Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA
City unveiling proposal for toppled Confederate statue
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city will unveil a proposal for the fate of a Confederate monument toppled by protesters in 2017.
Durham’s city and county government will hear recommendations Tuesday about what to do with the statue of an anonymous soldier that stood in front of the old county courthouse. The government committee spent eight months studying the issue. The statue has been in storage.
The statue was torn down in the days after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Durham statue came down about a year before another Confederate monument was toppled at the state’s flagship public university.
A dozen protesters were charged in the Durham statue toppling, but a prosecutor dropped charges against most after a judge dismissed two defendants’ cases and found a third not guilty.
‘Bathroom bill’ fallout: North Carolina to lose Netflix show
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – The lingering fallout from North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” may force a new Netflix series about the state’s Outer Banks to film in South Carolina.
Show creator Jonas Pate tells The StarNews of Wilmington that Netflix has picked up “OBX,” with filming slated to begin this spring. He says the streaming service passed on filming in North Carolina because of a clause in HB2’s replacement that halts new local antidiscrimination ordinances until 2020.
Pate says that clause is costing Wilmington “70 good, clean, pension-paying jobs.” The production is projected to spend around $60 million where it films.
Pate says “OBX” could still film where it’s set if legislators accelerate the clause’s sunset. Incoming state Sen. Harper Peterson says he’d like to see the issue brought up at the start of the General Assembly’s session.
ELECTION 2018-NORTH CAROLINA-SHERIFF
Lawsuit claims North Carolina sheriff sworn in despite law
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A lawsuit is challenging the acting sheriff of a rural North Carolina county who used political consultants at the center of the country’s last unresolved congressional race as the narrow winner.
A lawsuit filed by the sheriff for the past four years, Democrat Lewis Hatcher, says Columbus County officials violated a state law by swearing in Republican Jody Greene before election disputes were resolved. Greene declined comment Monday through a spokeswoman.
Greene was sworn in as sheriff last month, days after a recount showed him winning by 34 votes out of nearly 19,000 cast. The local elections board also dismissed four challenges, but opponents still had time to appeal their failed protests.
The now-defunct state elections board refused to authorize Greene’s victory.
North Carolina teacher accused of hitting nonverbal child
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina teacher who works with disabled students is accused of hitting a nonverbal child in her class.
The Fayetteville Observer reports 37-year-old April Michelle Caudill was charged Monday with misdemeanor assault on a handicapped person.
According to a probable cause statement from a Cumberland County sheriff’s detective, a custodian at J.W. Coon Elementary School saw Caudill strike the student on the head twice in October. The student suffers from seizures and normally wears a helmet for protection but didn’t have it on.
Both the custodian and a nearby teacher said they heard Caudill yelling at the student beforehand.
An assistant principal told investigators Caudill had previously violated policy in punishing a student.
Caudill has been suspended since the incident was reported. It’s unclear whether she has a lawyer.
SCHOOL BUS STOP SHOOTING
Police: Student shot near school bus stop, severely wounded
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a student has been shot near a school bus stop in Charlotte.
The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say the student was shot Monday afternoon and suffered a life-threatening wound. The student is under 18 years old and was taken to a hospital.
Authorities didn’t immediately release the student’s identity. Police spokesman Keith Trietley says no arrests were made in the ongoing investigation as of Monday afternoon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools spokesman Tracy Russ declined to say where the student attended school. He says the district on Tuesday will take extra precautions as needed to ensure safety.
Kentucky governor asks TVA not to close coal-fired unit
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is asking the Tennessee Valley Authority not to close the remaining coal-fired unit at its Paradise electricity plant.
Bevin’s office said the governor wrote to TVA CEO Bill Johnson on Friday, saying such a closure would be “devastating” to the state’s economy and the regional and national energy grid reliability. Bevin’s letter said the effects would be felt by employees who work there, people who live in Muhlenberg and surrounding counties and coal miners.
News outlets reported earlier that TVA is considering closing the plant’s Unit 3, the only remaining coal unit at the facility, because it would require expensive upgrades to keep it going.
TVA serves more than 9 million people across its seven-state region. The TVA covers most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.
North Carolina leaders celebrate 200 years of Supreme Court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s top leaders praised the state Supreme Court on its bicentennial for its endurance amid legal and societal changes and as the place where citizens can seek justice under the law.
The state’s highest court held a special session Monday in its downtown Raleigh courtroom to observe the court’s 200th anniversary. In 1818, the General Assembly created the court, which then met the first time in early January 1819.
The court’s seven justices sat while Gov. Roy Cooper, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and others addressed the panel and celebrated its history.
Current Chief Justice Mark Martin said neither the past success nor the future survival of the court can be taken for granted and urged listeners to uphold the state constitution as “the bedrock of all our liberties.”
ENDANGERED WHALE STRANDED
Officials euthanize whale stranded on North Carolina beach
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Officials say a whale of an endangered species became stranded on a North Carolina beach and had to be euthanized.
News outlets report the sei whale was discovered Sunday morning on Masonboro Island near the town of Carolina Beach.
Ann Pabst with University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Marine Mammal Stranding Program says it’s rare a sei whale strands in North Carolina, and could only recall one other that did in the 1990s.
Pabst says the young, very thin whale should’ve been with its mother and hadn’t eaten for a while. The marine biology professor says a plastic garbage bag was found in the animal’s mouth during a necropsy.
She says she doesn’t think the trash caused the whale’s death, but that it certainly didn’t help in its weakened condition.