Law

Law
9:00 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Chapel Hill to Vote on Cell Phone Ban

Town of Chapel Hill officials are scheduled to vote tonight on banning the use of cell phones while driving.

Leoneda Inge:  Members of the Chapel Hill town council have heard all sides of the cell-phone-while-driving debate.   An emotional Karen Turner came down from Asheville to speak at last month’s public hearing.   Her brother Joel Severson was killed on I-40 in an accident triggered by a driver who was texting.

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Law
8:10 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Group Sues to Block Billboard Rules

An environmental group is trying to halt new rules that allow more vegetation to be cut around billboards that line the state's roadways. Billboard owners say the new guidelines are needed to preserve visibility. But the group Scenic NC has filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order on the rules, which go into effect today. Molly Diggins is the executive director of the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club. She says the law allows clear cutting in front of the signs with no mandate for tree replacement.

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Law
8:00 am
Thu March 1, 2012

Bill Would Overturn New Beach Driving Rules

Congressman Walter Jones has filed a bill to overturn new rules on beach driving along the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The eastern North Carolina Republican says new restrictions to protect sea turtles and birds will harm the local recreational economy.

Walter Jones: Instead of finding a balance between the endangered species and the people, it seems like that they're always giving more consideration to the endangered species. And I'm for protecting the endangered species, you know my work to protect the horses at Shackleford Banks and up in Corolla.

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Law
11:25 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Wilmington Police Praise Gunfire Detection System

Wilmington's police chief says a new gunshot-detection technology is helping officers make arrests. The city used a federal grant to install the ShotSpotter system in November. Acoustic sensors around a 3-square-mile area detect gunshots and immediately relay the information to police. Chief Ralph Evangelous is urging the city council to continue ShotSpotter once the federal funding runs out next year. It would cost about $120,000 dollars. Officials in other cities where the system has been proposed have objected to the cost in a time of tight budgets. Evangelous disagrees.

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Law
1:50 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Chapel Hill Mulls Cell Phone Ban for Drivers

Drivers in Chapel Hill may soon have to refrain from talking on their cell phones. A proposed ban on the practice is being considered in a public hearing tonight. Penny Rich serves on the town council. She says a second draft makes the proposal more enforceable by making it a second offense rather than a primary offense. She says that means drivers won't be pulled over for speaking on cell phones, but if they commit another violation while using the device, they would be written up for both offenses.

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Law
4:10 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Cracking Down on Meth Labs

North Carolina Law Enforcement officials plan to crack down on methamphetamine labs in 2012. Jeff Tiberii has more.

Jeff Tiberii: Last year there were 331 illegal methamphetamine lab busts in North Carolina, an all-time high. The main ingredient in the drug is pseudoephedrine, which is found in Sudafed. Beginning this week all retailers will be hooked into a tracking system tracing pseudoephedrine purchases. North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper:

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Law
7:03 pm
Tue December 20, 2011

Lovette Gets Life for Killing Carson

Laurence Lovette will serve the rest of his life behind bars for murdering UNC Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson. On Tuesday Lovette became the second man convicted in the killing. District Attorney Jim Woodall says in the four years since the crime, the Carson case has received attention throughout the country.

Jim Woodall: "I've literally prosecuted thousands of cases. One thing that made this case different is that it was so senseless. And then that Eve had such a bright future. She meant so much to so many people."

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Law
1:40 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Judge Orders New Trial for Michael Peterson

A judge has ruled that Durham novelist Michael Peterson will get a new trial in his wife's 2001 death. Judge Orlando Hudson ruled Wednesday that former State Bureau of Investigation agent Duane Deaver misled the court about the bloodstain evidence at the 2003 trial in which Peterson was convicted of murder in the death of Kathleen Peterson, who was found at the bottom of a bloody staircase. The SBI fired Deaver in January after an independent audit found he misreported, mishandled or exaggerated forensic evidence in 34 criminal cases.

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Law
9:02 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

NC Lawyers Get Training in Mineral Rights

There are a lot of legal questions surrounding the potential for shale gas drilling and exploration in North Carolina.  A workshop is set for tomorrow to help bring lawyers up to speed.

The half-day workshop is to give North Carolina attorneys an introduction to natural gas drilling, mineral rights and leasing land to conduct drilling.  Ted Feitshans is an extension associate professor at N-C State and will help conduct the workshop.  He says property owners need help before negotiating with natural gas companies.

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Law
5:45 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Lawmakers At Odds Over Medicaid Shortfall

Lawmakers are still at odds over how to close a projected 139 million dollar shortfall in the state's Medicaid budget. Governor Bev Perdue has accused Republican leaders in the General Assembly of breaking their promise to help close a spending gap. Democratic Representative Verla Insko says legislators must decide how to come up with the money.

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