Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
Trump set to sign executive order on retirement security
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order to make it easier for small businesses to group together to provide their workers with retirement plans.
The White House says Trump will direct the Labor and Treasury departments to issue regulations to help businesses join together to offer Association Retirement Plans. Administration officials say high costs discourage employers from offering plans like 401(k)s at a time when surveys show workers worry about being able to live comfortably in retirement.
Trump is expected to deliver remarks and sign the directive at an event Friday at the Harris Conference Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Trump will also headline a fundraiser for Republican congressional candidates Mark Harris and Rep. Ted Budd while he is in town.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST
The Latest: 3 arrested in protest over Confederate toppling
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Three people have been arrested following a protest over the toppling of a Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina.
The arrests occurred Thursday night as about 300 people gathered on the school’s Chapel Hill campus near where the statue known as “Silent Sam” was toppled last week.
Authorities kept a few dozen pro-Silent Sam protesters separate from a larger group of counterprotesters who had gathered for a “dance party” to celebrate the fall of the statue.
In a news release, university spokeswoman Carly Miller said two people were arrested for affray, while a third was arrested for resisting an officer. Officials did not release their names or say if they were protesting for or against the statue.
Miller says police told her that they deployed pepper spray multiple times to keep order. There were no injuries reported.
NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOT BATTLE
Cooper, GOP lawmakers back in court on altered amendments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper is seeking to persuade a judicial panel a second time to keep questions for two proposed amendments to the North Carolina Constitution off the November ballot.
Attorneys for the Democratic governor and Republican lawmakers are expected in a Raleigh courtroom Friday, when three trial judges will hear arguments on Cooper’s request to block those amendments.
A majority on this same judicial panel last week prevented referendums for two previous versions of the amendments the General Assembly approved from going on ballots. That prompted GOP legislators to submit slightly different amendments and questions. Cooper argues those questions are misleading to the public, like the earlier ones.
The amendments would swing control over judicial vacancies and state election board membership from the governor to the legislature.
UNC FIRE SAFETY-DORMS
College says dorms with safety concerns were built quickly
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A college in North Carolina says an aggressive timeline was followed to build several new dorms that state and fire officials say have safety concerns.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Thursday that UNC Asheville’s The Woods dorms have drawn warnings from inspectors for months over issues including narrow stairwells and a lack of sprinklers. Though the five four-story buildings meet state code, the state Department of Insurance barred students from moving in this month over the concerns.
An agreement between officials and the school has since allowed students to move in. It requires four off-duty firefighters and a fire truck stay on site at the university’s expense. The school says it hasn’t determined a timeline for safety improvements or who will cover the cost.
TRUMP VISIT-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina: Trump to raise funds for 2 House candidates
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump is stopping in North Carolina to raise money for two U.S. House candidates amid uncertainty about the future of the state’s existing congressional districts.
Trump is to make a public appearance and headline a private fundraiser Friday in Charlotte for two Republican candidates in districts observers say are the state’s most competitive. It’s still unclear if the 9th and 13th districts will keep the same boundaries, after a three-judge federal panel earlier this week ruled the state’s districts were illegal partisan gerrymanders.
Republicans Mark Harris and Rep. Ted Budd lag behind their Democratic opponents in campaign cash and a visit from Trump might provide a needed boost. National donors have already spent millions on races in the districts, as the Democrats work to flip the U.S. House.
Possible threat closes North Carolina police headquarters
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina’s largest city say a potential threat involving a wanted and violent suspect forced them to close their headquarters.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Thursday that it received information about a threat to its offices. A news release said while the threat couldn’t be verified, the headquarters were closed out of an abundance of caution.
Officials said there have been no service disruptions and no employees were evacuated during the closure. The headquarters have been reopened.
Security at Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters was tightened in January after a man drove into the parking lot and started shooting, injuring an officer in the leg. Officers fired back and killed the man, who was identified as the main suspect in a homicide earlier that day.
Smith’s heroics sends Campbell past D-III Chowan 49-26
BUIES CREEK, N.C. (AP) – Daniel Smith accounted for five touchdowns – three in the air and two rushing – and Campbell beat NCAA Division III member Chowan 49-26 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.
Smith threw for 260 yards and ran for 72 yards. Deontae Henderson put the Fighting Camels on the scoreboard first when he intercepted Bryce Witt and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown with 9:26 to play in the first quarter. Henderson, a graduate transfer who played the last two seasons at Stetson, recorded his second career pick-6.
Campbell extended the margin to 21-0 before halftime when Smith completed touchdown passes of 49 and 72 yards to Caleb Snead and Zach Roderick, respectively.
Chowan got its first score when Witt ran for a 21-yard touchdown to end a 4-play, 74-yard drive to make it 28-6. Witt threw for 100 yards and rushed for 91.
Campbell posted its 14th sellout at Barker-Lane Stadium since 2013.
N Carolina local school policy stops construction in 4 towns
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A large North Carolina school system has effectively blocked school construction in four small towns that received authority to create their own charter schools.
A Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board policy approved this week appeared as a sharp response to the legislature’s action in June to give the powers to Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville and Cornelius.
The Charlotte Observer reported the board’s act would allow the communities to return to the system’s construction priority list if they approve 15-year moratoriums on launching charter schools.
Board member Ericka Ellis-Stewart said the policy was reasonable because the system can’t afford building where they may compete with town-operated charters.
Rep. Bill Brawley of Matthews sponsored the municipal charter bill and says the board’s policy punishes children of parents seeking to remain in conventional public schools.