Associated Press

Federal judges have approved North Carolina legislative districts redrawn by an expert they hired to address their concerns about continued racial bias with some boundaries and new constitutional violations.

The News & Observer of Raleigh

Federal judges on Friday approved changes a court-appointed expert made to two dozen North Carolina legislative districts, agreeing that maps approved by Republican lawmakers last summer didn’t fully remove previous illegal racial bias.

Corey Lowenstein/The News & Observer, via Associated Press

 The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday delayed a lower-court order that would have forced North Carolina Republican lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional districts by next week because of excessive partisan bias in current lines.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is selling the team. Richardson, the team's only owner in its 23 seasons, made the announcement following Sunday's 31-24 win over the Packers - and on the same day that Sports Illustrated reported that at least four ex-employees received “significant monetary settlements,” stemming from inappropriate comments and behavior by Richardson.

By EMERY P. DALESIO

AP Business Writer

Charging North Carolina consumers the full, multi-billion-dollar cost of cleaning up coal ash dumps is comparable to tire stores charging customers an extra fee to dispose of an old set of wheels, a Duke Energy Corp. executive said Monday.

Gerry Broome/Associated Press

The country’s largest electric company heads into a fight for a rate hike with regulators in its top market now focused on setting a precedent on whether consumers should pay the full cost of cleaning up coal ash pits loaded with toxic metals.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission opens hearings today into whether Duke Energy Corp. will be allowed to charge consumers nearly $200 million a year for the cleanup.

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.

Updated at 5:50 p.m., September 7, 2017

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued Wednesday to block President Donald Trump's plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation — an act Washington state's attorney general called "a dark time for our country."

Mapmakers are proposing new districts for most members of the North Carolina House, a move forced after federal judges ruled state Republicans illegally gave too much emphasis to race in the current version of legislative voting lines.

Protesters on Thursday marched on the Durham County courthouse in support of the demonstration that brought down a Confederate statue, while a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized nearby at Duke University.

A crowd of people gathered in downtown Durham late Monday to witness the toppling of a long-time Confederate monument. On Twitter, Governor Roy Cooper called the Charlottesville violence unacceptable, but also said quote – “there is a better way to remove these monuments.” Protestors on the scene in Durham said destroying the monument was their answer to the deadly attack by a white supremacist.

North Carolina's governor used the launch of a school supply drive on Tuesday to argue that the GOP has been inadequately funding education, forcing too many teachers to have to use their own money to buy pencils and paper for their students.

Carloads of tourists rolled in, stores stocked seafood counters and kitchen workers chopped vegetables Friday as two North Carolina islands reopened to visitors after a weeklong power outage at the height of vacation season.

The clock is now ticking, the deadline is set. Republican leaders of the General Assembly have one month to redraw 28 state legislative districts ruled to be illegal racial gerrymanders.

If they don’t, a court will.

Duke Energy Corp. is giving notice it plans to seek electricity rate increases for another 2 million North Carolina customers.

The nation's largest electric company wants regulators in North Carolina to force consumers to pay nearly $200 million a year to clean up the toxic byproducts of burning coal to generate power. That doesn't sit well with neighbors of the power plants who have been living on bottled water since toxic chemicals appeared in some of their wells.

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