Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EST
STATE OF THE STATE
Gov. Cooper ready to give State of the State address
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is ready to share his agenda to a North Carolina legislature that became more Democratic after November election results and to the public.
Cooper is delivering the biennial State of the State address on Monday evening to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Legislative Building.
Republicans still hold a majority in both the House and Senate but no longer have veto-proof control after Democrats picked up 16 additional seats. Cooper contributed to that improvement by raising millions of campaign dollars.
Cooper now has more leverage to push his initiatives. He’s likely to press hard on legislators to expand Medicaid through the 2010 federal health care law. Senate leader Phil Berger is supposed to give the Republican response after Cooper’s address.
POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN
Poor People’s Campaign to hold bus tours of poverty areas
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A leader of the Poor People’s Campaign says the social justice movement is planning bus tours of poverty-stricken areas in more than 20 states to refocus the country on what he says are its true emergencies.
The Rev. William Barber of North Carolina says the tours will begin at the end of March and continue through April.
Barber says the tours were always planned as part of the revived Poor People’s Campaign , which launched last year. But he says President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico added urgency.
He and the campaign co-chair, the Rev. Liz Theoharis, plan to announce details of the bus tours Monday in Washington. As of last week, campaign committees in 24 states and Washington had committed to holding a tour.
Man who sued law enforcement after videotaped beating dies
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who sued law enforcement officials after being beaten by officers last year has died of a suspected drug overdose.
Media outlets report that Kyron Hinton, whose beating led to criminal charges against three officers, was pronounced dead after police and medical crews responded to an emergency call around 7 p.m. Saturday.
Two state troopers and a Wake County sheriff’s deputy were accused of using excessive force against Hinton last April after responding to 911 calls about a man acting erratically and possibly armed with a gun. Hinton also was bitten by the deputy’s dog.
The two troopers were fired after being charged with assault and failing to discharge their duties. They and another trooper were later charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy.
AP-DE-TEENS FATALLY SHOT
2 teens dead in North Carolina shooting
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities say two teenagers are dead after a shooting in eastern North Carolina.
Police in Greenville say officers were called to a residence shortly after 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Officers found one victim dead from an apparent gun shot. The second victim died at a hospital.
Police say they are following up on leads and are asking anyone with information is asked to contact the police department or Crime Stoppers.
Authorities identified the shooting victims as 18-year-old Blaise Joshua Okale-Weeks and 15-year-old Daceion Sanders.
Gang leader loses appeal in kidnapping of prosecutor’s dad
RICHMOND,Va. (AP) – A federal court has rejected the appeal of a gang leader serving life in prison for the botched kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor that ended with her father’s abduction.
The Fourth Circuit court on Thursday upheld the convictions of Kelvin Melton, who argued that the trial court violated his constitutional rights by allowing the introduction of a statement he made at a pre-trial hearing and by allowing prosecutors to admit certain evidence.
Melton, leader of a group called United Blood Nation, was one of 11 people convicted in the case.
The plan was to kidnap the prosecutor who had put Melton in prison for life as a habitual felon.
The criminals goofed and kidnapped prosecutor Colleen Janssen’s father instead. He was rescued when agents stormed the gang’s Atlanta hideout.
DEEP SOUTH WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Mississippi tornado wrecks businesses, shops
COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Bystanders say a tornado has destroyed or heavily damaged some businesses in a commercial district in Columbus, Mississippi, toppling trees and blacking out power in the area.
Lee Lawrence, who has been selling used cars for decades in the city, says four buildings on his car sales lot have been destroyed, trees have fallen across vehicles and the windows of many cars were shattered when the tornado roared through Saturday afternoon.
Speaking by phone, Lawrence tells The Associated Press he will rebuild.
“It will be a start-over deal,” says Lawrence, who wasn’t present when the tornado struck. “I can’t say it will come back better or stronger, but we’ll come back.”
A photographer for The AP says he also saw antique collector cars at Lawrence’s lot crushed by debris and a nearby pet grooming business destroyed amid twisted piles of metal. A printing shop had a pipe spearing what’s left of the building and a vacant commercial building also appeared heavily damaged.
There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries. Emergency officials have cordoned off the area.
2 North Carolina police officers charged with DUI
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Two North Carolina police officers have been placed on administrative duty after being charged with drunken driving.
Raleigh television station WRAL reports that Durham police confirmed the arrests of the two officers this week.
Investigator Kelly Stewart, who has been with the Durham Police Department since 2007, was arrested Thursday and charged with DWI.
Corporal Paul Clark, a member of the police force since 2008, was Friday in Orange County.
Both men were off duty at the time of the alleged incidents.
Duke undergrad tuition to increase to more than $55k
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Parents of undergrad students at Duke University will have to dig a little deeper into their pockets next year.
At its regular quarterly meeting and annual planning retreat this weekend, the school’s board of trustees approved a 3.7 percent increase in the total attendance cost for undergraduates during the 2019-20 academic year.
Undergraduate tuition will be $55,880, a 3.9 percent increase, and the total cost for the next academic year, including tuition, room, board and fees, will be $73,519.
Duke say that in the current academic year, it expects to invest about $175 million of institutional funds to support undergraduate financial aid, a 4.2 percent increase over last year.
Officials say the average net cost for students currently receiving need-based financial aid less than $20,000.