ELECTION 2022-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina’s Mark Walker staying in Senate race, for now
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker says he plans to remain in North Carolina’s U.S. Senate race through the end of the year. But the Republican is also considering returning to the U.S. House. He said he met with former President Donald Trump over the weekend, where Trump encouraged him to bow out of the race and run instead in the state’s 7th Congressional District. Trump is backing U.S. Rep. Ted Budd for the GOP Senate primary. Budd and Walker are Trump loyalists competing for his base of supporters, while former Gov. Pat McCrory is an opponent who generally appeals to more moderate Republicans.
ARMED STUDENT ON SCHOOL BUS
Sheriff: N Carolina student was carrying AK-47 on school bus
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina authorities say a high school student has been taken into custody after he was found carrying a rifle with a loaded magazine on a school bus. According to The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten said the juvenile student was carrying a pistol-grip AK-47 with a loaded 30-round magazine Wednesday morning. Wooten says the bus driver called an assistant principal after smelling marijuana on the student. Wooten says a school resource officer searched the student and found the rifle and marijuana before taking the student into custody.
NORTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR-VETOES
NC governor vetoes bill barring donations to run elections
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed Republican legislation that would bar North Carolina election boards and officials in counties from accepting private money to run elections. The bill responded to the funds distributed nationwide by outside groups to administer the 2020 elections, particularly to address COVID-19-related challenges. GOP bill sponsors said outside donations to government agencies create the impression of undue influence in elections. But Cooper said in a statement that nonprofit and nonpartisan grants provided masks, pens and other protective equipment that helped keep voters safe during the pandemic.
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER-DWI CHARGE
Patrol charges N. Carolina school bus driver with DWI
SHELBY, N.C. (AP) — The N.C. State Highway Patrol says a school bus driver was charged with driving while impaired after she took students to elementary school. News outlets report the patrol says troopers responding to a call from the school resource officer at Union Elementary School in Cleveland County were told that the bus driver, who had recently taken students to the school, was possibly impaired. Troopers say Raven Ross Fite of Lawndale was taken into custody and brought to a local hospital to have her blood tested. Fite is jailed on a $2,500 bond.
IDENTITY THEFT-WOMAN SENTENCED
North Carolina woman sentenced to identity theft, mail fraud
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal prosecutor’s office says a North Carolina woman has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for impersonating two people by illegally accessing a state agency’s computers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina says 34-year-old Melanie Alecia Ruona of Winston-Salem pleaded guilty to two counts of a six-count indictment charging her with aggravated identity theft and mail fraud. Prosecutors say Ruona and others worked a scheme to illegally access N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles computers and steal identities. She used one identity to open an account at a store where she spent $4,000.
BC-US-LOWE’S CEO-MARVIN ELLISON
Lowe’s CEO addresses race, inflation and vaccine mandates
NEW YORK (AP) — Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison personally knows about racism. He grew up in segregated rural Tennessee. His father was a sharecropper-turned-insurance salesman and his mother was one of the first in their family to graduate from high school. Today, Ellison stands out as one of only three Black Fortune 500 CEOs. When he took over the helm of Lowe’s in 2018, Ellison diversified the company’s ranks to better reflect its customer base. Now, 55% of its executive leaders and 60% of its board are female or ethnically diverse. But his work isn’t over. While Ellison says he doesn’t want to “judge” Corporate America, he believes Lowe’s can serve as an example of what companies can do to increase racial parity.
ELECTION 2022-NORTH CAROLINA
NC’s top court halts March primary due to remapping suits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court has delayed the state’s planned March 8 primary until May so state courts can review lawsuits claiming illegal gerrymandering. Wednesday’s decision by the state Supreme Court comes after a state Court of Appeals panel initially blocked filing for legislative and congressional candidates on Monday, only to have the decision reversed by the full intermediate-level appeals court. The order by the justices means candidate filing is now suspended until the litigation is resolved. The primary is now pushed back to May 17 for all offices, including legislative seats and seats in the U.S. House and Senate.
Burn ban lifted in most of NC, continues in 33 counties
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina Forest Service has lifted a ban on open burning in most of the state, but the ban remains in effect in 33 central and western counties. A statewide ban went into effect Nov. 29 due to hazardous forest fire conditions and officials said Wednesday that a ban has been lifted in 67 counties. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler says conditions are improving with rainfall across much of the state. Troxler says residents of counties where the ban is no longer in effect should have valid permits, burn responsibly and check for local restrictions. Officials say any permits granted before the ban have been canceled and residents must obtain a valid permit.
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