Associated Press

North Carolina National Guard Ready to Help with Irma

The North Carolina National Guard is ready to respond to help deal with the effects of Tropical Storm Irma. Gov. Roy Cooper said in a news release Sunday night that the National Guard was staging in Asheville, Charlotte and Greensboro to be ready to respond to any problems. Cooper planned to meet with reporters Monday to provide an update on storm preparations. The governor said North Carolina soldiers are ready to remove debris and deliver and distribute emergency supplies. A high wind warning is in effect in parts of North Carolina from Shelby west toward Andrews. The National Weather...

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4 Killed in Medical Helicopter Crash in North Carolina

The North Carolina Highway Patrol says four people have been killed in the crash of a medical helicopter. Patrol spokesman Master Trooper Christopher Knox said the Duke Life Flight helicopter went down around 11:45 a.m. Friday near the town of Belvidere, close to the Virginia border and about 160 miles east of Raleigh. Knox said it’s not known where the helicopter was headed when it went down and authorities have no idea what caused the crash. He said the Federal Aviation Administration has been notified and state troopers are on the scene to secure the site. The Duke Life...

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N Carolina Officials Trying to Keep Public Vigilant on Irma

North Carolina emergency officials are urging the public to stay vigilant preparing for Hurricane Irma even as the storm’s continued westward track is decreasing chances the state will take a direct hit. Gov. Roy Cooper acknowledged at a media briefing Friday the forecast looks better for the state but warned it can change, and Irma’s sheer size still likely will bring heavy rains, gusty winds and some flooding statewide early next week. The N.C. Department of Transportation is also keeping close watch for mudslides and rockslides on roads in the mountains, which have the greatest storm risks. Roadwork is...

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Report: Improvement but Stubborn Shortcomings in NC Schools

A snapshot showing how North Carolina’s public schools are doing reveals steady improvement but stubborn shortcomings. The annual school accountability report released Thursday shows high-school graduation rates and the number of high-performing schools inched up during the last school year. Schools increasingly earned As or Bs under the state’s A-to-F grading system. But fewer than half of North Carolina elementary and middle school students were ready to tackle both reading and math in the next grade. The report also amplifies the clear connection between student poverty and the likelihood a school will be considered failing. North Carolina Teacher of...

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N Carolina Plans State of Emergency for Irma

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is declaring a state of emergency so state and local officials can better prepare for Hurricane Irma. Cooper said Wednesday that the storm has the potential to cause trouble for all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. Cooper said the emergency declaration takes effect at 8 a.m. Thursday. He said at a media briefing residents should also listen to emergency officials and get ready themselves for a storm with a still uncertain track. The governor says the state is in a somewhat better position compared to Hurricane Matthew last October, when rains from an earlier...

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15 States Sue Trump on Rollback of Immigrant Protections

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have filed a lawsuit in New York challenging President Donald Trump’s plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation. The suit was first announced by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who called Trump’s act “a dark time for our country.” Plaintiffs include New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, will end in six...

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Lee Descendant Resigns as Church Pastor Over MTV statement

A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is stepping down as pastor of a North Carolina church after negative reactions to his comments supporting racial justice activists on an MTV broadcast. The Rev. Robert W. Lee IV issued a statement that he’s resigning from Bethany United Church of Christ in Winston-Salem. He’s a distant nephew of the Confederate general. He said that some members of the church were uncomfortable with his remarks praising the Black Lives Matter movement during the Aug. 27 MTV Video Music Awards. He was introducing the mother of a woman killed during demonstrations over...

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Trump Defends Decision to Phase Out DACA

President Donald Trump is defending his decision to phase out a program protecting young immigrants from deportation, saying he is giving Congress a “window of opportunity” to act. Trump is stressing in a statement that he is “not going to just cut DACA off, but rather provide a window of opportunity for Congress to finally act.” The program created by former President Barack Obama has given nearly 800,000 young immigrants a reprieve from deportation and the ability to work legally in the country. Trump says he is not in favor of punishing children for the actions of their parents....

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North Carolina Redistricting Maps OK’d, Head to Judges Next

North Carolina legislators finished redrawing House and Senate district maps Wednesday, beating a court-ordered deadline later this week. Now Republicans who drew them must see whether federal judges agree they’ve cured problems with racial bias in the previous maps. Largely along party lines, the House voted 68-47 to approve the Senate map just a few hours after the Senate voted 30-15 for the House boundaries. Each chamber had approved its own lines earlier in the week, following robust debate. Redistricting legislation is not subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. The General Assembly now must send the approved maps...

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Challenges to North Carolina Congressional Map Can Proceed

Lawsuits challenging North Carolina’s congressional districts can proceed after federal judges rejected arguments that they should wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh a similar case. A three-judge federal panel in North Carolina issued a two-sentence order Tuesday rejecting a motion to halt the case while the high court considers a Wisconsin case dealing with similar issues. A longer written opinion was to come later. The League of Women Voters and Common Cause argue in their lawsuit that the North Carolina congressional map used in 2016 unfairly favors Republicans. Lawyers for North Carolina’s legislative leaders had urged the...

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