Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
All security checkpoints briefly closed at Charlotte airport
(Information from: WSOC-TV, http://www.wsoctv.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – All security checkpoints at Charlotte Douglas International Airport were briefly closed early Monday for a security inspection.
The airport announced the closure on Twitter at 6:02 a.m. Around nine minutes later, the airport tweeted that the inspection was complete.
No information was released as to what triggered the security inspection. The airport advised passengers to allocate extra time to get through security screenings, saying the ticketing lobby was congested. Travel officials are also anticipating delays because of weather conditions across the country.
WSOC-TV had a reporter at the scene who filmed massive lines. The Transportation Security Administration didn’t return the station’s request for comment.
Recent travelers within the U.S. haven’t been strangers to long waits as absence rates among TSA workers soared during the partial government shutdown, which ended Friday.
Duke suspends 2 fraternities, limits 3rd amid hazing probe
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University has suspended two fraternities and is limiting activities at a third pending a hazing investigation.
Duke spokesman Keith Lawrence confirmed to The Herald-Sun on Saturday that Delta Tau Delta and Pi Kappa Phi were suspended, along with new member activities at Sigma Phi Epsilon. The university’s student newspaper The Chronicle reported Friday that the school was working with campus police and the fraternities’ national offices to investigate.
The hazing allegations have not been released.
Campus police said they couldn’t provide any information on the case, and Lawrence said the university had no further comment.
CHILD SHOOTS SELF
Sheriff: 3-year-old shot, wounded while playing with gun
LA GRANGE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say a 3-year-old suffered a gunshot wound while apparently playing with a gun in North Carolina.
Maj. Richard Lewis with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office tells news outlets that responding deputies and medics found the child with a life-threatening injury at home Saturday.
The child was taken to a local hospital before being airlifted to a hospital in Greenville, North Carolina.
Investigators say the child’s mother was watching another kid in the living room, while the child watched television and played in the parents’ bedroom. She heard a loud noise and found the child and a small-caliber handgun on the bed.
Officials say there’s no evidence of a gunshot entering the home from outside.
An investigation is ongoing. No updates about the child’s condition have been released.
MEDICAL SCHOOL-FOREIGN LANGUAGE COMPLAINT
Duke medical school apologizes over complaint about Chinese
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University’s medical school dean has apologized after an administrator admonished students over speaking Chinese in a school building.
Megan Neely, a professor and administrator in the biostatistics master’s program, wrote an email Friday urging students to “commit to using English” in the building housing the program and professional settings. She said two faculty members complained about students loudly speaking Chinese in a common area and wanted to know their names.
In response, Dr. Mary Klotman, the medical school dean, wrote a letter to students in the program saying there was no restriction on using foreign languages in conversations with one another.
Klotman said Neely has stepped down as the program’s director of graduate studies. Neely, who remains an assistant professor, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Sunday.
NORTH CAROLINA TAX SEASON
N Carolina accepting individual tax returns starting Monday
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina tax officials are ready to start accepting individual tax returns from residents.
The North Carolina Department of Revenue said it will open the 2019 individual income tax season Monday. That’s the same day that federal tax filing season is scheduled to start.
Those who electronically filed state tax returns before Jan. 28 should start getting acknowledgements Monday.
State tax officials say that enhanced identity theft protective measures could cause some refunds to take longer than normal.
Tax returns are due on April 15.
Tennessee-based bank exits Virginia to focus elsewhere
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Tennessee-based bank is exiting the Virginia market to focus on high-growth markets in the Carolinas, Florida and its home state.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the lone Capital Bank office in the state will close by April 26. The First Horizon National Corp. unit’s Virginia location wasn’t a traditional bank branch, instead handling consumer, commercial and private banking lines of business in Virginia and elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic region.
The Virginia office opened in 2008 as an outpost of First Tennessee Bank, which merged with Capital Bank in 2017 and became part of First Horizon.
The closure means the departure of 10 employees, including Virginia market president Gail Letts.
Letts says the bank hopes to retain clients in the region, despite the lack of a local presence.
A previous version of this story erroneously said 100 employees were departing, instead of 10.
ELECTION 2020-US SENATE
Legislator announces US Senate bid; Goodwin re-elected chair
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina Democratic legislator is running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.
State Sen. Erica Smith, from Northampton County in the northeast, announced her 2020 bid to unseat Tillis on Saturday through social media and at a Democratic Party gathering in Charlotte. Smith is a math instructor and ordained minister first elected to the legislature in 2014.
Mecklenburg County Commissioner Trevor Fuller also announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination last week. Primaries are in March 2020.
Smith’s announcement came as 500 members of the Democrats’ executive committee met. There current party Chair Wayne Goodwin was re-elected for another two-year term. He was the only candidate. Former state Rep. Bobbie Richardson was elected first vice-chair, defeating current first vice-chair Aisha Dew and another candidate.
US Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina enters hospice care
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Republican congressman who has represented North Carolina for over two decades has entered hospice care.
A news release issued Saturday on the official government page for U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr. says that his health has declined since he recently broke his hip and that he’s in hospice care.
He had been battling ailments in recent months. He was granted a leave of absence from Congress in late 2018 after missing a number of votes.
Jones was re-elected to the U.S. House in November after running unopposed in a district that includes Kinston, Greenville and New Bern. He has served in Congress since 1995.