Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
COLLEGE CAMPUS SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
Autopsy: Campus shooting victims each had 6 or more wounds
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – An autopsy shows that a student credited with tackling a gunman during a fatal North Carolina campus rampage suffered eight gunshot wounds, and another slain student was shot six times.
The autopsy released Tuesday by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says Riley Howell had four wounds to the head or neck, two to the chest and one on each arm during the April shooting at UNC-Charlotte. The other slain student, Ellis Reed Parlier, had six gunshot wounds.
Police have said 21-year-old Howell saved lives by charging the gunman and bringing him to the ground. Trystan Andrew Terrell is charged with murder in the deaths of Howell and Parlier. Four other students survived wounds.
The motive for the shooting hasn’t been made clear.
MIDEAST CONFERENCE PROBE
US Education Department to investigate UNC Middle East event
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Education is investigating a conference on the Middle East held at the University of North Carolina after a legislator raised complaints that participants were biased against Israel.
The conference titled “Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics, and Possibilities,” was co-sponsored in March by Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill.
McClatchy D.C. reports that Raleigh Republican Rep. George Holding asked for an investigation in April, citing “reports of severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric at the taxpayer-funded conference.”
UNC says it used $5,000 in education department grants for the conference, and will cooperate with the inquiry.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tasked investigators with determining whether the spending complied with requirements.
ELECTION 2020-US SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Another North Carolina legislator joins race for US Senate
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Another former North Carolina state legislator is joining the Democratic U.S. Senate field, running next year for the seat held by Republican incumbent Thom Tillis.
Eric Mansfield announced Tuesday he’s officially entering the race, two months after he said he’d formed an exploratory campaign committee. At least four Democrats are now running. Another former state lawmaker – Cal Cunningham – got in earlier this week.
Mansfield served one term in the state Senate and ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2012. Previous military service brought him to North Carolina, where he’s an ear, nose and throat surgeon living outside Raleigh and a Baptist pastor.
Mansfield’s introductory campaign video recalled his near-death experience last year. He was driving after a gym workout when his heart went into ventricular fibrillation.
Republican lawmakers push back on redistricting allegations
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Attorneys for North Carolina Republican lawmakers are pushing back hard in state court over accusations the legislators misled federal judges in an earlier redistricting lawsuit.
Republican legislative leaders filed in court on Monday a response to a motion filed this month by attorneys for Common Cause, the state Democratic Party and Democratic voters now suing in a separate partisan legislative redistricting case.
At issue are documents the plaintiffs subpoenaed from records of the late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have alleged some of Hofeller’s computer files will show Republican legislators deceived federal judges about whether they could redraw new House and Senate lines for the 2017 elections.
The legislators wrote the plaintiffs have no such evidence and that their lawyers should be investigated for how those documents were obtained.
FARM ACT-SMOKABLE HEMP
North Carolina Senate passes bill expanding hemp industry
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation designed to further develop North Carolina’s fast-growing hemp industry, increase agritourism and make it easier for industrial-scale hog farms to overhaul their open-air waste storage systems has cleared the state Senate.
The legislature’s annual “Farm Act” passed on Monday after floor debate by a 31-14 vote. It now goes to the House.
The bill’s proposed ban on smokable hemp in December 2020 has received a lot of attention during committee debates.
Smokable hemp doesn’t produce a high, but it looks and smells a lot like marijuana, which law enforcement says is a problem. Many hemp farmers in the state have previously spoken up against the ban and say smokable hemp can sell for as much as $1,000 per pound.
BIG FLAG FLAP
‘The Profit’ loses city vote against his huge US flag
STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina city has voted against the flying of really big flags, holding its ground against a reality TV star’s huge Stars and Stripes.
News outlets report the Statesville City Council voted down changes to the flag ordinance Monday night. That means flags in Statesville must be no larger than 25 feet by 40 feet (7.6 meters by 12 meters). That’s roughly half the size of the American flag that Marcus Lemonis has unfurled outside his Gander RV company.
Statesville has asked a court to order Gander RV to comply or pay a $50 per day fine.
Lemonis runs Camping World and stars on “The Profit” on CNBC. He says the flag is staying. He’s said he’ll go to jail for contempt of court to protect his constitutional rights.
SHARK BITE-NORTH CAROLINA
Shark bites child in third North Carolina attack this season
(Information from: WECT-TV, http://www.wect.com/)
BALD HEAD ISLAND, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina officials say a shark bit an 8-year-old boy in what is now the third attack this season along the North Carolina coast.
News outlets report the boy was swimming in open water Sunday afternoon when a shark grabbed him by the leg, causing multiple bite wounds.
WECT reports the child was transported on a ferry to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
The boy is the third person to be attacked by a shark in the state this month. Last week, a 19-year-old was bitten by a shark in Ocean Isle, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) down the same coastline from where a 17-year-old girl lost most of her leg to a shark attack at Fort Macon State Park earlier this month.
UNC game-day alcohol sales option close to final passage
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The General Assembly is closing in on final approval of legislation giving North Carolina’s public universities the option to sell beer and wine at campus athletic events.
The Senate voted 33-12 on Monday for its version of a House bill allowing trustee boards at University of North Carolina system campuses to decide whether to sell alcohol at their stadiums and athletic facilities. If the House agrees to minor Senate changes, the final measure then goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.
Although alcohol is now prohibited inside venues, a few schools receive narrow exceptions. Bill supporters say the legislation could control game-day consumption and lead to fewer alcohol-related problems.
Sen. Warren Daniel of Burke County opposed the measure. He’s worried it would negatively change the atmosphere of UNC athletic events.