Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
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Lawfulness Of North Carolina Amendment Questions Argued In Court
Lawyers have traded arguments in a North Carolina courtroom over whether some proposed constitutional amendments that Republican legislators submitted to voters this fall should be left off ballots.
A Wake County judge heard for nearly three hours Tuesday from attorneys for Gov. Roy Cooper and two nonprofit groups who say referendum questions for two or maybe four amendments are false and misleading. Two of them would shift powers from Cooper to the legislature if approved.
Judge Paul Ridgeway didn't immediately rule on the plaintiffs' request to block the questions and is going to forward the case to a three-judge panel because the constitutionality of the amendment legislation is being challenged.
NC Court: No Proof Public Safer When Sex Offenders Tracked
North Carolina's second-highest court says authorities can't force a sex-offender to wear a monitoring device for decades because evidence fails to show that tracking protects the public.
A divided three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that because officials presented no evidence that satellite-based monitoring is effective, it violates the U.S. Constitution's bar against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court set that constitutional standard in a 2015 North Carolina decision.
Tuesday's case involved Thomas Earl Griffin, who spent 11 years in prison for abusing the pre-teen daughter of his live-in girlfriend. A Craven County judge in 2016 ruled he must wear a tracking device for 30 years.
Judge Wanda Bryant disagreed, saying it expands the state's burden of demonstrating the risk of a sex-offender repeating his crimes.
North Carolina House Rep. Ed Hanes Of Winston-Salem Resigns
A North Carolina House member is stepping down three months before his re-election bid.
Democratic Rep. Ed Hanes of Winston-Salem submitted a news release announcing his resignation Tuesday with the House clerk's office. Hanes was in his third term and set to face Republican Reginald Reid in November in the 72nd House District.
Hanes didn't give a reason in the release for his departure but says he will "explore interests and opportunities across a number of platforms." Now Forsyth County Democratic activists can choose a replacement to fill Hanes' spot on the ballot and his House term through the end of the year.
State Funding Provides NC School Districts With New iPads For K-3 Teachers
Kindergarten through third-grade teachers in North Carolina Public Schools are getting a new tool to help improve student literacy. They’ll have a new iPad or similar tablet waiting for them when the school year begins.
State Superintendent Mark Johnson says the devices have already been delivered to districts and charter schools across North Carolina.
He says the goal is to provide a better way to track students’ reading progress through apps and to identify where students need help.
The tablets were purchased with unused funds from the Read To Achieve program at a cost of $6 million.
NBA Star Chris Paul Donates $2.5 Million To Wake Forest Basketball Program
NBA All-Star Chris Paul is donating $2.5 million to his alma mater, Wake Forest University. The gift will go towards the university’s basketball program.
The money will be used to transform the school’s men’s and women’s clubhouses with updated locker rooms, nutrition resources and treatment areas.
Chris Paul and Wake Forest Director of Athletics Ron Wellman made the announcement at the Chris Paul Family Foundation Charity Golf Classic in Winston-Salem.
The new men’s locker room will be named in Paul’s honor.
The donation is the largest ever by a former basketball player and largest by any alumnus under the age of 35.