News

Lawsuits filed by North Carolina’s attorney general against 14 manufacturers of a fire suppressant claim the makers caused a public nuisance, created a design defect, failed to warn their customers and fraudulently transferred corporate assets to shield their profits. Attorney General Josh Stein said in a news release Thursday that his office filed four lawsuits which named 3M, Corteva, and DuPont, among others.

The North Carolina General Assembly has finalized maps for the state’s legislative and congressional districts that are supposed to last for the next decade. The House and Senate voted Thursday for the lines drawn based on 2020 census figures for the state House, state Senate and U.S. House delegation. Republicans would largely fare well under the plans. Democrats and their allies say the maps contain illegal partisan and racial gerrymanders. One lawsuit was filed last week and more could be coming. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto stamp can’t block redistricting plans.

The North Carolina General Assembly is about to finalize maps for the state’s legislative and congressional districts that are supposed to last for the next decade. The House and Senate scheduled floor sessions Thursday to debate and vote on the lines drawn based on 2020 census figures. Maps for the state House, state Senate and U.S. House delegation had already passed one chamber by Wednesday. Republicans would largely fare well under the plans. Democrats and their allies say the maps contain illegal partisan and racial gerrymanders.

The U.S. Department of Justice says it's reached a settlement in a lawsuit filed against a North Carolina county alleging that an emergency communications unit engaged in unlawful retaliation when it fired a worker who told supervisors that she had been sexually harassed on the job. A news release from the department on Wednesday says a consent decree calls on Wilson County to develop and submit for approval revised discrimination and retaliation policies, investigation procedures for complaints of discrimination and trainings that will apply countywide.

North Carolina Republicans are nearing final passage of their congressional and legislative redistricting for the next decade. The full Senate voted Wednesday for a GOP-drawn map for the districts for its 50 seats. Redistricting committees later advanced a map for the House’s 120 legislative districts and boundaries for North Carolina’s 14 U.S. House seats. Final votes on all three maps are expected on Thursday. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto doesn’t apply to redistricting maps, so litigation will be where map opponents can seek redress.

City of Greenville

Greenville launched a free transportation system for their Uptown District that is set to begin Thursday. The Emerald Express trolley will make 13 stops throughout the center city and will run from 12 noon to 8 p.m. every Thursday through Saturday. The trolley will run on a loop that begins and ends at the G.K. Butterfield Transportation Center. According to a news release, signs have been placed at each stop along the route, and the trolley will arrive approximately every 20 minutes.

 

North Carolina health officials are starting to receive some of the more than 400,000 Pfizer vaccines they expect get in the coming week for children ages 5 to 11. Federal regulators recently signed off on the kid-sized doses to protect against COVID-19. The shots will be available at federal pharmacy sites, such as CVS and Walgreens, as well as local health offices. The shots coming into the state will cover most of the nearly 893,000 North Carolina youngsters in that age range.

Redistricting plans that enlarge North Carolina’s congressional delegation and retool the state House seats have now each cleared one legislative chamber. The House voted along party lines Tuesday for a map that redraws the chamber’s 120 districts, which are based on population changes recorded in the 2020 census. If they withstand litigation, the new boundaries should keep Republicans in a good position to retain the majority they've held since 2011. The full Senate also approved a new congressional plan that would seat 14 U.S. House members from the state.

Niels Lindquist


 

“King tides” is a non-scientific name for the highest or the lowest tide events in a year.  Christine Voss, a research associate at the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City explains.

 

“So you’re probably aware of spring tides that occur during full moons and new moons. And those tides are even stronger during what’s called perigee.  And perigee is when the moon is physically closest to the Earth in its elliptical orbit around the Earth. Therefore, the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on Earth is greatest in what we call a King Tide”.

A North Carolina state agency says it's filed a lawsuit seeking to force Colonial Pipeline to meet obligations resulting from a gasoline spill that was found to be far worse than the company initially reported.

Dozens of North Carolina House Democrats left the chamber when Republicans seated a new member who has said he was just outside the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection in January. All but a handful of Democratic caucus members left their desks for the exits as Rep. Donnie Loftis of Gaston County took the oath of office Monday evening. Gaston Republican activists picked Loftis to succeed the late Rep. Dana Bumgardner. Loftis has said he had “zero involvement in the rioting” and condemned how others went inside. At least one Democrat said Loftis' rally participation crossed the line.

What you need to know on Election Day 2021

Nov 2, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

It's Election Day for some local governments across Eastern North Carolina.  Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. this morning. PRE’s Meredith Radford has details.

 

  

Contaminated water is being blamed for the death of a wild horse on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. News outlets report that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund announced that an 8-year-old stallion known as Taco died last week. The horse was known because of a lump he had on his hip. The group says he’s the fourth stallion in the last two years to die due to bacteria or other contaminants in the water. The group has collected water from various locations in the horse's territory and will send it out for testing.

North Carolina Republicans have advanced a proposed congressional district map that would make it easier for the state GOP to increase its number of seats on Capitol Hill. A Senate committee voted Monday for a redistricting plan that reflects population gains counted during the 2020 census that yielded a new 14th seat for North Carolina. The plan, if enacted, would put Republicans in a strong position to win 10 of those seats beginning with the 2022 elections. State Republicans currently hold an 8-5 seat advantage.

The North Carolina General Assembly is starting to debate redistricting maps drawn by lawmakers for legislative and congressional seats. Senate and House committees are scheduled to meet Monday to consider boundaries based on 2020 census figures. Republican lawmakers hope to give final approval to congressional and legislative lines by the end of the week. The GOP controls both the state House and Senate, so legislative maps they pitch are expected to help them retain their majorities. Redistricting experts say a proposed plan to redraw U.S.

Vidant Health Public Relations

Vidant Health’s vaccine requirement deadline for the remainder of their staff is quickly approaching. PRE’s Meredith Radford has more.  


Carteret County Public Schools announced on Friday that face coverings in school system facilities will be optional effective Monday, November 1, 2021.  The announcement comes as the Carteret County Health Department reported that the county’s COVID-19 positivity rate has dropped to 4.6%. According to a news release, the Board of Education passed a motion on September 23, 2021 that Carteret County Public Schools System will make masks optional for all students, staff, and visitors based on the county’s positivity rate. Face coverings will still be required on school buses.

UNC Lenoir Health Care Facebook

UNC Lenoir Health Care announced Friday a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all employees, affiliated providers, students, volunteers, and vendors.

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.

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.

N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency

More than 1,000 affordable housing units will be built in Eastern North Carolina communities hit-hard by Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) has committed to fund the units for low-to-moderate income households using approximately $53.5 million of the state’s HUD Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery funds. NCORR is partnering with three subrecipients - the N.C.

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.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

A major milestone was reached in the development of offshore wind energy off North Carolina’s coast. The Department of the Interior announced Thursday that it will propose a lease sale of 127,865 acres in the Carolina Long Bay off the Wilmington coastline.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell says many North Carolina nonprofit hospitals are falling short in treating the poor for free or reduced rates to validate their tax-exempt status. Folwell made the comments Wednesday while discussing a report that Johns Hopkins University developed with help from the State Health Plan. The report found that in a recent year a majority of the state’s largest nonprofit hospital systems failed to generate charity care spending that exceeded 60% of the value of each system’s tax breaks.

NCDPS

North Carolina is preparing to rollout doses of the first COVID-19 vaccine for younger children — if it gets approved.  PRE’s Meredith Radford reports on this and other updates state officials gave today during a media briefing. 


NCDPS

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he's still hopeful that he and Republican lawmakers can hammer out a state budget that he can sign into law. The Democratic governor made the comments Wednesday during a COVID-19 news conference. Budget negotiations began a month ago when House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger sent Cooper their first offer on a two-year spending plan. The fiscal year began July 1. The governor declined to put a timetable on completing negotiations. Moore suggested they could end next week, with or without a deal.

NCDHHS

The spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in North Carolina in recent weeks. The latest statistics released by state health officials on Tuesday show cases and hospitalizations at their lowest levels in about three months. The share of tests coming back positive have also declined noticeably. The development comes as the state struggles to convince more unvaccinated residents to come in for a shot. Meanwhile, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 boosters are now available to more North Carolinians who have already been vaccinated.

Hookerton NC LPA Facebook

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles closed the Hookerton License Plate Agency in Greene County this week for possible violations of state law. PRE’s Meredith Radford reports that this is the second time NCDMV has closed this location.

  


A top North Carolina Republican lawmaker says legislative action on a final state government budget could happen as soon as next week, with or without formal support from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters Tuesday that he, Senate leader Phil Berger and House and Senate Democratic leaders met in person Friday with Cooper to negotiate. Moore said Republicans could act after receiving another Cooper offer. The governor and GOP leaders could agree to a plan that Cooper can sign, or lawmakers could go forward without Cooper’s support.

Speakers at a public hearing on North Carolina redistricting want Republicans to shelve proposed congressional district maps. They say the maps would likely give the GOP most of the seats and needlessly fracture the state’s largest counties. The House and Senate redistricting committees held meetings Monday to receive input on U.S. House maps that Republicans and Democrats have created. It’s the next step before the legislature begins voting on the plans. Lawmakers are hoping by early next month to enact new maps for use starting with next year’s elections.

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