WFAE

When accusations surfaced that Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old, Raleigh lawyer Catherine Lawson responded with the hash tag #MeAt14. She tweeted a photo of herself at that age with the words: "Can’t consent at 14. Not in Alabama. Not anywhere."

It caught on and thousands used the hash tag to tweet pictures of themselves as a way to emphasize that children that age can’t consent to sex. Lawson spoke with WFAE’s Sarah Delia.

 

Five North Carolina prison workers have died at the hands of inmates this year. In October, inmates killed two prison workers outright and fatally injured two others at the Pasquotank Correctional Institution in Elizabeth City. An officer was killed in April at Bertie Correctional Institution in the eastern part of the state. The Charlotte Observer's Ames Alexander and Gavin Off have reported on how a staffing shortage may have contributed to those deaths and is making the jobs of many prison officers more dangerous.

For several years, Duke Energy has faced criticisms about its handling of coal ash, including concerns about contamination of groundwater around coal ash storage ponds at power plant sites in the Carolinas. Now, the company is facing scrutiny over the way it engaged with experts hired to study its handling of coal ash ponds. 

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

 

North Carolina's two U.S. senators have joined a growing group of Republican colleagues in Congress calling on Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore to withdraw from the race.

Charlotte's City Council will get five new members - all under the age of 40 - when the new council is sworn in on Dec. 4. That represents a generational shift in city government, says WFAE's Tom Bullock.

The city of Charlotte has made history electing its first African American female mayor. In a landslide victory, Democratic candidate Vi Lyles defeated Republican Kenny Smith. 

Duke Energy has removed about 13 million tons of coal ash at five plants in North Carolina as it complies with federal and state cleanup requirements. But ten times that amount remains in the ground across the state, and not all that will be removed.

Starting today, the North Carolina Medicaid program will pay for medicines to treat hepatitis C for patients no matter how sick they are. In the past, the state wouldn’t pay for the expensive drugs unless the patient had stage two liver damage.  

What if a dam holding back coal ash burst at one of Duke Energy's coal plants in the Carolinas or Midwest? Newly released maps from Duke show many properties would be inundated, including some homes and docks. The maps are now public, after environmentalists threatened to sue. 

On a country road south of Monroe in Union County, near a golf course and soybean fields, is a new kind of farm - a solar farm.  This spring, Duke Energy began generating electricity from 684,000 solar panels here, the largest solar farm in the Charlotte region and one of the largest in the state.

There's a new twist in the ongoing case of North Carolina's 28 racially gerrymandered state legislative districts.

A panel of federal judges has issued an order raising serious doubts about the state's recent redistricting efforts and they hired an outsider to potentially redraw certain districts.

A deal was announced this week to end litigation over legislation that replaced House Bill 2. The proposal would allow transgender people to use public bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity…that is only in agencies that are under the governor’s control. But the settlement is missing the approval of one notable defendant: the state legislature. It would also need the approval of a judge. 

Shannon Gilreath, a law professor at Wake Forest University, talks about the deal and an executive order associated with it.   

There is now a disincentive for health insurance navigators to set up shop in rural areas. Navigators are those specially trained people that help consumers sign up for health insurance on the marketplace. The Trump administration has tied their funding to how many people they sign up for coverage on the marketplace. Since chances are higher of signing up more people in urban areas, navigators in South Carolina are focusing on cities at the expense of rural areas.

Updated 7:10 p.m.

A North Carolina environmental group is asking the NC Supreme Court to decide whether it's legal for it to install solar panels on a church rooftop, then sell electricity to the church.  NC WARN is appealing a 2-1 ruling against it last month by the NC Court of Appeals.

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