AP-NC Newswatch

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September 19, 2019
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September 19, 2019
AP-NC Newswatch






Latest North Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT


Duke student senate denies Christian group over LGBTQ policy
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) – Duke University’s student government has rejected a national Christian organization as an official student group because its policy excludes LGBTQ individuals from leadership positions.
The Duke Chronicle reported that student senators unanimously voted against Young Life last week, citing a rule that every student group must include a nondiscrimination statement in its constitution to receive recognition and funding. Senators cited Young Life’s sexual misconduct policy, which says it doesn’t exclude people “who practice a homosexual lifestyle from being recipients of ministry of God’s grace,” however, they’re “not to serve as staff or volunteers.”
Jeff Bennett, a member of the Duke chapter, said it can’t break national policies.
Young Life’s national spokesman Terry Swensen told The News & Observer that it’s willing to help the chapter conform to Duke’s rules.


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.


Police: North Carolina man caught in rip current dies
TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (AP) – Authorities in North Carolina say a 62-year-old man has likely drowned after getting caught in a rip current at a beach.
WECT reports a witness told police he saw Jerry Thompson walk into shallow water at Topsail Beach on Wednesday before disappearing into the ocean. Topsail Beach officials say the witness pulled the victim from the water as crews responded, but the man couldn’t be saved.
Police Chief Samuel Gervase says Thompson’s death was likely a drowning, though no official cause of death has been released.
News outlets report the National Weather Service has warned beachgoers of a high rip current risk as Hurricane Humberto swirls in the Atlantic, potentially bringing rough currents and storm surge flooding to the coast.


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.


Trial starts for man accused in deadly S Carolina robbery
(Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/)
FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) – A trial is underway for a man accused in a South Carolina bank robbery in which two women were killed.
The Sun News reports Brandon Council’s trial opened Tuesday with Council’s attorney Duane Bryant acknowledging that his client killed Donna Major and Katie Skeen. He blamed the trial on needed closure and prosecutors’ promise to seek Council’s death.
Bryant says Council robbed a North Carolina bank and store days before the slayings and was fleeing to Georgia when he stopped at a motel near the Florence bank. He says Council entered the bank with a threatening note he handed to Major before shooting her twice. Council is accused of then finding Skeen hiding under a desk and shooting her in the head.
Bryant says Council fled to North Carolina where he confessed upon his arrest.


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.


AP-WF-09-19-19 1520GMT