Morning News Briefs: Thursday, October 12th, 2017
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Judges To Meet With Lawyers Before Redistricting Ruling
A long-running North Carolina redistricting battle is headed to a Greensboro federal court Thursday.
Covington vs. North Carolina is the case that almost led to a special election this year. The plaintiffs are arguing that the GOP-drawn political maps used to elect members of the General Assembly are racially gerrymandered.
A lower court sided with them, and the Supreme Court took up the matter over the summer, ordering lawmakers to redraw them. A new set of maps passed in August.
The plaintiffs are expected to argue in court that a dozen of those newly drawn districts are still unlawful.
Giddens Awarded Genius Grant
Renowned musician and Greensboro native Rhiannon Giddens is among the newest MacArthur "genius" grant recipients. Giddens' work highlights African American contributions to folk and country music.
Giddens is a singer, multi-instrumentalist (playing the fiddle and 5-string banjo), and songwriter who stresses history and social context when it comes to her music.
Her most recent project is the album Freedom Highway, which was released this year. It explores the African-American experience from slavery to the present.
As a MacArthur genius, she’ll receive $625,000 over a five-year period.
Triad Man Pleads Guilty In 2013 Fatal Shooting
A Triad man has pleaded guilty to firing a gun into a car in 2013 and killing a man inside as he waited for a friend outside an apartment complex.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports 33-year-old William Darius Aikens Jr. pleaded guilty in a Forsyth County court on Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter, possession of a firearm by a felon and discharging a firearm into an occupied car while in operation. He was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years, three months in prison.
Aikens was indicted for second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 43-year-old Michael Denard Brutan on Aug. 25, 2013.
2 Marines Sentenced For Trespassing During Confederate Rally
Two U.S. Marines have been sentenced for trespassing during a Confederate Memorial Day rally in North Carolina in May.
Camp Lejeune Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Manning and Cherry Point Sgt. Michael Joseph Chesny entered Alford pleas Tuesday. They maintained their innocence but admitted there was sufficient evidence for a conviction. They were sentenced to time already served.
Police said they climbed atop a building in Graham and unfurled a banner that read, in part, "YWNRU," which stands for "You will not replace us," the slogan chanted by white nationalist demonstrators who protested removal of a Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Top Leader At North Carolina Education Lottery Retiring
The North Carolina Education Lottery's top leader is retiring early next spring after joining the agency even before it started selling tickets more than a decade ago.
The lottery announced Wednesday that Alice Garland will step down as executive director at the end of March. She became the lottery's second executive director in 2010. During her tenure annual ticket sales increased by $1 billion and the share earmarked for public education grew to over $600 million.