AP-NC Newswatch

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June 4, 2021
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June 4, 2021
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Latest North Carolina News:


House OKs allowing right-to-carry in more NC churches
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House has again approved legislation that would allow members or visitors at churches that meet on private school campuses to carry concealed handguns. The bill is another attempt by gun-rights advocates to put these religious venues on par with standalone places of worship. Critics of the bill approved Thursday say that more gun access doesn’t help prevent violence. The measure now returns to the Senate, which passed a version of the bill in March. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a gun bill containing these church changes in 2020. Lawmakers lacked the votes for an override. 



NC House votes to do away with extra jobless benefits early
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House has OK’d legislation to do away with the $300-per-week supplemental benefits for the unemployed provided by the federal government during the pandemic. The Republican measure approved on Thursday would take away the additional payments to roughly 245,000 people in North Carolina. The program is set to expire nationwide in early September, but about two dozen states already have decided to cut off the supplement early. GOP legislators say the additional aid is a disincentive for working, making it tough for employers to fill vacancies. Democrats say eliminating the benefits would harm people still struggling to cover their expenses.



NC Republicans threaten different avenues on framing budget
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House and Senate Republicans still unable to settle on a dollar figure for spending are threatening to go their separate ways on how to develop a state government budget. GOP leaders in the two chambers remain well apart on a spending limit for the next fiscal year that begins July 1. Senate leader Phil Berger said Thursday that his chamber will substitute passing a comprehensive budget bill with smaller measures if they can’t soon reach a spending number with the House. But House leaders say they won’t wait much longer on the Senate before passing a full budget plan on their own.



NC Senate nixes environment chief, but Cooper rehires her
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Senate has formally rejected Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to lead his environment department. But Cooper quickly rehired Dionne Delli-Gatti after Thursday’s party-line vote to be his point person on clean energy. áStill, the refusal marks the first time a Cabinet appointment by a North Carolina governor has received a no-confirmation result since the advice-and-consent law for the Senate began as Cooper took office in 2017. Senate Republicans said that Delli-Gatti’s lack of insight on the governor’s natural gas policy and permitting for a proposed pipeline disqualified her. Cooper and Senate Democrats argued her dismissal was based on politics, not merit.



North Carolina mother’s attempted murder charge dropped
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – An attempted murder charge has been dropped against a North Carolina woman who authorities accused of faking her infant daughter’s kidnapping and trying to kill her. The Asheville Citizen Times reports Krista Noelle Madden was charged with first-degree attempted murder after her infant daughter was found 30 feet down a steep, heavily forested ravine in rural Henderson County on May 9, 2019. attorney, Sean Devereux, said this week that psychological evaluations showed Madden was going through acute postpartum depression, as well as sleep deprivation, that resulted in a psychotic episode. Devereux says his client has since gone through extensive medical treatment and counseling and has fully recovered.



Replica of ship sailed by Columbus to dock in Wilmington
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A replica of the ship sailed by Christopher Columbus in 1492 will dock in Wilmington starting next week.The StarNews reports that the Nao Santa Maria is coming to Wilmington from June 10-13 and will be open for self-guided tours.Crew members at each level can answer questions and discuss experiences traveling from port to port on the floating museum. Wilmington Harbor Enhancement Trust President Stephanie Fornes says the experience is an educational opportunity for all ages covering “one of the most important historic landmarks in the discovery of America.” According to its website, the ship’s fiberglass and wood construction was completed in 2017 and it has sailed to more than 30 ports, commemorating the history of the Santa Maria.



Pop tarts, milk cartons stolen from NC elementary school
NEWTON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a man and a young accomplice stole large quantities of Pop Tarts, milk cartons and other items from a North Carolina elementary school. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office says Jacob Gherret Hamrick and an unidentified juvenile partner-in-crime entered through an unsecured door of Blackburn Elementary School in Newton. School administrators discovered the break-in Wednesday morning. The 24-year-old Hamrick was charged with breaking or entering and larceny. He received a $1,000 unsecured bond and had a first court appearance Wednesday. His accomplice’s involvement will be addressed with the Office of Juvenile Justice.