Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 a.m. EDT
Florence could hit with punch not seen in more than 60 years
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The last time the midsection of the East Coast stared down a hurricane like Florence, Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were newlyweds.
Florence could inflict the hardest hurricane punch the Carolinas have seen in more than 60 years, with rain and wind of more than 130 mph (209 kph). North Carolina has been hit by only one other Category 4 storm since reliable record keeping began in the 1850s. That was Hurricane Hazel in 1954.
Florida is closer to the equator and in line with the part of the Atlantic where hurricanes are born, off the African coast. As a result, Florida has had at least five hurricanes in the past century of Category 4 or greater, including Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
VOTING RECORDS-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina DMV also receives voting records subpoena
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Federal investigators already seeking a massive number of voting records from North Carolina election officials also want voter registration documents from the state DMV.
A Division of Motor Vehicles spokesman confirmed Monday that the agency had received a subpoena recently from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Raleigh. Prosecutors want voter registration applications since 2010, including those from foreign-born applicants or completed in a non-English language.
The state elections board is already fighting to block federal subpoenas sent to it and 44 county elections boards, calling them overly broad and unreasonable.
The Raleigh prosecutors haven’t said why they want the documents for a grand jury. They announced recently nearly 20 non-U.S. citizens were charged for illegal voting. The New York Times first reported about the existence of the DMV subpoena.
Millions prepare for potentially catastrophic Florence
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Millions of Americans are preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.
Hurricane Florence is carrying winds of up to 140 mph as a Category 4 storm. It is expected to strengthen and possibly become a Category 5 storm Tuesday before closing in on North or South Carolina on Thursday.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for parts of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, including the entire coast of South Carolina.
Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has been hit by only one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130 mph winds, in 1954.
Florence causes N Carolina schools to cancel classes, events
Several North Carolina colleges and universities have announced they are closing and canceling events ahead of Hurricane Florence.
Media outlets report Hurricane Florence reached Category 4 status on Monday, with winds of up to 140 mph (220 kph).
Schools that have cancelled classes and operations for most of the week include North Carolina State University at Raleigh , East Carolina University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington .
Neither the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill nor Campbell University have cancelled classes. Campbell officials say “a decision about classes will be made by 2 p.m. on Tuesday.”
Fayetteville State University says classes are in session, but some operations are reduced.
Schools with scheduled home football games that may be affected are N.C. State, UNC Chapel Hill and Fayetteville State.
Police: 4 children eat weed-infused brownies; man arrested
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say four children consumed a relative’s marijuana-infused brownies.
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office said in a Sunday statement that the children are expected to recover after eating brownies that 40-year-old Justin Neal French said he made.
News outlets report a 911 caller had noticed their spouse and three of the children showed symptoms of possibly being poisoned. Deputies learned the family had gone to French’s home and consumed brownies.
Deputies found a 4-year-old in distress at French’s home. Two of the other children who ate the brownies are 6. The fourth is 9.
French told deputies the drug-infused brownies were unknowingly mixed with regular ones. He was charged with four counts of misdemeanor child abuse and other offenses. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Florence growing as it gets closer to landfall
ATLANTA (AP) – Hurricane Florence continues to grow in size and magnitude as it barrels toward the U.S. East Coast.
The National Hurricane Center said Monday the monster storm will be close to Category 5 strength by Tuesday. A Category 5 storm has the potential to cause catastrophic damage.
“The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely dangerous hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity,” the hurricane center said. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday.
At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm’s center was located about 465 miles (750 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and about 1,085 miles (1745 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.
Maximum sustained winds were clocked at 140 mph (220 kph) as it moved west-northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).
Some strengthening is expected during the next 36 hours, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.
CRIME VICTIMS AMENDMENT
Amid opposition from Dems, Marsy’s Law launches campaign
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Backers of a constitutional amendment aimed at expanding rights for North Carolina crime victims that’s on the November ballot have formally launched their campaign.
The pro-referendum group called “Marsy’s Law for North Carolina” held simultaneous news conferences Monday in Raleigh and Charlotte seeking to build support for the amendment.
The proposed constitutional change would give crime victims a right to updates on court proceedings and to be notified if those accused or convicted of crimes are released from custody.
While the amendment proposal received bipartisan General Assembly approval so it could go on the ballot, the state Democratic Party has come out against it and the five other amendments this fall. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper last week called the crime victims’ amendment “unnecessary.”
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA
8 arrested at Confederate statue protest blame officers
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Eight people arrested at the University of North Carolina say “police broke the peace” after another protest over the toppling of a Confederate monument.
The News & Observer reported that about 100 anti-statue protesters gathered Saturday for the “Nazis Suck Potluck and Food Drive,” confronting about a dozen so-called “neo-Confederates” holding vigil near the spot where the statue known as “Silent Sam” was torn down on Aug. 20.
The university said arrests began after someone threw a smoke bomb. But a Sunday statement by Defend UNC, a group opposing the statue, says the pro-statue crowd had already left and police “were undeniably the ones who broke the peace.”
The eight people were released Sunday night on charges including resisting arrest and assaulting campus police.