Morning News Briefs: Thursday, December 6th, 2018
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North Carolina Governor Wins Again In Balance-Of-Power Case
A North Carolina court has struck down more legislation Republicans approved for their lame-duck governor's signature to erode the powers of an incoming Democrat.
A Wake County judge ruled that the General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing GOP Gov. Pat McCrory, not Roy Cooper, to pick the leadership of the Industrial Commission, which rules in workers' compensation cases. The lawmakers also let McCrory's appointment to a commission vacancy be extended until 2025. McCrory appointed his chief of staff's wife, Yolanda Stith, and named her vice chairman.
The judge's Monday ruling ends her appointment next year instead. Cooper's office named a new chairman and vice chairman Tuesday from the board's membership.
Latest Voter ID Bill Tries To Address Absentee Ballots
A key North Carolina legislator says a voter identification bill given House approval also would take a step toward improving mail-in absentee ballot security in light of fraud allegations in a congressional district.
The House voted Wednesday for legislation detailing how a new constitutional amendment mandating photo ID to vote in person is carried out. The measure now returns to the Senate, which approved an earlier version last week.
The House version directs the state elections board to figure out how people requesting absentee ballots also provide ID. Election officials are investigating claims of fraudulent absentee ballot activities in the 9th Congressional District. The 9th District election results haven't been finalized.
North Carolina Joins Lawsuit Against Health Care Data Company
North Carolina’s attorney general is joining a lawsuit against a health data company that allegedly lost private patient data to hackers.
Attorney General Josh Stein announced this week he’s joining 11 other states in suing Indiana-based Medical Informatics Engineering for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known as HIPAA.
According to Stein, in May 2015, hackers infiltrated an app called WebChart that’s run by MIE. They then stole the private information of nearly 4 million people, including tens of thousands of North Carolinians.
The information potentially included everything from names, to Social Security numbers, to disabilities and medical conditions.
North Carolina Sheriff Ends County's Agreement With ICE
A North Carolina sheriff says he's ending his county's agreement with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
On his first day at work, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a news release that deputies will stop performing immigration duties when the agreement ends. The program allowed sheriff's deputies to perform immigration enforcement duties inside the jail with supervision from ICE.
McFadden also said ICE officials will need court-issued warrants or detainers to access the jail while he's sheriff.
Endangered Red Wolves Moved To North Carolina Nature Center
A pair of endangered red wolves has been moved to a nature center in North Carolina.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports the wolves were moved to the Western North Carolina Nature Center as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plan program. Center animal curator Erin Oldread says staff hopes the wolves will mate and produce offspring that can be released into the wild.
Less than 50 red wolves remain in the wild. Thirteen red wolf pups have been born at the center through the program.