Morning Headlines: Friday, November 20, 2015
Roy Cooper Backing Refugee Pause In North Carolina
Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper is joining top Republican elected officials in North Carolina who want some refugee resettlements into the state curtailed following the Paris attacks.
Cooper released a statement through his gubernatorial campaign saying he supports asking the federal government to pause refugee entries "to make sure we have the most effective screening process possible so our humanitarian efforts are not hijacked."
GOP incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory has been speaking extensively this week about his request that President Barack Obama's administration stop sending Syrian refugees to North Carolina. Cooper's statement Wednesday didn't specifically name Syria.
Ken Spaulding is another Democratic candidate for governor. Spaulding was critical this week of McCrory, saying he's misleading the public by suggesting he has legal authority to prevent refugee relocation.
House Launches Probe Of Rep. Pittenger But Will Defer To FBI
The House Ethics Committee says it's forming a panel to look into allegations regarding Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger's family business.
The committee announced its probe Thursday but said it was delaying action at the request of the U.S. Justice Department.
Pittenger has said the FBI was looking into the real estate company he founded.
Pittenger said he cut ties with the company right after he was elected to the U.S. House in 2012. His wife continued to run the company.
The congressman had requested an Ethics Committee investigation.
House rules generally prohibit paid work in fiduciary services such as accounting, real estate or the law. The rules make some exceptions for relationships with family-owned businesses.
Pittenger didn't immediately return a message left with his office.
Local Agency Responds To Refugee Bill
The U-S House voteThursday that increases security checks on some refugees is raising some protest here in the Triad.
The bill – called “The American SAFE Act of 2015” – would essentially create a new vetting process for Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Top security officials would have to sign off on each individual, and the entire application process would be stopped while the new one is put in place.
But Andrew Timbie with World Relief High Point says the bill is not based on facts, but on knee-jerk reaction.
In an email, Timbie says he understands the concern about protecting Americans from terrorism. But he says the rhetoric surrounding Syrian refugees is creating a spirit of fear, with the consequences falling on some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Under the current application system, it can take up to two years for a person to gain refugee status in the U-S.
North Carolina is currently home to 59 Syrian refugees.
Greensboro Community Group Offers Recommendations To Police
A coalition combining Greensboro City officials and community members has presented their recommendations for improving relations with local police.
The Community City Group was organized last year by Mayor Nancy Vaughan and The Rev. Nelson Johnson.
The News and Record of Greensboro reports the group held their first public meeting Thursday night, in front of an estimated 200 people.
Members urged police to stop what is known as “contact policing”, which they called a “disguised form of racial profiling”.
The group also requested that police stop charging people with delaying, obstructing or resisting arrest unless those charges are linked to more serious crimes.
And they proposed that marijuana possession should no longer be considered a high-priority crime, calling it a justification for targeting young black men.
Some attendees, while agreeing with the proposals, expressed concern that there was no timeline for implementing the proposals.
AAA Carolinas Says 1.3 Million To Travel Over Thanksgiving
AAA Carolinas says more than 1,350,000 North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a modest increase over last year.
And travelers will find gas prices are down 70 cents from the Thanksgiving holiday in 2014.
The club said in a statement that nearly 90 percent of holiday travelers will be driving to their destinations, slightly more than last year.
The statewide average for a gallon of gas is $2.07, compared to $2.77 last year. North Carolina motorists will find lower gas prices in the border states of South Carolina ($1.88), Virginia ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.93) and Georgia ($2.05).
Asheville has the state's most expensive gas at $2.15. The least expensive average price is in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point area at $2.03.
NC State Increases Security Measures For Final 2 Games
North Carolina State has announced increased security precautions for its final two games against Syracuse and North Carolina, in light of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
The school issued a news release Thursday saying it would open games two hours before kickoff, up from 90 minutes to allow time for increased security screening. North Carolina State also asked fans to arrive 30 minutes earlier than usual.
North Carolina State says there will be "an increased security and law enforcement presence" inside and outside of the stadium, including in parking lots. The school also says there are additional measures being taken, though it won't specify those publicly.
The announcement comes roughly a week after attacks in Paris killed 129 people, though the school noted the Department of Homeland Security says there are currently no known threats against college stadiums.
Officials with the Carolina Panthers say security at Bank of America Stadium will be heightened for Sunday's game