Jose Lopez, Durham Police Department
Durham Police Department

Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez will retire at the end of 2015, the city announced Tuesday. The department has come under fire in recent years, especially after 17-year-old Latino Jesus Huerta died from a gunshot wound while in police custody in 2013.

"The last two years have been difficult for law enforcement, but together we have weathered it in a manner in which we can all be proud," Lopez wrote in a letter to his department.

A man in handcuffs.
Lionel Allorge / Wikipedia

Durham is expanding a program that allows young first-time offenders to remove a misdemeanor conviction from their record.

Previously available to 16 and 17 year olds, those 21 and under can complete the misdemeanor diversion program beginning in October. Instead of facing jail time or a fine, participants go to court, attend workshops and do community service work.

Durham Chief District Court Judge Marcia Morey says during a typical misdemeanor court appearance, an offender is able to have just a few seconds before a judge, plead guilty, and pay a fine.

A bicycle commuter.
Heb /

North Carolina's "Share the Road" signs and "sharrows" on the pavement are confusing to many motorists.

That's according  North Carolina State University researchers George Hess and Nils Petersen. Their study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, reports that language is ambiguous and does not reflect state law.

Henry McCollum (left) spent 30 years, 11 months and seven days on death row. Leon Brown was imprisoned at the age of 15 and spend the first decade in solitary confinement. In 2014 the men were released after DNA evidence implicated another man.
Patrick Megaro (McCollum and Brown's attorney)

Two North Carolina men who were wrongfully convicted of murder and spent 30 years in prison are receiving financial compensation. Henry McCollum and his half-brother Leon Brown are each getting $750,000 from the state. The men were released a year ago after DNA evidence helped to exonerate them. Henry McCollum said no amount of money can make up for the lost time. The 51-year-old is hoping to make the most of his future.

The North Carolina Attorney General’s office has announced it will not retry a white police officer who shot an unarmed African-American man in Charlotte. Officer Randall Kerrick shot and killed Jonathan Ferrell in 2013 after responding to a breaking-and-entering call.

The voluntary manslaughter trial of Kerrick ended in a mistrial last week. The hung jury was stuck at 8-to-4 in favor of an acquittal.

An image of a shrimp on a fork
Ramiroja / Wikipedia Creative Commons

A federal court has sentenced a Harnett County seafood processor for mislabeling  imported farm-raised shrimp. Alphin Brothers Incorporated faces a $100,000 fine and three years probation for falsely marketing 25,000 pounds of shrimp as wild-caught in the U.S.

A picture of a gavel on a document.
creative commons


Updated Friday, August 14, 3:15 p.m.

Carlos Antonio Riley was acquitted Friday of shooting Durham Officer Kelly Stewart in the leg at a traffic stop three years ago. The jury convicted Riley of only common law robbery.

Riley, 24, is charged with robbery with a firearm, common law robbery, reckless driving, felonious larceny from a person, assault on law enforcement inflicting serious injury, and assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer. 

A picture of a cat at the Chatham County Animal Shelter
Chatham County Animal Shelter

Many of the 190 animals seized from a Chatham County property last month will soon be available for adoption. Beyond dogs and cats, authorities and animal welfare agencies rescued goats, ducks, chickens, horses, cows and a hog.

Leigh Ann Garrard, Director of Chatham County Animal Services, said it took months to coordinate with partner agencies to find places for the various species.

Image of lethal injection table
Ken Piorkowski / Flickr Creative Commons

Legal challenges to the death penalty in North Carolina have effectively stayed any executions since 2006.

This week, lawmakers look to change that with a bill that would allow any medical professional, not just doctors, to administer a lethal injection.

Federal Building Winston-Salem
Jeff Tiberii / WUNC

Fierce testimony from experts and disenfranchised voters has been delivered in a Winston-Salem courtroom during the first two weeks of a federal trial challenging North Carolina's controversial new voting law.