North Carolina News – October 29

North Carolina News – October 29


NC voter ID debate clouded by call for justices’ recusal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — One of several legal challenges to North Carolina’s contentious voter ID law is on hold amid a dispute over whether two justices on the state Supreme Court should recuse themselves. The state NAACP’s request that Phil Berger Jr. and ex-Sen. Tamara Barringer be disqualified further clouds the future of photo voter ID requirements in one of the numerous Republican-dominated states where lawmakers have sought them. Federal appeals judges struck down a previous version of a North Carolina voter ID law approved in 2013. Berger is the son of the state Senate leader, who is a defendant in the lawsuit the court is hearing.


Feds to begin leasing process for wind farms off Wilmington

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Department of the Interior says it’s going ahead with the lease of a nearly 200-square mile area off the North Carolina coast for offshore wind development. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that on Monday, the Department of the Interior will publish a notice in the Federal Register proposing the lease sale of a large portion of the Wilmington East Wind Energy Area, starting a 60-day public comment period that will last until Jan. 3, 2021. The department says when it’s done, the Wilmington East area could generate more than 1.5 gigawatts of electricity, enough for more than 500,000 homes.


Methodist University receives record $14 million gift

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina university has received the largest gift in its history and said most of it will go toward student scholarships. According to a news release from Methodist University, the gift of $14 million was given through the estate of Robert J. Chaffin of Fayetteville, who died in late May at the age 93. Chaffin was connected with financial institutions in the Fayetteville area. According to the news release, more than $12 million of the gift will go directly to student scholarships. The other $1.5 million is designated for the school’s nursing program and its state-of-the-art facility to be named in honor of Chaffin.


Robinson fairly sure he’ll run for NC governor in 2024

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Republican North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says he’s fairly certain he will run for governor in 2024, rather than seek a second term in his current post. He said in a public conference call posted this week that he was “95% sure” of a gubernatorial run. Robinson was elected lieutenant governor last November in his first bid for political office. Current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper can’t seek reelection again due to term limits. Robinson has faced recent resignation demands after comments he made about sex education in schools that critics say disparaged LGBTQ people. Robinson said he was talking about reading materials, not people. 


Sen. Burr under investigation again for pandemic stock sales

WASHINGTON (AP) — North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and his brother-in-law are under investigation for insider trading. Recently filed federal court documents show the Securities and Exchange Commission is probing their abrupt sales of financial holdings during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Burr is among a group of lawmakers from both parties who stirred outrage over their aggressive trading in the early days of the pandemic, before the economic threat of the virus was widely known. He has denied wrongdoing and was previously cleared by the Justice Department for offloading $1.6 million from his portfolio in February 2020. 


Eight charged after North Carolina couple kidnapped

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says eight people face charges after a North Carolina couple was kidnapped and assaulted. The Hickory Daily Record reports the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that deputies responded to a call from a local hospital after a 24-year-old man was dropped off at the emergency room after being shot twice in the torso. The man told the deputies he and his girlfriend were tied up, blindfolded and taken to a spot where the assailants shot at them. The woman was not hit. The sheriff’s office says four of the eight people arrested were charged with attempted murder.


Man jailed on murder charge accused in fatal campus shooting

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police say a North Carolina man already jailed on a murder charge is facing another murder charge in connection with the shooting deaths of two men on a college campus. The Herald-Sun of Durham reports 19-year-old Dezmond Armond Harper was indicted by a Durham County grand jury on Monday on two counts of first-degree murder. On Sept. 20, police found Shamori Brown and Tavis Rhodes had been shot in a parking lot. Both were taken to a hospital, where they died. The shooting took place during a home football game at N.C. Central University, and it prompted police to lock down the stadium


Two from North Carolina facing child sex crime charges

TAYLORSVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man and woman are facing multiple child sex crime charges. The Hickory Daily Record reports the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office says 44-year-old Colan Lewis Swink of Newton is charged with 109 felony counts of sex acts by a substitute parent or custodian and 25 felony counts each of statutory rape and sex offenses. Swink was given a $5 million secured bond. The sheriff’s office also says 49-year-old Tammy Reedy Brown of Taylorsville is charged with conspiracy of a sex act by a substitute parent or custodian. She is jailed on a $75,000 secured bond.

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