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Railroad artifacts tell story of how trains built Atlanta
ATLANTA (AP) – A newly restored steam locomotive that chased a stolen train in the American Civil War is helping to tell the story of how railroads fueled Atlanta’s growth since its earliest days.
The Atlanta History Center is using many railroad artifacts, a new exhibit hall and actors playing the roles of historic railroad figures to show how trains forged Atlanta into one of the South’s most important transportation and business hubs.
The newly restored 1856 locomotive “Texas” is paired with the Zero Mile Post, which marked the terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad and Atlanta’s epicenter.
History Center President and CEO Sheffield Hale says the exhibit that opened this month aims to tell Atlanta’s origin story – and how railroads shaped the future life of the city and the region.
Men pistol-whip man during burglary, lead police on chase
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police have arrested two suspects who they say pistol-whipped and robbed a man who discovered them burglarizing a home.
The victim told Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers he went inside a friend’s house when he noticed a moving truck outside. He found three men burglarizing the Matthews home. He was struck with a gun. Two suspects then stole his 2011 BMW while the third sped off in the rental truck.
A Thursday police statement says an officer later chased the stolen BMW on I-485. The car crashed and both men fled on foot. A K-9 unit caught one of the suspects. Police allege they found stolen items belonging to the homeowner in the car.
Police say they tracked down the truck used in the robbery and arrested the driver at a gas station.
CHARITY RUN-DEER COLLISION
Deer rams into volunteer at North Carolina charity run
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A volunteer at a Thanksgiving Day charity run has been hospitalized after getting struck by a deer that wandered into the fundraiser.
Iredell County medical officials told the Charlotte Observer that the gatecrashing deer rammed into the volunteer at the “Turkey Trot” 5K race in Mooresville. They say the person was handing out water to competitors at the time.
The volunteer sustained minor injuries and was taken to a hospital. Officials did not provide the person’s name.
The run is an annual fundraiser for The Christian Mission nonprofit.
INTERSTATE 85-OPEN LANES
Funneling done: I-85 at North Carolina-Virginia line open
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – All lanes are open on a portion of Interstate 85 near the North Carolina-Virginia border for the first time in three years, welcome news for holiday travelers.
The N.C. Department of Transportation says workers have finished painting pavement markings on the new surface, opening all lanes between Henderson and the state for the first time since May 2015, when work began on the 21-mile stretch.
The $137 million overhaul involved replacing the original concrete pavement as well as several bridges.
NCDOT says while there will be temporary closures after Thanksgiving, the funneling of drivers into single lanes is over. However, officials say that portion of the interstate will remain a work zone into 2019, so speed limits will remain lower.
North Carolina city passes limits on where scooters can roll
(Information from: News & Record, http://www.news-record.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Scooters are returning to a North Carolina city after the company which deployed them took them off the streets so officials could revise regulations to accommodate them.
The News & Record of Greensboro reports the Greensboro City Council voted to allow the electric scooters to return, but only on streets where the speed limit doesn’t exceed 35 mph (15 km/h). The council also approved a permitting process that requires scooter companies to pay $500 for a permit to deploy no more than 200 scooters in the city. Companies also would pay a $50 fee per scooter.
Earlier this month, Bird Scooters removed hundreds of electric scooters from streets and sidewalks until the city could develop regulations. The scooters first appeared in Greensboro in August.
The vote occurred on Tuesday.
HURRICANE FLORENCE-EXCHANGE STUDENTS
Exchange students raise money for Hurricane Florence victims
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A group of French exchange students is helping their counterparts in North Carolina in their recovery from Hurricane Florence.
The StarNews of Wilmington reports students from Strasbourg Amities USA have come to Wilmington since 2009 for language exchange programs at Ashley High School and Murray Middle School. Ashley High French teacher Soumia Paull said when the Strasbourg students heard about the hurricane, they really wanted to help out a family severely affected by the storm.
In the weeks after Florence, the families raised $7,300 to help the Wilmington school communities recover.
Last month, staff from Strasbourg Amities flew to Wilmington to deliver the grant, which will be divided between the two schools. New Hanover County Schools staff will distribute it to all families in need at Ashley and Murray.
Consent order would make chemical plant reduce emissions
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State environmental officials have obtained a consent order which calls on a North Carolina chemical plant to reduce emissions of a compound and pay a $12 million civil penalty.
The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality said in a news release Wednesday the order requires Chemours to reduce GenX air emissions and provide permanent replacement drinking water supplies.
In addition to the civil penalty, the order calls for Chemours to pay an additional $1 million for investigative costs. Additional penalties will apply if Chemours fails to meet the conditions and deadlines established in the order.
Attorneys for the environmental agency said in a lawsuit that a months-long investigation by DEQ found Chemours contaminated the state’s air, surface water and groundwater through its release of GenX.
Democrat wins state’s last contested legislative race
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Democrat Rachel Hunt has won North Carolina’s last contested legislative race, edging out influential GOP Rep. Bill Brawley in a recount.
Hunt declared victory last week after a provisional ballot count extended her narrow lead over Brawley in state House District 103, but Brawley requested a recount. News outlets report that the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections declared Hunt the winner Tuesday, with a 68-vote lead.
The win further narrows the gap between the parties in the House, giving Democrats 55 seats to Republicans’ 65.
The race was one of the state’s most expensive. Hunt, a first-time candidate and daughter of former Gov. Jim Hunt, raised more than $1.2 million and got about $900,000 from the state Democratic Party.
Brawley, who chairs the House Finance Committee, raised over $410,000.