Morning News Briefs: Friday, January 3rd, 2020
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Duke Energy Agrees To Remove Coal Ash In North Carolina
The state of North Carolina says it has secured an agreement with Duke Energy to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six facilities.
The Department of Environmental Quality said in a Thursday press release that it will be the largest coal ash clean up in the nation's history. It also settles various legal disputes between Duke and parties that include environmental and community groups.
For decades, coal ash has been stored in landfills or in ponds, often near waterways into which toxins can leach.
Duke Energy will remove coal ash from the Allen, Belews Creek, Cliffside, Marshall, Mayo, and Roxboro sites, and move it into lined landfills.
NC Will Appeal Ruling That Blocked Voter Photo ID Law
North Carolina's attorney general says the state will appeal a federal judge's ruling that blocks a photo identification voting law. But Attorney General Josh Stein says in a statement released Thursday that his office won't seek a stay of the ruling before the March 3 primary because that would create too much confusion.
On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the photo identification requirement until a lawsuit filed by the state NAACP and others is heard. The judge ruled the ID mandate is tainted by bias that would deter black and Latino residents.
Although the primary is two months away, mail-in absentee voting starts in less than two weeks.
North Carolina Poised To Gain Another Seat In Congress
North Carolina could be getting another Congressional seat, but new population figures must be confirmed before that happens.
The U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates this week. They show North Carolina’s population grew ten percent over the last decade, up to 10.5 million.
The Charlotte Observer reports that if those numbers hold up when the full census is done this year, they would qualify for an additional House seat. That means, in terms of congressional seats, North Carolina would have as many or more than all but six other states.
The state’s electoral votes would also increase to 16.
Bloomberg To Visit North Carolina
Presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is opening two new campaign offices in North Carolina – one in Raleigh, another in Fayetteville.
The News and Observer reports Bloomberg will address supporters in both cities on Friday. The former New York mayor opened another field office in Charlotte last month, his first in North Carolina.
2 People, 2 Dogs Escape North Carolina Plane Crash Uninjured
A couple and their two dogs were flying in a small plane from Massachusetts to Florida when it suddenly crashed in North Carolina.
Ken and Becca Brown and their Goldendoodles, Abby and Willa, escaped injury in the Thursday crash.
Ken Brown credits a parachute attached to the plane with saving the family, as it allowed the plane to safely stop in some trees just feet above the ground.
It's unclear what caused the plane to go down. Brown says the flight seemed average right up until he heard silence and realized the engine had quit. An investigation is ongoing.