Latest North Carolina News:
Sponsors defend NC energy bill goals while Cooper pans it
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Negotiators of a wide-ranging North Carolina energy bill to retire Duke Energy coal-fired electricity plants, expand solar power production and keep nuclear power defended the measure’s goals as it got its first hearing. A House committee began scrutinizing the Republican measure on Thursday just after Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper came out against it, saying it’s not aggressive enough. He told lawmakers in a statement to “go back to the drawing board.” Bill sponsor Rep. Dean Arp told colleagues the measure embraces an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that also includes natural gas. Others say it relies too much on fossil fuels. The committee took no votes.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE-LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
$6M settlement after ‘KKK’ deputies sued for excessive force
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office has agreed to a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit in which six families accused the department of a pattern of using excessive force. The lawsuit also said three deputies whose surnames begin with the letter K had called themselves the “KKK.” WRAL reports Raleigh-based attorney Robert Zaytoun announced the settlement with the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office. The lawsuit was filed by the family of John David Livingston, who was shot and killed by a Harnett County deputy after refusing to allow a warrantless search of his home in 2015. Sheriff Wayne Coats says the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing.
US Mint to issue quarters honoring notable American women
A string of notable American women will appear on the U.S. quarter under a four-year program that begins in 2022. The U.S. Mint says its American Women Quarters Program will celebrate women’s accomplishments and contributions to U.S. history. Honorees chosen for the first year are: Maya Angelou, poet and author; Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female principal chief; Anna May Wong, the first Chinese American Hollywood film star; and Adelina Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement. Mankiller’s husband, Charlie Soap, thanked the mint for recognizing his late wife. He tells Indian Country Today the coin will inspire other Native Americans and “women everywhere.”
3 dead, 2 missing after tubers go over North Carolina dam
EDEN, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say three people are dead and two remain missing after a group floating a North Carolina river on inflatable tubes went over a dam. Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates said Thursday that a group of nine people were tubing on the Dan River and went over a Duke Energy dam in Eden around sunset Wednesday. Four people were rescued and taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that Cates said were not life-threatening. Two more remained missing Thursday night. Cates did not release the identities of the three people who died.
BC-NC-POLICE OFFICER-ACCIDENTAL SHOOTING
North Carolina police officer’s child dies in shooting
ELON, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say the child of a police officer has been killed in what is being called an accidental shooting. News outlets report Guilford County sheriff’s deputies and emergency personnel were called to a home in Whitsett on Wednesday in response to a shooting. The victim was identified by the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office as the child of an Elon police officer who was not at home at the time of the shooting. The child died at a local hospital. Elon Police Chief Kelly Blackwater says the unidentified officer has been placed on administrative leave as the sheriff’s office investigates the incident.
AP-NC-POLICE CHASE-MAN ARRESTED
Police: N Carolina man hit police cars, sparked chase
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Police have arrested a North Carolina man who led officers on a chase through a portion of the city after they attempted to arrest him for probation violations. Winston-Salem police said in a news release that local officers as well as state probation and parole officers attempted to arrest 31-year-old James Isamu Stovall Jr. on Wednesday. According to police, Stovall drove his car into two occupied police patrol cars and led officers on a chase through the southwestern part of the city. Police say the chase ended when Stovall stopped at a gas station. Police filed multiple charges against Stovall, including assault with a deadly weapon on law enforcement.
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.