Latest North Carolina News:
FBI starts probe into death of Black man killed by deputies
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – The FBI has launched a civil rights probe into the death of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man killed by deputies in North Carolina. The announcement on Tuesday came hours after Brown’s family released an independent autopsy showing he was shot five times, including in the back of the head. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also called for a special prosecutor as pressure built on local officials to release body camera footage of last week’s shooting. A local judge scheduled a hearing Wednesday to consider formal requests to make the video public.
Andrew Brown Jr. funeral set for Monday with Sharpton eulogy
A funeral will be held next week for Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot and killed by North Carolina deputies, with the Rev. Al Sharpton delivering the eulogy. Lawyers for Brown’s family said that the funeral will be held Monday in Elizabeth City. Other details of the arrangements were still being settled. Brown was shot and killed last week by Pasquotank County deputies serving drug-related search and arrest warrants. Relative Lee Ferebee said Brown’s family asked Sharpton to deliver the eulogy because they felt the civil rights leader would honor his legacy.
Senate Republicans OK bill with election settlement in mind
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Senate Republicans still angry over a legal settlement reached between the State Board of Elections and a group over counting 2020 election absentee ballots have approved legislation with the agreement in mind. The measure was approved in a party-line vote by the full Senate on Tuesday. It says the attorney general can’t enter into settlements involving certain types of litigation in which top legislative leaders are parties unless those leaders first sign off on them. Democrats say the settlement was lawful and doesn’t meet the definition of “collusive.” The bill now goes to the House after a party-line floor vote.
More government worker info public in N Carolina Senate bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation has cleared a Senate committee that would make more details public about the personnel history of North Carolina state and local government employees. The measure is backed by the North Carolina Press Association. It would expand information that government employers would have to disclose to the media or citizens to include descriptions of why a worker was demoted, suspended or transferred. A press association attorney told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that 35 other states already require that level of disclosure. The committee recommended the measure even as some members worried aloud about potential unintended consequences.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY POWERS
Bill to rein in governor’s emergency powers OK’d by Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s governors would be limited wielding powers during state emergencies unless there’s support from other elected leaders in a bill approved by the state Senate. The bill was filed by Republicans unhappy with many of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s directives during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure says any executive order declaring a state of emergency or taking other emergency-related actions would expire within 10 days without the backing of the Council of State. Ultimately the legislature would decide whether emergency orders would continue in the long term. The bill was appproved Tuesday on a party-line vote and now goes to the House.
Ex-Justice Cheri Beasley joins North Carolina Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The first Black woman to serve as chief justice on North Carolina’s highest court has announced her entry into the state’s U.S. Senate race. Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley announced her campaign Tuesday. She joins four other Democrats vying for the party nomination for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Richard Burr. Beasley is the only Democrat in the race who’s won a statewide contest. Whoever wins the primary will advance to a costly general election fight that could determine whether Democrats maintain their power in the chamber.
Interest on NC taxes paid waived in bill signed by Cooper
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina income tax filers won’t have to pay interest on payments turned in by the new May 17 deadline in a bill signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. The legislation was signed late Tuesday after the Senate gave it final legislative approval earlier in the day. The legislation addresses a result from an IRS decision to push its traditional April 15 deadline by one month. State Revenue Secretary Ron Penny extended the North Carolina income tax deadline on his own. But he couldn’t waive penalties made after April 15 but by the new date without the legislature’s help.
Ex-UNC coach allowed to still drive after fatal crash
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has appealed her plea in a fatal traffic accident and received a more lenient sentence that will allow her to still drive. Police say Hatchell hit 89-year-old pedestrian Betty Colby with her car in January 2020. Hatchell pleaded guilty in September to misdemeanor death by vehicle and unsafe movement. She was originally sentenced to 30 days, which was suspended for six months of unsupervised probation. WRAL-TV reports that Hatchell’s attorney told a judge on Monday that his client couldn’t afford to lose her driver’s license for a year if the conviction were allowed to stand.