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North Carolina News – April 27, 2022

North Carolina News – April 27, 2022

TSA: Airport security finds loaded gun in Cawthorn’s bag

Officials say a loaded gun was found in North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s carry-on bag at an airport security checkpoint. It’s the second time in a little more than a year that a weapon has been found in his possession at an airport in his home state. Transportation Security Administration spokesperson R. Carter Langston said that when Cawthorn went through a Charlotte Douglas International Airport checkpoint with the gun Tuesday morning, TSA officers notified Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police. Police say Cawthorn acknowledged that the gun was his and he was issued a citation for possession of a dangerous weapon on city property.

FELONS VOTING-NORTH CAROLINA

Eased voting rules on NC offenders delayed through primaries

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina appeals panel has delayed through the primary elections a lower court ruling that had ordered officials to immediately allow felony offenders still on probation or parole to vote. But the majority on the three-judge Court of Appeals panel also ruled Tuesday that the eased voter registration rules must be used in the November elections. Appeals are pending and more are likely. A trial court panel struck down in March a 1973 law that prevents these voting rights to be restored while the person is still on probation, parole or post-release supervision. Tens of thousands of felony offenders could be affected.

SCHOOLS REPORT

NC judge drops price to cover school plan, omits spend order

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge has cut the amount of money needed to comply with a plan to address educational inequities by more than half. But he also declined to leave in place the crux of another judge’s order that directed cash from government coffers be sent to state agencies to cover a fiscal gap. Special Superior Court Judge Mike Robinson ruled in long-running public education spending litigation on Tuesday. Robinson omitted from the order another judge’s decision that had directed money be moved without legislative approval. An appeals court has blocked such action. The state Supreme Court will next take up the so-called “Leandro” litigation.

PRISON ESCAPE

Officials: Inmates escape NC prison, found hours later

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — Officials in North Carolina say two inmates escaped a prison, but were caught hours later. The Department of Public Safety says Craig Guess Jr. and Arlo Swink Jr. escaped from the Robeson Confinement in Response to Violation Center in Lumberton shortly before 3 p.m. Monday and were found nearby on foot three hours later. Officials are investigating how they escaped. Officials say Guess and Swink were serving 90-day periods of confinement for violations of their post-release supervision. Guess was convicted of attempting to obtain property under false pretenses in 2019 and Swink was convicted of a drug offense in 2021. Officials say the men were sent to a higher custody level facility and will be charged with felony escape.

BC-COLLEGE-HOUSING-CRUNCH

Housing shortage, soaring rents squeeze US college students

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — College students squeezed by a massive housing shortage and rising rents are living in motels, commuting long distances or sleeping in their cars. Officials at some schools said the pandemic muddied projections for on-campus housing last fall. But the lack of affordable housing has been a longstanding problem at other colleges, including many in California. UC Berkeley is fighting homeowners who oppose the university’s plans for more housing. The University of Tennessee announced a new housing lottery for the fall in order to accommodate a larger freshman class. Apartment List says rents in Knoxville have gone up 36% since March 2020.

EDUCATION REPORT

Blue-ribbon panel makes NC education recommendations

MORRISVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A blue-ribbon commission has recommended ways to improve North Carolina’s public education, from preschool to universities. The Hunt-Lee Commission backed 16 proposals in a report released Monday. The commission was formed to address inequities in student outcomes. The bipartisan commission included education leaders, legislators and representatives of government agencies. The report praises current successes in education while also urging the testing of new ideas, such as monetary incentives and benefits to make early-childhood education an attractive career. The commisision is named for former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt, current Sen. Michael Lee and former State Board of Education chairman Howard Lee.

ELECTION 2022-LEGISLATURE-MOORE

Former NC Rep. Moore leaving behind bid to return to House

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A former North Carolina state House member who pleaded guilty in 2019 after a campaign finance investigation says he’s leaving behind his General Assembly return bid a few weeks before the primary. Former Rep. Rodney Moore of Mecklenburg County announced over the weekend that he was going to withdraw his candidacy for a House seat. The Democrat served in the House from 2011 through 2018. He told The Charlotte Observer that he’s dealt with health problems in recent weeks. Moore was indicted in 2019 after an investigation found his committee has failed to report more than $140,000 in contributions and expenditures. He ultimately pleaded guilty to one count.

CLIMATE-UN-DISASTER REPORT

Weary of many disasters? UN says worse to come

A new United Nations report says disasters are on the rise and are going to get worse. In the late 20th century, the world had some 90 to 100 disasters per year. Now a new UN report says disasters that range from climate change to COVID-19 are going to jump to about 560 a year by 2030. One scientist likened the trend to multiple illnesses that weaken a body’s immune system. He says it’s not just the disasters themselves but the accumulated risk, how they add up and ping-pong against each other.

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