The Morning Roundup: Biden's in Durham, Roy Has Vertigo, Redistricting Headed To the Supreme Court | News

The Morning Roundup: Biden's in Durham, Roy Has Vertigo, Redistricting Headed To the Supreme Court

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You already know that Bernie and Trump emerged victorious last night in New Hampshire. Here are some other pieces of information relevant to Wednesday: 

1. Joe Biden is in Durham today. He'll be visiting labs at the Duke Cancer Institute as part of his "cancer moonshot" task force to cure cancer, as announced by President Obama in his most recent State of the Union speech. From the N&O
Biden will meet with oncologists, public health researchers and patient groups during a roundtable discussion at Duke. He’ll also tour two labs, one focused on DNA repair that has implications for cancer, and one focused on the use of polio virus to treat brain tumors.
Biden's son, Beau, died from cancer last year. 

2. Roy Williams kind of fainted during the UNC game last night. He was screaming at the refs, then returned to a huddle and collapsed briefly. He was subsequently taken to the locker room, and assistant coach Steve Robinson took over for the remaining 14 minutes of the game.
"I'm alive. I'm kicking," Williams said afterward. "I've had some vertigo attacks over the last 17 or 18 years. This is the first time I really had one during a game. I said something to the referee. I didn't respond correctly to his response. I kind of whirled around, and that's when it hit."

Williams said his condition, known as benign positional vertigo, is triggered by sudden head movements. He had previous bouts with vertigo in the past and felt dizzy when standing up quickly.

"Every attack that I've had is when I've jerked my head quickly," he said.
In the end, UNC squeaked past Boston College, 68-65. 

3. N.C. redistricting battle going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Late last Friday, a federal court panel found that the voting maps for North Carolina's 1st and 12th congressional districts were racially gerrymandered by state lawmakers in 2011. A judge ordered that they be redrawn by February 19 — before this year's primary elections. State lawmakers filed a motion to appeal the decision on Monday, and Senate Leader Phil Berger seemed confident the ruling would get a stay until after the primary.

He was wrong. Yesterday, the judges refused to delay their ruling. So now lawyers for Gov. Pat McCrory and other state officials are taking their request to the Supreme Court. Their argument: 
“North Carolina’s election process started months ago. Thousands of absentee ballots have been distributed to voters who are filling them out and returning them. Hundreds of those ballots have already been voted and returned. The primary election day for hundreds of offices and thousands of candidates is less than 40 days away and, if the judgment is not stayed, it may have to be disrupted or delayed.” 
More here

4. Duke Energy fined $6.6 million by DEQ for Dan River coal ash spill two years ago. WUNC reports
The fine is separate from a $7 million settlement reached between DEQ and Duke Energy last year. That agreement focused on groundwater contamination at four other coal ash sites, and was reduced from an original $25 million dollar fine.

The Dan River fine covers civil penalties to which Duke Energy has already pled guilty last May in a criminal case brought by the federal government. That settlement placed the company on probation for five years and levied a fine of $102 million.
Duke says it's reviewing whether to challenge the fine. 

5. North Carolina tumbling into the sea. Sea levels are rising. From WNCT:
[The] sea level rise north of Cape Hatteras is twice what it is in the southern part of the state [resulting in] an increase in nuisance flooding. 
Also
North Carolina and the rest of the Southeast region of the United States has seen increases in sea level rise over the past century. As the climate continues to change, the rise in sea level along the coast is expected to accelerate and negatively impact transportation, energy production, and water supply, and increase the risk of coastal and inland flooding.

Increased temperatures in the Southeast, as well as the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events, negatively affect public health, energy, and agriculture. For instance, a 2002 drought cost the North Carolina’s agricultural industry $398 million.
The North Carolina Coastal Resource Commission approved the final draft of a sea level rise report at its meeting on Tuesday. The report will be presented to the General Assembly before March 1, according to WNCT. "There are currently no plans for legislation on sea level rise in North Carolina," the station reports. 

Yeah, that's a problem that seems like it'll probably take care of itself. 

May God have mercy on your souls on this Wednesday. 

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