Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
Ex-commando to be arraigned in death of suspected bomb-maker
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – A former U.S. Army commando will be arraigned this week in a long-simmering legal case that accuses him of killing a suspected bomb-maker in Afghanistan.
According to an electronic docket, Maj. Mathew Golsteyn is scheduled for arraignment Thursday at Fort Bragg on a murder charge. An Army statement says no trial date has been scheduled.
The charges stem from the former Green Beret’s 2010 deployment to Afghanistan when he’s accused of killing the suspected bomb-maker. The charge against him was announced last year.
Golsteyn told The Washington Post in February he believes the Afghan’s movements at the time of the shooting made him a legal target.
The case has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump, who suggested last year in a tweet that he would look into the matter.
SOLDIERS AFFLICTED BY HEAT
Sweltering heat sends 18 Fort Bragg soldiers to hospital
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) – Rehearsing for a ceremony in high humidity and temperatures up to 95 degrees sent 18 soldiers at Fort Bragg in North Carolina to the hospital.
Jose Colon, an 82nd Airborne Division public affairs officer at Fort Bragg, told news outlets the paratroopers were rehearsing for a change of command ceremony taking place later this week.
About 3,000 soldiers were standing in formation around 10 a.m. Monday morning when more than a dozen of them began to need medical attention for heat-related injuries. Colon said some may not have been well hydrated. The afflicted soldiers were taken to the base’s medical center and all of them have since been released.
Republicans running out of time to OK NC budget on schedule
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Republicans leading the General Assembly aren’t waiting much longer to pass a state budget, even without Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s blessing.
House and Senate leaders say they have until Friday to approve a two-year spending plan before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger said Monday they delayed the rollout of a plan cobbled together by GOP negotiators to give Cooper more time to provide specific compromise proposals.
Cooper can veto the budget and make it stick if he can keep Democratic legislators in his corner. Cooper’s office says legislators aren’t interested in serious negotiations on things like Medicaid expansion and a school bond package.
The House and Senate must begin voting by Thursday to meet the Friday deadline.
NC Senate vote means showdown nears on immigration bill
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Republican-controlled General Assembly is heading for a showdown with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper as legislators near final passage of a bill that would strong-arm several North Carolina sheriffs refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents.
The Senate approved a measure 25-18 on Monday requiring all sheriffs to recognize requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold inmates ICE believes are in the country unlawfully. Sheriffs also would have to check the immigration status of everyone in their jails.
A version already passed the House, and the Senate’s changes are also backed by the House bill’s sponsors.
Earlier Monday, Cooper called the bill unconstitutional and signaled a likely veto if it reaches his desk.
The bill was prompted by recently elected Democratic sheriffs who won’t comply with ICE detainers.
North Carolina abortion ban ruling to be appealed
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – State officials are appealing a federal judge’s decision that struck down North Carolina’s ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy except in a medical emergency.
A lawyer for North Carolina’s Department of Justice filed the notice of appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, hours before the appeal window was to expire.
The department is led by Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein, who supports abortion rights. Stein said Monday night that’s why he won’t participate in the appeal, leaving it to career lawyers in the agency.
U.S. District Judge William Osteen declared the law unconstitutional because the 20-week limit prohibited some abortions before a fetus could live outside the womb. His judgment would allow some women to obtain abortions later but prior to viability.
SMOKY MOUNTAINS DEATH
Man dies at Smokies after tree falls on vehicle
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) – A man has died after a tree fell on his vehicle at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
A statement from the park says 64-year-old Patrick Cook Elliott of Knoxville died shortly after his vehicle was struck by the tree Monday along Little River Road about 7 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
Park officials say there were no obvious signs of blunt force trauma due to the impact of the fallen tree and Elliott’s cause of death is under investigation.
A passenger in the vehicle wasn’t injured.
No other details were immediately available.
North Carolina House remap for Wake County gets final OK
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The reworking of several North Carolina House districts in and around Raleigh now have new boundaries for the 2020 elections after the legislature agreed overwhelmingly to a redistricting plan.
The Senate voted unanimously on Monday for a map of districts for Wake County’s House seats. The House voted for it earlier this month by a wide margin. The legislation isn’t subject to Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto, since it involves redistricting. But both House Democratic and Republican leaders sponsored the bill.
The lines were redrawn because state judges ordered new Wake lines by the end of the month after ruling Republicans in 2017 impermissibly redrew four districts that hadn’t been struck down in previous litigation. The new lines are identical to a third-party expert’s recommendations to federal judges in late 2017.
Repel of tuition surcharge at UNC schools heads to governor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The General Assembly has decided that University of North Carolina system students shouldn’t be subject to penalties that could cost them thousands of extra dollars to get their degrees.
The House voted overwhelmingly on Monday night for a measure that eliminates the 50 percent tuition surcharge upon students who exceed set credit-hour limits before completing their four- or five-year program to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
The bill already passed the Senate and now goes to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk.
A surcharge of some kind has been in place since the 1990s and was designed to encourage students to finish their degrees on time. But senators pushing the bill say the surcharge disproportionately affects older students and transfer students and could harm veterans seeking degrees.