Morning Headlines: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Mccrory Holding Re-Election Campaign Event In Kernersville
Gov. Pat McCrory is taking his re-election bid to the next level.
The Republican planned to hold his first public 2016 campaign event at a Kernersville printing company Wednesday, a day after his campaign committee rolled out a kickoff video highlighting themes he wants to emphasize from his first three years in office.
McCrory narrates the video in which he says there's still more work to do to improve North Carolina's economy and state government. McCrory was Charlotte's mayor for 14 years until 2009. He first ran for governor in 2008, losing to Democrat Beverly Perdue. He won four years later, defeating Walter Dalton.
Two Democrats — Attorney General Roy Cooper and Durham lawyer Ken Spaulding — want to unseat McCrory and already have announced their candidacies.
Candidates For North Carolina's Long 2016 Ballot Begin Filing
Candidate filing for North Carolina's 2016 elections is underway.
The State Board of Elections and county elections offices began accepting candidacy notices at noon Tuesday. More than 50 candidates or their representatives had arrived within the first 45 minutes at the state board office in Raleigh. That's where candidates for judgeships, statewide offices and federal position file their paperwork.
The filing period comes two months earlier than the state's traditional election cycle. The General Assembly decided to move up all primaries from next May to March 15 to have more national influence in the presidential primaries, while encouraging maximum turnout for other races.
The filing deadline is noon Dec. 21.
State Rep. Whitmire Won't Seek Re-Election
A Republican lawmaker from the North Carolina mountains isn't returning to the General Assembly after next year, citing a new job outside the legislature.
Two-term Rep. Chris Whitmire of Transylvania County told supporters and colleagues of his decision against seeking re-election Tuesday, the same day 2016 candidate filing began.
Whitmire is a real estate broker and Air Force reserve officer. He says he's accepted a new civilian employment position directly related to his military experience that he couldn't pass up. He says the decision means he won't run for a third term in the 113th District, which covers Polk and Transylvania counties and part of Henderson counties.
Whitmire is a former Transylvania County school board chairman who has focused on education and military issues while in the legislature.
Mabe To Be Released From Jail Early
Rockingham County Commissioner Keith Mabe will be released from jail earlier than previously thought.
Mabe was sentenced to two months in jail on drinking and driving charges.
The News and Record of Greensboro reports Mabe is scheduled for release December 17, a full 30 days earlier than the original sentence.
Officials would not comment on the reduced sentencing.
The 61-year-old Mabe, of Eden, also received two years of supervised probation, a $1600 fine and 72 hours of community service. His convictions stem from two drunken driving incidents.
Ex-Davidson County Prosecutor Reaches Plea Agreement
A former Davidson County assistant district attorney will give up running for a judicial position as part of a deferred prosecution agreement.
Wendy Joyce Terry on Tuesday received two years' supervised probation and was fined $5,000 as part of the agreement. Prosecutors will dismiss the charges if she complies with the agreement.
Terry was indicted in September on six charges, including two felony counts of buying and selling offices. Prosecutors say in July, Terry offered district court Judge April Wood a $20,000 campaign contribution to persuade Wood's husband, Jeffrey Berg, to drop out of a superior court judge race that Terry was also running in.
Terry's attorney S. Wesley Brittain says Terry has maintained her innocence throughout the process, but the ultimate goal was to make sure the charges would be dismissed.
Schools See Extra Tutoring For 3rd Graders Who Can't Read
North Carolina public schools could be getting new money to tutor young children who haven't shown they can read at a third-grade level.
The State Board of Education on Wednesday considers allocating $1.7 million for tutors to help about 400 students around the state who've twice failed to advance to fourth grade. A decision is expected Thursday.
State lawmakers in 2013 began requiring that third-graders show they can read before advancing to the next grade. They can attend summer reading camp or a transitional fourth-grade class.
This is the first school year that twice-retained students could get extra tutoring. The extra money will pay for three hours of tutoring per week per student.
Mecklenburg County schools have the most children eligible for reading tutors with 42.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.