Law

Wally Harrelson Dies

Feb 9, 2011

Former Guilford County Commissioner Wallace-or Wally-Harrelson has died. He was 74. Harrelson was the County's longtime Public Defender. Colleagues remember him as a mentor and a strong criminal defense lawyer. Howard Neumann, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, worked with Harrelson for 25 years:

"I don't know of anyone who has worked as hard for his clients as Mr. Harrelson did. He was a real, what we call, old-school lawyer. Did it the old fashion way."

Roy Cooper
governor.state.nc.us

People arrested for violent felonies and some misdemeanors dealing with sexual predators will have their DNA entered into the state’s database as part of a new law taking effect February 1st. Attorney General Roy Cooper has been outspoken supporter of the measure.

Medicaid Scammers Yield $53M

Jan 4, 2011

  State investigators recouped more than $53 million last year from Medicaid scammers.

Attorney General Roy Cooper says about half the money came from a settlement with drugmaker Pfizer after investigators found the company was paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe certain drugs.  The rest came from a long list of smaller cases. Cooper says the Medicaid Investigative Unit netted 22 criminal convictions and 18 civil settlements over the past year.

HSUS: NC Breeders Need Oversight

Dec 29, 2010
Puppy Paradise Facebook page

Animal welfare advocates say Wednesday's fire that killed eight dogs at a commercial breeding facility near Selma could have been avoided by better regulation.   Kim Alboum is North Carolina Director for the Humane Society of the US.  She says state regulation of commercial breeders is so lax, no one even knows how many are in business here. Alboum says the lack of oversight makes North Carolina an attractive place for puppy mills:

Campus Cops In Limbo

Dec 20, 2010

Every year, hundreds of arrests are made by police officers on private college campuses. The offenses range from public intoxication to drunk driving to sexual assault.  The officers making the arrests are fully licensed by the state; they carry firearms; and they are specially trained to work in a community made up mostly of 18 to 22 year olds.  But a case making its way through the North Carolina court system challenges their authority - and offers a different twist on the old arguments about the separation of church and state. 

New Sheriff In Town

Dec 6, 2010
Calvin Woodard
Calvin Woodard For Sheriff

There’s a new sheriff in Wilson County. For the first time in its history, an African-American will be sworn in to lead the law enforcement effort in the county east of Raleigh.

Gambling Goes On As Police Weigh Ban

Dec 1, 2010
Still open
Laura Leslie

A new state law that took effect today makes video sweepstakes gambling illegal. But many parlors are still open and operating around the state. One sweepstakes parlor a block away from the Garner Police Station had six gambling customers at 10:30 this morning.

Drivers will be subject to new laws taking effect today. Most involve licensing and license plates. One law adds a potential $100 penalty for having a license plate frame that covers important information on the plate. And commercial driver licenses will now expire after five years because of hazardous materials regulations. And more laws go into effect January 1st.

Marge Howell with the DMV says licensing laws are being relaxed for older drivers:

No More High-Proof Liquor

Nov 30, 2010

North Carolina's ABC Commission has decided that liquor stores in the state will no longer sell 95% grain alcohol.  The state warehouse currently stocks two 190-proof brands, Everclear and Diesel. A recent study by the Mecklenburg ABC board found that most of its grain liquor is sold at stores near college campuses, where the potent spirits are especially popular.  

State ABC spokeswoman Agnes Stevens says the Commission decided the high-alcohol drinks had no redeeming social value:

Last Day For Video Sweepstakes

Nov 30, 2010
sign on window
Laura Leslie

Today is the last day that video sweepstakes parlors will be legally allowed to operate in North Carolina.  But a judge’s ruling could open the door to other games.

Instant Runoff Count Underway

Nov 29, 2010

Elections officials around the state have started the second phase of vote counting in a Court of Appeals race.

One of this year’s Court of Appeals races is the first statewide contest in the US to use instant runoff voting.  In the general election, voters chose a first, second, and third choice from a field of 13 candidates.   Cressie Thigpen and Doug McCullough were the top two winners as first choice. 

Starting today, elections officials are sorting through ballots on which the first choice was someone else.  Deputy state Elections Director Johnnie McLean:

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