Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
NORTH CAROLINA-BALLOT BATTLE
North Carolina senators back to rewrite 2 amendments
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators have nearly completed their second effort to put two constitutional amendments on the fall ballot.
The state Senate planned Monday to debate and vote on a pair of amendments aimed at complying with a ruling by judges last week. The judges said the referenda attached to the amendments lawmakers passed in June failed to explain suitably what changes would occur if voters approved them.
Republican lawmakers called a special session last Friday, when the House voted for the replacement amendments. Both amendments would shift powers from the executive branch to the legislature, although the scope of one amendment was scaled back in the latest versions.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper sued over the previous amendments and says the new ones remain “dishonest and dangerous.”
September weather will determine brilliance of fall leaves
(Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times, http://www.citizen-times.com)
CULLOWHEE, N.C. (AP) – Hotels and retailers are gearing up for the fall foliage season in the North Carolina mountains, but the brilliance of the show from the changing leaves is still to be determined.
Appalachian State University professor plant eco-physiology Howard Neufeld said the key to almost every season is the temperatures and amount of sunshine in September.
Neufeld told the Citizen-Times of Asheville that sunny days with cool nights help bring out both vibrancy and variety in fall colors.
Neufeld says the wide variety in elevation extends the fall color season in the North Carolina mountains. It starts in September at the highest peaks around Mount Mitchell and runs down to the Piedmont in early November.
Officials estimate fall tourism brings up to $800 million to the state.
CHURCH SIGN DISPUTE
Sign at a house of God in dispute in North Carolina
(Information from: The StarNews, http://starnewsonline.com)
LELAND, N.C. (AP) – A sign at a house of God is being challenged by one small North Carolina town.
The town of Leland says the First Baptist Church of Leland’s sign violates an ordinance passed in 2011 because it is too big and has changeable type.
Pastor Mark Herms told the StarNews of Wilmington that since the church sign was older than the ordinance, he thought it would be grandfathered in. Herms says the church advertises charity work and a court case in Arizona suggested the sign rules violate the church’s First Amendment rights.
The town disagreed and has fined the church $1,500, but says the penalty could be waived if the sign comes in compliance.
The church is working with the town on a compromise.
FATAL PLANE CRASH
4 killed in small plane crash in Georgia
SWAINSBORO, Ga. (AP) – A coroner says four people have been killed and another has been seriously injured in a small plane crash at an airport in Georgia.
The U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights, posted on Facebook that 31-year-old Staff Sgt. Aliaksandr Bahrytsevich of North Carolina was among those killed after the plane crashed after takeoff at the East Georgia Regional Airport on Saturday. He was off duty at the time.
Emanuel County Deputy Coroner Randy Love told the Augusta Chronicle that fifth person aboard is in critical condition. The names of the others killed in the crash have not been released.
Bahrytsevich was a member of the Golden Knights’ Black Demonstration Team and originally from Belarus.
Love says the plane is owned by The Jumping Place Skydiving Center in Georgia.
Ex-wife: Military husband used intimate pics as revenge porn
(Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com)
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – A woman is suing her Special Forces major ex-husband, saying he posted online nude pictures she sent him privately when he was away because he didn’t like paying child support.
The revenge porn lawsuit says the former husband posted his wife’s intimate pictures on Craigslist saying she had sexually transmitted diseases and asking for people to contact her for sexual favors.
Posting revenge porn can also be a felony in North Carolina. The woman’s lawyer told The Fayetteville Observer she reported the pictures to the police, but it doesn’t appear any charges have been filed.
The ex-wife is also suing the woman she said her husband was having an affair with.
The 1st Special Forces Command told the newspaper it is also investigating. Adultery is a crime under military law.
Racial slur found at black culture center at Duke University
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University says someone wrote a racial slur on a sign at a campus building dedicated to black culture.
University President Vincent Price sent an email to students Saturday saying a “heinous racial epithet” was found and immediately covered on a sign at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture.
Price called it a cowardly and hateful act and said it was important for the university to acknowledge such an odious act and challenge it.
University says officials are investigating the incident. The center was founded in 1983.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT-ROCKY MOUNT
North Carolina city awaits report on Confederate monument
(Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com)
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) – One North Carolina city is awaiting a report about a series of community meetings before deciding if anything should be done with a Confederate monument.
Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs says the series of meetings allowed the city to get ideas and reactions from all groups.
The Rocky Mount Telegram reports the city spent $16,000 to have Charlotte-based WPR Consulting hold several meetings and generate a report.
The city’s Falls Road monument was erected in 1917 as a private monument to the Confederacy. It was given to the city in the 1970s and rededicated to all fallen soldiers from Nash County. The monument once had separate statues of Confederate soldiers, but those were taken down years ago because of repeated vandalism.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENTS-NORTH CAROLINA
7 arrested in protest over torn-down Confederate statue
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Officials say seven people have been arrested at a rally calling for a century-old Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina to be returned after it was yanked down five days ago.
About a dozen people carrying Confederate flags were met Saturday by dozens of protesters that don’t want the memorial nicknamed “Silent Sam” to return.
Videos posted to social media showed several punches thrown and at least one man handcuffed after he tried to burn a Confederate flag.
University officials say seven people were arrested on charges ranging from assault to destruction of property and resisting an officer. Officials did not release their names or say if they were protesting for or against the statue.
The statue, erected in 1913, was torn down Monday during a protest. It’s now in temporary storage.