Tuesday News: The other side of Chatham...


FEARRINGTON VILLAGE CANCELS GOP FUNDRAISER TO RAFFLE AR-15: The Chatham County GOP still plans to raffle off firearms this election season, just not at The Barn at Fearrington. The Republican Party had announced plans to sell 100 $50 tickets to win either a Ruger 5.56 rifle or a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun during a Sept. 10 meet-the-candidates event at Fearrington Village outside Pittsboro. Some people criticized the raffle for offering the Ruger, the same type of rifle used to kill 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, two years go. “Chatham County is a southern rural county and many of its citizens — Republican, Democrat, or Independent — have and use firearms for target shooting and for hunting,” it said. “The two kinds of firearms in our raffle, a modern sporting rifle and a shotgun, are widely owned. Many Chatham citizens would like to win one of these firearms.”

CAPPING CARBON EMISSIONS PART OF GOVERNOR'S CLIMATE PLAN: North Carolina would cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and accelerate the closure of coal-fired power plants under a draft plan released Friday by Gov. Roy Cooper's administration. Writ large, the plan calls for a series of initiatives to whack away at the emissions contributing to climate change. It's goal: "By 2030, reduce electric power sector greenhouse gas emissions between 60% and 70% below 2005 levels and work towards zero emissions by 2050." To get there, the proposal relies on policy shifts that require General Assembly approval, as well as reforms that could overhaul the way North Carolina regulates and delivers electricity to homes and businesses across the state. The plan runs 137 pages, and it's open to public comment online until September 9. The Department of Environmental Quality rolled it out Friday, and DEQ Secretary Michael Regan called it "a shared vision for the energy future we need in North Carolina."

BILL FORCING NC SHERIFFS TO WORK WITH ICE BACK IN ACTION: Immigration law-enforcement legislation that North Carolina Republicans have idled for months in the General Assembly is back in gear. A House committee scheduled discussion on Tuesday about a measure that's responding to a handful of county sheriffs refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents. In particular, they haven't been complying with detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold inmates it believes are in the country unlawfully. The bill would make all sheriffs recognize those requests, although a judge would order a detainer subject be held. Dissenting sheriffs say complying with detainers would actually harm community safety. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has signaled his likely veto of the bill already approved by the Senate in June. The House could take a final vote later Tuesday on accepting the Senate changes.

TRUMP'S SUPPORT FOR BACKGROUND CHECKS WITHERS UNDER NRA PRESSURE: President Trump appears to be backing away from potential support for gun background check legislation, according to White House aides, congressional leaders and gun advocates, dimming prospects that Washington will approve significant new gun measures in the wake of mass shootings that left 31 dead. On Monday, Democratic leaders said they viewed Trump’s shifting posture as a sign that he was never serious about leading a push to tighten gun laws. “We’ve seen this movie before: President Trump, feeling public pressure in the immediate aftermath of a horrible shooting, talks about doing something meaningful to address gun violence, but inevitably, he backtracks in response to pressure from the NRA and the hard-right,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement. “These retreats from President Trump are not only disappointing but also heartbreaking, particularly for the families of the victims of gun violence.”

LARGEST RANSOMWARE ATTACK (SO FAR) HITS 23 SMALL TOWNS IN TEXAS: Computer systems in 23 small Texas towns have been hacked, seized and held for ransom in a widespread, coordinated cyberattack, the authorities said this week. The Texas Department of Information Resources said Monday that it was racing to bring systems back online after the “ransomware attack,” in which hackers remotely block access to important data until a ransom is paid. It was unclear who was responsible for the attacks, which occurred last week. The state described the attacker only as “one single threat actor.” Elliott Sprehe, a spokesman for the department, declined to provide further specifics or release the names of the towns affected because of the “potential for further attacks.” He said the attacks largely affected specific departments within those towns. Allan Liska, an analyst with Recorded Future, a cybersecurity firm, said that the attack in Texas was “absolutely the largest coordinated attack” on cities he had seen in terms of the number of targets, and that “it may be the first time that we’ve seen a coordinated attack.”