Associated Press

Inmate Found Dead in North Carolina Jail Cell

An inmate has been found dead in his North Carolina jail cell. The Durham County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that the 40-year-old man was found unresponsive in his cell Sunday evening. Officials say the preliminary investigation indicates the man died of natural causes. His name has not yet been released. The State Medical Examiner plans to perform an autopsy to determine how the man died. Photo via...

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Injured Sperm Whale Euthanized on North Carolina Beach

A necropsy is planned for a sperm whale that beached itself in Oak Island, North Carolina. A marine mammal rescue team tried to help it back out to sea, but ultimately had to euthanize the dying animal. News outlets report that the distressed whale drew crowds all day Thursday. It’s skin had been cut and it lost significant amounts of blood, turning the tide red around its massive body. Betsy Herron, who lives on Oak Island, swam out to the whale at one point. She said “It may seem crazy, but I wanted it to know that it wasn’t...

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Judges Appoint Redistricting Expert, Reject GOP Objections

A federal court announced Wednesday it will go through with plans to hire an outside expert to redraw several North Carolina legislative districts, rejecting arguments by Republican lawmakers that they should get another crack at fixing House and Senate boundaries. An order from the three-judge panel appointed a Stanford University law professor to redo by Dec. 1 two Senate and seven House districts that the judges previously ruled were among 28 districts from six years ago tainted by racial bias. The GOP-dominated legislature approved new maps in August based on rules that prohibited the use of the racial data...

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NC Judges: Law Cutting Governor’s Elections Role is Valid

A North Carolina judicial panel says a law backed by Republican legislative leaders that cuts Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s role in managing elections is constitutional. A three-judge panel on Tuesday met the state Supreme Court’s deadline to explain why the judges earlier thought they lacked jurisdiction. The law being challenged requires the State Board of Elections and all 100 county elections boards have equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats. The law also makes other changes that ensure tighter Republican control of elections. The judicial panel now says the law is valid because the governor picks elections board members from...

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Republicans Object to Special Master in N Carolina Remap

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders on Monday opposed a plan by federal judges to use an outside expert to help them examine and possibly redraw General Assembly district lines, arguing that it’s premature to hire one and questioning the expert’s impartiality. An attorney for GOP mapmakers objected to the judicial panel’s intentions — announced last week — to appoint a Stanford University law school professor as what’s called a “special master.” The same three judges last year struck down nearly 30 districts originally drawn in 2011 by the GOP-controlled legislature, determining they unlawfully relied too heavily on race. The...

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NCAA President: Major Changes Needed to Restore Public Trust

NCAA President Mark Emmert says major changes are needed in college basketball before the 2018-19 season to show the public that the governing body is capable of running the sport in the wake of a bribery scandal. Emmert spoke Monday at a meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. His comments were his most extensive since federal investigators in New York accused coaches at several schools, financial managers and an Adidas executive of using bribes to influence players’ choices of schools, shoe sponsors and agents. The revelations led to the firing of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and athletic...

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Ex-North Carolina Deputy Receives More Than $300K in Lawsuit

A former North Carolina sheriff’s deputy has received more than $300,000 in a lawsuit against a sheriff. Local media outlets report former Alamance County deputy Jeffrey Randleman was fired in 2014 after he testified against Sheriff Terry Johnson in a U.S. Department of Justice case accusing Johnson of engaging in racial discrimination. Randleman, a 20-year veteran, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Johnson shortly after he was fired. In 2012, the Department of Justice alleged Johnson committed constitutional violations and used racially motivated police practices. He was found not guilty of the charges. According to Randleman’s lawyer, he will...

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Judges to Hire Expert to Aid Evaluating N Carolina Districts

Federal judges say nine North Carolina legislative districts redrawn by Republicans over the summer still may be unlawful. In the case of Covington v. North Carolina, a three-judge panel wrote Thursday it was concerned nine state House and Senate districts still fail to fix constitutional violations related to racial bias or “are otherwise legally unacceptable.” The judges want a Stanford University law professor with previous experience as a special master to evaluate those districts and possibly redraw them. Need a primer on all the gerrymandering cases? WCHL’s Aaron Keck spoke Thursday with Dustin Chicorel-Bayard of the Southern Coalition for...

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Frustrated Berry Injured After Losing Video Game

North Carolina guard Joel Berry II is competitive at all things — including video games. Apparently to a fault. Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said Wednesday at ACC media day that Berry broke a bone in his right hand after losing a video game to teammate Theo Pinson and a team manager when he punched a door in disappointment. Berry’s action will keep the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player on the bench for about four weeks. The reigning national champs open the season on Nov. 10 against Northern Iowa. When North Carolina’s trainer called with the news, Williams could...

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Chief Justice Opposes Legislation for 2-Year Judicial Terms

The head of North Carolina’s court system is against a proposal by some GOP legislators to reduce elected judges’ terms to two years, saying it “would disrupt the administration of justice.” The statement by Republican Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Martin on Wednesday to judicial workers marks another key state leader opposing the idea, along with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Appeals Court and Superior Court judges serve eight years and District Court judges four. Any proposal would need statewide voter approval. Martin says two-year terms would force constant campaigning and fundraising upon judges whose primary job is to be...

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