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June 28, 2018
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June 28, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


North Carolina GOP ends nominee’s support over racist posts
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Republican Party has withdrawn support from a legislative nominee after a website connected to him said God is a racist white supremacist and Jews are descended from Satan.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the party announced Tuesday it will not support Russell Walker, GOP nominee for state House District 48. State chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement the party would support local candidates who better reflect party values.
The website, for which Walker writes, says, “What is wrong with being a white supremacist? God is a racist and a white supremacist.” It also says, “The Jews are not Semitic they are Satanic as they all descend from Satan.”
Walker won with 65 percent in the May primary. He faces incumbent Democrat Garland Pierce.


NC protects pork producers against nuisance complaints
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers are making it harder for neighbors of agribusinesses to file complaints about smells and other nuisances.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the wide-ranging farm bill, which contains language sought by pork producers after numerous lawsuits.
The Senate overrode the veto on Tuesday; the House did so on Wednesday.
Smithfield Foods was hit recently with a nearly $51 million verdict – cut to about $3 million because of state limits on punitive damages. The new law all but blocks lawsuits against farm operations in the future.
Fellow Democrats and several Republicans complained the measure would give the hog industry an unfair advantage and deny private-property rights to North Carolina residents living with the odors.
Republicans accused outside forces of trying to put hog farmers out of business.



Judges seek briefs after N Carolina remapping case returned
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A federal judicial panel is seeking input from lawyers in a North Carolina redistricting case that the U.S. Supreme Court decided needs more work.
The judges ruled in January the state’s congressional boundaries were illegal partisan gerrymanders. The ruling was appealed. The Supreme Court on Monday vacated that ruling and told the judges to examine the matter in light of another recent decision. The justices found Wisconsin voters who sued over legislative boundaries had not proven they have the right to bring their case in court.
On Wednesday, the three judges asked attorneys for advocacy groups, Democratic voters and Republican legislative leaders to file any legal briefs by July 11. They want thoughts on whether the North Carolina plaintiffs had legal standing to sue, or if more fact-finding is needed.



Man gets $9m bond for trafficking nearly 22 pounds of heroin
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a man arrested on drug charges hid nearly 22 pounds of heroin inside two car batteries.
Greenville police told news outlets that officers arrested 41-year-old Ury Espinoza Bucio during a traffic stop west of the city just before midnight Tuesday.
Police spokeswoman Kristen Hunter said officers who made the traffic stop found 11 pounds of heroin inside the car battery. An investigation which included the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led to a search of Bucio’s home in Raleigh, where they found an additional 11 pounds of heroin inside another car battery.
According to arrest warrants, Bucio conspired with someone in Mexico to traffic the drugs. He was assigned an attorney by the court during a hearing Wednesday and is scheduled for another court date in July.



Voter ID referendum debate resumes in General Assembly
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature is resuming efforts to give voters the chance to decide this fall whether in the future they should be required to show photo identification before casting a ballot.
A Senate committee scheduled a debate Thursday on a proposed change to the North Carolina Constitution requiring photo ID. The House already decided earlier this week it wants to put the referendum on statewide ballots in November.
Republicans in charge of the General Assembly already have agreed to three other constitutional amendments addressing hunting and fishing, crime victims’ rights and the composition of the state elections board. The House also could wrap up debate Thursday on a question about a new method for filling judicial vacancies.
Lawmakers want to adjourn their annual work session by Friday.



The Latest: N Carolina lawmakers overrides another veto
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly has completed the override of another veto issued earlier this week by Gov. Roy Cooper.
The Senate voted late Wednesday to make the legislature’s annual “regulatory reform” measure state law despite Cooper’s formal objections. The House voted the same way several hours before. That’s the third override on seven bills vetoed Monday by Cooper.
Earlier Wednesday, overrides were completed on bills altering early in-person voting and making it harder for neighbors of big livestock operations to file complaints about smells and other nuisances. Cooper vetoed the regulatory measure because he says it could end pollution protections at the coast.


Equifax must boost security under new agreement with states
Equifax Inc. has reached an agreement with eight states that will require the credit-reporting agency to put stronger security measures in place to prevent future data breaches.
About 147.9 million Americans were impacted by Equifax’s 2017 data breach, which was the largest exposure of personal information in history.
While Equifax has taken steps to correct the problems that led to incident, state regulators say Wednesday’s consent order addresses deficiencies that have persisted. The Atlanta-based company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The order requires Equifax to take a number of steps to shore up weaknesses in its information technology and data security operations over the next year.
The states involved were: California, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama and Maine.



NC lawmakers buck governor; retain early-voting alterations
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina residents now won’t be able to vote in person during the weekend before a primary or Election Day.
A Republican-backed bill that became law Wednesday adjusts the current 17-day early-voting period by moving up the start by one day and eliminating the final Saturday.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper had vetoed the bill, saying the bill would make it harder for some to vote. His allies have said the last Saturday before the election is popular with voters, especially black residents.
GOP lawmakers in charge of the state’s General Assembly say the change will actually increase voting access, because it requires each early-voting site be open 12 hours a day on weekdays.
The Senate overrode Cooper’s veto on Tuesday. The House did so Wednesday, making the bill law.