Two Black northeastern North Carolina residents are suing to invalidate the state Senate redistricting plan approved last month.
The federal lawsuit filed Monday claims that the legislature ignored the history of racially polarized voting in northeastern North Carolina, federal law, and a state Supreme Court opinion to draw districts in eastern North Carolina that dilute Black votes.
The suit asks the court to bar the Senate district map from being used in an election. Districts in the east and northeast should be redrawn to give Black voters in northeastern counties the opportunity to elect the candidate of their choice in 2024, the lawsuit said.
Northeastern North Carolina counties are part of the Black Belt extending through the American Southeast, places where enslaved Africans and their descendants worked fertile soil. Black Belt counties in North Carolina still have majority Black populations. The Senate plan configures districts in those counties to dilute Black voting strength, the lawsuit says,
“Rather than crack Black voters across these districts, the General Assembly could have drawn the Black Belt counties into majority-minority districts that would have met the Voting Rights Act’s requirements while adhering to North Carolina’s redistricting criteria,” the lawsuit said.
A 2002 NC Supreme Court decision instructed legislators to draw districts to comply with the federal Voting Rights Act and then to draw districts that avoid dividing counties.
Republicans drew the redistricting plans in secret and without input from Democrats. Republican redistricting leaders maintained throughout the redistricting debates that their plans are legal. The legislature also approved new congressional and state House districts along party lines in October. Those new maps are not part of the lawsuit.
Senate Democrats warned Republicans that they were violating the state Supreme Court directive and the federal Voting Rights Act before Republicans approved new election district boundaries.
Republicans should have listened, said Sen. Dan Blue, the chamber’s Democratic leader.
“The plan enacted by the General Assembly in late October splits, cracks, and packs Black voters to dilute their votes and blunt their ability to fully participate in the democratic process,” Blue said in a statement.
“For example, there are eight counties in North Carolina that are majority Black in population, and they are all in eastern North Carolina (Bertie, Hertford, Edgecombe, Northampton, Halifax, Vance, Warren and Washington). The map enacted by the General Assembly divides these eight counties among four separate districts,” he went on. “This is ‘cracking’ on steroids.”
The lawsuit provided examples of majority-minority districts that could be drawn in northeastern and eastern counties.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which is not connected to this lawsuit, sent legislators a letter before they approved the new district lines that focused on northeastern and eastern counties and changes the organization said needed to be made to comply with the Voting Rights Act.
The letter also included data from the 2022 election that the organization said showed “extreme racially polarized voting in North Carolina’s Black Belt.”
Rodney D. Pierce, a social science teacher who lives in Halifax County, and Martin County resident Moses Mathews filed the suit. The Senate plan reduces the weight of their votes compared to the votes of white citizens, the lawsuit says.
The Citadel 85-68 North Carolina A&T (Dec 2, 2023) Game Recap – ESPN
GREENSBORO, N.C. — — Led by 34 points from AJ Smith, The Citadel defeated North Carolina A&T 85-68 on Saturday.
Smith shot 13 for 17 (5 for 6 from 3-point range) and 3 of 5 from the free throw line for the Bulldogs (5-4). Winston Hill added 14 points and had 17 rebounds. Quentin Millora-Brown scored 13.
The Aggies (0-7) were led in scoring by Landon Glasper, who finished with 18 points. Jeremy Robinson added 14 points for N.C. A&T. Nikolaos Chitikoudis also had 11 points and two blocks.
The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.
WNC wildfire update: What to know about fires in McDowell and Haywood counties
Wildfire season is winding down as the weather cools and climate becomes more humid in Western North Carolina. Larger fires that raged throughout the region earlier in the fall have subsided.
North Carolina rescinded burn bans in 30 counties recently and Buncombe County ended its own burn ban. There are still a few wildfires burning in WNC.
U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Jenifer Bunty told the Citizen Times in a series of emails that firefighters have planned “limited operations for the day.” Given the wet conditions, firefighters will be onsite and monitoring the fires’ activity.
People in WNC may smell “wet smoke” given the conditions, Bunty said. But the smoke should not impact visibility.
Here’s where the fires stand:
Locust Cove Fire No. 2
The Locust Cost Fire No. 2 in the Sunnyvale area of McDowell County is currently 25% contained at 165 acres, according to a Dec. 2 email from Bunty.
There have not been any injuries, structural damage or closures related to the fire, Bunty said. The source of ignition is still under investigation. A unified command of 40 individuals have been dispatched to the scene.
According to a Dec. 1 USFS news release, the fire began Nov. 29. Firefighting efforts were focused on slowing the head of the fire and protecting private property as of Nov. 30.
“Burnout operations were successful in securing the area around private homes and preventing the fire from moving onto private lands,” the release read.
Clear Creek Fire
The Clear Creek Fire near Highway 80, south of Lake Tahoma in McDowell County, is 40% contained at 124 acres, Bunty said. There have been no injuries, structural damage or closures because of the fire. There are currently 61 firefighters on the scene. Likewise, firefighters are using indirect tactics to fight the fire.
The source of the fire is still under investigation. According to a Dec. 1 USFS news release, the fire began on private land Nov. 30.
As of Dec. 1, efforts were focused on protecting structures and securing perimeters around private properties.
Black Bear Fire
The Black Bear Fire in the Haywood County region of Pisgah National Forest is 90% contained, Bunty said. She did not have a current estimate for the size of the fire, but previous evaluations note it was 1,888 acres.
No injuries or structures are currently threatened, Bunty said, but the Appalachian Trail section from Brown Gap Road to I-40 is closed. While 30 firefighters are currently assigned to the fire, a 20-person crew will arrive Dec. 2, Bunty said.
More: 2 wildfires grow near U.S. 80 in Pisgah National Forest; rain and humidity helping abate
More: Buncombe County to cancel burn ban, citing light winds, Great Smokies ban lifted
“Firefighters are recovering contingency lines today. The increased fire activity is currently on the ridge system between Snowbird Creek and Painter Branch,” Bunty said.
What weekend weather means for wildfires
Rainy conditions with light winds during the weekend in WNC will be unfavorable to wildfire spread, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Harry Gerapetritis, who spoke to the Citizen Times Dec. 2.
Areas around the Great Smoky Mountains could see an inch and a half of rain over the weekend, Gerapetritis said. However, he said there may be only a quarter of an inch of rainfall in Haywood County around the Black Bear Fire.
He said it may not rain again until the end of next week.
Despite the showers, much of the Asheville area will remain in moderate to severe drought, Gerapetritis said.
From the beginning of the year to Dec. 1, the Asheville Regional Airport area typically sees 45.5 inches of rain, he said. That area has only seen 32.13 inches of rain thus far.
Mitchell Black covers Buncombe County and health care for the Citizen Times. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MitchABlack. Please help support local journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
North Carolina High School Boys Basketball Schedule, Live Streams in Orange County Today – December 2
If you reside in Orange County, North Carolina and like to stay in the loop regarding all of the local high school basketball action, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we provide all the details you need for how to watch the games today.
Follow high school basketball this season on the NFHS Network! Keep tabs on your family or alma mater and tune in!
Orange County, North Carolina High School Boys Basketball Games Today
Orange High School at Forsyth Country Day School
- Game Time: 7:30 PM ET on December 2
- Location: Lewisville, NC
- How to Stream: Watch Here
© 2023 Data Skrive. All rights reserved.
Stingrays surge past Swamp Rabbits in Greenville
Will South Dakota cover the spread vs. Western Illinois? Betting Trends, Record ATS
East Tennessee State vs. Jacksonville State: Odds, spread, over/under – December 3
College Football Playoff Rankings prediction: Texas rounds out top four with Liberty ahead of SMU, Tulane
Portland Trail Blazers | NBA.com
Colorado Rockies game no. 116 thread: Zac Gallen vs José Ureña
See it: Tesla crashes into Columbus convention center at 70 mph
Fox News Politics: Georgia the whole day through
Death of missing Oregon girl found in stream ruled homicide
At least 2 dead as tornadoes hit Alabama, damage homes across Southeast
DeSantis says conservatives won’t be ‘gaslit’ by ‘people who think we’re dumb’ after Newsom debate
Explosion during Catholic mass in Philippines kills three, injures nine
Iran-linked cyberattacks threaten equipment used in U.S. water systems and factories
DeSantis loses another super PAC official, the second in the last 2 weeks to leave his presidential campaign
Major harnessing of trolls shows threat to Hungarian democracy is real
Science1 week ago
USC neuroscientist faces scrutiny following allegations of data manipulation
Business1 week ago
As most stores close for Thanksgiving, Black Friday may bring the biggest crowds since before COVID
Business1 week ago
Column: An exhaustive debunking of the dumbest myths about Social Security
Movie Reviews1 week ago
Movie Review | Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler shine in latest ‘Hunger Games’ movie
Politics1 week ago
Pope Francis dines with transgender women for Vatican luncheon
Politics1 week ago
Sen Kennedy’s IQ dig at VP Harris sparks backlash from White House, DNC
Technology1 week ago
The best Black Friday deals you can still get for under $25
World1 week ago
Violent protests in Dublin after children injured in knife attack