North Carolina News – August 25

North Carolina News – August 25


2 plead guilty to taking 3 in US illegally to Marine base

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor says a husband and wife from North Carolina have pleaded guilty to transporting people living in the country illegally onto a U.S. Marine base by boat. Acting U.S. Attorney G. Norman Acker III says Timothy Scott Belcher and Georgina Belcher of Jacksonville brought three foreign nationals living illegally in the U.S. onto Camp Lejeune by bypassing the base gate and taking them from Jacksonville to a boat dock on base. Acker says the Belchers pleaded guilty to bringing in and harboring certain people living illegally in the U.S. They face a maximum sentence of five years in prison a $250,000 fine and three years’ supervised release.


Bill to curb racial teachings advances in North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina Senate committee has advanced a measure that would limit how teachers can discuss racial concepts inside the classroom. The move came Tuesday, a day when Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson released a task force report citing alleged cases of “indoctrination” in North Carolina public schools. The Senate Education Committee devolved into chaos as conservatives challenged Democrats questioning the merits of the bill. The bill is widely seen as a response to critical race theory, a framekwork legal scholars developed decades ago centering on the idea that racism is systemic. It has become somewhat of a catchall phrase to describe concepts some Republicans find objectionable.


Broad NC police reform measure gets final legislative OK

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature has finalized a police reform bill designed to get rid of undisciplined officers at North Carolina law enforcement agencies while emphasizing mental health assistance for others. The Senate gave unanimous approval on Tuesday to changes made by the House, where only two members voted no last week. It now heads to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. The bill creates both public and confidential databases that monitor officer histories and requires officers to report excessive force by colleagues. It still omitted many criminal justice proposals by Democrats. Still, a bill sponsor said it would do a lot to weed out bad officers.


Biser confirmed by Senate as NC environment secretary

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has a permanent agency head after the Senate confirmed Elizabeth Biser as its secretary. The chamber voted unanimously on Tuesday for Biser, who was Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice after Republicans formally blocked his original selection to lead the department. Senators from both parties praised Biser in committee meetings last week. Biser is formerly a legislative lobbyist and environmental policy adviser who once worked for the department’s predecessor agency. Republicans voted not to confirm Dionne Delli-Gatti as secretary in June. Cooper needed a replacement for first-term Secretary Michael Regan, who now leads the Environmental Protection Agency. 


NC certificate of need laws adjusted in bill going to Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina hospitals and other medical facilities would have more leeway with expanding treatment space or purchasing equipment without initiating state reviews in legislation receiving final General Assembly approval. The House voted on Tuesday for a Senate bill that would adjust what are called certificate of need laws. That’s when health regulators evaluate whether additional medical services are necessary in a community. The bill would increase spending thresholds before reviews happen. And it would require certificate holders for projects to begin construction by set deadlines. The measure already passed the Senate and now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk. 


Former NBC News anchor, correspondent Lloyd Dobyns Jr. dies

MEBANE, N.C. (AP) — Lloyd Dobyns Jr., an award-winning NBC News correspondent and anchor, has died at the age of 85. His son, Ken Dobyns, said his father died Sunday in Mebane, North Carolina, following complications from a series of strokes. The family statement noted Dobyns worked for NBC News in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and was known in the U.S. for his on-air work with Linda Ellerbee on the late night news series ‘NBC News Overnight’ in 1982 and 1983. Dobyns won more than two dozen awards for reporting, writing, and anchoring before he retired in 1986. 


GOP lawmakers hire private lawyer for voting rights suit

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republican legislative leaders have replaced a state government attorney with a private lawyer to defend them as they challenge an upcoming order on when felony offenders can get their voting rights restored. A judicial panel plans to soon issue the order, which states that anyone convicted of a felony can register to vote after they’ve completed their prison sentence. Republican lawmakers want to appeal the order, but say Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein’s office won’t commit to doing that. Legislative leaders and Stein have had differences in the past over the department’s representation in litigation. 


Bill raising juvenile prosecution age in NC gets final OK

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature has agreed that only children 8 and older can be prosecuted in the state’s juvenile courts. That’s up from the current age of 6. North Carolina currently is the state with the lowest age for juvenile adjudication set by law in the country. A bill given final legislative approval on Tuesday by the Senate would end that, should Gov. Roy Cooper let it become law. Bills debated earlier this year would have raised the minimum age to 10, but some legislators successfully argued that court intervention for 8- and 9-year-olds who commit serious felonies is warranted.

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