Associated Press

Judges to Hear Arguments on North Carolina Redistricting

Judges deciding when North Carolina must redraw its state legislative districts are set to hear from voting rights activists calling for special elections and Republican lawmakers urging a slower pace. A panel of three federal judges will hear their cases Thursday in Greensboro. Districts must be redrawn after the federal court ruled 28 House and Senate districts are illegally race-based. That ruling was upheld earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which returned the case to U.S. District Court to decide the next steps. The plaintiffs are seeking a special election before next year’s legislative session, while GOP...

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Cooper: Law Lets School Bus Cameras Catch Hurried Motorists

North Carolina motorists could be fined at least $400 if they pass a stopped school bus, according to a new law now in effect. Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday signed into law legislation that he suggested while still attorney general. The new law allows counties to adopt ordinances and cite motorists by using cameras installed on the stop-arms of buses. The penalties can rise to $1,000 on a third offense. Cooper and other supporters of the idea have said the cameras will reduce the number of motorists skirting around the buses and increasing the risks for striking children getting...

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UNC Scheduled for August Hearing in NCAA Academic Case

North Carolina is scheduled to appear before an NCAA infractions committee panel next month in its multiyear and oft-delayed academic case. Responding to records requests, UNC on Tuesday released a June 9 letter from the NCAA setting Aug. 16-17 for the hearing in Nashville, Tennessee. The letter requests that men’s basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora and women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell attend. Williams and Fedora aren’t charged with a violation — Fedora wasn’t working at UNC during the time in question — but their programs are referenced in a broader improper benefits charge. Hatchell isn’t charged...

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Attorneys: Pressure for Better Schools Should Leave Court

After two decades fighting about public school funding for North Carolina’s poorest students, attorneys say it’s time for them to step away from the courtroom and leave ongoing disputes to a neutral outsider. Both sides in the landmark Leandro public school lawsuit are asking a state judge to appoint an independent consultant who will suggest further steps for state officials to improve education for all children. Gov. Roy Cooper’s office on Tuesday released the text of an executive order creating a commission of experts to suggest what the state needs to do next. The governor’s commission and the court-appointed...

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North Carolina Investigators Find 4 Dead Dogs at Burlington Kennel

Investigators have found four dead dogs in a North Carolina kennel after a walk-through of the business led to the removal of 18 animals. The Times-News of Burlington reports Randy Jones, spokesman for the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, said in a news release the animals were taken from a kennel in the northern part of the county after a complaint of possible animal neglect. It’s not known how the dogs died. No charges had been filed as of Monday while investigators await the results of a necropsy. Jones said the animals didn’t appear to be emaciated and showed no...

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Cooper Says He’s Acting on Chemical in N. Carolina River

North Carolina’s governor says he’s directing state criminal investigators to see if a chemical plant violated any permits by discharging a lightly studied chemical into a river hundreds of thousands of people use for drinking water. Gov. Roy Cooper revealed his directions to the State Bureau of Investigation while speaking Monday to local officials in Wilmington. Cooper also promised chemical company Chemours will be barred from releasing the compound known as GenX into the Cape Fear River alongside its Bladen County plant, which employs nearly 1,000 workers. The chemical is used to make nonstick products like Teflon, replacing a...

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Lawsuit: Effects of ‘Bathroom Bill’ Linger in North Carolina

The law that replaced North Carolina’s notorious “bathroom bill” sports a new look but maintains LGBT discrimination and prevents transgender people from using restrooms matching their gender identity, according to a lawsuit Friday. The lawsuit renews a high-profile legal battle that has thrust North Carolina into the center of the national debate over LGBT rights. The state took the “bathroom bill” off the books in late March after a yearlong backlash that hurt North Carolina’s reputation and caused businesses and sports leagues to back out of lucrative events and projects. But lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union and...

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North Carolina Court: New Elections Board Can Stay Vacant

North Carolina’s highest court says a revamped state elections board that also oversees ethics and lobbying controversies can stay in limbo for now, a holding pattern that could last months. The state Supreme Court on Thursday said Gov. Roy Cooper isn’t required to appoint members of the new state elections and ethics enforcement board created by Republican legislators. That means the board created last month would be unable to make decisions or settle disputes until after the Supreme Court hears from lawyers on Aug. 28. GOP lawmakers have tried pressuring Cooper to appoint four Republican and four Democratic members....

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Legislative Leaders End Lawsuit Over Cooper’s Medicaid Hopes

North Carolina Republican legislative leaders are stopping their lawsuit to block efforts by new Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to expand Medicaid before President Barack Obama left office. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger filed their dismissal notice Thursday in U.S. District Court. They said in a news release the lawsuit is now unnecessary because Cooper never submitted formal paperwork for expansion through the federal health care overhaul law. The January lawsuit argued Cooper couldn’t seek expansion without formal legislative approval. Soon after, a federal judge temporarily blocked any action by health regulators. Cooper announced during his...

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North Carolina Governor Opposes Offshore Drilling

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper says he’s opposed to drilling for natural gas and oil off the Atlantic coast, saying it’s not worth the risk of harming the state’s pristine beaches and tourism economy. Cooper made the announcement Thursday at a state park in Carteret County. His viewpoint runs counter to those of North Carolina state Republican leaders, including former Gov. Pat McCrory, and President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is rewriting a five-year drilling plan that would open portions of the Atlantic now off-limits to drilling and has asked permission for companies to use seismic air guns...

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