WFAE

A trade association representing energy organizations in the Carolinas say President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord will have little immediate effect on local energy companies.

https://youtu.be/EnEgGjs-SUc

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is used to fielding a lot of questions. It goes with the job. But many questions in the last two weeks have concerned his health since he passed out during a road race in Washington, D.C.

"I ran the fastest 2.5 mile race of my life. Unfortunately, it was a 3-mile race," he quips.  

As you can tell, Tillis says he’s fine. He says he just didn’t hydrate properly.

Of course, Tillis still gets asked about President Trump, Russia, health care, and immigration  - all topics he addressed with WFAE’s David Boraks.

Charlotte will host the 2019 NBA All-Star Game. The NBA made the announcement Wednesday, effectively returning the event to the city less than two years after it pulled the 2017 All-Star Game in response to House Bill 2.

The 68th annual event will take place at Spectrum Center on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, preceded by a weekend of games and other activities.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday struck down North Carolina's 1st and 12th congressional district lines drawn by state legislators in 2011.   A three-judge 

For the second time in a seven-day span, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down an act of North Carolina's General Assembly.

On May 15th, it was the state's voter laws.

On Monday, in a 5-3 decision, the court upheld a ruling that two congressional districts were illegal racial gerrymanders. And this opinion may have implications for other North Carolina cases working their way through the courts.

Hoarding $70 million in Medicaid money that should be spent on patients while spending lavishly on CEO pay and luxury board retreats. These are just some of the findings laid out in a state audit of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. The company says the spending is justified.

A former state senator from Concord has received an eight-month federal prison sentence on charges related to allegations that he used campaign funds for personal use.  Republican Fletcher Hartsell was sentenced Tuesday in Winston-Salem.

Monday, May 15 2017

We discuss two important topics in the area of juvenile justice: raising the age, and due process. North Carolina is the only state where criminal justice still considers 16 and 17-year-olds adults.  As the legislature ponders a change in that law, we look back at a landmark Supreme Court Case giving juveniles due process rights on its 50th anniversary.

America's judicial system has been the target of a number of political attacks this year.

And not just from President Donald Trump questioning the legitimacy of some, quote "so-called" judges or saying he wants to break up the Federal appeals court which struck down his travel ban.

A new report by the left leaning Brennan Center for Justice finds Republican controlled legislatures across the country are targeting state courts and remaking them for potential political gain. They have tracked at least 41 such bills in 15 states and that's just since January 1 of this year.

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is one of several Senate Republicans to question the timing of President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. 

Updated 3:07 p.m.

Warmer winter weather slowed Duke Energy's electricity sales in the first three months of the year. But profits still rose slightly, and executives say overall Duke is growing.  During the first quarter, the company also logged expenses from its October merger with Piedmont Natural Gas, and saw international revenues disappear, after the December sale of its Latin American operations.

One of the nation's largest gay rights groups plans to turn down $325,000 from Bank of America this year. That's because of the bank's role in brokering a compromise, which the group opposes, to repeal HB2. 

Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would limit the amount of damages nearby property owners can collect if a court rules that smells from hog and poultry farms are a nuisance The governor also has signed a Republican-backed bill that rolls back some state regulations on the environment, business and government agencies.  

Duke Energy shareholders elected directors and voted on other questions Thursday at the company's first virtual annual meeting. Ballots and questions for the CEO were submitted in advance, or by clicking a button on a special web page.

Duke CEO Lynn Good sat on a blue-curtained set and looked toward the camera as she opened the meeting at an undisclosed location.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, best known as Obamacare.

And this version is different from a version the House failed to pass just weeks ago.

Duke Energy's annual meeting is Thursday, but don't try to go to uptown Charlotte and vote your shares. This year’s meeting will be at a secret location, beamed to shareholders via telephone and internet. Protesters say they'll be at Duke's headquarters anyway.  

North Carolina's treasurer has been given the green light to sell up to $450 million in new bonds.  

The proceeds will not be used to build roads or schools, but to pay off other outstanding state debt.

May 1st is celebrated around the world as International Workers Day. In Charlotte and around the state, rallies showed support for a particular class of workers - immigrants. About 250 people marched in uptown Charlotte.

President Donald Trump wants to revive the coal industry and bring back coal jobs. But big coal buyers like Duke Energy are moving in the opposite direction. Duke's annual sustainability report calls for continuing to invest in cleaner energy sources, like natural gas and solar power. 

Science, and religion. Are they mutually exclusive? Former North Carolina governor Jim Martin doesn't think so. 

"It's a new interpretation that science and religion are not only different domains of truth, but they...harmonize."

On Monday, Judge Douglas McCullough of the North Carolina Court of Appeals resigned his seat.  Some 36 days before he turned 72, which is the mandatory retirement age of the court.  The reason, McCullough says was simple. "I retired at that time because I did not want my legacy to the court to be the elimination of my seat and the impairment of the court."

Craft brewers lost an important political fight Tuesday. A committee in the North Carolina House voted to strip provisions from a bill which would allow local brewers to sell more of their own product without going through a middle man.

Arguably the most famous Democratic congressman to represent South Carolina's 5th district is one Frank Underwood.

But Underwood is a work of fiction, the lead character in the TV series House of Cards. And South Carolina's 5th Congressional District has been a Republican stronghold since 2010.

Still, there are three candidates looking to make life imitate fiction and flip the 5th back to the Democrats. They face their first challenge May 2 in a primary special election. On Monday, WFAE’s Tom Bullock focused on the Republican candidates. This story focuses on the Democratic candidates. Toms’ coverage includes a conversation with Morning Edition host Marshall Terry:

Updated 1:06 p.m.

A battle between Gov. Roy Cooper and state lawmakers over the state Court of Appeals has escalated, with the governor's appointment of a new judge Monday. Cooper got the chance to pick a Democrat after a Republican judge on the court retired early to protest his party’s efforts to shrink the court. 

Confidence In Courts Eroding, NC Study Finds

Apr 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

A panel studying North Carolina’s court system is recommending changes.  It would be the first overhaul of the courts in the digital age. Mike Collins speaks with two of the panel's co-chairs, including an associate justice on North Carolina's Supreme Court.

Voters in South Carolina's 5th congressional district will head to the polls May 2 to take part in a special election for Congress. The district is a sprawling one stretching through much of the upstate down to south and east of Columbia.

There are at least 14 people running for the seat.

And while the race hasn't garnered the national attention of other special elections in Kansas and Georgia, the race could have national ramifications.

A new report from the left-leaning group Democracy North Carolina alleges that former governor Pat McCrory's campaign and the state Republican Party generated "false charges" of voter fraud in last November's election.  In the report released Tuesday, the group says Republicans engaged in a "coordinated legal and publicity crusade to disrupt and potentially corrupt" the election process.

Duke Energy plans to spend an extra $13 billion over the next decade to modernize the power lines and systems that distribute electricity in North Carolina. The upgrades include burying lines, adding technology to reduce outages, and giving customers more energy efficiency tools. 

This story may sound familiar.

The scene: Raleigh.

The plot: A lawmaker introduces a plan to expand Medicaid, the federal insurance program for the poor and disabled.

This has been done a number of times before. And each time has gone nowhere. But this time there's a twist.

One week ago, House Bill 2 was repealed and replaced by House Bill 142. And a lot has happened since then.

The NCAA and ACC have each said championship games can again be played in North Carolina. But in the case of the NCAA, its decision was a "reluctant one."

That’s because the compromise law that ended HB 2 also essentially blocks LGBT discrimination protections in North Carolina until [at least] December of 2020.

Charlotte  transgender activist Lara Americo is among the disappointed. She thinks House Bill 2 was borne of ignorance among lawmakers. Not so with the HB 142 compromise.

“There’s been a lot of education about what the transgender community in North Carolina looks like," Americo says. "Now with HB 142 being passed, they know who we are and what we’re about, but they still refuse to give us the protections that we need.” 

Americo spoke to WFAE’s Mark Rumsey about the new law, and what life has been like since the passage of House Bill 2.

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