Thursday, December 02, 2021
North Carolina News – October 19

North Carolina News – October 19

STATE BUDGET

NC GOP leaders send new budget-bargaining offer to Cooper

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican legislative leaders have sent another budget-bargaining offer to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The offices of Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore said the joint proposal was taken to Cooper’s office Tuesday. It arrived two weeks after Cooper provided his counteroffer to the initial pitch from GOP lawmakers. A state budget was supposed to be in place July 1, but slow work at the Legislative Building combined with still-significant differences with Cooper have extended talks from the summer into the fall. The goal is to locate a middle-ground measure that Cooper would be willing to sign into law.

JUDGE-JURY DUTY

Court: Judge erred mentioning race, faith to possible jurors

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals court has ruled that a judge crossed the line by discouraging fellow Black residents from avoiding jury duty and mentioning religious affiliation at the same time. The Court of Appeals ordered on Tuesday a new trial for a man convicted in Guilford County. The majority opinion declares that Superior Court Judge Lora Cubbage’s comments during jury selection violated the defendant’s right to a trial before an impartial jury. Cubbage spoke when a potential juror said he couldn’t act as a juror because of his religion. A dissenting judge wrote her words may have been inappropriate but not enough to vacate the convictions.

UNC-ADMISSIONS LAWSUIT

UNC may keep affirmative action in admissions, judge says

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that North Carolina’s flagship public university may continue to consider race as a factor in its undergraduate admissions. The ruling goes against a group working to undo affirmative action. Students for Fair Admissions argues that race-based admissions puts white and Asian students at a disadvantage. But Judge Loretta Biggs says the University of North Carolina showed it has a compelling reason to pursue a diverse student body, and measurable benefits that result. The group’s president, Edward Blum, told The Associated Press he’s appealing and hoping the Supreme Court will consider this case together with his suit against Harvard University.

BANK ROBBERY-GETAWAY CAR

North Carolina police see bank robbers switch getaway cars

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Three men accused of robbing a bank in North Carolina had one flaw in their plans to elude police. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say in a news release that shortly after the men robbed a Bank of America branch on Friday, an officer saw them in a car turning into a nearby neighborhood and watched them trying to switch getaway cars. According to police, officers tried to stop the car but the driver kept going and crashed on a dead end street. The suspects were captured after police say they considered trying escape by running across Interstate 77.

AP-US-EPA-FOREVER-CHEMICALS

EPA unveils strategy to regulate toxic ‘forever chemicals’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is launching a wide-ranging strategy to regulate toxic industrial compounds used in products including cookware, carpets and firefighting foams. Environmental Protection Agency head Michael Regan says his agency is taking a series of actions to limit pollution from a cluster of long-lasting chemicals known as PFAS that are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food. The chemicals are associated with serious health conditions, including cancer. The plan announced Monday in North Carolina is intended to restrict PFAS from being released into the environment, accelerate cleanup of PFAS-contaminated sites such as military bases and increase investments in research.

HOUSE RETIREMENTS

2 more House Democrats retiring, underscoring 2022 obstacles

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two longtime Democratic congressmen with a combined six decades of experience have announced plans to retire at the end of their terms. Eighty-one-year-old Rep. David Price of North Carolina and 68-year-old Rep. Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania said Monday that they will not seek re-election next year. The news comes just days after Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of Kentucky announced his own decision to retire. The men cited various motivations, including the realities of redistricting and a desire to spend more time with their families. But the decisions underscore the challenges Democrats face as they try to hang on to their majorities in Congress in 2022.

MISSING WOMAN-BOYFRIEND CHARGED

Ex-boyfriend charged in death of North Carolina woman

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman who was reported missing last week has been found dead in South Carolina, and authorities have charged her boyfriend in her death. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said in a news release that 30-year-old LaPorscha Baldwin was found dead on Thursday in Fairfield County, north of Columbia, South Carolina. She was reported missing on Oct. 10 after failing to report for work after going to church. On Saturday, police in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, arrested 35-year-old Charles Williams Combs of Charlotte and charged him with first-degree murder. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Combs is awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

LAKE DROWNING

Man drowns at North Carolina lake in fourth incident in 2021

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man has drowned in a lake, the fourth such incident at the lake in 2021. A news release from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office says deputies along with emergency personnel were called to a boat ramp at Falls Lake for the report of a possible drowning. Deputies learned from witnesses that a man had gone into the water but had not resurfaced. Search and recovery teams began searching the waters and found the unidentified man’s body. Falls Lake, north of Raleigh and east of Durham, has seen at least three other drowning deaths this year.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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