Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82
NEW YORK (AP) — Bernie Madoff, the financier who pleaded guilty to orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme, has died in prison. Madoff’s death at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, North Carolina, was confirmed by his lawyer and the Bureau of Prisons. A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that his death was due to natural causes. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity. Last year, Madoff’s lawyers filed court papers to try to get the 82-year-old released from prison in the COVID-19 pandemic, saying he had suffered from end-stage renal disease and other chronic medical conditions. The request was denied.
Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory says he’ll run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina in hopes of succeeding the retiring Sen. Richard Burr. The one-term governor revealed his plans Wednesday on his Charlotte-area radio show. McCrory is currently the most well-known candidate to have entered the contest. Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is already in the race for the GOP nomination. Democrats have targeted Burr’s seat as a prime pickup opportunity to expand their razor-thin Senate edge. McCrory was elected as North Carolina’s governor in 2012 and served four years in office. He was also Charlotte’s mayor for 14 years.
K-12 scholarship program alterations approved by NC House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s programs that spend tax dollars on scholarships for low-income students to attend private K-12 schools and for children with disabilities to receive special education would be altered in a measure approved by the state House. The chamber passed on Tuesday the Republican bill in a party-line vote. The measure would turn the Opportunity Scholarship Program award amounts into a percentage of the state’s per-pupil allocation for public schools. The state’s two two scholarship programs for children with disabilities would be combined. And counties also could provide supplemental K-12 scholarship payments to students. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Trial begins on challenge to latest N. Carolina voter ID law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s latest law requiring photo identification to cast ballots is now on trial. A panel of three state judges began hearing evidence on Monday in litigation filed to overturn a 2018 law that filled in details of how a voter ID constitutional amendment would be implemented. A federal appeals courts already struck down in 2016 a voter ID mandate from 2013. A lawyer representing voters who sued told the judges the law is designed to keep Black voters from the ballot box. But a lawyer for Republicans say that’s untrue, and that the law expanded the types of qualifying IDs.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NORTH CAROLINA
NC has 85,000 other vaccines for those with J&J appointments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has 85,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines it will offer to people who had been scheduled to receive a single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Those people can either reschedule their appointment if they want a J&J vaccine or elect to receive either of the other two vaccines. State health officials got word earlier in the day from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they should stop administering J&J doses over concerns of six rare cases of serious blood clots.
Video shows police punching man on ground; officers on leave
KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina police officers have been placed on leave after at least one of them was shown on video throwing punches at a Black man after a foot pursuit. A 17-second video clip from a bystander during the arrest Monday night in Kinston appears to show an officer standing over David Lee Bruton Jr. and throwing multiple punches while he’s down. The head of the local NAACP chapter called the video disturbing, and the man’s mother said she’s grateful her son is alive. Kinston Police Chief Tim Dilday said Tuesday that Bruton was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an officer, among other charges.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME
NC lawmakers: Making daylight saving permanent still timely
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Many North Carolina legislators say it’s still the right time to seek making daylight saving time permanent in the state. A House committee on Tuesday advanced a measure that would move clocks up an hour for good if Congress allows it. Other states are passing similar laws that also would require congressional approval. One bill sponsor says moving the time up would mean more time for outdoor evening activities. But a permanent shift also would mean more children getting ready for school and adults going to work in the dark. The bill must clear two more House committees to get a floor vote.
NC House presses again for local school calendar control
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina House members are trying again to give school systems more flexibility over when they can hold classes. A House education committee on Tuesday passed several measures that would move up start dates or give districts wide-ranging control over their schedules. Current law requires districts to open the school year no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26 and end no later than the Friday closest to June 11. There are exceptions. A uniform calendar law passed in 2004 in response to worries that traditional summer vacations were diminishing. The Senate for years has blocked House legislation to change the rules.
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