hospital, where she died.
While helping Phyllis Moore, deputies learned a second person was inside the home. Upon entering, they found 63-year-old Katherine Moore, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
Onslow County Emergency Management investigators determined the fire was accidental and began on the stove.
Preliminary results from autopsies performed on both victims on Monday showed the women died of suffocation from smoke. A final determination is pending a toxicology report.