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June 20, 2018 - 12:00 am


Republicans finish override on 2 Cooper election-bill vetoes

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two election-related bills have become North Carolina law despite Gov. Roy Cooper's formal objections to each.

The House voted Wednesday to override Cooper's vetoes on both measures, copying what the Senate did Tuesday.

One measure alters Superior Court election district boundaries in Mecklenburg County and directs that District Court judges no longer be elected countywide in both Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Now voters in those two counties will elect only a few based on where they live.

The other vetoed bill will require criminal background checks for key state and county election officials and put new restrictions on candidates from the new Green and Constitution parties this fall.

With Wednesday's votes the Republican-controlled legislature has overridden 13 of the 16 vetoes Cooper has issued since taking office in early 2017.


The Latest: Hunting, fishing amendment clears Senate

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A proposed question for North Carolina voters to enshrine the right to hunt and fish in the state constitution has been recommended by the full Senate.

Senators voted 44-4 on Wednesday to put the question on statewide ballots in November. The House still must vote yes before a referendum would be held. The hunting and fishing amendment is one of several being considered by General Assembly members in the final days of this year's work session.

Backers of the amendment say it would preserve traditions and block attempts pushed in other states to erode the ability to go hunting or fishing. But some senators questioned the necessity for constitutional language, saying there's nothing going on that would jeopardize the right.



Senate blocks Trump plan to cut $15B in unused spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has blocked a White House plan to cut almost $15 billion in unused government money slated for children's health insurance and other programs.

Fifty senators voted against the measure Wednesday, with 48 supporting it. The House narrowly passed the plan this month. It would take a mostly symbolic whack at government spending because it would eliminate leftover funding that likely would not have been spent anyway.

GOP conservatives embraced the package of so-called rescissions following passage in March of a $1.3 trillion catchall spending bill they say was too bloated.

The budget deficit is on track to exceed $800 billion this year despite a strong economy.

Democrats complained the plan would take away $7 billion from the popular Children's Health Insurance so it couldn't be used later.


Officials search for missing man after wrecked car found

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man reported missing after his abandoned car was found following an apparent accident on a North Carolina road.

The Surry County Sheriff's Office tells local news outlets a missing person report was filed Sunday for 38-year-old Allen Leon Binns Sr.

Investigators say Binns stopped at two convenience stores Saturday night, and that his 2012 Honda Accord was involved in an accident on N.C. Highway 89 in Lowgap later that evening. The car sustained minor damage.

The sheriff's office said there has been no contact with Binns since the accident.


Police release names of 3 drowned in North Carolina pool

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Police have released the names of three people who drowned in a swimming pool at a North Carolina apartment complex.

Durham police on Wednesday said the victims were 21-year-old Luis Enrique Delgado-Romero, 16-year-old Brian Manuel Benites and 15-year-old Abril Yulianan Flores-Ojeda.

Police say none of them lived at the apartment complex. The pool was closed at 3 a.m. Tuesday when they were found.

Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said all three people drowned. She said there was no sign of foul play.

The three were pronounced dead at Duke University Hospital.

A city inspector said the pool was fine when it was checked earlier this month.


North Carolina father sentenced to prison in son's death

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina father has been sentenced to four months in prison in his son's death after high levels of carbon monoxide were found inside their home.

News sources report McDowell County authorities say 34-year-old Timothy Carl Bartlett Jr. was found guilty of negligent child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury and involuntary manslaughter.

Bartlett also received a 24-to-41-month suspended sentence and credit for 48 days served. He was sentenced last week.

On Feb. 7, 2014, Bartlett and his two sons were found unresponsive at their home. His 12-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. Bartlett and his 9-year-old son were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries but were released.

The McDowell County Sheriff's Office determined electricity had been turned off in the home and a generator was running in the basement.


Landslide could block North Carolina road until end of July

(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times,

BAT CAVE, N.C. (AP) — State transportation officials say it will be until the end of July before workers can clear a landslide which has closed part of a North Carolina highway.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the N.C. Department of Transportation says it has awarded a contract to a Robbinsville company to clear the 110,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock that slid onto N.C. Highway 9 and blocked the road in on June 5. The target date for the road to reopen is July 27.

An NCDOT spokesman says beginning last week, workers have been on site from sunrise to sunset daily including Father's Day.

The slide is about a mile north of U.S. 74-A near the Buncombe-Henderson county line. While it covers about 100 feet of roadway, it's created a 50-mile detour.



Man sentenced to 15 years for Islamic State-inspired plot

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A judge has sentenced an Alabama man to 15 years in federal prison for plotting to carry out Islamic State-inspired attacks in the United States.

Prosecutors say 23-year-old Aziz Ihab Sayyed of Huntsville must spend the rest of his life on probation following his release.

Sayyed pleaded guilty in March to attempting to provide material support for the Islamic State terrorist group. He admitted buying bomb components last year with plans to attack police stations and Redstone Arsenal.

Authorities say he also tried to form a group to carry out domestic attacks. Prosecutors say Sayeed made the plans after watching videos by the Islamic State.

U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon sentenced the North Carolina native during a hearing Wednesday. Sayeed was attending college in Alabama at the time of his arrest.

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