Bill to retire coal-fired plants gets initial NC House OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation that could shape North Carolina electricity production for decades has received initial approval by the House. Republicans pushing the bill say it promotes an all-of-the-above energy strategy while reducing carbon emissions and keeping power reliable and affordable. The anchor of the legislation is the early retirement of coal-fired power plants at five Duke Energy locations. Opponents said Wednesday the measure relies too much on natural gas, could cause soaring customer rates and would take authority from the Utilities Commission. The bill needed one more vote early Thursday before going to the Senate. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper opposes the measure and could wield his veto stamp.
TEACHING RACE-NORTH CAROLINA
N. Carolina GOP would ban K-12 promotion of views about race
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republicans are moving forward with a bill that defines what teachers can and can’t say about race and racism in classrooms. State Senate leader Phil Berger says teachers would be prohibited from compelling students to personally adopt a list of 13 beliefs. Republicans haven’t identified a single case of this happening, and Berger says teachers therefore have nothing to worry about. But Democrats, education groups and racial justice advocates fear the measure will stifle conversations on race in schools and have a chilling effect on teachers. They say so called “critical race theory” is being misrepresented as a boogeyman for political purposes.
DEPUTY SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Family files $30M suit over deputies’ shooting of Black man
The family of an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in North Carolina has filed a $30 million civil rights lawsuit. Wednesday’s filing in federal court says Andrew Brown Jr. died because of the deputies’ “reckless disregard of his life.” Brown was killed April 21 by Pasquotank County Sheriff’s deputies who were serving drug-related warrants at his Elizabeth City home. The deputies surrounded Brown’s BMW before his car backed up and moved forward. The deputies then fired at his vehicle. A local prosecutor said the shooting was justified. The filing is the latest in a string of federal lawsuits in the wake of police shootings of Black and brown people.
NC police reforms approved after body cam alteration removed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A wide-ranging criminal justice measure focused on weeding out problem law enforcement officers in North Carolina and giving mental health aid to others has cleared a House committee. The measure received broad support Wednesday only after proposed changes to how certain officer body camera footage can be viewed by family members were deleted. Civil rights groups and Democrats criticized those changes because they had been altered from what was included in the measure when the Senate approved the legislation unanimously in May. Adjustments to body camera rules surfaced after a shooting death by Pasquotank County sheriffs’ deputies.
BLACK COLLEGES-THE FUTURE
Acclaim, fundraising spread unevenly among Black colleges
ATLANTA (AP) — One of the nation’s most prestigious historically Black colleges got a major publicity boost recently when it announced two high-profile faculty hires. While those noteworthy additions could be a fundraising and enrollment boon to Howard University, other Black schools are not so fortunate; in fact, many are struggling. In particular, some smaller private colleges have been fighting for their survival for years amid declining enrollments, weak endowments and aging buildings. An Associated Press analysis of enrollment and endowment data shows wide disparities among the nation’s Black colleges.
Fishermen save newborn horse from drowning in North Carolina
COROLLA, N.C. (AP) — Some fishermen are being credited with saving a newborn horse from drowning in a canal on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The Corolla Wild Horse fund says on its Facebook page that a foal born on Saturday was struggling in a canal on Monday. According to the post, three nearby fishermen rescued the foal, named Beatrice, from the water. Owen Carson also posted to Facebook that as he and his buddies were heading out to fish, they saw the foal with its frantic parents looking on. Carson said he and his friends circled back, and he waded into the water to guide the foal to safety.
BLACK LIVES MATTER-MURAL DEFACED
N. Carolina man accused of defacing Black Lives Matter mural
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a man who they believe vandalized a Black Lives Matter street mural painted to honor a man shot and killed by sheriff’s deputies. News outlets report Elizabeth City police say 32-year-old Jeremy Wayne Maggard was arrested Tuesday and charged with injury to real property and reckless driving. Maggard is free on a $500 bond. Artist Michael Little painted the mural in honor of Andrew Brown Jr., who was shot and killed by a Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office deputy on April 21. It was unveiled on Saturday and defaced the next day.
Second suspect jailed in robbery of N. Carolina duck hunters
BURGAW, N.C. (AP) — Authorities in North Carolina have arrested a second suspect in the armed robbery of a group of duck hunters. WECT reports the Pender County Sheriff’s Office says 26-year-old Tyrese Daquan Lee was taken into custody on Tuesday. Lee faces multiple charges, including armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. The sheriff’s office says the four hunters were returning to their vehicles when they encountered the two suspects. According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects shot one of the victims, then took the group’s money and weapons. Deputies previously arrested James Farland Jr. in connection with the robberies.
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