Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.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.
POOL RULES-NORTH CAROLINA
NC residents say a community pool has discriminatory rules
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
WENDELL, N.C. (AP) – Residents of a North Carolina community say a private pool is enforcing discriminatory rules that ban dreadlocks, weaves and baggy pants.
News outlets report Wake County residents have been sharing the rules on social media and calling for conversation on what they say are racist guidelines by the Outdoor Recreation Center of Wendell.
According to the social media posts, the pool bans baggy pants, dreadlocks, weaves and extensions. Community members told WRAL the rules seem to reference hairstyles worn mostly by people of color.
The outlet reports the owners of the pool have since apologized for the use of the word “dreadlock” and re-wrote the rules to say “no artificial hair” is allowed at the pool.
The pool is not associated with the town.
Presence or absence of Medicaid expansion shade budget talks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Medicaid expansion is an early point of contention in final budget negotiations in North Carolina, even though neither proposal approved by House and Senate Republicans contain it.
That’s because Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper insists that adding hundreds of thousands of people to the state’s Medicaid rolls must be part of the budget talks. Cooper’s office said that’s what was relayed by the governor’s staff on Tuesday to staff representing legislators.
Senate Republicans translated that to an ultimatum from Cooper that negotiations are over unless the budget expands Medicaid. Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said there was no ultimatum, and that Cooper invited legislative leaders to the Executive Mansion Wednesday for face-to-face talks.
Cooper has more leverage this year in negotiations because his veto can be upheld if Democratic legislators stay united.
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.
Soldier dies in rollover of military vehicle in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A soldier died when his military vehicle rolled during training in interior Alaska.
The Army says the crash killed 25-year-old Spc. Marquise Gabriel Elliott on Friday in the Yukon Training Area at Fort Wainwright.
Elliott was driving with one passenger when the vehicle rolled. He was treated at the scene by medics and flown by military helicopter to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The passenger was treated in the field for injuries to his lower extremities.
Both soldiers were from the 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment.
Elliott was from Charlotte, North Carolina. He joined the Army in October 2015. He was assigned to Alaska in April 2016.
Elliott served in Afghanistan from September 2017 to May 2018.
The accident is under investigation.
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.