Associated Press

Supreme Court Strikes Down 2 NC Congressional Districts

The Supreme Court has struck down two congressional districts in North Carolina because race played too large a role in their creation. The justices ruled Monday that Republicans who controlled the state legislature and governor’s office in 2011 placed too many African-Americans in the two districts. The result was to weaken African-American voting strength elsewhere in North Carolina. Both districts have since been redrawn and the state conducted elections under the new congressional map in...

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Ex-UNC Player Hairston Arrested on Outstanding Warrant

Authorities say former North Carolina and NBA player P.J. Hairston has been arrested in Wrightsville Beach on an outstanding warrant. Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said Hairston was arrested Wednesday and officials at the New Hanover County Detention Facility said he was being held on $1,000 unsecured bond. House said police stopped a man driving Hairston’s car following an incident at a beach shop. When they checked the car’s plates, they discovered a warrant for Hairston in Orange County for harassing communication. House says Hairston was cooperative. Hairston played just two seasons at North Carolina due to NCAA...

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North Carolina House Passes ‘Raise the Age’ Bill

A bill to end the practice of automatically prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds for crimes as adults has overwhelmingly passed the North Carolina House. Lawmakers voted 104-8 on Wednesday for the “raise the age” legislation. Next, it will head to the Senate, where a competing proposal exists. North Carolina will soon become the only remaining state that automatically tries the teens as adults since New York legislators agreed in April to a two-year phase out of the practice. The House measure would take effect in 2019, shifting misdemeanor and certain non-violent felony cases to juvenile court. A Senate proposal would...

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NC Governor Vows Executive Order to Expand LGBT Protections

North Carolina’s governor says he’ll act on his own to improve protections for the state’s LGBT residents after compromising with Republicans on a partial repeal of a state law limiting anti-discrimination rights. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he will do it soon by issuing an executive order. His spokesmen did not respond when asked to explain the governor’s plans. Cooper’s order would cover the state agencies he controls, but legislators also could override him. The GOP-controlled legislature didn’t do that when Republican Gov. Pat McCrory ordered state employees protected from gender and sexual orientation discrimination a month after...

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Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Over NC Voter ID Law

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal to reinstate North Carolina’s voter identification law, which a lower court said targeted African-Americans “with almost surgical precision.” The justices left in place the lower court ruling striking down the law’s photo ID requirement and reduction in early voting. The situation was complicated when Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein tried to withdraw the appeal, which was first filed when Republican Pat McCrory was governor. Chief Justice John Roberts said the political situation created uncertainty over who is authorized to seek review of the lower court ruling. The...

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Investigators Meet With Woman at Center of UNC Probe

A woman at the center of North Carolina’s multi-year academic scandal interviewed with NCAA investigators after previously declining to cooperate in the probe. Raleigh attorney Elliot Abrams told The Associated Press on Wednesday night that his client — Deborah Crowder — met all day with investigators. Crowder is a retired office administrator in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies (AFAM) department. “She has never wavered in terms of what happened,” Abrams told the AP, “and I think she knew that this was a chance to actually tell her story, and she did a good job of doing that.”...

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AP Exclusive: SEC’s Sankey Refuses to Step Down in UNC Case

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey has denied a request seeking his removal as head of the NCAA infractions panel handling North Carolina’s ongoing academic case because of a conflict of interest. Sankey stated in an April 14 letter obtained by The Associated Press that the panel would “fairly decide this case.” “The panel, including me, will hear and decide this case based on the case record and the membership’s bylaws,” Sankey wrote to all involved parties. Elliot Abrams — a Raleigh attorney representing a retired office administrator charged with violations — had written the NCAA saying Sankey had a...

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ACC Extends Deals with North Carolina Sites After Law Change

The Atlantic Coast Conference has added a replacement year to contracts for North Carolina venues that lost championships when the league relocated events due to a law limiting protections against LGBT people. The ACC had pulled 10 neutral-site championships for the 2016-17 season. The state passed a compromise bill to roll back elements of the law in March, and the league announced a day later it would return to North Carolina in 2017-18. The league announced Wednesday that restructured contracts would “compensate” venues with a replacement year as a host. That comes a day after the NCAA awarded several...

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Ex-NC Central QB Receives Probation in UNC Agents Probe

A former college football player charged with violating North Carolina’s sports agent law has received probation in a deal with prosecutors. Michael Wayne Johnson Jr., 28, was charged in 2013 with three felony counts of athlete-agent inducement from 2010. Under terms of the conditional discharge agreement Tuesday, those charges were reduced to misdemeanors and will be dismissed if he complies with all terms over the 12-month probationary period. The charges included providing a place for agent Terry Watson to meet former Tar Heels player Greg Little to provide him $5,000 in an effort to entice Little to sign a...

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NCAA Returns Events to NC After State Rolls Back LGBT Law

The NCAA has awarded men’s basketball tournament games in 2020 and 2021 along with several other championship events to North Carolina after the state repealed elements of a law that limited protections for LGBT people and put it at risk of being passed over as a host for future events. The governing body announced decisions Tuesday for events through 2022, two weeks after the NCAA said it had “reluctantly” agreed to consider North Carolina again for hosting duties. It had stripped North Carolina of seven championship events for the past sports season — including opening-weekend men’s basketball tournament games...

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