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May 24, 2019
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Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT



Slain North Carolina student gets Purple Heart, Bronze Star
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A University of North Carolina-Charlotte student who was killed when he tackled a gunman who opened fire inside a classroom has been posthumously awarded military honors.
Twenty-one-year-old Army ROTC cadet Riley Howell was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
The Charlotte Observer reports Waynesville Police Chief William Hollingsed and Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher on Wednesday presented Howell’s family with the medals. They were provided by Thomas Matteo, president of the Purple Heart Society.
Riley is credited with saving lives during the April 30 attack on the Charlotte campus that also killed 19-year-old student Ellis R. Parlier and wounded four others.
Authorities have charged 22-year-old Trystan Andrew Terrell with murder, attempted murder and other offenses.


Judge says NC church foreclosure sale can proceed as planned
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A judge says the foreclosure sale of a North Carolina church can proceed as planned after denying a motion that would have forestalled the sale.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the sale of the Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church in Winston-Salem is scheduled for Friday. The church is one of Winston-Salem’s oldest African American churches, founded in 1893.
Federal bankruptcy Judge Catharine Aron announced the decision on Thursday after denying a church motion on Wednesday to modify its reorganization plan to help keep it in its building.
The church had asked Aron to modify its loan from Tennessee-based Apex Bank to provide more time to pay the $3.3 million it owed, but Aron said the church couldn’t afford the financing costs.
The church filed for Chapter 11 protection in April 2018.



NC African American Heritage Commission gets new director
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s African American Heritage Commission has a new director with her own history with the agency.
The state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources said in a news release this week that Angela Thorpe is the commission’s new director. Thorpe has been the acting director since September 2018 and previously was the commission’s associate director.
Thorpe was the first African American historic interpreter at the James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville. The agency says that while there, she used inclusive programming to attract diverse audiences.
In 2016, she was awarded a diversity and inclusion fellowship by the American Alliance of Museums.



N Carolina man released after serving more than 40 years
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man who served more than 40 years in prison for a shopkeeper’s slaying in a failed robbery attempt is heading home.
Attorney Theresa Newman of the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic says 81-year-old Charles Ray Finch was released Thursday from Greene Correctional Institution and was picked up by relatives and an attorney.
A federal judge in Raleigh ordered Finch’s release earlier Thursday. Last year, an appeals court ruled that evidence casts doubt on Finch’s murder conviction.
Finch was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the death of Richard Holloman, who was shot inside his country store on Feb. 13, 1976. Finch had initially been sentenced to death. He has maintained he’s innocent.
Finch’s case was the first case handled by the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic.



North Carolina Democrat in House race not for impeachment
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Democrat running for a still-vacant U.S. House election he seemed to lose last year before signs of ballot fraud were unearthed says he doesn’t favor impeachment hearings confronting President Donald Trump and believes the Iraq War wasn’t justified.
Dan McCready said in an Associated Press interview Thursday that he would work readily with Republicans and their priorities if he beats Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop in a September special election.
McCready avoided answering several questions directly, but the former Marine platoon leader in Iraq said the U.S. invaded that country for political reasons on shaky intelligence. Washington launched the invasion to capture weapons of mass destruction that were never found.
Trump recently sent an aircraft carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Middle East over unspecified threats from Iran.



N Carolina elections board deciding what to pay new director
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s elections board has money on its mind as it hires a new executive to run operations.
The State Board of Elections decided Thursday to pay Karen Brinson Bell a $140,000 annual salary after she takes over as the next executive director June 1.
Bell last week was selected to take over as state elections director after current director Kim Strach was ousted from the job she’d held since 2013. Strach was promoted to the job under Republican former Gov. Pat McCrory, but the elections board is now back in Democratic hands following lengthy litigation.
Strach was paid almost $111,000.
Bell is a Duplin County native now living in South Carolina who was formerly a regional staffer for the state elections board and ex-director of Transylvania County’s elections board.



End of TV, computer ban at landfills advances at legislature
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina landfalls could accept computers and televisions again in legislation advancing at the General Assembly.
The ban’s removal is contained in the annual “regulatory reform” bill run by Republicans and approved Thursday by a Senate committee.
The computer equipment and television prohibition began in 2011 in a law directing computer and TV manufacturers to create free consumer drop-off programs and carry out recycling and disposal plans. Lawmakers and environmentalists were worried about the sheer numbers of such equipment and the chemicals inside.
The GOP bill sponsors say these consumer goods are building up at charities, and lined landfills can collect any chemicals.
The state environmental department and recycling industry are worried ending the ban could hurt recycling businesses. Some lawmakers support different legislation or want to study the issue.



North Carolina elected officials sign off on new road debt
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s top statewide elected leaders have signed off on the first round of borrowing through a new program designed to keep local and regional road-building projects rolling along.
Council of State members agreed Thursday to approve the issuance of $300 million in bonds through the “Build NC” initiative that the General Assembly approved last year. The bonds will be repaid through dedicated transportation revenues like gasoline taxes and vehicle sales taxes.
The council met in a special meeting to consider issuing the debt before a deadline when the fiscal year ends June 30. Some council members raised concerns about the details, but the final vote was unanimous.
Last year’s Build NC legislation allows $300 million in new transportation debt annually through 2028.



AP-WF-05-24-19 1521GMT