NC bill would halt abortions on basis of race, Down syndrome
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republicans are looking to restrict abortions further in the state. They filed a bill this week to prohibit the procedure if the pregnant woman is seeking it due to the unborn child’s race or the detection of the presence of Down syndrome. A prohibition on sex-selective abortions became law in 2013. The North Carolina Values Coalition says nine states have barred abortions motivated by a child’s disability and six have barred them on abortions motivated by the child’s race. Abortion rights groups oppose the measure, saying they’re all about stigmatizing abortion care and blocking access to those who need it.
Company fined $200K over water treatment problems
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators have fined a company nearly $200,000 over problems with water treatment systems designed to stop contaminated wastewater from reaching the Cape Fear River. The state Department of Environmental Quality says The Chemours Co. isn’t keeping manmade “forever chemicals” out of the river. The StarNews of Wilmington reports that the fines imposed Wednesday were for violations related to the company’s failure to properly construct and install water treatment measures at its Fayetteville Works plant. The river is the primary drinking water source for an estimated 350,000 downstream residents.
Ancient coins may solve mystery of murderous 1600s pirate
WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — A handful of 17th-century Arabian silver coins unearthed around New England may help solve one of the planet’s oldest cold cases. Amateur historian and metal detectorist Jim Bailey found the first intact coin in a Rhode Island orchard and discovered it was minted in 1693 in Yemen. Other coins have turned up in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and Bailey has found documents tying them to English pirate Henry Every. The murderous pirate became the subject of the first worldwide manhunt after plundering an Indian ship carrying Muslim pilgrims home from Mecca. Bailey and other historians say it’s evidence that Every, who was never captured, hid in the American colonies for a time.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EMERGENCY POWERS
NC House votes for guardrails on governor’s emergency powers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s governor would have to get formal support from the Council of State to carry out long-term emergency orders in a measure approved by the state House on a party-line vote favoring Republicans. The measure is another response to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s directives during the COVID-19 pandemic, which included shutting down or scaling back businesses. These orders have been slowly eased in recent months, but GOP lawmakers have said the governor had too much power to begin with. Cooper has defended his actions as protecting the public. The bill now goes to the Senate after Wednesday’s vote.
Retooling of NC student literacy efforts on fast track
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An overhaul of North Carolina’s efforts to improve reading proficiency for early-grade students in the public schools is advancing quickly through the legislature. The Senate gave unanimous approval to the measure Wednesday, and a House committee recommended it later. It signaled the General Assembly’s hope to give final legislative approval to the “Excellent Schools Act” and send it to Gov. Roy Cooper before the legislature holds a spring recess next week. The measure seeks to improve upon the 2013 “Read to Achieve” program that was championed by Senate leader Phil Berger but has not lived up to expectations.
No confrontation led to fatal highway shooting, husband says
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — The husband of a vacationing Pennsylvania woman killed on a North Carolina highway says no confrontation led up to her fatal shooting by another driver. Ryan Eberly told LNP for a story Monday that he may have accidentally forced the other motorist over to the shoulder of Interstate 95 southbound when he switched lanes but didn’t escalate the situation. Julie Eberly died at a hospital after the shooting Thursday. Investigators haven’t arrested a suspect. The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office has described the suspect driver’s appearance and posted a photograph of his vehicle. The Eberly’s were going on a beach vacation to celebrate their anniversary. They have six children.
Robinhood to build customer service center in North Carolina
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The stock-trading app company Robinhood will build a customer service center in North Carolina and create nearly 400 jobs by 2025. The company and Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced the investment on Tuesday. Cooper’s office says the California-based company will hire analysts, customer service staff and operations personnel at a Charlotte-area location. Officials say Robinhood chose North Carolina for its fifth customer service center over locations in four other states. A state committee approved an incentives agreement whereby Robinhood could receive $3 million in payments over 12 years if it meets job-creation and investment thresholds.
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