Morning News Briefs: Friday, March 15th, 2019
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Cooper Delays Voter ID Requirement Until 2020
Gov. Roy Cooper has signed legislation that delays the state's new photo voter identification requirement until the 2020 elections.
The Democratic governor signed the measure on Thursday. Republicans controlling the General Assembly advanced the legislation quickly this week because mail-in absentee voting begins Friday in the 3rd Congressional District race.
Thursday’s signing doesn't halt the state elections board from deciding by Friday which colleges and government agencies have student or employee IDs that meet standards for use at voting precincts.
Filing Deadline Looms In Open North Carolina Congressional Seat
A conservative soldier in the country's culture wars heads the Republican field as a deadline nears for a new North Carolina congressional election needed because of earlier ballot misdeeds.
Three candidates had entered the Republican primary in North Carolina's 9th congressional district ahead of Friday's deadline.
New elections were ordered after evidence that a political operative working for GOP candidate Mark Harris collected and potentially altered mail-in ballots last year. Harris' seemingly narrow victory over Democrat Dan McCready in November was scrapped.
Harris isn't running again. McCready is.
Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop of Charlotte is thought to have the deepest pockets. He sponsored a 2016 state law limiting LGBT rights that prompted businesses, entertainers and others to boycott the state.
Craft Brewers, Wholesalers Lift Glass To Distribution Deal
North Carolina's craft beer industry and alcohol wholesalers are raising a glass to what they say is a legislative compromise to allow small, growing brewers to keep control of their product longer.
Legislators from both parties and industry representatives announced Thursday an agreement in General Assembly bills filed this week to let breweries sell double the amount of their beer annually on their own compared to what current law allows.
Right now third-party distributors take over sales, marketing and pricing once brewers sell over 25,000 barrels. Lawmakers have declined to change the limit, leading to a 2017 lawsuit by two brewers.
NCDOT Warns Against Taking Prom Photos On Railroad Tracks
With prom season not too far away, North Carolina transportation officials are asking people to avoid using railroad tracks as a backdrop for their photos.
The N.C. Department of Transportation says in a news release it is working with the state Department of Public Instruction by asking yearbook staff advisers to alert students and photographers about the dangers of taking pictures on or near railroad tracks.
Officials are also warning people that railroad tracks, trestles, rail yards and rights-of-way are private property, and using them as photo backdrops is trespassing. The department says that with new technology, approaching trains are much quieter and people shouldn't assume they would hear one coming.
Flu Kills 9 More People In North Carolina
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that the flu has killed nine more people in the state, bringing this season's total death count to 135.
The agency says this number doesn't reflect all flu-associated deaths in the state as many go unreported or undiagnosed. There were nearly 400 flu-related deaths in North Carolina during the 2017-18 flu season. WTVD-TV says that was the most reported in the state since the deaths became reportable in 2009.
This is the third straight week that the number of flu-related deaths has fallen.