Wednesday 20 Aug 2014

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News from Across the State

** An Army general awaiting sentencing for inappropriate relationships with three subordinates was praised Tuesday by defense witnesses as a smart, inspirational leader who cared for his soldiers.

But prosecutors had one more reminder that Brig Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair didn’t have all his soldiers’ best interests in mind. A witness they called testified about a bawdy skit at a 2010 Army party that included soldiers mocking then-rampant rumors that the general was having an affair with a female captain under his command.

Sinclair could learn his fate today as his sentencing hearing wraps up, though it’s unclear if the judge will rule immediately.

**North Carolina’s Court of Appeals wants a fact-finding lower court to consider whether an appointed state official or a state rulemaking commission should decide how the state executes convicted killers.

The appeals court said Tuesday it wants a trial court to consider the facts around October’s decision by Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry to decide on the procedures for lethal injections. The General Assembly changed state law in June to give Gov. Pat McCrory’s appointed public safety agency head the power to establish execution procedures.

North Carolina has not carried out any executions since 2006.

**Contrasting views on the federal health care overhaul law were on display at the North Carolina Legislative Building as a committee met for the first time to discuss its effectiveness and impact on state businesses and consumers.

A General Assembly panel directed to review the 2010 law pushed by President Barack Obama met Tuesday and heard from a Duke University professor and health policy researcher opposed to the law.

Chris Conover called the Affordable Care Act a “missed opportunity” that’s falling well short of what it promised. He says the law will discourage full-time employment by businesses seeking to avoid required insurance coverage under the law.

Earlier Tuesday, Democrats who support the law joined doctors and some consumers who obtained insurance coverage under the law to tout the law’s benefits.nc

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