Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Budget stalemate reaches key moment in North Carolina Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A four-month stalemate over the North Carolina state budget may end if Senate Republicans get a little help from Democrats this week to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the bill.
Senate GOP leaders have signaled an override vote could occur during Monday night’s floor session. An override already succeeded in the House during an unexpected vote last month.
Senate Republicans voting to override would need just one Democrat to defect or two absent Democrats to enact the budget despite Cooper’s objections. Senate Democrats and Cooper have said the chamber’s caucus is united on upholding the veto.
Cooper vetoed the budget in late June, complaining about the absence of Medicaid expansion and robust teacher raises. Republicans have since passed several separate measures containing popular portions of the vetoed measure.
Final North Carolina farm bill sets smokable hemp ban date
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s annual agriculture measure is getting final votes because negotiators have worked out differences, particularly on when to outlaw production and possession of smokable hemp.
The House and Senate scheduled floor votes for Monday evening on the 2019 Farm Act, much of which describes the regulatory framework to expand the state’s industrial and medicinal hemp industry.
But the measure declares smokable hemp – which lacks the concentration of the compound that gives marijuana its high – illegal starting next June 1. Law enforcement want the ban because smokable hemp looks and smells like pot, making it difficult for police to differentiate. The bill says a ban repeal could occur if a field test to distinguish the products is found reliable.
Hemp growers are anxious because smokable hemp is profitable.
Police: robbery suspect dead after crash
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man is dead after armed robbery suspects fleeing police crashed into his Jeep.
WECT reports that the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office said police were responding to a call of an armed robbery at a Walmart when they began pursuit of suspects driving away in a vehicle.
Police said the vehicle drove erratically at a high rate of speed, ran red lights and rammed a deputy’s vehicle before crashing into a Jeep Wrangler.
The driver of the Jeep was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
Police said two suspects were taken into custody and the incident is under investigation.
Man wins lottery prize on way for cancer treatment
PINK HILL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man won a $200,000 lottery prize while on the way to his last round of chemotherapy.
WTVD-TV reports that Ronnie Foster bought the winning scratch-off ticket before getting treatment for colon cancer.
Foster said he claimed the prize Friday at the lottery headquarters in Raleigh. He said he took home about $140,000 after taxes.
Foster said he plans to use part of his winnings to pay his medical bills.
North Carolina Police investigating abandoned baby
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a baby is doing well after being abandoned in the middle of the night.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports that local police are investigating after a baby was found early Sunday outside an apartment complex.
Greensboro police spokesman Ron Glenn said the baby was taken to a local hospital and appears to be in good shape.
Police are asking for anyone with information about the baby to contact them.
Frustrated Democratic governors find ways to sidestep GOP
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Democratic governors frustrated with Republican legislatures unwilling to give them meaningful wins are getting creative in finding ways around them.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers tried for months for the Legislature to take up gun control bills to no avail. So he recently called a special session to force them to convene on the issue.
That call is one of 54 executive orders he’s issued that are outside of legislative control.
Democratic governors in Kansas, North Carolina and Pennsylvania are also using executive orders to try and advance their agenda.
But the tools are limited. Even though Evers called the special session, Republicans say they plan to convene and adjourn immediately without debating or voting on the bills he wants them to pass.
Trains would fly through Georgia, Carolinas at up to 220 mph
(Information from: Marietta Daily Journal, http://mdjonline.com/)
MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) – High-speed trains would whisk passengers from Atlanta’s airport to Charlotte, North Carolina, at speeds of up to 220 mph (355 kph).
Public input is being sought on the three proposed routes.
Travel times for the proposed routes vary, with the fastest one taking somewhere between just over two hours and 2 hours and 45 minutes.
That fastest option would operate at top speed for the longest duration and travel through Athens, Georgia; and Anderson, South Carolina, before reaching Charlotte.
The Marietta Daily Journal reports that all three proposed routes would go through Greenville, South Carolina.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT PROTEST-ARREST
2 arrested at Confederate monument protest in North Carolina
PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they’ve arrested two people after a “physical altercation” at a protest over a Confederate statue slated to be removed.
The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday it arrested Calvin James Megginson and Timothy James Osborn on charges related to the altercation. Both were released and are due in court next month.
A pro-Confederate group is trying to stop removal of the statue, which has been stationed outside the county courthouse in Pittsboro since 1907.
The county’s plans to remove the monument have sparked protests and counter-protests that have resulted in multiple arrests in the past month.