Associated Press

March Primary, Opioid Crime Measures Signed by Cooper

North Carolina’s even-year primary elections are moving from May to March and police will get a new tool to track illegal opioid transactions with Gov. Roy Cooper signing nearly 30 bills into law. Cooper announced Friday he’s signed one-third of the more than 75 bills on his desk that must be acted on by either Sunday or Monday. Bills neither signed nor vetoed by the deadlines become law automatically. The primary date shift begins in 2020 for presidential primaries, along with races for governor, congress and scores of federal, state and local positions. Lawmakers set a March 2016 primary...

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Thwarted Before, Republicans Seek Photo ID Through Amendment

North Carolina Republicans have been thwarted by veto and federal judges this decade to require photo identification to vote. Now they’re hoping state residents will cement the mandate by amending the state constitution. A House committee voted Thursday along party lines for a measure that would ask voters this November to enshrine this voter ID photo requirement in the constitution. The bill’s next stop is the House floor in the final days of this year’s legislative session. The Senate also would have to approve the idea before the question is submitted to voters. Gov. Beverly Perdue vetoed a voter...

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In Reversal, Trump Signs Order Stopping Family Separation

Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally. It was a dramatic turnaround for Trump, who has been insisting, wrongly, that his administration had no choice but to separate families apprehended at the border because of federal law and a court decision. The news in recent days has been dominated by searing images of children held in cages at border facilities, as well as audio recordings of young children crying for their parents — images that...

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Republicans Finish Override on 2 Cooper Election-Bill Vetoes

Two election-related bills have become North Carolina law despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s formal objections to each. The House voted Wednesday to override Cooper’s vetoes on both measures, copying what the Senate did Tuesday. One measure alters Superior Court election district boundaries in Mecklenburg County and directs that District Court judges no longer be elected countywide in both Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Now voters in those two counties will elect only a few based on where they live. The other vetoed bill will require criminal background checks for key state and county election officials and put new restrictions on candidates...

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More Arrested in N Carolina’s Final Week of Demonstrations

More than 130 people have been arrested or cited by police at North Carolina’s Legislative Building during six weeks of non-violent action as part of a national civil rights movement seeking largely liberal-leaning demands. The last batch of arrests for the Poor People’s Campaign in North Carolina occurred Monday, when General Assembly police took away 13 demonstrators chanting in front of the Senate chamber’s doors. Legislative Police Chief Martin Brock said they would be charged with second-degree trespassing. The campaign began in Raleigh and other state capitals May 14. About 150 people who attended Monday’s rally across from the...

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Forecasters Warn of Dangerous Heat in North Carolina

Forecasters are warning of dangerous heat in North Carolina this week. The National Weather Service said the heat is expected to run at least through Thursday. Forecasters said high temperatures from Charlotte to Raleigh to Wilmington are expected to be in the upper 90s. But forecasters say including the effect of humidity, the heat index will range from 103 to 109 degrees every day. The weather service said once the heat index tops 90, people are at much higher risk for sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion if they have prolonged exposure to the heat. Heatstroke is a medical...

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Latest N Carolina Opioid Abuse Legislation Going to Cooper

The North Carolina General Assembly has sent to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk the latest legislation addressing opioid abuse by creating new crimes against medical workers and granting certain police investigators easier access to prescription records. The Senate quickly voted 41-3 on Thursday for the measure authored by the House, which held extensive debate on the measure Wednesday. House members were divided on a provision that would allow an investigator to get records from the state’s controlled substance database without a warrant or court order. The measure also makes it a felony for medical professionals to embezzle or divert pain...

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Early Voting Bill Would Change North Carolina Schedule, Time

Republican lawmakers are looking again at changing the rules on early voting, a popular idea which has prompted legal action. A House committee voted Thursday to change the 17-day early-voting schedule and require more consistent voting times during that period. The proposal would end the early-voting period statewide on the Friday evening before a primary or election day. Currently counties must offer voting until the Saturday afternoon before the election. Counties also would have to open all of their early voting sites from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and be required to keep uniform hours if sites...

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N Carolina Lawmakers Advance Bills as Session’s Days Dwindle

North Carolina Republicans pressed legislation through the General Assembly on Wednesday, seeking to complete work on measures subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto before a self-imposed deadline this week as the two-year session dwindles. House and Senate GOP leaders want to give final approval to as many statewide measures as possible by Friday, giving them the time to vote on overriding any bills Cooper vetoes before adjournment, likely by the end of the month. In between, legislators say they want to consider local bills as well as proposed constitutional amendments on the November ballot, such as one requiring...

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Legislators OK Moving N Carolina Presidential-Year Primaries

Primary elections in 2020 and future even-numbered years — including presidential primaries — would be permanently moved from May to March in legislation heading to Gov. Roy Cooper for his consideration. The General Assembly gave final legislative approval to the shift in an overwhelming Senate vote Tuesday. The House and Senate passed slightly different versions in 2017, but no action had occurred for a year. The legislature moved the 2016 primary to March to attract presidential candidates to visit North Carolina and to be a more significant player in the nomination process. This year’s primary reverted to May. The...

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