TRUMP IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR POSSIBLE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE BY SPECIAL COUNSEL: The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said. The move by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump's own conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.
STATE GOVERNMENT'S BATTLE AGAINST VIDEO SWEEPSTAKES PARLORS CONTINUES: Some state lawmakers are trying again to limit video gambling operations in North Carolina while struggles over the games' legality crawl through the courts. An amendment added to an unrelated House bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday would make it a felony to possess more than four such machines within 100 feet of any other electronic machine or device. Each time lawmakers have tried to ban the games, the game makers and business owners have fought the latest law in court on a variety of grounds, winning legal injunctions against its enforcement. In some cases, they've reinvented games to narrowly skirt the statutes as they change.
NC HOUSE BILL REMOVES AUTHORITY FROM MUNICIPALITIES ON BILLBOARD PLACEMENT: Cities and counties would lose some of their control over where billboards can go under a proposal that backers say will be fairer to sign companies. Billboard companies are sometimes required to remove signs to make way for road improvements. When the companies try for new locations, local governments won’t let the billboards go back up, said Rep. David Lewis, the bill sponsor and chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee. Ryke Longest, a member of the Scenic America and Scenic North Carolina boards of directors and a clinical professor of law at Duke University, said billboards would be allowed in some places where they are now prohibited.
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: PROPOSED $200 FINE FOR SLOW POKES: Drivers beware. Those caught bogging down traffic while travelling in the left lane in North Carolina could face a $200 fine under advancing legislation. A House judiciary committee passed a bill Wednesday that would make it illegal for someone to block the steady flow of traffic by cruising in the passing lane. Bill sponsors call it a public safety issue. They say drivers travelling below the speed limit in the left lane create tight clusters, which can cause accidents. The proposal would expand a current law requiring vehicles traveling less than the speed limit to be in the right lane.
ADDING "SOCIAL WORKER" TO THE LIST OF DANGEROUS JOBS: A woman whose vehicle was shot at in Burlington late Tuesday was targeted because of her work with the Rockingham County Department of Social Services, investigators say. A Reidsville man driving a black BMW sport utility vehicle is wanted in the drive-by shooting. The woman drove to the Burlington Police Department headquarters and reported the incident. She wasn’t injured in the shooting. “It is believed that (the victim) was specifically targeted by Neal because of her job at the Rockingham County Department of Social Services,” a Sheriff’s Office news release said. Burlington Police Department and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office are searching for Neal, who is considered armed and dangerous.