Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
N Carolina sheriff ends senior citizen check-in program
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office is ending a program that keeps tabs on about 100 senior citizens.
Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker tells WRAL-TV that Citizens Well-Check is ending as “the bigger picture here is serving all of Wake County.”
Participants in the Citizens Well-Check program receive an automated call from the sheriff’s office at 3 p.m. each day. After a couple of other checks, a deputy is dispatched if there’s no response.
It serves senior citizens who live alone and have no one to check on them. There’s a waitlist of people wanting to join the program.
Baker couldn’t say how much time or manpower is spent on the program, which was launched by former Sheriff Donnie Harrison in 2005. Harrison says he’s disappointed to see it end.
IVANKA TRUMP-FACILITY TOUR
Ivanka Trump, Commerce secretary tour manufacturing plant
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Ivanka Trump and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross have toured a North Carolina manufacturing plant as part of a workforce development visit.
The Charlotte Observer reports President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser went with Ross to the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub, which manufactures power generation equipment. The Tuesday tour preceded a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Committee, an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Trump and Ross also met with Central Piedmont Community College students who work part-time at the facility in Siemens’ apprentice program.
Trump opened the workforce advisory board meeting with a reference to actions the government has taken since March to advance the board’s goals, which include expanding Pell Grants to give formerly imprisoned people easier access to jobs after their release.
ACT TESTS NOT SUBMITTED
School says ‘human error’ to blame for missing ACT scores
SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. (AP) – Rising seniors at a North Carolina high school do not have their ACT test scores because their answer sheets were never submitted.
News outlets report more than 400 students at Pinecrest High School were notified Tuesday that they were affected. School leaders say the missing scores are due to “human error,” and appropriate personnel action has been taken.
The school says it plans to administer the test again in the fall at no cost to the students. All juniors took the ACT on Feb. 20 and March 13.
Pinecrest High School Spokesperson Catherine Murphy says the school learned the tests weren’t submitted when ACT officials said they hadn’t received the answer sheets.
Moore County Schools says it’s looking in to security, processes and protocols for giving tests like the ACT.
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.
Shark attack survivor gets message from Robert Downey Jr.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina teenager who lost a leg in a shark attack this month got a personal message from the actor who plays “Iron Man” in Marvel’s superhero movies.
Robert Downey Jr. uploaded a video addressed to 17-year-old Paige Winter on his Instagram on Tuesday, calling her heroic and resilient. He asked the teenager to be an ambassador for his climate change coalition, which aims to use advanced technologies to clean up the environment. After the June 2 attack, Winter had spoken out in support of ocean and shark conservancy.
Winter was surprised with the message during an interview that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” At a news conference last week, her father said she was a big fan of Downey and asked him to follow her on Instagram.
HERRING NOT ENDANGERED
River herring will not be added to endangered species list
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – The federal government says two species of herring are not at risk of going extinct, and will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the government has finished a review of the status of alewife and blueback herring and decided against designating the fish as endangered or threatened. The fish live on the East Coast and are an important piece of the food chain.
NOAA says river herring such as alewives and bluebacks “have declined from historical numbers,” but recent management efforts have helped protect the fish.
Both species have historically been subject to commercial fishing because they are valuable as bait. The fishery for another herring species, Atlantic herring, is much larger and is also under scrutiny by regulators and environmentalists.
Medicaid expansion shades North Carolina 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 contains 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.
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.