NC AUDITOR CANDIDATE WAS ON PROBATION FOR STALKING A WOMAN: His criminal charges began, according to court records, when a man reported that on April 8, 2012, Street had hit him in the head and face. That resulted in the charge of simple assault. The charge was dismissed without leave, which means that decision is permanent. Another warrant said Street was reported again in June 2016 for allegedly threatening a different man by saying, “If you want to keep you and your family safe you better give me back my money.” That led to the charge of communicating threats. He was found not guilty on the charge. A woman reported that Street followed her on Feb. 23, 2017, at her house and a family member’s house and refused to leave, and then followed her as she drove, according to warrants. That resulted in his first stalking charge. But a witness did not show up to court, according to court records, and prosecutors dismissed the case without leave. Court records said that Street was accused of following the same victim on multiple occasions between March 30, 2018, and April 26, 2018, leading to a second charge of stalking. He was given a conditional discharge that included six months of unsupervised probation, and the court dismissed the charge.
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR EARLY VOTING IN NORTH CAROLINA: While many around the world are taking note of Saturday as the once-every-four-years "Leap Day," North Carolina residents also should realize it's the last day of early voting before Tuesday's primary election. Polls will be open until 3 p.m. this year, providing an extra two hours compared with past elections. Anyone in line at that time will be allowed to vote. Why vote early instead of just waiting for Election Day on Tuesday? Here are two reasons: If you're not registered to vote, you cannot vote on Election Day. The registration deadline passed weeks ago, but North Carolina allows same-day registration during early voting. So, take some document, such as a bank statement or utility bill, to show proof of residence, register to vote and cast your ballot. You can also make changes to your registration, such as if you've changed your name or moved since the last election. On Election Day, you must vote at your assigned polling place. During early voting, you can go to any of the sites in your home county – Wake County has a dozen sites, for example, while Durham County has eight and Cumberland County has seven – providing a little flexibility.
MANY NC VOTERS CONCERNED ABOUT ELECTION SECURITY, PROPER VOTE COUNTS: “Election security is on the minds of North Carolinians as they approach the primary election next week and the general election in November,” according to the Meredith poll. “Over one-quarter of respondents indicated that they had no confidence or very little confidence in the voting processes used in the state, while over 41 percent indicated that they were only somewhat confident that votes would be recorded accurately,” the Meredith poll found. But put another way, nearly 70 percent of state residents are “very” or “somewhat” confident that the results will be accurate. “The concern about the voting processes in the state cut across all demographic groups with Democrats and Republicans alike indicating lower-than-expected levels of confidence. Level of education, gender, and other characteristics do not seem to make a difference in people’s perceptions,” according to the poll. A separate poll by Elon University shows that 48% of voters said they were either “not at all” or “only a little” confident that “the election process overall will be fair.” When asked if they agree with the statement “votes will be counted properly,” 43% said “not at all” or “only a little,” the Elon poll found.
WEST COAST CORONAVIRUS CASES ARE EVIDENCE THE DISEASE IS SPREADING IN U.S.: Troubling new signs that the coronavirus is spreading in the United States emerged on Friday, as cases not explained by overseas travel or contact with a person known to be infected were reported in California, Oregon and Washington State. Officials from the three states announced that their testing had found new cases: a high school student from north of Seattle; an employee of an elementary school in Oregon, near Portland; and a woman in Santa Clara County, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley. Sixty-five cases of the virus have been reported in the United States, but until this week, all of the cases could be explained by overseas travel or contact with someone who had been ill. The three new cases on Friday, and a case earlier in the week, in California, were the first in the United States where the cause was mysterious and unknown — a sign, experts warned, that the virus, which has killed more than 2,800 people worldwide and sickened tens of thousands of others, might now be spreading in this country. As word emerged of the unexplained cases, local officials scrambled to trace everyone who had come in contact with those who were ill. California health officials said they were increasing testing. And in Washington State, officials suggested that people needed to prepare for the possibility of schools closing and businesses keeping workers home.
A PEACE AGREEMENT HAS BEEN SIGNED BETWEEN THE U.S. AND THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN: U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar inked the deal in an opulent hall in a five-star hotel in Dohar, Qatar. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo witnessed the signing. The agreement lays out a path for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan beginning with a drawdown to 8,600 troops "within months" upon President Trump's orders, according to the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller. The deal stipulates that the Taliban will pledge to enter into talks with the Afghan government and not to harbor terrorist groups intent on attacking the West. U.S. and Taliban negotiators were close to signing a peace deal in September, but the effort was scuttled by Trump after an attack by the Taliban killed a U.S. soldier. Since then, chief U.S. negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad sought confidence-building measures to bring both sides back to the table. In November, the Taliban released two Western hostages in exchange for the release of senior militants linked to the Taliban by the Afghan government. And over the last week both sides reduced violence nationwide.