Associated Press

An outside expert appointed by a federal court to help draw some North Carolina legislative districts that judges worry remained unconstitutional has suggested changes.

Updated 8:51 a.m. November 11, 2017

In Raleigh, unaffiliated incumbent Nancy McFarlane won a fourth term as mayor of the state's capital city.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper launched a two-part strategy Wednesday that could end protracted litigation over the state's so-called bathroom bill and its replacement, while expanding LGBT protections lawmakers aren't inclined to endorse.

The redistricting practices of North Carolina Republicans are getting scrutinized yet again in court, this time in a trial in which federal judges must decide whether mapmakers can go too far drawing boundaries that favor their party.

A three-judge panel begins hearing evidence Monday in litigation filed by election advocacy groups, the state Democratic Party and voters who allege unlawful partisan gerrymandering in the state’s current congressional map, which favors the GOP. Those who sued want the map redone.

A divided panel of federal regulators granted approvals Friday evening for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley natural gas pipelines, major East Coast projects.

A proposal to extensively realign North Carolina's judicial election districts for the first time since the 1950s smacks of a Republican effort to put more GOP lawyers on the bench, critics said Wednesday.

AP

SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — Former members of an evangelical North Carolina church say their leader coerced congregants into filing false unemployment claims after the faltering economy threatened weekly tithes from church-affiliated companies. The members say company owners who were leaders in the Word of Faith Fellowship church would file unemployment claims on employees' behalf, but that the employees would continue working.

Gerry Broome/AP

The country's largest electric company is refusing online access to federally mandated maps showing the scope of disaster resulting if a coal-ash pit burst and spilled its toxic muck onto neighboring properties, two environmental law groups said Wednesday.

WRAL

The leader of a North Carolina House committee considering changes to judicial election districts says updated boundaries based on outside feedback will be considered at the panel's next meeting, possibly next week.

WRAL

A divided North Carolina appeals court says a clean-energy advocacy group can't install solar panels on a church roof and charge for the electricity generated.

The state Court of Appeals panel split 2-1 Tuesday, with the majority ruling in favor of Duke Energy's legal monopoly to sell electricity to most of the state. The split means a state Supreme Court appeal is possible.

Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters/ Landov via stateimpact.npr.org

A reconstituted panel charged with regulating oil and gas exploration in North Carolina plans to meet this week even as Gov. Roy Cooper's administration questions whether it can legally do so.

Jim Womack was initially appointed to the state Oil & Gas Commission before a state Supreme Court ruling struck down how its members were chosen. The General Assembly altered the law creating the commission last year to reflect that ruling.

WRAL

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes in two weeks, and some House Republicans keep working meanwhile to get proposed changes to judicial election districts on the agenda when colleagues return.

A House committee discussing redrawing voting districts for trial court judges and district attorneys holds its second meeting today at 1pm. A wholesale redraw hasn't occurred in more than 60 years. Republicans say redistricting would create fairer districts. Democrats argue it's a pretense for GOP gerrymandering.

With approval of new North Carolina legislative districts behind them, House Republicans returned Tuesday to Raleigh to advance their efforts to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

WRAL

Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly remain suspicious about an effort by Republicans to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

A special House panel examining judicial redistricting met for the first time Tuesday, with a goal of passing proposed boundaries in time for the full chamber to consider them when the legislature reconvenes in early October.

UPDATED at 6:10 p.m. Thursday

Governors Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Henry McMaster of South Carolina have both declared a state of emergency so state and local officials can better prepare for Hurricane Irma.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is ordering the evacuations of 143 health care facilities on the coast. He said he’ll decide Saturday morning whether to order an evacuation for residents. But he warns the major highways are already getting crowded with people leaving Florida and Georgia.

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