Associated Press

Program Aids N Carolina Veterans with Cybersecurity Training

North Carolina veterans, reservists and National Guard members can now get free online training to become certified in skills sought in the job-rich cybersecurity field. North Carolina’s entry into the CyberVetsUSA initiative was announced Wednesday by Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration and Cisco Systems at a meeting of the NCWorks Commission. Cisco, Amazon Web Services and other companies provide content for the online classes. Military users and their spouses who enroll in the roughly three-month classes can obtain career assistance and a free voucher to obtain industry certifications. CyberVetsUSA already is helping veterans seeking employment in Maryland and Virginia. CyberVetsUSA says there...

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Ag Chief Needs Entire $250M Requested for Farmers’ Aid

North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says his agency needs the full $250 million he requested for cash payments to farmers with destroyed crops and dead livestock from Hurricane Florence and another storm. The General Assembly directed Troxler last month to create an “Agricultural Disaster Program” for losses incurred in counties where federal disaster declarations are in place. But lawmakers haven’t yet appropriated money for the aid. They reconvene Nov. 27, and Troxler says he’d like checks cut for farmers early next year so they can be ready for growing seasons. The department has received over 400 applications and...

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Excessive Partisanship Claimed in North Carolina Maps Suit

Another redistricting lawsuit has been filed in North Carolina, this one challenging General Assembly boundaries that Democrats and election reform advocates say are illegally tainted by excessive favoritism toward Republicans. Common Cause NC, the state Democratic Party and voters sued GOP mapmakers Tuesday in Wake County court. Partisan gerrymandering claims against state legislative lines are similar to those Common Cause and the party filed two years ago in federal court over state congressional districts. Federal judges have twice ruled the congressional map violated protections for Democratic voters. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal in...

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North Carolina Police Urge Missing Teen’s Neighbors to Talk

Authorities are working to speak to the neighbors of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park. The News & Observer reports investigators want to speak Hania Noelia Aguilar’s neighbors and those near where the suspect vehicle was found in Lumberton. Relatives and police say the eighth-grader went outside last week to start a relative’s vehicle when a man forced her into an SUV. Police Chief Michael McNeill asked Monday for people to contact police if someone they know is acting strange. He says “maybe they haven’t gone to work, haven’t come home or they aren’t answering your...

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Reward in Case of Kidnapped N. Carolina Teen Rises to $20K

A total reward of $20,000 is being offered in the case of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park. News outlets report Lumberton police announced Friday that Gov. Roy Cooper’s office is offering $5,000 for information that leads to Hania Noelia Aguilar. The FBI is offering $15,000. Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside last week to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off. The FBI says the SUV was found in Lumberton Thursday, several miles from the...

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Millions for Referendum Fights Come from Little-Known Groups

Top campaign organizations that helped defeat two North Carolina constitutional amendments on this week’s ballot received multimillion-dollar contributions from liberal-leaning groups that aren’t required to reveal who funds them. The chief campaign finance report this fall for what’s called “Stop Deceptive Amendments” — received in the mail by state regulators on Election Day — reveals how it raised nearly $7.8 million for television commercials and other ads. Overall, pro- and anti-referendum groups raised more than $20 million combined to attempt to sway public opinion on the six ballot questions, according to campaign reports. Voters approved four of the questions...

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Openly Gay Judge Makes History with North Carolina Victory

An appeals court seat winner this week set a milestone as the first openly gay person elected to a statewide office in North Carolina. Unofficial results Tuesday show Court of Appeals Judge John Arrowood defeated challenger Andrew Heath by 49,000 votes from over 3.6 million cast. Arrowood is a Charlotte Democrat who has served two stints on the intermediate-level Court of Appeals. Then-Gov. Mike Easley appointed him in 2007, but he lost a bid for a full term the next year. Current Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Arrowood to the court last year to fill another vacancy. Arrowood previously served...

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2nd Man Sentenced in UNC Professor’s 2014 Beating Death

A second man has been sentenced to prison in the 2014 beating death of a University of North Carolina professor. The Herald-Sun reports that 28-year-old Derick Davis II pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery in Feng Liu’s death and was sentenced Tuesday to serve up to 34 years. Davis’ co-defendant, Troy Arrington, was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2017 and sentenced to life without parole. Authorities say Liu was hit in the head with a landscaping rock and robbed while on a walk near campus. He died the next day. The 59-year-old was a research professor at the UNC...

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Mountain Valley Submits Application for N Carolina Pipeline

Mountain Valley Pipeline developers have submitted a request to extend the natural gas pipeline project into North Carolina. The Roanoke Times reports the application filed Tuesday asks for a 73-mile extension for the 300-mile pipeline that is being constructed in West Virginia and Virginia. Mountain Valley proposed the $468 million project called MVP Southgate in April. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application says the project would start at the current project’s endpoint in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It would run to Alamance County, North Carolina and provide gas to local distribution company PSNC Energy. Opponents fear environmental damage, object to the pipeline’s...

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FBI Offers $15K Reward in Case of Kidnapped N Carolina Teen

The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward in the case of a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park. News outlets report the search for Hania Noelia Aguilar also expanded Tuesday as authorities circulated her picture across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. Family members say the eighth grader went outside Monday morning to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into a green Ford Expedition with the South Carolina license plate NWS 984 and drove off. FBI Supervisor Andy de la...

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