Leland town council expected to vote in favor of banning popular pet snakes

The Leland town council is expected to vote Thursday to prohibit citizens from owning exotic animals as pets, including boa constrictors and pythons, two very popular household snake types.

  Seven months after November election, Columbus County expected to certify results of disputed sheriff’s race

  NC Senate mulls bill that could restrict access to hog farm documents

  Lawyers file notice of appeal in Columbus County sheriff’s election dispute

  WECT Investigates: Medicaid and ER visits — a look at expenses, expansion

  Attorney “astounded” by mayor’s comments about ongoing H2GO lawsuit

  State elections board issues order in Columbus County Sheriff dispute, parties plan appeals

Continued Coverage

NC House passes bill reappointing White to UNCW Board of Trustees

  General Assembly approves voter ID accommodations, including use of student IDs

Actor Jon Voight: Trump is the greatest president since Lincoln

Judge halts plan to build parts of border wall

  Priest wins Bladen Co. District 3 recount

NC Senate budget to fund testing of old rape kits

  Recount scheduled in Bladen County Commission race

Only four votes separate the two candidates for the commission's third district.

  House approves sweeping bill to expand gay rights

Dubbed the Equality Act, the bill is a top priority of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said it will bring the nation "closer to equal liberty and justice for all."

  After another court ruling, NC House back to redistricting

The North Carolina House is starting another round of redistricting demanded by judges who declared Republicans unnecessarily redrew a handful of districts in 2017.

  NC9 Election Results: Bishop takes GOP primary; Bladen Commissioners’ race decided by four votes

Republicans in North Carolina have chosen state Sen. Dan Bishop as their party’s nominee in a special congressional election ordered after a ballot fraud scandal marred last year’s race.

Republican candidates face off in primary NC District 09 election

Bladen County, 9th district vote in election re-do

Candidates face off in GOP primary for 9th Congressional District

NC elections board appoints Karen Brinson Bell as new director

Former US President Jimmy Carter has surgery for broken hip

  Major changes made at Bladen County Board of Elections to improve security

NC House passes bill naming USS North Carolina as state’s ‘official battleship’

House lawmakers unanimously passed a bill adopting the USS North Carolina as the official battleship of the State of North Carolina.

  NC House passes bill to regulate zip lines and other ‘aerial adventure’ courses

The state House on Monday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Ted Davis to regulate the “aerial adventure” industry in North Carolina, which includes zip lines and ropes courses.

  State elections board sides with Jody Greene; protesters plan appeal; investigators detail absentee ballot activity

NCSBE determined Greene was a Columbus County resident when he filed to run for sheriff.

  State board holds hearing for disputed Columbus County sheriff race

The North Carolina State Board of Elections announced that it will hold a hearing Monday, May 6, regarding the disputed sheriff race in Columbus County.

  Election deception: WECT Investigates spillover of absentee ballot irregularities in Columbus County

The ties between Bladen and Columbus counties run deep, and in 2018, they shared the symptoms of absentee ballot irregularities.

NC Senate overrides Cooper veto of abortion bill, House to vote Thursday

The North Carolina Senate has agreed to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of legislation directing doctors and nurses to care for an infant born alive after an attempted abortion.

NC Treasurer touts NC Cash program, updates HB184

North Carolina Treasurer Dale Folwell talks about HB184, which would delay implementation of a new reimbursement structure for professionals who provide healthcare to state employees and retirees.

  John Ingram: Why the law enforcement he started in no longer exists (”1on1 with Jon Evans” podcast)

On this week's "1on1 with Jon Evans" podcast, Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram talks about how law enforcement has changed over his career, and shares personal stories he uses to better protect the community.

  With voter confidence on the line, all eyes on Bladen County as voting gets underway

Just shy of five months after the North Carolina State Board of Elections refused to certify three races — Bladen County Commission District 3, Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor and North Carolina’s 9th congressional seat — voters are again taking to the polls.

  Utility documents list acting sheriff’s purported residence as commercial account with cow barn

Documents subpoenaed from Duke Energy shed new light on concerns that acting Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene may not have lived in the county prior to his election as required by state law. The documents also indicate there has been an address change on the account.

  Rep. Rouzer speaks on Mueller Report findings regarding collusion, obstruction

Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC7) sits down with WECT's Jon Evans to talk about issues including the recently released Mueller Report, solvency of Social Security/Medicare, and fighting terrorism.

  Early voting for Republican primary begins Wednesday in NC’s 9th district

One-stop, in-person early voting in the Republican primary election for North Carolina’s 9th congressional district begins Wednesday, April 24.

Although the Mueller report is out, ‘it isn’t over’ Van Susteren says

Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren says that Congress could call for their own investigations, but hopes that it's not for political gain.

  Trump tried to choke Russia probe, oust Mueller, report says; president claims it shows no collusion or obstruction

Those efforts "were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests," Mueller wrote.

North Carolina ‘born alive’ abortion bill clears Senate

Abortion legislation in North Carolina focusing on what happens if a child is born during a failed late-term abortion has cleared the state Senate.

Trump sanctuary city idea could help migrants stay in US

The idea to ship immigrants to Democratic strongholds was considered twice in recent months, but the White House and Department of Homeland Security said the plan had been rejected. But Trump said Friday he was still considering the idea.

  NC legislators propose bill to make ride-sharing safer after SC student killed

North Carolina legislators are working to make ride-sharing safer just days after University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was abducted and killed by a person impersonating an Uber driver.

Panthers visit State House, some senators not convinced on bill

A bill that would create incentives and tax credits for a professional sports team in South Carolina is making its way through the State House.

  Another deputy seeking back pay from Columbus Co., says acting sheriff didn’t have authority to fire him

“It is Mr. Campbell’s position that, due to the N.C. State Board of Elections position that Mr. Green’s [sic] election was never certified, Mr. Green was without legal or actual authority to either demote or terminate Mr. Campbell.”

  Voting along party lines, Columbus County elections board decides Jody Greene was not domiciled in county

The second day of testimony included a trip for the board and the public to Greene's land in Cerro Gordo.

  State House passes bill on sheriffs working with ICE; NC Sheriff’s Association opposes it

The North Carolina Sheriff’s Association released a statement explaining the organization’s opposition to House Bill 370, the legislation that compels sheriffs to fulfill detainer requests from the federal government for illegal immigrants incarcerated for being charged with a crime.

  Columbus County elections board hears protest of 2018 sheriff’s race, testimony to continue Thursday

Nearly five months after Election Day, the Columbus County Board of Elections is considering an election protest in the race between Jody Greene and Lewis Hatcher.

NCGOP Chairman, others indicted in federal corruption probe

NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, who spent a decade in Congress representing a district that stretched from the Charlotte area to Fayetteville, surrendered himself to authorities and made a first appearance at the US Courthouse in Charlotte on Tuesday.

2nd woman recounts unwanted touching by Joe Biden

The allegations by multiple women could leave Biden appearing out of touch with his party as the Democratic presidential primary begins.

  Absentee voting opens in North Carolina’s 9th district

With a little more than six weeks until a special primary election, North Carolina’s 9th congressional district is back where it all began: absentee voting.

  Acting sheriff fired deputies despite uncertain election results

In the midst of unprecedented confusion in Columbus County over who should be serving as sheriff, some deputies have been terminated from their job. While North Carolina law generally gives sheriffs broad latitude to fire at will, pending legal challenges bring the recent firings under scrutiny.

  Trump border emergency survives as House veto override fails

The Democratic-controlled chamber fell 38 votes short of the 286 needed for Democrats and their handful of Republican allies to prevail, because a two-thirds majority was needed.

Wrightsville Beach license plate bill filed in General Assembly

The General Assembly is moving the process along to create specialty license plates for the Town of Wrightsville Beach. House Bill 449 gives the NC Division of Motor Vehicles authorization to create four specialty registration plates in 2019.

Though Mueller’s report has been completed, debate continues

Mueller's findings absolve Trump on the question of colluding with Russia but don't entirely remove the legal threats the president and his associates are facing.

  Columbus County BOE sets hearing in disputed sheriff’s race

The board was required by the North Carolina State Board of Elections to hold a hearing into the election protest of Gloria Smith and report back findings by April 5.

  Mueller report: Barr says Mueller finds no evidence of Trump-Russia conspiracy

Attorney General William Barr has given Congress the eagerly anticipated summary of the “principal conclusions” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year Russia investigation.

  State board sends sheriff’s election protest back to Columbus County, requires officials to take up residency issue

The dispute over the Columbus County sheriff's race is headed back to local officials.

  NCSBE wants ‘fresh start’ in Bladen County, declines to appoint former county elections board members

In order to accomplish that, the NCSBE declined to appoint a full slate of members to the Bladen County Board of Elections because several nominees have served in the role.

  NC House unanimously supports bill named after fallen Trooper Kevin Conner

The state House unanimously approved a bill Wednesday increasing the penalty for those who assault a law enforcement officer with a firearm, and doubling the death benefit for families of murdered officers.

  NC House approves bill to adopt the North Carolina Azalea Festival the state’s official azalea festival

The NC House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill naming the festival held in Wilmington every spring as the state's 'Official Azalea Festival". The bill now moves to the state Senate.

NCSBE hearing on Columbus Co. sheriff’s race rescheduled as board considers sending matter back to county

The North Carolina State Board of Elections will meet by phone Thursday to consider remanding part of the issues detailed in a protest appeal back to the Columbus County.

NC Senate passes bill with tougher punishments for thieves who target pharmacies for opioids

The state Senate on Monday passed a bill toughening the punishments for anyone caught breaking into a pharmacy to steal medication, and for those who ultimately receive the stolen property.

  Protecting your voice: Restoring voter confidence in the wake of election fraud

After election fraud put the national spotlight on Southeastern North Carolina, WECT Investigates took a look at how other Cape Fear area counties fared in 2018.

  NC9 Special Election: Final list of candidates determined

The stage is set for the new election in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.

  Senate rejects Trump border emergency as Republicans defect

The Republican-run Senate rejected President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southwest border on Thursday.

  Beto O’Rourke enters 2020 race attempting bipartisan appeal

Weeks of teasing an announcement are behind him, but O'Rourke now must prove whether the energy he brought to the Texas campaign will resonate on a much larger stage.

Bills from Wilmington-area lawmakers pass state House committees

Three bills sponsored by legislators from southeastern North Carolina took steps forward Wednesday, receiving approval from committees in the state House of Representatives.

  Search warrants indicate SBI tailed Dowless during 2018 election

Months before his absentee activities would make national headlines, Leslie McCrae Dowless was being followed by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

  McCrae Dowless received absentee ballot data from Columbus County

Newly-surfaced documents show how Leslie McCrae Dowless, the man indicted for election fraud in Bladen County, was also active in neighboring Columbus County.

NC House committee backs bill that would ban holding phone while driving

Distracted driving dangers are getting revisited in North Carolina, where lawmakers are advancing a prohibition on hand-held cellphone use in the name of reducing fatalities and potentially reining in insurance rates.

Pelosi: Impeaching Trump ‘just not worth it’

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is setting a high bar for impeachment of President Donald Trump, saying he is “just not worth it” even as some on her left flank clamor to start proceedings.

  NC sued over transgender surgery benefit; Treasurer Folwell responds

North Carolina’s State Treasurer is responding to a lawsuit filed over the state’s treatment of transgender people. State employees argue in a lawsuit filed Monday that their health plan violated federal law and their constitutional rights by dropping coverage of medically necessary procedures.

Trump reviving his border wall fight with $8.6 billion budget request

President Donald Trump proposed a record $4.7 trillion federal budget for 2020 on Monday, relying on optimistic 3.1 percent economic growth projections alongside accounting shuffles and steep domestic cuts to bring future spending into promised balance in 15 years.

  Trump’s latest budget ignores deficits that have driven U.S. debt above $22 trillion

Treasury Department figures show a 77 percent spike in the deficit over the first four months of the budget year, driven by falling revenues and steady growth in spending.

  Wilmington’s municipal elections to cost 20 percent more this year

Wilmington won’t be alone — Wrightsville Beach and Kure Beach will also see increases thanks to changes the county is making.

Fifth arrest made on election-related crimes connected to NC-9 investigation

Two women have now been arrested on election-related crimes connected to the investigation into election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th District.

  Manafort sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison

He was convicted in August of eight felony counts for tax fraud and other financial crimes and faced up to 24 years in prison.

NC House moving forward on video telecasts of sessions after 115-1 vote

The public would be able to see sessions of North Carolina House of Representatives under a bill filed Wednesday by Rep. Brenden Jones (R-Columbus) and two other legislators.

  North Korea said to be rebuilding structures at rocket site

Dismantling parts of the long-range rocket launch facility was among several steps North Korea took last year amid diplomatic talks with the United States and South Korea.

Trump pushed staff to give Ivanka Trump security clearance, report says

President Donald Trump tried to pressure top aides to approve a security clearance for his daughter Ivanka Trump, according to a CNN report.

  Hillary Clinton says she won’t run for president in 2020

Former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said unequivocally that she is not running for president following her failed run in 2016.

Ex-acting AG Matthew Whitaker leaves Justice Department

Whitaker was replaced last month when William Barr was confirmed as attorney general. He became a counselor in the associate attorney general's office.

  New 9th district election, Bladen County re-dos scheduled

It will be September, if not November, before we know who will serve in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.