Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EST
Lawsuits: At least 3 abused at camp for chronically ill kids
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Lawsuits against Duke University allege counselors at a camp for sick children negligently left campers unattended and that at least one child coerced others into sex acts.
The lawsuits from 2017 and 2019 were filed by guardians of two children who say they were abused by another camper at Camp Kaleidoscope, and one child who says he was psychologically harmed by seeing the acts. The lawsuits were first reported Tuesday by Indy Week .
Duke University spokesman Michael Schoenfeld said that the university was declining to comment.
The lawsuits allege the sex acts happened in a cabin housing five boys between the ages 7 and 10 when adults left them unsupervised while attending meetings. The lawsuits allege that at least one of the bunkmates had a pre-existing sexually transmittable disease.
North Carolina DMV plans to move HQ out of capital city
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles plans to move its headquarters – and hundreds of workers – an hour away from its longtime home in the heart of the state’s capital city.
The News & Observer reports the DMV is seeking permission from the Council of State to sign a 15-year lease in Rocky Mount.
NCDOT spokesman Jamie Kritzer says state law compels agencies to go with the lowest bid, provided a property meets all criteria. That meant the DMV had to choose the Rocky Mount site, which was the only proposed option outside of Wake County or Research Triangle Park.
The DMV would pay a little more than $2 million a year, beginning Jan. 1, 2020.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said she was upset about the loss of jobs.
J. Cole and Meek Mill to headline NBA All-Star Game
NEW YORK (AP) – Rapper J. Cole will headline the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game.
The seven-time Grammy Award nominee will return to his home state to perform a medley of hits at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 17. He released his latest single, “Middle Child,” on Jan. 23.
The National Basketball Association also announced on Wednesday that Meek Mill will open the game and perform an introduction of the All-Star teams.
Charlotte-born Anthony Hamilton will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Grammy winner Carly Rae Jepsen will perform the Canadian national anthem.
The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be broadcast on TNT.
North Carolina lawmakers return as session begins in earnest
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina legislature is returning to work after a three-week break.
The session reconvenes Wednesday, so lawmakers will now file bills, hold committee meetings and take votes. The General Assembly met Jan. 9 to elect chamber leaders and make sure all 170 lawmakers had been sworn in.
Lawmakers and their allies also are holding news conferences Wednesday to highlight what they consider important topics for this year’s session.
The State Employees Association of North Carolina will release prison safety recommendations following recent fatal attacks on correctional officers and staff. House and Senate Democrats will discuss legislation to expand Medicaid, while Senate Republicans plan to discuss school construction funding.
Gov. Roy Cooper and fellow Democrats have more leverage this year in the Republican-controlled legislature following Democratic legislative victories in November.
BASKETBALL COURT STOLEN
Students charged with stealing pieces of basketball court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Five students are charged with stealing pieces of what used to be the floor of a basketball court on North Carolina State University’s campus.
News outlets report masked men entered Reynolds Coliseum on Dec. 7 and stole two wooden panels from a storage area. Pieces of the original floor had been saved for historical value after the arena was remodeled in 2016.
Maj. David Kelly with campus police says the panels valued at $1,300 each were recovered, but one was damaged beyond repair.
The NC State students charged are 21-year-old Benjamin Christopher Ogburn, 21-year-old Te-shawn J-Quan Lee, 18-year-old Michael Jesus Delgado and 21-year-old Robert Wayne Marble. The fifth suspect, Samuel Brightbill, attends Wake Technical Community College.
Ogburn’s lawyer says nothing suggests the act was malicious. The reports didn’t include comment from the others.
POLICE OFFICER-INAPPROPRIATE CONTACT
Authorities: Officer accused crimes against child kills self
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation says a Fayetteville police officer found dead was accused of crimes against a child.
News outlets report the SBI said Tuesday that 31-year-old Wade Lane Lee Jr. was found dead Sunday on an interstate median from an apparent self-inflected gunshot wound. The Fayetteville Police Department said Monday that it had received a criminal complaint against one of its officers on Friday and said that officer had died Sunday.
The department declined on Monday to identify the officer, citing concerns of “revictimizing” the complainant. Arrest warrants were obtained for the officer on Friday. Authorities haven’t specified what charges the officer faced. City officials say the officer personally knew the child.
The police department says the warrants have since been withdrawn due to the death.
N Carolina measure would require testing for all rape kits
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina politicians are promising to spend the $6 million needed to catch up on testing decades of ignored evidence collected from sexual assault victims, and also prevent the injustice from repeating.
Attorney General Josh Stein discussed the state’s strategy for testing long-ignored sexual assault kits on Tuesday, a day after recent DNA testing led to a South Carolina man’s arrest in a 1987 rape in Fayetteville.
Stein and a bipartisan group of legislators unveiled a legislative proposal that would spend millions to catch up on testing sexual assault kits stored and sometimes forgotten in local law enforcement custody. Investigators would be required to submit new samples for DNA testing within six weeks.
A Republican leader on criminal justice issues says he’s confident lawmakers will take action soon.
VOTING RECORDS-NORTH CAROLINA
Conversations continuing on N Carolina voting records demand
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state attorneys are continuing talks with U.S. prosecutors over subpoenas issued months ago demanding voting documents and ballots that could be used by federal immigration agents in election fraud investigations.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh initially asked for records last August. The state elections board decided to fight the subpoenas, citing their scope and timing. A federal lawyer told the board the subpoenas could be narrowed and responses delayed until this month.
State House elections committee leaders wrote state Attorney General Josh Stein and elections director Kim Strach on Tuesday seeking an update.
In an email, Stein spokeswoman Laura Brewer confirmed continued conversations with federal lawyers. She says Stein wants to support law enforcement efforts to combat fraud, while preserving the sanctity of the voting booth.