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Sweepstakes ban enforcement begins; company says its games are legal

The N.C. Sheriff's Association sent a reminder to all sheriffs today reminding them that they can begin enforcing the ban on sweepstakes games today.

The memo includes a recommendation to ask for legal advice if sheriffs have questions about the legality of certain machines.

The state Supreme Court upheld a 2010 law banning video sweepstakes. An industry representative said when the decision was announced last month that businesses would change their software or businesses models, as they had in the past, to stay within the law.

One female sheriff among N.C. 100

North Carolina has only one female sheriff.

First elected in 2000, Currituck County Susan Johnson is the only woman of the state's 100 sheriffs, though she used to have more company.

As recently as 2006, there were three women, including Sheriff Barbara Pickens of Lincoln County and an appointee in Washington County.

Pickens was the state's first female sheriff when she was elected in 1994. She was re-elected to two more terms, retiring in 2006 after losing a bid for another term.

Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president of the N.C. Sheriffs' Association, said he did not know why there were not more women in the role.

"The decision about who to elect rests with the qualified voters of the individual counties," he said.

Though women were elected to a number of offices for the first time this year, several top positions in law enforcement remain nearly all male.

Sheriffs flag 3,100 for removal

Seven counties participating in a program designed to flag illegal immigrants in county jails have flagged for deportation proceedings more than 3,100 people since January.

That figure represents 70 percent of the 4,500 prisoners interviewed in the seven jails that are participating in a federal program designed to allow county and local officials to help enforce federal immigration laws, said Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president and general counsel of the N.C. Sheriffs' Association.

Caldwell's gave the figures for the seven counties as part of a presentation to a legislative oversight committee on crime and corrections.

Under Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1996, local law enforcement agencies can be granted authority to handle immigration. The seven counties participating in the program are Alamance, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Gaston, Henderson, Mecklenburg and Wake.

On Jan. 1, a law went into effect requiring jail operators to try to determine the residency status of anyone arrested for impaired driving or a felony. But the counties participaing in the federal partnership have much greater access to federal immigration resources.

More after the jump.

Correction: Post and headline have been updated to reflect that it's the federal partnership, not the state law, that most directly led to the removal proceedings.

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