Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

5:16am Dec 06, 2017

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Judicial Selection Options Considered By Senate Panel

Senators meeting to discuss whether to retool how judges are chosen in North Carolina are now collecting information from some professors and a national judicial reform group.

The Senate Select Committee on Judicial Reform and Redistricting holds its second meeting Wednesday, with representatives from the University of North Carolina law school and Brennan Center for Justice making presentations.

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger formed the panel in part to evaluate whether the state should replace head-to-head elections for judgeships with a "merit selection" system.

Many GOP legislators want to address judicial redistricting and selection in a special General Assembly session in early January. Democrats are suspicious of both ideas.

Duke Energy Vendor's Hack May Mean Stolen Customer Bank Info

Nearly 375,000 Duke Energy Corp. customers may have had personal and banking information stolen in a data breach.

The country's largest electric company said Tuesday the customers paid a bill by check or cash at 550 walk-in payment processing centers in the Carolinas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky since 2008.

Those payments were processed by TIO Networks, which was hacked in an attack disclosed after the company was purchased in July by PayPal Holdings Inc. Duke Energy customers make up nearly a quarter of the 1.6 million TIO Network customers potentially compromised.

North Carolina County's Servers Hacked; $23K Ransom Sought

Authorities in a North Carolina county say its servers have been hacked and are being held for ransom.

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio says that someone opened an email attachment they shouldn't have, helping the hacker gain entry to the system.

According to county officials, all of the information technology service systems in the county are shut down, impacting email, printing and business at most county offices. Diorio said she doesn't believe the hackers have access to personal information.

Diorio said the hacker wants $23,000 or two bitcoin for the files, and gives the county until 1 p.m. Wednesday to make a decision. She said leaders are considering paying the ransom.

North Carolina Officials Approve Borrowing For Stadium

State officials in North Carolina have approved plans to borrow money for a new stadium.

The Joint Legislative Government Commission in Raleigh on Tuesday approved plans to borrow up to $38 million for a new stadium in High Point.

High Point University President Nido Qubein says he will soon name an executive board that will manage the design, construction and funding of the event center, children's museum, educational cinema, park and interactive playground.

High Point city officials have said they can repay the money without raising taxes.

Lottery Panel Subdued On Expanding Online Games

North Carolina lottery officials want to give the idea of offering online "scratch-off" tickets some more thought after hearing concerns from the state's retailers and social conservatives.

The state lottery commission met Tuesday for its quarterly meeting, and digital instant games were on the agenda. But discussion was muted and panel chairman Courtney Crowder said afterward he didn't know exactly when action would be taken next on the idea.

The North Carolina Retail Merchants Association says its members that sell traditional instant tickets are worried that more online games would reduce foot traffic in their stores.

Defendant: Statue-Toppling Charges Are Unfair

The protester who climbed a North Carolina Confederate statue to help topple it says she plans to fight rioting and property damage charges by going to trial.

Takiyah Thompson was among nine protesters in court Tuesday on charges they tore down the statue in Durham. One defendant struck a deal to avoid a felony, while Thompson and others had their cases continued until 2018.

Thompson says she won't take any prosecution deals and plans to go to trial because she believes the charges are unfair.

Copyright 2017 WFDD. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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