Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 1:20 a.m. EST
AP EXPLAINS-ELECTIONS BOARD
AP Explains: Why is election board fight still unsettled?
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A legal fight between North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and Republican lawmakers over a combined elections and ethics board remains unsettled, despite a state Supreme Court ruling last month favoring Cooper.
That’s because a lower court still must decide what the majority opinion means for the law approved last spring by the GOP-controlled General Assembly.
Complicating the matter is a bill the legislature approved last week adjusting the board again. Cooper opposed that change too, but will let it become law without his signature because it contains education items he wanted. However, that means the law won’t take effect until mid-March – possibly giving Cooper more time to seek a court victory.
This conflict is just one of many in a power struggle between Republicans and Cooper.
SECURITY GUARD BEATEN
Private officer beaten unconscious at transportation center
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a private security guard patrolling a public transportation hub was beaten unconscious by a man he had ordered to leave the property.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said 50-year-old G4S Company employee Jeffery Outen suffered a broken nose, head injuries and needed stitches in the 6 p.m. Friday attack, but is expected to recover.
Police say 49-year-old Reginald Alexander let the Charlotte Transportation Center once when asked by Outen, but then returned and refused to leave.
Police said in a statement that Alexander punched Outen in the head several times and the officer was knocked out when he hit his head on the sidewalk.
Alexander is charged with assaulting inflicting serious injury on a law enforcement officer. Jail records did not indicate if he had an attorney.
Police: Man firing shots to scare wife causes panic at plant
CLAREMONT, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a husband firing a shot to scare his wife in the break room of a North Carolina food processing plant caused a panic.
Catawba County deputies said 25-year-old Cheng Lee is charged with felony discharge of a firearm after the shooting Friday night at the AdvancePierre Foods plant in Claremont.
Authorities say two people suffered minor injuries in the chaos after Lee fired, but no one was seriously hurt.
Deputies told media outlets that Lee was a former worker at the plant and fired shots to scare his wife, who still works there.
It wasn’t known if Lee had a lawyer.
SUICIDE BY COP STOPPED
Quick Facebook post report gets teen mental help, not arrest
(Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com)
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say they were able to get mental help for a student who threatened to bring a BB gun to a high school so a police officer would kill him.
Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Detective E. W. Muse Jr. says the teen posted on Facebook earlier this month he wanted the officer at SouthWest Edgecombe High School to kill him.
Muse says the teen said he didn’t want to hurt students or teachers, so he was ordered to a hospital to get mental treatment and suspended from school for the rest of the year.
Muse told the Rocky Mount Telegram that the incident shows why it is so important for students and others to report any threats or strange behavior.
SHOTS FIRED AT OFFICER
Several shots fired at officer trying to pull car over
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a 24-year-old man has been arrested after he fired several shots from his car at an officer who was trying to pull him over in North Carolina
Winston-Salem Police said the officer was not struck by the bullets fired at him around 11 p.m. Thursday.
Police say they found the Nissan Sentra the officer was trying to stop abandoned a short time after the shooting, and that led them to Christopher Geter.
Police said in a statement that Geter is charged with assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, speeding to elude arrest, no driver’s license and failing to stop at a red light. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney.
Black history author wins annual University of Alabama award
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – An African-American author and professor has won University of Alabama’s annual non-fiction writing award for her work on women and black southern writers.
A university statement on Friday names Dr. Trudier Harris as this year’s winner of the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing.
Harris has written or edited more than two dozen books including her award-winning work “The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South.”
The Tuscaloosa native has also taught for 36 years. She is currently an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Clarence E. Cason Award is named after Alabama’s journalism department founder. Cason’s writing criticized southern race relations at a time when they were most tense.
Federal appeals panel sets March arguments on primaries
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court will hear arguments next month over whether it was appropriate for a lower court to restore North Carolina appellate judge primaries this year even though state Republicans had passed a law canceling them.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said Friday it would accelerate the legal process and hear in person from attorneys for GOP legislators, the state and the Democratic Party on March 20.
A 4th Circuit panel agreed last week to delay the preliminary injunction U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued that had blocked temporarily the law eliminating the appellate primary elections. Those primaries would have been held in May.
The panel’s decision meant appellate candidates for now can plan to file in June for the November general election.
North Carolina House leader creating school safety panel
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The leader of the North Carolina House plans a new committee to study what changes could be made to improve school safety.
The announcement Friday by a spokesman for House Speaker Tim Moore comes two days after a school shooting in Florida that left 17 people dead. Joseph Kyzer says the bipartisan panel – with members announced next week – will examine current safety standards and procedures in North Carolina’s K-12 schools to “ensure the highest level of safety.”
The committee would make recommendations to the full House, which next returns for session in May.
The North Carolina legislature passed laws following a 2012 Connecticut school shooting designed to beef up school security and emergency response requirements. They included annual safety exercises and school panic alarms.