NC lawmakers to vote on delaying primaries again due to legal challenges

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Senate Republicans plan on Wednesday to postpone the state’s primary elections to June 7, citing ongoing litigation of the newly enacted redistricting maps. The state Supreme Court scheduled arguments in the redistricting case for Feb. 2. The court in December pushed back the primary from its original March 8 date to May 17 as part of an expedited hearing schedule for challenges to the redrawn maps. But state Sen. Ralph Hise, a top Republican, said the current schedule “is an extremely short time frame that will cause unnecessary confusion and chaos” in a stateme...

Winter storms can bring power outages. Here’s what you can do now to be prepared

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Power outages are likely during winter weather, especially when large amounts of snow or ice are involved. Keep these tips in mind if you lose power: ▪ If you have a generator, never run it inside your home or garage. Carbon monoxide fumes can build up and become deadly. ▪ You should also never use a charcoal grill or camp stove inside, for either cooking or heating. Like generators, the fumes they produce can be toxic. ▪ If you smell gas at any point during a power outage or otherwise, leave your home immediately and call your utility provider. ▪ During an outage, do not op...

Editorial: A misguided attempt to disqualify Madison Cawthorn from office

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is a frequent source of shame to North Carolina. He displays little to no semblance of a moral compass, regularly deals in fictitious and potentially seditious rhetoric and, according to a report, may have been among the members of Congress who were “intimately involved” in planning the events of Jan. 6. But can he be constitutionally disqualified from holding office? And an even bigger question this week: should he be? A group of North Carolina voters is hoping the answer is yes. Backed by a progressive group and two former state Supreme Court justices, voters from ...

Morgan Wallen’s surprise Grand Ole Opry performance draws outrage. ‘Slap in the face’

The Grand Ole Opry, a weekly concert regarded as the most prestigious show for country musicians, is under fire after a surprise appearance from controversial singer Morgan Wallen. Wallen was barred from country music radio stations and removed from streaming platform playlists last February after he was heard calling one of his friends the N-word in a clip shared by TMZ. He apologized on social media and later on “Good Morning America,” calling his words “unacceptable and inappropriate,” McClatchy News reported. Though many said he was a victim of cancel culture, Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Doub...

Guerrilla war exercise to be fought across rural North Carolina counties, Army warns

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A “realistic” guerrilla war will be fought across two dozen North Carolina counties in the coming weeks, with young soldiers battling seasoned “freedom fighters,” according to the U.S. Army. The two-week “unconventional warfare exercise” will be staged Jan. 22-Feb. 4 on privately owned land. And it will be realistic enough to include the sounds of gunfire (blanks) and flares, the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School said in a news release. Exact times, locations and exercise specifics were not provided. However, advance publicity is intended to make sur...

‘Acquired by dubious means’: Should museums give back the bones of Black people?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- An North Carolina State University professor, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, says museums and researchers should change how they treat Black people and their remains. Ann Ross, a forensic anthropologist who has worked on many cold cases in North Carolina, teaches biological sciences at N.C. State. She and lead author Shanna Williams at the USC School of Medicine Greenville wrote “Ethical dilemmas in skeletal collection utilization: Implications of the Black Lives Matter movement on the anatomical and anthropological sciences.” The article was published in The A...

Controversial ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ coin found a way to sponsor NASCAR driver after all

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A controversial “Let’s Go Brandon”-inspired sponsor has found a way to capitalize on a driver’s popularity while abiding by NASCAR’s rules. The LGBcoin.io cryptocurrency company, whose first three letters reference the viral slogan, announced Saturday morning that it has agreed to a two-year sponsorship and personal endorsement deal with NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Brown, whose name inspired the chant. NASCAR previously denied a request by Brown’s Brandonbilt Motorsports team for the company to serve as its primary sponsor for the full 2022 season and appear on Brown...

Woman stole nearly $1 million from Walmart stores in 24 states, feds say

The nearly $1 million in checks that a woman and a man cashed at more than 300 Walmart stores in 24 states looked like legitimate bank checks, federal prosecutors said, but they were counterfeits. The pair spent the money — more than $850,000 — on prepaid debit cards, including from other retailers, and on gift cards, Walmart shopping cards and other merchandise, according to court documents. Cyianna Ashley Woods, a 38-year-old from Atlanta, hoodwinked Walmarts for seven years with co-conspirator Andre Marquese White, a 35-year-old from Norcross, Georgia, according to court documents. The reta...

Judge scolds NC woman for bringing son to US Capitol riot, then sentences her to prison

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A year and a day after taking part in an unprecedented assault on the country’s democracy, Virginia Spencer became the first North Carolina defendant sentenced in connection with the violent breach of the U.S. Capitol. Now, the Pilot Mountain mother of five will be the first to spend time in prison. A federal judge in Washington on Friday sentenced Spencer to three months in custody, three years’ probation and $500 in restitution. In handing down the sentence recommended by prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly criticized decisions “Jenny” Spencer had made o...

Alex Murdaugh’s attorneys seek to reduce his $7M bond for alleged financial crimes

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The attorneys representing embattled Hampton lawyer Alex Murdaugh have asked the presiding judge of the South Carolina State Grand Jury to reduce their client’s $7 million bond, according to a motion filed Tuesday in the state grand jury system. Murdaugh, 53, sits in the Richland County Jail on dozens of alleged financial crimes that involved stealing millions from clients. Attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Jim Griffin claimed in the motion that Murdaugh has less than $10,000 in his bank accounts and cannot pay the bond amount. “Mr. Murdaugh does not have seven million dollars or...

What is the #BettyWhiteChallenge? Here’s how you can honor the TV icon on her birthday

Fans of iconic actress Betty White are coming up with ways to honor her on what would have been her 100th birthday. White, whose illustrious TV career included roles on “Golden Girls,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Hot in Cleveland,” died Dec. 31 at 99 years old. The death shocked the nation, as many were planning on celebrating her milestone birthday on Jan. 17. But the celebrations will continue. Here are some ways to remember the beloved Hollywood legend. #BettyWhiteChallengeThe unofficial Betty White Challenge was spawned as a way to support one of White’s favorite causes — animals. “On...

As anniversary of Jan. 6 riot approaches, North Carolina’s role in the violence grows

Brad Bennett will mark the first anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by linking into a remote court hearing over his own role in the attack. The former Mecklenburg County resident, wellness coach and survivalist trainer is charged with six crimes — one of them a felony that could send him to prison — in connection with the violent attempt by thousands of former president Donald Trump's supporters to stop the certification of his 2020 election defeat. Five deaths are linked to the violence. Some 140 police officers were injured. The Capitol ransacking, which was ig...

Martha Earnhardt, the matriarch of famed NASCAR family, has died

Martha Earnhardt, matriarch to one of the most well-known families in stock-car racing, has died. Her grandchildren, Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt Jr., confirmed in a statement that she passed away on the evening of Dec 25. She was 91. “As we grieve her loss and begin to imagine life without our beloved ‘Mamaw,’ we find solace in knowing she is at peace in eternal glory and in joyous reunion with her husband Ralph and sons Dale, Randy and Danny,” their statement read. Martha Earnhardt was married to famed dirt-track racer Ralph Earnhardt from 1947 until his death in 1973. She was ...

Military is cracking down on ‘questionable tattoos’ to combat extremism -- here’s how

The U.S. Department of Defense has updated its screening process for new recruits to include questions about membership in extremist organizations and any “questionable tattoos” that might suggest affiliation with those groups. In a 21-page report detailing the Pentagon's plan to root out extremism within its ranks, the defense department spelled out efforts to ensure “only the best qualified recruits are selected for services.” The report was spurred in large part by the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol — which included some retired and active-duty service members. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Aust...

Was an 11-year-old serious about blowing up her school? Here’s what a court in NC said

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — At a time when Charlotte-area families are calling on government officials to do more to make classrooms safe, North Carolina’s second-highest court has ruled that Iredell County went too far in punishing an 11-year-old who threatened to blow up her school. A three-judge panel of the N.C. Court of Appeals this week overturned the felony juvenile delinquency conviction of the student — identified in the court document by the pseudonym “Sophie.” In a unanimous opinion written by Judge Chris Dillon, the panel ruled that Iredell County District Court Judge Carole Hicks lacked the...