Latest North Carolina News:
Senate gives OK to NC budget with billions in federal aid
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina government budget proposal heavy on capital projects, saving reserves and tax cuts and distributes over $5 billion in federal COVID-19 aid has received preliminary approval from the state Senate. The GOP-controlled chamber voted 32-18 on Thursday for the two-year plan. Democrats say the Republican proposal misses a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address program and salary needs in K-12 schools and in health care. Republicans disagree and say the tax cuts return surpluses to taxpayers, benefitting low- and middle-income tax filers disproportionately. One more Senate vote is needed Friday before the bill goes to the House, which will pass its own budget version.
After Senate rejection, Cooper picks new environment leader
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has named a longtime legislative lobbyist and policy adviser on environmental issues as his next secretary for the environment. Cooper’s choice of Elizabeth Biser on Thursday comes three weeks after Senate Republicans voted down Cooper’s appointment of Dionne Delli-Gatti as secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. They said her reticence during a confirmation hearing about Cooper’s natural gas policy disqualified her. Delli-Gatti’s rejection marked the first such no-confirmation result for a governor since the advise-and-consent law took effect. Cooper wants a second-term replacement for Michael Regan, who’s now U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
Annual N. Carolina farm bill nears final lawmaker approval
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature is near final approval of its annual farm bill, which includes a new method to permit operations at hog farms so they can convert liquid waste into consumer natural gas. The House voted on Thursday for the measure, which makes changes in more than a dozen categories related to agriculture. A similar version passed the Senate last month and could soon be on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. Interest is growing in biogas because of the potential revenue source. Some Democrats complained the permit process would be too swift and could omit concerns over air quality.
AP-NC-TRAFFIC CRASH-TWO KILLED
State Highway Patrol: Mother, child killed in car crash
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says a mother and her 3-year-old child were killed in a collision. The Hickory Daily Record reports the patrol says a car driven by 20-year-old Allison Faith Presley of Indian Trail crossed the center line on N.C. Highway 16 on Wednesday and collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction. According to the patrol, Presley and her child died at the scene. The investigating trooper says it appears Presley fell asleep at the wheel, and added that the child’s car seat was improperly installed. The patrol says the driver of the other car was taken to the hospital while a passenger had minor injuries.
Trump rally song plays briefly at Biden North Carolina event
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A song heard at every Donald Trump campaign rally was briefly played at the end of a North Carolina event featuring President Joe Biden. Biden had just finished a speech urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 when “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by the Rolling Stones blared over the loudspeakers on Thursday. The song was a staple at campaign rallies held by the former Republican president. The playlist quickly shifted to “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey. But then the Rolling Stones hit was heard again as Biden shook hands and posed for selfies with people along a rope line.
North Carolina man arrested for shooting at sheriff’s deputy
GRAHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office has arrested a man who they say shot at a deputy. The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that a deputy responded to a call late Tuesday night about a man with a gun at a location on old N.C. Highway 87. The sheriff’s office says when the deputy arrived, a man was in the back of a truck waving a gun around. The man, identified as William Broadie Childress, shot at the deputy, who returned fire. Neither person was hurt. The sheriff’s office filed multiple charges against Childress, who is jailed on a $75,000 secured bond.
Falling short: Why the White House will miss its vax target
WASHINGTON (AP) – Seven weeks ago, President Joe Biden laid out a lofty goal to vaccinate 70% of all American adults by July Fourth. The White House now acknowledges it will miss the target. Administration officials blame a combination of factors. Those factors include the reduced sense of urgency that followed early success in the vaccination campaign and a decision to reach higher than a play-it-safe lower goal. They also encountered unexpectedly strong resistance to getting the shot among some Americans. Biden visited North Carolina on Thursday to urge Americans to roll up their sleeves.
CRITICAL RACE THEORY-EXPLAINER
EXPLAINER: So much buzz, but what is critical race theory?
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Critical race theory has become a lightning rod for Republicans as they seek to prevent schools from teaching or promoting it. But what exactly is it? Even those who condemn or seek to ban the concept struggle to define it. Developed in the 1970s and ’80s, critical race theory is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism. It centers on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain the dominance of white people. Many Republican-led states have invoked the concept as a way to limit how race is taught in public schools.