Associated Press

US Supreme Court Declines Quick Congressional Map Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to speed up the expected appeal over whether North Carolina’s congressional district boundaries are illegal because Republicans drew them to win most of the seats. The court issued an order Tuesday denying a request by election advocacy groups and voters wanting an expedited briefing schedule, with oral arguments in April. The denial means it’s more likely the current congressional map will be used in this year’s elections. The order said Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have granted the motion sought by Common Cause, League of Women Voters and others. A...

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Cooper: Business Must Use Political Capital to Stop Tax Cuts

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper wants North Carolina business leaders to speak up for public education funding by telling the Republican-controlled legislature to block additional income tax cuts set to take effect next year. Cooper gave the challenge Monday at the annual Emerging Issues Forum in Raleigh. The conference is focusing on how to expand early childhood education and health care and their connection to a well-trained future workforce. Cooper says individual and corporate tax rates have been previously reduced, and further cuts could create future budget shortfalls. He says the business community needs to use its “political capital” to...

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Attorneys Say Evidence Tampering in James Jordan Murder

The killer serving life in prison for murdering NBA legend Michael Jordan’s father has seen his bid for a new trial postponed for months after a new state law forced off the judge weighing his request. The Fayetteville Observer reports the law affects Daniel Andre Green, who with an accomplice killed James Jordan along a North Carolina road. His body was dumped in a South Carolina swamp. The law stops retired judges who return to the bench to fill judicial gaps from taking lengthy cases unless they involve business disputes. Retired Superior Court Judge Michael Beale said he had worked on...

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Judge: 5,500 Doctors at 2 Med Schools Covered by Pay Lawsuit

About 5,500 faculty will be represented in a class-action lawsuit alleging two prestigious North Carolina medical schools conspired to depress their wages by agreeing not to poach professors from each other. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled Thursday that the lawsuit filed by former Duke University physician Dr. Danielle Seaman can be expanded to include all medical professors who taught since 2012 at the Durham school or at the University of North Carolina, 10 miles away. The Chapel Hill university was dropped from the lawsuit last month in return for turning over internal documents to Seaman’s lawyers. Both UNC...

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Judge Restores Judicial Primaries for Appellate Court Races

A North Carolina law that cancels primaries this year for judicial seats has been partially halted. A federal judge on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction directing state election officials to hold primaries for appellate court judgeships in May. But U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles refused to restore primary elections for local trial court seats. Democrats sued to overturn the law and asked Eagles to step in, with candidate filing for other races starting Feb. 12. Eagles agreed with Republican lawmakers who argued primaries were canceled as they debate changes to District Court and Superior Court election boundaries. But Eagles...

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Election Calendar, Management Unclear 2 Weeks Before Filing

Few things are certain about North Carolina’s 2018 elections, except that voters ultimately will choose members of Congress and the General Assembly and those for county positons. A tangled web of legislation and litigation stretching to the state’s highest court and nation’s highest court has made it unclear how this year’s elections will be administered, even though candidate filing for some seats begins in two weeks. There are several court cases and proposals that make murky the election calendar and its management. ___ ELECTIONS BOARD Attorneys and legislators spent Monday studying the state Supreme Court’s Friday decision that said...

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Duke Energy Won’t Force Neighbors to Waive All Legal Claims

Neighbors of Duke Energy Corp.’s unlined coal ash pits in North Carolina went to court after the company said their $5,000 “goodwill” payments required them to give up future health claims linked to contaminated well water, but now they’re ending the lawsuit. Lawyers representing hundreds of neighbors of the company’s coal plants dropped their lawsuit last week, and Charlotte-based Duke Energy posted an online clarification. It said that people taking their money couldn’t sue over health claims, but children who blame groundwater pollution for health problems would not be barred from suing. “The families now have more power to...

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Stein Talks Student Loans, Drug Abuse, Assaults on Campus

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has started a series of appearances on college campuses to speak about issues facing students. Stein held his first event Thursday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Stein, other Department of Justice attorneys and school leaders talked about student loan challenges, as well as sexual assault and alcohol and prescription drug abuse. Stein participated in panel discussions and met students. He says the events are designed to get helpful information to young people so that they’ll be able to protect themselves. Stein’s office says future campus sites will be announced...

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2 of 3 Men Who Helped Desegregate University Have Now Died

Two of the three men who successfully challenged racial segregation as undergraduates at North Carolina’s flagship university have now died in less than a month. John Lewis Brandon, 80, died Tuesday at a hospital outside Houston of complications from cancer, his son Christopher Brandon said Wednesday. On Dec. 29, LeRoy Frasier died at a New York City hospital. His brother Ralph Frasier lives in Jacksonville, Florida. The three were students at Hillside High School in Durham when they applied to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1955. They were rejected until a federal court judge ordered...

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Federal Court Weighs Halted North Carolina Judicial Primary

Lawyers for the Democratic Party in North Carolina say Republican legislators have taken away their right to decide who their favored judicial candidates will be this year by passing a law canceling primary elections for trial and appellate court judgeships. The attorneys made the argument Wednesday in a Greensboro federal courtroom on their request to block the law’s enforcement and reinstate the primary for May. Lawyers for the state and GOP legislators told U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles that the judicial primary cancellation is legal and Democratic Party members still have their constitutional right to associate and choose the...

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