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The controversial "Silent Sam" statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has been toppled by protesters.

Sen. Burr Facebook page

WASHINGTON (AP) — For much of the last two years, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr has been the Russia investigator who is seen but rarely heard on Capitol Hill.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, the North Carolina Republican opened up about the investigation that has now consumed 19 months of his life. He says it has been "frustrating as hell" and much more difficult than he originally envisioned. But he says the integrity of the investigation — and its importance to the institution of the Senate — is something he has labored to protect.

A panel of judges was asked Wednesday to decide whether North Carolina's Republican-dominated legislature is trying to fool voters by calling for constitutional changes without explaining the effect would be to strip more power from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

A state Supreme Court candidate on Monday won permission for now from a judge to have his Republican affiliation listed on the November ballots.

North Carolina's five living former governors on Monday delivered an extraordinary rebuke of the Republican-dominated legislature for two constitutional amendments it put on fall ballots, saying they would shred gubernatorial power and government checks and balances if approved.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State commissions that regulate child care, hand out clear-water grants and license private investigators are the latest flashpoint in a power struggle between North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and the Republican-dominated legislature.

A three-judge panel heard arguments Friday about whether six boards and commissions are unconstitutional because Cooper lacks control over them in part because the legislature makes the majority of appointments to each.

Wikicommons/Whitneybarker

 

A former assistant coach for the University of North Carolina football team says players have the power – if they choose to use it - to reverse the suspensions of 13 players for improperly selling school-issued shoes.  

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and other opponents of legislative Republicans filed a flurry of late-hour lawsuits Monday to block referendums on constitutional amendments and to let a Supreme Court candidate disclose his party affiliation on ballots.

The lawsuits filed in state court against GOP legislative leaders mark yet another round of litigation in the power struggle pitting Cooper and his allies against the GOP-dominated General Assembly that began when Cooper was narrowly elected governor in late 2016.

Associated Press

A leader of a secretive evangelical congregation has persuaded a magistrate to issue trespassing charges against a North Carolina state Senate candidate who brought supporters and a TV crew along to a scheduled meeting at the church.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Power bills are going up slightly for Duke Energy households in central and western North Carolina this week.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission last week ordered that new rates for Duke Energy Carolinas customers can take effect starting Wednesday.

The order means residential customers will see a tiny increase on power starting this week. The typical household will start seeing bills rise by about 84 cents a month from around $104. Residential power bills will increase an extra 1.2 percent after four years.

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spoken to his Turkish counterpart about an American pastor detained on terrorism and espionage charges.

It could be a possible indication the NATO allies are trying to ease tensions that flared this week after President Donald Trump said the U.S. would impose sanctions in retaliation. Turkey has called that a "cheap threat."

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on Friday vetoed legislation approved by Republicans during this week's special session that alters North Carolina ballot language for constitutional referenda and a state Supreme Court race this fall.

Cooper's vetoes of the two bills were expected. His office and legislative Democrats blasted the changes as reversals on previous legislation and ways to hide the content of proposed constitutional amendments and interfere in this year's most important court election.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina legislature returned briefly to business Tuesday so Republicans could wrest the seemingly ordinary work of adding titles to proposed constitutional amendments on November ballots out of the hands of a state panel controlled by Democrats.

In closely divided North Carolina, an intense power struggle between Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will shift from the General Assembly and courts to voting booths this fall.

Electricity rates will increase slightly for thousands of households in central and western North Carolina even though state regulators rejected Duke Energy's most recent rate hike request, the company said Wednesday.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's congressional map is still unconstitutional, election advocacy groups and Democrats wrote Wednesday, even though the U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected a lower court decision that threw out the map due to excessive partisanship.

A string of decisions by North Carolina regulators this year means electricity consumers could be seeing a multibillion-dollar bill to clean up mountains of waste Duke Energy created over decades burning coal to produce power.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Four of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's nominees to state positions were rejected Thursday by the Republican-dominated General Assembly, including two choices to the State Board of Education he announced over a year ago.

The legislature, meeting in a joint House-Senate session, voted against the confirmation of Sandra Byrd of Asheville and J.B. Buxton of Raleigh for the state education board. A third choice, current member Reginald Kenan of Duplin County, was reappointed to an eight-year term.

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Trump administration announced a proposal Wednesday to shrink the habitat of the only endangered red wolves left in the wild, and to give landowners more leeway to kill any of the animals that stray onto private property.

Conservation groups call the proposal an extinction sentence that would doom the very last wild wolves.

"Wolves don't read maps," said Ben Prater, southeast program director of the non-profit Defenders of Wildlife.

Seventeen states, including North Carolina, New York and California, sued President Donald Trump's administration Tuesday in an effort to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Updated 4:20 p.m.

A federal judge said Monday he was "at a loss" to understand how transgender North Carolinians are being harmed by a compromise law that undid the state's "bathroom bill" but also prevented local governments from enacting new LGBT protections.

The Supreme Court is choosing not to take on a new case on partisan redistricting for now. Instead, the justices are sending a dispute over North Carolina's heavily Republican congressional districting map back to a lower court for more work.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina legislative Republicans on Thursday advanced their goal of permanently requiring voters to show photo identification — a proposal previously thwarted by veto and federal judges who declared a similar mandate racially discriminatory.

North Carolina's highest court says legislators can shift substantial control over public schools that educate 1.5 million students to the elected superintendent.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the state budget bill Wednesday for the second year in a row, blaming legislative Republicans for a spending plan he says doesn't do enough for teacher pay, school safety and the environment.

The GOP-controlled General Assembly approved last week its $23.9 billion proposal, which adjusts the second year of the two-year budget approved in 2017. Cooper had until Monday to sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

Lawyers for the world's largest pork producer don't want jurors to hear about the finances of a company whose industrial-scale hog operations caused a stench so bad it made life miserable for its rural neighbors.

WYFF Twitter Account

 

TRYON, N.C. (AP) — A TV news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday when a tree fell on their vehicle in North Carolina as they reported on flooding and severe weather associated with Subtropical Storm Alberto, the television station said.

WYFF-TV Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer both worked in the Greenville, South Carolina, market for more than a decade, anchor Carol Goldsmith said on air, breaking the news.

"Mike and Aaron were beloved members of our team — our family," Goldsmith said.

A father and son who belong to a secretive evangelical church in the foothills of North Carolina pleaded guilty Friday to federal criminal charges in an unemployment benefits scheme that former congregants have said was part of a plan to keep money flowing into the church.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina legislative leaders said Thursday they're committing to a big expansion of tax breaks to attract employers promising thousands of jobs, a move that comes as people familiar with recruitment efforts tell The Associated Press tech giant Apple is strongly considering the state for a new corporate campus.

The recent wave of teacher activism sweeping through conservative, tax-cutting states has washed into North Carolina, where educators have pledged to fill the streets and bring their demands for better pay and school resources to legislators' doorstep.

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