• Happy Independence Day! (No, really.)

• At a meet-and-greet in Dobson, Mark Walker, who will face Phil Berger Jr. in a July 15 runoff for the Republican nomination in the 6th Congressional District, explains his views on immigration and says Berger is too close to the GOP establishment.

• The U.S. Department of Justice and the N.C. NAACP are asking a federal judge to block the sections of last year’s election reform bill that take effect this year.

• Jim Womack, chairman of the state Mining and Energy Commission, released two letters challenging the arguments made in recent ads from environmental groups attacking state lawmakers who support fracking.