Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

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Politics
6:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Rep. Susan Fisher Says Protect Abortion Care

Rep. Susan Fisher (D-Buncombe)
William Woody/Asheville Citizen-Times

Abortion-rights groups are worried that Republican legislators will try to override rules proposed for North Carolina abortion clinics that activists contend balance patient safety with access to the procedure. 

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Moral Mondays
7:26 am
Thu January 29, 2015

NAACP-led Protests Resume at NC Legislature

The Rev. William Barber
Bob Geary via indyweek.com

North Carolina's NAACP leader has challenged new rules about public assembly in the state Legislative Building as part of protests targeting policies by the GOP-led Legislature.

About 75 people marched to the building with the Rev. William Barber on Wednesday for a demonstration as lawmakers reconvened this year's session.

After prayers and speeches, Barber asked the group to follow him in a lap around the Rotunda between chambers.

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Politics
7:08 am
Thu January 29, 2015

1st Day Bills Filed at the NC General Assembly At-a-Glance

Legislative Building in Raleigh
Angie Newsome via carolinapublicpress.org

The first work day at the General Assembly usually brings an early flurry of bills. Nearly 30 were filed by late Wednesday afternoon in the House and Senate. The bills include those that would:

— allow magistrates and workers under a county Register of Deeds to refuse to perform marriage duties because of strongly held religious objections. Chief sponsor: Sen. Phil Berger, R-Rockingham.

— invite Gov. Pat McCrory to deliver his State of the State address Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Chief sponsor: Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson.

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Offshore Drilling
11:34 am
Wed January 28, 2015

McCrory Applauds Move to Open Carolinas to Offshore Drilling

NC Governor Pat McCrory
AP Photo

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says moving closer to drilling offshore of the Carolinas is a step in the right direction.

The Obama administration on Tuesday included tracts off the coast in a draft proposal of areas that could be opened to drilling later this decade.

McCrory chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition consisting of coastal state governors favoring offshore energy development.

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Gay Marriage
11:24 am
Wed January 28, 2015

As NC Legislature Begins, Gay Marriage Takes Center Stage

NC Senate Leader Phil Berger
AP/Gerry Broome

Gay marriage is front and center on this year's first real work day at the North Carolina General Assembly.

Senate leader Phil Berger filed a bill Wednesday that would allow magistrates to refuse to preside at same-sex weddings and assistant registers of deeds to not issue licenses based on religious convictions. But they wouldn't be involved in traditional marriages either.

Berger had said he'd file a recusal bill after judges last October struck down North Carolina's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

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Education
8:39 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Top UNC Leader Cites Coincidence in Ross Replacement Timing

UNC System President Tom Ross
wral.com

A top governor of North Carolina's public university system says it's a coincidence that rewriting rules for finding a new president got started more than a week before the sudden replacement of the current leader was announced.

Members of the University of North Carolina board met Tuesday as they start revamping the framework for replacing UNC system President Tom Ross next year. Rewriting the 18-year-old search guidelines was set in motion before the surprise announcement earlier this month that Ross was being forced out.

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Politics
7:57 am
Wed January 28, 2015

NC Legislators Back in Raleigh

Legislative Building in Raleigh
Angie Newsome via carolinapublicpress.org

The North Carolina legislature is back in town and ready to work for the year following a two-week break.

The House and Senate planned to reconvene the General Assembly session at midday Wednesday. Little debate was expected on the first day, but lawmakers were expected to file an early flurry of bills. Two chambers elected Republican favorites Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger to their leadership posts on Jan. 14, then went home.

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Environment
7:00 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Applause, Concern Greet Move Toward Drilling Off Carolinas

This 2007 photo provided by Shell Exploration & Production Company shows the Frontier Discoverer drilling rig as it sits in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. (Shell Exploration & Production via AP)

Some lawmakers in the Carolinas say drilling for oil and natural gas offshore will be boost the states' economies and help the nation toward energy independence.

But conservation groups warn such drilling could endanger coastal tourism with the possibility of oil spills onCarolinas beaches.

The Obama administration on Tuesday included an area off the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia in its draft proposal of tracts on the Outer Continental Shelf that could be leased between 2017 and 2022.

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Politics
7:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

Gillespie Joins NC House Speaker Moore's Staff

Mitch Gillespie
Credit ncleg.net

A former legislator recently reassigned from a post in the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources is returning to the General Assembly, this time on new House Speaker Tim Moore's staff.

Moore announced Friday he's hired Mitch Gillespie of Marion as a senior policy adviser. He's among a dozen people on Moore's staff at the start of his two-year term.

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Politics
7:14 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Idea Slowed to Shift NC Medicaid Program Oversight to Panel

Momentum has slowed for a proposal to shift control of North Carolina's Medicaid program from the Department of Health and Human Services to a new eight-member panel of health experts.

The General Assembly's government watchdog oversight committee met Wednesday but didn't vote as previously expected on legislation recommended last week by one of its subcommittees.

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