Associated Press

Senate Agrees Driver Curriculum Should Include Police Stops

North Carolina House and Senate members agree that new drivers should be taught what’s considered appropriate if they are stopped by police on the road. But the lawmakers disagree slightly on who should decide on the details. The Senate voted unanimously Thursday for the measure, which supporters say would help avoid violent or deadly encounters between motorists and officers. The information would be placed in the state’s driver’s education materials and in school curriculum. The information would be created in consultation with the Highway Patrol and other law enforcement associations. The House approved a version earlier and must decide...

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Gunman Forces Family to Shop at Target in North Carolina

A North Carolina man has been arrested after police say he kidnapped a family at gunpoint and forced them to take him shopping. Media outlets report, Durham police say on Tuesday 29-year-old Rollin Anthony Owens Jr. knocked on the door of a house in the West End neighborhood asking for money. A resident gave Rollins money, but police say he then used a gun to force the residents — a man, woman and two children — out of the house and into their vehicle. Owens allegedly made the driver take him to a convenience store, then a Target where...

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Orange County Loses Authority to Assess Impact Fees

Orange county can no longer charge fees on new residential construction to help pay for anticipated schools and other infrastructure after legislators accused local officials of abusing their authority with high rates. The Senate voted 35-13 on Monday to repeal the county’s power to charge impact fees, originally sanctioned 30 years ago. The repeal now takes effect because the House already approved the bill and it’s a local measure not subject to Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto. Repeal efforts took off after high fees were charged to the developer of remodeled apartments near the University of North Carolina at Chapel...

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N Carolina Budget Agreement Raises Salaries, Delays Tax Cuts

Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly have announced a two-year state budget deal that gives raises to teachers, state employees and retirees next year but puts off income tax breaks until 2019. Senate and House leaders unveiled details of their spending plan Monday, two weeks after negotiations between the two chambers officially opened. The two chambers will vote later this week on the compromise measure, which would then go to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. His spokesman says it looks like the proposal doesn’t do enough for education, economic development and the middle class. But Senate leader Phil Berger...

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Barber Banned from Legislative Building After Protest Arrest

One of North Carolina’s most prominent civil rights leaders has been banned from entering the state Legislative Building after he was arrested at a protest there last month. A magistrate ordered state NAACP leader the Rev. William Barber and 31 others arrested during a sit-in over health care on May 30 to stay away from the building as part of their bond on second-degree trespassing charges. General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock told The News & Observer of Raleigh he didn’t ask for the ban, but will likely request it for future protesters who are arrested. Barber’s attorney Geeta...

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US Supreme Court Won’t Speed Up Return of Remap Rulings

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to speed up returning to North Carolina its rulings in the case of nearly 30 legislative districts that have been declared illegal racial gerrymanders. Denials by the court Thursday mean it won’t be until the end of June for the justices’ judgments to be issued to a three-judge court in Greensboro. The timeline is important because attorneys for voters who sued want the lower court to act quickly on directing legislators to redraw maps and deciding whether a special election under these maps should be held this fall. Republican legislative leaders had asked...

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Bill to Fight Opioid Abuse Clears Senate Panel

A measure designed to address North Carolina’s opioid abuse crisis has cleared a Senate panel. The Senate Health Care committee unanimously approved a bill Thursday to make changes to the rules on prescribing and dispensing drugs like Oxycontin or morphine. The drugs come with a high risk of addiction and can be a gateway to heroin use. The measure would also strengthen requirements for doctors and pharmacists on the use of a statewide controlled substance database. The bill was changed to remove veterinarians from the bill and include a provision for a study on how they’ll comply with reporting...

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Court Plans to ‘Act Promptly’ on Remap, Election Decision

A federal court that struck down 28 North Carolina legislative districts last summer says it intends to “act promptly” on deciding when new maps should be redrawn and whether a special election is necessary in light of a Supreme Court ruling this week affirming its decision. The U.S. District Court in Greensboro issued a written notice Friday, a day after attorneys for voters who successfully sued asked a three-judge panel to decide quickly on a schedule to fix the districts. The court invited attorneys for the state, legislators and the State Board of Elections to provide input “as expeditiously...

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Pitt Releases Johnson to Play at UNC as Graduate Transfer

Pittsburgh has released guard Cameron Johnson to play immediately at North Carolina as a graduate transfer. Johnson’s father, former Pitt player Gil Johnson, said the school notified the family Thursday that it has removed any restrictions for his son to play next year for the reigning national Tar Heels. Pittsburgh had cited an internal policy in trying to require the 6-foot-8 Johnson to sit out a year if he went to another Atlantic Coast Conference school instead of playing right away with two seasons of eligibility. Gil Johnson told The Associated Press that there were “no hard feelings” and...

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N Carolina Lawmakers Refuse Remapping Session

Republican legislators in North Carolina have refused to hold a special session demanded by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to redraw General Assembly districts, saying his proclamation is faulty and unconstitutional. House Republicans on Thursday upheld a ruling by Speaker Tim Moore that the “extra session” was unnecessary and invalid, in part because lawmakers already are in their annual work session. That means the Thursday afternoon session Cooper wanted won’t occur. Senate Republicans rejected the special session idea as well later Thursday. Cooper is trying to force the hand of GOP legislators to quickly redraw nearly 30 House and Senate...

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