Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, January 9th, 2018
North Carolina Legislature Begins, Less Politically Imbalanced
A less politically imbalanced North Carolina General Assembly begins its two-year session with Democrats holding more seats since Republicans took over the legislature in 2011.
The GOP still controls the House and Senate as one-day meetings are held Wednesday for swearings-in and choosing the top leadership posts in the chambers. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger are expected to remain in their posts.
After Wednesday, the session begins in earnest Jan. 30.
Group Asks North Carolina House To Not Seat Democrat
A conservative Christian group wants the North Carolina House to delay seating a winning Democratic candidate from November because it says there are questions about absentee ballots in the extremely close race.
The North Carolina Values Coalition filed documents with the House clerk and Speaker Tim Moore late Tuesday, the day before the General Assembly's two-year session begins.
The coalition says Moore shouldn't seat Rep.-elect Rachel Hunt, who defeated incumbent Republican Bill Brawley by 68 votes.
Cunningham Pledges Family, Children Focus In Lt. Governor's Bid
A former North Carolina state legislator and U.S. Senate candidate says he'll focus on helping families and children succeed through improved public education and a "durable" economy if elected lieutenant governor in 2020.
Democrat Cal Cunningham formally announced Tuesday his bid for the state's No. 2 executive branch position on a Wake Community College campus.
The 45-year-old Iraq War veteran says he wants to work with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who is likely to seek re-election. Cunningham says he'll be a champion for higher education access, Medicaid expansion and "common sense" gun laws.
Supporter Donations Help Beleaguered Bennett College
Officials at a historically black private women's college in North Carolina say they have received more than $1 million in donations in their attempt to stave off closure.
The News & Record reports Bennett College learned last month that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges voted to remove its accreditation based on years of financial struggles stemming from falling enrollment.
The college is now trying to raise more than $5 million by Feb. 1. Helped by social media and news coverage, donations to Bennett are approaching the $1.5 million mark.
County: Put Confederate Statue In Indoor Display
A North Carolina county where protesters tore down a Confederate monument has proposed returning the crumpled statue to public view as part of an indoor display.
A joint city-county government committee in Durham issued its recommendation Tuesday for creating an indoor display at the local government building near the grounds where the statue was torn down in 2017. The county commission would have to approve the plan.
'Bathroom Bill' Fallout: North Carolina To Lose Netflix Show
The lingering fallout from North Carolina's controversial "bathroom bill" may force a new Netflix series about the state's Outer Banks to film in South Carolina.
Show creator Jonas Pate tells The StarNews of Wilmington that Netflix has picked up "OBX," with filming slated to begin this spring. He says the streaming service passed on filming in North Carolina because of a clause in HB2's replacement that halts new local antidiscrimination ordinances until 2020.
Pate says that clause is costing Wilmington "70 good, clean, pension-paying jobs." The production is projected to spend around $60 million where it films.