Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, May 16th, 2018
Receive the morning news briefs delivered to your email inbox every morning. Click here to sign up.
As Thousands Of Teachers March, North Carolina Legislature Opens
The opening day of North Carolina's General Assembly session will be marked by thousands of teachers descending on the Legislative Building to lobby for more school funding and higher salaries.
The gavels go down on the House and Senate floor meetings at midday Wednesday. The legislature's chief chore for the next several weeks is to adjust the state government budget.
Lawmakers will be met by public school teachers marching from the headquarters of the North Carolina Association of Educators, which organized the "March for Students and Rally for Respect." Their late-afternoon rally is scheduled in front of the Legislative Building.
The rally recently follows teacher protests and even strikes and walkouts in several other states.
Constitution Party Gets Enough Signatures To Get On Ballots
Some North Carolina voters could have even more choices on their ballots starting this fall with another political party.
Data posted at the state elections board website show the Constitution Party of North Carolina has collected enough signatures from registered voters to qualify as an official party. That would allow the party to field candidates in November and through 2020 elections.
The North Carolina Green Party already became an official party in March through a new qualification method.
North Carolina Beer Distribution Law: Brewers' Suit Bubbling
A legal challenge is bubbling against a North Carolina law requiring popular beer-makers to hand over substantial control of their product to outside distributors.
Lawyers representing two Charlotte craft breweries filed court documents Tuesday seeking communications between state legislators and beer wholesalers, one of the state's most powerful political interest groups.
Olde Mecklenburg Brewery and Noda Brewing Co. sued after years of stymied attempts to change a law forcing brewers to hand over distribution to another company if they sell enough beer in a year to roughly fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Reward Offered In Muddy Creek Greenway Horse Shooting
A shooting involving horses at a Winston-Salem greenway this weekend is still under investigation.
One horse was killed, and two more were injured by gunfire early Saturday morning at the Muddy Creek Greenway.
Police were called to the scene following reports of three vehicles speeding on pedestrian paths. When officers investigated, they found shell casings, which led them to the horses.
The Winston-Salem Police Department has already identified one of three vehicles believed to be involved in the shootings. But Lieutenant Brian Dobey says questions remain.
North Carolina Opioid Crisis Getting Worse, Moving To Underground Market
A new study from Duke University suggests North Carolina’s opioid problem has gotten worse in several ways.
According to the study, North Carolina has experienced an 800 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths since the turn of the century.
While the problem largely started with prescription painkillers, Duke researchers found that users are increasingly shifting to powerful illegal substitutes, like heroin and fentanyl.
The researchers say many doctors and lawmakers have been working hard on curbing prescription painkiller abuse – often a gateway to addiction – with some success.
But as users switch from doctors to dealers, it presents a whole new set of challenges that communities have yet to solve.
“What we’re seeing now is many people moving to illicit drugs,” said Dr. Lawrence Greenblatt, co-chair of the Opioid Safety Committee at Duke Health, who was not involved in the study. “You can just text your dealer, and they’ll deliver. It’s like Uber.”