NC won’t have primaries in May for judicial races after all

Primary elections for statewide judicial races in North Carolina are canceled again after an appeals court granted a request on Friday from Republican lawmakers to temporarily halt a federal judge’s ruling. The announcement came in a two-paragraph notice from a clerk at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judges Paul V. Neimeyer, a George H.W. Bush nominee, and Judge Stephanie D. Thacker, a Barack Obama appointee, agreed to grant the emergency request from lawmakers. Judge Diana Gribbon Motz, a Bill Clinton nominee, voted against it. The decision comes three days before the filing period was to open for candidates seeking the four statewide judicial seats on the ballot in the 2018 elections. Barring any further action by the courts, state elections officials said in a subsequent memo, candidates seeking judicial seats in 2018 will file for election from June 18 to June 29. Most other candidates seeking General Assembly or congressional seats will file during the regular filing period, which begins at noon on Monday and runs through noon on Feb. 28. With all the lawsuits challenging districting plans and recent changes that lawmakers have made to the courts and judicial races, there has been much confusion about election districts and what races will be on the ballot for the May primaries. “Republicans injected chaos into our elections and took away North Carolina voters’ right to vote in a primary election as part of an effort to rig our independent judiciary and elect more Republican judges,” state Democratic Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin said in a statement. “Today’s ruling is disappointing but we are evaluating all further legal options available to protect the most fundamental right in our democracy – the right to vote.” Republicans have accused Democrats of “suing until they turn North Carolina blue” and accused them of sowing confusion in the election. On Jan. 31, U.S. District Court Judge Continue Reading

Top NC court: Lawmakers grabbed governor powers on elections

Emery P. Dalesio, Associated Press Updated 4:35 pm, Friday, January 26, 2018 RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's highest court is putting brakes on the Republican-dominated legislature's efforts to reshape state government and minimize Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's ability to pursue his goals. The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a law forcing Cooper to pick state elections board members from names the political parties select is unconstitutional. Judges said the law makes Cooper unable to fulfill his duties to make sure election laws are followed. It's the first of what may be several times the high court could be forced to referee the ongoing political battle for control in Raleigh. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Man+killed+by+police+after+stealing+bike%2C+riding+onto+Loop+410 Jacob Beltran Police: Drive-by gunman fires 30+ rounds into home, strikes man San Antonio Express-News Woman killed as firefighters battle flames for hours San Antonio Express-News SAPD: Man catches 2 suspect breaking into car on West Side, opens fire Caleb Downs Kawhi Leonard's Relationship with Spurs Is Just Fine, According to His Uncle Sports Illustrated Shots fired call near Alamo Heights prompts large police presence Fares Sabawi UTEP athlete, SA native snubbed @lamTre_/ Twitter Cold Case Unit, San Antonio Police Department San Antonio Police Department Sinkhole discovered on the West Side 21 Pro Video Timelapse shows icy cold front moving into San Antonio Courtesy AJ Pena The GOP-led legislature started changing laws on who organizes and manages elections soon after Cooper narrowly beat incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016. Continue Reading

Dennis Smith Jr. ready for NBA after NC State’s season ends at ACC tournament vs. Clemson

There was a moment during the second-half timeout in the second half of the ACC tournament's opening game that was telling for NC State and its star freshman point guard/potential Knicks draft target Dennis Smith Jr. As the players who were just on court sat on stools in front of the bench, a few teammates and program personnel huddling around them were not paying attention to coach Mark Gottfried. Instead, their eyes, along with most of those in attendance, were trained on the videoboard above center court at Barclays Center, which was showing highlights of Smith going off in the Wolfpack's signature win of the season at Duke on Jan. 23. Smith went off for a season-high 32 points that night, but the win over the rival Blue Devils must seem a blur six weeks later after Tuesday's 75-61 loss to Clemson ended the Wolfpack's season, Gottfried's coaching tenure and in what is assumed to be Smith's one-and-done career in Raleigh. With Tuesday's defeat, NC State (15-17) finished the season 1-10 since that Duke game, along the way announcing the firing of Gottfried, who stayed on to finish the season. This is the same Gottfried who took the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament four times in the previous five years, including two trips to the Sweet 16. When your program has two national titles in the last half century and you share the Triangle in North Carolina with the Tar Heels and Duke (a combined nine titles in the same time), sometimes there can be no ceiling on expectations. Smith, the ACC Freshman of the Year and projected single-digit pick in draft, didn't particularly light up the New York stage on Tuesday. No, you'll have to look up those Duke highlights for the real skinny on Smith, the highest rated recruit for NC State in at least two decades, according the the Recruiting Services Consensus Index. A player who averaged 18.5 points, 6.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game during the season, Smith scored a season-low Continue Reading

JUST IN: Appeals Court Reinstates Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ Suspension

This news just broke on Happening Now and it could have big implications for the 2016 NFL season.A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of the NFL in the "Deflategate" case and reinstated a four-game suspension for Tom Brady.The NFL imposed the suspension last year over deflated footballs used in a 2015 NFL playoff game by the Patriots quarterback. Brady and the NFL players' union filed a lawsuit opposing the ban and a federal court ruled in his favor."We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness," the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today.He played the entire 2015 season, leading the team to the AFC title game.The team's first four games next season are against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.Fox News contributor and longtime sports broadcaster Jim Gray reacted this afternoon, arguing that the whole thing is "ludicrous."Gray said the "minor equipment" infraction by the Patriots should have been penalized with a fine and the league should have moved on long ago.He said he does not believe Brady was personally involved with deflating the footballs.Watch the segment above and let us know your thoughts on the Deflategate case. LOOK: 4 Marines Return to Beach to Recreate Photo They Took 50 Years Ago Red Robin Server Picks Up Check for Mourning Ohio Cops Judge Nap to Hillary: 'FBI Does Criminal Investigations, Not Security Reviews' NC School Choir Told to Stop Singing National Anthem at 9/11 Memorial   Continue Reading

Father & Son Battling Feds in Court Over These Weaponized Drones

Judge Jeanine: Comey Has 'Destroyed the Reputation' of the FBI Matt Damon Calls for Massive Australia-Style Gun Confiscation in U.S. A father and son are in a battle with the FAA after they weaponized two drones, using them in widely-viewed YouTube videos. One video last December showed a drone that was turned into a flamethrower and used to "roast a holiday turkey" in the backyard. It was watched more than 600,000 times. A previous video, posted a year ago, of a drone firing a handgun in the woods was viewed more than 3.7 million times."Homemade multirotor with a semiautomatic handgun mounted on it," the video's description stated.Austin Haughwout, 19, of Clinton, and his father, Bret Haughwout, are now headed to court in Connecticut after refusing to comply with subpoenas issued by the U.S. attorney's office on behalf of the FAA. They argue that the subpoenas violate their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and questioning the agency's authority to regulate recreational drones.The case potentially has national significance because it would set a precedent on how much authority the FAA has over recreational drone use, said the Haughwouts' lawyer, Mario Cerame.The FAA is seeking information from the fathers and son about the safety of the recreational drones."Based on media reports, the FAA believes that the respondents have built and/or operated at least two (drones) carrying weapons with the capability of causing serious injury to a person or property," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Larson wrote in a court filing.Attorney and Fox News contributor Eboni Williams analyzed the case with Shepard Smith this afternoon, describing it as a case of "the law trying to catch up with technology." Williams said some observers argue that the FAA is only concerned with the existence of a gun and flamethrower, not airspace rights."People are concerned that this is boot-strapping by the FAA, that they really have Continue Reading

NC may reverse course on Medicaid expansion

Whether to accept federal money to expand Medicaid is shaping up as one of the biggest questions to face lawmakers when the General Assembly opens its 2015 session in January.If Republicans reverse course, an estimated 500,000 North Carolinians stand to gain coverage under Medicaid, which pays health care costs for poor children, low-income elderly people and the disabled.But doing so also would force the GOP to implement a key component of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's signature legislative achievement.Gov. Pat McCrory and outgoing House Speaker Thom Tillis both have said in recent weeks that it is time for the state to look again at the issue.Legislators a year ago cited administrative problems and cost overruns with the state's existing Medicaid program as reasons not to go ahead with Medicaid expansion.But many of those issues have been fixed or at least progress has been made, state Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos said.And there is some evidence of voter impatience with arguments against accepting federal funds while federal taxes paid by North Carolina residents help expand Medicaid coverage in other states.A study this summer said the state will miss out on $51 billion in federal payments over the next decade unless it changes course."Every argument (expansion opponents) have has been debunked," the Rev. William Barber II, head of the state NAACP and a leader of the Moral Monday Movement, said during an appearance in Asheville Thursday.It might help proponents' cause that, according to some political observers, McCrory will have to move toward the center of the political spectrum and avoid being too closely tied to an unpopular legislature to improve his chances of re-election in 2016.On the other hand, this year's election results suggest the Republican majorities in the House and Senate could endure for a while, meaning the legislature's GOP leadership might be less worried about a backlash from voters than McCrory is.On Continue Reading

US, NC sue each other over HB2

WASHINGTON –  The battle over transgender rights expanded sharply Monday when North Carolina and the federal government sued each other over a new state law that requires people use the restroom corresponding with their gender at birth.Just hours after Gov. Pat McCrory accused the federal government of wrongly applying federal civil rights laws to transgender people, the Justice Department sued North Carolina for what it called "state-sponsored discrimination" against them.With stern words delivered from Raleigh and Washington D.C., McCrory and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch escalated the legal fight over the rights of people who identify with the gender opposite from their birth, and how state and local governments can either accommodate them or ostracize them.The federal government alleges McCrory’s willingness to enforce the state's law, known as House Bill 2 or HB2, “constitutes a pattern or practice of employment discrimination on the basis of sex” in violation of the federal civil rights law. Lynch, who called North Carolina her home state, compared the state's actions to states that resisted federal desegregation efforts."This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness," Lynch said.The state’s “compliance with and implementation of HB2 stigmatizes and singles out transgender employees, results in their isolation and exclusion, and perpetuates a sense that they are not worthy of equal treatment and respect,” according to the DOJ’s lawsuit.The Justice Department lawsuit was filed in the Middle District of North Carolina. McCrory’s case was filed in the Eastern District.Lynch said withholding federal funds from North Carolina is an option but she would not pursue that route immediately."This action is about a great deal more than just bathrooms," Lynch said. "This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and Continue Reading

Two injured in shooting on Patton Court

Two people were injured Saturday in a double shooting on Patton Court in Louisville's Algonquin neighborhood.Louisville Metro Police officers responded to the scene around 4:30 p.m., according to a statement from LMPD spokesperson Alicia Smiley. The officers found two black male victims, in their late teens or early 20s, outside near Buildings 43 and 44 of a local apartment complex.One of the victims suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound, while the other sustained several serious gunshot wounds. Both were taken to University Hospital, where they remained as of late Saturday, and no other injuries were reported.LMPD's Major Crimes Unit is investigating the incident and is working to identify potential suspects. Anyone with leads or other information is asked to contact the department's crime tip hotline at 502-574-5673. MORE HEADLINES ►Lamar Jackson leads Cards to rout over NC State ►One killed, several injured in Outer Loop accidents ►Trump rally draws small, passionate group Continue Reading

Across nation, gays celebrate court rulings

Gays across the nation celebrated Wednesday's landmark Supreme Court rulings that will allow same-sex marriages to resume in California and end a federal ban on legally married, same-sex couples in 12 states from receiving federal benefits. The court, in a 5-4 ruling, invalidated a provision of the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act, that has prevented legally married same-sex couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. About 45 minutes later, in another 5-4 ruling, the court cleared the way for same-sex marriages to resume in California. It said the people who appealed a ruling that the Proposition 8 ban was unconstitutional did not have standing to appeal, so the Supreme Court could not decide the case. The rulings elicited cheers and shouts erupted among a throng at San Francisco City Hall early Wednesday morning."My heart is so full it's unbelievable," said Helen Zia, 61. She and her wife, Lia Shigemura, were married in San Francisco before Prop 8. WHAT IT MEANS: Supreme Court gives big boost to gay marriage FIRST TAKE: Court underscores changing attitudes TWITTER MAP: What people are saying where on SCOTUSHene Kelly , 71, was thrilled with the DOMA ruling. "For retired people. it's phenomenal. If one partner dies, the other can collect Social Security,'' said Kelly, a member of the California Alliance for Retired Americans."I'm excited. This is history. It's the moment of a lifetime," said Mark Para, 41, of San Francisco. He nodded towards his boyfriend, Angelo Cilia, 42, who he plans to ask to marry."In no way is this a small victory," said George Zander of Palm Springs, who has been contemplating marrying Chris Freitas, his partner of 18 months. "This is a huge, monumental victory. To get this stuff to the Supreme Court was a major victory. To have these decisions with a conservative court is amazing." Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet said he expects the city to again Continue Reading

Antoinette Nicole Davis, mother of missing NC girl Shaniya Davis, 5, charged with human trafficking

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - The location and fate of a 5-year-old girl reported missing by her mother was unknown even after authorities charged the mother with human trafficking and other offenses. Antoinette Nicole Davis, the mother of Shaniya Davis, faces a child abuse charge involving prostitution as well as filing a false police report, according to a Saturday news release from the Fayetteville Police Department. The child hasn't been seen since Tuesday, when surveillance footage recorded the man charged with kidnapping Shaniya carrying her into a hotel room. The release did not say whether the charges were related to her daughter's disappearance, but The Fayetteville Observer reported that arrest records indicated they were. According to arrest documents cited by the newspaper, Davis "knowingly provide(d) Shaniya Davis with the intent that she be held in sexual servitude" and she "permit(ted) an act of prostitution." Telephone messages and an e-mail left for police were not returned. Shaniya had only been living with her mother since last month. Davis reported the girl missing Tuesday morning from a mobile home community in Fayetteville, and authorities began searching nearby wooded areas. The following day a man described as Davis' boyfriend was charged in the kidnapping, but the charges were later dropped and he was released. Police then said a hotel worked spotted a child matching Shaniya's description at a Sanford hotel about 40 miles from Fayetteville on Tuesday. Authorities reviewed surveillance video and, after speaking with family members, confirmed the child's identity. Surveillance footage showed Mario Andrette McNeill carrying Shaniya into a hotel room, and he was arrested and charged with kidnapping Friday. Authorities have said McNeill admitted to taking the girl, though his attorney says he will plead not guilty to the charge. They have not said if McNeill and Davis knew each other. An official at the Cumberland Continue Reading