WAKE COUNTY DECIDES TO REOPEN GUN SHOPS AFTER THREAT OF LAWSUIT: Wake County is reversing its stance on whether gun stores can remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. But Wake County Commissioner Chair Greg Ford said the county is not changing its stay-at-home order because gun advocacy groups complained about it. "These are routine updates as circumstances change,” he said. Paul Valone, president of gun rights organization Grass Roots North Carolina, previously told The News & Observer that gun stores sell things people need to protect their families and homes. GRNC and Gun Owners of America (GOA) sent a letter to Ford and Wake County threatening legal action if gun shops were not listed as essential businesses. “I think they are denying people the ability to protect themselves,” Valone said.
YOU STILL NEED TO GET YOUR CAR INSPECTED, BUT CAN UPDATE REGISTRATION ONLINE AFTER: Do I still have to get my car inspected? Yes, if your registration is up for renewal. But you don’t have to do it yourself. If you’re high risk for COVID-19, someone else can take your car in, provided they have your current registration card. After that, you should be able to renew your tag online or through the mail. When are income taxes due? July 15, for both state and federal income taxes. There won't be a penalty if you file by then, but you might have to pay interest on your state taxes, because that interest is written into state code. It will take an act of the General Assembly to waive that, and the legislature is preparing now for a legislative session to review a number of COVID-19 policies. Why are DMV offices still open? The Division of Motor Vehicles closed more than half of its offices (list and more information here), but it doesn't have the authority to extend expiration dates, which would take legislative action. Most drivers can renew licenses online. The federal REAL ID deadline, once set for Oct. 1, has been pushed to 2021. The DMV isn't offering road tests right now for regular licenses, so people trying to get their first licenses have to wait.
MEADOWS CITES "INCREDIBLE VICTORIES" OF TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AS HE TAKES OVER AS CHIEF OF STAFF: Meadows resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday evening in a short letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He will officially start as chief of staff Tuesday morning, according to an aide, though Meadows has been transitioning to the role in the three weeks since Trump tapped him. He participated in negotiations over the latest coronavirus aid package with administration officials and members of Congress. “This President and his administration have a long list of incredible victories they’ve delivered to the country during this first term, with the best yet to come — and I look forward to helping build on that success and staying in the fight for the forgotten men and women of America,” Meadows said in a statement after he was named to the post via a Trump tweet. Meadows announced in December that he would not be running for re-election in his far-western North Carolina district. Meadows, whose name was linked to the chief of staff job previously, hinted at getting a job in the Trump administration during that announcement.
SEVEN *MEN* ARRESTED IN GREENSBORO FOR PROTESTING AT ABORTION CLINIC: Greensboro police said the seven demonstrators gathered outside A Woman's Clinic of Greensboro were asked to leave because they were violating stay-at-home orders prompted by the new coronavirus. Police said the protesters refused. Jason Oesterreich, Justin Reeder, Isaiah Burner, Andre Gonzalez, Richard Whittier, Leroy Stokes Jr., and John Mcatee were charged with violating Guilford County's stay-at-home order and resisting a public officer. It wasn't the first time police had broken up a protest outside the clinic during the restrictions. Oesterreich, Reeder, Burner, and Carl Ubinas were charged with similar offenses after a protesting outside the clinic on Saturday, authorities said. Police said the men were part of a group that contacted police before gathering outside the clinic on Saturday. Police told the leader of the group that their gathering would be considered nonessential and protesters would be given a citation or be arrested.
TRUMP'S EPA HELL-BENT ON REVERSING OBAMA'S CAFE STANDARDS: “They’re doing a rule to damage public health,” said Chester France, a former senior career official at the Environmental Protection Agency who helped oversee the Obama-era mileage standards and now works as a consultant for the Environmental Defense Fund. “In this crisis that we’re having, it’s unconscionable.” Asked about the change, known as the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule, EPA spokeswoman Corry Schiermeyer said in an email that she could not comment on specifics because it is still under review. “This rule when finalized will benefit all Americans by improving the U.S. fleet’s fuel economy, reducing air pollution, making new vehicles more affordable for all Americans and save lives,” she said. The revised mileage standards will affect drivers across the country, partly by lowering the sticker price of new vehicles but also by causing fuel costs to rise over the long term. It also would release an additional 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the air over five years, according to an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund — equivalent to the pollution released by 68 coal plants operating during that time.