Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
BEACH HOUSE FIGHT
Couple seeks $700K for beach house they can’t rebuild
(Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, http://pilotonline.com)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. (AP) – A Maryland couple whose beach home in North Carolina burned down is seeking $700,000 in compensation because the state won’t let them rebuild.
The North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission has ruled that Michael and Cathy Zito of Timonium, Maryland, can’t rebuild their house in Nags Head. The house burned in 2016, eight years after the couple bought it.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that the state maintains storm surge and beach erosion could destroy a new house just as an entire row of homes across the street. The newspaper reports that the house sat in an area where the beach disappears at a rate of about 6 feet a year.
The Pacific Legal Foundation is representing the Zitos. The newspaper reports that a state spokesperson referred to the commission’s decision for comments.
Energy company employee faces uncertain future after blast
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – An energy company employee who suffered critical injuries from last week’s fatal gas explosion in North Carolina faces an uncertain future.
The family of PSNC employee Jay Rambeaut told WRAL on Tuesday that he has 150 holes in his chest from debris. He also has a skull fracture and debris in his brain.
Rambeaut’s sister-in-law, Donna Jackson, said had had gone into cardiac arrest but doctors were able to revive him. She said it’s likely Rambeaut’s wife and son will both have to leave work in order to care for him.
Rambeaut was among the first on the scene in Durham when there was a report of gas leak. The ensuing explosion killed one man and injured 25 others.
North Carolina lawmakers intensify work before Easter recess
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina state legislators intensified their work as they prepared for time off around Easter.
The House started their spring break following Tuesday’s committees and floor session and won’t take votes again until April 25. The Senate leaves Thursday and won’t be in Raleigh next week.
Before leaving the House sent to Gov. Roy Cooper a measure that addresses care for an infant born after an unsuccessful abortion.
The House also approved measures heading to the Senate to allow University of North Carolina athletic venues to sell alcohol to fans. An agreement so craft brewers can distribute more of their beer and a proposal to use daylight saving time permanently if Congress allows it also cleared the House.
House members will focus on finalizing their budget proposal when they return.
Civil rights leader can reenter North Carolina legislature
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina civil rights leader can now go inside the Legislative Building, two years after he was banned.
WRAL-TV in Raleigh reports that The Rev. William Barber, who organized “Moral Monday” protests and led the state NAACP, had been ordered by a magistrate in 2017 to stay out of the Legislature, after he was charged with second-degree trespassing during a sit-in over health care.
His lawyers said he had a First Amendment right to speak with lawmakers in the people’s house. Prosecutors warned that his ban should remain in place during a teachers’ rally planned for May 1.
Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway ruled Monday that the state couldn’t continue to keep him out.
Barber tweeted afterward, saying “We won & God prevailed.”
North Carolina ‘born-alive’ abortion bill wins final passage
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina lawmakers have given final passage to a bill to require doctors and nurses to care for babies born alive during a failed late-term abortion, a measure critics say is really intended to intimidate abortion providers.
The state House passed the bill Tuesday, a day after the Senate did so. The measure would bring prison time and big fines for medical practitioners who don’t give children born during a botched abortion the same protections as any other newborn.
Democratic Rep. Susan Fisher of Buncombe County criticized Republicans in the GOP-controlled legislature for pushing it through, saying the aim appears to be to intimidate health care providers from performing legally allowed abortions.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s office did not respond when asked Tuesday whether he planned to veto the bill.
Gerlach named interim chancellor at East Carolina University
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A former budget analyst at the North Carolina Legislature and adviser to the governor is now the interim chancellor at East Carolina University.
UNC System interim president Bill Roper announced Tuesday that Dan Gerlach will serve as ECU’s leader. Gerlach replaces Cecil Sutton, who announced on March 18 that he would resign effective May 5.
A news release from ECU says that since October 2008, Gerlach has served as president of the Golden LEAF Foundation, a nonprofit which works to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities.
Gerlach previously served as a legislative budget analyst, nonprofit policy director and senior adviser to the governor. He has served on over a dozen commissions on budget, tax, agriculture and economic development at the state and national level.
North Carolina looking for teachers to evaluate textbooks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina commission is narrowing down the pool of teachers who will be sizing up the school textbooks of the future.
The North Carolina Textbook Commission meets Wednesday in Raleigh to discuss the recruitment and selection of book evaluation advisers.
Commission members have been seeking out classroom teachers who teach in the subject in which they’re reviewing the school books. The teachers are expected to work in both traditional and charter schools and could be set to work this summer.
Plane makes emergency landing at Florida airport
(Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/)
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a plane traveling from Florida to North Carolina had to make an emergency landing.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that JetBlue flight 1126 took off from Fort Lauderdale Monday night but was diverted to Orlando International Airport. An airport spokeswoman says there may have been a reported pressurization issue, but JetBlue didn’t immediately confirm what the problem was.
The plan had been carrying 97 people. No injuries were reported.
The flight was back in the air about five hours after landing in Orlando and made it to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday morning.