Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Lame-duck session addressing voter ID, Florence, boards
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina General Assembly is coming back to approve voter ID details, consider more Hurricane Florence spending and address legal fights with Gov. Roy Cooper over state boards and commissions.
The legislature prepared to reconvene at midday Tuesday, three weeks since an Election Day in which Democrats won over a dozen legislative seats and broke the Republicans’ veto-proof majorities come January.
GOP leaders still have veto-proof control during a two-week lame-duck session. That will help them pass legislation to implement a constitutional amendment mandating photo identification to vote that was approved in a statewide referendum.
Senate leader Phil Berger says lawmakers also must address a court ruling that would eliminate the state elections and ethics board next week. Senators also plan to consider an economic development bill later Tuesday.
SANCTUARY SEEKER DETAINED
Immigrant who lived in church loses bid to avoid deportation
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two congressmen say a Mexican immigrant who had sought refuge in a North Carolina church has been rejected in a formal request to stay in the U.S. to support his family.
U.S. Reps. G.K. Butterfield and David Price announced late Monday that Samuel Oliver-Bruno’s petition for deferred deportation was denied.
It’s not clear when he may be removed from the U.S. Online records listed him as being in a Georgia detention center Tuesday morning. Federal immigration officials have said the 47-year-old has no legal basis to be in the U.S.
Oliver-Bruno was at an immigration office last week to pursue that application when he was detained. The congressmen say he left the church after 11 months because immigration officials told him to have his fingerprints taken as part of the application.
North Carolina city moves to ban electric scooters
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city is moving to ban electronic scooters after a fleet of the vehicles unexpectedly appeared in the area last month.
The Asheville Citizen Times reports the City Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to impose a $100 fine for using the scooters on public roads and sidewalks. City Transportation Department Director Ken Putnam says the ban would give Asheville time to review its bike-share and e-scooter feasibility study.
The council says the California-based Bird scooter company doesn’t have the required permits for the scooters, which it says pose a safety risk. The scooters can be rented through phone apps and are marketed as an environmentally-friendly way to travel. Putnam says several doctors and a 2017 study note an increasing concern about scooter-related accidents and injuries.
FORMER TEACHER-SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
Ex-Arizona teacher accused of having sex with teenl arrested
COOLIDGE, Ariz. (AP) – Pinal County Sheriff’s officials are trying to extradite a former Arizona school teacher accused of six counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.
Authorities say 38-year-old Andrew Dale Hensley of Phoenix was arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals at his home in Cary, North Carolina.
It was unclear Monday night if Hensley has a lawyer yet.
Hensley is a former fire science instructor at a tech school in Coolidge about 23 miles (37 kilometers) southwest of Phoenix.
County Sheriff’s officials began investigating Hensley in June after a 16-year-old girl reported he had sex with her four different times over a two-month span.
Hensley reportedly agreed to talk to sheriff’s investigators, but instead resigned from his teaching position and told neighbors he was going to North Carolina.
With amendment OK’d, debate resumes on N Carolina voter ID
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The latest proposal to require photo identification to vote in person in North Carolina is significant because the voters agreed earlier this month to put a photo ID mandate in the state constitution.
A legislative committee Monday reviewed draft legislation to implement the voter ID constitutional amendment and heard from the public the day before the General Assembly reconvenes to debate the measure.
House and Senate Republican leaders want to pass the implementing law before the end of the year, when they will no longer have enough votes to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vetoes. Previous photo ID laws this decade were blocked or struck down by federal judges.
Committee speakers focused on whether college-issued IDs should be accepted and the ID process would create long lines at polls.
REPEATED FLOOD LOSSES
Flood insurance rebuilds homes with public money repeatedly
WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) – After Hurricanes Florence and Michael, the nation’s financially troubled, taxpayer-backed flood insurance program is likely to restore homes and businesses that have already been rebuilt repeatedly, sometimes at costs totaling more than the building is worth.
Nearly 37,000 properties from the Carolinas to California have repeatedly flooded and been rebuilt – some dozens of times – through the National Flood Insurance Program. The program is $20 billion in debt and must be reauthorized by Congress this month.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency runs the flood insurance program. Its records show Louisiana has had the most repeatedly flooded properties, with 23 percent of the total. The 10 states with the most repeatedly flooded insured properties are mostly along the Gulf and East Coasts, but also include Missouri along the Mississippi River.
MISSING MAN FOUND
Missing elderly North Carolina man turns up in Virginia
MATTHEWS, N.C. (AP) – Police say an elderly North Carolina man who disappeared from his home near Charlotte has been found 130 miles (209 km) up Interstate 77 in Virginia.
Matthews police issued a statement saying 79-year-old Richard Michael Gibbons was found around 3 a.m. Monday when the car he was driving was involved in a crash in Galax, Virginia, a short distance across the North Carolina state line No one was hurt.
Police did not say if Gibbons has any connection to the Galax area. He has been reunited with his family.
Man indicted for making threats to schools, hospital
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been indicted for making threats of mass violence to three schools and a hospital.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports a Forsyth County grand jury indicted 21-year-old Dennis Alexis Maldonado Monday on charges of making a false report of mass violence on educational property communicating threats.
The indictments said Maldonado told a police officer and posted to social media that he was going to “shoot up” an elementary, middle and high school in Walkertown. Assistant District Attorney Jessica Spencer told a judge that Maldonado said he made the threat to the schools because he wanted to be famous.
He’s also accused of calling in a threat to Forsyth Medical Center.
Maldonado is jailed on a $50,000 bond. It’s not known if he has an attorney.