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    TRENTON — “Bring it on,” Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday of a lawsuit filed by the reelection campaign of President Donald J. Trump, challenging Murphy’s right to unilaterally order that the Nov. 3 general election will be mostly vote-by-mail.

    HICKORY — Catawba County has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

    North Carolina’s newly seated Supreme Court has heard arguments on whether people convicted of felonies should be permitted to vote if they aren’t in prison but still are serving probation or parole or have yet to pay fines. The justices listened Thursday to their first high-profile case since the court flipped to Republican control in January. They didn’t immediately rule. The case stems from 2019 litigation that challenged a 1973 state law automatically restoring voting rights only after the “unconditional discharge of an inmate, of a probationer, or of a parolee.” Roughly 56,000 people could be affected by the outcome.

    The official who oversaw the conversion of North Carolina’s Medicaid agency to managed care will retire from state government at the end of the month. The state Department of Health and Human Services confirmed on Thursday the upcoming departure of Dave Richard. He joined the department in 2013 after 24 years leading The Arc of North Carolina. He's been deputy secretary for Medicaid for the last eight years. State Medicaid enrollment is 2.9 million. In 2021, Medicaid moved from a traditional fee-for-service model to one in which provider organizations receive fixed monthly payments for every patient seen and treated. Richard’s retirement was first reported by Axios.

    North Carolina has joined a growing list of states considering bans on gender-affirming medical procedures for transgender minors. A bill filed late Wednesday in the state House would ban hormone treatments and surgeries for anyone younger than 18 and make it illegal for medical professionals to help a minor “present or appear in a manner that is inconsistent with the minor’s sex.” Doctors would be prohibited from surgically removing any healthy or “nondiseased” body part or tissue. Those who violate the proposed restriction could lose their license and would face a penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation.

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