Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
PREGNANT WOMAN SHOT-BABY KILLED
Girls, 17, charged in shooting death of pregnant woman’s son
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say two teenage girls have been charged in the shooting of a pregnant woman that was fatal for her baby.
Greensboro police Capt. Nathaniel Davis tells news outlets the 17-year-olds were taken into custody Monday morning.
Police previously said the shooting last month killed the woman’s unborn son, but Davis has confirmed the baby was born, and died later from injuries in the shooting. His mother survived, and police haven’t provided her name.
Davis says witnesses told officers someone in a Dodge Charger fired several gunshots from inside the car and one bullet struck the woman while she was at a park. He says police are still investigating.
The girls are charged with first-degree murder and other offenses. It’s unclear if they have lawyers who could comment.
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.
TROPICAL WEATHER-WEARY CAROLINAS
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.”
BC-TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: ‘Extremely impressive’ Michael targets Florida
PANAMA CITY, Florida (AP) – The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Michael appears “extremely impressive” in satellite imagery as the storm barrels toward Florida’s Panhandle.
At 11 a.m. EDT, Michael had top sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) and was about 60 miles (95 kilometers) offshore, moving north-northeast toward Panama City at 14 mph (22 kph).
Senior Hurricane Specialist Dan Brown said in a forecast discussion that Michael still had a few more hours to strengthen over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico before it makes landfall Wednesday afternoon.
Brown said Michael also will bring hurricane-force winds well inland over Florida, Alabama and Georgia.
Wind gusts of 46 mph (74 kph) already have been felt in Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee, a couple dozen miles (40 kilometers) from the coast.
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.
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.
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.
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.