Latest North Carolina News:
Bill to raise NC riot penalties clears Senate committee
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina Senate committee has voted to advance a measure that would impose tougher penalties on those who engage in violent protests. House Speaker Tim Moore said his plan will better protect businesses and law enforcement from violence and property damage similar to what he saw take place in Raleigh last year after the death of George Floyd. Some Democrats worry the bill will have a chilling effect by making people less willing to exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech and assembly. Moore’s bill was approved by the House earlier this year. It next heads to another Senate committee.
Durham county, city reimpose mask mandate starting Monday
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Durham County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Brenda Howerton on Monday discussed a new emergency order set to take effect at 5 p.m. Monday requiring indoor masking wearing. They cited the dangers the delta variant is posing. Schewel said in an interview that it’d be wise for Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to reinstitute a statewide mask mandate and require face coverings in all public schools. The state’s COVID-19 metrics are at their worst levels in months. In all but two of North Carolina’s 100 counties, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends indoor mask-wearing for both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans.
North Carolina sports gambling bill clears another committee
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation to license and tax sports betting in North Carolina has cleared another state Senate committee. The proposal approved Monday by the Senate judiciary committee is supported by many Democrats and Republicans. The bill advanced despite concerns that the measure will increase the number of residents addicted to gambling. It must now clear two additional committees before heading to the Senate floor for a full vote. If the bill passes and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signs it into law, the state lottery commission would issue 10 to 12 interactive wagering operator licenses. The state would collect licensing fees and a tax on operators’ gross revenues.
NC officer critically wounded, shooting suspect arrested
FOREST CITY, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police officer was shot and critically wounded, and a man wanted in the shooting was arrested hours later. Forest City Police Chief Chris LeRoy says officers received a call Monday morning of a suspicious person and found Akeil Franklin in the woods. Franklin was wanted for probation violations. LeRoy says officers tried to speak to Franklin but that he pulled out a gun and fired at them. LeRoy says Officer Jamie Hill was struck. Officers returned fire. LeRoy says Hill was in critical but stable condition at a hospital. A Rutherford County sheriff’s deputy says Franklin was arrested Monday afternoon.
NC House budget spends more on construction, pay than Senate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House Republicans have rolled out a two-year spending plan they say would put more money toward infrastructure projects and pay teachers and state employees more than what the Senate voted for in June. House GOP leaders held a Monday news conference about the plan, which wouldn’t cut income tax rates as much as what Republican senators support. The full House should approve its proposal by Thursday. That will set up negotiations between the House and Senate. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wants to be involved in fashioning a final plan so he could sign it into law and not veto it.
SKIRTS ONLY LAWSUIT
Appeals court gives mixed ruling on N.C. school’s dress code
FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has tossed out a lower-court ruling that banned a North Carolina charter school from requiring girls to wear skirts. But the 2-1 ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia also opens up another legal avenue to challenge the legality of the skirt requirement. Charter Day School is a public charter school in Leland, North Carolina. It was sued in 2016 by parents who objected to the dress code. A lower court found the dress code unconstitutional. Monday’s ruling overturns that finding, but orders the lower court to determine whether the dress code violates Title IX, the federal law that bars sex-based discrimination in education.
NC officials: Gov’t surplus became even larger than planned
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s tax windfall for the last fiscal year turned out even larger than the bonanza that state government economists predicted would arrive. The Office of State Budget and Management reports that the state collected $29.7 billion in revenues during the year that ended June 30. That’s $190 million more than the consensus forecast reached in mid-June with General Assembly analysts. That June forecast had already bumped up the anticipated collections by a massive $1.9 billion. That massive jump was attributed to a resurgent post-pandemic economy. This all means means North Carolina took in 24% more revenues compared to the year before.
BURIED IN CONCRETE
Sheriff: Caretaker charged with murder in NC woman’s death
NEWLAND, N.C. (AP) – A western North Carolina sheriff says a caretaker for a woman who was found dead last week in her home – buried in concrete in the basement – has been arrested and charged with murder. áAvery County Sheriff Kevin Frye announced on Sunday that Elizabeth Carserino of Goose Creek, South Carolina, was in the county jail on bond. She was taken into custody Saturday and faces other charges. Carserino was wanted in the death of 70-year-old Lynn Gay Keene of Linville Falls. Keene had last been in contact with her family in mid-June. Carserino’s first court appearance could be Monday.