‘Bad news’: Wave of GOP retirements signals battles ahead
The Republican Party didn’t want to begin the new year this way — with a spate of retirements in the evenly divided Senate ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. On Monday, Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt became the fifth Republican senator since January to announce he won’t seek another term. That’s giving Democrats hope that they can retain their razor-thin Senate majority for the second half of President Joe Biden’s term. Still, history suggests that a new president’s opposition party will do well in midterm elections, helping position the GOP to reclaim at least one chamber of Congress next year.
SCHOOL RECORDS-STUDENT NAMES
Public school records will now list student’s chosen name
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Public schools in North Carolina will switch from showing the legal name of students on most state records to the chosen name of the student. The Raleigh News & Observer reported Monday that the change is drawing praise from supporters of transgender students. North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction told school districts on Friday that its student information system will display a “preferred name” that will now be used on most records. LGBTQ groups pushed for the change. They said that using the legal name harmed transgender students emotionally and put them at risk of being outed. A student’s chosen name will be used on most records. They include state reports, student report cards and teacher grade books.
CONFEDERATE LICENSE PLATES
Group sues N Carolina over end to Confederate license plate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has filed a lawsuit over the state’s decision to stop issuing license plates bearing the Confederate battle flag. According to WRAL, the state commander for the group says the state Division of Motor Vehicles never discussed the move with him or the organization’s attorneys, despite numerous inquiries about why no new Confederate plates had been sent out for months. Stone alleges that North Carolina “acted in bad faith” and has always been hostile to organization members. The state stopped issuing plates featuring the flag on Jan. 1. A DMV spokesman said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.
Police: Man charged in fatal stabbing of his mother
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina say a man has been charged in the stabbing death of his mother. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that Jacob Christian Jones was charged with murder on Sunday. Authorities said his mother, Rosalyn Jalperya Howard was killed on Saturday. Winston-Salem police said officers responded to a report of an assault on Saturday afternoon at Howards’ house. Police said detectives learned that Jones had been at the house and had left with his four kids. Police said he did not have legal custody of the children and issued an Amber Alert for a 9-year-old. Police said Jones and the children were found hours later. The children are now with relatives.
CAPE HATTERAS VISITATION
Hatteras seashore saw record-breaking visitation in January
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) — Officials with the Cape Hatteras National Seashore say its beaches on North Carolina’s Outer Banks recently saw a record-breaking surge in visitors. The Virginian-Pilot reports that the national seashore recorded nearly 87,000 visitors in January. The park said in a news release that the number breaks the record for January 2020 by 5,000. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore has 67 miles of shoreline from Oregon Inlet to Ocracoke. People visit in the winter months for walks on the beach, shell collecting and reeling in fish. Dave Hallac, superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, said people wanting to escape coronavirus-related isolation helped fuel the increase in visitors.
AP-NC-HIGHWAY SHOOTING-TWO CHARGED
Two charged in fatal shooting on North Carolina highway
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have charged two men in a fatal shooting on a North Carolina highway last week. News outlets report the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says 19-year-old Deshawn Bryant and 21-year-old Jyjuan Crawford have been charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of shooting into an occupied vehicle. The two were arrested in Georgia on Saturday and are awaiting return to North Carolina. Investigators say 20-year-old Shaolyn Godley was shot to death on U.S. 264 on March 1. The sheriff’s office says Godley and two others were in a car being pursued and was shot at. The three tried to run after the car was disabled and Godley was shot.
FATAL I-95 ACCIDENT
Fuel tanker overturns, killing 1 and closing I-95 in N.C.
SMITHFIELD, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man has died after his fuel tanker overturned on Interstate 95. The Sunday morning accident near Smithfield left I-95 closed in both directions throughout the day. News reports showed the flipped over tanker sitting in the highway median, affecting traffic on both sides. An 4,000 gallons of gasoline spilled from the tanker. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the driver, 25-year-old Bryan Cook of Erwin, was going south toward Fayetteville when he ran off the road and hit the guardrail around 6:15 a.m. Sunday. The State Department of Transportation said the northbound lanes reopened before 5 p.m. Sunday but the southbound lanes were expected to remain closed into the night.
Anti-abortion protester shoots himself in leg outside clinic
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An anti-abortion protester is facing a criminal charge after accidentally shooting himself in the leg at outside a North Carolina abortion clinic. Raleigh Police say the shooting occurred Saturday around 9 a.m. outside A Woman’s Choice of Raleigh. Police say the man fired his weapon accidentally, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. He was charged with possession of a firearm at a protest. Police did not release his name. The clinic issued a news release criticizing police response to the shooting as insufficient and the criminal charge “a slap on the wrist.”
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