Morning News Briefs: Friday, January 12th, 2018

Morning News Briefs: Friday, January 12th, 2018

5:29am Jan 12, 2018

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North Carolina GOP Lawmakers Seek Congressional Ruling Delay

North Carolina Republican legislators have started trying to block a federal court ruling ordering them to draw new congressional districts because the judges said the GOP went too far to protect its partisan advantage with the current boundaries.

Lawyers for legislative leaders filed a request Thursday asking a three-judge panel to delay enforcement of their ruling filed this week directing lawmakers approve a new map by Jan. 24.

Republicans Uncertain On Judge Selection, District Direction

North Carolina House and Senate members on a new committee have plowed familiar ground about judicial redistricting and whether to get rid of the current head-to-head elections of judges in place for 150 years.

The committee's first meeting Thursday accentuated differences between the political parties — and even among majority Republicans — on if or how to act on proposed judicial election districts and a "merit selection" plan.

House members had many questions about a Senate proposal that would have the governor fill judicial vacancies from a pool of nominees vetted by a special commission and the legislature. The appointee remains on the bench if approved in a retention election.

Confederate Toppling Case: Prosecutor Plans To Drop Felonies

A North Carolina district attorney says he plans to drop felony charges against eight protesters accused of toppling a Confederate statue last year.

Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols said in an email Thursday that his office plans to try the defendants only on misdemeanor charges and that the felony charges would be dismissed.

The statue of an anonymous rebel in front of a Durham government building was brought down Aug. 14 in the aftermath of a deadly white nationalist protest in Virginia. One Durham protester climbed a ladder to attach a rope while others pulled it down.

Bill Would Rein In Mortgage Companies Targeting Veterans

Backers of a bill co-sponsored by North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis aimed at cracking down on mortgage lending companies targeting veterans say the measure is gaining support.

The bill's sponsors — Tillis and Sen. Elizabeth Warren — said Thursday the goal is to protect veterans, particularly those who purchase homes through a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs home loan program.

Tillis, a Republican, says the bill would essentially require that any refinancing package benefit the veteran, not the mortgage company.

Hospitals Implement Restrictions For Remainder Of Flu Season

Health systems across the Triad are limiting visitors due to an increased level of flu cases in the area.

The restrictions affect visitors age 12 and under, but do not apply to those seeking emergency care or those who are patients.

This is a coordinated effort among six regional health systems including Novant Health, Cone Health and others.

The policies go into effect Friday morning.

North Carolina State Workers Gather For King Day Observance

North Carolina state employees are remembering the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with an annual service featuring music and addresses by Gov. Roy Cooper and local ministers highlighting the journey for equality.

The King Day state worker observance program was set for midday Friday at First Baptist Church in downtown Raleigh. The historically-white congregation has shared the service locale over the years with the historically-black First Baptist Church across the way on the old Capitol Square.

Monday's federal and state King holiday falls on the day the slain civil rights leader was born 89 years ago.

Copyright 2018 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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