Friday, July 24, 2015

First Drip (7/24/15): N.C. legislature looks to regulate Uber, other ride-share services

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 10:50 AM

The North Carolina Senate passed a bill yesterday that would regulate ride-share services such as Uber in the same way the state regulates traditional taxi companies. The bill requires background checks on drivers, company-provided liability insurance and a $5,000 annual state fee. But, companies would not have to register each driver or navigate local fees and regulations like taxis. Critics of the bill say that still gives Uber an unfair advantage. 

A 59-year-old man killed three people, including himself, and wounded nine more in a mass shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, yesterday. Witnesses said John Russel Houser stood up about 20 minutes into the 7:10 p.m. showing of "Trainwreck" and began shooting a handgun at people, letting off 13 shots in total. As of this morning, seven people remained hospitalized. 

A report released recently by the Urban Institute ranks Charlotte neighborhoods by socioeconomic status, placing the neighboring Plaza Midwood and Belmont at opposite ends of the spectrum. According to the report, Plaza Midwood ranks in the top 10 percent while Belmont, just next door, ranks at the bottom 10 percent. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force was reportedly formed to build bridges between high- and low-income areas. 

Nine jurors have been selected for the trial of Randall Kerrick, the former CMPD officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell. Today, attorneys on both sides will continue to question potential jurors and will have to choose three more jurors and four alternates before the trial can begin. 

Details have been released regarding a Charlotte woman who had to be subdued during a flight to London which was then diverted to Philadelphia and later canceled. Witnesses said Sarah Buffett tried to smash a window on the plane and assaulted and intimidated the flight crew. According to court documents, Buffet said she drank three glasses of wine and took a prescription sleeping pill before boarding the flight and doesn't remember anything that happened thereafter. 

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