A federal judge ruled to keep a controversial North Carolina voter ID law in place, despite outcry from civil rights activists and residents who claim it has a negative impact on people of color. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder decided to dismiss lawsuits filed against state election laws. Judge Schroeder said there isn’t any substantial evidence that shows people of color are being prevented from exercising their right to vote. “There is significant, shameful past discrimination. In North Carolina’s recent history, however, certainly for the last quarter century, there is little official discrimination to consider,” Schroeder wrote. He said the plaintiffs “failed to show that such disparities will have materially adverse effects on the ability of minority voters to cast a ballot and effectively exercise the electoral franchise.” The U.S. Department of Justice and the North Carolina NAACP say poor minority voters are being discriminated against through these laws and it’s a violation of the Constitution and Voting Rights Act. Read more.


Columbus Short Fails Drug Test While On Probation

Actor Columbus Short is in hot water after failing a drug test while on probation. According to reports, the Scandal star recently tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. The failed drug test could end up becoming a probation violation charge in his felony assault case. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge was informed about Short’s test on Thursday and has set a May 9 court date. In September 2015, Short pleaded guilty to punching a man at a Los Angeles restaurant in 2014. He was sentenced to three years of probation, anger management classes, and two months of community service. According to reports, Short finished his anger management classes, but has yet to complete his community service. Read more.


Prince’s Sister Files Emergency Petition for an Executor of His Estate

Now that legendary singer Prince has passed on, his family members are in the process of figuring out what will happen with his estate. According to reports, Prince didn’t have a will and testament. On Tuesday, his sister Tyka Nelson filed an emergency petition for an executor of his estate. She wants to appoint Bremer Bank, which has handled Prince’s financial matters for years. “I do not know of the existence of a Will and have no reason to believe that the Decedent executed testamentary documents in any form,” reads the document. “[I]mmediate action and decisions need to be made to continue the ongoing management and supervision of the Decedent’s business interests.” The document also mentions the names of Prince’s half-siblings as heirs. Prince’s estate is reportedly worth $250 million. “I would be really surprised if there weren’t objections and contests in court. There’s a lot of money involved,” said estate expert Jeffrey P. Scott. Read more.


WGN to Renew “Underground” for a Second Season

WGN’s hit show Underground will be renewed for a second season. Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios, made the announcement on Tuesday. The show, which depicts the story of slaves trying to escape to freedom, has pulled in amazing ratings. “With enormous pride we are announcing a second season of ‘Underground,’ a series that has resonated with so many passionate fans across the country,” said Cherniss in a statement. “We are deeply proud of the work that the talented cast, crew and production team have done to bring this story to life, led by our gifted creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and our partners at Sony Pictures Television. It is an honor to have ‘Underground’ on our air and we look forward to how the story will unfold in what is sure to be a stellar sophomore season.” Underground features stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, and Christopher Meloni. Production for the second season is slated to start this summer. Read more.


Former Jets Player Winston Hill Dies

Famed football player Winston Hill has died. Hill, who was part of the Jets’ Super Bowl III Championship team in 1969, passed away on Tuesday night in Denver. He played for the Jets between 1963-1976, retiring with the Rams in 1977. “I was very sad to hear of the passing of Winston Hill,” said Jets owner Woody Johnson in a statement. “He was our most decorated player with a franchise-record eight all-star game appearances.” After his football career, Hill became a restaurateur in Colorado, opening Winston Hill’s Ribs and Stuff. Hill was 74. Read more.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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