Wednesday News: Snipe hunting


RALPH HISE WORRIES STUDENTS WILL STEAL ID PHOTOS OFF THE INTERNET: Rep. David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican who was a key negotiator on the voter ID law, said Tuesday he was interested in changes that would make more student and employee IDs good for voting. However, Sen. Ralph Hise, a Spruce Pine Republican and co-chairman of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, said the voter ID law is fine the way it is. Hise said Tuesday that universities need to verify students’ personal information so matches can be made to elections board data. Only student photos taken by the university or contractor should be suitable for voting purposes to guard against people using fake IDs to vote, he said. “Someone could click a photo on the internet and submit it,” Hise said.

GOP HOUSE LEADERS WHITEWASH UNC BOARD OF GOVERNORS: House Republican leaders pushed forward Tuesday with a half-dozen nominees to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors despite complaints from a leading Democrat that they were acting in bad faith and decreasing diversity on a board that sets policy for the state's public university system. The six names are mostly re-appointments, but a black Democrat would come off the board, replaced by a white Republican. The appointees include at least one lobbyist, the managing partner of a company that two top members of House leadership have worked for and a developer who is friends with Speaker of the House Tim Moore. House Minority Leader Darren Jackson took issue Tuesday with the process: An up-or-down vote on a resolution naming members to the board as opposed to an election that would force legislators to choose from a larger field of candidates. That gives leadership closer control of the slate. "The fact that a few people got to decide ... is wrong," Jackson, D-Wake, said during a lunchtime committee meeting.

ALAMANCE COUNTY LANDOWNERS SUED BY MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE COMPANY: Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC is suing two landowners in Alamance County Superior Court who, according to the suit, are denying company representatives access to their land. “Mountain Valley is vested with the power of eminent domain under North Carolina law, and is a condemnor,” the suit reads. “North Carolina law expressly allows any condemnor to enter upon any lands, but not structures, prior to condemnation to make surveys, borings, examinations, and appraisals.” MVP’s lawyers, Michael Thelen with Womble Bond Dickinson of Raleigh, and Joseph Kalo with Pittman and Steele of Burlington, prepared the two lawsuits — one against Charles and Deborah Jones, and the other against Allen and Cynthia Mitchell — and filed them March 13. They request an injunction forcing the property owners to give them access. A hearing is set for April 1. The proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline Southgate would be a 72-mile, 24-inch-diameter line connecting to the existing MVP in Pittsylvania County, Va., to carry Marcellus Shale gas to the PSNC distribution system south of Graham near Cherry Lane Road, according to documents submitted to the county.

CAMP LEJEUNE COULD LOSE WATER TREATMENT PLANT FUNDING OVER TRUMP'S WALL: The Pentagon sent a 20-page list of military construction projects to Congress on Monday that might be slashed to pay for President Donald Trump's wall along the Mexican border. The Pentagon document listed hundreds of projects envisioned around the U.S. and world worth around $12.9 billion. Not all will be subject to cuts, the Defense Department wrote, making it difficult to determine exactly which would be vulnerable. The list included more than $100 million for water treatment plant improvements at Camp Lejeune and airfield security and other work at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in North Carolina. That is the home state to Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who initially said he opposed Trump's emergency but voted for it. Tillis, who could face a tough re-election fight next year, said the White House had shown a willingness to consider curbing presidential powers to declare future emergencies.

MONSANTO LOSES IN COURT WHEN JURY FINDS ROUNDUP CAUSED MAN'S CANCER: A federal jury found Tuesday that Monsanto’s popular weedkiller Roundup was a “substantial factor” in causing a California man’s cancer, dealing a significant blow to the company as it aggressively defends its products against thousands of similar claims. The six-member jury delivered the unanimous verdict in the United States District Court in San Francisco, months after a groundskeeper who said Roundup caused his cancer was awarded about $80 million in a separate case in California. Tuesday’s verdict concluded the first of two phases in the federal case about the possible health risks of Roundup and whether Monsanto misled the man, Edwin Hardeman, about those risks. Mr. Hardeman used Roundup to control weeds and poison oak on his property for 26 years. He learned he had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2015.