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July 1, 2021
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Latest North Carolina News:


UNC trustees OK tenure for journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Trustees at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have approved tenure for Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. Wednesday’s 9-4 vote capped weeks of tension that began when a board member halted the process over questions about her teaching credentials. The board voted to accept the tenure application at a special meeting that included a closed-door session. The university announced in April that Hannah-Jones would be joining the journalism school faculty in July. But her lawyers announced last week she wouldn’t report for work without tenure. She had won a Pulitzer for her work on the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project focusing on America’s history of slavery.



Medical marijuana clears first hurdle in N. Carolina Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A proposed medical marijuana law for North Carolina has cleared its first significant legislative hurdle. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Wednesday for the measure, which creates a patient, manufacturing, licensing and sales structure. The bill still has to pass through three committees before reaching the Senate floor. But the vote offers evidence that support is growing at the General Assembly for legalizing some marijuana. Patients could obtain an ID card to purchase and possess marijuana if a doctor declares they have one of several illnesses and could benefit from it. There would be 10 licensed sellers statewide.



NC advances bill to prevent 6-year-olds from going to court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina House committee has approved a bill to raise the minimum age at which children have to appear before a judge from six to 10. The move to advance the measure on Wednesday ends a three-month period in which the idea stalled within the legislature. But the bill is now larger in size and scope. It now advances to another committee. Over three years, more than 200 kids under 10 were brought before a judge. The 6-year-old minimum for prosecution in the North Carolina juvenile court system is the lowest age set by law in the country.



Report shows minimal COVID transmission within N.C. schools
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A new report has found that about 1 in 2,800 K-12 students who attended classes under the loosest reopening guidelines became infected with COVID-19 due to in-school transmission. The findings from Duke University and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine were released Wednesday. They show that mask wearing is the best way to reduce COVID-19 transmission. The report says state education leaders should consider eliminating quarantining youth who are properly masked and vaccinated. State senators on Wednesday declined to support the bill in its current form. It would have let local school boards decide whether to require students to wear masks.



Deputy US Marshal won’t be charged in fatal shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina prosecutor won’t pursue charges against a deputy U.S. marshal who shot and killed a fugitive during an attempted arrest at a Charlotte gas station. News outlets report that Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather III announced Tuesday that the deputy feared for his life when he fired the fatal shot. Merriweather writes that Eric Tillman, a senior inspector with the Marshals Service, fired three shots at Frankie Jennings, who was Black, in March. As they struggled at the door of Jennings’ car, Merriweather said Jennings put the car in gear and it moved forward. Tillman then saw Jennings’ “hands reaching toward a gun in the center console cupholder,” and Tillman fired at him three times.



North Carolina bill aims to stop prosecuting 6-year-olds
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina sets the lowest minimum age in the country by law for a child to be prosecuted, allowing 6-year-olds to be tried in juvenile court. Now, the state is looking to raise the age to ensure children under 10 don’t have to appear before a judge. Many of the more than 2,000 reported complaints in recent years emerged in schools and were disproportionately made against Black boys. Racial justice advocates support the bill but want to see more systemic changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. Three other states allow 7-year-olds to face prosecution while 28 others have no laws specifying a minimum age of delinquency.



Professor resigns from nonprofit board after Facebook post
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A University of North Carolina-Wilmington professor who posted a Facebook status that said “Blow up Republicans” has resigned from the board of a nonprofit he founded. Wilmington StarNews reports that Dr. Dan Johnson left Accessible Coastal Carolina Events, Sports and Services of Wilmington on Monday. Johnson is an associate professor of recreation therapy. His university biography says he was a liaison between the university and the nonprofit. The university said the since-deleted post from May was “free speech protected by the First Amendment” after it was written about on a conservative website last week. Woody White, who serves on the university’s board of trustees, has asked the chancellor to investigate.



Tenants still protected as NC eviction moratorium nears end
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Many North Carolinians facing the threat of eviction can still remain in their homes through July 31. This comes despite state leaders voting on Tuesday to let a statewide eviction moratorium directive lapse at the end of June. Eligible renters can fill out a form from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and give it to their landlord if they face eviction because they are unable to pay their rent. The expiration of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s moratorium is unlikely to cause mass eviction but could lead to some people being kicked out of their homes prematurely.