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Report on race shows the South is still ‘divided by design’
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is tackling the race issue, starting with a report called “Divided by Design .”
The report released Friday is based on surveys and interviews with people in in 28 communities in 13 Southern states. It touts efforts to bridge racial gaps. But it also says segregation and inequality remain major barriers to advancement for many. And it notes widespread, conflicting views on racism among African Americans, Latinos and whites.
When Landrieu was mayor he removed four Jim Crow-era monuments from the New Orleans landscape, including statues of three Confederate icons.
This report is the first project of the E Pluribus Unum Fund , which Landrieu launched after leaving office in May 2018. It calls for cultivating courageous leaders who can build common ground.
Microsoft expanding in North Carolina, will hire hundreds
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Microsoft Corp. is expanding its North Carolina footprint by hiring new workers to build out its engineering and quantum computing businesses.
The software maker and Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Friday that the $23 million expansion in Charlotte aims to create 430 new jobs by 2023.
The Redmond, Washington-based company could receive $8.5 million in state incentives over time if its meets job-creation and investment goals. A state panel awarded an incentives deal to Microsoft minutes before Microsoft executives and Cooper unveiled the expansion at a Charlotte event. The state Commerce Department says North Carolina won out over competing offers from Irving, Texas and Fargo, North Dakota.
Microsoft already has 1,400 employees in North Carolina, with 1,150 in Charlotte. Average salaries for the new jobs could reach almost $99,000.
Organization tracks growing number of sharks off Outer Banks
RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) – Researchers say they’re seeing a growing number of great white sharks off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
The Raleigh News & Observer reports that four sharks with tracking devices have “pinged” in recent days. The sharks are being tracked by researchers with the organization Ocearch.
The organization said on Twitter that a shark named Ironbound was among the sharks that were traveling near the Outer Banks community of Corolla and moving down the coast toward Rodanthe.
Ironbound is a 12-foot, 4-inch male great white that weighs about 1,000 pounds. The organization is tracking three other male great white sharks between 10 and 12 feet in length.
Great white sharks are known to swim off the southeastern United States coast in the winter
Sheriff: Human remains may be woman missing since 2004
SPRING HOPE, N.C. (AP) – A sheriff in North Carolina says human remains buried in a shallow grave may belong to a woman who was reported missing 15 years ago.
News outlets report remains believed to be Deborah Deans were found Thursday behind a Spring Hope home belonging to 49-year-old Kimberly Hancock. Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone says the department received a tip about the remains last week and carried out a search warrant at the home Thursday.
Stone says an autopsy will determine the identity but there was “a strong possibility” the remains belong to Deans, who was 29 years old in 2004 when she was last seen at Hancock’s home.
Hancock is charged with first-degree murder. She’s expected in court Friday morning. It’s unclear whether she had an attorney who could comment.
Police seek man charged in death of woman at NC motel
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – Authorities are searching for a man charged with the first-degree murder of a woman found dead at a North Carolina motel.
Fayetteville police tell reporters that 46-year-old Phillip Jerome Little is considered armed and dangerous. A police statement says 26-year-old Meoshia Corbett was found dead Wednesday at a Travel Inn. Her cause of death is pending.
Motel owner Mike Naik tells WRAL-TV that Little and Corbett were in an off-again, on-again relationship and lived at the motel. Naik says Little left a note confessing to the slaying.
Waymon Gainey manages the nearby Big Mike’s Car Wash. He tells WTVD-TV he called police after a former employee dropped off a note instructing him to call a phone number and tell the recipient “that I killed his daughter at the Travel Inn.”
North Carolina congressional map for 2020 weighed in court
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina voters asking state judges to block the use of the current congressional district boundaries next year say it’s obvious the lines are illegally tainted by partisan bias favoring Republicans.
A three-judge panel heard arguments on Thursday on the request by plaintiffs in a partisan gerrymandering lawsuit filed last month. The court didn’t rule immediately.
The voters are suing to overturn the map based on a recent ruling by the same three judges, who determined General Assembly districts violated the state constitution. A voters’ attorney said there’s uncontroverted evidence Republican legislators used partisanship to ensure the 2016 maps would elect 10 Republicans in 13 congressional districts.
But the lawyer for GOP lawmakers says it’s too late to redraw the maps five weeks before candidate filing begins.
1 dead as N Carolina police respond to grocery store
GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina police fatally shot a man they say was harassing customers in a grocery store parking lot and then showed a gun as an officer approached.
Greenville police said a bystander was wounded during the shooting Thursday afternoon but will survive.
Greenville police say the first officer to arrive at the scene approached a white man described in complaint calls. Police say the suspect was shot after producing a gun and died at the scene.
Police say the officer is a nine-year veteran who wasn’t injured, but that names of those involved would be released later. Department spokeswoman Kristen Hunter says the officer is also white.
A spokeswoman for the State Bureau of Investigation said agents are investigating.
MISSING TEEN-TRIAL SET
April murder trial set for missing teen’s adoptive father
SALISBURY, N.C. (AP) – The adoptive father of a North Carolina teen who was missing for years before her body was found in South Carolina will go on trial for first-degree murder in April.
News outlets reported that a judge set the trial for Sandy Parsons to start on April 6, 2020.
His wife pleaded guilty in August to first-degree murder, serious child abuse, and concealing Erica Parsons’ death. Casey Parsons was sentenced to life in prison.
Sandy Parsons faces similar charges.
Both adults are serving federal prison sentences for keeping adoption assistance money for more than a year after Erica had disappeared from their home. She had last been seen alive in 2011, when she was 13.
An autopsy after her remains were found in 2016 showed Erica had suffered multiple broken bones.