Latest North Carolina News:
Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) – Johnston County officials say Amazon is planning a $100 million distribution and fulfillment center. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the county made the announcement on Monday. Amazon plans to build a 620,000-square-foot warehouse in Smithfield by 2022 that will create 500 jobs paying at least $15 an hour. The announcement by Amazon comes less than two weeks after Apple announced that it was building its first East Coast campus in North Carolina, investing $1 billion for a site in Research Triangle Park.
Bipartisan bloc in NC House OKs tougher rioting punishments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House has approved more severe punishments for rioting. The chamber voted on Monday for the measure, which stemmed in part following mayhem in North Carolina cities last summer when largely peaceful demonstrations following the murder of George Floyd turned violent. House Speaker Tim Moore cited those demonstrations and the violence at the U.S. Capitol in January while pushing for the bill. The measure also would allow property owners to go to court and seek three times the monetary damage caused by a rioter. There are also new bond and pretrial release rules on rioting and looting charges. The bill now heads to the Senate.
House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House members on Monday approved a plan to curb the governor’s ability to mandate COVID-19 vaccines through executive action. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has shown no desire to exercise that power. The measure put forward by GOP Rep. Keith Kidwell would also bar state public health authorities and licensing agencies from requiring North Carolinians to get vaccinated in order to obtain a license. It’s perhaps the most mild of a string of anti-vaccination proposals brought forward by Republican state lawmakers. Ten House Democrats supported the plan that now heads to the Senate.
NC bill exempts lawmakers, others from concealed gun limits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation approved by a North Carolina House committee would allow elected leaders who hold concealed weapons permits to carry their handguns in areas prohibited to the rest of the public. Local prosecutors and judges already receive special exemptions to rules preventing concealed permit holders from bringing guns inside government buildings. The measure that advanced on Monday would add more people to the list as long as they’re performing official duties. It would apply to lawmakers inside the Legislative Building. The legislative complex has undergone security upgrades in recent years.
NC House OK’s bill to prohibit shackling of pregnant inmates
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House lawmakers on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would prohibit physical restraints being used on incarcerated pregnant women before, during and after they give birth. The proposal also requires women to be provided sufficient food and dietary supplements during their pregnancy. Rep. Kristin Baker wrote the bill in response to a concern she heard from a physician who delivered a baby a couple years ago from a woman who was shackled and unable to hold her infant. The proposal will now go to the state Senate for further consideration.
States push jobless from virus recession to return to work
STOWE, Vt. (AP) – States are pushing the unemployed to return to work to help businesses large and small find the workers they need to emerge from the COVID-19 recession. Some argue the generous unemployment benefits offered when the economy crashed are making it too easy for people to not return to work. Now some states are reinstating a requirement that anyone who collects unemployment must look for work. At least four states, Arkansas, Mississippi, Montana and South Carolina, are ending the $300 supplemental benefit that is on top of state benefits. Labor experts say the shortage is not just about the payment, with some people reluctant to look for work because they fear catching the virus. Others have found new jobs.