WFAE

DREAMers, children brought to the United States by their parents and living in the country illegally, are still uncertain about the future of the program that allows them to work and drive, and protects them from deportation.

There are more than 15,000 sexual assault evidence collection kits in North Carolina that have yet to be tested, according to the numbers compiled by the Department of Justice and made available by Attorney General Josh Stein’s office and the state crime lab.

Duke Energy says the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline is on track to open in late 2019, even though it's still awaiting final state and federal approvals. But CEO Lynn Good said delays and more stringent conditions from regulators have pushed the project's price tag up - to between $6 billion and $6.5 billion.

Evangelist Billy Graham has died. He was 99.

For six decades, The Charlotte-born preacher proclaimed the Christian gospel to more than 200 million people in most of the world’s countries. He also influenced social movements and politics in America and beyond.

North Carolina has seen several efforts to take partisanship out of redistricting.  The latest appeal comes from two Mecklenburg County residents – District 92 Democratic State Representative Chaz Beasley and Republican Charles Jeter who used to represent that same district.

Duke Energy is reporting a profit of $703 million in the last three months of 2017. The company says cold weather boosted energy use, expenses were lower and it benefited from changes in the federal tax law.

An anti-Trump event set up under false pretenses and bogus claims of voter fraud were used by Russians to influence North Carolinians, according to the latest indictment (pages 19 and 23 refer to events in North Carolina) filed by the Special Counsel's office as part of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

There is a simple, demographic fact in North Carolina politics: women are underrepresented in the General Assembly.

They make up 51.4 percent of the state's population. But hold just a quarter of the seats in North Carolina's House and Senate.

The candidate filing window for the 2018 election season is now open. So too are efforts to break a political glass ceiling.

Republican leaders of the General Assembly say they have reached a deal to give school districts statewide more time to reduce class sizes for kindergarten through third grades.

The proposal, which still needs approval, also includes more money to keep art, music and physical education teachers in the classroom.

All this is good news for North Carolina's public schools.  

But it comes with some controversial political strings attached.

Two years ago David Lewis bragged about his own partisan efforts to elect fellow Republicans.  Now the state representative from Harnett County is angry and says Democrats are doing the same thing. But in a fiery speech Wednesday to make that point, Lewis fell into an age-old trap of contradictions.

Both sides are declaring victory while many others are left scratching their heads after the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in Tuesday on two North Carolina gerrymandering cases.

Duke Energy has settled a class-action lawsuit filed by homeowners who live near the company’s coal ash sites, and the suit has been dismissed. 

Thanks to unusually low temperatures, January is turning out to be a record month for electricity use in North Carolina.  It also could mean higher bills for customers, according to Duke Energy. 

Updated 6:35 p.m.

North Carolina environmental regulators have issued a key water permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It's one of the last permits needed before construction begins in the state.

Duke Energy has proposed a new solar rebate program for homeowners and small businesses in North Carolina - something required as part of the state's new renewable energy law that took effect Jan. 1. 

When it comes to drawing districts for congressional elections, House Speaker Tim Moore says North Carolina Republicans nailed it.

“Frankly, it's a model other states could follow,” says Moore. 

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is opposing Duke Energy's request to charge ratepayers for the costs of cleaning up its coal ash dumps around the state.  

A panel of federal judges has denied a request from Republican lawmakers to delay redrawing all of North Carolina's 13 congressional districts.

People who live near Duke Energy's North Carolina coal ash dumps on Thursday marked 1,000 days of living on bottled water, amid fears that their wells are contaminated. They're calling on lawmakers to adopt stronger groundwater standards to prevent contamination of private wells. And they want Duke to dig up and secure coal ash statewide - not just at a few sites as now required.

A federal court's decision to strike down North Carolina's map of congressional districts has cast uncertainty over this year’s elections.

color:#0A0A0A">Federal judges ruled Tuesday that the boundaries drawn by Republican legislators constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander.  The judges gave lawmakers about two weeks to come up with a new map.


 

The federal judges relied heavily on the findings of Duke University mathematics and statistics professor, Dr. Jonathan Mattingly.  He used computer programming and an algorithm to create thousands of simulated congressional districting plans for North Carolina. 

The headline of Tuesday's federal ruling is an eye-catching one: All 13 North Carolina congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders. The deadline was equally eye-catching. The judges gave lawmakers just two weeks to redraw the whole map.

So did all this catch the eyes of lawmakers in Raleigh?

Not visibly. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening behind the scene.  

In what may be a landmark decision, a federal panel of judges has ruled all of North Carolina's congressional districts are illegal partisan gerrymanders.

They've banned the map from being used in this year's election and ordered the General Assembly to draw new districts by 5pm on January 24th.

Lawmakers are expected to appeal the ruling.

This year's congressional election has just been thrown into chaos.

Late Tuesday, a panel of federal judges ruled unanimously that all of North Carolina's election districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are illegal partisan gerrymanders. All 13 districts must now be redrawn just weeks before the campaign season officially kicks off with candidate filings.

Duke Energy has agreed to pay an $84,000 fine and will speed up coal ash cleanups at three coal-fired power plants in western North Carolina. The proposed agreement with state environmental regulators deals with pollutants seeping from coal ash ponds near the Marshall plant on Lake Norman, the Allen plant in Gaston County and the Rogers plant in Rutherford County.

Governor Roy Cooper was in Charlotte Friday to make his pitch to lawmakers to give schools more money to implement smaller class sizes. He visited with second graders at Cotswold Elementary School. Legislators mandated that elementary schools get kindergarten through third grade classes below 18 students by next school year. While Cooper thinks the idea could improve learning, he said the current plan puts schools in a tough situation because no extra money has been dedicated.

On Thursday, about three dozen people marched silently through uptown Charlotte. Their mission was to protest a controversial judicial redistricting plan proposed by Republican lawmakers.

The filing period for North Carolina’s legislative seats begins in just six weeks. But election district boundaries are still up in the air. A federal court hearing in Greensboro this week may shed some light on whether judges consider efforts to redraw 28 districts to pass constitutional muster. 

Preliminary numbers show 8.8 million people bought health insurance plans through the federal exchange this year nationwide. That’s 96 percent of last year’s sign-ups, despite a lot of changes to the Affordable Care Act and a shorter window to enroll. Sign-ups in the Carolinas were also close to that of last year.  

Panthers owner Jerry Richardson took himself out of the team’s front office Monday, and turned over day-to-day operations to fellow executive Tina Becker. That came a day after he announced he's selling the team, and amid an NFL investigation of misconduct allegations against him. The news has led to lots of speculation about the fate of both the owner and the team, including what the Panthers might sell for, and potential buyers.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is selling the team. Richardson, the team's only owner in its 23 seasons, made the announcement following Sunday's 31-24 win over the Packers - and on the same day that Sports Illustrated reported that at least four ex-employees received “significant monetary settlements,” stemming from inappropriate comments and behavior by Richardson.

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