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2020 CENSUS-NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte grows quickly, but Wake Co. remains most populous
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – New U.S. Census Bureau data shows North Carolina had a 9.5% growth in population over the past decade. Charlotte is one of 14 U.S. cities that gained more than 100,000 residents from 2010 to 2020. But the latest census numbers show Wake County solidified its spot as North Carolina’s most populous county. The figures were released minutes after North Carolina state lawmakers approved a set of criteria that they will use for redistricting. The numbers will shape political power across the country for the next 10 years and determine how North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature draws congressional and legislative boundaries. Demographic changes highlighted in the new census data show an increasingly favorable political environment for Democrats.
N. Carolina woman found dead in concrete had fired caretaker
NEWLAND, N.C. (AP) – Court documents say a woman whose body was found buried in concrete in the basement of her western North Carolina home had fired her caretaker in June, but neighbors said the former caretaker was still living in the woman’s home until late July. WSOC-TV reports that search warrants state Elizabeth Carserino was hired by family to be Lynn Keene’s live-in caretaker after she suffered a traumatic brain injury. After relatives reported Keene missing and her car was found several counties away, detectives found Keene’s remains in concrete in her basement. Court documents state that Keene was strangled with a belt and struck in the head. Carserino is charged with murder, identity theft and other offenses.
Census data sets up redistricting fight over growing suburbs
The once-a-decade battle over redistricting is set to be a showdown over the suburbs. New Census Bureau data released Thursday shows rapid growth around some of the nation’s largest cities and shrinking populations in many rural counties. Some of the biggest gains came in states where Republicans will control redistricting but in cities where Democrats have been faring well in recent elections. The new data will serve as the building block for redistricting that must be done in most states before the 2022 elections. The way the districts are drawn could help determine control of the U.S. House, where Republicans need to gain just five seats to win control of the chamber.
North Carolina House approves budget with veto-proof support
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House on Thursday approved a two-year budget with enough support to thwart a potential veto from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. But the budget process is far from over. The Republican-controlled House and Senate still need to work out many differences between their two plans, particularly about the size of tax cuts and state worker pay raises. They’ll also need to negotiate with Cooper. House Democrats on Thursday were unsuccessful in passing an amendment that sought to strike down provisions of the budget they viewed as problematic. But nine House Democrats joined Republicans to approve the measure. This gives Republicans the amount needed to override a possible veto.
Officials: N. Carolina inmate scaled prison fence, ran away
MORGANTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials say an inmate escaped a North Carolina prison Thursday by climbing a fence and running away. The Department of Public Safety says John Curtis Anderson escaped from the minimum custody portion of the Foothills Correctional Institution in Morganton and may have jumped into a waiting vehicle. Anderson was last seen wearing green pants and either a grey or white T-shirt at the prison. Officials say the minimum custody offender originally from Cleveland County was admitted to the prison last month to serve 2 years and 10 months for identify theft and fraud. Officials described Anderson as a white male with brown hair and brown eyes with a scar on his forehead and tattoos on his arms.
NC House gives initial approval to budget bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House has given initial approval to a two-year state government budget. The chamber voted 72-41 late Wednesday for the proposal, which contains several billion dollars in cash for infrastructure spending. Republicans who drew up the plan also praised teacher pay raises and tax cuts contained inside. Senate Republicans who passed a competing budget in June. The House must give one more affirmative vote on Thursday before the two chambers begin negotiating a final budget plan. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has said he wants to participate in the talks with hopes of signing a final agreement into law.
Coronavirus cases close North Carolina courthouse
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina courthouse will remain closed for the rest of the week after a group of people tested positive for the coronavirus and dozens of others quarantine. News outlets report that five employees working onsite at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend and a number of others who reported symptoms are awaiting test results. Dozens more were told to quarantine. The court previously announced a closure for Monday and Tuesday due to the outbreak, but announced an extended closure Tuesday evening. Almost all sessions of superior and district court through Friday have been rescheduled. New jurors summoned for later this week have been excused from jury duty.
PORTSMOUTH POLICE CHIEF
Assistant chief picked to be Portsmouth’s new police chief
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) – Portsmouth’s assistant police chief has been selected for the department’s top job. The Virginian-Pilot reports that City Manager Angel Jones chose Renado Prince over two other finalists. Prince has been with the department since 2018, but he has 38 years of law enforcement experience, mostly in North Carolina. He is also a retired Air Force veteran. The last two chiefs were forced out of the post. Former Chief Tonya Chapman says she was forced to resign after she tried to modernize Portsmouth’s police culture. Angela Greene, who replaced Chapman, was fired last year on the same day a judge dismissed felony charges police filed against state Sen. Louise Lucas and 18 others after a Confederate monument protest.