North Carolina News – November 18

North Carolina News – November 18


Democrat Rep. Butterfield to retire, new district is toss-up

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina congressman G.K. Butterfield, a Democrat, has announced he’ll retire from Congress next year after Republican-drawn map put him in a toss-up district. Butterfield is the second Democratic North Carolina congressman to decide against a reelection bid. Rep. David Price announced last month he wouldn’t run. Butterfield made his announcement Thursday. He has represented northeastern North Carolina in the U.S. House since 2004 and is a former head of the Congressional Black Caucus. The congressional boundaries could still get struck down in court as Democrats and voting rights groups argue that Republicans created racial gerrymanders and drew lines for pure partisan gain.


N. Carolina man sent to prison on dog fighting, gun charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say a North Carolina man was sentenced to 75 months in prison for his part in a dog fighting operation and having a firearm as a convicted felon. A news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says 26-year-old Delontay Moore of Concord pleaded guilty on July 8 to conspiracy to commit dog fighting offenses and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Moore was sentenced on Wednesday. In February, agents seized 25 dogs from Moore which showed evidence of having been in dog fights as well as suffering from gross neglect. Authorities say he was also in possession of an AR-15.


NC Republicans advance bill limiting mail-in ballot counting

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Republicans advanced a number of proposals on Wednesday that voting rights groups fear could reduce turnout for the 2022 midterm elections. The measures reducing the time mail-in ballots may be counted, prohibiting private money from being used to fund local elections operations and compelling courts to share citizenship information with state elections officials are unlikely to become law. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed similar efforts in the past and Democrats are not on board with the plans GOP lawmakers have put forward. Lawmakers are expected to conclude the legislative year soon.


NC math experts, voters sue over US House, legislative lines

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Another lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s latest round of redistricting has been filed. A conservation group, university mathematicians and voters involved in the suit accuse Republican mapmakers of illegal partisan and racial gerrymandering in both the state’s congressional and General Assembly districts. The litigation filed late Tuesday in state court is spearheaded by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters. The plaintiffs in part accuse Republican legislators of violating the state constitution by parceling out portions of the state’s large urban counties to favor GOP congressional candidates. They also say General Assembly lines also appear to dilute the voting of Black residents. Republicans have defended the maps as lawful.  


Rules formalizing NC prep sports oversight heads to governor

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Legislation that likely will create a formal agreement between the nonprofit body currently governing North Carolina high school sports and state education leaders has received final approval. The compromise scales back specific demands previously advanced by legislators that the North Carolina High School Athletic Association fought against. The House and Senate voted separately for the measure Wednesday. The bill tells the State Board of Education it can reach a memorandum of understanding with a nonprofit to administer high school sports. An earlier edition of the bill would have replace the association with a new athletic commission. The bill now heads to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.


NC Congress candidates grow with Foushee, Watkins bids

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A Democratic U.S. Senate candidate for the past several months and a current Democratic state senator have announced they would run for a central North Carolina congressional seat. Durham scientist Richard Watkins and state Sen. Valerie Foushee of Chapel Hill said Wednesday they are seeking the 6th District seat up for election in 2022. Longtime 4th District Democratic Rep. David Price lives within the newly redrawn 6th District, but Price announced last month he wasn’t seeking reelection. Watkins announced in March that he would seek the Senate seat currently held by the retiring Richard Burr, but Watkins had now switched over to a House race.


4 N. Carolina juveniles hurt after crashing stolen vehicle

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say four juveniles riding in a stolen vehicle were injured when they crashed into a home. The Winston-Salem Journal reports Winston-Salem police said one of the juveniles was listed in serious condition with non-life threatening injuries. According to police, officers arrived at a location on the city’s south side on Tuesday afternoon and found a 2006 Toyota Tacoma had run off the road and struck a home. Witnesses told police that they heard multiple gunshots in the area before the pickup hit the home, but police say no one was injured from the gunfire.


N. Carolina man charged after teen’s body found near road

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a man has been arrested in the death of a teenager whose body was found on a roadside. WGHP reported on Wednesday that the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office arrested 22-year-old Jaylen Lyles of Winston-Salem on Tuesday. Lyles is charged with murder in the death of a 17-year-old boy who was found dead on a road in Stokes County. The boy was a resident of Forsyth County, but the sheriff’s office declined to release his name because of his age. 


Group says NC kept magazines from inmates

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A human rights group is suing the North Carolina Department of Public Safety alleging staffers censor magazines inmates receive by mail, especially those with articles about prison misconduct. The News & Observer reports that Human Rights Defense Center in Florida filed the suit Friday in U.S. District Court. The nonprofit publishes magazines that focus on inmates’ rights, court rulings and other criminal justice issues and circulate to 232 people in state facilities. The group claims that 23 issues or annual reports were banned between 2019 and August. Last month, a contractor began converting prisoners’ letters to digital files, but it doesn’t handle magazines. The nonprofit claims the state violated its free speech and denied access to readers without notice. 

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