North Carolina News – June 23

North Carolina News – June 23


NC Senate’s budget bill clears tax-writing committee

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state government budget proposal written by Republicans that also would cut taxes by several billion dollars this decade has cleared the chamber’s finance committee. The panel’s approval of the measure Wednesday sets the stage for Senate floor debate Thursday and the first of two required votes. The bill would spend $25.7 billion in state funds next fiscal year. The measure also would reduce the individual income tax rate incrementally to just under 4% by 2026 and phase out the current 2.5% corporate tax starting in 2014.  Higher standard and per-child tax deductions also are included.


Letter: Hannah-Jones won’t join UNC faculty without tenure

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has told the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a letter that she will not join the faculty at its journalism school without tenure. NC Policy Watch reported Tuesday that the letter says Hannah-Jones will not begin her position as Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism as scheduled July 1. Hannah-Jones won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on The 1619 Project for the New York Times Magazine. She accepted a five-year contract to join the journalism school’s faculty this year. Questions were raised about her non-academic background and a submission for a tenured position never went before the UNC Board of Trustees.


Lumbee tribal leaders speak out against school’s mascot

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) — Members of the Lumbee Tribal Council are calling for a Gaston County high school to remove a mascot and logo that they call an inaccurate and derogatory representation of Native American people. News outlets report that the tribal leaders spoke at the county Board of Education meeting Monday against South Point High School’s Red Raider mascot name and logo. Yvonne Dial, a member of the Lumbee Tribal council, told the board that they “find it very offensive and demeaning.” There were also speakers who favored keeping the mascot and logo. An online petition launched last year to garner support for changing the name now has more than 7,000 signatures. School board leaders didn’t reach a decision at Monday’s meeting.


Panel OKs NC Senate budget bill; Dems pan policy provisions

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Senate Republicans have pushed their North Carolina government budget proposal through the chamber’s largest committee. The measure cleared the appropriations panel Tuesday after less than three hours of debate. The bill spends state funds and allocates over $5 billion in federal COVID-19 relief aid for business grants, state employees bonuses, broadband expansion and water and sewer projects. GOP leaders also highlighted plans within the measure to cut income taxes more deeply and fund more future capital projects. Democrats are unhappy the bill spends too little now when post-pandemic needs are great and contains provisions targeting Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein.


Bill raising minimum NC marriage age to 16 keeps advancing

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation to raise the minimum age for marriage in North Carolina from 14 to 16 has now cleared a House committee after getting Senate approval last month. The measure also would prevent the young person’s spouse from being no more than four years older. And 16- and 17-year-olds would need either written parental consent or a judge’s order to marry. Backers of the measure approved by a judiciary committee on Tuesday say that North Carolina has become a destination for out-of-state couples involving an underage partner because of its rules. The legislation represents a compromise by some who wanted a minimum age of 18.


North Carolina man charged in road rage shooting incident

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) — Authorities have charged a North Carolina man in connection with a road rage incident in which a woman was shot in the face. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies dispatched to a location on U.S. Highway 321 on Sunday found two vehicles stopped on the shoulder and that the occupants got into an altercation. During that confrontation, a shot was fired through a window of the vehicle driven by 43-year-old Angela Mischelle Duncan of Gastonia. Londen David Feldman II of Hickory is jailed on charges of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury and discharging a firearm into occupied property.


Sheriff’s office: 9-month-old infant drowns in home bathtub

PINK HILL, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a 9-month-old infant has drowned in a bathtub at home. The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office says deputies went to a home in Pink Hill on Sunday in response to a call about a child not breathing. Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says emergency personnel reached the home and found the baby had drowned. According to the news release, family members and emergency workers attempted life-saving measures, but could not revive the child. Ingram says his office will conduct a full investigation to determine if there was any criminal wrongdoing involved.


Boy misidentified as Black player’s son, league apologizes

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League has apologized to a Black player for a North Carolina team for a broadcast that misidentified a boy at her game as her 9-year-old son. Commissioner Lisa Baird tweeted an apology Monday to Courage forward Jessica McDonald, her son and the boy in the camera shot at Saturday’s match. The Charlotte Observer reports a graphic misidentified the child as McDonald’s son as the announcer highlighted McDonald’s goal. McDonald tweeted the clip afterward, writing she was honored to be featured but that it wasn’t her son. She also tweeted “Thank you” after the commissioner sent her a personal note of apology.

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