Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS
North Carolina Congress outcome unsure with absentee probe
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The nation’s last unresolved fall congressional race is awash in doubt as North Carolina election investigators concentrate on a rural county where absentee-ballot fraud allegations are so flagrant they’ve put the Election Day result into question.
Final unofficial ballot totals had shown Republican Mark Harris ahead of Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the 9th Congressional District, which covers nine south-central counties.
But the state elections board refused to certify the results last week with all the other Election Day contests, with the board’s new chairman pointing to “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” involving mail-in ballots.
The probe appears connected to the activities of a longtime political operative from Bladen County, where allegations about mail-in absentee ballots initially surfaced two years ago.
I LOVE MY LIBRARIAN
10 librarians each receive $5,000 prize
NEW YORK (AP) – A Pittsburgh librarian who advocates for immigrants and refugees and a librarian from rural North Carolina who helps patrons navigate the internet are among 10 winners of the I Love My Librarian Award.
The awards were announced Tuesday by the American Library Association. Winners, each of whom receive $5,000, are nominated by local library users.
Winners include Nancy Daniel of Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton, North Carolina, and Paula Kelly of Pittsburgh’s Whitehall Public Library. Also cited were Ginny Blackson from Ellensburg, Washington; Joy Bridwell of Box Elder, Montana; and Tamara Cox of Piedmont, South Carolina.
The others include Baltimore City College’s Jennifer Berg Gaither, Stephanie Hartwell-Mandella of Bedford, New York, and Linda Robinson of Mansfield, Connecticut.
A full list of winners can be found on www.ilovelibraries.org/ilovemylibrarian
The Latest: UNC trustees approve moving toppled statue
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The trustees of North Carolina’s flagship university have approved a proposal to construct a new building to house a toppled Confederate monument.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill trustees overwhelmingly approved the plan Monday, though at least one member voted no.
The proposal now goes to the Board of Governors that oversees the statewide university system. They’re expected to take it up at a meeting Dec. 14.
Chancellor Carol Folt, who presented the plan, stressed that she would have preferred to move the statue completely off campus but that option would likely have conflicted with a state law governing Confederate statues and other monuments.
Instead, the statue will be housed in a new building south of the university’s hospital. That area is far removed from the main quad where the statue previously stood.
The statue of an anonymous soldier is known as “Silent Sam” and was erected on a main campus quad in 1913.
CURSING IN COURT
N Carolina spectator’s courtroom curse lands her behind bars
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A courtroom curse has landed a woman in jail for 10 days in North Carolina.
As a Charlotte courtroom emptied out last week, The Charlotte Observer reports 31-year-old Precious Oliphant yelled out “piece of s—” in a voice that U.S. Magistrate David Cayer says “was loud enough to be heard throughout” the room.
It’s unclear whom Oliphant was addressing. She had been among the spectators who watched Dion Williams plead guilty to the 2017 attempted murder of a postal carrier.
Cayer ordered U.S. marshals to stop Oliphant from leaving. He told her she was being charged with contempt of court. She declined to say anything else.
She was sentenced to time in the Mecklenburg County jail, which records say she began Thursday afternoon.
NORTH CAROLINA-UNIVERSITY-GUNMAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: North Carolina university: no threat on campus
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The president of William Peace University says police have determined there was no threat posed to the small liberal arts college in downtown Raleigh after it went on alert earlier in the day to a report of a possible gunman.
The school had issued a call for people to shelter in place earlier on campus early Monday after police inform the university of a threat that was called in.
A university statement on Twitter says Raleigh police responded quickly and determined there was no threat.
The university declared an all-clear Monday afternoon with university president Brian Ralph saying “at no time was campus safety compromised.”
But all classes have been canceled for the remainder of the day except for online courses at the university’s school for professional studies. Normal administrative operations also were resuming.
SCHOOL CAMPUS-ARMED MAN
Police apprehend man with guns at North Carolina high school
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police have taken a man into custody after officers found two guns on him at a North Carolina high school.
A news release from Greensboro police said the man entered the cafeteria at Smith High School on Monday and was questioned by employees, who called for a lockdown. A school resource officer confronted the man and noticed the weapons. The man ran, but the resource officer and other officers caught him.
Authorities said 29-year-old Steve Brantley Spence of Norfolk, Virginia, had two handguns and a backpack with boxes of ammunition. Police also found a stolen car with another gun in it.
Investigators believe Spence’s intended target was someone at the school with whom he had a personal relationship.
Police also said Spence was wanted in Virginia on several charges.
FILM-BRIAN TYREE HENRY
Brian Tyree Henry: ‘I feel everything’
NEW YORK (AP) – On stage and screen, in big parts and small, Brian Tyree Henry’s soulful sensitivity and vast range has been on display this year with remarkably regularity.
There is his aspiring rapper Alfred Miles, aka Paper Boi, on “Atlanta,” in which he is the series’ deadpan, eye-rolling face to the surrounding absurdity. The Broadway revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s “Lobby Hero” won Henry is first Tony nod. And this fall he co-stars in two of the year’s most anticipated films: “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Widows.”
The parts have made Henry one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood. He has four films due out next year, including an action comedy in which he co-stars with Melissa McCarthy.
North Carolina GOP proposes another retooled elections board
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Republicans in the North Carolina legislature have offered another alternative to resolve a longstanding legal battle with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper over the state elections board.
A House bill filed late Monday would separate duties of the elections panel between a five-member board administering state elections and an eight-member board handling lobbying, ethics and campaign finance matters.
The governor’s party likely would hold three of the five positions on the proposed elections board. No party could hold more than half the seats on the lobbying, ethics and campaign finance board.
Judges in October struck down the latest version of a nine-member combined elections panel, saying the governor lacked the control warranted to him over an executive agency.
The bill also would repeal a commission that describes proposed constitutional amendments in writing.