Associated Press

AP

SPINDALE, North Carolina (AP) — Former members of an evangelical North Carolina church say their leader coerced congregants into filing false unemployment claims after the faltering economy threatened weekly tithes from church-affiliated companies. The members say company owners who were leaders in the Word of Faith Fellowship church would file unemployment claims on employees' behalf, but that the employees would continue working.

Gerry Broome/AP

The country's largest electric company is refusing online access to federally mandated maps showing the scope of disaster resulting if a coal-ash pit burst and spilled its toxic muck onto neighboring properties, two environmental law groups said Wednesday.

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The leader of a North Carolina House committee considering changes to judicial election districts says updated boundaries based on outside feedback will be considered at the panel's next meeting, possibly next week.

WRAL

A divided North Carolina appeals court says a clean-energy advocacy group can't install solar panels on a church roof and charge for the electricity generated.

The state Court of Appeals panel split 2-1 Tuesday, with the majority ruling in favor of Duke Energy's legal monopoly to sell electricity to most of the state. The split means a state Supreme Court appeal is possible.

Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters/ Landov via stateimpact.npr.org

A reconstituted panel charged with regulating oil and gas exploration in North Carolina plans to meet this week even as Gov. Roy Cooper's administration questions whether it can legally do so.

Jim Womack was initially appointed to the state Oil & Gas Commission before a state Supreme Court ruling struck down how its members were chosen. The General Assembly altered the law creating the commission last year to reflect that ruling.

WRAL

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes in two weeks, and some House Republicans keep working meanwhile to get proposed changes to judicial election districts on the agenda when colleagues return.

A House committee discussing redrawing voting districts for trial court judges and district attorneys holds its second meeting today at 1pm. A wholesale redraw hasn't occurred in more than 60 years. Republicans say redistricting would create fairer districts. Democrats argue it's a pretense for GOP gerrymandering.

With approval of new North Carolina legislative districts behind them, House Republicans returned Tuesday to Raleigh to advance their efforts to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

WRAL

Democrats in the North Carolina General Assembly remain suspicious about an effort by Republicans to redraw election districts for trial court judges and local prosecutors.

A special House panel examining judicial redistricting met for the first time Tuesday, with a goal of passing proposed boundaries in time for the full chamber to consider them when the legislature reconvenes in early October.

UPDATED at 6:10 p.m. Thursday

Governors Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Henry McMaster of South Carolina have both declared a state of emergency so state and local officials can better prepare for Hurricane Irma.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster is ordering the evacuations of 143 health care facilities on the coast. He said he’ll decide Saturday morning whether to order an evacuation for residents. But he warns the major highways are already getting crowded with people leaving Florida and Georgia.

Updated at 5:50 p.m., September 7, 2017

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia sued Wednesday to block President Donald Trump's plan to end a program protecting young immigrants from deportation — an act Washington state's attorney general called "a dark time for our country."

Mapmakers are proposing new districts for most members of the North Carolina House, a move forced after federal judges ruled state Republicans illegally gave too much emphasis to race in the current version of legislative voting lines.

Protesters on Thursday marched on the Durham County courthouse in support of the demonstration that brought down a Confederate statue, while a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized nearby at Duke University.

A crowd of people gathered in downtown Durham late Monday to witness the toppling of a long-time Confederate monument. On Twitter, Governor Roy Cooper called the Charlottesville violence unacceptable, but also said quote – “there is a better way to remove these monuments.” Protestors on the scene in Durham said destroying the monument was their answer to the deadly attack by a white supremacist.

North Carolina's governor used the launch of a school supply drive on Tuesday to argue that the GOP has been inadequately funding education, forcing too many teachers to have to use their own money to buy pencils and paper for their students.

Carloads of tourists rolled in, stores stocked seafood counters and kitchen workers chopped vegetables Friday as two North Carolina islands reopened to visitors after a weeklong power outage at the height of vacation season.

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