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Snowstorm: Southern roads dangerous as slush refreezes
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Several Southern states hit hard by a wintry storm were bracing early Tuesday for plunging temperatures that could refreeze melting snow and make roads more treacherous.
Scores of schools in Virginia and North Carolina were remaining closed for a second day. Georgia also announced a late start for state government workers because of fears about ice on roads. The storm that blew in over the weekend was blamed for at least three deaths in North Carolina, along with numerous car crashes, power outages and canceled flights.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said Monday that the worst of the storm had passed, but residents – particularly motorists – should keep watch for dangerous conditions. Melting snow and ice could result in slick road conditions Tuesday morning as temperatures fall and moisture refreezes.
SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Pedestrians warned of ice from skyscraper
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina’s largest city are warning pedestrians of ice falling from a downtown skyscraper.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police shut down one street Monday after reports of ice falling from the Duke Energy Center. Police advised on their Twitter page that travelers should find an alternate route.
The Charlotte Observer reports Wells Fargo owns the 48-story tower. Spokesman Josh Dunn confirmed that ice was dropping from the building. Warning signs and protective scaffolding were placed over the building’s entrances and exits.
A year after the building opened in January 2010, police had to close surrounding streets after, according to police, ice melting on the building started “coming down in big sheets.”
Retail chain Cato to settle federal discrimination probe
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Federal officials say a nationwide investigation found that a North Carolina women’s clothing retail chain discriminated against pregnant workers and workers with disabilities.
The Charlotte Observer reports The Cato Corporation has agreed to pay $3.5 million to settle the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s investigation. The agency announced Monday that the Charlotte-based company denied reasonable accommodations for those workers and made some workers take unpaid leave or terminated them because of their disabilities.
The agency says Cato’s practices violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. An EEOC release says Cato has agreed to update its policies to prevent discrimination against those workers.
It says a claims process will allow the settlement to be distributed to workers terminated because of their pregnancy or disability.
Cato’s website says it has more than 1,000 stores in 32 states.
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-CONGRESS
More time may be needed for North Carolina election decision
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The head of the North Carolina elections board is suggesting more time may be needed to decide whether a new congressional district election is necessary due to absentee ballot fraud allegations.
Chairman Joshua Malcolm wrote state judges Monday that those subpoenaed in the 9th Congressional District case have said they need more time to produce additional records. Malcolm says the delays may “lengthen the timeframe” the board initially contemplated. The board previously scheduled an evidentiary hearing on the district race on or before Dec. 21.
The schedule is important because a new session of Congress begins Jan. 3. Unofficial results show Republican Mark Harris leading Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes. The board could call a new election or declare a winner. Without resolution, the seat likely will become vacant.
VAN DUYN-LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
North Carolina legislator to run for lieutenant governor
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina state senator wants to become the next lieutenant governor.
Democratic Sen. Terry Van Duyn (dine) of Asheville announced her campaign plans in a social media post Monday.
Van Duyn is a retired computer systems analyst who succeeded Sen. Martin Nesbitt after he died in 2014. She is currently the Senate Democratic whip.
Van Duyn says she’s running in 2020 because Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper “needs a strong ally in his fight for working families.” Cooper is expected to seek re-election that year, too.
Former Davidson County Sen. Cal Cunningham announced two weeks ago that he is preparing his own Democratic bid for lieutenant governor.
The current lieutenant governor, Republican Dan Forest, is term-limited and is planning a gubernatorial run.
Governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately.
Plane carrying Carolina Hurricanes makes emergency landing
TULSA, Okla. (AP) – A passenger says a Swift Air charter plane carrying the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes made an emergency landing in Oklahoma over the weekend after a noxious smell filled the cabin.
The Boeing 737 landed at Tulsa International Airport about 4 a.m. Saturday while traveling from Long Beach, California, to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The aircraft was returning the hockey team to North Carolina after a game.
The team’s vice president of communications, Mike Sundheim, was on the flight. Sundheim said Monday that passengers could smell something similar to burning plastic.
Once on the ground, Sundheim says technicians replaced a malfunctioning air data computer and took off again after a delay of about two hours.
No injuries were reported.
Phoenix-based Swift Air hasn’t responded to telephone and email requests for comment.
TAVERN MELEE-WHITE SUPREMACISTS
Police, FBI probe suspected white supremacist attack on DJ
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) – Authorities say the FBI is helping investigate an attack by several suspected white supremacists on a black disc jockey at a tavern in Washington state over the weekend.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s office said Monday that seven men and one woman were arrested for investigation of assault, hate crimes and other charges early Saturday in Lynnwood. Investigators said the group tried to take over the DJ’s equipment, then beat him and stomped him while shouting racial slurs.
Sheriff Ty Trenary called the attack “disgusting.” Court papers identified the suspects as being affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood.
Authorities say they believe the group, which included people from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Illinois and Oregon, was in Washington state to mark the anniversary of the death of a white supremacist leader in 1984.
2 more North Carolina sheriffs end agreements with ICE
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two more newly elected sheriffs in North Carolina have announced an end to their counties’ agreements with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
News outlets report that Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker and Durham County Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead announced their respective policy changes Friday.
Wake County joins Mecklenburg County in pulling out of the federal 287(g) program, in which local law enforcement agencies check the immigration status of people they’ve arrested. The 287(g) program has sent thousands of people into deportation proceedings since 2006. Mecklenburg and Wake counties are North Carolina’s largest.
Durham County hasn’t participated in 287(g), and it will no longer honor ICE detainers, which are used to hold suspects up to an additional 48 hours.
Wake County will only honor existing detainers.