Latest North Carolina News:
ABSENTEE BALLOTS-NORTH CAROLINA
NC election bills unlikely to become laws after Senate votes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Senate Republicans have pushed a trio of election measures through their chamber, but they’re unlikely to become law in their current forms given Democratic opposition. Democrats voted against the bills on Wednesday, including one that would prohibit counting mail-in absentee ballots that aren’t received by local officials by Election Day. Currently there’s a three-day grace period. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has been critical of GOP election changes, and Republicans lack veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate. Other GOP-led legislatures in battleground states have passed voting restrictions this year.
Appeals court refuses to reinstate N Carolina abortion ban
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has ruled North Carolina’s ban on most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy must remain unenforceable. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a 2019 lower court decision striking down the prohibition. The Republican-dominated legislature in 2015 narrowed the scope of medical emergencies under which a woman would be exempt from the 20-week limit. The appeals judges dismissed arguments by state attorneys that the prohibition isn’t enforced and thus fails to be an issue. The judges said recent laws in North Carolina and elsewhere signal lawmakers want their restrictions carried out.
NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR-PARDON
North Carolina governor grants pardon to ex-death row inmate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has granted a pardon to a man who was once on death row for a shopkeeper’s slaying and spent more than 40 years in prison. Cooper’s office announced the action Wednesday on behalf of Charles Ray Finch. The governor’s move makes Finch eligible to file a claim under state law which allows compensation to people wrongly convicted of felonies. Finch was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Richard Holloman, who was shot inside his country store on Feb. 13, 1976, in an attempted robbery. An appeals court ruled that evidence cast doubt on Finch’s murder conviction.
Veterans’ tax exemption expanded in bill clearing NC House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House wants to exempt military retiree pay from state income taxes for more veterans in North Carolina. The chamber voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday for the legislation, which would apply to retirees with at least 20 years of service and cover any benefits to their survivors. A bill sponsor says it would help boost North Carolina’s image as a landing place for retiring armed forces members. Carrying out the measure would cost $50 million annually within five years. The bill now heads to the Senate. Some retiree pay is already exempt following a legal settlement in the 1990s.
Man accused of firing at police station charged in deaths
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man accused of shooting at a police substation has now been charged in connection with the shooting deaths of his mother and grandmother. Police believe the slayings occurred prior to Monday’s attack on the Winston-Salem substation in which suspect William Coleman Scott was shot and captured after a chase. Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson said Wednesday that the 26-year-old is charged with murder in the death of his grandmother, Glenda Snow Corriher. He has also been charged with murder in the death of his mother, Kimberly Kyle Scott. William Scott is being held without bond, and he hasn’t yet retained an attorney who could comment.
AP-US-OFFICER SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina police officer shoots, kills man after chase
BESSEMER CITY, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in a North Carolina town says a man has died after being shot by a police officer trying to serve a warrant. The Gaston Gazette reports Gaston County Police Chief Joe Ramey said Wednesday that Bessemer City police went to an address to serve warrants on an individual. Ramey says a foot chase began and continued for approximately two blocks to an area near a cemetery. The chief says the man was shot in an area between two homes and was taken to a hospital where he died. Police haven’t identified the man or said whether he was armed.
Test rules out man who said he might be missing Michigan boy
LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) – A DNA sample from a man hasn’t solved the disappearance of a 4-year-old boy at a suburban Detroit shopping mall nearly 30 years ago. Police in Livonia say tests have ruled out a man who stepped forward in 2019 and said he could be D’wan Sims. D’wan’s mother claimed they were shopping at Wonderland Mall in Livonia when he disappeared, two weeks before Christmas in 1994. But police were skeptical and continue to have doubts. In 1994, hundreds of tips poured in as state police and the FBI joined the investigation. Dwanna Wiggins moved to Durham, North Carolina, where she died last December.
RACIAL EQUITY PLAN
N Carolina county passes plan to address racism, disparities
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina county has adopted a plan to reduce racism and racial disparities in multiple areas. The Asheville Citizen Times reports the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to pass a racial equity plan that calls for measurable improvements in the health, education, income, criminal justice outcomes and other experiences of Black residents. The vote by six Democrats and one Republican follows the county’s 2020 declarations that racism is a public health and safety crisis and that the county should join Asheville in giving reparations to Black residents for slavery, discrimination and racially motivated killings.