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Archive for March, 2014

Judge backs NC prison hand-held camera requirement

Friday, March 28th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A federal judge has agreed with an outside expert who recommends that North Carolina Central Prison staffers use hand-held cameras to record how some prisoners are treated once subdued.

U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle signed a ruling Thursday related to a lawsuit alleging abuse by correctional officers within the prison’s unit for disciplined inmates. The litigation is pending, but the expert was called in to recommend how safety could be improved inside the unit in the meantime.

The state and attorneys for the prisoners agreed with four recommendations, but Department of Public Safety representatives said the camera requirement was burdensome and could cost millions of dollars.

Boyle overruled several objections and says the price tag was unsubstantiated by evidence.

There was no immediate response from the department Thursday afternoon.


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NC regulators missed crack in Duke coal ash dam

Friday, March 28th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Photos taken earlier this month show North Carolina regulators apparently failed to notice a large crack opening in an earthen dam holding back millions of tons of Duke Energy’s coal ash near the Cape Fear River.

State Department of Environment and Natural Resources spokesman Jamie Kritzer says inspectors visited Duke’s Cape Fear Plant on March 11 and 18, but did not see the crack. Aerial photos taken March 10 by the environmental group WaterKeeper Alliance show the crack clearly marked by metal stakes topped with orange streamers.

The agency has said it knew nothing of the potential hazard until Duke reported the crack on March 20, after the company was cited for illegally pumping 61 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into the river. The crack has since been repaired.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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News & Notes – History of Britt’s Donuts; call for artists; new scholarships; dance marathons

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Two authors present the history of Britt’s Donuts 11 a.m. Thursday, April 24, at The Latimer House Museum

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NC population grows to more than 9.8 million

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Associated Press

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the population of North Carolina is now approaching 9.9 million people.

The bureau released new population estimates for 2013 Thursday. The state’s population from the 2010 census was 9.5 million.

The numbers show the state’s southeast corner is one of the fastest growing areas in America.

Brunswick County is in the metropolitan area that includes Myrtle Beach-Conway and North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina and that area was the 7th fastest-growing metropolitan area in the nation, with the population increasing 2.7 percent between July 1 of 2012 and last July 1st.

The new numbers show that five of the nation’s 100 fastest-growing counties are in North Carolina.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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Court: NC lawmakers must release some documents

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A federal magistrate says North Carolina state legislators can’t ignore subpoenas from attorneys seeking documents that may help explain how and why last year’s election and voting overhaul law was developed and approved.

But the court also ruled late Thursday the lawmakers could still cite a legal doctrine giving them the privilege to keep private certain internal files.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joi Peake issued the order after lawyers for several advocacy groups, voters and the U.S. government complained more than a dozen legislators weren’t responding to demands to turn over emails and other documents.

Peake says Congress made lawmakers’ motives a key element in determining whether election law changes comply with the U.S. Voting Rights Act. Three lawsuits allege photo ID requirements and changes to early voting are discriminatory.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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