North Carolina Republicans seek control over state and local election boards ahead of 2024
Republicans who control the North Carolina legislature with veto-proof majorities are close to wresting supervision of elections from the governor and the governor’s party — almost always the Democrats for over a century.
Veto overridden: Ban on gender-affirming care for minors takes effect in North Carolina
Transgender youth in North Carolina have lost access to gender-affirming treatments after the state’s Republican-controlled General Assembly voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of that legislation and others involving gender in sports and LGBTQ classroom instruction.
North Carolina governor vetoes trio of LGBTQ+ restrictions in ongoing fight with GOP supermajority
North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a trio of bills aimed at LGBTQ+ youth that would restrict gender-affirming health care and sports participation for transgender minors and limit classroom instruction about gender identity and sexuality.
The Latest: Sharks back at practice, play Sat night vs Blues
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau (12) and Mario Ferraro (38) after scoring a goal against Minnesota Wild during the first period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The San Jose Sharks have returned to practice and are set to play the St. Louis Blues as scheduled on Saturday night after having one game postponed because a player tested positive for the coronavirus. Tomas Hertl was placed on the COVID-19 list on Wednesday, leading to the team canceling practice that day and postponing Thursday’s game against Vegas. With no other players or staff testing positive since then, the Sharks were allowed to return to practice Friday and will host St. Louis the next night. ___The Atlantic Coast Conference will expand use of KINEXON SafeTag contact tracing devices by equipping players, coaches and Tier 1 personnel for its upcoming men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
Cooper seeking improved warning system after deadly tornado
Officials say a ferocious tornado struck shortly before midnight Monday just inland from the barrier island of Ocean Isle Beach. Roy Cooper said Wednesday that the state must learn from the surprise tornado that struck Ocean Isle Beach with little or no warning, leaving three people dead and 10 injured. The governor surveyed the brunt of the damage, at Ocean Ridge Plantation, a neighborhood where residents recounted near-death experiences from the powerful EF3 tornado that approached swiftly. Some said they received a warning alert on their phone two minutes after the tornado had already passed. AdBefore the tornado hit his Ocean Ridge Storage Solutions business about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Ocean Ridge Plantation, he said he was already struggling financially from the governor's pandemic-related business restrictions.
The Latest: N.C. senators OK bill to force schools to reopen
Authorities in Greece have extended a curfew in the country's two largest cities after a new rise in COVID-19 cases . ___THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:Spain surpasses 3 million coronavirus cases, seventh highest total in the world. The governor got his Pfizer shot along with Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and several other state officials who are newly able under Louisiana’s latest eligibility criteria. Health officials reported 1,526 new confirmed infections Tuesday — half in the greater Athens region — and another 20 deaths. AdAcross the state, officials have started to vaccinate people 65 and older and some workers who can’t do their jobs remotely.
The Latest: More rules for returning New Zealand travelers
(Peter Meecham/New Zealand Herald via AP)WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Travelers returning to New Zealand will face stricter rules at quarantine hotels as health authorities investigate how up to three people got infected with the coronavirus while isolating at Auckland’s Pullman Hotel. The record increase of 65 deaths is three more than the previous one-day record reported on Jan. 6, according to health department records. The university and county health department are asking students to limit leaving their residence to going to classes, getting food, work and other necessary in-person activities. The health department said in the news release that if the case counts continues to rise, stricter measures will have to be applied. The previous one-day record of 62 was reported Jan. 6, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Biden picks Regan for EPA nominee, Haaland for interior head
Scott Applewhite, File)President-elect Joe Biden announced Thursday that he had chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his pick for interior secretary. Biden will introduce Regan, Haaland and other newly named nominees at an event Saturday. North Carolina Gov. In North Carolina, Regan led the negotiations that resulted in the cleanup of the Cape Fear River, which has been dangerously contaminated by PFAS industrial compounds from a chemical plant. With Duke Energy, he negotiated what North Carolina says was the largest cleanup agreement for toxic coal ash.
The Latest: Hong Kong re-imposes restaurant dining bans
Hong Kong on Wednesday reported an additional 100 cases, bringing its two-week total to 1,274. Hong Kong has reported a total of 7,075 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic, with 112 deaths. The Texas Department of State Health Services also said 9,028 people were hospitalized across the state. Since late November, the new daily cases have soared past 10,000 on several days, with 15,103 new cases reported Tuesday, according to state health officials. ___BOISE, Idaho — Idaho public health officials abruptly ended a meeting Tuesday evening after the Boise mayor and chief of police said intense anti-mask protests outside the health department building — as well as outside some health officials’ homes — were threatening public safety.
The Latest: Conn. extends pandemic jobless benefit to 38,000
State health officials decline to identify which hospitals have expressed interest, but say there is need statewide. Hospitalizations have not yet reached their summer heights in Georgia, but beds are filling rapidly with COVID-19 cases. ___HARRISBURG, Pa. — States faced a deadline on Friday to place orders for the coronavirus vaccine as many reported record infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Ukraine, which is facing a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, tightened weekend restrictions last month but lifted them this week. ___ATLANTA — Vice President Mike Pence is trying to boost Americans’ confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines that are awaiting regulatory approval and distribution.
2017 ban on local LGBT ordinances ends in North Carolina
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)RALEIGH, N.C. – A 3 1/2-year ban on new local ordinances aimed at protecting LGBT rights in North Carolina expired Tuesday, prompting gay rights groups to urge the passage of such measures now. It drew national condemnation and prompted several large corporations and sports teams to relocate events to other states or reconsider expanding in North Carolina. As the moratorium ended, leaders of Equality North Carolina and the Campaign for Southern Equality on Tuesday urged North Carolina residents to contact leaders of cities and urge them to expand anti-discrimination laws for the LGBT community. The moratorium had barred new local ordinances related to private employment, hotels and restaurants. Beau Mills, executive director of the North Carolina Metro Mayors Coalition, said before the ban ended that he wasn't aware of any city planning to pass new ordinances right away.
Republicans retain power in states despite Democratic push
“This was a status quo election.”Heading into Tuesday, Republicans had full control of 29 state legislatures compared to 19 for Democrats. “The reality is we are still running on very gerrymandered maps,” said Christina Polizzi, national press secretary for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. They were countered by the Republican state leadership committee, which had a target of about $70 million. But Republican redistricting power will be diminished in some states because of changes that occurred in recent years. Instead, Republicans added to their House ranks with more conservatives, increasing the potential to override vetoes by Democratic Gov.
Montana goes red; it's status quo in other governor races
Mike Parson, and State Auditor Nicole Galloway are seen onstage before the Missouri gubernatorial debate at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri. Democrats are hoping to gain control of more state legislative chambers after Republicans scored huge wins in 2010. The only governor's job to change parties is in Montana, where Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. The national Democratic and Republican governors associations and the campaigns themselves have contributed more than $24 million to the race. In Missouri, incumbent Mike Parson, a Republican, defeated Nicole Galloway, the state auditor who was the Democrats' best chance to pick up a seat.
Races for governor take top billing in Missouri, Montana
FILE - In this Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020 file photo, Missouri Republican Gov. Its the most hotly contested of the nations 11 governors races this fall. Which party holds the governor's office could be especially consequential over the next few years. In governor’s races, many of the attack ads are funded by each party’s governors association. In the governor’s race, he said Gianforte’s financial support of a Montana museum dedicated to creationist beliefs was a big problem.
The Latest: India's cases top 2.3M, fatality rate drops
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video conference Tuesday with the top elected officials of 10 states that together account for about 80% of Indias total cases, urging them to rigorously apply the strategies of containment, surveillance and contact tracing to drive the fatality rate below 1%. Those measures appear to have been successful in bringing numbers down from the more than 100 new daily cases reported at the end of last month. ___MEXICO CITY Mexico reported a near-record 926 newly confirmed COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, bringing the countrys accumulated total to 53,929. The Health Department reported 6,686 new coronavirus infections, bringing the countrys total confirmed cases so far to 492,522. At that rate Mexico will reach a half million confirmed cases soon, but given the extremely low rate of testing less than 1.1 million tests in a country of almost 130 million inhabitants the number would like be a vast undercount.
North Carolina to relax 10-person limit for GOP convention
FILE - In this July 21, 2016, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles as he addresses delegates during the final day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. North Carolina public health officials told the Republican National Committee the party can have more than 10 people in a room to conduct official convention business while in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina will ease gathering restrictions for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte this month after a push by the national party for the state to be more accommodating. The RNC has estimated it would have no more than 500 delegates per day at the Charlotte Convention Center and the Westin hotel. The back-and-forth between the state and RNC comes amid a months-long battle between Trump and North Carolina's Democratic governor.
Governors face competing voices as reported virus cases rise
With reported coronavirus cases rising rapidly in many states, governors are getting lots of advice on what they should do. Dr. Brian Labus, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Public Health and a member of the medical team advising Sisolak, said he knows the governor has to weigh public health advice against political and economic considerations. The number of confirmed new coronavirus cases per day in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 40,000 Friday. In Utah, coronavirus cases have been surging since most businesses were allowed to reopen in May. As West Virginia has seen a spike in reported virus cases, Gov.
Speedway loses partnerships after Bubba rope post
PINE HALL, N.C. A North Carolina racetrack has lost some partnerships after its owner advertised Bubba Rope for sale online days after NASCAR said a noose had been found in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace, the top series only Black driver. A concrete company and a driver series ended their partnerships Friday with the half-mile, dirt track 311 Speedway in Stokes County, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. The racetrack owner's Bubba Rope post on Facebook Marketplace earlier this week sparked a backlash on social media and a condemnation from a spokesman for Gov. Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great," the post said. We do not condone nor support the comments and posts that have been made the past week, the series said in a post online.
Democrats confirm plans for nearly all-virtual convention
Democrats will hold an almost entirely virtual presidential nominating convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee using live broadcasts and online streaming, party officials said Wednesday. Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi will serve as convention chair, party officials said. Unlike this president, Joe Biden and Democrats are committed to protecting the health and safety of the American people, Perez said. Besides events in Wisconsin, Democrats plan other events in satellite locations around the country to broadcast as part of the convention. Veteran producer Ricky Kirshner, who has worked on every Democratic National Convention since 1992, will lead production of the convention, including the satellite broadcasts.
While Confederate statues come down, other symbols targeted
Sundays work follows the removal of two other Confederate statues on the state Capitol grounds in Raleigh on Saturday. Cooper ordered the statues removed after protesters toppled two other Confederate statues Friday night, stringing one up by the neck and hanging it from a light pole. Cooper has advocated the statues removal for years. In another case in California, symbols of the Black Lives Matter movement have been targeted in recent weeks with vandalism. The Ventura County Sheriffs Office said late Saturday that a tarp painted with the letters BLM has been repeatedly damaged in Thousand Oaks.
Judge orders N.C. track with large crowds to stop races
Roy Coopers administration has ordered closed a small stock-car track thats allowed large crowds to gather repeatedly for weekend races well above COVID-19 limits for mass gatherings. (Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP)GRAHAM, N.C. A North Carolina judge on Thursday ordered a small stock-car track to halt racing after state health officials declared large weekend crowds at recent races violated an executive order by Gov. Media reports indicated many gathered at three weekend races since late May sat and stood near each other, and few wore masks. Kitchen also argued that the Turners constitutional rights were being violated and that they were subject to selective enforcement of Coopers order. If its wrong to have races, than all races have to be shut down, Kitchen said.
GOP head eyeing Jacksonville as Trump convention speech host
But she made clear that Jacksonville is the favorite now that Charlotte, North Carolina, the official host of this summer's Republican National Convention, has balked on promising Trump a full-blown convention free from social distancing measures during the coronavirus pandemic. Shame on him, because he put politics over the people of his state and revenues coming into his state, McDaniel said in the radio interview. Mayor Len Curry is a former chair of the state Republican Party and the area is the home base of GOP Gov. We are going to keep our convention of, the business of the convention in Charlotte. Charlotte officials on Wednesday said that despite public comments from Trump and GOP officials, they had not been officially informed of any intent to move any part of the convention.
GOP lawmakers push bill to keep Trump, RNC in North Carolina
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump participates in a briefing about Hurricane Dorian with North Carolina Gov. Trump's tweets Monday about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after the North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. A draft of the bill, authored by Republican State Rep. John Torbett of Gaston and circulated last week by North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley, calls for convention events in Charlotte to be held at full capacity, just as Trump had demanded from Cooper. The bill would require attendees to complete both pre-attendance and daily health surveys and have their temperatures taken prior to entry. Torbett's bill is unlikely to garner support among Democratic state lawmakers, who are concerned about reopening the state too soon and holding mass gatherings.
Trump looks elsewhere after GOP convention spat with NC gov
Trump and the RNC had demanded that the August convention be allowed to move forward with a full crowd and that participants not have to wear face coverings. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.A traditional GOP convention brings together roughly 2,500 delegates, the same number of alternate delegates and many times more guests, journalists and security personnel. They agreed to continue talking about ways to have a safe convention in Charlotte.But Cooper made clear to Trump that those conditions would likely be impossible to accommodate. The RNC's leader, Ronna McDaniel accused Cooper of dragging his feet on giving them guidance for proceeding with convention plans. Tennessee's Bill Lee said GOP officials were coming to scout Nashville on Thursday.
Trump says GOP is pulling convention from North Carolina
We have been committed to a safe RNC convention in North Carolina and its unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe, Cooper tweeted in response to the decision. Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.A traditional GOP convention brings together roughly 2,500 delegates, the same number of alternate delegates and many times more guests, journalists and security personnel. The Republican governors of states including Tennessee, Florida and Georgia had said they would be interested in hosting if North Carolina fell through. Changing sites had been seen as difficult for reasons including the contract between GOP officials and Charlotte leaders to hold the convention there. Associated Press writers Zeke Miller in Washington; Jonathan Mattise in Nashville, Tenn.; Jonathan Drew in Durham, North Carolina; and Tom Foreman Jr. in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, contributed to this report.