Appeals court keeps voter ID, tax cap ruling unenforceable
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A trial judge's ruling keeping two voter-approved amendments out of North Carolina's Constitution - one of them a photo voter identification requirement - will remain unenforceable while his decision is appealed by Republican lawmakers. The state Court of Appeals had already granted a temporary delay of the February decision by Wake Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins. On Thursday, the appeals court extended the postponement of Collins' order until it rules on the substance of his decision. Collins voided the voter ID amendment and another amendment lowering caps on income tax rates that were approved by voters in November. He agreed with state NAACP arguments that the 2018 legislature lacked authority to propose alterations to the constitution because districts from which many legislators were elected had been declared unlawful racial gerrymanders.
Legislators disagree on the need to change NC’s voter ID law to help college students vote
Legislators would have to change the law to allow more North Carolina college students to use their student IDs to vote next year. Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Ralph Hise disagree on whether changes are needed.
Complaint about medicine led to shooting of Walgreens workers in Garner, warrant says
Stephen Allen Denning, the man accused of shooting two employees at a Walgreens store in Garner last month, was there to complain about his medicine, according to a search warrant released Tuesday.
Ex-Durham Montessori teacher accused of child sex crimes also worked at Triangle summer camps
A former teacher at a Durham Montessori school who is facing dozens of charges related to child molestation and inappropriate images involving children also worked around youngsters at summer camps, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences said.
2 arrested after 81 pounds of cocaine is seized in Wake County
Two men were arrested after Wake County authorities say they conspired to traffic in cocaine. The Wake County Sheriff’s Office worked with other law enforcement agencies on surveillance of a tractor trailer that was coming to North Carolina from California.
Zion sets doubts aside, gets ready for NCAA's biggest party
The clock is ticking. The rest of college basketball has three weeks to figure out how to stop Duke's freshman force of nature, Zion Williamson. Williamson and the Blue Devils got the overall top seed in the tournament, while Gonzaga and two more Atlantic Coast Conference teams - North Carolina and Virginia - also received No. 1 seeds. Three teams in one conference on the top line matches a record, and offers the selection committee's guess as to who has the best chance to slow down Duke. The Blue Devils opened as a 9-4 favorite to win it all. Williamson, the 6-foot-7 man-child averaging 22 points and nine rebounds and a near-certain top pick in the upcoming NBA draft, is putting his future on the line - along with hundreds of millions in potential earnings - all in hopes of adding his own chapter to the history of America's most dream-indulged hoops extravaganza. He's doing it only four weeks after wrenching his knee when his Nike sneaker blew out and sent him crashing to the floor. He missed five games. He wouldn't dare miss this. "Everybody has their right to their own opinion, but I knew I was coming back the whole time," Williamson said in his return last week, when he led Duke to its 21st ACC tournament title. Speaking of shoes ... the companies that make them are intrinsically, financially and, yes, toxically intertwined with the players who fill out Division I rosters. The tournament will once again be played against the backdrop of a long list of problems - most of them related to money - that plague the NCAA and college hoops. LSU is the latest to have its name dragged through the mud, yet neither the NCAA nor the school appeared to think twice about placing the Tigers in a starring role the drama, which begins Tuesday with a pair of play-in...
These teams will probably be the top seeds in the 2019 NCAA Tournament
Bracketologists’ view of which four teams should earn No. 1 seeds in the 2019 NCAA Tournament among the Duke Blue Devils, Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Kentucky Wildcats, Tennessee Volunteers and Gonzaga Bulldogs.
Tobacco Road Marathon runners to raise over $1M for charity
It's almost time for runners to put their training to the test and race in the Tobacco Road Marathon on March 17. As they cross the finish line, the Tobacco Road Marathon will meet a major milestone, $1 million in charitable giving.
This serial rapist and killer who sparked fear among Raleigh women in the 1990s remains on death row
In the late 1990s, the Warehouse District was characterized by fading brick buildings, with crime, homelessness and prostitution the norm. Then in 1996, black women started turning up dead.
NCDOT warns against taking prom photos on railroad tracks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - With prom season not too far away, North Carolina transportation officials are asking people to avoid using railroad tracks as a backdrop for their photos. The N.C. Department of Transportation says in a news release it is working with the state Department of Public Instruction by asking yearbook staff advisers to alert students and photographers about the dangers of taking pictures on or near railroad tracks. Officials are also warning people that railroad tracks, trestles, rail yards and rights-of-way are private property, and using them as photo backdrops is trespassing. The department says that with new technology, approaching trains are much quieter and people shouldn't assume they would hear one coming. Last year, 18 people were killed and 13 others were injured while trespassing on North Carolina railroad tracks.
Flu kills 9 more people in North Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that the flu has killed nine more people in the state, bringing this season's total death count to 135. The agency says this number doesn't reflect all flu-associated deaths in the state as many go unreported or undiagnosed. News outlets report there were nearly 400 flu-related deaths in North Carolina during the 2017-18 flu season; WTVD-TV says that was the most reported in the state since the deaths became reportable in 2009. WITN-TV says this is the third straight week that the number of flu-related deaths has fallen. The agency says practicing good hygiene and getting vaccinated to help prevent the flu. Symptoms of the flu include but aren't limited to a high fever, body aches, chills and fatigue.
House bond referendum for public education gets initial OK
A plan for state government to borrow money so school districts and the University of North Carolina and community college systems can replace aging buildings and expand has received preliminary approval in the state House.
Elections chief seeks changes to absentee ballot form laws
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's elections chief wants lawmakers to put additional restrictions on handling absentee ballot forms after its investigation into actual absentee ballots that affected a congressional district race last year. State Board of Elections Executive Director Kim Strach made several legislative recommendations to a House committee on Wednesday. Strach led the board's probe into absentee ballot irregularities that led last month to the board calling a new election in the 9th District. A political operative in southeastern North Carolina and several workers were charged two weeks ago with illegal ballot handling and other charges. Strach says she'd like to see increased penalties for election-related crimes. She also focused on the third parties that collect forms from people who want to receive a ballot by mail.
Search warrants released in North Carolina election probe
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Unsealed search warrants show that a North Carolina political operative suspected of illegally handling election ballots in 2016 was under state and FBI surveillance when he and associates used ATMs days before last year's primary. The information was in warrants unsealed Wednesday in a state investigation that's yielded felony election-law charges against Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. A December search warrant sought video, account holder information and other data for two Bladen County ATMs used in May by Dowless and people who did campaign work for him. The warrants apparently seek information on deposits, withdrawals or other transactions. Warrants also seek records concerning Dowless' cellphone and a second bank. Dowless and others face charges for their activities in 2016 and last year's GOP primary. Dowless' lawyer didn't return messages seeking comment.
Republicans fast-track bill to delay voter ID until 2020
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina Republicans fast-tracked legislation on Tuesday that would delay requiring photo identification to vote for this year's elections, the result of yet-finished ID regulations and an unexpected race for a vacant congressional seat. The state Senate approved a measure that would slow down the required use of voter ID until the 2020 elections. The floor vote followed two Senate committees and preceded a House panel's debate. The bill could reach the House floor Wednesday and then move to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's desk. A law approved in December directing how voter ID would be implemented - after voters added the identification mandate to the state constitution the month before - had envisioned the requirement beginning with voters in municipal elections later this year. But new congressional elections starting in late April to succeed the late U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. raised questions whether the mandate could apply to the 3rd Congressional District race, for which absentee mail-in balloting begins Friday. The December law had already exempted from the mandate the upcoming election in the 9th Congressional District, ordered after evidence of illegal collections of absentee ballots. GOP Sen. Warren Daniel of Burke County, a bill sponsor, said the delay will give time to ensure all of the ID details are worked out by state and local election officials. The December law directed the State Board of Elections to adopt many rules and standards in the weeks and months ahead, including new rules for voters to include identification with mail-in absentee ballot requests. The bill passed the Senate on a largely party-line vote. Some Democrats were concerned the bill had failed to push back a Friday deadline on which the state election board would approve ID cards from public and...
Blue Cross insurers in N Carolina, Oregon to mix leadership
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Two Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers on both U.S. coasts will invest jointly in high-cost management technology and share insights into improving health care in a long-term agreement that will leave the companies as separate entities. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Portland, Oregon-based Cambia Health Solutions said Tuesday that they will share top executives but will keep separate their assets and insurance policies. Cambia's new board will be mixed. Blue Cross NC CEO Patrick Conway will also become Cambia's CEO. He says in an interview the companies will pool investments in information technology and data analytics. The two not-for-profit companies insure more than 6 million people in North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Washington. The companies' policies and pricing will remain regulated in their separate operating states.