North Carolina bill aims to stop prosecuting 6-year-olds
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina sets the lowest minimum age in the country by law for a child to be prosecuted, allowing 6-year-olds to be tried in juvenile court. Now, the state is looking to raise the age to ensure children under 10 don’t have to appear before a judge. Many of the more than 2,000 reported complaints in recent years emerged in schools and were disproportionately made against Black boys. Racial justice advocates support the bill but want to see more systemic changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. Three other states allow 7-year-olds to face prosecution while 28 others have no laws specifying a minimum age of delinquency.
Police: Girl killed, 2 boys wounded in 2 drive-by shootings
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Police say a 9-year-old girl was killed and two other children were wounded in a pair of drive-by shootings that happened blocks apart on Monday night in Statesville. News outlets report that the first shooting happened as the girl and a 7-year-old boy were playing in the yard outside a home. Statesville police say responding officers found two children with gunshot wounds. Both were taken to a hospital, but police say the girl died. The boy is hospitalized, but police didn’t release details of his condition. Officers at the scene of the first shooting heard gunfire blocks away. Police say officers found a 10-year-old boy with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.
Millions skipped church during pandemic. Will they return?
WALDOBORO, Maine (AP) — Churches, synagogues and mosques are returning to normal services as the pandemic recedes. But a looming question is how many worshippers will be returning. Religious leaders fear some of the millions who stayed home from places of worship during the pandemic won’t be coming back, hastening a slide in attendance. Some houses of worship won’t make it. On the Maine coast, the pandemic proved to be the last straw for the 164-year-old Waldoboro United Methodist Church. Leaders say the situation for religious organizations was complicated even before the pandemic, but the crisis was the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”
NASA looks at Louisiana delta system, eyes global forecasts
MIKE ISLAND, La. (AP) — Erosion, sinking land and sea rise from climate change have killed the Louisiana woods where a 41-year-old Native American chief played as a child. Less than 50 miles away, middle-school students can stand on islands that emerged the year they were born. NASA is using high-tech airborne systems along with boats and mud-slogging work on islands for a $15 million study of these two parts of Louisiana’s river delta system. One is hitched to a river and growing, the other disconnected and dying. Scientists from NASA and a half-dozen universities aim to create computer models that can be used with satellite data to let countries around the world learn which parts of their dwindling deltas can be shored up.
Juul to pay $40M in N. Carolina teen vaping suit settlement
DURHAM N.C. (AP) — Electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. will pay $40 million to North Carolina and take more action to prevent underage use and sales. That’s according to a landmark legal settlement announced on Monday after years of accusations that the company had fueled an explosion in teen vaping. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein had accused Juul of unfair and deceptive marketing practices targeting young people to use it vaping products, which delivers addictive nicotine. Juul promises not to advertise to anyone under 21 in North Carolina and says it will put restrictions in place for sales both online and at brick-and-mortal retailers.
BC-NC-DOCTOR-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT LAWSUIT
North Carolina doctor sued over sexual misconduct
HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina doctor who pleaded guilty in March to assault on a female has been sued by two former employees who allege sexual misconduct. The Hickory Daily Record reports Dr. Diaa Eldin Hussein, who has practices in Morganton, Marion and Lenoir, pleaded guilty March 26 in McDowell County to assault on a female after he originally had been charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery in January. Hussein now faces civil lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against two former employees, including the employee who pursued the criminal charges against him.
TENURE DISPUTE-SLAVERY PROJECT
Report: University to vote on Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Trustees of North Carolina’s flagship public university are going to meet behind closed doors amid intense criticism of their decision not to offer tenure to investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. The board announced Wednesday’s meeting in a news release that did not specify what is to be discussed. NC Policy Watch reports that trustees plan to vote on whether to grant tenure to Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work on the 1619 Project examining the bitter legacy of slavery. The publication cites two unidentified people who it says are directly involved in the process.
Textile, environment advocates speak against NC energy bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina textile executives and advocates for the environment and the poor are urging state legislators to reject a major energy bill pushed by several House Republicans. The coalition held a news conference Monday to criticize the wide-ranging proposal. It would retire early several coal-fired plants operated by Duke Energy subsidiaries, expand solar production and allow the electric utility to seek multi-year rate increases. Textile companies are worried that the full costs of the proposal upon Duke Energy ratepayers would harm their plants and chances for in-state expansion. Another new analysis of the bill projects rate hikes to be much lower.
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