Morning News Briefs: Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
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Cooper: North Carolina "Dodged A Bullet"
Governor Roy Cooper gave what he says will be his final update on Hurricane Irma damage and relief Tuesday, joined by members of his emergency management team.
Cooper said that except for some localized damage, downed electrical lines and dreary weather, North Carolina got relatively lucky.
There were major power outages and downed trees in the West – Cooper cited a five county area that included Mecklenburg and Buncombe counties – along with significant rains in the East.
While most of the emergency assets that had been activated for the storm are being withdrawn, crews have been dispatched to help clear roads and clean up downed trees in the Western part of the state.
Democrats Remain Skeptical Of Judicial Remapping
Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly remain suspicious about an effort by Republicans to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.
A special House panel examining judicial redistricting met for the first time Tuesday, with a goal of passing proposed boundaries in time for the full chamber to consider them when the legislature reconvenes in early October.
The panel chairman — GOP Rep. Justin Burr — rolled out proposed maps in June and says he's spent the summer meeting with judicial officials across the state to get feedback. He says initial maps could be updated in response.
Some committee Democrats questioned how the maps were drawn and whether past election results were considered in making them. Another said the maps also could hurt some black judges.
Mayor Pro Tem Defeats Incumbent In Primary
The woman who is second in command to the mayor of North Carolina's largest city has won a bid to replace her.
Charlotte Mayor Pro Tempore Vi Lyles defeated incumbent Jennifer Roberts in the Democratic mayoral primary on Tuesday. Before all the votes were counted, Roberts conceded the race to Lyles.
Lyles will face Kenny Smith, the runaway winner in the Republican primary who served with Lyles on the Charlotte City Council.
4 Senators, Nonprofit To Unveil Initiative For Appalachia
Four U.S. senators and the nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center plan to unveil a detailed economic initiative for Appalachia to help reverse struggles with poverty and isolation in the region.
The senators are Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Mark Warner of Virginia and Republicans David Perdue of Georgia and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Appalachia spans 13 states and has more than 25 million people.
According to the senators, it has been disproportionately hurt due to economic shifts and declines in coal and traditional manufacturing that cost many jobs.
NC Clergy Members To Pray Against Atlantic Coast Pipeline
Clergy members plan to pray outside the office of the North Carolina government agency that will decide whether to issue a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The Rev. Mac Legerton of the United Church of Christ in Robeson County says in a news release that lay people will join the clergy who oppose the pipeline when they pray for one hour Wednesday outside the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Department officials are scheduled to announce Sept. 19 whether they will issue the permit for the 600-mile pipeline, which would carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.