Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
SCHOOL SAFETY CAMPAIGN
North Carolina school system launches gun awareness campaign
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s second largest school system is launching a social media campaign to bring awareness to the danger of guns and their impact on students.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools says the campaign is meant to increase participation in and awareness of the increased effort to keep schools safe.
The Guns Can’t campaign launched Thursday with a series of posters contrasting what guns can’t do with what students can. The new campaign is one of several safety and security measures contained in a districtwide initiative which identifies what schools, students, families and the community can do to keep schools safe.
The initiative comes four months after a fatal shooting at Butler High School. Another student at the school was charged in the case.
CHARLOTTE AIRPORT-RUNWAY RECONSTRUCTION
Work on taxiway to close runway at North Carolina airport
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Upcoming reconstruction on a taxiway is leading to changes at a North Carolina airport.
Officials say reconstruction to portions of Taxiway M at Charlotte Douglas International Airport will necessitate temporary closure of Runway 5/23. A statement from the airport authority says the repair work will take approximately seven months and is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.
The authority also says the construction project will require intermittent nighttime closures of Runway 18C/36C. During construction, the Federal Aviation Administration will reroute aircraft to the airport’s other runways.
Because of the runway closures, officials say surrounding neighborhoods located north and south of the parallel runways will experience overhead flights between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Appeals court keeps voter ID, tax cap ruling unenforceable
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A trial judge’s ruling keeping two voter-approved amendments out of North Carolina’s Constitution – one of them a photo voter identification requirement – will remain unenforceable while his decision is appealed by Republican lawmakers.
The state Court of Appeals had already granted a temporary delay of the February decision by Wake Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins. On Thursday, the appeals court extended the postponement of Collins’ order until it rules on the substance of his decision.
Collins voided the voter ID amendment and another amendment lowering caps on income tax rates that were approved by voters in November. He agreed with state NAACP arguments that the 2018 legislature lacked authority to propose alterations to the constitution because districts from which many legislators were elected had been declared unlawful racial gerrymanders.
Man charged in shooting of Virginia sheriff’s deputy
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Authorities say a suspect in the shooting of a Virginia sheriff’s deputy has been arrested in North Carolina.
The U.S. Marshals Service says 33-year-old Theron Donte Shackleford of Richmond was arrested Wednesday night in Cary, North Carolina, after a brief standoff.
Authorities began looking for Shackelford after Richmond police responded to a shooting Tuesday night and found a man, later identified as a Henrico County Sheriff’s Deputy, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds inside a home.
The deputy, whose name has not been released, reportedly is in critical condition.
Shackleford is charged with attempted murder and use of a firearm in the shooting.
It was not immediately clear whether Shackleford has an attorney. It was also not immediately clear whether the deputy was on duty at the time or knew Shackleford.
Bipartisan bill aids with lead testing in N Carolina schools
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina House members say bipartisan legislation helping school districts and child care centers test drinking water outlets for lead will help fix problems and ensure that children are in safe and healthy environments.
Legislators on Thursday discussed a bill ordering that tests be performed by mid-2021 in buildings constructed before 1961. Newer buildings would be tested later. The bill provides $8 million to help schools and centers test faucets and water fountains and provide alternate water supplies or filters when elevated lead levels are detected.
The group Environment North Carolina praised the effort while highlighting a national report giving North Carolina and 21 other states failing grades in addressing lead contamination. Recent testing in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Guilford County schools discovered high lead levels with some drinking fountains and fixtures.
Federal judge: N Carolina must stop limiting hepatitis drugs
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A federal judge is ordering North Carolina prison authorities to quit denying expensive medicines to most inmates believed to carry a potentially deadly blood-borne infection.
U.S. District Judge William Osteen this week ordered that the three inmates suing prison officials immediately receive the drugs. They cost about $33,000 and are for a hepatitis C treatment regimen that should prevent liver cancer, cirrhosis or other ailments.
The judge said estimates for inmates who may have the infection and could need treatment are between around 6,000 and 12,000 of North Carolina’s prison population of 36,000.
Osteen said the lawsuit is still in an early stage will cover all current and future prisoners in Department of Public Safety custody who could have hepatitis C.
Marines cut training to fund hurricane costs, border mission
WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. Marine commandant is warning that some unexpected costs, including from major hurricane damage and unplanned deployments to the U.S.-Mexico border, are forcing him to cancel training exercises and will degrade combat readiness.
Gen. Robert Neller says in a memo that the Marines have pulled out of three military exercises and cut equipment maintenance. He says Marine participation in more than a dozen other exercises will also be canceled or reduced and other cuts will be needed if the service doesn’t get budget help.
About $3.5 billion in damage was done to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina and surrounding facilities by Hurricanes Florence and Michael. The Marine Corps says those are the most significant costs forcing the training cuts. Marines have also been used for the border mission.
Senate picks 6 to serve on UNC Board of Governors
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Senate has chosen five current members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to serve another four years.
Senators elected six candidates on Thursday from a list of seven. Newcomer Martin Holton III of Winston-Salem was elected along with incumbents Darrell Allison, Thom Goolsby, Anna Spangler Nelson, Temple Sloan and Michael Williford.
Some Democrats in the GOP-led Senate said they voted for less than six names, so their votes weren’t counted by rule.
The House, also controlled by Republicans, approved its slate of six members on Wednesday, reappointing five incumbents. The only new House pick is Hilton T. Hutchens of Fayetteville.
House Democrats complained about the election process or opposed re-electing board members during a time of turmoil within the UNC system.