Morning News Briefs: Monday, February 12th, 2018
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After Legislation And Litigation, NC Filing Begins
Elections board offices are awaiting the first batch of candidates in North Carolina this November for Congress, the legislature, district attorneys and county positions.
The candidate filing period begins at noon Monday and continues weekdays through midday Feb. 28.
Recent months have been marked by legislation and litigation that created uncertainty about who could file Monday and election district lines. A Supreme Court decision last week meant House districts in and around Charlotte and Raleigh had to be redrawn.
Primaries are May 8. Candidates for trial and appellate court seats don't file until June because the legislature canceled primaries for these positions this year.
Federal Appeals Court Blocks North Carolina Appellate Primaries
North Carolina appellate court primaries apparently won't happen after all this year now that a federal appeals court has blocked a judge's ruling directing they be held over the wishes of the Republican-controlled legislature.
A panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday halted last week's preliminary injunction by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles. She had decided that partisan primaries must go ahead this year for the state Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court despite a state law last October canceling them. But attorneys for Republican lawmakers said it would have created a two-tiered judicial elections system that will confuse voters.
Without the ruling, candidate filing for the state appeals court seats would have begun Monday. Now it will start in June.
Class-Size Fix, Loaded With Other Changes, OK'd By Senate
Republican legislation to phase in North Carolina's upcoming class-size mandate has passed one General Assembly chamber. Democrats complained it is loaded with other provisions targeting Gov. Roy Cooper and the state elections board.
The Senate voted 37-5 Friday for the bill, which also locates money for music, art and physical education teachers so that districts can meet lower teacher-student ratios in kindergarten through third grade.
The measure still must pass the House this week before it can go to Cooper's desk.
Senate Oks GenX Response Bill; Prospects With House Unclear
Legislation designed to expand North Carolina's response to a little-studied chemical and other unregulated contaminants in drinking water supplies has cleared the state Senate.
Senators approved a measure Friday that directs a review of the state's pollutant discharge permitting program and lays out how the university system could test for emerging contaminants like GenX.
The measure returns to the House, which last month passed a different version providing more operating and equipment funds for the state environmental agency.
Boy Fighting For Life After Car Hits Ambulance
Police say an ambulance carrying a young boy to a Triad hospital with his mother was hit by a drunken driver, leaving the child with life-threatening injuries.
Winston-Salem Police Lt. Rick Newnum said investigators believe the child was in stable condition before the crash early Sunday on a highway north of downtown Winston-Salem. Newnum said it appears that the crash further injured the child and left him with critical injuries.
Newnum said the boy was being transported with his mother to a Winston-Salem area hospital when the crash happened.