Latest North Carolina News:
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY POWERS
NC House votes for guardrails on governor’s emergency powers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governor would have to get formal support from the Council of State to carry out long-term emergency orders in a measure approved by the state House on a party-line vote favoring Republicans. The measure is another response to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s directives during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included shutting down or scaling back businesses. These orders have been slowly eased in recent months, but GOP lawmakers have said the governor had too much power to begin with. Cooper has defended his actions as protecting the public. The bill now goes to the Senate after Wednesday’s vote.
Retooling of NC student literacy efforts on fast track
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An overhaul of North Carolina’s efforts to improve reading proficiency for early-grade students in the public schools is advancing quickly through the legislature. The Senate gave unanimous approval to the measure Wednesday, and a House committee recommended it later. It signaled the General Assembly’s hope to give final legislative approval to the “Excellent Schools Act” and send it to Gov. Roy Cooper before the legislature holds a spring recess next week. The measure seeks to improve upon the 2013 “Read to Achieve” program that was championed by Senate leader Phil Berger but has not lived up to expectations.
Ancient coins may solve mystery of murderous 1600s pirate
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) – A handful of 17th-century Arabian silver coins unearthed around New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases. Amateur historian and metal detectorist Jim Bailey found the first intact coin in a Rhode Island orchard and discovered it was minted in 1693 in Yemen. Other coins have turned up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and Bailey has found documents tying them to English pirate Henry Every. The murderous pirate became the subject of the first worldwide manhunt after plundering an Indian ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home from Mecca. Bailey and other historians say it’s evidence that Every, who was never captured, hid in the American colonies for a time.
No confrontation led to fatal highway shooting, husband says
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) – The husband of a vacationing Pennsylvania woman killed on a North Carolina highway says no confrontation led up to her fatal shooting by another driver. Ryan Eberly told LNP for a story Monday that he may have accidentally forced the other motorist over to the shoulder of Interstate 95 southbound when he switched lanes but didn’t escalate the situation. Julie Eberly died at a hospital after the shooting Thursday. Investigators haven’t arrested a suspect. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office has described the suspect driver’s appearance and posted a photograph of his vehicle. The Eberly’s were going on a beach vacation to celebrate their anniversary. They have six children.
AP Interview: EPA head removes Trump-era science advisers
WASHINGTON (AP) – Michael Regan, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, is reversing Trump administration actions that sidelined many academic scientists as advisers in favor of industry figures. Regan says in an Associated Press interview that a “reset” of two advisory panels will return the EPA to its time-honored practice of relying on advice from a balanced group of experts. Regan says “scientific integrity is a foundational value for EPA” and says he’s is committed “to ensuring that every single decision we make meets rigorous scientific standards.” John Graham, a former Bush administration official who led EPA’s Science Advisory Board until Wednesday, called Regan’s action “radical” and disruptive.
Cashwell named by Cooper as NC administration secretary
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A veteran North Carolina state agency administrator and former federal prosecutor is Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to lead the Department of Administration. Cooper on Wednesday appointed Pamela Cashwell as the department’s secretary. The governor’s office says Cashwell will become the first Native American woman to lead a Cabinet agency in North Carolina. She’s been most recently chief deputy secretary and senior policy adviser at the Department of Public Safety. She’ll succeed Machelle Sanders, whom Cooper named in February as the next state Commerce Department secretary. Cashwell and Sanders are subject to state Senate confirmation.
N.C. House advances bill to keep youngest kids out of court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prevent 6- to 9-year-olds from having to appear before a judge for juvenile justice proceedings if they’re in trouble with the law. Advocates says young kids shouldn’t be subject to what they describe as a potentially traumatizing process. The bipartisan proposal approved by a committee Wednesday would have younger kids pivot from court proceedings to a child consultation process. Families that don’t ensure their children receive needed treatment and services would be referred to their local social services department. A similar Senate proposal unanimously passed that chamber last week.
Debate begins on N Carolina absentee voting deadline changes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators have started debating a measure that would move up mail-in absentee balloting deadlines. The bill would require that ballots be received by officials by Election Day in order for them to be counted. Current law mandates ballot envelopes must be postmarked by the election date and received within three days to be counted. A Senate Republican sponsoring the bill on Wednesday said the measure would balance voting access with security and rebuild the public’s confidence following the 2020 elections. But Democrats said it would increase uncertainty for voters who can’t trust the post office anymore for timely deliveries.