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October 10, 2018
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October 10, 2018
AP-NC Newswatch





Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT


Professor suggests distinguished grad award for Blasey Ford
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – A petition seeks university honors for the woman who accused Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school.
Multiple media organizations report Christine Blasey Ford is being nominated for an award honoring distinguished graduates of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award honors graduates who made outstanding contributions to mankind.
Ford graduated from the country’s first public university in 1988 with a degree in psychology.
UNC English professor Jennifer Ho says in a nomination letter that Blasey Ford should be honored with the award bestowed by the campus board of trustees because she set an example speaking out against sexual assault during last month’s nationally televised congressional hearing.
Kavanaugh denied her accusations and joined the Supreme Court on Saturday.



Storm-weary Carolinas worry Michael could hurt rebuilding
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – In the storm-weary Carolinas, Hurricane Michael’s approach is stoking fresh fears among homeowners who still have tarps on their roofs or industrial dehumidifiers drying their floors from destruction left by Hurricane Florence.
Thousands of North and South Carolina homes were damaged when the September storm smashed trees into rooftops and pushed floodwater into living rooms. Both states are still tallying damage, and homeowners are just starting to tear out moldy carpets, toss ruined furniture and negotiate with insurance adjusters.
The Carolinas aren’t expected to get a direct hit from Michael, but even a weakening storm could bring strong winds and inches of rain.
Tarps cover Shane Fernando’s Wilmington home where Florence blew a massive tree into his roof and walls. He said Michael “absolutely is a concern for me.”



Cooper offering Florence aid package to N Carolina lawmakers
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is offering his proposal for what state agencies need soon to respond to the damage and displacement caused by Hurricane Florence last month.
Cooper planned to unveil Wednesday the financial aid package he’s asking the Republican-controlled legislature to approve when it reconvenes early next week.
Legislators unanimously passed last week two Florence-related bills that provided $50 million in matching funds for federal disaster assistance and eased voter registration and school calendar rules in affected areas. Congress also approved an initial disaster aid bill last week that earmarks $1 billion for North Carolina.
Cooper will discuss his funding request while he updates the public about approaching Hurricane Michael and the storm’s potential flooding and power outages.



School system says advanced classes law falls short
(Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com)
CARY, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s largest school system says a new state law is falling short of its goal of making sure bright, low-income students aren’t skipped over for advanced classes.
The News & Observer reported Tuesday that Wake County school officials say carrying out the law is difficult, citing a lack of state funding and instruction.
The law requires middle and high school students who achieve the highest possible score on state math exams be placed in advanced math classes. Wake K-12 Math Director Michelle Tucker told school board members Monday that these students are having to take advanced courses without having covered the material.
The law went into effect this year. It followed newspaper reports saying thousands of high-scoring, low-income students were being excluded from advanced classes.



North Carolina goes to the frogs as flooding, breeding align
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
MANTEO, N.C. (AP) – In the wake of Hurricane Florence, the North Carolina coast has been plagued with a tide of frogs and toads, but the storm’s record-setting floods aren’t entirely to blame.
State biologist Jeff Hall tells The Charlotte Observer the coast is experiencing a convergence of two types of frog and toad population explosions. The first wave takes the form of tadpoles born during June and July’s abnormally heavy rains, while the second is a boom of “explosively breeding” toads. Those toads found an ideal habitat in tiny puddles created by Hurricane Florence.
But the flooding has also augmented the interactions between humans and amphibians, as the latter group searches for dry ground.
Hall says coastal residents are likely to find frogs and toads in odd places until floodwaters recede.



The Latest: Michael aims squarely at Tyndall Air Force Base
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Some of the worst storm surge from Category 4 Hurricane Michael is expected to hit Florida’s Tyndall Air Force Base, which has ordered all non-essential personnel to evacuate.
The National Hurricane Center’s latest forecast shows as much as 13 feet of water on top of the usual waves and tides could inundate the base, which is home to more than 600 families and on an island about 12 miles east of Panama City.
All base residents were ordered to leave when Tyndall moved to “HURCON 1” status as the storm closes in.
The base provided transportation but limited families to one large piece of luggage per family and one carry-on piece per person.
Tyndall is home to the 325th Fighter Wing.



Following court ruling, N Carolina governor revives 6 boards
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has decided to revive six government boards and commissions struck down by a state court as unconstitutional without waiting for legislative action because he says their work must continue, particularly in Hurricane Florence’s aftermath.
Cooper signed executive orders Monday re-establishing the panels so he controls a majority of the appointments. Judges ruled in August the makeup of the original panels failed to meet recently developed constitutional standards.
Cooper’s orders say he acted because lawmakers wouldn’t act on retooling the boards in state law until at least late November. General Assembly action likely would override his orders.
The reconstituted boards are the Private Protective Services Board, Child Care Commission, Clean Water Management Trust Fund board, State Building Commission, Parks and Recreation Authority and Rural Infrastructure Authority.



Karen Pence stumps for N. Carolina Republican
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence’s wife is stumping for a North Carolina congressional candidate, in an effort to turn out women for a man who came under fire earlier this year for comments about women.
The Charlotte Observer reports Karen Pence headlined Monday’s rally for Mark Harris and kicked off a Women for Harris bus tour.
Telling the crowd “all issues are women’s issues,” Pence highlighted North Carolina’s 9th District as key to maintaining Republicans’ House majority.
Harris faces Democrat Dan McCready. Earlier this year, excerpts from Harris’ sermons quoted him calling for women to “submit” to their husbands and questioning whether careers were the “healthiest pursuit” for women.
Donald J. Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, will also hit the trail for Harris. The former Fox News host headlines Tuesday’s rally.



AP-WF-10-10-18 1020GMT