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Tribe’s push to build casino spurs Carolinas political fight
CATAWBA INDIAN NATION, S.C. (AP) – Two of the Carolinas’ most prominent American Indian tribes are battling over geography and lucrative gambling turf.
The Cherokee in North Carolina already have two casinos in the mountains and say their opponents should stay in their own state to the south.
The Catawba of South Carolina argue such boundaries are artificial and shouldn’t affect their effort to gain a foothold in the industry. They hope to revive efforts to build a casino along an interstate in North Carolina where they say they have a historical and legal claim to land.
U.S. senators from both states back the Catawba, but their efforts may not be enough. A bill they’ve sponsored in Congress has drawn opposition from North Carolina lawmakers and the Cherokee tribe, among the state’s most prolific campaign donors.
NC restaurant owner charged with solicitation of minors
ROXBORO, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police say a restaurant owner offered to pay at least five teenage employees for sexual acts.
Roxboro Police Department Lt. Chris Dickerson told news outlets 32-year-old Thomas Carl Adler is charged with five counts of solicitation of prostitution of a minor.
The department says that since 2012, Alder paid or offered to pay 15-to 17-year-old employees for oral sex. News outlets report at least one of those solicitations happened at the restaurant, Clarksville Station.
Authorities are still investigating and say they believe there could be more victims.
Adler is being held in jail on a $250,000 bond.
North Carolina governor seeks disaster declaration
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has written a federal agency seeking a disaster declaration for 10 counties where recent heavy rains led to flooding in homes and businesses.
Cooper wrote the letter to the U.S. Small Business Administration. The declaration is being sought for Mecklenburg, Catawba, Alexander, Burke, Cabarrus, Caldwell, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln and Union counties.
A news release from the governor’s office says an initial assessment of damage from storms on June 6 showed flooding and heavy winds led to roads blocked by debris and major damage to more than 50 homes and businesses.
If approved, the disaster declaration will provide low-interest loans to those affected. The loans are designed to help people where insurance does not fully cover the cost of repairs to a home or business.
FAKE CREDENTIALS-SCHOOL TEACHER
Police: Convicted felon faked credentials to get school job
(Information from: WRAL-TV, http://www.wral.com)
CLAYTON, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina say a convicted felon faked documents to get a job as a high school teacher.
WRAL-TV reports Clayton police say 40-year-old Torains Adaryll Hughes worked as a social studies teacher and assistant softball coach at Cleveland High School until last November, when he left the job for unknown reasons. He was also a football coach in 2017 and served as a non-faculty assistant varsity football coach.
Capt. Jeff Caldwell told the station in an email that Hughes used fake diplomas and transcripts to be hired. Caldwell said Hughes does not hold a bachelor’s degree and is not a credentialed teacher.
Hughes was arrested last week and charged with obtaining property by false pretense. The sheriff’s office also confirmed Hughes has felony convictions from out-of-state.
ELECTION 2020-SENATE-NORTH CAROLINA
Trump endorses North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump has endorsed North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, handing a significant political asset to the first-term Republican senator seeking reelection next year in the closely divided state.
Trump tweeted late Tuesday his “Full and Total Endorsement” to Tillis as he already faces a primary challenger. Garland Tucker has made Tillis’ initial opposition to Trump’s emergency declaration for a U.S.-Mexico border wall a campaign issue. Tillis later reversed himself and supported the declaration.
Trump praised Tillis for being someone who is “Strong on the Border and fights hard against Illegal Immigration.”
Democrats also are lining up to take on Tillis, including three current or former state legislators and a county commissioner.
North Carolina is a key presidential battleground state, too. Trump won there in 2016 by nearly 4 percentage points.
NC wind energy future bill leaves out ban or moratorium
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Legislation designed to prevent wind turbine projects from interfering with North Carolina military training operations – threatening the future of installations – no longer contains outright bans on their construction.
The Senate bill initially demanded a permanent prohibition of wind farms across large sections of the state labeled “high-risk” for aviation training. The full Senate later agreed to a three-year moratorium.
There’s no moratorium or prohibition in the latest version approved Tuesday by the House energy committee. Now it simply directs state regulators who decide on permits to get more information from military commanders.
House Majority Leader John Bell helped fashion the updated measure now heading to another committee. Bell says it protects the state’s military economy and gives some certainty to wind energy companies looking for sites.
Judge upholds $6.6M judgment against rapper Yo Gotti
(Information from: Winston-Salem Journal, http://www.journalnow.com)
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina judge is refusing to throw out a $6.6 million judgment against rapper Yo Gotti.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the rapper, whose legal name is Mario Mims, appeared in court Monday asking for the decision to be vacated.
Singer Young Fletcher’s manager Michael Terry filed a lawsuit accusing Mims of shirking a $20,000 deal to rap on one of Young Fletcher’s songs and thereby boost sales. Terry says Mims didn’t sign paperwork necessary for putting the song on streaming services.
Mims said he was never served the lawsuit and therefore hadn’t been able to defend himself.
Terry’s lawyers say Mims was served after a May 6, 2018 concert. Forsyth County Superior Court Judge Todd Burke said Mims waived any challenge by not responding to the lawsuit.
Mims’ attorneys say they plan to appeal.
EX-TEACHER-SEX ABUSE CHARGES
Former North Carolina teacher pleads guilty to sex charges
WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) – A former North Carolina high school science teacher accused of abusing almost 20 victims during his career has pleaded guilty to child sex charges.
News outlets report the New Hanover County District Attorney’s Office says 50-year-old Michael Earl Kelly entered a guilty plea Tuesday. Prosecutors had filed approximately 60 charges against Kelly, including indecent liberties with a child and indecent liberties with a student.
Kelly had been arrested in February 2018. Search warrants said Kelly had shared pornographic images with some of his students at Isaac Bear Early College High School via a Snapchat group.
He was sentenced to between about 17 1/2 years and 31 1/4 years in prison.