Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 a.m. EDT
COLLEGE CAMPUS SHOOTING-NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina college shooting suspect set for arraignment
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A man accused in the fatal shootings on a North Carolina college campus last spring is scheduled to make a court appearance.
The Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office says Trystan Andrew Terrell will appear for an arraignment on Thursday at around 2 p.m. The DA’s office said in a statement that the hearing was originally scheduled as a Rule 24 hearing, in which it’s determined whether prosecutors will seek the death penalty. Such hearings are held in first-degree murder cases.
Terrell is charged with murder and other counts in connection with the shootings in a classroom at UNC Charlotte on April 30, killing two students and wounding four others. One of the slain students, Riley Howell, was credited with saving lives by charging Terrell and taking him to the floor.
Sanders coming to North Carolina for 2-state college tour
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is visiting North Carolina campuses as part of a two-state college campaign tour, where he’ll promote a platform that includes free tuition.
The Vermont senator is slated to speak at rallies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Thursday evening and at Bennett College in Greensboro on Friday afternoon. He’ll also spend time at three South Carolina schools heading into the weekend.
Sanders spoke in Asheville and Charlotte earlier this year. Other Democratic presidential hopefuls have visited North Carolina in recent months, including Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke.
Sanders’ campaign also says he’ll take a private tour of the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro on Friday morning.
HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY-GROWTH
North Carolina university announces $1 billion growth plan
HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina university has announced a $1 billion growth plan that will keep its current leader on the job for another 10 years and provide scholarships and new construction.
High Point University says the plan will commit current president Nido Quebein to another decade at the school, and give $700 million in scholarships focused on first-generation students, diversity, academic excellence and veterans.
The other $300 million will go toward a new library, academic building, admissions center and an ice hockey facility.
The plan also calls for formation of a think tank, a group of local leaders committed to ensuring that the city of High Point and High Point University continue to thrive together.
The school released details of the plan on Tuesday.
Medicaid expansion for North Carolina revived in House
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Republican framework for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina is advancing again with bipartisan support in the state House. But it’s unclear whether that will change feelings about the concept in the GOP-controlled Senate.
The House Health Committee voted on Wednesday for an expansion measure similar to the bill the panel heard and approved in July but then was idled during the state budget impasse. Speaker Tim Moore said last week that his chamber would consider it again.
Committee Democrats supported the plan even though many oppose GOP demands that it direct low-income adults who would qualify to pay small premiums and meet work requirements.
The bill could come to the House floor in early October. Senate Republicans have said there aren’t the votes in their chamber to approve expansion.
North Carolina lawmakers taking another break from Raleigh
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina legislators are taking more time away from Raleigh during a General Assembly session extended because of a state budget stalemate and redistricting directive from the courts.
House and Senate Republican leaders told colleagues this week there won’t be any recorded votes until at least Sept. 30. The chambers will hold perfunctory floor meetings in between.
Sessions in odd-numbered years historically end by mid-July, but no two-year budget is in place. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed that spending plan, and negotiations were negligible most of the summer. Then House Republicans overrode that veto last week in an unexpected vote. Senators haven’t acted on it yet.
Lawmakers worked through Tuesday to approve redrawing dozens of their electoral districts. The Senate left town Tuesday, followed by the House on Wednesday.
TROPICAL WEATHER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Hurricane Humberto is closing in on Bermuda
MIAMI (AP) – The National Hurricane Center is warning Bermuda to hurry up and complete any efforts to protect life and property as Hurricane Humberto approaches the island.
Dangerous winds are expected to hammer Bermuda from late Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning, with hurricane-force winds expected overnight. A storm surge could cause coastal flooding on Bermuda and swells will affect the U.S. coast from Florida to North Carolina.
Humberto was centered about 195 miles (310 kilometers) west of Bermuda at 11 a.m., with top winds of 120 mph (195 kmh), and moving toward the island at 16 mph (26 kmh) .
TRANSGENDER WOMAN-HOUSE FIRE
Police investigate after transgender woman’s body found
(Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Police in North Carolina have launched a homicide investigation after the body of a transgender woman was found in the debris of a house fire.
The Charlotte Observer reports Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they’re trying to determine if someone intentionally set the fire. The body of 55-year-old Bubba Walker was found days after she was reported to police as missing and after investigators failed to find her body in the initial search.
Walker was last seen on July 26. The fire occurred one day later, and Walker’s body was discovered on July 30.
An insurance adjuster inspecting the site found human remains and contacted the Charlotte Fire Department, who said its investigators hadn’t examined all of the rubble because the site was too unstable and they believed the home was unoccupied.
North Carolina state Rep. Speciale won’t seek reelection
NEW BERN, N.C. (AP) – A conservative legislator says he won’t seek another two-year term in the North Carolina House in 2020.
Republican Rep. Michael Speciale of New Bern first joined the House in 2013 after a Marine Corps career and previous unsuccessful bids for the legislature.
In a Wednesday release announcing his decision, the 63-year-old Speciale said he’s stood strong for “the rights and liberties of North Carolina citizens.” The current chairman of the Homeland Security, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee cited his work cutting individual and corporate tax rates and increasing teacher and law enforcement pay.
Speciale finished fourth this year in a 17-candidate GOP primary for the congressional seat left vacant after the death of U.S. Rep. Walter Jones Jr.