Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
BC-NC-PARATROOPER TRAINING EXERCISE
82nd Airborne Division to train with Colombian paratroopers
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – This week, paratroopers with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division will fly to South America to train with their Colombian counterparts. The 75 paratroopers are taking part in a multinational training exercise in Colombia as part of their efforts to maintain readiness to respond to threats around the world. An example of the need to stay ready came on New Year’s Eve when hundreds of paratroopers went from relaxing at home to deploying to the Middle East within hours. It’s something the 82nd Airborne’s Immediate Response Force prepares for constantly with exercises like the one happening in Columbia.
Police release video of stop that prompted investigation
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police department has released body-camera video of a traffic stop that prompted a use-of-force investigation. Raleigh police released video Friday that showed two officers grabbing, punching and kneeing a man who was shown ignoring their orders, The News & Observer reported. Footage shot by a passenger in the car was widely shared online earlier in the week. The president of the Raleigh chapter of the NAACP said the suspect’s choices contributed to the confrontation but that all parties involved should have behaved differently.
ONLINE MILITARY ARCHIVE
WWII newsletters, newspapers now available online in NC
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s online archival military collection now includes installation camp newsletters and newspapers that contain little-known information about life in the state during World War II. The collection is available as part of a two-year digitization project that the State Archives of North Carolina began in 2018 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of WWII. The project includes newsletter issues from installations such as Camp Lejeune, Camp Davis, Morris Field, and Elizabeth City Naval Air Station. áPeople have been able to use the newsletters for research since 1947, but they had to do that at the State Archives rather than online.
Records reveal concerns of deceased GOP redistricting expert
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The previously confidential computer records of a deceased Republican strategist reveal he was concerned that Democrats were developing better data that could give them an advantage in the next round of redistricting. Republican consultant Thomas Hofeller died in 2018. His estranged daughter posted scores of his electronic records online this month. An Associated Press review of those records shows Hofeller in 2013 had proposed a $1.4 million annual budget to create a new Republican office focused on redistricting data. While his plan was not implemented, Republicans launched a separate effort in 2017 with a broader objective and larger budget.
SUPREME COURT PORTRAITS
Court portrait of writer of notorious slave ruling reviewed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The artwork in the North Carolina Supreme Court building faces a review, following criticism of a towering portrait of a 19th-century chief justice who wrote a notorious decision on the rights of slaveholders. Justice Thomas Ruffin’s portrait hangs above the chief justice’s seat. Two African American chief justices have sat beneath it, including current Chief Justice Cheri Beasley. In an 1829 decision, Ruffin overturned the conviction of a slaveholder for shooting a slave in the back, saying “the power of the master must be absolute.” A state commission reviewing the court’s artwork is supposed to make its recommendations at the end of this year.
SOLDIERS KILLED-FORT BRAGG
Remains of fallen US soldier returned to Fort Bragg
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – The remains of a soldier who was killed a week ago in Afghanistan have been returned to his family in the U.S. The Fayetteville Observer reports the family of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin greeted his flag-draped casket at Pope Army Airfield at Fort Bragg on Saturday. The 29-year-old from Newport News, Virginia, was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Also killed in the attack last Saturday was 21-year-old Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon of Joliet, Illinois. After McLaughlin’s widow was given a moment to say goodbye, hundreds of other paratroopers lined the roadway to salute as the hearse was escorted away.
AIR VENT ESCAPE
Police rescue suspect who hid in air vent, got stuck
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say they had to rescue a suspect after he tried to escape arrest by hiding in an air vent. The man got stuck and had to be rescued by deputies before being taken to jail, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, which conducted a roundup earlier this week targeting people who allegedly weren’t paying child support. Ten people with outstanding warrants were arrested, as were six more for interfering with deputies, the Charlotte Observer reported. The attempted air vent incident wasn’t the only botched attempt to avoid arrest, according to police.
In Texas and other states, voters face a variety of barriers
Texas and other Republican-controlled states across the country have been imposing registration and voting restrictions in recent years that make casting a ballot more difficult. Strict voter ID requirements, voter roll purges and limits on early voting are among the steps those states have taken, mostly since the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Proponents of the changes say the aim is to prevent fraud. If the restrictions discourage voters or turn them away, it could make the difference in races decided by narrow margins.