Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Refuge from heat available at N Carolina government building
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – The Department of Social Services in one North Carolina county is opening part of its building to people who need a place to escape the hot weather.
The Fayetteville Observer reports that the Cumberland County DSS is opening its auxiliary lobby to the public on days when the heat index reaches 100 degrees and a heat advisory is issued.
A statement from DSS officials says the lobby will be open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on those days. It also says the National Weather Service in Raleigh has issued a forecast that says temperatures will reach the middle and upper 90s with heat index values of up to around 100 degrees most days this week.
Senate ready to vote on North Carolina budget proposal
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The full Senate is ready to vote on a North Carolina budget proposal for the next two years.
The budget was written by Republicans on the mantra of higher state employee pay, lower taxes and saving for a rainy day. The first of two required votes was expected Thursday following floor debate on the plan, which would spend $24 billion next year. Republicans control the chamber, and history has shown they turn back most Democratic amendments.
GOP senators are highlighting 5% pay raises for state workers and setting aside $1.1 billion in reserves. Corporate franchise tax rates would drop, and individual income tax standard deductions would increase. Consumers who buy online and owners of plug-in cars could feel more of a financial pinch.
House Republicans already approved their version of the budget.
Speaker: Override vote on ‘born-alive’ veto likely next week
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina House apparently won’t put off much longer deciding whether to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of legislation that directs doctors to take care of newborns from unsuccessful abortions or face crimes.
Speaker Tim Moore told colleagues on Wednesday he intends to hold the override vote on June 5. That question has been off and on the House calendar for weeks since the Senate voted to override.
Republicans hold majorities in both chambers, but House GOP members supporting the “born-alive” bill likely need several Democrats to join them to overcome the veto.
House Democrats have criticized Moore for keeping the question on the chamber’s calendar, which they say has forced colleagues to be present despite sickness and other challenges to prepare for a vote at any time.
BIG FLAG FLAP-THE LATEST
The Latest: Change would allow big flag to keep flying
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Maybe “The Profit” won’t have to go to jail over his flag after all.
The city of Statesville, North Carolina, said in a news release Wednesday that its leaders will consider changing an ordinance regulating the size of flags displayed in a highway business zone.
The statement came after Marcus Lemonis said he would go to jail before he removes a huge American flag flying at a recreational vehicle store his company owns. The city has sued the company because the flag is much larger than what its ordinance allows.
Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh says the change, if approved, would allow the flag at Gander RV to continue flying.
But Lemonis says that’s not enough. He wants no restrictions on the size of American flags as long as the poles and flags aren’t a safety hazard for air travel or people. He plans to visit the Statesville store Thursday.
Lemonis is a businessman and star of CNBC’s reality television show “The Profit.”
YEARBOOK RECALLED-CONFEDERATE FLAG
High school yearbooks recalled over Confederate flag photo
THOMASVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina school system has recalled a high school’s yearbook that had a cover featuring a picture of a Confederate flag.
On its Facebook page, Thomasville City Schools said the Thomasville High School yearbook used several photos from yearbooks past, including a 1968 yearbook picture which had the words “Go Dogs” being held in front of the Confederate flag. The yearbook’s theme this year is “A Blast From The Past.”
According to the Facebook post, the yearbook had been distributed to a few students and members of the staff. After the photo was identified, all yearbooks were collected. The picture will be removed from all yearbook covers and new yearbooks will be distributed to students and staff.
Senate plan stops Medicaid preference for teaching hospital
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Senate’s budget bill would halt preferential Medicaid treatment for East Carolina University’s teaching hospital.
A budget provision would end a favored status for Vidant Medical Center. The Daily Reflector of Greenville quotes a Vidant spokeswoman saying the money would cut its Medicaid reimbursements by $35 million.
Republican Sen. Ralph Hise says Vidant shouldn’t receive the benefit because it acted to keep the University of North Carolina Board of Governors out of hospital affairs. Vidant and Pitt County commissioners in April removed the UNC board from choosing nine of the 20 hospital board members. The UNC board and ECU sued to try to block that change.
Democratic Sen. Don Davis of Pitt County says Vidant still deserves Medicaid preference because it serves a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients.
BLUES TRAIL MARKER-FERRIS
Mississippi Blues Trail maker honors William Ferris
(Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com)
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) – Historian and Vicksburg native Dr. William R. Ferris is being recognized with the placement of a Mississippi Blues Trail Marker in his honor.
The marker unveiled Tuesday honors Ferris, winner of two Grammy Awards for his documentation of blues and other folk legend. It was approved in March by the Mississippi Blues Commission. The Vicksburg Post reports it’s the 205th marker along the trail and sixth in Vicksburg.
Ferris, a professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, recently received two Grammys for “Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris” for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes. The 120-page book covers three decades of Ferris’s work and, as a result, he said, connects the otherwise disparate voices of musicians, artists and storytellers he’s worked with over the years.
MURDER SUSPECT-BRIEF ESCAPE
Wanted man escapes custody, is tackled by bystander
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A man wanted in a Virginia slaying was caught in North Carolina and managed to escape custody, only to be tackled by a bystander.
Citing a news release, news outlets report 41-year-old George William Knisley was arrested Friday in Raleigh and was being transferred to a detention center when he escaped. Authorities say he complained his handcuffs were too tight and fled when a deputy tried to loosen them.
John Martinez Jr. says he was walking down the street when he saw a man in an orange jumpsuit sprinting away from an officer. Martinez says the officer needed help, so he dashed after the man and tackled him.
Knisley is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Matthew T. Broyles, of Powhatan. He’s also accused in the disappearance of 43-year-old Amy Renee Fabian.